The objects shown represent experiments in translating my theoretical developments into interactive artefacts.
The Misery Mug is a celebratory object, an articulation of the potential benefits of embracing misery. The sad face of the mug weeps as it is filled with liquid. As the liquid pours onto the coaster below, the opaque hydra chromic paint on the coaster's surface becomes transparent revealing an ornate pattern underneath.
The somewhat melodramatic nature of the mug generated humour for many people who saw it. I was interested to see if this exaggerated form of misery, and the humour it generates, could be useful in provoking conversations and insights.
While expressing my personal interpretation of the epitome of a miserable physical space I employed imagery of grey looming clouds. I subsequently developed this visualisation into a physical cloud that hangs over the wearer's head.
Naho wore the cloud around Goldsmiths campus in an effort to provoke reactions and conversations. This proved insightful; most people automatically understood the object as a cloud that referred to misery or sadness. Some people were reluctant to speak about personal experiences of misery. They were happy to chuckle or comment on the object but not necessarily speak of their own experiences, whereas others gave interesting anecdotes and observations. For instance, one individual claimed that he had never experienced misery. He had been sad or lonely but to him, those experiences were distinct from misery. He conceptualised misery as Dickinsonesque deprivation. This contrasted with my own interpretation of misery as day-to-day inconvenience and hassles. This triggered my interest in setting up a means of tapping into unique, individual construals of misery.