According to the World Health Organization, air pollutants have become the top environmental risk to the health of children since their immune systems and lungs are not fully developed yet at the time the exposure begins.

Urban Canary by Daniel Goddemeyer, David Schellnegger & Brynn Shepherd is a toy doll, based loosely on tamagotchis, that detects the levels of air pollution and it’s health responds accordingly. It is a toy that is designed to not just educate children about air pollution but also condition to empathize with the toy when it “falls sick” in a polluted environment simultaneously. The toy comes with a sensor for a face and a color-changing LED depending on the air quality. This is then linked with an app that tells you how much polluted air the child (and the canary) have experienced today.

Additionally, depending on the child’s age, general health and inevitable exposure to low levels of pollution in the urban environment, the sensitivity of the Urban Canary to pollution can be adjusted in the settings.

The Urban Canary starts out being healthy and well, indicated by its steadily blinking green pulse. Throughout the user’s daily routines the air quality level around them is being constantly measured and visualised with the the respective pulsing colour. With high levels of pollution, the Urban Canary starts to get uneasy and anxious by expressing itself through its LED and vibration, alerting the child of nearby air pollution. At extremely high pollution levels, the Urban Canary not only alerts the child, but also the parents. Exposure to high levels of pollution continually, the Urban Canary starts to become”ill”.

Parents then scan the Urban Canary through its app to examine it and find out what led to it to fall ill. The app will recount its recent encounters with polluted areas and state the occasions where and when it and the child were exposed to pollutants. For more detailed information, a summary shows the areas, times, and amounts of pollution that both the Urban Canary and the child were exposed to throughout their daily activities.

In their connected network, users of the Urban Canary can look out for each other and suggest unpolluted spots nearby to recover. By sharing their measurements with each other, they create a comprehensive pollution map that can be used to spare children and their Urban Canaries from excess pollution in the future. The map gives a good indication where the Urban Canary’s health may suffer or improve at which time of the day, so it (and the child) can avoid polluted areas nearby or find spots to take a breath of fresh air in between. When exposed to unpolluted air, an Urban Canary recovers quickly, indicated by its pulse changing color back to its original bright green.





Targeting to fight air pollution and it is adjustable to suit the conditions of the child for a more accurate gauge.


It is a device that could be simply easily understood by all ages. Since it’s targeted at kids, the minimalistic design and feedback is suitable for its targeted audience.


It teaches kids about a serious problem, air pollution, in a fun and non-textbook way. It also teaches them about responsibility.


Shaped like a toy and resembling an animal, it simulates kids to care for it more as if they are taking care of their own pet.


Utilizing playful relationships and emotional attachment to create new conversations around air pollution between child and parent.


The data is collectively collected and shared for all users of this toy.




I like the overall look to resemble an animal but having the sensor replacing the face fully might not be the best choice. Putting myself in the shoes of a child, I would be more enticed to be more proactively in taking care of my urban canary. Speaking of which, I did not understand why it is shaped like a bunny instead of a bird since its titled urban canary.

Years ago coal miners would carry canaries down into the tunnels with them. The delicate birds were more sensitive than humans to dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. If the birds perished, the miners knew it was time to exit the tunnel immediately.

I understand that it was drawing inspiration from the concept of the coal miner’s canary, perhaps it would be more relevant to be shaped like an canary itself. I also thought about it being more diverse in the shape and colour it comes it but perhaps this is food for future thought since I don’t know if it would stray from its original concept. Also, the color-changing LED could be located higher where the heart position might be instead of the waist so that it can draw the link to health better.


Can the sensor really perform as what it is described to be able to do? For instance, in their pictures they portray the children holding the device in the palms, out in the open but in reality would they would really carry them around like that? Won’t it get lost easily then (considering they are kids and kids tend to misplace objects so very often)? In fact, I think it is more likely if it would be mostly kept in their pockets or bag and i doubt they would diligently take it out to scan the air and keep it once again.


