Post Graduation, I intend to work on starting up my own creative/design studio that finds more creative ways to approach marketing. Working freelance in my friend’s start up recently where we rely on close contacts with completely different skill sets has given me more appreciation for a collaborative framework when embarking on projects. Rather than having a top-down approach or strictly assigned roles, I would want a team of designers and marketers to be hands on and be involved in the brainstorming process together. With my interest in spaces, culture, and communicating experiences through graphic design, I do hope to synthesis both spatial design and visual communication. I also believe that while we study methodologies such as speculative design and generativity, these principles are rarely applied to tangible projects, resulting in a somewhat saturated marketing style/approach. Starting up my own studio would allow me to have the freedom to be more explorative in the initial phases, applying these methodologies to the creative process to conceptualise unique and new solutions to a problem brought forth by clients. With my passion for design and art, ultimately I intend to bridge the gap between marketing/branding and art practice. An equal balance in art/design and corporate presence would be ideal.
FYP Pitch — ‘The Local Shangri-La’
FYP Proposal Pitch
1.FYP Inspiration Slides
2. FYP Proposal Summary
1. Prescriptive Scenario : Observing Chosen Site (Outram Park/Duxton) as a Case Study, studying spaces, behaviours, interactions between Old & New and translating these into tangible & meaningful patterns that can be harnessed or used as springboard for achieving preservation & reconciliation of cultures. Studying Coexistence, Symbiosis & Juxtaposition of both Organic & Inorganic Entities/Phenomena to explore the conceptualisation of a shared common ‘space’ that allows for intersection and interaction of Old & New, Past & Present, Present & Future
2. Fictional World : Imagining a Fictional World where Ageing or its process is homogenous or where ‘Youth’ is immortalised as a feeling despite our physical degeneration. A world where the ‘New’ blends into or springs from the ‘Old’ rather than replacing the ‘Old’. A Cyclic Biosystem that mimics nature rather than a conventional man-made linear process of demolishing or removing traces of the past/old in pursuit of Novelty. A world where they are not treated as polar opposites that diminish the other as either of them grow, but rather a world where their individual growth leads to an exponential flourishing of the ‘whole’. A world where the Old never gets ‘Old’ and the ‘New’ isn’t just a transient novelty but rather one that branches out from the Old. A world where there is no vulgar distinction between the past and present. A World where Spaces flow and weave into one another rather than one where Space is artificially bound or restricted by the man-made walls demarcating it. A Community/Synergy with a Collective Identity/Culture/Modus Operandi rather than a mere Geographical Location with Enclaves of Different Identities that coincidentally happen to reside beside each other.
3. What-Ifs (Speculative) :
- What if All Senior Citizens dressed flamboyantly and young people dressed conservatively?
- What if we aged backwards?
- What if Buildings were protected permanently and could never be demolished/replaced?
- What if the concept of ‘private spaces’/walls/doors did not exist and we could cross into any space we wanted?
4. ‘Social Isolation’ :
- Live In Areas that are not as accessible or connected to Bars etc.
- The number or data of Elderly LGBTQ folks are unknown and this could be attributed to the fact that discrimination towards LGBTQ folks both culturally and socially existed for a long time until recent years. Some were open but many had to live their life discreetly or even ‘ignore’ their sexuality for the sake of pursuing a life of normalcy.
- Possible lack of Understanding. Some of these ageing folks might be illiterate or not as well versed with such terms. Thought they may have an inkling or idea of what it is to be ‘Gay’ there is still no deep knowledge on how society has progressed in terms of treating sexuality. This not only perpetuates internalised homophobia but also contributes to the discrimination.
- LGBTQ is treated as conflicting with ‘Culture’. One is usually outcast when they come out. It is significant to note that gender fluidity is expressed and manifested through many elements of these rich cultures — Hinduism, Buddhism etc. In the form of their deities. The ornamentations and motifs encapsulated within the spaces of Temples are colourful, decorative and flamboyant. In my chosen site, these spaces co exist side by side with LGBTQ Establishments. Perhaps by drawing parallels and finding superficial similarities between the two cultures, a visual blend could be a starting point.
