Interstices- Project: Dream

Project: DREAM Instillation Space

Interstices. A word according to the Oxford dictionary refers to the space between things or events. Merriam Webster refers to “interstices” as “a gap or break in something generally continuous”. For our project, we focused on the Interstices found in the state of human consciousness. Human consciousness is a continuous stream of thought according to William James,  the lauded “Father of American Psychology”  whos works integrate both philosophy and psychology. Yet this stream of consciousness breaks in several stages, mostly sleep. Though our mind is still working when we sleep, we enter a subconscious stage where we have no conscious control over our thoughts and actions. We chose to explore the gap between the two stages in the forms of dreams. Humans sleep to refresh their body after several continuous hours of exerting energy,  and dreams are a side effect of human sleep. Dreaming is a clear indicator of the gap between the conscious and subconscious state of consciousness that people experience when sleeping. We chose to recreate this stage by creating an immersive art installation called “Project: Dream”.

Electronic Components Behind the Instillation Space

The installation is made up of three portions; the physical space, the electronic components, and the computers, and the dream inventory. The physical space is made up of a wooden frame with a black cloth covering the faces. The rectangular component was meant to create a sense of intimacy and comfort. The mattress was placed on the floor to elicit the idea of a bed and to make the user feel more comfortable and relaxed. For the electronic components, we used a combination of Arduino and Processing.  An alarm clock with a buzzer and LED strips were placed inside the space. The clock was attached to a computer on the outside of the space, while another computer was synced with the mini projector. The projector displayed the compilation of dream garnered beforehand by the previous user. These dreams are typed into the computer stationed outside of the space, and using processing, is transported to the projector.

Video of the Instillation

The overall experience of Project: Dream begins with the user taking off his or her shoes so that they can enter the installation space sequentially and individually. Once inside the space, the user has the choice to lie down or to sit, whatever makes them more comfortable. And to stimulate sleep, the inside of the space is completely dark. The only two sources of light at that moment is the projection, which represents the dream itself; and the small LCD screen that displays the time. These two pieces are meant to attract you into a trance as if you were truly dreaming. As the user reads the “dream” that appears word by word, the alarm will go off at an unexpected time. The alarm will trigger the LED light strips to go on and off according to the sound of the alarm and the projection will cease to display the story. The alarm will go off for a couple for minutes, as this represents the stage where you wake up. This stage in a sense is the interstices, with elements of the conscious world (the lights and the sound of the alarm) permeate into the state of unconsciousness (sleep). Once the alarm turns off, the lights stay on and the projection stops playing completely. This represents you waking up from your slumber and stepping into reality. Once the user exits the space, he or she has the option of typing down and sharing a previous dream inside the Dream Inventory.

 

This immersive experience is more passive than interactive as the only source of interactivity is typing ones dream after the experience. This is the maximum level of interaction the user must take part in. Originally, we were planning on having the user turn off the alarm button attached to the clock, but due to technical difficulties, was unable to add that function into the product. Project: Dream is a more immersive experience with the screen being projected on all sides of the wall, the intimacy of the room, and the sensory impact of the mattress and dark room. Though the feedback, communications, creativity might be on a higher scale of interactivity; continuums such as control, productivity, and adaptivity are more passive. The feedback response is present though not always physically, the reaction is internally felt by the body and mind. The body starts to feel the effects of the comfortable dark room and when the room starts to react to the alarm, the user’s body also starts to react. In terms of classifying the work based on the “Fundamentals of Digital Art”, Project: Dream falls under a “User has a limited role” in the experience while the interface itself is a “Parallel Real World Experience”. The interface is parallel to the real world as the Arduino itself uses an RTC, which gathers data to give us an accurate reading of the time while waking up on a normal day normally takes 4-5 minutes. The structure of the interface reflects the process of waking up, which in a sense is “Linear”. Though each person is unique and the take away from the experience will be different, there is still a standard procedure that occurs for the user to build upon.

While the project was a team collaboration, each member has certain knowledge and skills that are more beneficial and relevant for the project. In the case for Project: Dream, Alina was responsible with the execution of the Arduino and Processing, while I focused my energy on other aspects such as building and logistics. Alina’s background in installation pieces came in use when considering frame alternatives. Throughout the creation of this instillation we worked on each others strengths and weaknesses.

