Moving forward from Basic Communication 101 & 201

Hello guys!! It’s been a while, probably a week since I updated OSS. I have a huge problem with documentation, they are quite a pain but I will set aside some time to do it this week. Hopefully. Anyway, I was thinking of how to advance from the analog installation that I had done.

This is my first “installation” and also a liberation from what I do normally in photography. In photography or rather in our school’s photography course, we create works base off our expressions, what do we want to say? How do we evoke a certain emotion? How do we tell a story?

Borrowing some concepts from what I learnt, I made some amendments to how I thought. Instead of a direct, dictation of my expression/ story/ emotion in my work, it took some time for me to convert that into a platform or a playground almost for people to interact with. This shared experience of interesting engagement is something I think I’ve learnt from this installation and may then apply back to my own photographic works. A frame work, a platform is indeed more than necessary for anyone to view your works in.

What was interesting that I did not see it coming was that the vibration from one cup transmit back down and up to another cup on level 2. In which, the cup at level 1 becomes a main telecomm like a communication tower almost and it sends it’s vibration back to everyone else on the bridge on level 2. That was just splendid.

So I left the installation out for about two days before I was requested to take it down. But that allowed time for people to interact with the installation and from there I have gathered feedback. Generally, everybody had fun speaking into the telephone cups, some interaction last as little as 3 minutes to as long as 30 minutes. I asked “what made you stay put for longer than 30seconds?” Most people said friends, or basically other people involved in the interaction. The engaging part was the attempt to listen to your friends or talk to your friends through this network. I am well aware that this a strength and a limitation as well – so what if you were alone when you encounter this installation or what if you are generally a solo kid. How do the installation reach out to you then? If communication is a technology for all?

But before I jumped into the next concept I have to “improve” or maybe “change the analog installation slightly” for my digital installation. I would talk bout the little design principles or elements that I have thought of or that my Interactive Spaces classmates have put forth to me.

  1. light. Light is a beautiful phenomenal, in which we can’t see without it. While trying out the cups during recess week. I attempted to shine my phone torch into one of the cup. and it lit up beautifully but it does not translate to the threads. So Issac suggested that maybe I should consider fibre optics or something that allow the entire thread to be lit up. I particularly liked his suggestion because (if it’s possible) the vibrations of the sound can send a signal to the sensors for the light. And that you can see when a conversation is happening. ideally.
  2. voice modulators. So Suhui say that it would be interesting if one person’s voice get modulated into different type of voices across the many different cups I currently have. This allows people to move around each cup just to listen how different one sounds.
  3. political symbolism. Kamarul & LPD said. haha yes when I set it up, I have half a mind that it can be something about that. But no, I do not want to engage anything bigger than what it is lest it becomes fluff.
  4. listening. Vivian brought up an interesting point, what she liked the most was the fact that she could hear others and that she could just listen, the ‘static’ or the drop in signal/vibration that sometimes happen enhances the fact of fragility in the presence of the voice. I particularly like this observation because maybe it comes close to what I was trying to bring home with the dream boxes. The presence and absence of someone.

Feedbacks are great, it re-confirm things you already know, gives you another insight you might have missed and more importantly allow the mind-space to expand to include new angles and takes on it. This should be emphasised. I realised. especially in a creative school like ours.

So gathering from everybody’s feedback and remembering my original inspiration for this work, I realised that maybe if I can to create an answering machine in ADM. with the same cups just maybe an additoinal recorder, a trigger to show that there’s a message and to play back and re-record again. I don’t know if it is possible. I welcome feedbacks.


Execution Vertical Cups

So I spent the whole of Friday attempting to try the cups.

The vertical form will allow interact of two levels. Two different spaces in that sense. But what initially was supposed to be beneficial – (cause of gravity pull) didnt work out quite well. People will still need to pull the cups and stretch the threads a little for it to work.

Of course everybody had fun playing with it.



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Below is a link of the day in 20 seconds.

I titled this work-in-progress “Communication 101” just for the sake of it. Since I’m delving into this topic of relations through communication.
I’ve received some feedbacks from my friends who were in school over the weekends. Some said it was fun, people liked it, overall people played with it. I learnt, in interactivity, the element of play is important or rather it co-exist with the concept of interactivity. I am glad that I have made some progress from just hanging boxes to something one can play with and interact with. However, can I do more with this?

