Tania Tay of the facebook profile suddenly gains a small glimpse into the outside world. She is stunned, yet decides that she wants to come out. Tania Tay continually screams as her world shatters, and she desperately tries to escape, but no one hear her cries save for one.
She manages to come out, once again, but this time round, she has to fight against the other components on the screen itself to get her voice out. Here, she experiences increasing unhappiness about her life in the media world, revouches her intention to leave her world, and states that she would be coming out soon.
Act I: The Awakening (Bubbling Unhappiness) is a re-filming of part I, but functions as a follow-up and build-up anticipating the following Act II.
The broadcast was filmed with the intention of adopting a formal news cast style, of a top-down approach from a larger organisation in disseminating information. In the interview, the reporter attempts to imbue real facts and organisations (citing Meatless Mondays, Khoo Teck Phuat and Yale-NUS) in order to set a more believable tone.
With the insertion of fake news at the later half, viewers are inclined to continue believing as the tone has already been set earlier. However, the later citing of fictional twitter users with ridiculous names such as Lim Yau Kwee (Yau Kwee means hungry ghost in Hokkien) and Jia Li At (Jialat is used to describe a disastrous situation [Singlish]) with outrageous opinions, while maintaining a news-reportage formal tone start to become puzzling.
Similarly, propaganda can also be used in a similar way to confuse truth and fiction, and some might believe, instead of critiquing and deciding if its true, or false.
On hindsight, I should have used OBS to switch more fluidly between the different screens.
As of now, I have decided to stick to my idea of a premeditated death using ritualistic effects. Using the three weeks, my schedule is as such:
Week 1/3: 3-9 hours long footage of a glitched image of my Facebook page
The intention was to raise awareness of my Facebook page and hint that something larger is to be carried out in the near future, hopefully drawing in users. However, I have yet to figure out how to broadcast the laptop screen onto Facebook live, and will work on it.
Meanwhile, this week will also remain a testing week, whereby I’ll test out snippets of phase 2/3 and 3/3.
Week 2/3: Performance I – Birth of the virtual personality into real-life, and subsequent realisation of existential crisis
The Birth The performer climbs out of a cardboard printout of a computer screen in a ridiculous manner.
~ symbolises the transition from text/image into a real being in the third space.
2. Exploration A yawn, and a slow but tedious exploration of the space/place. Later, the performer walks around in circles aimlessly.
A sample is shown below (but with different materials and location setting):
3. Baptism The performer walks into the ADM pond waters and execute an elaborate self-baptism. The camera will follow her, and held offscreen by a helper.
(also seen in video albeit with a small tub)
4. Help The performer later gets tired, and sits in the middle of the camera. She rocks her body silently, and writes a note, “what should I do now?”, and points it at the camera asking for help.
If someone replies -> do it, but half-heartedly as the performer is tired of everything
If someone does not reply -> starts to knock a wooden box rhythmically.
Week 3/3: Performance II – Death
Restart with same sequence as performance I
For continuity purposes
Lights a candle and draw a :'( facebook emotion on a piece of post-it and stick it onto self/ take a pencil and draw a x on all items in the surroundings
Walk in a circle x 3 Walks in front of laptop, draws x on self, end of video
Of course, these sequences are only tentative, I will try to improve on them.
Overview Walking on air (woa) is an interactive installation that allows visitors to trace their own paths in a smoke-filled environment, and experience being above the clouds.
Concept: Creating an otherworldly experience, an experimental space where the body becomes the instrument. Individual bodies are disregarded, and instead become part of the bigger picture.
Logistics: Smoke generating machine, strong light projector, video camera, all situated within a contained room (tentatively truss room)
Functionality: In woa, a smoke generator will create a foggy atmosphere in the room, and the projector will continually project a wavy line into the smoke at a height slightly above the calf. When light is projected into smoke, a smokey, surreal form independent to the initial wavy line is created. This creates the illusion of clouds forming, and walking above or on clouds. When there is movement, a motion camera tracks the movement and a light trail formed by the movement (eg walking) is immediately projected at the location where movement is detected. Where movement overlaps or take longer to move, the light trail becomes brighter. Over time, the light trail will dissipate (with the dissipating effect) and fade away, resuming the original sight
There will also be an accompanying soundtrack to the installation. When the new light trail is created, a musical note is played, extending for the entire duration of which the light trail exists. When the light trail fades, the volume of the accompanying note will also fade away, proportionate to the brightness level of the light trail. Each light trail will generate a musical note in a randomised pitch; it is hoped that the different walking styles of people would generate a pleasant harmony.
Colour for the light beam would be restricted to only white, to reduce visual distraction and to preserve an ethereal feel. Music notes would similarly adopt a
Technicalities: MaxMsp would be used for motion tracking, and also as a sound synthesiser.
Aim: For woa, I wish to achieve an ethereal feel bordering on minimalism, and going back to the basic, rudimentary elements. The visuals and surroundings are kept sparse, and available elements kept strictly little. However, I want to imbue a slight element of play, to make interaction engaging and open to all age groups. It is hoped that visitors leave the installation entranced, as though they had just visited an alternate world. At the same time, a slight element of bodily displacement would be created, with the visitor, having an extremely wide movement range but without a set moving path within this changing, unfamiliar environment.
