Light and Sound Experience

The head is stuck into a box, for an immersive light and sound experience
Software: Arduino, MaxMsp, Ableton Live
Music Credits: NoMundoFiorella EP
Completed 28/3/2017

– 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.


FYP Proposal: WOA (working title)

Refining the details and more thoughts

Project Outline
The project will focus on fostering an experience within a space, instead of the interaction at this point of time. Ultimately, I would still want to include some degree of interaction but will focus on creating the experience first.

With regards to the artistic direction, it will remain minimalist, stripped down to the ‘element’. The project’s light projection will now project planes of light parallel to a human body.

Conceptualised version of light projection (rough sketch)

Above: a small snippet of the visualised light projection; the light rays will form walls which are solid, yet the walls ‘curve’ around the viewers like a maze. Repetition of the light waves will be conducted throughout the entire space, to create a visual depth.

The light projections will now include coloured lights, to further push across a visual depth. (Under consideration: allow viewers to toggle with colour filters and change the colours).

After more research, the project will reference the following artists to better reflect its ideal:


James Turrell, Breathing Light (2013)

Turrell’s Breathing Light effectively creates an atmospheric space with an even lighting to promote a surreal, out of the world experience. Similarly, the intention for the project is to achieve a similar atmospheric condition, of creating an entirely different, immersive, contained experience.

Despite similarities in medium, my project would instead integrate additional dimensions, whereby the possibilities for variation of lighting schemes are maintained. Despite that, it would be good to examine the visitor’s reactions and use it as basis to predict how the audience would react for my project.


Parallels by NONOTAK (2015) and White Canvas by Cocolab (2016)

White Canvas by Cocolab

Both Parallels and White Canvas present more suitably the idea and outcome the project wishes to achieve, albeit with differences. The idea of repetitive forms hailed from White Canvas, but I wish to further simplify the light forms hence the usage of planes. At the same time, I feel that the usage of projected light planes can further increase the ‘wholeness’ and the large scale of the project.

As per the previous update, I would like to harness projectors onto the roof tentage of the truss room, and the projection will hail downwards.

The smoke machine still remains, as it contributes to better visuals of the light rays.

I am still exploring related concepts but have shortlisted several ideas that might relate to the project: the black hole (in space), stormy weather, haze.

Ongoing Concerns
– Would have to test out the lighting to determine the outcome of the lights
– Of not having visitors stay beyond a short period to experience the project (trying to further interactivity in the later half)
– Would prefer to integrate more analog elements within the artwork, instead of pure projections

Analog Project [Documentation]: Cascade / Strings Installation


Initial Project Idea at ADM Pond area

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.

Idea no 2


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.

Initial Sketch

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.

4 corners of the board, hung up by strings tied to the surrounding poles.

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.

Yi Xian as my model – as a reference for the height of the installation

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.