A room of lights: Micro-Project 7 Video Selfie

Project 7 pushes us to seek out our own online identity by using a short clip to express ourselves. With a camera, a location, some soundtrack and numerous retakes, we attempt to create an identity we want to become.

The location I chose to shoot my video in would be my hall room, which is just a representation of anywhere that I find comfort in, where I can be myself and squirm away from the terror of everyday life. Identifying a place where I can be myself helps to generate the alter-ego I want as it is often the side of you where you hide from the rest of the world.

Video timeline:

In this video, it starts off with a blank and black page. Then a flicker of light shines as the soundtrack of SuperMario plays. My alter-ego, being myself, on the white faerie light in line with the increasing beat. Then as the beat gets stronger, I switch the colourful faerie lights on. Thereafter, as the rhythm continues, I on a colourful lamp, switching the shades according to the beat of the soundtrack. As the rhythm descends, I off the lights one by one in sequence of how I on-ed it.

This video identifies my alter-ego as an art student, I love to explore colours and light as a medium. In graphic work, colours play a role in pushing characters to the foreground. In form crafting, lights help to give soul to the sculptures. In photography, colours and light are trapped within a frame, forever petrified.

Hence, I enjoy having a work environment where there are lights and colours as they are visually stimulating, pushing my art alter-ego to the surface. The video shows the actual arrangement of how my desk is typically like everyday.

Music choice

I chose Super Mario’s soundtrack as it is upbeat and it has an intrinsically colourful visuals. It has a strong implicit memory and nostalgia for students my age as it was the game to play growing up. It has a colourful theme and design, shaping how I see the world.


This video is similar to the one I did for last semester’s project, linked as : https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/bren0022/a-coffin-project-4-poetics-of-time/

This video stems from another perspective as it describes more of the way I think or function. Colours and light are visually stimulating, thus helping me to brainstorm better.

An add on to the James Turrell influence explained in the OSS post highlighted above, I find light and colours able to speak more about a space. Colours and light help to identify the characteristics of a space, telling its story to the audience, which is what I strive towards as an art student.

Answering the questions

This video helps to alter identity as in a physical sense, the audience have never travelled into my environment of comfort, such as my desk full of lights, hence it is a character never before seen. It is a persona only perceivable, but not touchable. This means that communication only runs in on direction and that is from my alter-ego, to the audience. This creates a strong sense of control as an artist, pushing out an identity I want to be perceived by the audience. Doing so, identities can be concealed as I show what I want to show.

The lights around me contribute to building a character as without it, it is only a blank and black screen. The lights help to blow up details and highlight features. Not only is the light physically functional, it is also symbolically specific to me. On the foreground, the lights help to make the visuals of the video interesting, hence making my alter-ego pop out against the dark walls. Within the psychological construction, audience understand that the lights are there for a reason, resulting in colourful flashes shown in the video.

A super super participation

This project aims to engage a group of audience with our self-constructed social identities, it commences- 7 March 2018, 1239Hs.


The link below leads to the facebook page that housed our experiment.


My first post featured a vlog explaining my nightmare, kickstarting the chain of videos and photographs I would post later through the day. I thought It was important to show my face for the first video for the audience to know who the social identity revolved around.


Throughout the entire day, I posted predominantly videos instead of photographs as I wanted to engage the audience as much as possible, since videos involved sight and sound, I tried to change location as much as possible to create an interesting narrative.



The timeline of my day was as follows

12noon: Wake up and telling people about my nightmare

1p.m. Head to School

2p.m. – 5p.m.  Interaction with friends, featuring Naomi and Nokwan from Monday Class, and Clemens the Camp chief. Inclusive of a Live story telling by Clemens

6p.m. Head to Artfriend, montage for proof

7p.m. – 10p.m. Head to Pioneer Junior College for photoshoot

11p.m. Went back to ADM

12mn Head to Extension Coffeeshop for photoshoot and some supper

1a.m. – 2a.m. Have supper with friends

3a.m.- 5a.m. Miscellaneous activities in Hall.


11a.m. Breakfast. (End post)


This project aims to craft a social identity and it was interesting as I had to record footage from previous days, while wearing the same shirt I would eventually wear on the Super-participation day. This was because I wanted to employ most of my time with activities that people would find interesting, instead of just myself talking. Hence, the usage of the same outfit tricks the audience into thinking that I am within the same time and space as when the post was made, creating the illusion that the 3D space can be live time, which is false. Doing so, I create a social identity I want the audience to see.

