Touch was a complex project that integrated the concepts of wearable technology, movement and third space. We were dancing in a telematic space with Angeline Young from USA. This provided an interesting twist towards the idea of the conventional dance, whereby we did not physically feel the person we were dancing towards. I was pretty amazed how Adobe Connect could be manipulated into how the final product looked, whereby our dances blended together in a screen.

Evolution of the process

For my piece, I was someone who managed to break into the third space. This was suggested through my music that Randall composed, natural voices that grew increasingly technological. Most of the choreography was manifested from moves in my subconscious state, in which Angeline found interesting. I thought this helped me to explore my body more in unconventional ways and eventually this paved way to my actual choreography in this performance. My choreography was combined with Tiffany, we merged both our solos to a duet piece. We were able to integrate our movement with the costume. Both our dresses were flowy and thus the movement that we explored was very free, for example the swishing of skirt. We both also used lights that would be triggered through sensing each other, so this helped us to take note of utilising space when dancing.

The overall production was tedious but ultimately fulfilling process. It was great seeing the work progress from the initial sketch to the final dress. I learnt the basics of coding, various dressmaking techniques in order to produce the costume. I was definitely new to wearables and electronics, thus this class challenged me in that aspect and eventually it paid off when the final product was produced. It was a wonderful learning experience.


Initial sketch


Final Product










From the sketch to the final idea, I altered certain things for the better. I thought black was more flattering with me so I changed the scheme.


Dress lit up


Close up of wearables lit up

All in all, I was very happy with the production and individual progress.

Ideas and conceptualisation 

We learnt much about sensors from Galina, and through various research we did like the one about Biometrics, I was inspired to make my dress in similar futuristic concept. It helped my really reflect on what fashion entails, beyond just a functional clothing but an art from integrated with technology.

I was also very interested in Telematic Dreaming and thus was influenced by this when dancing with Angeline, I tried to think of how to interact with her in my movement. Overall, I could see this reference being brought up in the piece very well too, especially in the group hug piece.

And finally, how did your project work evolve as a result of the Web practices you learned using WordPress (OSS) as a medium for critical writing, research and artistic production?


This whole course was thought primarily using Internet and Open Source technology. It was interesting because OSS was such a good platform to learn from each other. For example, Xin Hong experimented with Galina’s technique of boiling the organza to a certain shape. She uploaded the process on OSS, and I was able to follow suit thanks to her post. The technology was wonderful in terms of spreading knowledge and certainly helped in my artistic production. In terms of research, it was nice reading the different point of views regarding the same article we had to tackle.

Thanks for the wonderful class, Randall, Galina and Angeline! It was a great and enjoyable class, I hope to further the skills I learnt from this module and see you guys again soon:)


Completion of the dress, back organza layer done

Sewing the LED light into the skirt, via stitchingIMG_5195



Close up of Arduino LilypadIMG_5204

Testing the effect when lit up





I had to combine solo with Tiffany create a cohesive piece, which initially I could not see the concept of virtual touch in our performance. However, when Angeline came in to do the dance with us but in her own way, I could see the telematic connection and that was very interesting.

Continuation of dress-making

So far I had the shape of the dress along with the mesh and collar. The next steps were to add decorations to enhance the design of the dress.

Boiling of extra organza, there was insufficient


To achieve an ombre effect on the skirt, I used this spray paint


After spray painting the dress


Starting to sew the organza under layer IMG_4800 IMG_4802


Finished the organza under-layer for the front of the skirtIMG_4805


Movement session with Angeline

I consulted Angeline and she took the moves I was doing subconsciously, spurring me to develop them into intentional dance moves. I thought that was interesting, a depart from the usual dance I do which follows a fixed choreography. She was more interested in the spontaneity and the subconscious moves, it felt more like abstract art.


