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What's in a Life?

This project loosely revolves around life and purpose, tackling the question of why we continue to choose life by looking at (or more precisely, listening to) the positive and negative experiences of others, and their answers to this big question. In the form of an installation piece, guests will have the opportunity to listen to multiple stories from strangers. These stories will be constantly playing on a loop and photographs of 'life' will gradually fall to the floor.

My main goal with this project is to allow users to reflect on their own positive and negative experiences and think about why we do it. I haven't come to an answer myself, so I certainly don't expect that from others! I simply want people to listen, feel, and see what resonates with them.

This project uses an Arduino UNO, accompanied by 2 Range Finders, a standard small speaker, a DFPlayer Mini, and a continuous-rotation Servo with 2 wheels attached. When guests stand within five feet of the piece for at least 5 seconds, the Range Finders will activate the Servo, causing the wheels to roll photographs out of the main tray and onto the floor. After falling, the photographs will stay on the ground throughout the entire gallery showing, with multiple backups stored inside the tray, and will be manually reset by me at the end of each day's showing.

Video of the Project:

There are some little fixes I intend to make, and the actual gallery setup will be more polished


In my past works, the focus on myself and my thoughts was very prominent, so I really wanted to take this opportunity to showcase the experiences and stories of others. I chose themes of purpose, existentialism, mental health, and a lack of control because these are things I struggle with and find myself thinking about, whether or not I like it. Art is a useful & beautiful outlet for processing stress and gives us the space to do so. The stories of others have always fascinated me and I find it important to hear about the different ways that we all go through and experience life. 


My decision to have the audio constantly playing was influenced by life's tendency to move on without us, and my fear that goes along with this. However, the involvement of photographs was inspired by a counter to this anxiety around losing control; as rushed & unfair as life tends to be, we do get occassional moments to take in our surroundings, represented here with literal moments in time, photographs. I want the photographs to enhance what's being said in the stories and inspire viewers' imaginations.


This project will also be able to live online, post-gallery showing, by adding the audio files & pictures onto this website! Updates on that to come... 

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