All posts by Jaysee

Art Student who dreams BIG, thinks BIG, does BIG and looks BIG. Does mostly mechanical and electronic installation. Always has an open mind for collaboration!

Reading: The Third Space

When reading this article, to test the essence of this subject, I actually asked my friend who happens to be Dean’s list computer science student, to read this. At the end of it, he just replied, “So the 3rd Space is about servers where we are able to interconnect and exchange data’. Wow… He sounded so convincing, as an engineer which I appreciate but couldn’t be bothered. Now let’s look at this article as an artist.

The third space is something that is constantly connected; connecting the physical world to the virtual world. Perhaps, social media makes this term prominent. The idea of you physically existing to create a virtual identify that leads to the interaction from simultaneous users might be the closest to this matrix.

In my opinion, I am afraid I don’t have much to say about this article not because I agree with it and am actually into this idea but the 3rd space is something that is so complex that I will have to compare it the physical world. To think about it, the only sense organs that will not be useful in this environment is the skin and the nose- touch and smell. But when it comes to communication, the use of touch or smell does not play too significant a part to have caused a detrimental flaw in this mode of communication that is the creation of the 3rd dimension.

However, I would like to take this comparison towards a more mathematical approach since one of my keen interest is in mathematics. The mathematical ‘Euclidean Space’ theory. The theory states that the Euclidean Space is made up of two colliding planes from two different dimensions such that they interlay to create the 3rd dimensions. Today, this space is used to define Cartesian coordinates and analytic geometry. Nevertheless the characteristics are so very similar, in my opinion, as the 3rd space described in to the article. Elements such as Euclidean group that preserves the environment and the use of isometrics to balance the input reminds me of the social media platforms and its participants respectively.  In the weeks to come, I will explain in more details through comparisons of the project we will do.



Micro-project: Pirate Broadcast

Part I

The video is of me broadcasting  environment to the world but in my perspective, that is through my voice, facial expressions and voice tones.

The basis of this is to give you a glimpse of my life without feeding you too much of the scenes. I want the audiences to follow me and to use their creative side to imagine what I describe.

The only problem is that I went abit off in timing but I think I would have not enjoyed the process or understood certain aspects such as movement and expression if it were shorter. So I apologize for making it more than 4 minutes but I hope you would enjoy watching it as much as I have enjoyed recording this!

Part II

I downloaded the Periscope Application and started the second part of this micro-project. I must confess that this was something I just noticed only a few minutes from the filming of Part I. So this was pretty much spontaneous but was definitely from the heart. I talked about issues of heritage in Singapore. That’s why I titled it ” Nothing is ever old or heritage in Singapore’.



It was my very first live broadcast though no one was there to view it. Doesn’t matter to me cause everything has to start somewhere. Just felt that I am no longer hesitate to take a video or broadcast anything, anywhere. Something that I previously didn’t have too much and was very skeptical to the whole concept.  Felt proud of myself.

PS: I just had to create my first Twitter account!!!

Research Critique: Bold3RRR by Jon Cates

So after pestering my friend to watch this render by Jon Cates with me, she came up with a conclusion just past 15 minutes. The conclusion was simple: it was were weird and she couldn’t understand how this was art. She had more questions to laid out to me about this video in the next 5 minutes than a SAT exam. She was clueless and I could understand why.

Basically, this video is about Jon Cates who decides to sit infront of his desktop and do what he does, perhaps, everyday. But the difference is that he would be be doing in in front of a audience and it would have effects of  what we call ‘white noise’ in between. To some, it would be painful experience if you are not used to hearing it over 5 minutes. The remixing and blending would sound gross and mucky. It definitely is far from the conventional methods of what we would interpret as a well documented everyday life perspective.

However, let’s not underestimate what is being done here. Sitting in front of his desktop and showing us glimpses of what he is doing on his computer is definitely not the main content. The content is the linkage to it being live. If we think about this, how many of us are able to do live remixing, blending or any one of the techniques that he is doing as we stream it live? Live streaming with different techniques is not easy when we start to do it ourselves. On one hand, we need to make the techniques work while on the other hand we need to make sense of these techniques.

So I have explained what makes it different. There’s more to this that makes it notable. Today when we Skype with someone on the computer, we see the picture and sound clearly yet we are complaining about the delay ( because of speed) and the resolution blah blah blah. Actually we are seeing the perfect image yet its not perfect for us. But if we really dig into the process behind this, we realize that through the networks that we are connected and linked, we are actually getting good images and are even secured. In actual fact, the structure of the network is so complex that every bit of an image gets spilt and travels to different points around the world and gets back its destination in one piece. That is so complex yet it seems like with technological advancement, we don’t seem to appreciate this.

