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Group members: Niki, Teri, Si Hui, May Thu
The process for this final project was full of bumps. My group hit multiple road blocks and we had many set backs. Since this project was set to be site specific, we decided to pick out a location first, then work from there. But the problem with this method was that we got too caught up with the site itself and lost the objective and narrative of the game.
In our first official test run we had an entirely different idea with a futuristic dystopian narrative of runaway AI robots. It was essentially an advance version of the game of Catch; a mission-completing, Amazing Race type game. The guards that were chasing the AIs will be tracking them with the joint-instagram account as surveillance. While the AIs had to upload their location and complete tasks that would eventually lead them to Paradise.
My role in the game was to facilitate the AI, feeding him clues to the next location and reminding him to update his location. To put it simply it was very hectic. I was juggling four group chats at once plus there was problems with the internet connection at Bugis street which was probably interrupted by the heavy rain.
It seems we did not solidify our ideas properly or my explanation was just poor. The player did not understand the gist of the game and I had to clear things up on the chat which took away from the narrative.
Because we wanted to conduct interactions between strangers, the player was alone and was not enjoying the game at all. After the interview with the players, we found that the instagram feed was useless to the Guard and we did not have an end- goal which was the reason why my player was so confused.
We concluded that our set up was too ambitious because to fulfill all the requirements of DIWO, glitch and third space together with this narrative and site we needed more manpower, equipment and time. So whilst simplifying the game, we ended up with the end product SONDER.
We wanted to keep and focus on our original concept of interaction between strangers and I think the Symposium played a significant role in our final ideation as Matt Adams – the co-founder of Blast Theory was invited to speak. He made some really good points about his work, mainly My Neck of the Woods, Uncle Roy All Around You and also Kidnap. All three had the element of blurring the lines between reality and fiction that was our group wanted to incorporated into SONDER.
This hovering between real and fake was achieved in SONDER where the first run was a more serious conversation mixed in with some lies as compared to the second run where the exchange was completely pretend. The objective of the game (drawing a portrait of the other person) was strengthen with a question “Do you want to meet the person you are talking to?” at the end of the train ride. If the questions prompted by the Breadbot were at a more personal level, I think the outcome of the portraits would become more meaningful as we could really see the first impression to someone’s personality.
I realised after participating in SONDER, when interacting with someone their appearance and mannerism influence our impression significantly. To really get to know a person in real life we have to first overcome their looks. If not for SONDER, Si Hui would not have talked and met Yi Lin because he avoids contact. I would never have talked to Cheng because he is such an extrovert.
Anonymity in the third space is unique to it own; a voice without sound coaxes one to become more expressive than they really are; even if it was pretend. During the presentation the question “Would you have become friends?” and my answer was no because I do not speak as fluently as in the chat, you cannot pause and delete your words in real life. I also do not have the courage to make stupid jokes that I shamelessly made in the chat so having exposed myself in the chat I would not want to become friends as I have been thoroughly embarrassed.
The third space chat allows for anonymity; voice without sound which coaxes people to become more expressive than they really are; even if it was pretend. During the presentation the question “Would you have become friends?” and my answer was no because I do not speak as fluently as in the chat, you cannot pause and delete your words in real life. I also do not have the courage to make stupid jokes that I shamelessly made in the chat so having exposed myself in the chat I would not want to become friends as I have been thoroughly embarrassed.
A mission-complete type game with a futuristic dystopian narrative.
In the year 2570, humanity has attained the technology to upload consciousness into machines. The lower ranks have been turned into AI robots to slave away for the elites. The code is absolute but there is a 0.001% chance that AIs will regain self-awareness. These Renegade AIs will attempt to runaway to Dimension 2390; safe haven/paradise for the AIs.
Location: Bugis Street
Players: 3 Renegade + 3 Guards
Guard’s Goal: Catch their paired Renegade using instagram clues
Renegade’s Goal: Complete missions to escape to Dimension 2390 without being caught.
How it works:
HINTS FOR EACH STATION
Comments on Dimension 2390:
Reason to drop idea: TOO COMPLICATED. LACK OF MANPOWER.
I chose to focus on the animals that I came across during my site visit. To make the subject of animals more interesting; I wanted to re-write my encounters as meeting mystical creatures – spirit guides. The references I found had elements of layering as the world of faeries are overlapped on our reality.
I found that I could play with the opacity alongside the layering concept.
The words cropping and staggering arrangement makes fits well into the theme; like a glitch in space.
