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DMS8013 Log#4; Stress

The third and final artifact created as part of DMS8013, “Stress” is a 3D model created using the rendering engine Blender, depicting an angry man punching a book out of sheer frustration at studying. It links in with the rest of the artifacts themes which cover similar topics and overall try to represent life from the perspective of those students that struggle.

Stress marked the second time I have properly used Blender for anything, and the results of its form a marked improvement over the first time. To use Blender, one generally has to select from a serious of basic, pre-defined meshes all modeled after basic geometric shapes; cubes, spheres, so on. In my first foray of Blender, I exclusively used these pre-defined shapes to create an extremely blocky effigy using only the program’s “object mode.” Object mode only allows for the creation, placement, and some very basic manipulation of these shapes, such as scale and orientation. It is, in essence, a macro view that allows the user to organize their render on a larger but unfocused level. As part of Stress, I intended to go further and delved into the use of Edit mode, which allows for the much more precise and refined manipulation of shapes and objects on a micro level.

The first use of Blender, 3D printed. Crude effigy.

Edit mode is key to creating any sort of actual, detailed render. The ability to so thoroughly shape and distort objects allows for far smoother and far more detailed creations. In the end, both projects were of a very similar thing – a person. The difference is in the detail and proportion however, with the latter being far more humanoid in appearance and far better proportions.

The second attempt at Blender. Actual limbs and proportion.

Like its predecessor, Stress was made using a variety of pre-made geometric shapes, primarily spheres and cylinders, that were then stretched, thinned and deformed into more limb-like shapes. Manipulation of vertices placement allowed for the illusion of joints such as elbows and knees, while depressions in the face allow for some very minor facial detail such as a mouth, nose, and eyes.

Stress separated into all its component parts. By zooming in, it is also possible to see some of the facial detail.

There were a few do-overs required in certain parts, however, especially the arms. Getting the scale and proportion for these limbs in particular was difficult, and there even came a moment when I opted to delete the entire limb and all work done on it in order to start again. As it turns out, each object, particularly spheres, have ‘central vertices,’ that can make a great difference to the ease in which certain manipulations are made possible. On the first try, the orientation of these vertices – facing vertically instead of horizontally – made stretching the limb into an actual arm incredibly awkward to achieve. Similarly, in order to flatten some sections out, rings of vertices faces needed to be painstakingly flattened into each other one by one, otherwise the object would appear too spherical.

Less a problem with Blender and more one with the accompanying technology was a matter of rendering and actual printing. In theory, an object with a high polygon count and lots of geometry would come out smoother and be far nicer to look at. However, such renders are also dangerously heavy on processing power of whatever machine is being made to actually render them. More than once I came close to crashing Blender, or even my entire PC, by experimenting with too much geometry. This issue extends beyond Blender; Cura, the software used to create files readable by our 3D printers, might have been able to handle the final, smooth object, by the printer itself could not, at least not at the scales I was aiming for.

The heavily deformed sludge monster made from using too small a scale print

Scale was a consistent issue. The 3D printer did not appreciate legs and feet very much, and trying to keep them in the final model results in half-melted stumps that the printer couldn’t actually build on without also creating a network of scaffolding. Likewise, with too small a scale came a loss of detail, smoothness, and overall shape as there was not enough space for the printer to properly – and neatly – build on.

3D printing aside, however, the digital model was at least a success by itself, and with some tweaking of scale and perhaps a higher quality printer, a much more accurate model would be entirely possible.

Seven Stories, Bears, Constellations and Stress

I found the Seven Stories brief alarmingly challenging, considering I had expected it to be one of the more ‘fun’ assignments. However, being so far outside of my comfort zone proved to be a bit of a problem when developing the initial idea for my response. This is maybe due to my tendency to overthink everything but I won’t get into that…

When starting this assignment I had that all too familiar feeling of being similarly happy and overwhelmed by the freedom given. Initially I took to ‘Yossarian’ (the lateral search engine introduced in one of our final lectures) to get some thoughts going. I kept it simple, using works from the program themes for May 2017; namely bears and aliens. In all honesty this didn’t get any sparks flying and turned out to not be very useful. I can’t actually remember where my final idea of using the ‘Ursa Minor’ – ‘Little Bear’ – constellation came from (I think it was somewhat of a ‘lightbulb moment’).
When researching for this idea, I constantly battled self-doubt and kept on abandoning for short periods of time to try and think of something else before returning. My favourite of these other ideas was a giant teddy bear sampler. However, not wanting to have wasted so much time researching my other idea I eventually convinced myself that it was/is a good idea. I realise this sounds like I ‘settled’ for something I wasn’t satisfied with, but I do have faith in the idea and it provided much more depth of discussion than any other ideas would have.

