Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Kyveli Vezani
2nd Author
3rd Author
MPS (Master of Professional Studies, equivalent to MFA)
Number of Pages
New York University
Thesis Supervisor
Despina Papadopoulos
Supervisor e-mail
peppy AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interactive Telecommunications
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Greek, German
URL where full thesis can be found
technology, culture, amulets, superstition, wearable computing
Abstract: 200-500 words
Knock is a collection of reinvented amulets and charms reflecting the impact of technology on our values and beliefs. They raise questions about the role of culture, faith, and superstition in an era of technology and science. Knock aims to create technological devices whose function relies on a relationship of faith between the person and the technology. The objects ambiguously work, so that they only fulfill their purpose if the wearer believes that they work -- just like amulets. It is an attempt to create technology that can appeal to people's emotions rather than their reason. Even if people are very rational and educated, they have the same basic human needs and fears as primitive man; therefore, they might benefit from the same kind of protective devices (amulets). Knock explores the tension between rational inability to believe in something, and emotional comfort from believing in it. With a playful approach, its purpose is to comment on the ways technology has changed our culture and to answer the timeless human need for reassurance and comfort, to highlight the differences between the present and the past through things that have remained the same. The collection consists of the Camera Eye, the Facebook Locket, the Test-Tube Amulet, the Halo Headband, and the Emergency Amulet. All of the amulets in the Knock collection have a little wooden bead on them, so that the wearers can knock on wood whenever they feel the need to.