So when I look at Cate’s live project, it reminds me of the completeness and greed of technology. The people who tend to complain for more are mostly the people who have never experienced less. Remember loading a picture with dial up?  More over, we used to have lots of glitches and life was still fine and I think that’s what Cates is trying to mainly bring out.

The white noise is one of the factors that we constantly hear together with the distortion of image. To us, these glitches are problems but they will constantly be present – just in a different form. And that form is something that Cates uses to his advantage to make it an art and convey what I supposedly think is his motive – imperfection creates the perfection in you ( the reflection ).

“Chicago has been a hub for the glitch art movement for years, even before glitch art became a term. Electronic and noise music, the punk rock scene, as well as improv jazz circles, all helped influence the artistic subgenre. The spirit of sharing digital media and the network of DIY art galleries in Chicago also played a part… Influential glitch artists have emerged from Chicago and onto the international scene. One of them, Jon Cates, coined the term Chicago Dirty New Media, a catch-all term that describes how digital tech can elevate an experience. Even if a glitch artist doesn’t physically hail from the Windy City, she might attribute her style to Chicago’s Dirty New Media.” – Inside The Bizarre Phenomenon Known As “Glitch Art” – Tina Amirtha (2014)

This piece reminds of another art installation that I came across 2 semesters back while doing a communication module at NTU. IT was called Memoir by Andrea Kleine and collaborated with Bobby Previte.

The difference is that this is a live performance to re-enact an old performance the actors did that was recorded on tape 10 years back( it was quite old scenes that were re-enacted) but the re-enactment was scripted but was done by recalling their memories from that performance.

Both these performances ( Jon Cates and Andrea Kleine) touch on the topic of communication through isolation. Nothing is constant and things are also changing ( the beauty of live networked streaming). Remote communication here is the essence towards networked live streaming.

Hence, to sum up my long review, this installation has so many elements to explore. Communication through isolation, glitch art etc. So much so that I had to rumble at times to make my point seem comprehensive ( Sorry about that) . I didn’t like it at first but when it started having loops, I realized that there was more to it than what we see. Perhaps, when I have time, I will be able to write a more structured and well organized essay on this. Its worth my time!

Camera Opera

The camera becomes the protagonist! Fantastic inversion in the role played between the camera and the broadcaster. Though the music could have been more dramatic, I think the overall performance was great. It is indeed a different way of looking at broadcast – an alternative theatre. But once again, when we reflect back onto our watching habits these days through social websites and video streaming channels, it is nothing new. Reality Television would not seem so real if the camera did not play its part. Its the way the angle of capture is taken, the way the camera walks with the character that gives us some form of excitement and interests us.

In my opinion, the way that the camera moves, angles itself and perhaps even ‘reacts’ creates the real-life and Point of View feel, as though we are the person. However, this installation makes us realize the impact it has on us. The curiosity factor. The same reason why we go ‘gaga’ over 3D and 4k resolution videos/movies. The experience of having to feel connected to the flat images that we are coming out of our ‘screen’ , to stimulate as close as possible the world behind those screens into our world – to connect with the images that are going through our mind that will eventually be our memories.

Perhaps, its the experience factor that we bank into our memory tank that we want to not just think about but feel. Hence, our perception is not only visual but gesticulative. I mean if movies like ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’ can hit box office even with the terrible content they have, there has to be something more! This of course my take…..


This is one impressive project that I came across. Basically, its communication with light sequences around you and giving them a meaning to it. So it actually it how people try to send messages and narrate stories within this social community using morse code. But the morse code is interpreted  by the the light sequences that you come across their city. I actually downloaded and played with the app with my friend for a while. Its quite interesting to see what they have, especially to hear the stories of others from all walks of life and everywhere around the world.

Though I haven’t really explored much with this application I am already truly impressed with this. I think overall, the feel of an incomprehensive or even random narration relating to you is something that I think from a subconscious level  we are practising but we don’t realize it. An example would be the fashion industry. Fan pages on Facebook are filled with comments on how her perfume or her dress tells us how she feels and its all done through the snap of a photo and posting it on social media. How are people able to narrate a story just of their celebrity by the snap of their dresses for the week etc is amazing. Yet it sounds unusual for us to narrate a story using our surrounding. Perhaps, I am overthinking this.

