[FDN4D Project 4] Part 2: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

See Part 1 here if you haven’t.

I was totally ready for the presentation on Thu 23/11/2017! I really was! All I needed to do was to check in with Mr Bharat, who hadn’t replied me since Thu 9/11/2017, during which I discovered that the location was not available…

… Hence, I instantly asked Lei to suggest another location, and she suggested the space outside the Foundation 2D Room, somewhere I obviously had better luck with. (Note that from here on out, it becomes more process-based, since a lot of the documentation is on the improvised setup.)

She also mentioned that I would probably need to change my object due to the smaller width of the corridor, and so again I had to go back to the basic requirements and re-evaluate my setup based on the things which I needed which were site-specific.

Now that I couldn’t use the site-specific benches, I needed to re-evaluate my subject, a material object which is

  1. identical in spatial form,
  2. unmovable,
  3. in close proximity to each other, and
  4. able to be interacted with
  5. and now, additionally, also fairly thin and small, since the throw distance was very short and I still needed space for people to interact with the objects.

There weren’t any site-specific objects I could use, so I decided that I would need to make the object on my own. The layout practically begged for something to pinned to the wall, and when you talk interactive, why not paper to be drawn on? It’s not exactly unmoving, but I could at least have the 10 minute video show how the paper got there, showing its temporal part of not always having been there, as opposed to the current present which shows that it IS there. Also, it’s thin enough to fit the narrow corridor. The downsides are that it doesn’t have the same effect as the basement foyer’s benches, in that it’s not something which is permanently there, and already has some form of established identity, but at least it was suited to the area.

The final setup turned out surprisingly well, likely because of the small scale of the space such that it was much easier to deal with.

If I had better resources, I would have liked the video to span from the putting up of the paper, all the way to the present, rather than cutting off abruptly once my camera couldn’t record anymore (i.e. a live transmission running about 2 hours behind real time, not that I would know how to set that up).

In the end, it was surprisingly not as hard as I thought it would be to change location, which I think was mostly because I had already stated the main criteria I needed rather than specific objects, such that I could figure out what I could replace it with easily. (Also, Lei’s advice was incredibly helpful where I was at a loss on where to even start looking.)

In the interest of time, I also ditched any plans to actually teach properly, and went with the fastest crash course I could, so  I mostly feel like everyone didn’t really understand the metaphysical concepts I was trying to portray. But I suppose it’s alright because I do feel like I did what I could with the available time and resources, and it looks like everyone had fun:

(Also, a lot of shadow puppeteering happened)

Also thanks Ryan and Lei for helping me carry all my equipment T_T Especially Ryan for helping me reach the projectors, push the metal cupboard back, and carry my 2 projectors and DSLR camera set back to Hall 2 Block 6 Level 2, i.e. a route with many, many, many stairs.

[FDN4D Project 4] Part 1: Before the Storm

I decided to switch up and get out of my comfort zone by working with live, 3-dimensional, interactive things than what I’m comfortable with (read: drawing, animation, painting, etc), and it’s been a real eye opener. Mostly because my soul is broken.

Since I had been steadily and extensively working on my original plan until it had to be drastically changed 1 day before the presentation, I’ll attach both the original plan (here, in Part 1) and last-minute improvised plan (in Part 2). As this project was more trial and error process-based in terms of setup, there’ll be less summarised points as opposed to talk on the setup process.


For me, I have a difficult time working with anything that’s 3-dimensional in nature simply because I have difficulty noticing or controlling problems (i.e. anything technical, physical, etc). For the sake of learning, though, I decided to at least have a go, so rather than an emphasis on laborious handiwork like animation, I’d have a simpler subject, but with a more complex setup process (see more in my post on the Blue Sail, which was sort of what I was trying to emulate).

The difficulty is elevated by that the available spaces in ADM tend not to be exhibition areas specially catered for presentations, and as such I’d have to improvise greatly, and the setup would vary rather wildly depending on where I choose.


My concept was based around the philosophical antipodes of endurantism and perdurantism. It’s a relatively new concept to me as well, but to sum it up (I also made little placards of this to put up):

I originally considered having an opinion which leans towards either, but realised that

  1. It doesn’t really matter, because no matter which way you perceive reality the tangible outcome is still the same
  2. I can’t make a stand since both make sense to me equally: in a way it’s true that only the world in this very moment in time exists at any point of time, but in a way the world also tends to be a culmination of what happened in the past, now, and what will be

Hence, I decided to just try and present it as best as I could, and let people just learn about it, form opinions on their own if they want to. In fear that I wouldn’t be able to explain properly, or that people wouldn’t get it, though, I made little placards of sorts so people could read it on their own, or maybe better understand through images than me talking.

Here’s some references which I looked at to actually understand anything.


The idea of a 3-dimensional object instantly came to mind, where the concept already revolves around metaphysics and the material world (I will use the word “chair” to describe this object, since it was the first thing that came to mind for me).

