Reflection on Project Management Reading

Chapter 2 started off with “Project Management is an outcome-oriented process”- Daunting.

Of the 6 project management goals, I would like to elaborate more on ‘To reach the end on time” and also “To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”

‘To reach the end of the project”
Through out my time in ADM, I never understood what it meant to reach the end of a project. Every submission, if given more time, I could always think of pointers on how I would further improve the project. Sometimes, makes me wonder, if really I was given the time, how much time would I need? Is there really such a concept as ‘The End’? When will I ever be done with a project?

This reading opened my eyes to the idea of goals vs objectives. It describes ‘goal’ as universal targets that are common to all projects while ‘objectives’ are specific to your own projects. The idea of an “end” is not so much a dead end, but instead being able to meet a set of objectives. In the my head, how I saw this was, objectives has different degrees/ extent to them, and so if I am aiming to fulfil level 2 objectives and met them, even if I did not make it to level 3 objectives, because I have identified what I wish to achieve at the beginning and achieved it, I have ‘reached the end’. And this obviously will not be the end-of-the-road for the project, instead I would view it as an emotional closure for anyone working on a project. In my opinion, knowing just when to declare a work of art finished after working it for months can also get very blurry, so setting objective that are measurable and quantifiable as mentioned would also help artists build a healthy relationship with their art pieces.

“To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”
Personally, if given a chance to work as an individual, I would gladly choose to because I have pretty much spent my uni days running away from potentially disappointing my group members. So, I was quite surprise to see this as a goal. Reminds me that as much as I seem ‘alone’, I really still have to rely on others to get things moving such as eventually the person coordinating the FYP show, my mentor prof, even to the smallest role of people running the various machines. I foresee FYP teaching me to be open to feedback, what others have to say about my progress. All while I do not loose myself incorporating others into the process.

 

Personally would wrap up Chapter 5 with the sentence “Properly planning the greatly increases its chance of success” in however I choose to define success. As my own project manager, I have to understand my work well enough to plan it properly and be wise enough to know when to seek advice. While I am still not entirely certain of what a FYP entitles, I also wish to be someone flexible to adapt to unforeseen sceen circumstances.

 

16/3 Update

Currently, the big idea is:

Playing around with Unreal:

 

Wanted to try out the water plugin with Unreal and also the idea of floating actors
However at this point, everything felt slightly flat, and i wanted helium balloon-float not water-float

Also tried to connect Unreal w Touchdesigner via OSC potentially for the MicInput

Space

While building my space, I wanted to just see what I could with the free packages in the marketplace.

The following are the ones I used:

And this is what I created:

I retained the water element, but wanted to build on it. During the week of building, I wanted to focus on lighting. Maybe perhaps… because of this paragraph from a book I was reading (Steven Scott: Luminous Icons):

Obviously I am no Steven Scott, but I really like the idea of experiencing “something spiritual”, and also because it’s inline with the ‘zen’ idea of my project. While my project has no direct correlation with “proportion”, I still wanted to try to incorporate this idea with building lights of the ‘correct’ colours(murky blue-ish) and manifestations (light shaft, fireflies).

Projection

You would think just trying to get it up on the screen would be easy, just got to make the aspect ratio the same as 3 projectors.. thats what I tot too…

Anyway summary:
Spout- doesn’t work with 4.26, latest only 4.25
Syphon- Unreal doesnt support

Lightact 3.7- which doesnt spout, cant download on mac nor the school’s PC because it was considered unsafe due to the little amount of downloads

BUT I did try Ndisplay, which is an integrated function in Unreal
I could get it up on my monitor

Though I couldnt get it up on the projectors, but i think it could be due to my config files, i need perhaps another week or so on this

Interface

With the interface, this was the main idea:

Plan 1 would have made everything seamless because it is all integrated into Unreal. But ofc

So I am back with Plan 2, via OCS.

On touchdesigner’s end:

I have basically managed to split the audio that comes in via the mic into low, mid and high frequencies. For now, im only sending the mid frequency values over to Unreal because it represents the ‘voice’ values best. But, I had to clamp the values because of the white noise present. I might potentially use the high and low values for something else, such as colours? We’ll see.

For now, one of the biggest issues I feel is the very obvious latency from Touchdesigner to Unreal.

But moving forward first, the next step would be to try getting an organic shape and also spawning the geometry only when a voice is detected.

Since I wanted the geometry to ‘grow’ in an organic of way, I realised the best way to go around it would be to create a material that changes according to its parameters rather than making an organic static mesh because when it gets manipulated. by the values it’s literally just going to scale up or down.

