BE LIKE YOU a Kinetic Sculpture

BE LIKE YOU is a Kinetic Sculpture by Elizabeth Clare and Catalina Cortazar created as part of Prototype: Exhibition in the Cloud an interdisciplinary collaboration between Parsons The New School for Design and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) which seeks to challenge and reinvent received notions of prototyping, extending its design and industrial origin to encompass artistic imagination.

The practice of prototyping is much the same to development of human character, through learned experience and feedback. As babies, we learn how to be through our parents, mimicking their behaviors, their actions, using them as the mold to what a person should be. Throughout the years, our models switch and take new form, but there are always people we use as gauges to which we internalize their traits and take them on as our own. We are in a content flux, forever revising how we should be, modifying ourselves.

Be Like You explores the parallels between the design-practice, and the process to which we become our ideal self, through the process of mirroring, rapport, and human-feedback. The intention is explicit, so each user knows that the sculpture is learning from them, and could choose what feedback to give. Be Like You is constantly changing, morphing, and evolving in response to the human interaction, learning new traits and characteristics.

November 9TH / 21ST
THE ARONSON GALLERY at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center,
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue
New York


About the Interdisciplinary Collaboration:

“Invoking the image of cloud computing, “prototype” here means a state of constant transformation and becoming. Like a cloud, it is amorphous and malleable, unstable and precarious. Instead of achieving a functionalist goal-oriented objective, prototyping-in-the-cloud becomes a mechanism of repetition in difference; always self-renewing and regenerating, revealing its infinite potential though chance, adaptivity and ephemerality in materiality. To prototype therefore is to invent the unforeseeable, to cast a shape that is at the same time formless. To prototype is to imagine the ineffable and to create polymorphic manifestations that are at once crystallized and fleeting. It is as much a way of cultural intervention as a mode of formal exercise in which memories, histories, locations and relations are engendered, tested, reiterated and distributed — each a raw model of its own unique presence and by its own means. The exhibition adapts to the environment in which it is produced. With the cloud database serving as a structural platform for the project, each material extension of the exhibition becomes a prototype in and of itself, and as such, a tangible experience.

The project is a collaboration that takes place between two geographical locations, using the cloud as a communication channel, tool and archival form for the exhibition. New York and Berlin are both centers of global cultural production and significant platforms for local artistic experimentation. The participants come from a spectrum of disciplines including Design and Technology, Communication Design, Interactive Design, Fine Arts, Photography and Illustration. In June 2012, thirteen Parsons students travelled to Berlin to participate in a week-long workshop at the UdK. In November of 2012, a group of students from the Digital Media class at UdK/Berlin travelled to New York to complete the project and install the first of several iterations. A second version of the exhibition will be downloaded from the cloud and take place in Berlin in January 2013. The content of the show will remain dynamic as the participants continue to upload new versions of their prototypes. Future iterations can then be downloaded at additional sites globally. The Parsons + UdK team would like to thank Sven Travis and Anne Gaines in the School of Art, Media and Technology for all their support on this project. We would also like to thank Angelika Theuss in the office of International Exchange at UdK/Berlin for her advice and guidance in the early stages of this project.”

To read more about exhibition and collaboration go to:

Process and Previous Prototypes


Here is our first prototype!