To try to create a tangible difference where there was no tangible difference, however, was difficult. The general gist was to use different mediums to bring across the idea, and these were some things I considered to show the idea of temporal parts, and how the chair is interacted with across time, giving it an identity beyond what is currently seen, or the idea of the static, singular moment that the chair exists within.

  • Stop-motion photography (the temporal parts forming the chair’s identity, albeit in a less flowing form)
  • Timelapse videos (the temporal parts forming the chair’s identity)
  • Livestream (I will refer to it as “live transmission” from here onwards, since I realised there’s a difference) (the exact present as is seen right now. the downside is that the static nature of the present can’t be viewed well, where the continuous movement of the transmission suggests temporal parts as well)
  • Just photography (static, singular moment. the downside is that it won’t be exactly the present, so it deviates somewhat from the idea that only “now” exists)

I eventually decided on a video and live transmission, where the video would show another part of the chair’s identity through edited time, where one can see that the chair before them is only a part of what it is, has been, and will be. The live transmission, on the other hand, would show the entirety of the chair’s identity through real time, where it only exists as it is right now, in that very moment.

I also decided to go with a 4 by 3 aspect ratio such that it would focus more on the object than its surroundings.

Also, here’s a test of the live transmission. I decided to use fullscreenmirror.com because I couldn’t full screen the inbuilt camera for Windows 10, though it comes with the downside of having a social media sharing toolbar which can’t be disabled. (I also later learned that the school-loaned projector has an option to flip the display, so mirroring won’t be an issue!)

The mirror option, such that it didn’t invert back and forth.

Object & Location

Next, I considered the object in relation to location. Since I had originally envisioned a chair, I went out looking for identical chairs in close proximity to each other in ADM. The general idea, though, was that the object just needed to be something people could interact with, to make it more interesting, and also such that the object could be “modified” across time as people fiddled with it. Preferably, though, it would have to be something immovable, so that the projection and object would still align properly.

I eventually decided on the Basement Foyer (outside the Foundation 3D room), because I noticed the benches there fit the aforementioned criteria. Also, it has a thriving nightlife, where ADM freshmen doing their homework tend to gather there, which gave the benches a special, time-based identity part.

I also took a test video, and quickly discovered my SD card was too inferior to take videos longer than 12 minutes. Lei suggested to just cut it to 10 minutes, which was probably a good idea since it was more than enough to get the idea across. Here’s a sample from 9pm during final project hell week, also edited to 4:3 aspect ratio.

Technical Issue Problem-Solving

Luckily, I had enough common sense to notice that my laptop required some form of adaptor to fit the cable. Also, I checked the projector specifications from the school’s equipment store, and discovered it only serves VGA, and no HDMI: as such, I was adequately prepared to look around for ways to counter that, eventually settling on:

  1. Using an old home laptop which has a VGA socket
  2. Buying a Type-C USB to VGA adaptor for my laptop

Since my installation involved digital projections, I also looked out for sockets. It’s rather startling to know that there’s only 2 sockets in this entire area.

Lei suggested that I should elevate the projector to prevent a cast shadow, meaning I would have to have the power cord span the foyer width, from this socket to the staircase.

Consequently, I drew up a sketch of the setup. It might seem like all I really need are 2 laptops and 2 projectors, but the drawing really helped me to realise that I would need a lot more accessories to address more technical and spatial problems:

The dry run also assisted in realising that

  1. The VGA cables were too short to allow me to use the laptop webcam (placed in front of the bench) while connecting it to the projector (up on the staircase). I resolved it by 1. asking the school equipment store if they had longer ones (they didn’t), 2. purchasing a VGA to VGA connector, such that I could join 2 cables together.
  2. I needed something to prop up the projector such that it would shine downwards rather than straight forward onto the ceiling. I resolved it by wedging random things like my wallet underneath.
  3. I needed something to elevate the laptop webcam more, since it was too low initially. I resolved it by borrowing a chair and stacking random things underneath.

And with all the problems solved, I was ready for the day itself! Or so it seems….

TO BE CONTINUED although part 2 is already up, so


[FDN4D Project 4] Installation Setup Test Study

In this project, I want to try a medium that I was entirely uncomfortable with, namely: anything that belongs in the 3-dimensional world. I’m alright with drawing, I’m alright with animation, but I’m not alright with things that materialise in the physical world. I’m the kind of person who has trouble making things because I don’t account for a lot of things. Considering that I’ve already played around with animation, I thought I’d like to work with something with a 3-dimensional form just to push my boundaries.

What I aimed for was something relatively simple in appearance, where the focus would be on the setup. When I thought that, I instantly thought of an exhibit I once saw in an exhibition, What is Not Visible is Not Invisible. I speak of Blue Sail (1965) by Hans Haacke. I don’t remember the exact meaning behind it, but I remember being amazed that such a simple-looking exhibit could be intended to draw out something so abstract.

