every beginning & end of the day (2019)

I will be documenting the final product and process in this post. I will begin with the former.

Project Description

An interaction that explores the interstice between ourselves and an inanimate everyday object. Blinds act as a psychoneurotic anchor for humans, they act almost as book ends to which our consciousness opens and closes.

Concept

I wanted to create the sensation of a lapse in time. To do that, I digitally engineered the movements of blinds and lights that emit through the blinds in different shades of warm and white colour picks from actual images.

The following are some images that I referenced.

Schematics & Automation–

The setup involves both Arduino and Processing. The hardware – 3 distance sensors and 3 servo motors wired extensively to 1 arduino,  a computer and a projector.

A diagram of the wiring for the hardware. The servo motors are connected to the tilting mechanism of the blinds.

The following is the arduino code:

#include <Servo.h>
Servo myservo;
Servo myservo2;
Servo myservo1;

int trigPin1 = 6;
int echoPin1 = 7;

int trigPin2 = 8;
int echoPin2 = 9;

int trigPin3 = 10;
int echoPin3 = 11;

int count;
int count2;
int count1;

boolean kena=false;
boolean kena2=false;
boolean kena1=false;

void setup() {
Serial.begin (9600);

myservo.attach(5);
myservo2.attach(4);
myservo1.attach(3);

pinMode(trigPin1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(echoPin1, INPUT);

pinMode(trigPin2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(echoPin2, INPUT);

pinMode(trigPin3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(echoPin3, INPUT);
}

void loop(){

int duration1, distance1;
digitalWrite (trigPin1, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds (10);
digitalWrite (trigPin1, LOW);
duration1 = pulseIn (echoPin1, HIGH);
distance1 = (duration1/2) / 29.1;

int duration2, distance2;
digitalWrite (trigPin2, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds (10);
digitalWrite (trigPin2, LOW);
duration2 = pulseIn (echoPin2, HIGH);
distance2 = (duration2/2) / 29.1;

int duration3, distance3;
digitalWrite (trigPin3, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds (10);
digitalWrite (trigPin3, LOW);
duration3 = pulseIn (echoPin3, HIGH);
distance3 = (duration3/2) / 29.1;

if (distance1<150 && distance2>=150 && distance3>=150){
Serial.print(“1.jpg”);
};

if (distance2<150 && distance1>=150 && distance3>=150){
Serial.print(“2.jpg”);
};

if (distance3<150 && distance1>=150 && distance2>=150){
Serial.print(“3.jpg”);
};

if (distance1<150 && distance2<150 && distance3>=150){
Serial.print(“12.jpg”);
};

if (distance2<150 && distance3<150 && distance1>=150){
Serial.print(“23.jpg”);
};

if (distance1<150 && distance3<150 && distance2>=150){
Serial.print(“13.jpg”);
};

if (distance1<150 && distance2<150 && distance3<150){
Serial.print(“123.jpg”);
};

if (distance1>=150 && distance2>=150 && distance3>=150){
Serial.print(“0.jpg”);
};

if (distance1 < 150) { kena=true;}

if (kena==true){count++;};

if (count>0 && count<7) {
myservo1.write(110);};

if (count>=7 && count<9){
myservo1.write(90);};

if(count>=9 && count<15){
myservo1.write(70);};

if (count>=15){
myservo1.write(90);
count=0;
kena=false;
};

if (distance2 < 150) { kena2=true;}

if (kena2==true){count2++;};

if (count2>0 && count2<7) {
myservo2.write(70);};

if (count2>=7 && count2<9){
myservo2.write(90);};

if(count2>=9 && count2<15){
myservo2.write(110);};

if (count2>=15){
myservo2.write(90);
count2=0;
kena2=false;
};

if (distance3 < 150) { kena1=true; }

if (kena1==true){count1++;};

if (count1>0 && count1<7) {
myservo.write(70);};

if (count1>=7 && count1<9){
myservo.write(90);};

if(count1>=9 && count1<15){
myservo.write(110);};

if (count1>=15){
myservo.write(90);
count1=0;
kena1=false;
};

delay(100);
}

The servo motors are controlled directly from Arduino, triggered by the distance sensor that corresponds to it. I set my threshold at 1.5m, around the length of a human. To generate a visual in Processing, I used Serial.print to generate the name of the .jpg file. The following is the processing code:

import ddf.minim.*;

