For my project, I would like to explore on sea pollution in which how the human activities will harm the marine life.
I planning to do projection on two cube surface where there will be animation of what is going on under the surface (in the sea). How human activities like factory waste and dumping of plastics into the sea affect the the marine life. Also, the use of two cube works like the view of human eyes through a glasses.
There’s this artist that Tisya recommend to me was Martha Atienza where she did a project named, Endless Hours at Sea. There is this area where a sea is projected onto a “ship window” which give the audience a sense of being in the ship rather than out in the public.
Chinese Heritage Centre History x Modern
The Chinese Heritage Centre (CHC) was founded in 1995 to advance knowledge and understanding of the ethnic Chinese communities in different parts of the world. Established as a non-profit organization, CHC’s work is guided by an international Board of Governors.
As Chinese Heritage Centre (CHC) is right beside my hostel, I get to see how much the surrounding changed over these 2 years. Thus, I would like to focus on how CHC and its surrounding (like the Yunnan Garden) changed since it’s opening.
“The charming and elegant octagonal pavilion in Yunnan Garden added much vibrancy to the Nantah Campus.”
“A part of Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Jurong campus will be transformed into a vibrant public park over the next few years.”
Also in 1995, a replica of the arch was unveiled in Yunnan Garden. The original arch at Jurong West was something significant to many in the past as it is the the gateway into the university where every Nantah student passed through.
The arch has three gates – which symbolise three elements of Chinese traditional philosophy – tian (sky), di (earth) and ren (humanity or civilisation). The gates also symbolise three different “talents” – da cai (the wisdom to govern a country); chang cai (the capabilities of a trade); and qing cai (the ethics of man).
There’s a lot of information of CHC to its surrounding from the history till now, thus I would have to research more and find something that I would like to focus on.
Durian, also known as the “King of Fruits”, it is distinctive for its large size, strong odour and thorn-covered rind. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odour.
Locals have dubbed them “the Durian”, as the twin structures resemble the spiky tropical fruit that is unique to this part of the world.
“Esplanade is Singapore’s national performing arts centre and one of the busiest arts centres in the world. Since its opening in 2002, the centre has presented more than 41,000 performances and activities, drawing an audience of 28 million patrons and 98 million visitors. This architectural icon, with its distinctive twin shells, houses world-class performance spaces complemented by a comprehensive range of professional support services.”
An artificial tree made up of matchsticks. The use of matchsticks is to indicates how this vicious cycle work where humans kill trees to create object for human use but yet harming the environment that affects humans too.
Honestly speaking, using matchsticks were really tedious due to its size. I used up almost 400 boxes of matchsticks and eventually ran out of matchsticks to complete the final branch.
Final Outcome (analog)
What can be improve?
Adding more interactive element, giving the audience a choice to burn or not to burn the tree. Human are usually the one making the decision thus this installation give them a choice to whether they want to harm the environment.
What’s next? (Digital)
Idea 1 – Projecting visuals on the ‘tree’
Using visuals to tell a story about the cause and consequence of deforestation.
Idea 2 – Unveil the Truth using Mobile Devices
Using mobile devices to pan through the tree, where it will slowly reveal the cause of deforestation. For example, setting the tree on fire and etc.
I think we are still stuck with this idea of the street and the plaza as a public domain, but the public domain is radically changing. […] with television and the media and a whole series of other inventions, you could say that the public domain is lost. But you could also say that it’s now so pervasive it does not need physical articulation any more.I think the truth is somewhere in between.
Our group did a presentation on this thus the review will be mainly what we presented about. Our group came out with a thesis to relate the readings to:
Instead of being a form of media that is subsuming the public space, Social Media/the Internet can be viewed as the new ‘public space’ which transgresses the historical boundaries of public and private space due to its ability to be accessed in private spaces.
Performing Public Space
In the 18 century, the flowering of public life due to the emergence of new public spaces like theatres, parks where strangers might get to meet. There was this thing called playacting where social role playing helps to sustain public culture among strangers. In the current world where internet is so advance, it allows people to have an online identity and getting to meet different persona in the online space. Online space like social media and role playing games involves interaction and communication with everyone. Thus, can we consider the online space as a public space?
Down in the Street
In the 19 century, the street was known as the common meeting ground and communication platform for everyone. Sadly, comparing the busy street in the past to current day, the past have more human interaction as compared to today where people exist in their own bubble, either in vehicles or as pedestrians. The public space and the online space have one thing in common where people will meet and mingled regardless of their social classes. Haussmannization was also emphasised in the reading. New boulevards lead to new patterns of social contact, working class housing became more segregated as many workers were relegated to outlying suburbs.
The crowd emerged as a specific social actor, […] the characteristic experience of the modern city is living among strangers who remain strangers.
Living among strangers who remain strangers; our current social media where apps like Instagram and Facebook, how many people that you followed are people that you actually don’t know them personally?
Suburbs […] are notably rich in private spaces and poor in public ones. By the postwar era even the layout of American homes – spacious backyards and ‘decks’ replacing front porches and stoops – had come to express a turning away from the street and towards controllable domesticity.
In the past, the emergence of white suburban areas and black ghettos significantly altered the balance between public and private space. The line between the rich and the poor spaces are blurred due to the the advance in technology and how easily everyone can access to the online platform. By condensing one’s entire social life onto a single device, the need for social interaction in a public space is eliminated.
The modern world may be a society of strangers, but no one was able to maintain their anonymity for long. Bodies may well have ‘disappeared’ as it became possible to do things at a distance, without direct involvement or intervention, but they were made to re-appear courtesy of surveillance.