5. Deliverable : Conceptualising a ‘Bar Space’ for Ageing LGBTQ folks (considering there is no proper safe space to accommodate these folks and most of them choose to be rather reclusive). Taking into account how though most LGBT Millennials are quite liberal, they will eventually end up ageing too, so I got to thinking it could be a call to action to design for the future. Furthermore, inherently intersecting/integrating seemingly contrasting elements from both these entities will allow for breaking of barriers and encourage interaction/dialogue.
NGS Critique — Passage Moist Beings
This Particular work was curated under the Exhibition Space : Time Passes. The Overarching Theme/Concept for this Space was set up as an ode to the middle chapters of Virginia Wolfe’s novel, ‘To the Lighthouse’. ‘Care’, ‘Connecting Past and Present’, ‘Closing a Loop in Time’, ‘Compromise and Attention’ and ‘Human Intervention’ are certain themes encapsulated in these chapters and the curated works aim tore interpret and appropriate these same themes, in light of the way our interaction between each other, between us and the environment (both organic and inorganic) has been altered by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
‘Passage Moist Beings’
‘Passage Moist Beings’ by Yeyoon Avis Ann, is a personal documentation of the Artist’s habit of caring for snails she comes across in her path, removing them from harm’s way by displacing or shifting them into a safe space. It is an extrapolation of her personal experience an a seemingly normal phenomena, to explore the way humans interact with our environment, from her lens.
1. Initial Thoughts
The work itself is life-sized and is realistic in the way it mimics the natural habitat or environment in which she would possibly have encountered the snails. It’s stripped down, raw and literal representation is powerful considering the space it is set in. When one walks in, they are immediately drawn to the tactfully placed ‘puddles’ of objects on the floor. We are beckoned to take a closer look, and have to kneel or crouch to clearly see the objects embedded in the ‘wax like’ ‘puddles’. This very sudden shift in our space when we kneel instead of stand as we usually would when appreciating an ‘art work’ immediately transfigures us into the artists’s perceptual and conceptual space. We are then momentarily transported away from the psychological space of the bigger exhibition though we are still very physically present within the walls of the gallery. The space between the puddles also allow for the audience to slowly manoeuvre their way through the work. There is a very real fragility attached to the work, further highlighting the idea of Snails being in harm’s way. We then are inherently forced to be careful with the way we approach the work and move through it so as not to touch or damage its elements. By forcing us to be ‘careful’ and ‘mindful’ it emphasises the idea of intervention and care.
2. Treatment of Materials
The artist uses minimal materials to translate her message. The use of soil, gravel, twigs, leaves juxtaposed with traces of human waste — paper, cigarette buds, plastic enforces the idea of intersecting of two very different environments. It shows how human activity and our daily habits have creeped into, pervaded and degraded the natural habitat that occupy our space. Rather than being occupants and being ‘outsiders’ to nature (which we have modified and altered to clear space for our own architectural and infrastructural pursuits), we have come to a point where nature is now the ‘outsider’, forced into crevices due to our presence. The idea of snails being in our path, especially during the rainy weather and our very nonchalant disregard towards their presence, highlights this desensitised and normalised attitude we have adopted towards organisms that share the same space as us. When we do step on a snail (most of the time unintentionally) we simply shriek/wince, clean our shoes and continue walking. It is important to ponder or consider if our act of wincing stems from our ‘pain’ from hurting the snail or rather the ‘disgust’ from having slime all over our shoes. Hence Yeyoon’s work beckons us to internalize and revisit this phenomena. Personally, I too have the habit of picking snails in my path and moving them into bushy or protected areas.
3. Representation of ‘Snail’
The artist documents some of the snails she encountered in the process of this exploration/work and this is displayed in a simple back to back series of videos on IPads, within the set up. They provide a powerful and real context for the objects on the ground. It is significant to note that she did not use any sort of physical representation or models for the snails.
