After reading this particular chapter, I have a deeper understanding on the perceptions of space and how it has evolved from an unknown concept to something that contains multiple meanings and perceptions.
It was interesting to find out the initial perception of personal space through the human body, and his understandings of directions and subsequently the labelled meanings of different directions. It was mentioned in the reading that humans used the perception of their body’s direction of space to define what was front, back, left and right, and this allowed humans to redefine the space of the world, to dedicate the directions of roads, buildings, and even to design recreational spaces such as parks.
Not only did the humans’ perception of space help them define the physical space around them, but it also allowed them to perceive the emotional space between people. And this gave rise to multiple meanings in speech, to define physical space and emotional space differently. In addition, each person’s perception of the meaning is different as well (in the emotional sense). The book used the example of the statement: “we’re good friends”, as the definition can be physically close or emotionally close. Other terms can also be “we’re going out” – it could mean going outside physically or they are dating.
On 20 March, designer Bin Ong Kian Peng gave a lecture on artificial intelligence and how it has integrated with art – thus thinning the boundaries that separate art and science.
Artificial Intelligence is very prominent in today’s digitally advanced society, and it definitely has played an essential role in research, projects and everyday life. It has come to a point where all of us rely very heavily on artificial intelligence (robots, facial recognition etc.). It is very interesting how this concept, that is created by science and maths, can be integrated into the visual arts scene as well, especially for interactive installations.
Bin Ong Kian Peng mentioned artist Refik Anadol, whose works I have actually been admiring quite a lot on social media. He creates visually pleasing riveting data installations. He uses the illusion of depth as he always makes the main substance look like it is encased in a box.
Refik Anadol is a Turkish media artist who is currently a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. He works with site-specific public art with parametric data sculpture approach and live audio/visual performance with immersive installation approach.
His Melting Memories exhibition is quite iconic as it translates the elusive process of memory retrieval into data collections, which is then displayed in the installation. American philosopher John Dewey said ‘Science states meanings; art expresses them’. Refik Anadol’s work helps to blend these 2 together to support what he sees as the principal modes of communication in both disciplines. The movements in the artwork is generated through the person’s brainwaves when certain memories are triggered, which activates unique algorithms for the artist to use.
Artificial Intelligence comes in at the communication between the brainwaves and the movement of the work. The usage of cutting edge technology and algorithms help his audience to better understand the power of artificial intelligence when it comes to visual feedback, and also better link them to more foreign topics such as memory collection and the brainwave patterns.
All in all, Bin Ong Kian Peng’s lecture on this topic and also using this artist’s work as an example is a very effective way of showing the strengths of artificial intelligence in the art scene, thus allowing us to better understand the artist’s intentions and techniques.
New Media: A Critical Introduction gives a very in-depth analysis of new media. I will be doing a reflection on Chapter 2 which introduces the notion of VR and how it has created a culture among its users.
Chapter 2 addressed the popularity of VR in the early 2000s but also gave some space to consider the future of virtual reality, especially when integrated with the art scene. They also considered opinions as to whether VR can be considered as a medium, and whether it is able to integrate into social and cultural situations. VR which is something that is initially meant for gaming and entertainment is now considered for being used for something more serious and relevant.
Stone mentioned that immersive or simulational VR will fuse with online forms at a future time to become a medium of a new and dramatic kind. Online forms with VR would definitely help with boosting the whole concept of the online application, as well as creating higher immersion within the user. However, there are its drawbacks, such as technological capacity, and whether the user would be able to embrace this technology.
There is also the fact that the physical components for the user to experience VR is pretty inconvenient to bring around, and thus gives VR some mobility limitations. But these limitations are balanced by the quality of the content that uses VR to deliver their message. The fact that VR itself makes the user have a kind of experience that raises questions about the nature of reality, perception, embodiment, representation and simulation, paired with the content that people are interested in (such as games, movies, etc), thus still making VR prominent in today’s technologically advanced society.
Progressing from the popularity of VR, developers are also trying to make VR a visual culture by experimenting with human-computer interface design. The researchers used the phrase ‘break the glass and go inside the machine’, VR has already fulfilled that by literally putting the user into the technology (through the physical components). However, I feel that only having a physical representation of breaking the barrier between human and computer is not enough to create the visual culture that the chapter mentioned. There is still the narrative stage that increases the interaction between the user and the database within the computer, and also the method of showing information on the computer, and how accessible this database is. VR definitely helps to amplify the immersive effects between human and computer, but I still feel that there are more layers that actually build this culture.
All in all, this chapter has given me a good insight into the debates and perspectives on VR, and that has let me better understand it as a whole.
The subject of the proposal: Platform game about Jurong’s nature and industrial aspects
The space that your project will explore: Jurong Industrial Estate/ Shipyard and Jurong Lake Gardens/Chinese garden
The form that your project will take: A platform game of our character going through the timeline of Jurong, but the same time we will have an implementation of portals for players to explore more about each aspect that we will be focusing on (nature and industrial)
An interactive scrolling game that increases the players knowledge on the nature and industrial sides of Jurong
Consult notes from 16 Feb 2020
The easter eggs will give the player a bigger payoff
The drive towards development, and building more in Jurong, has its drawbacks. But taking time to view the overall scene can better benefit society.
Creating hyperlinks may break the immersion of the players, so how can we integrate the archival/ interesting info within the game itself? We can make the facts within each popup short and simple so the player does not need to divert to other websites.
