I had been initially really clueless about how to do this project — what was I supposed to start with? I started researching on various elements of the jobs I have chosen, and picking elements that would best show the job. As mentioned in my research, I had already picked out various elements I wanted to pick up for my jobs. I also started looking into the types of fonts that best represented what I wanted to go for, which was like a starting point for my artwork.
For the dream collector, I decided to use dreamcatcher elements to represent my job to collect dreams. I imagined it as something where clouds represented dreams, and they would get caught when drifting past the dreamcatcher.
I started experimenting with how I wanted the dreamcatcher types to look like, and how the strings inside would tie up together. It was really hard figuring this out as most dreamcatchers were round. I had to google rectangular dreamcatchers and just generally stared at dreamcatchers for a very long period of time, also referencing from a dreamcatcher I received when I was younger, picking at the strings and how they were connected.
I went with this serif font: Labor Union. It was actually thinner, as shown in the first picture, but I made it thicker so that I could fit the strings that dreamcatchers had. I staggered the words, giving the look of dreamcatchers being hung from different lengths.
Originally, I gave it a purple hue because I wanted to make the scene more surreal. But then I realised it looked super ‘obiang’, and threw the attention off. I also did not know how to make the beads look more realistic and I got really frustrated at some point, deciding to stop for the nth time to do another piece of work before I threw my laptop out.
I tried working with nightly palettes and came to this point. It still didn’t do it for me, because it felt very flat. And I was still very new to the whole brush thing on Illustrator as well, which made it very uncomfortable for me to paint anything in Illustrator. I consulted Shirley and she told me I could use any medium (kinda what I wanted to hear, because as much as I wanted to learn Illustrator, I still wanted to create something I could appreciate.)
I decided to go back to something I was more familiar with for the time being, using Photoshop and playing with colours and brushes to create a soft looking cloud area, texturing it and adding tiny stars to represent the night sky. I also made the words off-center, adding little feathers (learnt it on some tutorial!) and the strings to hand them with on Illustrator.
Nonetheless, this was one of my friends’ favourite pieces. It made me really happy because this was one of the hardest pieces I had as it was the most layer heavy one, and I learnt how to make a pattern brush (for the threading) and an art brush (for the feathers). I kept asking friends for opinions, resulting in all those screenshots being available, and the constant changes from colour to colour and for it to reach this final piece.
Emoji Factory Worker
For this job, the emoji factory worker, I wanted a more 3D effect on a vector style. I was deciding between using a 2D font or prefixed 3D type fonts, such as orange juice and Pony Maker. I ended up sticking with Pony Maker, as orange juice was a bit less ‘clean’ in its look, whereas I wanted to give a vibe of a super ‘clean’ environment for factory based work.
I used some of my favourite emojis and specifically used emojis and text speech bubbles from the iPhone, as it was a recognisable element of text messaging. iPhone’s message bubbles also have not changed in years, and thus made it an iconic semiotic of smartphone texting. I also kept the L behind the C and made the L smaller, to create some sort of 3D effect.
In an attempt to learn how to play with vectors in Illustrator, I stared Super Hard at the bubbles and managed to recreate it, I would say, rather perfectly. I am proud of myself.
After consulting with Shirley, she told me to keep the number of repeating emojis to at most three, as a big variation would be confusing.
I kept with simple primary colours in various values, creating a very simple but varied piece. There’s red, blue, green, and then there’s yellow in the emojis. It created a very unified look with these simple colours which I think stood out better than the complex crafted pieces I did for other jobs.
I went with putting hair on a head. I basically wanted to farm my hair on skin, for the sake of people who did not have hair. I wanted to create a skin texture with imperfections and pores and pimples. I initially went with the top middle font (cannot remember the name, I think it was Bellaboo) for a more brushy effect, like the hair was very unkempt.
I then decided to try it out again with more textures, and used my knee for the skin texture. I also took it in such a way that hopefully looked like it was the head of a bald person.
I then realised that textures were really hard to implement as it made everything look really flat on a curved surface. I considered doing it on a more top-down flat angle, but after consultation, I realised it was still best for it to be on a curved surface, as if on a head.
