4D – Final Project


Murmurs is a project about displacing sound from it’s original location and to show a form of surveillance through sound.

While the feedback we have garnered through the session was mild, one important note was that the negative gossip could be traced back to the source if listened intently. Therefore we have figured to raise the pitch or lower the pitch at intervals to avoid this.

Overall I think the project is very interesting. But adding more listening points would defeat it’s purpose. Therefore maybe a more ubiquitous signifier, like a telephone booth would be more effective.

Enjoyed this as I enjoy the exploration of private and personal spaces and what constitute privacy concerns and ethics. Hope to do more in the future.

4D – Surveillance Art

Jill Magid – Evidence Locker


Magid chronicled a month spent in Liverpool, during which time she was in close communication with the operators of the citywide CCTV system. She carefully choreographed and edited actions in public places that were thereby initially filmed by the police cameras. Identifying herself by a bright red raincoat, she would call the police with her location and ask them to film her—in one case, going so far as to blindfold herself and ask the officers to guide her through the streets. “At 1 PM I called you, Can you see me? I am by the horse sculpture. ‘Are you wearing your red coat?’ Yes. ‘I got you…’” Eventually, she submitted a total of 31 official legal requests to retrieve each day’s footage and then composed them as dreamlike diary entries and candid love letters available by email subscription on the project’s microsite.

We are interested in the idea of surveillance and the exploration of the concept of “Big Brother”. The idea that Big Brother is always watching helps to generate interest that there is always a person watching you so you better behave.

While there are legal issues on Surveillance Art, it does prove the point on how people are more likely to behave when they think they are being watched.

The next inspiration I had is not really an artwork, but reality show, where they have a mini-game segment on “reading” or insulting. Our proposed object has the idea of giving out insults to participants. The ones on the receiving end however, area not taking themselves too seriously so all is good after a day of insults.

4D – The Semi-Autobiographical Life of Mary Aw Yong


Art Science Museum Visit

Corrine Mauriad FAKE|REAL ME Lightbox Photograph


The initial impression of the work would be that it would be about Asian beauty stereotypes. I think it leaves a curious taste in the viewers palette as South Korea is known for its plastic surgery. I think the artist is curious about the beauty standards. While these 3 women are inherently different from one another, they have chosen a common beauty denominator to look a like. I think the first reaction to see through this was that the three women had different facial shapes, something that people who go through plastic surgery would commonly not alter and it reflects back to the Korean Wave that had hit internationally with the celebrities looking alike. The use of lightbox photography was a clever medium. It highlights the “perfect” look like an illuminated wanted poster.

I think after reading the text, it didn’t sway me much as it was very similar to what I had thought initially. I think that those who had prior knowledge about the culture in S. Korea would get this work immediately, but those who did not would require text to assist. Overall, I think it didn’t require as much resolution in the communication.

Jaemin Park When We All Live to 150 Mixed Media Installation

I think when I first saw the work, I thought it was just a family tree to depict genealogy. I did not associate it with lifespan or about old age until I saw the secondary images and read more about the work. I thought it had a tongue in cheek quality and a parody of genes. This was due to the common usage of Family Trees to depict genes and heredity. This was a creative use of multiple mediums from photography to a large format poster to a small booklet to augment the idea of a brochure to a longer lifespan.

After understanding the work, it did not relate to my initial perception of the work. This was because the work was in fact an imagination of the world if the life expectancy would be moved to 150. I think this might be a challenge to resolve. It could be a curatorial issue. I might present the photographs first before the family tree and brochure.

The Pre-Seminar Questions

Dialog by Zul Mahmod

Zul Mahmod creates and codes a timely sequence of solenoids hitting on copper pipes of different length and thickness to create a sound. Being a site specific installation, Zul confronts the audience in a long underground passageway towards the Esplanade. The audience is then confront on their midway journey by the sound they hear from the artworks while on a visual escapade with the visible artwork itself.

I feel that the work takes advantage of it’s site, where the potential audience are just transiting from a point to another, and using the sound to surprise the audience on their transit. While the intention of the artwork is very intriguing, and the visual aesthetics of the complex pipeline is pleasing, the artwork seems to be weak in perpetrating the audience to confront the artist’s intention between sight and sound.

Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order – TeamLAB

The work is an interactive art during the Singapore Biennale 2013. The viewer is to enter a room where it is faced with multiple holograms of feudal Japanese musicians. The viewer’s movements would trigger the music by these holograms to stop and due to the capacity of viewers, it starts to trigger a cacophony. However, this chaos is soon harmonious after awhile should the viewer stay still or leave.

The work is abstracted from the Awa Dance Festival in Japan . It contextualised contemporarily by noting to help viewers feel that they are part of the installation and that they can feel peace without order. As in the festival, individual musicians would play in their own rhythm but subconsciously matches to other groups as they congregate in the town. Unfortunately, the work fails by perpetuating a set of rules to allow the artwork to reach consonance again.

The Seminar Questions!

What is sound?

I suppose upon reading Neuhaus’ article, sound itself is movement of waves in the air which becomes audible to an individual. Sound when composed in a lyrical sense would be contextualised as “music”, which with the workings of time signatures and proper rhythmic structure and symmetry bar structures would also be known as “a different way to tell time”. Sound art in its entirety form a different category on it’s own. It separates itself from music, losing most of it’s integral rules and constructs itself into anything that could make sound, or not, that is placed into the context of fine art.

How has it been use in culture and society?

The idea of sound has also been used culturally with phonographs to record and convey messages across time and space. The act of recording on a phonograph presents the idea of the background or surface noise, which Adorno relates the phenomenon to cinematic use known as “hear-strip”, the buzzing sound during the film recording of silence. DeMarinis’ article further states that as time goes, popular music begins to fill the void of silence with sound in fear of confronting it.

Likewise, various traditional cultures have continued the idea of “background noise”, such as in Carnatic Indian music, the tambura is used to generate a drone, a continuous base that carries the traditional art form through silences and movements. The Western classical equivalent would be the bass line which most famously, the Alberti bass would represent.

What makes it an art?

Sound art under the context of “fine art” transcends the notion of craftsmanship and ventures into an abstracted territory. As Neuhaus states that most of the time, sound art is not necessarily about sound, or about art itself. The comparison of creating a steel sculpture that generates sound, that is repurposed as sound art would only mean that any work of art producing a sound would be generalised as sound art.

While definitions are not entirely necessary, Neuhaus corrects the reader by informing that works of art that makes sound are mostly considered as “sound art” as a secondary label. Therefore, making it “an art” through association with it’s original intent.

How does advancement in audio technology affect our sense?

With the advancement of technology, in recordings and film, audiences require a void of silence to be filled. As mentioned previously, the fear of confronting silence is mediated with a buzzing sound known as the “hear-strip”

Neuhaus explains in 2000 that sound could be shaped to infinite possibilities, going beyond music. In retrospect, DeMarinis observes back in 1997 that artists like John Cage have gone as far as to use silence, as a form of reflection of the acoustics, causing an incredible tick to the listeners mentally, thus perpetuating the notion that the advancement in audio technology causes us to be unable to accept silence.