study one - transcription of 13 video interviews of second study of Chameleon interaction, Lighthouse Brighton, March 2009

Evaluation

Subject 01

What did you feel during the experience?

It was fun… (laughs) it was fun. Yes, you can sort of tell when you make a really obvious expression, then you would see the cut and it would jump and it would change…but its difficult to gage the reaction of the machine in relation to how you react… so if your very happy and you smile a lot, the machine doesn’t then smile with you…it might have different reactions. It was fun.

Do you feel like at some point you were able to control it somehow?

Yes, yes.. (laughs) I could do things like if I stuck my tongue out or whatever, I felt like I could change the clip, the shot. Yeah… it was fun.

And so did you feel like you had a connection with the installation, like an emotional bond?

Very vague. Vague emotional bond – it ws the fact that I could control it I think- that was the most interesting

So, if you think if you could control it more or less, do you think it would change that?

Yeah, I suppose so – if the control was more obvious, or if there was another stimulus that controlled me, or not controlled, but informed me… and then my reaction was taken up by the machine. More of a three way… more… anyway.

So did you feel it was empathizing with you?

Umm. Empathy is not really the right word for that. Because the three videos were so different. Like there was one that just shouted, and one that was just sad and one that was just laughing. I couldn’t really feel hat they were empathizing with me, because the didn’t really understand my situation.

So you felt that they were more, like doing there own thing?

Yeah, yeah, you could control the clip but hen they had there own agenda anyway so… its not as if your coming to the same point from a similar experience. Because then you could feel empathy.

So then you think if it reacted, if it adapted to what you more doing then you would feel more empathy?

Yeah Yeah.

Do you think it was reading your emotional state?

Yes, it was. (Laughs), it was. As hard as it was, it was picking up on it. It then didn’t reat the way that I was reacting. For example, if I laughed it then didn’t necessarily laugh, but it might have done something else but it did react to my facial expression.

Although you said it wasn’t the same as you would have reacted - would you feel as if it was natural, or it was strange?

It didn’t seem strange, but I wouldn’t necessarily term it natural. You know, its me standing, looking into a little camera, with something else on the screen that is being controlled by something else… so you know, I couldn’t really call it natural (laughs).

So you were really aware of the camera?

I think after a while you forget, you do forget there a little cameras there and that’s wha is controlling it. You can just interact with the image and forget about the technology that goes behind it.

Do you think if the camera was hidden somehow that would be better?

mmm. the lights are off in the room so you don’t really see the camera anyway. So.. the camera is not really the issue. I think its just the fact that you are looking at a camera on a wall… your laughing, then it does something… so you know what I mean. Nautrual is not really the word.

So its not tight enough the speed of the connection?

I think its sort of .. there is no sort of relationship – there is one woman screaming about ‘don’t treat her like a child”, then you might laugh, then she might just get sort of more upset… so, its something you can walk away from. So the speed of the cut and so on is not really the issue. But its good, its interesting, very interesting.

Did it make you think about, reflect during the experience about anything?

Not really, no. nothing outside of what I was experiencing at the time.

You weren’t reflective about your previous experience or anything, or about how in general how we interact?

(laughs) no.. it was sort of like a situation you might find yourself in, but fortunately you can just walk away from it… so if you have got someone screaming at you, and then you do laugh, and then they seem to take it the wrong way, you can just walk awa y from that situation – you don’t have to deal with the human emotion behind the situation.

Yeah I understand.

Did you feel more of the positive or negative emotion.

Positive. I made sad faces, but I didn’t really pick up on the sad faces. When I did a happy face it picked up on that ,but overall.. yeah.. it’s a positive experience.

Did you feel like reacting all the time?

Yeah, because you wanted to sort of push the machine, or push the image to do something, you wanted to provoke the image to do something so you did want to interact all the time… its very interesting when there is two of you, because when there is two of you looking at it.. you tend to.. not mimic the other one, ,, but I think the ideas of how to interact.. are more obvious when there are two of you… its more fun when there are two of you.

Did you feel a connection with the other participants?

Yes, I think so, yes… because we were al enjoying the same experience at the same time and then we were commenting on it as well… and swapping around and things like that.. that was quite fun.

And so you were noticing what the others were doing?

Yeah, sometimes,, sometimes when you looked around and you wanted to see where everyone else was.

And some of the time you were focused on the work. Yeah.

And what made you change from being focused on the work and interacting wih other people?

I think it was the screaming woman to be honest because she was the loudest… because she was the loudest one, so you would hear her more often than the other two people, so sometimes it would provoke you to turn around and see what it is she was screaming about… or what is that person doing to make her scream.

The screaming one was yours or someone else’s?

Someone else’s.

Oh right – so the scream is distracting you from yours and it would make you..

Well it would make you turn your head, but then I would go back to my own one. .. but then ultimately we would then swap.. and then I got an opportunity to find out what it was all about…

And , how do you think the installation could be improved.

