Final Year Project #05 Project Update

After meeting with Prof LP, there is a few question that I would need to find out to make my project direction clearer:

  1. Why do I use devices? 
    Because device is tangible object, its a physical thing that we can interact with. Although screens is also an object but the interaction are display it did not provide a physical, touchable and tangible interaction.
  2. Why am I doing this? 
    Capture different kind of reaction by different kind of people.
    Experiment or study of human behaviour?
    BUT WHY?
  3. What I am going to do with the photos?
    Create a conversation?
    Making it into gif? Showing each authentic reaction of individuals.
    Process of Action[device] —> Reaction [Viewer’s reaction]
  4. Am I getting reaction or expression? 

    After looking into the words, I realise reaction is more towards an instant responds while express was describing the look on someone face that convey an emotions. The direction I am going for are more towards reaction, the instant respond of the viewer. Even it is a slight raise of eye brow are also a reaction respond.
  5. Why reaction? 

I was actually quite stuck with my idea and I begin to research some research paper.

  • Some emotional state may be displayed by different expressive action such as facial gestures or body posture.
  • Unintentional Transmission of affects across individuals highlight the intimate correspondence between perception of emotion and expressive motor reaction.
    [unseen facial and bodily expression trigger fast emotional reaction 2009]
  • Emotions are intense, relatively short-term affective reaction to a specific environmental stimulus.
    [The Ripple Effect: Emotional Contagion and Its Influence on Group Behavior 2002]
  • Behaviours and ideas are spread by copying and imitation.
    [Evolution & Social behaviour  philosophy of biology 2014]
  • Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction

After all these, I felt i should narrow down to the core of my project and brunch out and strengthen it along the way. I would put aside the part where taking photograph of the view and concentrate on the reaction:

Using devices to create reaction from the viewer.

Why reaction? 

When the viewer interact with my devices and when they have reaction = they are in the present, being there with me. They might not realise it but by giving reaction they are living in the present and changing themselves from a viewer into a participant.

Web Design #01 – Proposal

In the final project, I will be doing on my personal portfolio. It will include a total of 6 pages:

  1. Home Page [Featuring Works]
  2. About [Sort description about myself and the work I do]
  3. Photography [Projects that I have taken]
  4. Design [Photos of the project and descriptions]
  5. Interactive Projects [Videos and descriptions]
  6. Contact

The aim of this portfolio website is to showcase my work and share my expertise with others. As Online portfolio show more than just a resume, also allows me to gain exposure to my client or potential employers search for me online.


Reference website:

They uses interactive reaction from mouse scrolling and animated pictures.

Unconventional way of main page and many animations of the words are involved. Words are floating and moving. Very interesting website.

Interesting ways to present the works!


Final Year Project #02 Research

I think this is quite interesting where they uses the detection on the device to triggers the sounds. It makes the users move around to interact with the artwork which I felt its a different experience.

Maybe I could hang my camera this way for more feasibility.

In this artwork the photographer are portray in digital while also directing the model to move to the correct place for the photoshoot.

Using kinect to track the view’s position and react to the picture, just like they are right there at the frozen moments.

Melting could also be a way to suggest my idea of deteriorating memory.

This is my favourite project out of the all where it includes a sense of humour. I laughed out when I When both phones are on video call, this machine will starts to turn from slow to fast. It reminds me when both party held hands together and starts to turn in circular motions. Yet, now in a digital side.

Final Year Project #01


After the first meeting the feedback given was:

  1. Have a clearer direction and justify the problem
  2. Refine on the title
  3. What is the difference of camera in the olden days and now?
  4. How can you take photo in art form?
  5. Research about assembly line metaphor
  6. Capture of feelings / we feel something every seconds
  7. Simplicity


I went on to research more in photography, two most prominent book that stands out to me was 100 Ideas that changed Photography by Mary Warner Marien and A Matter of Memory, photography as object in the digital age by Lisa Hostetler.

