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Conflux


1. a creative collective
2. an interdisciplinary ecosystem
3. an art tech movement

Conflux


1. a creative collective
2. an interdisciplinary ecosystem
3. an art tech movement







cross-functional. interdisciplinary. multimodal.
interested in joining or proposing a project? email info@confluxcollective.org


Ongoing

Have an idea? Propose a project at tinyurl.com/confluxprojects

Fall 2023


a musical interface controlled by the user's brain signals, showcasing a conversation between human and machine

thinking outside the white cube and inside black boxes, we transform the museum into a participatory environment, drawing a metaphor between the concept of interpretability in artistic and technical fields

AI Mag
in collaboration with The Harvard Advocate
the first fully AI-generated literary magazine allowing students across campus to create work using generative methods [2023 project, temporarily paused]


Yearlong

powered by agrovoltaics, a hybrid garden examining the ecological cost of AI-generated images, presenting a future where land use, community, and phygital ecosystems can exist in a beautiful symbiosis

AXIS--ABILITYin collaboration with the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the Harvard Kennedy School
what it will mean to be human in a future that offers us radically new ways of moving within it? This anthology  grapples with the ill-construed binary of accessibility and augmentation in technological development when it comes to imagining – and creating — a "Future Human"



Archive


2022-2023
  • Notes on Love (Spring): generative AI, data visualization, UI/UX
  • Musical Chairs (Fall, Spring): music tech, augmented furniture, ML, installation
  • Wormholes (Fall, Spring): software, installation
  • Inner Piece (Winter): hardware, biosensors, installation
  • Passage to Possibility (Winter): AR, paintin
  • Growing Your Tree (Winter): projection mapping, interactive design, depth sensor
  • Recognition (Winter): VR, software
  • Edge of an Atlas (Winter): poetry, projection mapping
  • Gestural Generations (Fall, Winter): generative music and art, depth sensor
  • Nervous Network (Fall): hardware, biosensors, wearable tech








Notes on Love


May 1st, 2023

Advocate Building

On May 1st at 7pm, we hosted the event "Notes on Love," at the Advocate  an evening of art-tech projects and genuine conversations centered around the theme of life, love, and connection between people.

The event featured beautiful art-tech projects and visualizations, food and drinks, community-contributed love letters, and conversations all around the theme of life and love. 

See one visualization by Alicia Guo (MIT) here.


Team

Max Allison ‘25, Aida Baradari ‘25, Alicia Guo (MIT Media Lab), Audrey Chang ‘25, Diana Yue ‘24. 






Musical Chairs


April 27-30, 2023

Harvard Yard during ARTS FIRST Festival

November 9, 2023

MIT Museum during sold-out After Dark event

Photos by Ben J. Tang

When we speak, our voices create vibrations that resonate through the minds of listeners and the medium of objects in the room. By storing these vibrational patterns, ordinary objects may thus “remember” an object(ive) history as a complement to listeners’ subjective memories. Musical Chairs reflects on these themes of identity, subjective memory, and oral history, and questions the function of discourse at Harvard and beyond. Through the sonification of social and acoustical phenomena, we connect the improvisational quality of conversation to improvisational music, illuminating the implicit, visceral nature of identity preserved and expressed in spontaneous social exchanges. Then, by using bone conduction speakers to emulate the process of perspective-taking, we illuminate how the creativity, meaning, and productivity of discourse is contingent upon not only asking “who is at the table?” but also actively listening for the answer. More than that, by inverting the competitiveness and exclusivity of its namesake childhood game, we hope that our riff on Musical Chairs fosters a more inclusive and collaborative campus environment for discourse. At once serving as a gathering space, artwork, and sonic archive, Musical Chairs is a setting created from acts of placemaking, highlighting the diverse narrative truths present in every collective of people.