But overall, I think this project , in my opinion, is a social community that wants to find a relationship between themselves and the environment. How small things can convey such a big story…. Love this!

Research Critique: Ken Goldberg’s TeleGarden

“ This installation was developed at the University of Southern California in 1995 under the co-direction of Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana. In 1996 the Telegarden was moved to the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria, where it remained online until August of 2004 [12, 27]. The garden itself is a small plot encircling an industrial robotic arm. A web-based interface allows users to activate the robotic arm, view the garden through a camera mounted on the robotic arm, change the view, plant a seed, water it, and (if one is a successful gardener) water the resulting plant on an on-going basis. Many thousands of remote users have interacted with the Telegarden in such ways.”

Extracted from 2005 IEE International Workshop on Robots and Human Interactive Communication

So this installation seems like a simple project with a robotic arm, which might be the most impressive part. However, after reading through their use of investigation, data collection and coding for interaction, I wouldn’t use the word ‘simple’ too loosely . The 13 weeks they used to consolidate 22 952 posts before it was relocated from Untied States to Austria. The whole model for relationship was based on the previous project by Friedman, Kahm and Hagman who analysing the relationship between humans and Sony’s AIBO robotic dog. The methods for developing systems of interpretation were based largely from the developmental psychology for coding qualitative interview data (P.H Kahn Jr, 1999). Hence if a post included several instances of  a single category, that category was coded as used only once, thus accounting for the expression varying in a range of topics and attitudes within one statement (P.H.Kahn Jr, B.Friedman, 2005).

So what are my thoughts about this? The mediated and telerobotic interaction that goes from vitality to time-based reality ( 3 months in short). The point is to create a ecological relationship through interconnected infrastructures, between our natural environment and users of the ‘unnatural’ world ( I think the term ‘unnatural’ is awesome in this context ). Beyond the virtual (cold environment)  to physical (warm environment) interaction, there is a form of attachment  that creates for users to make sure they water or plant the environment with new seeds etc. I think achieving this attachment as humanly as possible is an achievement itself. It does engage participants toward a betterment of a purpose. Imagine the thousands of facebook users who play the virtual community garden virtual games having a real garden in the process that blossoms as the game progresses.

However, lets be critical about one thing. Interaction. Ken Goldberg wanted to play with the juxtaposition of having a robot do the last thing you could imagine or want a robot to do, which I think he did perfectly. But we beg the question of whether we trying to share some light on how we are able to connect to our environment even behind our keyboard and screens? If yes, it does sound so enriching and positive. But at what cause? Does it sound natural or we trying to redefine what is natural? Have we grown to be so pre-occupied with the world we have created around us that we cannot appreciate the small yet development process of planting? Thus, as an art form, this sounds superb of virtual to ecological systems. But from what I read, people are serious in making this a scientific study that will bridge the gap between the ‘absented’ human and its surroundings. If so, we are at a hopeless end of trying to create the world just for ourselves that things like plants and other living things are perhaps no longer worthy of our physical affection and presence. Imagine nursing a loved one in coma, retrieving him from his critical stage through a recorded voice of yourself everyday and when he finally recovers from his unconscious state to realize it was a recording and not a real person speaking to him and making him come to live, he might not mind it but the recording only serves as a treatment not a test of the relationship you have with your loved ones. Interaction is the word cause through interaction are things like dedication, trust and importantly love can be felt- true love that is, not the ones that cyber criminals imitate and deceive  against 16 year old teenage girls. Hence, this is a worrying question. Have we become so cold that we are trying to find ways to balance the socio-ecological environment as we sit behind our (cyber)gated community? Don’t let me get started with the potential commercialization of this that will counteract the efforts of the primary meaning of this installation.


Overall, I think we should leave it as an art form that just tells us that is possible and that we are at the attempt of emerging a cold environment like the web into a warm environment like the ecology that keeps us alive. Its fine the way it is. Some things don’t need to improve or progress- they are good the way they are and best kept as such.


Research Critique: Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin’s ‘The Listening Post’

The Listening Post by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin is basically a interactivity broadcasting installation that allows you to see a glimpse of the forums and discussions that occur ‘independently’ in the internet. A Short Summary is as followed:

“Listening Post is a ‘dynamic portrait’ of online communication, displaying uncensored fragments of text, sampled in real-time, from public internet chatrooms and bulletin boards. Artists Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin have divided their work into seven separate ‘scenes’ akin to movements in a symphony. Each scene has its own ‘internal logic’, sifting, filtering and ordering the text fragments in different ways.

