Miku Motoi’s interactive art project brings people together

Make your mark: A Washburn student smiles as she places her sticker on Asia. A visual representation of all the places we’ve been to is a creative way to look back on experiences and history.

Oh the places we’ve been.

Senior Japanese exchange student Miku Motoi took an interesting approach to the interactive sculpture assignment for her Advanced Sculpture class with Benjamin Wills. Motoi’s project is just one of several interactive sculptures that have made their presence on campus and some still to come.

“This course explores several different methods of how to create art and the differences between a contribution and a collaboration,” explained Wills. “All of the students in the class are making artwork that, in order to be successful, needs to interact with all members of the class. Each student has a different week for their project, and we’ve seen some crazy cool ones so far.”

Among the student-made projects that have taken place so far are the “Hello I am” sidewalk chalk sculpture, a quilt, animated paintings and performances.

Motoi decided to take her project beyond just her classmates and is trying to interact with the entire campus. Her sculpture is a hand painted world map on a presentation-style board she built with the help of Wills. She brought some sharpies and sticker dots with her and began wheeling the structure around campus asking people to mark the places they’ve been to with a sticker and their name or initials. Motoi said that the project took her about three hours to create.

“I thought it would be cool if the smallest person makes the biggest piece,” joked Motoi, “and I’ve been to a lot of countries, so I thought it would be fun to see where everyone else has been. My goal is to create a large colorful model showing where people have travelled to. I want to get everyone from campus [to participate], and I’m trying!”

A group of people gathered around Motoi’s sculpture to see what was going on and then were excited to pick a sticker or a few to mark where they had been. Motoi’s project is a great example of how our differences can bring us together. People from several different countries were participating in the project and got to interact with each other as they did.

So far, five continents have been represented, with large portions of people adding their dots to Europe and Southeast Asia.

“I’m surprised by how many people haven’t been to other countries,” said Motoi, “but it’s cool to see where they have gone. There are a few that have been to Russia and Australia.”

Motoi will be walking around campus again next Wednesday so that more people can contribute to the sculpture. She hopes to keep adding to the piece and use it in her senior exhibit next semester. If you’re out and about on Wednesday, keep an eye out for Motoi and her rolling sculpture so that you can add your dots to the places you’ve been to on the map and become a part of this interactive piece of art.