Device of the week 2: Sensory substitution device – EyeMusic

When I asked my friends if they think it’s possible to see with their ears, they looked at me as if I was absurd. Indeed it sounds out of your mind at your first time hearing that. However, it’s been long known that blind people are able to compensate for their loss of sight by using other senses, relying on sound and touch to help them “see” the world. It was indeed made possible with a sensory substitution device (SSD), named EyeMusic.


Image result for eyemusic device

Made possible by a team of researchers from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, they’ve created a software programme that translates visuals into audio that enables the blind to “see”. The device itself looks like any normal pair of sunglasses but with a special camera implanted on it and passes this data on particular sensors.

Image result for eyemusic device

Using a range of musical tones, it develops a precise combination of melodies and sounds, various for each and every of the objects of the environment. For example, using EyeMusic people can distinguish an apple from a banana or an orange from a lemon, barely touching the fruit.

Image result for eyemusic device

It works by representing the height of objects by the pitch of the sound – tall objects are high-pitch; low objects are lower pitch. The width of an object is represented by the duration of the sound while colour is represented by different musical instruments including the violin, trumpet and organ and different colour.

Pros and cons

  • Brain stimulation

An advantage of this device is definitely how it has provided the opportunity to the visually impaired to experience a sense of sight, through the use of pitch, tone, duration etc to identify an object. Some might not have experienced anything close to visuals in their lifetime but this sensory substitution device allows them to do so, activating a very specific area of the visual cortex

  • Distinctiveness

An interesting feature of EyeMusic is that it distinguishes not only different but specific shades of a colour, with every shade assigned a tone. This comes in handy when needed to separate objects distinctively where the tone of the object is important.



  • PortabilityThe device itself is a wearable and easily portable, making it convenient for the user. However, it seems that this version needs to be connected to another device (laptop/computer) for it to work. This leads us to the next disadvantageNew technology
  • Technology keeps up really fast and new technology offers more advanced ways of substituting sensory more than ever before. These exciting new devices can restore sight to the blind in ways never before thought possible. Eg. Google glasses, which are light and wearable on-the-go. EyeMusic has to constantly keep up to its game to match with the new technology or else it will turn obsolete

Alternative uses

  • Visual rehabilitation

Apart from providing as a sensory substitution device, it can be used for research purposes to study brain function. The information captured could help facilitate in other technology developments in the similar area or beyond.

Design tool

  • With the device’s distinguishing colour tone feature, that aspect of technology can be adopted for people doing colour theory/ design related works where colour is an important to deal with. It can help to minimize errors in the output of the work


Hyperessay 1: Cross-streaming


These 6 weeks have been no short of amusement – from being enlightened with different concepts and intentions of example artworks to getting right into the grind of creating and experience the capabilities of the third space on first-hand.

We’ve been enlightened on how an audience can be performers, how media has turned from one-to-many to many-to-many and most importantly, how these works have changed the traditional medium – engaging audience as participants, it turns into an interactive media.

Cross-streaming performance

Our cross-stream project was purely unscripted and raw. I wanted it to capture content that was unfiltered – a capture of on site reporting, just like the Videofreex. It was like a sneak peek into the day of the life in a war zone country.

The beauty of it was how the subjects don’t know what went on back in the TV broadcasting station aka the OBS screen where effects of destruction were blasting freely.


Yet, it synced rather well with the visuals and our concept: reporting the state of a destructed city (North Korea), while the subjects act as victims/north koreans, totally unaware of the level of destruction that their leader has opposed on their country. Like how they are totally lost onthe explosions attacking them over in the OBS studio screen.

On inspirations, Videofreex will be one that everyone references to. As the popular quote goes,

“We’re all Videofreex”

And I can’t agree enough.

They were the pioneers that shaped a new medium in media, documenting hours of real-time footage that captured social and cultural events of the 1970s.  The way they told stories and distributed them shy away from the traditional media and direct towards the way we share our media today, – using a portable device and sharing personal footage as seen on the viewfinder.

