Week 4 0922: Presenting without words

Today's class was fun and full of surprise. We presented our prototypes in group of three in a new way: audiences will look at the prototype for 10 minutes without the author explaining anything, and talk about their interpretations and questions. And then the group will spend the next 10 minutes talking openly about it. We all kind of thought it would be so confusing and audiences would totally get lost, but the result was surprisingly good.

I was the first to present and I showed Bhavya and Tania the four prototypes I made. Three of them are from my Assignment 0 and the last one was the new one I made after the little revision of my topic. They immediately got that the first one was about a universal way to understand, because the comparison of Chinese words and icons were pretty clear. I caught them saying "without words" and "different cultures" which respond to my keywords "nonverbal communication" across culture. The second one turned out to be very interesting because they misunderstood the image as placing the paper cup on the person's nose so they went with the direction of smell, which was actually one of the senses I was trying to explore in that prototype. Isn't that a perfect representation of my thesis, a sweet misunderstanding? After the first two, they kind of got my approach of using different senses to create a way of communication, so it went smoothly with the third prototype too. The last one confused them a little, but they still got the idea that they are beak masks. Tania mentioned something when she saw it and I found it quite inspiring: you're limiting the sense. I didn't think of it that way but yeah I did emphasize one sense and played with how people are receiving/sending messages with it. I'm not sure how will this guide my future progress but this is definitely something to think about.

Bhavya's works was really neat and I was so impressed by how she was persistently focusing on social justice in India and really took actions to make a change. Tania's work brought me to a fresh perspective which is more artsy and inspired me a lot. Sometimes I get stuck on how to project my concept onto a visual representation logically, and all the elements have to be corresponding to a theory. Tania's work is so free and not limited by that kind of one-on-one correspondence. It made me rethink visual representation, and to what extend an art work should be speaking for its intent. Just as the topic I've been exploring, misunderstanding is beautiful. How should I let down my armor of logics and correctness to embrace misunderstanding?

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