1. Beersheba Perfume Stand
A perfume store with delightful scents and beautiful colours yet disturbing smells. The idea is to create a simple, elegant and fashionable perfume pop-up store with straightforward design and arrangement to alter the thought of our day to day life, the fixed perception and knowledge on perfume.
By manipulating display ideas of popular perfume shops such as Boots, The Fragrance Shop and The Perfume Shop, we intend to achieve the first impression of beautiful and attractive looking perfume booth. Colour and design play a main role within this impression. In our first exhibition, we combined numerous ingredients to create a deception of sight. As an example, one of the three perfumes, “Beersheba” was created with various composite ingredients including Sardine and Dog food should form a brown murky colour. However, with a slight touch of blackcurrant squash, it transformed to a light pink colour. During the exhibition, the pink perfume really stood out and attracted a good amount of audience.
“It’s all image and what you think that fragrance smells like. People don’t smell as well as they think they do, and if any element doesn’t quite fit the image they have, there are so many other choices that they go to the next choice,” said Gabriella Zuckerman, the president of a New York City beauty product consulting firm – Gabriella Z Ltd. He also mentioned that perfume design should include stunning elements with strong emphasis (Murphy I, 1994).
On the point of Gabriella’s quotes above along with inspirations from trendy perfume shops, we exhibited three perfumes in ready-made bottles display on top of a clear black acrylic stand with scattered artificial flowers, marble stones and framed posters placed on a table covered with a clean black cloth to achieve the elegant and stylish look.
The explanations for choosing the specific colour for perfumes at the exhibition:
Clear gold and lime yellow for Jewel-City, lavishing and expensive colour defined “Jewel City”, the city with pure gold, silver locks and diamond gates as mentioned in the Invisible Cities 2.
Black for Celestial One, high-class and polished. The celestial creations born of stars.
The original content described the Beersheba’s belief as an element of truth and one of error. Therefore, pink was used as an illusion of interpreting luxury and charming, though the smell inside the bottle was completely different. It was to indicate the diverging existence of Beersheba, the unpleasant part of the city (Italo C,1972).
The way of how we see perfume as a need, a spray could make us look and smell attractive. As John Berger suggested, “According to the rules of the dream, those who do not have this power, those who lack glamour, become faceless, almost non-existent.” By featuring famous actors and models, perfume advertisements shaped our subconscious of trust in the product and at the same time created this fear of not having any publicity – being non-existent. Without the perfume, we are inadequate, unenviable. Publicity creates our dream and vision, the illusion of wanting more.
“With this spray, you will be wanted.” (John B, 2012).
In the “Ways of Seeing”, the video showed us the production of manufacturing perfumes. Inside the factory, workers were manufacturing with inexpensive elements to create perfumes. The present of perfume within the factory might look dull, but the publicity of advertisements would create a future for the glamour of perfume (John B, 2012). This linked directly to our project. We had three carefully designed descriptions in front of the perfume as a delusion to draw viewers attention. A mirror is then placed behind the perfumes to serve the purpose of discovering the illusion brought by the designs. The mirror truly revealed the truth – the real ingredients of perfumes.
Throughout the public display, interesting feedback was given. The crowd started by looking at the descriptions, they showed interest on the designs and layouts. As soon as they picked up the perfume bottles and smelled them, a lack of interest showed by placing down “Beersheba” and “Celestial One” immediately. However, a few suggested “Jewel-City”, the golden perfume could be sold in the market due to the innovative and refreshing scent. The feedback reactions from “Beersheba” and “Celestial One” proved our thoughts on perfume significantly. The idea of what we know and what we don’t. The idea of how publicity hides the reality and how it has consumed us.
The olfactory system played a crucial role during the exhibition. From the finding of John Ratey, he mentioned a great example of the smell of wood smoke that connected directly with our inspiration. The example explained the divergent experiences of two individuals. A former boy scout involved in outdoor adventures and a man with involvement in a house fire. There are noticeable emotion and feelings from the individuals. The wood smoke brought back good memories of the former boy scout while the man had immediate discomfort and strong anxiety (John R, 2001). Similar to the perfumes, we have the ability to quickly differentiate our feeling from the sense of smell. Jewel-City, a golden coloured perfume with pleasant ingredients including white wine, lime and lemonade. It might smell delightful due to our experience of white wine and lemonade at a celebration. As for “Celestial One”, soy sauce might smell unusual for a different culture or people with no experience with it at all. We resist the smell of “Beersheba” because we are not familiar with the scent of dog food, which brings up the question of applying the spray on animals, would their thoughts and reactions differ? Could this be a new invention for them?
