- global situation-international waters
- portable exhibit?
- small entrance to control single file traffic
- measure food to vege ratio before entering eating area
- Light shifts warm or cold depending on meat to vege ratio.
(So I only just saw the email and found out that this was an assignment was due on 28th Feb and am almost two weeks overdue…Oops)
Project management as I perceived, after the reading is requires an overwhelming lot of work and considerations. What a painstaking role! Almost every minute detail needs the attention of the PM, even things like the tone of authority or the feelings of the workers and their well being. That is not bad it is just impressive effort. The job entails more than completing the project but also establishes good work ethic which blows the assumption that being a designer is an exhausting-never-resting occupation.
The reading proposals some structures that help with planning such as the 6 goals and responsibilities. It is a simple list to keep track of the several tasks and check on whether the plan will be successful. I think this may be helpful when being a solo one-man show where the designer handles the entire project on their own. The reading made a point to remind us that, despite juggling multiple roles, the primary goals of the project management should not be dismissed. I was listening to a podcast interview of one of my favourite artist and she mentioned that being a freelancer is 50% art 50% business. Project managing is part of that latter percentage and plays a significant role in sustaining the business. As a creative, we must not get too caught up with the artwork but instead seek a balance for commercial work. If its your own personal work, it is fine to keep going back and refining every little thing. But if the work is for a client and money is involve, the artwork is only part of which they are paying you for.
The Six goals:
1. To reach the end of the project
2. To reach the end on budget
3. To reach the end on time
4. To reach the end safely
5. To reach the end error-free
6. To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations
Alan Lakein’s quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” is pretty assertive but I agree. Throughout the years, I have found that I am a bad planner. My plans are more often than not messy and disorganized, or rather I planned them but am unable to produce as planned. The reading introduces iterative diagrams such as the fishbone which may help in more systematic approaches. The advise of being a generalist and understanding the work well enoguh to plan properly. Then again I am still at the experimenting everything stage and every new project is a new experience.
The financial side of project management is the most stressful, anything, as long as money is involve is stressful. I got into disagreement and trouble for it a couple of times and it was not fun. Lastly, I think the part about making sure the assignments are specific in terms of objective, duration and level of effort is really useful for self-motivation in not only commercial work but personal projects as well.
So my favourite interactive installation seen from the visit to the National Museum is, predictably, Story of the forest by TeamLab. The immersive installation animates 69 antique drawings from William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, commissioned in the 19th Century documenting the flora and fauna within the local region. It starts off with a stunning petaled rain, captivating the audience from the start; an immediate overhaul over your sense of space with simply sound and visual. The black background, like a reversed abyss, made the dome interior larger than it seemed. It was beautiful, however the 3D effect does cause some dizziness. I, myself, stumbled a little crossing the bridge.
The second part of the installation was a the animated wildlife projection along a spiral walkway that wrapped around the Rotunda. I think the site really works for the idea of gradual time progression from day to night. It is unnoticeable that time has ‘passed’ until you enter the night. Regardless of the floating flowers, it was a smoother, more natural experience than the bridge.
The installation ends at the bottom of the dome, underneath the bridge that was part one. Back to the raining flowers but this time, perhaps due to the proximity, my footing felt more stable. The viewing was also more relaxed, one does not need to strained the neck to view the projection in all its glory. We were invited to lie down, a rather soothing therapeutic moment we had as a class.
The slight fantastical theme, though strays from the argument for authenticity and mission to educate, the matter is not of significance. The National Museum had a separate exhibit displaying the real drawings with full descriptions along with scent specimens for that purpose. The magical aesthetic, here, plays as an element to intrigue.
The only setback of the installation, for me, is that it is segmented by blackout curtains. Understandably necessary and disruptive at the same time, that is why I praise the fluidity of the second part. Like curator Ismail had said, the lack of hint in continuation led many visitors to end their visit prematurely. The projections are flawless in visual cohesion but the spatial planning could be better improved.
If i remember correctly, there was a point about Site specificity being taken into consideration. The forested nature was due to the fact the fort canning park was right next door and I do believe it helped to contextualize the exhibit. One may say it is not as effective because visitors rarely make the connection. But then again, the sentiment may be received unconsciously.
