How to Morph Shapes – https://youtu.be/iLd-5x5KhyA
Liquid Motion Graphics Effects in After Effects – https://youtu.be/Pq7BEhiHcKU
Simple Squiggling Line – https://youtu.be/yG9jsBYaXfY
Cartoon Lines Animation – https://youtu.be/zQ2CBXBfRnc
Ink Effect – https://youtu.be/B-lfOWek6oc
Parallax Effect – https://youtu.be/daoO3l5c91w
Dynamic Animated Background – https://youtu.be/UBz2wJkATWU
I do not have a particular artist or artstyle I had in mind, and searched up concepts I wanted to try that embody super, fantastical nature instead!
Title: The Higher Power Reimagined
Keywords: brain, evolution, humans, animals, amalgamation, protruding
Theme/concept: One of my visual communication projects had been about “what if our mental defense mechanisms became physical”. This time I wanted to see what the brain was in comparison to animals. The human brain is one of the most powerful “beings” on Earth, but even then, wildlife can always beat us with their physical prowess. What if the brain can manifest itself into a stronger form, one not limited by our flesh and bones? What if we were like the octopus, who can move around rather skillfully and effortlessly? Or the jellyfish, brainless, but yet so beautiful? I think this concept gives a very ethereal feeling, and I probably want to do a transition. Think of animorphs but like, visually sexier.
Title: t r n s h m n
Keywords: cyberpunk, sci-fi, immortality, cyborg, robot, digital, transhumanism, neo-evolution
Theme/concept: I first heard of the term transhumanism through the MARVEL show, Agents of Shield. Transhumanism is basically the theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology, even to the point of becoming immortal. I felt like that could potentially be the “super nature” of the future. Where humans just decide to evolve and enhance themselves past what nature could have offered, a selfish desire to be more than what was given, and maybe the narcissism to be immortal and super through technology that only humans could be able to achieved as a species.
Title: Deep Down The Dungeon Hole
Keywords: dungeons, dragons, d&d, adventure, fantastical, evolution, nature, imaginary
Theme/concept: Dungeons and dragons is a role-playing board game that are mostly given medieval fantasy settings, and there are usually interesting races that obviously do not exist in real life (e.g. Dragonborns, Elves, etc.) or monsters that have adapted from nature (e.g. Owlbear, plant-related monsters, etc.) I think it made me really like nature and adventure a lot, because it was such a bizarre alternate reality, like what if nature took over and was bigger than life, what if the floral and fauna evolved faster than humans and could trick and outplay them. Many jobs have arisen from this infinite pool of new diversity, and many would go into research or gold-mining in dungeons, which results in a lot of new discoveries.
AR used in surgical practices
I think I have a lot of explaining to do, considering how different my project has become since the mid-term analogue version of it.
After many consults with the two professors, I changed my idea completely. I was told to look back at my concept: the idea of having a personal space intruded by someone else, some other thing. The being becoming uncomfortable because of this intrusion. Then I was told to go back and think about it.
I thought a lot about it. I came up with several observations, over the one week I was told to do so. Here were some of my observations, and ideations.
times when my/someone’s personal, private space has been invaded/compromised
- mother complained about having a gym-mate that could not stop asking about invasive questions
- “What’s your weight? What’s your husband doing?”
- having negative thought processes most times of the day
- voices/thoughts that prevent productivity/sleep
- sleep paralysis
- dark shadows, being unable to move but they get closer
- sitting on the bus and having someone jab their shoulder/butt into your space
- your friend who wants to look at your phone/laptop and asks what you’re doing
- some voice that keeps asking very personal questions. maybe starts to question existence??
- was inspired by the one project with the two heads that talk to each other
- alternatively, a voice that talks about potential harm coming to participant’s way → still relatively intrusive and something I experience to a milder degree (e.g. people are out to hurt you, kill you, computers have minds of their own etc.)
