Solo exhibition a part of a six month Make Your Future artists-in-residents at Staten Island MakerSpace. Exploring the connections in our minds between what we smell and what we see, the artist created haunting images embedding in hand-made smell & soap pieces. Scents have the power to evoke powerful memories, especially when combined with images, colors, and shapes. The focus was to use the research on chemistry, olfactory processes, and color cinematography to create one interpretation of what “smell-o-vision” might be.
Female Empowerment & Movie Magic
Aside from conceptual design and scientific analysis, this project was heavily founded on archival research. The content for the images were taken from either Dorothy Dietrich, the first female escape artist, or films with strong, female protagonists. All these women were connected by their great feats of strength showcasing their ability to break through distressing situations. There is an interesting relationship between weakness and strength when depicting women within media. For example, as a magician, Dietrich was often put into torturous positions to escape from. Just from the looks of it, one might speculate she was a woman-in-the-fridge type of victim. However, she was a trailblazer for female empowerment as she took on magic tricks no woman had previously escaped from. Further, her connections to real magic amalgamates with the idea of movie magic presented within the exhibition.
Wanting to match the general feeling of each scene, I designed the formula for all the scents as well as the color tints for the imagery. I had been researching what smells could trigger emotional reactions as well as what colors had psychological effects on users. Using what I learned from my archival research, I first created different physical prototypes to match and color properties with oflactory properties. I believe the combination of the two allows for a more immersive experience. After user testing the prototypes, I jumped into production.
By creating a physical form of smell-o-vision, users were encouraged not only to look at the screens but to get close and smell them. Each screen portrayed a different image and smell within a black, rectangular box signifying the idea of a TV. The space between the viewer and the screen was meant to mimic a personal one-on-one viewing/smelling experience.