For the smart city project David Gabrielle, Sangli and me specialized in the communication aspects of city. We had to imagine what would new forms of communication be, how they would affect us, and more to the point of our piece how would it affect the city.

At first we investigated the various sensor that could be implemented inside the smart city
to get a better understanding of how data would be collected and quantified. This gave us a better direction in visualizing the perspective of both the Human and the city.
After this exploratory process we embarked on a scouting trip to the city for various days to find the right mix of ambiance and presence in the city to set our narrative.

We then made a casting for an actor to play the part of the Human, and began the exploration of the city's perspective. This was the most intense but interesting part of the creation, choosing the sensitiveness and perception of the city and making a prediction to unavoidable intrigue that begets a curiosity, thanks to the gargantuan amount of sensors and data and most importantly time, that can be perceived as Love.

So out of this we began to think about what all this meta data would mean, first to our perception and understanding. We pondered with the example of what happens when a loved one passes away and leaves behind all of this data that makes a phantom memory of what used to be. How could that be perceived by a computer and more to the point a smart city.

With this in mind we began the creative task of plotting the shoot across 5th street and Spring to 8th street stoping at the Disney concert hall for the final takes.

In the visual narrative we see how a mundane task like going about your dally routine can become an obsessive intrigue to a smart city with a targeted curiosity. And what are the implication when this routine then becomes just a memory a trace of what once was.

Traces from maria pagan on Vimeo.


We selected Downtown LA as our location.



shot list
In person meetings
internet meetings/// utilizing google chats and google drive
A Wearable Device (between many possibilities) that can simplified my life, protect me, that I can easily take anywhere, that is simple to use and also something that helps me connect with others. For this project I started reflecting about my personal data, who I choose to share it with, where do I leave it, and what happens with that data when I go? I started thinking about the necklace, but specifically Lockets. What called my attention about this specific piece is its qualities of private and public. In the outside a locket is a design that you want to share with anyone who can appreciated it, but the inside is something that you don't open to anyone. Almost like a feeling.
To play around this concept I wonder: what person is usually selected by people to carried this type of data? Besides family and friends........, I though about doctors and jobs. What happens with my information when I go? And, Why I can't control it when I leave?
With the creation of this Locket I'm exploring transactions and contextual Adaptability. As I mentioned before I really liked the idea of having something between private and public.
In he private side of this project I have a place disconnected from the internet where I can share my data with a specific person and it can only be opened with my necklace in combination with the selected person necklace. This means that the physical combination of both devices is the key to enter into this environment.
In the public side I explore interactions and transactions. I started thinking about the connectivity and how devices can interact with each other, specifically to transfer public data. What if they can recognize a behavior before sharing the information?.
I divided the interactions between physical, not so physical and not physical. Hugs and kisses for example means that you have certain privacy with the person. The device will recognize to share you personal contact information A not so physical interaction could be a hand shake. When that happens it knows that is something related to business so it has to share your portfolio or resume. Or maybe your medical information .. instead of writing it over and over again. Something that can also be useful to minimize the risk of human error. The not physical is when the device is connected to other to unlock the private environment.
After that ,the next step was: What if this device could have an interaction with other devices or him self. For this I designed and play with different shapes. Where I though about things like connection. Opening, sliding, fitting, and collecting between others. For the final I though about the meaning of the shape, the navigation and the connections.


Guidelines for Wearability:
- Placement
- Language
- Human Movement
- Proxemics (perception of space)
- Sizing
- Attachment
- Weight
- Accessibility
- Sensory interaction
- Thermal
- Aesthetics
- Long Term use

The Schematic part of the design is a combination of a Arduino Yun, to be utilized as the control center for the RFID sensor and also as a server, on the Linux side of the Yun, to store and create a database of all of the interaction , specifically the micro reactions and stress full moments of a person’s dally life including but not limited to the anchor points and supposed causes of the Stress or anxiety. Version 2.0 will utilize sensors inside the locket to monitor heart rate, and also the patient will be instructed to the point of making it muscle memory to twist or touch the locket in moments of extreme stress or anxiety. Thereby amassing a frame work of data to be used and analyzed by the persons doctor.

