On December 13th, 2015, my classmates and I installed a gallery at the Arnot Mall in Horseheads, New York. This gallery had to do with themes of security and community. The gallery had two purposes: 1. to get viewers thinking about how there are cameras all over and how they are constantly being watched and 2. to make viewers understand that whatever they put out on the internet can easily be taken and manipulated by anyone. In order to convey these messages, we created an interactive gallery that was advertised as one thing, but was actually about something completely different.
The gallery was advertised as a gallery about optical illusions, and the first section of it did consist of six different optical illusions, as shown below.
These illusions were made by Nia Seward, Amelia Fantasia, Mike Metzger, Patty Padilla, Jenna Hooper and Lance Hegner. At the start of the gallery, participants were asked to fill out a quick survey that asked their name, age, hometown, if they had been to a gallery before and how they heard about the gallery. Then they entered the first room of the gallery which had all of the illusions in it. Within this space were 4 hidden cameras that were taking photos of the participants as they went through the gallery. When they entered the second room, a profile containing a snapshot from when they hit “enter” on the survey, the information they entered in the survey, an image of their hometown and the images of them walking around the gallery was displayed, as shown below.
When they entered this room and saw their profile, we explained to the participants that our gallery was actually about security and putting information online. All of the participants were very shocked and surprised to see themselves on the screen and people of all ages seemed to understand the message we put forth. We had a total of 106 participants.
Below are some photos of us setting the gallery up and the finished gallery.
I was the director of this whole project, and my first task was to decide what the gallery was actually going to be and designing the look and feel of the gallery. I worked with the previsualization team to do so, which was Jody Rosenbeck and Tim Morgan. Together we decided on the idea of having the two rooms and deceiving the guests by having them think that the gallery was about one thing when it was actually about another.
In addition to coming up with the look and feel of the gallery, the assistant director, Jenna Hooper, and I worked together to make sure that everyone was doing their jobs and everything was going smoothly. We communicated with the team leads exactly what was needed from their teams. We also made deadlines to check in on what was going on within the teams, critique things, and make sure everything was the way we wanted it. In addition to this, I made executive decisions such as how the gallery was to be set up and which six optical illusions the the visual and physical assets teams made. Finally, although there was a team for gallery coordination, I was actually the one that found the room in this mall for us to use.