- Initial idea of how it can be implemented:
- Have to cover ears so the voice “speaks to you clearly”
- OR have them always heard, kind of like angel and devil in most stereotypes
- Or have a “being” that asks about your day in the most intrusive ways
- Kind of like a pet but not really
- creating a dark space similar to a tent maybe, and projecting human-like shadows (to mimic sleep paralysis)
- participant “sleeps” in tent, and there are projections of things moving towards you during every flash of light??
- if they move it moves faster?? idk
- the annoying kid that keeps getting into your space:
- constantly poking shoulder, voice saying “hey, hey, hey”
As you can see, I was very lost. I had a lot to think about, and there was so many things I could have done. But I was very lost. I did not know what to do at all. But one thing that I felt most deeply for was having intrusive thoughts. I mean, I think about it all the time, because they are my thoughts. I cannot get rid of them. Intrusive thoughts ruin people and they’re the most uncomfortable thing to have on your very being, unless there’s some third-party forces/the supernatural we’re dealing with here. I thought it was a pretty good start.
So I decided to work on that. And at first I was like, oh darn, do I have to try to squeeze in months of learning processing and arduino into like three weeks? But I realise I could do things as long as they are digital. And Prof Kristy reminded me about Janet Cardiff’s audio walks.
So I wanted to do a project where I would create a video tour within ADM, with a voiceover that asked questions that were more and more uncomfortable.
My to-do list:
- Schedule each week’s progress
Things I considered:
Route: Create a route around ADM that the person will have to walk to. Do they walk into rooms? Do they walk up and down stairs?
consider that a lot of places might not be accessible to people (if they have to tap card), wait for things to happen etc. → so lifts and rooms are a bit harder
start → sunken plaza (near staircase to canteen 2) → basement → walk down the corridor → vending machines → walk up the stairs to the lounge → lounge → walk to the lobby and have a moment there → walk upstairs via stairs → stay at the bridge to the other classrooms → go down the corridor to the handicap toilet → have a seat → leave → back past the bridge to the 3rd level, and then to the fourth
[after 29/10 check] too long, it took 11minutes just to reach 3rd floor, and even then I was already rushing. Might be too long an experience/too rushed
Decided to stay within basement and level 1!!
START → sunken plaza (Maybe stay longer) → indoor basement, corridor → vending machines → walk up Stairs→ lounge → down stairs→ left past the doors to sunken plaza → END
Actors: Think about how actors will interact with the video? Are they going to be present during the actual day of interaction when participants move around?
Decided to not use actors because everyone is busy. ):
Narration: what kind of poetic narrative and thoughts should go into this? How much intrusion is there? theme: your inner voice who speaks to you, narrates a situation
Decided to use own voice.
thing to take note: make sure there are questions that get increasingly more uncomfortable in nature
Questions I can ask:
- Are you from this school? How old are you?
- Why are you here?
- Why did you decide to come here? (Before name question cuz its weird right)
- What’s your name? Where’s your name from?
- Let’s be closer friends. Do you have many friends?
- Did you choose to have friends?
- How are you feeling today?
- Are you an indoors or outdoors person?
- What are you? Are you single?
- What do you like about yourself/what do you not like about yourself?
- Isn’t there something better you could be doing?
- What’s the worst thing you have ever thought of doing to someone?
- Ever thought of how babies are so fragile, and that if you wanted to, you could break them?
- Have you ever wanted to leave your loved ones?
- If the world ended what would your last words be?
- Would you rather live your life as if there was no god and find out that there is, or live as if there is a god and it turns out there isn’t?
- When you think of yourself, do you imagine that you are your body, or that you’re in your body?
- In the light of eternity, how significant is this present moment?
- If life is so hard, what are you comparing it to?
- Are you happy?
- Would your life have been different if ___
-turn on screen-
You’re new to me.
We seem to exist in the same universe, but unlike you, I am a mere whisper.
Do you see what I see? Think of me as your thoughts. I am you and we share the same view. Look up like how I do.
A beautiful place, isn’t it. I sometimes forget that it is a school.
Are you from this school? How old are you?
I’m interested to know more about you. Why don’t we take this time to be closer? While I am connected to you, and you, to me.
