Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, Interviews

by Krzysztof Wodiczko

This readings documents Wodiczko’s extensive interrogation of urban environments. His work represents a search for a form of public art and attempts to heal the numbness that threatens the health of democratic process by disruption it, waking it up and inserting the voice, experience and presence of those others ho have been silenced, alienated and marginalised.

The word vehicle is associated with the concept of a carrier. In some dictionaries, it is described as “a person or a thing” used as a medium “to convey ideas or emotions”. It is commonly understood as a means of transmission, display, and expression.

Whereas critical suggests judgement, as act of pointing out shortcomings. It denote a point in which a turning point or crisis that may demand an urgent response or action. He describe critical vehicle as a medium to convey ideas and emotions in the hope of transporting to each human terrain a vital judgement towards a vital change.

There are many projects documents in the readings and I would like to focus on City Hall Tower Projection, Kraków, for this review.

Everybody in Kraków know this tower and everyone has a special relation with it. They see this tower as a lonely, if not heroically alienated but authoritative, stable, protective and trustworthy civic structure. His project here involves having participants to tell their stories through the tower and therefore develop their confidence and power of self-expression through the process. This brings people speaking through the tower to the center of public attention and turned them into strangely prominent public figure.

In this project, he mentioned about public and private space. As people are sharing their stories through the tower, the stories can be painful secrets that they might not be able to share openly but want to reveal it through a “third” person in which is the tower. Sometimes, such truths may be unveiled more safely and more freely speaking in an open agora or forum, protected by the aura of democratic public space than in private. For people who are viewing the projection, it may have been easier to empathise with the person as tower than with the actual speakers.

The idea of using a tower to share something deep inside them is a comfortable way for the speakers as being anonymous and speaking up is easier as nobody will recognised them and even have the chance to judge them. This gives the speaker the chance to be private in a public space.

The tower is actually communicating the loneliness and alienation of someone suffering a nightmares in this case the experience of domestic violence – a norm in Kraków but is rarely communicated in public. I feel that the use of this tower  in Kraków will create a great impact as the tower is known by everyone. Everyone shared something in common in this area and therefore being able to experience the stories even more.

As the projection display the speaker on the tower, they play around with the structure where the face is masked by a huge city clock and their head protected by a gigantic Baroque helmet. This way, nobody will know the identity of the speaker which protects their privacy. Also, he mentioned that the speakers are more willing to share their stories there because due to the nature of the building structure being tall, they felt like it is easier to come clean when they are fifty times taller than someone who abuses and neglected them.

The tower now act as a double for something that is in between human to human and something that can represent their personal experience. The tower manage to convey a powerful message when all the personal experience came to light and were publicly shared through everybody’s tower. Also, they share their stories through recordings and hand gesture such as using everyday objects in the video like performing such simple domestic tasks as peeling potatoes, everyone is able to connect more with them.

I would say that this project is really well thought through as the projection only happens at night from 10.30pm – 12.30am and why is that so? I feel that is it because all the recorded accounts described personal events that took place only at night. Making use of the timing, it will able to bring out the message even better as most people experience the same situation at the same timing.

“How is it possible that one does not believes a person, while one believes the Tower?”

I feel that this sentence where he end this project is really very impactful. Sometimes, people choose to not believe when a stranger or even a friend tells a story but why when the problem is enlarge, suddenly everyone come to a common consensus that the story is true and someone need to do something about it?

Faces Places Review

Faces Places is a French documentary film directed by Agnes Varda and JR. I have never watched film like this before and when I started watching this film, its actually quite interesting and it invites me to want to watch further. Varda and JR collaborate and come out with this playful yet powerful documentary in understand France by looking closely at its people. They travel the country and going to tiny villages in attempt to find good topics for their work.

Related image

Their collaboration work actually brings people in the area closer together and have a common topic to talk about. Just like the work where they invite people to his mobile photo booth and get them to hold one long baguette. When put together on the wall, it feels like the whole village is sharing the same one long baguette. Varda aims to meet new faces and photograph them which works well in this work when the photo booth became a gather point at that moment where people are curious in finding out what is happening and come together to create this wonderful piece.

