Electronic Rituals #4: Mr. BehindYou

The project is hosted on Tong Wu’s GitHub page at https://tongwu226.github.io/Mr.BehindYou/

Inspired by the case study of ouija board adventure, I collaborated with Yipeng Chen to create this experience called “Mr. Behind-You” for our fourth meditation for Electronic Rituals. It tries to create an experience in which you call a spirit to do automatic writing, but eventually being haunted by him since he is actually a crazy lover of you.

The process of the ouija board experience usually have three steps: First, participants try to connect with the “spirits” in the space by repeating some certain words; when the connection is claimed to be connected, the planchette/pencil will start moving automatically, as some kind of “spirit” is drawing or moving it; finally, you ask the spirit to leave.

Similarily, for our project, you trigger the program by repeatedly saying “come to me, talk to me.” Every time it hears the word “talk” or “me”, the program will add a random stroke onto the canvas, mimicking the appearance of automatic writing.

About 15 seconds later, a text pops up and remind you, “Now it’s time to ask the spirit to leave. Say “please leave”. When it hear the word “leave”, it will generate a reply from the spirit that has been called by you, saying ” I finally found you, I won’t leave.” Then another text pops up and ask you to shout “Please GO” to force the spirit to leave. When the program hears the work “GO!”, it generates a short love letter, as the spirit explaining to you what he just wrote. The love letter content generated in the program adopts the PHP implementation of Christopher Strachey’s “Loveletters” program by Allison Parrish (https://github.com/gingerbeardman/loveletter).

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