DM2000 Interactive I: Reading Assignment

Stephen Wilson’s Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and, Technology was the reading that caught my eye out of those in the bibliography list. As someone from a science background, I’ve always been interested in the intersections of art and science and how I can utilise my scientific knowledge in the area of art and design. As the book is really thick, I only focused on one section that I was interested in, which is How Are Biology-Based Theory and Research Important to the Arts?

As the title suggest, the section explains how knowing biology-based theory can help artists in their designs. Firstly, biology research tells us about “nature, life, sex, humanness, and the body” and with these information, artists can design things to respond and fit in those contexts. One area where art and biology research intersect is the analysis and experimentation – we have to analyse how things work and how our design will compliment or utilize it, then experiment with different designs and forms to come up with the one that fits. Also, artists and their art has always been influenced by different societal factors, which include issues involving biology, like bioengineering.

The essay also mentions that Eduardo Kac, an artist, proposed a new kind of art called “transgenic art”. He says that “art needs to raise our awareness of what firmly remains beyond our visual reach but
which, nonetheless, affects us directly.” This is referring to biotechnologies such as body implants and genetic modifications. Transgenic art would be “[using] genetic engineering techniques to transfer synthetic genes to an organism or to transfer natural genetic material from one species
into another, to create unique living beings”

He explains it in greater detail in his website:

Kac actually did a transgenic artwork which was a fluorescent bunny called GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) Bunny.

On his website (, he explains that “[this] is a transgenic artwork and not a breeding project.” From what I understood, he refers to breeding as creating something that is considered perfect or fits what the society/people want but this bunny created as a form of transgenic art doesn’t fit into a particular form but is still loved and appreciated for what she is.

In conclusion, I think that it is rather interesting to combine biology and art but transgenic art might be a bit too shocking for the society as of now. I still find the information in the book quite useful as it could be applied to my future projects – analyzing and experimenting with designs and also understanding the context to create art that fits it.


DM2000 Interactive I: ASM Field Trip Reflections

Future World is an exhibition by ArtScience Museum and teamLab that features a collection of art installations and interactive projects suitable for both adults and children. The installations combine art, science, technology and culture to give the visitors a fun and enjoyable experience.

Future World consists of four sections: City in a Garden, Sanctuary, Park and Space. The main section is the first one so I’ll mainly talk about that.

As we enter the first section, we see a flower field with butterflies flying around and a waterfall right in front. I think it was quite cool to see the butterflies reacting to our touch and die and how it enters the interactive paintings.

As we move further into the exhibition, we see a slide that was similar to the ‘fruit ninja’ game. We are allowed to go down the slide, and the fruits that get in our way will be sliced. A lot of kids (and our classmates) seemed to enjoy this installation.

We then got into a room with two interactive tables and two screens. We could use different objects or our hands to interact with the animation.

The next section is a new one and it allowed us to move blocks that look like clouds, houses, train stations, etc. These will then form connections and tracks that will form a city. It was quite interesting but I don’t think a lot of people enjoyed the interactivity of this installation as the room was very empty as compared to the other installations in the exhibition

For the last exhibition of this section, we were required to scan sea creatures that we coloured and it will be uploaded to the big screen. I think this was another exhibition that many people liked as they could see their drawings come alive.

I think this field trip helped me to understand interactive art better and how people interact with it. It was also interesting to see how adults and children interact with the installations differently – children enjoy playing and having fun with the installation, the inner child of the adults having fun too but they would try to understand the meaning behind the installations.

DM2000 Interactive I: NGS Field Trip Reflections

Happenings at Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery

This is a combination of two art works — Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery by Lee Kang-so & Life Circuit by Urich Lau and Teow Yue Han.

Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery

Disappearance Bar in the Gallery is a remake of an interactive installation by Lee Kang-so from 1973. The idea behind the work is its juxtaposition of the bar and the gallery. The gallery is usually quiet, with people silently looking at works and admiring them while the Korean traditional pub (chumak) is full of life and energy. Lee replicated the look of a bar in the gallery and allowed the audience to engage in the work by having drinks & snacks and being part of the exhibition.

Life Circuit

A piece of performance art by INTER—MISSION (Urich Lau and Teow Yue Han), Life Circuit brings the analogue and digital together. During the performance, Lau wears “gadgets reconstructed from industrial safety equipment – welding goggles, gas mask and earmuffs.”

Instead of aiding him like how technology usually aids us, these gadgets impairs his senses but also allows the audience to see from his perspective through the screen on the goggles. This forms a “circuit” between the artist, the gadgets and the audience. Additionally, Teow also carries a camera around that captures and projects himself and what he sees.

According to Teow, the performance in the bar in the gallery consisted of two parts that were performed over a duration of two nights. Most of us went for the first night, where a lot of footage was generated (A livestream of a google hangout of someone walking towards Shibuya crossing was projected, The images captured by Lau while he was walking around wearing the gadgets were converted into sound, etc.)

Teow mentioned that the second night would be live dancers responding to the footage shot in the first night, showing a continuity of the work with input and output.


When I first reached the venue, I was quite confused as to what was going on. There were people seated at the tables and chairs and different screens and projector showing different things. At first I didn’t know that it was a bar in the gallery and I thought it was a stage and the people seated were all performers (which technically wasn’t wrong since the audience are also part of the performance since its an interactive piece). After reading the description of the installation, I realised what was going on and proceeded to look at the projector. It was showing streets (taken from the livestream hangouts) , the audiences and Teow’s face (taken from the camera attached to Teow). I thought it was quite interesting, including the audiences in the performance by using footages of them and it shows the perspective of both the audience and the artist. As for Lau’s gadgets, I think they were quite interesting and thought they actually helped him to navigate around in some way but it turns out that he was doing it by himself. Overall, I didn’t really understand the meaning of the artwork even after doing research on it but it may have helped if I went for the second night of the performance.


DM2000 Interactive I: Inspiring example of interactive art

COS × Studio Swine | New Spring

New Spring is an interactive installation and multisensory experience. The installation is a tree-like structure that releases bubbles containing a white mist. As the bubbles fall, it bursts when in contact with the human skin but bounces against the ground that is covered with a cloth like material. Additionally, the bubbles can be held by one if they wear the special gloves provided.

The work is said to have referenced the chandeliers of Milanese palazzos. It was also inspired by the cherry blossom festival in Japan.

“Inspired by the famous cherry blossom festival in Japan, the installation is designed to create a special moment that brings people together. A fleeting shared experience that evokes a sense of the changing seasons.”

— Studio Swine

The artist also mentioned that the work is minimalist and can be interpreted in many ways so I came up with my own interpretation.

I think that this artwork portrays the interaction between people and the environment — the skin represents humans and the bubbles represent the environment. The bubbles do not burst so quickly if they are left untouched and fall to the ground. But the moment it touches the skin, it bursts and the white mist in it dissipates into the air. Just like the bubbles, the environment is slowly being destroyed by us but what if we wear those special gloves and handle the bubbles with care? If we put in a bit more effort to protect the environment, we can enjoy it for a longer period of time, like the bubbles.

Overall, I really like this interactive installation as it brings people together and it brings back the memories of playing with bubbles as a child. It engages both the young and the old and is quite a therapeutic experience that I would like to experience myself someday!