Adding another sense to the focus of the blind man’s stick
“It can help blind people to find their way, or to prevent that they walk in a shit (they can smell it before).”
I felt that this piece created a new experience simply by bringing a less used sense to the fore of daily navigation. This places the user in an interesting dynamic as we are making a decision on where to walk or turn away from, based on what we smell.
Peter de Cupere presents a different take on the experience of losing one’s sight.
Derek Jarman Blue (1993).
Film that is not visual, but about the failing of the visual sense.
Board-game designed for the hard-gripping, fun-loving, alternative ping-pong sporting souls. All you need is 4 hands, 4 air bottles, 1 good squeeze and you’re on your way to lots of fun.
Players pit against each other in either a 1 V 1 or a 2 V 2 situation. All they need to do is grab the bottles and squeeze away, with the objective of landing the ping-pong ball into the opposition’s gutter.
This was a really simple concept that I was endeavoring to explore with this exercise, as I occupied myself in the design of a sort of alternate board-game meets sport. My focus was really more on the engineering of fun through simplicity and so allow my participants to Be Part of The Art.
Here are some snippets of the process that ensued:
I begun really, by looking into many hardware / kitchenware / convenient shops for a kind of bottle. One that was handy enough. Could be squeezed with sufficient pressure such that a light ping-pong ball would be propelled on a level plane.
Finding what I needed for the crux of the game, I then proceeded in the designing of the playing field and the rules and such that will make it happen.
I wanted to make the playing field simple. A good level wooden board, nailed in the right places and with the most straight-forward features possible. Hence I needed these cylindrical building blocks, I was sawing in the above GIF, to hold the entire thing together.
Here above, I was cutting up a good cylindrical cardboard for the purposes of the gutters.
As all these things came together, it was important for me to figure out a good length for the radius in which the air bottles will have their effect on the game.
I used mostly wood and brown string to keep the design ‘look and feel’ consistent and I also desired it to have the appearance of a very much DIY sort of game.
It was much to my delight at the end that I realized there was really not much in the need of rules for the game to work itself out. All my participants sort of instinctively knew what to do when presented with the A!r Pong set. Hence I kinda let the interaction happen without any much exposition on my part.
It all was good fun and I enjoyed the realization of my very simple little idea.
I have always been fascinated by the game of Checkers (or Draughts). I believe it is one of the most brutally honest versions of Chess. It is what it is, when striped bare of stratagem, it gets down to a simple, unforgiving game of attrition. In this exercise where we have to arrange repeated objects in a space, I simply decided to take to the streets and find a place to play Checkers by myself. It was quite an interesting experience and I soon found myself trying very hard to not break the simple rules of Checkers. It felt like my left brain pitting against my right. The paths I would take with placing my body in this clearly over-sized urban chessboard also changed as the weight of the game shifted to either side. Amidst the sweltering heat that was really getting my perspiration up, I started to lose track of time and less and less thought was put into the moves until I decided that my left and right brains had stalemated.
I took some walks around the Bugis area as I was visiting the Design Center for SG Design Week. So when I got to the pavement outside Bras Basah, I sprang into action as it was perfect for what I had in mind.
I filled-up much of the pavement with my work and this little performance, but it did not seem to bother the other pedestrians. It was rather interesting to see how people got on with their business even though I was attempting to ‘invade’ this public area for that half-an-hour or so.
The material was reused from wood waste that one of my coursemates, Zi Feng, didn’t need anymore. I collected them and painted half of these curious circular pieces black. It was quite a spontaneous choice. I saw it whilst working on some other projects in the IM room and just went for the idea. Here are some images of that process.
I think simple repetition of objects in a choice spot can generate interesting arrangements. I’d certainly like to try another excursion like this.
In sourcing the technical aspects of the Interactive Narrative project my team has embarked on, I am decidedly looking towards Unity Game Engine and what it can offer as a platform to shape and tell our story.
So our story is currently about this thief who has a house full of objects he has stolen and each object has a story to tell. These branched out narratives will eventually coalesce and lead to the capture of the thief. So in terms of plot for the game itself, the players start off at the time when the thief is already caught, so they kind of are looking into the past to see what and how these things all come together.
