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Best and Worse at Activate!!1 April 9, 2009

Posted by Daniel Orellana in Exercise 4: Documenting Activate!.

The project that stuck out for me was the Magic Grow dirt pit in the entrance area. To be fair I might just be more interested in the mechanics of it, but I liked the surprise of different fruits and vegetables popping out when planting seeds. The feedback was very satisfying. The different kinds of fruits and vegetables made me try it myself, rather than passively watch. Even if I understood the concept before trying, seeing a giant watermelon emerge was still hilarious. Perhaps they could have taken that idea further, who knows what bizarre things could pop out? That may have helped them give their project a message of sorts, but I digress. The visceral appeal of getting my hands dirty was hampered by the way they executed instructions. They had students hand out seeds and demonstrate who to bury it. Personally I think they missed out on a more intuitive sequence. Give me a seed and a giant dirt table, and I already know what to do. When planting the seed the fruit may have come up a little early, but it’s forgivable because I was really impressed that they managed it at all.

The worse was the “Your 15 Minutes”, or the “Pollock, Van Gogh, Picasso, YOU” project. It was a fun contraption, but there was no experience to reflect on. The paper on the floor already had paint on it, giving away the result. When I participated, I was expecting some surprise, it went exactly as I’d imagined it. In light of the class’s content, the project was like a joke with no punchline. They tried to extend the experience by handing out a small card with a URL where they’ll upload photos for us to see, but I had no interest in going to see them because I knew how they’d turn out. Unfortunately the drab weather didn’t help there cause.

The funny thing is that Dario’s evocative feedback project was related but immensely more memorable. And made by one man!



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