Category Archives: Research

Research Critique 3: Glitch & The Art of Destruction

For micro-project 5, my group’s (Myself, Bryan, Si Hui, Reuben and Ying Hui) concept revolved around capturing the destruction of art through performance art and media. First, we printed a photo of one of world’s most famous artwork – Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da vinci. This renaissance artwork is highly regarded, thus, belonging to the “high renaissance” period, a period of grandmasters with impeccable skills. Then, we set the printed photo of the painting on fire and recorded it.

The art of destruction. The destruction of art.

By burning this artwork down to ashes, we wanted to bring about the notion of seeing the destruction of art as a form of art. We “embrace accidents”, or even, we create them.

One may see it as literally destroying art, but the element of deconstruction in the destruction process was that we wanted to highlight. We wanted to highlight that destruction could even be in something which everyone admired and thought highly of. We also wanted to show a deviation from the norms of “art”. As art is usually thought of as classy and placed in a museum, or even a bulletproof glass (for the Mona Lisa), we wanted to rebel against this perfectionist mindset. Instead of cutting or tearing the paper apart, we decided to burn it to create a duration-based artwork; a performance which the audience could watch us burn the picture. Through this, the Mona Lisa transforms from a static piece of artwork into something new, such as an experience or a performance.

As a performance art, the deterioration of the artwork, from paper to ashes, creates a new quality through the destruction. Media Burn by the Ant Farm from the Interview with Chip Lord is a great example of such artworks, where it “exemplifies fascination with the automobile and television as cultural artifacts through looking at the impact of mass media in American culture.” It was their bold act which brought about their statement uniquely and in a new light. And what we challenge here, with our artwork, is to see beyond the act of “destroying” a beautiful piece of artwork. Instead, looking at the destruction in a whole new way and to defy the rules of art.

As mentioned in  Menkman, R. (2009) “Glitch Studies Manifesto”, “Glitch art is often about relaying the membrane of the normal, to create a new protocol after shattering an earlier one. The perfect glitch shows how destruction can change into the creation of something original.” With this, we wanted to set the world’s most famous painting on fire; a statement of defying the general rules of art. Thus, by shifting this perspective at how we look at destruction, it is the start of creating something original as the mass audience are used to looking at funnelled out content from the media.

Another example mentioned by Lei was Ai Wei Wei’s, dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995), where Ai dropped an authentic antiquity. He was thinking about the themes of transformation and destruction. He embarked on collecting ancient vessels with the aim of converting them into contemporary art pieces. This is my first time coming across this piece and I found it really interesting how this artwork considered a form of consumer culture and heritage preservation.

Lastly, In Randall Packer’s Conversation with Jon Cates (2014) Hyperallergic , Cates mentioned, “there is a poetic embrace of noise and error.” and the whole geist of learning about glitch is as what he mentioned. Through the previous project where we created glitch and the most recent one, the art of destruction, it has brought me to rethink about “aesthetics”. Both glitch and destruction are artistic expressions which embrace flaws and errors. In my opinion, the element of deconstruction is what makes these glitches and destruction something way more than it is. Glitch is just more than just dead/flawed pixels or destructed matter, the beauty of it is that, it could be organic glitches, such as glitches during performances. As we commonly associate glitches with the errors we see on screen and technical errors, this case of demonstrating glitch through performance art brought out the flexibility of glitch art as it can be, very organic, occuring during a live performance as well.


Research Critique 02 – The Third Space

To me, the third space is a space where realities are able to coincide due to technological advancements. It can also be a combination of a physical space and a remote space, where time and space is not relevant.

In this space, there are endless possibilities and many known boundaries are collapsed because of new innovations and a greater use of technology. People can supposedly interact with one another; yet, not being physically present. It allows us to experience the remote space on a greater level, incorporating our senses into this experience; sight, hearing, sound, and (seemingly) touch.

In Randall Packer’s article, The Third Space, he mentioned, it is the pervasiveness of distributed space and the degree and myriad of ways in which we are constantly connected. And from this ubiquitous state of shared presence we have come to inhabit an entirely new way of seeing via a fracturing of perception.

The term, shared presence, was what I felt, a reflection of telematic performances; the ability to feel one’s presence but not being physically there.

In my micro-project 3, Tele-Drift, Jia Ying and I created “Draw Together”. Draw Together allows participants to draw with someone else regardless of their location as long as they have a canvas. As they draw, they have to achieve their end goal together; to complete the drawing by contributing half/part of it.