Being a electrical device, I think another important factor is its battery life. Its impossible that it does not require any form of charging or whatsoever. I did not find any specifications for its battery life hence, its dubious if this whole idea is even that plausible to work as it is expected.

Another factor is also the maintenance. Like all other technology there would be times it malfunctions or stops working. Considering how this is entrusted in the care of a children, shouldn’t there by some considerations of how careless/rough children can be and the device could possibly get destroyed/dented/spoiled?


For countries with polluted air almost everywhere, for example China and India. This device might render quite pointless.

Better link for its data visualisation 

I feel that the step of using the app to scan the device for more details could be better integrated since somehow it feels a bit out of the whole concept now.



As mentioned earlier, it could have a better design where the sensors could be better hidden instead of it being left so exposed. Also, there could be more interactivity between the device and the child to make their relationship more interpersonal. For example, the device could have a voice of its own, motors and perhaps even their own character. In more opinion, I think there are many potential ways this device could be expanded like it could further developed to truly take the role of a personal companion or to a more diverse medical tool.



This module introduced to me the idea of social broadcasting and the great lengths of what it could do. When first told that we have to do live broadcasting from Facebook Live, I dreaded it and was rather skeptical about having to do it (still am) since it’s something that I would probably never ever do if not for this module. Going live was scary because it meant exposing yourself to the world.

From the research critique of “Videofreex”, “Hole in Space”, “BOLD3RRR” and “The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence”, we got a look into the past of how the various media artists used this particular medium to discuss and challenge ideas concerning social broadcasting and live streaming before adapting this concepts into my own works.



Carol Vontobel recording the everyday life of a young boy.

The take away I had from Videofreex was that it is possible to shoot whatever and wherever, capturing the raw moments, environments and relationships. It was about the freedom of expression and everything was worth capturing. With social broadcast, you get to create the content and you are the character where you can do whatever you want.

“We’re all videofreex.”

Unconsciously, we have all already started practicing some of the concepts from Videofreex even without knowing. For example, with “Real Time Aggregation” and “Video Double” to ourselves familiarise with Facebook Live. From this, I learnt how to use the Facebook Live functions and was pushed out of my comfort zones and had to struggle to find “interesting content” to film but realised I eventually decided to film the everyday and mundane.


Hole In Space

A man and a women having a casually and flirty interaction about the bottle across the screen

“The absence of the threat of physical harm makes people braver”

“Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz showed that rich human communication was possible over a high speed link”

The takeaway from this was how people would tend to behave differently when they are in the third space as compared to in reality. It was a  shared experience hence people were so engaged and excited. Audience can also become performers and media has showed that it be turned from one-to-many to many-to-many, resulting in a blur between reality and the virtual.


In “Third Space Workshop”, we all participated actively and comfortably in the activities told to us to do by Randall from the whole segment of connecting limbs to the masks segment to interact to one another. If the same was told to do so in the real life classroom we’d probably be more skeptical and uncomfortable as to why we had to do this.



white noises with graphic that glitches

In this work, it was chaotic and hard to understand at first glance but overall, there was still some sort of flow, like water trickling from one place to another. Jon Cates started by addressing the audience alongside the “flickery and glitchy visuals and audio” before he gradually seem to start talking to himself instead.

“Desktop Mise-En-Scene”

This is actually no different from how we utilise our gadgets now. For example, in current days, with so much information and content disseminated so freely, one is so easily distracted, we switch between the various tabs so often in a way if we were to visualise it, it might possibly look something similar to Jon Cates’ video piece. Hence, in our lives now, it is also in a way sort of glitchy, both in reality and virtually. In “Desktop Mise-En-Scene”, it can seen with me switching back and forth between tabs every so often from work to entertaining, vice versa.

“Our desktop is more than screen space, it is a virtual extension of our physical reality, a space for the formation and design of new identities, and an alternate world for artistic invention.”

