Seated Catalog of Feelings

I came across this exhibit recently at the Cooper Hewitt, and loved how simple yet exciting this experiential piece was. It is a solo experience, yet not isolated, as the artists Eric Gunther + Sosolimited carefully show you what the user is experiencing through communicative + artful projections.

In these disembodied days, where the majority of the experiences we're tuned into happen from the neck up, I am attracted to things that remind us to listen to the world with our bodies.

This piece is not only fun + whimsical, but also smart because it relinquishes so much to the viewer. It relies on the viewers' own imagination to create for themselves in their heads the feeling of "a cricket rubbing its arms together, or "making love to a snail on a bicycle seat." With the piece's carefully crafted physical + auditory sensations, it asks the viewer to take the extra step by placing themselves in the context of a given text. The text is often ambiguous enough that the viewer needs to jump to an immediate conclusion about what the sentence means (in the case of the snail example, are you a human, snail, or the bicycle seat?)

However, what I think makes the piece go above and beyond is the consideration for creating a visualization that outside/passing participants can also see. It extends the experience just a little bit (and the viewer themselves cannot see this), so that the experience remains vague, yet enticing.