Poetics of time ~ Project 4

Project 4, poetics of time requires us to create a final project that expresses one of the categories of time. Since it could be created with any medium of our choice, I decided to work with film and record a video. Below is a copy of my first very first project proposal draft. (Explanation of changes below!)

project proposal

  1. Project Title
    • the inverse of time
  2. Describe the Art Project
    1. What is it about?
      • changing the normality of time that we experience every day
      • things that normally occur fast will become slow; vice versa
      • focus on human behaviours/emotions
      • Focus: Human reactions, grooming needs
        • Sneezing, pre-sneeze
        • Yawning
        • Smiling
        • Blinking
        • Nail biting/cutting
        • Nodding
        • Wave
        • Frown
        • Cough
        • Wink
        • Crawl
        • Laughing
    2. What has inspired you?
      • I wanted to explore a universe that experiences time otherwise
    3. Are you trying out a new concept or a continuation of a previous project?
      • New concept
    4. What do you intend to communicate to your audience?
      • Let us appreciate motion and live in the moment
    5. What is innovative or new about it?
      • Portrays scenarios that are against the norm
      • points out moments that we tend to overlook
  3. Objectives and activities of the Art Project
    1. What are you going to make or produce?
      • A video
    2. How are you going to produce it?
      • Film it from various angles
      • capture subtle movement
    3. What is the type of work?
      • Edited time
    4. What is the dimension?
    5. What is the length of time of this experience you are creating?
      • 2-3 minutes
  4. Art Materials and Equipment for the Art Project
    1. Describe the materials you are going to use
      • DSLR camera
    2. What tools will you be using?
      • Singapore
      • my surroundings
  5. Mounting and Installing the art project
    1. describe how you would install the art project
      • Played on the classroom projector
  6. Art Project Design 
    1. Mockup of your artwork
      • Trial shots below

concept development

Throughout the start of this project, I really struggled with the ideas that I had and was indecisive about what I wanted to focus on. However, I did kind of have a filming/editing style in mind which was inspired by the artists in my project 4 research post. For the filming and editing, I knew that I wanted it to be quite raw in nature, capturing the moments itself without the input of additional background music or visual effects.


As seen in my original proposal, I wanted to create a video that expressed the inverse of time. Since there was no focus initially, I then thought of focusing on human behaviour/actions. After consulting with Lei, my plan was to film very close up shots of people in their natural state and try to capture the moments of sneezing, coughing, etc… With this focus, I proceeded to take test shots in the public space of a mall. Below is a compilation of some test shots.

During the filming process of these test shots, I realised that it was too challenging to capture the moments of natural human behaviours that I wanted; especially in a raw setting because the moment is unpredictable. It was also very awkward for me since I was trying to film strangers without them knowing. I also could not film them to the level of closeness within a frame than I intended.


Moving on to another idea, I thought of filming something that could mark the end of this first semester and the new chapter in my life of staying at university. With this, I aimed to create a video that documents a day in my life specifically spent at hall. I took the DSLR around with me throughout the day to record everything and compiled it into a video filled with many short clips.

“day in the life of” // project 4 final outcome 
falls under the category of edited time

From morning to night, this video includes repeated clips of my window and the view when you step outside the door to show a progression of time throughout the day. Other repeated visuals included my shower basket, my bed, the view from when I am laying in my bed and the wall hook on my wall where my towel and shower bag hangs. Time stamps were also included to mark the time of day.

day // night

throughout the day

throughout the day

To sum up all the clips:

Morning – waking up
– ceiling fan
– window
– brushing teeth
– starting work
Afternoon – window
– afternoon sun
– cup noodle lunch
– cooking cup noodle
– enjoying cup noodle
– back to work
– nap time in the evening
– waking up
Night  – receiving a dinner invite
– window
– heading downstairs
– having dinner with friends
– spending time with time
– heading back up
– shower time
– watching tv shows/scrolling social media
– lights out

Filming/editing qualities

Throughout the filming process, I  held the camera still in a single position without the use of a tripod for the effect of a presence behind the camera as well as to portray my day through my own eyes.

A few clips that I had to re-film another morning were the clips that turned out a little too dark and of bad resolution due to the lack of light. Initially, I had also filmed them out of focus to mimic the effect of me not wearing my glasses but it turned out even worse with the lack of light.

Out of focus // in low light

Out of focus // in low light

The audios present in the video were all ‘natural’ sounds that were present in my surrounding environment itself. I wanted to really capture the presence of motion and movement through the things around me that are often missed and overlooked hence for the lack of speaking and minimal movement of the camera.