And here was I with my partner, being reporters onsite a ‘war zone’. As raw as it gets, we were simply documenting the everyday life events of people in a city of mass destruction. Exactly what the Videofreex were doing.

We were bringing personal content to the masses, opening a window to the uncensored and unfiltered world of daily lives. Anything might happen to us as this was an unscripted performance, engaging with the performers.

Just as how the videofreex member was attacked by a police, I was also caught off-guard and ‘attacked’ when a guy jumped out from the corner and carried me to the lobby as I walked out of B1-14.


Hole in Space – audience as performers, unscripted content

Similar to Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz piece, the performers were the open crowd we interacted with. Everything was unscripted in Hold in Space and left to the crowd to take the stage. No one knew what was going to happen next or how the narrative would flow, which was the beauty of it. Similarly in this piece, students were openly expressing their thoughts to the camera ‘live’ to my facebook audience. They were bold in their actions and demeanor. Diana even danced.

However, when I asked them to make a statement about the person ‘live’, she suddenly retracted and did not want to go ahead. This accentuates the different between the superparticipation piece for Douglas David, where audiences were completely anonymous on text and free to shoot everything they wanted to say.

What I think: As for representing yourself in the third space, people tend to be bolder if they are unknown to each other. Knowing about the mutual friends between us, the person was afraid to go ahead and speak free of her thoughts.


Bold3rrr – glitch aesthetics, aberration

Image result for jon cates


I was particularly struck by Jon Cate’s Bold3rrr piece in terms of his ‘dirty new media’ aesthetics. To me, glitch is the new aesthetic!!! I have taken the realization that not everything has to be clean or no error at all to heighten its aesthetics. There is this sense of allurement in the visual glitches and chromatic aberration in Cate’s work. An oddity we hardly come across for most artworks, hence I find this peculiarity captivating.

As mentioned previously for Cate’s piece, it gave me a bad headache from the visuals to the sound. It created a feeling disorientation – something I wanted my viewers to feel and relate to, regarding the state of North Korea.

Hence, the filter and two overlaying tracks were added to add on to the feel of dissonance. This was defitnitely inspired by how Cates added buzzing sounds and multiple audio, on top of his visually glitchy piece.

Overlaying the concepts and aesthetics of these artists works and incorporating them into my own gave me a sense of contentment and I felt that I’ve learnt key concepts from it.

Most importantly, I have gotten a better sense of this module – integrating past work as examples of research, studying them, using exploration, discussion, to get a better sense of how we interact in the age of the internet – the third space.

Implications on the future of art – Integrating the third space in many aspects of our lives

With the wave of possibilities brought upon by the technologies of the internet, I can see the third space taking over traditional platform and being incorporated into different uses such as learning, talks, concerts and such. Integration of third space into new media, progressing from the traditional forms that we currently have.

For example, singers or bands can hold ‘double concerts’ like a collaboration in the third space, instead of the conventional venues of concerts or performances.

Indeed, i’ve found websites that conduct such concert experience, which are ‘live’ and interactive.

Another up and coming trend of internet would be using it for superparticipation. A good example will be Youtube ‘live’ sessions. I recently signed up for a talk and was about to block my calendar, when I saw that it will be conducted virtually. Cool! Convenient!



Annyeong reporting from North Korea. This time with effects.

Posted by Val Lay on Thursday, 21 September 2017

Watch the broadcast here! Be sure to watch it with sound for the dramatization!

Click here for our cross-stream!

Human+ Exhibition Review

This was one museum experience that was more memorable than any other trips I’ve been to – simply because I was perturbed.

I was perturbed after taking in everything and realizing the capabilities and advancement of technology and the impact on human race. It was directly impacting us. It could be you or me possibly turning into an android or cyborg in the future.

It was also the fact that these works are real and some of them really questioned my thoughts on moral dilemmas. It wasn’t difficult to spot someone in the exhibit giving the ‘what the heck’ look after looking at some of the works itself or the artist statements. Basically, the question was ‘Are these technologies contributing for the better or for the worse of mankind? Or was there an underlying purpose behind it?’

These works explore cultural shift and question belief systems upheld by religion as to the capabilities science and technology.

