4d(II) research: Controversy

Before starting on our final 4D(II) project, we are tasked to identify at least three artists whom created a controversial video, song or performance art installation. The definition of controversy is a prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion. Taking reference to 20th and 21st century artists, this research can be an inspiration to our concluding group work.

  1. Santiago Sierra

Sierra sends out his message of art through a highly provocative series that explores economic and social structures within capitalist societies. Some examples of his work is paying two herion addicts from a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Puerto Rico to take part of an artwork that involves shaving their heads. Or hiring Iraqi immigrants to be sprayed with polyurethane foam (a type of polymer/plastic that can be found in bed mattresses or car seats). These deliberately controversial works examines the impact of capitalism on those on the margins of society, such as immigrants, drug addicts, and manual labourers. Usually invisible to those in power, they are brought into the spotlight in his work in challenging style, presented as objects to entertain—and outrage—art audiences.

“Nothing has changed since the Middle Ages,” the Spanish artist told BOMB magazine in 2004.

2. Angie Hiesl

Suspended twenty feet above the sidewalk, white chairs are attached to the walls of buildings in Montreal with ten senior citizens sitting on them. One is knitting, another folds laundry and a third is eating. All of them appear to be floating above everyday concerns, their strange position adding an enchanting note to the cityscape. The german artist Angie Hiesl concocted this “human exhibit” so that we might view elderly people as works of art. This is where old age is portrayed as an urban poetry, urging viewers to stop and appreciate what is often swept under the carpet.


3. Ryder Ripps

In 2014, artist Ryder Ripps, ‘an artist of the internet’, was invited to spend a night at New York City’s Ace Hotel as part of the Artists in Residency program. In return for a free sleep, he was expected to produce a piece of art for the hotel. He then invited a male and female ‘masseuses’ found on Craigslist to share his room. He asked them to draw whatever they liked, filmed it, paid them $80 and called the project Art Whore.





4d(II) Project 2: The sound of my Heaven


Produce a short 1 minute audio soundscape or sonic portrait of a specific (physical or psychological) environment, person or event only sound effects and ambient audio.


Soundscape to Dictionary.com:

“A Soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment. It can also refer to an audio recording or performance of sounds that creates an experience for the user”

Ambient audio according Mediacollege.com:

“Ambient sound (AKA ambient audio, ambience, atmosphere, background noise) means the background sounds which are present in a scene or location. Common ambient sounds include wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc”

My ideas: 

I boiled down my collections of idea with two things that mean a lot to me, and consulted Lei with what I had:

Day in a life of an Onion

Onion is the name of my 10month old beagle. I think it would be interesting to record his daily routine, which therefore would be more of a physical interpretation of the soundscape. This would encompass both the sound of him as well as the environment he is interacting with.

– Onion waking my mum and I up in the morning (scratching the door, pawing our faces, whining)
– Him asking for food (us cooking for him, his stomach growling, asking him to sit, him eating)
– Then us locking the door and leaving the home for school/work
– It would now be quieter, as he sleeps and do some mischievous stuff till we reach home (running around and chewing/tearing items)
– Us returning home and petting him till we sleep again


The sound of heaven

Due to my religion, I am interested to recreate the sound of heaven, which would be a leaning towards a psychological soundscape. I would have to figure out on what is my personal take on this metaphorical space, rather than doing just a collection of collection of commons sounds associated with heaven. Lei pointed out that the challenge would be how to create a soundscape which does not fall into the “generalised” sounds (bells, choir, etc). And laid out some questions for me:
– Is heaven to a continuation and celebration of life?
– What is the mood you what to convey or evoke?
– What my conceptualisation of what heaven is or is not?
She ended with this statement, “Perhaps it is a good opportunity to challenge yourself with this idea and challenge your audience on what heaven sounds like”.
With her last words, I decided to really push myself and go for idea 2. It is perhaps also a time of personal reflection to my own faith as well. Since it is my personal take of heaven, I would be referring to the Christian bible as my belief and my perception of it is formed from there.


What is heaven?

Heaven (Hebrew: shamyim, Greek: ouranos) can mean God’s dwelling place. The Bible says that”The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). God’s throne is also mentioned in connection with the mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:16).

Heaven may also refer to the endless planets, stars, and galaxies of the universe. The Bible says: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place…” (Psalm 8:3).

I think one interesting factor that can be incorporated is the time of the great tribulation, where it says that the world would suffer judgement and suffering before Jesus would come back.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4)

Therefore the concept of suffering > joyous occasion can be played around in my audio.


Who is in heaven?

God, Angels and men and perhaps other beings (though it is arguable)


Where is heaven?

