Month: September 2018

POP Noise

  • Bubble wrap is like the simplest of buttons with haptic feedback.
  • The popping of the bubbles is irreversible.
  • Could we extend the act of POPping the bubbles – like how the record disk is left with a permanent imprint caused by the sounds recorded on them.

Artistic realm  Design realm
  • We are interested in the production of sound and the haptic feedback of bubble wrap.
  • We want to create a work that will be performative in nature.
Similar works, critique and differences / Inspiration sources

Image result for Bradley Hart bubble wrap gifImage result for Bradley Hart painting bubble wrap

Bradley Hart’s ‘pointillist’ bubble wrap injections to create realistic painting method.

Michael Iveson at The Averard Hotel











Michael Iveson builds bubble-wrap corridor inside The Averard Hotel in London. The effect of natural light coming through the varying surfaces of the POPed and unPOPed bubble wrap.

These works focused on the irreversible nature of human touch on the bubble wraps to produce a lasting visual imprint (in the case of Bradley Hart’s painting) and a spacial atmosphere (in the case of Michael Iveson’s site specific installation).

We believe that this same irreversible quality can take on a twist and help us to create a visual record of sounds produced.

Interaction (describe how people will interact with it, cover many scenarios):
Part 1
  • Participants will receive the device and some simple instructions.
  • They can choose to POP their bubble wraps in any way they wish:
  • Systematic /  Random /  One-by-One /  Area of Effect /  Till Completion /  Give up Halfways?
  • Participants will focus on the touch of the material.

Part 2

  • Participants will listen to the sounds they created.
  • They will get the copy of their music in material and recorded form.


Handheld Interactive Device(s).

  • Recording device.


  • Arduino + Processing.
Milestones with a weekly breakdown of tasks to accomplish.
Monday, 24th September
·         Pitch Proposal
Monday, 3rd October
  • Idea Refinement
Monday, 10th October
  •  Sketching or Modelling of the Protoypes
Monday, 15th October  Low Fidelity Prototype

  • A cardboard version of the device
  • Simple MAX MSP sketch
  • User Testing and Feedback
Monday, 24 October
  • Prototype Refinement
Monday, 5th November  Refined Prototype

  • Actual Materials
  • MAX MSP working system
  • User Testing and Feedback
Monday, 7 November
  • Device Construction
  • MAX MSP debugging
Monday , 12 November Project Refinement

  • Final User Testing
  • Initial Documentations
Week of Nov 19th. Final Submission
Description of the first prototype.
  • A cardboard version of the device
  • Simple MAX MSP sketch
  • User Testing and Feedback
How will you work be shown at the end of the semester?

We will provide our participants with the devices and give them simple instructions to use them.

The participants will then possibly receive the bubble wrap they POPped.

How will you document your work? mainly the interaction?

We will document through the physical material and video recordings.

Pirate Broadcasting II – Boy & Bee

I was just re-watching some Paul Thomas Anderson films when the little critter came buzzing in. After failing to chase it out of my room, I decided now might be a good time to do the Pirate Broadcasting mini project. So I tried to reach out to my friends to watch the events that would soon unfold.

This was very spontaneous. I had no clue what I’d do exactly. So I had some background video playing on my laptop.  Blasted my music. And tried to interact with those who were commenting online.

The music blasted in the background is by Gun. They are a late 60s band and part of UK’s heavy metal scene. Very short-lived, only 2 albums, but really accomplished. Image result for the sad saga of the boy and the bee

I really like The Boy and The Bee from this album as through a simple narrative of The Boy and The Bee getting embroiled in a conflict, so to speak of the duality of life and death. It is really poetic and the arrangements in this track are so riveting.

I was always fascinated with how a bee’s sting is really its ultimatum. It leaves not only its menacing stinger, but also a good half of its abdomen as well. Ripping itself apart to exact the deadliest attack it can onto an aggressor. And, yes, you can go into anaphylactic shock from a bee sting if you are allergic.