Media does not have to be perfect and it can on the other end of the aesthetic spectrum. BOLD3RRR depicted this imperfectness perfectly, where he made so many intentional glitches and mistakes.Unlike the black and white concept of BOLD3RRR, I decided to go with a explosion of colours that distorts reality somewhat.


The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence

“The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence”

“Our relationships and interactions are increasingly mediated through social media, leading to hyper-energetic participation in networks here referred to as super-participation. In the intensity of social networking, collaboration, tagging, sharing, and viral distribution, we become an open system of media redirection, flows of activity in and out of the collective, third space.”

This was the idea of many to many where anyone can participate and add in their own flavours and best part is that it doesn’t end there. It gets continually enriched into a piece of work nobody knows what to expect. No matter how big or small the contribution was, there would linger a part of us in it.

“The Collective Body”

In the earlier piece, “The Collective Body” before this research critique, shows how everyone can contribute photos of their own body parts in whatever style they wanted, paying no attention in how to try and conform to the earlier one. It was also refreshing in the sense that you had no idea what was going to be posted next and how the ‘narrative” will continue.


With that, we tried to infuse all the different concepts we learnt into the “Cross Stream Broadcasting Project”.

“Cross Stream Broadcasting Project”


Our cross-stream project was extremely chaotic and had many things happening all at once. It was truly unscripted and raw where the content captured was whatever that was happening at that moment, alike to a site reporting. With the overlay of the bombing green screen, it truly seem like a news reporting of a country being bombed. It had many glitches and “mistakes” yet as a whole, it still made sense. The flow is fast, where the camera is panning around constantly. There was a lot of layers of interactivity going on in this piece where audience can become both a audience and performers simultaneously. Though it was about a bomb, people who interacted with this piece had all the freedom to change how it would outlooked. The cross-stream also took off to the next level when it become multi-cross stream with another’s broadcast being shown in the classroom’s projector screen and the content was switched to broadcast what he was broadcasting, where he took the role of “site reporting”. Overall, I would say this cross-stream was perfectly imperfect.

Each pair of artist-broadcasters will run a technical test between laptop and mobile phone, or between laptop and laptop, finding locations in ADM where there is no bandwidth lag so that the transmission is a success. Then take the archived broadcasts, embed them in the OSS posts of each member, and describe the results of the technical experiment.





Initially, everything was running generally smoothly aside of some audio issues and image resizing in OBS to fit the green screen overlay.

“The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence” by Douglas Davis is a project he began in 1994 at the art gallery at Lehman College, where he invited people to contribute in the forms of words, photographs, video, graphics, WWW links, and sound via the Internet, the World Wide Web, email, regular mail, and personal visit.

The huge difference between broadcast TV and the Web is the keyboard. With that people can say anything; they have full expressive capacity. This means a more intense and personal link could occur between me and the audience.

The quote is rather applicable then and even more so now, what with almost everybody having a part of themselves on the net now. With a simple device like the keyboard, it can generate so many diverse, unscripted and unexpected outcomes. This is quite evident in this work where you can easily see how different individuals type a sentence differently. They could write about basically anything and everything they wanted. It was total freedom where there was going to be nobody who could stop them physically. It was also interesting to see how some people interacted with each other even though they are all strangers to each other but they talked as if they weren’t.

Our relationships and interactions are increasingly mediated through social media, leading to hyper-energetic participation in networks here referred to as super-participation. In the intensity of social networking, collaboration, tagging, sharing, and viral distribution, we become an open system of media redirection, flows of activity in and out of the collective, third space.

With it being in the web means its easily accessible to others from other parts of the world. This further amplifies the work where anyone could read and add in their own words anytime anywhere. I think it is this element that brings closer to the topic of super participation. Everyone in one way or another are all connected, thanks to the advancement in the internet as well as how everyone is so readily to share and take content from there as well.

Overall, this work reflects the world we live in now where everybody is constantly adding in their own comments or opinions onto a posts by someone else or themselves. The cycle is endless and if people are interested enough in the topic, the post can go viral with the endless commenting, sharing and tagging.



