One Hundred and Eight by Nils Volker, 2010


One Hundred and Eight

Nils Volker

2.40 x 1.80 m
fans, plastic bags, MDF, relays,
countless screws and a microcontroller
Summer 2010

For something as cheap and easily available everywhere, this artwork is sick. It make something so simple, beautiful and captivating. However of course, he had the use of relays, MDF and individual air vents for each plastic bags to simulate the “breathing” of the plastic bag. The smartest thing of all is that it is creating patterns.  (click link for the video)


In any case, back to my project, I do not think I am able to simulate this at this scale neither am I attempting to. However, this work allowed me to see how I can use plastic bags as breathing lungs, that an inanimate object can be so interactive and intriguing. From this project, I will start to think of how air can interact with plastic and how I can arrange them in ways that will allow viewers to see it as neat, messy, as clouds?


Plastic Bags in A different light



And so I’ve picked plastic bags for it’s colors, and the possibilities of colored lights and it’s translucent quality. I searched around online and found how plastic bags can be used in different scenario.




Making aware of the environmental factor


Appropriating the plastic bag onto trees, re-decorating the trees with rubbish.



I love this the most ^ The colors illuminating the plastic bags bring about an atmospherical quality that I was looking for with my “Dream Box”.

Re-Thinking, re-looking, re-questioning


I thought and I re-thought about my idea about the “dream Box”. As much as I would love to pursue it, I felt that I wasn’t learning or applying the lessons I learnt with regards to space and experience. That I was about to jump the gun to be an “artist” but yet not have my fundamentals sorted out. So I scrap that and went back to the drawing block. I had to start somehow with material, something flowy, something translucent, something that can be found just about anywhere. I thought of a few items initially,



But I decided on plastic bags. there is a potential for sound, capacity, colours that I can explore with. So for now, I see plastic bags (white) as many many clouds, rattling and moving as you pull a string. This engagement is just still a matter of play only. I have more to think about.

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So after researching on the net for a bit, I found other artists that also uses plastic bags in this fantastical style.

It seems like repetition might just be the way to go to emulate and occupy a space.




To be honest, this is out of my comfort. I’ve always created projects I wanted to do, so it was always the idea first. This time around, I’m considering first the material or an object and then with that the environment.

In search of “same same but different”

I have found a pair of toilet in ADM that are almost identical (mirror image of each other).

So my first concern was could I replicate the space of the ladies onto the gents, and the gents onto the ladies? check out the youtube link for my very rough try-out to see if mirroring works. And I think it does. This is just invert girls but normal boys.

Other than that, the internal space of both female and male toilets are actually quite similar except for a few distinct difference for obvious reasons. I found it interesting that the “forbidden place” of the GENTS actually looks similar except for the urinal.

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I was worried that someone would walked into me in the toilet videoing. But guessing that the time is too late, I relaxed and it occurred to me that this “worry” I had was taught/ initiated by people/ society. Because space fundamentally is just an area of ground. It holds nothing more.

But yeah, I had fun in the toilet tonight.


I hope my post doesn’t spoil too much fun we will be having in class or experiencing it.
Fun fact: It was actually quite hard to find almost identical toilet in ADM, I think the architect made all the spaces very irregular (even our rooms). Interesting.






I was thinking of the perception of private space. It can be man fencing up a certain area and claiming that it theirs now, that we have names on doors and then the space is mine, that what is actually a neutral public area has turned private. I’ll make an attempt on toilets because it is universal. My inspiration partly derived from the dormitories’ toilets. They basically occupy the same layout on each floor but each floor differs in gender.

I am interested in how the different signs on the door (semiotics of female & male) thus affect what goes on internally despite having the exact same space and/or layout. 

How that suddenly a neutral space becomes limited to only females or males?






Having A Third Eye III


So viola~ Here’s my two phone holders with a small slit just for the camera so that we can see.

Below is a screenshot of what you are supposed to see. Your “back” and a small window for your “front”. I can’t manage a screen record because the microphone is used for skype.



And here’s a video on how it is gonna on up on the head. Thanks Issac for helping me video.


Having a third eye

I’ve been meaning to share my ideas with regards to devices we are planning to make. Erm. It’s just sprung out of this idea of having a “third eye”. Watching your back almost. Seeing what you can’t.

So I m gonna create phone holders to hold two camera phones, the camera phones will skype each other. The user using the device is able to see the video feed from the back of his/her head and also a smaller video window that shows the user where he/she is walking to.

It’s just a simple idea. Feel free to comment.


The photos attached have two other ideas I came up with while brainstorming.

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Clingy Time

So Prof. Louis brought in cling wraps to class and hoped we wrap each other up. With the idea of tension and release, I don’t think it went too well. There wasn’t any feelings to it other than the struggle to want to incorporate pre-conceived notions to it. Hahaha. And maybe I’m so used to being adult and not having fun, maybe I should just let loose.


But more than anything, I wanted to be wrapped more?

(my phone was sent for repair, so I lost all my footage shall be editing another one after I get the videos back from classmates)


Pen Interaction

So, my classmate Issac and I were supposed to “do something” with a pen. Well everybody was supposed to do something with objects as well and I think it was equally awkward as it is. Issac started to use the basic function of a pen and attempted to “draw” on me. A very boyish action but interesting as well. How else can the action of a pen (designed for a singular person approach) be interacted among two people? He then realised that determining distance is harder on the camera. Well, I didn’t agree with that, it was definitely different but not necessarily harder. We then realised it’s the play of depth that he found disconcerting. It makes me wonder what’s the difference? It’s not that we can “see” depth, depth is perceived based on the object size and position in relation to another. Which in the case of a video, it’s fine. However the angle of view is definitely different (in the case of the sony phone) it is wider than our human perceived field of view and thus caused the correlation of distance or depth to be “harder” but it is just really us, humans, not used to seeing things with the camera. Which makes me wonder if our eyes are just another camera, and that it can be change.



But all in all, it was great fun when we finally let out in exasperation “what are we supposed to do?” And Louis said, the point it is that there’s no instructions given. In my opinion, with regards to art making, this loss sense of purpose, (in most cases) is the worst scenario you want to put your audiences in. It’s a balance between subtle direction and just confusing them.