Final Assignment Part 1

This series picks off a theme that I have been exploring for a while now, which is portraits of people juxtaposed in front of nature. I like the solemn and moody look of people engaging with the camera, as if a silent conversation between the audience and the subject- an intense, introspective look of an urban dweller in mother nature. The moodiness is derived from the colour grading as well, generalised into a points like purple-orange gradient, selective colour of red in shadows and a pinkish hue layered over the picture. More on how below!


This is the first photograph of my series, starting off with something more positive. However because the camera captures best when objects are static I thought I could just photoshop in the other petals from the other attempts to capture the thrown petals, shown below in a step by step basis.

Left Side of Flowers
Right Side of Flowers
Last petal

Now, I feel like the composition is slightly tilted, so I pulled it outwards to balance it slightly. I moved on to dodge and burn, where I pulled contrast to the hair and facial features, exaggerating the highlights and shadows accordingly.

Liquify and Frequency Separation

After that I cleaned up with frequency separation to clear up tiny pores or rougher textures. And because of the angle, liquified a few exaggerated parts.

Colour Grading

Final for pic 1

Healing brush and DnB

Same goes for the previous picture, I used healing brush and DnB as the base layer of editing, making the models even more perfect than they already were. Using healing brush to clear off any rougher texture from teh camera and DnB to create a stronger tonal and 3-D appearance on camera.

Next is frequency separation and liquifying, but this was done minimally as the model has really clean skin. The bulk of the work of FS was done on the jacket, wanting to give it an ironed look as if a clothing campaign.

Last but not least, the colour grading. The colour grading for this is similar to the previous picture as I wanted to give it an overarching autumn-ish colour theme. This one compared to the previous picture has a stronger introspective look, hence I adjusted for a stronger purple and red hue within the shadow, attempting a balance between the red and green grading.

The last picture for this half of submission would be the one as follows,


The first few steps of the correction is similar to the first few, starting with minor edits with healing brush I then moved on to DnB. However because of the conditions where we took the pictures, where it was raining, there were much more mud and dirt that had to be cleaned with FS. (Same goes for the T-shirt) Colour grading wise I lowered the intensity of the purple-orange hue and increased the white in shadows with colour balance.

thank you for browsing.


sträng is a nonutility project

                    it is a kinetic installation that functions on motion, sound and light.

It is an exploration of affect and effect as well as                    functioning causation


sträng stems from our interest towards the theoretical framework of string theory, hence the swedish word for “string”. Space and time on layman terms function on the visible construct of the three dimension and phenomal experience. sträng functions on that basis. 

We were also inspired by the visual aesthetics from the movie Doctor Strange.

In this piece, we utilised three arduino concepts: motor, sonic sensor and flex sensor.

When the audience places their hands into the tunnel mounted into the infinity mirror rounded with LED lights, the sonic sensor at the end of the tunnel detects the distance from the audience’s hands to the end of the sonic sensor. This distance changes the intensity of the colour of the LED infinity mirror. Furthermore, a flex sensor is rooted parallel to the sonic sensor. When the audience pushes the flex sensor, it reflexes and creates movement in the motor placed underneath soft fabric on  the rectangular “obelisk” placed beside the infinity mirror.

Overall, the hand movement creates distance and kineticism, which stimulates the lights to change (infinity mirror shutters), and motor to move (cloth vibrates). This creates a visual indifference of affect and effect.

We aimed to explore on the audiences’ perspective of science and logic, creating a functioning link between the causation of motion and sound, while intentionally not making it obvious.

infinity LED

motor obelisk

This project is a result of a combination of a few utility functions from arduino uno. This caused the setup to have multiple errors as the circuit became complex after awhile.  This became an issue for set up as we initially envision the piece as a frontal facing infinity mirror, while during presentation we placed it perpendicular to the ground.

Manifesto: Pillow Paradox

P i l l o w p a r a d o X  (Inspired by Tracey Emin’s The Bed)

The sentiments of a contemporary art player.

We spend our time conceptualising and tire ourselves. We develop insomnia for that piece of flakey idea. We fall asleep in that short pause, trying to remind ourselves with a mental stamp.

Our pillow becomes the very source we juice our creativity from, especially for me. Wrangled and discoloured- it only shows how much time I spent brainstorming on the brain rest.