The brilliance of TeamLab and other similar companies is that the work is extremely passive on the interactive scale and yet people flock to see. Minus the factor of being insta-worthy, these works have successfully capitalized on the pure joy of viewing. As designers we are always searching for bombastic ways to wow the crowd and here is an artwork that proving high interactivity does not equate to quality of the work.
Such installations also has a double-edge relationship with crowds. It relied on the influence of other visitors, the bandwagon effect to direct traffic. For example, the option to view the falling flowers from the best vantage point which was to lie on the floor. Or that there are sensors that allow the audience to leave an imprint of themselves in the fictional woods. A supposedly casual and relaxing experience, is also disrupted in large crowds.
The focus on the most enjoyable consumption is what I had like to adapt from TeamLab’s Story of the Forest. I realised, the word “Environment” somehow naturally referred to a single large space which was limited my options. Separating the facts from aesthetics sounds like a good approach for serious topics such as mine-Sustainable Food Supply as works loaded with facts were never welcomed. Similarly, for my assignment, there must be a narrative link between the two; one cannot exist without the other because of the cyclical impact of the topic.
Bukit Brown Index #132: Triptych of the Unseen was exhibited at Gillman as part of Singapore Biennale 2019. It is a large scale installation consisting of a stage, a three part video performance and an archival collection covering the uproar around the redevelopment and destruction of Bukit Brown Cemetery back in 2011 to 2014.
The set up was a familiar sight, adopted from traditional Chinese Street opera often performed during the Hungry Ghost Festival. The significance of it is that it is a common space where the dead and living meet to enjoy, in this case, as the writing on the red banner connotes, the nostalgic or tragic saga of Bukit Brown. It is a place of tribute and offering to the visiting dead; perfect choice in setting.
I think Post Museum, the creators of this artwork, has achieved their aim “to encourage and support a thinking and pro-active community in this piece.” In an interview from OnCurating, they were asked about where they think they stand between the centre(state) and the periphery(independent). Their answer spoke about who public space belongs to? Saying that Singapore adopted a place management strategy to inject ‘heart and soul’ into the city. The strategy had been used by other cities such as New York and Paris and is referred to as “placemaking”. It is directed to developing participatory communal places and improving quality of life for its residents. It is after this point that their response really raised questions for me. Post Museum raised a point that placemaking should not be exclusive to urban planners and the government, it should be a shared decision. Because we are all enagaged with said space, thus are always participating in the placemaking process. Post museum may be referring to their artistic practice but I find it prevalent in this project.
I picked to write about this work because it is closely related to my idea for FYP; revolving around culture, heritage and identity. Why heritage should be preserve and how it ties to belonging? Bukit Brown cemetery may house many graves of pioneers such as Tan Lark Sye (1897-1975), entrepreneur and co-founder of Nanyang University and Chew Joo Chiat (Joo Chiat estate) but why is it important to conserved them? What reasons is there to be upset other than the fact that digging graves is disrespectful? Triptych of the Unseen first featured at Substation in 2018 and the artistic director then spoke of heritage as a form of control. He said “heritage really largely is not just about the past, but the way you define the past also determines your present and future.” It is a deceivingly harmless topic for one so political. (at least in Singapore) I wish to go into more detail in my next post about my FYP ideas so the discussion shall end here.
The meat of the story is literally in the content of the work. The three part video performance, taking on the perspectives of the ‘Ghost,’ ‘Activist’ and ‘Bureaucrat’. It depicts the struggle of space in Singapore through moral contradictions of the three characters and their relationship with each other. The choice for implementing the virtual reality setting was to “trap the spectators and performers within this ‘unseen’ tragicomedy where they ‘are condemned’ to watch and perform this act endlessly.” When you enter the virtual space, you are sat in within an ‘ghost’ audience as everyone is wearing a opera mask. “Unknowingly we all become victims to the priorities embedded in the grammar of the city.”
Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe
This is an example of biomimicry in the field of architecture, borrowing the natural interior structure of African termite nests to create sustainable buildings. The Eastgate centre has managed to achieve 10% less energy consumption compared to other conventional buildings its size. That is an impressive feat to be able to regulate temperature of a mid-rise building without air-conditioning or heating.
So how do these self-cooling mounds work?