Neither was the damage or the traces of broken shells apparent within any of the ‘puddles’. The only snails are the ones in the video — virtual on screen but albeit real snails. This choice to provide background context while omitting the use of the main subject matter within the other parts of the work allows for us to form our own narrative or thoughts/opinions. Rather than being confrontational about how we destroy or affect the environment around us, her subtle approach eases us into reflecting on that topic intuitively. Personally I found the translucent silicone puddles to be a sort of visual ‘double entendre’ — the first representation being the puddles formed during rainy seasons and the second being the residual slime left behind a snail’s path or left behind when their shell’s are crushed. Whether this was intentional or not, it certainly crossed my mind and the idea of making the remnants of the snail present while maintaining its non existence, enforces the idea of life in transience, while also reminding us that, that very mutable nature of life can leave behind very permanent marks.
4. Concluding Thoughts
When I stood back up and left the work to move on to the next work, my mind was still reflecting on it. The fact that it is relatable and so common, embeds in our minds or subconscious very easily and it is the way the artist engages with the viewers by playing on their intuition and personal experience, that beckons us to ponder about the way we ‘care’ or could care better.
Yeyoon’s works range from interactive digital works to installation art. Her works often involve the juxtaposition of the natural and man-made or organic and inorganic. Her intentional intersecting of ‘spaces’ by displacing objects and creating unexpected experiential spaces, while re creating a familiar scene or set-up, has a subtle yet powerful affect on viewers. By threading on the line between the familiar yet ‘uncanny’ she destabilises our perceptual space and leads us into introspection and wander at the same time.
Social Practice ‘Art’ (?) — Reflection/Opinion
Social Practice ‘Art’?
In the review, Ben Davis explores the phenomena of ‘Social Practice Art’ and its legitimacy, motivations and efficacy. He highlights how much of Social Practice ‘Art’ in some way, is a resistance or revolt against the commodifying and capitalist nature of contemporary art as we know it today — paintings auctioned off for exorbitant prices etc. Works like f’or the love of God’ by Damien Hirst arguably is a grotesquely ideal example of the exclusive, inaccessible and gate keeping characteristic of contemporary art and its associated audience.
With this in mind, one must be careful not to conflate ‘Art’ with ‘Capitalism’ just because of the way it has grown to be propagated or characterised via mainstream channels and popular culture. If we were to do so, then ‘Social Practice Art’ in essence would just be a fixation on capitalism and the politics associated with the system, and stand as a movement rather than an art form per se. ‘Art’ in itself is broad yet, we do not simply confer the term ‘art’ onto anything that is obscure, abstract, or is simply rebellious. Art is some sort of meaningful manifestation of a concept, culture or just personal expression. Its medium is fluid and continues to be increasingly non conforming with the age of technology on the rise — open source art etc. The boundaries that define ‘Art’ continue to expand. Yet there is a certain discipline that governs ‘Art’. And it is important to understand that this ‘discipline’ is not one that requires luxury, privilege or an esteemed fine arts background. Rather — this discipline is rooted in the motivations of the concept, and the approach in which it is executed. Ben Davies states in his review how Nato Thompson calls the gathering by Obama supporters ‘Art’ (“to include the spontaneous eruption of jubilation in Harlem that followed the 2008 election of Barack Obama as a work of street theater.”) The spontaneity of it could be considered as an artistic demonstration — only because there is a pre existing notion or knowledge on what constitutes ‘performance art’ or theatre.
‘Art’ mirrors society — it is not just meaningless or spontaneous events and occurrences (as powerful or controversial as they might be), rather it is the internalising, re interpretation and expression of such events in meaningful ways that reach a wider or targeted audience that makes it art. One does not simply look at a protest or a demonstration and think — this is ‘Social Art’. Rather, only when it is approached, re packaged and then integrated into the circle of ‘Art’ — even through the subtle form of a poster or book, it becomes ‘Art’. This then makes us question the very terminology and legitimacy of ‘Social Practice Art’. However ‘Social Practice Art’ can also be characterised as a probable culture of art and artists who’s intention is to contribute to the ‘betterment’ of society, the critique of social issues, and the integration of the community into Art or rather making the subjects of Art, part of the Art itself. This idea then can also be alluded to Krzysztof Wodiczko’s ‘Poliscar’ in which the ‘Art Work’ in question became a means of communication for the marginalised.