In the melting pot of art movements, there are bound to be paradox of identities and beliefs that young artist will fall into. Fluxus rejected commercialisation and bourgeois culture whereas Neo-Conceptualist embraces entrepreneurial spirit and sellable art. Abstract Expressionism wanted philosophy and rationality whereas Dada denied that logic. There should be a place where all these paradox come together.

Dada threw the pencil away, conceptualise conceptual purpose and have a service of mind.

Neo-Conceptualism puts on a strategic price tag and knows what and how is being sold.

Fluxus magnified whats before, stripped it to its essential understanding and know how to use it.

Abramovic performed the truth to her best understanding, and stood by her beliefs.

We should all connect on a humanly level, a camera, product , interaction and I.

We should all nourish with knowledge and never stop learning from others.

Never use the first.

Never use whats easy.

Never copy entirely.

Prog for Art and Games: Mid-Terms (Colour Motion Detector)

The mid-term coding assignment was a free-for-all project that Corey assigned, without any limitations as to what we can do. Since the module name comprised of art and games, I decided to flow towards functional art instead of games because I wasn’t an avid gamer, and my understanding of gaming mechanism is rudimentary at best. 

In summary: The motion detector that sees potential danger in the darkness and tells you by changing colour


Final Product  (The initial process is shown below)

The final code was an alternate visual of what I initially set up to achieve. Firstly, I eliminated the usage of the “Weeping Woman”, and I changed the idea of painterly qualities into the coloured ellipse from the webcam projection. Hence, the visual changes from motion detection became the coloured pixels from the webcam foreground. Secondly, to create a stronger visual quality to the program, I created a background layer of threshold that identified light and shadows (A reason I will explain later). Thirdly, I used a code of mousePress to change colour when the coloured ellipse background changes colour, hence creating a motion detection value to the program.

With that, I created a coloured motion detector that works when there is a slightest change in light value in the room. 

In this program, there are three layers. The foreground shows a layer of ellipse that changes colour when motion is detected. It is identified by the webbing and interconnected lines shown in the foreground with one colour only. It changes colour. The mid-layer is the coloured ellipses that is achieved by abstracting the colour code from the web cam image. The background layer is the threshold layer that picks out light and shadow from within the web cam image.


How this program works is that the mouse holds an ellipse that changes colour according to the colour change of the background, which is the “eye” of the program. When there is a slight change to the threshold value in totality, even if the “eye” is not pointing at, (The eye should be pointed in the centre), the colour value of the surrounding ellipse will change no matter what because the threshold code dilutes or enhances the colour value in the darkness, indicating purple or brown. Therefore, the program helps to identify motion in the darkness because of its sensitivity to the threshold value of light and dark, and when it detects motion in the darkness, the “eye” will change the colour of the webbing ellipse, indicating to the user “motion detected”. The function of the coloured ellipse of the webcam is to assist the efficiency of motion detection by limiting the coding system to a set of colour to choose from.

A look at the future of this program would be linking the colour changes (motion detection) with an alarm that gets sent directly to the phone or security system. The sensitivity of this program would be most applicable in high security area since a slight change in  threshold in any corner would incoherently change the colour of the motion detector. I would imagine this system placed in a high security vault, whereby no foot traffic is accessible nor change in threshold value. Hence when there is a change in threshold, which results in colour change, it would mean a need to take a look at the security vault for potential robbers.

colour value in darkness


My project offshoots from the amalgamation of painting and kinetic action, which meant that I wanted to utilise my own kinetic motion detected from the webcam, thereafter changing the visual qualities of the painting posted on the processing window. I selected the “Weeping Woman” by Picasso as I found its abstract qualities to be easy to manipulate, as well as animate. File “weep0” shows the animation file for the “Weeping Woman”. For this segment, I tried to texturise the painting so that my motion can create a visual change in the painting. Hence, I tried to draw out the colour detection from the painting into multiple ellipses, creating the textured and cloudy appearance of the window, as if the woman is always moving.

weeping woman animation
motion detection
tinier ellipse
coloured ellipse

The next segment includes my activation of the webcam, which was an uncharted territory for me. The activation of the webcam is an already existing programme within the Processing application, which is indicated by the green light on. The combination of the ellipse function from the previous sequence creates a pulling effect of my motion detected on the camera, mimicking the classic “motion action” in the Marvel Ant-man comic series. There is, however, a difference between the effect of coloured ellipse condition shown in the image above, as opposed to the image entitled “tinier ellipse”, which shows the motion drawback mentioned before.

motion delay
Combination 1

Combination 1 depicts the final product where I combined the painting animation and the motion detection, which did not create a product that was at all aesthetically pleasing. The ideation behind this code would be having the coloured ellipse pixelation coding pasted onto the painting, whereas the motion detection blasted behind it. There was no correlation at best, thus making this a failure in objective.


