Understanding Simple Machines – Pulley System

To decide between using either a purely mechanical system where the audience get’s to interact with the installation or setting up an electronic system and let the audience become a button pusher is a decision I’ve to make before going into the construction of the prototype. With the only knowledge I have of the mechanical system coming from my secondary school physics lesson, I started my research where it’s the easiest to understand, Youtube.

MA (mechanical advantage) = Force Out (object) / Force In (for my project, it is the human energy)

This video gave a simple breakdown of how a pulley system works and the amount of effort it helps reduces. A simple set up but the concern with safety and how to make it easier for the audience to interact with the installation is an issue I’ve to deal with.

I’ll be looking to make my bubble frame out of either acrylic or thin wood, but the issue is that the frame has to be slightly weighted to prevent it from moving too much while suspended.

So, less force needed = more length of rope needed to be pulled.

Another issue to look at is the speed of the pulley system and the distance it would need to travel. Also on how the mechanism would lock at the top to prevent it from being lowered before it is required.

Scanography – Alternative Cataloging/”Photography”

“Scannography (also called scanography, Scanner Photography or
Scan-art) is a new way to represente the world around us.”

It is an alternative form of photography but the differences is quite huge.  A few of them are the absence of perspective and of depth of field, the regularity of the light captured by thousands of captors. I felt it creates a new perspective to the way images is captured and also gives a tactile connection with the object/person I’m capturing.


scanner hadnheld






A scanner could be a tool to use for my self-observation instead of photography. I bought a handheld portable scanner for flexibility in terms of time and place, allowing me the freedom to observe without the constraint. Below shows the sample images I tested with the scanner, playing around just to get the feel of it. After looking at references of scanography artistes online, I noticed that I’ll need a clear flat surface to “squash” my objects to be able to properly capture it, otherwise it’ll glitch up, which may not be a bad thing as well.






















Taotronics DS001 Handheld Scanner

Artist Reference #1: Rebecca Wild


“I specialises in the technique of scanography, resulting in work that is both experimental and spontaneous.Using the scanner as both a camera and a canvas, I question the way art is formed and approach the idea of creating art in a new light.” She creates abstract pieces using paint and the nature of fluidity that evokes movement even with the freeze frame nature of a scanner.

IMG_0006 alchemistvision













Artist Reference #2: Angki Purbandono



Artist Research #4: Digital Age Artistes/Designers : Charlie Clark (Interactive Designer) , Bredan Dawes (Designer / Artist), Andy Willis (Designer / Artist)

Big bang data

I got interested in working with analogue and converting to a digital output through one of the work (Cinema Redux) by Bredan Dawes at the Big Bang Data exhibition in the Art Science Musuem. The idea of using a huge collection of data to translate an overall emotion and to provide another point of view that creates a dialogue with the audience is an output that I felt would work with what I am trying to portray at the end.

1.) Charlie Clark


A site designed and developed by Charlie Clark exploring the use of color in movies.

How It Works:

  •  A bash script runs ffmpeg to export frames from a video file.
  • The frame rate of the exports depends on the length of the video.
  • The bash script then calls a PHP script which extracts the average color from each frame.
  • The results are spit out as a JSON file with the hex values in an array.
  • The front-end runs on backbone, and presents the color data.
  • Navigate the colors in a number of ways, and compare the color to each frame.

2.)Bredan Dawes


Vertigo by Stanley Kubrick



“Cinema Redux creates a single visual distillation of an entire movie; each row represents one minute of film time, comprised of 60 frames, each taken at one second intervals. The result is a unique fingerprint of an entire movie, born from taking many moments spread across time and bringing all of them together in one single moment to create something new.”

3.)Andy Willis


Wall-E (left), Moonrise Kingdom (right)










A Python-based project that conceptualizes classic movies not in words or storyboards, but highly-detailed color patterns.

It translates every second of a film into a single block of color, based on a composite of every frame within that second. These blocks are then arranged in chronological order for every film, with 60 in each row (representing one minute of screen time). The result is a massive, pixelated map that allows viewers to visualize the chromatic contours of a film in a single glance.

Artist Research #3 : Roman Opalka

roman opalka

Roman Opalka’s Numerical Destiny

“It’s important that my last Detail should not be finished by me, but my life.”

