In the eyes of kinetic beasts ~ Hominid Frog research

HOMINID FROG

 

Hominid Frog: PDF

The hominid frog, the pygmy mole-rat and the simethyltryptamine slug (relationship)

  • the hominid frog will seek out the SMT slug but not as a prey
  • the slug secretes the SMT molecules through its skin contained in the mucous
  • the hominid frog is the only species of animal with receptors in its brain able to bond with the SMT molecules through special receptors in its fingertips
  • the hominid frog is the only species of animal with receptors in its brain able to bond with the SMT molecules
  • after a hominid frog has absorbed the SMT, it will immediately hunt with a 85% increased success rate
  • it is believed that the SMT induces massive bursts in energy, as well as altering the frog’s senses, enabling it to detect and catch prey with astounding ease
  • as the frogs seek out the SMT slugs, they encounter female mole rats, essential to the irrigation and propagation of the SMT slugs nutrients
  • the pygmy mole-rats will also use the hominid frog’s feces to line the entrance of their burrows, to keep predators away from their burrows
  • the hominid frog is deadly poisonous
  • the pygmy mole rat is the only animal equipped to resist the poisons of the frog

The Hominid Frog, The Pygmy Mole-Rat and The Simethyltryptamine Slug

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Final Project: Glitch Singapore

S O N D E R

For the final project of this semester + the first year, my group consisting of Ying Hui, Si Hui, Niki, May Thu and myself came up with an interactive experience based on the term “sonder”.

the realisation that every stranger has a life as complex and vivid as yours, connected to thousands of others whom you will never know either, and will only exist as a blur in the backdrop of your own life

Downtown Line ~ East-West Line
Bugis – meeting point

The final description of our concept: 

Held in the setting of 2 different trains, the idea was that both trains were site-specific to itself as a location in Singapore. This referenced the idea of strangers that co-exist within the same space during their journey from one point to another but never getting to know each other as another human being like yourself. Inviting 2 strangers to participant in the project; each will start off at different stations on different lines, making their way to a point of intersection, which was Bugis in our case.

Taking on the persona of the line they are on, East-west line (aka EW line) and downtown line, both participants who are anonymous to each other will converse over chat, with the use fo telegram, to get to know each other. They have the option to be whoever they want to be online, whether it be themselves or an altered character. During this journey to the ‘final station’, players will learn more about each other, and through their conversations were told to draw a portrait of what they thought the other person may look like. In the case of any awkwardness in the conversation whereby they are stuck in the conversation, the breadbot (existing in the same chat as the participants) will pose questions to keep the conversation going.

Nearing the end station, both participants will be asked if they would like to meet the person they have been chatting with. With their replies texted to the breadbot in private chat, the outcome of their answers will be revealed to them in the common chat. If both parties agreed to meet one another, they will then find their way to each other upon alighting at Bugis station. From then, they will exchange portraits and get to meet the online personality that had been talking to, a stranger, that they would’ve never met 😀 (or maybe, a friend coincidentally) You never know who the person you were talking to may end up being.

Pre-official run preparation:

Regarding the players in our game, we initially wanted to invite complete strangers at the moment in time on different trains. But upon consideration, we realized that it would be a challenge to look for strangers that are willing to be filmed, are alighting at Bugis and is willing to be interviewed after (aka spend extra time with us). So instead of spending time on the actual day sourcing for participants, we decided that one of the players would be someone within our team, while the other player would be one of our friends. With this arrangement, not only will there be some level of control, both players are still considered strangers to one another.

As for the breadbot, we prepared a bot script; including an introduction, stating the purpose of the breadbot, simple instructions to the game as well as a list of guiding questions to prompt the players whenever necessary.