The project explores a data transaction process where the person will store all the data in the locket and once a week when re united with his or hers Psychologist or psychiatrist, the data will become accessible ONLY when one is re united with one’s Doctor. This not only brings new bits of unbiased data to the doctor’s hand but also adds a new layer of privacy for the patient doctor confidentiality.

The piece investigates new ways of utilizing wearable tech to not only store personal data for one’s own benefit, but does so in a unbiased manner. This detail maybe small but from a psychologist perspective one of infinite importance. The phrase “we are our own worst enemy” comes to mind. What I mean by this is that most people go to Physiologist to try and find the reason behind a unbalanced sentiment or maybe even unbalanced brain chemicals. For the most part this is a long and difficult process, one that is highly affected by people’s subconscious denial.
Yes denial, it is not just a river in Egypt but one of the biggest hurdles in a person’s mental health. This Locket will help alleviate this long process to make it one that not only shorter but tailor made to the persons own subconscious defects.

Previous Explorations

First part (before wearable project) in collaboration with Megxiao Li ////

The pressures of social media and social interactions sometimes drive us to do things that makes us uncomfortable, this was the starting point of our useless wearable project. One of the problems in many peoples daly life is finding ways of avoiding to talk to people. Ok I know, not all of us do this. But for some it is much anticipated solution to an unmentioned problem. We embarked on a technical innovation journey to fill this gap.

What is it and how it works:

Our Pice entails a group of new, unique and very expensive technology, while functioning together, they create a very exiting and innovative useless wearable; “The Nervousometer”. The Nervousometer utilizes small nanobots that are injected into each of the muscles of the face that are designed to apply a small jolt of electricity to each individual muscle, and control the expression of a persons face. In order to make a connection with the nanobots we utilize small probes that connect with the bots through the skin and help the nanobots calibrate properly. After calibration the information is then imputed through the Intel Edison microprocessor that then streams the information to a data center that runs the machine learning algorithms that control the nanobots interactions.

Trying to avoid people from talking to you by using your cellphone as if you were in a call.
Avoiding social interaction in particular situations.

The purpose of this project is to open a conversation between a persons rational mind and your guts bacteria. A group of scientist have a theory that the stomach bacteria that we contain is responsible for the gut feelings we sometimes get ether at random occurrences or at critical decision making moments. The theory behind this is that the bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with our body, whats good for them is good for us, so to this effect our well being is of paramount importance to the gut bacteria. Going on the basis that this theory is correct I established a series of test and games to help fine tune the connection between our own rational mind and our ever present amalgamation of bacteria.

Listen to your Guts from maria pagan on Vimeo.

Previous Experimentation

Control groups will be divided between:

Listen To Your Gut:
A Game for 3-9 Players.

An experiment proposed as a participatory game studying our cultural relationship with bacterial foods and decision making.

Players will be assigned into various control groups, our a game will be modeled of social card games in which players will choose a probiotic amplified food to assist them in their intuitive tasks.

Players will choose a food and be selected to use a stethoscope for self-monitoring.
The game will explore awkward social interactions and self-trust under pressure by inviting players to engage with remote sensing tactics.

Recordings from the player stomach will serve to portray their digestive process and will subsequently be used as basis for a series of soundscape portraits of gut intuitions.

Proposed Strategies:

- Audio feedback from your gut feed.
- Ability to listen to “binaural beats” to influence your decisions.
- Prompts of for interactions on cards.
- Intestinal frequency reaction.

Control groups will be divided between:

- Guts provocation- possible use of frequencies directed to the intestines.
- Guts listener- guts sound connected from the belly to the auditing participant .
- Guts sober- no stimulation will be practiced.

The groups will have in common the ingestion of a “bacteria pill” (sugar pill) at the beginning of the experiment that will work as the stimulation.
The exercises consist in two different approaches, shape with stimulation, and stimulation with decision making.
Shape and stimulation is a short experiment were the participant will receive sounds directed to their intestines and draw a geometrical shape between different tracks changes. Stimulation and decision making works with the rational vs finding the answer through the bacteria.