Umm. I don’t know , umm. I ‘ll come back again and take a look at it – I could tell you right now. I think it is good the way it is.. yes, I think is good.

Evaluation

Subject 02.

how did you feel?

At first I felt silly. I felt really self conscious and wasn’t quite sure how it all worked. But as I spent more time there I became more relaxed and not worry what was happening around me. And then my experience changed.

And what were you thinking about during the experience?

Sometimes I was thinking was I doing this right? Should I be jumping up and down, should I be more active? Should I have stronger expressions?... I was moving my arms and my hips, but how was it going to read that? It was a face reader…. I was conscious of the mechanism. And then at a certain point I forgot all of that and just got carried away with the interaction.

What do you think made you start being carried away?

I think when I had eye contact. At certain times they seems to be looking at me. I just responded to them, rather than trying to make them do things, and trying to make them interact with me.

So you felt like there was a connection there?

Yes, with one of them I did. And he was being quite flirtatious. The feeling I had inside was like having a connection with someone that you had met in a bar or something. We were mimicking each other.

I was close to the character. He was quite up front and in my face. And talking quite low and quite intimately…

And then it froze, and I became aware again.

There was more than one moment like that, but only with one character… the susan character

Did you feel the same emotions that were being shown on the video?

No not with the Katherine character. She was laughing hysterically and then wacking her finger being angry. I didn’t connect with her. She was quite distant to how I was feeling.

Sometimes with the Kevin character. He sort of felt more realistic, more everyday. The Susan character felt more of a connection. She was sad, maybe I am sad?

So you would say you a feeling more the positive or negative emotions?

I was feeling the negative emotions more, which was worrying. The hysterical ones I wasn’t feeling. The softer ones, I felt I was feeling more.

So the character that were more gestural, they were detracting from your connection?

What I am trying to say that if there is a really big hysterical emotion, its not giving me much space to figure out what that emotion is about, because it is so overpowering..taking up my mind. But when the emotions were a little less obvious, less dramatic, it gave me some time to think about what that emotion is… so it brought out empathy… It made me connect in a different way.

Were you aware of the other audience members?

At some point I wanted to check over my shoulder to see if I was doing it right… and then I kinda got over that… so more in the beginning I thought… how am I supposed to operate this thing?

What made that feeling pass?

Just time, and not being aware of the space around me and just connecting…just forgetting about that voice in the back of my head that was worrying about what I should be doing…so just relaxing.

The other participants were wrapped up in their own interactions. And I was quite aware of space…. The fact that there was no time also.. not like ‘two minutes’ etc, you don’t know when to stop. You know, I have no idea how ling I was in there for

How do you think the installation could be improved?

In one way, I found having too many voices around me quite distracting…At times I was starting to connect with the person in front of me, and then I could hear some hysterical laughter over my shoulder, and then someone shouting and screaming over there…so the intimacy of the moment, if there was one, I was kinda snapped out of it…. If you were in a private space, where no one could see you, you might react in a much more… I don’t know, you might go on a different journey. If your not distracted you might get deeper into the interaction.

At times I was thinking that this is a bit like a “wii” game. At other times it felt like a science fiction conversation. Like something from “Total Recall” where your having a conversation with an android… and I thought, I could buy into that…sadly, I could have a chat with a projection.

Evaluation

Subject 03.

what did you think about it.

I don’t know really, it was quite interesting… ummm. Some of the characters are a bit irritating.

And what were thinking during the time?

I was just trying to get the people to react to me, rather than reacting to them. At first I was just sort of copying them, and then I was trying to get them to react to me. Yes, it was quite interesting.

Did you think you could control it?

Umm. I could see the glitches. Sometimes I did (feel I could control it) but I wasn’t sure if it was just on a loop or it was recognizing what I was doing? If you did big movements, or moved your head away it sort of reacted. It didn’t feel ike it was (reacting) all of the time.

Were there moment you were feeling connected?

Uhh. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I think I would have felt happier if it was a smaller screen. Instead of having to look up. So if you were looking directly at it. So the camera in the screen – you were getting eye contact with the person rather than looking up at the screen.

Did you feel like the artwork was empathizing with you?

No. not really.

Why?

I felt like the technology wasn’t quite working. There was some breaks in the footage that were quite fluid, and others you could see the break in it and that was quite irritating.

Another thing, when you are using actors to respond, they are acting…I don’t know what I mean – but its more a conscious reaction rather than an unconscious reaction and my emotion is subconscious. If I was doing it, I would get real people to be filmed to react to real situations rather than asking them to act it out. Then it would feel more real. Especially the woman (susan character) she seemed more genuine, so it was easier to feel connected with her. Than the other characters who were quite extreme… there wasn’t a coonection, it was just irritating. I was just copying (Kevin character) to see what would happen… It didn’t seem like he was reacting , it seems like it just went on a loop.

So that detracted from the quality of your experience?

Yeah, cause I was sort of testing it. Because I knew what it was. I don’t know I am not quite sure.

Did you feel like you wanted to react?

