Mid-Term: Non-Linear



Feedback for mid term project
– mapping of aeroplanes with no backdrop of location
-digital evolution of this project – map – using processing
– colour of threads to represent certain  type of people, and location most frequented – most frequented
– observe people’s reactions
– make work appear approachable -strings tied make ot look like its about to drop, make a concrete stand so that passerby can see this work and feel confident about making it appear still
– remove instruction board

Week 2: Janet Cardiff &George Miller by Mariory Jacobson


“boundaries between our technologies and ourselves continue to implode (collapse violently inwards); as we inexorably (impossible to prevent from happening) become creatures that we cannot even now imagine”

“[devices like discmans, videocams, and binaural sound equipment] embody the diffidence (uncertainty) of a global information culture both beguiled and betrayed by the promises of the cyber revolution (Kello n.d.).”

This sentence seems to carry a lot of heavy meaning but even after understanding the big words author’s statement seems to be quite hard to understand. From what I know, Lucas Kello’s definition  (Kello n.d.) of cyber revolutions is about new threats and dangers which require immediate intervention by the state, and this is because we live in a time of “global information culture”. I would assume the use of discmans, videocams and binaural sound equipment, which are devices used in her artwork suggests how these can be used to influence people’s way of thinking – which makes it a powerful tool.

“Sounds and dialogue become so authentic we find ourselves removing our headsets to distinguish actuality from invention.”

In Mural Lake, one of their works is an example of this. By featuring a movie theatre facing the visitors it puts them in the position as the viewer, and also “god-like” where he/she directly hovering above the miniature size theatre. With the added use of headphones to drown out any ambient noises from the place they were in, the viewers enter a different “actuality”, where narrator speaks to them in a way that sounds very personal.  think using Janet Cardiff’s soft and persuasive tone in the audio seems to bring out that part, and it plays out well with the clip The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 + AlterBahnof Video Walk, 2012. Her narration seems to be telling the audience how to think according to what she thinks, and this play around a person’s line of thought does make the installation quite immersive. And it really does help that a human element such as her voice brings a person to see things from another person’s point of view. In literal form I guess this would mean the idiom “speaking her mind” directly at you. This “binaural” technique that she uses sees to be a recurring theme in her other videos besides The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 & AlterBahnof Video Walk, 2012 which has been effective in influencing the way people think and behave.

The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 @3:42

Kello, Lucas. n.d. “The Meaning of Cyber Revolution.” MIT Press Journals. https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/ISEC_a_00138.

Week 1: Body,Personal Relations and Spatial Values Yi Fu Tuan

Front and back regions of the body is used as concept used in space

“The human being, by his mere presence, imposes a schema on space.”

“He marks its presence on those ritual occasions that lift life above the ordinary ad so force him to an awareness of life’s values”

Same structure and values of the human body

The symbolic advantages of upper stories of a house can easily be outweighed by their practical problems.

Islamic tradition – Kaabah, is not only the center and naval of the world but also its highest point

Frontal space is mainly visual, represents dignity , awe and commands respect

Back space is “dark”

This reading seems to revolve around the idea of bringing the concept of how our body postures are naturally and how it relates to space.

Circumambient space is differentiated in accordance with schema of his body.

People may work in the same building yet experience different worlds because their unequal status propels them into different circulatory routes and work areas.

By using the example of ADM buildings, there are made up of different floors, the upper floors are mainly occupied by staff, and the bottom floors are rooms for students, study labs, lecture rooms and workshop area. Since we have our own places to go to, it is interesting how the rooms that we visit often are different in terms of space and environment. The upper floors appear quieter, and isolated office rooms and mainly older teaching staff are there to interact with each other. This is a completely different setting in the lower floors where it the setting is slightly less formal and noisier.

With the way spaces are being constructed, the creator has a deliberate way of positioning people and space, where in real life situations– customer service sector facing entrance door to welcome visitors, are also quiet interesting to take note of. This deliberately planned usage of space also encourages likelihood of certain people to bump into each other, and above all, and empty space makes more room for more people to interact and increase possibilities of forming relations.

