This Art Nouveau abstract design is inspired mainly by the blue pea plant, which asides from its striking indigo colour, is also used for cooking Peranakan dishes. Other plant patterns featured are also related to the theme of food from different cultures, such as the pandan leaf plant, thyme and curry leaf plant.
(I took some photos but they are all too large to insert into this post but you can check some of them out on @noyumipic on Instagram. [ https://www.instagram.com/p/BoMjTJfna63/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet ] )
Noticeably, many of the plants featured an outward-growing pattern and so I incorporated that into my design using (almost) radial-symmetry. The botanical theme accompanied with symmetry serve to recall the Art Nouveau style.
For my Final Research Hyperessay, I am stoked to find out more about teamLab, an artist collaborative group based in Japan that currently is having one of their exhibitions Future World in Singapore! Since I’m taking Viscomm and Programming, I find their works really relevant and hope to learn more about their design philosophy.
|| Using the social broadcasting platform of Facebook live, my group decided to do an interactive project called ‘Experimental Fashun’ (‘Fashion’ stylised as ‘Fashun’). We split our group of four into pairs whereby one person will be the ‘interviewer’ and the other will the ‘model’. The model’s homework is to select 5 pieces of apparel for a number of sections, namely: tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories and shoes. She will then write down a vague adjective describing the clothing. The ‘interviewer’ will have to engage and collect responses from members of the public from different parts of Singapore to participate in our project. The audience member will have to help the ‘model’ to select pieces of clothing to form their own unique combination. Since the descriptors are rather vague, it mirrors the unpredictable quality of online shopping, whereby we trust frequently vague descriptors and pick from cheap websites like Lazada or Ezbuy. From the selected combinations, we will then photograph proper photos of the whole outfits, pair them in categories of the stereotypes of the different parts of Singapore, and post them on Instagram and add the #experimentalfashun so that users of Instagram can vote for their favourite combinations.
For this project, our interviewers Bala and Felicia headed down to the following places respectively:
Bala – Sim Lim Square, Bugis Street
Felicia: Bras Basah Shopping Complex, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Lasalle College of the Arts
while Farzana and I were the models camping at home. We waited prepared sets of clothings to show the strangers that were interviewed what they looked like. After the outfits were chosen, we had to take pictures of the full outfit for the Instagram feed.
– Wardrobe Selections –
– The Experience –
During the execution of the Facebook live with Bala, I initially tried to make the clothing in the list as crazy as possible so that the participants would have some pretty crazy descriptors to choose from. However, what we didn’t expect is for them to take the task so seriously! A lot of them were really squinting at the descriptors, trying to clarify and asking for more details so that they could make the most suitable outfit to go for an actual party. This was a lot more significant at Bugis Street where there more more fashionable young people hanging around on a Sunday evening.
Also, we initially intended to put on the outfit immediately after the participant had chosen the outfit, but after we interviewed the first person in Sim Lim Square, we had an awkward moment where the person had to wait for me to change, which probably took about 2 minutes, but there was still a certain social tension that existed even over the Third Space, which was really interesting to observe.
This project was influenced by Blast Theory’s principles of integrating the physical and virtual world together through the use of new technology and inviting audience participation that would influence the outcome of the project, with an element of an immersive narrative. In our project, we set our premise as a fashion showdown modelled after RuPaul’s Drag Race or Project Runway, but incorporating digital elements! Not only did we empower the random participants to be designers themselves, we also involved the Instagram public to pick their favourite outfit to win the fashion show by posting polls
Experimental Fashun was influenced by the concepts of the dynamics of social interaction over the Third Space through social broadcasting, DIWO, and Digital Identity.
Inspired by our Telestroll project, we utilised the medium of Facebook Live to carry out an interview-style social broadcast with members of the public. We explored the concept of DIWO by getting them to make our fashion decisions for us. This links to how we allow others to alter our Digital Identity as well, since clothes are probably the most representative subject of appearance, or how you present yourself to others. Personally, I felt like this project really got me out of my comfort zone as well because I usually do not post a lot of Outfit-of-the-day (OOTD) posts on Instagram or Facebook since I’m not really into fashion myself, and my usual style is super stay-home casual.
By putting on wacky outfits and posting them onto our public Instagram page, I felt like I was allowing my digital image to be altered, and it probably is easier to believe that I’m comfortable putting on weird clothing while I was actually really kind of anxious at the thought of wearing them out in public, especially when we had to shoot the photos of the OOTDs, but I thought that after this experience, I’ve gotten pretty numb to any judgement.