Several works definitely caught a hold on my attention (and soul) especially those that dealt with manipulation of life/lifespan – namely Afterlife by Auger Loizea , Transfigurations by Agatha Haines.

Afterlife by Auger Loizea, a project where technology acts to provide conclusive proof of life after death, life being contained in the battery.

Transfigurations by Agatha Haines, features sculptures of five babies each with a surgically implemented body modification.

These works evoked pure disturbance upon viewing them. I just felt dissonance knowing a person intentionally modifying the physical state of the human flesh what more a baby, ‘to solve potential problems’. What more, unlike plastic surgery, these modifications do not look very aesthetically pleasing. It’s simply morbid.

These babies look very Star Trek and indeed, an episode of Star Trek is called ‘Transfigurations’, the name of the piece itself.


In more relevance to interactive devices, a piece that triggered me had to be S.W.A.M.P, an improvised empathetic device I.E.D created by Matt Kenyon I Doug Easterly. This is a wearable device, on the other end of the glitz and glamour wearable spectrum.




 Artist statement of SWAMP I.E.D exhibited at ArtScience Museum Human+ exhibition


It is worn on the wearer’s arm, where an electric solenoid drives a needle into the wearer’s arm to draw blood whenever a U.S militant death is reported. The armband, like other inverse biotelemetry objects, acts as a transducer, interpreting and exchanging data between the realms of computers, meta-human activity, and individuals.

Just. what. the. heck.

SWAMP I.E.D, wearable device that displays the soldiers’ name, rank, cause of death and location and then triggers an electric solenoid to drive a needle into the wearer’s arm, drawing blood and immediate attention to the reality that a soldier has just died in the Iraq war.

I suppose the artist’s intention is to give real presence of pain and violence in the middle east to individuals out of this zone. The wearer’s emotional aspect also comes to play as the LED screen shows the name, rank and other personal details of the soldier that died in real time, as the needle drives into the wearer’s flesh, drawing blood.

One question is the problem of its data (software) and the triggering of needles (hardware) and their correspondence. As the famous phrase goes, ‘technology fails’. What happens if the data isn’t showing perfectly accurate information? Or what if the device malfunctions and triggers more times of what it needs to? Definitely precautions and checks can be taken but we can never be too sure of devices, gadgets or any piece of technology sometimes.

Also, dealing with blood, many precautionary matters in biotelemetry and its design has to be taken into account. Is there a limit to these needles surging into your arm a day? How long does the wearer have to pledge himself to the device to? How many countries/places will actually authorize blood drawing as a portable device?

Alternative uses

On its own, the concept of taking data statistic and sending an output of an action has great potential. However, I look at it as a possible healthcare tool by removing the inflection of pain and needles. Data is taken based on an individual’s health and it triggers a tight squeeze according to the severity of the stats – it could be used as a reminder for a medication intake or check.

But all in all, I am interested to know the development of this project and if the day comes where the usage of this device is in close proximity.  As a whole, it was indeed an eye-opening experience filled with thought-invoking pieces that made me see our world differently now with the state of our technology advancements.

Device of the week 1: Biometric Palm Payment – Hand Pay

With the advent of technology, we have seen a surge in contactless payment modes. Taking user convenience to the next level, palm vein biometric technology allows one to make payment with just a swipe of a hand. Hand Pay is done by scanning the veins of the shopper to verify their identity.

Hand Pay, a palm payment device, launched Lotte Card Korea is not in use in Singapore yet

How it works

It involves a series of sensors that utilize infrared light to identify a user’s palm vein pattern. The sensors generate a unique biometric template that is then matched against the palm print of a registered user, which takes just 30 seconds to register (scanning of palm and entering card details). A text message is then sent to their mobile phone with an activation link to a website, with payments taken directly from customer’s bank accounts twice a month.

Image result for handpay korea


  • Time & convenience

The process of scanning a user’s palm takes less than a minute and can yield a match in mere seconds. Once a user has been identified, they can make payment. Registering new users is also hassle-free

  • Security

In payments, security is seen as the most important factor. A great thing about biometric technology is that fingerprints, veins etc. need distinguishing biological traits unique to an individual in order to access control. Hence, this device increases security, lowering the risk of identity theft and frauds.


