A Machine for Living In

This projects uses newly available computational and sensing tools to study the home as a site of intimate life. The title invokes Le Corbusier’s modernist framing of the house as a machine to interpret the promise of contemporary smart home technologies. The project has two distinct phases: the construction and inhabitation of a functional smart home system, followed by an exhibition of processed data as a multi-part digital art installation. In a process of joint human-machine authorship, this system produces a complex portrait of the home: as a space of language, intimacy, bodily practice, and quotidian narrative. Compositionally, it contrasts utopian illusions of beautiful, frictionless utility with artistic strategies generating insight into the messy, material realities of the everyday.

My written dissertation on the project, “Machines for Living,” is online here.

One Day (excerpt from machine analyzed audio and video recorded in the house)

Sensor Narrative (video excerpt)

Installation View
What is it about today’s homes? (model smart home)
Thermal Blanket
Motion Trails
Thursday Evening, Family Dinner
Installation View
Installation (left: 3d scan, right: one day, bottom: floor plan)
House Scans (5 min single channel video)
Floor Plan
Installation View (right side)
Sensor Narrative and Sensing Sites 

This project was exhibited in the Foster Art Gallery at Westminster College in 2017.

Sensing and Analysis
Sensing Points

Audionode with MEMS microphone and VAD software
Spectograph of human speech
Voice Activity Detection

Installed Sensor
Sensor Logs