Measuring Less to Feel More- Mickael Boulay


Measuring Less to Feel More by Mickael Boulay is essentially a type of Glucometer, a medical device that determines the approximate concentration of glucose in one’s blood. How this particular device is different is that the design of the device has a distinct focus on the interaction between the device and its user.

“Tools are supposed to help us. And yet, as Mickael Boulay discovered, that is not always the case.”

Field research showed that diabetic people can actually be stressed out by the device they must use to check their glucose level. Stress releases more sugar into the bloodstream, thus creating a vicious circle. This device aims to drift away from the focus on precise numbers (a cause that causes stress in people as seen in the video) instead of meaning. Hence, this device was created to be more intuitive, subtle and visual. Instead of displaying numerical values, the position of an LED light simply tells the user whether the blood sugar level is high, low or balanced, no exact numbers.


Users are definitely more comfortable and inclined to use this devices as seen in the video. Also, the reduction in stress factor of the device also serves to give a more accurate gauge of the diabetic value. I also feel that, it is also good in the way that users would also keep coming back to check their blood sugar level willingly and perhaps even a more regular basis which in turn can help some be more motivated to reduce their diabetes. The whole design by itself is also rather minimalistic and aesthetically-pleasing. It is easy to use and understand (a simple touch with the finger) which is user-friendly for all ages and especially for the more elderly who has poor eyesight, they can tell easier their level simply with the colour indicator. The removal of exact numbers and replacement of three main colour codes allows for users to feel more at ease and with the rough gauge, they can work on their various levels accordingly but this time more determined, more connected and not so affected by the jarring numbers starring back at them as if accusingly. The shape is also rounded where it is easy to hold it in one’s hands and carry around.

Overall, I don’t see much cons in this device other than the fact that users won’t know exactly how high or how low their value is now. However, I guess like Mickael Boulay mentioned, “maybe its not necessarily to be so accurate for those people.” Perhaps another factor was the



A change was perhaps in the choice of colours where it is more indicative and reflects the respective range better. For example, high could be of more warm colours like red and low could be of more cool colours like blue, vice versa. I think also instead of having to stick the piece of rectangular block together into the light emitting part of the device maybe it could be made to come out by a push of button or proximity sensor. This is also eliminates the chances of it breaking off or people accidentally losing the part since it is the most important part technically. By adding sounds, for example, levels that indicate low to be more cheerful and higher to be more encouraging could further help motivate users to reduce their glucose levels.

I can see this similar concept being implemented for the many various medical or emotion-detecting devices. It can also be seen implemented in devices targeted at the younger or elder seem it is straight forward and easy to use/understand. It could also be a audio-visualizer or simply a decoration. I think this device has many potential to be developed for other purposes with addition of the various sensors , LEDs and even motors.

When you complete the Facebook Live video, be sure to post it to your timeline, embed it in an OSS post, and write a short description about the overall experience. What was it like to share your personal desktop space? Did you receive any reaction in Facebook? You might want to consider broadcasting your Facebook page so you can rebroadcast the chat interaction and your own image.

First of all, I struggled with the software and interface since its something brand new to me hence I guess I don’t really know how to utilise the various functions to its full potential so my video its pretty simple and basic? It felt kinda weird to be sharing my personal desktop space out online since most of the time personal desktop space means literally personal desktop space. This is also another aspect completely new to me and I had literally no idea what to broadcast about. Hence, since Randall mentioned in the previous class to try and keep it as close to reality as possible, thats what i did. I just browsed around the web, listening/watching videos, doing assignments at times but basically just switching around most of the time. It didn’t feel like an invasion of privacy since I was just going about doing my usual business, nothing special. I really liked the colour change element and played around with it a lot to create a more interesting visual overlaying the daily and mundane. After the broadcast, I didn’t know why some sounds weren’t playing so there were only atmospheric sounds from my house.