(Google says that it’s meant to draw attention to the presence of air, as outlined by the sail. It also says it’s meant to “speak to the limits of individualism within a system of constant economic and political micromanagement” though, so…)


The issue is then how to set it up properly. Indeed, it’s simple to look at: a mere floating blue chiffon with a fan underneath it. However, it’s evident that quite a bit of thought had to be put into the layout, to make the chiffon appear to hover gracefully without being completely blown away by the fan. So I shall attempt to study how it was set up!

The materials were, apparently: fishing weights, thread, chiffon and an oscillating fan.

I also referenced a senior who happened to draw a setup of the installation in trying to visualise it. While the weights were missing in her diagram, which would have heavily compromised the threads’ ability to keep the chiffon in place when the wind was blowing, it DID help me to envision how the threads were placed such that the sail forms a concavity.

Incidentally, I suppose Blue Sail somewhat qualifies as a time-based project, in that the space constantly moves as the fan moves, giving you the idea of a space that is constantly present and constantly shifting.

This is the place I’d like to use. Especially for my work, I envision that a lot of electricity will be involved, and a lot of setup which shouldn’t disrupt the overall image, such as power cords. I haven’t quite figured out how to keep it neatly safe and unobtrusive since my location has a severe lack of sockets in the area where I’m actually installing, such that I’ll have to set down an extension cord. Unlike Blue Sail, too, it’s not in a place made for exhibitions, so it’s not very well-equipped for my installation, and I’ll have to do what I can. Based on Blue Sail, though, it might be worth a try to tape down the cords such that it runs smoothly along the ground. I have nothing that will hover particularly, so that’s unlikely to be an issue.

It’s a good thing that I’m keeping mine simple, though, since the setup itself is really difficult for me in that I have difficulty envisioning 3-dimensional objects in detail, and I’ll probably need to focus a lot more on that.

Project 4: Research

Before looking at particular pieces, I thought I would research a little on the philosophy of time-space.

There’s Endurantism versus Perdurantism, contrasting philosophies as to the nature of objects. While Endurantists believe that existences are merely 3-dimensional objects which happen to be present at every point of time, Perdurantists believe that existences are 4-dimensional series of temporal parts, meaning that its presence at other points of time also defines it as an object. (tldr: whether to consider the state of the object in different times part of its identity; spatial and/or temporal parts)

There’s also Presentism versus Non-Presentism (narrowing to Eternalism), relating directly to the nature of time. Presentists believe that only the present can conceivably exist, where the past and present are just terms to describe the present that is not currently in existence. Eternalists, however, believe that all points of time are equally real, and as such the world progressively gets larger as more and more points of time are added on with the flow of time. (tldr: time is constant, versus an ever increasing immaterial)

There’s also Gunky Time, which is basically the idea that time can be subdivided again and again to create smaller portions of time.

I personally think the two contrasting concepts are very fascinating. Do we consider time as part of the identity of an object, or separate? Does the world expand as time flows and creates more “present”s, or does the world stagnate in only a moment where all previous and future moments don’t exist? If I can find a way to give shape to these ideas, I’d like to try presenting a contrast between the two for Project 4.

Now, to actual works!

Let’s start off with a nice article on Measured Time.

Art That Makes You Experience the Pain of Passing Time (The Atlantic)

Bennett suggests that experiencing time in a way that is unmediated, focused, and ‘real’ is impossible. (On Sitting and Smiling by Ben Bennett)

Sitting and Smiling

Subject: A man sitting and smiling

Form: Series of 4 hour livestreams of a man sitting and smiling unendingly, with minimal noise and a few minor events occurring here and there

Context: Not much you need to know, but that he’s an artist who is interesting in remaining open to the “limitless possibilities of a moment”, as reflected in his works, especially in a fast-paced world where business is commonplace

Content: The uncomfortable, unbearable impossibility of experiencing uncurated, focused and measured time

Slow Television

Subject: Ordinary events in its complete length (e.g. moving trains, firewood burning)

Form: Live coverage lasting hours and hours, of ordinary moving objects with the typical associated sounds, images, etc.

Context: Also nothing much? Except perhaps that it is in a fast-paced society which pays little attention to such ordinary events.

Content: The tranquility of progressive mundanity

This is an article I found rather intriguing, where it emphasises on the nature of measured time. This time can be either unbearable or tolerable based on the lack of or presence of narrative (progression), citing Sitting and Smiling and Slow TV. The nature of measured time as opposed to typical edited time makes “real” time seem rather slow-moving, bringing importance to the details of each moment without going slow-motion while still having an overarching concept (tending towards Perdurantism and Eternalism, maybe). However, when not coupled with the knowledge that there will be some eventual outcome, it becomes “one moment stretched for four hours”, especially where we are accustomed to happening and fast-paced existences, and incredibly excruciating.

