Category Archives: Project Hyperessay

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Project Hyperessay: Conclusion


1. Gratitude

I am grateful of everyone from OSS and whom have been part of this experience, and Randall having such a strong standing from from conception to execution. A project that is so open-sourced, having input from everyone, culminates great spirit. Everyone helps each other to grow. It is a journey, seriously, for me, and almost transformative to have me this performance piece up and out.

2.  What is it?

Project virtual awkwardness is the virtual manifestation of what in physical space we call social awkwardness. As a digital native today, it is very much within our nature to be attached with our electronic devices, whether is it mentally, physical or emotionally. In this performance, I’m transposing the life of a digital native onto virtuality, coexisting on the same plane as reality performing everyday action as a force of nature. The 24hr aspect completes a cycle; this performance never ends. To place myself on the pedestal on the stage and broadcast my private concentration in the public space is to refine the boundaries of what is known to be private and public based on individual perception. I have been made as a sculptural form of what is it to be a digital native.


Chris Hables Gray emphasises n his introduction to the The Cyborg Handbook (1995), there are no clear-cut definitions of the cyborg.

McLuhan’s 1964 Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, which includes a range of “man’s extensions” besides broadcast or film media.

Donna Haraway’s utopic ” A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985).

Katherin Hayle’s analysed that people become post human when they think they are post human.

3. Why is it so?

I have found the likeness of binary opposites the for one to be socially awkward, one is not virtually awkward, vice versa. Distilling the complexity of technology to its essence is its utilitarian purpose of “bridging the gap”. The world is evolving is neither right or wrong to be falling into either extremes but the embracement of it brings forth the peculiar situation as us being likened  to a cyborg.

What are the social rules in virtual space are we to observe and under which situation do we escape from or confront? In both spaces, we have a choice.

4. How is it like as a 24hr performance?

Bodily functioning:
The sense of time and space is ethereal in virtuality without day and night.
Appetite becomes subjected only to outsiders of my own body to have food intake.
Mind’s potential can be tapped into as the third space serves the prosthetic ability to live beyond physicality of the body.

Social and virtual functioning:
The sense of celebration from coexisting in the hybridisation of spatiality, in spite of immateriality. The mediated. The virtual.

More updates 

1. Research relations will be organised and described in more details (those mentioned in presentation)

2. Stitching of the 24hr performance in a different form will be discussed


Project Hyperessay: Technical Realization

Open Source Studio — Public Intervention

11th April 2014, 1600hrs to 12th April 2014, 1600hrs

Real space: ADM Building, Lobby
Third space:


2x long-throw projector, vga cable, mac adapter, power cable


2x short-throw projector, vga cable, mac adapter, power cable


2x iMac


2x speakers, XLR, power cable


1x sub-woofer


1x mixer


2x webcam


2x projector screen


2x trolley


1x Kewpie






  • Information and details of actual event on the internet
  • Instructions on undertakings to connect over the third space
  • Log sheet and catalog of interaction and activities

Project Hyperessay: Influences II

The Pinterest Instinct by Tan Pin Pin

Tan Pin Pin reveals her process that resulted in two recent films Snow City (2011) and The Impossibility of Knowing (2010). The first grew from her huge and random archive of Singapore scenes shot for another film (that were never used) and the second, from her 10 year collection of Straits Times news clippings detailing crimes of passion. She hopes to show how the Pinterest Instinct can be used as a vital creative resource.

Tan Pin Pin is an award-winning director who is known for her body of work on Singapore and her histories. Her films have screened in Berlinale, Busan, Vision du Reel and the Flaherty Seminar. In Singapore, the films have received sold out theatrical screenings and toured schools. She has won awards from Cinema du Reel, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, as well as a Student Academy Award for Moving House. To Singapore with Love, about Singapore exiles, was awarded Best Director at the Dubai International Film Festival.

One’s reception draws from observational basis as much as local filmmaker Tan Pin Pin did. The connection that was drawn from places, people to situation generates such austere and yet, gently humorous in circumstantial nuances. The art of drawing point to point from cloud data is an artist’s reflex. I also appreciate the relevance drawn contextually. Her process with the thematics of curated talk series, History and Its Currency, mapped clarity in procedural craftsmanship of important films made in Singapore to date.

In Project Virtual Awkwardness, an act of troll that has the undertakings of such sophistication requires clarity in thought and stoic calmness in propagation. In Project Virtual Awkwardness, it not of binary opposites to be or not to be, but a contention to the extremes and call for a measurement to the degree of which. Truly it is an act of elegance, and a practice of chivalry and meditation.