For the future development of our exhibition, a live performer will hold a demonstration for the audience; due to the lack of understandings gathered from the project reception. The mirror behind the perfumes didn’t have the right amount of attention as expected, viewers only focused on the perfume bottles until they were told to look for the ingredients. Another issue was on the perfumes. Although the display was very appealing and colourful, when viewers picked up the bottles; gusts of unfamiliar scent burst out immediately. Hence, we thought of applying a hidden automatic perfume spray under the stand which should cover the scent unleashes from our perfume. The technology will be as simple as placing a button under the perfume bottles. When the viewer places the bottle back on the stand, it will trigger the event of the pleasant spray.
The ways we see, the ways we smell. In this project, the ways of people perception altered. Is the modern day’s glamour taking control? Looking at the combination of manufacture and advertising perfume opens up a whole new world for the perfume industry. Do we pay for the perfume or glamour? Do we own the product or is the perfume owning us?
Dior (2014). Miss Dior [online]. Available from: <https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a7/bb/63/a7bb6347e5730a2fd27411ea62a0f673.jpg>. [Accessed 12 November 2016].
Dolce and gabbana (2013). Coco Mademoiselle [online]. Available from: <https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/5f/d2/99/5fd2994c218ac2f27f365951f93d1e68.jpg>. [Accessed 12 November 2016].
Dolce and Gabbana (2010). Scarlett Johansson Dolce & Gabbana advert. [online]. Available from: <https://jessicachan106.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/scarlett-johansson-dolce-gabbana-the-one-perfume-ad-01.jpg>. [Accessed 12 November 2016].
Italo Calvino (1972). Invisible Cities 2. 1st. ed. Italy: Giulio Einaudi Editore.
John B. 2012. John Berger’s Ways of Seeing – episode four. [online]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jTUebm73IY>. [Accessed 12 November 2016].
John R. 2001. ‘A User’s Guide to the Brain’, Chapter 2, pp. 17-20, Pantheon.
Murphy I. 1994. ‘Perfume bottles make a fashion statement’, Marketing News, 28, 25, pp. 6-7, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 October 2016.
2. The Life Of A Flying Rat
Walking across the street, feathered creatures are bobbing their heads and staring at us, waiting for our food to fall to the ground. This exhibition piece shows two different views on the feathered creature; the thought of human on pigeons, and our thought on pigeon’s perspective.
The bin displays as the home of pigeons. By adding waste materials and white painted Blu-tack as the bird’s faeces, they create the natural effect of a profaned exterior which describes how we see our companion; polluted creatures and scavengers that live off our litters (Patricia K, 2011).
Breakfast, lunch, the usuals. We stroll our way to the wooden bench and sit down to enjoy the warm pasty and explore the pavement. Staring at the creatures, we walk into the bubble of our companion. It allows us to explore and experience the world of pigeons.
Inside the bin, shows the other side of pigeons, a diverging perceptual world discovered, the Umwelt. It is very different from the world we know, or we think we know. Stepping into the bubble, we walk with our heads bobbing to have the senses of direction and distance. Also, with the sense of magnetoreception, we are able to locate our home. Dissimilar to human’s thought, we amble into our home, the homely wallpaper and carpet are all set up. A photo is framed as a memory of our hero, Cher Amy. In the World War II, 500 men were led by Major Whittlesey to support France but only 200 left after battling with the enemies. He tried to send pigeons for help but without success. Desperate for help, Major Whittlesey sent his last pigeon, Cher Ami. During the flight, bullets were flying through the sky and the bird was hit. Spreading his wings again, he did not plan to give up. He was very determined to finish the mission. Finally, with his magnetic sensing mechanism, Cher Ami was able to deliver the message and 200 men were saved. Unfortunately, his right leg was broken and one of the eyes was blinded. Cher Ami was later given France’s great honour, the Croix de Guerre medal (Douglas S, 1999). Additionally, pigeons receive the most British Dickin medals than any other animals, a medal which honours the animals in World War II (Patricia K, 2011).
Glancing into the interior, a sign was placed; as pigeons are able to identify alphabets with very few mistakes (Blough, 1982). In a study, a test put forward that pigeons have the ability to spell and recognise words. A pigeon was placed in front of a machine with words and stars displaying on a white screen. In the centre of the screen, a new word was generated under the star icon. When a misspell was detected by the pigeon, it had to peck on the star icon and pecking directly to the word would suggest it was spelt correctly. The pigeon was able to achieve 70 percent accuracy (Eyder P, 2016). Pigeons can also recognise human individually; such as race, culture, and the human anatomy (Hernstein and Loveland, 1964). In Ahmed’s study, experiments were held and proven pigeons can be trained to distinguish neutral and hostile feeders. However, the actual ways of them doing so is still yet to be discovered. The study could not confirm if pigeons are identifying a person by the body shape, face structure, appearance or other features (Ahmed B, 2011).
