Project 02: Dictionary – Film : Our Images

Last week, I had the idea of utilizing and integrating film into the dictionary without any direction in terms of topics. This week, I’ve  finally settled down on the topics that I’ll be really interested in for my upcoming FYP. I want my work to be existential, to be about human’s capabilities for creation and destruction and how new media, in its rawest form, can be both detrimental or beneficial for our idea of what existence is about.


My transition from annex 1 to annex 2 sees a change in direction where initially, I had a bunch of categories and keywords revolving around the medium of film at face value. The meanings of the films itself eclipsed the entire idea and intention of even creating the dictionary itself. Why would I need to create a dictionary referencing films to a specific word and idea? Not the kind of intent I’m looking for. Probably been done to death already.VC mindmap-01

Throughout the week, I constantly sought inspiration from different sources and what captivated me the most was the idea of Synecdoche in linguistics. The way the word “sails” refers to the entire boat and so on. Then I was thinking, is there a way to create a synecdoche of humanity without becoming minimalistic in a way that the meanings , feelings and auras are lost.

I somehow stumbled upon the information about Voyagers 1 and 2, the Pioneer exploration ship and how Carl Sagan was involved in the creation of very specific artifacts to represent humanity as a whole.

This below is from the images on the Pioneer Plaque on board of  the 1972 Pioneer 10and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft, featuring a pictorial message, in case either Pioneer 10 or 11 is intercepted by extraterrestrial life. The plaques show the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft.

The symbols on the top left are hydrogen atoms and the size of humans in relation to the spacecraft are explained.


Sounds on the Voyager’s Golden Records. I think the current year’s graduation show promotional materials are inspired by this.

The pictures that were put on the voyager spacecraft. If the human race manages to kill itself, this is the only thing other life in the universe will know about us. This would be the imprint we leave on the entire universe.

Voyager Media

View post on

After going through all of these, I felt like the logical thing for me to do is to use films to represent us. Majority of films are our worlds replicated in an idealistic way (or the other way round) and allow us to dive deep into that sort of fantasy for escapism . However, there are many truths in relation to real life that are inescapable. Our destructive and creative capabilities are what make us human and through film footages, I hope to create an experimental video collage of films addressing those ideas. In a way, it will be a visual dictionary of human existence.

Current ideas about deliverables,

1)Experimental Film Collage,

2)A booklet for dissecting the video

Will keep brainstorming to float the idea better.

Project 02 – Dictionary direction – Film Dictionary

For this project, I’m looking to dive deep into films to create a visual dictionary. With the list of specific words that I have chosen, I seek to find movies that are associated with the words and bring out new meanings through dialogues or objects. So far I’m still looking for methods that are further than appropriation and looking to draw out various elements in films that are not face-value and details that are usually overlooked.

The examples below are some that I’m interested in. They have successfully compiled a series of recipes that are unique to the individual films that they are representing. Food and drinks are some of the things that we tend to overlook in films in this case. However, they can easily encapsulate the aura or spirit of the film. In this case, we often associate Martini Dry with James Bond and White Russian to the laid back attitudes of The Dude in The Big Lebowski. GJ_COVERS_forshop_3 How-to-make-the-perfect-film-cocktail-MAIN Cocktails-of-the-Movies-Press-Image4

Project 01 – Calendar

As I skimmed through the databanks of Wunderground, a global online weather network, I realized how important data is to us in every aspect of gaining some form of confidence in making sense of the recurring behaviors of the world around us. There are certain aspects of the project that was interesting but there were definitely some improvements I could’ve made to it to build the layers.

VC IV - RAIN2 -04  I Started out wanting to build layers of data to build an intricate series of interwoven lines and solely utilize that aesthetic. But I soon realize that it was far too little and there was a lack of objectivity to it and thus I wanted to embark on a direction that’s more scientific and something that has a functional purpose.

Building on the sentiments that I’ve previously felt about the nature of time as a constantly flowing, ephemeral and intangible quality, I made use of something that’s far more material and tangible which is the volume of rainfall in Singapore. I wanted to accentuate the nature of how we always like to use pieces of information from the past to determine the future. For us to have a fairly accurate weather forecast, we need tidal data, wind data and many other conditions and recurrences. However, even in data forecast, it’s never 100% due to Chaos Theory. Thus, this project gives an overview of weather conditions in Singapore for the past years and at the same time creating a series of interweaving and dancing data that creates a form of forecast on its own.

