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HSS8121: Serena Korda

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Current Students

Students currently studying Master in Creative Arts Practice

Ares Rabe 

Shawn Ma

Chloe Manyue Yu 

Chrissy Shou Yu Chen

Ben Woolsey

Megan Wilson

Jade Mallabone

Garry Lydon

Michael Hirst

Sarah Davy

Alexei Crawley

Lewis Brown

Daniel Bradwell

Ashley Bowes



Previous Students



Meena DaneshyarMaria Clemente – AlbaceteSean Cotterill

Xiyuan TanYue WangRiar Rizaldi

Daniel Parry


Previous Students



MeteorEdmund Nesveda

Clive WrightChilly Rain

Wenya ChenTrong Cuong Dao

Yousif AbdulghaniTan

BartiZhang Wei



Yinzhen BaoTatiana Fujimori
Jaejun HwangSaksit Knunkitti
Wenchang LinClare Robertson
Tunc Karkutoglu

Mres Digital Media
Adrian ParkBen HoldenIsobel Taylor
James DavollNina LimardoXue Yan
Aaron SmilesAlessandro AltavillaAndrew Nixon
Andrzwej WojtasBen FreethBen Thompson
Helen CollardJane DudmanJoseph Pochciol
Pengfei ZhangSanjay Mortimer
Ewelina Aleksandrowicz (Tikul)


HSS8121: Seven Stories

We all wanted to be a hero.

I was always wanting to a superhero to save the world.

But the thought just faded out as I grows up.

Seven Stories just reminded me of all my childhood dreams.

Then I decided to help others remind their dreams.

I will use the projector and costumes to help the adults remember their childhood dreams.

DMS8013: Research – The History


Sound- colour visualisation is not a new thing. This concept had been proposed long time ago. Isaac Newton developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. Aristotle’s works laid the foundation for a later scientific equating of light spectra, celestial motion and sound frequencies. Athanasius Kircher was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who was the first to allocate colours to tone intervals. Based on Pythagoras’ scales to determine the series of intervals, Robert Fludd designed Mundane Monochord which can represent the concept of contain the great variety of relations of the world in a simple form.

However, by the 1920s, many experiments and the notion of colour-sound analogies had been proved incorrect. Thus more people who are interested in this area moved away from a scientific notion of media correspondence to a concept of pursuing the harmony of human senses in various media forms. For example, Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognised purely abstract works. Kandinsky’s creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences. He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and spiritual desire inner necessity; it was a central aspect of his art. Kandinsky’s paintings from this period are large, expressive coloured masses evaluated independently from forms and lines; these serve no longer to delimit them, but overlap freely to form paintings of extraordinary force. Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul. Kandinsky sometimes used musical terms to identify his works; he called his most spontaneous paintings “improvisations” and described more elaborate works as “compositions.” His writing in The Blue Rider Almanac and the treatise “On the Spiritual In Art” (which was released in 1910) were both a defence and promotion of abstract art and an affirmation that all forms of art were equally capable of reaching a level of spirituality. He believed that colour could be used in a painting as something autonomous, apart from the visual description of an object or other form.

Toward 21st Century Wundermaschinen – A Practice-based Inquiry Developing Media Archaeology as an Artistic Methodology by Ping-Yeh Li

DMS8013: Works well without connecting the buzzer

Connecting to the world, or controlled by the world?

During doing this project, I watched several Cyberpunk movies.

And the Ghost in the Shell(1995) is my favourite.

I can imagine that those cyborgs in the movie is exactly what my friend trying to be except she might wants to keep her brain.

Then I started to think about what would I do if I want to be a cyborg?

So this is what my project looks like in the final.

Finished Video

The buzzer works well with the record and it even sounds like what I’m saying in the record.

Well, it’s weird that the LCD works pretty well without connecting the buzzer.

If I tried to plus in the buzzer, it will occur some interference on the screen.

Perhaps this is gonna be the very first generation of a robot me, with defects.

Fancying things up with InDesign

Contents spread

My motivation for taking the Sub-Editing and Design module was fairly utilitarian – I was hoping that having a bit more formal experience in this area would help me to get jobs in the future. Hopefully creative jobs, but still, I didn’t anticipate that it would benefit my broader practice quite as much as some of the other modules. Almost the opposite turned out to be true. Having a tutor around with a good knowledge of InDesign, and a practical purpose to put it towards, I’ve definitely come a long way with the software since working on Middle Spirits.

How to get text to follow the edge of a shape, how to crop images to precise shapes, make text transparent, arrange images in less crude ways than WordPress and Microsoft Word allow, etc. These are all pretty low-grade skills on the Creative Arts scale (or at least, not the kind to be the driving force of a big creative project), but so far they’ve allowed me to improve the basic standard of presentation in several pieces of coursework and job applications. Say goodbye to crummy word docs, and hello to snazzy pdfs!

