You Have A Choice, Nature Doesn’t | Art 451 Project Final Thoughts + Documentation
The act of pressing a button to affect change, change on anything, is significant. The button represents choice. Do or don’t. Yes or no. In You Have A Choice, Nature Doesn’t this choice is clearly laid out with the sign above the button:
Not only is it clear that you should not press the button, it makes it clear why: It will harm the environment. And yet because you have a button, a magical button, you press it. Because why not? its just a button. And its just the environment.
The piece animates some simplistic changes, that humans make, to nature as the button is pressed. A city grows, houses are built, cars drive, smog, satellites, etc. Towards the end there is so much going on that the underlying nature is unrecognizable. With the screen full of smog and radio waves, the last press of the button switches the screen to this:
You actions have hurt the environment. A broad statement. It doesn’t just say “pressing that button has hurt the environment,” it says your actions. All your actions, or at least some of your actions have seriously harmed the environment.
And then it says press button to try again. Upon a subsequent press the screen switches to the original time lapse of a beautiful shot of nature. Just nature. And yet, after knowing how much harm your actions have caused the environment you press the button again!
You Have A Choice, Nature Doesn’t, offers viewers a choice. And the effects of their choices become clear.
The Final Code – This is the final code in Max MSP/Jitter in order to make the project work! Notice its cut off at the bottom! It was massive.
The Exhibit – The video below shows the exhibit, and how people interacted with it.
This video is all of the videos strung together. This version obviously removes the choice making it less effective but this version allows you to see the videos more clearly.