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HSS8121: Enterprise and research Methods

In-depth research for me used to be strenuous. The main reason was due to the difficulty I found in structuring them. In an age where information is so abundant it can be quite easy to get carried away and get lost online.

Over the last year, the influence of artists and musicians I have befriended in my creativity and my creative process, has led me to research my topic of interests more. This course and module has  taught me the true value of in-depth research and how much it can affect your passions, your work and even your attitude.

Using walking as a medium to conduct research truly resonates with me. My first impression of a city when first arriving, is of its historical monuments, popular spots and landscapes. The city, comes to life with the traffic of people and vehicles, loud in the more open streets and avenues but quiet in the backstreets and parks. The people movements gives the city a pulse, a lifestream and discovering new environments in it is a passion. Each has its own atmosphere of smells, sounds and colour. Each have a unique identity. 

Henri Lefebvre’s concept of the streets as a place of rhythms and interactions, perfectly illustrate the way I like to experience urban environments. During the act of walking and consciously listening to its environment, the listener might be surprised and even delighted during his exploration. The sound of the crowds footsteps reverberating on the buildings facades or the sound of pigeons wings echoing in an old church. These are some of the things that we take for granted but form parts of the urban musical composition.

For the research proposal I wanted to propose a research that would fit my interests and motivate me to experiment and explore new ideas and concepts discovered in this module. The research was influenced and inspired by idea surrounding history, exploration of space by walking and field recording and workshops.

After looking into the history of Newcastle, I was fascinated by its long and rich history. From the Romans, to the Saxons and the Danes, the city has had many people control it. Some of the vestiges of the past left throughout the northeast are proof of their being here. Every time I visit such a place with a powerful history I always wish there were sounds of the area from its past to truly immerse yourself in the environment of the time. Arguably video and sound could be more appropriate but I enjoy the meditative and soothing exercise of just listening.

Tim Shaw’s sound walk around the city offered insight into the practices and application of walking as a research method. The practice of appreciating details, truly, and how this shapes our experiences with the environment we live in were the main things I took away from that day. Field recording had been in the back of my mind for sometime but with no real idea or concept of what to do with it. Looking more into it, I discovered composer R. Murray Schafer and his influence on the soundwalk movement along with Hildegard Westerkamp with her soft calm narrative tone in Kits Bits Beach.

The Jupiter recording with Serena Korda was truly eye opening to a new recording practice. I truly appreciated the dedication she had put into developing her work especially in regards to recording Jupiter. I particularly enjoyed the collaborative work of setting up the antennas and recording equipment in the middle of University grounds. Recording Jupiter is an experience I am sure to remember and hopefully reproduce soon again. The soundscape created on that day was truly dark and electrifying.

My first attempt at

Inspired by


HSS8121 – Research Proposal – Inspired Artworks

At this early stage thoughts of the end product are vague but I am hoping to produce a mash up of different media including video performance, manipulated photography and sound and web. So far I have been inspired by these artworks –

Paolo Cirio – Street Ghosts

Work which re-contextualizes readymade information material and re-enacts a social conflict as photographs of figures caught on Google Street View cameras are blown up to life size and pasted on walls in the exact location the image was taken. Signifying the lack of control over public data, presence on the Internet and the trail of information that remains that can find itself seeping into the physical.

Gazelle Twin – Kingdom Come

Looks at the tribalism of consumer culture and the violence that it provokes by using a mixture of appropriated surveillance camera footage of Black Friday sales mixed with images of the London Riots lootings in an audio/visual live performance.

Limmy – Who’s That Girl

Satirical vlog as a reflection of the ‘ask the internet’ blog/diary culture of assuming the Internet as friend and confidant.

Omer Fast – CNN Concatentated 

Making use of video archive footage of CNN news broadcasts which have been dissected and reassembled to construct a seemingly personal and emotive narrative delivered one word at a time from several news reporters. The work can be seen as comment on the way in which news programmes manipulate news reports and footage to generate contrived emotional reactions from viewers.

