Exhibit Layout and How Moss And Grow Lights Fit in (FYP18)

Updates for the week would be focused mostly on material testing and more technical aspects of planning.

Exhibit Layout
The grad show layout has been finalised! I would be painting the space entirely with the colour Pantone 5395 C (or similar, depending on the colours the contractors provide), with the exception of projection surfaces. I picked this slightly dark navy colour that I thought would be able to complement the purple which the grow light would give off.

I have also “choped” 3 pedestals of different sizing each, one at H (1m for all) x W x L 40 x 40cm (to place previous prototype), another 40 x 80 (for final prototype), and lastly, one with 40 x 100 (to place supporting posters and documentations if any).

More details could be found here: FYP Diagram(BW).

Grow Lights, and What to Do with Them
I have finally received my grow lights, way faster than I had expected! However, despite me buying the smaller bulbs, there were many unexpected outcomes which would mar the final aesthetics of the project.

Catalogue of grow lights which I bought (I bought 2)

Some aspects which I did not realise include:

1. Light splashes around the entire machine, and even outside of the moss planters

Surely, this can be mitigated against, through either implementing a lampshade like hood on the bulb itself, or raising the sides of the moss planters (not ideal, as aesthetically it would look bad and incur more difficulties in raising the entire moss bed), but this would simply mean more effort expended into correcting these issues, and risk disrupting the already working machinery/aesthetics

2. Grow light makes… the moss look bad

Ever since the presentation, I had re-transferred the moss back to the plastic trays as it makes it easier to grow the moss (in terms of watering, or letting it sun out). Since then, the moss has not advanced much in terms of growth, but there has been an increase in sprouting amongst the moss.

As evident above, the purple from the grow light has overpowered the initial green of the moss. With green, the symbol of freshness, youth and growth eradicated, an eerie feeling takes over the model. I am on the fence about this new enforced aesthetics – on one hand, it strongly pushes forth the idea of the creepy science laboratory theme, and also adds some colour to the otherwise dark space exhibit, but with the green and symbols of freshness lost, I feel that I would need to adjust the exhibit aesthetics slightly.

3. Rotating Grow Lights?
Initially, I wanted each grow light to also be in continuous rotating motion, and each grow light was to follow each tray in rotation. However, knowing now that the light splashes around out of the tray planter, the intended effect of seeing each grow light rotate around (as though each was the sun rotating around a planet) would not be as strong as I thought.

I could try to add on the lampshade to minimise the lighting, but I am wary of its construction. For instance, I have not tested the lighting for long hours, and am not sure of the volume of heat it would release (which might potentially, set fire to my lampshade or kill my moss).

Another consideration would be that for the grow light to rotate, their connecting wires would also have to rotate. This is troublesome for the machinery layout planning, Currently, the grow light comes together with a clip and bendable stem, which would be extremely helpful in positioning it onto the model. As such, I am considering eliminating the rotation of the grow light, despite it being a much more powerful element.

What I have in mind to continue working on

To deal with these, I plan to:
1. Make a lampshade
2. Make my moss machine LARGER (for it to ‘capture’ more of the light spillage)
3. amend the construction of the moss model, as a larger model would require better supportive frame

Farming the Moss

Close up of Moss bed

Moss growth has been good! Clearly, a few patches have died out but I attribute that to fungal infection (which luckily did not spread much to the surrounding mosses).

Left: Dead moss patch, but lively sproutlings

In fact, I noticed that the seedlings amongst the moss has had MORE responsive growth than the moss itself (even growing in the direction of the sunlight), and for a start/for statistics for my posters, I have started calculating the number of seedlings sprouted.

Data for my corresponding posters would be recorded and taken from the moss itself. Some examples of data which would be recording include the specific number and type of seedlings which sprouted in my moss bed. A sample is shown below:

Sample: Data Information Recorded for Posters
Close up: spot the 2 different species of seedlings sprouting

In this instance (referencing the previous 2 pictures), the data I tried to record was the number of single bladed (somewhat like a grass blade) sproutlings and normal 2 or 4 leaved seedlings. I would be continuing to collect similar data, and start working on my corresponding posters as soon as possible. Also, I would try as much as I can to include real data into my posters as I want them to lend some semblance of reality into my entire project, even though the theme was somewhat parodic.

Video Installation and How It Looks Like
Initially, I wanted my video portion of the installation to be more of a split screen format. However, through consultation with prof Randall, I realised that doing it in real time would not be possible with my envisioned 9 screens – which probably meant affixing 9 different working cameras onto the machine itself – due to technical limitations (computer data might mix up the video signals if too many cameras were to be attached to it).

Above would be my initial idea for the projection. However, with this unforeseen circumstance, I might alter it to simply 2 camera input signals, and simply play around with the available effects.

What’s real, and what’s not?

