INT2 | theory of interactive art

Reference: Paul, Christiane, ed. A Companion to Digital Art. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.


Click Here for link to slides!

Till then,

INT2 | minimalist exhibition, national gallery

As minimalism is a term commonly used in modern days, there is a chance that this term gets misused by us these days. With the minimalism exhibition, it really helps us to understand the whole concept of minimalism and bringing us back to where it all started.

In National Gallery, there were a variety of works on display – ranging from fine arts to interactive art and even sculptures. As it’s an interactive art module field trip, I’ll like to mention a piece of work that caught my eye –

Room for One Colour by Olafur Eliasson.

This is a light installation piece of work which explores the scientific effects of light and colour on our vision. The entire room is illuminated by mono-frequency lamps that suppresses all colours except yellow and black, causing us to see in shades of grey.

It plays with our perception, implementing that our perception is not fixed but changes with our environment, suggesting we can see the world from multiple perspectives.

Such a simple piece of work, yet it has a very deep underlying meaning beneath. I really like this piece as it brings out the minimalism style – by simplifying the variants to bring out the main point. I also like how with the light, it’s able to let us perceive objects in a different light and fun fact, although we see people in grey, if we use our phones, we actually see blue!! It’s a very fun interactive piece to go with friends.

Side note: Eyes will hurt after exiting!!!

Till then,

INT2 | assignment 1

For Assignment 1, the interactive art I’d like to mention about is Cell, by James Alliban and Keiichi Matsuda, done in 2011.

Cell is an interactive installation which questions online identity. It was commissioned by the Alpha-Villa festival for its 2011 event. It was built using Openframeworks. Cell plays with and proposes alternative landscaped in the technological ether surrounding  our everyday movements.

how cell works
In Cell, identities become deliberately constructed and broadcast commodities, It’s projected personae increasingly enmesh and define us.
Cell acts as a virtual mirror, displaying a constructed fictional persona in place of our physical form. It is composed from keyword tags mined from online profiles. Our second selves stalk our movements through space, building in size and density over time. Resulting forms are alternate, technologically refracted manifestations of the body. This reveals the digital aura while allowing us to escape from the identity.
Cell detects whenever anyone enters the room. It assigns each person a random identity and avatar. The keyword tags are originally projected in a cloud on a wall. The tag will begin to attach themselves to your avatar. The tag ranges from a variety of words, e.g. golf buddies, cynical, love kids, hipster. The longer you stay, the more tags you accumulate.
why cell
I think that Cell is an interactive installation which address the current social issues. Today, many people are obsessed with the Internet and the information they post on social media, that they might seem to have a different online personality compared to physical, as they will only want to show the good side of themselves. It is a great example of using art and technology, and it shows explicitly how the usage of technology on a daily basis affects our emotional wellbeing. The exhibition shows a reflection of us towards social media and being exposing our true selves online.

Till then,

INT1 | principles of new media essay

For my short essay, I will be talking about the Principles of New Media in relevance to my Interactive I Installation Project – The Tree. I will referring to the notes mentioned in class, and also the reading from Lev Manovich, “The Language of New Media”.

Numerical Representation

From the reading, I understand that when new media are created from scratch or converted it’s composed of digital codes and are numerical representations.

There are 2 key consequence

  1. Can be described using a mathematical function
  2. Can undergo algorithmic manipulation and media becomes programmable.

It was created on computers and originate in numerical form, but were converted from various forms of old media. Digitization happened when converting continuous data into a numerical representation.

To make the tree function in a certain manner, tons of coding was done to set the movement of the tree. Our project definitely involves numerical representation as we have to key in specific numeric data while coding the movement of the servo motors, specifically the seconds and angle, and also the distance of ultrasonic sensors. Behind that, it involves a literal numerical representation whereby the information we typed on the front of the screen converts into binary data.


It is the fractal structure of new media. New media objects are object-oriented, composed of parts made up of smaller parts reminiscent of a “fractal structure”. It consists of a number of separate objects. It is made from independent parts which retain a measure of autonomy even if embedded in another new media object.

Our Tree Project definitely has modularity, be it physically wise or coding. The tree is made up of many individual branches that comes together to form a whole, which shows the physical modularity. For coding wise, each branch is attached to a servo motor, and we have coded it into a manner where every servo motor moves at a different speed, time and angle, and will not be exactly the same or affects one another.


Numerical coding of media and the modular structure of a media object to allow for automation of many operations involved in media creation, manipulation, and access. Human intentionality can be removed from the creative process.

Our Tree Project definitely am able to run by itself without a user, once it’s being coded in. As it is set on loop, the project will keep on running and emits data when needed, until the power source is gone.

However, there is only a certain level of automation for our project as we do need human interaction to make the project work, else it will be static


A new media object is not something fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions. This means that each time an audience reacts to the interactive art, the output varies. Variability is a consequence of numerical representation and modularity combined and is closely connected to automation.

There is variability for our project as each audience will get a different experience from our interactive art depending on the location that they are standing. We coded our project to react in a different manner when at a different distance away from the tree. Furthermore, 360 degrees around the tree, the branches will react differently depending on which direction/angle the audience is coming from. Therefore, there is variability based on the distance of the audience and tree, and everyone will get a different experience.


It is the reconceptualization which occurs during computerization, the transformation of media into computer data. It creates a composite blend of human and computer meanings. It is also the most substantial consequence of media, which suggests that there are two distinct layer – the cultural layer and the computer layer. Both layers influence each other and are being composited together.

