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After an emotional and much needed chat with Jeff- I crumpled up my papers  (skeuomorphically, into my mac book’s trash) and started in a new direction that I finding I am much better suited for.

My new topic is something along the lines of: What can UbiComp learn from museums. Probably per Yvonne Rogers reassessment of Weiser’s vision, in which she calls for the following:

“I propose one such alternative agenda which focuses on designing UbiComp technologies for engaging user experiences. It argues for a significant shift  from proactive computing to proactive people; where UbiComp technologies are designed not to do things for people but to engage them more actively in what they currently do”


I wanted to share an experience I had today while researching for my paper. I went to the IMA, just to see what I could find. I actually felt sort of guilty taking time out of my day to do something fun, do you all feel like research doesn’t count if you’re not sitting in front of a pile of papers? Anyways, I sat in the Robert Indiana show decided to sit down and let myself see what would happen. I wrote down notes and observations. And feverishly at that… like, my friend was probably embarrassed to be near me and my hand hurt from writing. This went on for an hour and a half. I had so much to say and so many things just came to me. I had done some reading about UbiComp Friday night (a really cool way to fill a Friday night) and with that on my brain, so much started clicking.

Afterwards, the museum’s Audience Interpretation Director came up to me because she noticed me taking notes. She gave me some awesome insights and suggested some new sources. She is going to email me some internal case studies, as well (score!). I feel really good about this direction. It feels clear and bright and all those good fuzzy feelings.

Hope all of your paper are going well. I totally recommend leaving a desk and going out into your space (if possible). It felt like cheating, because I actually enjoy my topic.

– julia

I like this paper a lot and it got me to think a lot about horror, comedy, the fine line in between and user reactions and response to context.

Specifically, such fictions are generally
designed to control and guide our emotional responses in such a way that, ideally,
horror audiences are supposed to react emotionally to the monsters featured in
horror fictions in the same manner that the characters in horror fictions react
emotionally to the monsters they meet there

Carroll mentions this and it really resonates with me. I think a major factor to what is humor and what is horror has to do with the reactions. For me, the reactions of the actors give the audience a context…is it horror or is it comedy. That being said people themselves bring something to the table and decided if it is infact horror or comedy.

So Jared just posted a video on Day-Z. Honestly what made that funny was the guy who was laughing at it. If I personally was playing that game and that happened, I would not hang around, I would head for the hills. It may be because I am in the studio alone this late, but in my context, that was terrifying.

And that brings me to my primary argument. In movies what separates horror from comedy is the reactions of the characters. Carroll points out that horror and comedy both have similarities especially since both of them seem to take a normal situation and juxtapose it with something opposite. Dracula is dead and not dead at the same time. With this juxtapositioning in mind, I want to show the difference in the way we interpret horror and comedy is based on the reactions of the characters. The walking dead vs Shaun of the dead would be ideal examples. Specifically their first encounters with zombies.

In the walking dead the main characters expression is of confusion and fear. Character reaction to Zombies TWD_Ep_101_Sneak-325

This is similar to what Carroll says. But the point is, the actor and his reactions tell us this is serious. There are other queues in the shots, but their reaction to an unusual situation tells us that we should be fearful for him.

Whereas in Shaun of the dead, the characters react very differently to the zombies. they at first sort of ignore them, but when they find out you have to destroy the brain to destroy the zombie they get a hold of their LP’s and proceed to throw it at the zombies


It is this absurd reaction that tells the audience that this is comedy even though almost everything else is the same. You will never see this happen in the walking dead. The actors will never take their time and go through their LP collection while death approaches them slowly.

We can see how reactions of the characters can persuade our emotional reactions. Now let me give you an example in which we bring our own feelings into it. This is not horror related, but has to do with comedy.

In Inglorious Basterds there is a scene in which the Bastards have captured a group of Nazis and proceed to brutally interrogate them. What is interesting was the audiences reactions to the interrogation. People were laughing when they were graphically scalping heads, even when they beat a soldier to death with a baseball bat. It was funny primarily because we all know the Nazis were not good people (a dumb way to summarize it!)

Similarly in the movie, the Germans were watching a movie in which the Americans were dying…the Germans in the audience were laughing, but the audience in the real theater were not. We do not associate the death of American soldiers to fun.  What I am trying to say is that we as an audience also have a say in what is funny and what is horror. Our experiences and context definitely shape our reactions.