Through my consultation with prof Randall, I realised that I have not truly addressed this particular point within my project. For now, I am aiming at making it as real as possible, but at the same time, I want it to be slightlllyyyyy ridiculous in the sense that scientifically examining the theme of continuity is all but a fruitless attempt as the answer was simply absent in the first place (which ties back to the name of my project, of it being a continual study on the theme of continuity). Also, the “study” of the theme would be borderline parodic, of through the concrete examination of the topic, I attempt to make it “real”?

It seems as of now that this point is still slightly wonky, and I will continue polishing it, but as of now, this is what I have in mind.

Conclusion and Moving On!
After a week’s of deliberation of the final machine’s sizing, I have decided to just work on a similar model of the same size and will start rebuilding the model over the next week. At the same time, I will be starting on creating a series of posters and other exhibit decorative materials.

Meanwhile, for the projection, I would aim to affix the final projection scheme by the end of the next week, and hopefully, create a portion of it.

Moss Machine Prototyping (FYP18)

A very, very Quick Catch up!
This post will just be a very brief update on the progress of each different aspects of the installation!

Firstly, let’s talk about the layout! My proposed space would be a slightly rectangular space, with content to be projected/hung/attached/displayed on all 4 walls. My drawn layout can be accessed here: FYP Diagram(edited final).

Planned Layout of each 4 walls of Installation

Otherwise, as seen in the above rough sketch, I would be placing:
1. x 2 projections
2. x 1 moss machine
3. Phamplets, memorabilia

More details could be seen here: Presentation Summarised

FYP Group Presentation with all Professors
Today, the IM cohort had a group presentation with all the IM professors. My presentation slides can be found here: Presentation Summarised

Moss Procurement Updates!

In my last post, I did mention that I would resort to buying the moss! Luckily for me, I chanced upon large quantities of this very amazing moss species on a quick trip to Malaysia which would fit the theme! However, I only managed to smuggle back enough quantities for it for the prototype itself only, and not for the final installation machine.

Close up of moss

Referencing the above close up picture of the moss, I wish to draw attention to the individual stalks of each moss head – which gives additional texture and interest to the moss bed – perfect for what I envisioned.

As of now, I have a dilemma of whether to purchase commercially available Holland moss for the final machine or whether to return to Malaysia for the sole purpose of moss collection. Logistically speaking, I am also unsure if the border controls will allow me to ‘mass import’ their local flora back to Singapore.

But for this final prototype, I have decided to affix it with this particular species of moss.


I was pretty worried about the structure and how it would actually hold together, and after having gone through the laser cutting workshop, was actually able to try it out! Here’s my process making in pictures:

Final Prototype

ps. moss burger is not actually the name of the machine, it’s just some pun injected (from the fast food chain Mos burger) into this otherwise nameless machine!

I envision this to be my final prototype (if possible)! From now thereafter, I would be working on the final machine. It would take some time though, perhaps 2-4 weeks to complete it as I wish to perfect it.

As of now, the speed of the turning it wayy too fast for my liking. I’d be experimenting with gears of different sizes and try to slow the speed down. In addition, I plan to make rotating grow lights (to keep the moss alive) to follow the movement of the rotation. However, it might take some time – my grow lights are currently still being mailed over to me, and is estimated to only reach me 1-2 weeks from now.

For the final machine, I would also make it slightly larger than this prototype. Not too large, as originally thought (initially I wanted it to stand at 1.6m height/5.24 feet) as I am not confident of my construction skills.

Projection Matters

I have not started on this yet, but I plan to project real life camera detection of the moss machine itself.

Supporting Materials (eg. pamplets, posters)

I wanted my final installation look to be a unique mishmash between the science laboratory, and a dark installation space. Above shown are mood-board references of how the final installation might look like – albeit with a slightly different colour scheme of purple, black, white and potentially dark blue.

Research Poster FYP (sample, unfinished)

For instance, this was one of the posters I intend to display within the installation space itself. It would have real data which I collect from my investigations (eg. how many seedlings have sprouted from my moss), but placed in an authentic yet ludicrous way.

Over the next few weeks, I would be prioritising the creation of the machine and projections, as I am quite worried about how it would look like in the actual set up, and would require them to be ready as soon as possible so that I can more accurately plan the actual exhibit space.

I would also continue collecting data from my grown moss to be put into the poster ?

Act III | The Death [Updated 17/4/17]

Screenshot of Act III broadcast

It is night, and somehow, the air is heavy with sorrow. She comes out for one last time, but her heart is torn between returning to the 2nd space, or staying in the real 1st space. However, she accidentally destroys her portal-frame on her way out: effectually fully closing the way she manages to flow in between worlds. She panics, for she is stuck, and she remains the sole being of a product of both worlds.

Isolated, she circumambulates around the only space she knows. She finishes up the whole of the broken, and realises why; she herself has been destroying her space with the X (close tab) on her hand. Her own existence is unstable – she does not exist in the real world. Thus, she marks her own finale: she X-es herself from the real world.