Visages, Villages

I personally feel more with regards to the last person living in a set of old miners’ homes. Miners were an integral part of the community back then and many people living nearby have a story to tell. These homes are the last link to the history of miners. Varda and JR put together old photographs and taking new photos, they paste the images of people at the exterior of the homes who once live in the homes. This actually brings back much memories to those people who once stayed there where they have a story to share.

A still from Faces Places

The last women, Jeanine who stayed in that area was overwhelmed with emotions when she see the photograph pasted outside her house. To other people, it might just be any other photos but to her, it’s her whole life story. Through the photo, we can only imagine how much she went through but the tears she shed is something we cannot imagine.

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The people they found are all part of the work they are doing and coming out with this film. This film actually makes people feel recognised and it’s about making the invisible visible. It allows the people to feel seen and appreciated through the photos. Every photo have a story to tell and it evokes one’s emotion/memory.

Interactive Spaces Final Project

Animated GIF


Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. Forests are not just a collection of trees and other plants but they are integrated ecosystems and home to some of the most diverse life on Earth. When forests are lost, their destruction sets off a series of change that affect life around the world. In my project, I would like to use AR to bring the audience into the wild and realised the problem of deforestation.

Working with unity

This is the first time I’m using unity and the online tutorial actually helps me a lot. In unity itself, there’s a vuforia plugin that enable us to create an AR app. This tutorial is really useful for my project as I need to detect the tree and project something on it.

Before trying on my matchsticks tree, I input a random object for unity to detect and display sparkles on it. Initially, I tried using my laptop camera and it works. When exporting into my mobile phone, some problems occurs as my Xcode doesn’t work. Xcode is an application to transfer unity program into iphone iOS specifically. I realised I build it in a wrong player setting, in order for it to run in iOS, we have to build it in the iOS player setting.


After trying out on different object to ensure that the whole thing will work, I slowly work with my own tree. However, I realised that the image that I placed into unity to allow it to detect the original object is important as it affects if the camera is able to detect. Due to the change in lighting, unity does not recognise my image target and thus not able to display the animation.

Initially, I wanted to add in more interactive elements like getting the audience to play with the background other than the tree. The audience will be able to navigate through a forest and different hidden buttons will actually activate the hidden scene. However, I tried inputting buttons and C# script into unity but it doesn’t detect the area that I want to navigate. I manage to get the camera to detect the whole area and display some black and white images (as seen in video 0.09). Thus I decided to work on other element for submission.

Final Process

I moved on to add leaves where audience is able to view different video about deforestation from it. Each leaf is built with matchsticks as well and they are unique in shape so that unity is able to detect each individual leaf and display different video accordingly. Also, the camera is able to detect more than one object to display the respective video.

Final Outcome

Further Enhancement

I would like to find out more on what AR is capable of doing and also improve on my current project where the detection could be better. Currently, it’s not sensitive enough to detect the object immediately and sometimes the detection will not work due to change in lighting or any other external factors. Thus, working on the image target sensitivity will be important in enhancing the user experience. Also, I feel that there could be more interactivity to it like being able to interact with the interface and surrounding.


World Skin, 1997
By Maurice Benayoun

Interactive Spaces Mid Sem Project (Analog)

Study of Spaces (Moving and static image)

Up & Up
By Coldplay

From their album ‘A Head Full Of Dreams‘ is a series of trippy, impossible, dream-like images which hold political and social import. This video consists of over-layered visuals, and has the band playing the song in various landscapes and locations.Those images are stitched together to form and create the out-of-place images. The outcome of compositing several images are quirky and draw the audience attention to the video. It plays with many different perspective and placement of the elements.