The texture of the skin was provided by my darling brother going through puberty right now. 😉 I used his back and he had pimples so it was perfect. I curved the image, adding a drop shadow for a more 3D effect, and used a hair texture brush on Photoshop to carefully trim nice hedges of hair. I also added stray pieces like how it would look when people cut grass/bushes. A rake was then stuck into it for semiotic purposes, like it was left there after a long day of work.
This piece took awhile for me to figure out. I basically wanted to specially form the brain matter into my name. Shirley then suggested that the letters could be “cut out” of the head instead, so that whatever negative space was going to be bald head. I wanted to use the font Open Dyslexic, because I love the irony of using that with the job neurologist.
In my first draft, I had difficulty creating perspective with the heads. But the idea was more or less there. The heads would look simple, whereas the brain matter would be more on the realistic side, with bone and meat being seen along the ridges.
I then tried creating perspective with the heads, putting some heads in front to represent the first letter, and having them smaller as a sense of continuity and harmony. After consultation, I was told to further simplify these heads by removing the necks and I took away the dripping goo.
I added some surgery tools on a surgery table, giving it a dark background to concentrate on the visceral effect the brains had. The colours were also brought to the basic three, red, blue and green. I wanted to use green for the heads to represent a more surrealistic look, using the red background to represent blood and a blue table for how most surgical places were mostly clean and cool and metal-like.
Some of the difficulties I faced was trying to decide if I could finish all 4 pieces on Illustrator — I could not. HAHAHA. But I’m honestly proud of myself to have created two of them entirely on Ai, and I’m glad they were well-received by friends and classmates alike. One of the things I learned from doing this was really staring at the objects that I wanted to use. For example, dreamcatchers are surprisingly hard to capture, but once you do they are really intricate and beautiful pieces. Another example would be for the neurologist piece, I had to stare at brains for really long, and realise they look like chee cheong fun. All my friends wanted to eat my artpiece. I don’t know whether to be happy or confused.
Usually my artwork involves a lot of messy lines and paint and in general, I was not used to how formulated my art was with this assignment. But I am still satisfied with the result, because never have I seen such a structured art work come from my hands. I guess this was what I wanted to see, by getting into design art. But I also hope to be able to make use of my messy illustration style in future pieces as well.
Describe how this process of collective image creation and decomposition creates a glitch transformation.
My group members were Nok Wan, Amanda and Minjee. We were told to create a glitch using any sort of method available, although most of us used photoshop, creating the effect of glitch in the images shown above.
Creating this piece was an unfamiliar experience to all of us: we weren’t computers ourselves. Our first round of edits usually ended up very safe. An example would have been my own edit of Nok Wan’s image, where I was unwilling to distort her face for fear that it would ruin a Masterpiece. We didn’t want to make it seem unrecognisable right from the start. I started off with adding on by duplicating parts of the image, and adding rectangles of colour that seemed like it was a glitch. I added a noise layer as well, as glitch was commonly associated with heavy noise, in my perception. Some others would also change the colours of the image, rather than affect the image itself, to colours that were not normal for a human to have (cyans, purples, etc.).
As the image gets passed down from person to person, some are more daring than others and started distorting faces. Or they tend to add on even more, or maybe even took away some elements. When the face started getting more and more unrecognisable, however, people started getting more daring with their pieces, going to more distortable options like liquify.
How is each transformation creating a new form of its precursor?
I realised that everyone had their own ways of creating glitches. For me, I loved the idea of repetition in glitch, like when you dragged a window and your computer started lagging and everything started to just become an animation broken down frame by frame, and then melded together.
From the above images, you could slowly tell that the only thing visible from my original image was the little streaks of darker hair becoming just some sort of texture — you could not tell that it was my hair at all, if you did not know what the original image was. It became some sort of psychedelic poster you would see on the streets, probably just had to smack on some text. The colours were very bright and vibrant, and the contrasts in colours used were very drastic. Which I actually liked a lot to begin with, because in my opinion pastels were an overrated thing. Nothing wrong with pastel glitches those are cool as well, but hey, I just basically find the colour palettes used in typical glitches really cool.
