Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Stelarc-the cyborgian visionary

Stelarc and his cyborg hand writing the word “evolution”

It’s been a few weeks since the class went for the talk by Stellar. Stelarc has been a inspiration for me due to his passionate art of exploring the limitations and capabilities of the human body. His work is a fusion of his body and machines that assist his body in carrying out different tasks e.g. walking etc.

Stelarc is a living example of an experimentation of technology into oneself like a wearable technology. He did a surgery where he even input a cast of his ear into his forearm which had bluetooth capabilities. He tried walking on a giant machine resembling a spider leg. He even went lengths to pierce his whole body and suspend it in mid air. He is embracing technology as a second body. Unafraid of these foreign machineries. Could it be that he sees the future of possibilities with technology?

I do adore his intense research in the field of technology and the human body. Bionic man in the making!

Bionic man possible?

here is the photo we took with Stelarc!

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psychedelic

#3 Project Hyper essay-Role of the viewer

 

In this experiment, users will be given a set of music to listen while closing their eyes. To the beat of the music, they are free to move their whole body to react to the music. their sessions will be recorded through skype and a compiled video will be infused together with an audio spectrum effect in After effects in a psychedelic presentation.

Aim of the experiment:

provide an auditary experience to the viewer in a state of semi-consciousness while interacting with a camera(Skype session). Will the camera in front of them restrict them from this experience? I would like to infuse this experience of freedom from the known (inspired from the book of the dead) and direct them to a specific task eg raising their hands etc and see if they can respond to it. I will give them a choice to either respond to the task or immerse in the audio experience.

Role of the viewer:

The viewer interacts with this audio space while being semi aware of the virtual space he/she is presenting while being in the real space. Giving directions in such a space can be confusing but fun at the same time and see how the audience interact.

audiowalk

#2 Project Hyperessay-Influences

 

 1) Operation wandering soul

found this clip along while doing my research.

“Also known as “Ghost Tape Number 10” was an audio mix the US military used for psychological operations in the Vietnam War against the North Vietnamese. It played deeply on the Vietnamese belief of ancestor worship, spirits and the afterlife. This was in accord with the ‘Chieu Hoi’ (Open Arms) program.

The Wandering Soul was played on loudspeakers installed on helicopters, PCF boats or by infantry ‘loudspeaker teams’ on known enemy areas usually at night deep within the jungle.

“It exploited the belief among many of the Vietnamese people that once a person is dead the remains must be placed in an ancestral burial ground or that person will forever wander aimlessly in space. The tape was so effective that we were instructed not to play it within earshot of the South Vietnamese forces, because they were as susceptible as the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army.””

 

2) doc.- INTERVALS Audio-Walk-Performance

interesting how instructions were given to enable listeners to experience the surroundings and imagine the environment through sounds.

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Jodi.org

“Ugly commercial sons of bitches.”

Jodi 5-word acceptance speech (a Webby Award tradition) to criticize the event

Jodi.org is an art collective by Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans. It involves software art and artistic computer games modification of old games like Wolfenstein 3D, Max Payne 2 and many others. they disemble the structure of the coding that makes the game and reconstruct it to make something that doesn’t make intuitive sense.

“Something Wrong is Nothing Wrong”

On first interaction with the website, I actually thought my computer was infected with some virus or spyware while browsing through jodi .org. This is due to the interface which reacts absurdly to either typing or the click of a mouse. The website is also not consistent where for every visit, it will change its interface and it’s interaction.

sample of how jodi.org works

(On first glance it looks like a set of green cluster of TEXT but on closer look it is a ascii of a hydrogen bomb. (refer to Prakash post on more information on the text aspect of Jodi.org)

There is It’s quite interesting how Jodi.org is an interactive art platform that has this familarity about the interface(you can even interact with the interface eg Googlemaps), however, they mainpulated or disintegrate the coding to its basic form which makes the interface bizarre. Especially for their version of googlemap, there are weird symbols that doesn’t make sense seem to flood the screen excessively forming patterns of interaction with each other.

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It seems like an act of hackerism and the glitch in the interface just stun you for a while. The website interplays with popular user interaction on the web like blogs,google maps,website,source code and manipulate them to look bizarre with some sense of humour through their manipulation of the interface. It’s like they are controlling how you interact with the website instead of the other way round.