Dress adjusted and altered to be more tightly fit



Scrunching the silver organza together for shape to prepare for boiling



After boiling the fabric, releasing the foil


Finished product


Working on the electronics, programming the force resistor and LED light

Sewing the neckline, pinning the shape



Ironing down the interface for neckline


Completed sweetheart neckline for dress


Pinning the mesh to the dress



Sewing the mesh into the dress


Dress adjusted and altered to be more tightly fit

IMG_4542 IMG_4543

Scrunching the silver organza together for shape to prepare for boiling



After boiling the fabric, releasing the foil


Finished product


Working on the electronics, programming the force resistor and LED light

Sewing the neckline, pinning the shape



Ironing down the interface for neckline


Completed sweetheart neckline for dress


Pinning the mesh to the dress

IMG_4570 IMG_4571

Sewing the mesh into the dress


Project Update 1

Initial stage of laying out of the fabric


Sketching and planning out of the draft


Cutting the fabric


Process of the front of the dress sewed


Testing the fit



Sewing the dressIMG_4472

Figuring out the back part of the dress

Dress shape completed (back view)


Dress shape completed (front view)

Dress in progress: Still needs to poof the skirt, make the underlying tulle.


‘Futuristic Fantasy’ was the underlying idea behind my narrative, thus the aesthetic I was for my look was futuristic, edgy yet at the same time elegant and delicate. This is to convey the fantastical beauty in the technology, the wonderment in the third space. To add on to the fantastical look, I might use embellishments. I designed two different pieces, with some experimental preliminary sketches included. Most of my colors consist of black/grey/white as I was going for the high-tech look(though color palette is not confirmed). Regarding texture, I want the contrast as well – soft chiffon/organza ruffles alongside the smooth and crisp.


For inspiration, I looked at futuristic fashion. These were the pieces that striked out to me:

Anouk Wipprecht’s Smoke Dress – I was intrigued by the high-tech yet elegant look.


Chomat’s Boning Dress – The architectural and geometric element in the design inspired me.




Design 1

The main highlight for this piece would be the boning structure, which I plan to use boning as the material. Its rigidity and geometrical structure purposefully contrasts with the soft and flowy costume underneath.

I plan to use comfortable fabric for the top, preferably cotton or lycra. For the skirt, I plan to use grey, slightly shimmery organza. In terms of wearables, the boning structure has many possibilities. It could expand via sensors, or perhaps LED lights used to light it up.

However, its rigidity might be challenging due to movement from dance. A possible solution would be to make the piece malleable, or structure it in a way that the arms will not be impeded during the performance.



Design 2

Once again the clean structure will be used to contrast with the delicate ruffle skirt. The ruffle skirt can be expand via sensors, and the look can be achieved by the boiling of fabric. The color of the dress could be an ombre from white to grey, and the material more stiff. Once again, boning can be used as the shoulder pads to add the edgy, futuristic look.

Other sketches


Exploration – Thoughts on ‘Touch’

During my exposure to the subject of ‘Touch’, interacting with one another via the third space, I explored my thoughts regarding the topic.

Looking into virtual space made me realised how it was something that we take for granted. It is so integral in our everyday lives, yet we often do not observe how it affects us inside. Only when we started consciously taking note of the third space then we realised how it matters.

My main takeaway from the virtual touch was that it is not real. No matter how close and seemingly intimate, it will never be or replace the real tactile feeling. Something magical is missing in virtual touch compared to physical touch, might in fact leave us a little empty in the communication.

Yet, the feeling of ‘touching’ or even ‘hugging’ someone virtually, while not having physical contact – it very surreal and interesting. It even challenges the boundaries of what is real, the distinction between physical presence and telepresence. These statements were strongly referenced by Paul Sermon’s ‘Telematic Dreaming’.


Paul Sermon’s Telematic Dreaming, first exhibited in 1992.


The installation questioned the physical presence and telepresence. Though they are separated by geographical locations, this piece allowed the users to exist beyond their own time/space and create an alarming sense of touch. Also, the use of speakers allowed intimate conversations to kickstart. A vivid interaction between Paul Sermon and the audience was thus created, giving an out-of-the-world experience to the participants. – Research Critique on Telematic Dreaming

Therefore, this was a thought-provoking piece that tested the boundaries of distance, whether the sense of intimacy can be crossed over to the third space (and even invade on personal space), and the topic on reality versus virtual reality.