My experience with this project was very unique and idiosyncratic. This was my first time making a space instillation of this magnitude. Since it was my first time and I had limited experience with Arduino and Processing, I good only try my best and could not contribute any high level critiques or experience. I tried my best to understand the inner workings of Arduino and Processing but could offer only so much. But with the help of my partner, Alina, I was able to better comprehend coding. Another worry I had was that the wooden frame we wanted to use was unavailable, which meant that we had to find our own solution. This led to use creating our own wooden frame from some left over wood and black cloth.

History of Design: Manifesto

       Humans throughout the ages have tried to understand humanity. What sets us apart from any other creation?
       Is it our ability to create or to recreate with our surroundings?
       Our ability to ideate our unique inner thoughts and desires?
       Or a combination of both?
       Humans are intrinsically social animals; we seek a sense of belonging and acceptance from like minded peers. This does not refer to human conformity but merely humanity’s desire to be reminded that they are not alone in this world. This desire for identification and interaction can be seen in this modern era where technology has made room for the development of New Media Art. Humanity also seeks to be stimulated- especially with knowledge. The classic men of the Renaissance to the teachers of the Bauhaus school believed that the act of learning and the gratification of knowledge inspires and motivates human growth. And with the onset of knowledge comes the curiosity for truth. While Deconstructivists chose to break down what was familiar to discover the truth, it is up to the individual to find his or her own method.Though sharing inherent commonalities, humans are idiosyncratic in expression due to varying external sociocultural factors. And when we express we create. We are humans because we uniquely create upon innate characteristics.

 

 

Inspirations

  • New Media Art
  • Bauhaus Art
  • Deconstructvism 
  • Psychology 
  • Nature and Nurture 
  • Integration

Final Research Hyperessay

The history of art begins with the history of humanity- cave paintings. And since then, art has gradually evolves as humanity moves forward. Art is a product of human thought and the resources they have around them, that is why art largely reflected the innovational standings of societies. From bronze tools during the times before settlement to the marble busts after civilizations started to emerge to traditional paints and sketches to now. Now, as technology emerges alongside the development of the online web, streaming, and cloud; art has taken an adventitious turn into the digital and virtual. Humans have now engineered technology and the internet to serve as our media for the arts. From Ivan Sutherland, “Sketchpad” in 1962 to Lynn Hershman’s “Deep Contact” in 1983. Both utilize technology to create an art piece that is both engaging and interactive. In this digitalized game of “Tag” and “Hide-and-Go-Seek”, “I’d Hide You” by Blast Theory, blends both technology with human interaction But who and what is Blast Theory exactly? What is it that they do? Blast Theory is a community of pioneering artists who create interactive art pieces to explore social and political questions. This group was created in 1991 by Matt Adams, Niki Jewett, Will Kittow and Ju Row Farr. The works by this group utilize a multitude of different media; such as performance, installation, video, and online technology. But what makes Blast Theory avant-garde is the way they meld scientific technology with collaborative art. Blast Theory also allows the audience members to play a vital role in the production and outcome of the artwork. This engagement transforms the role of the artist to a viewer and the audience to the artist. In the end, the exploration of social and political questions becomes a more personal and thought-provoking experience for the participants. Some of Blast Theories other well-known works include- “Can You See Me Now?”, “Uncle Roy All Around You”, “Kidnap”, “Gunman Kill Three”, and “Karen.”

“Kidnap” (1998)
Picture from Blast Theory Website

 “Gunman Kill Three” was one of their earliest works and was geared more towards live and performance art. This work and several other early works focused on the club culture to create multimedia performances. Even in their early works interactivity played a key role in the performance. “Kidnap” was one of Blast Theory’s more controversial and risky works due to the issues the piece tackled as well as the methods Blast Theory chose to communicate the message with. “Kidnap” is an interactive and immersive experience that gives the participants a genuine “kidnapping” experience (with their prior consent). Blast Theory wanted to underscore the themes of violence, pornography, and politics. In “Can You See Me Now?” and “Uncle Roy All Around You” are two of their successful multimedia pieces that integrated locative media with mixed reality.

What drew me to Blast Theory was their ability to incorporate technology often associated as “anti-art” with social and political issues to create a stimulating and interactive art piece. This idea of mixing and recreating has always been an important value in my life and to see a group of artists express it so beautifully and simply resonated with me. Not only is Blast Theory feel a source of comfort but also serves as a source of inspiration. Blast Theory stimulates both the audience and themselves with their artworks. The artists within the group constantly try to challenge themselves with new technology, methods, and issues by pushing themselves to be more innovative and courageous.