Act III: The DeathShe is now free, present in the real space! But what is she to do now??? Feel free to comment, or participate! (Part 3 of final project broadcast)

Posted by Tania Tay on Thursday, 13 April 2017


Sequence Symbolism
Crawls out of frame Reappearance into the real world
Accidentally X-es the screen Destroys the portal between worlds
Circumambulation Marking the end of the season’s finale; in searching for the end repetitively

Act II | The Birth [updated 17/4/17]

Screenshot of broadcast [Act II: The Birth]
Tania Tay of the second space finally gets out! She escapes the digital world, and starts to explore her surroundings excitedly, charmed by the temptations of the real world. However, she starts getting bored, and is suddenly drawn to the water, where she cleanses herself in a water purification ritual.

She wants to continue exploring, but later realises the sheer uselessness of life. She tries to seek feedback from her ‘hometown’ (aka the online world), later giving up and returning to where she came from.

Act II: The Birth

Posted by Tania Tay on Thursday, 6 April 2017


Sequence Symbolism
Climbing out of frame Literal entrance into the real world
Water Purification Ceremony An entrance into the world, washing away all traces of the past

Act I | The Awakening (Bubbling Unhappiness)

Screenshot of [Act I | The Awakening (Bubbling Unhappiness)]
After the initial broadcast of Act I, Prof Randall and Sun Yi suggested that I include switching of tabs within the computer screen, rather than leaving it static only with the Facebook page. I agreed, as it would add variation and further fuel the narration that Tania Tay of the second space is fighting a stronger, more ominous greater power.

Here is the re-filming: Click here


Act I | The Awakening [updated]

Act I: The Awakening (First peek out)

Act I: The Awakening

Act I | The Awakening (First peek out)// Where am I? Could I get out from this space?

Posted by Tania Tay on Wednesday, 29 March 2017

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.

But she remains trapped inside.


Act I: The Awakening (Bubbling Unhappiness)

Act I: The bubbling unhappiness

Act I | The Awakening (Bubbling Unhappiness)—————————-I'm leaving this space very, very soon! Just hear me come!

Posted by Tania Tay on Wednesday, 5 April 2017

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.

NTU to offer vegan-only food options from mid-2017 onwards / Fake News Broadcast

NTU pledges to switch up food variety at canteen B to vegan-only options by late quarter of 2017.

NTU pledges to switch up food variety at canteen B to vegan-only options by late quarter of 2017.

Posted by Tania Tay on Thursday, 30 March 2017

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.

Reference for context: Meatless in Singapore [The Strait Times]
Extended filming script can be found here: FakeBroadcastScript

Final Project Updates II

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

Actual fb page as viewed by a member of the public

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


  1. 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.

    A sketch

    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

  1. Restart with same sequence as performance I
    For continuity purposes
  2. 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
  3. 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.

Project Hyperessay #1: Concept

The elaborate, premeditated death of Tania Tay on online (social) media

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.

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.

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.

1. Glitch

Glitch, as interpreted by Rosa Menkman as,

…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.

2. Grand Theft Avatar by Second Front

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.

[i] Menkman, R. (2011) “Glitch Moment(um),” Institute of Network Cultures


What Facebook sees at 1129AM / Live Broadcasting: Real Life

Screenshot of video broadcast

Link here.

Summary of my experience:
Earlier, in deciding the placement of the camera, I placed it with careful curation: an area where exposure was limited, and I had complete control over the video frame contents. I anticipated that I would be having viewers, and curated the video contents to hint, rather than explicitly show, what I was doing in real time.

‘While webcams always appear to be casually and innocently positioned, “their field of vision is carefully considered, and behaviour within that field cannot help but anticipate the looming presence of the global viewer.” ‘
– Steve Dixon in “Webcams: The subversion of Surveillance” (2007)

To a certain extent, it was a constrained performance, but at the same time, the contents were not. It was a typical view of what I usually do, banging the keys as I dish out essays after essays. The lines between private and the public have been blurred, as they enter my private space, yet ineffectually through my constructed broadcast.

Another pertinent point which Dixon brought up was rather interesting, that the unrevealed (a la invisible) in fact brings up the visible.

‘Unrevealed offstage action is a standard theatrical narrative device… Similarly, the long periods of time watching empty rooms with no characters within the Jennicam set… presented an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of patterns where, like a Beckett play, like an Eliot stanza, people “come and go”.’
– Steve Dixon in “Webcams: The subversion of Surveillance” (2007)

Through my accidental disappearances in the video – despite it not being intentional nor very much prolonged – along with the restrictive video framing, brought up a second narrative: where did she go, what is she doing now – gone to the toilet or hiding from the camera?

[i] Dixon, S. (2007) “Webcams: The subversion of Surveillance” (pg. 443-455), Digital Performance, 2007