  • Adoption of technology

This technology was started in Sweden, started by a university student and aims to patent the system and expand it around the globe. However, not many countries have adopted it. It has not hit the shores of Singapore apart from the demo for Pyeongchang Winter Olympics workshop here, by Lotte Card Korea. In general, it will take awhile to get retailers to be bought over with a payment method, moreover a  new device like this. Also, their main target of customers might not conform to the technology if they have been comfortable with traditional payment methods, resulting in a small reach of users of the device.

  • Skeptics

Taking a look at the comment section of the video points out how skeptical people are in the technology. Could it be too convenient that it cannot be trusted? Will many be out of job next time with the advent of such technology? The plausible answers to these questions might be daunting.

Photo taken by myself during a Hand Pay demo during a Winter Olympics workshop held at Visa Singapore. A manager from Lotte Card Korea explains the usage of the palm print device

New application to the device


It could be used to replace anything used for payment namely cards, mobile and other wearables. For example, the Hand Pay can be used for payment in public transport, replacing the tapping of cards as commuters pass the gantry.

Also, entering venues such as concerts, theme parks and other events with crowds. With biometric capabilities, it keeps the queue short and lowers the risk of cheating the system for venues with crowds that enter and re-enter.

Research Critique: The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence by Douglas Davis (1994)

The huge difference between broadcast TV and the Web is the keyboard. With that people can say anything; they have full expressive capacity.

This quote by Douglas David resonated exactly with my thoughts on the whole piece of constructing the world’s longest sentence – people were free to put anything. ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING – that I find it daunting.

I see it as the most open and free and possibly longest comment thread in the world. Or a 1990’s open-to-public twitter feed.

Indeed, things got scary quite fast. Scrolling the first few pages already got me choking on my drink as I spotted some sentences that got rather dark.

You have people scolding their bosses. Some soliciting love and partners. And some even professing funny stuff

Essentially, the web offers unlimited amount of audience and word travels especially fast on cyberspace, with the sharing and tagging we’re able to do. We can see it literally as a web (pun unintended), or like a network of connections branching out and multiplying its source upon being shared. Hence, the amount of super participation is extremely high on a public platform, especially for one like Davis’ piece. Audiences collectively come together to contribute to the sentence in any words of their lexicon – which trigerred some replies to the previous sentence where they tried to lend some help. Others were just plain negative.

In summary

In the bigger picture, I believe this was a work to explore and examine how people interact when they are completely limitless to the content they can type and how this interactions trigger the next portion. They somehow co-relate like a butterfly effect. However, it seems that more negative statements/content can be found in this whole text, holding together what we have learnt in the previous reading – that we may get bolder in the third space as we aware of the lack of physical contact to the other parties we are interacting with.

Ultimately, the anonymity plays a huge part in the content we enter. This is also how the term ‘keyboard warrior’ was formed, right?

Oh I’m not done yet

On a slightly extra note, I think the future development of this piece now is to really look at the conservation of it. It first launched in 1994 – that’s as old as me, and the type of software used to contain the information had several errors as mentioned in the readings. Perhaps the team taking on the project could revamp on the system to store the data and accentuate the user interface and aesthetics of this super-participatory piece. I can see it as a minimal looking website with clean aesthetics for audience to intuitively input their sentence in contrast to the wordy landing screen they currently have.





Desktop Misc-En-Scene: OBS Experience


‘Oh man’ I thought, when I found out we had to go ‘live’ again. And oh my, it’s using some new unfamiliar software – how am I gonna wing this?! These are some honest thoughts I had when I first found out about going live, streaming our desktop misc-en-scene and being potential glitch artists.

However, it was helpful that I’m been an ardent fan of trippy gifs and glitch art content. I guess the experience was really helpful in taking it to the next level by creating this content ‘live’ and using the desktop as my canvas.