HSS8121 – Research Proposal – The Blurry Middle

The concept of self has been heavily influenced by consumer technology over the past decade or so. I have been interested in this blurry middle between the person we perceive ourself to be online and the person we are in the real and the undefined space between our multiple selves for while due to my continued personal investigation into alter ego and the common stereotype and assumption that comes with a character.

However, increasingly it has become the unquestioned norm to assume a version of yourself that exists solely online through means of social media/gamer profiles etc. Leading to a disconnection from reality in terms of the awareness of ourselves and the awareness and empathy of others. We seem to be living in times of  ‘online disinhibition’ meaning the lack of restraint one feels when communicating online in comparison to communicating face-to-face, the Internet acting as a mask that makes it harder to perceive other users as people with feelings due to a lack of facial interaction.

The spectrum of human emotion has been simplified down to a set of emojis as a way of expressing ourselves, hashtags, memes and other internet devices are what is raising awareness and keeping us informed about what is going on in the world.

The proposed project hopes to take a critical look at the concepts of digital identity and personas and the culture of urgent self-expression on social media and comment threads, cynicisms in the public conscious. polarized opinion and disillusionment with media.


HSS8121 – The Reflect

I am no stranger to research, the importance of it has always been drummed into me. Perhaps not too familiar with the ins and outs at proper academic research but I do pride myself on doing some leg work around a subject before using it as part of my work. It probably comes from just being plan nosey too and having the need to just know what I don’t already or confirm what I think I do. The research I have done in the past I have do so by…well in simple terms just looking, listening, reading, making some creative work from my findings then going back doing those things again. I’d say that generally the work I make is a response to cultural observations I have made and by finding nuances in social ritual.

As a keen observer sometimes I can get a bit stuck in a passive role of just watching, listening and reading about the things I am researching. The guest lecturers that came to speak to us throughout module, introduced us to ways of gaining insight by having a more hands on approach.

Tess Denman-Cleaver

Tess Denman-Cleaver an artist, researcher and director of theatre company Tender Buttons, spoke to us about to logistics and the real struggles and hurdles of setting up on your own, starting a business or your own company. Explaining the need for ‘strategic partnerships’ and drawing on the resources around you to get your venture off the ground. Whilst aspiring to set up her own theatre company she mentioned that the best advice she had was that “no one is going to ask you to do, so just do it.”

Tess’s lecture asked us to consider ourselves and they we work individually, noting that my own work pattern and flow, being aware that I have an all or nothing way of working with periods of contemplation followed intense periods of work and immersion where I can’t think of anything else. Thinking about what my work is already researching and what research I am already doing without being fully aware of it. Understanding that research doesn’t necessarily have to only exist within the constraints of academia.

At the end of our session with Tess we all took part in an exercise devised by Allan Kaprow, pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art, where took two ice cubes placing one in our mouths and one in our hand. When the ice cube in our mouth had fully melted we were to say ‘now’, when the ice cube in or hand had fully melted we were to say ‘now’ and when our hand had fully dried naturally we were to say ‘now’. Tess explained that this exercise had been a real revelationary moment for her, open to the idea but sceptical that I would also have a revelation I shoved the ice cube in my gob…

For the first 10 minutes or so, i guess I was trying to figure what the task would reveal to me, stood still in the same spot I watch how the others handled to task. Some grounded themselves to the spot, some paced, some sat on chairs, some stayed close to their friends. Aware that I am comfortable with long periods of silence, observing that others busied themselves with their phones or intense fidgeting. It was only when the first person said ‘now’ did I start to understand what the task would mean to me. I felt a jolt of impatience when I heard the ‘now’ although my ice cube had only half melted I was starting to wonder when it would be my turn to move on to the next stage. I guess this is where the profound moment comes in. I started to understand that progression is sometimes at the mercy at things we can’t always control, having patience with the process and that only when the time is right is it time to move on.

