Hedwig and The Angry Inch: Fuch's Questions & Sentences by Maya Pruitt

THE PLANET OF HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH

SPACE

The space is stage - like an elaborate concert venue. A built interior, it looks like a set of a street, a crater in the center, and exploded car, but front and center is the stage - for Hedwig to appear to perform with her band.

TIME

Time is linear on this planet. It is one concert, but Hedwig tells the story of her entire life, starting from her past as a child to present day. Time is marked by her memories.

CLIMATE

The climate feels cold, like an unreasonably air conditioned room perhaps to make the audience feel uncomfortable.

MOOD

The mood on this planet is serious. We may think we are enjoying a rock concert, but instead Hedwig wants to tell her story. She has our attention now. Her sarcasm and singing create the moods, shifting from comic moments to profound questioning of the world.

SOCIAL WORLD

This is a private world. Hedwig dictates the rules. We are at her venue and no one else’s. We’ve come to see her, not Yitzhak, not Tommy Gnosis. She is the central figure. Others surround her (physically Yitzhak, but the others only through description and impersonation by Hedwig). The figures are exaggerated and in costume as they are attention seeking. The only real interactions are between Yitzhak and Hedwig, and they are strained, a married couple having a fight.

CHANGES

Change in time is indicated by Hedwig’s story telling. We move from different places, learn about different relationships, and discover Hedwig’s feelings about herself. In the beginning, Hedwig is angry. She feels unconsidered, overshadowed by the talents of those around her, but by the end she realizes that her dream will not be fulfilling if she takes the dreams away from others.

PATTERNS

Hedwig speaks about several different relationships. Each one has the commonality of Hedwig feeling inferior. Luther leaves her after making her go through a sex-change operation and Tommy doesn’t want her when discover the angry inch. Hedwig attempts to take control by giving Yitzhak the ultimatum of giving up his drag persona. So ultimately he too falls into the pattern of distrust of Hedwig.

One simple sentence:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a story about transformation.

One complex sentence:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a story about understanding your identity and the transformation it takes to become at peace with it.

Three to five sentences:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a story about Hedwig who tries to understand her own identity through the search for a soulmate, gender exploration, and the pursuit of a musical career. Hedwig feels constantly inferior to partners and music rivals until she finally strips down from the costumes she has worn, physically and mentally. Hedwig is at peace after this transformation and it allows her husband, Yitzhak, the one he has been denied.

Designing Club Culture: Audio Track by Maya Pruitt

I was inspired by “Cloudburst” a Jazz song by Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross from 1960. The fast rhythms and vocal acrobatics of the singers really draw you in and make you want to move. I wanted to encapsulate this groovy feeling with a more electronic style and encourage my audience to tap their foot or dance. I used the opening rift and chord progressions from Cloudburst as the foundation of my track. Layered on top are some Jazz nods such as a repetitive high hat and saxophone in the chorus. These jazzy sounds combine with more EDM riffs, to transform it into a very spacey tinny feel. Since I am not a musician, this was especially challenging. I found it would be easy to fall out or key or off beat. I think there are still parts that don’t sound quite right, but I am happy with the overall upbeat nature of the piece. Looking up sheet music, using a MIDI keyboard, and watching tutorials helped the track come to fruition. My goal is to make a heavier EDM track in the future, with a super pronounced drop.









Data Self-Portrait by Maya Pruitt

TEXT MESSAGE PERCEPTIONS

I am a big texter. So much so, that I believe it influences a lot of the relationships I have with people. While, we often criticize using phones too much, my perception of text messaging is that it helps those that are physically far from me feel much closer. With this self portrait, I wanted to visualize these perceptions.

Full Visualization

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SYNTHESIS

Apple stores text message data in a chat.db file in your Library (sometimes hidden). I granted my terminal full access to my disk to navigate to this hidden file. Using SQLite, a downloaded database engine, we can parse through the database to see what’s in there. Interestingly, text message information is stored in different places. Time & date was stored in a “messages” table, but who the sender was stored in “chat”. This required a bit of finagling to join the tables to better parse through them. Ultimately, I wrote a query to request data, in order to collect information under certain parameters. For this visualization, I was more interested in how often messages were sent and by who, rather than the content.