I don’t know really. I think if I had been in a room on my own with each one, I would have done. But being in a room with three other people, and the voices (of the characters)… I think it might work better if it was just facial expression and not narrative… because then you start listening to what their saying and it doesn’t relate to you and what your feeling. So it didn’t quite work for me. Because the guy on the far wall – you couldn’t hear what he was saying and I think that worked better…. It was distracting. If you could go into different rooms, and experience each one separately, I think it would be a really different experience.

What about the other people were you aware of what they were doing?

Yeah. I didn’t get that immersed in there because I was getting distracted by the things. You could get immersed in a room on your own, or there was a whole lot of screens in there in a row, and you could put ear phones on.

Did you interact with other people.

I did, because I am in a course with them. But I don’t know if I would have if I didn’t they were a stranger.

What made you start interact with them (the audience) and the system.

When someone else started messing about, or I would mess about, they would come over to me. We weren’t’ sure if we were supposed to be doing it or not.

So you weren’t sure – maybe it was wrong to interact with the other audience?.

I wasn’t sure if we had to stay in a certain place. I know the camera was tracking us. I wasn’t sure if the camera would be able to do two people.

Does the system encourage you to interact with the participants?

Ummm. People act really different in a gallery space anyway. And I think people are very unlikely to interact with each other in that situation. It doesn’t seem conducive to that.

Evaluation

Subject 04

Umm I suppose I was trying to work out whether it was reacting to me because I know that something might be reacting to me. It felt a bit artificial so I think I then stared a little bit at it and then I became aware that there was an angry face looking back at me and I was trying to see whether it was a loop or whether it was interacting but I wasn’t completely assured that it was interactive to begin with. And of all three I think there was one that was more tuned in (Kevin) – maybe it was a distancing thing and I really felt a strong engagement with the third one (Kevin) that I looked at because I could see that it was very quickly responding to my face. And maybe because that was because I got used to it.

And which one was that.

That was the one that was sort of bald, not bald, but the guy with less hair. (Kevin)

And what in particular? You said your reaction was faster?

Yeah. I don’t know if it was a setting, or if its reading my eyes or what part of my face it is reading , but .. because I had quite a still face, I don’t know whether he had his arms folded or not, but I felt there was kind of a stare out going on.. a little bit, and then if I smiled there was a reaction…umm. I didn’t get that so much with the other two.

And umm. Did you feel that it was empathizing with you?

Umm yeah, mirroring me rather than…I didn’t feel like it was provoking me well. .. well a bit of it was. .. umm. II felt that there was kind of a mirroring or giving back to what I was giving, rather than trying to lead me in a particular way.

Do you think it was reading your emotional state?

No.. um… because when I think I have got a still face… no because when I was getting an angry reaction , I wasn’t feeling angry at the piece, I wasn’t feeling like ‘your wasting my time’ I was trying to engage… but maybe I have got a tired face, umm… and sometimes when I am not smiling people say to me ‘oh cheer up, as if your … you know,, ,maybe I do give that off instead of my feeling like I am emotionally upset or angry… so could be.

So did it make you think about emotional interaction in general?

Yeah it did. It was the only one face that did that – the other two didn’t and I kind of felt that.. I was kind of waiting for something to happen and I kind of moved around in front of the camera. The first woman, I supposed I was intrigued and I smiling at her, or at it, the camera and the screen and umm I felt that that was really misreading me… she was really shouting at me, and I am thinking, well I am not doing anything.. so it was one face of the three that I got the response from really..

And when you started to get the response you started to think more deeply about this sort of stuff?

Yeah, I have gone to other sort of interactive installations where your try to get a response and yeah I was convinced that there was something happening.

So were you reflecting or reminiscing during the experience?

No.. it wasn’t making me think particularly about how people interact with me but I supposed it is quite an intense experience and I will probably have it more a I am thinking about it later. So in the moment I wasn’t particularly awrare. I was aware of the interaction, but I wasn’t thinking about it particularly. I was more thinking about what was going on and whether I was going to get a reaction… I suppose.. I am not making any sense at all. I mean its an intense experience and you said something about reminiscing – it didn’t transport me to another situation outside in my life. I wasn’t sort of reading anger that I saw in his face and thinking about anger I have seen in other peoples face – but I might thing about that later. I often think that when you go to an art show, or when your seeing something new that it’s not actually what you see at the time I what you get from it – t what you think about afterwards… so its in the back of your mind and its playing with your mind a bit. Yeah, so I think I will be thinking about it quite a lot – but in the moment that your interacting with it you don’t sort of register all of the levels.

That’s quite interesting actually. So did you feel like you wanted to react to it?

Yes, I wanted to provoke a reaction because one of them I thought was probably staring at me, you know, not sort of giving me much, so I sort of put my hands above my head because I always think that that makes you look a bit bored… and umm. Before I did that I ort of – because I had quite a still face – this wasn’t the third face… he was kind of looking over his shoulder. So maybe I had a disinterested face… yeah , so maybe I got an interaction with that one as well… yeah,, I think I tried to make it react to me as well… but I am not particularly exhibitative so maybe I didn’t smile lots… I didn’t pull exaggerated expressions in front of it to provoke it – I was just sort of trying to be normal.

