[Glitch Singapore] Sonder — Final Project!

project brief

As a project inspired by the work of Blast Theory, in groups, we had to create a piece of public performance art that played “off of real interactions with each other, Singapore, public, and media”. The artwork had to be site-specific, and partially scripted, with enough room for accidents and glitches to occur. It also had to incorporate the elements of the different micro-projects that we had been creating throughout the semester — namely DIWO (Do-It-With-Others), the Glitch, and the Third Space.


Initially, some of our inspo material included:

  • The Shed at Dulwich: A fake restaurant that gained popularity through its eccentric menu items, fake online restaurant reviews and “experimental” dining experience that tricked people into believing it was real.
  • Big Brother: A survival gameshow in which people were locked into houses with other strangers, and interactions between them would be viewed by external audiences who could vote them off.
  • Butler CafesCafes where the ‘butlers’ would address customers as masters, and play along with fake narratives that the customers would be free to come up with.
initial ideas
  • Pillow Talk: People in a bunk hostel would talk to one another anonymously, in a sort of personal pillow fort that would create a sense of intimacy with one another.
  • Real Life RPG: We would become RPG characters that could be guided around a space by our audience based on their commands.
“Final idea”: labyrinth

So we finally agreed on a specific interactive game whose name in the works was “Labyrinth”.

  • Location: Bugis Street
  • Number of players: 6 people who are strangers to one another
  • Duration: Hopefully around 1 – 1.5h
  • What exactly was the game about
    • A sort of ‘catching game’: The 6 players are split into 3 pairs, and of each pair, one is designated the ‘Renegade AI’ and the other the ‘Guard/Chaser’.
    • They would start on two different levels in Bugis Street.
    • The Renegades’ task is to run away from the Guard (neither of them know who the other looks like).
    • Renegades will have personal access to an Instagram account (the Third Space aspect). While they run they are required to take a picture of the space around them every 10 minutes. All Renegades will upload to the same account, meaning pictures will be jumbled up. (The Glitch aspect)
    • The Guard is required to monitor the Instagram account to track down where the Renegades are — but they need to find their specific Renegade using a “Finish the sentence” passcode.
    • The Renegade will have access to a group chat with the facilitators (us), where we will give them clues to go to specific locations within Bugis Street to complete missions tailored to the location while they are running away. Their missions will be monitored by us as well.
    • The Guard will have access to a group chat with the other Guards at the same time. If ever they spot or catch another Guard’s Renegade, they are free to coordinate within themselves.
    • If the Guards catch the Renegades, the Guards win. If the Renegades manage to make their way to the final pitstop, they win. Interaction will take place at the end of the game when everyone is together.
test run — sat, 7 april 2018.

We were really scrabbling find players for our test run, so in the end we had to settle for 2 players only instead of 6. The 2 players were Sihui’s friend, Daniel, as the Guard/Catcher. The Renegade was Yinghui’s friend Zihan.

Instagram account that was set up by us

We actually came up with the clue ideas at the last minute, and went ahead with the test run. The four of us (excluding Maythu) were located at each station to monitor their whereabouts. I was located outside the Bugis tattoo parlour. Here’s a video of me trying to monitor Zihan and Daniel (who eventually got caught aaa). Zihan was the guy with the backpack whereas Daniel was wearing a checkered shirt!!

Basically!!! The run was pretty much a failure. Zihan got caught pretty fast in the middle of the third mission (out of five) in like 1.5h, Daniel managed to catch me as I was?? Super obvious in filming Zihan?? Help. Apparently the Instagram feed wasn’t helpful at all to Daniel, and the game just wasn’t interactive enough within payers. It was already a giant hassle trying to coordinate one pair, so three pairs was….wow…

The game just wasn’t fun if it was simply one person completing missions (even though they were meant to be funny) without any company that they were familiar with. There wasn’t the thrill of competing with someone you knew.

Basic, biggest problem: There was no objective in the game. Zihan was pretty confused as to why he was carrying out all the missions in the game. There wasn’t any solid motivation for him to finish the game.


We realised we had to come up with a fresh new idea that could be completed within the coming weekend as we only had 10 days to the deadline after our failed test run. AAAAA. So we went back to our original ideas about Pillow Talk. After a 2h 20min Skype call we finally came up with a simpler plan. Continue reading “[Glitch Singapore] Sonder — Final Project!”