Our individual roles on the day itself were to facilitate and film the game on two separate trains. We split ourselves up into two teams for filming and lending of our phones to the players (where our contacts were changed for anonymity). On both days, I took on the role of the breadbot whereby I would facilitate the conversation from the start (introduction) to end (portrait drawing and meeting up). We ended up doing two runs of the game in order to stronger portray our concept of sonder. I am glad that we did it twice because the difference between both outcomes really allowed for a comparison between the interaction of various personalities online and offline. Both runs and meeting experiences are captured and included in our video 😀

Diving slightly deeper into my own experience as the breadbot, it was a really interesting experience considering the conversation from both days were so different.

Day 1: Didn’t prompt any questions mid-conversation

Both players on day 1 could hold their conversation as they both asked questions to each other and found similar topics of discussion. Over chat, they were equally as involved in the conversation.

Day 2: Prompted multiple questions mid-conversation

One of the main differences that I noticed from day 1 was that Niki’s friend, Cheng, started off the conversation by asking the breadbot to help break the ice. Since their conversation started with a breadbot question, I felt that it affected the rest of it. After they answered each question, I felt that I needed to prompt another one because they weren’t sure where to divert it to. One of the reasons may be that the subjects of the questions did not allow for further expansion.

Unexpected elements/problems:

Arriving at our final concept was actually what I felt like was our main struggle throughout this project. Our initial “runner+chaser” game that was located within Bugis street turned out to be too complicated and didn’t seem to have a final goal/accomplishment. I was glad that we did a test run, whereby we realized that it didn’t carry a strong concept. However here is a compilation by Niki of some footage from the test run:

Moving on from this initial plan, we went back to some of the ideas that we started off this project with and decided to stick with an interactive game that revolved around the intimacy between two individuals. From there, we arrived at using two trains as our site-specific location.

Some challenges that we faced during our actual runs was that the limitations of time, screen recordings and possibly the presence of the breadbot may have influenced the online relationship between both participants. It could have affected the level of connection/deepness of their conversation. It was also a challenge filming in the MRT due to the crowds but our camera women did a great job :))

An unexpected element was noticed after watching the screen recordings. We realized that the players would delete what they initially wanted to say, which I guess is the perk of conversing online hehe. Another surprising element was the meeting of the players afterwards. We didn’t expect the dynamics between the players to be so different in real life compared to over chat but I guess that comes with meeting someone new for the first time. Despite the challenges that we faced throughout the project, I am pleased with our final outcome and the efforts that we put it to make it as relevant to the concepts that we touched on throughout the semester 🙂

Here is the pdf file of our presentation slides S O N D E R!

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Hyperessay ~ Online Symposium

Online Symposium

Broadcasted over the span of three different days, I managed to attend the first and last day of the online symposium. While the performances on both days were rather different, both portrayed the theme of “Social broadcasting: an unfinished communications revolution”. On the first day, we started the symposium of with a lecture by keynote speaker Maria Chatzichristodoulou. Her discussion about how technology has been used extensively for interaction, supported with some examples that we have discussed in class, demonstrated qualities of D.I.W.O and social networking. Emphasis on how present technology is in our daily life reinforces the point of defining physical spaces and boundaries to bring people together.

Maria mentioned that “live performances carry ideology”, which I thought was very fitting with the performances that took place throughout the symposium. Unlike pre-recorded videos of performances, the live aspect of current performances allows the story/purpose to flow in its own way. If something does not go the way it was planned to, it becomes part of the experience, hence carrying and developing ideology. Movements within live performances also produce actions which challenge the definition of physical art making it an interactive experience.

