Saturday, December 6, 2008

Experiment 4: User scenario

Brief 4: User scenario
Claudio L. Midolo
Marko Tandefelt Loretta J. Wolozin
November 23rd 2008

I. Diagram
The following diagram illustrates the various components of the Lossy Light Memories prototype system from a logical and technical point of view.

User scenario

To Claudio Midolo
PathosCam , Inventor
Myrtle ave, 11206, Brooklyn, NY

Hi, my name is Ricardo Villareal, I’m a young film director from Buenos Aires and I’m writing this letter to you, as you’re the person who invented the PathosCam, in order to express my feelings about it and report my experience using the device you created. Everything started when, surfing on the Internet on the photography and film blogs I usually check to be updated on all the novelties in the field, I casually encountered a link entitled: ”PathosCam, a camera for two”. That title stimulated my curiosity as I was trying to imagine what that could possibly mean! Reading the blog post it was clear that it was a device to be used by two emotionally linked persons, in order to capture their memories and emotion in a visual form and remotely share them being sure that their memories would be directed just to the other person and not to anyone else. I was kinda confused by that article, but I was also so intrigued by the magic-like aura surrounding the device that I decided to give it a try; I googled PathosCam and arrived to your website where I finally understood the project more in depth: the PathosCam is like a camera cut into two halves, the Capturer and the Attractor. The person who holds the capturer is able to capture its visual memories in form of a “breathing photo”, which, as soon as it is recorded, is immediately transferred to a middle plane in between the two halves called Memory Plane, a digital space where all the memories shared by the two users float in time. I also understood how the Attractor side can attract these visual memories and display them back to the holder of the Attractor, in a very special, almost magical way. I spent quite more time understanding the rules that controlled this system as the Equilibrium gate, the Environmental and Presence conditions, and the Rule of distance, which controlled the speed of the attraction of each new memory based on the actual physical distance between one half and the other, it was tough but after a while I got it! The more I was diving into the details of your idea, the more I was captured by it, so I decided to go on and order one of these PathosCam for myself.

I chose the wood block I wanted it to be carved from and I picked one that was remembering me of the wooden tiles that used to be on the floor of my parent’s house in my childhood, I don’t know why, but I was just attracted to it! I chose the names to be put on the two small metallic plates which will identify each half as “Ric” and “Nina”, I won’t tell you why I picked that name, is enough to say that Nina is a very important person for me. Next the hard part... I must confess I was expecting something cheaper, but I guess you have to invest something more than what you would spend for a normal digital camera in order to have it manually crafted and with such special kind of features. It was nice from you to inform me that the process would have taken more than a month in order to actually build and test my PathosCam, but I was more than happy to wait as you know, the more you wait the best it is when you finally get it! I remember then, the day when it finally arrived... it was such a surprise! I opened the box and found it... I must admit I was expecting something smaller... but it was so strange looking and so beautifully crafted that I just fell in love with it almost immediately! I followed the instructions to set it up and after some twenty minutes everything was up and running, in test mode.

I was able to use the Capturer part, named “Nina”, to grab some images while the Attractor half, “Ric”, was immediately attracting them and showing them back to me, how strange and beautiful they were! They looked like a pulsing stream of light carrying back to me my memories from the past, I was really surprised by it. After one hour spent playing with it, checking everything was working fine, time arrived to exit test mode and switch to Memory mode. I pressed the specific toggle at the bottom and suddenly the two boxes lit up to then slowly get dark again, that was the signal telling me the Memory mode was active. The next day Nina arrived at my apartment and I told her I had a gift for her, I said it was an Attractor for our memories. She looked at me like she was talking with a crazy man, but she was also very curious about it. She started to believe me as soon as I showed her the PathosCam; I explained her how the system would work and what we would be able to do with it and she was immediately into it, she took the Capturer , opened it up and closed it. As soon as she closed the Capturer’s doors a light filtered through them and she felt a vibration through her hands. I told her that was the signal saying that she had just successfully captured a memory of us!

