Collective Subconscious

Collective Subconscious is an installation that imprints reverberating thoughts on a public space as people move through it.

Taces of one’s thoughts are left behind in the gallery and “collaged” with other people’s thoughts. New messages are prominently placed while older messages slowly fade away. Words that are repeated by many people will become larger and brighter. As such the display becomes a visual representation of people’s state of being.


Each person has a unique RFID tag that has a personal message associated with it; the message can be modified at any time through a web page.

When a visitor places the tag near the RFID sensor, the data is sent to a computer and the new message is added to the collage with a short highlight. If a word in the new message is already present in the collage, each instance of that word would highlight and reverberate, echoing in unison the idea they are trying to convey. The message would then slowly fade into the background, waiting for repetition of its words. The collage generated is then projected onto a wall.

This project is inspired by buttons people pin on their clothing or bags to express their likes and dislikes. The aggregation of these messages will reveal information regarding the conditions and attitudes of people around you.

Author: Zehao Chang.