This second iteration of the broadcasting project made me feel like it is difficult to find an audience because I really do not use instant social media at all. For example, anything I present on Instagram is a rather curated version of my life. But I guess it is also the difficulty of find content I want to broadcast, because what I find cool and meaningful to perform might not be that all popular.

So I guess what I really did learnt from these 2 mini projects is that if I want to create a live stream I should perhaps put more thought and planning into it. But still, those 2 spontaneous sketches were good fun. Maybe in the future I will actually do a regular live-stream to introduce my friends to the music I listen to.




I did a cut for the version presented in class as it was too long.

For the full video you can find it here:


DOW 2 – MYO Armband

MYO Armband

created by Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey and Aaron Grant


the one armband to rule them all.

This is a really cool concept where you can get connect and control to all your devices at home or at work with gestures

It is this super futuristic looking armband that you can wear onto your master arm. And it will track the rotation of your arm, the direction you’re moving it, etc. There are five distinct gestures you can learn and customize to the operations you wish to carry out with you devices.

You also get haptic feedback in the form of short, medium and long vibrations to allow you to know when the various tasks or settings are confirmed.


From what I can see, MYO is a great device as:

  1. It allows less distractions when operating the paired device as there is no screen, buttons, etc
  2. Natural, intuitive operation as we naturally use hand gestures in our everyday activities
  3. Looks comfortable to wear

However, some issues that may arise:

  1. It will have to depend on what apps, device functions can be connected to this. But ofcourse, the MYO team are also seeking other developers contributions in submitting their applications for integration to the expanding possibilities to connect the armband with.
  2. What happens when an abrupt gesture sends the wrong signal? In the event someone accidentally hits you while you’re operating your expensive drone and it crashes into the tree because of your unexpected gesture.


This is definitely a future for The Internet of Things as we can integrate the way we naturally interact with hand gestures into the operations of virtually any device. I certainly dig the no-frills concept. It really looks like having the Force in you, when I saw the guy directing his drone in their video.

I would be really interested though if this technology could perhaps be further developed for the deaf or dumb, as I can see possible application to enhance sign language communication with others who do not actually know sign language.

Or to use it to direct a robotic orchestra? Where you need all these really complicated sequences of gestures and arm motions. I would be very curious to see how far complex the gestural detection capabilities can go.

DOW 2 – Humavox Wireless Charging


A portable wireless charging platform that utilizes near-field radio frequency waves to charge almost any device wirelessly.


Our current lifestyle demands us to be surrounded with an array of devices. However it means that we have to deal with cables, charging ports, etc of all sorts. So it comes as no surprise that we have constantly been seeking various wireless solutions of all kinds, with remote controllers, WIFI pairing, etc. And for wireless charging this is the continuation of the quest that Nikola Tesla  set himself upon with his “Tesla Towers” in hopes of making possible the phenomena of wireless power transfer.

Related image



The designers of Humavox looked at this 21st century problem and came up with the technology and design solution that answers conveniently and effectively to our devices need to always be juiced up.

As opposed to other current solutions What can Humavox do:

  1. Portable charging that can occur anywhere
  2. Devices can be placed inside anyhow
  3. The possibility to turn any regular container into a charging station


Pirate Broadcasting – a-not-usual-usual-morning-run

I did my stretching. Tied up my laces. Using Facebook Live, armed with my umbrella, I embarked on a-not-usual-usual-morning-run.

So yea I usually listen to a whole side when I run. It clears my mind and allows me to appreciate the art. Indeed, I have actually used tracks I can replay in my mind to pace myself for runs when I cannot blast music.

This time round I was listening to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) by Genesis. They are one of my favorite bands from the UK. The track in the one minute shown in this post is Broadway Melody of 1974.

This album is rather interesting as it was a transition album for them. I really enjoy the whole narrative of it, where a protagonist, Rael, who is somewhat of an alien, gets himself mixed up in a nightmarish and possibly an alternate universe of New York, in order to save his brother, and ends up having several surreal and (dis)connected adventures.

