Meeting Two with ‘Surprise Me’ Project Partner: Zoetropes and Inverting Orthodoxies…

Today, my project partner and I spent some time producing a questionnaire aimed at people who suffer from asthma. The aim is to get a first hand experiences of the condition, along with some statistics, which can then inform us on how to approach each of our project aims. The questionnaire can be found here:

We looked up the Klein bottle structure, and looked into zoetropes further, considering how large it would be possible to make it. We thought about a zoetrope structure as a hybrid, attached to something else and interactive. We discussed how we might use QR codes.

I remembered going to the Tate modern as a young teenager, and experiencing Miroslaw Balka’s humungous interactive installation called ‘How It Is’, this piece comprised a metal box facing the back wall of the Turbine room. Upon walking up the ramp of this high-ceilinged box, you were met with this almost complete darkness. The space had the eerie echo of a great number of people, somewhere between excitement and fright, sharing the experience with you. Children’s laughs seemed almost perverse. You walked within only two or three feet of people before their features emerged before you. The experience culminated in the inevitable; as you ‘bumped’ into the back wall, which was unnervingly warm and velvety. At this point, turning around revealed a massive block of white, from the light streaming in from the entrance, cut only by the silhouettes of the people within the box. The experience is very memorable to me, but I’m not really sure why. For whatever reason, I would like to produce something for asthma which could have the same significance.

Afterwards, we did an exercise to try and think about the asthma inhaler in a different way. We started with the phrase: ‘If the asthma inhaler were designed by or like…’ and then randomly selected five titles for each of these five topics: Artists, Designers, Products, Poems, and Music. We didn’t proceed to complete this task, but for the rest of the day I kept coming back to how I might deconstruct a number of these topics in my head, to find the themes. For instance, how might I deconstruct 1980s band, ‘The Smiths’? Could an inhaler be designed to be mildly anarchic, representing the outsider and celebrating the very fact, patterned with gladioli perhaps, with hints of controversy, celebrating its unusual, even quirky attraction but still maintaining a mainstream context?


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