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Inertia at Work

Inertia At Work is an immersive hologram installation inviting viewers to explore the art of laziness. My MFA Design Technology thesis is focused on understanding Cult system-ology. I analyzed Cults and its leaders to understand what makes them charismatic and draw human emotions.
Timeline:

Aug 22 - May 23

The Team:

Simran

Responsibilities

Physical installation - Hologram technology (XR)

Character Creation - Explore Laze Lab

Tools used:

Unreal Engine

Meta Human

iClone Character

Cinema 4D

Background

Laze Lab is an attempt to counter logic productivity culture enforced using success ideologies as a means of epistemic control.

Laze Lab conceptualizes a methodology of using various approaches to cultivate a gentle flow of life with Guru Roshni as its guide. It counters the logic of productivity culture by embodying laziness in a speculative design setting.

This stems from my research into modern-day cults and their leaders. I use methods of introspection into what modern-day cults could be like, or how I can use their power to attract people for a cause I believe in.

"The autonomy over resting whenever and whichever way we want."

Instead of putting this in a headset, which can be rather uncomfortable for many people, I wanted to take a different Immersive route. I wanted to emulate the sense of comfort in sitting and viewing the hologram, not only does it achieve the correct viewing angle it also encourages finding comforting environments.

Creating immersion using Holograms

Projected Video

Digital Exploration

My process delved into the physical and digital aspects of the experience. 

CHALLENGES

Avatar Exploration

The first thing a movement needs is a voice, and this Voice of mine is named Roshni. An avatar that acts like a guru for this movement.
The gender and visual identity of the guru(avatar) is a very important part of how people listen or receive what they’re hearing. I was hoping to recreate a part of me, the lazy, playful, very desi side of me.

Avatar Creation

I tried as many Character Creator software as were available, but nothing felt right. I didn’t want to use cartoonised avatars as they can't be taken seriously in this context. I tried mapping my face and body but couldn't add hair because of system limitations.

Then I tried Metahuman which comes with a set number of presets you can mix and merge in certain fractions to create your avatars. Creating an avatar that resembled me or at least closely resonated with me looked like a great prospect. So after putting weeks into Metahuman, I got my first avatar, it had my hair, my facial features, and my sweatshirt.

Avatar Refinements

The feedback I got on the metahuman was pretty mixed, it didn't look fine, it was in the uncanny valley. 

I felt like that was an opportunity but integrating this anywhere proved much more difficult and here I learned the importance of not getting attached. 

Introducing Roshni: Made with the help of iClone. I modelled her with hair and a smile like mine and gave her baggy comfy clothes with a touch of traditional attire.

Physical exploration

The physical prototypes explored the hologram technology. I prototyped the hologram over 5 weeks scaling it up every time. I tested how different ways could be used to project onto the holographic display to create a real 3D look. I tried projection mapping, prisms of different angles and then settled on using a huge display screen essentially scaling up my smaller prototypes. 

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