I wanted to give myself sometime to be familiar with it but a thought just came to my mind while setting my stage – to just go crazy and just go ‘live’.

Hence, I just took it from there.

Art Direction

I’ve decided to always have something constantly moving in my misc-en-scene, as that’s what draws people’s focus and attention on, as compared to a static image pasted around my screen.

Hence, in my art direction I included gifs, and one of the main visual that set the stage was the constantly moving tunnel in the background. It was perfect as it acted as a smooth and cool transition into the videos I was playing.

When I’m on my laptop, I’m usually watching music videos of my favourite bands and CHVRCHES is one them, which I played during the stream.

Related image

I decided to put Jesus on my stage too.

Death Orgone glitch jesus databending glitchart GIF


I was also trying to be playful and did this

That’s me on top of Jesus’ head. What do you deduce from it?

At the spur of the moment, I decided to look for Randall Packer on YouTube. And amazingly, the video aesthetics fit perfectly into the glitch art and retro trippy vibe I was going for.

It was an amusing experience watching everything unfold before my eyes in glitch! It was extra cool when your prof himself were feeling the same vibes about your creation too


Also thanks for the shoutout Randall!

Look ma, i’m tagged in the same post as Jon Cates! FAXXXXXINATING


Research Critique: BOLD3RRR by Jon Cates

After watching Jon Cate’s BOLD3RRR… Realtime: Reflections and Render-times, my brain went into a glitch. I’m pretty sure everyone’s first take on his work is a ‘I don’t understand what’s going on’.

This recording shows him mucking around with softwares of his daily life, playing with Ableton and switching between screens, making comments as he sets up a desktop misc-en-scene.

For Jon Cates, a point to commend was that he was doing all of that in real-time. He was merging feedback loops with personal data that were swimming in associations back and forth around the world, namely Chicago to Taipei to Boulder and back again. That is rather remarkable doing it ‘live’.

In this process, i’ve noticed the bulk of white noise produced in the video and it was very painful to the ears. The 10 minute mark was the longest I could hit before developing a headache, to be honest.

Screen grabs from BOLD3RRR, a ‘live’ desktop misc-en-scene by Jon Cates | Link :

Apart from that, I also felt that whatever recorded can be seen as a collective narrative. There were abrupt cuts in between the video which he injected with. However, I still noticed a flow as the body copy in the video supported the flow of the narrative, hence deducing that the random interjected footage is part of making his point.

Also, I particularly enjoyed reading the conversation between Jon Cates and Randall Packer after seeing his work, as I was really curious of what sort of a person he is to create such art. (apart from his faxxxxinating typ3 styl333)

Aberration is indeed a way to sum glitch art as a whole. But as for Cates in particular, I felt like he was trying to put the normal and the abnormal together. Normal in the sense that these were the everyday things he would do on a desktop and abnormal, in the use of a desktop as a canvas and turning it into glitch. The desktop misc-en-scene turned out to become something particularly abnormal in my opinion, with the jarring white noise trippy jumpy graphics that actually made me feel uncomfortable after looking at it for long.

This might be due to the fact that we see and expect a clean and faultless desktop screen everyday and we find a sense of peculiarity when a part of a screen is not displaying something ‘right’, moreover distortion in images.

Personally, I’ve been a fan of glitch art with it’s trippy aesthetics and made a few pieces of glitch art myself. Even for my display icon here on OSS, I used some forms of chromatic aberration to elevate the look.


Val’s reaction on dirtynewmedia, 2017 – mixed medium

However, it was quite shock to come across the content on the  dirty new media tumblr site. My friends screamed when they saw the type of content posted and I guess they felt it was rather taboo.

“i wanted to reclaim fetish && say, yea, of course fetish is part of what i do b/c fetish is punk + its part of “originary” punk from the SEX shop run by Malcolm McLaren + Vivian Westwood. so, yea, of course, fetish is in my work, but its in this way that’s consistent w/ my art/life inna way that’s dirty, in the sense of being impure, but also (hopefully) sexxxy && exxxciting!”

