Monthly Archives: September 2017

Hyperessay #1

In the past few posts, I’ve gone at great lengths to discuss about the technicalities of open broadcasting. This time, however, I shall instead talk about the psychological components of open broadcasting and interactions.

When live streaming on Facebook for the first time, I was initially hesitant to even start as I’m the kind of person that does not enjoy putting up endless vlog-styled content for the sake of exposure. I’ve never liked it when someone else does it, and I never really enjoyed partaking in it. As a result, most of my posts have been silent, focusing instead of my surroundings.

When it came to communicating with others, the result is slightly less relaxed. I’ve mentioned before that micro-expressions aren’t well captured online, be it because of the camera resolution, or due to bandwidth latency. I’ve learnt to restrain myself from talking too much as I didn’t want to accidentally interrupt the speaker from the other side and truncate or distort the conversation. In real time, any interruptions would be handled fine, but in the third space, both parties are constantly having to ask whether they can hear each other. I found myself speaking in a very rigid and plain manner to make sure the words came through. This phenomena was echoed in the hole in space art exhibition, where many of the users were simplifying their words in order to avoid any potential confusion. Others, who weren’t used to the communication medium found themselves repeatedly yelling “what?” and “can you hear me?”, only to have their peers reply “yes, yes, yes” over and over.

In another example, my teammates and I had communication issues during the cross stream broadcast assignment. Issac, who has the phone, would go around the campus asking people what their personal idols were, and I would be asked via Facebook to include images of them on a virtual collage. However, as time passed, the latency would start to compound, leading him to throw in more orders without me being able to acknowledge in time. The end result would be a one sided dialogue.

More interestingly, however, was something that had happened by accident. While recording the stream, I left my earphones on the table, unaware that the broadcast was playing music through Youtube and getting picked up by OBS. This led to an audio feedback loop which increased in chaos. This reminded me of the BOLD3RRR performance art which was done by Jon Cates back in 2012. I’m a newbie when it comes to music, but if I’m ever to compose music, I would start through procedural generation or trip-hop style sampling.

Pong controller: Documentation

  For our group (nicholas makoto, goh chersee,xinfeng, maung phyo win zaw), we’ve decided to create a color based detection system for the pong controller. To use it, we’ve placed 2 differently colored foam pads, one is green, and the other is purple. The closer the colored pieces are, the more the pong paddle would go in one direction. For this assignment, we’ve decided to use a digital controller, which would cause the paddle to only move in one speed.

The way this works is as follows. The  “suckah” tab is placed over a camera feed and users can then click on a specific color to drawn. The color swatch is attached to the “suckah” tab to let users know what color is being registered. Once that is done, a rectangle is drawn, taking in the top left, right and bottom left and right coordinates. We used a mathematical expression to derive the area of the rectangle and created an if statement which moves the tab if it hits a certain threshold value.

An alternate way of calculating the value which was suggested was to take the differential area values between the green and purple value and use that to determine the position of the paddle, which would effectively make it an analogue controller. We’ve initially decided to use a color sensor, but due to the limitations of calculating and extracting different color values, and cost constraints of getting the sensor itself, we’ve decided against it. All we needed was a proof of concept placeholder that would still accomplish the final result of moving the paddle using a particular color.


Research Critique: The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence



   The world’s longest drunk sentence is exactly as stated on the tin. To be honest, i don’t really have much to say about the entire article, save a portion of it which grew in size exponentially. I’m also not really sure what the point of it was considering that psychography has been a well established phenomena for a long period of time. However, this article had reminded me about a few other things, some of which i shall talk about here.

A few years ago, I came upon a writer by the name of Robert shields, who was a former minister. Robert was afflicted with Hypergraphia, a mental disorder that causes the individual to constantly write, type or sculpt, and  In 20 years, he had been fervently typing every five minutes, taking short naps every few hours. (think of Desmond Hume from the TV show Lost ). Unfortunately, his passed away from a stroke had and explicitly stated in his will not to reveal all 25 million words of his diary until 2057.

  Another prolific writer was a janitor by the name of Henry Darger, who had also passed away silently. Landowners who went in to clear his room were shocked to find 25,000 pages of what would later be referred to as The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion”  . Before passing away, he made it clear to his peers to burn every page of his work in the event of his death. Fortunately, and unfortunately, his request was not honored, and was, for the most part put in display in New York. The common theme in both cases was the fact that both of them never intended to have their private musings be put up in a public forum, sparking the ethics of intrusively psychoanalyzing human behavior. In this exhibition, however, the opposite is true, and instead of having one single mind spouting everything in his or her mind, we have people from all works of life, spouting their inner thoughts anonymously. The problem I see here is that if the names aren’t cataloged, then it’s really hard to get a general sense of the overall human zeitgeist, seeing as to how insignificant the sample size was.

“Jesus Fucking Christ GET OFF MY ASS—JUST GET OFF MY ASS and for god’s sake USE YOUR FUCKING BLINKERS WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A TURN WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THING I AM A FUCKING MIND READER Jesus people USE YOUR FUCKING BLINKERS that’s all I have to say people suck life sucks people suck life sucks but technology sucks more why must I take my life into my own hands–won’t somebody help me “

  I feel that without any frame of reference or an infograph of any sort, It’ll be pretty hard to visualize everything and come to any conclusion. The best i was able to do was to search individual words and see if there were any professional thespians planning anything nefarious.