By pulling text quotes from thousands of unwitting contributors’ postings, Listening Post allows you to experience an extraordinary snapshot of the internet and gain a great sense of the humanity behind the data. The artwork is world renowned as a masterpiece of electronic and contemporary art and a monument to the ways we find to connect with each other and express our identities online.”

By Science Museum, London

These descriptions would all look wonderful in theory but of course they don’t seem to be able to give light about the experience that participants would be facing. We must remember that an interactive installation will never be complete in paper unless we experience the situation or get involved – that is why they call it interactive. Hence, to perhaps give much more feel into this installation, I have attached an article written by Megan Gordon-Gilmore. The article not only explains the installation piece but includes description of the the situation and the environment. The author also does bring some perspective with regard to this installation being an art form.


Do read if you are interested but definitely, don’t stop here. I have my own input which is followed.

Overall, I think the project when it started in 2000, had so much meaning and context such that it seemed like a warning about the future – the future we are currently in. However, the dedicated meaning or the intend that the project was based on, might have been lost along the line of classification and data-sorting, especially when we want to categorise this as an art form. Hence, I shall go through this in great detail as I write on.

The Warnings

“Our early writing on the piece talked about a ‘global conversation’ and now that seems to be happening more broadly on Twitter and other social media, not IRC” (Hansen, 2014)

Hansen was right! The broadcasting medium expanded exponentially over the years and their project proposal and installation became something that was foreseeing this. However, the terms were no longer text. The whole idea of text based information was interpreted as text itself and that created the system that made it possible for them to sort out and filter these text for broadcasting. Hence, on their first curtain call, there were people who wrote things like ‘ I am 18’ and then eventually when it ‘webbed’ itself to the interne, there were things that made sense yet did not make sense. This seems okay when you are dealing with forums and discussions those days. But times have changed and text is no longer text in the context of art. Text is a symbolic expression of our feelings, thoughts and overlapping context. So what’s the difference between the past and the present when they are all text? Randomness. The randomness is not the same with the text that were spilt out during the curtain call of the installation. But the randomness is a burst of expression, call for activism etc. It is like its medium- a social too within another social tool. An article that I was reading by Bernard Enjoiras on Transcending Participatory Divides (2012) examines using web text data analysis from on social media re-affirms or transcend socioeconomic divides in terms of cyber participation – which means that there are aspects that make things complicated just by the sorting out of text. An example would be the use of emojis and sequenced gif images to construct within a text based environment to convey their message. Like the internet, the social interaction aspect of the ‘global conversation’ has expanded to include non-text elements together with text elements to create expressions. That’s what I meant by complicated.

Hence, for the group to be able to use the same project even in 2013, with a few tweets, to me becomes nothing more than an outdated installation cause the actual meaning and perhaps message is lost. But in 2000, when the project first started, it sent out a powerful message – someone can be watching and someone is. If it were myself, I would be scared to put an input cause there is a system out there, back then, that is already able to retrieve information about what you say. Just that in this installation, it was filtered to create a sort of visual sensation. Today, we are at debating about censorship and how National Security Agencies are spying on us. Well, don’t say they didn’t warn you. Its just that we were too overwhelmed by the presence of the internet.

An Art Piece?

The question is this is visually an art piece even with voice modulation and text layering via Max/MSP ( which is an awesome yet slightly expensive software) ?

“The artists used a principle called Minimum Description Length (MDL) to cluster possible topics. MDL says the best model provides the shortest description of a given set of data while still capturing the important features evident in the data” (Hansen & Yu, 2001)

Many a times, we associate art as thinking out of the box and it seems like this installation is befitting of such definition. But it goes through this regime of sorting and filtering – in such a system. Its like putting rules and regulation for different forms of art when art is a form of expression. How can you restrict expression? If you did filter expression, does it truly represent the system in the internet. Making cognitive sense might be part of the project’s for people to better understand what is happening, which I can sympathize with them. But in the name of making it an interactive installation, a system that filters these information on a text base syntax, makes it directed – which is no longer an interactive anymore. Hence, if they could either randomize or create a system that does not filter it based on text syntax but rather loop syntax might be able to make more sense


I might sound like I am pinning this down but honestly, I am not. I think this is still a great installation but that needs to perhaps redefine what makes this an art installation within the context of the 2010s and its message.