For my Interactive Devices project, I set out to make a little buddy that faces people when they come into proximity.

Initially the idea was a fibre optics tree so that the visuals would be interesting when it spins around.

But I realized that I was kind of making a turret, and looked into the various forms that I could make for it’s turret form.

Form aside, I also contemplated between IR sensors and Ultrasonic sensors, of which I settled for ultrasonic sensors because I found a (much) cheaper deal on them.

This project was an immense learning experience with my two main electronic components, the ultrasonic sensors and servos.

As stated at the end of the sem presentations, and as I and the rest of the class probably learnt along this project, is that nothing is ever clean, digitally speaking.

Bulk of my problems were trying to get “proper” readings from my ultrasonic sensors.

I started with using the NewPing library for ultrasonic sensors in Arduino, along with using their base code in their examples for multiple ultrasonic sensors in an array.

The above gif is my first success of having the ultrasonic sensors running and the servo running my “noBody();” function. The function which runs when the sensors don’t detect anyone. But this incident were two separate events running, where the sensors were not affecting the servo.

An issue that popped up at this stage that I didn’t figure out for a while, was that the servo turning blocked my ultrasonic sensors from taking a reading.

And with the readings not being clean, there odd numbers were especially prevalent at this stage. Very VERY often, the sensors would read at very odd and erratic numbers, sometimes reading 0  (depending on the code). I borrowed everything from an iCubeX to an arduino mega to try my device on but to no avail.

This was really a big problem I had with the interaction as these odd reading would trigger things that I didn’t need being triggered.

Eventually I whittled down the problems to the delay. Delay was the thing that stopped my device from moving along smoothly AND was making my reading odd for some reason I still don’t fully understand. I came to this conclusion by first reducing the delay down from 500 to 33, and this was a big breakthrough because the reading were suddenly much smoother, at which point I took it out completely and it was like magic with how smooth the reading were at first.


At this stage it was working decently, but this was not to last, subsequent addition to the code seemed to have broke it once again.

Servos were also another big problem, with my bigger (INSERT MODEL NUMBER) servo, it wasn’t working very well, and I was very afraid that I had a power issue on hand; or that I had a faulty servo.

Fortunately, I bought two! Neither of which worked. This was also another big issue and learning point for me in the project. I scoured the web and eventually found a way to test these servos.

I discovered that both the servos could spin continuously, not something that I had expected, but the problem with these servos was that they would go off centre very easily and then not be able to spin again. Causing me to be unable to control them in a precise manner that I needed.

Fortunately, (a constant word with these projects) I was able to borrow servos from a fellow classmate.

But the issues of reading were now getting very tricky, with most of the hardware settled, the code was still somehow not working.

I scrapped my initial base code and rewrote it without using the array, that way I could more easily call to the individual sensors in a way that I understood easier than with them in an array.

My next fix that came about was using DC to power the Arduino, that actually made quite a big difference in my ultrasonic sensor readings and seemed to have made it run smoothly again.

The next step was putting it together, and once again, something wasn’t quite right, and still this portion is a bit of a mystery, but it sorted itself out.

While my final form was quite janky, I was pleasantly surprised with how well it worked.

The project brought with it quite a number of learning points.

Helping me fine tune my troubleshooting abilities, working within the limitations of the “dirty” nature of electronics and it’s sensitivity to interference (and power supply).

And with that, draws the end of DM3005. Thank you very much~

(I’m quite pleased with the video, especially with that prime moment at 0:38)



We wanted to explore the connections between each live stream and the fun possibility that we can create! Since our final project will be presented on the grid wall, we decided to build our whole concept revolving the idea of the grid wall and the potential of viewing all four live streams at the same time to create a piece much greater than each individual stream. Exploring the idea of third space and synchronising one and other. It involves interaction, cross streams, planning, coordination and a lot of teamwork in this project.

We start off at different location and moving to meet each other at the same pace where we play with the visual effects of filming. From synchronised games, face connection to various streaming ideas are thoughtfully planned, hope to explore different ways of live streaming.

It was quite interesting and fun to see how this project has grown from it’s initial idea up to our current idea. Bulk of the process in this project was very collaborative, especially in the conceptualising and planning phases. Ideas were bounced off each other and we really helped each other refine the nitty-gritty details and what we want to explore in the project.

Even on an individual basis, everyone had their part to play in their own special way. I helped out in scouting the location and keeping everyone up to date on the weather – the groups very own weather boy – which proved to be quite a tricky task considering how unpredictable the weather has been of late. Along with that, that weekend was slated to have a high chance of precipitation which led to a lot of ‘calling it at a minutes notice’ when taking action. Scouting the location was also part of my repertoire, which considering the location, was quite a pleasant task, especially with the maps provided, it really helped to figure out a good location for us to go on our own winding paths away from each other.

and oddly enough, in our divergent paths, reunite again

The process it itself was a little daunting especially with how coordinated we needed to be for our final result to appear as we’d like. Fortunately, even when putting the video together roughly, by placing our phones side by side, we were all quite wow’d by the final result even in that form. Even happy coincidences like the crossing seen in the gif above were a nice touch on the abilities of our project.

My personal takeaway from this project is once again this idea that even when apart from each other, our lives have a level of synchronicity that we are unaware of. I say “once again” as I had similar sentiments when doing the co-broadcast with Su Hwee; showing the parallels that everyday people have to a degree that even I didn’t expect going into the assignment.