I get Cloud and Barrett to level 99 in the first reactor on FFVII

Subject: Cloud and Barrett running around a map fighting enemies

Form: Series of 3 to 4 hour livestreams of two characters running around grinding, with voice over commentary by the streamer

Context: As with many video games, it’s possible to grind to level up, but incredibly difficult and tedious to do so on low-levelled enemies which give little to no experience when you need a lot to level up at higher levels.

Content: Inherently meaningless life given meaning by oneself

A related example which comes to mind is the aforementioned. The above video is only a clip of the final segment, but he was allegedly streaming for almost 2 years. It leans towards Slow TV more in that there’s an eventual goal, and CirclMastr’s comments along the way provide some form of identity to each moment. But it does have the tedium of Sitting and Smiling in that, ultimately, there is no point, though I thought the meaning behind his actions was rather astute, as he stated here.

The Nature of Time, Ever Passing: I found it relatively uninteresting, but thought the most interesting one mentioned was that of Fischer and Weiss’ work.


The Way Things Go (1987)

Subject: Various materials influencing each other in a logical sequence

Form: Art film of a warehouse

Context: NA

Content: Causality leading to the natural flow of time

I enjoy this purely because of the strong theme of causality, but in the context of time I would say it’s a nice look into measured time once more, where various objects act in actual time and no emphasis is placed on any one object through edited time, like the natural flow of time as things go.

Some interesting stuff I’ve seen related to time are as follows:

  • Life is Strange: A game about a photography student who discovers she has the ability to rewind time, with her actions having consequences in the form of butterfly effects. It’s not particularly relevant in that it’s more about identity and choice than time in itself, but it’s interesting nevertheless.
  • Half Minute Hero: A game where you have to save the world in 30 seconds. It’s an incredibly fast-paced game as a result! (I’m just a fan of Cryaotic, but I also just think that this playthrough kind of shows that high pace pretty well because Pewdiepie freaks out easily)
  • Standstill Girl: Like Life is Strange, also not particularly focused on time as opposed to the theme of limbo and general existential crises, but stopped time happened to feature prominently by extension. (Also, I just thought it was a really good game.)

What’s fascinating about the proposal template is that it’s encouraging meaning before form in asking you to mention what you want to convey rather than how you will, while I tend to think of the two simultaneously. In the spirit of learning, too, I’d like to try things I’m uncomfortable with (i.e. live action, photography, 3D, interactive media) rather than what I’m comfortable with (i.e. animation, drawing). It’s boring to do what you know you can do, isn’t it?

Some random ideas which I considered. I’d like to try something quiet, slow and flowing this time (but not with the dramatic, excessive slowness of slow-motion), so measured time seems to be a good choice here.

  • being late to school
  • doing nothing
  • before death
  • sleeping
  • period cramps
  • numb legs

Maybe cats. Cats would be a good topic.

Project 3: The Impossibilities of Being (The Unconsciousness)

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: a hypothesis that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behaviour characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken

Molly Bloom’s Monologue (by James Joyce)

My location was that of the unconscious mind.

I first encountered the concept of stream of consciousness in my study of modern literature, and for some reason it was the first thing I thought of when it came to creating a video based on sound. It’s easy to express that flow through words, and my dreams move by means of flowing images, often only so sparsely interlinked to form a bizarre narrative. What about sound? What if your thoughts were defined by sound, such that each sound flows into each other to create a stream powered by such?

With that in mind, I did a quick survey among fellow choir mates to figure out if that was actually a thing.

  • “I usually think in dialogue”
  • “i’ll hear myself think apple then i’ll see the image of an apple”
  • “when I am thinking I use sound, when I am memorising I use image”
  • “read up on the Whorfian hypothesis”
  • “when I think its always visual, sound comes when it’s like applicable”

What I got out of it, really, is that it’s not implausible. Plenty of people think through sound, though for some it’s only an accessory. (Also, I DID read up on the hypothesis, and it was somewhat helpful in my understanding!)

Consequently, for my sounds I tried to create a coherent soundscape which would have the sounds flowing into each other naturally, even if it seems to be incomprehensible when seen altogether. Here’s a table of the sounds, and the logic behind the association.

Bus Ambience Based off setting directly
Traffic Jam Thematic similarity (transport)
Car Crash Thematic similarity (transport)
Falling Glass Similar/chronological sound (glass shatter of crash, falling glass)
Chimes Timbre (tinkling of glass and tinkling of chimes)
Choral Sound connotations (ephemeral sounds)
Song Sound type (musical quality)
Heartbeat Tempo (bass of the song, beating of the heart)
Bowling Similar/chronological sound (beat of heart, ball hitting ground)
Crows Similar/chronological sound (loud sound startling crows)
Thunder/Organ Thematic similarity (ominous cawing with thunder and vampires)
Singing Glass Pitch (same pitch, D4)
Mist Sound connotations (airy fairy sensation)
Sigh Sound connotations (melancholy)
Drip Sound connotations (melancholy)
Bell NA. Sequence breaker
Footstep NA. Real life sequential sound

The sounds were a mixture of mostly recorded sounds with some downloaded ones: where possible/necessary, I provided sound myself, e.g. Bus, Choral, Song, Organ, Bowling, etc. There was fairly little sound editing, other than fades and crops, and just specific timing as to when to have the sound come in.

