Taezoo Park, Leo Kang, and Steven Jackson: Scale

Scale exhibition

Scale is an interactive art installation created from the detritus of broken and discarded technologies. These things live all around us — the toaster that toasts on one side, the abandoned reel-to-reel player left over when humans move on to new and different devices. Bereft of context and function and left to rust and decay in attics, basements, and landfills, they provide the forgotten technological backdrop to our lives.

But they also remain alive, filled with mysteries and secret languages, neglected talents and strange beauties. How are we to relate to this secret society of things? What values and qualities can we find in them (and in ourselves)? Can we come to know and engage the universe of objects differently? And what might that teach us about fear and wonder, imagination and care, and love and struggle, in the mixed world of humans and objects? This installation helps us to think about such questions. By stepping on the scale in front of the installation, the audience can interact with diverse discarded objects in different ways.

Scale hacks, repairs, and reassembles a series of broken and discarded technologies to produce new interactive combinations that call out the forms of value, obduracy, and creative possibility to be found in the object worlds around us. It also invites reflection on contemporary experiences of technology use and obsolescence more generally.

The installation is a collaboration of New York City-based artist Taezoo Park with Information Science Ph.D. student Leo Kang, and Steven Jackson, associate professor in Information Science. This tech/art/theory project has been exhibited and has won awards at venues including the 2013 World Maker Faire in New York and the 2014 Computer-Human Interaction conference in Toronto.

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