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March 2018, USC firehouse

'Overwhelmed' is a real-time installation by Kaley Cho. This installation was installed in the USC firehouse for an assignment in Lisa Mann's Master class. The animations were created in TouchDesigner, and controlled in real-time based on the frequency of the audio.

The four pills on the floor represent different negative emotions that can arouse in an individual's mind (especially those with mental health issues). The pill hanging on the ceiling represents hope and positivity that is difficult to reach for those who suffer from mental illness.


  • Installation of five, cylinder shaped pills with variation in size

  • Pillars are scattered on the ground

  • Each pill has its own voice

  • The pills try to seduce the listener to take the pills

  • Discouraging comments

  • Commentary on mental illness and substance abuse

Mental illness and drug/substance abuse

  • 18.2% of the total population in the US suffers from mental illness

  • Those who are mentally ill are more likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol

  • According to SAMHSA, 26.7% of people with mental health issues abused illicit drugs in 2012. Only 13.2% of people abused drugs in the general public

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), thos who suffer from mental illness may attempt to self-medicate their symptoms via drug use

  • Robust association between schizophrenia development and substance abuse

Thanks to:
Lisa Mann
Evan Tedlock
VT Pro Design
Voice Actors:
Haley Tomaszewski
Hannah Bosnian
Shideh Ghandiharizadeh
Chana Kim
Julia Fleisig
Physical Production
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