Let’s take a walk, shall we? Follow where I go.
How are you feeling today?
The water is still. There are usually dead insects and birds in here. I have heard of it happening, seen of it happening right in front of my eyes. Have you? Seen the birds crash into the windows, and drop down to their deaths?
Lucky creatures. Captured by the beauty in glass and to experience death so easily after.
To fly in circles, momentarily lost in spiralling doom before they either live or die. Have you ever felt that?
Turn to your right. Let us go indoors.
[sunken plaza → basement indoors]
Are you an indoors or outdoors person?
Turn to your left and walk ahead to the lockers.
Now it looks like a school, doesn’t it? I think the lockers help.
A place of learning. A place to make friends.
Don’t mind the people. I am here.
I hope you are not in a rush to end this conversation. You have me.
Do you have many friends?
Fate has much to show us. I don’t think fate has ever been unkind. It has been giving, and giving, and sometimes we decide we have had enough of fate. We decide to take matters into our own hands.
Like a vending machine we have the choice to pick.
You see the elevators. Turn right and face the machines like I do.
[corridor → vending machine]
You get so many choices. Every action you take is a new chance at fate.
Drinks. Snacks. Sandwiches. A big variety.
Do you get to pick favourites? I like to stick to the same snack when I have to choose.
You pick a button, and it gives you what you asked for. The choice is yours.
It’s so easy, isn’t it?
But what if fate doesn’t give?
What if you don’t have the chance to encounter fate?
Doesn’t that make your life meaningless?
That’s funny to think about, don’t you think?
Do you have a reason to be here?
What are you?
Let us walk past the elevator.
To your right. Walk forward.
Big benches. Bigger tables. They’re filled with people. None of them are your friends.
Weird looks. Life is awful. You want to die.
Turn left. There are stairs. Go up.
Effort to keep up with the times. Just like climbing the stairs.
Each step feels heavier than the other. Effort to maintain some semblance of a social life. Missing a step means risk of losing it all, tumbling down.
Ever thought about disappearing for a day?
Ever thought about having a kiss with death?
Something more intimate?
Such a common phrase here. You hear this phrase way too often, say this phrase way too often. It comes out like vomit, vile and useless, but it makes you feel at least 3 percent better.
Why not try saying it?
Does it take away the weight of climbing?
Well, whatever the result was, we’re at a new place.
A place for lounging. Where people sit and relax with their friends.
A place you would not have seen if you died.
Shuffle over to the left. Stop.
What do you not like about yourself? Tell me.
Do you ever feel like you have to change those parts of yourself? Get rid of the raw, unpolished parts so you could shine better?
Have you ever heard this phrase? Maybe like my voice.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not good at all.
Humans are all social creatures. We can’t avoid that. Being human means wanting others to like you.
Do your friends like you?
How did you meet your closest friends?
Why are you here?
Are you my friend now?
Let us move. Go back down the stairs.
[go down the stairs]
Let’s go outside. To your left.
Are you an outdoors or indoors person?
Turn to your left.
It sounds like rain.
It feels like rain.
Is it raining now? (Jarring rain bg)
No matter. We still have to continue our journey, rain or shine.
We’re back outside. How do you feel now?
Are you happy?
I hope you’re not.
You must be wondering, is there an end to this cycle. There is, you can take off these headphones. But what if I’m stuck with you?
I don’t think I know you.
You’re new to me.
Here’s a video of Prof Kristy experiencing the whole thing.
It was very cringe-worthy recording myself. I also had problems figuring out what kind of tone I wanted to put into my words. I wasn’t an actor by nature so that was already hard on its own, and to put thought to actual words was even harder, but I think it was a good journey to experience as the creator of this piece of work. There was also a lot more that I could put into it, quality-wise. The pacing was probably a little off, and Biju said my draft recordings were actually better in terms of emotional quality. And I felt that my video quality was probably not the best, even though I did take the video several times in an attempt to better time it, and also better audio but hey, we all start somewhere I guess.