Combination 2

Combination 2 depicts a program where I achieved my initial intentions, which was to allow the motion detection to create changes to the painting pasted on the Processing window. This was only achievable because Corey’s consultation directed me towards the idea of using Threshold, the value of light (0-1) on every pixel, which meant that there is an achievable value of yes and no, creating an affect and effect program. Hence, every time the threshold falls to 0, which is black, the pixels of the painting would change accordingly, like the resistance on the television screen.


Technical Aftermath

Moving on from this program, I would try to enhance the efficiency of the program. This meant that I would combine all three layers into one, which helps the viewer to see the motion detection more easily. In this program, as mentioned, it is apparent that there are three layers. I would combine the coloured ellipse layer from the webcam with the colour detection form the “eye”, creating a smoother visual.



A Kinetic Beast Finalisation Part 1

After a tedious process of taming the beasts, we finally understood how our designated animals interact, individually and together. Minjee and I came together with our final project-  

The Purifier.

Do check out Minjee’s OSS for part 2 on our explorations, challenges, and future projections.

The link redirects to our PDF to summarise the entire project:

final submission

Product Brief:  Our kinetic installation named The Purifier, is an amalgam of the quiet aggression of a crocodile and the perky routines of a plover bird.

It is a moving platform constructed with a Japanese “deer fountain”  pivot that directs hot water down a scaly acrylic board brushed with thermo-chromatic paint. 

The pivot represents the plover bird‘s plucky energy of pecking incessantly at the crocodiles‘ teeth. The slanted scale mimics the body of a crocodile,  slowly and gently floating on water while being cleaned up by the plover bird. It hides its sharp teeth within its scale exoskeleton.

Meanwhile, both animals share an affinity with warm temperature, where the plover bird uses the heated water to lay eggs and the crocodile uses its back scales to source out heat. We chose to represent this common trait with colours that changes according to temperature. And hot water is a concept that is  physically and aesthetically charged with energy.

The process of starting this installation starts from funnelling hot water down onto the peak of the pivot, which the water accumulates weight against the balance point and eventually pours out. The hot water brings the “plover bird” down to the “crocodile” and trails down the slope. The hot water seeps down the acrylic, turning the acrylic from dark green to yellow as it moves along protruding edges, slithering like a crocodile.

The hot water sliding off the acrylic propels the installation away.


                         添 水                          

movement of pivot
colour changing to heat

ocean purifier

After much consideration, we realised that there was one obvious function that this installation could be broken down into- Cleaning. 

The very fundamental relationship between the crocodile and the plover bird stems from the plover bird eating flesh off the crocodile who just lies in the water stale and awaiting for a chance to pound. This could not point further than an ocean purifier.

The Ocean Purifier is a futuristic device that is self functioning, afloat the ocean.It moves around the ocean without manual control, filtering the ocean clean of pollution. Dirtied water spirals down the polygonal funnel, splitting into the magnetic pivot filters, picking up metal scraps. The water then moves down into the jagged base,  where bigger chunks of junk are retained. Technology is advanced and the jagged base releases a non-toxic chemical that purifies the water. It changes colour the moment water touches it, becoming visually stunning whilst in a concept that is often seen “dirty”

To accentuate this idea and installation, many explorations were done and those can be found on Minjee’s OSS. The process of making this installation functional was tedious and that will be explained below.

