#FYP | The Birth of the Chimera?

[Updated 11/6/17 with clearer diagrams]

Moving on!
After feedback from Prof Randall that perhaps I could concentrate on the concept-building for now, I decided to do so. Without a clear and strong foundation in the conceptual phrase, it might hinder progress.

As FYP’s duration lasts almost a year, it was important to find a project that I am willing to stick with and spoke to me on a personal level. Hence, I charted out topics and areas that I was interested in exploring first.

My Art Preferences
Several topics that I am interested in/want to include in my project:
Repetitive visuals
✓ Surreal, immersive
✓ Change in perception and understanding of object through differing viewpoints
☓ Projection-only visuals (dislike the simple sensor-feedback loop)
☓ Light ‘sculptures’
☓ Lack of meaningful interaction

I compared 2 installations which I visited personally, and tried to weed out ideas which I liked/disliked to better understand my own preferences.

Lee Yun Qin’s Moonflower and Ran Hwang’s Becoming Again; Coming Together

Both Hwang and Lee’s installations were instagram-friendly, and limited in interaction. However, my appreciation greatly varied amongst both works: while I really loved Hwang’s installation, I felt that Lee’s Moonflower was muted, and limited in visual appreciation and engagement value. It also felt more static – perhaps due to the fixated nature of the project, rather than Hwang’s, being more attractive as it relied on other mediums such as projections, sound and assorted visuals.

In addition, I felt that Hwang’s installation had a strong overarching theme over it, in terms of the subject matter and theme. It later contributed to how I appreciated the work, and created meaning about it for myself. Thus, I knew that I did not want to rely on a purely visuals ‘show’ for my own project.


Visualising my Interests

Mindmap: Underlying Ideas and Aspirations

In summary, I thought that this concept was really important and clearly what I want to include in the work:

Basically, I wanted something familiar, yet unusual enough to capture attention, It would give off an eerie level of familiarity. The work will not be too rich in meaning, but enough to provoke thoughts. At the same time, I was reminded very strongly of memory, that ‘what you see is not what it is, but rather a memory of how you want to interpret it, or how you expect it to be’. There is a gap between reality and perception. This is one aspect that I hope to imbue into my project.


The Chimera

An artist rendition of the chimera

The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of more than one animal.
– Wikipedia

Mindmap of the topic ‘Chimera’

I thought of the chimera, which was a good character to describe how I see myself and my artwork. As someone who studied science in my pre-tertiary school, later went on to work myriads of part-time job and joined different club activities, I saw myself as a Jack of all trades. Similarly, the chimera, a fearful juxtaposition of different animals, was also a hybrid like me.

My project will after all, be a reflection of who I am both as a person and as an artist. As such, I want to be able to extrude and magnify this quality within my artwork, perhaps of it having different facades to it.


More Technicalities

Project Technicalities: Staying Medium

Medium-wise I’m still a little hesitant in going past the installation format. Of course, I’m still open to any format, but find it hard to present my idea in another way for now. Several ideas I had include placing the artworks into photoframe and create a gallery-esque booth, else creating a gallery ‘haunted house’ version. I also did think of creating a chimera machine-sculpture lookalike but did not like the idea of a contained person.

With reference to the above picture on the right, the thicker lines suggest greater desire to work with the linked object. With FYP being the final and grandest art project I have ever attempted in my life, I want to be able to end it on an ambiguous note – creating hope (through thoughtful questions), yet not finalising on its outcome. Perhaps I would create grander works after this, or perhaps not. The future is unknown.


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

Riot: Alternative web browser / Research Critique (Week 5)

Riot (1999), by Mark Napier, is an alternative Web browser that constructs its pages by merging text, images and working links from recent pages that the Riot user has surfed. The composite then appears on a single page, with overlapping text and imagery in a haphazard arrangement. The browser can accommodate up to a total of three different sites compositions, with a unique composition per browser refresh.

A screenshot of Riot, compositing the web pages Zalora, Laneige and Newnation
A screenshot of Riot, compositing the web pages Zalora, Laneige and Newnation

Definitely, Riot fits the definition of 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)

On two different spectrums, Riot deconstructs:
1. visual imagery and text arrangement on the webpage; and
2. the idea of a singular web surfing experience

Shattering Boundaries: Physical and Digital
In allowing multiple sites to flow together, Riot forcefully expands the virtual environment – sites are no longer constrained within their physical boundaries of the digital medium. Traditional ideas of ownership, territory and authority, already transgressed by the new form of the web (where a percentage of online content has a shared viewership and authority), is further probed: through Riot, it becomes a public space.

The dismantling of browser arrangement in Riot can be perceived as an error to the everyday user; conversely, this ‘error’ also exposes the lack of control users have on the net. Despite the conviction that users are gradually having greater autonomy on the net, they are ultimately still subject to the set web environment. Only after experiencing the have-not, then do they realise what they are privileged with – ultimately a human condition of not being able to appreciate what they already have. As such, glitches can be used to,

…bring any medium into a critical state of hypertrophy, to (subsequently) criticize its inherent politics
– Rosa Menkman in The Glitch Moment(um), (2011)

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

Project Proposal 2: Reveal

Chat Roulette

Inspiration was drawn from chat roulette, an online site where users can chat with others anonymously, and at random. The most rudimentary method of communication, was through speech – hence, I thought of going back to the basics for this narration project.


The medium of choice remains an online website, where two users, at any one time, is able to log into the site. Their identity will remain anonymous, until they decide to reveal it. In summary, the website will adopt a common online ‘messaging’ interface.


There will be 2 boxes, where each user (who do not know each other) write into the box.


Each user will occupy each ‘station’.


Above the text boxes, there will be a camera input (from live webcam from each user).


Edit: later, after writing this post, I decided to change my layout to that of the above, cutting down on ‘items’ which I have no need for.

The gist of this project is for each user to try and reveal the others. Initially, each webcam will be fully obscured. Over time, little ‘pixels’ to be revealed from each webcam at random. Such that majority of the webcam input remains hidden, increasing the tantalising factor. Users will be able to communicate with each other via the chat boxes, and they are free to take on another persona, or hide their true identity from the other.

Ultimately, what I want users to take away from the project is to play around with the cloak of anonymity, and make some mischief, or have had some fun playing around with it.


I am still exploring the idea, that perhaps, each user can force the other user to reveal more of what is shown in their webcam (via a toggle button), to increase the interactive factor.

Edit: Upon further discussion with my fellow classmates, perhaps moving the project in the direction of a game would give the game an enticing edge.

Further improvements to ponder on:

  • a timer to goad each users to quickly find out the identity of the other
  • a ‘puzzle’ like format, eg 3 x 3, where each block will be revealed periodically


Update: Ultimately, while I did not work on my own idea for my final project, it remains something I might want to work on in the future, and will shelf it for now.