Work for Week 4 – Use Buddha Story as UR text with 8 sound nodes representing 8 stages of his life

Plan A, Wed June 9
Use Buddha Story as UR text with 8 sound nodes representing 8 stages of his life
Changes from Crit 3:
We are not using the labyrinth as a model.

We found an UR story that we could use as the abstract backbone for our installation. We chose the life of the Buddah. We were going to make poetic interpretative sound compositions for 8 sound nodes to correspond to 8 narrative points in this life story. We also considered how the Buddah discovered the technology of meditation, and how he created a community, Sangha, to practise this technology together.

Location: We discussed installing these 8 nodes in the MaRS centre, since the audience here is interested in innovation and community. We looked at potential locations along the main floor atrium of the building.

MaRS Atrium at night

Interactive Grammar: We were interested in the challenge of making a dramatic journey apparent from node to node using only sound. We were intending to build a feeling of dramatic rise and fall in tension when the participant traverses all the nodes in sequence. However we also wanted the nodes to work when participants encountered only one, or multiple nodes in a unintended order. We wanted participants to be able to either make up a story about what is happening, or project themselves as the story protagonist.

Form: The feedback we got from Ana was there may not be a good reason for people traversing this space to follow our suggested route and move from sound node to sound node. As well she was concerned that a linear path might be dull.

We then looked at the space considering strong visual cues that would link thematically to each particular node, and draw the curious participant to the sound node thus enticing them to make meaning from the juxtapositions. One example of a potential visual cue would be a giant pink Bohdi tree placed between the other trees beside the main floor windows. It would mark the location for the sound node when Siddhartha discovered how to become enlightened. We also realized the symbol of an apple falling on Newton’s head while sitting under a tree also has cultural resonance for innovators.

We also looked the architecture and traffic patterns of the inner lobby for problems and solutions. We noticed the flat area above the food court staircase is ‘dead’ or unoccupied, but that the open stairs to the south – which you can view from the dead space – are very active. We considered handing small speakers over the edge as a hanging garden of sound, or a fishing pond of sound replete with glittering fish and dangling fishing lines, and how we could pique the curiosity of stair climbers to make a U turn at the top of the stairs and explore the dead space if we gave them a reason, such as to figure out who is holding the fishing lines they see dangling over the edge, or to see who is controlling the sound effects they are hearing.

On Thurs and Fri all of us were involved in three separate FutureLab projects as part of Netchange week. We all noted having a clearly defined problem to solve and audience to solve it for made making decisions in a group much simpler.

David made the following notes about the correlations between the Buddah story and the discovery process of the innovator

Buddah’s eight steps:

1.Happy Childhood
2.The suffering in the world
3.The call
4.The voyage
5.The execution
6.Hard work
7.Finding the cure
8.Returning to build a community around his innovation

The Innovator’s Story:

1.Beginnings, much the same as other happy childhoods
2.Realizing the problem
3.Deciding to act on the problem
4.Leaving the nest
5.Study
6.Hard work
7.Discoveries
8.Working with others to implement and move further into new discoveries.

What the two stories have in common:

The Problem: Suffering
The Call: To fix the problem
The Struggle: Learning, training, apprenticing, ideation, collaborating, inventing, executing
The Solution: The innovative tech: from meditating to the human genome, it’s all the same.

Audience: The proposed audience is innovators in the MaRS Centre.