Plover’s Pivot

Minjee started out with a great abstract representation of the plover bird that funnels water as it moves along a pivot, much like a water wheel. We later found out that this was a concept commonly known as a “deer fountain” or sōzu which is commonly used to frighten crop pests away. We took a while to understand and harness the concept of balance, our attempts are shown below. 


more failed attempts
successful attempt

We realised that this entire structure is based on balance and weight. The pivot is a beam lined with an off-centred balance thats heavier behind. This creates a default position of perking upwards like a bird shown in the sozu shown below. The water’s weight when accumulating on the beam pushes it downwards and releases the water. We realised the reason why our model did not work efficiently was because it lacked space below the beam. This meant that the beam lacked space for the pivot to rotate down and move up, losing ability to gain momentum. We picked up on it and adjusted the model’s height accordingly.

perspective view

Crocodiles Scales

The crocodiles’ scales were less restrained with technicality, since it is just mainly acrylic shards with thermo chromatic paint. The crocodiles’ scales thus changes colour according to the heat. Our initial model was abstracted scales that rises with water, which we eventually turned into a flat plane where water floated on, which is further abstracted into protruding spikes. The spikes allow the water to flow around in a slithering pattern, instead of one smooth flow.

initial colours- dark green
heated colour- yellow

On the day of presentation, the scales turned yellow 1 minute into standing outside. This immediacy and adjustment to heat is representative of this dynamic ability of the crocodile.

perspective view

The shards are placed at an angle that allows the water to flow in a slithering position. They are also placed at an angle such that the water can flow over.

Initially the thermo-chromatic paint was lined over the plover bird instead of the crocodile. It was meant to have the bird change colour when the hot water funnels down. Instead, we decided that the water flowing over the crocodile’s back would be more visually engaging.

We realised that the thermo-chromatic paint (which is actually heat-sensitive nail polish) turns transparent when heated. We had an issue earlier on as we realised that the black paint turns white, which is coincidentally the colour of the plover bird model.

plover changing colours


To further elaborate on the movement of the animals within this installation:

The crocodiles’ movement is represented as the slithering motions of the trailing water hot water, leaving a line of yellow amongst the dark green acrylic. It is also represented in the floating motion of how a crocodile hunts, snout above the water. More subtly is the representation of having teeth underneath the acrylic board, which will be discussed further in part 2.

The plover bird’s movement is the pecking action of picking out meat from the crocodiles teeth, just a routine action of falling up and down.


A reality cooking show

Dion and the boys presents to you

Split Chef…

. . . A fun and engaging reality T.V cooking show hosted by Bryan, Dion, Joel and I. Each game requires one person to draw while the other person shops for groceries and cook, all while communicating through Insta-live! Audience comment, judge and laugh as our participants show us their goofy antics and silly mistakes. May the best team win.

Here is a short clip featuring the sneak peek to our show, featuring team Jacob and Tiffany’s process of buying mushroom and butter. Look out for how our show runs and how the simple process of buying mushroom and butter becomes a chaotic mess. A highlights section features the gag reels of the episode.

Ideation Creation

This show started out with a quick brainstorming session within the team. We were throwing ideas around and we realised we really loved the concept of having hall pantry as our main theme- We all lived in hall. (Note: Bryans my roommate) The initial idea was to have a cooking show, but the cooking show would rely on people getting ingredients from neighbours, and relying on third space communication to get instructions to cook. It was a raw idea.

After further discussion, we finally agreed on the idea of non-verbal communication, which was the method of speed drawing and guessing what it was, similar to pictionary. We finalised the ideas and agreed that the process should entail a pair, where one draws while the other buy ingredients and cook, while broadcasting the process through Insta-live.

Sell the trial, Char kway teow

We began our trial run a week plus after the ideation process, attempting to remove any obstacle before our actual shoot.

A splitchef trial- Final Project Test Run (my perspective)

The trial rundown was important as we found out a lot of problems hidden within the process. We did solve it through an urgent skype meeting, trimming away all the fats.

A week 11 update (SplitChef)

Moving Flow, Cooking Show

Jumping into the enthusiasm of our finalised ideas, we started our process of setting up our show. We arranged for our friends (in order of appearance): Tiffany, Jacob, Alena and Hannah, to be our guest players of the day. Tiffany and Jacob would be the strangers team while Alena and Hannah would be the friends team.

We discussed and decided on our roles for the day, with Dion and Joel going with the drawer’s side (Artist) while Bryan and I would assist the cooker’s side (Chef). Individually, Dion and Bryan would be the moderators liasing with the players while Joel and I would be the filming team. I would eventually edit the clips according to the theme of the show our group have decided to adopt.

Team Noob, Duck Soup

A comedic duo that was suppose to be the team formed with strangers, featuring Tiffany and Jacob. Tiffany did mention that she can cook rice, but was surprised that she has to cook something else other than that. Kudos to her for not chickening out. Jacob’s drawing was hilarious and brought a lot of laughter to the audience that we newly factored in.