VC IV - RAIN -02

Looking at days as data blocksVC IV - RAIN -01

An initial idea of executing the visualized data as a one-way flow with lines at the bottom signifying each individual days. (The different coloured graphs were suppose to vary in the actual outcome)

VC IV - RAIN -06

The final outcome followed the format similar to that a runic calendar that I shared earlier on. It has a sterile quality to it which I wanted and at the same time, I felt like I could’ve worked on the craft even more.

Using logos to represent different religious and customary holidays, I placed them to draw on the curiosity of whether “divine intervention” has acted on various days. Depth wise, I felt that the project would’ve been even more substantial if I collected more data. looking back perhaps in terms of decades in order to present some outcomes about the state of our climate and showing that our future could be very bleak if we didn’t do something about it.

I felt like I’ve forgone the initial art direction to the project, which was supposed to be a subtle and cryptic piece and eventually gotten everything labeled. I would say that this is something that’s a little different from what I’ve always done and stepping out of my comfort zone. Maybe I’ll execute my upcoming projects better with my intents made better known.

Back to perusing for now.

Calendar : Creative Direction

After reading up Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene, I’ve gained some additional insights to time and relativity. We often regard time, the very moment that is in play right now the absolute “now” which is illuminated by a projector. The perceived “now” expires, becomes a dormant image and is labelled the “past” and the “future” gets illuminated and becomes “now” and the cycle repeats. Thus we perceive the world to operate in a one-way temporal arrow. While we always assume that this to be true because travelling backwards has not happened yet, physics indicate that it is not impossible. A cracked egg can potentially be un-cracked and spilt milk can be unspilt.


In this diagram we can clearly see the entirety of space and time which encompasses you and I sitting in our rooms typing our blog posts on OSS, the first Pyramid getting built (cliche) and the eventual heat death of the universe. IMG_1051

What does all these have to do with a calendar?

All that talk about linearity and time makes us think of how spacetime can be quantified within a certain framework, given how human beings always like to manage and solve things we can’t understand. We always manage to place ourselves as a bystander, an universal observer or a keeper that gets gratification from keeping everything under our control and having some sort of pre-empt to the vast forces of the cosmos. In a way, we want to be entities that are all-seeing and all-governing, the true masters of our existence through understanding.

While scientists are able to quantify and account for space and time in an orderly manner through relativity which accounts for the speed and distances between two subjects, the layman perceives time in a more psychologically driven way. This is partly due to our differences in terms of psyche and past experiences.

Time is one of the perceptions listed in our senses which is not based on sensory organs. Neuroscientists and psychologists studies indicate that human brains do actually have a system governing the perception of time which in particular is the suprachiasmatic nucleus that is responsible for the circadian (or daily) rhythm, while other cell clusters appear to be capable of shorter-range (ultradian) timekeeping.



In Singapore’s context, the lack of seasons can be both a blessing and a curse. The monotony that comes with the year-round heatwaves and occasion downpours can really put a ding in our ability to indulge ourselves in the atmosphere created by events throughout the year. The average person in Singapore would only hope for the monsoon to mark the end of a year.

So I mapped out once again some key points to the significance and meanings of passing a year here in Singapore. One of the ways that the majority of the working Singaporeans would choose to pass their time and making it meaningful is through work. Every day is a cycle and that cycle goes on to form an even bigger cycle. I wanted to focus on the mental manifestations of the ways people mark a year in Singapore.


At this point , there are various keywords that I’ve drawn out that I feel are important and crucial to my project.

-The Wet and Dry-ness of Singapore’s climate in a year.

-The dominance of digital information in Singapore.

-The Mundaneness of work culture.

-The perception of future based on past extrapolated data. 

-Our perception that with less significant events unfolding throughout the years,  each of the years feel shorter as we grow older.



An initial (silly? Idk) idea with the intent of creating a simple calendar that makes you work hard to use it. 


I used the Runic Calendar as a reference due to its format. It has this overview that’s quite similar to the conventional commercial calendar yet has this systematic approach that lets you lay out the entire year and see recurrences, patterns and allows you to draw relations between them.