This information was plotted in Gnuplot (a command line utility tool) to make an initial chart. Here we can see the aggregate data of text messages over an entire year displayed by hour of the day. We see when people text me most often, but also who texts me the most. As expected, my long distance boyfriend of over 4 years has the largest number of text messages. Where my mom and I barely text - though this makes sense because I live at home.

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This graph shows the number of text messages received by month, which illustrates communication over the whole year. Rupa, for example, I didn’t meet until this summer.

This graph shows the number of text messages received by month, which illustrates communication over the whole year. Rupa, for example, I didn’t meet until this summer.

VIZUALIZATION

For this visualization, it was important to me to illustrate the feelings that text messaging creates more than the actual numbers (though they are also fascinating). I wanted to map the number of text messages received to the brightness/alpha of an ellipse as a nod to the screen light of a phone turning on. Loneliness is sometimes equated with darkness, so the bright text message circles are meant to show how it brings lightness to a dark space. The distance lines shrink as the text message number increase, to show that tho physically far, my perceived distance of a person changes depending on how often they text me. Lastly, a happy accident of interpolation, those that text me most often caused the hour of time to change more slowly, but I liked that this was a metaphor of another perception one can feel when communicating with those they love.

REFLECTION

HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MY S.O. CRAIG! He is a computer scientist and without his knowledge, I would not have even been able to retrieve this data set.

This was difficult. I wanted to push myself beyond a simple chart and really think about how animation can show change over time. In the future, I would want to have clearer graphic design intentions. I am curious how best to label information? More or less? How much room should you leave for interpretation?






Cornell Box by Maya Pruitt

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Inspired by the play Artifacts of Consequence, a story about living in an underwater bunker in a post apocalyptic world. The characters must decide not only how to survive, but who and what best preserves humanity.

Original can without found objects.

Original can without found objects.

Sourcing material.

Sourcing material.

Finding the canned ham tin is what drove the inspiration. It is certainly a literal apocalyptic association, but its shape and sized also drove the types of materials I could put inside and also helped develop the composition. It creates a feeling of confinement and also emulates a boat. I chose to assemble items that reference directly the play, such as audio tapes, a converse shoe, Twinkies, Oklahoma sheet music, and the whale to symbolize Moby Dick. I used painted bubble wrap for the background (though it resembles brick vaguely) and mini plastic zipblock bags to highlight the idea of preservation. Other elements were found objects that made me think of remnants, decay, survival, or the passing of time.



Artifacts of Consequence: Fuch's Questions & Sentences by Maya Pruitt

THE PLANET OF ARTIFACTS OF CONSEQUENCE

SPACE

The space is an underwater submarine/bunker/shelter. Interior, dark, metal, cold colors. I see metal rivets and rust, electric control panels in places. A cavernous open space, like a deserted warehouse. A labyrinth of file cabinets in the distant. But Ari’s room: warm lights, blankets, cozy, soft in comparison to the rest of the shelter.

TIME

Time is linear on this planet. Occurring over a month or so. Scenes happen every few days. Time is slow in the beginning but speeds up over time. It is marked by Dallas’ returns home, by Ari’s growing love, by Minna’s growing anguish, and by the collection of artifacts. A near future present.

CLIMATE

Post apocalyptic. Water every outside the bunker. Floating shelters exist miles apart maybe. It’s generally cold, foggy, desolate. The world is at its end, the outside is barely livable.

MOOD

The mood on this planet is quiet and expecting. Hopeful at first, distracted. Glimmers of excitement at the sound of “two knocks” and the weeping of the opening airlock. Anxiety during evaluations.

SOCIAL WORLD

This is a public world, which we only peer into through a private space. There are many rules. Necessary rules. Figures have roles, they are arranged by their "duties”. There is a class system, the audience is the aristocracy, the decision makers. Other figures seek our approval. 3 main figures - exaggerated, but relatable. They are puppets that begin to take control of their own strings. They are gaunt, malnourished, pale, but clean. The figures interact with discussion, dance, fighting. They threaten each other with guns. To die by a gun, is still more threatening than to die by the world. We have the power on this planet, the audience, we decide what makes us survive, but we’ve chosen a select few to uphold the rules. How they do so is where we lose control. Language is clipped, staccato, thoughts separated by slashes. Everyone is always vocalizing decision making, sometimes they change their mind.