Picture from Blast Theory

The basic premise of “I’d Hide You” is that people are equipped with live cameras and are divided into teams in which they play a game of tag around the entire city. The immersion lies in the second layer of the piece, in which these cameras send live footage to the internet; allowing anyone to watch the game as if they themselves were running. The interactivity can be experienced in the final layer of the artwork in which the viewer is now a part of the team. The viewer can help the participants find one another by updating online, the location of other runners using the runner’s GPS tracker. This interactivity is not only personal but also collaborative. The outcome of this project can be seen in the video below by Blast Theory who summarizes the entire event.

 

Unlike the other works by Blast Theory, “I’d Hide You” is not a politically or socially stimulating piece meant to impress eager enthusiasts. Instead, “I’d Hide You” is a simple game that interacts with, collaborates together, and immerses oneself in the experience. When creating this collaborative work, the artists took the most rudimentary form of interactive games, running. This simple idea of running and catching has been a form of human entertainment even before the onset of technology. For example, physical games like “tag” and animated cartoons such as “Tom and Jerry” revolve around the idea of a runner and a chaser. The entertainment comes from the adventure the runner and chaser experience during their journey as well as the ultimate conclusion that follows the long arduous journey. The participants of “I’d Hide You” get to experience this entire journey alongside the runners.

From the Blast Theory Website

During our History of Design class, as mentioned by our Professor, New Media art contains three aspects that make it unique and stand apart from any other forms of art. Interactivity. Hypermedia. Immersion. Under interactivity, there is also collaboration, which I believe is also very important in the work that I chose by Blast Theory.”I’d Hide You”. There is aspects of Hypermedia in this work but is limited to the interface used by the team in order to communicate with the runners as well as the live streaming cameras used to document the chase.

The interface

The interactivity in “I’d Hide You” can be seen between the runners themselves as well as the audience and the runners. The interaction between the runners refers to the actual game of chase where each person is trying to hide from other runners while simultaneously catching them on camera. The interaction between the runners and audience is documented by the audience watching the live stream and helping the runners. Through this journey, the participants and the runners become collaborators who have created a whole new experience and outcome by dabbling with the different variabilities in the work.

Variability. One of the five Principles of New Media discussed by Lev Manovich. In “I’d Hide You”, variability, is the strongest principle as the integration of multiple human interactions have created a multitude of different end results. Not only is there a man to man interaction but also a man to machine interaction. And technology itself is interacting with the audience as the technology communicates with the “performers”. As the audience inserts themselves in this experience with the use of technology, they themselves have become “performers”.

 

A scene from “I’d Hide You”

This immersion into the experience happens both virtually online as well as physically offline. The physical immersion occurs amongst the runner as they are literally thrust into the outside world to compete. The environment is completely candid as none of the passerby or store owners were told were told of the game. The virtual part of this piece materializes onto the digital screen through the live streaming video. This video is made possible by the camera and LED ring light each runner is equipped with before the start of the game. The runners are also given GPS trackers to constantly locate and update their location online, as well as given a phone that updates them to Intel given by their team members. The runner is constantly holding up the camera for their team members to see, this makes the participants the runner’s new “eyes”. Eventually, the participant immerses himself or herself into the experience and becomes one with the runner. Not only does the participant get to see what the runner sees, but he or she also gets to see it in real time. This real-time immersion can be seen in older works such as Ivan Sutherland’s “Head-Mounted Display” and newer games like “Pokemon Go!”. Real-time immersion makes the experience seem legitimate and consuming.

 

Picture from Blast Theory

“I’d Hide You” is a simplistic and exhilarating game that brings together different people for a fun night together. Using modern technology, the artwork contains both a collaborative interactivity and immersive quality; which allows for a wide range of variability. These are the characteristics and principles that define New Media. Participants follow runners on a tour of the nightlife in the city while playing a rigorous yet digital game of Tag and Hide-and-Go-Seek.