Interestingly enough, we also unintentionally experienced the glitches in human behaviour and technology that we learned would eventually surface when we trapped ourselves in the Third Space for long enough, through the works of Annie Abrahams. The main point is that things would never go the way we intended for them to, for example, with that long awkward waiting time I mentioned above, as well as moments when connection was bad as we moved to different locations so it impaired the communication of the interviewer and model during the Facebook live. In the aspect of human-technology relationships, we also explored the mismatch in expectations in online shopping where you might put your trust in a supplier who you have never bought before, purely based on the pictures and descriptions that they provide, and so the products that you purchase may not end up as what you expected, since you never once inspected the product physically beforehand.
In conclusion, a lot of negotiation was needed to overcome issues, from the conceiving of the idea, to the execution of it, to dealing with unintended glitches. Our outcome for the project also divulged interesting results; we found out that the older demographic preferred brighter colours compared to the younger demographic, and that people in different parts of Singapore had different attitudes towards fashion. We had involved others into our project, be it as a designer who came up with all the wacky combinations, or fashion director who got to say ‘ay’ or ‘nay’ to the outfits, and successfully executed our online fashion project, Experimental Fashun!
Summarize by stating how your final project explored the idea of the social and how you designed an interactive experience that included both artist and viewers.
[On Social Broadcasting: A Communications Revolution]
|| During the Art of the Networked Practice 3-day (or night) symposium that took place from 29th-31st March 2018, I got to listen to very insightful speakers and witness before my very eyes how far art has grew simultaneously with technology. It is amazing to think how unfathomable all of these works would have been way back when the social broadcasting tools and platforms were just made available.
Since then, social broadcasting has been used as a medium by artists to explore how communication and interaction between people can be altered through it. Annie Abrahams mentioned about how this change is not necessarily better or worse, but rather, just different. In her keynote speech, Maria Christochatzidolou (MariaX) questions the development of social broadcasting art by sharing a myriad of examples of works that use social broadcasting to push the boundaries of art even further.
For one, social broadcasting changes the way we perceive interactivity.
MariaX introduced the concept of the use of technology to bring people together into the same ‘Space-time continuum’, where people can transcend geographical boundaries and be brought together over the metaphysical ‘Third Space’ (coined by Randall Packer). This greatly enhances the opportunities for collaboration and allow more artists to practice the art of Do-It-With-Others (or DIWO), advocated by groups like Furtherfield and Blast Theory.
Together with DIWO came the concept of giving up the ownership of the performance partially, if not fully to audience members, such that they had the power to influence the outcome of it. One example of this is Kit Galloway’s and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s ‘Hole in Space’, which was part of their satellite art projects in collaboration with NASA. People from different cities were pulled together into the same metaphysical space through the ‘hole in time’ and the way they responded was completely unrehearsed, as with how some of them even started to organise meetings with their family or friends.
MariaX defined the interactivity of social broadcasting as ‘the performer being affected by the audience, and the audience affecting the performer’.Annie Abraham’s Entanglement Training performance was also a far cry from a passive delivery, rather, performers (some of which she has never met) were able to work alongside her.
In the case of the symposium, I was participating in the act of DIWO literally just by typing in the chatroom. The performers were able to interact with the online audience and this allowed for a collaborative act of helping each other understand the works and the intentions behind them. Essentially, this flattens out the hierarchy between performers and audiences and changes the way we perceive artists to work and interact with their audiences (contrary to the idea that artists worked in isolation in their own studio space).
Next, social broadcasting has changed the expectations of human interaction as new dynamics are introduced with this new medium.
Social broadcasting nevertheless allows us to be hidden behind our screens in a safer environment that in real life where physical confrontation is a possibility. We discover this and over time, we find ourselves trying to paint the most ideal picture of ourselves online, trying to polish our ‘Digital Identity’, which is a re-imagination of ourselves, and our tele-presence projected into the ‘Third Space’.
In actual fact, the use of the Third Space encompasses the technical issues such as connection that come with it. To have the ‘Third Space’ in co-existence and seen in totality with the local and remote spaces would be to also accept the faults that comes with it, just like how we do not act in a perfectly rehearsed manner in real life, for that would be way too unnatural (the word in itself suggests that it is not characteristic of a living creature).
Arcangel Constantini also showcased one of his newest projects ‘bakteria.org’ that makes use of technical fault as a style, with the noise distortion soundscape and code glitch as a font type that gives rise to a unique and recognisable style. His little bacteria illustrations also represent how information is spread across the Third Space just like how bacteria spreads amongst people.
Annie Abraham’s works are quintessential to this very theme. In Entanglement Training – Ensemble, her co-performers followed her protocol to read out the latency in their connections, indicating how all of them are never really existing in the exact same moment in the Third Space, which may be a state which technology could ideally bring us to. However, she makes the latencies the very subject of her work and in turn explores the beauty of this imperfection of the medium to create a rhythmic, choreographic performance that really enchants the viewer.
