Our use of push buttons has evolved considerably in recent years since the invention of the touchscreen. In a cell phone, for example, this “capacitive” technology is based on a conductive grid covered by a sheet of glass. The human body, made up largely of water, is also conductive. A fingertip held over the grid attracts its charge, modifying the electrical field at the point of pressure and generating a signal.
Noisy Jelly is a proposal for expanding our scope of imagination in relation to the physicality of the pushbutton. Wet, soft and sticky, Noisy Jelly is a sonic “chemistry set” offering an experience that’s the opposite of using a smartphone. Blocks of colored gelatin, resting on metal contact points linked to an electrical current, produce various sounds when they are touched. The jelly consists almost entirely of water and is thus conductive. The sound is different depending on where the jelly is touched: as you go farther from the base, the signal becomes weaker and the sound changes. The use of a soft, perishable material as a control tool offers an intriguing, disconcerting experience.
Project done with Marianne Cauvard