Points that I find it interesting

  • The camera obscura, projecting the real life into a dark room through a small holes. Sometimes artist make it a live movie theatre where there is moving figures and active skies
  • In the 1850s people believe that the Daguerreotype possess unnatural powers, such as able to cast spells, able to reveal the moral character of individuals and even bringing a token of the dead hopping the daguerreotypist would conjure up the spirit.
  • Making digital photographs weakens memory by Dr Linda Henkel, from Fairfield University. It will impact our ability to recall and understand the past.
  • In Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida, stated that the studium is the general cultural context that one perceive in photograph. There is a famous photo photo depicting Barthes’s mother at age of five who she died shortly before Barthes wrote the book. The image, Winter Garden Photograph reminds him the passage of time and he explains:

    “I cannot reproduce the Winter Garden Photograph. It exists only for me. For you, it would be nothing but an indifferent picture, one of the thousand manifestations of the ‘ordinary’; it cannot in any way constitute the visible object of a science; it cannot establish an objectivity, in the positive sense of the term; at most it would interest your studium; period, clothes, photogeny; but in it, for you, no wound.”

  • Photograph freeze moments of life of an individual in order to ensure their remembrance.
  • The tendency of deleting photos instantly after we create. We might missed some valuable images that will be useful next time.
  • Photos as tangible objects, it will turn old and yellowish. Something not permanent. It charge with historical, emotional and rhetorical values. While photos appear on screens is forever the same.
  • Transformation to visual information draws attentions.The difference between the past and NOW:
  • Record purposes for scientist to take photo and go back to research more about it or explore the places that is unreachable / cameras is more common nowadays we take photos for record purposes as well
  • printed on paper / appear mostly on screen

I draw out the points that stands out to me and narrowing down to 2 points:

Making Digital Photographs Weakens Memory

I though that this is really an interesting topic to touch on especially in today’s society. I am a living example that overly depend on camera to help me capture what I suppose to remember. Excessively capturing would also affect on personal experience, preventing one to enjoy what is happening in front of them.

  • Impairs memory by disrupting attention engagement
  • Offload the information automatically in a way assumes that it will be available later.
  • Expecting camera to remember things for us


Ideas: Computers Remembers Better Than Us

Placing 3 cameras around the exhibition when the programme detected faces it will be capture. The photos will be flashing in my booth in small screens play with the ironic of computers remembers more than us.

Also there is a pin hole with a display of a pair of eye looking and blinking. They can open it to look though with another pair of eye looking at them. At the same time they will be recorded as another pair of eyes. It was to mimic the computers are always watching us.


Photos as Tangible Object 

Nowadays most of us will stores our photographs in the cloud or hard disk. However, photographs that are printed has a different values where its tangible and it is not permanent. It changes over time and its there to remind you about the event. Yet, in today’s life photographs that are easily accessible, seldom being taken out to look again. As a result the value as compare to printed photographs are vary.


Feedback from second discussion:

  • Let them experience it so they will realise it.
  • Create scenarios?
  • React in the present?


Documentation Part 2


In the second part of this installation, I added sensors that will trigger siren and objects to obstruct people to take the candy. One pressure sensor will be place on the floor where the weights will be, this will trigger the siren. While another pressure sensor will be below the weight to turn on the object that will swing 360 to hit on people’s leg.

I started coding by using max, connect through icubex to the pressure sensor. The problem I face was when I wanted to test it in my laptop, after I install everything is needed such as library and driver but the USB port seems not recognising icubex, hence no sensor can be detect in max or connect. In the end after search the problem in the internet, I realise it was the system security that was blocking the driver. Icubex can be detected after it was unblocked.

Next, the number received from the sensor will send a bang to trigger the sound. Another sensor are connect to Arduino through serial communication and sending numbers 0 and 1. Initially in arduino, I uses delay to control the motor, but it cause problems in my system as it will lack and cause the numbers to stack up. So I change to Millis instead, so when the weight a place down it will instantly stop the turning.


Final Year Project Research & Process IV

During researching I came across this project who Laura Kampf the artist made this Happy Machine herself. It require an adult to cycle where the pivot point will cause the opposite carriage to turn. This simple mechanism I find it interesting that can be inspiration for my project.

However when I look in further, there are many issue such as safety of human and also children. As our grad show will be open for public, the structure and safety are very important. I had picture many situation like what if some one was inside the turning area or just simply put their hand somewhere, those would cause many safety issue that I might not able to control. So, I decided to go for a more feasible device or installation.

Research and Ideation in my notebook


Final Year Project Research & Process III

After the research, I have I few direction where I can narrow and concentrate on.