Here are a selection of images from the magazine re-design I’ll be turning in on Friday, plus some screenshots of other things that ended up looking much nicer thanks to a good working knowledge of InDesign:


DMS8013: Phase 2, LCD display


In order to express myself more clearly, I decided to add a LCD screen to display the record “robot me.mp3”

I’m still working on it as it’s hard to display the sentence and receiving message from Processing at the same time.

HSS8121 Out of Bounds + Yossarian (themes and associations)

OOB newcastle screenshot

Its been a good year for unexpected projects so far, which I suppose is more or less the point. Recently a lot of them seem to be falling under the broad heading of ‘finding themes and associations’, which seems to be a large part of my practice at the moment.

The main example, and a side-project that I’m very pleased with so far, has been the Out of Bounds Poetry Project. Long story short, some big-name poets took this anthology on tour, performing poems relating to place, ethnicity and various other themes – you can watch some here. Since then, a number of people at Newcastle and Stirling University have been working to present that material in an engaging way online, and that’s where I came in.

The work I’ve been doing can basically be summed up as watching every poetry video, making detailed notes on its themes and content, and then trying to come up with different connecting principles to help present the material in a coherent and interesting way. Fingers-crossed the end result will be an engaging experience that brings the best out of the poems and the poets’ performances.

I’ve really enjoyed this work, and not only because it helped to validate all that literary analysis I did during my A levels and ungrad. Its been an exercise in finding the common themes and elements between the different videos, as well as the potential effects of juxtaposing them. All in all, I made a lot of spreadsheets and a lot of mock-ups, which was more interesting than it sounds.

What made me think critically about all of this was a the last Enterprise and Research Methods class we had, with Daniel Foster-Smith, one of the co-founders of the creative search engine Yossarian. Its an awesome project, and I recommend you spend the five minutes it takes to check it out for yourself, but tldr: it aims to use lateral and metaphorical associations, rather than direct connections, to help you think outside the box. Trust me, the website explains it better.

It represents the intersection between a some of the things I’m currently doing (themes, association, visual representations) and both the linguistic and literary aspects of my undergrad. I’m currently exploring how I might apply Yossarian (or the principles behind it) to Out of Bounds and the other projects I’m working on. Below are two examples of the sort of associations the search engine produced for three of the main OOB themes (waterbondaries and voice) with just a few minutes of exploring:

There’s probably a lot more digging to do here. The algorithmic processes that Yossarian uses to produce these associations are interesting, but something I’ll need to investigate a bit more if I want to understand. I’m aware that I’ve mostly been moving from thing to thing a lot recently, not really developing any one idea a huge amount, but that’s the nature of research sometimes. Its all still on the table, hopefully a larger idea will spring from something soon.

HSS8121: Dan Foster Smith

DanFS_Yossarian 48

The Spider Web Coil Pickup Experiments



The Spider Web Coil Pickup Experiments

After discovering that running a coil pickup through my external signal processer in my Korg MS 20 yielded interesting results, I began contemplating how to create a more powerful coil with an increased magnetic field with hopes to detect pixel changes on electronic devices. If successful I would be able to control the sounds received by the pickup via visual data – connecting this to laptop screens or my IPhone, I then could stimulate it by playing video or using the camera to get a live data stream from what was visually in front of you. Further experimentation with these ideas could lead somewhere very interesting sonically especially when paired with the dual oscillator synth.

My first attempt at creating a spider web coil was influenced by a video I was shown by ‘Giogio Sancristofono’ on ‘’ (link at bottom of post) where a DIY spider web synth was made of of copper wire.

After a failed attempt at laser cutting the coils diaphragm, I 3D printed a design found on ‘’ and made a prototype using nickel wire to some faint but hopeful results.

The sensitivity of the coil was weak, weaker than my shop bought coil pickup. Although it picked up certain noises from my laptop, the signal would have to be boosted intensely with a compressor to get any faint result from it. Spurred on from this (and thanks to Mike Hurst) I rewound the coil with 24SWG 0.56MM enamelled copper wire and increased the density of the wound copper to hopefully increase the signal. This was successful and it worked well after grounding the coil. I could pick up sounds like those I could get from the shop bought coil however I still couldn’t pickup any pixel or screen changes from it – to do this I think I will need the use of an AM radio, using the coil as an antenna…



I will however do some recordings with this coil…


[A day later…]


So, I bought a FM/AM transmitter and dismantled it and attached the spider web coil to the AM aerial location on the circuit board and I was able to detect small changes and interference when placed near electronic devices such as my laptop and phone. However, these results were not as great as I was expecting. After trying various setups and wiring placement, trying different areas on the circuit board and different arrangements of the antennae, the interference wasn’t as drastic as I hoped. The best results I have got with the copper spider web antennae definitely came from connecting it up to a 1.5 mm jack cable and using it as I would with the telephone pickup coil. There is a lot more experimenting to do with this device I think that could yield greater results but as of now I think the results from the equipment I have used it with, haven’t hit the exactly criteria I has been hoping to reach.