Minim minim;
AudioPlayer player;

import processing.serial.*;
Serial myPort;
String data=”” ;
int i = int(data);
PFont myFont;
PImage no;

void setup()
{
fullScreen(P2D);
background(0);
myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[2], 9600);
myPort.bufferUntil(‘g’);

minim = new Minim(this);
player=minim.loadFile(“blind.mp3″);
delay(5000);}

void draw(){

background(0);
no = loadImage(data,”jpg”);
image(no, 0, 0, width, height);
println(data);

if (data.equals(“1.jpg” )|| data.equals(“123.jpg”)|| data.equals(“2.jpg”)|| data.equals(“3.jpg”)|| data.equals(“12.jpg”)|| data.equals(“23.jpg”)|| data.equals(“13.jpg”)){
player.play();
player.rewind();
}

}
void serialEvent(Serial myPort)
{
data=myPort.readStringUntil(‘g’);
}

‘data’ is what’s returned to the serial port of my Arduino.

Visuals

Possible outcomes in the form of images. During the actual demonstration, I slightly unfocused the projection image to replicate the natural phenomenon:

No presence

Left blind

Right blind

Middle blind

Left & Right blind (2 blinds return white)

Left & Middle blind

Right & Middle blind

All blinds on (return brighter)

Changes

There has been a drastic change in concept since my first pitch due to several accusations of similarities to works of other artists concerning blinds (though unintended).

The following are some links & images of the milestones in my process.

https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/syeow002/category/18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/project-development-drawings-18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/

Body Storming Documentation for Blind and Chandeliers

https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/syeow002/category/18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/project-development-body-storming-18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/

password: phototactic

https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/syeow002/category/18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/mid-term-project-18s2-dm2000-tut-g01/

Personal Reflections

Ultimately, I am happy with this outcome. On many mornings and nights I am reminded of this piece, which is the reverse effect of working on this for a long period of time. There were many moments of catharsis and discovery that I experienced from the people who tested it out. It was unfortunate to hear 2 of my servo motors grind to a halt at the very last moment, yet there is a sort of surrealism in seeing the light being casted on the ground as participants walked past them. Perhaps it all worked out for the better.

Further Expansion

If not limited by material, I would love to extend the length of this piece and perhaps house it in a more ambient location. It is my desire to watch a long stretch of these blinds wave and light up as people walk past.

Project Social Life

Project Social Life is an interactive performance piece by Social Club that explores the control of social media over a person’s real life decisions and our willingness to let it happen and shape our digital identity. This will play out over Instagram Story, using the poll function as our voting system. Social Club will spend a day together, with ADM as a meeting point. All is as per usual, except on this day all our actions will be curated by the social media public. The process as follows — we pose the questions, they give suggestions,  we run a poll, they have 10 minutes to vote, we execute.

We gave the audiences complete control over our lives on this day, including day to day doings such as eating and travelling. The audience can also call for us to execute unconventional deeds with no discretion to our levels of comfort. In this performance, the audience assumes the pseudo role of social media.

We performed Project Social Life on 14th April 2018. Social Club created a new instagram account by the handle @projectsociallife_, with a following of 51. They were mostly called in by publicity through our personal social media channels, and therefore consist mainly of our followers.

The following trailer will provide you with a better idea of what went down:

password: projectsociallife

This performance art doubles as a social experiment whereby we explore the metaphysical utopian quality of the social space. We curate our social media personas by selecting what to show and what not to show on our page. Therefore, through this curated snapshot of our day, we create a utopian narrative and social identity for ourselves. In this case, a very happy one.

The second half of our trailer showcases a heavier reality beyond those curated clips. It is testament to our ability to create a pseudo utopian reality through our instagram stories.

The biggest takeaway from this performance is the effect that even though we provide the social audience with decision making power, we as social media curators possess a certain level of choice and authority.

Angry Women and their Entanglement

Annie Abraham’s Angry Women is a piece hosted on webcam. The webcam acts as a facilitator for the women’s anger. The purpose of this artwork is to make a stand on female anger through angry discussions on the internet. Five performances were carried out with a full womans panel. Another had only men and the other two mixed with female. They also carried out private webcam meetings to reflect on and analyse the performance.