It also doesn’t help that constantly resaving jpegs can basically fry a photo. The constant edits take a toll on the resolution and I actually find it really pretty. Never found a better self portrait, man. :’-)
I started out unsure with what I wanted to achieve from a mobile phone dock, so I went straight into sketching. My only idea then was to use geometrical shapes, as I was into the idea of creating a look that was more pop-sy.
I asked a friend for their opinion on which designs were their favourite, ticking several which were preferred, and developed them further.
I decided to go with the organic shaped one that was based off an ocarina.
But many people also mentioned that the design was like either a lamp or a space ship. To be really honest, I agree with them, I just went with the aesthetic of an ocarina and moved from there, which I thought was interesting. I liked the way ocarinas were coloured, and that they were mostly made using ceramics, although some were made of plastics or woods, or even bone, which creates a different acoustic sound with each variation of material.
After creating very rough sketches of my final design, I was asked to do a mini-prototype. Through this process, I wanted to try manipulating it to see how the weight would fair with such an asymmetrical design.
By this point, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to achieve for the final product. I had to make sure that the phone stand would not break off when I cut the top, and after consultation, was able to do that by cutting a whole piece off, and then sticking it back again.
A problem I encountered doing this was that after sanding, the bottom right area ended up chipping off, creating an awkward space that did not connect the two pieces together. I had to sand it down until it was an even gradient. One thing I would have changed about this was to have been more careful with cutting and sanding things. But as a first try with foam, I was rather satisfied with my product.
Colour wise, I would have chosen bright, saturated colours to those of the pop age, and use contrasting colours for the buttons.
“Gradually they realised that they could arrange to telematically meet friends and relatives living on the opposite coast. Eventually, whole families would meet their distant loved ones through the ‘Hole’, some of whom had not seen each other for several years.”
— Maria Chatzichristodoulou, about the ‘Hole-in-Space’
What is the third space to you?
To me, the third space would be to share a moment with someone, even if we were not in the same physical space. It is the idea of being on a virtualised platform, and to sit together to eat and talk and basically become associated with one another, or possibly reconnect with someone else, as mentioned in the quote above.
How do we collapse boundaries in the third space?
In our tele-drift project, Amanda and I shared a drink despite being in a totally different location, and crossed boundaries to “physically” show our emotions. We were communicating verbally through the third space, but adding the physical factor of reaching out to each other, literally. This was what collapsed the boundaries, similar to how “Hole-in-Space” connected old friends and families. Our willingness to share with one another what we normally could not (given the distance): touch and the act of sharing at the same moment, rather than sending a can of milo through mail.
How do we create closeness and intimacy in the third space despite being in different locations?
“But most startling is the fact that the third space is simply an integral fact of everyday life in the 21st century.”
— Randall Packer, The Third Space
With reference to the quote, to me, closeness would be the normalcy of everyday life. The fact that someone was able to share with me a very normal task despite being in a different location was a very intimate moment for me. It felt like the two of us were in close proximity and that we were not actually that far apart, and considering that we were so fascinated with the idea of being able to share made the experience all the more refreshing – like an exciting new touch to a typically mundane activity.
How did you virtually touch, hold objects, create a “third” body using different gestures despite being in different locations?
While holding a conversation, we would use our own body parts to represent the other’s while acting out what was requested of us. Likewise with the milo can, Amanda and I used our own hands to hold onto a can of milo and despite them being different milo cans, it still felt like “sharing”, when we passed it to each other and drank it, often asking if the other wanted a sip.
How did you “connect” and collaborate with one another remotely in this third space?
It gave the illusion that we were sitting right next to each other, or in front of each other. It felt like we were truly communicating what each of us wanted from the conversation, and in order to achieve a certain goal, we collaborated in a way we might not have done so easily in a normal, physical space.
“When we can no longer separate the real and the virtual (the post real), when the third space is just the way things are, well, that in sum is the current state of evolution.”
