Cascade no. 2 is a continuation of the analog version of Cascade, but utilising different type of strings – aka rubber bands. Intended for audiences to pull and interact with, the elastic bands are meant to generate sound feedback, which would be more processed the further one stretches the bands.
However, I altered the structure of the initial concept as pulling sideways is a more practised movement than pulling it downwards. Pulling the rubber bands from underneath would also cause the elastic bands to pull back and jump around, potentially messing my strings. Hence, the sideways arrangement of the final project is more idealised for both restricting rubber band elastic feedback/movement and adapted for used human gestures.
Prof feedback-ed that this project might be an instance of too many details, whereby it could be further simplified yet bring across a more ‘purified’ message. I wanted each band to sound their own unique soundtrack, which instead made the patch more complicated. I also intended for the feedback sound to be more in tune with the vibrations (and hence more responsive), instead of just relying on changing the speed. However, I was not able to produce these in this piece. These are simple details, but yet were exceedingly crucial for this project to be successful. I should have tried it out earlier, and ruminated more on the different types of options for this project – eg. recording the physical twang sound and manipulating it instead of using a pre-recorded sound – perhaps, this would strengthen the linkage of sound to object, and increase responsiveness of the project.
A group project by Nathanael, Esmond, Yi Xian and Tania.
The chairs have been wrapped with plastic! When the plastic comes into contact with another object (person’s butt, or item placed on the chair), crinkling plastic sounds are generated. This sound is then recorded real-time and processed, and immediately heard through speakers placed at the side of the chairs.
The head is stuck into a box, for an immersive light and sound experience
Software: Arduino, MaxMsp, Ableton Live
Music Credits: NoMundoFiorella EP
– In synchronising lights and sounds: there is a slight interval delay between signalling and lighting the strips, hence when matching the lights with the sounds, the signalling on Ableton may need to be slightly slower or faster than than music.
At certain positions, I failed to realise this, resulting in slightly uncoordinated lighting and music only realised during the actual setup.
– In the ending sequence where the lighting turns blue: Due to the close proximity between the projected surface and the led strip, variations in lighting levels for the higher intensity lighting was hard to differentiate by the human eye.
To this, I should have lowered the lighting levels so that the difference between a lower level lighting and the higher level lighting would be more distinct and differentiable.
– I would also have loved to expand the size of the box accommodate the entire human body, and to create a more immersive experience.
After this exercise I have widened my sights to varying types of light shows, and might want to further explore this for my fyp.
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.
Four screens – it was harder to film it, as the video was moving too quickly; had I known, I would have slowed down my walking pace during filming last week. That being said, it effectually shattered the perspective of the space. Through fragmentation of the seen and known of the just seen and the now seeing, one effectually gets information overload of the space and corrupts their spatial distortion.
Sole presence of single bulb leads us to have a wider visual field. The space looks expanded. Space within a space.
2. 10 Lightbulbs Arrangement
Spatial, distended formation. Some variation of interlocking space.
3. 100 Lightbulbs Arrangement
Spatial tension between lightbulbs of varying distance. Tension at different points differ. Clustered form at the corner. Radial forms – starting from the corner. Hierarchy from the side. Some sort of rhythm.
4. 1,000 Lightbulbs Arrangement
Linear form (a series of forms arranged sequentially in a row). Grid form (a set of modular forms related and regulated by a three-D grid) Liner form has been manipulated to form repetitive, enclosed a portion of space. Equality gives repetition. Visual field is mostly occupied by the bulbs. Layering of diff planes, multiples of overhead plane. Symmetrical.
Analysis of space in artworks
Analyse an artwork (to do with space) and discuss its architecture. 3 different works.
1. Cooking the World, Subodh Gupta
Artwork is displayed at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the Singapore Biennale 2017.
Consisting of aluminium and steel utensils, there is a certain rhythm to the artwork, creating a particular space within the larger space. Repetitive objects (despite not being of similar shapes) create a symmetrical plane of the sphere-shape. White space is preserved for roundabout circulation of walking.
2. Half of the Air in the Given Space, Martin Creed
Artwork is displayed at the Singapore Art Museum as part of the What is not visible is not invisible exhibit, in collaboration with the Singapore Biennale.
This artwork presents an interesting debate; architecture mainly brings about notions of solid items. However in this case, what is solid is made out of something not solid, and vice-versa. The balloons provide a constant repetition, and the artworks are constantly changing in spatial arena – but standardising blanketing the lower plane of the enclosed box-space.
3. Home Within Home, Do Ho Suh
Artwork is displayed at the MMCA, Korea.
An artwork the most similar out of the three stated here that looks much like the typical architecture. The ‘walls’ are instead not made out of plaster, but rather, silk. It is an outright representation of space within space, the Seoul home enclosed and floating in the middle of the outer home. The four planes (right, left, opposite right and left) are parallel planes to the opposing home. There is a hierarchy – the outer home having a stronger ‘power’ than the inner home due to the spatial placement. There are no interlocking between the two homes, showing distinctiveness and separateness.
This exercise seeks to explore and observe the reactions of two participants, who were placed in a particular situation (mediated by an object) for a few minutes.
For this exercise, the following items were tested out:
A rope arranged in a circle, a red rope to encircle participant’s waist, a flexible tube, bubble foam with holes at each corner (not pictured).
Considerations for chosen items:
Rope in circle arrangement: Participants were to stand in the circle, and create their own perceived figment of space from the visual of the rope-border
Red Rope: Tugs and pulls, participants are able to pull on their own extension of rope to affect the other
Flexible Tube: Participants are free to play around with tube
Bubble foam: Emulating the original artwork, participants can however play with bubble foam, and also tug it affecting the other. Mostly served to simply enforce closer proximity
By deliberately pacing the gap between the participants, this object makes participants self-conscious about the space around them, as they start to pay attention to the nearby elements. Also, personal space is intruded upon – by another person without their approval, and they feel uncomfortable with the adjusted space. A new situation is created: and the response recorded varied between users.
In general, there were 3 main responses:
1. Keeping quiet and standing awkwardly
2. Keeping occupied, fiddling with object
3. Chat with each other
After the experiment, participants voiced that the experiment forced them into a situation different from when the object had not been there, hence their different behavioural outcomes. With its presence, the object became a catalyst for setting up a social situation, where the personal space became the shared space. The participants thus share a common situation (of standing stationary at a given spot, facing another person), and a similar understanding of their current position.
When external factors such as friends came into play, a sense of ease was given to the participants – possibly mitigating the outcome of the experiment. Having familiar elements in an odd, new situation helps to allay some anxiety. The space has now expanded to involve the friends. Personally, I feel that at such, too many elements are present which erodes the position to create a personalised space for the two participants.
On the other hand, when friends join the experiment, anxiety tension is still created. Some friends continue chatting, ignoring the discomfort from the objects, whereas some become overly conscious about it.
However, participants who overcame their anxiety discomfort started to create another space with each other, through initiating polite talk. Below are a picture series of strangers (to the other) participating in the experiment:
Later, we instead gave a pair of participants free will to play around with the object. The lack of restriction allowed the participants to build a space around the object, rather than create an object as an outcome of the experiment. Their actions was now for the object, rather than mediated by the object. Now, the need to interact with the other has failed, failing the idea of creating a common space with the other.
It was interesting to note that some participants mimicked the other subconsciously through their actions.