Did you feel a connection with the other participants?

Other audience participants? Yeah, yeah I did a bit. There was a young boy in there. Yeah. He got more from the one I was with, so I was intrigued because it was swearing and he shouldn’t be listening to swearing… and he was really sort of trying to smile so that was quite fun… and I spoke to him, and you don’t usually speak to other people in a gallery environment. The other person in the room was a friend of mine, so I would talk to her anyway… but I wouldn’t normally interact with anyone else so maybe I did a little bit more.

Which part did you think made you want to interact more?

Ummm. I wanted the kid to get out fo the way so I could have a turn (laughs).. in front of the third screen that I hadn’t interacted with. I supposed because you become more self aware of how your are slightly.

How do you think the installation could be improved?

Umm I don’t know if it needs any calibration of different heights and different things, or whether to get people to sit down at a fixed point… so its read but I guess that depends on the scope of the technology… because I know I was standing in front of the screens and I am quite tall, and particularly where the white spot was marked and I thought that is where `I should stand for it to read me and I think I was putting shadow on the screen.. but then its difficult because you have got to get a middle ground of what the average interaction might be, and maybe that’s the point, I got a reaction off one of them because of my height which is fine.

So what you said is you would like it to be better at recognizing your expression.

Yeah maybe and maybe that is why I spent a lot longer with the third one than the other two, well I spent a long time with the first one (Katherine) because maybe I was trying to see whether it was sort of reacting or on some sort of random loop and I wasn’t quite sure of that and I thought maybe it wasn’t responding to me, the second one (susan) I didn’t spend a particularly long time and the third one (Kevin) I could definitely see a fast change and my body language probably effected my expression so in consequence I spent longer with the one that reacted with me rather than the one that didn’t really. But it’s a great project. I am really intrigued by it.

Evaluation

Subject 05.

In the end I was responding to them. They were feeling sad and I wanted to make them happier. And then you started to wonder if they were responding to you, because they seemed to have their own thing going on when you weren’t looking at them.

Were there times that you felt like you were controlling it?

The most dominant female (Katherine character)she responded slightly later. So you could smile, and she would be yelling at you, and then she smiled slightly later. It was strange to be smiling with someone yelling at you. Yeah, it was interesting.

Were there parts where you were feeling it wasn’t interacting with you?

Yes, well they turn away from you, and you sort of assume that they’ve zoned out… you know there not picking up hat your there. At various distances from the wall you could tell if it was picking you up or not. I think.

What made you decide that it was picking you up?

I suppose it is that thing that it is responding to your mood. So if they were crying and your were smiling at them, I would suppose you would assume that they were not picking you up? There were more subtle responses, the more you would play with it.

Did you feel the emotions that were being shown in the projections?

No. not really. Umm , I think the man (Kevin Character) his emotions were quite clear cut, and he conveyed his emotions quite sincerely. But the other one (Katherine), when she laughed it didn’t seem real, and she seem to turn to being cross more. I found the depressive one (Susan Character) more subtle, becuae she didn’t get angry, and her face looked quite similar to when she cried, and when she was supposedly happy. She had a sort of demeanor that was miserable.

What were you thinking about while you were doing it?

How your response does effect other people. How if someone was crying in a room, you wouldn’t really laugh at them. So, I was doing something I wouldn’t normally do. You normally empathize, so your face would be as equally sad. Playing against it was quite intriguing as its something you just don’t do. So , yes it made you aware of how often you alter your face o the person you are looking at.

Were you aware of other people on the room?

Yes, you would look around, because someone managed to get someone to laugh, or umm, the little boy in there was trying to get them to laugh. So I was conscious that he had managed to do that. But when I started it was quite quiet. And then that woman (Kathryn Character) got really angry with somebody, and it makes you look around. Much like your in a restaurant and somebody had a row.

So did you feel like it was distracting you from what you were doing?

No, it just made me turn around and look, and it made the portrait in front of me turn away because I had turned away. So it broke the connection with that one, but it engaged you in the group.

Did you interact with the other people?

Yes, it makes you talk to everyone because, partly because there was this little boy was talking to everyone, so he wanted to compare notes to talk about what he thought of the people. Yes, it was interesting to people responded to different ones differently – so that was quite interesting.

Did it make you think, reflect or reminisce?

Not so much reminisce – it made me think how quickly you do that 30 second thing where you work out if you like someone or not, what ever it is called. The people seemed to like one of them or not more – get drawn more to one than the other. I didn’t feel drawn to any of them – I just felt drawn to the process.

…the process of how the installation works?

Yes. How it works and how it effects you. Because its quite interesting to see someone get angry or upset when you don’t know what it is about and its nothing to do with you. So, it still makes you feel responsible or as though you should help. Its, umm, interesting.

