The scenario of Flowerman is that a robot wants to become a flower. It wanders and searches for beautiful flowers in the scene. It creates a virtual flower by mimicking the real flowers. Participants can summon and play with Flowerman by holding a beautiful flower basket. When Flowerman is seduced by a participant, it will move toward him/her and try to catch the videograph of beautiful flowers in the basket.
Flowerman has a LCD screen as face, four web cameras as eyes, and four wheels which enable it to move in the scene. Its body is decorated with white acrylic strips in a form of dress. When Flowerman moves, its eyes will search and capture the video of flowers as element of virtual flower. Flowerman composes the video into a volatile virtual flower showing in its face. Participant also can change the amount of petals of virtual flower by making a big noise such as clapping or shouting.
In the interactive process with Flowerman , participant will get a new experience of vision and cognition. Participants will hold a power to control the new life form, but, the power can not really control the final result of flower’s semblance. The virtual flower is a constantly changing form and no one can really control it.
Flowerman create a perception exceeding the cognition with which we are familiar. The new existence status of being is in a vague appearance between reality and simulation. It shows the empathy conceiving of understanding feelings, desire, thoughts and activity of others. In the process, the response behavior of robot makes us believe that it understands our wishes; however, it is only our yearning of controlling.
- Yu-Chuan Tseng is Associate Professor, Department of Public Relations and Advertising, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan tyuchuan.com/page/e_page01.htm
- Chia-Hsiang Lee (Jason Lee) is a technology art engineer. Jason is also an Associate Professor at Fu Jen Catholic University, Creative Design Center, Taiwan. 404festival.com/speaker/chia-hsiang-lee-jason-lee/?lang=en