Also, apart from my own social identity, I took to my advantage of including people around me like Naomi, Nokwan and Clemens. This inclusion of other people apart from myself helps to create an interesting narrative, as if watching a TV show introducing new characters to the storyline. Each of them have their own identity on the superpaticipation timeline and helps to make the postings more interesting be it conversations, games or features.




An interesting easter egg would be the clothes of my friends, as they were not informed to wear the same outfit. Do spot when those videos were taken.



Reflections from this activity is heartfelt and genuine despite the nature of social media presentation. I found this exercise to be tough as it was difficult keeping track of posting and timing, even on a genuine posting terms, having to constantly update my life on social media was not my cup of tea. I even found trouble managing the activity when it was past 3a.m., asking Bryan if he were doing the same. *Which occurs to me after that that I could have included an audience poll for whether if i should sleep or continue updating, but there would not be people awake at that time to do so.



A glitch

Glitch occurs when there isn’t a clear motive or direction for a collaborative piece of artwork. In this case, we started the photo-editing in the style of the game “Telephone”, passing on the bare minimum of information for the others to work on. The intentional lack of communication in this collaborative work functions (or doesn’t function) as a computer receiving data to portray an image, without information this creates misinformed graphics. This relay eventually leads to different perspective of how the artwork should look like, having little or large inconsistency that can be taken as a form of glitch art, seeing the perfection in imperfection.

In the photographs shown below, each transformation has its own identity as it was made with different intentions. The first transformation was done to create a distinct layer between the foreground, background and subject matter. The second transformation adds in a variety of geometric shapes to separate out the organic form like the hand, also adding a tint of glitchy pixelated effect. The third transformation creates a more abstract plane with more distorted form while the last edit enhances the vibrancy of the composition.

Foreground, background, subject
geometric shapes and pixelation done by Jiaying
abstract forms done by May Thu
vibrant colours

A 3rd space (Micro-Project III) with Research Critique 2

The Third Space exists as the interaction between two individuals, unbounded by the limitations of time and space. As we attempt to dwell into network culture, we investigate this relationship through Facebook Live split screen feature, played out by a few people.

Posted by Joseph Tan on Monday, 5 February 2018

(Begins at 1:30)

In our work, we attempt to visually represent the interaction of different individuals in cyber space. At every moment, there will be one person in the screen, taking turns to jump in and out of the screen. This is as if the individuals are communicating within a network forum, leaving their cyber footsteps behind. At the same time, different individuals can transcend through multiple 3rd spaces, interacting with one another. The closeness and intimacy of the 3rd space can be shrunk by doing actual physical contact, such as doing activities of progressive intensity. We can collapse the barrier of 3rd space by creating an illusion of one identity jumping from the screen. This can be done through a process of wearing identical clothing, masking our face and also doing the same actions.


This project was primarily difficult as we had technical difficulties making the Facebook Live function work. We had initially arranged for the project to be done in a secluded area to minimise the background understanding of our project environment, since our targeted audience is ADM population. This unfamiliar environment would create the necessary effect of jumping through space and time since they cannot visualise the distance between the two environment.

We mitigated this issue by moving back to ADM for this project, which has a stronger WIFI connectivity.

The coordination of this project was also a hassle as we had three members to coordinate the jumping scenes. It took 4 tries before we finalise the arrangement and achieved the desired outcome. However, the extra members did give us an additional manpower to create the effect that we intended to feature. We realised that communication was key in this concept, where we would look at the screen to initiate the command of jump sequentially by a left-right jumping direction.  We finally achieved a level of coordination we thought was ready to be uploaded as our final video, although speckled with a few glitches.


Boundaries of Third Space

In the exploration of the different questions posted to us regarding the third space, I went haywire in the research and went into some additional but somehow relevant information. In the questioning of boundaries within the Third Space, I felt that net neutrality and specialised new media company is worth mentioning. Net neutrality is essentially the action of making internet data equally accessible without control or restriction. Since this has been a highly debatable topic revolving around the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal and John Oliver’s vigilante fight for internet equality through Youtube. (A debatable net neutrality supporter) In relations to the Third Space, net neutrality would kill off the sanctity as it creates a specialised tiered data service that limits the freedom to explore within the Third Space. Specialised new media company like Netflix can profit off of net neutrality by paying for the tiered service, driving up competition, prohibiting access of the Internet. This effectively scales down the infinite space of the internet down to what the organisation allows you to.