Maybe if possible, servers would be able to extrapolate the origin of the post and to represent all of the data in the form of a real-time typographical map. Another way of working around the information would be to write a program to recognize speech repetition and map human behavior.


Device of the week#3: Makey makey screaming carrot

So apparently this is a thing that exists. Though makey makey is relatively simpler to construct, i found its applications and implications more interesting to me. The idea here is that inanimate objects have anthropomorphic properties imbued into them. For example, the following carrot screams when it is cut, much like what would happen if an actual person is being chopped, and the water fountain would complement users who use the water fountain… and so on. This interaction, if worked on further, could reference more sentences/interaction ideas from the web and “communicate” with the user.  In this instance, the action that is performed is specific (drinking water), so the sensing and affecting is

The makey makey consists of a few connectors, plugs USB cables and a crocodile clip. The user can create a customizable controller or even a conductive surface like pencil sketches. Once the user interacts with the objects, the circuit is completed and a low current would pass through. In order to make the device a little more portable, a wireless system can be setup, with the crocodile clips being hidden a little better.

I can see this device be applied to public benches, automatic doors or lifts, that will react to human presence (ie. react according to how many times its used , or reacting to whether the user is pushing a door marked pull), though there will be those that will argue that doing so will either be invasive or awkward. An example of this that i can think of at the back of my head would be the robot character Gerty from the movie “Moon”. Though that robot had a monotonous voice, it was able to express its emotions through the use of emojis. I can see this replacing greeters in stores too.

Device of the week #2: Tangible Media/ Sensel

The next installation that I would like to talk about is the interactive art device called Tangible media.The device is a new take on the Pinscreen, a popular desk toy that allows you to create a rough 3-D model of an object by pressing it into a bed of flattened pins.

In this build, the pins are connected to a motor controlled by a nearby laptop, the camera from the kinect takes in infra red signals from the user and projects them onto the pinscreen.

This project had me thinking about how I would be able to do something similar with a much smaller budget. Using a webcam, I would then aim it downwards onto my arm and have the setup lighted downwards so that the image registers contrast clearly and keeps the shadows on the corner of the arms, rather than having it one side over the other.  I would then be able to use the rgb values/luma values and use cellchecker in max to get values from each individual pixel before sending them to each individual pin.

There are a few limits with this setup however, although the pins slide up/down fairly well, they are’n’t entirely 3 dimensional and still require the user to look at the installation from one single vantage point. I could see this installation being applied towards representation of data or physical topographical representation in maps. On a much larger scale, i could foresee this being used to redefine topological/partitioned spaces in shopping malls, depending on the kinds of events or roadshows which would be presented in the atrium.

One small device which may use this application would be a morphological tactile surface controller, similar to a keyboard that changes ergonomics, which brings me to the next device…

Another device that tries to use the same principle of a modifiable tactile surface is the customizable MIDI controller. The thing that makes this controller different is in the detection of velocity and dynamics, creating a more nuanced controller that can play notes of varying volume. This principle is also applied to the stylus pad, allowing users to paint more naturally, compared to the rigid wacom intuos 3 stylus, which has to be custom controlled, and has a more limited tilt and pressure sensor which has to be calibrated. The selection of brushes would also be limited there. However, the sensel skips the hassle of brush selection online.

The touch pad itself is intuitive, and is a simple more plug and play configuration. Other configurations include the trap set, keyboard and the MPC controller.

Device of the week #1: Steel sky- by Christoph De Boeck

The device that i want to talk about is the steel sky exhibition by Christoph De Boeck. This exhibition consists of a few steel plates suspended in the sky and rigged next to a high frequency reverb mechanism. The interface is then connected to a wifi headset that gathers 8 signals of brain signals from whoever is wearing it. Using the brainwave patterns, the reverb mechanisms would strike on the metallic plates, simulating what the skies would be like if they were made out of something as dense as steel.

The technology is provided from the Holst center, which is an independent R&D technology, and is involved with wireless autonomous sensor technology. It developed a wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) headset which fits comfortably , and can monitor moods in daily life situations using a mobile app.

Our brain basically process information through electrical signals generated by electrically excitable neural network. When stimulated, molecules pass through the cell membrane and passes through the synapse, which is the gap between the neurons. This electrical signal is then picked up by the device.

The headset tracks localized and synchronized activity in the parietal lobe and the occipital lobe, and is able to track if the user is blinking, smiling, raising his/her eyebrows along with many other complicated expressions. The user would at first think about a specific action, and the resulting brain activity would be recorded and logged in a database. So whenever the user thinks about performing that same action again, the computer will take the nearest approximate value in the database and perform an action.

On a technological level, I found this interesting as the headset could potentially be marketed to the general public as a form of wireless and hands-off approach to interacting with devices, and the most amazing aspect of this concept is that it is already put into practice, with augmentations and prosthesis.