Try alternatives of portals/ alternatives to parallel
Scrolling backwards/ letting the character navigate upside down
What is the function of the chatterbox in relation to the game? Creating a visual summary of the interactions the player makes in the game
What is the takeaway that we are giving to the viewer? Probably interesting facts about the nature and industrial aspects of jurong that is summarised in pictorial form
Amongst this very informative reading, I found one point to be more relatable to me than the rest:
“The reigning economic system is founded on isolation; at the same time it is a circular process designed to produce isolation. Isolation underpins technology, and technology isolates in its turn; all goods proposed by the spectacular system, from cars to televisions, also serve as weapons for that system as it strives to reinforce the isolation of “the lonely crowd”. “
I just felt that our lifestyles are pretty ironic, after reading this particular part of the reading, that we are all slaves to this economic system, in chase of technological items that provide us entertainment and a sense of belonging. We tend to find a manmade item, and through that we watch interactions of other humans, to diminish that sense of loneliness that we feel at times, instead of going out to find people that we can interact with. And yet, we still are too dependent on these items to find solace, to immerse ourselves in an imaginary world of happiness and comfort.
Jurong My Love is a book written by Dan Koh describing his journey along Jurong on a public bus. The book narrates the different changes within Jurong and how it has developed into a bustling heartland, while intermingling with certain memories of the author.
I found this reading quite interesting as I have not explored much of Jurong, let alone know the different aspects of Jurong. By putting the book in the perspective of the author, who has lived in Jurong for a long time, I can better understand how Jurong was like in the past and learn more about its culture through storytelling. The author pointed out some very interesting landmarks in Jurong that are not known to many Singaporeans, and this can better help me with my research for the project.
Led by design team Rombout Frieling lab, Station of Being is an experimental bus station, which transforms the waiting experience through interactive light feedback and pods to lean on while waiting for the bus.
About Rombout Frieling lab
Rombout Frieling Lab is an architecture studio that focuses on design, engineering and innovation. They create environments that seduce us to behave more intelligently by resonating with our deeper needs and by using the potential of the natural world and bodies in particular. They lead complex projects from insight to implementation, with the motto of making matter move.
Concept of Station of Being
With electric buses starting to function reliably, cities worldwide aim to boost the public transportation experience in order to reduce car usage. However, in Sweden, bus stops are usually open-air, and people have a hard time waiting during winter as it is too cold. And a normal bus stop would not make taking public transportation seem very attractive.
Station of Being takes on a naturalistic and clean design, while being able to reflect real-time information on buses, and react to different people and buses. When the bus approaches, a subtle spectacle of light and sounds in the roof is triggered. Every bus line has a distinct signature: buses going to an old glass factory sound glassy; when voices sound the bus goes to the city center.
Hanging pods provide comfortable leaning possibilities. These ‘pods’ also keep the wind away, providing comfort in averse conditions, whilst not needing any power. By turning the Pods around, one could either create various social settings, or enjoy the surrounding nature – a need which was clearly expressed by travelers in the design process and kept the designers away from making an enclosed space.
“In this work we found, for instance, that one of the reasons why people prefer their car above the bus, is the need for privacy and the need to zone off,”
“This is one of the reason why we invented the wooden pods that hang from the ceiling of the station – the pods allow people to lean comfortably in their own ‘cocoon’, while they can also be rotated to create different settings: social or private.”
The bus stop shows how technology, people and environment can interact to decrease the environmental impact and carbon dioxide emissions. The bus stop is designed in collaboration with RISE Interactive Umeå and will make rapid boarding possible and will also be equipped with smart solutions, free WIFI and other technological data solutions. The design work has included creating a balance between efficiency and functionality and the design itself contributes to transforming the wait for the bus into a positive experience.
I thought that this work is a very good example of integrating Interactive Media into everyday life. Using lights and sounds to represent the arrival of each type of bus allows people to have a more efficient and pleasant experience while doing something mundane such as waiting for a bus. The lights and pods provide good visual aesthetics, which would attract people to come and wait for buses, and good product design of the pods help to block people from strong winds, rain and snow while waiting. Not only is this bus stop an artwork, but it also plays an important role in pushing for increased public transportation, and lesser carbon footprint, as the lights in the bus stop use renewable energy.
A similar work in Singapore would be the air-conditioned bus stop at Plaza Singapura. The bus stop is sealed and there are fans blowing inside the bus stop to keep people cool while they wait for a bus. The difference of that bus stop would attract people to come and take public transportation, rather than their own cars.
All in all, the dual purpose of portraying Interactive Art and lower carbon footprint through redesigning an everyday amenity can attract many people to try it out and gradually learn about its message. Hopefully Singapore can also create projects that deal with our everyday life or change certain environments and amenities for a better cause.
The evolution of information storage and how it affects people interaction with databases is very eminent in today’s world. I do agree with the reading that the rise of technology and the invention of computer databases increase the efficiency of storing different types of information, and it is also more convenient for people to access specific information, rather than heading to a specific location to find the information.
The computer database and the 3D computer based virtual space have become the true cultural forms – general ways used by the culture to represent human experience, the world, and human experience in this world
The usage of new media to store information opens up many doors for artists to coney their artworks digitally and allow the audience to directly access different databases that relates to the message of the artwork. One example that is very relatable for me is the use of websites and hyperlinks to connect databases and interactive works to create a narrative on its own. A small online game that i used to play which uses hyperlinks is a game called Poptropica, where one plays a character that travels to different realms to complete certain missions and solve mysteries. The game also encourages the player to learn the historical knowledge of certain events and items while playing, which is where a historical database comes into play. Instead of them needing to find information themselves in a physical database such as a library, they can get these information easily through a game with a digital database.