In The Eyes Of Kinetic Beasts : Pygmy Mole Rat

Colony Behavior

Naked mole rats are rodents, but they live in communities like those of many insects. Several dozen rats live together in colonies led by one dominant rat—the queen. As in some insect species, the queen is the only naked mole rat female to breed and bear young.

Worker animals dig the burrows that the whole clan inhabits, using their prominent teeth and snouts. They also gather the roots and bulbs for the colony to eat. Other rats tend to the queen.

Most other types of mole rats live on their own or in small families. Though mole rats spend most of their time excavating and foraging in their burrows, they occasionally emerge to search for seeds or other plants.

One interesting fact is the mole rats cuddle each other to sleep, to keep themselves warm.


The legs of a Pygmy mole rat is thin and short. However, they are highly adept at moving underground and can move backward as fast as they can move forward.

Their large, protruding teeth are used to dig and their lips are sealed just behind the teeth, preventing soil from filling their mouths while digging. About a quarter of their musculature is used in the closing of their jaws while they dig.


A pygmy mole rat is almost blind, they live underground, in the dark. Therefore the main senses it uses is hearing, sight and smell.

Kokopelli’s Sound Shaper (Research)

Who is Kokopelli?

Kokopelli is a fertility deity.  Like most fertility deities, he presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is  usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth. It is also said that he was the source of human conception. Legend has it, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with a child!

How do we hear?

The ear consists of three basic parts – the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Each part of the ear serves a specific purpose in the task of detecting and interpreting sound. The outer ear serves to collect and channel sound to the middle ear. The middle ear serves to transform the energy of a sound wave into the internal vibrations of the bone structure of the middle ear and ultimately transform these vibrations into a compressional wave in the inner ear. The human eardrum is a stretched membrane, like the skin of a drum. When the sound waves hit your eardrum, it vibrates and the brain interprets these vibrations as sound.

As shown above, a compression forces the eardrum inward and a rarefaction forces the eardrum outward, thus vibrating the eardrum at the same frequency of the sound wave.

Similarities between Humans and Frog hearing

A frog’s ear drum is called a Tympanum and works in very much the same way that our human ear drums work. A frog’s ear drum, just like a humans ear drum, is a membrane that is stretched across a ring of cartilage like a snare drum that vibrates.

There is rod that is connected to the ear drum, which vibrates by sounds that come at the frog. That sound is just pressure waves. Sound is localized by the time difference when the sound reaches each ear.  The rod sloshes around in the inner ear fluid, which causes microscopic hairs to move, which send signals to the frog’s brain for interception. A frog’s ear lungs also vibrate when sound waves come toward it, although they are less sensitive than the frogs ear drum. Frogs also cannot hear short and high frequency sounds.

Body Parts

Function of the Spine

The spine has many functions, the main ones are listed below

To provide protection
To allow for movement
To support our body frame in an upright position
To allow for flexibility
To provide a structural base for rib attachments

In the assignment, we are supposed to create a fashion wear for Kokopelli. We had to incorporate sound into the body part we got! The body part that I got was spine.

Our spine serves a number of purposes. It is made up of 24 moveable bones that helps to support our weight as well as to hold us upright. Spine plays an important role in our movement.

The spine is connected from the neck all the way to the tail bone. It is composed by 3 different segments: the cervical spine, which it connected to the neck; the thoracic spine, which encompasses the shoulder and chest area; the lumbar spine, as know as the lower back; the sacrum; and finally the tail bone.

The facet joints of the spine allow back motion. Each vertebra has four facet joints, one pair that connects to the vertebra above (superior facets) and one pair that connects to the vertebra.

Every movement, every step, like picking up a pencil or dancing and even walking. It all requires the spine. As seen in the image above, our spine is very flexible, we can bend and twist easily. The spine is formed with many bones, each with a soft ‘disc’ in between. The purpose is for flexibility and reduction of stress on bones.


Pleasant Sound – Wind + Leaves
Smooth, Calming, Constant

Unpleasant sound – Echo
Sharp, Painful, Echos, Sudden


Locale Zine: Project 2A (Little India)

For this assignment, I went to Little India. The areas covered are main Little India, Serangoon Road and Farrer Park. I visited Little India 3 times, once on a weekday and twice on a weekend. And I group the spaces according to how populated it was.

I found lots of interesting and unique things along the way. After visiting Little India, some of my thoughts and impression of Little India changed. I felt that the place is very colourful and vibrant. There is strong spice smell. And something that surprise me and change my perspective was that the people there are very friendly. I talked to some of the people and shop owners there,  they were very nice and. It is very different from what I imagine it to be.

I found lots of wall art in the streets. These wall arts are mainly the Indian culture. Like the lady making the garlands or the cow with henna prints printed on it.

Most of the shops in Little India are shophouses. They sell a widely range of items. Like fashion wear and food. All shop sells colourful and vibrant looking items. Like almost impossible to find any black, white or grey items.

One thing very interesting I noticed was that there are a lot of pigeons in Little India. It is like a mini bird park. They are mainly sitted  in a row and on top of the buildings. And I realised that the amount of birds goes according to how populated the area is. More populated areas, the more pigeons.

During the weekends, there are a lot of people gathering.  They are normally in groups of 3-4.

I have 2 imagination of the space. From my research, I found out that there are more pigeons in the populated areas. So i imagine it as the pigeons bring happiness and crowd to the space. For this idea what I intend to do is the merge like photography and illustration. Ill take photographs of the birds in the populated areas and draw henna prints on them. 

And the reason why I choose to draw henna prints on them is because henna is used for a happy occasion and is something more traditional. I thought is could represent happiness in this case.

For my next imagination, I intend to do like a full illustration of things in Little India. Then ill add henna prints to them. Some examples will be the fruits and vegetables. 

Research Critique 3- Glitch & The Act Of Destruction

As described by Menkman, R. (2009) in Glitch Studies Manifesto, ‘The glitch is a wonderful experience of an interruption that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse’.

For micro project 5 ,my group decided to used styrofoam as our medium. Using a few discarded piece of styrofoam from the recycle box,  we connect them and form our own artwork. We used 2 hot guns and heat the foams, the medium is then transformed from its original form. The outcome of this work is unpredictable.

The process of destroying and destruction could usually be done in a few secs. However, if you watch the video, you will realised that the styrofoam takes some time for it to disintegrates.  It started by forming uneven textures and after a while, it slowly disintegrates. In order to take better notice of the changes, we had to fast forward the video.  Another thing that I found interesting was that the styrofoam disappeared, we thought it would leave some bits and pieces.

I felt that destruction refers to the process of causing something to change from its ordinary form, be it good or bad. For our case, the end product was a pleasant surprise.

According to Randall Packer, Conversation with Jon Cates (2014) Hyperallergic they mentioned “They might be glitched, and they might be imperfect and noisy, and that might be what attracts us or me to those systems.”

I thought that this is very relatable as glitch art is more widely seen in recent years.  Glitch is no longer rejected by people, in today’s world, we are more open to art. We do not need to have a perfectly painted work for it to be art. What we once understood as glitch is now a new form of art.