The term sousveillance derives from the word “surveillance”, where “sur“ means above while “sous” means “below”. Putting it together, the word basically means to see from eye-level, no longer from the “eye in the sky” perspective which is from the lampposts and ceilings. In a way, surveillance is used by people with authority on different occasions such as a museum security, police car, or even a taxi driver, but with sousveillance, it gives the power to the people. The normal average people. Whoever that has a camera or a recording device with them would be considered as sousveillance. So this time, the museum visitor can record whats happening in the museum. The civilian car could record a road incident.
Now that anyone can record anyone or anything, there is the issue of interfering with the privacy of others. It would be really rude if one records someone else without his or her permission. It is an invasion of privacy. However, with this aside, it is still useful in ways to get different perspectives of the same situation. For example, someone could use sousveillance to prove that a person of authority is misusing power. Someone could even get different perspectives on an incident such as a road accident, on angles that maybe surveillance could not reach.
In conclusion, there is the positive and negative side of sousveillance. But as compared to surveillance, sousveillance has given the power to the average citizen which could be useful in certain situations.
The idea behind DIWO – Do It With Others is for the freedom of collaborative works of all sorts of mediums and can begin from all sorts of mediums. Like what was stated on the Furtherfield website, “Peers connect, communicate and collaborate, creating controversies, structures and a shared grassroots culture, through both digital online networks and physical environments.”
Some of the contexts of where DIWO or Furtherfield derived is from DIY – Do It Yourself – itself, where people started everything by themselves, creating communities, having more control. Then they get inspired by other artists that question the world around them, the politics, the technology, which allows them to be able to explore the ideas of the artists. They don’t do art for marketing, but more of creating a culture and getting ideas. Not only to understand new technology but to see what you can do with it. They also encourage to learn something beyond what you are used to, exploring “a new cultural dynamic”. Create a content that is not by the individual, but creates something more engaging by challenging to work with others.
This has allowed “people to learn a lot of new things which is they wouldn’t even have the privilege of learning” according to Mark Garrett in the lecture. Also, it doesn’t matter if the works are technology savvy or not, but the more important thing is whether or not the works communicate with the audience.
In the lecture, it also mentioned that, Farecoin and Furtherfield also plan to work together to create their own culture coin and a shared value system, which is a very DIWO concept – not achieving something alone and ending it there, but rather putting the whole team out there and achieving it together as a team.
As mentioned earlier, DIWO not only encourages to work with others but also encourages the individual to explore something that is out from the comfort zone. How it would work with others is by working with someone who you can learn something different and new from them and also in a way making the work better by involving different media and elements, not just from one person or one type of method or style. What was mentioned in the lecture was:
“If you’re on your own, isolated and you try to produce genius, you’re not. The genius is in others not just in yourself. A collective genius”
One can’t exist without the other.
How it has worked in Open Source is that people with different minds and understanding could contribute to an existing content to make it better. This has also created an understanding for me on how to collaborate and work together with other people in the class in a way that putting more minds together to make a project work better. Do something you cant possibly do alone, and create something that you would not have thought of by yourself.
For our midterm project, we did a Facepong game, where a ball bounces around the screen and the paddle is the face through face detection. To score points, the player has to hit the ball with the paddle. However, if the ball touches the bottom of the screen, a point will be deducted.
To increase the difficulty, there will be different stages where after reaching certain scores, like the ball getting smaller, the paddle getting smaller, and also a wall coming down from the top of the screen to make the play space smaller.
What went well? What didn’t?
Even when we split the work amongst ourselves, there was no issue when combining codes as we took most of our reference from the same source and the coding style and how we organise the code is similar between 3 of us.
The main challenge for the coding is still definitely how to make it work as a lot of the codes in a way overlaps each other. If we tweak one code to fix one problem, it will mess up the other codes and we would need to frequently backtrack our process if we were to make any changes.
Who did what?
Christina did the hardest one, in my opinion, which is the face detection. She faced the biggest problem but managed to overcome it.
Esther did the shrinking effect, where it would be applied to the ball and the paddle after some time which is to increase the difficulty.
As for me, I did the wall that comes down from the top of the screen. I also did the scoring system, where a point will be added whenever the ball hits the paddle and be deducted when the ball touches the bottom of the screen.
What major difficulties were there?
There are quite a few difficulties faced.
The ball keeps going through the paddle, in between the top and bottom of the paddle, and every time that happens the scoring system adds multiple points.
Initially, we wanted to add a game over + lives function, but then we realise that would make the game almost unplayable as the ball will keep falling to the bottom.
The mirroring function did not work properly so we had to look for codes online to see how to fix it. This took the longest to fix.
Click here to see the issue we had with the face detection and mirroring.
What problems still exist? How might you solve them?
The paddle and the ball would still glitch when interacting with the ball. We might need more time to fix this with trial and error.
How would you move this project forward?
Would definitely still try the lives system which would make the game more challenging. Adding more levels would be awesome too, like adding more obstacles and challenges or objectives would make the game more interesting. Sound and music could be added to make the game more fun too.