The Cup-Thread-Cup is just one module. What else can I do with it? How can I engage with a space differently, or how can I subvert the notion of communication? How can I play with this idea of communication?


Hanging them Cups

So after hanging the boxes, it reminded me of my many sketches of hanging cups instead. (i’ve in total three sketches but never thought to execute them until now)

Reasons why I remembered the cups were that I wanted active participation – allowing viewers to interact with it/ speaking through it than just passively listening to it. So I set out to attempt this experiment, hoping that it will work. (i never did this as a kid – I’ve always seen them on cartoons. but as we all know not everything on cartoon can be done in real life).


So other than the standard dangling, I thought of how you would place the cups.




I thought of a “see-saw”. Reasons being the whole idea of unfairness / justice. Or that there are too many dialogues incoming to one source. of course after researching, I soon realised that it is impossible to do have the wires all going to one cup. It will lose it’s vibration and thus it does not function.


I also came up with a “Hotline to God” – to have a bed below the ladder, and have telephone cups linking up the ladder. I was serious though. But I thought it did not quite use space the way we were introduced.

And then I went to look at our school’s lobby, and realised that maybe I can bridge distance with the telephone cup, dangling from level 2 to level one.

Or just a horizontal work.


So as I contemplated the difference between a vertical and a horizontal; is that vertical could probably look fun as the cups are swinging in mid-air, hopefully the gravity will substantiate the threads and allow vibrations to pass through better.


Whereas horizontal must be precise and that all the strings must be taut. I also looked at thread art for the different possibilities one can play with threads.


However one criteria that I must have is that it still has to be functional.

Which is the biggest difference between all these other works.





Hanging Boxes

So I am still figuring out how this is gonna work, so one method is that I tried hanging these boxes I am so hung over about.


As much as I like the way they were hanging, when I attempted to walk into the given space, it was awkward. I didn’t know what to do. Maybe it is because precisely they are just hanging boxes. But given in a hypothetical situation whereby the boxes do whisper, is it far more interesting? Maybe. But this vertical arrangement of engagement is far too inaccessible for the participants to reach out and listen to it. They’d have to climb a chair or a ladder. Is it intriguing enough for them to do so?
More practically speaking, how would I put multiple speakers producing multiple different audios into multiple boxes? What can replace speakers? What does the audio stand for? Many voices depicting the narratives of dream? Why is it important that they tell their dreams? Because those are untold important stories, visuals that you can’t control but is in your head anyway. Moments, ideas that you can’t translate or communicate in reality for some reason, practicality/illogical/ for the fear that people might deem you mad?

How does my installation allow this liberation? Does playing out dream narratives in boxes allow this liberation? In a way it allows people to hear, but then the people who tell their stories are fixed, that’s limiting. If I would to do that, a documentary or a photo series might do a far better job. Hm. So is there a way to allow people to communicate or express freely in my installation – be it dreams, secrets, hopes.

Creating an experience in space

I’ve been thinking about how to begin planning this concept and I was attempting to read up about what makes a space, an engaging experience? So there was a few readings in the folder tht Prof. Louis shared and I managed to read up on the chapter Setting the Stage in the book, “Goods and services are no longer enough”. It talks about the four types of experience: Educational, Entertainment, Escapism and Esthetic.

This is a table of how the four realms of experience happen. I find it interesting that this reading was from a business service oriented book and that it can be applied to installations as well.

Experience economy
Four Realms of Experience

The concluding statements:

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In theory, this seems easy and simple, but to apply it physically is tough.

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So I was thinking of lying down on beds, spread out in a fan-shaped, with the installation illuminated by a lamp, or a night light. Individually, each bed has a unique recording played through a small speaker; recordings of people talking – dreams, aspirations, past, hopes. And people can go around to each different beds experiencing different recordings.


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Of course, I have in mind a cozy, warmly lit intimate bedroom setting.


My concern is that, maybe it does not engage enough with the idea of space. I understand the four realms of experience, but am I applying the notion and concepts of space?