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Research Methods: Installation Review


Doing the installation review is a way to look back artists who are exploring the acoustic arts of space perception and get a clearer thought of this summer project in terms of the conception of interactive sound feedback.

Acoustic arts stand the position of implication, which, invites people to get the consonance of the individuals and the creation spontaneously during the process of perception. These five art works, more or less, present the exploration about the connection of internal and external behind the phenomenon, such as emotion and experience, the constructed space and external world, traditional elements and the variation.

As the creative art form, it is a new way to explore human perception and the interactive experience with space by the form of acoustic sound, as well as the way of ‘acoustic experiment’. These installation art works question me how to define the creative arts in the acoustic level and, where is the balance point of exploring human perception and the new experimental form by using technology? If the acoustic installation art shows the strongly implication to ponder the relationship of human, creation and environment, the restriction might impel artists to go back to the issues of individuals’ different cognition to the space after they doing the experiments by using technology to explore the possibility of human perception.

Technology, as the medium in this situation, also might bring the more complex issues of  ’how’ it could be a way of seeing our world, rather than doing the practice of making participants being part of the interactive creation.

Drone (Bako 2013)
The work explores the themes of trauma, stress, surveillance, memory and the psychoacoustic effects of sound on the body.

The Bird Tree (Kubisch 2003)
Audience can hear incredible songs and combinations of birds with specialized headphones when they move around the wall. Some songs may be completely new to the listener.


A silent labyrinth created out of open copper trails on the floor carries the electrical signals of a multichannel sound repository.

Discipline (Rogalsky 2011)

It is a choir of electric guitars wired so that each guitar’s pickups cause its strings to resonate in response to an (unheard) classic rock radio station.

Tokyo Circle (Behrens 2000)
‘Tokyo Circle’ is an interactive audio installation based on a changing virtual acoustic space that responds to the movements of the spectator.

Bako, A. (2013), Drone, Available at: [Accessed  18 May, 2014].

Behrens, M. (2000), TOKYO CIRCLE, Available at: [Accessed 17 March, 2014].

Kubisch, C. (2003), The Bird Tree, Available at: [Accessed 18 May, 2014].

Haag, C. Rumori, M. Windisch, F. and Zeller, L. (2011), Offener Schaltkreis, Available at: [Accessed 17 March, 2014].

Rogalsky, M. (2011), Discipline, Available at: [Accessed 17 March, 2014].

Research Methods: Contextual Review of Database


To use contextual review is the way to find the clues to address the issue of data visualisation in terms of the situation of ‘we live in a world where there is more and more information and less and less meaning. – Jean Baudrillard‘. Meanwhile, to use interactive perception of art and technology to invite participants to establish the relationship of creation and the environment in the level of real-time feedback.

1. Data as a creative asset

Digital artists have a role to play in influencing the way in which others approach the data that has been made available. They can open up all sorts of possibilities for new kinds of collaboration between science, commerce and artistic intentionality. They can also show how data can become the means by which communities are drawn into discussion about key social issues such as local amenities, access to technology, training or other important agents of social change and improvement. [...] The digital medium is also dynamic and can respond to a changing data flow and the real-time transmission of data. [...] It is important to point out that the digital medium is not by nature visual but always consists of a ‘back end’ of code or scripting languages that mostly remain hidden and a visible ‘front end’ that is experienced by the viewer/ user, the later being produced by the former.” (Colson 2007, p68)

The purpose of referencing this character is to understand how data base has been used in the field of arts, the relationship of art-data and the restriction of using data in this area.

In the previous pages of the book The fundamentals of Digital Art, the author Colson referred to the current world is now inundated with the large amount of citizen’s information accompanied with influencing decision making (from the Internet) and the reason of that digital artists uses data to improve their art works, including power of data, found material from information-based society, and data is dynamic.

After reviewing this character,  it was much clearer in terms of understanding the fields of digital media (e.g. Data visualisation, Computer vision, and digital art with scientific methodologies) and its application, as well as the characteristic of data – measurable and predictable (Colson 2007, p66).

In the art works examples in this book, it also could be found that, from 1966 to 2006, artists engaged with the possibilities of using everyday material of text (in the early period of experiments)/data (which can be found in the contemporary digital artwork) became a medium of a different order in the transdisciplinary areas, such as conscious perception by using database. For example, Loc Reverb ( Colson, 2003).

 Studies in Perception(Knowlton and Harmon 1966, p68)

and Decorative Newsfeeds in the piece of art and money online (Thomson and Craighead 2006, p73)

This type of experiment inspired me to develop transdisciplinary of creative art in the type of data-based artwork, and database of net community in a specific place, which could be a way to establish real-time perception of data collection and feedback for participants.

2. Data type
To understand data type is a basic way of targeting the relevant technology for developing this project. There are three types - Local data, Data collected via the Internet using user inputs or requests, and Information collected from different places, and then made available to control events at one specific location.

