Stuck is a window into the day-to-day life of an individual with severe Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. Based on my own experiences, Stuck utilizes a multimedia, tangible immersive experience to create a meaningful depiction of what being disabled can look like. Stuck relies on the use of multi-sensory immersion techniques to simulate not only the daily battle of intrusive thoughts that those with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder often face, but to even replicate what a
severe episode can feel, sound, and cognitively register as. Ultimately, the goal of stuck is to materialize my experience in the real world by engaging the physical senses of the audience, as a means of evoking true empathy.
Stuck is an extremely personal installation project that attempts to create meaningful representation for disabled individuals in a society where such representation is not found, both to provide comfort to those like me, and an understanding of my experiences to those who are not.
Stuck is comprised of two elements -
A 13 minute self-shot short film that depicts what living with my OCD is authentically like
A immersion mask that uses both tangible and auditory stimulation to simulate an OCD episode
Both the film and the mask use my own experiences with OCD as the foundation behind the story they collectively tell. In addition to subtle callouts to my own compulsions and behaviors (such as the cracked texture of the mask), both utilize a pre-recorded audio track of my real, intrusive thoughts, and demonstrate the actual compulsions I undertake. The mask includes a dual speaker system so the user can hear my intrusive thoughts, and also uses a vibration motor to simulate the tingling sensation I feel in my face when having an episode.
Skills Utilized :
Electronics System Design
Video and Audio Editing
Acting (Screen and Voice Over)
S T U C K
Before I started writing the story behind the film, I first focused on organizing all of the information I could verbalize about my condition so that I could decide explicitly what I felt like was most important to telling my story authentically. I performed a self-interview where I questioned everything about my OCD - what triggers it, how it makes me feel physically and emotionally, how it impacts my relationships, and every follow-up thought I could think of. Afterwards, I then looked over all of my notes and asked myself “What elements of my experience do I want to show in this film? And what story can be built from these elements?”
The process of developing the film was one that went through several narrative iterations. The method of narrative organization I utilized varied from iteration to iteration - sometimes I created a fully storyboard with each scene drawn out, other times I made a simpler narrative map that described each scene in order, and I often just wrote down new notes regarding the plot, themes, metaphors, and characters of the film in an ever growing list on my iPhone.
The mask was designed using organic modeling techniques within Fusion 360, after using the dimensions of my head to give a general idea of the proportions. It was 3D printed in four distinct sections and joined together with a adhesive mixture.
The electronic output behind the mask, which includes two speakers and a vibration motor, are controlled through a Raspberry Pi that registers tangible inputs (specifically, a button and a potentiometer). I created the speaker housing by measuring my skull, 3D printing the enclosure, and using muslin to soften the interface between the housing and the user’s ears.
The electronics housing was laser cut after I created an enclosure file that utilized the fabrication technique of “living wood” to create the bendable, rounded corners of the housing.
After experimenting with a few fabric textures, I decided to utilize a charcoal spray to create the cracked appearance of the mask as a subtle to reference my OCD's tendency to seek after perfection in the work I create. Additionally, this texture avoided over-smoothing the form of the mask, which the fabrics caused.