Did you feel like you wanted to react during the experience?

To the characters? Mmm. Slightly with the depressive one (susan) because I wondered why everything came out negative. Even when she was smiling her eyes were still sad. I was intrigued by that. For the other two? Umm. Only as much as to get a reaction back and how they would respond. And how many facial expressions you can do to get them to change. Because I felt a bit limited on how many facial expressions I could do to get them to respond. Its almost like a over dramatic response you need to do to create something in them.

So you wanted to react to make the system react?

Yes.

And the system reacting to you encouraged you to do it more?

Yes. And when you moved around the space you would see someone else react and get a different response, but then you would see if you could do the same, so it was quite interesting. Yes,, ummm and how close you would have to be to get that effect. uumm its also the fact that they are bigger than life size. That scale thing – it makes you feel quite small, especially with someone shouting at you. So its quite an interesting experience when your passive when they are cross or upset.

And how do you think it can be improved?

Umm. Altering the height at the moment. I could see my head on top of the pictures (with shadow from the projector) which effects the effect. And more people to responds to would be interesting… More than three. Yes. More of them on the wall. Three is intriguing but four and five would allow you more to consider about how we respond. I just think more. You would be more likely to distract someone to respond.

Do you feel like it was empathizing with you/did you connect with it.

With the work? The images? Or the whole thing? I think it is a very interesting project if that what you mean.

In the moment, did you get a feeling of an emotional bond?

Yes, initially, yes, definitely, I think it wore off as I started playing with it and then watching other people interact with it, but initially, yes, it draws you right in and you a fully involved with each of them and how they are. I supposed gradually you realize there a loop – you know, a range that they’ve got, that the other character doesn’t do. So ones more angry.. ones more sad…

Did you find that the videos are repeating…

I supposed that’s what I mean by having more of them. Because you would be less aware of the loop – that there was a limit to their emotion. Because they predominantly had sort of characteristics – each of them – if there were more of them you would be less of that.

Subject 06

Did you feel like you connected with the work?

No. not really, If I am honest. But I did notice that the man (Kevin) was more reactive to the things I did. But the woman (Katherine), I couldn’t even go near. Because she was too depressing. She was saying how disappointed she was all the time. And she had a big bright face and I didn’t want to look at it. He (Kevin) was first a bit down, and I found that a bit funny, and then he suddenly morphed and laughed. And it seemed like that was a reaction to me laughing. But it could be on a loop? But if that is connecting, yes! But if not, no. He was most entertaining and interesting to watch, and not as intense as the women, they were just too intense.

So you didn’t want to be near the women because they were too intense?

Well, probably because I had been invigilating and I had been listening to (susan) talking constantly for two days… so..

Do you think it was reading your emotional state?

No, not really. Maybe in a really general way. I think its hard. I don’t think you can really read someone’s emotional state when they are just observing and there not reacting.… I didn’t feel the need to react. If I had thought they were genuine people in serious distress, or it had been slightly more believable and less ‘acted’, I probably would have reacted a bit more which would have then made it easier to read – because it would have been genuine. But knowing that they are actors… I don’t think that’s possible.

So your saying the expressions should be more convincing and the reactions should be more realistic?

Actually, I think that if you told people when they went in there that they were going to be reacted to, it would make them more responsive to the work. Where as what you have done is said “well we don’t know – it might react – it might not”. If you had told me before I went into the room that these programs are going to respond to you, and made me a little bit more paranoid or self conscious, I would have expected it, so it would have happened. Because I wasn’t sure how advanced the equipment was or what ever it is. Plus I wasn’t that convinced by the acting. That didn’t help.

So if it had been genuine, and you had told me, it might have been different. Who knows.

Did you start reflecting or reminiscing?

No.

Did it make you feel any memories.

No . I think I was too subjective. I didn’t get to the point where I was that involved. I found it amusing. I found him (Kevin) very amusing. I thought about him in Canada, his life, him going for film roles. I actually thought about his life as an actor, and I wondered what he was like as a person, whether he actually believed in what he was doing… or if he was just seeing if he believed in it.? Like anyone.

So you were thinking about the actor?

It was clear he was acting. It was very dramatic. It was obvious he was acting anyway. So I know that. It was entertaining. I couldn’t engage with him because I couldn’t believe it was real because I know its not real. And the simple act of observing him wasn’t enough to make me feel very sad or very happy, but it was enough to entertain me. So it was entertainment in kind of a light way, but then after a while, I was thinking about him and his life.

How do you think it could be improved?

I think its important for it not to be too brightly lit. Because I felt overburdened with the size of the image and the brightness of the image. It was quite harsh. And it didn’t quite work in that way. Less brightly lit. If you stand too close to something like that, its too bright, and the camera won’t work.

I could see where the film was sliced together, that’s quite interesting. It’s a bit spooky.

So your thinking about all the logistics of making it?

Yeah, I wasn’t in some kind of soap opera. They weren’t opening up to me about there emotions. But I don’t think that’s the point of the project necessarily is it?

