I've been taking my time to process what happened at the experiment, we had lots of feedback verbally from people at the time, their comments on this blog, and the stats we collected from the Attention Grabber. But here's some responses.
People have been talking about control and the feeling of power that the card gave them. The notion of power is not something I had realised people would attach to the cards and the action of swiping. It was a conscious decision to make people feel an attachment to this card that they were being told was THEIR attention, and I felt it was important that people were part of a process. This was my method of getting the audience to participate in something that could have been quite an alien action.
A number of people spoke about the idea of control. Questioning if the video is controlling you or are you controlling it? And the answer is both, the video was only changing when it received attention but it had certain conditions to fulfill before it would react.
The idea of control was a cyclical motion between viewer and viewed. It was this notion of presence, that I was trying to recreate/represent.
So I asked, "Did you feel like you were interacting?". My intention was to find out what people's response was to the idea of interaction, and in many ways I wanted the answer to be "no". But by posing the question, maybe it's my fault for misleading people into thinking about the experiment in the same terms as another interaction work.But people's perceptions of what interaction is, where the viewer does something and you get an immediate obvious reaction response, seemed to tarnish quite a number of people's experiences, because when they gave their attention they expected to get a return, and it seems the response of the acknowledgment of their attention (their photograph, name, time-stamp) was not enough.
Also I think people forgot that this was a research project rather than a completed artwork. It needed to be a professional setting for people to engage with the process properly – but this lead to some people having expectations of the content they were watching and giving responses to this rather than the issues of their live presence in the installation and its effect on the art.