Research Critique 3

In our micro-project, Dion, Brendan, Sam and I decided to explore the art of destruction on how the interaction between a bucket of water, tissue papers, hand soap and a starbucks drink distorts our conceptual understandings of these following objects.

Through our series of interactions, we created a conceptual contradiction between our actions and our preconceived notions of the functions of these following items. For instance, the soap cleans, but in this case it fails to clean the pollution caused by drink; it just makes it worse by dirtying the water further, which is a direct contradiction of the soap’s primary functions.

We physically destroyed the cleanliness of water with a set of solutions that are supposed to work theoretically to produce clean water. Thus, we are embracing and creating conceptual inconsistencies through this contradictory act of physical destruction.

In a sense, we destroyed the semiotics of these objects by taking apart their meanings and functions that we are so used to, in order to demonstrate our set of ideas.

In this case, we incorporated both the physical and ideological destruction to express the fragility of functions that we are so accustomed to in our lives.

To me, this ties in with the art of destruction and glitches, where the constitutions of a subject are manipulated or left to deteriorate, resulting usually the subject to undergo a drastic transformation, beyond the point of return. These diverse forms of destruction however all serve to create meaningful discussions, statements, and ultimately reflections of the societies we respectively live in.

Even though societies are different from each other due to cultures and traditions, we still universally enforce our own rules and conventions in order to give ourselves a routine, and a sense of uniform harmony. To me, this is especially so in this day and age, when technology has developed so far, and is still developing to envision ourselves as a society without human flaws in it.

Although it is not unfounded that human errors are seen as undesirable, it still evokes a sense of human touch and individuality, allowing us to keep in touch with ourselves.

Jon Cates shares this sentiment in his interview where he states ” dirtiness implies there is a human quality in new media, that it is not perfect, it’s not sterile, it’s not removed from real life, but it contains its imperfections, it’s impurities, in a way, it’s organic qualities, that get closer to our “wet” lives, rather than our binary ones.” 

Glitch embraces these flaws as seen from Glitch Studies Manifesto, where dirtiness is associated with “a negative feeling makes place for an intimate, personal experience of a machine (or program), a system showing its formations, inner workings and flaws.

Ant farm also created these projects that were destructive in nature by utilizing the power for images as images tend to be “more powerful than the event itself”.

They utilize the imperfections which we humans are born with in our DNA, which is essentially impossible to eliminate it completely; it is what makes us humans human. And it is this very human quality that the art of destruction and glitch art strives to emulate, to create insightful conversations and opportunities to reflect and question using unconventional methods, just as we have hoped to in our micro-project.



Research Critique 2: The third space

With the completion of the Micro-project 3, the third space to me is  a manifestation of spaces when fused together, enabling people around the world to connect and collaborate beyond the time and physical constraints.

With the current technological advances, the limits of the physical boundaries can easily be overcome with online presence and live projections.

Maria Chatzichristodoulou studied such projects that utilizes these aforementioned features of technology, from Multi User Dungeons (MUDs) to telematic performances.

Through studies of MUDs, she showed the possibilities of enhanced real-time social interactions through virtual reality stimulations which enables users to interact with other users alike from all around the world, which allows for a new experience of intimacy.

The MUDs also encourage users to showcase their creative sides, by giving them the freedom to create their own online personalities in immersive ways, such as the abilities to customise their own characters and choose their own narrative amid other possible narratives.

Studies on Telematic performances also showcased the availability of a wide array of resources users can easily access to without having to spend any money, showing how anyone with an internet connection can participate in projects of their own.

Not only that, works like The Electronic Disturbance (1996) prove that collaborations in fields such as art and dance, are made especially easy, regardless of where you live.

Although on a small scale, through our micro project, I believe that we are able to explore these features of the third space. Namely, we explored to a certain extent, continuity of perspectives, movements and spaces in order. In a sense, we were able to create a facade of a newly formed continued third space, where movements and perspectives are aligned without having to be in the same space.

In my opinion, this immersive virtual engagement with both yourself and others all around the world creates a unique intimacy without having to be physically present in the same space, allowing internationalism to be a much deeper and personal experience no longer detained by physical barriers.

There are more opportunities to explore our pre-existing relationships with others and the space we live in,at the same time, explore new ways of interaction through new spaces with fresh persepctives.

To collate all these features of the third space, I would like to summarise this research with Randall Packer’s apt description of the third space as ” a space of invention and possibility, like lucid dreaming, where participants might assume their avatar identities, engage in post-human, cyborgian manifestations, or perhaps reinvent the world in the image of their own making.”

Micro-Project 2 – Crowd-Sourced Time-Based Art

In this project, the viewer is tasked to interpret the given image and draw out a physical manifestation of their feelings in response to the image they see, with the materials made available to them, which are in this case are markers varying in colour (3 to be exact) to be used on the canvas offered, our arms. The images given also varied in tone and appearance, from recognizable subjects like dogs and cats,

(oscar, my friend’s son)

to more unusual ones, like a photoshopped frog-kiwi.

Image result for frog kiwi

These factors act as limiting reagents to shape the audience’s output in the form of drawings.

Since the audience were mostly students in ADM, they were all cooperative with our instructions as they are probably aware that this is for an assignment.

The end result was a collection simple drawings, though they vary in visuals whereby the ones who chose the cat and the dog photo, all drew a more representational impression of dogs and cats. On the other hand, those who chose the northern lights and the photoshopped frog, tended to drew more abstract depictions of the subject or their feelings.

By the end of it, each of our arms held an array of strangers’ personal reactions to each image in the physical form of marker drawings.

(From top to bottom: Frederick, Teri, Si qi and me)

Research Critique

The DIWO aspect of our project has enabled us to gain an insight on how a diverse art work can be put together when the final outcome is essentially unpredictable as the number of different ways a collective of individuals can interpret a subject is much vaster than what a single individual can.

It embraces the need of social interaction, in this case where we borrow the creativity and skillsets of other artists to create a collective artwork made in reaction to a single subject from multiple points of view and interpretations. This can be seen to a certain degree in Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece where the audience given the same set of instructions are shown to carry them out in different ways based on their own interpretation.

Personally, I find that what makes the final work different from the traditional art is the fact that a reflection of each audience’s personalities, which stems from their own unique and personal experiences, can be observed with DIWO projects.
For example in our case, a student upon seeing a picture of Oscar, she gushed about her own cat, Peanut. Her familiarity and love for cats was perhaps one of the factors that prompted her to draw Oscar with extra care.
Thus, as an artist, such personal details from the audience in the process make DIWO artworks a much more interesting and enriching experience than just curating the final artwork by yourself.

Image result for yoko ono cut piece before and after

This rich array of expressions would have proven to be far more difficult to conjecture without implementing the characteristics of DIWO projects which allows for “an effective form of artistic collaboration with others, and to a wider culture”, as stated in Marc Garrett’s article.