This is how I made the material:

Using noise to affect world displacement was mainly the node to get the geometry ~shifty~. But I think as you can tell from the video, the Latency and the glitch is really quite an issue. And once again moving on, trying to spawn the actor in Unreal when voice is detected.

For that I am using Button state in Touchdesigner to do so. When a frequency hits a threshold, which assuming comes from the voice, the button will be activated. When Button is on click, ‘1’, the geometry should form and grow with the voice, but when the button is not on click, ‘0’, the geometry should stop growing.

 

Currently this is the button I have but it’s consistently still flickering between ‘on’ and ‘off’ so, I am starting to think maybe I should change to ‘When there is a detection of change in frequency instead, button clicks’.

 

 

Post-trip to NGS reflection

One of the takeaways I had from the session on Thursday was that each art-piece within the exhibitions were not just independent works but instead, they are all co-related. Well that may already seem very obvious however, i felt that the relation was not just bounded by the title of the exhibition alone but even in the way they interacted with one another.

Aki Hassan’s ‘Weighed down by an Uplift’ explores the idea of support systems right in front of Kin Chui’s station 13010 which takes the form of an alter. Upon stepping on the pedal of Tini Aliman’s ‘Pokoknya: Organic Cancellation’, its sound, as well as those coming from the various exhibit, all gets amplified. Stephanie Jane Burt’s ‘Dressing a Window’ stand right in front of the descriptive wall of ‘Time Passes’, which both draws inspiration from the novel ‘To the lighthouse’.

To me, this almost seems to be reflective of the bigger picture during the Covid period. While we were all “trapped” in our physical homes, there were many social issues now brought up and re-evaluated, but these overlapping conversations all essentially boils down to asking ‘How should we be?’. This crux presents the idea that there is power in connection. Connection referring to the hope that all the artists were holding onto, that even though might have different starting ideas, when placed together in the same room influences each other to be integral in shaping this place to become a better home.

Diana Rahim’s Intervention is the piece I am choosing to explore further today. This piece caught my attention because I came to realise how desensitised I was to the structure of the public spaces around me. I have always just took it as it is, without knowing that my physical body could be subtly controlled this way. When Samantha brought up the part on her experience with Diana to put up the tassels and the flowers, I had so many thoughts running through my mind. I guess we have truly been so passive with our relationship to our public space that visual images are just not enough. It is to an extent that we need something literally skinny and sparkly to have kids coming up to play in such spaces or to even realise of its existence. Maybe the concept of spatial justice just isn’t apparent for us and we cannot see the effect such barriers have because we are so privileged? After all, we are not the ones having to look for a bench to sleep on at night. Taking it to another level, it was also the artist’s way of intervening with the space. She is literally stimulating modifications to existing systems, just instead of merely raising awareness. Almost as if she is saying “This is how it could potentially be. How do you like it?”.

Diana Rahim is a writer and photographer who often calls into question whether a capitalist city-state Singapore has moulded the way we have access to basic human needs and daily life. She started the journalling under the hashtag of #sghostilearchitecture. In the midst, she noted some interesting points, one of which being,

Does it work? To be honest was its effectiveness ever the priority in its installment? Or was it just some money spent to signal that “something was done” by authorities, to show that they responded to (some) citizens’ needs and that they care about public safety? Sometimes a barrier is a barrier, sometimes it’s a signal, a proof.

While this quote is referencing the barriers protecting citizens from e-scooters, truly makes me wonder, who are the government really orchestrating this barriers for? Because right now, to me, as someone who is about to set foot into the working world, it almost feels like a warning saying “You better work hard and earn money if you don’t to be a victim of these subtle weapons”. And if these are “subtle weapons”, why is it we only have a say in the colours of our HDB flats and almost nothing else about our public spaces?

She also sees a recurring theme, not just in the aspect of hostile architecture but the detachment we have from feeling the full weight of things have already been integral to our lifestyles. From culture, class, or religion, even to the way we pick out our food. What I hope for myself is to have a desire strong enough to first be critical and notice the patterns because it is subtle until it isn’t.

Daryl and Yi Dan’s Binaural Sound Recording

 

Our sound clip is inspired by Pacman but it spots the following differences:
1. Pacman becomes the character you avoid.
2. You only have 1 life.