But I did feel quite absorbed In it. In a dark room. With things to focus on.

What took away from your absorption?

Well, I was absorbed in a sense of the projections. But in terms of their acting. I don’t think you can fault them as actors. But the knowledge that they are actors is enough that it doesn’t make you want to connect. But that is a good thing. You wouldn’t want to connect with a computer would you? You would to an extent, but you wouldn’t want to get over emotional. Maybe if it told a story and there was more of a narrative. A real person telling a story, a sad story, and I didn’t know if these stories were true or false, then yes, because you come involved in the story, but there was no story in it.

Subject 07

How did you feel?

Being so close to these people, it was kind of emotional and engaging.

So it was the closeness that made it engaging?

Yes, and the subjects as well. You could see the emotions in their face. Even if it was a video piece it would work well, but the interactive aspect made it even more interesting.

So did you feel like you could actually effect it?

Yes, two of them I felt like I was effecting it. It was interesting how there responses changed on the screen.

How did you try to do it?

Just by changing my facial expression from very sad and angry to laughing. It was interesting because sometimes when they were said and telling you how disappointed they were, you were changing your expression to happy… so it was quite strange, laughing when they were sad or angry.

Did you feel like they reacted to you?

Yeah, I think so.

How did you feel during the experience?

It was quite emotional. When I was creating these different expressions I had to think back to how I felt to create them, so it did bring up a lot of genuine emotion.

Did it make you reflect and reminise about stuff?

Yeah, definitely.

And which part of it caused this do you think?

I think mainly the sadness and happiness. They are very powerful emotions and probably on a day to day basis, the ones that you feel the most. I don’t get angry as often as that. I feel happy and sad, not surprised.

You said you felt more happy and sad?

Yeah. They were easier to imagine in my head to get the expressions.

How do you think it could be improved?

The first one (Kathryn) just seemed to be sad all the time. She didn’t respond as well as the others seemed to. Maybe she was responding to my sad face. Maybe she could be tuned a bit better to reflect the emotions of the people coming into the space.

So you felt the other two were reacting?

Yes they seemed to. More variation. When it did a surprise, and I did a happy face, it seemed to follow.

Were you aware of the other people on the room?

Not really. It was quite a one on one experience with the video clips so you kind of forget what is going on around you.

Is there anything that made you more aware of what was going on around you.

Maybe the camera – being recorded. Voices and thing got a bit of my attention, but mostly I was just focused on the piece.

Subject 08

Did you feel like you connected with the work?

Umm. Its very interesting. Some people more than others. Some people you engage with in different ways.

Which one and why?

I liked the middle one (Susan). I found her face much more richer. What ever she does, here is so much more nuance and depth. I found the other tow a bit ‘actory’ and I can’t get involved in the same way, because you can tell that its not totally genuine.

So you would get more involved in it if it was more realistic?

Yeah… if it wasn’t acting I guess. I respond well to a guileless face – a face that doesn’t have a mask, a face that is not used to pretending. For me that’s more interesting.

Did you feel like it was empathizing with you?

Only with the middle one (susan). I felt like the other man (Kevin) and woman (kathryn) were kind of doing their own thing. Their projecting outwards, it is not a too way thing. With the woman in the middle (susan) I could easily tell their was a two way thing there. I find her face much easier – you get a feeling of who she is . There is a warmth, a three dimensionality about that exchange.

And did you feel like you could control it ? Effect the way that it behaved?

No

So you didn’t feel like it was responding to your expressions?

I didn’t really think about that. Which is odd, because I was kind of told, but I forgot about it. It wasn’t an aspect that caught me. I think I would need to spend a longer time and less sort of walking around to get that sense of a relationship.

What were you thinking about? Were you reflecting?

I was just feeling the shape of that person and how they are to be near, and whether is a soft or hard surface. Whether its one way or two way, whether they are coming out towards me, or whether there is an interface or give and take. And that’s kinda the empathy bit. And I think with the ‘actory two’ its sort of a shiny sort of surface. It doesn’t allow any sort of pushing in. With the other one (susan) there is more a sense of a soft/open ended territory between the two people, me being one of them. It feels like there a sort of tentative listening. Which I guess is the empathy.

So she was more empathic than the other two?

I don’t know, but it was the type of person I would like to spend more time with. Because there is some warmth. I get the feeling that this is the person I would like to be seated with on a train. Just be with. I think we would get along.

Did you feel more positive or negative emotions?

I guess I don’t really think of them as positive or negative. Which is maybe why I didn’t feel it was responding to me. There are different flavours….i find it interesting the way the textures/tones changes…the person in the middle, she was kind of putting her head in her hands, you could tell she was going through something that touched her deeply, that wasn’t an easy or light thing. In myself I could feel and empathic response. You feel like, you know, You would support that person. I felt that sympathy. The other people sort of seems much more stand alone.

Were you aware of the other people in the room.

It didn’t bother me. There were children in there as well. It was a safe space. Doors were closed. I was happy to engage.