Overall, it was much more “easy” and “comfortable” to execute as compared to the previous broadcast since there was already a structure and content that one would broadcast. Also, it was less pressuring/intimidating since it was really just basically about what you do in real life on the desktop, which i guess in a way is what most others usually do as well. Hence, in a way all our recordings, some with similar content, some with much different, seem to all gel up as one but depicted through our own styles and characteristics.

This video piece depicts in an interesting way how Jon Cates uses glitch to broadcast realtime across international timezones.

Rendering Time in fragments, errors and overlaps, jonCates plays with recursivities. These feedback loops merge personal data and swim in associations from Chicago to Taipei to Boulder and back again. Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012) was performed live via Skype for MediaLive 2012 at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, July 14 2012. BOLD3RRR… Realtime: Reflections and Render-times by jonCates (2012) is a processed document, screen recorded in realtime and camera viewed forward in reverse by jonCates (2012).

The recording showed him fiddling around with the various softwares he use in his daily life. For example, playing with Ableton not before long where he would switch to something else. On top of that, text that are big and bold, probably comments overlays above what he was doing on the desktop.

Screen capture of the big and bold text overlaying the softwares he switches around every so often

I think in this work, the element of recursivities were quite prominent where there were three main scenes –  a frontal view of Jon Cates in full screen but slightly fuzzy and blurry, text overlaying programs on screen and generally a very glitchy scape plus the strong buzzing of white noise.

white noises with graphic that glitches

Though the content seems to be all cluttered and all over the place, there was still some sort of flow. There seems to be a narrative but it is very much non-linear. It was kind of hard for me to understand what was going on most of time to be honest and I struggled a lot to watch this piece, what with the rather “flickery visuals and audio”. However, i thought about how it not very different from how we do things on the desktop now. For example, in current days, with so much information and content disseminated so freely, one is so easily distracted, we switch between the various tabs so often in a way if we visualise it, it might look something similar to Jon Cates’ video piece. Hence, in our lives now, it is also in a way sort of glitchy, both in reality and virtually.

Our desktop is more than screen space, it is a virtual extension of our physical reality, a space for the formation and design of new identities, and an alternate world for artistic invention.

Jon Cates’ use of glitch and “dirty new media” entered into his performance of Bold3RRR. In this work, I think it perfectly captures that since it captures Jon Cates’ identity really well and the glitch effects added a layer of intriguing attractiveness to the daily and mundane. It was kinda broken up, at times seemingly unreal yet it is real, and as a whole it still is able to hold together as one whole.

“Masks” on Adobe Connect

Initially, I was really curious how the lesson will be carried because I’ve never attended such a type of class before and it was kinda exciting and also a bit nervous since its new. I think the difference between having the class virtually than in real life is that it is definitely more convenient. In real life, its considered okay to be late for a short period of time but when it was online, it was actually more pressuring in the sense that you have to be present at the set time if not you’d miss out and perhaps the class cant start. It was also actually more participatory with the selected groups chosen to be discussing about the given questions in Adobe Connect. Since it was virtual, only the selected people could be heard and seen but in a more focused way. For example, when someone talks in class, one would not stare consistently at the person talking or focus on them but perhaps just listen without looking much at them. Perhaps this was also due to avoid social pressure since it was rude and kinda pressurising to have someone constantly looking at you, much less a crowd. Hence, in a way, it felt more comfortable to be talking virtually, even though its still to a crowd. But one problem was with the technical aspect where my mic was working fine from the start but suddenly it “spoiled” when I didn’t do anything. That left me rather clueless and at lost of what to do and I was frustrated but sorry for those who couldn’t understand me.

Since I attended this at home, it was more comfortable in the sense that I do not have to rush my dinner before rushing down to school for class and also I was in a space where I fell home at. However, one problem is that since I don’t really have a “room” and my desk is actually kinda out in the open, my family members actually have to be more considerate with the sounds they make and all.