Despite not being overly-enthused with this assignment, I do feel like it was a good exercise to do. I certainly feel that in future situations such as this I would be more prepared to respond in a professional manner, and of course outside University I would only respond to something I am personally passionate about (meaning ‘ideas’ would be less of an issue). In a more general sense, engaging with topics related to Seven Stories has given me more of an appreciation for children’s literature and entertainment. Having attended two ‘story times’ now (once on our day visit and once at the late shows), I am very impressed not only by the artists’ engagement with children, but with all age groups.

HSS8121: Media Archeology

After reading Wolfgang Ernst’s Sonic Time Machines a process of practical engagement was undertaken to better understand the underlying methodology. This coincided with preparation for an exhibition at Hoults Yard. The work to be shown required the use of a number of vintage radios. These needed to be cleaned and mended in advance of the exhibition. The process of dismantling and cleaning was documented. Photographs can be seen by viewing the links which follow:

DMS8013: Research – The relationship between pitch and frequency

Pitch is an auditory sensation in which a listener assigns musical tones to relative positions on a musical scale based primarily on their perception of the frequency of vibration. Pitch is closely related to frequency, but the two are not equivalent. Frequency is an objective, scientific attribute that can be measured. Pitch is each person’s subjective perception of a sound wave, which cannot be directly measured. However, this does not necessarily mean that most people won’t agree on which notes are higher and lower.

Sound waves themselves do not have pitch, but their oscillations can be measured to obtain a frequency. It takes a sentient mind to map the internal quality of pitch. However, pitches are usually associated with, and thus quantified as frequencies in cycles per second, or hertz, by comparing sounds with pure tones, which have periodic, sinusoidal waveforms. Complex and aperiodic sound waves can often be assigned a pitch by this method.

According to the American National Standards Institute, pitch is the auditory attribute of sound according to which sounds can be ordered on a scale from low to high. Since pitch is such a close proxy for frequency, it is almost entirely determined by how quickly the sound wave is making the air vibrate and has almost nothing to do with the intensity, or amplitude, of the wave. That is, “high” pitch means very rapid oscillation, and “low” pitch corresponds to slower oscillation. Despite that, the idiom relating vertical height to sound pitch is shared by most languages. At least in English, it is just one of many deep conceptual metaphors that involve up/down. The exact etymological history of the musical sense of high and low pitch is still unclear. There is evidence that humans do actually perceive that the source of a sound is slightly higher or lower in vertical space when the sound frequency is increased or reduced.

A440 or A4 (also known as the Stuttgart pitch), which has a frequency of 440 Hz, is the musical note A above middle C and serves as a general tuning standard for musical pitch.

Prior to the standardization on 440 Hz, many countries and organizations followed the French standard since the 1860s of 435 Hz, which had also been the Austrian government’s 1885 recommendation. Johann Heinrich Scheibler recommended A440 as a standard in 1834 after inventing the “tonometer” to measure pitch, and it was approved by the German Natural History Society the same year. The American music industry reached an informal standard of 440 Hz in 1926, and some began using it in instrument manufacturing. In 1936 the American Standards Association recommended that the A above middle C be tuned to 440 Hz. This standard was taken up by the International Organization for Standardization in 1955 (reaffirmed by them in 1975) as ISO 16. Although not universally accepted, since then it has served as the audio frequency reference for the calibration of acoustic equipment and the tuning of pianos, violins, and other musical instruments.

For the electronic colour organ, it will based on the frequency of middle C.



DMS8013: Research – correspondence media

The most outstanding design of colour-sound concept based on pursue the harmony of human sense was American inventor Bainbridge Bishop’s colour organ. In 1877, Bishop got a patent for his first Color Organ. Basically, the instruments were lighted attachments designed for pipe organs that could project colored lights onto a screen in synchronization with musical performance. He claimed that simple colour did not give the sensation of a musical tone, but blended coloured light did so. Bishop’s colour organ is unique because of it was a representation of break through the immanrnt concept and involved in correspondence technology. Even though it wasn’t perfect because of the limitation of the technology at that time.