Comparing the performances from both days, I would say that the difference between one-to-many and many-to-many form was rather evident as an audience. Although the Online En-semble – Entanglement Training (first performance) involved multiple performers, the experience itself felt like a one-to-many form since the performing platform was the third space. We were watching different aspects of the performance coming together from various screens, in which they actually used broadcasting as a method to perform. In comparison to the Igaies aka glitch performance on the third day, they used the third space as more of a streaming platform rather than a performance ‘stage’. This meant that there were times when I felt a little more disconnected to the performance as an audience due to the restriction of camera angles, etc…

Day 1 Performance

Day 2 Performance

Diving deeper into the content of these performances itself, the Online En-semble incorporated qualities of breaking boundaries of physical space. It was a performance that linked auditory as well as visual senses together strongly with the counting down of latencies, humming, and the close-up filming of objects. It was a rather immersive experience which I really enjoyed; especially upon understanding that the performers were all in different countries, some of which were new collaborators with Annie Abrahams. They also mentioned that there was a professional music performer within them who helped to guide them with the flow of sounds. Abrahams also asked her collaborators to choose political statements to say because it is a time when politics is preoccupying her mind which is very suiting to current society. The spontaneity within the performance creates a sort of harmony within itself.

The Igaies performance on the third day held a lot more of a dystopian theme in comparison to day one’s performance. The hashtag performance involving XXXTRAPRINCESS’ was one that I wish I understood more of, especially the purpose and reasoning behind the setting up of them sitting back to back. However, I thought that their use of filters was very fitting for an audience of our generation. The performances were held in a more traditional performance space which demonstrated an abjection of the space. Along with the leech and sexual puppy performance, the idea of having an online identity (aka acting) was prompted. All the performers were immersed in their own characters and as a whole, they created a sci-fi quality to the this ‘procedure’/experiment.

Throughout both days, there was definitely a presence of glitches produced by various technological difficulty. The fact that we were watching from various time zones adds to a glitch in the experience of all audiences and performers. The online symposium was definitely a good way to end of the sem as it holds a lot of resemblance to our topics of discussion and micro-projects.

 

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Micro Project 7 ~ Video Selfie

The alter ego that I have chosen to be for this microproject is an artist who is also a traveller, one who travels to gain inspiration.

Through the depicted journey in this video, I develop a deeper relationship with the location I am in as time progress. This is shown through the intervals of me removing my shoes, socks and lastly walking barefooted. I also decided to add a black and white filter to anonymise the location, allowing it to be anywhere imagined.

How can the video selfie be used to alter identity?

When something is being filmed, chances are that people normally put up a front for the camera in order to be perceived in a different light. When given the freedom to decide what goes into the video, we have the opportunity to curate our identity in a way that is more difficult to do in person.

How might video be used to conceal identity?

When it comes to watching a video of a person, I’ve always thought that it was almost impossible to figure out / conclude one’s true identity. Physically, the editing and framing of the video could conceal a person’s voice, face or body part and hence not allow audiences to understand the full truth.

How do the objects that surround you contribute to your sense of identity?

Aside from the spontaneous route that I took throughout the video, one of the things that I thought of including was a location with a wider variety of textures on the ground. It contributes to the sense of identity that I am open to exploring a range of places not specifically cities or rural areas.

 

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Research Critique 3 ~ Glitch & The Art of Destruction

the art of styrofoam destruction 

For our micro-project, the art of destruction, Jia Ying, Frederick, Melo and I ‘destroyed’ the original state/shape of these styrofoam pieces that we found in the 3D room. We reused random pieces which previous users had considered as ‘trash’ and transformed it into a new form of creation.

It didn’t matter to us what the original shape was, nor how it would turn out to be. This was our way of embracing inconsistencies and accidents; just by going with the flow of how the heat gun wanted to corrode the styrofoam which turned out it disintegrated slowly into nothing. Through the destruction, the solid state of our styrofoam structure transformed into toxic within the air which we then inhaled 🙂

Through this project, I started to look at the term ‘destruction’ in a different light. With the negative connotation that it tends to hold, this project conveyed examples that demonstrated destruction as another form of construction; something we can choose to look at positively instead of negatively. With reference to the glitch studies manifesto article, Rosa Menkman said, ” I emphasize the positive consequences of these imperfections by showing the new opportunities they facilitate. ” 

final outcome

Relating this project back to our glitch exercise, the intentional ‘bugging’ of something acts as a form of artistic expression by being a “poetic embrace of noise and error”, as quoted by Jon Cates. The glitched images that we created reminded me of abstract art. It pushes us to break the standard rules and boundaries of art that it normally conforms to. “Pushing different aspects o the machine world to see their thresholds, and experiment and play.” Not only were our glitched outcome a form of experimental artistic expression, the process of how it came about to be from person to person allows for every individual’s input.