“We all have one subject, in fact. Mine is communication and the difficulty to communicate at all. Everything I do is around that.”

– Annie Abrahams

By using anger as a premise for this performance, remote communication that is through webcam becomes a method of disentanglement for the grievances of the participants.

 “In the beginning I had difficulties accepting these videoarchives because I saw how much they depended on our hazardous trying to interact, to be present in this universe of alone togetherness. Besides I didn’t like my own presence. As in other web performances I felt trapped and revealed myself not as I would have liked to be revealed.”

– Annie Abrahams

Annie believes that communicating in a grid works on the concept of “No Exit”. Having to be present in that small digital space, being isolated in togetherness gives her the sense of entrapment. I find this quite interesting because the act of talking through grievance in this artwork seems like a liberating concept.

“She clearly understands the inherent issues of bandwidth, distance, separation, and even alienation that occurs online. In fact, in many ways she embraces these issues and incorporates them into the vocabulary of her work.”

– Randall Packer on Annie Abrahams

The idea of alienation occurring as a result of bandwidth, disruption when communicating through the third space, is one that is prevalent yet easily overlooked by many – myself included. Through this concept of disruption and bandwidth, we may be able to explore the disentanglement of our real world problems within our curated utopia.

Media Burn and the Art of Destruction

Ant Farm, an avant garde video arts group founded in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Hall, is now a highly acknowledged collective of creatives that embrace the art of destruction (according to Patricia Mellencamp in her Journal of Film and Video).

EAI, Media Burn (https://www.eai.org/titles/media-burn)

One of the collective’s destructive artworks titled Media Burn (1975) is a performance that touches on the representative nature of the media. The artwork consists of crashing a “Phantom Dream Car” (a modified convertible) through a pyramid of televisions.

Doug Hall plays John F. Kennedy in this piece, whereby he touched on the flaws of media in society: ‘What has gone wrong with America is not a random visitation of fate. It is the result of forces that have assumed control of the American system…These forces are: militarism, monopoly, and the mass media…Mass media monopolies control people by their control of information… And who can deny that we are nation addicted to television and the constant flow of media? And not a few of us are frustrated by this addiction. Now I ask you, my fellow Americans: Haven’t you ever wanted to put your foot through your television screen?’

This is relevant to the notions of the hypodermic needle theory in the mass media, a controversial topic left helpless for decades. The ability of the media to inject ideas in to the viewer’s head, its ability to make ideas portrayed seem like the truth is one concept that is played out in this piece.

Chip Lord mentioned in an interview with Randall Packer that the televised image of John F. Kennedy as the first televised tragedy was one of impact and epiphany, since it was one of the first televised image of the bad side of reality. This inspired his work and heavy sentiments towards this side of the media. The destruction of the televisions is acts as a kind of anti-art, a protest. The destruction of a concept can be seen as a rebellious statement, and could perhaps be one of the defining characteristics in such a piece. It is a powerful way to show the anti motion against the lack of media literacy.

 

Do It With Others and Experimental Interaction

Do It With Others (DIWO) is a variation on Do It Yourself (DIY) where activity is now shared through participatory media.

In this approach, peers connect and collaborate, creating their own structures, using either digital networks or shared physical environments, making an art that is both made and distributed across a network.

Do It With Others (DIWO): Participatory Media in the Furtherfield Neighbourhood, Ruth Cathlow and Marc Garrett, Furtherfield

DIWO is practiced in Furtherfield, where the focus is now drawn on collaborative effort through emerging social technologies. In art, the role of the artist and the spectator is blurred. Those who come as audience usually play a part in influencing the outcome of the artwork, while the artist lift his own directive authority on the piece. A commonly known example of this is Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, whereby Yoko stays completely still and allows the audience member to curate how her clothes are cut.

In this Experimental Interaction module, we explore the concept of DIWO through micro-projects.

Our fourth micro-project titled “The Collective Body” is a feed of our body parts combined on a Flickr group to create what is a metaphysically diversified body. The technology of a Flickr group feed enables us to each contribute to the composition of this piece through our personalised frames and augmentations on our photos.