African termites feed on a fungus that they farm in their mounds and these fungus can only grow at 87 degrees F. Since the climate in Africa ranges from 35 degrees F at night to 104 degrees F during the day, the termites invented a series of cooling vents to maintain the interior temperature of the mound.
Through constant opening and closing of these vents, the termites are able to suck in air at the lower parts of the mound, through the tunnels and up to the peak. These vents are also always under construction as new ones are constantly being built and old ones are plugged up. It is a brilliant way to regulate temperature naturally considering that hot air rises up and cool air sinks.
Despite that, it should be noted that the series of vents are regulating the temperature and not exclusive to cooling. The system also works with other materials as the Eastgate Centre is made out of concrete. The outside air that is drawn in can be warmed or cooled by the building mass depending on which is warmer. Similar to the termite mounds, the air is through the multi-storeys and offices before exiting out the chimneys at the top.
The energy sustainable building not only benefits the environment but also the people. The owners of the Eastgate centre saved $3.5 million for air-conditioning that was omited from the design and this helped the tenants with 20% lower rents than it neighbours. Both an climate and economic solution.
The Third Ward is a predominantly African American community that persevered through many difficult times to sustain their home. For example, the area is known to be poor as after world war II, they received a large group of migrants and were unable to get non-menial jobs. Then in the 1970s, their population dropped when America implemented racial integration. In addition to the fact that many of the children from the third ward graduated from Universities and have moved out for better jobs, the Third Ward was neglected and lost economic traffic.
The project TréPhonos pays tribute to the history of the Third Ward with three payphones, reprogrammed to become audio time capsules. The project was inspired by a series of hangouts in the neighbourhood and one of the collaborating Artist – Jeanette Degollado says “We have managed to create a feedback loop, where community self-determination, artist, activist, and Third Ward residents are both the input and output, informing each other, creating synergy.”
She describes the payphone to be a “symbol of public and private space”; an intersection between the two. It was a place that held people’s “connections, distance, emotions, infrastructure?, and socialization.” Therefore, people exists where payphones are.
The three booths…
- Features musicians from the neighborhood, including various genres and generations of local music.
- can also be play externally when the coin release lever is held down, for multiple people to listen together.
- ambient noise of the neighborhood
- voices and stories of Third Ward residents.
Is this Social Practice Art?
To be considered Social Practice Art, the project has to tick two boxes – human interaction and social discourse. I do have to take that definition with a pinch of salt as it was from Wikipedia. But it does gives more meaning and reason to the project without it being created for the sake of art.
Its goal is primarily in strengthening the community as a whole, uniting the Third Ward to engage with the stories with one another. While TréPhonos level of human engagement is high, the discourse here is a little fuzzy.
Ying Gao is a Montreal based fashion designer and professor at University of Quebec whose interactive work features a lot of animated textiles. Her recent project – FLOWING WATER, STANDING TIME capture the ever-changing persona of Jimmie G from the novel, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. He is a middle age man who thinks himself to be still a youth at 19 years old, and he jumps between these two mental age which Ying Gao describes as a metamorphosis.
According to Dezeen, “The garment reacts to the chromatic spectrum using colour, light sensors and tiny cameras that are connected using a rasberry PI computer, to gather information about their environment. This data then activates a series of actuators and magnets interlaced with silicone to cause the fabrics to move.” It is interesting to note that besides silicone, the fabric also includes glass elements created in studio. These combination of materials, helped Ying Gao to achieve the shifting hues in the “chameleon-like” autonomous dress.
As far as my knowledge goes, Raspberry Pi is another version of an Arduino, they are both open source technology that are sustained by the creative digital community. Tutorials and project ideas are quite abundant online and there are even ways to help find nearby Raspberry buddies to get creative together. The true benefit of open source technology is that it is firstly, free knowledge. Secondly, the amount of projects available for reference is infinite, the number will always be growing as people feed off ideas of others to make their own.
I have played around with a Circuit Playground before, it is a cousin of the Raspberry Pi. So references and forums I have searched online were a learning process to aid my production process. I think as I am a designer, I do not know what their difference is technically, only that they have a different shape. In this case, we designers need the engineers for their in dept understanding of the electronics. The designers come up with ambitious ideas that cannot be fulfilled themselves and Ying Gao has experienced this with this project. She says “Technically and technologically speaking, this project is different from the previous ones because the clothes have a much greater autonomy,”