Key Work Selection: I’d Hide You

I’D HIDE YOU by Blast Theory

For my Hyperessay, I chose a new media piece by Portslade-based artists’ group, Blast Theory, renown for their works that mix interactive media, digital broadcasting and live performance. The piece is an interactive, immersive, and collaborative work called, “I’d Hide You”. Linked below is the trailer for Blast Theory’s, “I’d Hide You”.

The basic premise of “I’d Hide You” is that people are equipped with live cameras and are divided into teams in which they play a game of tag around the entire city. The immersion lies in the second layer of the piece, in which these cameras send live footage to the internet; allowing anyone to watch the game as if they themselves were running. The interactivity can be experienced in the final layer of the artwork in which the viewer is now a part of the team, he or she can help the runners and chaser find one another through GPS location by updating the online the location of the other runner’s location.  This interactivity is not only personal but also collaborative. The outcome of this project can be seen in the video below by Blast Theory who summarizes the entire event.

Unlike the other works by Blast Theory, “I’d Hide You” is not a politically or socially stimulating piece meant to impress eager enthusiasts but instead a simple form of interacting with, collaborating together, and immersing oneself in the experience. When creating this collaborative work, the artists took the most rudimentary form of interactive games, filming oneself running. This simple idea of running and catching has been a form of human entertainment even before the onset of technology.  For example, physical games like “tag”  and animated cartoons such as “Tom and Jerry” revolve around the idea of a runner and a chaser. The entertainment comes from the adventure the runner and chaser experience during their journey as well as the ultimate conclusion that follows the long arduous journey. In the case of the participants for I’d Hide You, they get to experience this entire journey alongside the runners.

“For all its apparent simplicity as a player experience, “I’d Hide You” is actually doing something very radical in terms of its relationship with an audience and with space.”

From the Blast Theory Website

During our History of Design class, as mentioned by our Professor, New Media art contains three aspects that make it unique and stand apart from any other forms of art. Interactivity. Hypermedia. Immersion. Under interactivity, there is also collaboration, which I believe is also very important in the work that I chose by Blast Theory.”I’d Hide You”, as mentioned before, contains interaction, collaboration, and immersion. There is Hypermedia in this work, but it is limited to the interface used by the team in order to communicate with the runners as well as the live streaming cameras used to document the chase.

Picture from Blast Theory

The interactivity in “I’d Hide You” can be seen between the runners themselves as well as the audience and the runners. The interaction between the runners refers to the actual game of chase that they are playing where each person is simultaneously trying to hide from other runners while catching them. The interaction between the runners and audience is documented by them watching the live stream and helping the runners either hide or find each other. Through this journey, the participants, runners, and artists all become collaborators who have created a whole new experience and outcome by dabbling with the different variabilities in the work. Variability. One of the five Principles of New Media discussed by Lev Manovich. In “I’d Hide You”, variability, is the strongest principle as the integration of multiple human interactions have created a multitude of different end results. Not only is there a man to man interaction but also a man to machine, or even a machine to man interaction. The audience is also interacting with technology (and vice versa) as they use it as a tool to communicate with the “performers”. But by inserting themselves in this experience with the use of technology, they themselves have become “performers”.

A scene from “I’d Hide You”

This immersion into the experience happens both virtually online as well as physically offline. The physical immersion occurs amongst the runner as they are literally thrust into the outside world to complete this piece. The places they are running around are completely candid with none of the passerby or store owners having been told what was happening prior to the game. The virtual part of this piece materializes onto the digital screen in through the live streaming video. This video is made possible by the camera and LED ring light each runner is equipped with before the start of the game. The runners are also given GPS trackers to constantly locate and update their location online, as well as given a phone that updates them to Intel given by their team members. The runner is constantly holding up the camera for their team members to see, this makes the participants the runner’s new “eyes”. Eventually, the participant immerses himself or herself into the experience and becomes one with the runner. Not only does the participant get to see what the runner sees, but he or she also gets to see it at real time. This real-time immersion can be seen in older works such as Ivan Sutherland’s “Head-Mounted Display” and newer games like “Pokemon Go!”.

The interface

“I’d Hide You” is a simplistic and exhilarating game that brings together different people for a fun night together. Participants follow runners on a tour of the nightlife in the city while playing a rigorous yet digital game of Tag and Hide-and-Go-Seek.

Artist Selection: Blast Theory

Blast Theory

For my Hyperessay, I chose a new media piece by a Portslade-based artists’ group called Blast Theory, renown for their works that mix interactive media, digital broadcasting and live performance. The piece is an interactive, immersive, and collaborative work called, “I’d Hide You”. Linked below is the trailer for Blast Theory’s, “I’d Hide You”.