Another micro-project that works on DIWO is our first micro-project, whereby we stream on Facebook Live concurrently as we walk through our school. The streams are the aggregated onto a wall in a grid. The collaborative stream of events creates a metaphysical collage of space and time, moments we experienced together.

DIWO means exploring the potential to share visions, resources and agency, through collaboration and negotiation, across physical and virtual networks – maintaining a critical consciousness and hopefully, somehow having a decent life at the same time…

Do It With Others (DIWO): Participatory Media in the Furtherfield Neighbourhood, Ruth Cathlow and Marc Garrett, Furtherfield

DIWO plays an integral part in interactive art since the media is largely dependant on audience activity and collaborative effort. An artwork is deemed interactive when the audience can expect to participate and even play a part in the outcome of the artwork. It could even be said that art is not interactive without DIWO.

DIWO embodies ability to aggregate work in collaborative curation, allowing any person to create art, and this has revolutionised our contemporary art scene.

A Collaborative New Media: The World’s Longest Sentence

The World’s Longest Sentence is an interactive art piece that is enabled by the collaborative contributions of the audience through a website. The site instructs them to “continue the sentence” by submitting material of varying type – including text, image, video and sound.

The audience member is unaware of what precedes in the sentence. I contributed by submitting the phrase “to continue the sentence”. This phrase will then be published at the back of the running sentence on the website.

Generated is a long running, haphazard sentence of all languages and slang. Oddly enough, we are able to make sense of the different fragments contributed, and the stark coincidence in some pieces is compelling to watch.

Narrativity takes on new meaning and form in networked practices, through collaborative, many-tomany systems of writing, media making, and other forms of online expression. In connection with open source thinking, the collective narrative is a sharing and open exchange of conversation, ideas, information, and media that leads to a synthesis of voices: forming a common thread among peers.

Randall Packer, Open Source Studio

The piece is a social media that synthesises the communicative language and thought of a multitude of audiences, creating what seems to be a collage of a narrative. By collapsing our differences as such, and enabling our sentence to tally, the artist has put forth an incessant stream augmented reality; a third space whereby our differentiated thoughts are able to tell the same story. In one read, we are able to experience the narrative from a plethora of physical angles and make sense of them in a metaphysical space of cognition.

The possibilities of peer-to-peer authoring of the collective narrative is now native to our writing tools, such as Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and WordPress, in which multiple authors can coauthor and collaborate on writing projects, often in real time. This dramatically alters the act of writing and narrative, from the singular activity of a very personal form of individual expression, to a collective activity that is highly collaborative: all publishable instantaneously to a global audience.

Randall Packer, Open Source Studio

Much like collaborative online systems such as Google Drive and Google Docs, The World’s Longest Sentence allows for multiple users to co-author a narrative. What differentiates it from such softwares is it’s provision of instruction to allow for live collaboration on a much larger scale. The instructions narrow function as facilitators for the users to move in the same direction when participating in this extensive narrative.

Grand Theft Avatar – As a Third Space

The Third Space has an ability to collapse space and time through a “fragmented and augmented perception of reality”, according to Randall Packer.

We are connected to each other within this space, despite factors of reality that may hinder this connection. An example of such a network is Grand Theft Avatar — a live interactive performance art by Second Front.

In this piece, the participants of Second Front take up pseudo identities and deploy to rob a bank to free the virtual currency of “Linden Dollars”.

The third space represents the fusion of the physical (first space) and the remote (second space) into a third space that can be inhabited by remote users simultaneously or asynchronously.

Randall Packer

Grand Theft Avatar deploys a simultaneous use of the third space, collapsing the notions of reality through allowing such a scene to take place virtually/in a metaphysical space while the subjects are controlled live by actual beings.

It showcases how participants would interact with other participants in real life, however these behaviours are only actualised in a virtual space. This phenomenon rids the scenario of cause and consequence, creating a hole in this staged reality.

The third space is perhaps akin to the fourth dimension, a hyperspace where spatial trajectories have no boundaries, where temporal relations are amorphous, where wormholes reveal pathways that are instantaneous and geographically dispersed.

Randall Packer

The nature of Grand Theft Auto is also said to allow it’s players to experience thrill through reckless behaviours that harbour serious consequences in real life.

It could then be said that in this third space, actual beings can experience a different and impossible version of reality through this media. This quality brings a certain superior level of flexibility to the third space.