 

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Image making through type ~ Process + Final

Before proceeding with my concept and 4 compositions, I had to first list out my 4 future jobs. Upon further reflection of these jobs, I realized that I’ve always wanted to pursue them as a child perceiving these as pretty fun jobs.

  1. Flight attendant
  2. Interior designer
  3. Baker
  4. Supermarket cashier

Starting off with objects that I could possibly include visually into my compositions, I began brainstorming for things that were relevant to the jobs in my sketchbook.

brainstorming

sketches

Following the development of ideas, I began sketching possible compositions. The interior designer ~ dollhouse sparked the idea of using other childhood toys to portray the remaining jobs. This concept of including childhood toy sets was then included in my art direction.

Toy cashiers

Kitchen/food sets

Prior to coming up with all the compositional concepts, I proceeded to draw them in greater detail so that I could lightly sketch it on the tracing paper before sewing the thread on.

SEWING PROCESS

Trial test aka exploring the medium:

embroidery + pen detail

embroidery + colouring details

I choose to sew on tracing paper because its translucency allowed for layering of backgrounds.

Sewing process

During the sewing of circles in the first composition, I realised that it was more efficient to poke holes in the paper beforehand with the needle.

Colouring in areas with colour pencils

 

 

 

TOP LAYERS

BACKGROUND LAYERS
  1. Air stewardess – Plain white background
  2. Interior designer – floor plan
    1. floor plan

  3. Baker – recipe pages
    1. recipe pages

  4. Cashier – receipts
    1. grocery receipts

 

FINAL PRESENTATION 

Concept & message of work:

  • Telling of my future jobs with the progression of time through
  • Neatness of embroidery and background layer decreases with time
    • Creasing of paper increases
    • Increased length of thread that remains at the back

Art direction:

  • Embroidery with monochromatic threads on the first layer with pen and colour pencil detailing
  • Setting of job further emphasized in the second layer
  • Fitting the letters of my name into the ‘structure’ of each respective job so that it can’t really be replaced with any other letter
  • Using childhood toys as a guide for the compositions

The order of my four jobs is in the chronological order of age starting from a young adult, to adult, middle age and lastly as an elderly.

my name is Teri and I am an air stewardess

Inspired by the Chinese aeroplane chess board game that I use to play as a kid, I thought it was very suitable for this job as an air stewardess. The background for this piece was plain white to portray the neatness and certainty I have as a young adult. Blue monochromatic colour scheme.

my name is Teri and I am an Interior designer

The composition of this piece I think turned out the strongest amongst the rest. It was the first piece that I was very certain of and it bridged the linking of letters into the structure of the item itself, which in this case was a dollhouse. As for the second layer background, I draw a floor plan in shades of pink to match with the red monochromatic scheme in the front.

my name is Teri and I am a baker

The letter t in this third piece represents a cake on a baker’s table. The surrounding decorative materials around it make up the remaining letters in my name. In this composition is where I bring in collaging in the background; collaging of old recipe books but still arranged rather neatly. The use of green/yellowish pages complements the green monochromatic scheme in the front.

my name is Teri and I am a supermarket cashier

For my final job as an old woman, I’ve also wanted to sit by the cashier scanning groceries for others. Using a toy cashier set as a guide, I altered the structure of the set so as to fit the letters of my name. The age in this is reflected in the messy collage of receipts in the background. I used shades of grey for the thread in this while pops of colours from the receipts peak through the tracing paper.