It was nice watching the professors walk around with the phone it was a very different experience watching someone try to embody you. I think it was a very experimental piece for me. While I feel like there’s a lot that I could improve on, and that it was generally, very attached to me as a project, compared to what I did for mid-terms, I feel refreshed knowing that I, probably rather literally, stepped out of my comfort zone.
Now all that is left is for it to survive the end of semester showcase. To be honest, it makes me not want to show my face around school anymore, given how much I put myself into my work, but I hope some people won’t find it cringey.
For my reading assignment, I decided to look into Sherry Turkle’s The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. She talks about thinking of the computer as the second self, as a part of the social and psychological lives, to look deeper past the surface of what computers are used for to better understand ourselves as humans. She does that by talking about how the computer affects us to better understand our relationships with the world, by asking different people of different ages to understand as many perceptions of the computer and its other technologies. In the introduction she quotes a PDA user who felt “a death” when their Palm died, and felt that they were going to “lose their mind”. To have technology become an extension of one’s self is something that many of us unconsciously do in 2019, to rely on them in order to curate daily lives, or to make spreadsheets.
“Are the new generations of simulation consumers reminiscent of people who can pronounce the words in a book but don’t understand what they mean?”
Turkle talks about a time when computers were all code, and that children were made to learn programming in simple forms, to “create their own world” with their own set of rules, while “virtuality seemed new”. She also argues of how “transparency” of technology was changed, such that people no longer found an interest in computer literacy in their daily use of technology. I found it interesting, given that most of technology now relies on a visual interface that covered code, and to quote a professor, create an experience that keeps the technology invisible. It was the total opposite of what I was told to do. She makes some valid points that it allowed for important thinking skills, and to “demystify” technology, allowing children, and also adults, a sense of control.
Going on her tangent about the new era, Turkle mentions the world and culture of simulation, games such as The Sims, in particular. These are all complex simulation games that require a huge working system that can survive while being manipulated by a player. But these systems were already set up by someone else, a simulated world created by someone for an individual to experience, rather than manipulate fully and have any sort of authority. In a sense, she talks a lot about the power one had in their lives by being able to code in a world where technology was booming.
“Technology catalyzes changes not only in what we do but in how we think. It changes people’s awareness of themselves, of one another, of their relationship with the world.”
Looking back to the start of our project, Matapolis, our goal was to hope that people would try to play “bad” in our simulation, to question things that happen in the scenes that were shown to them. I felt like I agreed with many things that Turkle had to say, and it gave me some sort of validation in the kind of project that we were making. Simulations were not supposed to be realistic, but to question the “real”. The second self was a way to reflect on where we, as humans, stood in nature, to question our being.
Turkle, Sherry. “Video Games and Computer Holding Power.” In The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1984-2005.
After listening to the comments from everyone during mid-terms, I felt like there was a lot I could do to reiterate my original meaning. Here were some suggestions that were given.
- Having cameras pointed at the individual, have spotlights on them. This is to emphasize on discomfort, where the “attention” is on them. Somewhat comical in nature, and perhaps grandiose to a funny extent.
- Have the participant’s every move narrated by a voice as they go about their business in the washroom.
- Have a webcam feed show up both inside and outside the toilet of a particular angle (suggested: feet near the toilet bowl).
Upon consideration, I wondered what other ways I could implement the idea of having the attention on the participant while in the toilet. A friend of mine suggested having the sound of applause when a certain action is done (e.g. the flushing of the toilet) and I thought that was pretty interesting, to have sound used to reflect interactions.
I then thought of: what if someone sat on the toilet, and then fast orchestral music started playing? Something like Flight of the Bumble Bee?
During week 8’s mid-term, I presented my idea of different emotions being evoked while being in the toilet. Before getting approval for the space (a handicap toilet on the 2nd level of ADM), I had wanted to do something that made somebody uncomfortable while they were in the toilet. However, given the limitations that I was only allowed to use the toilet for a few hours within the day itself, I was rather restricted with what I could set up, and I was also concerned about the level of hygiene if I had to make people interact with things within the toilet. I decided to make use of the walls instead, since they were probably more acceptable than using the toilet bowl itself, or the floor.