For our tree project, it was the theme ‘interstice’ that made us think of doing up an interactive tree, which signifies our cultural layer, whereby we talk about the interstice between people’s comfort zone with the usage of a non-human.

This influenced our computer layer which was when we started to work on how to make the interactive art work the way we want to and also portraying our message.

In conclusion, I believe that my group’s project does consist of the 5 principles of new media and I can’t wait to see it in full action! Now it’s time for me to go back to coding it to make it work!!

Till then,

HOD | hyperessay – utsuroi iroha by kanazawa mayuko


For my hyperessay, I chose Kanazawa Mayuko, a Japanese artist whom works were recently exhibited at Singapore Arts Museum’s (SAM) Imaginarium 2018 – Into the space of time. I selected her artwork which was recently exhibited at SAM, Utsuroi Iroha. Utsuroi Iroha is an artwork of seasons and time which invites their audience to participate and be a part of the artwork. Her work is relevant to our previous studies of multimedia concepts and paradigms, but I will be focusing on the topic – Interactivity in my Hyperessay.


Utsuroi Iroha is interactive in the manner that the audience stands at a marked spot and does a certain action. From that action, the visual display changes, alongside incorporating the audience itself inside the display. Image recognition sensors weaves the audience into the artwork. Below is a video that I took of my friend when we went to visit the exhibit.


Based on Norbert Wiener’s, “Cybernetics in History”, Utsuroi Iroha ties in with the concepts and forms mentioned about interactivity. In cybernetics, specifics acts of communication and transfer of information between the observer and the machine are being looked at. The principles of cybernetics are applied in Utsuroi Iroha, as the act of communication is via actions and touch, and the information is being transferred when the audience sends a message to the image recognition sensor and it responds back by changing the visuals seen on screen.

Image taken from

Based on Roy Ascott’s “Behavioural Art and the Cybernetic Vision”, he mentioned the concept of behavioural art – which draws its characteristics of flux, change, indeterminancy from the confluence of cybernetics and new interactive forms. Utsuroi Iroha is behavioural in nature, as they are responsive to the audience, not fixed, and will change from moment to moment. The audience is no longer passive, but is a protagonist who can help determine or shape the outcome of a work. Feedback is negotiated between the audience and the machine, and is integral to the relationship. In the situation of Utsuroi Iraha, this concept is carried out, where the audience help deteremine the outcome of the work by having their image being placed on the artwork. This varies as every audience do not do the same action or have the same outlook.


A huge reference of artists’ work we learnt in class with regards to Interactivity is Robert Rauschenberg’s Soundings. The end product of his artwork varies as there are always different vocal sounds being transmitted and it affects the lights activated. It was through his interactive media work where the audience starts to take on a more interactive role rather than being a passive recipient.

Image taken from
Image taken from

Soundings is similar to Utsuroi Iroha in a manner that audience plays an interactive role in the interactive media work, and the work varies according to the audience. However, a difference is that Soundings is better shown when a group of audience is present, but if a single person is there, it works fine too. But, Utsuroi Iroha does not have the capacity for a large group, and the maximum audience per seasonal timepiece is 4. Any more than that, the image recognition sensor will be unable to detect. Furthermore, Soundings enables audience to be positioned anywhere near the work, but Utsuroi Iroha needs the audience to be positioned at a marked spot for the convenience of the image recognition sensor. Therefore, both artworks are similar in concept of interactivity but when it comes to execution, there are differences.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Similar artworks many Singaporeans are familiar with are works from TeamLab. Also from Japan, they are famous for interactive art with the usage of technology, and are exhibited on many museums and festivals within Singapore. A recent work that I visited from TeamLab is an exhibit they have at National Museum of Singapore, whereby sensors are being placed to sense audience’s movements and the work reacting to it in a unique manner.

(jump to 1:19 to see the Utsuroi Iroha exhibition at SAM),
credits to Amee on Youtube,


Utsuroi Iroha relied a lot on software technology where she played with motion graphics and having hardware (imagery sensors) be placed to detect images and concurrently, placing it in her artwork. There is a huge combination of art and technology used, and without technology, the work will not be able to work successfully and just turn out passive.


Kanazawa Mayuko’s Utsuroi Iroha did not demonstrate much collaboration as most of her work deals with technology, and is not performance art, but interactive art. The closest collaboration she has is with engineers and technicians on the technological aspect. However, there is collaboration within her targeted audience, as if there is no human interaction, the artwork is pretty empty, as the main focus only appears when human interaction is present.

Image taken from×579.jpg

In conclusion, Kanazawa Mayuko’s Utsuroi Iroha is a successful interactive media art with a strong concept of interactivity. It is a good combination of art and technology and with the evolution of new media, interactive artwork will create an even longer history as more artists are coming up with ideas to combine art and technology.


Roy Ascott, “Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision”, Randall Packer and Ken Jordan (ed): Multimedia. From Wagner to Virtual Reality New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company 2002.

Norbert Wiener, “Cybernetics in History,” 1954, Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality

金澤麻由子 KANAZAWA MAYUKO » Blog Archive » PROFILE-English- -. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Utsuroi Iroha – Mayuko Kanazawa – Google Arts & Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Mayuko Kanazawa | Utsuroi Iroha (2014). (n.d.). Retrieved from

Imaginarium 2018 – Into The Space of Time: Explorations In Contemporary Art At Singapore Art Museum