are you spoon material?

→ spoon chitchat now!

in a nutshell: A spoon plays a tidy, practical role in a café. Stirring. Sipping. Sugaring. And now... speaking! This chair is a sculptural spoon, a life-size utensil in which you will inhabit while conversing with the visitors at the ISEA café.

how do i chat? After entering the chair, speak directly from your remote location to the café using your computer's microphone. The sound of your voice, paired with an interactive expression tool within the online interface, will breathe life into the spoon. The animated face of the real spoon will be directly mapped to your real-time input.

how will i look? The other members of the table will hear your voice coupled with the corresponding facial features of the spoon. They will be able to converse with you in vocal dialogue.

what will i see? You will be able to see who is sitting with you at the table, and hear their voices in response.

requirements: microphone (most laptops have one built-in), speakers

want to try?

→ spoon chitchat now!

IM! but this time, with more feeling...

→ text chitchat now!

in a nutshell: This is instant messaging with a twist! The communication through this chair is entirely through typed text, but you can physically imbue your message with an emotive gesture with the mouse. The chair, its construction at once familiar and surreal, houses two screens within its wooden frame; the top one bristles with the real-time chat while conversations from the past poetically pool on the bottom.

how do i chat? After entering the chair, the interface will appear such as with typical chat programs. You may type your message, and then demonstrate an emotive gesture. Are you excited or relaxed? Energetic or shy? Flourish with the mouse, and the typography will animate itself accordingly.

how will i look? Your animated text input will appear on the top screen of the chair, where others can read and respond. Words from past dialogues on the chair ebb and flow on the bottom screen as historical artefact.

what will i see? You will be able to see who is sitting with you at the table, hear voices and sound, and read their typed responses to your messages.

requirements: speakers recommended

want to try?

→ text chitchat now!

Exhibit and Chairs are active: Aug 7 (Monday) - 13 (Sunday), 8am - 10pm PST. Please come chat with us during these times!

Cafés are social spaces - they are places where people come to converse, to meet friends, to people watch. It is a physical space, rich with the smell of coffee and the sound of chatter, a navigable place that people must negotiate to find good seats, to see and be seen. The café is local, fixed in space and reflecting and defining the social structure of the neighborhood.

The online world is also social, but far less physical. Its inhabitants have no bodies, its borders are porous. It is global rather than local. Yet there is a different kind of depth that exists in the online world, a depth of persistence, of vast collections of data, of conversations that remain permanently archived, unlike the ephemera of the spoken word.

Chit Chat Club is an experiment in bringing together the café and the online world.

ISEA is a non-profit international organization whose membership and collaborators consists of a wide range of individuals and institutions involved in the creative, theoretical and technological aspects of electronic arts.