Team

Project Lead & Concept
Peggy Yin ‘25

Carpentry & Fabrication
Tamar Sella ‘25, Chair Design & Build Lead
Chad Gregory Dennis ‘26 (GSD), Fabrication Integration Lead
Sofia Chen ‘26, Design/Build
Wei Chen ‘25 (GSD), Build
Cameron Hosein ‘25, Build

Technology
Jason Wang ‘25, Software Lead
Yiting Huang ‘24, Audio & Technical Integration Lead
Suvin Sundararajan ‘25, Hardware Lead

Music
Ben J. Tang ‘23 (MIT), Sound Design & Audio Engineering Lead
Gabrielle Grant ‘24, harp
Sophie Choate ‘23, soprano
Sophia Lerebours ‘26, soprano
Peggy Yin ‘25, soprano
Ari Cheriyan ‘25, alto
Max Allison ‘25, tenor
Judah Lampkin ‘23, bass
Luis Pabon Rico, (GSAS G1), bass

Contributors
Max Allison, ‘25, Music
Mauricio Cohen Kalb ‘26, (GSD)
Judah Lampkin ‘23, Music
Caine Ardayfio ‘25, Build
Nathan Li ‘25, Build
Adam Mohamed ‘25, Build

Support provided by:
Public Art Program of the Office for the Arts at Harvard, the SEAS Teaching and Learning Group, the AFVS shop team, the REEF makerspace at SEAS, the Sound Lab (Harvard Department of Music), Harvard University Information Technology, Education Support Services (ESS), the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, the Computing in Engineering Education (CEE) group.
Learn more: pyin@college.harvard.edu







Wormholes


April 14-16, 2023

SOCH & SEC Undergraduate Lounge
in collaboration with hAR/VRd


Wormholes is a collection of interactive, audio-visual installations distributed across campus that examine themes of transience, connection, and serendipity. More specifically, these installations will be sensor-projector modules that open up wormholes — bi-directional camera feeds — between people in different places. Located in public areas like hallways and lobbies, these portals activate in pairs — when two people are sensed by installations in different locations, the projector displays a wormhole on the wall, through which both sides can see and interact with each other. And just like that, people and places once separated by distance now become connected across spacetime. The opening of these wormholes open a new dimension of possibilities for people to interact with each other — they could spontaneously run into acquaintances on the other side of campus, make friends with strangers from completely different departments, jointly share confusion, ponder over, or marvel at the absurdity of these space-defiant connections. Together as a community, we can explore the implications of this space-defiant network, critically examining traditional frameworks and the invisible constraints and compartmentalization of our relationships. Ultimately, Wormholes aims to construct an entirely new framework for communication and interaction beyond spacial boundaries, forming a network of spontaneous connections across campus.

Team

Project Lead & Concept
Alice Cai ‘25 & Aida Baradari ‘25

Contributors
Aryan Naveen ‘25
Lindsay Blocker ‘25
Langa Sizibda ‘25
Jackson Moody ‘26
Michael Hu ‘25
Aria Xiying Bao (GSD)
Anhphu Nguyen ‘25
Adam Mohammed ‘25

Support provided by:
SEAS Teaching and Learning Group and the Office for the Arts at Harvard







Inner Piece



January 2023

SEC Undergraduate Lounge



Inner Piece takes place in a closed room, isolated from exterior light and sound. Inside, reflective surfaces line the walls—transforming the enclosed space into a disorienting, expansive one. A cloud of reflective shards are suspended in the center of the room, gently responsive to the movement of participants through the room. Ambient light fills the room from above, pulsating to a participant’s heartbeat, captured via a finger heart rate monitor. An atmospheric audio of ambient noise, featuring internal bodily sounds like that of blood flow, plays in the background.  This exhibit seeks to explore the dimensions of the self by blurring the line between the internal and external. By being in an environment both subtly and directly reflective of one’s body, the participant can engage with the unfamiliar experience of perceiving themselves—it is in this liminal threshold between self and projected self that one might feel suspended, just like the shards central to the exhibit.

Much like how cupping hands around ears allows one to hear the rushing of their blood, Inner Piece invites a participant to direct their attention inwards.  Feel free to take a seat in the middle of the room, shut your eyes, or flit around the space and watch it react to your movement.