“Chords were shown properly, the lower bass spreading over the whole as a ground or foil for the other colours or chords of colour, and all furnishing beautiful and harmonious effects in combination with the music.” (Bishop, 1893)


“The natural harmonic chord of light, as illustrated by the rainbow, shows red as its fundamental or keynote; for this reason I think we should take C, the key-note of the natural scale. It will be observed that its dominant is greenish-blue, its subdominant yellow-green. The greens of nature seem to make up combinations and masses of greens inclining to these two hues. A pure crude green seems to be out of place in a landscape, and, if seen, it generally produces a harsh and discordant effect.” (Bishop, 1893)


I was thinking if I can make a device based on the concept of Bishop’s colour organ by using open source technologies.



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

HSS8121: Location Recordings

The sound recordings included in this post were produced in response to a soundwalk/seminar delivered by Tim Shaw. They consist of a series of location recordings of footsteps made around the Culture lab building. The recordings were made as an experiment. A handheld Zoom H1 recorder was used to make the recordings. The records reflect the position of the artist. The locations change, but the action remains constant. Listening back to the recordings one is immediately aware of the changing space, through the differing reverberant qualities of those spaces. This awareness brings to mind Zeno’s paradoxes and Henri Bergson’s ideas of Duration.

In responding to the recordings a series of layered remixes were created. Experiments were also made playing the sounds back into the space where they were recorded.

DMS8013 Log#3; Scared

The second, most time consuming of the artifacts produced as part of DMS8013. “Scared” is a short animation created using Pivot Animator (PA). Even if the software itself is technically fairly simple (at least in comparison to actual rendering engines) the very nature of animation is highly time consuming, and Scared almost certainly took the longest to make.

It tells the short story of a student trying to prepare for exams, only for them to suffer an anxiety attack. They reflect on their position, skills, and what they can possibly do to try and remedy the situation.

As mentioned, Pivot Animator is a simple and very user friendly piece of software. Characters are animated using “pivots,” essentially the joints of generally humanoid figures, though other types of characters can be made using a built-in figure builder. Fluid animation using the software is therefore, in some ways, similar to stop-motion, with minute changes made to limb, joint, and body positions, before a ‘picture’ is taken of the frame and added to the collective animation timeline.

The biggest drawback of this software is that it only really supports interaction with its own figures. Backgrounds and other effects, if any, need to be created using other software and imported in.

Cheap and dirty, an incredibly simple room/background made using Paint as part of the animation.

Since the story I had in mind required the character to interact, if only minimally, with their environment, such a background needed to be made. Although that particular work is not likely to win any awards on its own, it does however fit quite nicely into the low-quality and basic graphics of PA itself, and overall perform its function of providing a ‘physical’ space for the character to interact with. An added benefit is the meta implications; the entire piece is meant to showcase a low-skilled and struggling character, and the appearance of themselves and their environment reflect that.

I decry PA as a simple and low-power piece of software, but even the most basic of animation requires a degree of specialized knowledge to really let it flourish and look right. Specifically, I am referring to anatomy, and the anatomy of movement. Creating a convincing and good looking walk cycle is not as simple as simply moving the entire leg back and forth, it requires specific movement of the entire body. This was one such challenge encountered during the animation’s creating, with a good eighty frames ending up deleted due to a poor and wonky looking walk cycle. Its replacement is still far from perfect, with irregularities in speed and stride fairly evident as the character moves from one side of the room to the other.

An additional issue with PA is the lack of text creation. The story in question called for narration as the character laments their situation and themselves. Text cannot be added in PA directly, and although there are a number of solutions to this it did add considerably to the time needed to finish the animation, as well as the overall filesize. The easiest and most fluid to my purposes was to simply add it as part of the background, creating a different file for the addition of every letter to create a scrolling effect which could then be played again in reverse once the ‘thought’ was over and new text needed to be added.

An example of one of the backgrounds with text. A new background was needed for every addition of a letter to allow a scrolling effect.

In total, there Scared is comprised of five hundred and thirty six frames, plus one hundred and two backgrounds to account for just a few lines of dialogue.


documentation 17-02-11

Acknowledging a weakness revealed through the process of assessment and the end of the first semester. An effort was made to actively engage with the process of documentation. In particular this was perceived to be in the are of photography and video. With this in mind I gathered a handful of available tools – camera, phone, webcam, audio recorder and endoscope – and booked the CL studio space to conduct some experimental documentation.

