Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Audrey Voltz Advertising Art Direction

Human and The Machine

Exhibition Design

The Desire to Create an Imperfect Machine

The Intimacy between humans and machines. Treating your body and mind as a system and fixing broken connections. Accepting that each is an extension of the other. The human and the machine work together. When they part, we recognize they came from the same source. Understanding that sometimes the system does not operate true to its nature. that what it represents can be inadequate.

We are an imperfect machine.

Last semester I tried to open up my unconscious in an attempt to undo a dissolution of intuition. Instinct is an innate human ability and to have internal conflict in trusting its ability can stunt your system. I began to collect moments between 2018 until 2019, archiving them in the form of 5-second clips. The intent for this collection was never clear from the beginning, but I had hoped that a time would come in the future where I had enough hindsight to be able to salvage each moment’s value. These moments I am referring to all invoked particulars feelings of unwarranted fear.

I deliberated how I could use this data to simulate a digital experience that encapsulated this feeling. In simple terms how do you visualize the feeling of being present in reprocessing past memories? While also putting this through a lens of paranoia?

Through creating this installation I was able to manipulate my memories, a method that ended up being quite cathartic. It also further connected this key trait that the machine I shared, processing. But being in a near-constant state of fear makes you wonder what your system is trying to tell you? Is this a premonition or is this just paranoia? The project never intended to try and decipher what each feeling of fear was trying to tell me, but more so to repair a broken trust in my intuition.

This provided dense insight into the ways in which machines are able to translate data and represent it in ways language cannot. Also opening up curiosity on the other ways machines could understand us. I began to research a few different areas which included: Critical Theory: Looking at the human as a system, and our social interaction and dependency with technology. Scientific Theory: What constitutes a machine? Lastly, understanding important technology and tools: Machine learning, Quartz Composer, Audio analysis, generative design, and many other ways machines can understand metadata.

I kept coming back to this idea of the relationship with machines and how we work together. How much we, the machine, and the human, build upon each other. I realized that more than anything I was trying to understand the intimacy between humans and machines.

I implemented a similar technique as my first project in addition to integrating audio analysis. I tried to decipher what the inflection of my voice should look like. And how I visualize myself inside the technology. Ultimately I was trying to reconnect with machines. I had a moment during this life transition, like I am sure all of you did, where I felt that technology was inadequate in preserving my relationships, my communication, my presence, and my character. Then I started to create through the machine again, and slowly I rebuilt my trust in it. I believe in our evolution including a relationship with machines, and I have a desire to strengthen and better it.