As for the editing, I made decisions about altering the length of each clip when piecing everything together. During parts where I captured subtle motions such as natural movements and reflections within the frame, they tend to appear longer in order for the audience to appreciate the moment.


To sum up project 4, I really enjoyed experimenting with this style of filming and editing that I have always wanted to try. I am also glad that the outcome of this project documents this time in my life which I can look back on in the future. In the context that this video was shown in class and to an audience that is probably experiencing similar routines currently, I hope to have created something that feels familiar in some ways as they can relate to it.

Lastly, I had an amazing time during our last critique session admiring everyone’s amazing creations and development of their own styles 🙂

Impossibilities of Being ~ Project 3

To kick off project 3, we brainstormed lists of places and sounds during class. Assigned to list locations where we’ve never been to, one of my favourite place that I thought of was a ziplock bag. However, upon tasked with project 3 which was to create a 3o second video about an encounter with my location, I felt a bit restricted working with a ziplock bag. As I progressed on getting started with creating my lo-fi storyboard, I decided to change my location to a fridge instead since it gave me a clearer space to work with.

Lo-Fi Storyboard

For my very first lo-fi storyboard draft, I sketched an eight frame storyboard focusing on the fridge as a whole object and a literal interpretation of my first discovery with it. Since the focus of this project was soundscape, I decided that I wanted to create a video with edited sounds recorded by a zoom recorder over it.

rough sketch of draft storyboard // discovery of fridge

This storyboard embodies my first encounter with a fridge during the night as I am alerted by the fridge’s buzzing noise. I had envisioned for it to be a rather magical discovery.

After the first consult with Lei, she suggested that maybe instead of discovering the fridge as an object from its exterior, I could slowly reveal it from the inside. The discussion came to the idea of a miniature world occurring within the life of the fridge and we looked at some inspirations online. Inspiration was then taken from images like these below, but for my project will be altered to fit with the context of a fridge.



Inspiration was then taken from images like these above but food items will be altered to fit with the context of a fridge for my project.

HI-Fi Storyboard

Moving on to the new concept, I developed my hi-fi storyboard based on plans for my still images since it wasn’t possible for me to film a miniature life in the form of a video. Starting off with items that I could commonly find in a fridge, I used inspiration from images found online to help me plan out some possible activities that could occur.

Can Drink

The transition of Sounds:
1. Pool sounds
2. Talking by the pool
3. Can opening
4. Placing can in fridge

Can drink // swimming pool

Dried Chilli

The transition of Sounds:
1. Rowing/water sounds
2. Conversation
3. Ruffling of dried chilli
4. Plastic sound from chilli packet

Dried chilli // rowing boat


The transition of Sounds:
1. Cheering sounds
2. Bouncing on trampoline
3. Cling wrap sound
4. Rubberband over bowl

Cling wrap bowl // trampoline

Since the plan now was to work with images, I arranged the order of my different scenarios in a way whereby the close-up images would be shown first, followed by the reveal of the location with a zoomed out shot.

1. Blank screen, sounds of pool area 2. Can drink image, volume increases, the transition to boat sounds 3. Rowing/water sounds, conversations, transition into cheering 4.Trampoline image, jumping sounds
5. Zoom out image of the can in fridge 6. Image of dried chilli packet 7. Cling wrap bowl sitting on shelf

video in the making

Images of my close up settings:

ended up removing this setting because the colors did not fit with the rest

replacement of chilli scenario

additional scenario because video had to be a minute long

When I started the process of taking my images, I had originally wanted to use these tiny human figures that I had previously purchased at a very low price. Unfortunately, the quality of it wasn’t the best, especially the colours and how it had been painted. Even though including the actual figures would have included a much most realistic quality within the scenarios itself, I felt that the low quality of these figures ruined the visuals.

Hence, I resorted to photoshopping them into the close-up shots of the items and using them as a guide to creating my own illustrations of small humans instead.

Illustration of humans for all scenarios

To create these illustrations, I painted over the previous images with the use of a Wacom.

Images of humans in the respective settings:

These 4 scenes appeared in the first half of my video with sounds that match according to the setting. The following half consisted of the zoomed out images that revealed the setting of a fridge.

Images of fridge settings:

Finally, the last image consisted of an overall view of the fridge.

final outcome

After editing all my images that were taken with a DSLR, I compiled everything in order with iMovie and inserted the appropriate audio over it.

