Assignment 2 – The Oceanic Exhibition Report

Sound performance by Tarek Atoui

About Tarek Atoui

Tarek Atoui (Lebanon/France) is a sound artist and electroacoustic composer, known for his inventive instruments through complex engineering. He custom-builds his electronics and setup for his performances, truly utilising technology as a form of his identity and expression. Atoui’s projects often revolve around educational, social themes and extends into the history of music and instrumentation.

In one of his most notable works – Infinite Ear/WITHIN, he explored the different ways in which the deaf can perceive sound, and how they can also influence our understanding of sound art.

The Performance

In collaboration with TBA21-Academy and as a part of The Current Convening #3: Tabu/Tapu and The Oceanic, Tarek Atoui performed a sound piece exploring the human interventions in oceanic ecospheres. The piece lasted for almost an hour, consisting of many harbour and underwater sound recordings and electronically synthesized disturbances. While it was not stated for this piece, Atoui’s performances are usually improvised for the most part.

His performance began with a low rhythmic beat, with subtle tones. As the piece progresses, there was the addition of metal clinking, the sound of machines turning, engines and digitized sound effects. There was a gradual increase in volume towards the middle, although the piece fluctuated between being dominantly soothing and chaotic.

Atoui’s brand of sound art is also characterised by his manic bodily movements during the performance, as he switches between his electronic controllers and computers. Some of these movements include dramatic pushing of pressure triggers and turning of large imaginary knobs above his electronics which triggered real responses in sounds. His bodily movements follow closely the flow of his improvised piece, ranging from rigid, sudden movements for loud machinery sounds, to smooth dynamic movements for environmental sounds.

Considering Atoui’s fascination with history and electronics, I believe this piece plays an important role in bringing his audience on an audio voyage through the evolution of our global oceans. His piece consists of natural recordings build on by the addition of contrasting synthetic sound effects and disturbances, suggesting the correlation between environmental degeneration and human industrial creation. Atoui’s composition of the natural and synthetic suggests a range of ideas as to what these disturbances might be and whom they may have affected: remote communities, traditional tribes (refer to audio recording 8), warship radar and nuclear tests (audio recording 7), and the extraction of natural resources.

Link to audio recordings & videos:

Link to group presentation with Xin Feng & Tiffany:–JBJNSLWY1P6c3689JvpfOLLA/edit?usp=sharing


Assignment 1 – Resume + Bio

1. Resume
2. Bio + Recent Work
3. Work that inspires youBio

Joan is currently majoring in Interactive Media in Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Media & Design (ADM). She graduated from Serangoon Junior College previously, where she was trained mainly in the traditional art mediums. In 2017, she worked as a programmer intern for Multimedia People, where she designed interfaces for Gardens By The Bay and the IRAS Gallery.

She is passionate about bringing attention towards environmental issues and creating works to help people get closer to and appreciate mother nature. She finds comfort and inspiration in nature and has incorporate many of these elements into her past works, such as interactive plants, animal documentation and weather simulators.

She strongly believes that visual arts and interactivity play crucial roles in today’s media and marketing, and its power to change perceptions. In her future projects, she also hopes to inject the element of fun into the interactive learning experiences of people of all ages.

Recent Work


UFO (Universal Forecast Object) is an expandable mood umbrella, fitted with real-time temperature and weather display. Our umbrella is shaped like a cloud and covered with waterproof nylon fabric. It changes colour based on the temperature of the user’s hands and expands outwards based on the strength of the user’s grip around the handle. This feature serves as a functional purpose, especially on stormy days where the coverage can be increased with just a tighter grip.

Through this product, we hope to provide people indoors with immediate weather information based on their location, and to better prepare them for their journey outdoors.

Graffiti Nature

teamLab, 2016 – present, Interactive Digital Installation
One of the five interactive projects on display at the ArtScience Museum’s Future World: Where Art Meets Science


“Graffiti Nature is an artwork that is completely created by the visitors. The ecosystem of flora and fauna expands when visitors draw and colour in more animals and flowers, and butterflies grow and increase where the flowers are. If the animals sense you, they run away. Stand still and flowers will blossom around you. Walk around and the flowers will scatter. Search for your animals, and whilst making the flowers bloom, explore the Future World that everyone has created,” said Mr Toshiyuki Inoko, founder of teamLab.

This work resonates with me as it presents a dream-like reality where humanity and nature co-exists in a harmonious manner. Its immense scale and aesthetic qualities allow a part of the museum to be transformed into an immersive world of digital animals, with designs and patterns created by the visitors themselves. While it attracts audience of all ages, it primarily targets children, providing them with an enriching learning experience and to let their imagination run wild.


Exercise #1: Under the Wraps

Under the Wraps

Life-sized burrito, made with felt, paper and foil
Location: Open spaces in ADM
by Joan Li and Tiffany Anne

An interactive installation that wraps two individuals within a close intimate space. It aims to stimulate various kinds of human interaction between two unsuspecting persons.


We had two initial ideas surrounding the theme for this exercise – Be Part of The Art:

1. Hanging clothes
Setting up clothes lines along corridors or walkways around ADM, and invite students (or anyone else) to participate by clipping the top of their clothes to the line. Much like our laundry at home, several people can be attached to the line in a manner where they cannot undo their clothes pegs without the help of passersby or other ‘laundry’. We were interested to see how participants would react when put under such situations – Will they start socializing? Will it be awkward? Or will they try their best to wriggle themselves free?

2. People as food
Our second idea was the perceive people as individual food/ingredient, and place them together to create a dish. Based on the colors that the participants are wearing, they can play the roles of different foods – for example, red tomato on a sandwich, green lettuce in a burrito or yellow cheese in a taco!

We decided to embark on our second idea and create a life-sized burrito large enough to wrap two individuals together within an intimate space. As burritos are often brightly colored and associated with warmth and blankets (“blanket burrito”), we felt that it was appropriate and would encourage positive human interaction between the participants.


Photo Gallery

Some responses & behaviours of participants

1. “It feels strangely intimate to be wrapped inside a burrito with him.”

2. Casual talking between close friends, no signs of awkwardness

3. Awkwardness

4. Signs of teamwork – trying to move around as a pair/trio


For the tortilla wrap, we sourced some brown paper from the drawing room and used chalk, charcoal and color pencils to create the toasted texture.

For the ingredients inside, we bought some colored felt cloth from Daiso and painted some materials that we found in the IM lab. We made a slice of tomato, vegan cheese and several pieces of lettuce as props

Finally, we packaged our burrito by wrapping its bottom section with aluminum foil.

Done! It’s a wrap 😉