For the video itself I used 2 styles, that of live action and animation, to highlight the disjunct between the real and unconscious world. In the unconscious world I had intended to use various styles to highlight the bizarre and incomprehensible nature of the stream of thoughts, which was minimised after Lei suggested that it might be too much. Overall, though, I focused on the transitions, making each scene short and simple but with elaborate transitions into the other scenes (mostly because it was difficult to link such unrelated scenes together) (I referenced this, by the way).

As the guiding force was the sound, I went with images which would likely instantly be associated upon hearing the sound rather than anything particularly abstract (e.g. cawing = crows). The main style was black (actually dark brown) and white solid shapes, such that I could easily transition by flipping the positive and negative spaces. I DID deviate, though, especially for scenes which required some level of detail, which couldn’t be expressed properly through solid lines due to an unstable form, or required colour for easier comprehension.

My process was as follows.

  1. Draw key frames in Paint Tool SAI (it’s lightweight, so it’s good for animation in that I don’t need to focus too much on great key frames anyway)
  2. Create short frame animations for each event/asset (e.g. pins turning into crows, moving lips, crows flying) in Photoshop
  3. Import and layer together in Adobe After Effects (mainly to determine things like framing, position changes, scale changes, etc)

To prevent it from becoming too clogged (since I have many elements), I did each scene in a different composition, before importing those compositions into the final composition. I did a lot of RAM previews to ensure the timing was right, too.

Sample of key frames, where I only had 5 for the vampire. Note the lack of eyes, which is because I had already established this would be a looping sequence, while the movement of the eyes is separate from that of the movement of the vampire and hence requires a separate frame animation (I would later overlay the two.)

Sample of short frame animation at 30 fps. It began with 18 key frames, which became 55 frames in Photoshop. (click for gif)

Sample of short frame animations which were layered together to form the scene. In distinguishing elements, I was able to create a rough estimation of the likely timing, then use Time Remapping/Time Stretch to make minor adjustments, instead of prepping elements from scratch in After Effects.


Exploration of the Stream of Consciousness

Alternative title: Excerpt of me brainstorming on Oct 08 at 16:02:32 because I couldn’t think of anything. (Incidentally, even this whole post is some kind of strange stream of thought!)

My initial location was Illyria. Not the actual location, but the fictional version in a book series revolving around a pig farmed named Blart (I didn’t know it sounds like Blood when said out loud). It’s basically some kind of communist country, but as an impressionable 7 year old with no awareness of economics it was a rather revolutionary idea. Here’s the description.

They continued along the road. Each time they passed a stall someone would dash out and give them something, be it some fresh fish or some wine or some elaborate jewellery. However much they protested they could not reject the goods they were given. If a stallholder couldn’t get them to take a gift directly then he just placed the object in one of Pig the Horse’s saddlebags. More and more things mounted up. In their pockets, in their hands and over their shoulders.

‘There’s going to be a terrible bill at the end of this street,’ warned Capablanca.

But they reached the end of the street and there was no bill. Nobody stopped them and nobody demanded payment.

‘Sure, we’ll be arrested as thieves,’ said Beo.

But they weren’t arrested as thieves. And the reason they weren’t can only be understood by understanding the nature of the Illyrian economy.

You see, most economies work on the “buy” idea. You want something. You go to someone who has it. You agree a price. And then you get it.

The Illyrian economy didn’t work like this. their economy, instead of being based on the idea of buying, was based on the idea of giving. Everybody gave a share of whatever he or she had to everybody else. So, a man who has grown a lot of oranges gave some to everybody he knew. A woman who made cheeses gave some to everybody she knew. And so on. Everybody ended up with all the oranges, apples, cheeses and everything else that they needed, which is all that an economy is there for the first place. And if, for example, the man with the oranges had something go wrong like his orange trees getting a disease and dying, then it didn’t mean that he had to starve because everybody carried on giving him things even though they didn’t get any oranges back. They had everything else so missing out on oranges wasn’t so terrible. And as soon as the man got some new orange trees he’d start growing oranges and giving them away again. This is why everybody was always trying to give Blart, Beo and Capablanca things.

Economists from all the other countries of the world had heard of this idea and said that it couldn’t work because people were naturally greedy and selfish and that they liked having more things than everybody else. But Illyrians continued to make it work in complete disregard of economic theory, which was very rude of them in the opinion of the economist. And because they weren’t always competing with each other and trying to make a profit, the Illyrians ended up being friendly and generous to one another and they were the happiest people in the world. It made all the economists mad.