I think having the class about the third space in a third space was helpful in the sense that we get to learn through experience and it was also memorable. It was really fun towards the end where we had to “interact” with the others near where our screen is located, especially the “mask” activity  as show in the image above. I think that was the most engaging and fun moment and even though we were not together, but we are, in a sense. Hence, I really learnt a lot from this experience. I think it would be fun to have lessons on this platform again.

“Hole in Space” (1980) by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz resembles what we call the video chat now when implemented at that time. It went for 3 days at the walkways of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York City), and the broadway department store located in the open air Shopping Center in Century City (Los Angeles). It was a totally fresh and surprising event since their was nothing mentioned about it or explaining it and only people who had actually passed by those places would chance up this. They could now see, hear and speak with each other across a life-sized television images of the people from the two places. They could not see themselves but they could see what was happening in the other part of the city. It unconsciously served to close the distance between the both cities and people could interact as if the other city was right there literally in front of them. This allowed for discovery of new people, rendezvous to be set up and even allowed long lost separated loved ones to see each other again.

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz have worked on various pioneering communication projects. This particular installation was funded by The Broadway Department Store, grant from National Endowment for the Arts and numerous companies. In 1989 Galloway and Rabinowitz founded Communication Access For Everyone (C.A.F.E).

What was interesting was how the audience reacted this sudden opportunity. Like always, people were clearly confused and wondering about what is this that is put in front of them since it came out from nowhere and they had never experienced anything similar.  Even now, its the same for the people in our century now. We still get confused and uncertain when suddenly plunked into a new situation with no instructions or whatsoever. Conversations then started as the viewers realizes that they were talking with people, who were placed in this same confusing plight just from a different part of the city. Considering the technology at that time, this was indeed a wonder and unexpected for everyone. Word spread quickly about this amazing communication platform and more people came to experience it.

A man and a women having a casually and flirty interaction about the bottle across the screen

As seen in the screen capture above, the two individuals even progressed to maybe starting a romance just over the screen. It is at this moment that you realise that the distance between these two groups of people had actually been dissolved, gone. Poof into the air, like as if it never existed. It also served to show that actually we’re all actually not that different from each other. Of course we have our differences, but we also share so many hidden similarities just waiting to be uncovered. We can connect with one another easily when putting aside the discriminations and prejudices and just presented as how we are at that time. There is nowhere to hide “yourself” or “enough information to pin a judgement” on the other party since it was something that just throws out into the open, exposed but also free of all strings.

“The absence of the threat of physical harm makes people braver”

So true this statement is. Perhaps its because you aren’t really there so people tend to do things they won’t do on a daily basis with people that are right beside them in flesh. For example, at one instants during the video, there was also a excited woman gleefully talking with the projected people from the other city, whom she had not seen for some time. She was blowing kisses, getting so emotional she even bowed down and burst into tears. It was interesting to see how people whom are strangers to each other, play, talk and interact in the various ways as if they had knew each other for ages. Also it is also interesting to note that all those people she got so emotional over where the pedestrians that she were to pass by often in reality, I doubt they would even have the chance to develop a relationship much less a so “deeply bonded” one as seen in the video.

“Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz showed that rich human communication was possible over a high speed link”

It is fascinating to see, that in this day and age, such methods of instant communication to the rest of the world was regarded as impossible in the past. Compared now, such technology and opportunities are so easily available to us to the extent some are even starting to take it for granted. Now, instant communication has proved to be a double edged sword where it can strengthen/build relationships or even break them.

Collective Narratives

“We wanted to explore the aesthetics and sense of presence in a shared performance/multimedia environment, where people don’t leave their indigenous environments. That way people from varied creative and cultural backgrounds could help create a new environment in which they would collaborate on an international scale.”

Hole in Space itself is an example of a collective narrative. In this project, people from a whole diversity of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles came together through the screens provided and they interacted with each other in a way that was totally pure, raw and unscripted. It was a in the moment kind of thing. Hence, this allowed for a rich diversity of personalities, characteristics, stories to be mixed together beautifully into as one.