A research critique 3

In micro-project 5, we embarked on the art of destruction, referencing to glitch art and the Ant Farm style.



Our project (the bucket) explores on three main themes, consisting of: functionality, death of functionality and rejuvenation of said functionality. These themes fall in line with the theories we have learnt from the multi-directional approach of glitch art and the flexibility of Ant Farm teachings, which I will explain below.

Breaking visual expectancy (problems?) -> Functions

“The bucket” explores on the themes of problems and accidents with the directions of the glitch art manifesto, which mentions that glitch art deconstructs the complex assemblage of technology, tricking audience into a flow of expectancy and breaking it afterwards. We are using this flow of expectancy audience withhold regarding a bucket of clean water, thereafter breaking its visual imagery of being clean by dirtying, then breaking that flow again by “cleaning” it with tissue paper and soap. We are embracing the bucket of water’s loss of functionality as a problem. This leads to the situation of being dirtied becoming an opportunity to break the metaphorical state of a useful function. The audience would not expect the claim of using tissue and soap to “clean” the water, breaking visual expectancy. This shock tactic would not be true without the contamination of the bucket of water.  Dirtied water tends to be ignored once it no longer serves the purpose of cleaning.

Transformation of functions

The bucket undergoes two transformation in infinite cycle, from its original state, to being dirtied and then “cleaned” again- over and over. This transformation is done through the physical contamination of the water, thereby destroying its sanctity. We are denouncing the functionality of a dirtied bucket of water, as well as the physical capabilities of tissue paper to “clean” dirtied water. Through this act of destruction, the bucket of water becomes a metaphorical symbol of change. The audience’s expectations are placed upon the clean bucket of water, fully aware that its capabilities of cleaning are no longer available once its dirtied, but by adding tissue, we are rejuvenating its functions. This draws reference to Marcel Duchamp’s style of using found objects. Like “The Fountain”, we are replacing the function of an object we found with an idea that we claim that can work. The function of the urinal as a high art, parallels to the function of the dirtied water being clean, as well as the tissue cleaning the water. In reality, the tissue paper becomes soggy upon touching water, and said action of cleaning is only comprehensible with the artists’ explanation. However, the said items does transcend its physical state into a metaphorical purposeful showcase.

Redirection Art Direction

Glitch and destruction functions as forms of art with its capabilities of redirection, it utilises the inherent connectivity that objects have to its function, mentioned by Jon Cates in his Hyper-allergic article. There are a thousand ways of interpreting a situation, in glitch terms, nothing is ever “broken”. Glitch and destruction is a form of artistic expression as it seeks to find an elevated way of thinking. Using our project as an example, the artist intentions stands on the metaphorical understanding of functions, mainly the water and the tissue. Using the audiences’ expectation and breaking it after, we inculcate a shock tactic and denunciation of forms that can be seen in famous artists like Rene Magritte and Jackson Pollock. This idea of redirection of the norm stems from the fundamentals of art history. Chuck Close breaks the conventional way of painting hyperrealistic works by using woodblock units to build up a portrait, which denounces techniques of realistic work done Gustave Courbet. Picasso challenges the understanding and portrayal of perspectives, denouncing the methods of Michelangelo.

Chuck Close
Gustave Courbet


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.