However as in seen in his work, a very tangible ‘product’ or ‘object’ was conceptualised and then used as the vehicle or vessel for the people and the community to be integrated into the work — organically and naturally. To some extent the control is still in the hands of the artist and starts ‘at the table’. It is a top-down process that cascades from artist to art to society — closing the loop back to art, and its inspiration on the other hand is more natural and non linear process — one that requires the Artist himself/herself to very much involved and in touch with social issues they are interested in. To prevent ‘Social Practice Art’ from became a facade — in the way it potentially can become a performative critique of social issues for the sake of appealing to the trends of social justice, there has to be some sort of approach or ‘theory’ to its practice.
The looseness of its term and the lack of any sort of strict criteria — as antithetical as this may sound, will only complicate or jeopardise the idea of contributing back to society. As detailed by the example of the ‘Project Row Houses’ that was intended to decrease homelessness in Houston, but inherently led to increased gentrification, while also having to be supported by huge funds — which essentially are paid by Society through taxes etc, ‘Social Practice’ Art Projects as they are or claim to be, are flawed or rather fallible. Though ‘Art’ should be accessible to all to be practiced, and anyone should be able to ethically engage in some form of project that critiques or highlights an issue they believe deems urgency or awareness, we should not intuitively characterise them by the term ‘Social Practice Art’ due to the very lack of clear definition or efficacy in it as an art form. Any targeted art can be a critique on society but can all ‘Social Practice Art’ (the term as we speak of in this context) Artworks be deemed effective critiques of Society’s Issues?
RA3 — Generative Art Theory by Philip Galanter
1. Generative ‘Art’?
Galanter in his overarching preface, states that there are some pre requisites for an Artwork to constitute ‘Generative’. On a superficial level, it involves Art created by ‘Non-Human’ Systems as opposed to Art created by Humans. It is important to note that ‘Non-Human Systems’ do not necessarily mean the use of technology but rather some basic underlying algorithm (many of which are numerical and analogue). Rather, Generative Art in its ‘primitive’ beginnings, paved the way for Computers.
The Jacquard Loom Machine can be considered one of the earliest Generative System where loom manufacturing was automated using cards with holes punched in. Islamic Patterns that followed geometric rules and mathematical algorithms were also early explorations of Generativity. The precision in the way a single modular pattern was laid out and then repeated, lead to a wide variation of designs and motifs.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
It is emphasised by the author that most contemporary is not to be associated with generative works, as the artist rarely relinquishes control of the work. Galanter then further argues that there are issues that exclusively impact generative art as a practice. And that generative art is a methodology to making art rather than a subset of ‘art’ in itself which he explains is ambiguous due to the many nuances surrounding what constitutes art — for which he raises the provocative question “if it is art, is it ‘good’ art?“
Hence there is a need to come up with a broader schema as to what Generative Art is as a theory rather than prescribing it with a strict and stringent definition. It is important to note however that the fundamental manner in which generative art operates is very strict and has to satisfy the following —
1) there must exist a designed system (within the work) with some sort of functional non-human operating system involved
2) the choices and decisions being made by the system has to be specific.
2. Using Randomness Effectively (‘Disorder’)
When approaching the conception of a Generative Work, one should utilise randomness as a complement but not as the fundamental function/operative. Randomness, Chance produce ‘disorder’ (which is key to achieving ‘effective complexity’ which will be explained in the later portion of this essay,) but are meaningless without any sort of contrasting order or framework for the system in which it is being used.