In this project, there were no location boundaries and all we needed was a canvas and a live video function. Despite being in different locations, the involvement of more senses beyond sight and sound, the consistent first-person perspective of the canvas and the real-time aspect of the live video function created closeness and intimacy between the artists. While drawing, the object that is representative of the “third” body is the canvas itself. Although Jia Ying and I were not able to coordinate our hand gestures while we were drawing, I felt that the canvas spoke for us as the “third” body as we were interacting through pen and paper.

In Maria Chatzichristodoulo’s Cyberformance article, Paul Sermon mentioned, “The ability to exist outside of the users own space and time is created by an alarmingly real sense of touch that is enhanced by the context of the bed and caused by an acute shift of senses in the telematic space.” About his Telematic Dreaming (1993) performance.

Amongst all the telematic performances, I felt that Telematic Dreaming prevailed as the most impactful and intimate piece of work. In comparison with my tele-drift project, with the context of the canvas (vs the bed), it was evident that having an intimate object was more impactful.

Research Critique 01/Micro-Project 02 – Crowd-Sourced Time-Based Art

Colour, is not just a visual perception. Colour is a silent language and is visceral; it is more intuitive than rational. Why is red perceived as a colour associated with anger? And for blue, sadness. Colour psychology has shown that hues are determinants of the human behaviour. Not only do colours influence perception, they evoke emotions as well.

 Survey by SurveyLegend

“How is ADM Feeling Today?” is a collaborative crowdsourced artwork where the participants, our classmates, cast votes via a link, (click here to access the poll), based on their current mood. The poll options consist of a variety of colours and each colour represents an emotion.

As our classmates cast their votes, the main screen displays a colour: the averaged colour based on their responses. When our classmates were voting, colours shifted to a cooler shade as the majority of them voted for restless (green) and sad (blue). Eventually, neutral (white) prevailed as the most voted mood and the colour shown on the screen became pastel teal. Cumulated responses in real time depict the colour that will be shown on screen, thus, answering the question – How is ADM feeling today?

Colour picker from Colour Aurlien.

By using a collaborative approach to create art, we are open to endless possibilities of experiencing something new. As mentioned from Marc Garrett’s article on D.I.W.O (Do-It-With-Others), a willingness to transform our ideas and intentions not solely based on ‘proprietorial’ dependencies, and a fetish for the ‘New’, allows space for ‘different versions of the new’ and ‘old’ dialogues to evolve. This enables the embracing of holistic gradations and interactions with others, which also include differences; possibilities and diversities connecting with ecology and a variant of creative expressions (Garrett, 2014).

Relating to the article, expressing moods using colours and visuals can be an innovation and collaborative way to create greater social awareness and to know how others are feeling. How often do we express ourselves to others, especially in this digitalized world? Although it may not be much, we can bridge the gap between solely peer-to-peer interaction and digitalized mediums. Instead of asking the class verbally, “How is everyone feeling today?”, we could change it up and ask them through this collaborative experience. James Wallbank, in his essay for ISEA in 2010, wrote: “Creativity transforms value”.  And, really, nothing is as valuable as experiencing and building these interpersonal relationships through art.

Screenshot of The Sheep Market.

The value is the artwork itself; a collective art piece. A similar art piece, The Sheep Market (2006) by Aaron Koblin is a collection of 10,000 sheep created by workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Each worker was paid $.02 (US) to “draw a sheep facing left”. This artwork “enables online users to contribute a tiny part of a large project” and “have little knowledge of what the larger finished product will be” (OSS, 2018). Both the contribution and anticipation of the collective final piece were aspects that “How is ADM Feeling Today?” adopted. As said, the value would be seeing the results; be it rewarding, satisfied, expected or unexpected. An example would be that as our classmates voted and the final colour, pastel teal, was shown on screen, it surprised Lei, who voted for happy (yellow). For people who voted for neutral (white), sad (blue) or restless (green), like myself, it may come off as an empathetic experience; having the same mood reassures me that I am not the only one feeling restless that day.

Altogether, my group (myself, Dion and Ying Hui) felt that this microproject encapsulated the essence of D.I.W.O. As both creators and participants of “How is ADM Feeling Today?”, it was a fun and insightful project to both work on and learn from. Some of the things that I felt that could have been improved are the technical capabilities and the scale of the crowdsourcing. Firstly, the change in colours was done manually. If we could make it change automatically according to the variable (number of votes) by using hex colour codes, it would have been a more complete and interactive piece. Secondly, if the coding mentioned above works, this artwork could be done in a way larger scale – from just G04 to the entire school, or even worldwide.