Freeze- Progress Update

Here’s an update to the project, currently named Freeze

Previously the design was to use a physical lever to trigger the mechanisms, however I felt that just like the project, the trigger had to feel more ethereal, hence I replaced it with a photo resistor to detect the user’s inhibition of light, which would “freeze” the project.

Based on the Light Theremin tutorial (video below), I attempted to create a reaction when a user acts against the project by performing an action (to be decided, will update in near future).

For the actual item, I’ve created a short series of second-long videos to transit from as the mechanism is triggered. Currently the first transition will be the regardless of which part the passive video is at, as I’m currently finding difficulty to make it seem like it’s a render of the current frame, hence the force freeze of the first frame (with the merlion).

On the other I have successfully managed to add delays in the project, where the mechanism will need to lose detection of light for a couple of seconds before the freezing begins; this helps prevent the mechanism from accidentally activating, which may spoil the experience.

Future plans:

Rather than having the user interact by blocking light, I’m considering working with the reverse, to have the user pick up and item (which was initially blocking light), hence having the light being detected will trigger the mechanism.

More updates coming in the near future!

Principles of New Media

Today, as the rhetorics, forms, and institutions of new media develop, scholars are aware of the significance of the new forms. But as happened with the birth of cinema a century ago, the details aren’t being recorded, as said by Lev Manovich in The Language of New Media. Its most important argument is the careful development of a record of the present state of new media which focuses on the complex relationship between cinema and new media. Manovich also confronts the problem of terminology for new media, suggesting several revisions for widely used terms, and proposing additions to the lexicon. 

The 5 principles that new media operate under, according to Lev Manovich are:

  1. Numerical representation
  2. Modularity
  3. Automation
  4. Variability
  5. Transcoding

Numerical Representation

Lev Manovich mentions how new media are “composed of digital code” and thus can be “described using a mathematical function” and can undergo “algorithmic manipulation”.

As with the usage of Arduino and coding, and those being the core interactions and activity of the project, it can be said the project can be broken down with 0s and 1s as with projects that consist or is derived from digital code.


New media objects are object-oriented, composed of parts made up of smaller parts reminiscent of a “fractal structure”. Being modular, elements of new media can be swapped out or modified to emphasize or define certain elements, directing or even controlling thought invocation.

With my project, the experience is split into multiple short phases of sound and video, in attempts to invoke certain emotion in a certain manner. As the user experiences short and separate phases back to back, it can be considered as a collage of media. As it is made of individual elements, the pieces can be swapped out for more suitable pieces if they fail to induce the ideas intended or even confuse the users.


To have numerical coding and modular structure allow much of the “creation, manipulation, and access”, projects can reduce the need for human control for it to function as intended. Automation is a big deal for it is what really separates new media from olden forms; self sustained and multi-part experience created by the project itself compared to a single experience from olden projects is what really makes new media “new”.

In my project, users only have a single item to interact with, which results in the experience to “begin”. Said project also ends with the same item when interaction with it ends. In this sense, the project is automated from a single trigger, and the user will gain the full experience from a single point and they would be led to the end(s) of the project.


“A new media object is not something fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions”. Unlike older media forms, new media is a more flexible experience, where the human interaction can lead to different results, whether they directly affect it, or the project passively reacts to them. The curator designs the project with the user in mind and have the project revolve around them, instead of directly controlling what they will experience.

In my project, the project stays in a passive state, until the switch is actively triggered by the user, where it will start flowing into various transitional states of sound and video before approaching the final stage. The timing where the user interacts with it can create variance in how they will passively experience the project.


This is the “reconceptualization” which occurs during computerization, the transformation of media into computer data. The same idea or object can be perceived differently when placed in different contexts, which can invoke different sorts of thought. By juxtaposing certain ideas such as radio controls, but placed in a digital view, while unnecessary from a physical point of view, does invoke ideas of older and complex forms of technology, and the gain or loss of certain elements when transcoding can create a new impression, for better or worse, compared to the original item.

My project derives from the idea of stopping time, where human experience is transcoded into a digital format through a screen. The difference in the sense of time and space alongside the view should create thoughts of detachment which is the idea of the project.