Circulating Belief

November 2010, Faculty: Phil Van Alan
There are many spiritual and religious belief each supposedly different from the other and more that often experienced in isolation to the others. A grand majority of humans across the world associate themselves with either one or many spiritual belief systems in variety of ways. Each belief though in claims is different it has many threads that run common. Not to stray too far all religious beliefs narrate their thoughts through variety of sonic symbols like chants, prayers, hymns, songs etc... Thus within these narratives we can find a collective of human thought and philosophy. Circulating Belief contemplates on the combined view of human theology and belief practices. How does the experience differ when human legacy of belief is experienced conjunction with one another? What kind of new narratives emerge out of such forms?

In form Circulating belief is inspired from the concept of rotation in relation to the humans. Existing as a practice in all religions, be it through counting of the beads or the rotating a wheel, spirituality in many religions identities well with with the rotational movement. This comes as no surprise when such a phenomenon is visible in the nature from which the humans existence emerges and flourishes.

The interaction is triggered by the rotation the upper cylinder that emits the sounds from various religious practices across the world. The chants vary on the speed of the wheel, mingling the chants of one religion into another creating moments of union.

The project as part of the Productive Interaction module, taught by Philip Van Allen, helped me explore the tangible side of interactions. The brief of the project was to communicate an concept through two constraints, one using a single knob (any kind) and using only sound or images as medium. The end to end process of conceiving and creating an interactive piece within these tight constraints, not only offered an understanding of the scope of such project but also gave a me an insight into the importance of finesse required while executing each component, such that the thread of interaction is not broken. During its creation I was conscious of various elements that allow a successful stand alone interaction. Among the main set of learning outcomes I realized the importance of putting constraints and limitations for a successful and cohesive output. Another lesson learnt was the importance of detail for crisp communication and continuos interaction.

The form is constructed from two hollow paper tubes - the lower tuebs is 24'' dia in size and the upper tube is 12'' dia. They are covered by two MDF circular boards and sandwiched between the tubes is a 12'' dia lazysusan. The Lazysusan helps the upper tube rotate.

The use of continuous knob is used for seemless rotational experience. A place for knob is sculpted for a tight between the two MDF borads, in such a way that the lower end of the knob stay staionary and the upper end rotates with the lazy susan.

The knob connected through a long wire to the Arduino Board which is connected to the NetLab Toolkit, created and managed by Phil Van Allan and Media Design Program.