Upon coming across this quote, I begin to tell some parts of his personality, on being really bold, especially with his work and being even bolder portraying his fetishes openly. Also depending on cultures, society and personality, dirty new media content are things that some might now show or expose to others. He is one the allows his art to frankly expose his style and be transparent about it. Pretty respectable as I wouldn’t go to the extend of incorporating such content in my art in Singapore. If you ask me why, I would bounce the question back to you – would you?

From my understanding, glitch art = visual glitches that come in forms of stills or moving images or even sound. There are several approaches of making glitch art that include data manipulation, misalignment, hardware failure, misregistration and distortion.

For Cate’s work, I notice that he makes direct alternations of the digital files itself, which is common for artists. Alternatively, there are others too that make hardware manipulating to create these errors. Some are fascinating and cool, like the gif I used in as my feature image. Others, as seen on his erotic tumblr site are slightly off the hook and NSFW which I won’t pin under my favourites in glitch art.

On a leaving note, it made me wonder: If it’s labelled glitch art, does it mean that nothing can go wrong? Since it is categorised as a glitch





Adobe Connect Experience


It was indeed and experience having a lesson in a virtual classroom and having all the first-hand experience in the practical as we go through the theory in class.

There were a few notable differences between having a lesson in class and in our comfort of space.

Personally, I do prefer the whole experience of having a physical class without any barriers to my classmates and tutor. In the physical space, i’m able to observe reactions and facial expressions that are totally honest. Whereas on adobe kinect, only a few people are called up at a certain time. And they very well know they everyone is able to see their faces and expression. They themselves are reminded of that too. Also for those that are not on screen, we never know what is happening on their end, which piques my curiosity at certain junctures.

However, the performance part was kind of intriguing. This is because it was highly interactive as it involved everyone in the class. We were able to do cool and quirky stuff like pulling a random object and out of each other’s frames. Eg. Pulling the keyboard into each other’s desktop misc-en-scne with Makoto.

Also, the chat box was a good way to having some small relevant conversations about what the speaker is saying. In class, it was impossible for someone to speak concurrently and have others to expand on a point they have just mentioned with regards to what the speaker said. Hence, chat box is a plus point.

However, as agreed with the other students it can be really distracting when some messages are not relevant to what the speaker is saying. Constant chatter like that distracts students when we really want to concentrate and make notes.

Also during the virtual class, there was also some noise and inaudibility with the speaker and mic. Hence I heard the wrong name and made an appearance when I wasn’t called. Oops! Technology (and hearing fails!)


Project 1: Storyboarding and Ideation

Idea: Laser Tag Game using Arduino, Max and i-Cubex

Quick Ideation


  • Touch will light up the LED
  • Different pressure results in different light intensity

  • Colors range changes depending on pressure of grip

Area lights up accordingly as it gets hit

Putting the idea together

  • It eventually led up to an LED laser tag game with players in a dark room with maze/obstacles.
  • A lifespan bar will be lit (full LED strip) and reflected on walls/ceiling acting like a scoreboard.
  • 8 pressure sensors will be placed on players and points will be deducted when nerf gun bullets are shot on these spots.
  • Additional game component: pressure sensors hidden at various parts of the room. Press the activate more ‘life’


Sound activated when bullet hits pressure sensors. Light also changes from Red to green on LED strip when ‘hit’

(video to be added)

Research Critique: Hole in Space

Hole in Space (1980) is a quintessential piece that highlights the possibility of a performance platform that has no geographic boundaries happening in real time.  I find the title of video, ‘mother of all video chats’  a very apt name indeed, given that it was the very first large screen teleconferencing in history.

Through its medium in telecommunication, it involves the audience in voluntary two-way interaction. These interactions are spontaneous, unrehearsed and natural, which captured the beauty of it as no one knew what to expect – be it the audience or the artists themselves. No signs or announcements were made for this public piece and furthermore, it was the first of its kind in history. Watching such videos actually made me feel glad that these moments were captured and recorded in its most honest form, as I find content like this is hard to come by these days.

On a deeper level, a reason why Hole in Space was picked up by the media in a matter of days or regarded as a successful piece for expansion is the work’s ability to capture audience on an emotional level.