— Randall Packer, The Third Space
The idea that we were able to create that illusion was like, a peek into the realisation that the real and virtual could end up seeming inseparable, and while daunting, could bring across new possibilities in business opportunities, and more importantly, intimacy — something that seemed to have been lost after social media took over our lives.
First of all, I’m glad to have this opportunity to be in Design Art. As someone who has had 0 experiences doing design, I cannot emphasise how lucky I am to be in the major I wish to delve into. I can only pick up a pencil/stylus and draw, so now is a good time to look into other ways of doing art, and to maybe put further meaning into my work.
I am unconfident. And it haunts me to this day, what with me not doing well in presentation and all. I can never be okay with what I create, and it stresses me out talking in front of a class. Reading about such a wonderful woman like Hannah Hoch was an experience, and although I can never be as amazing as such a big figure in Dadaism, I wish to have her in mind. I wish to have her works in mind — for how strong and stubborn she was in presenting society in the way she wanted to. Perhaps that will help me form words better like how she formed hers. It might not have the same impact but I wish to at least be able to say 5 sentences without sounding like I doubt myself.
On to the actual research!
A rare female figure back in the twentieth century’s art industry, specifically the Dada movement. She actively voiced her opinions on gender equality and often used photomontage in order to so. Picking photographic elements from popular culture and pasting it into her collages, she made many insightful connections that have people questioning how media and society portrayed gender. It gave photography and collage into a form of ‘higher’ art, fitting into the Dada movement in its development in communication design. Many other artists in Dada and in later generations started to adopt her style of collaging images.
One of Hannah Hoch’s most famous pieces, ‘Cut With The Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany’ (1919-20), reflected on issues that occurred in German society after the first World War. Words such as ‘kitchen knife’ and ‘beer belly’ were used in regards to the social status of the male and female — where feminine qualities were not equal to that of masculine qualities. The piece is seen as mocking yet whimsical, what if its exaggeration of machinery exploding and theatrical way of body language, making fun of the political issues that are going on in Germany at that point in time. She also hints at the social issues that were happening, placing a small map of countries in Europe where women were allowed to vote. With her obvious interest in representing the female population, she plays into creating ridiculous caricature of men being stripped of their power, often playing with how the message could possibly be perceived in her pieces.
So what exactly is the Dada movement?
Like with Hannah Hoch’s many confusing pieces of work, many other Dada artists did not work on Dada art for the sake of art trends, but more on propaganda, using many borrowed elements to create its message.
Dada art had a lot of techniques borrowed from Futurists, an social movement that emphasized on speed, technology, youth and violence, involving many futuristic industrial elements. It made use of typography, photomontage, negative white space, layout, etc to create an interesting way of communication, and along with its rebellious nature, created a very strong design image.
One example of such rebellious nature would be LHOOQ (1919) by Marcel Duchamp. Taking a cheap postcard of the Mona Lisa (1517) painting, he added facial hair and labelled it LHOOQ, which translated from french, stood for “She has a hot ass.” In all ways it was meant to offend, and showed a big lack of respect to traditional artforms. The Dada period challenged artistic values and creativity, and allowed people to question about what art truly was.
Russian Constructivism, and Graphic Design
They were all about the functionality of art, rather than art that was decorative and expressive that got hung on walls. There was high emphasis on the bourgeois culture, where people were more materialistic with what they liked.
Designs were mostly photomontages that were very ‘constructed’, and had very strong typography. Colours used were very minimal, often being red, yellow and black. There are a lot of diagonal and angled lines along with the occasional circles and images. Works from Russian Constructivism are often seen as very exciting. Similar to the Dada movement, there was wishes to change how society was seen, with their own personal philosophies on art.
Research on unconventional tools
So first of all, I had to understand how to incorporate elements into fonts. Shirley mentioned how we had to deconstruct parts of our jobs, and use elements of these jobs to show our job.
Like for example –> mermaid –> fish scales + hair??
In the left example, the letters have taken the properties of a bubble, becoming bubbles themselves with their shiny, reflective surfaces. In a sense, the letters have embodied the bubbles.
Likewise with the example on the right, the alphabet has become electronic components and consoles to represent geek-ish culture.