[The Art of Networked Practice] Hyperessay

The Art of the Networked Practice Online Symposium started up on a weary Friday night. It was at that time that I did not realise that the Symposium would truly open my eyes to the ingenuity and complexity behind the ideas espoused by artists such as Blast Theory and Annie Abrahams, bringing me closer to the concept of warping time and space, and interacting over the digital broadband.

The first session I attended was one which hosted an online lecture by the experimental artist Maria X and included an online performance hosted by Annie Abrahams, both of which discussed the theme of telematics and interactive performances, albeit clearly in different manners. Maria X’s lecture brought us through the idea of Internationalism and the prominence in the concept of telematics. The insight in the concept of telematics being a ‘relational medium’ struck me, as it defined such a form of art as being about the relationship between systems, and between humans, like performers and artists. With the expansion of social broadcasting to become many-to-many, instead of one-to-many, one could say that based on this definition, the world of telematic art is being infused with more complex and intersecting relationships between the participants and systems in the artwork. For example, seminal works from the formulating years of telematic art that Maria X introduced in the Symposium included Nam June Paik’s Global Groove, and Kit Galloway and Rabinowitz’s Hole in Space, works that sought for a work conducted by many performers, to reach many viewers, with systems acting as a facilitating body for these interactions to be carried out.

Slide from Maria X’s lecture showing Kit Galloway and Rabinowitz’s Hole in Space performance.

However, a key difference between these works is another concept that Maria X brought up in the lecture — the aspects of live versus a recorded performance. As Maria quoted from Levinas, “Since the other looks at me, his responsibility is incumbent upon me.” There is an ethical responsibility to respond to a person once you invite them to look upon you, of which intensity is much higher within a live performance, with the corporeal presence of both performer and audience present, as opposed to a recorded performance that can be played, rewound and fast forwarded at any point in time today. As heard from Maria’s lecture, liveness is defined as a moment that is infinitely open to interaction, transformation and connection. Liveness creates a personal dynamic between the performer and audience, and in today’s socially broadcasted performances where the audience acts as the performer, ideas generated by these people bounce off one another to create artwork that is full of intricate connections and relationships that go beyond the capabilities of a single artist.

Screenshot of the online performance, where all the artists are sitting and closing their eyes.

Along that vein, the performance conducted by the artists within the Symposium serves as a stellar example of such interaction, and the element of ‘liveness’. The piece starts off powerfully with each artist reciting their latency numbers and status, made even more poignant by the fact that the audio that we hear from them is already subjected to such delays. It devolves into different objects being interacted with in front of the camera, and the artists reciting phrases that sound like they are derived from wildly different contexts. It changes to the artists then are shown sitting, closed-eye, in silence, until they gradually disappear from the screen.

Start of the performance, when all artists were reciting their latency numbers and status

I thought the post-performance discussion was interesting, as one of the performers, Helen Varley Jamieson, brought up that her connection was poor throughout almost all of her training sessions with the rest, but the actual day saw her with excellent connection. This brings to mind what Annie Abrahams espouses in her artwork — to embrace the presence of an error, the volatility of latency, within, I quote from her, “the entanglement of human and machine”. This closely relates to Maria X’s earlier reference to the telematic embracing of faults within digital technology, as these errors allow artists to exploit them to create new artwork, similar to what is discussed Rosa Menkman’s Glitch Studies Manifesto, where glitches create a ‘realm of new conditions’, a new playground for artists to explore and experiment within its confines until a new glitch arises.

What I personally felt about the performance was that it was somewhat a social study of the human mind. While the performance was ongoing, the audience was free to chat and speculate amongst themselves about the piece, and there were audience members giving input on what they thought the artists meant with the different objects. I feel as if the performance was a deliberate attempt to twist the human mind into finding a link as we are so often found doing in our lives — a pattern, and a cohesive narrative, to make sense of something that is placed in front of us, when in fact there could be absolutely none at all. (Or perhaps I missed a hugely important central theme ahahaha)

The second day saw Matt Adams, co-founder of Blast Theory, guiding us through the history of their works which proved to be hugely influential within the interactive media community. There was much talk of the transitioning of the perception of the Internet as a platform, when it first emerged, as a utopia of possibility, but through its privatisation and profit, it is now a zone where control is heavily exerted, and possibility has been whittled down to almost nothing. It has transitioned from a zone for the outlawed to a mainstream channel for dissemination of information. Works from Blast Theory that took place during such a transition that caught my eye were projects like My Neck of the Woods and Uncle Roy All Around You.