At the same time, in places like hotels or restaurants, visitors rarely get to see people pushing in box cartons or the stressful cooking environment at the kitchen – which would not be the best sight to see for them. However, in TV shows like Hell’s Kitchen, there is a division in place between the restaurant tables and chairs and the kitchen – by glass walls in place.

Being close combines two meanings of intimacy and geographical closeness. As the friend moves father and farther away geographically, emotional warmth also declines.

“out of sight, out of mind”

Alternatively, “social distance may be the inverse of geographical distance”.

Giant posters above at the start of expressway  is also a way to signal motorists that they are entering a long stretch of road – which is similar to a welcome sign at the front part of person’s house, and that also reflects how we construct buildings with the intention of making people more conscious of the spaces they are entering in a safe way.

Week 5 Reading “Critical Vehicles” by Krzysztof Wodiczko

Vehicles served as a means for enacting a psycho social machine

The subjects of that oppression were themselves often unaware of the extent to which they were an active component – a cog or a gear  – in that machine.

The use of a vehicle is used to represent a government system that is run by important elements that make up democracy – which are its people. The artist take on this appeared pessimistic in nature – where oftentimes citizens are unaware of their power to make a change to the system they are a part of – otherwise, as the main driver of social change they would have been the driving force.

the hypocritical life we lead when we take refuge in the machine of a political or cultural system while closing one eye to… our own passivity, or frankly speaking complicity.

The author is trying to show how as we active consumers of the culture and political system that we reside in, where we could choose to believe what they say they will do for us in exchange for our loyalty. And it also seems to dislike the idea of us being blindly accepting this type of norm, because it is easier than to throw an uprising against the government, which is much more difficult.

ideaosis – the commonsense life of well-calculated choice for navigating through the system by claiming a critical or independant perspective on it


If democracy is to be a machine of hope, it must retain one strange characteristic – its wheels and cogs will need to be lubricated not with oil but with sand. This will disrupt its symmetry and legitimacy and keep the machine in a kind of ethical turbulence.

The author seems to use the symbol of machine parts to represent a certain belief to how politics should work. The wheel and cogs are used to represent how followers of the government should learn to be vocal, and play the role as devil’s advocate in the way they perceive how the politics is currently being run. By “ethical turbulence” seems like the author is suggesting that it is the morally righteous thing to adopt this approach when ruled under democracy.

Democracy is ill, silently suffering, and we must heal it, make it whole, of the wounds from hundreds of years of forced muteness and invisibility impoased on so many of its subjects.

The author’s stand is that he seems to observe the shortcomings of democratic principles in general, where people who accept the majority seems to overlook the importance of valuing minorities or those of the marginalized.  Also, there is some criticism with regards to him and he aims to “shake” off this sheep mentality by making sure the voices of the “silence,alienated and marginalized” are heard.  He also appears like some savior or hero in this article, where he’s trying to win support of the good guys ( the marginalizeD) and to go against the “oppressor” namely the Uncle Tom of the country.


Week 4 Reading of Rafael Lozeno Hemmer’s “Illuminating Embodiment”

“Under scan” is an interactive piece which uses a tracking system to produce an audio/visual on a person’s shadow, as lone strangers walk in an open, lighted space.

By doing so, it projects a clip of a stranger, who is making some type of movements with his body and face – as if to entertain the the person who sees it. I particularly liked the way projection screen is customized to the stranger’s whereabouts, with the help of tracking system that predicts where the person will move next. It makes it highly interactive and gives an extra personal touch to it. I think the use of lights to create formation of shadows on sidewalk is a smart move Lozano has made, in order to detect movement of person and produce that interaction.

The use of the small projections, unlike that of the fully large scaled ones that draws a lot of blinding LED lights, this interaction seems to give off a different type of response. It seems more mellow, personal, more deliberate way of drawing someone’s attention without being intrusive. It seems like the content of the interaction is meant to invoke a certain type of humor in the stranger, with due respect to his/ her personal space – as seen in the way the clip fades off after stranger walks away. In the bigger picture, Lozano’s interaction “Under scan” is meant to be highly interactive, with proper accustomization to a person’s whereabouts – with due respect to his/her level of interest in it.