Other examples I looked at:
I really liked the one on the left because it basically represents a no-signal television, but there is no actual television. As for the right side, they are just numbers but they show the concept of “Mr. Laugh Comes Home In The Bad City Night”. Although I have no idea what that means, from the various numbers, it is seen that someone had a bad day outside and has come home for a good rest in bed. Wholesome.
Similar to the geek culture one, this one is more on dubstep, and has several pieces of electronic music-related things in it. However, it is done physically and has wires sticking around, typically like how a dubstep musician’s environment would be like when they are working. It might be a little messy and have harder readability, but it probably held a sense of nostalgia for many other musicians.
We were allowed to look into jobs that did not actually exist and that was a pretty fun concept to think about. Here are some of the jobs I wanted to try!
1. Hair farmer
Basically it is supposed to be a hair plantation. A place where hair grew so you can harvest and sell it to people who needed hair. So after consulting Shirley, she suggested that I put the ‘farm’ on a head, and made it such that the hair formed in the shape of my name. I decided to use my nickname ‘CEL’ for this one, probably in capital letters so they looked uniform, as if they were rows of hair. Shirley also suggested that I put a singular flower into the mix to show that it is as if I was planting actual plants. She also suggested that I put a pimple or two to show that it was on actual skin, which I thought was pretty funny.
I looked up how people usually did hair related typography:
On a first note: I did not want to go around collecting hair, even though I was technically supposed to be a hair farmer. So recreating such a thing with actual hair was out of my comfort zone. I know art sometimes had to be about going out of the comfort zone, but that was way too much even for me.
Otherwise, I thought recreating how glossy hair would look on a head as a field of sorts, with strands occasionally sticking out like how the ‘e’ is would look nice. I will be trying to do so on illustrator and maybe editing it in photoshop.
2. Dream collector
A dream collector was basically someone who took dreams for… perhaps energy-related purposes. When one thinks of dreams they would usually think of a dreamcatcher which is known to help rid one of bad dreams or used as protection.
I basically wanted to weave my initials “CL” into two dreamcatchers, while keeping a simple background in contrast with the complex weavings in a dreamcatcher. I found some examples of boho patterns and dreamcatchers as inspiration:
3. Emoji factory worker
It’s basically like a jewelry factory worker but with… emojis. I want them to be constructing emojis that are tiny and meant to fit into a phone for people to use when necessary. What I had in mind was basically this:
Or something even more systematic like this:
And because of its factory-esque theme, Shirley suggested I make my letters into a conveyer belt because conveyer belts were associated with big factories. With the emojis resting on the conveyer belts, I thought of how else to make use of the emojis.
emojis –> phones –> iphones –> speech bubbles?
I could try using the initials ‘CL’, making C a conveyer belt while it was being transferred to L, a speech bubble.
I always wanted to be a surgeon as a kid but then I realised I was scared of looking at the insides of a person. My other option was being a psychologist but I was not the most patient person on this world. I guess I’m stuck with art. But yay I shall relive that dream now. THROUGH ART!! hAH!
My original concept was to recreate letters using brain bits, like how brains basically look like a bunch of slimy tubes squished into a bean shape, and then double that and squish them again. But I was given the suggestion to basically make a typography style where each letter was a head on its own, while the head was only cut slightly, while the negative space of a letter would basically still be uncut head. I want to try creating a layer where skin has been cut, showing layers of bone, guts and skin, while the actual word would show brain. Wow, didn’t I say something about not liking to see insides?
I have the option of mixing realistic looking styles for the “gore” parts, while keeping the head shapes simple.
I mostly took my inspiration from these two pictures, and basically hope to mix both mediums together:
Pair: Amanda and Celine
Link to our video:
Posted by Amanda Oh on Monday, 29 January 2018
Sitting at two different ends of the ADM basement, we wanted to make it seem as if we sharing a common space despite being in two different locations. Having had a long day of classes, it was a good time to ‘share a drink’ and what better way to share a cold can of milo than through the internet?
Amanda: Outside, at the black benches
Celine: Green tables near 3D room
Share a drink, help to open drink, have a conversation and eventually finish the drink!
