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Fall 2022 ︎︎︎ SUNY Purchase ︎︎︎ (DES3090) Interactive & Experience Design

a change of boundaries

Norman McLaren’s Pas de deux︎


“Changing of boundaries” is related to the gestalt cycle of experience. This is the type of therapy that I do, and I’ve been talking to my therapist about some of the theory related to it. This is by no means me trying to indoctrinate you within this methodology; just an interesting turn of phrase.

A changing of boundaries is part of the cycle of experience it is when you expand “beyond yourself” in order to effect the world. That is what you’ll be doing with this assignment. Last year, I thought about his project as a pitch where you talk about ways to change or transform the world. This year we’ll do something different. 

For this project, you’ll be “interacting” with the environment of a given location and create a temporary installation. What I’d like with this project is that we can have a final “critique” that is largely a mini field trip.

Part of the point of this project is to consider “site specificity” or a piece’s relationship to it’s environment as well to consider various levels of sharing space. At school we have a communal space subdivided into buildings and classrooms and offices. Are the hallways and galleries like town squares or malls? Can the internet and social media be communal spaces when they are controlled by corporations and folks like Elon Musk?


    • Upset the paradigm of “show work on screen”
    • Use work potentially without computers proper to explore concepts related to the internet and the contemporary condition
    • Think about how work exists beyond a screen.


    • You identify a location to install your work. It only needs to be there for the time period we critique it. If you need to do a longer install let’s make sure to work together to figure out details for the specific location. We must leave the classroom for this, however the “location” can have some level of abstraction. For example “outside before the sun sets” or “the brick that the shadow from the Stood hits at 2:45PM.” You can also pick multiple locations if desired/needed. If you want to travel outside of school please arrange with me and the class to figure this out.
    • The work must have some relationship to the space. You don’t need to explicitly state this, but should be ready to discuss it.
    • Your work can be ephemeral, but it must be documentable. For example, you could lead us on a mini yoga class. 

Final Submission

    • A presentation of your installation. 
    • Documentation of your installation; the higher quality the better. 
    • A folder containing all ideas, research, iteration, code and the like.


    • Keep weather and time of day in mind. Is night time important?
    • Is the history of the institution and the land it is on important to you?
    • You don’t need to use the CPX or a computer, but consider how that might inform the piece, or “power” it might bring. Also if you want to consider batteries vs 
    • How important is scale? How can the piece feel “big” without actually being big? 
    • How “obvious” is the piece? Is it hidden behind a garbage can? Inside a missing piece of brick? Or is it preventing someone from walking down the hallway?
    • Should you explain the piece? Does it need a label? What other context must the viewer have?


    • Your Idea ︎︎︎ 50% ︎︎︎ This encompasses the relationship between the idea and the location
    • Execution ︎︎︎ 50% ︎︎︎ How did you transform your idea into something “real”? How did you confront issues that you had?

No Shuriken Mode Challenges

(Please note that, doing these do not guarantee a better grade or extra credit by any fixed or demonstrable amount, but if you’re doing or approaching these things, you’re probably doing well. The point is that, like not using shurikens in Shadow Dancer, it is more difficult, and increases your proximity to the material. All this being said don’t hurt  yourself and consider your other assignments and mental and physical health. Additionally, if you are not feeling challenged by the class or an assignment, and these suggestions are not sufficient for you, please le me know.)
    • Use a pico projector do to some kind of projection mapping.
    • (At your own risk of course) do some kind of installation in that weird little house we passed the other day for the scavenger hunt with Benedikte’s piece.
    • Reserve the CMFT basement theater and show some kind of very anticlimactic video there.


    • Twitter is sometimes referred to colloquially as the internet’s town square, but do we actually do when we get rid of this physical space in reality?

    • What conditions lead to communal spaces like malls and why are they now going away?
    • How do cities and towns accomodate the people who occupy them?

    • We think of wikipedia as a community-updated common source of information, but how does it corrode our understanding of language and knowledge and how does it obliterate other kinds of websites and fonts of knowledge (the library for example)?

Related Pieces

Stuart Sherman

Michael Rakowitz’s paraSITE

The end of this Radiohead video

Julian Maire’s Digit

Relevant Dates

    • 11/14/2022 ︎︎︎ Introduction
        • 11/21/2022 ︎︎︎ Site Investigation, Idea check-in 
        • 12/05/2022 ︎︎︎ Show & Tell. Review writing assignment
        • 12/12/2022 ︎︎︎Review writing due, restagings

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