CHANGES

Because the location remains the same and it is inside, we cannot see how time changes conventionally. There is no day or night, no weather changes. Change is indicated by the figures. Who is there, and who is not. Relationships and how they progress (Ari & Theo). From routine (collecting, evaluating artifacts) to distress (the arrival of Theo) to routine (collecting, evaluating artifacts with the addition of Theo) to distress (the dwindling supply of resources, Minna’s decision to shut it down). By the end of the play, the world remains the same, but the figures within it have changed. Minna lets out all feeling in a cathartic release and leaves, Dallas is banished, Theo finds escape. The only one who remains is Ari, as she is the one that knows no different a world than the one she exists in. The grass is always greener on the other side, unless you don’t know what the other side is.

THE SELF

My opinion of the figures change. Minna is harsh, stern, controlled, frustratingly authoritative at times, but at the end I see someone who has tried her best and lost all sense of morality. I pity, I feel concern, and disappointment. I feel like we've failed her. Ari is delightful, funny in her naivety, but over time, I worry. So many people have invested in her survival, until she is abandoned again like she was from the start and I don’t know if she is ready to take care of herself. She is sheltered in every sense of the word. The planet calls for reflection, to examine who I am, those around me, and how we’ve chosen to shape humanity.

THEATRICAL MIRRORS

There are many mirrors to other worlds. These mirrors are the artifacts. Other plays, works of arts, objects, they exist as time capsules of our present meant to be a recent past in the world of the play. We need these mirrors to provide gravity to the situation.

PATTERNS

Every character has the same goal: survival. Dallas wants the arts of humanity to survive. This is preservation. What are people without what they make? Minna wants the people of the bunker to survive as protocol has dictated to her, but she has chosen those she feels are special. What are people without other people? Ari wants to find the world that exists in the movies and pop culture she consumes. What are people without love and stories? Theo wants to survive the current time. More narrowed focus, Theo just wants to make it to the next day. What are people without breathing?

One simple sentence:

Artifacts of Consequence is a story about decisions.

One complex sentence:

Artifacts of Consequence is about how we decide what best represents humanity.

Three to five sentences:

Artifacts of Consequence is a story about how in a post apocalyptic world, we must make crucial decisions for both self preservation and preservation of humanity. With survivors contained in an underwater bunker, only certain people have been chosen as decision-makers: a group of evaluators that assign value to humanity’s artifacts, Minna - a woman in charge of running the facility and organizing the artifacts, Dallas - the gatherer of outside objects and resources. The decision-makers guide Ari - a naive girl who knows no other world but the bunker, and Theo - an outsider determined to survive another day. When all hope is lost, the characters must decide where their trust truly lies - with their companions, with the rules of a created system, or with themselves.

Week 2: Speculative Concert Poster by Maya Pruitt

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These speculative posters were designed for the music artist Disclosure. The duo’s distinct scribble face logo has always been graphically appealing to me. I like the single contour line and how it creates a sense of anonymity and graffitti when overlaid atop other images. As creators of electronic music, I felt the aesthetic of the posters should be bold, clean, and minimalist. I chose statues (“The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin & The Statue of Liberty) that are infamous and carry their own connotations, but also exist in tour locations - which is bolded. I like the idea of a series of related posters that highlight the city the band is performing in.

Designing For Live Performance: Readings Response by Maya Pruitt

Empty Space by Peter Brook

The Deadly Theatre

The Immediate Theatre

“Visits to a Small Planet” by Elanor Fuchs.

I begun reading The Deadly Theatre and paused quickly in efforts to understand the use of the word “deadly” and its capitalization. Brooks writes, “The Deadly Theatre can at first sight be taken for granted, because it means bad theatre”. At first I thought this was a terrible definition. Bad is so subjective. So I looked up “deadly", which is defined as

Causing or able to cause death.

Filled with hatred or intense rivalry.

Extremely accurate, effective, or skillful (typically in the context of shooting or sports).

Complete; total.

Extremely boring (which is defined as the informal case)

Ironically, the most informal or colloquial definition of the word is the one that I think Brooks is using the most in his first lecture and the capitalization of it then grounds it in an interesting authority. The Deadly Theatre is the extremely boring theatre, the overdone, the disconnected, the play that has the “look” but not quite the “feel”.

What was most illuminating to me was how Brooks further broke down the Deadly Theatre, into its Deadly parts. This highlights that while “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre”, the more involved grandeur of theatre as we imagine it is the combination of the director, the designers, the architecture, the writer, the actors, and the audience. Any one of these components can turn Deadly, and therefore ruin the overall experience.