  1. Spreading of happiness?
    As it can brighten up people’s day and making someone happy.
  2. Ask people to live the moment?
    Sometimes it seems like we concentrate what is far away from us then the one close to us. As technology advance also divert our attenttion more on our mobile phone instead of people around us.
  3. Giving of happiness?
    We get happier when we are giving but due to our culture the way we are different. Like giving praise or giving to strangers are uncommon in our culture. Giving to society, some might not know where to start from.
  4. Good relationship keep us happy
  5. Are we really happy?
    From the statistic by The World Happiness Report, 220 million children and 1 billion people suffered from anxiety, depression and conduct disorder. I though of the percentage of people posting happy stuff in my new feed are actually higher. However, the statistic shows that there are many people who are depressed and I felt maybe they don’t really show out.

However, I seems to complicate my direction from my original objective.

Why I wanted to do this project?

Because I wanted to create something fun and positive vibe for the general public. As long as it put a smile on someone’s face. From the research, the happiness I am referring to was Level 1 Happiness: Represents momentary feelings of joy and pleasure. The immediate feeling of joy from simple things.

I though of an idea of a interactive machine. First, viewers would be presented with buttons that ask them to press according to their average mood of the day.

Happy • Neutral • Sad

After pressing there will be random object with a piece of note drop down for them. Those are small gift like candy or biscuits while the notes would have some inspiring quotes. This was to give them a little small surprise. Also, there will be feedback after they press the buttons, for example if they pressed sad, the feedback can be “awwww, don’t be sad, cheer up”.

Project Brief

Create sets of interactive machine/device/installation to put a smile on people’s face.

Final Year Project Research & Process II

After last week consultation, I went on for a week observation of myself on things that made me happy in the everyday life.

  • Watching Facebook Video of Dogs
  • After completed my Art History Presentation
  • Going Exercise in the morning with my family
  • A packet of Fries
  • Though of new ideas for my interactive space project
  • A gift from my friend
  • Coincidentally saw my good friend
  • Listening to music in bus

I felt mine was more of small things, that revolve around people. I felt happier when I accomplish something or I have help someone. I really appreciate the gift from my friend even though is a cup of milk-tea, it would warm people’s heart.

Next I went on to research what is happiness and I came across this article about 3 types of different happiness in psychology describes by Daniel Nettle. It represent different aspects of positive emotions we strive.

  1. Level 1 Happiness: Represents momentary feelings of joy and pleasure
    This refer more of short-term positive emotions like simple pleasures. Just like in my observation of myself, eating a packet of fries and listening to music lies under this category. It is easy to feel it due to the immediate feeling of joy, however this level of happiness do not last very long and we will return to our normal state very quickly.
  2. Level 2 Happiness: Represents judgements about feelings
    Sometimes was refer as well-being. This feeling goes beyond the momentary feeling of level one, more thoughtful and requires assessments. For example, comparing your situation with people and how you felt in the past.
  3.  Level 3 Happiness: Represents a higher meaning of life, flourishing and fulfilling one’s potential
    This level represents fulfilment like achieving one’s full potential, like accomplishment with higher meaning  related to self-realisation. Usually very difficult to determine but people who are in this level live more in harmony and has lesser inner conflicts because they felt that what they do are meaningful and for greater cause.

From this article, I gain insights and understand slightly more about the term of happiness. Level 1 was mostly we would encounter in daily life and are the most common one. While level 2 and 3 are lesser as it needs analysis and comes deep inside. I find it still very vague for me. In contrast there is another article about 4 level of happiness that distinguished by Aristotle.

We all strive for happiness.

Aristotle refer thats the only one we wanted for. Come to think about it, it is true, whether its directly or indirectly. The choice I make or I worked hard because I wanted to have a brighter future so I can be happy. My parents work hard because they wanted us to have a better living conditions etc.