But who and what is Blast Theory exactly? What is it that they do? Blast Theory is in a sense, a community of pioneering artists creating interactive art pieces to explore social and political questions. Blast Theory does this by letting the audience members to play a vital role in the overall outcome of the production and outcome of the artwork. This way, the audience becomes the artists while the artist becomes the viewer. This makes the exploration of social and political questions a more personal and thought-provoking experience for the audience.

The Artists Behind Blast Theory

Blast Theory was created in 1991 by Matt Adams, Niki Jewett, Will Kittow and Ju Row Farr. And as mentioned before, Blast Theory uses a multitude of media; such as performance, installation, video, and online technology to highlight social and political issues that surround the very media they use. What makes Blast Theory avant-garde is the way they meld scientific technology with collaborative art while still taking a stance on social topics. Some of their other well-known works include- “Can You See Me Now?”, “Uncle Roy All Around You”, “Kidnap”, “Gunman Kill Three”, and “Karen.”

“Kidnap” (1998)
Picture from Blast Theory Website

“Gunman Kill Three” was one of their earliest works and was geared more towards live and performance art. This work and several other early works focused on the club culture to create multimedia performances. Even in their early works interactivity played a key role in the performance. “Kidnap” was one of Blast Theory’s more controversial and risky works due to the issue the piece tackled as well as the method Blast Theory chose to communicate the message with. “Kidnap” is an interactive and immersive experience that gives the participants a genuine “kidnapping” experience (with their prior consent). Blast Theory wanted to underscore the themes of violence, pornography, and politics. In “Can You See Me Now?” and  “Uncle Roy All Around You” are two of their successful multimedia pieces that integrated locative media with mixed reality.

“Can You See Me Now?” (2001)
Picture from Blast Theory Website

What drew me to Blast Theory was their ability to incorporate technology often associated as “anti-art” with social and political issues to create a stimulating an interactive art piece. This idea of mixing and recreating has always been an important value in my life and to see a group of artists express it so beautifully and simply resonated with me. Not only does Blast Theory feel like a source of comfort but also plays a part in inspiring me. Blast Theory stimulates both the audience and themselves. The artists within the group constantly try to challenge themselves with new technology, methods, and issues by pushing themselves to be more innovative and courageous.

In my next post, I will be discussing in more detail the art piece by Blast Theory that I have chosen to analyze for my Hyperessay.

Principles of New Media

Project Dream

       Our final project for Interactive Media is about the human experience of sleep. We chose to recreate and stimulate the stages and experiences of a sleep cycle. Our experience begins with the user entering a dark space with a projector projecting a video with a written story appearing word by word. This situation represents a person the dark room in which people sleep in as well as the dreams dreamt by the person. The dark room also symbolizes how our minds are in a sense a “blank canvas” that our neurons utilizes to paint a picture (or in this case- a dream). As the user gets comfortable in the chair, placing his or her finger on the pulse sensor, the sensor reads their steady heart beat and records it into the computer. Once the heart beat is steady, it triggers the timer that eventually ends with the alarms (rigged to the digital LED clocks surrounding the back wall) going off. As the alarm goes off, this triggers the sound sensors linked to the lights to cause them to flicker and for the video to start glitching. This represents the human struggling to wake up in the morning as the alarm in the outside world rings. The video (dream) is interrupted and the light (morning light seeping into your eyes) are all added to strengthen the experience of the sleep cycle. In order to fully wake up, the user will have to go around the space to turn off all the alarms. Upon doing so, the alarm sound will cease and the lights will continue to stay on; symbolizing that the you have woken up.

       According to Lev Manovich’s report, “What is New Media?”, there are five general tendencies that can be seen in New Media. These tendencies are not mandatory rules and exist on a symbiotic relationship with one another. These five tendencies are Numerical Representation, Modularity, Automation, Variability, and Transcoding. Of the five tendencies, our final project on the human dream experience consists of four tendencies. Numerical Representation, Modularity, Variability, and Transcoding.