We decided on an isometric view for the game. Because of the players ability to ‘time jump’ which we will give them, I feel that it is appropriate as the isometric view has this sort of god-like presence to it and it is very much like in the Sims games. So will be sticking with that for now.
And here is a preliminary tryout at the game engine. I have created an isometric view by locking the camera vantage point to a certain angle. But the images are like these 2D images of small blocks that I need to piece together which is quite a lot of work. But because of the angles of the placement you will see it as an isometric space.
We can already see the potential of placement of objects, how they might be revealed or hidden due to the isometric restrictions for the player’s line of sight. And here I am only just interested in trying out the simple interaction of mouse over to make the objects rotate. Which I can then further extend into click actions, button actions, etc to maybe play audio, highlight objects. So that will depend on how we move on from this point.
风中飘逸 (Waywardness of the Wind), 2016 Feb, HD 720p, 5mins, digital video.
What I wanted to achieve was to sort out the different feelings I get about Ann Siang Hill and how it all coalesces to a singular feeeeel which is the quietness that I really like about this place. In all spirit of waywardness I allowed my pen to dance me along. Ann Siang Hill has a great history, culture and change that is all happening and coexisting in just the right amounts for now. That’s why I like this place as compared to touristy Chinatown opposite the road. But I am slightly worried that a few years later, this place might be over-run by tourism too. So I just hoped that through urbansketching, film and even a little bit of poetry, I can delve into a feeling that the thoughts that flutter in the wind. And express my hope that such urban leisure spots in Singapore can remain as they are and continue to develop naturally without the external input of redevelopment policies.
For the video process, I filmed most of it myself, so i did require some problem solving. The shots of me going up the stairs were actually filmed by strapping my camera amongst the trees on the lane below. That’s why there is a gentle swaying about.
As for the voice over, I had to write a script and record it in a relatively quiet room. It was better for me to express myself in Chinese.
I had to match and sync all that in with the music. So I managed to roughly split the video into 3-acts:
My discovery of Ann Siang and the stark contrast to the surrounding Chinatown.
My urbansketching journey and the discoveries of the place.
My afterthoughts and reflections on future developments of the place.
I know that this is not a drawing or a 2D project, but I really got caught up in the moment. I could not stop drawing at the place so I ended up going there thrice in the past week to get the footage because I will spend the time sketching and not noticing the time. Then I’ll realize that I need to go back the next day to ACTUALLY DO FILMING. Would have gladly spent the whole recess week over there.
Here is the sketch that I did:
2016 Feb, 150 × 841mm, pen on paper
And here is the bit of poetry I wrote. It is actually the 天净沙(tien jing sha) verse arrangement from the Yuan Dynasty poet 马致远 (ma zhi yuan).
绿荫 旋梯 鸟花
书香 咖啡 溜达
音乐 彩灯 酒吧
I like how he used the poetic form of the 散曲(san qu) to evoke a sense of wandering, and so I attempt to emulate that.
Also just considering that if this work were to be actualized for an exhibition, I would definitely like to have my drawings framed up outside the viewing room for the video footage. This project has been really refreshing and as an urbansketcher, I see potential in using film as a medium to carry my sketches in it. This might be a future consideration for my next urbansketching excursions.
When the swirls of imagination and memory coincide in incandescent flashes, will I still know every inch of home? I embark on a homeward swirl in a projection of memory to a most familiar yet unfamiliar version of my house. Have I awoke on a Saturday having returned home the night before, or am I really just lying in my campus residential hall room tired from a session of area cleaning?
a film by Fabian Kang
just some interesting things:
this scene was filmed from this angle:
I certainly was a little apprehensive as I looked upon my camera hanging from its precarious position, but it was a good venture. I enjoy finding cheap methods for effects and Film back in its experimental days really intrigues me with that charm of hurried and effective film solutions.
The reason for these shots to be emphasized a lot is
When I am alone, I really like to dance my fingers on surfaces to create some sounds just to break the silence. So I thought that it would be an interesting way of “walking home”, as the representation of home going is a rather surreal one in my film.
At 03:35 of the film, you might notice something a little perculiar about this shot.
Apart from the different presentation of the screen where I had it split into 2 parts, there is actually 2 frames where my parents are framed in the shot. Working on this film made me think that not only I have spent less time at home, but I really do see / interact with my parents a lot less these days hence that split second.