This was our initial storyboard:

1. Coin going down vending machine
2. Pac-man BG music with atmospheric noise
5. Someone/or many running pass
6. Monster chomping sound getting closer
7. Someone saying “Hurry what are you doing!”
8. keyboard left button fast pressing
9. “To the left hurry!”
10. Character running hitting walls sides
11. Hits front wall
12. “Too much idiot, reverse reverse”
13. fast button pressing again
15. Chomping gets louder
14. (Half way through running back) “Here towards me, hurry”
15. repeat to show change in distance
16. (suddenly background chaotic)
17. (faraway user aggressively testing keyboard “hey why is this not working”
18. “Alright buddy you’re own your own”
19. panic turning head
20. anyhow running and trapped then monster chomping sound gets louder
21. then chomping sound bcomes the only sound
22. game over sound

However, after recording and editing, we have narrowed down to remove both the in-game and real life character, focusing mainly on the experience of the in-game character. Having too many layers made the sound clip too noisy and, also we had to take note of time limitation.

Revised storyboard:
1. Coin going down vending machine
2. Pac-man BG music with atmospheric noise
3. keyboard button fast pressing
4. Portal sound
-silence-
5. Pac-man BG music, echo-ed
6. Many running pass, urging character to run
7. Faint screaming sound
8. Pacman chomping sound getting closer
7. Guardian voice appears “What are you doing? You gotta run”
8. Running footsteps
9. Turning corners
10. Guardian voice fades, tension built
11.  Character hits front wall
12. Pats surrounding walls- got stuck
12. Pacman sound gets closer
13. then bcomes the only sound
14. ‘BOOM’
15. Game over sound effect

Filming locations:
Level 2 corridor and stairwell, Vending Machines

Additional Sound Effects from:
PAC MAN SFX

Arcade Ambiance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNVdREXnOLM&t=96s

Pac Man Waka Waka
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHSnLtzCcE8&t=135s

Transforms SFX
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT7L5w_Ljgs&t=22s

 

 

 

Response to Social Practice Art

Not sure why, I always had the impression that ‘Social Practice Art’ was isolating, that it was only available and created for the ‘alternates’ of society. After delving into the reading, I have came to realise that it was the complete opposite of ‘anti-social’.  However, I have to admit I struggle deeply with the contention of such a practice and having it labelled as ‘Art’. Hear me out as I attempt to break down my thoughts through the various points brought up in the reading.

“merely a vague aesthetics of progressive uplift”

This phrase, perfectly sums up what I was struggling with as I read the article. It really pushed the boundary in terms of how I viewed Art. Made worst because I assumed I had a pretty liberal view of Art.

While this is definitely not the focus of the artist mentioned in the text, but I can’t help but question “Are people just listing this sort of practice under ‘Art’ just so as to allow what they are engaging with, to be made legal under Art cultural property laws?” “Are people just trying to protect what they have done to help others under the name of Art?” Especially since most of these pieces always seem to alert law enforcers because of its subtle rebellious nature.

the category of “social practice” attempts to forestall the problem of its own incorporation into the system by deliberately removing itself from commerce and making outwardly avowed political solidarity part of its defining trait.

This line paints ‘Social Practice Art’ as an in-between of politics and art. But upon more research, to me, it seem that no matter how much emphasis it has put into it being detach from the notion of commerce, by wanting to have a foot stepped into the Art field, it almost seems impossible to escape the commercial market.

In the above video (at 17:11), it demonstrates how a gallerist was vying for the gold tarps of Olga Koumoundouros: ‘A Notorious Possession’, which was a social-sculpture-cum-housing-protest. This suggests that components making up the process of executing such a genre of work has unintentionally became a sort of commodity.

Bridging across, then it got me to think if this sort of art then unintentionally practices the sort of notion behind: “The White Man’s Burden”(1899). The (imperialist) interpretation of this poem proposes that the white race is morally obliged to civilise the non-white peoples of planet Earth, and to encourage their progress (economic, social, and cultural) through settler colonialism.

When an artist attempts to bridge sociopolitical driven into art, where do we draw the line between being exploitative of the marginalised communities for the sake of Art and truly wanting to create Art to bring action to a certain cause/community?

In fact, the ability of this brand of art to still enrage social and aesthetic conservatives may well be the strongest evidence that it is still worth engaging with.

