Remaking COLLOQUY – Progress Update #1

Colloquy as imagined and situated in staging space

Colloquy as imagined and situated in staging space

No, our replica of The Colloquy of Mobiles is not yet real—this is only a photoshopped image of how it will look in our staging space in May at College for Creative Studies in Detroit (CCS). But the photo speaks our intention and hints at our progress.

The CCS MFA Interaction Design (IxD)‘s Colloquy 2018 Project— to remake Gordon Pask‘s original installation at London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts in 1968—is well under way.

CCS students have been mining the historical materials on The Colloquy and building a repository of understanding to share with the world. Students in IxD Studio IV: Immersive Interactive Experiences have created a detailed script of how the mobiles interact, a necessary step before coding the Colloquy’s 1968 interactions. In IxD Studio II: IoT & Prototyping, students are constructing a 1/6-scale model of the original (see images below). With student work as foundation, our Master Fabricator TJ McLeish is specifying and building the full-scale replica. This massive effort involves 3D CAD models of all the components, tech specs of motors and lights and electronics, and management of the fabrication and assembly of the whole installation. Opening night will sync with the Student Exhibition on May 11, 2018.

Very exciting news and an measure of the significance of the project: we’ve been invited to move the installation to venues in downtown Detroit and to Ann Arbor, San Francisco, London, Liverpool, and Germany (where the prestigious and amazing ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art would host it). Moving The Colloquy would require substantially more donations. We have raised $27K of the $34K needed just to complete the full-scale replica at CCS. We want to do so much more: share the full documentation as open-source; prepare for shipping and installing in other locations; and bring the conversation about conversational machines in our society to high schools and colleges.

Please get in touch if you want to be on our contact list, have questions, want to spread the word, or have ideas for funding: colloquy2018@gmail.com.

Click here to donate.

See next update here.