Blart: The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Save the World  (pp. 131-2) by Dominic Barker

It’s very light reading even for a 7 year old, but I recommend it just because it’s hilarious.

However, I decided I didn’t particularly want to do it by virtue of the fact that I can’t visualise it as anything but a children’s show animation (think Adventure Time), and while I like those plenty, what’s the point of being allowed to use any medium if I’m just going to make some boring expository animation with boring expository sounds?

Also, I like trying out a variety of things. I’ve already attempted the mundane and the quirky, so it’s probably about time to do the faux-psychological stuff, isn’t it?

What I hence want to focus on is the stream of consciousness. I first encountered it in literature (think James Joyce), but I think the fundamental idea still works, since it’s a narrative technique. It’s very fascinating to me that one can begin from somewhere, and through the most serendipitous development, end up somewhere seemingly unrelated through a chain of interlinked thoughts. For example:

  1. I need to find my nail clipper
  2. My nail clipper is silver in colour
  3. Kind of like the colour of Pokemon SoulSilver
  4. Thinking about it, Pokemon was a good game
  5. I hope that the new Xenoblade game comes out soon too
  6. And that the Xenoblade soundtrack is still composed by ACE+
  7. I loved that song by ACE+
  8. It reminded me a lot of…… (stream continues)

You wouldn’t think nail clippers and songs are related, but they can be.

I also know this might sound weird, but for inspiration I looked towards the things I recorded. I have a habit of recording my thoughts and dreams. And funnily enough, they are kind of what I’m aiming for.

i dreamt that i walked to the MRT with them regardless, but ended up sidetracked as we went into Vallaha. We went into the boss map where Nagasakihime, an extremely large (we were only as tall as the width of her thigh!) was sitting on a royal wooden plate, wearing a white royal kimono with her long black hair (her face was out of the screen) as she began to rain hail down on us: i cast protective barrier spells but also decided to just run for it. outside, there were many mobs summoned by her and i took care of some of them but ended up dying so i revived myself there, and tried to kill them by seeing the next move they would make (which didnt make things any easier). in the end i just switched over to my Buccaneer, who could just trash them by sending nukes down from platform above. there was a lot of loot: red/gray crabs, bees, stingers… i collected them from right beside a conversation between Lucifer and a crab: the crab was shortsighted but somehow I knew Lucifer would not say anything about me. After i went back i was reprimanded, while they told me about how Nagasakihime boss fight allows 1 person to sleep and gain ores in the dream while the others fight, and i handed over the stuff i looted from killing everything, which also involved ores. at the same time, Lucifer‘s servant encountered the Demon King, and suggested for him to visit his son’s room, which was currently in terrible shape as his son seemed to have killed everything. The King went in and remarked the lack of mobs, but when Lucifer said he no longer wished to be attacked by the mobs, the King coaxed him by showing the number of injuries each Demon King had to have, with his grandfather clocking in the most at 1842 fatal ones, 1536 with medical attention and 182 minor ones. it was inevitable, and Lucifer had to get used to it. which he did not, and so he plotted to escape, remembering a story he once read of a Demon Queen to be who desired not the position, and so when she brought her horse back in after training and as the stable doors were about to close, she ordered the sun to rise instead, as the tendrils of trees ripped the doors open and she flew off on her horse, free.

74% of dream 030916 (edited typos to allow for basic comprehension)

the skin of my eyes feel heavy but even if it close then i cant stop thinking. what else must i do. what else can i finish doing. i want to work on the lyrics i want to write i want to produce keep producing something if its the only way i can get this turmoil into some shape someway or the other if i draw what should i draw maybe another 2 col piece black and white positive and negative space but ive been doing that a lot recently its an apt style for my mood but i must keep progressing, im bored i want to do something else. ive watercoloured too much for work. maybe acrylic again i liked the effect with luna. or matcha paint thatd be interesting or a silver/gold toned work whenever i find my brush pen. who has it? who can i blame? this is why i hate giving anything. even though i tried to no one appreciated it no one seemed to like it no one cared and in the end why did i do it? i hate giving anything. loaning anything. of course you shouldnt be expecting gifts back but i always feel so underwhelmed. i gave this gift which i worked so hard on and no one cares. maybe im succumbing to a superiority complex again, remember when i mentioned this and all i got was the suggestion that i seem to think im the only one whos “unique”? any element of not liking others must mean some form of egoism. “theyre bad” “theyre inefficient” to be able to say that must mean in some form that you think youre better. “theyre bad and i am too”? what does bad even mean what right do i have to define that word, i dont have jurisdiction what must i do to gain that right
my heart skips a beat when my phone drops. it also skips many beats when i have to say nothing ive thought through a lot, i cant breathe it hurts, my heads dizzy, i can focus on nothing but the rapid beating of my heart and i have to struggle to control my breathing, is that what it means to “be anxious” or to “have anxiety” ill never know because ill never work up the courage to believe that i have a “right” to having a mental illness, thats so incorrect to say and that just makes me sound like an asshole, but honestly im just normal norm normal all the way i wont ever be outstanding or dysfunctional in any way

29% of sleeptalk 290717 (edited typos to allow for basic comprehension)

What I enjoy is the fact that they don’t seem like they make sense, but at the same time they kind of do, especially dreams. Once you write it down it becomes truly apparent how bizarre it is, but when you’re still experiencing it, it all makes logical sense to you. The challenge, of course, is to make it make sense beyond just me.