Team Pros, Crunchy Toast

The team that made an unbelievably beautiful quesadilla that was picture perfect. This team was made up of friends who we assumed would have no problems communicating, which they have proven with their camaraderie, buying every item and cooking every item to the T.

Setup, Buttercup

Bryan made these beautiful posters that we broadcasted to all our friends a day before the actual shoot to reel in a crowd for the live show. It worked as our friends we really enthusiastic with joining in for the show, helping out the players in making difficult decisions.


Also, these professional forms to inform the players what they need to do.







The final screen recording of the live process can be found here.

Reflections, Bo jackson

(Team Tiffany and Jacob )

  • Miscommunication – There were a lot of miscommunication for this team as neither of them were good at what they were doing. Jacob wasn’t particular good at illustrating and Tiffany wasn’t particularly good at cooking, this resulted in many miscommunication that started from the beginning of the game play. This snowballed into things like buying peanuts for chicken as well as buying a eggs for butter. (Right: Butter drawing, Left: Chicken mistood for peanut)


chicken profile
  • Cooking Inexperience – There weren’t any problems with the instincts of the chef being played here as Tiffany wasn’t adept at cooking at all. This resulted in her having to follow the instructions completely step by step. This created problems like her following instructions to a T, where she placed cheese in a pan without oil, waiting for the next instruction. She also had many dangerous moves that we were forced to assist like burning the surface of the pan as well as her way of chopping the nuts and garlic. She would have known how to cook mushroom or garlic otherwise.
dry frying
messed up pan


  • Audience participation – This team was particularly popular with the comments (maybe because it was earlier in the day) as the drawings as well as cooking were humour-inducing. This caused a lot of commotion with the audience, commenting relentlessly, trying to participate in the game. Kudos to Tiffany and Jacob for being cool with the laughter.
  •  Stranger Connection – This team was originally suppose to represent the strangers team, which was the team that were intended to be bad at the game because they lack the kindred communication between friends. However, we soon realise that there were no relations between how bad the gameplay was with the real communication of strangers. This was because Jacob and Tiffany had no problems communicating, it was how inefficient the execution was, mostly deteriorated because of their ability to draw or cook. Hence, we decided to change the experiment hypothesis to how your ability to draw or cook can affect the game drastically.

Final Product

scrambled eggs with semi-cooked mushroom, topped with cocktail peanuts, sausage and garlic with skin

taste test

It was salty.

(Team Alena and Hannah )

  • Skills – Hannah and Alena were definitely better in the skills needed for this game as every aspects  of their game were smooth running.
nugget flipping
  • Communication – Communication within this group was definitely better, although it was more or less inclined towards how good Alena and Hannah were as artists and chefs. With the same drawing of a box representing butter, Hannah could understand that the image meant butter instead of eggs, which Tiffany bought. We could only assume that this was because Hannah had more experience as a chef as no other form of communication was made during this time to Hannah by Alena. Hannah could also understand that Alena was drawing a pack of tortilla wrap instead of an orange.

  • Audience – The gameplay for this team took place later in the night as we wanted all factors of the game to remain similar, thus having the game back to back. However, the audience did not had the patience to sit through a 4 hour cooking show and we loss our audience count through the night, albeit having a loyal few who stayed on and off. However, our players were able to entertain themselves by playing with the Instagram’s filter ability, using the dog filter to joke around through the 3rd space.

Final Product


cutting the final product
eating the food

Fun fact: Alena is a vegetarian.

G!ith Sngap#r3


Crowdsourcing happens when our players utilises the opinions given by our live audience and use this information to their advantage. Sometimes the player might be too overwhelmed with the task at hand and might not be able to comprehend the drawing, even if it is a cuboid like what Tiffany saw. With the information given by a clear head, she might be able to understand and take the hint.


DIWO takes place when we enlisted the help of our friends to play the game. With the fresh perspective of Tiffany, Jacob, Alena and Hannah, we are able to execute this idea without any prejudice and play along. This idea was apparent especially in the trial run where Joel and Bryan had to play the game. Dion and I had to withhold much of the recipe and gameplay alterations as possible so as to ensure the sanctity of the game is upheld. We are also only a 4 member group and we might not have the necessary skills or lack of skills to achieve the character needed for the game, such as a good chef or a bad chef.