Thus in a similar fashion, I think Jared’s video is funny only and only because the guy is laughing….I swear, watch the video without the guys laughter and it becomes pretty scary!


Watch this video . And the making of it in this video.


What I really like about this video is the way they made it. To explain why this video is so good, I have to explain it in the language of movie makingf.

First of all, it is a single shot. There are no cuts. This itself makes it a challenging and the most obvious thing that people will notice. Even if someone is unaware of the references (And I showed it to some!), the thing they notice is that it is one continuous shot. If you look at the making, you realize that this is not an easy feat.

The Lighting in the movie is fantastic. It changes constantly to match the mood and feel of the final image. If you watch the making video, you will notice how the lights change and what they have to do to capture the mood. Specially for the “Creation of Adam” scene, they needed two people to jump in and add reflectors to get the golden feel. If you notice it carefully in the final video, you will notice exactly when the the reflectors come into action as there is a distinct change in tone.

Sound. The music is catchy, but I want you to point out the ambient noises they added into the movie. I am very confident (although not 100%) that the noises were added in in post. Typically in a studio you do not hear lights go off. But in the video you do hear a big light switch going on. Also when they turn on colored/filtered light you hear this noise. This is done for ambience and if the actual microphone had caught this sound, we would have heard the footsteps of people as well! What I am trying to say is that they deliberately added those to create a better effect.



Dutch Fashion Designer Iris Van Herpen had models vacuum-packed and suspended in the air during her show during Paris Fashion week. This lady designed those really tall and weird-looking shoes Lady Gaga wears and does a lot with 3D print outfits.

Anyways, have a look at the link and let me know what you guys thing!

I was on reddit this morning and came across a post about Nyota Uhura, a character on the original Star Trek television series. The post was a TIL about this:

“Nichols planned to leave Star Trek in 1967 after its first season, wanting to return to musical theater.[6] She changed her mind after talking to Martin Luther King Jr.,[7] who was a fan of the show. King explained that her character signified a future of greater racial harmony and cooperation.[8] As Nichols recounted, “Star Trek was one of the only shows that [King] and his wife Coretta would allow their little children to watch. And I thanked him and I told him I was leaving the show. All the smile came off his face. And he said, don’t you understand for the first time, we’re seen as we should be seen. You don’t have a black role. You have an equal role.””

I would have to do more research about the context of Star Trek and possibly the public reaction to Nyota Uhura as a character, but I immediately thought about the power of future thinking when I read this. I like to think that Nichols was able to be an equal role character in the show because the show was about the future where powerful social influences and a tyrannical majority hold less power. The audience is invited to imagine a world they all perhaps want, a world with less racism and more equality. Because the rest of the world is already vastly different from the current world and is highly imagined, it becomes easier to accept change.  There is also a notion of hope at play here. Proposed futures can stand as “signifiers” for a better future, a future we as designers can mold and remold to express different values. People can recognize these values and attach hope to them, hopefully integrating them into our daily lives. Indeed we have seen just this phenomena through media in the past 50 years. Art of all kinds has helped promote better futures, specifically, and the point of the original reddit post, through helping minorities gain a voice by subverting existing powerful normative structures.

This could raise some interesting questions. If there were normally racist television viewers who preferred African Americans to be in “black roles” but in the case of Star Trek seemed not to mind an equal role played by an African American, what kind of work is being done by that racist viewer? Is his racism momentarily suspended permitting him to see a black person as an equal? If so, why?  An easier question is to question why one of the first equal roles for a black person (and a woman too) was in a science fiction genre in a time when both women and people of color were marginalized.

Just stumbled across this really interesting design yesterday, and thought I would share:


This design implies all sorts of really interesting lenses for critique: the hacking and reappropriation of commercial artifacts, commodification of government, civil liberties in a modern-day on-demand society, and even the notion that receipts are ridiculously wasteful (as anyone who has ever filled a prescription at CVS is no doubt aware).


Bonus: DRM Chair, a piece of furniture that self-destructs after 8 uses (listen for the clicks in the background!)


So I read the reading and watched the movie and to me, Brunette had a very artistic film lens when making the analyzations for the reading. I don’t know what I would have thought if I watched the movie first without reading the reading. I think I may have been a bit testadura about it. I know I wouldn’t have picked up the doubling characters and connecting all of the similarities throughout the movie. At least from when this reading was written, the author says, “One of the most innovative aspects of Chungking Express is to be found in its dual narratives. Besides neatly dividing the film in two, the two stories also feature similar plots and similar character.”