Screen grab of Hole in Space excerpt featuring ecstatic lady as she sees her relative on a large screen in real-time. Second image features another lady on her left looking really shocked by her reactions

One of the clip shows an overwhelmed lady expressing her endearment for her mom that she misses as she kneels and waves to the other screen. At one point, she spots another family member and goes all hysterical as she smacks the ground in euphoria. It was said that families and friends drove from various areas to this site in order to see, hear and converse with loved ones three thousand miles apart.

Here, we see the desire of human beings to connect or even re-connect with people. Specific to this case, people were seen eager to reach out to another party physically thousand of miles away, and conversing normally as if meeting each other upfront. Through this interaction, both parties have collaboratively come together to create a performance in this third space, tearing down the traditional walls of having a sole performer reaching out to a viewer.

“A virtual space creates social situations without traditional rules of etiquette. The absence of threat of physical harm makes a person braver”

Screen grab of lady flirting openly with man and immersing in casual talk

Another part of the video shows a lady and a man, one in Los Angeles and the other in New York City, flirting with each other through the screens. They even exchanged numbers openly. With regards to the quote, indeed people do interact differently on a third space as compared to face to face meetings as we very well know about the physical boundary.

Hence in this case, the lady knows that she isn’t under any physical threat, therefore her body language and things she say become rather bold. Also depending on individual and cultures, it would be rather weird to give someone your number and start flirting upon the few moments of meeting them face to face. In this third space, the lady and man have indeed broken the traditional rules of etiquette, by being a tease towards each other.

In designing such spaces, we look not only at their qualities and aesthetics, but how people interact when they are disembodied and their image is their “ambassador”

Essentially, this telecommunications piece has exemplified the breaking boundaries of the physical space to have a many-to-many interaction and also forming new ways of interaction between people in a third space. These interactions have broken conventions of physical ones and formed a new ways of interacting (mainly more boldly) when in the virtual space.


Collective Narratives

In relation to collective narratives, it was first explored by Ernie Kovacs and Steve Allen in the early 1950s. They explored composite images as they wanted to find out the relationship between aesthetics and sense of presence in shared performance/multimedia environment, where people do not leave their indigenous environments. This whole project of Hole in Space is an example itself of a collective narrative. People of different cultures and backgrounds were coming on this shared performance space without leaving their indigenous environments. Their “ambassador” image comes off more brave and highly honest, and most importantly their performance are unscripted. Therefore, this brings out some characteristics of individuals that they might not be comfortable to show in a physical situation.


Additional research


Hole in Space (2015). Image from

Hole in Space (2015) is a remake by Maya Gurantz & Ellen Sebastian Chang, inspired by the work of Galloway and Rabinowitz. Similarly, they did not have any public announcement on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or press releases about it.

Video “portals” were installed between distinct Oakland neighborhoods that are close geographically but very much different socioeconomically. In their own words “attempting to provide a portal of mutual acknowledgement and understanding–a counterpoint to the city’s current accelerated gentrification and concurrent economic unrest.”

Screen grab of Hole in Space (2015) passer-bys attempting to communicate, both from different states in Oakland

People were seen exchanging few short sentences of ‘How ya doin?’ or ‘Which part are you guys from?’ across the screens. I’ve noted that reactions and interactions were not as great as its predecessor and that wasn’t surprising as high-speed bandwidth and large screen teleconferencing wasn’t new in 2015.

However, what remained the same was that people were still bold in their actions they made before the screen.

Screen grab of video showing a man dancing while the other follows suit. They are separated miles away but still in the same state of Oakland 

In the virtual space, people were seen dancing and shaking their body mimicking one another – this isn’t something people normally do in a physical space. Hence, the new ways of interaction that birthed through teleconferencing did not change 40 years later.

“If you define the aesthetic of the medium, by defining the essence and integrity of the medium, then the creation of “good art” in the case of telecommunications, means you create a situation that provides some form of communication between people and maximize communication between people and maximises the technology’s capabilities”


“A Hole in Space” by Kit Galloway (1980)