Serena Korda

Serena Korda introduced us to her work concerning ‘thin spaces’ and her research into abandoned histories, realising this research through large scale performances. Inviting us to get involved in her current work where using a radio telescope she has been listening to storm activity on Jupiter, we set up the radio on the university grounds in the hope of tuning into the sounds of the solar system. With a bit of old fashioned team work we erected the radio telescope and using a VLF receiver, which Serena had purchased from Nasa we listened for the sounds of Jupiter. I guess it was unlikely that we would be able to pick up the sounds of any celestial bodies given that we were smack bang it the middle of a city centre, the electromagnetic interference of traffic lights, mobile phone signals, cash points and the like got in the way of that. It was however interesting to listen first hand to the music of the city and invisible forces that keep a city ticking over and how each device has its own individual register. This way of field recording really appealed to me, mostly because I just loved the obscurity of it and I get the impression that the experience would be different every time.


HSS8121 : Reflections on HSS8121


At the begining of this moudle, I was like ‘Research? Research is all about study things that I don’t know.’ And I also thought there would be no different between traditional research methods and what I would learn. But, now, in my opinion, research is not only about studying knowledge that we don’t know but also about investigate and study the fistory. Moreover, I also think doing research may help us to generate new ideas and criticize the initial idea through the research by using those innovative methods, like media archaeology, ethnography and walking and field recording.

Media archaeology :

Many notions look new and innovative, whereas they are all can be attributed to some conceptions with long history. We should go back to history, to the time that human first time recognized sound and light. In that historical period, we can find the ideas, techniques and communication theories that affected today’s. Even many of them seems to be shocking and unrealistic, we can not ignore the spirt of discovering the unknown.

Media archaeology intends to enlighten us to carry out a wide range of search campaigns to find some ideas, conceptions and practices. Which involve actions that impossible to become an object in the past or were forgotten and rejected by people or even still not cognized by people nowadays. Resulting in these actions, a large number of exciting discoveries will emerge, which will provide a kind of constructive diversity to the development of the media. The main role of the technology is not only in order to eliminate people’s fears, but rather to contribute to imagination.

Ethnography : From my point of view, ethnographic study is based on participatory observations and non-structured interviews to obtain first-hand information. Because it requires researchers do not take their own idea or notion for granted toward a phenomenon and consider this notion is agreed by study objects. For the outcomes, we should analysis them objectively and try to summarize new theory instead of determining the fact by using the existing theory. Through that way, we can supplement and modify the original theory.

Apart from these theoretical lectures, we had a practice based lecture by Serena Korda. which was amanzing – Serena Korda and us set up a radio telescope which would pick up these planetary frequencies from Jupiter and this may included sounds of radio storms and sonic emissions. After back to classroom, we edited these sounds and used it to proform together. This showed how technology combine with the art prefectly. More that this, the idea is creative but at the same time, it includes the knowledge of history, music astronomy and so on which makes an artwork not just an artwork.


How to establish an enterprise?

From Tess Denman-Cleaver’s lecture and her interesting ice – cube activity I learnt :

  • Be creative
  • Using Internet resouces
  • Always work with people
  • Seize the right time

From Yossarian I learnt :

  • Study the existences – critical thinking – create new
  • Thinking in a different way
  • Interactive design is about user-friendly
  • Brainstrom all the time
  • Find the underlying connections can make you think further
  • Rome was not built in a day,an enterprise should be built step by step( which inculde get idea, research into industry, get funded)


HSS8121 : Research Proposal Documentation

Step1 : Background and motivation

In my opinion, I think the first step to write a research proposal is to explain the background and the motivation. By this I mean are there something relate to the research field in literature or some examples about this field.  For my research, I think the background will well explained by William Moritz’s words below, University of California, Berkeley’s experiment and Neil Harbisson’s example. Besides, the motivation is why you would like to do the research in a specific field. For me, I want to improve my project and do more deep researchs in colour – sound correspondence field.

The dream of creating a visual music comparable to auditory music found its fulfillment in animated abstract films by artists such as Oskar Fischinger, Len Lye and Norman McLaren; but long before them, many people built instruments, usually called “color organs,” that would display modulated colored light in some kind of fluid fashion comparable to music.