He mentioned a couple times the power of perception, where he asked audience members to read different works. One woman read an excerpt of King Lear, a man read a speech about Auschwitz from The Investigation, and another volunteer read from Henry V. In all cases, the most captivating performances were when the volunteers read most naturally, when given more context about the character, or told to read Shakespeare versus something about a more recent time in history, the volunteers tried too hard to be “actors” and the performance (those they may not have intended to give) faltered. I interpreted this as a type of perception, because once they tried to create from their internal ideals of theatre, the meaning of the words they recited changed significantly.

These points from Brook’s writing, I think parallel most with Elinor Fuchs “Visits to a Small Planet”. In this essay, Fuchs encourages readers of a play to ask questions and understand the world in which the play exists. One cannot just focus on the language or the characters alone, but instead should consider the space, time, mood, rules, changes, and ultimately the patterns of the play’s world. The both describe theatre in a reductionist way, breaking it down into its smaller parts.

The Immediate Theatre is then a culmination. It is the response to Deadly Theatre and the execution of a play that has been truly understood as a small planet. Brooks describes Immediate Theatre as a dynamic responsive theatre. It is made to be the product of its current time and provide an immediacy for the audience. This is where interaction may play a crucial role, as it could then bridge the gap future between the theatre creators and those that consume.

Designing Club Culture: Audio-Visual Sculptures by Maya Pruitt

I’d Like to Change the World by Ten Years After

This is a pretty literal visual, but I wanted to create a distortion to an image over time. The guitar parts without percussion and the airy sound of the vocalist inspired me to create something with a gooey movement.


Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing by Stevie Wonder

My visual interpretation of this song is very colorful to evoke an upbeat mood.

Link to p5.js sketch.


My Generation by The Who

For this last sculpture I struggled with executing what I imagined. The lyrics of the song struck me, as well as its call and response structure. I feel like it lends itself to an interactive piece. I wanted to play with the idea of stopping the song after the lead sings and it would only continue after the user responds (clicks button, maybe). I also think it would be interesting if the words (from user input) appeared during the response segments, these would represent what users consider their “generation”.

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Data Art: Week One - Visualizing Hemlock Tree Data by Maya Pruitt

For this assignment we were asked to visualize a dataset about a hemlock tree that lived from 1579 to 2000. The data includes ring width in millimeters for each year, as well as the growth index.

Visualization #1:

This takes the in class example and animates it to show the change over time. By changing the for loop into an if statement, the points can be drawn one at a time. It gives a nice effect of adding more information throughout the lifespan of the tree.

Visualization #2:

This version creates rings based on the value of the ring width. It is linear like the in-class example to create a familiar timeline visual. Left most side is 1579 and right is 2000. If the ring outline is larger that indicates larger ring width. This visualization is quite chaotic and hard to decipher.

Visualization #3:

This visualization is meant to replicate tree cross sections that show concentric circles of tree growth. It is a very literal interpretation, but It challenged me to truly represent the meaning of ring width. Each year the ring will form around the previous one. The ring width is the space between rings. Ultimately, the tree’s lifespan is the sum of all the ring widths.

Visualization #4:

I wanted to extract the other column of data for this one which is the growth index values. I wanted to represent how from year to year the grow index either increases or decreases. I think the algorithm I used for this is off, but it is meant to depict increase as green circles and decrease as red circles.

CataclysmVR by Maya Pruitt

Cataclysm VR seeks to recreate the most recent mass extinction in history - the destruction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago - so we may experience a cataclysmic asteroid impact that we could never have witnessed first hand.

How? This VR experience was designed in Unity. Users are encouraged to sit in a swivel chair to give them 360 degree movement. The mechanics work so that user will move forward in the direction of their gaze when they push a remote button.

Why? CataclysmVR was an exploration of the balance between explanation and self-discovery. When illustrating a time in history, should it be a cinematic experience or an interactive narrative? We were really curious about choose-your-own-adventure style dynamics and how users might be affected by different possible endings. We played with ideas of eliciting emotion, granting/restricting agency, as well as creating suspense and surprise.

The experience incorporates technical applications of NavMeshes, AI, animation, transitional scenes, and spatial sound in Unity.

Link to presentation deck.