Project Proposal : Our “Hands”
By Kimberly Carbajo
In short, I plan to create a sculpture to address my feelings on our digital culture, specifically the internet as our peripheral and the keyboard as a symbol through how we interact with this virtual interface through our hands and physical touch. I will attempt to make this piece with little other than the repurposed parts of the keyboard itself, and model it on human anatomy. In addition I will use 3D imaging tools to accompany the sculpture and give both a physical and interactive perspective. My goal is 2 part, to complete this project as originally imagined, and to have it create a conversation on the individual’s relationship/ use of tech as a peripheral.
The purpose of this project is to explore the link that exists between technology and the individual. As one of our five senses our hands are how we explore the world through touch yet one could argue that technology has made us lose touch with reality. In our readings for this course, as well as other material from previous DGST courses, I have been motivated to explore the relationship between the “self” and the gadgets we use to transport ourselves physically or virtually to catch a glimpse of something new. In the novel we read this semester William Gibson’s “The Peripheral”, I was drawn to the idea of a peripheral itself as virtual sensory device. I asked myself how we have been affected by our own technology, albeit rudimentary in comparison to the novel’s, today. It occurred to me that we have been using the internet as our peripheral since it was created, but the keyboard specifically, has acted as the link that has physically connected us to this virtual world. With this in mind, I aim to create a sculpture made almost entirely from the parts of a keyboard that resembles the human anatomy of hands. In the process I hope to continue to question the relationship and digital culture between man, machine and peripheral, and hopefully provoke others to ask even more questions and reflect on their own feelings/ relationship with tech. My audience for this project would be other students and faculty within the Comm & Digital studies major and anyone else who is interested in the subject.
Risks and Rewards
As I undertake this project I have come across some risks that should be addressed. One of them is that I can tend to be overzealous in the imagination stage of a project but have trouble with the execution. I’m very excited to explore this theme and would hate to have to downgrade or swap out any ideas to compensate for lack of skill and time. I think my second biggest challenge will be sourcing the materials and deciding how to best use them. This will very much be a “learn-as-I-go” type of project, and I’m hoping that my crafty side will come in handy. On the other hand if I am successful and able to overcome these obstacles I will immediately benefit from having brought a creation that started off as a far-fetched daydream to life. I also hope that my classmates will benefit from the variation of my project and my hope is to at the very least elicit some type of response from them, whether positive to to construction or even if they find the sculpture grotesque, I hope it will make them pause and think.
For this project I will need:
- 2 (very basic) keyboards
- Dremel drill & smaller drill
- Set of pliers
- Interchangeable screwdriver
- Wires and nails/ bolts
- Craft glue ex. E6000
- Safety goggles, dust mask, gloves
Skills / software:
I’m familiar with using drills and other equipment to make jewelry, and I’m not afraid to break things apart so I’m hoping I’ll be able to adapt these skills to this project. I’m also planning to use a 3D imaging app to create an interactive way to display the finished piece. The app is called 123D catch and I will be using my phone as well as my laptop to render and tweak the images.
Once I have sourced and have all my materials I think the biggest obstacle will be the deconstruction and construction days. I will have to set aside time in between classes and during the weekends to do most of this work, and some of it might be a little noisy so I will have to do it during the day. Most if not all of this will take place in my dorm, as I don’t have, or know of an on campus location where I could do the bulk of the crafting, because of this I do have to conscious of when I do most of the work.
Between now and Dec 6. I plan to have each of these stages completed
- Plan day (completed)
- Deconstruction day (completed)
- Construction day (in progress)
- Finishing touches – 3rd-4th
- 3D imaging day – 4th-5th
- Presentation – Dec 6th
I will know this project is successful if I can manage to make my vision into a reality be presenting a morphing of the human anatomy and technology. If I am successful, I hope to present a piece both physically and digitally on Dec 6th that represents this theme. I think the fair way to grade this project would be a division between effort/ execution how much time and skill I put into the piece and secondly, your own personal reaction to it, specifically if it succeeds or fails to provoke questions or discussion.