Amanda and Celine are seen being able to pass a can of milo through this Third Space, despite not physically being in the same space. This allowed for them to share one of our favourite drinks: Milo. Amanda is seen being unable to open the milo can early on in the video, and passes it to Celine, who opens it for Amanda and returns it to her to have the first sip. They then attempt to have conversation verbally, occasionally high-fiving and hitting each other on the head. Amanda also attempts to pat Celine’s head in apology for hitting the latter’s head. Towards the end of the video, Celine asks for Amanda’s watch, so she could look at the time and stop the video. Successfully, they end the conversation and finish their one can of milo through facebook live. What a concept.
It was an exciting maiden experience. Even though we were not actually near each other in any way, there was still that form of connection that certainly made the whole interaction very new and refreshing. Every little successful connection made us elated, and we would burst into laughter. Even failures were met with laughter, and we would then try again. It was a lot about impromptu communication as well, where we had to voice what we wanted and work as a team to achieve it. Overall, it really felt like we were adding a new layer to ‘video-calling’, like some sort of Virtual Reality chat but with a new sense of touch and share added to it.
We worked on our Micro-Project #2 on 22/01 and managed to execute it on 29/01. Joey, Naomi, Nok Wan and myself created a game that involved everyone in the classroom to create a story together.
Every audience member was allowed to write a maximum of two sentence with a time limit of thirty seconds, in sequential order. One by one, they add on to a story being formed together by their peers before them, and at the very end we get to read what they have written. Instead of allowing the audience to have Ultimate Freedom what could be written, our team decided to give the audience some variables to accomplish. For example, we gave the first audience member to start the story a genre, and gave someone in the middle of the “queue” something to add.
Also, by the end of the story, the audience have to somehow work together and make sure a character disappeared, along with a plot twist.
Compared to the traditional way of writing a story where a writer creates their own world from beginning to end, nothing was planned ahead – even us as the ‘artists’, did not know what would have been the end result. We were as clueless about how it would go and had no pre-assumptions to how it would have ended. As co-creators of a story, everyone had to work together to make sure that each sentence they made linked to the next, along with the assumption of what the previous co-creator was thinking.
Depending on how one would think, a story can take a drastic turn, and eventually affects how the other co-creators will write the story. It was like creating an infinite pathway, but with each different co-creator, a route was then formed, resulting in the finished story.
As Marc Garrett has mentioned in the D.I.W.O article,
“The practice of DIWO allows space for an openness where a rich mixing of components from different sources crossover and build a hybrid experience.”
As mentioned earlier, each co-creator’s contribution could possibly be a dramatic twist. Even though one of our requirements was to create a plot twist, it was evident that what happened down the lane of creation, that what the first co-creator had assumed was not anything like the final outcome. It works the same way vice-versa where a waiting co-creator ends up looking at a piece of work-in-progress that was nothing like they expected. They have to read through everything and decide on a sentence that could create a question in the next person’s head. It was like a constant process of questions and answers not by one person’s hand, but by many: a discussion going on within that one moment of working together without actually conversing.
Our crowd-sourced artwork was certainly different in the sense that it was a literary piece of art. We also gave variables to create a higher level of ‘difficulty’, as a game, but also to guide the ‘players’, also known as co-creators, so they have a rough idea of what to create within 30 seconds.
It was very similar to how the Human Clock made use of co-creator’s ability to create their own pieces to contribute to a bigger project. In our artwork, the audience has their own power to change the story in any way they like, just like how the Human Clock gave their audience the authority to manipulate the picture in any way they wanted, as long as it had the numbers necessary to form the artwork (the necessary ‘variables’ for this piece.)
Like-wise, it was similar to Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, where co-creator by co-creator, their options would be affected by the one in front of them. In Cut Piece, when someone were to cut a piece of sleeve off and there was no more sleeve to cut, the following person would not be able to cut any more sleeve, and decide to cut another piece of clothing instead. In our artwork, if someone were to mention that a character had already disappeared, then the next few people would not be able to mention a disappearance, and rethink their sentences again.