One of the most interesting aspect of this Social Practice Art Form that intrigued me was there being no need for excessive call for participation. These days, an exhibition going on at a certain museum is always coupled with (flashy) advertisement around. If there was to be a performance happening, collaterals would come floating by. But with this Art form, is seems as if people just stream into, participate, contribute, to the project at hand without the need for persuasion. I think this seems to enhance the fact that- exactly because people subtly recognise an issue around, which is why is it so easy for audience to just be drawn towards part taking in the project. There doesn’t even seem to be a need for a call to get people to being aware of a particular issue, and wanting actions need to be taken, subconsciously a mob is gathers to complete inherently good acts. It presents people with purpose. This in an of itself is a powerful tool to get the community to questioning the paradigm society has created.

Just like how the ‘Art and Craft’ movement in the mid 19th century played out to provide an alternative to the cookie-cutter industrial boom then, there seems to be a parallel when analysing ‘Social Practice Art’. ‘Social Practice Art’ exemplifies a strong desire within the community.

In conclusion, through wrestling and tearing apart this reading/ and more, it made me re-evaluate on my (twisted) perception on Art and my own artistic practice. What is it exactly do I want to bring across with my Art? I have always framed Art as an umbrella of aesthetic structures that is meant to provoke ideas, anything beyond that what an idea I have never explored, or never questioned. Hence, to me right now, by bring ‘good acts’ into the context Art, seems forced (even though I know it’s not) and unnecessarily extra. But one thing I cannot deny is, looking at the bigger whole, it is just our duty to humanity, Art or not, to help where help is due.

Week 1 Assignment

  1. Biography
    While technical, my aesthetic approach often involves a distinct sense of play, aiming to put the fun in functional. I enjoy redefining physical interactivity with space and my superpower includes being expressive and experimental. To elevate experiences, I aim to strategically curate unconventional concepts that leaves people asking “How did you think of that?”.

    ‘Audio-reactive’, ‘Generative’, ‘Real-time’- excites me because I like drawing people into the ‘now’. It becomes very rewarding when an artwork urges participants to live in the moment, and then worth to be remembered. I am motivated to create in hopes of interactive spectatorship, where participants would enter into their own creative head spaces after experiencing mine.

  2. Presentation from last week
    1. #Stopovaryacting

      This project seeks to break the notion that ‘mensuration’ should not be talked about freely. Especially in an Asian context, we often see girls attempting to hide their pads and avoid the pad talk when there are guys around. Hence, #STOPOVARYACTING strives to start conversations about anything mensuration related, whether it be online or offline.

    2.  BALLance

      The goal of BALLance is to balance a ball for as long as possible without having to physically touch it. By redefining the idea of physical toys, BALLance is made to exemplify the idea of telepresence. It gives participants a façade of being present at a place other than their true location. Being able to play BALLance remotely, this system renders distance meaningless.
    3. Audio-Reactive Visuals
      <will update before class tomorrow>
    4. More on https://alternate-oasis.netlify.app/
  3. Resume
    YiDan_Resume_2021
  4. Inspiring Artist Slides
    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1EtPoZ55lPmkRuWOe1xSEuL_8Ftx0aL43K2D247EAmHI/edit?usp=sharing

Final Sem Project: BALLance

 

 

The goal of BALLance is to balance a ball for as long as possible without having to physically touch it. By redefining the idea of physical toys, BALLance is made to exemplify the idea of telepresence. It gives participants a façade of being present at a place other than their true location. Being able to play BALLance remotely, this system renders distance meaningless.

 

General Flow of setup:

Leap motion takes the:
– angle of HandPitch which translates to the front and back movement of Servo motor 1
– x position of the middle finger which translates to the left and right movement of Servo motor 2

In order to release a ball:
– When a pinch is detected, Servo motor 3 is activated.

Tracking High Score:
– When an orange colour pixel is detected, the timer starts. When an orange pixel is no longer detected, the timer stops.

 

Process:

Structure

From where I left off, the low fidelity prototype, here are the updates to the structure:

The main issue with this structure is that I totally forgot the body of the motor needs to be mounted on the structure so that only the rod turns. Thats why in the photo it is held on by rubber bands. After dealing with the mounting, the corners were in the way and needed to be shaved.

Also the snout of the motor was SO tiny the rod barely held on so I needed to find another way to attach it.

Changes made:

The other motor for front and back.

Calibrating the board

From the video above, the next alteration from advice of LP is to add a cloth and thats what I eventually settled with. Works great!

 

Highscore

Basically works on: looking for a pixel closest/is orange and starts timer when that pixel is found aka ball rolls in. Timer starts. Timer stops when pixel is gone aka when ball rolls away. Compare this time to previous high score time. If it is longer, becomes new high score.