What parts made you focus more on the work and less on the room.

Darkness. Muffledness. Soft acoustics. The surface doesn’t reveal itself so sharply.

How do you think it could be improved?

I don’t mind the walls are white. Sometimes the light being projected from the projector changes a bit suddenly. I would probably keep that quite constant, so the light level is constant.

Making the edge of the computer screen less obvious. I would have preferred th e cuts to be smoother. It would have been more engaging. Anything that helsp you skim over the fact that you are watching a representation rather than someone who is there. – things that preserve the illusion. The edits that are too close together are worse than the ones that are far apart. That bothers me more. Not hugely. If I am nit picking. Seeing things in detail.

Evaluation

Subject 03.

Did you feel like the installation was empathizing with you?

Umm some more than others. out of the three, one in particular, I felt like ot sort of kinda of played with me in a way… more than the other tow. The one with the woman with the shorter hair (Susan) I felt like I was empathizing with her more … the guy (Kevin ) not so much and the other one I didn’t seem to be able to react with at all…

Did you feel the same emotions being shown in the projections?

Like them mirroring me? Some. The guy (Kevin) there was a bit where I was trying to make him angry, and he was just laughing at me. And that was just making a bit more angry really. With the woman, I just felt, like I will do this, and she would just laugh, or whatever.

You felt some were more mirroring you and others weren’t?

Yeah, I don’t know why that would be.

Did you feel like they were reading your emotional state? You said you were type of playing them in a way.

Yeah, I guess in this environment, you know your testing them, and that’s why you are there. Perhaps if it was a gallery space you wouldn’t need to test it. I felt like I was faking the emotion, rather than being more natural like.

What were you feeling during the experience.

At some points I was a bit frustrated with the one that didn’t react at all (Katherine character) because I was doing loads of expressions and it was the same clip repeatedly… but then I walked away and then she started screaming..it was really weird.

I don’t know, I am interested in it. Can you feel interested? I was in the talk with Tina the other day, and I was trying to imagine how it was working… what was going on behind it all.

Did you start reflecting or reminiscing during it?

I don’t know. I guess cause I was testing it, I don’t know. I could imagine that happening. It reminded me of bruce Nuaman piece with loads of heads talking. That definitely brought stuff up for me when I saw that.

Did you feel more positive or negative emotions?

I don’t know. Sometimes I was a bit frustrated, but you know. I was laughing.

Were there any particular memories that were triggered?

No. nothing comes to mind. I was just in there interacting, I didn’t let my mind wander.

If you felt like you could have reacted, but didn’t want prevented you from reacting?

Basically the environment. I mean I was reacting to what they were doing and trying to influence it. Umm. But then there was. The first figure, I wasn’t reacting and she wasn’t reacting. And I was thinking – what emotion is that supposed to be? She was going nothing, I was doing nothing, and it felt much more like a real interaction… she just looks around, and I am thinking… whats she thinking? And I was feeling quite the same, and it started to make me a bit more inquisitive, and then she changed.

Did you feel a connection with the other participants in the room with you?

No.

Did you notice what other people in the room were doing?

No. I noticed the sounds of the other screens, but I didn’t notice what they (the audience) were doing.

And how do you think the installation could be improved?

A wider variety of clips to use . When are aren’t saying things it not a problem but when they are saying thing, you just got the whole sentence over again.

Evaluation

Subject 10

Did you feel like you connected with the work.

mmm. not that much.

Did you feel like the work was empathizing with you.

Not really.

Did you feel like anything was being transferred?

With a delayed reaction on one of them. But not on the other two. And one really reacted in the wrong way. Like I smiled at it and it shouted at me.

Was that the angry lady (Kathryn)?

Yeah

Do you think any of them was reading your emotional state?

Not that much. Maybe in laughter. Well it was reading my expression. I don’t know if it was actually reading my emotion. Because my emotional state was one of slight bemusement, and my face was showing a big smile, in order to make it to try and do something I guess.

So you were putting an expression on your face to make it do something.

mmm.

What were you feeling in that room.

More bemusement.

And thinking?

I was kind of wanting it to work.

Did any of the pieces make you reflect.

No.

Did you feel more positive or negative emotions.

More negative I suppose.

Was that in response to what the pieces were saying?

You know even with (Kevin), I smiled, he laughed at you, but it was sort of like it was in a ‘mocking’ way… not that I am paranoid.

If you could react, but didn’t want to, what prevented you from reacting?.

I was trying to react, but if anything, the response was a bit slow. It could be faster.

Did you notice what other people were doing.

Yeah. If there was a character was making more noise I was looking at what expressions they (the other audience members) were making, trying to work out if it was reacting better to them than to me. But I don’t think it was.

Did you notice what they were feeling?

No. I was feeling bemusement.

And how did you think the installation could be improved.

Speeding up the reaction…it sort of freezes and loads at the moment. To react quicker. And more of a blur between the changes. Its like you could see the cogs working. They had to get the max patch out twice to work out why it wasn’t working. It froze. I broke it twice.