“one millisecond”. “138”
Annie Abrahams’ works are about the ‘sloppy’ side of people online and the intimacy between people. She likes to trap her co-performers in a state of ‘No Exit’ such that they are forced to expose their “messy and malleable” sides, prominent in her other works such as The Big Kiss and Angry Women. This shows how the digital medium is far from perfect and by making these faults the main subject of her works, we are continuous exposed to them and they are more normalised. In this way, we learn how to accept and embrace these imperfections more.
As the saying goes: ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’. Then, following this train of thought, artists that work around the concept of the fault in human behaviour and technical glitches have already achieved a certain level of divinity. They have the power to change the way we anticipate the way our interactions online will proceed, and encourage us to embrace these imperfections as part of our newly established communication medium.
Last but not least, social broadcasting changes the way we want our new form of interaction to grow towards.
After being aware of these faults and learning how to embrace them, where do we go from there?
With a new world comes new laws to maintain some sort of order. New morals and ethics will arise and they will definitely be different from that of the real, physical world. MariaX brings up the issue of “Telematic Abuse” experienced by a performer where although her physical body was not abused, the abuse was directed towards a fictional existence of her real corporal body. How will we define laws that resist this sort of acts? Can they even be counted as legitimate abuse? These are definitely new questions that will arise as we continue to develop in telematic arts.
During the symposium, the ethics of respect was questioned when audience members were conversing in the chatroom while the performance was ongoing and apparently some people thought it was rude was others did not. Whereas, it is expected that people stay silent when watching a performance in real life since they are occupying the same space and may affect the performance.
Social broadcasting also gives people the ability immortalise a moment, as seen in from works like Ant Farm’s Blast Theory. This can be wielded as a tool to call for action by the wider public. We can see this in The Pixelated Revolution 2012 by Rabih Mroue, where a victim continues to film a sniper who is hunting him down and eventually shoots him. The very fact that he does not stop filming shows that he believes that the recorded video will be able to serve as a form of evidence later on. The way that we use this form of evidence is even prevalent today in court legislation.
Station House Opera also staged At Home in Gaza and London (2016) which also uses the technique of ‘dissolving’ to impose two images together to form a mutual performance space, where people could occupy each other’s’ homes, streets and social spaces, such that it focuses on the situation of people in Gaza, contrasting storytelling of Gaza versus theatre in America. This highlights the political isolation of people in Gaza and acts as a coping mechanism with the temporary relief of technology for them.
In conclusion, social broadcasting has revolutionised the way we communicate. It has changed our perception of interactivity, our expectations of interaction on this new medium and the direction where we want these new developments to head towards. Whether we like it or not, the ‘Third Space’ has already invaded and influenced our real world; whether we want to maintain its position as a partially isolated platform, separate entity, or continue to learn about it and embrace its faults to assimilate our physical world with the Third Space seamlessly is up to us to decide. We must continue to seriously consider the limitation of each form of interaction and find a way to strike a fine balance so that we can enjoy the best of all spaces.
Keynote Maria Chatzichristodoulou, artist Annie Abrahams, and artist Matt Adams/Blast Theory
|| The Big Kiss (2008) is a 3 hour live webcam networked art piece by Dutch Performance artist Annie Abrahams, where Annie and her co-performer are physically separated from each other and have themselves perform the act of kissing recorded separately.
In a interview with Randall Packer on Third Space Network’s Networked Conversations, Annie Abrahams observes that there are two main reactions to the performance: either fascination by the eroticism that can be evoked without physical interaction, or awkwardness as a bystander who is witnessing this bizarre dissected makeout session of 2 strangers. She explains that the product of this artwork is not the live performance itself, but rather the meeting with her co-host (who was a completely stranger), and the process of discussing what to do in the performance. While performing The Big Kiss, both performers had to visualise pictures in their head and ‘draw’ it out with their tongues, mimicking the action of French kissing.
Annie Abraham’s attempt to expose the ‘sloppy side’ of people (or as we call ‘unglamorous side’) in spontaneous performances like this online juxtaposes the glossed image of online personas that we present to strangers who chance upon our profiles online. In the context of love and intimacy, there are dating applications that people turn to to find love, such as Tinder, Lively and Hinge.
The limitations of these applications are that people can only form “parasocial relationships” (Internet and Emotions by Tova Benski, 2013) with others, since the only information they have is someone’s profile page, and the only people they interact with is the other party’s online persona. They are never in touch with each other’s true personality; rather they are attracted to the illusion that someone has created of themselves in this “egalitarian cyberspace” (Love Online by Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, 2004), with all the ‘unglamourous’ sides filtered out.
The Big Kiss effectively draws a parallel to this social situation and presents it in a compressed, physical performance that emphasises society’s simultaneous desire and fear when it comes to physical intimacy. Perhaps more could be done to thrust the the online world into reality so that people can begin to rediscover the experience of sharing physical space and touch again, rather than being enclosed in our own “magic circles” (Benski,2013).
The Big Kiss (2008) by Annie Abrahams [5 minute version] https://vimeo.com/2070207