       Numerical Representation states that in all new media objects are composed of digital code. This digital code can either formally describe an image or alter algorithms in order to manipulate the image. The process of Numerical Representation takes continuous data and digitizes it into discrete samples that can later be quantified into numbered. In our final project, we use numerical representation in the coding program within Arduino. The code itself is created through a careful compilation of numbers and symbols uploaded onto a system. For example, the heart pulse sensor takes the continuous data of the heart beat and breaks them down to numerical representations as the computer reads and records it. Also the alarms themselves have numbers on them and these numbers serve as an important factor as it triggers the experience. The numerical representation in our project later effects the variability and transcoding aspect of this project.

       Modularity believes that new media projects have the same modular structure throughout the entire object, and that these structures come together without losing their independence. Though the individual components come together to make a functioning whole, these smaller components do not lose their purpose or importance. In a picture, there is subject matter that when separate is still important but together in one image creates a story. Yet, the subject matter is also made of separate elements like color, shape, and size. A color, shape, and size depicted on an image is made up of pixels. New Media can be broken down into smaller and smaller constituents that regardless of their size, do not lose its function. For our project, the smaller components such as the abstract human reactions and interactions with the space, come together to create big picture of an interactive experience.

      Out of the five tendencies, our project does not have automation, as this tendency depends on the operations to continue with little to no human interaction. However, our project as a whole requires human interaction in order to proceed to the next step. We believe that human interact is vital for our experience as this customizes the experience to a personal level. The user and the experience share a more relatable connection with one another. And as the experience revolves around the idea of human dreams, a very intimate sensation, we chose to retain the human interaction.

Yoko Ono “Cut Piece”

       Due to the input of human interaction, our work is susceptible to a high degree of variability. Variability, like the name suggests, states that nothing is permanently fixed and can exist in infinite possibilities. This can be seen in New Media as components can be easily altered or removed, this in turn creates varying versions of the original object. Also, depending on how each person reacts inside the space, creates a different outcome. Whether they chose to turn off the alarm or when their heart rate stabilizes, all creates an outcome different from the previous person’s experience. Variability coincides with Numerical Representation and Modularity as the a change in even one of the numerical representations or components can change the overall outcome of the object.

Jae West, Public Message

       Lastly, our project all contains a hint of Transcoding. Transcoding is the transformation of media into computer data that in turn connects and and influences the culture around it. This relationship can also be seen in reverse, where the culture surrounding the computer can influence the data inputed into the computer and the method of computerization. For our projects case, it is a possibility that because everyone has has their own unique upbringing and habits that their response to loud noise, lights flickering, and the alarm going off will be different for each individual. Also, different people react differently to a dark room, resulting in an increased heart rate rather than a calm and steady recording. Since most of our users will be from Singapore and has assumably been raised in a similar social environment (no major wars or epidemics causing PTSD), there should not be any major variations to the computer data. However, one can never be certain as no two users are alike and can react differently based on the situation.

Before I Die Wall

History of Design: Deconstructivism Presentation Essay

History of Design

Deconstructivism

       Not considered an art movement but a common way of thinking and executing ideas, Deconstructivism begun as late as 1980 but continues to leave an impact on the modern landscape. Deconstructivism proliferated at around the 1980s, after the decline of Anti design and Memphis. Yet, all three of these styles are branches of Post Modernism. Post Modernism is a fragmented art movement that followed after Modernism as a response to the aftermath of the Modernist ideas. Modernism was a period in human history, following the war, where people held utopian ideas of society and encouraged mass production. There was also a serious deficit of ornamentation and a strict adherence to the mantra, “form follows function” and “truth to the material”. In response, Post Modernism rejected industrial processes and critiqued philosophical concepts of universal truths and objective reality. The artists of this time were dissatisfied with the lack of humanity in art. Regardless of their refusal of previous thoughts and movements, Post Modernism is known for incorporating certain characteristics from other existing art movements. For example, Deconstructivism kept the radical irregularity of the Russian Constructivists as well as the lack of ornamentation promoted by Modernism. The artists and designers of this time seemingly blended these two polarized characteristics in a harmonious and fluid way. The decision to retain these specific characteristics relate back to the theory that Deconnstructivist thinking is based upon.