Tying into the subject of mythology, Oracles and faeries are known to speak in riddles. So I thought it would be fitting to describe the spirit guides through poems. Then highlighting the words for emphasis.
Originally my idea was to have the animals hidden in this bush as my cover page. However, I do not have the skills for illustrating the image I had in mind and dropped the idea.
Consultation mentioned the lack of hierarchy and photo treatment. So I went back to edit images with the levels and contrast to bring out more details and light from them. Then applied the idea to the other spreads.
Other two initial spreads. I wanted to use flowers as symbolism to the meaning of the guides. But the aesthetics are not compatible at all; only the yellow rose compliments the bird.
Chosen Site: Pasir Panjang
I went into this project without any prior knowledge to my chosen location. I did not know where it was, what was there, how to get there, nothing. I did not even research about the location before visiting the site so the experience was literally base on first impressions.
First thing I realised at Pasir Panjang was that it was really hot, more so compared to other parts of mainland Singapore; or more specifically the area where I live. I agree with Shirley that Singapore is hot island-wide but while I exploring Pasir Panjang, my camera was heating up so much so that it was unable to focus.
After alighting Pasir Panjang MRT, you will very quickly notice The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA); Pasir Panjang was along the coast, close to the sea.
This striking red building stood out from the grey industrial factories. There are some art hanging on the windows. The shop sells many antiques and the outside is full of strange unwanted trash. Also an interestingly shaped branch on its fence.
At this canal, we found a tortoise swimming in it.
I found this pun amusing and thought I could build my Zine around a narrative of a runaway garbage bin. But had second thoughts and changed my idea.
We had a drink after visiting the area. The owners were very nice and even chat with us after seeing us hang around taking photos.
There are lots of private houses along the main road.
Deeper into the maze of private housing there is a temple.
A bird call that I have never heard before. I suspected it was the bird in the cage because the sound could only be heard at this spot.
Can you see the bird?
This is the chirp that it makes.
Peculiar house surrounded by the same cactus.
A house with many fruit trees.
Wind Chime Houses which brought some magic into the area.
Again. Can you find it? The lizard is in there somewhere.
Also saw a squirrel on the way back.
Pandan smell on the way back. Labrador Park MRT stration is covered in Pandan leaves.
I attended the first and second day of the Symposium and although I have use video chat before it is still very new for me. It was a first for me to have the opportunity to watch and interact with professional artist live and it help expand my knowledge of the art world as I now know about more artist in the field now. I also gained insights to their perspective and ideas at a very intellectual level of which I could barely keep up with. This essay will be a recording of my thoughts about the parts of Symposium that stood out to me most.
Firstly, in Maria Chatzichristodoulou’s Keynote she mentioned a couple of projects such as the Gertrude Stein Repertory Theatre, Station House Opera and Troika Ranch Surfacing (2004).
I had an epiphany that I had an impression that interactive media art was a modern thing, like Blast Theory’s projects- social experiments testing the limits of human interaction and voyeurism.
The thought that it could be applied in traditional art forms such as theater and dance did not occur to me; or rather I forgot. It could tap into imagination and other worldly experiences, bringing new possibilities into traditional mediums.
The first time I viewed this performance, I did not understand a single thing. The connection was fairly smooth however the audio was not the best and for me it was quite muffled and grainy. After watching it for the second time, I understood that this was exactly what they wanted – the glitch experience of online social platforms.
Randall mentioned that it was an ironic performance as the performance was broadcast smoothly despite its purpose of playing with the glitch in third space communication. The broadcast did have a massive lag attack right after the performance which was really unexpected because everything before was going so well. Third space communication will always have a latency to it as the server takes time to connect as well and this could be seen when someone joked “How do you know she didn’t say that 5 minutes ago?” and Annie’s laugh was delayed.
An online social broadcast performance is a very DIWO experience; different from going to watch a live performance at a physical location. In a social platform, you get to see the performance and simultaneously chat (silently) with them and the other audience which you cannot do in an actual concert. The chatroom also gives the performers control. They can choose whether or not to include the audience which I imagine will then turn it into a crowd-sourced performance.
Annie gave freedom to the other performers to express themselves in their own way in the phrases and objects. There was a point where they made an attempt to make it look like they were in the same space by showing a white background. Borrowing ideas from Blast Theory, there is the play in between the boundaries of real and pretend. In Kidnap, we see how thin the line of real and pretend can be which reminds me of the Placebo effect where information is fabricated for desired results.