For example in Noll’s Gaussian Quadratic, horizontal positions are visualised using a quadratic function while the vertical positions are visualised using Gaussian distribution of random numbers. The Gaussian distribution in itself is some sort of skeletal system whose functional output differs depending on its input numbers. The numbers inserted here by randomness is ‘random’ yet when visualised with a highly familiar mathematical graphical function, gives the work some sort of arbitrary visualisation to compare to, allowing viewers to appreciate the deviations from the piece relative to one of normalcy.
‘Normal Gaussian Distribution’
‘Noll’s Gaussian Distribution (taken from PDF)’
A completely random function in contrast would be unintelligible and exist pointlessly — though generative, if the underlying system is one that lacks any sort of cultural, emotional or scientific association we can intuitively relate to or identify with, then the generative results produced by that system will not constitute ‘art’ but rather just gibberish. We hence have to be mindful that ‘Generative Art’ has to satisfy both ‘Generative’ and ‘Art’.
This notion of ‘disorder’ brings us back to Galanter’s argument that the peak complexity occurs when there is a mix of both order & disorder as opposed to Shannon’s notion that there is an indefinite positive correlation between the increase in disorder and complexity. As illustrated by Gallant, in his analogy of pixels which by Shannon’s theory would constitute ‘complex’, according to him are modular and easily identifiable in their discrete elements (making them the opposite of ‘complex). Her theory is one that is empirical and personally I feel when applied to the nuances of human condition and cognition does not apply as ‘accurately’ or intuitively.
While understanding the ‘machine system’ and its unique modus operandi is key, as artists we have to also be highly aware of how this notion of ‘machine intelligence’ is perceived and processed by the human mind — this then beckons me to recall the idea of the ‘Uncanny’ discussed in the previous assignment where ‘peak uncanny’ is at a specific point that is half recognisable yet half foreign. Similarly, peak complexity is achieved when the Generative Piece is ordered enough conceptually/algorithmically to be processed, yet its structure and visualisation can be highly disordered, seducing the mind to put in effort in consuming the work.
We do not associate disorder with complexity if we are able to make sense of break down the disorder in an orderly fashion. Rather the disorder is manifested in some sort of superficial sense — sound, visual. But if we are able to identify and associate this ‘disorder’, that in itself prescribes some sort of psychological order over the work — we know that white noise are just pixels, in contrast to a long strict of characters in sentences that make no sense. We naturally will be inclined due to conditioning to identify some sort of pattern or word formations, requiring innate effort to process- this in itself then makes the process of consuming the work complex. Though letters are simply digits the same way pixels are individual elements.
Hence as an artist we have to be highly aware of the ways in which we as humans perceive and process the entity of the work as a whole rather than just extrapolating its potential effectiveness by just scoping into one aspect of it – it can blindside us from achieving a much more effective complexity.
3. Complex Systems as Framework for Generativity:
A highly complex system that operates as a whole with multiple processes that are able to synergise and function within itself without any external intervention. Non Linear. (Small continuous changes resulting in macro level phase changes)
Complexity Science as a bottom up process instead of top down reductionism — the emergent whole is greater than the simple summation of the same of its parts. This idea of the ‘whole’ being greater than the sum is not exclusive to Generative Art and I personally believe can be seen by both Bodies in the 2D and 3D planes
2D plane — individual elements are placed precisely, relative to each other on a 2D plane, keeping in mind ‘invisible’ yet important concepts of Space and Balance — these are not measured elements that form the summation of the elements yet they are part of the whole.
Coca Cola Poster
3D plane — negative space etc (architectural bodies) cannot be simply deconstructed using the positive elements because the flow of space and the use of negative space is as equally significant in the function of the final body.
Tianjin Ecocity Ecology and Planning Museum
Non Linearity of Chaotic Systems leads to amplification of small differences —’the Butterfly Effect’. A Complex Adaptive System is akin to the process of Evolution and Natural Selection—Adaptation over time in reaction to the environment and other external factors causing certain genetic mutations to be favoured and others to be ‘phased out’ — speciation
Domesticated breeding of Foxes as a Generative System:
When internalising Galanter’s argument that Complexity Science forms a strong foundation for Generative Methodology, I immediately recalled an experiment detailed in one of my favourite writings — Richard Dawkins’ ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’.
