My thesis work was concerned with interactivity, relational aesthetics, and the formalizing power of furniture objects. The work was exhibited as the culmination of my MFA study at the California College of the Arts in 2001.
The body of work completed for my thesis exhibition included four coffee tables and a bookshelf containing a custom made board game which served as the written document.
Trix Table started an exploration into interactivity layered on top of the coffee table form. The piece consists of 100 plastic balls, like those found at your local McDonald's playground, placed upon a table featuring a ten by ten grid of holes. The user is encouraged to rearrange the balls to create both color topographical compositions.
Hebert's Uncertain-Tea Principle is an exploration of my confrontational interaction. Rather than the goal-blind nature of the Trix Table, this piece attempts to create a physical metaphor for an argument. The users can use the coaster/paddle/pucks to play a game of air hockey. The goals are slots in the table that allow a well placed shot to send a puck into the shins of your rival. When not in use the amount of turbulent air flow on the surface of the table is enough to keep the coasters in a state of brownian motion.
Trace Table came from an interest in the collection of dents and scratches on a furniture object and their relationship to authenticity and from the conflicting interest or pressure to preserve order in one's space. Thus, the table's surface is purposely designed to accelerate the accumulation of marks. The table is a bamboo box which contains sandblasting medium. Small islands are provided as a refuge from the sand. While small rakes allow for the grooming of the table as in a rock garden.
As if by Unseen Hands creates a metaphor for communication through the physical activities of four users around the table. Each user has a cylinder that, when depressed, lowers the side of the table opposite them. Through careful negotiation four users can navigate a marble through the interconnected maze paths cut into the table surface.
Thesis served as the written document for my thesis requirement. Feeling pressure to create a document that captured the experience of interacting with the tables and other people, I chose to create a board game. The goal of the game is to collect the complete set of tables from the thesis body of work. This is accomplished through the playing of physical games that relate to the content of each piece.