Team

Liya Ji ‘23 
Julian Li ‘25
Sera McDonald ‘24

This project was part of Conflux Residency 2023: Liminal Interfaces







#showerthoughts



January 2023

Liminal Interfaces
SEC Undergraduate Lounge



Random thoughts that pop up in our minds, especially in liminal spaces, are some of the most fascinating expressions of human creativity and randomness. These miscellaneous thoughts are typically referred to as “shower thoughts”—as you can imagine, a shower itself is a liminal space. This data visualization project is meant to celebrate this concept.

Team

Karen Li ‘24
Ricky Williams ‘23

This project was part of Conflux Residency 2023: Liminal Interfaces







Passage to Possibility


January 2023

Liminal Interfaces
SEC Undergraduate Lounge

Kaitlyn Zhou '25 demos her project. (Photo by Pranav Ganta '25)


The concept of liminal space, as defined by licensed social worker Melissa Cohen, refers to a state of transition or transformation. As Ms. Cohen eloquently stated, "Uncertainty can be very uncomfortable, lonely, overwhelming, paralyzing, emotionally demanding and mentally exhausting. But, it can also be transformative and valuable, providing creativity, strength and the opportunity to move forward, evolve, grow and develop a mindset that anything is possible." 

Passage to Possibility
serves as a visual representation of this liminal space, depicting it as a dark and mysterious realm. It is our hope that the viewer will be made to feel uneasy or uncomfortable upon beholding this piece, which will feature a tunnel and elements of a post-apocalyptic landscape, rendered in cool and somber tones.  Furthermore, we use Augmented Reality technology in order to showcase the other side of liminal space, one that is characterized by positivity and light. This will be achieved through the emphasis of a 3D tunnel and the inclusion of a more clear image that appears at its end.

Team

Kaitlyn Zhou ‘25
Alina Yu ‘25

This project was part of Conflux Residency 2023: Liminal Interfaces







Growing Your Tree


January 2023

Liminal Interfaces
SEC Undergraduate Lounge



It is an effort to bring our perspective more closely to that of a tree as a representation of the natural world. This is done via an immersive built environment which simulates the experience of trees. In this space, the viewer is virtually scanned and their silhouette is projected onto the environment. This silhouette transforms and develops to be something hybridized between person and tree. The user is invited to interact with the surroundings and think about the interactions and relationships we form with the natural world.

Team

Kidist Alemu ‘23 
Priscilla Cheav ‘25 
Holden Edmonds ‘23

This project was part of Conflux Residency 2023: Liminal Interfaces







Recognition


January 2023

Liminal Interfaces
SEC Undergraduate Lounge



As people, we are defined by our identity. But we often fail to acknowledge this. The boxes we check off on surveys and applications constrain us to certain expectations and impose certain assumptions on our behalf. What occurs when we do not abide by the constraints of a singular box, and, instead, fit into many categories? What if these distinguishing features conflict with one another? How can we define our own identity when our diversity runs through a spectrum?   Very easily, confusion with our own sense of identity, becomes a place of uncertainty and liminality. A place where ‘weird and scary’ is our reality.

In his graphic novel, No Longer Human, Japanese manga artist Junji Ito illustrates how failure to claim ownership over one’s own identity, leads to the lack of self-identity. His book is a gory piece, and is an illustrated version of Osamu Dazai’s original work, with the same title. Ito’s horror-entwined visual interpretation of a loss of humanity portrays the idea of liminality in the context of identity. Through VR, you are immersed in the ‘weird and scary’ optics of identity as a liminal interface.

Team

Kassandra Rodriguez-Acosta ‘26
AnhPhu Nguyen ‘25
Alina Yu ‘25

This project was part of Conflux Residency 2023: Liminal Interfaces







Edge of an Atlas


January 2023

Liminal Interfaces
SEC Undergraduate Lounge


This poem was written to display in the rafters of the exhibit, thus bringing to light how the passageway is a liminal space which would otherwise go unnoticed. The lines draw from images in the residents' projects to describe how liminal spaces are associated with transition, memory, and the in-between flux of familiar and unfamiliar—which creates a strange sense of recognition and return.

Team

Taylor Fang ‘25 (poetry)
Peggy Yin ‘25 (projection mapping)
© Conflux 2023 | info@confluxcollective.org