Mystery Box is my latest installation which is intended to expose the frustration of the audience when placed in an interactive gallery and told not to approach or interact with a mystery box. Using non-physical barriers such as signs, tape and the stigma of touching other’s work, the audience is put in a mind space of questioning intention and their own actions.
Response to the work was overwhelmingly positive. Having experience various levels of frustration experienced by the audience from anger to nonchalance. The audience also varied in their interaction. I witnessed total refrain, extreme hesitance, determination and uninterrupted physical contact with the piece. One of the greatest pieces of positive feedback was the perception of how the art work only became effective because of the casual and interactive nature of the gallery it was show in. Had the piece been featured in a space where interaction was not encouraged, the responder stated that they would not find the work interesting at all.
My work’s intention was mostly achieved. Ideally, the piece would capture a wider audience and record the reactions of the participants. To achieve this, I am thinking of adding audio incentives within the Mystery box, either via Arduino and speaker or via bluetooth and using pen and paper, as well as a time-lapse camera to capture the reactions of the audience. This will hopefully create a longer lasting meaning to the piece in being able to qualitatively study audiences reactions within the gallery space.
Another issue with the piece is that some participants were not desired by the signage and proceeded directly to opening the box. Though I can not force audiences in to any specific state of mind, I can add factors which cause the piece to deserve more reverence. The two major changes aesthetically that I would like to shift is having the plinth be more decorated, either with a cover or lights, and to introduce a surface within the marked off area such as a rug to further alienate the space.
Overall these are minor changes and are easily achievable by the due date, I am stoked that I had this chance to test the piece seeing as it relies so heavily on the reaction it gains from others.