The bible did not tell us the exact location of heaven, highly likely because the focus should be on God rather than the idea of heaven itself. But here are some passages that vaguely describes how the place is like:

1 Thessalonians 4:17,

“17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”


How is heaven like?

A joyful place

Heaven, on the other hand, is for fellowship and eternal joy and, more importantly, worshipping around the throne of God.There will be no one who is blind, deaf or cannot walk in heaven (Isaiah 35:5-6, Philippians 3:21). Therefore the theme of joy is one of the major theme in heaven.

– Reference to the Garden of Eden (a very interesting point)

Before sin came into this world, the world was a physical paradise – a beautiful garden full of fruits, trees, and animals. Possibly, when sin is eradicated from this universe, we will get to live life as God originally intended for mankind when He first created the Garden of Eden.

Luke 23:43, Jesus declared, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

Jesus used for “paradise” is paradeisos which means “a park, that is, (specifically) an Eden (place of future happiness, paradise)”. Paradeisos is the Greek word taken from the Hebrew word pardes which means “a park: – forest, orchard”.

Place of worship

It is said that it is a place where men and angels gather to worship God

Beautiful place

Do I need to elaborate more haha.



As the designing of sounds is an unfamiliar concept, it was crucial to refer to relevant artists to gain an understanding of this craft.

Li-Chuan Chong


Firstly, I googled heaven-like sounds, and found out that it generally falls into the category of ambient sounds.
Ambient music is a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. Ambient music is said to evoke an “atmospheric”, “visual”, or “unobtrusive” quality.  “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting”; according to founding father Brain Eno.
 The use of softwares
One of the more similar tutorials I found that creates similar ambient noise to my inspirations is this:
 But I do not have softwares like FL studios, so I decided to stick to audacity and do more research.
Paulstretch function in Audacity:
Paulstrech is a time-stretching of audio designed for extreme stretching. I used paulstretch in a few of my sounds.
Playing around in Garage Band
I found out that you can also do the same on garage band:
Here are some of the notes that I played with the inbuilt sythetiser and the special effects it had, which was later layered together to create a chord. Other effects like reverb, bass and etc are added when imported to Audacity too.
The sound of the bible
Lastly, after surfing around the net I found this tutorial, which sounds that you could import raw data like PDF files, certain apps, picture and the likes to audacity and the software will turn it into a sound:
So therefore what I did was to important the King James Bible and the New International Version (NIV) Bible with the intention of incorporating it into my final piece. However, as it is most white noise, I played around with the reverb, echo and effects on audacity to make it flow with my final piece. Despite it being a white noise I still tried my best to incorporate it into my music at different parts to Here is a raw version of the King James Bible!
Own recorded sounds
I had to play around with the relevant softwares, using audacity and garageband and a sprinkle of recorded sounds to create my final piece.
Syl, Bridgel and I harmonizing:
It will be played 7 times, as 7 is a holy number in Christianity, representing the creation of the world (and heaven) and the number 7 is also part of many crucial happenings in the Christian kingdom (like the Jericho march, celebration and rest can be seen in exodus 23:10, and many more).
Final piece: 
In the end, I realised that my final piece sounds more like an ascension to heaven rather than being in heaven itself, having the start to sound like being on earth/death, to reaching the last knock which the entire space feels more holy and glorious. Ultimately, it makes me realise it is because my feelings towards heaven is a reverend fear of the beginning of the end more than a joyous occasion somehow. Probably it is because of meeting my creator and facing a judgement of the life I lived on earth,
Not much to say, not more to elaborate from all that I said above other than this quote from C.S Lewis:
“If we find ourself with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world”:


3D(II): Dialogue in the Dark


Dialogue in the dark was an interesting experience. First, it starts out feeling constrained and very lost in the beginning corridors. It was mostly because I was infront of the line. Then, I am in a wide space in the park, before entering the boat ride with height feels shorter and I felt lower.

Then to the carpark with I got lost feels slighter wider but is constrained due to the items inside. The road with feels wider again, and then we head over to the marketplace which is a narrow and long space. Chinatown is a complex location and I did not know where we are headed too, then to the wide cafe.


Overall, Dialogue in the Dark was an interesting snippet on feel how it feels like to be a blind person. Without our sense of sight, naturally we would depend on other senses like kinesthetics and smell. For me, I relied on sound to travel around, listening carefully to our guide and the surrounding sounds to find out what kind of location it was. Looking back, it is funny that we can feel the sense of space though we can’t exactly see it. I was not that scared during the walk, and sometimes I wish that the experience can be intensified. For example, if the boat could actually move up and down, mimicking the waves of the river.