Screenshot from Matt Adam’s lecture on Blast Theory about Kidnap

The project Kidnap also interested me in how it toed a  line and exploited legal loopholes in order to carry out what seemed to be an immoral and illegal act, that others actively took part in despite the negative tone the artwork carried on the surface. Their works are truly inspiring in the way they use digital technology in revolutionary ways to connect people without relying on superficial questions, through the true push and pull of real conversations and interactions, or placing people within different hierarchies of control within the performance.

Screenshot from a video about Blast Theory’s My Neck of the Woods

Overall, the symposium has been an awe-inspiring insight into the world of professional interactive digital performances, and it is quite humbling to have renowned artists themselves dissecting their complex ideas and theories for us. The usage Adobe Connect and the chatroom function act as a alternative social dimension that truly evokes the concept of real-time interaction over space and time, and allowed us to make our thoughts known to the artists despite these differences. I thought it was an interesting how during a performance we could freely discuss in silence despite the geographical barriers, something that could not be done in real life because of the noise — which raises questions on the human perception of proximity relating to intimacy. Advancements in technology have led to us needing to re-evaluate our inherent perceptions and values, and this Symposium was an event where this was certainly done.

[Micro-Project 7] Video Selfie

Sup I’m Banksy. No one is around. There is no sound. It’s dark. Because I do mysterious art attacks at night. So no one knows what I look like, including the creator of this low-budget video.

No walls were actually graffiti-ed in the making of this video. Obey Singaporean law kids. And almost none of the cans were actually spray paint anyway, and creator was sweating like a doggo in the paper bag. FYI the bag is DIY-ed so impressive rite

  • Niki

[Research Critique 3] Glitch and the Art of Destruction

My group decided to undertake audio as our main medium for Micro-Project 5, as we didn’t want to repeat the idea with visuals from Micro-Project 4. Initially, we recorded a set of noises, first using our voices singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as a base for the audio. From the beginning we already had the idea of inconsistencies and problems in mind, as when we sang the song, we decided to sing different at pitches and tempos, while covering our ears to block ourselves from hearing the others, so that we would end up with a ‘Happy Birthday’ that sounded way off-tune, unpleasant, and basically what you would never hear at your usual birthday party. This resonates with what Jon Cates mentions in his interview with Hyperallergic, referring to glitch art as “a way to foreground as you say, an aberrance or perversion of normative message or what we might perceive to be logical reasoning”. By twisting around the idea of a happy birthday song, one that everyone is familiar with, we create the basis for our artwork with an already manually ‘glitched’ version of the song that goes against normative expectations.

Initial set of recordings:

Final ‘glitched’ audio:

We took the destruction on step further by using Audacity to manipulate the audio, adding on other sounds that we had recorded within the ADM using everyday objects like bins, doors and water bottles. Repeating the sounds, adding reverb, creating differences in pitch and tempo, adding “Wahwah” — our edits resulted in a haunting, choppy and chaotic audio that sounded unrecognisable compared to our previous sets of recordings. It is unpleasant (a mild way to put it), and would clearly link to the idea presented in Rosa Menken’s Glitch Studies Manifesto: “Here noise exists within the void opposite to what (already) has a meaning. Whichever way noise is defined, the negative definition also has a positive consequence: it helps by (re)defining its opposite”. The disturbing aspects of our audio help to emphasise on perhaps the beauty in the noises in our natural environment (in this case, ADM) that we take for granted everyday. Only when we are faced with an audio that is a perverted form of these noises we start to subconsciously define the uniqueness and pleasant aspects of these ubiquitous sounds. Furthermore, usually when creating music, artists layer sounds and evaluate the harmonious qualities of the music by repeating their audio over and over during the process. However, during our process, we proceeded ‘blindly’, repeating sounds and making adjustments without listening to what the audio sounded like, in order to create something that was truly unexpected and unfamiliar, even to the artists. I personally feel that there is a difference between simply deconstructing, and truly destroying: the purest form of a glitch would be one that is unexpected by literally every living being that may come into contact with it.