As mentioned previously, the use of small projection instead of large scaled ones could be possible form of work. But I guess in relation to what was mentioned in the article, it is practical as well to project interactions in small sizes to reduce costs especially if it is a artist working on this project, and not a big corporation with a lot of budget.

virtuality as a digitally facilitated, purely cerebral state independant of the vicissitudes of the body.

And in his book “Mind Children” American roboticist Hans Moravec speculates that in
the future people will no longer need bodies as human consciousness will be fully transferred to digital realms.

The quotes above seem to suggest how the use of the virtual reality, such as the internet plays around our perceptions, our psychology, our way of thinking and manipulation of the individual’s minds. It seems like a very futuristic way of describing virtuality, but I guess it really holds true. We do not use any part of our body when it comes to using virtual reality, or the Internet for examples, and it is highly “independant” because we are detached from our body parts. The digital spaces is simply functional because there is a collective number of brains working alone / together to produce whatever information that we may need/want/desire from the anything digitally produced.

In my opinion, the way it says “human consciousness will be fully transferred to digital realms” seems to point   towards our transition from the physical world to virtual reality. And even if it is becoming a worldwide phenomenon in mayn developed high speed Internet places like here (Singapore), it does mean that living in the physical space “in the moment” woud require someone who is conscious enough to go back to the non-virtual reality. And that, I would assume would need to be deliberate.

In conclusion, I hope that this theory holds true, because in some ways it does end off with the idea that we could still connect on a virtual level regardless of any preconceived notions, stereotypes about a person. Instead, internet communities thrive on a similar human-like approach where we thrive to reach towards a common goal through a different , alternative reality.

Siah Armajani Exhibition At NTU CCA


Siah Armajani’s exhibition was quite interesting for me – there were many elements which carried some significant meaning to them as I learnt about him and his past experiences dealing with reactions to the political climate and the people involved in them back in his home country – Iran. They included the way he used similar-looking chairs throughout every installation in there, the use of small holes on some chairs to contain the pencils and the spaces which are meant to be inviting and communal.

Ana, the tour guide explained to us how the use of chairs were significant in Siah’s work – in remembrance of two political activists who were executed in electric chairs and died after being (falsely) accused of wrongdoing that they did not commit. In my opinion, the repetitive use of chairs and how it was being placed created a certain type of mood that does differ simply from the way the chair was being placed. In this particular photo, the chairs that face out the little shelter was actually reminiscent of the way prison guards sat when they are on guard duty. You feel like you are watchful of your environment especially of anybody walking past you into the shelter. Similarly, the way the lone chair are placed indoors seem to suggest a sense of isolation, and when I was in there I kept looking around, sideways and up where I can see light outside. It was quiet dark in there, but it wasn’t uncomfortable either.

The way each pencil is held up by a wooden stand in equal rows and columns seems to be quite an odd sight to see. I thought that was quite strange. It was quite functional in a way because I could use them to write down a feedback form towards the end of the visit. I tried to find some relationship between the way the pencils work with the chairs and the shelter. They could be there to remind you of the sharp pricks on a chair that is meant to show some kind of discomfort when you look at it from afar. There was one reclining chair where it was completely covered with the pencil holders. So, it was quite funny to see how it looks like you could sit on it but you actually can’t. One of my classmates and I were standing around it discussing about whether we could sit on it or no – and he decided to sit on it. Some of the pencils broke and that’s when he realize it’s not an actual place to sit. I thought that was the funny – but the curator walked up to us quickly and told us it is okay she will replace the pencils herself. I was laughing inside, but I couldn’t figure out how he could possibly think this was something you could sit on.

Moving on, the communal feel to the whole installation can actually be felt. There were no restrictions in navigating through the spaces – we could sit on the chair, we could pick up a pencil and write on them, we could pick out books in the booktrays, we could lay out a book on the book holder as we read them quietly, and we found it easy to talk in between the spaces because they were open. I guess the communal way of interacting with each other is evident here and it does feel like the artist is providing us an avenue that allows us to exchange ideas and formulate plans for a better the people we are a part of. . Overall, I felt that this installation was made really reminded me of the kampong feel to it, and it really does give an idea of what a community would look like. At the same time, based on the artist’s commemoration of two political activities who were executed in electric chairs, these chairs were quite nostalgic  in remembering how painful and betrayed it must have been for what these two people have gone through.