 

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Image making through type ~ Research

Kicking off graphic form this semester 2, project 1 reminds me of a combination of last semesters activities such as mark making and the topics of surrealism and dadaism. The brief of this project is to create typographic portraits describing our future jobs by using letters from our names.

ARTIST RESEARCH ` DADA

Starting in the early 20th century, dada was a literary and artistic movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland. It revolved around European avant-garde and stepped away from crafting for aesthetic purposes, rather for creating works that evoked questions about the artist, the purpose of art and society. Creations from the dada movement ranged from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting and collage.

A few artists from the dada movement includes Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Hoch and Hans Arp.

Marcel Duchamp:
– mechanisms of desire and human sexuality
– fondness for wordplay

Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_(Duchamp)#/media/File:Duchamp_Fountaine.jpg

“By removing the urinal from its everyday environment and placing it in an art context, Duchamp was questioning basic definitions of art as well as the role of the artist in creating it.” – Philadelphia Museum of Art

This artwork is a prime example of how dada artists are known for their manipulation and use of existing, everyday objects. Relating this back to the project, I was thinking that I could incorporate objects found/related to the future jobs with the inclusion of typography.

 

Hannah Hoch 

https://kunstvensters.com/2016/08/04/kunstgeschiedenis-dada/hannah-hoch-dada-dolls/

german photomontage artist active in the dada movement

  • Address in her pioneering artwork in the form of her photomontage the issue of gender and the figure of a woman in modern society
  • Hannah Hoch helped to expand the notion of what could be considered art by incorporating found elements of popular culture into ‘higher’ art
  • Dada puppet (1916), dark playful dolls, influenced by writer Hugo ball
  • Promoted the idea of women working creatively more generally in society

I was really inspired by Hoch’s collage style, especially the colours incorporated which flow together smoothly.  The layers in her pieces add a lot of depth to the work.

Even though I did further research on artists during the dada movement such as Hans Arp, Hannah Hoch and the Russian Constructivists, I had other ideas in mind; one that included the use of embroidery, similar to what I did towards the end of last semester.

Recently, I had been following quite a few embroidery artists on Instagram hence influencing thoughts on wanting to explore this medium more. One of which is teeteeheehee aka Teresa, a Singaporean embroidery artist.

 

I really admired the level of detail that Teresa could achieve with embroidery as well as the texture that comes with it. It is also a form of art that feels very delicate which was something that I would like to work towards as an art direction.

Another aspect of the project that I was looking into while researching was colours. Considering that I had the intention of incorporating layers into my composition, I thought that I might be neater to go with a monochromatic colour scheme.

more instagram discoveries

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Locale ~ Part 1

Before diving into the creation of our zine for part 2 of project 2, part 1 requires us to complete an in-depth research of our location; a unique site in Singapore. To kick off part 1, I began my research online to jot down a few places of interest that I could possibly visit.

PLACES OF INTEREST? 

Bras Basah Complex
someplace familiar to me
second-hand bookstores

AVA Senoko fishery port
brings back memories of childhood
how I hate the smell of wet markets
reminded me of Tsukiji fish market in Japan but a local Singapore version
never knew of this fishery port
respect for the people in this industry and how it operates during the night

The Senoko fishery port is a place that I never knew existed in Singapore. I was really excited to visit the place initially, but after reading through online blogs about the place it seems that it isn’t much different from a regular wet market except that it operates during the night and through the early morning.

Upon further consideration, I realized that having lived out of Singapore for many years, there’s one place that I’ve always liked visiting when I’m back and that would be Haji Lane. It’s always been nice to just stroll through the shops on a quiet afternoon browsing through the quirky nic nacs that are rare to spot in regular shopping malls. The selection of my location was hence decided; Haji Lane.

RESEARCH METHODS 

What is primary research and what is secondary research? Please provide examples of both.