Inspired by Anthony McCall’s You and I, Horizontal, ideally, my installation would also bring across a simple sensation using the most basic instruments.
Interaction: Walking, running in the path of the light, backtracking, circulating
1.You and I, Horizontal II (Anthony McCall)
The usage of the smoke and light beams originated from this work. However, I would like to push it further and make it more interactive with accompanying sounds.
2.On space time foam by Tomàs Saraceno
I would like woa to adopt a similar premise – immersive, playful, yet simple. Perhaps I could analyse the movements and behaviour of visitors who took part in the installation and predict how they would behave in mine.
3.El Claustro by Penique Productions
Penique productions changes the space by blowing up a balloon and wrapping all the items in the surroundings with rubber. Here, they have changed the space visually.
I utilised jit.wake, to create the varied glitchy effect, and will set a timer that will increase the glitch accordingly. The glitch is still quite patchy for now, and I am trying to use smaller increments to let the glitch form slowly (not seen from video).
As for the project (concept’s) updates, I did think of using repetitive motion which would be boring for viewers, but at the same time would really poetically bring out my artistic stance. I will however, be changing the project’s layout due to the more flexible arrangement and feedback given by Prof Randall.
Overview Today, we live social. Our consumption of news information are no longer restricted to the paper press; the advent of the world wide web pioneered a more levelled playing field for news dissemination. It remains noteworthy that despite the theoretically more even news dissemination stage – where all news should have equal opportunities to be viewed and maintain a certain standard of non-fabrication – some news remain, strikingly, more equal than others.
The coming of an unequal playing field Without barriers to entry and the seemingly lack of regulation of ‘news’ on the web, anything and everything can be news. The social media scene has blossomed, and an increasingly large number of users use the Internet as a news source. To the ordinary and less invested user (read: casual users), they may take these news at face value without questioning its validity. An article by the CCCB further probed the unfairness of the Internet-system (particularly on Facebook) in selectively dishing out articles to users: certain algorithms and user interaction on the net end up inevitably curating a limited, possibly skewed selection of available articles.
That’s not all! With the advent of advertising services, news sites wanting to increase the outreach of their articles for their vested interests, can now pay to make it happen. News on the Internet is no longer just news, it is now a mishmash of curated content not by the user but by others, for the user. Choice is no longer an option.
Vested news sites?
As mentioned earlier, the deliberate curation and structured news feed of particular sites have altered information availability and possibly, driving users into adopting a more limiting opinion based on the limited information. In the two selected articles of Breitbart News and Washington Post – both presenting opposing point of view – there is a startling difference in journalism writing. Breitbart’s news offers a stronger stance with harsher criticism, with blatant usage of irony (“As in, Thanks, guys, we couldn’t have done it without you.”); ironically, it was a strongly opinionated piece obviously missing the crux of the issue: that Flynn left because of his illegal misdoings, whether or not his misdeeds were revealed by wiretapping. The agency of news is questioned: was their purpose to present a fair point of view, or what should be right? Like Trump’s allegiations that Obama wiretapped him at Trump tower during the last election, the writing is unfortunately similarly, not substantial.
Parody: bringing humour to political news
What’s now new or news? As the reporter of the video excerpt mentioned, “they (viewers) ain’t going to stop”. Parody makes the topic more relatable and palatable for viewers to digest, and they do want more. In spite of the parody treading on uneasy waters – while clearly touching upon a sensitive topic, the skit clearly had no strong directive on their own. Instead of making a personal statement, it purposed itself as a catalyst, to instead further spark off debate. Its constructed artificiality purports itself as an interesting dilemma, of both the fake, and the real.
Her father used to say that she was always day-dreaming. It isn’t true. Tantay is a moniker coined by her friend combining both tantay’s first and second names. Her favourite food items are mentaiko onigiri and ramen.
Cascade’s interactivity involves appealing to others to play with and cut the strings. The colour scheme of the installation is pink-based, which was intended as an attractive and appealing colour. As one walks closer to the centre of the strings, the colours become still; white surrounds you.
Feedback from class:
Without cutting the strings, there would be little to no interactivity; for after walking through the strings and feeling it, one is less inclined to interact for long with the installation.
In order to create a more welcoming atmosphere, and directed hint to allow for the cutting of strings, perhaps the floor could be littered with some strings as indication
Perhaps, the scissors could be placed on the floor? Current structure of scissors hinders the navigation and cutting of strings to a certain extent.
Reflections If given the chance, I would love to create a larger installation and with longer strings to give off a more immersive feel. Also, I would like for the board to be more strength-withholding, such that perhaps other items could be hung from the strings/strings could be tugged at.
I initially wanted it to be like an artificial waterfall, which would cascade down the roof and into the ADM pond. Should I have placed it here, my ideal colour pick for the strings would be a cool-themed colour.
After a round of consultation with prof and classmates, I realised that 1. the interaction was lacking 2. it was more of a sculpture, and did not lure others to interact with it.