This phenomena can be observed in the Experiment Conducted by Russian Geneticist Dimitri Belyaev in the 1950s (detailed in Richard Dawkins’ ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’). This phenomena is one that has both order (external restrictions imposed) and disorder (innate DNA or behaviour of the animal). A process that happened over multiple generations, over time it’s outcome becomes less abstract and more crystallised – the difference/separation in species becomes increasingly apparent and we end up with two or more divergent breeds from 1 ‘System’. Belyaev as the ‘Artist’ of this Generative Process, utilised the Fox’s innate flight or fight response to select Fox’s that were more receptive and calm to the intrusion of his hand. This is an example of how one harnesses the system’s idiosyncracies without directly manipulating it.
Short Video on the Experiment
What is interesting to note here, in Belyaev’s Breeding Process, in terms of unpredictability was that certain behavioural patterns were linked: as one line of his breed became more behaviourally domesticated, they also started to change physically. They were linked (some genetic mutations or some genes were linked and influenced each other) they did not fully occur individually as scientists previously hypothesised :
“These dog-like features were side-effects. Belyaev and his team did not deliberately breed for them, only for tameness. Those other dog-like characteristics seemingly rode on the evolutionary coat-tails of the genes for tameness” — The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins.
Breeding not just isolated to Foxes but to that of Dogs for a wide variety of purposes -—Daschunds hunting Badgers, Borzoi for Guarding, Whippets for Racing etc. These were all possible due to the ‘Artists’ (in this context Breeders and Scientists) who observed the system ‘DNA/Genetic Mutation’ and over a period of time favoured certain unpredictabilities to form an ordered production line of the same ‘unpredictabilities’. As this process became more crystallised, other nuanced attributes became increasingly apparent (further inherent mutations that were carried forth by the more ‘major’ mutations’).
Hence observation of the system we are working with is key. We need to make sense of the highly profound Chaos of the Chaotic System and harness it in a way that allows us to establish intuitive order (without forcing it directly). This then utilises the core of the system and makes the operative of the system itself a component of the Artwork.
This to me is ideal in Generative Art, the outcome should not be so far removed from the initial starting point that we see no correlation between the system’s underlying function and it’s output. Rather we want to be able to see a divergent set of outputs that are fascinating yet unique to a specific system.
4. Complexity Science as the trailblazer for Generative Art:
New Models of Complexity science that form the basis for Contemporary Generative Art – Fractals and L systems. These models are somewhat ordered systems that are still able to simulate certain processes in Nature such as the branching of plants.
It is significant to note that nature in itself to some extent is ‘ordered’ in the way the golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence ratios are manifested. Hence order does not correlate to a lack of complexity. We have to be mindful of the type of ordered system that is being implemented and if the ordered system is ‘diverse’ enough to produce different and divergent results depending on the information being applied to it.
The process may undergo a very ordered procedure but if the function produces a unique outcome each time, depending on the type of input, then ‘order’ in this context still constitutes a valid and intelligible generative exploration. Mindless Order that reproduces the same mundane result repeatedly, would be an example of a non generative ordered framework/system.
Galanter discusses many problems involving the methodology and approach of ‘Generative Art’. Amongst which the problem of ‘Authorship’ resonated with my own dilemma when approaching or designing a Generative Work. Is the Production of Meaning to be borne by Artist, Machine or Viewer? Is it truly possible to strictly confer authorship to only one of the entities or is the role of Generative Art as suggested by Galanter, to destabilise the fundamental idea of authorship?
The importance is upholding Ambiguity, as long as there is some sort of shared authorship instead of it being restricted to just one entity, the outcome and interaction with the system automatically becomes non predictable and ambiguous. The control given to the reader to some extent allows the work to be manipulated depending on their choice while at the same time, the readers are limited by the options offered to them by the computer (which ultimately is further limited by the parameters we as designers set for it to function within).