Interview with Chip Lord

Glitch and destruction is certainly a form of artistic expression, perhaps in the most tongue-in-cheek form out there. It aims to remove the notion of what exactly is ‘good art’ by going against the grain in creating artwork that is controversial and passionate. Essentially, I believe that everything that carries meaning and message can constitute artwork. For example, in Chip Lord’s interview in ‘Networked Conversations’, the artwork ‘Media Burn’ is brought up, where Ant Farm involved multiple components like logos, a fake President, brochures and postcards to heighten the realism of their artwork, which brings across the message of retaliating against the media of that era. With that level of detail and effort, they have created iconic works that have expressed messages that ring true and continue to inspire even today.

[Micro-Project 5] The Art of Destruction

Hey guise!! Here’s my fifth micro project for Experimental Interaction, taking glitch art and destruction one step further with Joseph, Joel and Siqi as me groupmates!! :-))))

We decided to do an audio piece where we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in an echo-ey area (the staircase near the 2D Studio) that gave us lots of reverb to add an interesting texture to the initial recording. After that we recorded other random sounds from the environment that could add shock factor into the final audio.

Here’s a list of audio:

Using Audacity, we then manipulated the audio by using the ‘Birthday’ song as the base track, then layering the additional sounds on top of it while repeating the sounds, changing the pitch and speed, adding extra reverb, and basically almost every effect function there is in Audacity lmao.

Here’s the final audio from us:

What I found interesting was that we picked the song ‘Happy Birthday’, a song that everyone is definitely familiar with, as well as sounds from the ADM environment, such as the door opening and closing, and a waterbottle dropping on the floor — sounds and songs that are ubiquitous.

However, the glitching of the sounds has produced something that is unpleasant, ghastly and unfamiliar, despite containing the same data and sounds from before, but simply cut up, rearranged, and adjusted to the point where it cannot be recognised any longer. Empirically, both of our original sets of sound and the final outcome are no different, but at the same time, the glitching procedure has made sure that they are vastly different.

glitcherooni – micro-proj four

First photo of me shoes taken by moi 🙂
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-10-19,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y Idk where that caption came from??? Edit by Samantha :^))))

Photoshop: Used various filters and upped the contrast of the photo.

Edited by me aaaaaaaaa :o))))))

ALSO Photoshop: Added gradient layers and changed the hue and saturation of the images. Also warped the layers to distort the image.

Edit by Yinghui

Audacity: Added reverse and echo filters

[Describe how this process of collective image creation and decomposition creates a glitch transformation.]

As a glitch can be defined as something that is horrendous, malfunctioning or corrupted, the photo undergoes an unusual and unprecedented transformation. The idea of using a body part in an image creates an even more disturbing and unwanted sense of distorting something in its natural state, akin to the gruesomeness of a limb being twisted off or something 🙂 Thus, a glitch transformation of the original image is born through manipulation of the text in the files.

[How is each transformation creating a new form of its precursor?]

Each transformation sees an additional layer of distortion to the picture. The original pixels still exist somewhere in the photo, but its placement and relativism to the other pixels have changed, resulting in an entirely new visual that borders closer and closer to unrecognisable.


[The Third Space] Research Critique 2

The third space is to me, is a space where the realm of the physical crosses over with that of the virtual, and a uniquely existing space is created where we supposedly interact with another body that exists in another dimension.

Paul Sermon, Telematic Dreaming, 1992.

Collapsing boundaries in the third space employs a wide usage of technology, especially concerning live feeds that allow people from different places to interact, and despite the difference in locations, closeness and intimacy can still be forged. Quoting from Randall Packer’s “The Third Space” article, “[The third space] is the pervasiveness of distributed space and the degree and myriad of ways in which we are constantly connected.” Similar to this principle, I primarily thought about the usage of the five senses and how they contribute to creating a dimensional fabric that becomes increasingly realistic the more senses and the degree of the senses you involve in the work; for example how touch and sight and sounds of another being would trump simply their visual appearance. Maria Chatzichristodoulo mentions this as an example in her essay, Cyberformance, referencing “Melbourne-based Company in Space that aimed to “create dialogues between our visual, aural and kinetic perceptions”.” More information from our receptors thus creates a more vivid experience. The knowledge that you are also interacting with someone in real time also reinforces the sensation of someone truly tracking your movements and expressions at the same time as you are analysing them, and the environment you employ in the work also influences this. A work conducted in a private, isolated setting, away from the judgement of other people, is bound to be more intimate than that of a busy public space.

