The Poetics of Space

Tilt Brush Drawing by Maya Pruitt

For this assignment, we dove right into VR, drawing in 3D based on a description written by one of our classmates.

These were the words of MaryAnn Talavera:

This January I went back to the Dominican Republic and I got the chance to visit my mother’s hometown, Enriquillo.  It’s a small town in the southern region of the island. I hadn’t been back to Enriquillo since I was a little girl and it was wonderful to go back as an adult because I think I was able to appreciate it’s natural beauty even more.  My mother has always told me stories about her childhood in Enriquillo. I felt like I was able to connect to those stories by physically being there. 

Her stories were often related to the ocean, which makes sense because the blue color of the beach in that area is so intense.  

One memory was of her as a small child sitting on the rocks below the cliffs that meet the shore.  Although, they scared her, she would be mesmerized by the power of the waves. One day she waited too long to go back to the shore and the tide had risen up so much that she couldn’t swim back.  So she had to scream out for help. Thankfully, she was heard by a neighbor who was able to help her reach the shore. That story always stuck out to me because it illustrated how the ocean is both majestic yet dangerous; it’s important to respect nature’s power.

This was an awesome experience, though quite disorienting at times! It was most difficult for me to establish a ground, in both my drawing and for myself. I had to draw a tree to help me get a better sense of the space. It started to come together once Gilad showed me how I could change perspective and shrink/grow the canvas. Game changer.

I wanted to capture both the serene calmness of the ocean that MaryAnn described, as well as its powerful brutality.

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Scent Tasting: a Study of Presence by Jacky Chen & Maya Pruitt by Maya Pruitt

Since VR is often highly visual, we wanted to pair it down on what other elements or sense modalities make us feel present or immersed. The experiment invited participants to smell 6 different scent and listened to an accompanying sound, while blindfolded, inspired by a sort of wine tasting.

These were the pairings:

  1. Apple Cider + Informational narration about Cider making

  2. Brazilian Coffee + Personal story from coffee growers

  3. Lavender + Sound of buzzing bee

  4. Smoked Cedar Whiskey + “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

  5. Chocolate Chai + Ambient sound of an Indian market

  6. Rum + A cappella pirate song

Some pairings had more obvious correlation, others were purposefully contrasting.

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