We also get to know more about the blind world and the difficulties we would never experience. It is eye opening to see how design plays a big role in aiding the the handicapped, and there are areas which are still developing. Like taking public transport (knowing the number of the buses and which stops is it).

This experience reminded me that we must never take our healthy bodies for granted, and to be much more sensitive to the handicapped community. I appreciate the times where the guide shared more about her personal experiences, which educated me on how to sensitively help these people when I see them in public. Also, it reveals to me the importance and uses of each of our other senses that we underestimate in our daily lives 🙂

3D(II): Sight and Kinaesthesia research (updated)

Zebra and an Oxpecker 

Relationship status: Complicated

Symbiosis describes close interactions between two or more different species. It is different from regular interactions between species, because in a symbiotic relationship, the two species in the relationship live together.


Bird gel and my animal pairing is the oxpecker and zebra!


Just incase you forgot how a zebra looks like hahaa

Zebras are are several species of African equids (horse family) known by their distinctive black and white striped coats. The stripes are unique to each individual and come in different patterns. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Interestingly, they also found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills. However, we would be only focusing  on the African Zebras as the oxpecker is a native species there.


The colours the bird have is interesting, and a sharp contrast between the black and whites of a zebra

Oxpeckers are endemic to the savanna of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both the English and scientific names arise from their habit of perching on large mammals (both wild and domesticated) such as cattle, zebras, impalas, hippopotamuses, or rhinoceroses. They consume ticks, small insects, botfly larvae, and other parasites.

Oxpeckers graze exclusively on the bodies of large mammals, and it is observed that certain species are preferred.

Mutualistic or Parasitic?

The oxpecker and its interactions with the mammals they have a relationship with are the subject of debate and ongoing research.

Mutualistic: A mutualistic relationship is when two organisms of different species “work together,” each benefiting from the relationship.

Oxpeckers land on rhinos or zebras and eat ticks and other parasites that live on their skin. The oxpeckers get food and the beasts get pest control. Also, when there is danger, the oxpeckers fly upward and scream a warning, which helps the symbiont (a name for the other partner in a relationship).

Parasitic: One organism (the parasite) gains, while the other (the host) suffers.

But recent evidence suggests that the oxpecker might be parasites instead, as they open and enhance the wounds on the animal’s back in order to drink the blood of their perches. There is also no statistically significant link has been shown between oxpecker presence and reduced ectoparasite load.

Oxpeckers also feed on the earwax and dandruff of mammals; though beneficial to humans, less is known about the possible benefits of this to the mammal. It is suspected that this is also a parasitic behaviour.

Some oxpecker hosts are intolerant of their presence, as elephants and some antelope will actively dislodge the oxpeckers when they land. Other species tolerate oxpeckers while they search for ticks on the face, which one author says “appears … to be an uncomfortable and invasive process.

Oxpeckers are the only bird in Africa documented to feed on blood!!!!!


I think the ambiguous relationship between the zebra and oxpecker is very interesting, and it would definitely be a part of our model.


2 Key senses for survival

Though it is not part of the 5 senses, a very striking feature of a zebra is its stripped camouflage. Unlike other forms of camouflage, its dazzle camouflage does not hide the zebra. Instead, it breaks up the zebras’ outline and makes it harder for predators to judge distances — throwing off their strikes when hunting.

It is rather difficult to find specific research on the zebra, so I decided to additionally look up on information about horses, which is part of the equid family, which belongs to the same family as zebras as well. It is crucial to take note that the horses’ senses are based on their status as prey animals, where they must be aware of their surroundings at all times.

  1. Sight

Zebras have excellent eyesight, having the largest eyes of any land mammal. Like most ungulates (hoofed animals) and equids, the zebras eyes are on the sides giving it an advantage as prey animals. This vision offers a wide, circular view, meaning they can detect stalking animals sneaking up from behind.

65° of a zebra’s view is binocular vision, which mean they can use both eyes together.

How binocular vision works!


285°  of an equid view is monocular vision where both eyes are used separately.  By using the eyes in this way, as opposed by binocular vision, the field of view is increased, while depth perception is limited. 

How horses and zebra sees!

As the binocular vision is directed down their nose and not straight ahead and the horse actually has a blind spot in front of its forehead. When a horse is grazing, his vision is directed at the ground in front of him and his monocular vision will be at work. Should he see something that warrants investigation, the horse will raise his head to bring the binocular vision into force. If the object was spotted in the horse’s side vision, he will turn and raise his head, or even whole body to look.

When a horse is grazing, his vision is directed at the ground in front of him and if he is relaxed, his monocular vision will be at work. Should he see something that warrants investigation, the horse will raise his head to bring the binocular vision into force.