Next to the photo frame of the war hero, miniature books show pigeons are intelligent and they can detect more colour hues than human, in fact, more than any animals in the planet (Emmerton, 1975). They are able to differentiate similar shades of colour that human being simply could not. This lead to an alternate thought of the colours we are really able to see (Walter S, 1985). The impossible colours, we can only see brown colour between red and green, instead of the hidden colour of red and green exist at the same time. Which expands on the colours of nature, such as the colour of tree trunks, are they really brown in colour or made of tints of red and green (Natalie W, 2012)?
A photograph of a couple was framed on the right side of the bin to accent pigeon’s loyalty. Unlike some of us, pigeons are very faithful to their mate and family. They only have one mate for life and raise two chicks for four to five weeks until they are fully grown. With five to six families being raised per year, it explains why they are almost seen in every country. The study within the project allows us to elevate the realisation on these birds. The thought of us being better than them in terms of relationships and perhaps we should treat them with equity.
Although we thought the flameless candles would make the environment looks homely, feedback was given from most of the viewers that the back of the bin appears to be some sort of memorial as there is a photo frame of Cher Ami surrounded by candles. Also, at the start of the presentation, we allow the audience to walk around the bin before explaining the idea. Which is very likely to be another cause of misinterpretation. Therefore, for future reference, flameless candles will be removed and instead, a small lamp could be included with the colourful books sitting on top of a small-scale table to create a suitable homely look. In addition, the project idea will be pitched before the viewing to minimise the misunderstanding of “home” and “memorial”.
Fish are eating pigeons! Earlier this week, David Attenborough showed us a shocking video of pigeons getting eaten alive by Wels catfish (BBC one, 2016). Pigeons have been living with mankind for so long, their perceptual views on us no longer include fear, an important sense that has kept every living creature alive. This umwelt of pigeons could show the lack of fear might have played a crucial role of keeping Cher Ami alive and saving the soldiers.
Ahmed Belguermi (2011). Animal Cognition. Pigeons discriminate between human feeders. 6, pp.1-8.
BBC one (2016). Planet Earth 2: Cities. [online]. Available from: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0861m8b>. [Accessed 14 December 2016].
Blough, D.S. (1982). Pigeon perception of letters of the alphabet. Science, 218, 397-398. Brush, A.H. and Clark, G.H., Jr. (eds.) (1983). Perspectives in Ornithology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Douglas Sterner (1999). Cher Ami (Dear Friend). [online]. homeofheroes. Available from: <http://www.homeofheroes.com/wings/part1/3b_cherami.html>. [Accessed 27 November 2016].
Emmerton, J. A. (1975) The colour vision of the pigeon. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
Eyder Peralta (2016). Can Pigeons Spell? New Study Suggests They Can Recognize Words. [online]. NPR. Available from: <http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/22/495059008/can-pigeons-spell-new-study-suggests-they-can-recognize-words>. [Accessed 06 December 2016].
Herrnstein, R.J., and Loveland, D.H. (1964). Complex visual concepts in the pigeon. Science, 146, 549-551.
Natalie Wolchover (2012). Red-Green. [online]. Live Science. Available from: <http://www.livescience.com/17948-red-green-blue-yellow-stunning-colors.html>. [Accessed 06 December 2016].
Patricia K. Anderson (2011). Pigeon, Anthrozoös, 24:3, 333-336.
The “Human” Nature of Pigeons [online]. (2016). Available from: <http://www.upc-online.org/pigeons/human_nature_of_pigeons.pdf>. [Accessed 08 December 2016].
Walter Sullivan (1985). Vision through animals eyes reveals surprising color. The New York Times, 13 August, p.1-2.
Our idea comes from a long process of brainstorming, including senses of the bat, platypus and hammerhead shark’s vision. Bat uses echolocation to “see” in the dark, a sonar that emits to nature and receives echoes, it maps the environment with sonar and locates in the dark. The use of ultrasonic frequency is also how they hunt for food at night. Platypus vision and the olfactory system are not used underwater, it uses electroreception instead. Platypus generate electrical impulses with their bill to locate prey (Michael S, 2011). The bill also acts as a receptor to navigate in the dark; to create a sense of direction (Meera P, 2007).