Personally, I would then view authorship as a sort of collective and feedback loop process in itself rather than the structuralist theory put forth by. Authorship is in a constant and non definite feedback loop between all three entities and each entity needs some aspect of authorship autonomy to sustain the whole.
Final Project — Further Ideation
A series of installation stations where participants establish dialogue with each other only via audio. Each station will explore a different aspect of the phenomena of ‘audio’. What type of sounds are evocative or highly sensory? The two participants form a closed loop with each having control of what the other person is hearing in real-time. They do however have control over the choice of response they make in reaction to the input they receive — to adjust the volume, pause, fast forward, skip or choose any specific sound they deem suitable to convey their intended non verbal ‘message’.
Pop Culture — Interaction can be either extremely pleasant or unpleasant, depending on the type of Song Participants choose to play from Spotify. They have access to huge database of genres and can choose from classical all the way up to avant garde.
Collected Peripheral Sounds — Cars, People walking, talking, trains, traffic lights, clock ticking.
Using the Fundamental Technicals of ‘Sound’— different frequencies, pitch, beats, rhythm etc.
Unfamiliar/Uncanny Sounds — pushing the interaction to the level of discomfort and unease by playing sounds that are highly triggering in nature yet completely unidentifiable. Psycho-Sexual Aspect of Sounds.
The systems are closed loops as only the two people involved in the interaction are receiving the audio input. It is important to note and remember however that they cannot hear the sounds they choose and as the stations progress, they have less ‘control’.
Station 1: For the music station we simply can choose popular songs with very specific cultural or emotional associations just based off the title. For example the Power of Love by Jennifer Rush or Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Such songs are so deeply rooted in pop culture that they have grown to have a shared association amongst the masses. Hence to some extent this allows the users to still be able to choose how they want to ‘influence’ their ‘listener’
Station 2: ‘Peripheral’ Sounds are sounds we hear daily in the ‘background’ and form the soundscape for the world we live in. They are all recognisable yet we rarely hear them in silo. This interaction will heighten our sensory reactions to these audio. For example the sound of Cars Honking or Espresso Machines Crushing Beans. The sounds will be labelled. Though the choosers will not be able to hear the specific sound unlike station 1, they will be choosing based on their own unique interpretation/experience of the sound. For example the sound of chatter might be comforting to someone yet highly irritable to someone else. Hence there is both Inherent vulnerability yet unpredictability in the way this station will operate
Station 3 is to explore sound and the way we perceive audio, down to the very fundamentals. Music is pleasurable or dis pleasurable because of the way different tones, pitch, rhythm are put together. This station will hence be ‘primitive’ in the way we react only via beats, tones, pitch etc. We often do not in our contemporary time and age consume audio in this manner. This station attempts to trigger some sort of possibly inherent evolutionary reaction/perception we might have of certain beats and manifest this very raw interaction between two Humans living in the digital age. Sounds here will be labelled and Participants with background in Music Theory might have a slight advantage when it comes to having ‘control’
Station 4: This level of interaction explores the ‘uncanny’. Sounds that are highly and oddly ‘familiar’ yet completely unidentifiable. For example the sound of a Wet Mop Slapping Against Cold Floor. This sort of sonic notion involving the idea of ‘wetness’ can be naturally very psycho-sexual without it being derived from anything directly or recognisably sexual.
The audience will not be able to hear the songs being played but will however be able to observe the facial and bodily expressions of the users during the span of the interaction and how these differ from pairs and stations.
Final Project — Initial Ideation
Exploration of Emotions via Text allows for us to dissect and observe the change in one’s emotional state over a period of days. We do not need to personally know someone but rather just have access to the information on their devices, to have a perception of their intimate self.
Not visually powerful enough. The use of circles signify closure and was not ideal in exploring multiple relationships.
Idea 1: (Sculpture)
2-Dimensional to 3-Dimensional
Web-Like Structure with both Peaks And Valleys.
(Areas of Concentration of both Positive and Negative Emotions)
Centre, Neutral line representing the timeline or days.