Based on the essay “Open Source as Culture-Culture as Open Source,” by Sida Vaidhyanathan, during the early years, we have very limited sources on how to do things. When open source comes about, it opens out to a lot more possibilities and allows people to be more collaborative and innovative, coming up with new things based on existing ones. Open source could basically be a development of codes
However, with the introduction of open source, many would disagree with the culture of it as it opens up all the hard work from an individual or from a group of people and making it available for the public to use. In a way it makes it seem unfair. Hence there is copyright for the different forms of media to help protect these works.
Open source actually helps itself in a way that when you make a certain software available, others may contribute to it, to improve on it and to make it better because if the software is only limited to only its creator, it can only go as far as the creator goes. If something is shared through collaboration like with open source, it opens up to more possibilities as now there are more people working on it which also means that more ideas can come through, creating new software and inputs that go further in the long run.
Social Anxiety is more prevalent in youths today than before. It can manifest in any form, an insidious thought or self-doubt that triggers overthinking. Our project aims to depict the life of a single person affected by the afflictions of social anxiety and what it takes to overcome it.
This project will revolve around an individual, named Chen May B. We will show what she experiences, what she sees and what goes on in her mind when she goes through her daily routine of school and in public. We have picked out a few places that we found out affects the most for people with social anxiety:
When entering a bus
When looking for a seat in the canteen/cafeteria
When walking through the crowded corridors
We will try to show what she looks at in her point of view and also try to make viewers hear what goes on in her mind when she goes through these situations.
Once we have the daily lives and established for the viewer to experience, we will then show how May B. will overcome her social anxiety. Everything from then onwards will slowly fade away to change for the better to show how May B. is getting better and on the road to overcoming it.
The way we plan to execute our project is by having 3 separate screens. These screens will be around the viewer – one in front, one on the left and one on the right. Each of these screens will be showing what happens in the daily life of May B.:
The left screen will show her experience when entering the bus
The middle screen will show what she experiences when on the looking for a seat in the canteen
The right screen will show her experience of walking through a crowded corridor
These screens will take turns to play in this order:
And it will happen 3 times, showcasing 3 different days that she goes through and experience. As the timeline will occur at overlapping timings, there will come a point in time whereby the three screens will be playing together, thus creating a chaotic scene. experiences and will actually show the peak of discomfort.
The screens all go black and only the middle screen will show a scene. This scene will be a continuation of the last scene played and will show the moment of how May B. takes the first steps to overcome her social anxiety.
The extended scene will show a friend coming to keep her company and quail her anxiety.
‘A “bromise” was made before a friend went off to try and pursue a career in music but everything started to go downhill from there. From failed auditions to a break in a relationship. At his lowest point, he seeks help from someone who has always been there for him even before his journey began. But did he keep his promise?’
(Bromise: Essentially a promise you make to a bro. One that you can never break. ever. Stronger than a promise. – Urban Dictionary)
The task was to create a photo story based on someone whom you have lost touch. So getting together with my groupmates, we thought of coming up with tragic drama, initially.
Our initial idea was actually to start off with a present time looking at a photograph, having flashbacks of an event that is related to the photograph, and bringing back to the present time again, so it will all seem linked together. But after that, we sort of thought to scrap the idea of present and past scene as it was sort of redundant to the whole storyline which the main idea was to feature this friend’s life.
Another idea that we scrapped was the ending where the character, Jon, decided to commit suicide at the end when Nick did not answer his phone. To think about it, that idea was somehow too much and would not makes sense. It is more like we were trying to fit in a story with a suicide ending.
There were quite a few other scenes and last minute shifting there was added on or removed just to fill in the plotholes and make more sense in the film.
One of the film references that we used was the film Suzhou River by Lou Ye. I was particularly inspired by the use of black screens with dialogues in the film because I think that with just the dialogue and no visuals, the audience would be more focused on what the dialogue is about and also they are free to create their own visuals in their head.
Elements in the Film
There were quite a few elements that came to mind when creating this film as even the smallest detail could convey a huge part of the whole story.
For the photographs, I tried to edit it in a way that the scenes with the character Jon in it will slowly desaturate as you progress on through the film. I did this to show the sadness and the downfall of Jon as he tried to pursue his dreams but went downhill instead. The scenes with Nick, however, remains the same throughout, no desaturating.
I have also thought of using the black screens as a way to split the different scenes in the film and also create more of an impact on the different sections of his life ending. Scenes that if joined together would not make sense and would be more abrupt. It also creates a breathing space for the audience.
There are 3 different sounds used in the film – sound effects, dialogues and background music.
For the sound effects, I tried to closely insert all the relevant sounds into the different scenes, like a door slamming, footsteps and even ambient sounds. All of these sound effects will make the scenes more realistic and will play an important role in joining all the images together to create the film.
The dialogues in the film are mainly to create and summarise the different scenes. For example, at the beginning of the film, the short conversation between Jon and Nick helps to summarise the bond and “bro-ship” between the 2 characters, which would take quite a long scene if gone with another direction.