The hammerhead shark was our initial idea for our vision sensory score. Its vision is very different to the human, with eyes set apart; it creates the 360 degrees vision with the head slightly rotating to the left and right (Ed Y, 2009). While we look more into the vision sensor, we came out with the idea of creating a phenomenon with Chameleon’s vision.
When we look at our surrounding, everything seems to be completely normal, seems like we can view the environment with ease. On the other hand, as an example; two objects lays out on a desk, a water bottle and a tea mug. It is impossible for our visions to focus on both objects at the same time though we think differently as we never pay any attention to it. Human’s vision can have a full view of approximately 180 degrees unless we move our heads, we cannot view outside the boundaries (Boundless, 2016). This shapes into the idea of recreating a virtual experience with Chameleon’s vision.
Chameleon has a full vision of 360 degrees per eye, 180 horizontal and 90 vertically. Similar to the human in a way, chameleon’s cannot focus two objects at one time but is able to have a wider viewing angle. The camouflage creature can move its eyes independently with two different views; switching views at any occasion, one eye will be hunting for a prey while the other will be looking out for any predators. Once it has found the prey, both eyes will go into a process called “coupling” where they focus on the same direction and getting ready to seize the prey (Allie M, 2015).
We start off by coding two webcams into Unity as textures and attempt to link them with the Virtual Reality Development Kit 2. However, the DK2 is not compatible with our PCs, an alternative method has to be created quickly to continue on the project. In the process of seeking different versions of VR headsets, the card box headset shows up, and the backup plan slowly appears. As we are focusing on the concept of the card box headset, we understand a mobile device will be one of the crucial elements, it works as an actual screen of the headset. We look into multiple methods of converting applications into the headset; downloading them directly from a computer is the most common way (Sophie C, 2016). However, our project requires two webcams which are connected via USB cables into the PC, the application downloading method simply will not work. Suddenly, we come up with the idea of using Skype since it has the capability of screen sharing with Wifi. The mobile phone synchronises perfectly with the PC which creates the project we desired. Once the software sides are prepared, we attach two wooden sticks to the webcams as handles that allow the user to move around.
There are rules prepared for the project: The “Chameleon” will be sitting on a chair in between the predators and prey which are separated by a thin string located on the floor. Holding up two cameras – the chameleon’s eyes, the person has to scan across the room and look out for prey and predators within the time limit.
For predators procedure, 5 predators should be holding up an image each. They are to hold up the image when signalled by us and should only be 1 image held up per signal. For example, when a person is signalled by us, the predator before should put their image down.
After our presentation, we proceed with the demonstration. Colourful cups act as the prey, we put them on the right side of the string. We then indicate the audience to move towards to the left side – the predator side. Not able to understand the rules thoroughly, we hand over the predator images to the audience. As the project begins, we endeavour to explain the key tasks to the “chameleon” – to find the cups and to identify the species of the predator at the same time.
However, the predators did not arrange as planned. The viewers seem to have enjoyed the divergent experience of sight. The project also raised the comparison of different experience occurred. Some suggested that they had a single dominant eye while the others claimed to be able to have equal vision.
From our research, a project was found based on chameleon’s vision. The project captures the essence of the chameleon’s vision range and conveys into the surveillance cameras. As a result, the cameras are able to view freely within the 360 degrees, unlike any other surveillance cameras which can only move from left to right (Jie Z, Dingui W, Ying W, 2010). This fascinating project could highly reduce the chances of having blind spots in a monitored area.
The movements of the surveillance cameras tie closely to our project. They could possibly be adapted to our future development plan.
Firstly, we need to increase the bandwidth between the PC and the mobile device to decrease the latency on real-time streaming, this should produce a more immersive experience. Objects of the prey and predators could be altered, instead of using colourful cups as prey, actual figures of prey could be considered. As for the predators, onesie with animals printing could also be a possibility. We also have another thought of displaying them in the virtual world, the possible potentially of transforming the project into fun experience.
For the future development, another main capability of the chameleon, camouflage could be implemented. For an instance, we could design a colour changing shirt. So, when the predators are approaching the chameleon, the colour of the shirt blends in with the chair. For further expansion, we could assemble this as a wearable if the latency issues were solved. The laptop could be placed into a backpack with the “chameleon” holding to its eyes.
Looking through Chameleon’s vision, an innovative experience is discovered. By not be able to build the project with the VR DK2 headset, it pushes us further to find our own way on making this happens; which then allows us to explore the vision that has always been a curiosity and once again it leaves us wondering how the chameleon put up with this incredible vision.