This music video consists of disjointed incongruous images and it has the singer striding over the world, a soccer field on a sponge, a bridge on a puddle of water and a lady jumping into a pool of clouds. It’s interesting how they play with different element and combined them so seamlessly together. Audience might feel that the elements don’t belong together but this also trigger their mind into thinking why are they together.

visual effects GIF

They fused images of the glorious 1950s America, synonymous with wealth and abundance with urgent pressing social issues like the refugee situation and dastardly consequences of wrong decisions from those in power.

Study of Spaces (Physical space for art)

Lunar Surface
By Kimchi and Chips

The artists worked within the concrete chambers of Bucheon city Incinerator. A vertical flag of fabric is stroked by the wind and displaced by curves of air, swinging back and forth. Through the movement, it will leaves a trail of light which draws a heavy fragile moon floating in space. The flag renders this moon from another reality, the silk surface acting as an intermediating manifold between reality and virtuality.


This installation is collaborated with a photographer where the long exposure photography trades the dimension of time for a dimension of space. This serve as a metaphor for the fourth dimension of time and its formative influences. The fabric is tracked by a 3D camera whilst a projector replays a response onto it according to its evolving shape.

It’s intriguing to realised how technology and nature has come into place to create this installation. Living in the word today, we become even more dependent on new forms of knowledge based on images and automation. Yet we still remain unaware of what lays behind these technologies and how these images are compiled.

Issues in IM Practice Final Project


Water is essential to life yet water pollution is one of the most serious threats that we face today. Water pollutions occurs when harmful substances contaminate and degrading water quality. This widespread problem not only jeopardise our health through contaminated water but also the marine life.

For my project, I would like to address the problem of water pollution and how it harms the marine life through a projection. The user will experience being in a submarine looking out of the window to have a closer view of what is happening underwater.

Storyline / Graphics

The big picture will be to portray a peaceful underwater scene at the start and slowly transiting into how pollution change the underwater environment. Playing around with the setting like adding a darker filter will also help to change the mood of the whole scene. I illustrated and animated the elements in the scene myself in illustrator and after effects. In addition, the sound track also plays an important role in transiting the scene as I want the second half of the animation to have an impactful change and also to change the mood of the audience.


In order to allow the user to fully experience being underwater, I want the user to be able to go close to the window projection. Thus, having a rear projection is more ideal than placing the projector infront of the screen as the audience will not be blocking the projection.

Type of screen

Doing rear projection required the screen to be slightly translucent as to allow the projection to seep through on the other side, thus the type of screen is important. Using the material available in school, Kristy suggested that I could use the big white sheet of paper that is mounted onto a wooden frame. I tried rear projection on that screen and it works! Therefore, the next step is to think of the orientation/position of the screen and ways to mount the screen.

Orientation/Position of screen

I tried different orientation for the screen to get an understanding of how the audience will feel when standing infront of the screen. Having the projection too high or too low will not give the audience the experience of viewing through a window. Thus, I decided to make it eye level for the audience to have a comfortable view and also the experience of being in a space.

For my final set up, I will be using 2 c stands to support the screen where I can easily adjust the screen to the level that I want.

Final setup

Final Outcome

Further enhancement

Playing around with the space, I want the audience to feel that they are really inside another space in this case a submarine. However due to the size of the room, the audience won’t be able to have the full experience of being in another space. Also, due to the size of the screen not being able to  fully covering the whole room, it will also affects the whole experience.

Thus, working around with the space and changing/adding of projector can also helps create the immersive experience.


Digital Media Design Exhibition 2016
Artwork by Hiroyoshi Asano

Hiroyoshi Asano projected images on the wall and floor surfaces and reproduced “the edge of waves”. He uses actual waves shot of a few beach along with pleasing sounds of the waves coming back and forth. The whole setup give the audience a refreshing feeling of the sea while being indoors.

I feel that being able to bring an outdoor experience to indoor is really amazing where the audience can feel like they are in the actual space. Thus, playing with the space and the way he place the projector is also important factors here in order to achieve this outcome. Having to think of how the audience is able to interact with the projection itself is also a factor to consider.

