Interactive Design; Gallery Write-Up 2

On, April 23rd, 2016, I went to an art gallery at Alfred University. The gallery that I saw was called “Penumbra”, and it was an exhibition created by Joshua Hershman. It was an installation that used a fair bit of space and some small interaction with certain pieces. Some really interesting ones were Sound Finding Form, Satellite, and Penumbra.

This exhibition of his came from this idea to unconventionally use light, sound, photography, and glass to see how different people visually and physically interpret these them. This kind of intention was mainly because of handicaps he had in his own life. At the gallery, there was a small write up about the artist. It mentioned how he had vision problems since he was born with no peripheral vision or depth perception. He utilized those ideas in many of the pieces, especially the first one, Sound Finding Form. This piece was made with cast aluminum, steel, a motor and a light. The circular aluminum was spinning on a table and had a light shining on it. A couple interesting things about this piece was how it used light. Since the light source was far away, you could walk in front and sort of be immersed into the work. Another thing was that it seemed to slow down the rotation based on how close I was to the aluminum. That is very interesting to have the viewer have some kind of impact on what the piece is doing.

Another couple works that really intrigued me were Satellite and Penumbra. Satellite was a cube like piece of aluminum being swung in a circular pattern above a black floor piece, with a low humming like sound playing. At first I thought this was a pendulum of sorts, but I realized the movement was from a motor the string was attached to. The interesting thing about this piece was the movement of the aluminum. The pace that it moved and the angle, made it have an almost uneasy feeling. Like it wasn’t supposed to be doing what it did, this was helped with the addition of the sound. Penumbra was a piece of circular glass on a stand with a light shining into it onto the wall. The glass was cut to be almost like a magnifying glass. With that and the light shining on it, that gave the piece a feeling of being almost like a portal. That is an interesting idea for this especially since people can walk up so close and get that personal with it.

After going to see this gallery, I think there are certain aspects that I can take away from it and apply it to my own projects in Interactive Design. One main one is the idea of designing the program or project with a specific idea in mind. Like with this gallery, he used light and sound to make these projects interesting to look at and think about. It also encourages interactivity in even the simplest forms. That can go a long way to creating some really interesting interactive designs.


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