Interact with your coffee cup inner monologue

Interactive installation

Presented at ENS Paris-Saclay and Drôles d’Objets Symposia (2023)

In collaboration with Frédéric Bevilacqua, Anthonin Gourichon

Remerciements : Jean Hostache et Gregor Daronian pour les improvisations vidéos, crédit photo Anthonin Gourichon

Video presentations

A connected anti-object?

Tsukumo-café is a coffee cup connected... to its interiority, to its soul, which appeared at the age of one hundred years, as in the Japanese tradition of tsukumogami-emaki. It has no precise function other than to serve you a cup of coffee... unless you listen to its inner monologue and perhaps connect it to your own.

While connected objects constantly draw us towards an external world - real or virtual - the paradox proposed in the Tsukumo-café installation is to invest a poetic and symbiotic experience with an object with a mysterious and singular language.

A living object?

A symbolic stake lies in the consideration of the nature of the cup object. The dramaturgy is based on the idea that it is a being in its own right, to be heard and listened to, rather than an "animated" or "enchanted" interactive object. This quasi-animalistic perspective on vitalization allows us to question more directly the role (or lack of role) of objects in our daily lives, in our human and non-human relationships.

In this installation and device, I therefore question the principle of interaction with objects too exclusively tied to question-and-answer exchanges (as is classically the case with connected objects such as Alexa or other commercial avatars). Instead, I propose to explore the notion of inner dialogue as a driving force for interaction.

The "cup-being" of a cup of coffee?

This raises a series of questions: what language can it speak? what senses does it have? what relationship to the world does its cup body offer it, i.e. what is its "Umwelt" (according to Jakob Johann von Uexküll's concept)? As pets develop neuroses, does the mug also become impregnated with certain neuroses as it becomes more and more familiar with neurotic mammals such as humans? To what extent does it imbibe the human languages that inhabit its coffee psyche? Has she heard of Bruno Latour's Parliament of Things, and what does she think of it? And how can we perceive the manifestations of a coffee-cup endophasia at work?

Installation descriptions

Several devices have been developed:

Device 1
in collaboration with Frédéric Bevilacqua

The interaction consists of drinking a cup of coffee. As you drink, the cup's self-talk unfolds and evolves, based on voices and environmental sounds. I consider that it feels these gestures.

A wireless motion sensor (accelerometers/gyroscopes) is embedded in the cup. A Max/MSP patch generates the text interactively.

Device 2
in collaboration with Anthonin Gourichon

The spec-actor is invited to come into contact with the object.

I consider here that the cup feels the touch. To achieve this, capacitive sensors are used, which are inscribed in the cup. I created copper embroidery, inspired by the Kintsugi technique and the art of porcelain gilding. I then designed a sound space based on sounds recorded with the cup.

Device 1
Device 2

Autres dispositifs, prototypes et capsules vidéos :

La cafédomancie permet de lire l’avenir dans le marc de café. À l’inverse, peut-on écouter le passé de ces tasses anciennes ? en collaboration avec Anthonin Gourichon et Frédéric Bevilacqua.
Des matériaux d’archives, ou des extraits d’œuvres sont ainsi fragmentés et ré-agencés dans un flux sonore, à la manière de notre mémoire humaine qui recompose les souvenirs.
Improvisation sur l’endophasie d’une tasse de café. Sens du toucher.
Improvisation sur l’endophasie d’une tasse ancienne, avec les acteurs Gregor Daronian et Jean Hostache. Sens du toucher et du mouvement.