  1. Happiness Level 1: Laetus. Happiness from material objects. 
    This happiness is short-lived, as it based on something external, the sensual pleasure we get from like new car or like my packet of fries.
  2. Happiness Level 2: Felix. Ego Gratification. Happiness from comparison: Being better, more admired than others etc. 
    We feel this type of happiness when are winning something, getting a promotion also comparing yourself with people.
  3. Happiness level 3: Beatitudo. The happiness from doing good for others and making the world a better place.
    Happiness based on the desire for connection, goodness, meaning, compassion, friendship and unity or in summarise Love. The focus was moved away from individual but the well-being of others. This happiness are more lasting, provides deeper meaning and feeling as compare to level 1 and 2. I felt this when I went to exercise in the morning with my family. Usually my brother and I don’t wake up 7+am in the morning to go with them but after our loss of a close aunty recently I came to understand that life has a limit. So we chose to wake up this early to accompany our parents and family where we leave them all shock and we enjoyed the trip together.
  4. Happiness level 4: Sublime Beatitudo. Ultimate, perfect happiness
    This level are similar to the level 3 happiness, very difficult to describe. Psychologist has labelled this as the ultimate happiness, some say the seek of connection to the larger universe or transcendence. Some people achieve through their spirituality, religion, philosophy, art but there is no define answer to this.

I am thinking of the direction like Happiness Level 3: The happiness of doing something good for others to making the world a better place. There is some questioning social issue in Singapore such as when something happen, the first reaction from the crowd was to take out their phones to shoot what is happening. Was it a right thing to do at first? Or do we always expect there is always someone else can do it? When will we be that someone else? In reflection, I always ask myself what I would do in those situations, but something I am sure about is I would not take out my phone straight away unless I am calling for an ambulance. This was one of the reason I felt to do on this Happiness project.

In this Ted talk by Robert Waldinger, discuss about “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness”. He shared about the research on The Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest study of adult life for 75 years. They track their lives of 724 mens and ask all about their life, work, health. The clearest message they got from the study was Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. They learn 3 lessons about relationship.

  1. Social connection are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. 
    People who are more socially connect to family, friends or community are physically healthier and happier. Also they live longer then those who aren’t. Those who are more isolated their health decline in midlife as well as their brain functioning.
  2. Its not about the numbers of friends you have or whether you are in a committed relationship, but the quality of your close relationship matters. 
    Conflict and without much affection relationship turn out to be very bad for health. Living in good and warm relationship is protective. Their study partnered man and woman reported in their 80s, said they had physical pain but their mood are still happy. However, people who are in unhappy relationship reported to have more physical pain but was magnified by emotional pain.
  3. Good relationship don’t just project our bodies but also our brains.
    The people who are in good relationships felt they can count on the another person when in time of need. Their memories stay shaper and longer. People who are in relationship where they feel they can’t count on, they experience earlier memory decline. Those with good relationship they had arguments and small fights and big fights together but as long as they feel they can count on one and other.

He also suggesting putting what he told in to practical use such as, replacing screen time with people time, livening up a stale relationship by doing something new together, long walks or date night, reaching out to family member who you haven’t been spoken in years. This is something I hope to achieve in my FYP, urging them to take action. The talk he gave was really meaningful and helpful, it have given me one of the possible way I could do for my FYP direction “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier”. I can relate to what he said and I felt is really important as well especially in our current generation. Most of us take advantage of the time at home being with the screen instead of talking to our close one. Once we lose our chance of being able to do it, we regret and feeling we could do better when we had the chance.

In Jacqueline Way’s Ted talk she talks about How to be Happy everyday: It will change the world. She mention about the statistic from the World Happiness Report stated that over 220 million children and 1 billion people suffered from anxiety, depression and conduct disorder. This result is not surprising, many Singaporean are diagnosis with depression as well. Those teens and children especially, it is like a diseases of civilisation. As most people uses handphones more than they socialise and didn’t observe of how their friends and family feels even they are just right beside them. Most probably all of them are using their phone at the same time which I find it quite saddening. Seems the world is changing living in the internet rather than living the moment.

She started 365 give with her 3 years old son who she wanted him to grew up happy, healthy, kind and compassionate. She developed this 1 give 1 day at a time for him to practise from small. Researchers also discover that giving will makes us happy as our endorphines would kick in and make us natural high and reduces stress. She start of donating blankets to the shelters near by her house with her son, whether is giving back to the society, helping the nature by recycling or helping human/friend/ stranger from the impact they choose from. She start blogging her daily activities and people started reading it. They send her what they have done and even a school teacher adopted this action to teach in her class. Way’s action cause a ripple effect that affect others, had made an impact to their families, friends and their communities around the world.

I really like the ideas of starting small which it tells people to do within their means. As compare to those issue like pollution of ocean, I felt I can do this more and it gives a sense of accomplishment when we done. It act as an encouragement and remind people about they had contribute to a better cause in their own ways.