With all the works, reading and meetings we’ve had through the semester, one work that does stand out to me, that reminds me of my aforementioned sentiment is Douglas Davis’ “Worlds Longest Collaborative Sentence”.

Firstly, because I’m sure that page after page of keyboard musings, there definitely are common themes, similarities and identical words and phrases keyed in but additionally so in the sense that people have felt like they’ve been closer and more connected to people despite distance.


Straight from the ‘Sentence‘ itself; and much like the past projects, I genuinely do feel this thread of connectivity, allowed by this advent of social broadcasting in being able to connect people and see just how much everyone is and can be a community in their similarities despite their differences and the amazing parallels that we all have in our lives.

Internet Art and Culture Class ASSIGNMENT

Posted by Nicholas Makoto on Friday, 3 November 2017

But more technically, North-East-West.

I was co-broadcasting with Su-Hwee who hails from the West.

With the aim of exploring the different lives of the everyday person, we set out an order of business, starting at the toppest floor with a long corridor.

For those unfamiliar, in HDB blocks, some levels are connected with a long corridor linking the houses along the entire block on that side. This is due to the old lift format, which only stopped at certain floors, say 1 – 5 – 9. Hence these floors are connected with long corridors.

The plan was as follows

  • Top floor stroll end-to-end
  • Down to the next long corridor (5th Floor)
  • Do another sweep of the floor end-to-end
  • Down to the ground level
  • Make way to the nearest hawker center
  • Have a look around and make our coordinated purchases

and Honestly, the visuals were more strikingly similar than I expected

From the get go, the corridors created this odd symmetry whilst being asymmetrical which I thought was an interesting visual. Interestingly enough I heard that some HDBs estates had a departure from the Brutalist form, which could account for the differences that we see in the frame.

< Corridor (

Even our decent down the block was very interesting, though a bit more choreographed in that I was trying to match her speed and angles as I descended. Which did lead to a great visual comparison of the two blocks in their stairwells.

On the way to the hawker center, the first “bump” we ran into was that she seemed to be reaching the hawker center faster.

Subsequent road bumps were me ordering drinks and it arriving faster than her’s and in delaying mine, she ended up getting her drink faster.

Similarly, her stalls of choice were close that day, which led to me doing an impromptu lap of the hawker space.

But these are all parts of the livestreaming experience I’d say, the reality of it all.

Chance visual parallels

It reminded me of Pamela Z’s performance, which I did enjoy, along with your camera perspective, I assume both sides were rather adaptive be it in their own performance or in response to the other person.

Perhaps in retrospect, one thing I’d have done differently would be to focus on the world around me as opposed to worrying about the camera. Much like being on stage, I find my mind not focused on whats present in front of me, but on what I’m doing and a lot of being in my own head analysing and responding to what I’m showing. That being said, I find there to be a gain in what is framed. Especially in that the camera operator dictates what the audience can and cannot see, I do feel the responsibility to give a good look in a comprehensive manner for viewers to better make sense of the ideas that we’re trying to get across to them.

Overall I’d say we did a good job and the visual comparisons were quite amazing and really built upon what I had done previously with Bao and the visuals we both created then.

By sheer coincidence, the people that we had in front of us at the drink stall were wearing the good ol’ Red-Blue color combo

Seeing the humans behind any work always comes with an air about the whole scenario, ‘These are the people behind what I’ve been seeing’.

Despite being new to their work, seeing the people behind Second Front was no different.

And it’s made even more tantalizing by the fact that there’s the opportunity that I’ll be able to hear from the artists themselves, especially so when there are parts of the works that I don’t fully understand.

While I didn’t personally ask any questions, though I had a few in mind, I find that hearing from the artists themselves helps give a good look into how they function, how their thought patterns go about arranging themselves and in turn, their everyday gives an understanding into their artworks.

Something that didn’t occur to me, was the idea that they’d have backlash. Jeremy Turner/FIimflam (a name that got stuck in my head for a bit) even bringing up a case where a guy was said to be able to “see his IP address” and in turn knows where he lives and is gonna come and kill him. In retrospect, considering cyber-bullying is a thing, I should’ve realized it happened even in a less objective oriented game.

Patrick Lichty had a statement that I thought was quite well put, that it’s all about affect. What is performance art with the body the body removed? This was a question he had going into this foray in the virtual space with performance art. Which was a little eye-opening, and in retrospect once again feels like it should have been more obvious, the fact that artists venture into spaces that they themselves have questions about. But in regards to the body being removed from performance, it’s interesting, ultimately despite having happened in virtual space, it’s easily forgotten that there are indeed people and lives behind the polygons wiggling around on screen, that “it is real, there are stakes, and it’s what’s important for performance art” (in regards to virtual performance art having affect)

Lastly, Bibbe Hansen talked about the idea of community, and the just how enriching and rewarding it’s been to meet all the people around the world. It’s just made me realize that the internet’s ability to do so (in it’s full capacity), is really lost on me and perhaps my generation too (it was also really heartening to see how real it is to her). They grew up in the times before it was possible to, and have entered the world after it in full force as well. It’s no wonder there’s endless praise sung to it’s virtue to connect to anyone online at any moment through a multitude of different avenues.

It was also incredible that she even rubbed shoulders with Andy Warhol himself, ON TOP of being Beck’s mother.

Bibbe Hansen and Andy Warhol