I could imagine someone registering all kinds of brain signals based on different kinds of thoughts, and then be able to open doors and cabinets without even uttering a single word or lifting a finger.

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▀▄▀▄▀▄ Original ouvere of overall OBS object ▄▀▄▀▄▀

My experiences eloquently expressed are already alienating average audiences online. As I systematically started streaming solemn stuff sardonically, I pondered upon partaking in petty  pandering practices, particularly in putting pretty pictures that are politically pleasant, whilst putting potato pieces in patiently.

  Thus, came the floating feline from afar, freeing fears of Facebook feverishly foraging familiar forgeries to fraudulently forfeit.

  Lately, LAN latency lagged like a Londoner lamenting logging. Leaving little to like as always, also, enacting ornaments as an aspect of overall oeuvres ain’t entirely enticing as existing editing aspects of images aren’t easy.

Maybe Minecaft might mitigate many migraine-making measures measurably.

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▂▃▄▅▆▇█▓▒░My Work Research Critique of Bold3RRR by Jon Cates░▒▓█▇▆▅▄▃▂

The concept of recursive flow is interesting, incorporating the concepts of fractal art and procedural generation to give an illusion of an infinite dimension. Perception of space and time are no longer limited to a countable or definable unit, but is instead measured in terms of current spacial orientation. This model may be used as a teaching aid to explain the expansion and spacial orientation of our universe itself, and how we’re limited by the particle horizon.

Alternatively, this algorithmic expression has been used to create the illusion of life in games like “fuel” and “no man’s sky”. However, we’ve evolved to see the seams in the works, noting repetition. The alternative would be the use of brute force customization like mega-texturing, or the implementation of artificial intelligence based designing through approximations on pre-existing models. Though its use in recent history has been faced with much controversy among purists.

  #1: Here we have a special individual from the guardian give his important opinion about AI art.

#2: Another example of AI art. This time, a track made by the Sony CSL research Laboratory. 

Moving on, we’re seeing an increased use of glitch in performative art, with musicians such as Ryoji Ikeda and Mika Vainio and video games such as “memory of a broken dimension.” Though exciting to me, I feel that the novelty of it will wear off, as it did with 3d stereoscopic projection and virtual reality headsets. In both cases, the existing technology haven’t been proven to be financially viable to the general public. As with vr being limited to entertainment, there is a likelihood that glitch art would be confined to the niche performance art sector, until another great leap is made.

As for the videogame “memory of a broken dimension” the glitch art was but a small aspect of the overall experience. The central core mechanic of the game was about non-euclidean spacial awareness, and puzzle solving skills.

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Adobe connect review

I remained in school during the duration of the messaging, and although there was a direct line of sight between me and the rest of the class, i felt more isolated. The only thing that kept me perturbed was the paranoia of being probed by adobe connect.  As a result, I left my webcam off and wrapped it with some tinfoil just to be sure. I also felt that the experience was draining as i found myself trying to fix several technical issues. Some of them involved broadband latency and overall connectivity issues.

I also felt that a lot of the time was taken up having to connect and disconnect to some of the classmates, and having to figure out how to fix audio issues. Maybe someday, this software will be able to fix some of the audio feedback loops but even with all of that being said, i still felt that we were but a bunch of talking heads.

On a side note, this reminded me of a talk given by economics expert and self proclaimed 1 per center peter schiff, who brought forth the fact that there were those seeking to make bitcurrency a thing. The only problem was that it was another faux substitution to conventional fiat currency.

The only reason I brought this up was because most of our interactions feel like there is an intrinsic value missing from it, and that those who inhibit this space seek so desperately to derive meaning from it. The proposed solution to the bitcurrency dichotomy was goldmoney, a system which ascribes true value. I’m not sure how this solution could be translated into third space interactions since i feel that this system is still unable to capture the nuances of human interaction such as micro-expressions, gestures and direct proximity.


Documentation of project

  Our group members consist of me, Maung Phyo Win Zaw, Goh Cher See, Nicholas Makoto and Xin Feng.

For this project, our concept was to create an alarm clock which relies on hand pressure to switch off. The harder one presses on the alarm clock, the less amount of additional snooze time will be given. Additionally, the alarm volume will be potentially increased.


  The idea is to create an alarm clock that responds based on the awareness of the user. If one is more tired, the alarm clock will instinctively react and not disturb the user, if the user is awake enough but isn’t willing, the alarm will be set louder to “push” the user out of bed. To switch off the alarm clock, the user will have to smash on the pressure switch much harder.


  The project was separated into a few categories:  The first function was the clock countdown element, a smaller value of five seconds was set so that we could test it quickly. Secondly, three if statements were used so as to trigger three separate countdown values.

 The issue with using a pressure based sensing is that the input value constantly drops to zero whenever the user lifts his finger away from the pressure sensor, updating the computer until the input reads as zero. To solve this issue, we used a peak function to take the largest value, resetting the counter as soon as the user pressed on the pressure plate again.

  Finally, we matched the three bang functions (based on the pressure) into the volume bar, and added a fourth pressure value so as to stop the audio playback. We set a new value of the countdown timer.