All sounds included in the video I recorded myself with a zoom recorder except for 2 which I had to source for online. With the zoom recorder, I recorded my sounds with the mic setting that was more sensitive to sounds closer to the mic to really capture the details and clarity.
Soundscape for the entire video
Credits to free sounds that I sourced online


During the critique, the feedback that I received was that the video would have been more realistic if the humans were not illustrated. I also felt that since we were limited to 1 minute, maybe it would have been better if I had stuck to 3 scenarios since it turned out to be a little rush.

To sum up project 3, I had a really good time experimenting with both realistic and illustrated qualities. Although the process was rather time-consuming with the photoshop and additional sound recording, I am very glad that I got to experience working with iMovie and piecing every part of this together.

The Subverted Object ~ Project 2

Moving into Project 2, we explored semiotics which refers to the study of signs and symbols along with their use of interpretation. Different types of signs include an icon, index and symbols. Icons resembling the thing it presents, indexes implying another object and symbols which are purely conventional. During class, we also looked into some artists including Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Sanders Peirce and Roland Barthes.

Measuring Tape

For the series of images that we were to produce for this project, the aim is to study and apply how semiotics affects the interpretation of the image. The object that I had picked was a measuring tape. This mind map contains ideas that came to mind revolving around measuring tapes.

Mindmap ~ Ideation

After my consultation with Lei, for task 1 I decided to focus on capturing the contrast between the stiffness and softness of both types of measuring tapes. While for task 2, I decided to focus on the topic of body image.

Task 1 

Image 1

The first image in task 1 captures the physical attributes of both kinds of measuring tape to portray contrast between the stiffness of the industrial tape measure and the softness of the fabric tape measure (as it wraps around the other). I chose to approach this image with a close-up shot in order to capture details such as the cracks and scratches on the metal tape measure to show the rougher use of it.

Image 2

This second image depicts the flexible measuring tape in a fashion context where it is placed amongst the presence of other tools that are used for tailoring clothes. In this low angle shot, the focus on the starting numbers of the measuring tape leads the viewer’s eyes into the rest of the image in the background. The warm tones present in the image was set up in order to complement the red number and line details on the tape.

Image 3

The last image for this task captures an eye level shot of the metal measuring tape in use for measuring furniture. The intent was to portray its stiffness through the presence of lines and depth and is taken at eye-level as we normally view it at for accurate reading. The image captures the practical function of the object.

Task 2

Image 1

Referencing the cultural stigma in today’s media revolving around people, especially females, achieving “the ideal weight”, this image portrays the overwhelming nature of numbers through the use of not just one but three different measuring tapes. In order to convey the obsessive thought over wanting to lose weight, the close-up shot focuses on the rows of numbers.

Image 2

Following the theme regarding the “standard of numbers”, I subverted the measuring tape into the context of a hospital bracelet. Replacing the regular band around a patient’s wrist, I stuck on a label which I created stating my name, identity number and condition onto the measuring tape. In this image, I subverted the object as a bracelet into a band of a larger scale that wraps around the waist. I decided to choose a blue measuring tape specifically as it a colour normally present in a hospital environment. The cool tones in this image such as grey and blue were also used to bring out a gloomy atmosphere.


Image 3

This image was selected for task 3 as my A2 poster. Encompassing the same intentions as image 2 in task 2, the measuring tape now portrays connotation of death and is symbolic of a noose. Since the last three images in this project flow as a story about the consequences of giving in to society’s standard of an ideal weight as a key to beauty, I wanted the last image to convey how people’s obsession with weight can reach a point of “breaking” where it leads to a critical state. I included a yellow background over the QR code because, in hospital terms, the colour yellow on someone’s bracelet means that they are very weak and will have the tendency to fall.

Not only does the measuring tape represent negative connotations of death as a noose, it also conveys an image of the patient trying to cling onto anything for support.


Unfortunately for my A2 poster, the colour that it was printed out in turned out very different from the original hence changing the effect of it. This took my awareness that I should check for the colour coordination for different printers in the future.

 Artist Influence 

Wholesome Wave: Eggplant, Bananas, Carrots
Photographer: Anderson Santos


Amongst a series of photographs titled “Wholesome wave” by Anderson Santos, this image portrays an eggplant as a medication. Since presenting on this image in class, I realized that the label that I created somewhat resembled the medical label in this series. Despite the differences in hospital bracelet or medication design labels everywhere, it is a template that can be recognized universally and hence viewers tend to not need prior knowledge about these objects to understand the image.