My further sonic investigation for this project will be rooted in the backwards wiring of a small speaker as a percussive input and the shop bought pickup coil. I will also be making recordings with a solar panel as means of a voltage input, creating a light Theremin.



[Spider Web Coil Video]


DMS8013: First version of being a robot.

Frequency analyse

Test Video

So, I used the Audacity to analyse the frequency of my record “robot me.mp3″(the highest and lowest frequency and the frequency between 25db to 55 db) and then using the processing to analyse them with FFT.

Then, I transform my voice into tones and using the mini speaker to speak for me.

As for the result, well, it’s not what I expected but it’s quite interesting though.

HSS8121 Creative Entrepreneurship – Seven Stories


Finally found a good time to write about what could be the most exciting opportunity Creative Arts Practice has thrown my way – getting commissioned by Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books! The whole cohort was invited to send proposals for Seven Stories’ night at the Late Shows, and mine was one of the ones that got accepted!

The Late Shows is a ‘culture crawl’ that takes place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th of May in Newcastle, with a kinds of cultural venues opening late and putting on all kinds of awesome free events. Seven Stories will be playing host to storytelling in the Attic, plus an installation in the Studio (put on by fellow CAP-er Michael Hirst) as well as pop-performances of music and poetry throughout the building (organised by yours truly). People will be wandering in and out and around as part of their general quest to absorb beer and culture and acquire glowsticks.

You can find out more specifics about the event itself here. The rest of this post will be about how it came about, for the purposes of documentation (and a tiny bit for self congratulation as well, gotta blow my own trumpet sometimes).

The idea has evolved substantially since the class brainstorming session we had in March. It began as a ‘grown-up storytelling’ event set in the Attic (aka the room with the STORY THRONE) with a small line-up of artists telling stories and then handing the mic over to the visitors, potentially to a theme or prompt related to the venue. Stories from childhood, perhaps relating to childhood toys or pets.

Note: at a very early stage a line was drawn between ‘grown-up storytelling’ (which sounds fun, whimsical, playful and all those nice fluffy words) and ‘adult storytelling’ (which sounds distinctly more X-rated).

This idea gradually split into two parts – the volunteer storytelling component, which was essentially an open mic event, and the professional performances. The performers I had in mind were primarily the kinds I had performed with in Edinburgh and Newcastle – performance poets (like myself) folk singers and comedians. All kinds of artists generally well-practiced in weaving narratives through their performances, which seemed appropriate.

It was these two ideas that I ended up sending to Seven Stories as a joint proposal. After a while, I got back a detailed set of questions, which was encouraging and gave me an idea of what parts of my proposal they liked and which parts they didn’t, or which had logistical issues. Ultimately the volunteer performers part got axed, because it made quality control and producing a cohesive event much harder, and the professional performances became the focus.

All this came with a set of unique challenges. The venue itself is aimed primarily towards children/families and adults interested in children’s literature (they have a really good archive), but the Late Shows is one of the times when it broadens its appeal. So, the material shouldn’t be aimed AT children, but must still be appropriate FOR children, at least as far as explicit language and content are concerned.

Plus the venue itself was such a great opportunity to try to bring adults into the feeling of creativity and discovery that Seven Stories is so great at, as well as the specific themes of the different exhibits. This all required me to be more selective in terms of the performers I asked to get involved, and for me to involve myself in choosing their material more closely than would be normal for a spoken word or variety night.

For those interested, here are some clips of performers that were on my long-list, to give an idea of the kinds of performances I wanted to curate:
Folk Music (Will Finn and Rosie Calvert)
Performance Poetry (Douglas Garry)

The event space was also a big part of the process, since Seven Stories is a large and unique venue. I was initially very excited to host performances (and perform) in the Attic, given the oversized furniture and decoration, and the dedicated performance setup. However, through discussion with the venue this changed to pop-performance throughout the venue. The main logistical reason for this was so as to not to fill up the Attic too much, but since I started looking at the Cafe, the Bookshop and the Exhibition Floors as potential performance spaces, I think its actually going to improve the performances significantly. Rather than trying (and failing) to get wandering visitors to stay and watch in one place, there will be performances wherever they go, hopefully adding a little fun discovery to the event, which seems fitting.

I’ll probably be rushed off my feet during the event itself, but I’m going to make some attempts at documentation, so expect another post after Friday!