At the same time, the third space is very susceptible to imperfection. There will always bound to be glitch in the media, at times when we had virtual classroom we might face connection issues e.g. someone would disconnect, or their screen would freeze/glitch at times even. It would often cause us some annoyance. Yet, sometimes this glitch might be a beautiful thing as it produces nice results aesthetically, like ‘The Glitch of PAL’ by Rosa Menkman.

The Glitch of PAL by Rosa Menkman, example of a beautiful glitch.

The Glitch of PAL by Rosa Menkman, example of an aesthetically interesting glitch.

Therefore, these were my thoughts about ‘Touch’ that I am very keen to explore in the performance. Next, I started to conceptualise for it.

Conceptualisation + Narrative Overview 

Overall narrative: Transcendence into the Third Space, a fantastical “utopia” > Disillusionment > Possible endings (closure – fading away/open-ended – entrapment)

Telematic presence is a constant theme that needs to be addressed on. Moreover a strong, surprising sense of touch needs to be established whereby the audience should feel that the performers are even transcending their own time and space. This can be achieved using the wearables. During the interaction with Angeline, our actions should transcend our current space and make the audience feel as if we are in the same plane as them. It could be like as simple as making her dress interact when we perform a trigger action. For example, through a hand movement (performing magic gestures/switching on a button etc.) we can ‘trigger’ her dress, which then lights up with LED lights. Thus it might seem that we ‘magically’ lit up her dress through a hand movement, and as if we are in the same room as her physically, though we are not. This would then challenge the physical presence and telepresence, creating a deceiving reality that is more surreal.

Performers can look very intrigued and in wonderment, because the third space is a very interesting concept and transcending across space feels like a fantasy.

In ‘Hakanai’, there’s this sense of fantasy being established with the movement and the dancer’s expression.

Aesthetics wise, I thought of this piece like a ‘futuristic fantasy’. During the interaction between the performers, a surreal feel can be suggested through the fluid moves and aesthetics of the set/costumes.

I thought it might be interesting if halfway in the performance there is a staged glitch, which the performers can act like they are in dismay too. This is to show the reality of how the media is always imperfect and we often face unforeseen circumstances which makes us annoyed. Yet, at the same time the glitch needs to still look aesthetic, to prove that it is spontaneously appealing. Therefore, the concept of an imperfect third space might be a climax.

Moreover, the performers could convey the lack of reality in the third space that leaves one empty, through sad dance movements and music.

The ending of the performance might be a closure or might not be. It could end with a proper conclusion to the narrative, for example fading away in sadness when the connection goes off slowly. Another option would be it going somewhere new with the narrative that leaves the audience to probe further. Maybe it could be as if the performers got so immensed and they went into the virtual reality itself. It could bring out the sense of entrapment. Then the audience would ask, did they get trapped there? What happened to them?

There are many possibilities with what this item can encompass and there options are only some considerations regarding the direction we can go towards.

Task #1:

“Thinking Herself Back” is a personal narrative of Angeline Young, using the body to explore the plight of refugees and their displacement. The piece looks almost like a ritual, it being referenced by Daoist ritual practices. The role of the personal narrative brings out the issue further as it is relatable to the artist and this makes it more convincing to the audience.

The question I have for the artist is: What is the significance of the white powder, what does it symbolise in relation to the narrative?

“Reaching out for my father beyond the bamboo curtain” is regarding the distance that Angeline Young faces with her father, and thus the idea of absence. It contained recorded conversations with her and her father which drew on the idea of absence further. The role of the personal narrative brings an intimate quality to the piece, makes it very heartfelt and relatable to audience

The question I have for the artist is: How did you come up with the motifs for the piece?