Digital art museum L’Atelier des Lumières

The new digital exhibition immerses visitors in the painting of Vincent van Gogh. His paintings have been transformed and projected on all the surface of the Atelier. Using art and music technology, it bring the paintings to life and giving visitors an immersive experience.

Having the whole area projected with visuals definitely allows the visitors to feel like they are transported into a different space. However the thinking process must be difficult as to where the projector should be placed. Also having to project on the floors will creates shadow as visitors step into the space, but I don’t really see much shadows from the images found online thus I’m really interested to find out how the whole process works. In addition, I feel that they make good use of the sound to enhance the visitors experience as sound is important in an immersive space.

Workshop by Prof Biju

Prof Biju first allow us to understand how a camera and projector works. He also talked about the different type of lens (15mm, 30mm, etc) and how the image sensor capture the image through the lens. While a projector have light that passes through an imaging lens and project the image.

For a normal projector, the further the screen from the projector, the larger the image projected.

Next, he went on to show us how to keep the image size regardless on how we move the screen. The camera and projector need to be at the same position to cancel off each other. The screen marker on the plane is detected by the camera which send the information to a software where a camera is in the same position in the real world.

We went on to further discuss regarding the reflector and how it manage to detect and play in different angle. It is important to take note of the xyz plane and the need to have multiple reflector instead of only 1 or 2.

One more thing that Prof Biju mentioned is that it is able to detect human movement by placing the reflector on the human itself. However, we can’t bring this installation out in the public due to all the camera and set up indoor. Thus, he mentioned that thats where Kinect come into the picture. Kinect sense the depth and decide where to project on.

All these can be useful when it comes to projection mapping as we need to understand whether the distance from the projector to the surface will affect the size of the thing we want to project.

FYP 100 words Description


With dreams as the main theme of this installation, this project aims to allow users to exercise their creativity by allowing them to interpret the various jars differently. Each jar will encapsulate different dreams using miniature models together with lights to create different scenes. Users will have to interact with the jars in order to experience the installation in full. The dreams are the artist’s personal recollections, making the installation a way of allowing users to catch a glimpse of the artist’s personal life and emotions, with ambiguity allowing different emotions to be evoked in the users.

FYP Proposal Draft 2

As mentioned in my previous post, I would like to work on the topic Dreams, where audience get to experience dreams through different boxes. Initially I wanted to pre-collect different dream from different people because I would like to find out more about other people experience. However from the presentation, I was told why not start from my own dream and allow others to experience my dream. This way, I would be able to share with others on how I remember my own dream when 95% of dreams was forgotten the moment they wake up. That’s when I can choose to expand my work further.

How To remember dreams?

Image result for how to remember dreams

I went online to research on how to remember dreams and many mentioned that we should prepare a pen and paper beside our bed. Also, we need to remind ourselves before bed that we want to remember our dreams. The following morning or anytime when you woke up from a dream, the first thing we should do is to recall what just happened. It is not easy to remember every details the moment you wake up, but I feel that by writing down some key points will help link the story together.

Cling to any clues of what you might have been experiencing–moods, feelings, fragments of images, and try to rebuild a story from them.

At this platform, people get to see their dreams come to life with artists and illustrators who work with them to make their dream into visuals. I find this interesting as the artist there get to create something unique based on the details the dreamer conveys to them. Sometimes the information provided can be little as it’s not easy to describe a dream to someone. Their end product often connects with the dreamer visuals well as the work do not have to be accurate as dreams are often abstract and wild.

Dreame Rachel Bennett desert peace
A dream of desert peacefulness drawn for Sybil by Rachel Bennett. (Photo: Rachel Bennett/Dreame)
How Studying Your Dreams Can Help Your Art Practice

Kim Gillingham is a dream coach where she guide artist through their dreams and help shape them into creative work. She do not analyse or solve their dream but to help identify the dream’s most vivid symbols and thus how to incorporate them into art-making.

Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking up
Salvador Dalí | Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking up, 1944 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

FYP Proposal Draft 1