Modern Therapy (2018)
“Modern Therapy” is a participatory artwork discussing about the social problem of overusing phone and providing new ways for liberty. As technology already become our body extension, we are disconnected with the physical world and lose face to face communications. We all have those kind of experience that you become a weirdo if not looking into your phone when other people around you do, and there is also a increasing force push you look down to check your phone even though nothing happens. People gathering just for playing their phones and our communication become more and more inefficient when there are phones in between. This problem has been discussed for a long time but we don’t really have a way to solve it. After doing several different experiments, I rearranged my studio space into a clinic, where I’m providing two therapies to help people use new tools to find real interactions with the world.
The first therapy:
There are three stages for each service, gradually switching from digital to analog and to apply to daily life. The first stage is still using your phone but can only watch the go pro view, which asks you to practice a new way of using phone and navigation. The second stage is to train you keep looking down so that you can enter the final stage, which goes back to your most familiar position but with a new “phone”.
The second therapy:
Having a similar logic as the first one, the first stage will ask two people to FaceTime each other when they are together and that is the only way for them to talk and to use phone, the second stage will train them look down at the same time help them treasure the time they are with each other. I designed it like prison visit and people have to schedule a time to meet each other, and the clinic will be their only place to meet. The final stage is for them to go back to normal position but use their new phone together in daily life. The periscopes will build a direct connection and an intimate channel for them.
Every elements I chose are contradictory to the technologies we are using now. Phones are high tech, while cardboard-made devices are low tech; current instructions are usually modern and digital, while handwriting posters are traditional and analog; the companies producing technologies or tools are commercial, governmental and powerful, while my clinic is underground, nongovernmental and not for profit. I want to use an opposite way to reflect how ridiculous people are by holding and looking into those little triangle thing all the time. The devices I designed also providing a magic tunnel in space for people who already forget how to look up and how to communicate with others.