Task #2:

Dream recording

  • My dog looked at me with eyes devoid of life, filled with sadness. I asked, “Zack, what’s wrong?” The whole time he just kept avoiding me. He was behaving very, very weirdly. He would usually be coming to me for attention. Then, my mom alerted me in horror. “Zack is at the window!” I rushed to the place, however only to find my dog looking into my eyes and saying that he was old and did not want to want to burden us anymore. He leapt out of the window. I sobbed uncontrollably.
  • I was a random soldier. We were at stealth mission and supposed to be not be discreet in retrieving information. Then, someone screwed up and knocked down a Pepsi can. The enemy was alert and the soldier who messed up was terrified. He thought it was the end of him. Until, the captain suddenly turned up and said it was him. He sacrificed himself for a comrade, so heroic. We just looked silently as he got arrested…
  • I was in ADM with my sister, we were having a function and socialising around. We decided to go further in a gallery to explore, suddenly it was really weird and red. It felt eerie. I asked her that we should go out, so we went out and then we opened the door to outdoors. Suddenly everything was back to normal and party resumes.

Task #3: Translating journal entries into video

Password: glad0009

Dream Sequence: I was in a beautiful, divine sanctuary. It was a magnificent glasshouse that had influences from the Greek architectural style. In this fantasy, I was awestruck and left wandering in amazement. Outside the glasshouse was a garden that looked very grand. I was simply socialising with my friends inside this glasshouse, and decided to take a stroll on the gardens outside with a friend. We walked down the main stairs to go towards the garden.

However, something was strange.

Suddenly, it was extremely dark almost as if we were in a basement. The plants were dried, the vibrant colours of the flowers were no longer present. The air was stale and dreary. Then, we heard a shrill. A hoard of creatures started charging towards us, they looked like ghouls. My friend yelled in shock but promptly took out his weapon, “Quickly! We need to eliminate them as demon hunters!” Then we just started killing the ghouls. It was an intense experience.

Thought process:


Password: glad0009

Dream Sequence: Earth was slowly falling apart, grounds were collapsing. The sky cracked wide open to reveal a glimpse of the solar sky. Gravity was no longer holding Earth in place and I saw a school bus lit on fire, as it got dragged slowly into the solar sky. I was terrified, I could not do anything to help and could only stand there. I ran down to the subway station and strangely, I saw Japanese restaurants still present with staff inside. They calmly did their jobs. I was bewildered and continued to run on, to nowhere. Then, something enlightened me saying that there would be a safe haven and I need not worry. I simply followed where my heart and that enlightenment led me.

Thought process:


Eiko and Koma, My Parents


Eiko (left) and Koma (right), as featured in “My Parents”

This piece was created by their son, Shin Otake, serving as a documentary about his parents’ upbringing and forming of relationship in post-war Japan. That period was a time of political strife and disorder. A prime featured piece in the film was “Land”.

“Land” explored the interaction between the human body and nature by merging themselves into the environment through their washed and faded costume that mimicked sand. They depicted themselves as mountains in a desert.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 2.48.21 pm

Eiko and Koma performing “Land”

Movement was very slow and careful, to create the illusion of stillness. They spread across the floor and slithered, all with gradual movements. In relation to the box, they were moving freely but at the same time it was very controlled in the space and slow, which shows the rootedness of a mountain.The “box” is very spacious and the lighting, this gives a sense of depth like the vast sky.

They even used sound to emphasise the piece. The sound of a drum was used to highlight some points, for example heartbeat of the mountain and the birth of a new mountain.

Motion Control

Liz Aggiss, the performer in Motion Control

Liz Aggiss, the performer in Motion Control

This piece explored the synergy between the camera and performer. It challenged how the relationship between the Motion Control camera and the dancer, camera and sound, camera and space can be pushed further.

The movement of dancer was very emotional and expressive. In the small “box”, a sense of entrapment seemed to be created with her movements that “filled” the box entirely. In the spacious white box, her movements from her upper body were big. Her big movements made the box seem smaller than it is, with her energy being projected widely. This contrasted with lower body, seemingly showing constrained movement due to the dress rooted to the ground.


Behind the scenes of “Motion Control”

Sound was very significant in this piece as well, the usage of foley was apparent. Electro-opera was used for dramatising the dance piece. Sound effects were linked very well with the movements to emphasise them, for example the sound of a CD scratch when the dancer moves her leg. Another example would be the sound of the red dress squeaking as she dances.