Archive for February, 2009

A Design for Extimacy and Fantasy-Fulfillment for the World of Warcraft Addict

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

April 13th 2009 I will give a talk and participate in a panel organized at MIT Museum based on my idea of designing a WOW pod for addicted players! Design that we will have finished this week (more pictures soon…). It should be fun and y’aura du beau monde!

On the WOW Pod: A Design for Extimacy and Fantasy-Fulfillment for the World of Warcraft Addict.

A panel discussion about the inducement of pleasure, fantasy fulfillment, and the mediation of intimacy in a socially-networked gaming paradigm such as World of Warcraft (WOW). Participants include Raimundas Malauskas (curator, Artists Space, NY); Visiting Scientist Jean Baptiste LaBrune (Media Lab); Laura Knott (Associate Curator, MIT Museum); MIT Gambit Lab researcher (TBA), and co-artists Marisa Jahn, Steve Shada, and Cati Vaucelle.

The WoW pod at Mixer in New York!!!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

After receiving three grants: from the Council for the Arts at MIT, SHASS’s Peter de Florez Fund for Humor and from Eyebeam, the WoW Pod will be exhibited during the MIXER event in New York!

Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, Marisa Jahn’s WoW Pod is an immersive architectural space that provides and anticipates all life needs of the World of Warcraft player. Outfitted with toilet throne, hydration system, and meals at the ready, the WoW Pod makes daily human function possible without ever stepping away from the game. In addition, these tasty meals are cooked via a cookset that connects a hotplate to the computer, allowing the player to let their World of Warcraft avatar know when the meal is ready to eat.


The official call!
Eyebeam presents an alternate “World’s Fair” with airborne surveillance balloons, guerilla media towers, and computerized prayer booths. A temporary village occupied by a dozen creatively engineered pavilions, performances, and DJ sets by Tim Sweeney and Juan Maclean.

Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7, 2009
9PM - 2AM
Tickets: $15 per night in advance; $30 for both nights in advance at; $20 per night at the door.
Eyebeam 540 W. 21st St. (btw 10th and 11th Aves.)
Limited press passes available: RSVP:
Installations will remain on view at Eyebeam, Saturday, March 7, Noon - 6PM, with free entry.

New York City, February 20, 2009 - MIXER, Eyebeam’s quarterly event series dedicated to showcasing leading artists in the fields of live audiovisual performance, interactive and participatory art, will present its fifth iteration on Friday, March 6 - Saturday, March 7, 2009. Using the World’s Fair as the framework, Eyebeam will transform its rugged warehouse space into a temporary village of utopian pavilions for a two-night extravaganza called MIXER: EXPO.

Both evenings will include musical guests: Tim Sweeney (Friday, Midnight - 2AM) and Juan Maclean (Saturday, Midnight - 2AM); multimedia pavilions by Angela Co + Aeolab, Anakin Koenig, Chris Jordan, and Caspar Stracke, and Not An Alternative; interactive installations by Taeyoon Choi and Cheon pyo Lee, The Institute for Faith-Based Technology, Mark Shepard, Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, and Marisa Jahn; and fashion performances by Di Mainstone.

MIXER: EXPO - Background

From London in 1851 to Chicago in 1893 and New York in 1939, the World’s Fair has been an influential cultural spectacle that promised a utopian “world of tomorrow” while packaging and promoting the national and corporate agendas of the day.

MIXER: EXPO is an alternate take on “World’s Fair” expositions, a faded cultural phenomenon that set the tone for urban planning in the 19th and 20th centuries. The World’s Fair also championed the philosophy of better living through technology, presenting innovative strategies that continue to resonate through contemporary life and leisure - from shopping malls and theme parks to natural history and science museums; broadcast media and exhibit display to sell consumer products, technological innovations, and nationalistic ideologies.

Like the best science fiction and social satire, MIXER: EXPO constructs a fictitious place in order to examine a world that might have been, that has come to be, or that might be on the horizon.

Musical Acts
Friday, Midnight - 2AM
Tim Sweeney (Beats in Space) is a respected international club DJ, remixer, and host of Beats In Space, a weekly radio show mixed live every Tuesday night on WNYU. Sweeney rocks the party with a mix of electro, disco and No Wave.

Saturday, Midnight - 2AM
Juan Maclean (DFA Records) first garnered attention in the early 90s as the guitarist/keyboardist for electro-punk band Six Finger Satellite, but has gone on to wider acclaim in the last decade as a solo artist on DFA Records (founded by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem). Maclean’s recordings combine his multi-instrumental virtuosity with tight beat production inspired by house, techno, and funk classics. His DJ sets dig deeply into the same vault of musical riches.

Installations / Participating Artists
Taeyoon Choi and Cheon pyo Lee’s sculptural installation and performance,
Grey Belt tells the story of an undiscovered nation located in a demilitarized zone. The land of Grey Zone is the world’s purest natural site, secretly inhabited by mutant animals, abandoned war machines and the exiled living in a zero-gravity landscape.

Angela Co + Aeolab’s Weather Making Balloon utilizes NASA materials technology for its own “Space Mission”. The metalized thermoplastic skin of the Balloon functions as a mirrored surface through which attendees can be monitored and captured on film. Playful interaction with the responsive surface of the puffy, cloud-like Balloon masks its primary function as a surveillance tool.