I aim to create a calendar that merges rainfall datas from previous years/(months? Unsure and looking at the viability now) into a certain visual form that is comprehensive through a generative process. The calendar will be annotated with visual icons indicating important religious and national holidays. Through the visual datas, the user of the calendar will be able to extrapolate and determine the rainfall level on each day through a series of overlapping visual patterns. At face value these datas might not even be enough to predict weather without taking humidity, sea levels etc into account.  But is a way of instantly granting us the ability to account for something through a more analogous approach by looking into the past to determine the future. A rather old school approach that relies on your intuition rather than current digital technology like a fortune telling graph. 

As of now, I’m hoping to incorporate a textural component that improves the interactivity and in a way making it a traditional weather teller. 




Alexandra Roozen – Few

I couldn’t find any explanation for the intentions of the works yet but I am intrigued by the rows of paired squares that in a way correlate with each other to create a certain depth of the overall piece. I was wondering if there was some corresponding datas being input into creating this work. The placement of the squares seemed methodical yet random at the same time, as though there’s some relationships in play.

W- Typeflight - Sergi Delgado

W- Sergi Delgado

Similar to Alexandra Roozen’s work, I am intrigued by the generative look and feel of this typographic work which also does a number on your senses as well. The parallel curves are very much graph like and I’m contemplating ways that I can make use of this aesthetic.

Mind map, thoughts and baby steps to concept.


During the initial mapping, several palpable areas have surfaced.

Perhaps the most straightforward and elaborate method will be to engage the senses. Picking out senses other than the basic five that we’ve always been so familiar with. Therefore, I started looking into other ways that our bodies are able to navigate externalities. Why is this important you may ask. I feel that our senses are the only things we have connecting us to the vast unknown that is the cosmos and therefore it is the only thing that anchors us down to a certain spacetime and its fleetness. Hence I find it interesting if I can identify a motor or a reflect in our body that is not (or could be) one of the 5 primary senses to be put in focus and be utilised for identifying time.

  • Sight:  This technically is two senses given the two distinct types of receptors present, one for color (cones) and one for brightness (rods).
  • Taste:  This is sometimes argued to be five senses by itself due to the differing types of taste receptors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami), but generally is just referred to as one sense.  For those who don’t know, umami receptors detect the amino acid glutamate, which is a taste generally found in meat and some artificial flavoring.  The taste sense, unlike sight, is a sense based off of a chemical reaction
  • Touch:  This has been found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors.
  • Pressure: Obvious sense is obvious.
  • Itch:  Surprisingly, this is a distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.
  • Thermoception:  Ability to sense heat and cold.  This also is thought of as more than one sense.  This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain.  These thermoceptors in the brain are used for monitoring internal body temperature.
  • Sound:  Detecting vibrations along some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your ear drums.
  • Smell:  Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction.  This sense combines with taste to produce flavors.
  • Proprioception:  This sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to other body parts.  This sense is one of the things police officers test when they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk.  The “close your eyes and touch your nose” test is testing this sense.  This sense is used all the time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.
  • Tension Sensors:  These are found in such places as your muscles and allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
  • Nociception:  In a word, pain.  This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other senses, such as “touch”, but this has been found not to be the case and instead, it is its own unique sensory system.  There are three distinct types of pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral (body organs).
  • Equilibrioception:   The sense that allows you to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and directional changes.  This sense also allows for perceiving gravity.  The sensory system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular labyrinthine system.  Anyone who’s ever had this sense go out on them on occasion knows how important this is.  When it’s not working or malfunctioning, you literally can’t tell up from down and moving from one location to another without aid is nearly impossible.
  • Stretch Receptors:  These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract.  A type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often involved in headaches.
  • Chemoreceptors:  These trigger an area of the medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and drugs.  It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.
  • Thirst:  This system more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body knows when it should tell you to drink.
  • Hunger:  This system allows your body to detect when you need to eat something.
  • Magnetoception:  This is the ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a sense of direction when detecting the Earth’s magnetic field.  Unlike most birds, humans do not have a strong magentoception, however, experiments have demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields.  The mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses.  This would make sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.
  • Time:  This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people to perceive time.  However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia.  Long term time keeping seems to be monitored by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm).  Short term time keeping is handled by other cell systems.