Posted by Joseph Tan on Monday, 5 February 2018


In our piece, the ‘third’ body’ is created between the three of us, where we hop in and out of the different screens simultaneously (or at least we try our best to!!), and thus create a third person that is switching locations at a glance. Connection and collaboration between the three of us occured in the form of trying to coordinate with each other by looking through the screens to see whether we were actually syncing up our jumping, and it took a lot of tries before we got it right! We also had to communicate verbally for this to happen despite being in different spaces. Feedback from classmates gave some suggestions on how our idea could be improved, such as not including our faces, and wearing the same clothes, to bring out the idea of being the same, or the ‘third person’.

Micro-Project III: Tele-Drift

Posted by Joseph Tan on Monday, 5 February 2018


P R O J E C T  By positioning the camera facing opposite directions with a distance away from each other, we coordinated jumping movements such it looked ( or at least it was supposed to??) like we were jumping from one camera to the other, but it would end up being one person jumping out from one camera and another one appearing on the other camera. Capiche? No? I feel ya :’)

W H E R E  In the ADM Basement, with Joseph’s phone placed on the staircase, and my phone placed on the table under the staircase (essentially opposite each other).

O B J E C T I V E S  To be able to create a work that incorporated three person (compared to the other projects with two people) smoothly. As opposed to creating a project that involved two people, two split screens and just inserting an extra person into the other screen. Thus, the third person could either help us break the third space/we had to take turns being on screen.

O U T C O M E   While the idea was there, the coordinating was super hard, and took like…three different live videos for us to be able to coordinate properly jumping into/out of the cameras at the same time and even on our final try we sometimes screwed up (but some of it can blame the camera lag yeah :’) ). But I think we managed to successfully capture a (entertaining?? I hope) video that made use of the split screen function and three people effectively.

[D.I.W.O] Research Critique I


The first poll on Joseph’s Instagram story!

Our project, a crowd-sourced artwork based off a virtual audience’s choices acts as a departure from the traditional single-artist artwork by involving various collaborators that even join in at different stages of the artwork.

Second poll on Joseph’s Insta story

In our artwork, the viewer is given the power to assemble a drawing of a scenery according to the preference of the majority. Conversely, the role of us as the artists are simply to assign options to the audience, which gives us a semblance of control over the artwork, but still is a rebalancing of power roles compared to traditional artwork where power is usually fully assigned to the artist, thus resounding with D.I.W.O, as it usually ‘challenges and renegotiates the power roles between artists and curators’.

Third poll on Joseph’s Insta

Moreover, this artwork is clearly part of the category of ‘co-produced, networked artistic activities’. One aspect of social interaction exists between us as artists requesting cooperation from the viewer, whereas another aspect is the network between viewers, when they select their option and find out whether their votes are part of the minority or majority, and feel the sense of being part of a collective network.

The fourth poll on Joseph’s Insta

While this kind of voting work could certainly take place in real life, putting the artwork on Instagram, or the Web, allows us to make us of its capabilities to collect votes from people in different locations and at varying times (although we did have to make use of only a short timeframe as a constraint), and without the physical presence of other viewers around a certain viewer to influence them, and the lack of knowledge about others’ choices, their selection would be optimally, as objective and self-governed as possible.

The fourth poll on Joseph’s Insta

Our artwork would perhaps be similar to the artwork we discussed on “Wikipedia Art’, and ‘Crowdsourced Relationships’ in the aspect of allowing strangers to contribute to the final result of an artwork or process. However, it is not as open as the voting process is only open for a period of 24 hours, and only followers or visitors to Joseph’s Instagram will be voting, thus placing constraints on time and availability of the artwork compared to bigger artworks.

Last poll!!!

Overall, from the discussion in class about our artwork, it doesn’t really look as much like a mass piece of artwork because it was done by our hand and thus looks like art from a single person. If there were less constraints on time and space, perhaps the artwork could have been much larger scale and done by multiple viewers, like a pass-it-along piece of digital art or something. :)))

From my discussion in class with Lei during my presentation of this research critique, I chanced upon the idea of how the duration of time of the art work affected the scale of the artwork. Logically, if a work were available for the audience to edit over a longer period of time, the work would most likely become larger in size or have more content if the area was fixed. Furthermore, if audiences have a longer time to ponder over the response to the artwork, their responses will likely become more complex and contributory to the work, making the work more expanse emotionally and mentally as well.

Final artwork!