In collaboration with designer Zach Kaiser, we tell this story of a not-too-distant future in which a university scheduling assistant, LAURETTA, works to make some welcome changes in an academic unit. Originally developed for the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies for a panel series on AI and the Future of Higher Education, we hope this work of speculative fiction inspires others to imagine how utopian values could be embedded in mundane administrative software.
A series of autobiographical comics I drew about experiences with collective housing between 2006-2008.
The Monkey Mirror
Displayed at YouTopia 2009 and Burning Man 2009, 2010.
The Monkey Mirror, or Chippy as we lovingly refer to him, is an interactive art piece that changes in response to the emotions expressed by the viewer. At first glance, all you see is a cartoon monkey who appears to be sleeping. But if you stop to look at him, the monkey wakes up and stares blankly at you. If you smile, Chippy smiles. If you frown, Chippy frowns.
The piece is designed to foster awareness about our own emotions and how they change the very world we perceive. The Monkey Mirror draws attention to how emotion changes our perception of art by literally changing what the viewer sees. This reflects the idea that outlook changes the world. The project could serve as the basis for a new adage: You can’t expect the monkey to smile at you if you don’t smile at the monkey.
- Paul Ruvalo – programmer, conceptual artist
- Matt Tong – programmer, electrical engineering
- Cynthia Taylor – electrical engineering
- Marisa Brandt – artistic designer, painting, front-view assembly