Week 14: Artist Interview: Danqing Shen

I was amazed when I walked into the Dutzi gallery.  The left and front walls were lined with plasma TVs and Ipads showing different designs.  The back wall had the name of the gallery: “Feelings You Can See,” and a contraption that filled up a transparent box with colorful sugar.  The wall on the right had color-coordinated circles in different sizes for the last 100 days.

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Shen used a processing program on the computer that computed different designs.  Each design is related to a certain mood.  The orange ones mean happiness, the red ones mean love, the blue ones mean sad, and the black ones mean fear.  Also, each design has four subunits.  This means that if happiness was at a one on one day and at a four a different day, they would have more or less layers.  Also on some of the days, Shen added a short description of what happened on that day.  For example, “Big V-Day Surprise” showed the red design.  The red design for love just happened to have the heart shape in it, which was a neat coincidence.  The love design also jump started Shen’s idea of this whole project.  The bottom right picture shows a 3D effect of the moods that were made by 3D printing.  The two on the left are positive feelings and the two on the right are more negative feelings and that is why they are more narrow and straight.

20150430_150717 This is the Happy Machine!  I liked this the best out of everything I have seen as every time the hashtag #happy gets added to a picture on Instagram or texted via Twitter, 0.2oz of dyed sugar gets dumped into this box.  #happy can also be from anywhere in the whole world and this machine picks it up.  I was surprised how often sugar was dumped into this box!  Each color represents a different day and it looked like Wednesday was the happiest day so far out of the week and the yellow on the bottom is Sunday, however it only went for 2 hours that day.  Every other day was 5 hours of measuring.  That’s a LOT of happiness in the world!

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This was a measure of Shen’s feelings over the last 100 days.  It measured tension, depression, anger, fear, fatigue, and confusion.  I noticed that fear and fatigue were more prominent in April and she said it was because she had to come to school a lot more to this project.

If you have time go visit this at the Dutzi gallery, it is pretty amazing!


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