Sensor Walk for ITP PComp Class.
On my sensor walk, the first thing that came to my mind is “what is a sensor?” exactly, because the more I looked around, the more everything seemed like it could be a sensor.
So without getting too much into Cyborg theory here, I would say that a sensor is anything that triggers or generates a signal, that can be sent over a carrier, interpreted by a communicating system, and reacted to with feedback by that or another comminicating system.
In our case I would say that we are most interested in sensors that can trigger or generate an electrical signal that we can interpret with hardware and software, but this:
also contain sensors, carriers and feedback.
The thing that makes sensors interesting for us too, I think, is that they imply an interpretation, and vice versa, a signal, implies a sensor. I heard somewhere once, that we should not create for an audience but create an audience with our designs. For example this:
actually says “don’t litter please!” but we read (when on site) “please!” [image] “don’t litter”. If I was a giant or looking at it from a window, it would read differently. Since I don’t litter anyway, I am actually uncertain about what the sign is trying to achieve. Humans don’t make for very reliable sensors. More over, they get terribly offended when they are expected to respond in a predictable way (ie feminists are not too happy about the whole male gaze as implied in traditional painting etc), or when they have to behave in a predetermined way (something which is also a characteristic of a good sensor).
Is a sensor attached to nothing, no longer a sensor?
The inability for the signal to get anywhere is tragic, because we have these sensors too.
I guess that’s why this is such a famous example in cyber culture:
and not so much this:
only one of them is explicitly about sensors, signals and feedback.
this is why (although both are hard to swallow) this:
is so much more compelling than this:
one has feedback, the other is transposition of signal.
Apologies for images culled from internet, some will be replaced by actual images from the walk as soon as I get to a scanner.