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Strangely I see a beauty in the art of digital web interface manipulation. Such random repetitive patterns and colours interact with each other as the viewer helplessly watch their computer being controlled by the interface. Some term it “art hacking” at its finest. So do enjoy and step back and watch the cyberworld controlling your screens at jodi.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodi_%28art_collective%29

hello

#1 Project Hyper essay-Audio-visual Experience

My project is audio based documentation of the journey of a soul rediscovering his past life through the places he floats around. It is like recollecting his memories from the places and instead of  through visual means, i decided to do an audio based experience. I was inspired by the film :Enter the Void by Gaspar Noé where we see a soulless body looking back at his past.

Enter the void

The auditory senses of the places we’ve been to does shape the history of the place we know and I think it will be interesting to discover this auditory experience. I was thinking of a plot where a soul who just died from an unknown death finding how he died.

UPDATES: 24th Feb 2014

tibetan

I continued exploring this idea of a soul wandering and discovered about the Tibetan book of the Dead. The book encompasses about stages the soul goes through in the afterlife. Another book called “The psychedelic experience” by Timothy leary sprung out based on the latter book. It is an instruction manual used for sessions involving psychedelic drugs with their basis of eradicating fear, embracing forms etc.

Instead of the use of drugs, using audio as a psychedelic experience. It will be interesting to experiment a state of psychedelic audio experience where audience can voluntarily react to a particular type of music inspired from this book while closing their eyes and feel the music through a skype session.

with the result of the experiment, I will compile a collage of reactions with a auditory visual piece with After effects. See below for example.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqeujRwQk2Uhttp://

 

 

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Life 2.0-Bluntly Berblinger

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An alternate life-that’s what Second life is all about.

It is interesting how the virtual world could replicate life through an online platform where participants could recreate their dream job, spouse,house etc without any expensive cost and minus the hassle of real life. It feels like an opportunity for participants to rediscover their alter-ego and just be themselves without being judged physically. It is  about connecting emotionally without the risk of physical abuse.

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In Second Life, Bluntly Berblinger escapes his marriage life to have a cheap thrill affair with a married woman through an avatar he made that is of resemblance to him in the virtual world. He feels an attachment to Amie Goode in the virtual world which he pursues in real life to the extent of meeting her at her hometown. He caused her rocky relationship to falter and she divorced from her real life husband to stay with him. However, he soon realized that the Amie he sees in the virtual world is different in real life which annoys him and makes him think twice about the relationship.

The airy fairy life that the virtual reality portray betrays the very well-being of living life in the real world-where there are obstacles. Yes it may be convenient to find romance,friendships etc in the virtual world but in the real world it is about facing these everyday life problems which people tend to fend off.

Berblinger is clouded by the fancy idea of  virtual romance addiction that is convenient that he forgets to accept the other party the way she is like in real life. Instead he ran away citing reasons they are not compatible. He neglects his real marriage and assume an avatar to fulfill his desires that he is unable to get in real life.  Till now I still am interested how he manage to get away with his real wife.

Bodies in Flight-Doublehappiness

Hence, talking about relationship in the virtual world and the real world, it reminds me of my previous post “Flight in Bodies-Doublehappiness(2000) where assuming relationship in the virtual world and the real world differs.

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Foo Fighter Experience – All My Life.

It was a one-in-a-lifetime experience to be there in Brazil to witness the cult of Foo Fighters fans in the outdoor stadium. Never seen such a huge turnout for a concert in Brazil. It’s  my first time to fly over to Brazil to watch them live. It was soo crowded that t felt so stuffy but who cares? I enjoyed watching them. It rained heavily after that and I got drenched along the alleyway. Finally, managed to rest in the lounge area near the concert. Till then, see ya!

The Post-Human Condition- KRAFTWERK

 The musical cyborg of electro-pop

KRAFTWERK

Kraftwerk, a German electronic music band formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970 maximizes the technological mediums of the 70s to craft an interesting  repetitive catchy electronic tunes that seem very robotic. In a way, they are even seen as pioneers of electro-pop music.