Project Hyperessay: Role of the Viewer

Virtually Awkward Manifesto

1st RULE: You do not talk about being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD.
3rd RULE: If someone disconnects from the third space or lags, the session is over.
4th RULE: Only two converse at a time.
5th RULE: One speech at a time.
6th RULE: One identity logged in at a time.
7th RULE: Session will go on as long as they want to.
8th RULE: If this is your first time being VIRTUALLY AWKWARD, you HAVE to keep calm and carry on.
  • Viewer accesses the Adobe Connect link: 
  • Viewer is required to login to Adobe Connect as guest on computer via Firefox browser. Viewer may also choose to login using Adobe Connect mobile phone app.
  • Viewer will be engaged in conversation with the host.
  • Viewer will also be prompted for actions.
  • Viewer’s interactions and responses most probably will vary, depending on degree of virtual awkwardness provoked.
  • Viewer will be adjusted and aware of the mutual virtually agreeable etiquettes, so to allow for greater control  the degree of virtual awkwardness. 



Project Hyperessay: Influences I

Mood: James Blake - Limit to Your Love *

Curatorial Statement

Still is the central theme to the intellectual common ground of video art installations and performances by artists Granular Synthesis, Ryoji Ikeda and TeamLab. These pieces exemplify video as art in and above all, establishes the aesthetic paradigm while furnishing the conceptual. Still questions the concept of time and its structural quality when measured in hours, minutes and seconds, thereby an examination of the relationship between time and our perception of time. Still in its system and algorithmic manipulations is rational, and finds aesthetically production irrational, all in all closing the distance between ourselves, the artists and viewers to the sublime.

Modell 5, 1994-6
Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich / Granular Synthesis
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“From a few expressions on the face of the performer Akemi Takeya to a frenzied exploration of the alter ego, any known context of meaning ends in the dissolved movements, is stalled in denaturalized redundancy, in machine pain. The semantic void is too loud to be amenable to meditative reception. The frontal images the rhythmic structures generate contradictory emotions and great strain. Entertainment is offered and almost violently denied. At the highest level of energy, enjoyment reaches the limit.”


Modell 5 is an audiovisual installation by the artist duo Granular Synthesis, channelling digitally processed image and sound to 4 video channels and 8 audio outputs. A multisensual perceptual experience is produced. In live performances of Modell 5, the audio interacts with visuals.

The pre-recorded video has Japanese performer Akemi Takeya broken down into grains through an analytical process, then reconstructed, and resembled in another frequency. Through this process of granular synthesis, image and sound are separated, blurred and perceived erratically like flickers.

This intervention into the audiovisual material by means of granular synthesis evokes violence and pain, as her voice and portrait are now being dissected. Her natural rhythm is eliminated and replaced by a mechanical rhythm. It is as if the organic human form has been mechanised and has her spirit trapped in a purgatorial state.

The digital editing level could be perceived as disruptive, because synchronicity has been removed, while simultaneously, one experiences then synchronicity between recombined image and sound. The cyborg’s reality is a distortion of space and time, and to the onlooking audience, we relate to her torment. A commendation to the creative decision in slipping in sub-bass, triggering physiological effect, heightening that sense of empathy.

Transfinite, 2011
Ryoji Ikedathe_transfinite

The Tranfinite by Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese artist and electronic composer is large-scale digital installation. The installation bisects the space of the hall with pulsating patterns of real-time binary analysis of the Ryoji Ikeda’s soundtrack. It is a fully-immersive audio and visual experience.

In his album +/-, Ikeda describes his tone as “a high frequency sound that the listener becomes aware of only upon it disappearance”. While his rhythm exploits on beat patterns and noise, creating the semblance of a drum machine, the space involves a slowly evolving soundscape, with little or no sense of pulse. With minimal pulsation, audience are pulled into an abyss that signals the absence of time while enveloped in the darkness. In this alchemised experience which Ikeda describes as ‘the aesthetic experience of the sublime in mathematics’, we confront the vast magnitude of the universe. This project explores the transfinite that is quantitative and ordered, the intersection of beauty and the sublime, through music and math; black and white; 0s and 1s.

Universe of Water Particles, 2013
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Universe of Water Particles is a waterfall created in a computer-simulated environment by TeamLab from Japan, a collective of artists, designers, animators, editors, programmers, mathematicians and architects.