Two current concerns were chosen as subjects for documentation. These being audio work produced in response to a recent soundwalk/seminar given by Tim Shaw and work about Morse code being prepared for exhibition at the Old Low Light in North Shields.

The audio work involved making a series of sound recordings of footsteps. These were to be made using different surfaces and spaces in Culture Lab. Further description of this will be included in a separate post. The Morse code project involved creating and experimenting with a relay, flashing lights, two buzzers and a battery.

The footsteps were recorded using a Zoom H1 sound recorder; the footwear was photographed using a variety of different devices. Circuits were built and photographed; videos were also produced using different imaging devices; further experiments were conducted with lighting.

The results were compared and uploaded for sharing using Google Photo’s. Links are listed below:

Of the available options, the phone was found to be most immediate and to give the greatest flexibility.

blogging about blogging

There is something inherently disappointing in the act of blogging. Since 2002 I have designed, built and contributed to many different blogs. In most instances it is the common experience that posting is slow to start and quick to cease. I have built community blogs where no one has posted; I built I blog for my daughter on her tenth birthday, she is now 23 years old and the blog still has only three posts.

On the other hand I have sketch books dating back nearly forty years. At best the blog can only ever be a showcase for creativity. It lacks the ability to be an active element of creative practice. The sketchbook on the other hand is full of scribblings, nascent ideas and rough workings out. It can contain railway tickets, pressed flowers, leaves, addresses, telephone numbers and mistakes. It is not insignificant that rough drawings in a 1981 sketchbook were useful in creating work that was shown at Hoults Yard earlier this year.

Where the sketchbook is a private space for enabling creative thought, the blog can only ever be a public showcase for arrogance and proof.

The Recording Process of Research Proposal

This is link of the recording process of research proposal, which contains some notes that i write on.

Research Proposal thinking process:

The research area I am interesting in is visual communication. And a lot of scholars claim that visual communication is an essential term in the culture and meaning transmission….

There are some literature that could show that why visual communication is important in the process of culture and s development.

Culture and society: (the important of visualization)

“Beginning in the 1970s, the social sciences experienced a significant change in their understanding of social life. While this change depended on a number of longer traditions of society and cultural analysis – especially the Marxist critique of mass culture offered by Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer, and the development of ‘cultural studies’.  The change often described as the ‘cultural turn’. That is, ‘cultural’ become a crucial means by which social scientists understood social processes, social identities, and social; change and conflict. Culture is a complex concept, but, in very broad terms, the result of its deployment has been that many social scientists are now very often interested in the ways in which social life is constructed through the ideas that people have about it, and the practices that flow from those ideas. To quote one of major contributors to this shift, Stuart Hall:

‘Culture, it is argued, is not so much a set of things – novels and paintings or TV programs or comics – as a process, a set of practices. Primarily, culture is concerned with the production and exchange of meanings – the ‘giving and taking of meaning’ – between the numbers of a society or group… Thus culture depends on its participants interpreting meaning – fully what is around them, and ‘making sense’ of the world, in broadly similar ways.’

Those meaning may be explicit or implicit, conscious or unconscious, they may be felt as truth or as fantasy, science or common-sense; and they may be conveyed through everyday speech, elaborate rhetoric, high art, TV soap operas, dreams, movies or muzak; and different groups in a society will make sense of the world in different ways. Whatever form they take, these made meanings, or representations, structure the way people behave – the way you and I behave – in our everyday lives.

This sort of argument can take very diverse forms. But many writers addressing these issues argued that the visual is central to the cultural conscious of social life in contemporary western societies. We are, of course, almost constantly surrounded by different sorts of technologies – photography, film, video, digital graphics, television, acrylics, for example – and the images they show us – TV programs, advertisement, snapshots, Facebook page, public sculpture, movies, closed circuit television footage, newspaper pictures, painting. All these different sort of technologies and image offer views of the world; they render the world in visual terms. But this rendering, even by photography, is never innocent. These images are never transparent windows onto the world; they interpret the world; they display it in very particularly way; they represent it. Thus a distinction is sometimes made between vision and visuality. Vision is what the human eye is physiologically capable of seeing. Visuality, on the other hand, refers to how vision is constructed in various ways: ‘how we see this seeing and the unseeing therein’. Another phrase with very similar connotations to visuality is scopic regime. Both terms refer to the ways in which both what is seen and how it is seen are culturally constructed. 

