Zoom Performance Idea: Funky Portrait Gallery

An idea i had for the zoom performance was to create merged portraits with me and my partner by having different combinations of facial expressions and hand gestures. The purpose of this performance is to create funky portraits and for both performers to have fun with their imagination.

Below is the instructions and the list of gestures.

Thoughts: Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958), Section 4: Nests

The concept of a home space that is compared to the nest of birds was a very interesting concept that I found myself understanding in this reading. Amongst the many poetic concepts and stories that were mentioned in this chapter, what impacted me the most is the human’s way of perceiving what is ‘home’. A very common perception is of a piece of land, in which stands a piece of architecture, and within it stores the materials that pleases the human inhabiting that architecture. The comparison of the house to a nest reminded me of a magpie, which would steal shiny objects to place in their nest, no matter whether it is mismatched or of different quality, as long as it likes the object, it becomes a belonging in its space. Humans, too, purchase items of different size, quality, colour and material to put in their home, to make it filled with items that they fancy. It doesn’t matter if some items did not match, it still had some meaning to the owner of the house.

I really liked the part of the reading where the author mentioned about bringing himself calm when he gets disruptive neighbours, by comparing them to the woodpeckers in a garden. The disruption of the neighbours do make him annoyed, but it also assures him that there are people around him, that this area is nicely inhabited, similar to a garden with many animals. The better the condition of the garden, the more animals and insects the garden will attract, and by comparing that to a house concept, a well-lived home is always one that has many people around.

Using the house to define one’s ‘personal boundary’ is also a concept i understood through this reading. The part of the reading where the author mentioned that a nest was built with the bird’s whole body, and literally made with the heart. Putting your time, money and soul into giving a space a definition, especially one that is closer to your heart, is something that holds high importance in the human heart. That is why we always associate home with a sense of belonging, and the best place to relax and be yourself.

Of course, the perception of a ‘homespace’ does not need to be a physical object (aka the actual house), but some people perceive ‘home’ as the occupants that live in the space. After all, an empty nest without birds is just a collection of branches and leaves to others. This type of ‘home’ transcends the normal structure of what many people think of when the word ‘home’ comes to mind, and instead focuses on the ’emotional space’ between people. The ones that have a stronger relationship may consider their interactions with friends as ‘home’ – that is a sense of belonging.

By putting the concept of a bird nest as an analogy to a human’s house, the definition of a home is now opened up to so much debate, and associations with the deeper perception of space – the ’emotional space’, ‘personal space’ and the relationships between people that affect a home environment – that can be further explored.

Reflection: Ch 4 – Body, Personal Relations, and Spatial Values by Yi Fu Tuan

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.

Reflection: Automated Utopia by Bin Ong Kian Peng

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.

Reflection: New Media: A Critical Introduction, New York, NY: Routledge, 2009, Lister, Martin, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant and Kieran Kelly, eds.

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.

Project concept and development

Project Proposal

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)

Project Concept

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

Aspects to consider

  1. What kind of info do we want to give the players?
  2. How long is each round?
  3. How many options do we have per round?
Moodboard / Colour scheme

Click here

Rough idea of graphics

Game layout progress

https://vimeo.com/user91827123/review/393638637/a098bd64af

So far the jumping action for the character has been created on a single platform.

Thoughts on ‘The Society of the Spectacle’

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.

Thoughts on Jurong My Love by Dan Koh

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.