Assignment 5

1) Finish the Empathy book and be prepared to discuss it. 
2) Bring a project - either a new one, or a further development of something already presented - that makes a contribution to our class work
on empathy, personal and group transformation, multisensory-multispatial experience, etc.
** Please send Tod documentation on your project before next week’s class - ideally on Tuesday - so that he can comment before class if possible.
Also, please read and “digest” Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science by our April 1 class, since we will be discussing this that day.


Assignment 3

Explore communicating emotions at the extremes of realistic and abstract forms of representation. Make or create two "things" which elicit a similar empathetic emotional response. One should be very realistic or literal in nature. The other should be quite abstract. What the "things" are is up to you. They need not be in the same medium, but could be. Think about how the empathetic or emotional concept is embodied in each representation and which might be more effective at eliciting the desired response in someone else.

Be prepared to share your creations in class on Wednesday, 25 February.


Assignment 2

Suggested by Karen Huang (our class member who is studying the psychology of empathy at Harvard):
This article follows up on some of the neuroscience concepts that Tenzin introduced:
The iPad version of Compassion: Bridging Science and Practice by Tania Singer (who Tod met a few weeks ago at the World Economic Forum). It is long and Tod can’t vouch for it yet, but Singer runs the Social Neuroscience group at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and is someone we should know about. There are versions of the ebook on most platforms, but apparently openly the iPad version has all the media components (audio and video):
Three projects recommended by Jonathan Bobrow, a Masters student in the Playful Systems group at the Media Lab (with his commentary):
1. A beautifully analog piece in which a translucent mirror allows the two people in the mirror box to see features of their own and the other's face in the mirror:
2. A piece by media artist Kyle MacDonald takes a similar idea of sharing a mirror, but has a very site specific installation and makes the relationship 1 to many instead of 1 to 1. Taking advantage of openCV with the ability to match facial expressions, the piece is much more technical than the mirrorbox, but the end goal is clearly to have the tech fade away and feel like a realtime mirror experience.
Jonathan mentioned the olfactory piece he was going to smell this weekend. is authored by Tod's former colleague, Jackie Morie, who created a scent collar for VR applications back in 2004. 
Her work in virtual worlds might be relevant in general, but thought I would put her on your map as a great resource.
Happy reading!
Next Class:


We'll discuss concepts and technologies for multisensory “8th Art” experiences with Peter Torpey and Ben Bloomberg.


Assignment 1

Send a brief statement to telling us a little about yourself, why you are interested in the class, and what skills and talents you expect to bring to the group this semester.

We would like to receive these by Sunday morning, Feb. 8, so we can determine the final shape of the class.