       The theory behind Deconstructivism begins with the Algerian-French philosopher, Jacques Derrida in the 1930s. Jacques Derrida’s theory itself had little to do with the arts and was concocted with the idea of language and semiotics in regards to law and fairness as its central focus. He states in his theory that the true meaning of words comes from the breaking apart and challenging of the physical text of the word and the associations (social, economical, political) held about the word. This is because the meaning of a text is not intrinsic but from the contrast made by the text itself and its associations. Especially, since associations and meanings have a tendency to change over time. Furthermore, by the 1980s, Jacques Derrida’s theory found its way into the budding minds of several artists in time for the Parc de la Villette competition. MOMA’s Deconstructivist Architecture Exhibition in 1988 lead to the proliferation of Deconstructivism and spotlighted several key artists of this methodology. These artists took inspiration from Jacque Derrida’s idea that true meaning was the result of fragmentation, and imploded their subject matter only to reassemble to form either a new or the true meaning. Deconstructivism unlike the previous modernist movement, did not believe in terms such as “form follows function”, “purity of form”, and “truth to materials”; instead the Deconstructivist artists would ask “Why not?” Despite their rejection of Modernist beliefs, Deconstructivist designers would not disregard their subject matters function. Art during this period tended to challenge the conventional with its seemingly haphazard appearance, curved forms, asymmetry, and dissonance with its surroundings.

       Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman, and Bernard Tschumi are some of the more notable artists practicing Deconsntructivism. However, these artists do not like being labeled as “Deconstructivists” and tend to apply these idea to the architectural field. This could be because only buildings with their magnitude and presence, can aptly convey the the Deconstructvist meaning and idea. Some artists like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry did dabble in the field of product design; Zaha Hadid creating a line of deconstructivist shoes and Frank Gehry with furniture design. Another prominent Deconstructivist product designer is AANDERSON, a design company that creates deconstructed products in order to revolutionize the way we use and see the product. Deconstructivism is more commonly seen in buildings.

       Buildings such as Dancing House in Prague, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angles, and Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Cleveland were designed by Frank Gehry. Zaha Hadid’s famous works include the the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Heydar Aliyev Center, and the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany. All these buildings are characterized by there simple elegance yet its unconventional haphazardness appearance. And as previously mentioned before, these artworks evoke a sense of unease and controversy as they are drastically different from the buildings and space surrounding them. For example, the opinions on the jarring disparities between the Deconstructivist Dancing House building and its surrounding Art Noveau style buildings were polarized.

       These controversial desgns were in part due to the advancement in Parametric design, which is the architectural style based off of algorithms with the help of a computer. Parametric design led to the flourishment of Deconstructivism architecture. And though this style developed in the mid-1990s, Parametric design thrived in the early-21st century with the development of advanced parametric design and technology. With the term “Parametricism” coined in 2008 by Patrik Schumacher, an architectural partner of Zaha Hadid. The most identifiable aspects of parametric design is the curving of commonly rectilinear forms and the intricate repetitive designs. The benefit of Parametricism, which relies on a computers to calculate and visualize, is that the computer can calculate every possible factor and possibility. Parametricism also helps to calculate internal movement such as the way a person may travel throughout the building or how long they may spend on one floor. The end product of these algorithms and calculations result in fool-proof, rational scientifically accurate building. Though, some critics state that the reliance of a computer to finalize the design has generated a building that discredits its immediate surroundings and lacks the harmony commonly seen with buildings in an urban landscape. However, this dissonance from its landscape, in my opinion, adds to the goals of Deconstructivism. Emphasizing and extracting meaning and truth is made from the comparison and contrast of the broken up pieces, and in this case, the disparity of the parametric building and its neighbouring buildings or scenery.

       Deconstructivism, a common direction of thought and art, has left its impact on modern architecture and design by introducing to society an unconventional style of building rendering. This unorthodox approach to building design is in part due to the computer aided technology known as parametric design as well as the theories generated by Jacques Derrida. One must ignore the negative connotation associated with the term “Deconstructivism” as Deconstructivism is not about demolition or rebellion but the idea of fragmenting a piece to its simpler components in order to truly understand the whole of its meaning.

Link to Presentation

Untitled Body Storming

Our body storming experience consisted of a whiteboard, the room lights, and the alarm on our phone. We turned off the lights as the participant walked up to the whiteboard. And when she was finally comfortable infant of the whiteboard. The lights would slowly start to flicker and the alarm from our phones would go off. We drew clocks on the whiteboard with a small circle below that represented the switch that turned the alarm off. The audience would wipe away the circle when they wanted to turn off the alarm. Once the participant turns off all the alarms, the lights turn completely on and the alarm sound halts. In the actual installation, we would have a video that started playing when the participant started feeling comfortable in the room but would glitch when the alarm and lights go off.