Example of Prompts on Cards:

1) Listen to your neighbors gut, and use his/her intuition to make the following decision:
Would it be wise to invest in BitCoin or rather a BitCoin Service?

2) Ingest a portion of pro-biotic food and let it inform the following decision:
Which of these shapes would you name Kiki or Bubba?

3) Eat some Yogurt and calmly listen to Sound Sample #2, close our eyes and draw the effect of the frequencies on your micro-flora.
Pass the drawing onto opposing player and let them intuit a correspondence between drawing and Sound Samples.

4) Visualize your gut bacteria interacting with the Kimchee sample. Inspired by these visions whisper a sound to an opposing team member.
Opposing player must use this to sound to decide whether or not to pass his or her turn at the risk of probiotic penalty.

Rigorous approach to intuition and sound topic and focus on the augmentation of listening to your gut.

FinalGuts from maria pagan on Vimeo.


Class Tours

Lab Core A
Instructor: Tim Durfee:

The goal of this project was to understand and practice the relationship between form and information. For this I started analyzing my selected data in order to find how it would looks like. Initially we utilize Processing to turn the data into something that can act by itself.

The first step was to find what I wanted to explore. For this I decided to look for information about the repeaters. After an extensive research I realized that the relation between distances and how repeaters can damage was one of the most surprising facts. For this I decided to explore the center of the machines and the damages it can cause to the health in order to finalize the project.I created a piece utilizing vibrations that I generate thanks to the use of speakers and sound frequency and a sound frequency generator. This generated patterns and shapes in the sand (red sand) after the vibrations cause by frequencies over the board. The sound frequencies represented the damage cause by the repeaters depending on how far or close you are to them.

previous exploration

The programing language as part of analyzing data from a visual perspective by utilizing processing was a very important and fun process during this research.


Encrypted Map

For this project we had to construct a design piece
that encompasses encryption and reflection in relation to the resent NSA violations to world and personal freedom. We were given instructions that our pieces had to utilize any from of encryption that could be utilized to communicate a message in a secure manner.

While researching the subject of cryptography I uncovered a new tactic that is being utilized by hackers in our present cyber reality. This is the utilization of QR codes hosted and created inside of the Deep Internet. The deep internet is a massive space of the internet that is rarely seen by most people , primordially because u cannot just go to Google or Yahoo or Bing and search for a site as it is not indexed in there search engine and most of the sites inside the Deep internet are hosted in hidden servers inside this deep internet. So utilizing Tor browser ,one of the ways one can access said Deep internet, one can create QR codes anonymously and also upload files and pictures anonymously. So utilizing this I generated QR codes and then hid them inside of the poster that I designed. There is two messages and three layers of encryption . The first is finding the real QR codes inside of the poster. Then when one scans the QR code you would get an instruction and another QR code. This part was included to encrypt the message under another layer but also to oblige the viewer to have to interact with another viewer in order to further decrypt the message. In a sense to symbolize both literally and figuratively in the creation of mini communities that are interested in the subject to interact with one another in the physical world. After the viewer scans and finds all the QR codes he is the linked to 4 videos in YouTube and a time code to follow to the second in order to retrieve the message given utilizing law makers and politicians speeches and interviews. To imply another layer of criticism in Irony to our current surveillance state.

The third and final message was hidden inside of the design inside spaces that appeared to be mazes. Inside you will find the last but resounding message into this ever worrying subject.
Since information is business truth and freedom are not important.

Previous Exploration

The intention of the project “ A Knob is Not a Knot” was to utilize a potentiometer (knob) in a different way, giving at the same time a meaning to his new usage. For this I created a Chair called “Specter Chair”. My intention was to demonstrate how the design of the components ( furniture) inside our living/interactive spaces can give a predisposition feeling to the environment. For this I utilized an office work place chair. I attached sound to the chair and by utilizing Arduino and Netlab. I created a sound sequence that reacts depending on the position of the chair, starting from the initial sound (chair noises), passing through different voices (similar to the subconscious), and finalizing with the sound of a pencil. The sound of the pencil (final sound) also includes a real pencil and paper allowing to physically generate the sound that at the same time is coming from the chair.

specter chair from maria pagan on Vimeo.