As their depth perception is being compromised due to binocular vision,  it makes it more difficult to judge precisely how close the predator is (I imagine that a horse would think that if it can see the predator, then the predator is too close and would be on high alert).

2. Hearing

A horse’s hearing is good, and the pinna of each ear can rotate up to 180°, giving the potential for 360° hearing without having to move the head.This unique anatomical feature allows horses to focus on the direction from which the sound is coming, isolate it, and run the other way. Their hearing is 2 – 3 times better than a good hunting dog.


Noise impacts the behavior of horses and certain kinds of noise may contribute to stress: A 2013 study in the UK indicated that stabled horses were calmest in a quiet setting, or if listening to country or classical music. However, they displayed signs of nervousness when listening to jazz or rock music.


2) Range of Motion- skeletal / structural makeup

With four legs, horses can move in even more different ways, called gaits. They naturally walk, trot, canter, and gallop, depending on how fast they need to move. Every gait has a distinctive pattern, with one or more hooves leaving the ground at a time.

Our equines have about 205 bones in their body that provide structure, give rise to joints to allow for movement, and offer protection to vital organs.

A skeletal structure of a horse/zebra:


How a horse trots, notice all the joints

The running of a horse, like all equids, all 4 feet will leave the ground at some point


3) Include diagrams or sketches & videos

I think an interesting and unique thing about zebras is their use of tails, which swats pests away



Thats all, thank you!



2D(II) proj 2: Infographic on Seletar


For project 2, we are tasked to firstly create an infographic on a location we were randomly allocated to. So, what is an infographic? According to Canva.com, it is creating graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.

Here are my slides!

3D(II) proj2: The Rain Man


I was stumped at this project for quite awhile, not quite sure where to start due to a diversity of things we can do. As instructed by Cheryl, I decided to take a look at the structure of our ear to kick start the entire project.


The ear mostly works by vibrations, which is the medium that the sound energy travels through. I decided then to think about what kind of material produces similar vibrations, pushing myself beyond using strings or a drum-like instrument to do so.

Then an idea came up me – why not use an aluminium sheet? I remembered liking the wobbly sound it produces as a kid. Then I looked through Youtube for some inspiration:

The man in the video used the aluminium sheet like a drum, using a variety of materials to hit to create different sounds. I quite like the rubber balls, which is super eerie and extremely unique. I also realised that Foley Artists use aluminium foil to imitate thunder.


These two videos is my main form of inspiration. I observe that the different length of strings create a different pitch. I like how the Marilyn Donadt used the aluminium  foil in place of the water that is used in the Aquaharp apparatus.

Then I decided to plan onto what to do. I know that the main function of the wobbly effect is something I want to capture in my model. So the next step is to think of what kind of mechanism would actually allow a large piece of aluminium foil to wobble?


Firstly, I understood that moving the aluminium sheet up and down creates the sound that I had in mind. Similar to handmade prototypes of the aquaharp that I studied, and Marilyn Donadt’s instrument, a hallow pole is needed for the sound of go through. I also incorporated the sticks as I would like my instrument to have a different layers of sound to make it more interesting. This idea – though simple, works! And it also sounds like thunder.

I decided to make a small and very rough prototype to test it out because aluminium sheets are super expensive!!!!!! No budget for screw ups here.

Probably due to the small size of the sheet, the sounds created by the sticks were not so prominent. I was also not satisfied as with the idea was too simple, and the thin metal stripes was similar to my inspiration. Wanting to push myself, I continued to brainstorm on how to make the concept more interesting. The answer that I thought about was springs!



The main change from my second to final product was incorporating more elements like the cotton balls, lights and the box with beans, enabling to recreate the full effect of rain. I am really satisfied with the final product 🙂

Final product: The Rain Man

PDF is here!

The Rain Man


How it sounds like –


Having some fun with Fernwhere!

Raincoat to fit the rain theme

Oops… dropping Yuli’s model HAHAHAH

How it looks like with lights!

Areas of improvements:

– Lengthen the ropes with is meant to be the grip

– Really find and purchase flickering LED lights, which will be more realistic as the frequency of lightening won’t be as periodic

– Make the top of the box look nicer

– Perhaps add in metal balls with the cotton balls, creating a wider texture of sounds. I personally feel that bells will really suit this model as well, it would be like a rain call before the thunderstorm


This project was super enjoyable for me. The research I have done showed me that sound can be recreated in so many ways, and to be restricted by basic instruments like piano, cello etc is really boxing one’s creativity! It has also pushed me in the sense where I had to use a wider variety of materials and equipment to help me get my final product, such as a drill.

P.s: I am just imagining my church using these kinds of apparatuses for worship instead of normal instruments haha

The end, thanks for reading this far 🙂