Kraftwerk’s uses music and lyrics to represent the post-war European urban life with our dependency on machines and technology to run our lives such as driving by car on Autobahn,train, using computers etc. It seems like a social commentary that machines are a part of us, like a biological extension to ease our everyday work. A celebration of modernity yet this subtle repercussions of this depency on machines to run our lives just like in  Robocop

Ok kidding! I mean it won’t be so extreme to that extent but it’s kind of scary to think our world dominated by machines and we will be slacking our ass out at homes doing literally nothing! This comes to my point about the post-human condition where we get too comfortable with life. Will our existence be non-productive or valued? I mean it’s unfair to say non-productive because machines does help out ease our burden but will it be to the point machines are controlling our lives?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43pOtLgVG2k

Watching Kraftwerk “I am Robot” and “The Man Machine” shows this inhuman character going about doing everyday mundane cyclic things. Its like we are slaved by our own creation. They even exemplify this alienation of technology through their live performances in which some they do not appear live but instead used  life-size mannequins and robots to conduct official photo shoots.

But put aside those performances that reflect their “foreseen” society, i do enjoy the mash of instruments that are digitally altered to make it sound more electronic and did I mention they also made some custom self made instruments to push further the limits of music technology? especially the use of vocoder in their lyrics.  for those unfamiliar how a vocoder sounds like, here’s a link: (the first part)

Altering natural sound and making it mechanical to produce a soundtrack-that’s the main style of Kraftwerk that I perceive them.

 

THE THIRD SPACE: Bodies in Flight – DoubleHappiness (2000) UPDATED

Bodies in Flight- DoubleHappiness(2000)

Double Happiness, a transport

[Transport (tr_ns pôr_), v.t., to convey, remove: to send overseas, as a convict: to translate: to carry off (as by the fairies, Shakespeare): to throw into an ecstasy.]

BODIES IN FLIGHT performances infuses new technologies in alternative venues that reconstructs the conventional relationship between audiences and performers, and audiences and place.

They collaborated  internationally  with spell#7 (a local performance based group), to create a piece that explores this intercultural relationship over the fusion of text, contemporary theatre and information technology through DoubleHappiness(2000), a multi-media performance with accompanying web-site doublehappines2.com.

The Third Space in my opinion is an alternative realm of expression where physical space due to either through cultural upbringing etc. restricts such expression.  Doublehappiness(2000) gives the audience two space(the virtual and the physical theatre space) where audience will experience both realms firstly through a chatroom and then a physical theatre where their relationship continues. Will love blossoms?  It is interesting to wonder how couples will react in the virtual space as compared to real life.

Will they be more open in cyberspace where they be less prone to make a fool of themselves or will it distant them more?

The idea of the virtual world translated to this current space will definitely lay out the differences in attitudes on how couples may date and react. At the same time it diminishes this barrier of location as couples can date anytime and anywhere(depending on the timezone of the country) as compared to the hassle of finding a location to date in the physical world. The confinement of a theatre will further essentuate this reality as to me a theatre space is another space(a performative space) and not exactly a physical space as what we normally know off. This piece to me is a display of the different possible spaces we are exposed to and how different we react to suit the space we choose to . What seemed normal in that space will be akward or creepy in another. Just take a look at this video.

 

http://laynewong.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/doublehappiness2.jpg

(a common character in Chinese as it means double joy and usually used for Chinese New Year and weddings)

As the name of the piece suggest, the setting the piece is of a Chinese wedding context where this piece multimedia chatroom was set up overseas and then performed back at Singapore and then back. There is this cultural exchange between the local counterparts and the foreign culture. As such it has always been a controversy between western ideology and the traditional Chinese ideology when it comes to wedding and this is where the play explores this  familarity and alienation that tries to co-exist together. So keeping in mind the idea of the third space, are we totally acceptance of this space as something that defies all values of humanity in light of what is real and what is not?  While we are still asking ourselves these questions, the play does bring out relevant discussions of the tangible and the non-tangible scenarios.

 

References:

1. http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_2013-06-07_154855.html

2. http://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/en/publications/double-happiness-a-transport%280d37b3b4-7057-45fa-985a-eaf364b34621%29/export.html