                                                    3rd space

With the usage of Insta-live dual screen playing system, we are able to use the split screen to communicate between the two players.  This helped us to achieve our goal of the communicative element of the game through visual stimuli only. This element is different in real life as we tend to want to over do on the communication part and using only 3rd space communication really helps to create a controlled environment. The 3rd space also helps to enable an effective audience participation without having a set of live audience that might create unnecessary pressure for our players. The 3rd space helps to foster a physical border that actualise our test of visual cues as communication devices. It also helps to connect people of different location into one centralised kitchen or drawing room.


The glitch aspect for this game was the most apparent aspect as it can come in early on in the game. For Tiffany and Jacobs team, the glitch was more evident. During the grocery phase, Tiffany accidentally bought nuts and cucumber for the chicken and quesadilla, which kills off the entire recipe within 30seconds. This glitch happens when she overlooks the initial function of the recipe and ingredients, which is to make a chicken quesadilla, but instead look at the ingredients as basic units to a whole dish. When she overlooks the designated function set by us, she saw new and unrestrained potential in the dish, creating the sensational scrambled eggs shown above. This glitch aspect is snowballed throughout our game as there is nearly no way of trying to overturn it, instead one should just embrace this glitch and try to make the best out of it.


Since I filmed the entire cooking process while Joel filmed the drawing process, I got the chance to edit the trailer for the final project. However, there were still maximum participation from all team members in terms of how we envision the video looking like and how we wanted to package the video, checking back with them every now and then with the video edits.

We wanted the trailer to look intense, as if it is a real cooking show with fast tempo beats. However, we did not want to include too much reels of the gameshow as it defeats the purpose of a trailer- which is to entice the audience into buying our show as a idea. We also want the glitch aspect to be apparent, thus adding in words that helps guide the audience into understanding our show as it is. We even have our own opening sequence that features glitch graphics.

In our highlights video, we featured a short clip of how Tiffany and Jacob interacted with their purchasing of mushroom and butter. This was important as these items are contextualised as a success and a failure. It was important to understand what was a failure and success in our show. The video is played one frame at a time as we did not want to confuse audience with  too many screens, which they will be able to see through our Insta-live show.


this project could be better with a stronger managerial procedure as we are not trained to handle a game show of such complexities. If able to, we would have a stronger processing procedure, documenting from all angle, including the perspective of audience who are watching our show.

We could also expand this project into an app, as suggested by Desmond, and link up with a food app that allows students to download recipes and we provide the ingredients. This ties in with us as fundamentally we wanted to achieve the relationship between food and hall life.


A crocodile prototype

In the eyes of a crocodile

With the information we have from our research process, we attempt to create a model that moves in the eyes of the kinetic beast, much like Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests.

Breaking down the movements of a crocodile, I summarised it into two main movements: the slithering pattern inherent in its streamline body as well as the concurrent movement of opposite front leg and hind leg.

Refer to the diagram from the previous research process.

Slithering starts with floating in the middle of the water, then paddling
Concurrent movement of opposite legs





The first prototype attempts to investigate the slithering pattern inherent in a crocodile’s streamline body. This movement is only allowed with the flexibility of the pivotal mechanisms of the spine. Hence, I tried to apply it to the model by building it into two sections.

Isometric drawing of model



Explaining the process of the machine, I used a wind-up mechanism to create movement. The rubber band is tied to the turnable rig that extends into the wheel. The rubber band is tied tightly onto the rig as well. Hence, when the rubber band is turned by the rig, it converts the kinetic energy of the spin into potential energy stored in the elastic band, shown in the diagram above. When released, the prototype mimics a wind up toy or pull back motor, and moves forward with the rubber band’s potential energy released as kinetic energy. The movement forward is enhanced with the paddles inserted into the wheel of the prototype. The loose spine connecting the two sections help to create the slithering movement of a crocodile.


Test drive

The prototype did not work well as the foam was too light. This made the prototype float above the water, resulting in a weaker albeit moving motor. The prototype only moved a short distance and did not slither as much as I envisioned. I added wood panels to the bottom in later adjustments.

top view
side view



I realised that the current equipment I have set up for the wind up mechanism is too weak, despite trying out different rubber bands of different elasticity. I tried latex rubber band, generic red rubber bands and hair band as well. Hence, I decided to change up into something else, and maybe work on the second movement- concurrent movement of opposite front leg and hind leg.

