With all of our group members now finished presenting their seminar presentations for ENGL 794, we can now shift our attention directly to our final Kunstkabinett project.

Having received feedback regarding our initial video and future plans, we have made some changes that will allow us to not only complete our project in the alluded time but also allows to exemplify particular course concepts more fully.

Our first change to our project comes with the name of it.  While “The Odyssey” was fitting with our “Nobody” character inside the cabinet, it really has no relation to our project beyond that.  We are currently trying to come up with a new title which better suits our project (“Nobody’s Home” or something witty like this perhaps).  We have decided to keep our avatar/being/cyborg character inside the cabinet named Nobody as we quite enjoy the effect that it brings to our project.

Secondly, we regret that we have decided to disable the eye movement feature we had initially intended to have in our project.  As we were thinking with a “sky is the limit” attitude for our video project, we realized that implementing this feature in the actual cabinet would be much more technically challenging.  As a result, users will now only have the ability to “control” Nobody’s head movements and speech functions.

The actual program for our project has been finalized as well.  Users will be greeted with a classic arcade style splash screen that will ask them to “press start” much like an arcade video game would.  Upon doing so, the splash screen will fade and users will be face-to-face with Nobody.  With essentially no interface and little instruction as to what user’s limitations are when interacting with the cabinet, they will be left to explore the cabinet and its workings.  The goal is for users to key in a proper sequence of words that will allow Nobody to utter a phrase.  Essentially, a button on the control panel of the cabinet is assigned a word which starts the phrase.  Users will then use trial and error to detect where the next word in the phrase is.  Along the way, they may encounter various obstacles, complications or frustrations.  These will make the goal of having Nobody speak more difficult.  Once the user successfully keys in all of the words of the phrase (in order), Nobody will speak the phrase uninterrupted to the user.  The buttons will randomize again and another phrase will be given for the user to uncover.  We have approximately 16 phrases at this stage, which we expect will be more than enough for the purposes of this project.  The phrases we have decided to include stem from various realms including literature, religion, and even iconic figures.  While these phrases comes from different areas, they all have a relation to our projects central theoretical foundations.  More on that later.

We will be using the same visual technique as our video for users to interact with.  I will assume the character of Nobody and the filming process will begin shortly.  One can expect much the same as our video in terms of cinematography.  We may decide to alter it slightly for our final iteration, but that remains to be determined.

Finally, with regards to the theory that our project embodies/challenges, we have narrowed our focus to the major concepts of language, prostheses, and faciality.  These are the central aspects that our project utilizes as its foundation, however, their are many other theoretical connections that can be drawn from these central concepts.  Keeping the notions of language, prostheses, and faciality in mind when engaging with our project will be essential to our users.  These concepts can be found in some of our previous blog postings, but will be elucidated with specific regards to our project in the presentation of our cabinet.  We will also outline other connections to course concepts that our project touches on later once we have a complete picture of all the concepts we have worked with in ENGL 794.

Stay tuned for upcoming progress pictures, late breaking developments, and other important information pertaining to our project!

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