Lastly, is the background music. I would not consider it as ambient sounds as the background music actually plays throughout almost the entire film and also at the end. An acoustic guitar instrumental is chosen as a guitar is in a way symbolic of the main character, Jon. When the guitar music starts, it represents the start of Jon’s music journey, and when it stops, it shows how he feels like the end of his dreams. There is also no separate guitar sounds being played when in the scene he is playing one. This is because I would not want to create a clash in guitar music and also would not want it to be a determining factor in the story, like why he did not get the audition or did not receive good feedback when busking.
I was really really excited in creating this film as I have never actually created a film before but I have always had scenes play in my mind whenever I listen to music or look at images. This was a good assignment for me to try and express all those and really hoped it worked. Although i still feel like there’s so much i can improve on, like in terms of my concept and the missing plotholes, I still learned alot just using sounds and still frames to convey a story.
I bought my first camera using my own savings as a motivation and push to develop my photography skills further. Over the years I have slowly developed my photography skills by collaborating with various people in the photography industry as well as being able to work with different models and strangers that wouldn’t mind me taking photos of them. It has become a platform for me to socialise and open myself up to others, and when I work with others, not only do I learn and get to know them, I also get to know myself, my own limits and discoveries.
The camera grows with me, like how I always try to improve myself as a person, I also try to improve my photography skills. It has changed how I see things, like how my eyes will seem to frame objects and environments even when I do not have the camera with me. It has become something that I have been known for lately – a photographer – and it has become part of my identity.
I tried to achieve the style similar to Nan Goldin for this task by trying to include shadows and strong lighting in the photograph.
Figure 1.1 shows the camera against a neutral wall that has shadows of plants on it. It represents how I started my photography journey by taking pictures of plants, and nature and the environment.
In Figure 1.2, the use of light acts like a spotlight. The photographer is now in frame, in focus.
In Figure 1.3, i try to make it look like I’m an emerging photographer with the play of shadow across my face. The shadow of the camera in the background also symbolises the different cameras that i have worked with to make the photographer I am now.
Task 2 – My World
The location that I have picked is my polytechnic – Temasek Polytechnic, specifically the School of Design there. I chose it as a location as I feel like that is the place where i truly feel like i found myself and where i kickstarted my design journey.
Before I joined the school, I did not know what graphic design was or what the design industry was all about. All I know was that I needed to go towards an artistic direction in life because that was the one of the subjects that I was performing well in. Most of the people around me had no similar interests as me and i felt like i was alone in trying to pursuit something that i would love to do. No path ahead was clear to me at that time.
So I got to know about Temasek Polytechnic School of Design from my older sister, who was then doing Interior Design in that school. She felt like that was a good place to take my next step in education and Temasek Polytechnic has a well-known Design School. So after much contemplation, I decided to go for it, and jump into the industry.
That was a decision in life that I could not forget. When I was in school, I felt like I was among people that I could relate to. I wasn’t the outsider anymore, but rather part of a big family with the same mindset and thinking. Finally somewhere that I could fit in, somewhere I could be myself.
Figure 2.1 shows a common area in the school where designers go up the stairs to go to class. I’m shown leaping or jumping in the photo in this series, similar to Natsumi Hayashiara, as it symbolises me taking a leap into the design world. It also shows motion and movement symbolising the constant fast-paced lifestyle of the design industry, rushing to places for deadlines and submissions.
Figure 2.2 is a shot outside of the school and also shows me leaving the frame of the photograph. It symbolises me leaving the school. A reflection of me can also be seen in the glass window symbolising the school being my past, and my thoughts and memories are still with the school.
The vibrant colours in Figure 2.3 shows that a designer creates a colourful and interesting world. The upwards staircase motion shows my upwards journey to be a better designer.
The most challenging part of this assignment is the definitely the fact that I cannot fully be behind the camera the entire time. Taking pictures of myself is already a challenge by itself. I am unable to know how the frame will look like when the shot is being taken since I have to be the one in frame. Hence, I feel like this assignment is a real challenge and i wasn’t able to showcase my full photography ability.
The first object that comes to mind when choosing for the assignment is my camera as it is my hobby and something I have picked up recently. It is something that I would go to if i needed some thing to do to get away from work or to fill in my free time.
For location, instantly the first thing that came to mind when thinking of a place that is significant to me is my polytechnic – Temasek Polytechnic. Just like the camera, my polytechnic is a place that I will forever remember and will always go back to, even years after graduation. It has become a second home for 3 years, and will always be.
It would be great to feature the item and the location that both helped to create and sculpt the person I am today.
I never knew Nan Goldin until I saw her name in her brief. When I first saw her images, I would think that the photos looks a little over exposed, and like someone used the flash too directly at the subject. But when I looked at it again, it actually makes the photo look interesting and artistic. The flash actually creates a focus on the subject, creates shadows on the others elements in the background.
I have always inspired to create similar works to Natsumi Hayashiara. I first got to know her from a colleague during my National Service, who was inspired by her as well. I really think her photos are really interesting in a way that she tries to fit the concept of her floating in photos into her daily lifestyle. It creates a boring mundane chore look really amazing and unique, making you think and look twice at her photos.