From this Bodystorming process, my partner and I realized that the instructions may be too vague for the audience to comprehend. Our original plan was to make the instructions vague so that the audience can discover the meaning and experience on their own. Regarding the actual experience itself, we learned that it is going to require a lot of materials such as speakers, projects, clocks, and lights. My partner and I will discuss how to reiterate the instructions so that the audience can step into the room with an umbrella understanding of what to do and why they do it, but not enough information that they enter the experience knowing how it will end.

There were no big surprises during the body storming. Though, the brevity of the experience was an unexpected revelation. As the body storming was only a brief recreation of the experience, we did not expect the participant to have finished it so quickly. I guess this made us realize, that for the audience to fully immerse themselves in the stimulation, we as the creators have to manipulate the variables even more. We also realized that we need to spread out the clocks around the different walls of the room so that the audience can fully utilize the entire space. This reflecting the vast expanse of the human brain and our stream of consciousness

 

 

Bauhaus in the House!

Our final creative response for our History of Design is a piece of work inspired by the Bauhaus school; specifically the ideology set by Wassily Kandinsky. Wassily Kandinsky believed that there was universal connection between basic geometric shapes and colors. Circles should be blue. Squares should be red. Triangles should be yellow. Through a survey taken in class, I discovered that I agree with Kandinsky with the thought process for triangles. Using the connection between color and shape, we were asked to create a piece that ultimately reflects Singaporean culture.

Like Magic

I made two pieces because I could not decide on a part of Singaporean culture to focus on. The first one is titled “Like Magic”. This piece is inspired by a lecture I took for my Integrated Urban Management class. Our professor explained to us that most of the resources in Singapore are either imported and instant, or recycled and reused. The bold and synthetic colors are symbolic of the man-made qualities of Singapore. Thinking back to my lecture, I decided to express the recycled water, imported goods, and instant foliage used in Singapore. Because water is associated with the color blue and circles are often associated with raindrops or ripples, I decided to represent the sudden existence of a water supply. The circles suddenly appear on the blue background, and grow in a short time. For the centerpiece, I chose to express the imported goods using squares and the color red. Squares mirror the shape of the box that goods are imported in or gifts given to one another while the color red is commonly used by business to capture the attention of consumers. The small white boxes are falling in to and out of its original positions inside the big white box. This symbolizes the import and export system in Singapore that can be seen in both a macro (shipping) and micro (shopping) scale. The yellow piece represents the instant foliage in Singapore. According to my professor, most of the original trees and flowers in Singapore are instant trees and flowers brought over from Malaysia. Using the dynamic triangles, I created a floral like pattern that represents the variety of foliage within Singapore. The first flower is smaller and less ornate, but as the flowers go up, the size (in a short span) and details grow. “Like Magic”, Singapore’s resources appeared suddenly and have flourished; from its recycled water to its traded goods to its greenery.

Bauhaus Inspired Work 1

 

A Hawk Eye’s View

My second piece is called “A Hawk Eye’s View”. This artwork in inspired by the bustling Hawker Centers and Food Courts in Singapore. The professor from my Integrated Urban Management class explained to use that other countries also have Hawker Centers and Food Courts but the aspects of the Singaporean Hawker Center and Food Court that makes it unique and “Singaporean” is its integration. Singaporean food courts are one of the only places where people of different religions, dietary preferences, and cultures can come together to cook, sell, and eat. Taking that into consideration I recreated the eagle eye view of Hawker Centers using triangles to represent the bustling and the lively things (the stalls and people), circles to represent dull or subdued things (waiting in line), and squares to represent a key part of Singapore food court culture (choping with a tissue square). As you can see from the piece, those waiting in line are bored circles with a budding triangle inside, and as they get closer to the stall the triangle grows. Once they receive their food and head towards their table, the dull circle disappears and the excited triangle takes over. Red tissues cover the surface of multiple tables, marking each customers. The colors and shapes I utilized for this piece represent the bustling and vibrant atmosphere of the food courts in Singapore. The portrait orientation of this piece reminds me of tapestries hung on the walls of medieval castles in the dinning halls.

Bauhaus Inspired Work 2