Initially had some problems with setting up a camera, but problem solved using Processing 4. Also, managed to set up DSLR with Camera Live and Camtwist through Syphon to set up a virtual webcam.

Final thoughts:
This project was so SO much trial and error. Because there was not one fixed result I was looking for, sometimes I was not too sure if the ball is rolling off because the ramp is at the wrong angle? Or was it the board is small? Or simply because I was lousy at the game and lack hand eye coordination. I had to try many various calibrations, keep picking up balls to try my best in finding a good in between. I also had to brainstorm a way to get the ball onto the device without having to physically touch it, since I felt that could vary the gameplay depending on how the ball was placed onto the device.

Overall, if given more time, having the feedback from user testing, I believe if I could some how calibrate the board toward the Z-axis, this game could be a-lot more convincing.

Speculative Sketch: Save space camera

So if you dont already know, data is a trendy and essential thing. But where does all these data go? Sure you have heard of this saying, “lets save it to a cloud drive, we dont literally mean a CLOUD drive.”. In fact, there are actually stored in data centers on many servers, sometimes also known as server farms.

With this in mind, I would like yo bring your attention to this quote from Straits Time.

Scientists have predicted that, at this rate, the world will run out of data storage capacity in 181 years’ time – even if every atom on earth were used to store data.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/world-faces-data-storage-crunch-ahead

OH NO we’ re in troubleeee.

DOW IoT: Descriptive Camera

I will be expounding on Descriptive Camera from Matt Richardson to address this issue. What the Descriptive Camera does now is that it describes what is seen in the photo. But in my ~genuine~ opinion, with internet feeding us images and information all the time, I honestly do not see why I need a camera to tell me what an item is unless the item is hella INTERESTING.

So this is brings me to my (crazy) idea: A camera that you got to log into with ur social media accounts and whenever you take a picture with this camera, it will tap into the algorithm thingy that social media uses to keep you addicted to your phone by suggesting what you might like based on what you’ve seen. But this works in reserve, instead it filters everything in that photo you have seen too many times and is no longer interesting. This will leave you with just the interesting portion of the captures.

In my head, this means if a particular genre of photo has been taking too many times by the whole world, to the point that you can search online for it and find something similar, the photo will practically not be taken because its a black photo. Eventually deleted, in turning SAVING SPACE.

Sure it will also be a vicious cycle to the rest of the internet that revolves around images. Now even IG can reduce its space storage.

Overall, this is my primary thought. I think this camera can also speak for many other issues. I could see that if this camera gets employ, it could create a rat race to see who can upload whatever first- looking negatively, this could be talking about society’s obsession with trends; positively, we could say this is pushing for innovation. Who really knows?

 

 

 

 

 

27 Oct Update

just a heads up im stuck

Right now, the goal is to have a camera to detect if the orange ball is still on the plane- if yes, timer runs/ if not, timer stops. 

I have tried a few methods to achieve this but every one of it doesn’t work.

  • Processing + Macbook Facetime HD Camera
    Used the ‘Video’ library of Processing
    Problem as per screenshot:
    Unfortunately, I am on a macOS Catalina ver 10.15.5https://github.com/processing/processing-video/issues/134
    Tried the solution as suggested by ihaveaccount on this above forum but the string doesn’t return as they said it wouldwithout the video library, this eliminates the use of external webcams also (i tried with my DSLR as a webcam)
  • Processing + IP Camera
    Since I was hoping for the webcam to be portable anyway, I tried to use an IP Camera. 
    Problem: On my processing sketch, nothing shows up, no error, no video feed show- nothing. IP camera doesn’t show it is being connected to anything either.

    Not sure if its because im accessing processing via a Macbook and im using an android IP Camera app?
  • TouchDesigner + IP Camera
    Used the Video Stream in, and with RSTP network protocol, while yes there is a video feed, it is SOOO choppy and pretty much only refreshes when I “pulse” the node
  • TouchDesigner + Web Camera
    https://forum.derivative.ca/t/video-device-in-webcam-doesnt-work/12208/13
    Once again seems like everyone else with Mac ver after 10.14, webcam doesnt seem to work
    I did try with the latest beta ver of Touchdesigner however, it only works when I first start a timeline, once I save the file and close it and then reopen, its just a black screen again.

So now Im stuck. Im thinking maybe a Raspberry PI(since it runs Windows) with a webcam, or a camera module and maybe something along the line of python w OpenCV library, or it will be great if i could have processing on Raspberry PI. But this is a whole new set of problems because first I don’t have a Raspberry PI and just learning to work it is like 😵🤯😩.