For the dream I find it bizarre that new characters can be introduced so easily without it seemingly weird, and sometimes order is maintained just by the same character appearing again even if in the most different scenarios (and even if you have no awareness of their appearance you can still tell it’s them). Also, how incredibly weird it is that you can have the most detailed information even with the most vague descriptions. And how very different things are happening, but with an adequate explanation you can convince people that it’s all interlinked.

For the sleeptalk it’s also interesting to see how it’s a lot about the person themself. For the me of then, when I think of what I can do, I think of drawing, and that leads to me exploring different mediums. Then the fact that I’ve recently lost my brushpen helps to lead from the subject of drawing to general angst at other people. The real world interrupting the stream of thought and starting a new one is also an interesting concept.

So far I’ve only talked about visuals when the emphasis should be on sound, so let’s try looking at a childhood favourite of mine, hanamushi (花蟲)! Hanamushi has a very distinctive, surreal and eerie style, and I think the idea of reverie was nicely shown in this work:

Short Animation 「Daydream Girl」

I opted against doing the full video analysis since that’s kind of long, but I’d say there are 4 very evident categories of sound.

  1. Diegetic: Could be further divided into real sound and “fantasy” sound, but let’s leave it as is. Sound like the mouse’s squeaking, frog’s clapping, page’s flipping, all fall under here.
  2. Non-Diegetic long-term: The closest to mood music there will be, things like the sounds of chimes and xylophones and bongos which transition from each other as per parts of the video. It helps to define changes in the landscape, with things like the frog getting the deeper sound of drums versus the lighter chime sounds of things like flies.
  3. Non-Diegetic short-term: Like long-term in defining movement, only that rather than characterising whole chunks of areas it provides context as to occurrences, such as a scale ascension when the skeleton unfurls.
  4. Non-Diegetic permanent: The consistent sound throughout everything, the static. I think this is more an accident of sound mixing than actual intention, though, because it’s present whenever there’s sound, but absent whenever no sound track is being played.

I think what helps to keep the sounds remaining united even with different instruments is the common time signature, and what helps to separate is the deviation from that, sometimes with increasing tempo too. There’s a purposeful use of tempo, so fluctuations or off beat sound effects stand out.

I came up with this narrative ordering by myself, but I think it’s a fairly obvious chain of effect which was also shown in hanamushi’s work.

  1. Something of the real world acts as a trigger
  2. The trigger leads onto another thought and another, and another
  3. The chain is broken when something of the real world snaps you back to reality

There are very few examples I could find, but I thought this was good too:

Good Books – Metamorphosis (Buck) (nice variation of sounds, with appropriate animations)

Regardless, the point of the reverie style is to allow a mixture of different types of sounds and mediums. I don’t want to be limited to anything, because it’s all about your head and where your thoughts lead you, so it could go anywhere.

Again, though, it’s about trying to make it relatable to everyone, which is hard because the ways people think are different from each other, so things that have an obvious correlation to me might not link up as well for another. At the very least, though, the location I’m working on is


It’s very specific, but necessary I suppose. I’m still working on the sequence of images and sounds, trying not to focus too much on images as opposed to linking sounds. The trigger I’m thinking of is the bus halting sound, so I suppose I’d try to find sounds which sound similar, or which are commonly associated with that.

Or maybe I can try the Good Books thing, in having a sort of monologue, although I don’t think that’d be as effective simply because people DON’T monologue in their head (as far as I know, which I wouldn’t because I only know I don’t).

☔ Project 2 Process

The actual final post is here!

But here’s just some work in progress shots/stories, because it turns out I’m easily amused by myself.


I decided that 1. I didn’t have any more quirky ideas on how to remake an umbrella as something else, so 2. I figured I’d show a different side of the umbrella, in terms of thematic significance. Unfortunately, this also happened to be the time where my ENTIRE FAMILY went on a holiday (without me!), and I don’t… Really have friends.

So I did what I did best, i.e. lost my face. Holding a umbrella, I… May or may not have pointed it rather dangerously at fellow Choir members while begging them to help me after practice. I also may or may not have rolled over and keeled on the floor after about 7 rejections, and had to be towed away. (I considered begging the Choir teacher, but was shot down by the realisation that he’s a busy man.)


I think this image I posted to Insta really sums it up.

Also, being the resourceful person I am, I spotted a lady with her baby in a pram, and asked her if I could borrow her baby to put on a free floating umbrella which may or may not capsize in a 0.6m pool where he could drown! (She said no.)