For some writers, the visual is the most fundamental of all senses. Gordon Fyfe and John Law (1988:2), For example, claim that ‘depiction, picturing and seeing are ubiquitous features of the process by which most human beings come to know the world as it really is from them’, and John Berger (1972:7) suggests that this is because ‘seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak’. Other writers, however, prefer to historicise the important of the visual, tracing what they see as the increasing saturation of western society by visual images. Many claim that this process has reached unprecedented levels, so that westerners now interact with the world mainly through how we see it. Martin Jay (1993) has used the term ocularcentrism to describe the apparent centrality of the visual to contemporary western life.

Barbara Maria Stafford (1991), a historian of images used in the sciences, has argued that, in a process beginning in the eighteenth century, the construction of scientific knowledge about the world has become more and more based on images rather than written texts. –p3

The use of the term visual culture refers to this plethora of ways in which the visual is part of social life. – p4 VM”

In literature research, I write down the useful arguments and information for lining the arguments of my research proposal. Also, recoding the name of book and page number for further use.

According to those perspective, it is clear to see that visual communication is very important. In addition, there are some arguments talk about the visual aesthetic in visual communication. Also, those claims points out some discussion about the relationship between the visual aesthetic and human’s cognitive and affective. There are some literature could illustrate that:

A central dilemma of aesthetic visual communication is whether visual images can provide reliable evidence of important human cognitive activity and potentially meaningful affective responses or whether an image’s communication value is wholly dependent on what can be said about it; this could include discursive logic, applied subjective, by each individual viewers.

Is there communication if you cannot seem to ‘put it into words’? Does the nature of visual information transmission, its accurate interpretation, and the meaningful important of an image reside only in the subjective (inside the subjunctive’s head) processes of each individual viewers? Can there be a base of objective (based in a physical object) information on which multiple viewers can agree? Both the image-maker and all subsequent viewers must somehow have confidence in their ability to understand a level of meaning embedded in the image. If, as the subjective view holds, all interpretation is only a fanciful construction in the mind of each individual, how can any viewers judge the quality, precise meaning, and utility of the communication?” P23 – Handbook of visual communication.

“One of the most important pieces of visual communication puzzle is aesthetics. The nature of beauty and why it affects us so deeply is mysterious. Why do qualities so elusive to define (like a sunset or a half-opened rose) affect us do powerful? This is an important question to consider in visual communication. It is suggested that, because of the essentially nonverbal nature of aesthetics, what can be written is only speculation ‘about’ the nature of visual aesthetics and cannot therefore be ‘of’ visual aesthetics itself.

The aesthetic aspects of communication are (a) visible, structural, and configurational in nature; (b) largely implicit in apprehension; (c) holistic in conveying meaning (not wholly translatable into parsed, discursive form); and (d) cognitive in a generative sense, based on a unique type of visual logic.

Three disciplines – philosophy, art, and science – have been used historically to study issues about visual understanding. The sciences increasingly can, however offer factual evidence for defining how aesthetic qualities play a foundational role in human communications. – p3 HV

Noting that the aesthetic experience consists of people’s reactions to objects as opposed to aesthetics that are inherent in the object per se (Hassenzahi et al., 2008).”

And with the development of technology, there are massive technical product into people’s life. Actually, people would interact with technical product in every daily life, and the first step of interaction is visual term. Also this article  point out that the important relationship between the visual aesthetic and HCI (Human – Computer Interaction)/Interaction design which becomes an important subject in the contemporary.

Based on those perspective, the centre concept of my research proposal is that exploring the possible elements in visual aesthetic could influence human’s cognitive and affective, which might use in interaction design that could improve the use experience.

In addition, I also did research about the methods of this research, which around the Ethnography, Media Archaeology and Walking Field Recording. Having more deep understand about these three research approach to plan the particular and suit research way in this research.

Structure of my research proposal:

  1. Introduction – visual communication in the information technology era.
  2. Background – the important of visual communication (culture & society).
  3. The relationship between visual aesthetic and human’s cognitive & affective.
  4. My motivation.
  5. Aim of this proposal.
  6. Methodology – based on the approach of Ethnography, Media Archaeology and Walking Field Recording.
  7. The research questions.
  8. The possibility output.
  9. Reference list.

There are some notes about this research process, which also contain fragmentary idea in my thinking process… (the images post in their is not clear, so i upload on website. Please open the link that i post first)