One way of determining whether a creature is self-aware is the mirror test, through which humans recognize themselves, develop self-awareness, distinguish themselves from others and locate their social identity by analysing the results of their mirror images. Dynamic interactive works are like mirrors, but more abstract, translating human behaviour into the behaviour of the installation: the person does something, which triggers something else. I believe that when viewers engage with an interactive work, their perception is ‘circular’. The work exhibits a quality that can be interacted with - the viewer interacts with the work - the work perceives and changes (information is received by sensors and then programmed to respond) - the viewer perceives and changes (information is received by visual, auditory and tactile means and then continues to interact with the work).

How tangible objects convey important information about how people interact with them is a feature Gibson has named ‘Affordance’. The simplest application of affordance is a door with a handle on one side only, the side without the handle cannot be pulled open, it has to be pushed open.So that people don't hesitate about how to open the door. I think the affordance of the mirror (smooth surface) is to make people want to see their own reflection. I don't think everyone is as in love with their reflection as Narcissus in greek mythology, but the fact is that people do like to look at their reflection: think of a car window, a puddle after the rain, a security camera in a supermarket.

Ultimately, humans are social creatures and communication and interaction are instinctive, as Donald Norman writes in The Design of Everyday Things: “Affordance is not a property, it is a relationship. The presence or absence of affordance depends on the properties of the object and the subject.”

This makes me think about the differences between human perception and analysis. I believe that perception is a manifestation of human "animality," while analysis is a manifestation of human "sociality."

For example, when we see a car while walking on the street, we may analyze its brand, whether it is expensive, and the type of person who owns it. However, when we are in nature, we don't analyze the price of a tree; instead, we engage our sensory organs to smell the leaves, listen to the sound of the wind passing through the leaves, and observe how sunlight projects onto the grass through the gaps in the leaves.

The relationship between perception and analysis is similar to the relationship between traditional oil paintings and interactive installations: When you appreciate a traditional oil painting, you are the viewer, and the painting is the object being admired. The painting is not created by you, does not belong to you, and, more definitively, has no connection to you. However, in interactive installations, the audience often becomes a part of the artwork. Your actions change the artwork, and it can even be said that you partially create the artwork.

I decided to create an interactive installation to reflect the relationship between human beings and perception. In natural environments, people can focus more on their perception rather than analysis. In urban environments, people are more concerned with their sociality, and analysis often takes precedence.

Urban parks, as natural spaces within cities, exist at the intersection of analysis and perception, making them the ideal location to exemplify this relationship. Therefore, I chose a park as the location for my project. In a park, information is simpler and more subtle, without distractions that would divert people's attention. It is in such moments that individuals can truly concentrate on their reflection and self-image.

判断一个生物是否有自我意识的方法之一是镜子测试,人类通过分析自己的镜像结果来认识自己,发展自我意识,将自己与他人区分开来,定位自己的社会身份。动态交互装置就像一面镜子,但表现出的形象更加抽象。人的行为会被转化为装置的行为,简单来说,人的某些特定行为的发生会触发其他的东西发生。我相信,当观众与交互装置互动的时候,他们的感知是 “循环”的。作品表现出一种可以互动的特质--观众与作品互动--作品感知和变化(信息由传感器接收,然后通过编程做出反应)--观众感知和变化(信息由视觉、听觉和触觉方式接收,然后继续与作品互动)。

有形物品会表现出一种特征,暗示人们该如何与之互动,这种特征被实验心理学家吉布森命名为 “功能可供性”。其最简单应用是一种只有一侧有把手的门,没有把手的一边自然不能拉开,只能推开,这样人们就不会对如何开门犹豫不决。我认为镜子的可供性(光滑的表面)是为了让人们想看到自己的影子。我不认为每个人都会像希腊神话中的纳西索斯那样爱上自己的倒影,但事实是人们的视线总是追逐着自己的倒影:想想车窗,雨后的水坑和超市里的安全摄像头。

归根结底,人类是社会性的动物,交流和互动是我们的本能。正如认知心理学家唐纳德-诺曼在《设计心理学》中写道: “可供性不是一种属性,它是一种关系。可供性的存在与否取决于物体和主体的属性”。






©Xin Ai 2023
All rights reserved.
©Xin Ai 2023
All rights reserved.