While thinking up of ideas, I thought about using images to create small windows to an “outside world” which might counter how a toilet is used, since most of the time they are meant to be a private space. I also wanted to look into how different imagery could make a person think differently, and evoke different emotions, resulting in various windows on every wall that depicted different scenes, something I’ve learnt from Yi Fu Tuan’s Space and Place, when he talks about direction.
I made a variety of different settings, planned beforehand, and then pasted them across the walls. The next few images will be what the final product looked like.
Comments I have received during the presentation that I took into consideration to improve the next part of the project:
- There were too many different things going on – so rather than create an experience where each wall evoked an emotion, it just made people confused and overwhelmed instead.
- To concentrate on one variable of wanting to make someone “uncomfortable” rather than a variety of other emotions.
- To use fake cameras to instill the sense of vulnerability.
- To use spotlights and sensors (when someone sits down they activate the lights, think of lights, cameras, action).
- To have a webcam show feed of part of the toilet, showcased on the outside.
- To have the participant’s every move narrated.
For project 1: analogue, I decided to go with my toilet sorter idea. To quickly recap, I wanted to look into the psychology of how someone would pick a toilet cubicle, and the project made people pick dirty toilets as a show of “movement without the body being there”.
I felt that there was more to it than just movement, and that toilet-picking was really something that I find rather amusing, and tried to think about other ways that toilets were good representations of human behaviour.
I found this piece of work done by a Hong Kong artist, showing a similar versus system between Chinese and Hong Kong culture.
As seen above, these are all comparisons between two countries, be it the way they write, behave on public transport, and well, use the toilet. It showed a lot of behavioural aspects between two countries just from simple illustrations, and I wanted to think about how by showing toilets instead, what kind of behaviour would people show and perceive these toilets?
Two stacks of paper will be printed with different toilets. This will still work similarly to the project I have mentioned previously, where there will be an eventual “winner”. But along with this I have added an additional element.
Participants must do the following:
- Tear off the toilet cubicle they prefer.
- Flip to the other side where there is a quick survey.
- Give the reason for picking that toilet, and to also rate the toilet based on how satisfied they would be with using the toilet.
- Drop it into the box provided, so that I can collate the result winner of the day.
This not only gives participants a chance to pick, but also to reason why they picked their option. They also get to rate the toilet that they have picked, based on satisfaction, cleanliness, whatever they wish to rate it on. This is based off how we have little tablets in fancy toilets to rate how the cleanliness is like.
So why rate toilets that are already obviously dirty? While it is probably redundant to ask for a rating from toilets that are probably all inherently dirty, it would be to question the psychology of choice, and also, the paradox of choice.
The paradox of choice talks about having anxiety over too many choices. In fact, if you do research on the psychology of less choices, you get a lot of articles talking about how less is probably more. The reason why choice is always such an important thing, in marketing for example, is that it gives consumers the perceived control that they feel is necessary when making decisions. I thought it was a pretty interesting read into things, given that I was just mostly talking about toilets and their cubicles, but it reads into that as a question to participants: Which toilet would you pick? You only have two choices. But are either of these choices really worth it? Am I, as the person giving you the choice, really giving you a choice between the two? Is there a state of control? Are you really happy picking the toilet you have picked, when evidently, both are dirty? These questions can only really be answered by the individual, and probably based on their level of immersion and comfort.
Happenings | Disappearance at the Bar Gallery, felt like a trip to another world. And I do not mean in a good or bad sense, but rather, just an odd one. I had brought a friend from outside of school along to witness the performance, and upon arrival, spent the majority of it trying to point out things that were happening, with zero context to anything beforehand. I had been hoping that the piece would be self-explanatory when I arrived, but it was the opposite, and an hour was spent trying to guess its complicated message. Were we trying to call upon aliens with the soundwaves? Were we questioning technology based on how static works?
To be honest, I did not even realise that the tables were supposed to be an artwork. I thought it was just a fancy decision to put them there as a place to rest, and perhaps have a bit of a snack. It was only until class the following week that I realise it was based off an exhibition by Lee Kang Soo called “Disappearance” in 1973.