The author really tells us the director’s views and connects themes and techniques the director makes from previous movies to this one. This allowed me to see this movie more through a lens of “art” and “film making” instead of how I normally would watch a movie, which is to give me a good story and not to be confused. Though, depending how much I want to engage my brain, the two ways of thinking are beginning to merge.

Basically, this movie wasn’t a movie that catered to the general public (at least not the ones today). It wasn’t one of those blockbusters with explosions and random make out scenes to cater to what people think should be in movies. This movie seemed to be very thought and and saturated with meaning though if one does not take a deep dive in it (like the author did in the reading), it would be hard to understand the director’s vision.

College Humor presents this shocking four-minute exposé of the engagement ring scam. To think what engagements could have been…

Below are my ten museum examples and some explanation as to why I selected them.

Immersion Museums

H.R. Giger Bar and Museum (Gruyères, Chur, Tokyo, New York)


A bar/museum which immerses the guest into the artwork of H. R. Giger.  I chose this because I really like Giger’s artwork and this is an opportunity to visit the worlds he has created.  Where else are you going to get to sit right next to the Space Jockey?

Titanic, The Artifact Exhibition


Designed much like the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. each visitor gets a boarding pass and works their way through the exhibit in that person’s role.  I chose this one, not only because I really enjoyed seeing these items that have been recovered, but it also made me incredibly angry when I left.  In the gift shop, RMS Titanc, Inc. the only company which has ownership rights was selling coal they had brought up to the surface that was on the ship.  When I saw they were selling artifacts, I immediately equated the exhibition to grave robbing.

Conner Prairie (Indianapolis)


A living museum where visitors become part of the environment. Actors see you as living in their time period.


Hotel 21c (Louisville, Bentonville, Cincinnati)


A hotel, bar, and art museum.  Shows how contemporary art can fit into every day lives.

Shot by Warhol (IU Art Museum Exhibition)


Exhibition which primarily focused on Andy Warhol’s Photography and had a few other items, such as the Brillo Boxes and a Silkscreen.  When I saw the Elizabeth Taylor silkscreen, I was really disappointed.  When I see paintings in a book, they do not look as detailed and when I see something in real life, it comes alive. It looked just like the book when I saw it in real life.

Corvette Museum (Bowling Green, KY)


Exhibition showing the history of the Chevrolet Corvette.  I like this one cause I have seen this collection many times and it has been in the news lately due to a sink hole swallowing several of the cars. The organization has announced before they send the damaged cars off for restoration, they are going to display them, as they are to show what all these cars have gone through and how they will return to their former glory.

The Children’s Museum (Indianapolis)


Hear me out on this one.  I like it because it allows all visitors, not just children, the opportunity to see into the lives of past Hoosiers.  In particular they have on display Ryan White’s boyhood bedroom and Mustang that was gifted to him by Michael Jackson.  The Ryan White story was before my time, but it gives the opportunity for children to see into the life of someone who was just like them and thrown in to the limelight when people found out he was suffering from AIDS.  It gives everyone the outlook that he was just a normal person, just wanting to be a kid, when the people in Kokomo, IN wanted to make sure that did not happen.

An American Legacy: Norll, Blass, Halston and Sprouse (Indianapolis Museum of Art)


The Indianapolis Museum of Art had an exhibit, which featured the fashion designs of Hoosier fashion designers.  This exhibit showed that one does not have to be from New York or some exotic land in order to be a successful designer.  I (sadly) was not able to go to this exhibit, but later found out that Stephen Sprouse grew up about 30 miles north of where I grew up.  It is still my goal to own a Sprouse item in my lifetime.

The Vacuum Museum (St. James, MO)


If you are saying WTF, then my goal has been accomplished.  Much like what Warhol did, the operators of the Vacuum Museum are going after the same idea.  Take a mundane object and make it a piece of art. According to the website, they pride themselves with the fact every vacuum is still operational.


Henry Ford Museum (Deerborn, MI)


The Henry Ford Museum is just random. A really cool place to visit, but it is just one of those places that seems to have no flow and has everything you could think of.  The chair President Lincoln was sitting in when assassinated is on display, same as the car President Kennedy was in when he met the same fate.  These items are on display with items such as the first pre-fabricated house and a neon McDonald’s sign.


Here is just an example of the designy decanters. The full list can be found here:

A decanter like this (looking like blood in veins) plus the seven sins glasses can be apart of one hell of a dark party experience.