01_new_zbush_R1Rock environment created in a computer space

01_new_zbush_up_A_R1Detail of rock sculpture

The waterfall simulation

1. A virtual rock is first sculpted and computer-generated water consisting of hundreds of thousands of water particles is then poured onto it.
2. The computer calculates the movement of these particles to produce an accurate waterfall simulation that flows in accordance to physical laws.
3. 0.1 percent of the particles are selected and lines are drawn in relation to them
4. the curvilinear motion depends on the overall interaction among the water particles and forms the magnificent cascade seen on screen.
5. Also, The waterfall is rendered at a resolution five times that of full HD to allow for the intricate and extreme detail of the work.

In traditional Japanese paintings of oceans, rivers, and bodies of water, they are expressed as curvilinear series of lines, giving the impression of life, as though water itself were a living creature.

So we question: What implications did the notion of Nature as a living creature as an integral part have on their perceptions of the world? TeamLab expresses their point of view that this work of art embodies an integration of the modern objective world and the subjective world of Japanese ancestors. To think of ancient Japanese understanding space and time, “we reasoned that while compiling visual information in their minds, they would have experienced time on a longer axis. Stemming from this idea, we created a time lag during the simulation of the particles that left an afterimage. Following which, we formed lines from the afterimages.”

When viewing the work, if is there is something within the lines from which
the audience feel a presence of life, then perhaps TeamLab’s proposition of the subjectivity is their Japanese ancestors is extant in our objective perceiving of the world today.

Also, in such immersion from viewership of the work, one does not feel a barrier between them and the waterfall. Nature is not just an object of our observation. The integral part of nature and its behaviour arose from Japanese ancestors ways of seeing i.e. rivers as living entities such modes of perception make it very easy to feel no boundary or separation from their environment

Through this approach to perception in work of art, the qualities from ancient Japanese times is transcendental to our modern world besides the intangible stillness of mind image from viewing the water. Also, physical manifestation of the experience from looking at
this waterfall in spite of the virtuality of it from a screen.

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Project Hyperessay: Introduction to Virtual Awkwardness

Virtual Awkwardness

Virtual Awkwardness is a performative multi-media project to be culminated with the support of #ossntu under the supervision of Prof. Randall Packer. Episodic media will be documented and disseminated online. In a live performance, the audio and visual materials will be digitally manipulated, alchemising an appropriated reality shared between the artist and the audience in the third space.


Since the inception of the internet as a tool for communication, albeit broadcast from one to many or many to one in the third space, it induces the spawn of multiple identities or personas and anonymity. Sharing parallels in space-time continuum, the presence of an individual, otherwise collective, has become existentially purposeful. On the other extreme of the spectrum, it is possibly meaningless. Part of our artistic objectives not only to embrace the binary opposite of which, but to also research that finds meaning in the meaningless. As that of transition from modern to post-modern, the conflict is highlighted and also simultaneously celebrated by the contemporary.

Here’s an idea: The contemporary art is one that prepare for the future, and Open Source Studio, contextualised as a virtual classroom, opens for infinite possibilities in artistic expression, facilitation, and liberation. The internet now as an object, and also an medium. While father of video art Nam June Paik’s implicated TV as an object, grandfather Randall Packer prophesies the future of new media art. In his research and propagations, the internet and proposed ‘third space’ not only question, but also revealed challenges with the third space as an object and medium, particularly here in every digital natives’ residencies. The internet and its culture is under scrutiny as an object. The internet is also transgressive as a medium in performance art.

Randall Packer defies conventions and holds discussions and presentations in virtuality via Adobe Connect. Subjects are quickly equipped with a heightened sense of reality and awareness of ourselves and the environment, dissectible in layers. But could we then be seen also as one? The avatars and alter egos romanticised the profane reality in which we live in. In the participation of this classroom exercise, not only does one engages intellectually, but also our mind and body in many different ways contrary to common beliefs. It is emotional and non-tactile, but nonetheless gestural.


In the establishment of the third space, experiences could lay on the borderline between intimacy and isolation. Somewhere in between when one could not decided with the other is a recipe for awkwardness. What is fundamentally existing in the real space has the quality of transference to the third space. With that, I would like to demystify the awkward behaviour of an individual to be consistent of rootedness, in spite of cultural differences — the singularity. Virtual awkwardness is hence an erected shrine to pay tribute in the sublime third space.

The origin of which begins from an honest observation of oneself, contemplative of the affect of an online presence and manipulations that predicative of a certain psyche and characterisation. It is dangerous and aggressive, yet vulnerable and sensitive altogether. Keeping the cookies in the jar, elaborative analysis and suggestions would concurrently be performed in a collaborative act with Mike Tan (, a bred visual communicator turned mixed media collector, who dabbles in big data and small polemic.