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Project 2 - Screaming into the Void

13 November 2019

Concept: outrage culture


Largely inspired by this podcast episode of Hidden Brain, I proposed a project titled "Screaming into the Void" which addresses our current politically-charged culture of internet-based outrage.


Here's the original crude sketch of the form. A person can walk up to a wall-mounted "infinity mirror" which formally acts as a portal, a reference to the void where this outrage is channeled.



The interaction loop would go something like this:

  1. Approach mirror, position yourself so you see into the "portal"
  2. Talk into the mirror, trying different words and phrases until you get a visual response
  3. When moral and/or emotional content is detected by the device, it lights up red (changes color from its default state) to signify some kind of "success" state


ref-1 ref-2

Conceptual progress, part 1

Some feedback / ideas / questions after presenting the initial idea:

  • consider whether the device should incite hate speech or deter it... if it does incite it, be very careful and deal with the consequences
  • consider recording the last person's words / screaming into the device to play it back, an embodiment of the echo chamber effect
  • put an LCD monitor behind the mirror and show relevant tweets, making a more direct connection with the internet content this work is trying to reference
  • if it's a portal, where is the portal taking you?
  • what emotion does this interaction evoke? awe (typically associated with infinity mirrors) or anger?
  • if the work is about viral sharing of content, how does that get expressed, if at all?

Prototype 1

I wired up some LEDs between two-way mirrors. I tried showing some tweets on an LCD monitor behind the mirror, but I didn't like the aesthetic this produced. It ended up feeling like a cheesy AR filter effect (specifically, LED Starburst on Instagram). So I decided to ditch the screen and just focus on the mirror & lights.

I started designing an enclosure, first with the LCD monitor...


Then later just a circular enclosure similar to the first reference image shown above. Vectorworks drawings prepping to CNC 1/2" plywood...