I once saw a piece of art/design that floored me. Emotionally, Intellectually. It was at the Massaging Media conference here in Boston. I always wanted to see that piece again...and now I can. Thanks to the wonders of PBS.
The work I am talking about is Kryzysztof Wodiczko's 'Dis-Armor'. A brilliant, if Blade-Runner-esque piece of work which attempts to create an environment of 'Seamless Transmission' for the user, and for those the user encounters.
Seamless Transmission is basically the idea of communication without emotional boundaries. The Dis-Armor uses video and audio to enable the wearer to turn away from the person they are talking to, while their emotional cues (eyes, mouth and voice) are broadcast from monitors and speakers on their backs-- so the device faces their audience.
The effect is amazing. People who could not talk to each other with honesty prior, communicate openly, and actually....access their emotions MORE readily, since they do not have the pressure of maintaining a state of emotional stability. The emotions clearly come through, giving meaning to the words they are speaking...giving a more honed quality to what they are talking about.
The device, along with video footage of it's usage can be seen on PBS...on the ART:21 website. And also, on the show of the same name.
A bevy of other artists are also featured on the show and site. What a treasure-trove. When I think about it, it's sort of odd that yesterday I wrote about emoticons; and today, I'm writing about this piece, which follows a similar thread....revealing emotions through technology, and using them to change communication for the better.