With the set-up above, I utilised gears to create different directions of movement. With the central gear acting as the main source of movement, it creates different direction between the top left leg- hind right leg and the top right leg-hind left leg. This concurrent movement of gears mimics how a real crocodile moves. This set-up would be useful if its morphed with the first prototype’s streamline shape, using either elastic band or wind energy to power the motor.

1st attempt
2nd attempt


In the end, I was sick and didn’t attend class. However, Minjee did update me on the feedbacks given by Cheryl. Hence, we listed the characteristics down and planned how our final work would encompass, which are: Bobbing up and down the water like a crocodile, pecking of the plover bird and changing of colours with the temperature.  Do take a look at Minjee’s OSS for the understanding of her plover bird prototype, in comparison for the mutualism relationship it shares with a crocodile.

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 :

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 Kokopelli’s Sound Shaper part 2- Finalisation

After the first review, we had a lot more interesting ideas given by Cheryl as well as the class. We know that there were a few changes necessary to make the final work even better, as listed below:

  • Remove the “kaze” shell that covers the inner mechanics of the final product

  • Tighten the mechanics and ensure that parts and pieces do not fall out of place

  • Install a “pin ball” mechanics to amplify the sound that runs through the final product.

First review

We thought it was interesting to have a pin ball machine installed on the back of the final product as through this way we could control how long the sound can be shaped into. However, it would be a hard task as the design is structured to serve a specific function, which is to mimic a Japanese fan-like wings. In attempts to creating a  pin ball machine at the back, we would have to structure the space properly to ensure maximum efficiency.



Pinball Machine Brainstorm

We added wooden panels into the design as we intended to create a stronger percussion/acoustic sound when the marble is dropped into the system. It emulates a pinball machine, with each panel placed slanted at an angle to facilitate the marble falling into funnel catchment area.

First Design
Wooden Stoppers

Apart from the usual wooden flanks to direct the pin ball down, we inserted small wooden poles into the system, this is to create a longer soundscape as the marble has to move through the wooden poles to reach the catchment area, shown above.

wooden planks

The placement of the wooden planks are also interesting as we had to place it at angles where the marble can flow down smoothly and making sharp and strong sounds, without being stopped at any point.

final pin ball layout
experiment with planks

We experimented with bamboo poles by heating it, allowing the fibres to be softened enough to bend. This bend allows the marble to roll and create an undulating sound of movement, however, it didn’t work out. We also tried to use the curved bamboo pole to hold down the pipe that serves as a tubing for the marble, but that didn’t work very well in terms of enabling dexterity.

Softening the hose

We also used the heat gun to make the hose more malleable, creating the tubing that directs the marble into the pin ball system.


Hole in tube

We used heat gun to soften the hose, which allows us to easily cut through it to create a hole that allows the marble to fall out of. This hole becomes the input that directs the marble downwards, through the pinball machine.


These wooden poles or planks act as redirection method common in most pinball machine. They not only elongate the sound of the final product, but also allow us to create a composition of mix and matches of sound. For example, the sound of the marble hitting the poles or the sound of the marble rolling down the wooden plank at an angle.

catchment area

We created a catchment area through the shape of a funnel that is detachable. We called it the cartridge. This cartridge allows us to insert it into the base of the product when catching the marbles. However, when we are restarting the pin ball system, we can take it out to transfer the marbles to the other cartridges.


The final composition of the pinball machine as shown above.

The Cicada’s wings


spreading of the cicada wings

The video above shows the demonstration, as well as final presentation of the cicada wings. The clip highlights the sound achieved with the final product.


perspective drawing of the product with kokopelli
joel as the secret cicada
spreading the wings
perspective drawing draft

Range of movement and sound lexicon


sound lexicon

Learning Points

Although the presentation wasn’t fantastic in terms of the execution, where the marbles did not come out of the system efficiently, we understood that there were errors in the choice of material. This choice of material could have been more sustainable and dexterous, such as wooden panels pointed out by Cheryl after our post-mortem check.

Wood would have been an easier material to create a sturdier structure in terms of holding everything together. The acrylic board and styrofoam of our product did not hold together due to prolonged wear and tear. It was functional in terms of its intended mechanism so that is good.