Digital Divide

I also explored on digital divide, the concept of inequality in the data distribution around the world. This is highly contended especially in the artwork “Guilty Landscapes”, where the artist connects  to the audience live via the Internet to execute his artwork. This artwork could be stumped if the location he was carrying out in had really slow internet connection due to a weak Internet services provider, or even any providers at all. Essentially, digital divide creates a cyber landscape that only hovers around the developed countries, making the Third Space non-existent to the less developed countries. This can be salvaged through sharing of information and resources. The investment of MNCs in such less developed countries could drive up the need to have strong Internet in such places and in terms expand the Third Space’s connectivity.


A diwo (Micro-project II) with Research Critique

This week we explored on the concept of Do-It-With-Others (DIWO), referencing to many artworks and artists to understand the complexity of this theme. We strive to learn more about its logicality and function, thereafter apply it to our own mini-DIWO project, and provide some after thoughts.


With our understanding of DIWO, we narrowed down a few pointers that we envisioned for our DIWO project, being: extensive participation of audience that can affects the final artwork, social interaction between audience and artist as well as negating the importance of aesthetic quality.

We came up with our work “Fear-Love”, which is an experimental artwork where we invite audience to draw out the first thought they have when given the themes “Fear” and “Love” separately. The drawings are done in black and pink ink;”Fear” drawings done in pink ink while “Love” drawings done in black ink to reverse the colour psychology. The goal of this artwork is for audience  to comprehend the fundamental process of psychological functions like fear and love, and comparing it to one another when they see each others’ drawings.


With the final work presented above, we split the themes into two panels. The post-mortem review for the audience would indicate the effectiveness of the artwork, whereby audience can look at one another’s deepest fear or love, thereby making interaction with the fear/love as a conversation starter.


In the spirit of being truthful to the purpose of art as DIWO intends, we have many improvements to be made for our experiment after the first trial. Firstly, there should be a controlled environment to prevent audience from interacting before the execution of the artwork, thereby making the final work biased as the project aims to be spontaneous in nature. Secondly, the aforementioned biased discussion would take away the artist’s control of the artwork due to a unintentional curating through the audience’s discussion, this would be discussed in my essay listed below. Lastly, there is no anonymity when audience are taking turn to draw out their greatest fear/love, preventing the impact of the post-mortem review.

(Controlled environment to negate shifting responsibility of artist and curator)


Possible solutions

After the readings on various artists, we have seen many examples of DIWO, and that provided a great inspiration on how DIWO projects should be ran to eliminate problems and expedite effectiveness. We can reference to the “Sheep Market” (http://www.thesheepmarket.com/), where the drawings are uploaded to the web to include anonymity in the participation, as well as garner effective labour instead of asking the audience to draw one by one. This solution eliminates all the issues mentioned above.


In the after thoughts of making our own DIWO project and understanding its roots as a participatory art movement, I have gained insights of how labour-intended artworks proceed. This is especially because our work required the involvement of other people to draw for us, which is similar to the “Sheep Market”. After reading Marc Garrett’s essay, we were exposed to the idea of trickle down authority over the art industry and this led on to the monetary facade of the art world. This prompted the thought of how DIWO can be an outlier off-shooting from the main economy of commercial art.

spots “by” Damien Hirst

In this sense, there is a difference between how Damien Hirst or Andy Warhol hires people to execute their artworks for them. Andy Warhol (who explored mass-produced art in the 1960s) explored art with his friends in this art studio called the Factory. Damien Hirst, a contemporary artist, who is famous for his spot paintings, hires other people to paint his most famous art pieces. According to Business Insiders, out of 1340 paintings, he only made 25 pieces himself. In this situation, how does one Do-It-With-Others art piece differ to another if there is monetary transaction involved, even if the people painting the works are so called volunteering,  especially for a notable artist like Hirst, where even an internship possibility could mean a career boost?

I would assume that the only difference in the artworks in relation to DIWO stems from a perspective argument. DIWO is a highly saintly process that inculcates a more holistic approach to art-making compared to the economic drive in Hirst’s works. If and when we approach our audience with money to draw for our project Fear-Love, the work itself should and no longer be categorised as DIWO as the sanctity of volunteer-based participation is corrupted.

Overall, it was a diwow.