THE Urban Bi-spectacle
September 2016 - March 2017
The Urban Bi-spectacle was envisioned to create a sensory experience that emerges from the data of the emotions and aspirations of the denizens of a city that has witnessed explosive growth in the past 30 years. Users can dial a number on an old phone based on the emotion they want to feel and the videos, projection and whole space changes to match the emotion.
I was the technical director and creative technologist responsible for making the various sound/video elements work based on user choice.
The Urban Bi-spectacle was show-cased at prestigious Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016.
How it works
When the installation is idle and the viewer enters the installation, the video screens are off and the projection system projects an abstract visualization. A phone with a number card is presented to the viewer at the entry.
The viewers can dial a specific number which changes the projections and sound to match the emotion of choice.
For example: When the viewer enters the space, He picks up the phone and dials the number corresponding to the emotion he wants to experience in the city. In the above image, the number dialed is 0803 which corresponds to anger. This leads to the map projected on the floor to showcase the data collected with respect to crime , politics , environment and urbanization which has induced “anger” in the city dwellers.
On the video pedestals, the viewer can see the city from the eye of the teacher, police officer, prostitute or the IT engineer. The viewer immerses himself/herself in the journey of the persona as they move across the chaos within the city.
For the first phase, the data team went through government files, census data, photographs, news paper articles. They spoke to urban designers, Researchers, the local city community and development authority of Bangalore.
They researched on the sudden expansion of the city and the change in dynamics with the local city dwellers and the younger migrants which resulted in a unplanned urbanization and transformation of the city.
We identified more than forty characters with respect to occupations that were a part of the city due to the growth of built area, politics, crime and corruption. The five characters that stood out from the list of characters were -
The five personas identified to conduct further research.
The second phase of the research involved task analysis, interviews, surveys and conducting ethnographic research. The ethnographic research was distributed among the volunteers. They shadowed and conducted contextual inquiry to understand their sensory experiences, their moment of interaction with each other and emotions each of them experienced while they traversed around the city. A diary was maintained to document the path they took, the people they spoke to, their complaints about the city, the quarrels with other characters and their battle for survival.
Based upon the persona research, a general survey questionnaire was created to gather insights from other dwellers in the city.
This vast body of data was then converted into data visualizations for the projection system and was thematically mapped to five emotions that the users could navigate through.