Primary research involves gathering data that has never been collected before. For example, conducting your own survey with questionnaires or interviews with a specific group of people. Secondary research, on the other hand, involves the use of primary research data that is already available. It could be further analysis or interpretations of primary research. Examples are studies or reports by agencies or businesses within the same industry.

What is qualitative and quantitative data? How would you go about collecting the two?

Qualitative data is information about quality and cannot be measured numerically. Examples could be the softness of your hair or the grace at which you walk. It involves descriptions of the quality of things. Quantitative data, on the other hand, involves information that can be measured with numbers. Examples include the age of your car or the length of your fingers.

What are ethnography and participant-observation? What are some ways collecting data?

Ethnography is defined as “the scientific description of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits and mutual differences.” It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where researchers observe society from the subject’s point of view.

Participant-observation occurs when the observer participants in the activity and records his/her observations as a ‘player’ in action. They take on the role of being studied and may involve living in a commune, or becoming a firefighter.

What are infographics and how are they used to effectively communicate data? What other ways can we visually represent data?

Infographics are visual representations of information that use design to express content. The simple yet informative design effectively communicates data clearly and quickly. Examples of infographics are signs, maps and data representations. Other ways to visually represent data.

Interview Qns 

Before visiting Haji Lane, I prepared two sets of interview questions for the respective interviewees. The questions are targeted at obtaining both quantitative and qualitative data.

On-site interview questions (passers-by):

  1. What is your age and race?
  2. Are you a local or tourist?
  3. How often do you visit Haji lane and why are you here today/why do you come back here?
  4. Could you name me your favourite quality about haji lane/a unique quality about the place
  5. Approximately how much time do you spend here?
  6. Do you take photos of the wall murals and do you know the artist?

On-site interview questions (shop staff/owners):

  1. What is your age and race?
  2. How long has this shop been around for?
  3. Why did the owner choose haji lane as a location to buy/rent a unit?
  4. Could you name me your favourite quality about haji lane/a unique quality about the place
  5. Regarding the wall murals, have you ever taken pictures of them and do you know the artist
  6. Are the items you carry your own products or are they commissioned and how do you source for them?

Jotting down notes + interview responses

Aside from conducting interviews on site, I also created another set of questions for an online survey on SurveyMonkey. The quantitative responses I received were helpful in contributing to my quantitative infographics while the qualitative data allowed me to gather more unique selling points of Haji Lane.

Qualitative Data

 

 

Quantitative Data

Haji Lane – History 
  • Reputedly Singapore’s narrowest street
  • Named after “haji” – the pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims
  • Just over 4 meters wide, lined on both sides with centuries-old shophouses
  • Buildings are of early shophouse style, characterised by minimal plaster ornamentations and low ceiling height
  • In the past, they were used as accommodation for Muslim pilgrims transiting through Singapore
  • Today, some of the shophouses have been beautifully restored
WEEK 8 CONSULTATION

Primary research method:

  • on-site interviews

Secondary research method:

  • online research
  • history of haji lane
  • TripAdvisor

Qualitative Data: can be presented through illustrations + sketches

  • People’s favourite / unique quality about Haji Lane

Quantitative Data: can be presented through infographics

  • Time spent there
  • How often is their visit

UPS aka Unique selling point:

  • street art, boutiques, bars
  • combination of styles and character

Following this consultation, my next step was to arrange all the data that I have into an organised order for presentation.

Final presentation & Crit.

Here are my final slides for the research: Haji-Lane.pdf!

Joy mentioned that although I covered a large variety of different unique qualities, I can try to focus on one for part 2. The main point about Haji Lane as a creative space was brought through but I maybe I can consider the contrast between day and night at Haji Lane. Some classmates feedbacked that I had a good range of research methods and suggested that maybe I could look into patterns from the wall murals for my zine since they were eye-catching.

For part 1 of this project, I really focus on obtaining research and covered quite a few aspects of Haji lane as a whole so moving along I can now narrow down what I have. 🙂

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