“Unlike other performance art pieces at that time, Disappearance was completed with the participation of the audience. It was an artwork that overturned the boundary and position of the artist and the audience.
While exchanging glasses between the two of us at a lukewarm bar without any customers except for us, my gaze stayed on the wooden table and chairs. It seemed as if I was listening and seeing the sound of many people and an illusion full of smoke from cigarettes. The traces of rubbing off countless cigarettes on the table and chairs, burnt marks made by hot pots, and incessant mopping by the worker at the bar – all these seemed to make noises together. But all of this disappeared at once. I was there, and my senior was sitting in front of me, but we were there and not there at the same time. I could not prove it precisely. I could not be my senior sitting in front of me, and he could not be me. The bar I was experiencing could not be the same as the place he was encountering. Where were we?”
By buying the chairs and tables of said bar, he had wished to recreate the bar experience, the intimate experience of drinking with his senior, to the gallery in 1973. He basically wanted anyone to sit there for the art to work, an opportunity for the audience to share a memory that was private, from a specific, intimate place.
So in what way was this related to INTER-MISSION and Happenings? How did they co-exist in the same space? I look into INTER-MISSION’s about page to better understand their motive in creating art. They call themselves “an art collective dedicated to discourses of technology in art”, inhabiting the gap between technologically engaged artworks, artists and audiences. They also build “transnational networks to promote sustained dialogue and engagement with media practices, encouraging collaboration, reflection and participation in our ever-changing technological environment through interactive performances, etc.”.
I started to think a little deeper into this, maybe they were finding the ghosts of Lee Kang Soo’s imagination? One of them had been holding tons of recording or sound-making things; the one with the mask. He had also started walking around, putting his arm up to the audience at the Bar, which in response would cause more static noises to come out of his headphones. It felt odd, but being a fan of dumb supernatural shows, static was often used in this context to look for ghosts, in order to communicate with them. Was INTER-MISSION searching for this intimate memory? Was INTER-MISSION maybe instead questioning this intimate memory? Who knows?
There were also several projections displayed, each changing repetitively and quickly in succession, of different angles of the Bar, and of a live setting in Tokyo. I guess it could potentially be talking about being able to actually experience an intimate setting in today’s world with technology. The Bar at the Gallery would have been very different there. Was the Disappearance now a different meaning interpreted from what Lee Kang Soo had put together decades ago? Was the visual manipulation of these screens a rising question about how technology should be viewed, likewise with its loud static audio? Was the other dude with the camera projection of his face walking around to find some kind of entity, or maybe the purpose of this whole performance?
I looked up INTER-MISSION’s other works, to better understand their message as a group. They often used the same techniques to perform, in reference to their collaborative audiovisual event during IAFT 16/17 but with each performance came a different visual, while the sound… Well, it could be different, since it was not the same place after all. (I cannot tell for the life of me. My ears are bad as is.)
With each piece came a different context, depending on the environment they were in, despite them performing. But from Happenings, I gained a different perspective when given an idea what “Disappearance” had been about. There was a lot to question about the art, and with the performance came a new perspective opened for me. I had googled Happenings and found another performance at NGS, by several performing artists.
“My fellow artists and I found ourselves performing within a bar made almost 50 years ago, for an audience living in modern times. It presented an untrodden path that led to a joyous journey for everyone involved. After the performance, as we stepped out of the bar, we realised that a new door had opened for us.”
It was an interesting look from another artist’s perspective, how they had perceived the art piece and collaborated within that space. It was like entering a different world, time; an alternate universe if you might, in this space. I feel that maybe INTER-MISSION might have felt the same, being in different spaces with different chemistry, and it is something that their work looks into. So while I did not fully understand their piece when I was there at NGS, I guess it was in a way, an arbitrary piece, that I could still interpret bits and pieces of and had my own personal takeaway. It was an amusing experience to say the least, and had many questions, and I do wish to see them talk more about it in detail if they ever would.