One body of work ,from 1965 — 2011(death)

Opalka was painting small numbers in white pigment using a number “0” brush, creating rhythmical horizontal striations against a black background. Each canvas, or Detail, as he called it, would begin in the upper left corner and gradually move to the lower right. Each application of white paint would continue until the brush became dry whereupon he would dab the brush and continue on as before. This process (or procedure) would occur slowly over time. His painterly method was to embed the trace of these white numbers against the black surface, to make them appear tangible.

He would count aloud each numeral while coordinating the tiny movements of his brush. In the process, he was inexorably bound to the medium in which he worked. Upon completion, each canvas — or Detail — constituted a part of the whole.

Opalka began to add 1% white pigment to the black background. Gradually, over time, as more paintings were painted, the black surface would become gray. As he continued to count and to paint five, six, and seven digit numbers, he discreetly added 1% white to each canvas, thus making the surfaces appear increasingly lighter. In the late 1970s he declared that the background of his canvases would eventually appear white, the same white used to paint the numerals that would finally dissolve into the surface, embody the surface. Ultimately, there would be no distinction between the white numerals and the white surface; they would culminate as a form of blankness, possibly transcendent, as the numerals grew invisible within the prospect of infinity, the Samadhior highest level of meditation.

Combined clear conceptual thinking with painterly materials

The work of painting has become meditation. The intellectual and emotional sides of the work are absorbed through the medium of the spiritual.

His work was always just beyond the present, like Heidegger’s phenomenology, where the horizon of thought kept appearing and disappearing.



Artist Research #2 : Tehching Hsieh

Tehching Hsieh Book


Tehching Hsieh is a performance artist who’s works deals mainly with the concept of time. Using it as an artistic material and tool. His main works were 5 One Year Performance and a Thirteen Year Plan. What I got out from his work was his perseverance and his mental strength to push through for a long period of time.

Quotes from Book #1

“How time is lived and felt in a body; how it leaves its marks in material things, how the past lives in the present; how singular lives and time remains.” : Adrian Heathfield

“Hsieh story is all about becoming a sentient witness of time.”

“… in their absolute conception and enactment of art and life as simultaneous processes.”

“Hsieh is working with and from the direct experience of the present, using time as an artistic material and tool.”

“… a desire to make the process of thinking about art an artwork.”

“Hsieh’s work reflects an interest in the destablisation of art’s objecthood through the refiguring of art as the process of ideas.”

“For Hsieh, the artwork is not just the index of a preceding and largely unseen duration, it is the lived duration itself, a lived time that includes numerous indexical forms and varying degree of visibility.” pg.17

Books Researched

1.) Heathfield, A. (2008). Tehching Hsieh: Out of now: The lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Artist Research #1 : On Kawara

On Kawara Book

On Kawara created paintings, drawings, books, and recordings that examined chronological time and its function as a measure of human existence. Artistic practice was characterized by its meditative approach to concepts of time, space, and consciousness.

Works of On Kawara that interest me

  • “Today” Series
  • “I Got Up, I Met and I Went.”
  • “I Am Still Alive”




4.JUNI 2001, 2001

from “Today” series, 1966-2013
Acrylic on canvas





On Kawara, I Went 1968–79. Clothbound loose-leaf binders with plastic sleeves and inserted printed matter. Inserts: Ink on photocopy


On Kawara I am still alive


On Kawara, Telegram to Sol LeWitt, February 5, 1970. From I Am Still Alive, 1970–2000. Telegram. 5 3/4 x 8 in. (14.6 x 20.3 cm).



Quotes from book #1

‘Words are essentially flawed by arbitrariness and that art exist “beyond languages” ‘ pg.50

In Japan, railway timetable are always accurate within 30seconds, while in Mexico, the railways to the countryside could be late even for days. This “relativity of time” the idea that even the perception of time might be culturally determined. pg.53

The logical conclusion clearly is that anybody, anywhere and anytime, can make art un-self-consciously out of anything. pg.55

“Pure consciousness” is a classroom where ‘I don’t know’ is the right answer. pg.105

Books researched

1.) Watkins, J., Denizot, R., & Kawara, O. (2002). On Kawara: ‘tribute’ London: Phaidon.

2.) Kawara, O. (2002). On Kawara: Consciousness, mediatation, watcher on the hills. Dijon: Presses du réel.