Also, I realised that it might be a safety hazard with regards to hanging it on the roof. The strings might tangle too, but I was ready to secure it to the bottom by weighing it down. However, I decided to switch it up instead, and shift the installation to another area.
Hence, I transplanted it into a singular, rectangular installation (instead of previously fronting only the edge). Within the installation there would be scissors, which would ideally tempt others to join in and cut the strings.
Initially, I wanted to place it in the corridor and use shower rods to secure it up. However, safety issue was to be taken into account, and I had to pay extra to purchase shower rods – hence, I decided to place it in the level 2 empty area beside the stairs (level 2 to 3 stairs) in adm. There, I could use strings to secure it.
The top supporting the strings would be a foam-board, chosen as it is lightweight, relatively durable, and also, able to support some degree of piercing. The strings were meticulously arranged separate from another at a distance of 3cm, measured out and indicated on the board.
After finishing my preparations, I had to meticulously string those on the board. Initially, I planned out 90cm for each string length, but measuring them one by one was taking way too much time hence I decided to just estimate the length. In addition, the strings were pretty much tangled up so I had to resort to estimation else completion would not be a reality.
Also, I intended for the scissors to be of a different colour from the strings: to be easily seen and lessen the risk for walking facefirst into it, and for it to be a prominent object (with a status) within the artwork itself.
How to string 101:
I decided that the lighter colours would be on the inside; as the chosen area might be a little dim at times, and the inner colours would be dulled. I chose white as it was a metaphor for clarity, upon passing the darker colours on the outside. In addition, it could create a density which I wanted.
Upon completion, I lugged it to adm to be hung up. The four corners were tied with black string to be suspended.
I intended for the installation to be at a height whereby the bottom of the strings would be touching my chin; at this height, it would create a more immersive feeling for when the viewer looks up, all he sees are a cascade of strings.
Initially, I meant for it to adopt a squarish format, of which my chosen width would be at 1.2 x 1.2m. However, I ran out of strings, hence I shrunk the size down to about 80cm x 1.1m (estimated).
When seen from the 4 different sides, the strings look slightly different, partly due to the pattern of stringing and lighting conditions.
The strings also got slightly tangled up, but due to the quality and weight of the strings (specially chosen for such), it was generally weighed down and added to the beauty of it.
One point I noticed was that the scissors were a safety hazard. Particularly, that was the reason why I opted to purchase childsafe scissors with a small blade. However, if the viewer does not close the scissors after using it, the blade might hurt him/someone else.
When looking from the bottom, the middle of the board is noticeably white.
Colours from inside out:
white > yellow-white > pale pink > hot pink > royal red > dark brown
Definitely, this installation would be much more immersive if it was larger; when seen from afar, it appears small and isolated. However, I am thankful that it managed to achieve density and the experience that I sought for.
It would also be interesting if more people could interact with it, and see how they would cut the strings.
The elaborate, premeditated death of Tania Tay on online (social) media
Overview The performer Tania Tay would go through elaborate funerary rituals, albeit abstractly. She first builds a mini tentage, chants, dons on white clothing, and does superficial, ridiculous and elaborate walking rituals. Lastly, she sets up her final resting place, and lies down.
While the entire performance carries on, the screen slowly glitches. At the end of the performance, the glitch would be horribly glitched until only a slight semblance of the form can be seen.
Objectives To celebrate, flamboyantly, the ceasing of Tania Tay’s online identity. It exposes the temporality of the constructed presence within the artificial third space, and deconstructs the artificial, artificially.
Interactive Component The project having a set, definite ending (the death) that viewers are unable to disrupt or stop. However, viewers are still able to input their comments via the fb live comments, which would be read by the performer and acknowledged, but callously discarded as she continues on her death rampage. The project is a strong statement of the artificiality, and wishes to impact it on the viewer.
Technicalities Two computers/screens would be involved.
The first screen would show the captured footage, but will further process it within max msp for the glitch to occur. The second screen will capture the entire processed footage from the first screen. The camera will be affixed to the performer, adopting a first person point of view shot.
…a (actual and/or simulated) break from an expected or conventional flow of information or meaning within (digital) communication systems that results in a perceived accident or error. – Rosa Menkman in The Glitch Moment(um), (2011)
Glitch is essentially, deconstruction. Deconstruction from the expected flow, which I felt was a suitable metaphor for death: the sudden break in living; the startling lack of continuity. After death, the body breaks down, a decade of living and progress unraveled. I find it noteworthy to continue on this idea of deconstruction, and felt that glitching the broadcast from start to the end finalises in the poetic allusion of the deconstructed constructed self.
In this artwork, I loved the idea of transposing a real-life ‘illegal’ situation onto a digitised world where the laws of the known world were later abandoned. Similarly, my project exists on a unstable platform, of combining both the physical world and digitised world onto the third space: the sole platform where the performer’s suicide can be accepted and executed.
Flamboyantly, the online characters commit suicide – like how I want my performer to be. However, I foresee my project adopting a more mellow approach towards death, accepting and welcoming it instead of diving headlong into it.