Image result for the lamb lies down on broadway copyrightI have really been feeling like that lately, because weird things have a way of finding themselves into my life. Like the from bad end of the spectrum. Stuck in a blue funk. Not quite catching my breath. And I kind of need to trudge on. Maybe everything will fall into place somehow. Although I would not want to meet the “ku-klux clan who serve hot soul food” while “the band play In The Mood” in any of my adventures.

It took me twice the amount of time with half the distance covered :p (and yes my phone’s default language is in Chinese)

So looks like you really shouldn’t exercise with distractions.  But I really enjoyed this experiment to get to introduce some of the music I hear. Though, hopefully my rendition overlayed didn’t spoil it haha!









Full link here, by the way, existing till which point it expires:

Posted by Fabian Kang on Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Sketch – Table Top Radio (Viena, Hanna & Fabian)

Our group thought that playing a game of scrabble would’ve been a great activity for the table top radio. Imagine a world where songs on the radio are based on the first instance of words placed on a scrabble board.

So it goes like this:1. Open the board to activate the Music!

2. Pick out some letter to start tuning to a channel.

3. Form words with the letters by placing them on the board.

4.  A song will start playing based on the keyword you have produced on the board.

(perhaps: Yellow = Yellow by Coldplay; Diamond = Shine on You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd; Sunday = Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground )

5. The volume will be determined from the number of points

(i.e. Yellow = 10pts; Diamond = 11pts; Sunday = 10pts)


some thoughts:

It was quite interesting to imagine how this would all play out as a real device. I was more fascinated by visualizing how some players would play to win the game (by forming the best words to win by points) and how other players would play to get the songs they wanted to hear and how some others might even just be playing to annoy everyone else in the room with the sheer amplitude of the music selected at random.

Another intriguing part of our discussion was really how some lyrics, these key words, phrases, have defined music for each of us, depending of course on our personal tastes. But this thing really does happen when a single word can trigger a tune to play at the back of your head, as I have seemed to show with these 3 examples (which are of course my own immediate correlation to the three words laid out).

DOW 1 – Avatar Therapy for Schizophrenia

Image result for interactive device for schizophrenia

Avatar therapy is possibly a new experimental treatment for people suffering from Schizophrenia.

Just to breakdown the Inputs-Processes-Outputs of such a device:


  • The participant’s interactions (i.e. gestural, head movements, body positions, etc)
  • The participant’s voice as he or she will be discussing their thoughts and feelings with the avatar


  • The behaviors of the person as compared to the avatar in the programme
  • Collection of data and voice recordings for both the Healthcare Professionals and the Participant


  • The avatar answers to the person and prompts with questions to keep the interaction moving on
  • Participants can later on, replay those messages they have made, to give themselves the positive encouragement

Avatar therapy has shown through practical studies that the hallucinations the participants experienced became less frequent and less distressing. This might work better than the typical group counselling sessions that usually constitutes the treatment process.

Schizophrenia is a form of chronic psychosis, so to treat cognitive impairments, it might actually be better to have self-reinforcement which is I think is what the very personal and 1-1 avatar treatment can provide. It gives the participants the opportunity to contribute heavily to the input of the “discussion”.  I think this really does help with allowing the participant to regain control over the voices they hear during hallucinations. The digital avatar becomes this sort of test, slowing easing them back into controlling the conversations, so that they become very aware that what they say comes from their self and attribute it less and less to an imagined entity.

However such devices still come with its limitations. The study was done in an institution that is renowned for its treatment for  psychosis. Thus the device and virtual content created for the avatar therapy was backed by the innovations of highly experienced therapists.


Should you be interested, please find the latest on these studies here:


Portrayals of schizophrenia have been rather widespread in film and culture, even becoming sort of a cinematographic aesthetic.

Image result for a beautiful mind

Like in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind  (2001) a biopic for the brilliant mathematician John Nash and how he and the people around him deal with the delusions.

Related image

Or more recently with Noah Hawley’s Legion (2017 – now) a TV series on FX network which portrays David Haller who is a schizophrenic mutant in the X-men marvel universe.


However in the real world, it is not quite as fascinating as these movies. I think that it is a very real condition and I certainly hope that the various advances in recent medical technology can help to alleviate the suffering from this rare illness.