The Institute of Faith-Based Technology, or InFaBat™, was founded in 2006 by techno-theologists Aaron Meyers and Jeff Crouse to bring religion into the digital age. Praying@Home is the name of a suite of technologies developed by InFaBat™ and installed for use at Eyebeam, which is designed to broadcast a worshipper’s “Prayer Signature” directly to God. Unlike humans, who need to take breaks from praying to fulfill biological needs, computers need no breaks, resulting in 24/7 prayer output. Praying@Home represents a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of Digital Prayer Technology.

Media artists Anakin Koenig, Chris Jordan, Caspar Stracke pay tribute to the “retro-futurist” utopian dwellings of the 20th Century with TripleFlow, a large-scale inflatable architectural structure. Referencing Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, the three-chamber biomorphic dwelling creates a fluid, immerse experience through responsive lighting, and live audio and video performance by Jordan and Stracke.

The nomadic-citizen of the world is never lost because she is always at home. Di Mainstone’s SHAREWEAR questions this utopian ideal, through a performance that incorporates a set of modular dresses that explore our desire for a connection to “home” in an increasingly transient world. Referencing familiar icons of the home, such as the armrest on our favorite sofa, SHAREWARE is comprised of a pair of modular electronic dresses housed in crates that are unpacked, assembled on each performer’s body, and then physically slotted to one another, unleashing the potential for intimate interactions.

The Subsumption Machine by activist collective Not An Alternative is a skeletal multi-level media tower hacked with video projections, TV monitors, billboards, stage sets, live video feeds, and surveillance cameras. As the audience walks through the chaotic architectural structure, they are captured on camera and unwittingly inserted into the media stream. The Subsumption Machine represents the postmodern dystopian world as a biopolitical “prison house of language”, and in a Warholian gesture, flattens all images into a non-hierarchical supersaturated mix.

Hertzian Rain is a wireless audio broadcast system designed by Mark Shepard that responds to bodily movement. Just as land and water are limited resources, Hertzian Rain demonstrates the limits of the electromagnetic spectrum. Wearing wireless headphones and carrying an umbrella covered with electromagnetic-shielding fabric, users walk around the exhibition space tuning into an audio broadcast of a live music performance while creating interference into the audio broadcast signal with the umbrella, and as a result destroy the shared resource. Live performances will be provided by Doug Barret, Craig Shepard, Daniel Perlin, Al Laufeld and others.

Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada, Marisa Jahn’s WoW Pod is an immersive architectural space that provides and anticipates all life needs of the World of Warcraft player. Outfitted with toilet throne, hydration system, and meals at the ready, the WoW Pod makes daily human function possible without ever stepping away from the game. In addition, these tasty meals are cooked via a cookset that connects a hotplate to the computer, allowing the player to let their World of Warcraft avatar know when the meal is ready to eat.

Tickets: $15 per night in advance; $30 for both nights in advance; $20 per night at the door. For more info and to purchase tickets visit


Founded in 1997, Eyebeam is an art and technology center that provides a fertile context and state-of-the-art tools for digital experimentation. It is a lively incubator of creativity and thought, where artists and technologists actively engage with the larger culture, addressing the issues and concerns of our time. Eyebeam challenges convention, celebrates the hack, educates the next generation, encourages collaboration, freely offers its output to the community, and invites the public to share in a spirit of openness: open source, open content and open distribution.

More info

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] art, interaction-design, world of warcraft, technology, installation [/tags]

Yes, Topobo is out, you can buy it!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009


Hayes Raffle designed the famous Topobo robotic system for kids during the course of his Master and PhD at MIT. He finally decided to produce it, so you can now get it for your home or school!


What is it like to sculpt with motion? Topobo is the world’s first construction toy with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion. Snap together Passive (static) and Active (motorized) pieces into a creation, and with a press of a button and a flick of your wrist, you can teach your creation how to dance or walk. The same way you can learn how buildings stand by stacking up blocks, you can discover how animals walk by playing with Topobo.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] design research, interaction-design, product-design, technology, children, innovation [/tags]

Show off your offline commitment!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009


As part of an online detox process, one deserves the right outfit. Jonah made it for us. You can buy all of these and for the right move, on the right track, you can express your offline commitment.


A special one for Yasmine

Papers at Chi 2009!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Yeah!! The two papers I wrote for CHI 2009 were accepted this year! One paper is entitled Design of Haptic Interfaces for Therapy the second one, a work in progress, is called Cost-effective Wearable Sensor to Detect EMF

Design of Haptic Interfaces for Therapy
Touch is fundamental to our emotional well-being. Medical science is starting to understand and develop touch-based therapies for autism spectrum, mood, anxiety and borderline disorders. Based on the most promising touch therapy protocols, we are presenting the first devices that simulate touch through haptic devices to bring relief and assist clinical therapy for mental health. We present several haptic systems that enable medical professionals to facilitate the collaboration between patients and doctors and potentially pave the way for a new form of non-invasive treatment that could be adapted from use in care-giving facilities to public use. We developed these prototypes working closely with a team of mental health professionals.

Download the .pdf ->here<-


Cost-effective Wearable Sensor to Detect EMF .
This other paper is a work in progress, based on a circuit design that I did for the class of Joe Paradiso (co-author). Even though many designers have explored wearable EMF displays, I implemented an electric field sensor that is low-cost, this to democratize EMF reading.

Download the .pdf ->here<-


Chi will be in Boston this year, so that means lots of visits and parties and hang out with old friends!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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