Disappearing Computers, Appearing Specters

Monokakushitono Hibi (Days with Monokakushi), by Kiyoko Ishida, is a student video project at Tama Art University, which uses a mythical specters to “explain” the bad thing that happens to everyone: losing things.

[Monkakushino Hibi. The specter has eaten a car key.]

Humans have been losing things before the invention of modern easy-to-lose small gadgets and someone in ancient Japan had to make up a Yokai (specter) called Monokakushi that hides humans’ belongings. Ishida’s project overlaid virtual Monokakushi on real-world video images – but Monokakushi could potentially reside in AR/wearable systems as well.

In the world after personal computing, computing devices may disappear physically and/or mentally. That’s a vision many people share. But how will people make sense of magical things that happen in their technology-rich everyday lives? Kobito, for example, uses virtual kobitos (dwarves) to “explain” the movement of a tea can on a coffee table.

Overall, the project suggests a small possibility of making people smile wryly even when their RFID object-locator devices fail to find their car keys. (this would be a controversial idea though.)

related: Yokai Meets Media Art