“[insert title here]” is an interactive touch screen installation that creates visual digital handprints when touched, which gradually fade over time in color and brightness. The project embodies the notion of life and death and the inevitability of mortality. This mortality applies not only to individuals but to actions themselves. It illustrates actions as being autonomous, existing in one moment, regardless of the fact that they will cease to exist in the next, leaving behind no indication of ever having happened. The installation deals with the human desire to leave this figurative “mark”, and the project is a literal interpretation of that metaphor. It allows people to imprint their palms and fingerprints, something unique to every individual, onto a screen even if it is for a temporary existence.
The user will be faced with a black screen that is just below eye level. The screen is blank except for a glowing image of a fingerprint, which will likely incline the user to touch the screen. When a hand is placed on the screen, its temperature and duration of time of being placed on screen will trigger a bright and colorful form to be displayed. The longer the hand is on the screen the brighter it will appear. When the hand is removed, the light will begin to slowly dim and fade away in brightness and in color. Through this literal leaving of a mark, users walk away with a sense of having accomplished something, as small and insignificant as it may be. It will be interesting to see if users come back and do it again even after they are aware that it will disappear anyway, without a trace or record of it ever having existed. The visual beauty will be enticing for people to actually place their hand on the screen, and the transformation will make them reflect on the ephemerality of their actions and inexorability of death.
The sensors included in the piece make the interaction between the user and the machine possible through a unique relationship. The temperature sensor permeates a sense of life into the activity, as the visual reaction would not be as effective with a cold, lifeless object. This greatly enhances the metaphor of life and makes death seem more significant. It is important that there is a visual change happening throughout the activity, creating a dynamic experience. Having an interactive platform makes that possible and simultaneously brings the user into the screen through this intimate activity. The project is meant to make users reflect on the mortality of objects, people, ideas, places themselves. It is a moment of reflection, even if it lasts just a short moment or is something that the user will take away with them.