She wanted to see it immediately on the Attractor, but I explained her that the Attractor was sensitive to the actual distance of the two halves; as the memory was captured while the two pieces were very next to each other, it would have been attracted with very low speed, thus it would arrive to the Attractor at a much later time. She was confused by it and said she wanted to see it immediately I said her the only way to see it immediately was to physically join the two halves, she agreed and when we recomposed their unity we were able to see the memory she had just captured in the form of mesmerizing light particles. In three days I had to be in Sicily to work on a documentary about the sicilian immigrants who migrated to Argentina during the 19th century and Nina really liked the idea of putting the PathosCam at a test for the following three months while I working there in Italy.

Three days later, at the airport, I kissed Nina and then proceeded, giving her the Attractor “Ric” while keeping for me the Capturer “Nina”. I reminded her how important were her for me and assuring her that if she prepared the right conditions in the environment where he wanted to use the Capturer, she would be able to attract the memories I reserved for her for sure. We kissed and then I took the airplane which would have taken me to Palermo, the main city in Sicily. I passed the next months working on the documentary and capturing many memories for Nina... some of them were beautiful places, people I met, details, or just something that was touching my feelings. I just had to open the Capturer’s doors to let the memory come in and close them, I felt a vibration and saw the light, I knew I got it!

My only concern was whether, without any kind of viewfinder or compositional tool, I had really recorded what I wanted to and not something else! Just one day I wasn’t able to open the doors! That was crazy, I was thinking the device was broken, but suddenly I realized that some time before I read on the instructions that that event can happen, specifically when the other person hasn’t seen the previous ten memories you’ve sent her. Probably Nina was busy during the previous days; the next day I was able to open the device again, Nina was ready for my memories again! Finally arrived the day I could finally get back to Buenos Aires, during my time inn Italy I learnt how Sicily could be beautiful, but just for a short period of time.

I was so excited to see Nina again. She was at the Ministro Pistarini waiting for me, and I couldn’t have been imagined a better person to wait for me at my arrival. We arrived home and, we spent some time as we weren’t spending for three months... you know! We woke up the next day and I was dying to see the memories I captured for Nina! She told me that initially she had some difficulties to make the Attractor work as she had to find the right conditions in order to start the attraction process.

After some unsuccessful trials she put it in her bedroom, next to her bed. She told me how magical it was when, going to sleep, she would turn off all the lights and all the loud stuff and... ! the Attractor would light up from within and a light glow would appear inside the box! Then she knew it was starting to attract some new memory from me, so she used to took it and held it in her hands, looking through the lens. Initially she would see some small “fairies” (as she likes to say, to me they are still light particles, probably this is a professional disfunction as I’m a director and I work with light...) carrying various colors, grouping in the middle of the back of the device and suddenly moving to certain spots, slowly forming a regular grid of moving colors from which the memory image used to emerge! She was literally crazy about it! I asked her if she did it regularly and she answered that she used to do that every night before going to sleep. She forgot about it just one night, when she arrived home so tired for the work that she just fainted on the bed. I told her that probably that was the time when I found impossible to capture some memories with my half, as the Equilibrium gate was blocking me because she already had some previous new memories to look at before I could send her even newer ones.

I asked her to bring there the Attractor as I wanted to see the visual memories I’d sent her during my trip to Sicily as I had never seen them before, but she replied that I had to prepare the right environment in order to attract them. I remembered her that joining the two halves together would let us see all the memories without any kind of limitation or condition to meet so she ran into the bedroom, grabbed the Attractor and came back to me at full speed, as she wanted to know all the details about each memory, as she had already seen all of the memories, but knew almost nothing about their context.

As we were putting one half next to the other we noticed they in some way synched, recognized each other and let us open them up, rejoining them into their original unity. A pulsing glow appeared, fragments of light scattered across the screen, showing us pieces of our shared emotions condensed into breathing images.

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