In terms of this summer project, according to the interaction of audiences and real-time data collection in the space, the local data will be adapted choice. Local Data Database information from the environment such as webcam responses, sound, tactile inputs, temperature, movement or position,  which is available on a computer’s local hard drive. (Colson 2007, p70)

The difference between Local Data and information collected from different places: IC normally need to be supported by GPS (Global positioning system) information about the current location of large sea mammals. Technologies required: GPS receiver and transmitter. Access to the Internet, programmed to interpret and Use GPS data. But Technologies required for Local Data mainly based on Sensors, webcams, micro controllers. PHP, MYSQL for database enquiries and data collection.

*PHP(Hypertext Preprocessor) is server side language that is invisible to the viewer but adds functionality to a web page.

*MYSQL is a piece of software that is used to describe databases. It has an instruction set for writing and retrieving data. The data is accessible across all platforms.

Colson, R. (2007). The fundamentals of digital art. Lausanne, Worthing: AVA Academia.

Research Methods: Transdisciplinary Review

This review is based on the context of how to perceive the visualisation in  a space. To understand the relationship of human perception and their interaction in the environment in the level of neurology. The purpose is to build up the part of visualisation for the summer project in the rational level.

1. Human perception of eyes movement

Cutsuridis (2008) pointed out in the article Neural Accumulator Models of Decision Making in Eye Movements that humans and animals are constantly obtaining a guide from both external and internal cues from a variety of possibility when they interact with environment, which established the neural models of decision making influencing their behaviour.

Decision making, in fact,  is applied in a wide areas, from cognitive and behavioural neuroscience to artificial intelligence, and it also involves in the fields of economics, sociology, statistics, computer science and ethology. (Cutsuridis 2008)

He discussed eye movements are the important part to understand decision making in the level of neurology, as eye movements must be constantly capturing potential visual targets as the next end-point to get link with the previous one. Meanwhile, referring to Brain Anatomy and physiology in the later section of this article in terms of visual information from two distinct pathways of eyes.

It can be seen that human’s decision making based on the potential visual change of the environment through neurological character, which is to capture the different/vivid/fresh/unfamiliar object in the space. This review helps to build up the concept of environmental real-time visualisation by the way of vivid form to make the positive interaction between audiences and the environment.

2. Consciousness and Unconsciousness

Chalmers (year unknown) distinguished ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ problems of consciousness, and questioned consciousness in the level of objective and subjective experience through brain mechanism of cognitive system. He concluded that visual sensations we are experiencing can be called consciousness.

Although, the consciousness concept cannot be defined easily in one or two words, since it is multiple concept based on the individuals and the context of what we are experiencing in different background. As Franco (2008, p286) said ‘The consciousness concept is hybrid, connoting a number of different concepts and phenomena.‘, consciousness is closely linked to multi-layers’ cognitive base. He also pointed out that consciousness and attention cannot be separated, in fact, the study of visual consciousness helps us to understand ‘consciousness’, which involves in the relationship of consciousness and the unconscious of attentional mechanisms.

This part of review inspired me to present the contrast form of chaos and well-organised during participants are experiencing, observing and receiving the feedback  of sound and visualisation in the space.

3. Cognitive Neuropsychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience

Goldstein (2011) used ‘ball case’ to refer the viewpoint of distributed processing in the brain. More specifically, if a person is perceiving a rolling red ball, he / she just see the object without thinking its colour, shape, location, and how it moves. However, the brain with a wide distribution of activity has already done to deal with the message behind the phenomena, and the cognitive process, including memory, language, making decisions and problem solving, is distributed and work together in the brain. (Goldstein 2011, p37)

This is the interesting part as a reference in the context of review of neural cognition, which impels me to think about the setting of object (loudspeaker and microphone) as dynamic for this project – if it could be achievable after doing the further experiment.

4. Spatial Perception

Our environment does not simply consist of multiple objects, but multiple objects which exist in definable spatial interrelationships. It is only when relatively precise spatial information is being used that we are even aware of thinking ‘spatially’.’. (McCarthy 1990, p73)

Spatial processing, as the highly complex activity in the context of cognitive function of brain, could help us understand how human convert their perception in different status, as well as how to establish the relationship between people and the environment. McCarthy (1990) gave an example of patients with cerebral lesions in investigations of spatial processing, which was documented that the most active perception of patients was in the visual area of brain. Moreover, in terms of cognitive function of spatial perception, she also clarified that the theoretical account could involve in the issues of spatial representations and the interrelationships.

It can be considered that people perceive the spatial information based on the objects that our eyes capture in the environment, and how the brain define the status by consciousness and unconsciousness linked with our knowledge base and experience. The visual field domains the highly important part in terms of perceive the position precisely. However, it could be assumed that people perceive their position and establish the relationship with the space more easily in the 3D dynamic immersive condition, as being part of the environment.

Goldstein, E. (2011). Cognitive Psychology. Australia: Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Hussain, A. Aleksander, I. Smith, L. Barros, A. Chrisley, R. and Cutsuridis, V. (2008) ‘Brain inspired cognitive systems’. Neural Accumulator Models of Decision Making in Eye Movements [online]. Available at: Springer.  (Accessed: 17 May 2014).
McCarthy, R. (1990). Cognitive neuropsychology : a clinical introduction. San Diego: Academic Press.