[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!”

[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!