Fun story. Lei suggested shining a light through the umbrella to show how it’s translucent, and I thought that was a good idea. Until I tried it, and realised I was going to need much darker lighting if I wanted the light to actually show. So I did! Then the light was too bright to actually see the water beading on the surface. So I Photoshopped it! By overlaying two photos. I’m thankful that we live in this day and age.

(Also, Photoshopping it yellow.)


Also a fun story. The umbrella evidently could not stand on its own, so I took a tall, slender cardboard box and stuffed a whole roll’s worth of toilet paper inside. This lowered the centre of gravity, and the umbrella COULD stand, surprisingly. Until I gently put a plate on it, at which point it promptly fell over. (I tried taping it down, to no avail.)

Luckily (and surprisingly, that I actually thought of it), I had fishing line left over from Foundation 4D class, so I tied strings holding the umbrella in place. As long as I didn’t move the anchors, of course, and me being me, I… Forgot I placed a line there, tripped, and everything came crashing down.


This didn’t really have many issues, to be honest. I managed to get up and take the photo before my roommate left for class, so I used her shoes.


One of the first shots I took, at my HDB void deck. I originally wanted to emphasise the use of the umbrella and its form by Index, the void created by an umbrella when it shields you from rain. (Also, that morning happened to have heavy rain, of which I was lucky enough to get out of the house fast enough to set up in time for it to start raining.)


Inspiration struck on the way back from the swimming pool, where I was drying off the umbrella instead of it keeping me dry, and everyone was avoiding me. I didn’t realise that when the brief said “Select 1 image from Task 1 or Task 2” it meant FINAL image than any image you’d taken (and to be honest it seems a little bizarre to me that you’re supposed to present both a photo and poster version. A lot of the posters seemed to have the “photo” version overlooked because the “photo” as a standalone was insufficient).

So after I took the original photo for sending, I realised it could work, and spent the next half an hour just… Standing there, trying to get the perfect photo with people passing by, and with a water spray to wet the umbrella. (It didn’t work, so I just Photoshopped the person in too.)

Project 1 Rejected Ideas

I realised that my self-rejected ideas takes up a lot of space in the final Project 1 post, so I decided to take it out and put it separately! Here’s a link back to the actual post.



Similar in the idea of fragmentation, but with much more semiotics. There would be a lot of items laid around me, such as my Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary cup, headphones, manga books, Watership Down, and I’d be dressed in certain clothes to imply femininity, cultural alignment, etc. A very prominent reason for me ditching this idea was just the sheer level of preparation, where it felt wrong to be purposefully setting up a scene to paint myself as more than what I am.

Incidentally, I have a new computer and I still can’t figure out how to use anything beyond Paint, so this is about the best I can do right now. Forgive me.

The concept was to emphasise that multifaceted sensation, where the composition would all be the same, but differing locations and clothes would suggest different sides to me. I rejected this one for the sense of wholeness it would have, which would imply I am only those 3 identities, than something more than just that.

Look at this space above! I didn’t know you can’t scale beyond a set proportion in Paint!



Before I really got into the attention level thing, I focused on different uses of paper. Same as aforementioned, but with some additional ideas like a papercut skirt/cloak/whatever. This was rejected upon the realisation that there wasn’t enough display of emotion, as opposed to just presentation.

My physics isn’t very good, so it took me a lot of trial and error to capture the reflection successfully. In hindsight, though, there really wasn’t any meaning to it.

(There’s quite a few other unused prototype shots, remnants of a time before I suddenly and violently thought up the idea of differing levels of attention.)

I initially intended to focus more on the omnipresence idea by shooting in varied locations. There really wasn’t any good reason as to why this was rejected other than my self-consciousness (I tried. I really did, but people taking photos of you being in stupid positions while you’re taking photos on a self-timer, it does things to you.)

People are naturally unhelpful.



The bookshelf next to my bed is pretty important to me in that it provides easy access to any book, ranging from comics to Chinese comics to Japanese comics to one of those Disney Fairies books to actual literary works. I discarded this in the end due to the need to actually get up to be able to see the books (which breaks the angle consistency), and that I couldn’t find a way to fit it into the narrative.

I personally enjoy the geometry, but it just didn’t work.

Also, just leaving my bed in general.



Here’s a sample example of why I decided to leave all photos unedited.

Edited with about 6 different filters. Insert lengthy explanation on warm filter to show gentleness of the light, increased contrast/exposure/whatever to emphasise the brightness, heightened saturation to show greenness of bed, etc.


Original. I think the gentleness of the light is brought across, though it’s still evidently bright, also helping to bring across the feeling of the sheer curtain. The darkness of everything else accentuates that, though it’s still possible to make out certain forms and contours, and it feels natural and cosy in the lack of saturated colours or high contrast.

Then again, it could be that I’m just really, really bad at editing.