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Previous Exploration

On & Off Case Switch
Created a Switch using a: LM555 integrated circuit , a 330 Ohm and +-2.7 Mega Ohm resistor, breadboard, jumper wires, capacitor 0nF, LED, 9V battery, Coffee!! ; that would enable me to turn on and off a LED utilizing the latches of a old briefcase to complete the circuit .

This project was a creation of an interactive tour utilizing augmented reality. We were presented with many approaches to resolve this undertaking. I decided that for me the mind was the best tool in augmenting reality. When I say mind I mean psychology. So I designed a tour that would require a victim and a user. The user is handed a case with tools and detailed instructions on the rules and actions that he has to take with his victim. The victim would be a person of my choice that would wear a pair of goggles that I designed that would render the victim blind , also he or she had to wear headphones that looped tracks of white noise to make the victim feel more disconnected. Then the user would have to continue going through the steps and making the victim do incrementally awkward and questionable things. The user for example would have to feed the victim broken glass and tell the victim it was something different. Another step was spraying the victim with a liquid labeled garbage water.

In essence the user throughout the tour is lead to believe that the victim has no knowledge of the events rules and tricks that are being used and is lead to believe that he has control over the victim and alters his reality by re-enforcing this idea with each increment of the tour until the end were he or she is supposed to instructs the victim to first tell him or her about the victims goals in life later to think of the future and then to step on a chair and wrap a rope around the victims neck and instruct the victim to jump. This last step is were most users realized the twist in there immediate idea of what they believe was the tour. The user is the victim and at this point most of the interacting public refused to utilize the “power” and “control” they had over the victim. In this moment the realization of the true nature of the tour emerged.

Video/ images:

videofinal2 from maria pagan on Vimeo.

video link -------->

steps and instructions:
Blind Leading the Blind Tour

Step 1:
Cross the street....
Help your victim along the Art center campus towards the entrance. Upon coming out of the building Tell the victim you will guide her across the street to sit on a bench beside the school with the purpose of then describing the Wind Tunnel building. **In reality you will walk her across the parking until you do one lap; then sit at bench in front of school.

Step 2
Drawing with the victim....
Come back into the wind tunnel, find the labeled desk. Here you will instruct the victim to sit and you will hand her a pencil. Then you will instruct the victim that she is to draw what you will trace with a chop stick on her left shoulder.

Step 3
Impossible stairs....
Guide the victim to the main entrance until you reach the inside stairs. Once reached you will first help the victim of the first flight of stairs, then you will instruct the victim that for this step you are both obliged to race to the top under one minute.

Step 4
Imagined gallery....
Guide your victim from the stairs to the elevator. Once inside you will continue down to the basement once reached you will instruct the victim to believe that you are in an Art Gallery. Once here you will then describe three fictional paintings to the victim in vivid detail.

Step 5
Imagined loneliness....
After admiring the arts you will instruct the victim to sit in the corner wile you use the restroom. Once your victim is seated you will walk to the elevator ,call it and proceed to wait for 2 minutes wile remaining in dead silence. Then approach the victim and continue tour.

Step 6
Trash in my face...
Proceed to main room of the wind tunnel then open case and find object 1, You will instruct the victim that you will spray him or her with a refreshing mist. In reality you will be spraying her with trash juice Apply three good sprays to the face.

Step 7
Eating glass...
After the refreshing mist you will look for object 2, you will proceed to instruct the victim that you have some candy you want to share with him or her for being such great company. After this statement you will proceed to feed the person as much glass as possible.

Step 8
The grand finally
Proceed down to the basement once more with you victim. Proceed to ask the victim what are his or her plans in life, then when in the basement ask the victim if him or her have any regrets. While the victim is answering instruct her to climb up the chair in the Gallery. Once she is up you will instruct him or her to wrap the safety net around her neck. After it is on make sure that it is nice and tight. Then proceed to kick chair and watch him or her dangle..

Thank You for participating in the blind leading the blind, and don’t worry you will not face any criminal charges.