CCTV systems can be seen almost everywhere in the world today and travelling through a contemporary city is likely to leave a traceable record. People used to question the need for CCTV as it leave us with no privacy but taking 9/11 attacks as an example where the movement of the culprit was retraced from various footage like entering a gas station and convenience store, making things easier for government and police to find the culprit. The control of the street become part of a wider agenda to render urban space not only safe but predictable.
Which brings us back to the Chinese Social Credit System today, where the Chinese state is setting up a vast ranking system that will monitor the behaviour of the population and rank them based on their social credits. The area became so controlled that everyone need to be aware of their own behaviours. This implementation has its pros and cons depending on how people perspective are and there’s a lot of forum talking about it whether it is a good or bad thing to the people there.
The Dream of Ludic Space
Due to the unexpected encounters on city streets people has fear the public space for a long time. Having a centralised urban planning and technologies of policing seek to make it a routine for people to reduce the uncertainty generated in crowding. However, having strategy like this generated unruly energies. This has led to the recurrent speculation on whether there is still space for unplanned social interaction outside of the commodity spectacle.
Having internet as a communication platform actually caused many people to not want to leave their home to interact with people. In the online world, you do not have to fear of having awkward face to face situation and you have a choice to whether you want to avoid talking to someone by simply not clicking into their profile or just ignoring any incoming messages. However, think of it another way, where people who are socially awkward have a chance to interact with people through the online platform as well.
In the earlier phase of media city, telephone and television were primarily fixed. Now, people are generating new possibilities for social interaction in which information flows are increasingly able to act on the shape social activities as they occur. It alter the dynamic of public interactions among crowds of strangers.
Smart mobs, cooperate in ways never possible before because they carry devices that possess both communication and computing capabilities. Things like arranging the meet up over the internet and only show up at specific time and location using their phone to negotiate a discount with the retailer. There is no human to human interaction here but everything can be done through on the online platform.
New technology has never been a sufficient condition for social change and is in fact more likely to be integrated into existing social hierarchies.
However, with the ability to communicate and share date with others comes the ability to gather people with the same views and start movements. Sometimes, this is how rioting starts and usually gather people at a faster speed as compared to spreading news on the street itself. Thus, the importance of cooperation in public space is something that cannot be guaranteed by technology itself.
McQuire and his referenced scholars share a sense of the importance of a public culture in which people interact, not as voyeurs, consumers or commodities, but as active agents able to understand, and thereby alter, their own social situation.
Similarly, we feel that although recent technological advances (with regards to Internet and social media) have expanded the scope of “public space” and is a huge contribution to our public culture, it has also caused us to alienate our sense of human connection in favour of anonymity and “public interaction from private spaces”.
Huhtamo mentioned in the first paragraph that “focus should not be only on screens as designed artifacts but also on their uses, their intermedial relations with other cultural forms and on the discourses that have enveloped them in different times and places.” It is true that the use/purpose of screen was often overlooked in the world today. People tend to focus on the content of art but often ignored the physical presence and how screen can convey so much more.
Screen includes items that everyone is familiarise with like television, computer screen, projector screen and etc. In the reading, it mentioned that screen practice include the traditional magic lantern show in the early silent cinema. We understand that there are so much more to explore in screen practices this days and to think back into the past, without the use of technology, it is still able to produce a similar effect as to our projector today.
People consider a shadow show as a form of screen practice but they are not the “typical” projection of images or a screen that people would imagine it to be. However, shadow show do have the essence of screen where it convey something to people.
In the past, some image are projected while some need to be peep through. An example will be the stereoscope where you have to peep through two hole to view the image. In today’s world, we seldom see such thing anymore due to all the new technology devices. However, it also reminds me of a childhood toy I once had, which is to peep through a lens and push a button to view the different images inside.
Huhtamo mentioned that screen and peep practice are something that have a physical distance from the observer to the screen while touch practice is something you can physically touch and feel it. One successful example will be a toy in the past that combines both peep and touch practice like the Kaleidoscope (万花筒，Wàn huā tǒng). While peeping into the hole, you get to see fancy visuals moving by twisting the tube.
It is interesting to see how the past and present have changed some much in terms of the idea of touch practice. In the past, the visuals is something you see but cannot touch. In contrast, now that we have things like the mobile phone, where they can physically touch the screen and “touch/move” the visuals that are displayed.
Huhtamo breaks Mobile Practices into two variants where the first one is “the observer moves through a relatively immobile environment while observing it“. The examples that was mentioned was rather interesting where Panorama have a continuous immersive environment while Cosmorama have this discontinuous series of scene. I feel that they have one thing in common which is to lead the viewer from one point to another. In Panorama, due to its orientation be it straight or circular, there will be this leading line that leads the viewer to view in a certain direction. Similarly in Cosmorama, the setting “forced” the viewer to follow a certain path as the viewer move from one peephole to another.
The second variant is “the thing being observed and/or used moves together with the observer“, where he breaks it down to three different alternatives; the wearable device, the portable device and the vehicle mounted device.
He moved on to talk about how wearable devices actually affects our life and whether we should be concern about the purpose behind it. He also mentioned that if someone has a smartphone with them, how much difference does it as compared to wearing a smart watch? When it first launch, it normal for people to start questioning the use of it and does it really bring more convenience to them or its just another marketing product to earn money. Also, as it is the latest device in the market people tend to forget the real purpose behind the product but to “follow the trend”. Although he debates on the function of the product but I feel that he trying to focus more on the intrusion on privacy with screens as he start to reference it to Goggle Glasses. Having a “screen” where it is capable of recording without the knowledge of the other party will make people feel uncomfortable.
To conclude, screens have changed over the years regardless of its function, size or appearance and the use of screen increased rapidly as technology advances. Through the readings I understand that there can be so much more to screen and how more and more “new” devices are surfacing in the market. Will screen eventually lose it meaning and become the slave for being “cool” and “hip” or will screen continuous to serve its purpose and improve people life?