Subject 11

Did you feel like you connected with the work.

Not really

Did you feel like the installation was empathizing with you?

NO.

Did you feel the same emotions being shown in the projection?

No. I don’t think so.

Did you feel like it was reading your emotional state?

No.

What were you feeling?

Feeling quite unhappy, and feeling angry.

Ok. What were you thinking about?

I was thinking about angry.

What made you start thinking about anger? Just frustration or?

I’m not really sure. I have no idea in fact.

Did you work start you reminiscing about past experiences at all?

Probably reflecting on why I should be so angry.

So you definitely felt more negative emotions?

Yeah.

If you felt you wanted to react but didn’t what do you think prevented you form reacting.

Well I wans’t expressing it in any way but I was certainly feeling it.

What do you think maybe prevented you from expressing it?

There wasn’t really an opportunity.

Did you feel you were connected with other participants.

No.

Did you notice what other people were doing?

I noticed they were interacting, but I didn’t notice the expressions. I didn’t see into their interaction in any way.

How do you think this installation could be improved?

I don’t know. I would like to have felt that it responded to me. I would have felt involved.

So you found the whole thing quite alienating and unresponsive.

Yes.

Evaluation

Subject 12

Did you feel like you connected with the work.

Not really. I noticed some sort of connection with the small screen (Kevin). But Also the screen on the other wall (susan). But the other one - I didn’t feel like I was provoking any reaction (Katherine). Maybe I couldn’t activate it.

But I thought with the one on the wall and maybe the small one, I think there was like.. ummm.. movements where I could feel there is a reaction going on.

So you did feel sometimes that the work was empathizing with you?

Yes. With that screen (susan) on that wall. I think it was because I could notice my expression was a slight smile and I noticed that there was a change…so.

Interesting. Do you think it was reading you emotional state,

mmm. no….mmm…maybe, yeah. Because I think from the woman over there (susan) I think I was getting more of a positive reaction…from the one where I first approached…maybe .. yeah.

How were you feeling when you were in the room?

I think it would better if umm… I didn’t know where I was going at all… I didn’t know what to expect, although I read the things in the explanations, but umm. I thought I would be expecting follow something, but it was really very free so you could go and see what your doing. So yeah. Maybe I was expecting a stronger reacton, something suddenly changing. It was very smooth – it was not that dramatic.

And what were you thinking?

I think I was wondering why they were more focused on the negative and the more depressing emotions…I think I found myself trying to provoke something more positive…. Because I was looking at people who were rather hopeless some how. I think I was trying to change that.

While you were doing that did you start reflecting or reminiscing during the experience?

I think so, yeah. It did at some point you know, ummm.. relate to me and not only to the whole set up.

Did you feel more positive or negative emotions.

Yeah, I think I mentioned… it was kinda more depressing.

Was that making you feel a bit depressed?

Yeah a bit. Yes but in other ways, the small screen (Kevin) was laughing a bit – so that was good. Yes, And also on this wall (susan). But the other wall (Katherine) was just negative.

If at any point you felt you could react but didn’t react what prevented you?

Head nod… yeah maybe. I was trying not to react and provoke a change. I was trying not to empathize with them.

Did you feel a connection with the other girls in the room with you.

Yes. Because we know each other. We were trying to provoke things.

Did you notice what they were doing and feeling?

Yes. I noticed that one of them was getting closer and then distancing themselves. That hadn’t occurred to me.

How do you think the installation could be improved…

I think its just a matter more of explaining how you can trigger it from the screen because that’s what I didn’t feel so much, and maybe I was expecting.

Maybe if they could be built to be a bit more sensitive and a bit more changeable.

Yeah exactly

Evaluation

Subject 13

Did you feel like you connected with the work.

Only one of the persons inside there - I felt like it was effecting me, or something like that. The other two were completely natural or something.

Ok , so you thought they weren’t responding to you?

Yeah. I felt like they were being there, I was performing something – they didn’t react.

So you only felt like one of the works was empathizing with you?

Yes. Actually. Well I didn’t understand if they were reacting or performing something. But… only from one I felt like there was a connection.

So if you were happy, he was becoming happy?

Something like that, yes.

How were you feeling during the experiment?

mmm. I was just…I was weird. Trying to figure out what was going on… most of the time I laughed at them. I don’t know. I was a bit angry with the woman that was screaming (Kathryn). She made me a bit anxious and nervous. I couldn’t concentrate on the others because I heard her shouting.

And what were you thinking?

Thinking… ummm. I don’t know, I was just experimenting with the whole process. What are they trying to do? Are they trying to effect me?

Did you feel more positive or negative emotions.

I think umm. I don’t know. Sort of in the middle. At first I was laughing, because I went first to the guy (Kevin) and I like him. But then I went to susan and then I had the other woman screaming. And that made me anxious again.

Did you feel a connection with the other girls in the room with you.

Yes. Because we are friends.