Idea 2 : Mixed Media
Simpler but possibly more visually powerful
Creating a Visual Map:
By using Identified Texts —> Assigning Emotion to it —> Looking at Date/Day Text was sent —> Look at Phone Gallery/Social Media to find Image/Tweet saved/liked on Corresponding Date.
To try and visualise if there is any correlation between the intimate interactions we have online vs the more subtle interactions we make with social media in itself. See if there is any pattern in the type of image that is generated or comes up for any particular emotion.
Do the emotions we feel and show via our texts influence the content we interact with on social media or vice versa?
Text: ‘Please keep it to yourself’
Image Saved on Gallery:
Creating a detailed visual database of the relationships we involve in, in the virtual world. Proof of Concept that our Devices provide access to our most intimate and private thoughts/feelings and that these information can be publicly accessed. Archiving information over a period of days, and then connecting the days with similar imagery to see if there is any correlation between emotion and type of social media ‘trace’ within the same day.
Exploratory Generative Study — Final Iteration
Looking through texts and identifying most appropriate text sent by person/user objectively, to best summarise feelings expressed on that day. Reflected in work.
Equidistant Points on Circumference
Colour/Shape assigned to contact
Size of Circle
Distance between Circles
Number of Solid Lines
Number of Dashed Lines
Size of Area formed by Lines
Density of Lines
No connection between third party without intermediary connection through me
There was a flow in emotions expressed by each person/myself through the days. Validated that text messages are indeed intimate and are indicative of what we feel. They’re not just superficial.
Final Outcome can be overwhelming and ‘messy’.
1.Dilemma between adding too many and too little ‘lines’: I did not want to force any sort of connection/correlation upon the viewer and leave it up to themselves to connect it intuitively. I mainly connected the points representing myself to indeed show that there is some sort of consistency in emotions expressed throughout the period. This was to merely guide the viewer in making their own connections between the other elements.
2.Number of Circles Vs Size of Circle: Not too big as to make it obvious. But not too small to make it completely not readable.
Lack of Lines/Negative Space are as important as the presence of Lines/Area.
Hard to predict the outcome as it was not pre meditated.
Digitalise the Data but in a more objective way: using an external computer etc that will analyse it in a way that is different from human objectivity. (we still are to some extent influenced by our emotions). Interesting to see how an isolated machine system makes sense of the words and assigns the links between them.
Possible Expansion: are there also links between ‘vague’ or ‘expressionless’ words? Punctuation? Emojis? Etc.
Exploratory Generative Study — Update
I will be working with 5 contacts (the few I mainly communicate and have some sort of emotionally intimacy with in this current period). It is significant to note that these dynamics might change over time and completely disappear too — this however will be part of tracking the transient role we play in each other’s life through our phones. If I happen to break communication with 1 out of 5 of the people, the data visualisation representing that respective person will be empty for that period of time. There will not be any additional or new contacts added into the system designed around the initial 5 subjects.
Will take place over a period of 1.5 to 2 weeks so as to have enough diversity in the visualised outcomes yet have some overarching structure/parameter.
Initially I only thought of recording the connections we made between each other based on similar keywords indicative of the same sort of emotion, and the ‘background’ third party connections between the other users themselves make (via me as an intermediary). However I have decided to include the types of emotions within the graphs (categorising of them as either positive or negative feelings and taking note how these map out through the days).
The initial idea was to use discrete/isolated and progressive grids that represented each respective days. However I felt like the structure seemed very rigid and would be counter intuitive to the way they were meant to portray the very organic and salient connections of our digital relationships and intimacy. Hence I will be using circles instead (the centre being Myself, and 5 Equidistant points on the Circumference to represent the contacts).
Instead of organising them in a linear manner, I will be organising the circles themselves as part of a larger circular clock like interface or some sort of spiral — this will allow us to view the entirety of the data as one cohesive pattern/piece that can be taken apart slowly instead of a blatantly broken down grid structure. This improved iteration will require slightly more ‘effort’ from the viewer, increasing engagement and stimulation. Having no discrete start or end in a circular loop also reinforces the concept of transience and fluidity of digital intimacy.