— William Moritz
Step2 : Research Questions
We always have to know what we want to research. To be honest, it is hard to figure out all the questions in a field, so we need to focus on predominant questions, the most important and influential ones. The three questions in my research are go forward one by one. First I need to know what’s the public’s opinion toward this field today and then, how to make a colour – sound correspondence artwork. Lastly, what’s the concept this kind of work can convey and what’s the social impact.
Step3 : Aim
A good research proposal needs a clear aim. For mine, the aim of the research is to investigate the uncertainties in the field of colour-sound correspondence and to create colour-sound artefacts in order to use this type of artworks to give audience a different experience.
Step4: Methodology
Media archaeology : In terms of this research, media archaeology is going to be a direction to guide me to find the forgotten designs which were related to colour- sound correspondence in the history and conclude a family resemblance of the colour-sound concept. By summarizing and sorting through these colour-sound correspondence artworks, I can indicate the merits and drawbacks in these cases and what causes the drawbacks, then start thinking how to solve these problems to improve this field.
Ethnographic : For this specific case, I will interview the audience in the several art galleries across the country, asking them what kind of format of artworks they are prefer and why. In addition, carry out an observation of present media correspondence artworks is required since the result can be used to analysis how media correspondence artefacts are made and what elements in the artworks appeal audience.
Step5: Outputs
Outputs are the outcomes of the research. Consider mine is a practice-based research so that the outputs include both physical part and theoretical part :
  • A analysis report of the preference between correspondence media artworks and conventional artworks
  • A better version of electronic colour organ – which can show the interval shade between two colours
  • A piece of colour – sound correspondence artwork – a device which can show abstract image by using 360 matching colours when user play with the sound, in order to give audience a different experience.
  • An analysis report about how the notion of colour-sound artwork can contribute to the field of advertising and media player (windows media player can only choose the colour randomly to match the sound currently).


PPT of the research proposal :




Another interesting project – A Hidden Order :


HSS8121 : Talking About Enterprise Throuh Artistic Tank

Artistic Tank project is the proposal that I made to respond to the call of Seven Stories’ Late Shows. Basically, the Artistic Tank is a structure designed for Seven Stories’ studio on the level 1. This project is based on a science phenomenon – water can transform into different shapes when it affected by various tones. The first time I kewn this phenomenon was from a YouTuber’s video which called ‘5 Amazing Water Tricks’ . Inspired by this wonder, I got my initial idea about how to present the Artistic Tank.

But, I think the most important thing before the idea for a project proposal is responding the commission accurately, effectively communicate the work and interest to the communities that I with to engage with.

In my another moudle, the tutor told us that it’s important to know how to ‘sale’ your film. By ‘sale’, it means how to attract aduience and how to let investor think the documentay is worth to invest. So we have to know who are the target audience, how the content will attarct them and how much will the film cost?

For Seven Stories’ proposal, similarly, I considered since the studio is a dedicated space for artistic practice and a suitable area to create an artwork with paint or water etc., this structure is supposed to provide water for public to wash their painting brushes when they creating artworks. Besides, the representation of the water and the sound that it play may inspire artists and writers who work at Seven Stories to develop their creative thinking and practice. Moreover, in order to interact with the visitors and make sure it will appeal to a wide age range, when the Artistic Tank first time placed in the studio during the Late Shows, audiences can come and paint what they want or even just make a mark on it. The painting or mark maybe inspired by the programming themes at Seven Stories in May 2017 or a character/scene in the book that they read recently – which respond the ethos of Seven Stories – have creative responses to books they love. After the idea built up step by step, in order to make Artistic Tank within budget, I researched the prices of the materials that I need for making the Artistic Tank to make sure the cost within budget.

With the preparation works was done, my idea become more clearly. Now, the last step is write down the idea specifically and draw a sketch of the ideal Artistic Tank.

HSS8121 : Walking and Field Recording

Hegel indicate in his ‘Aesthetics ‘ that hearing is the most pureful thing and he takes the sound as the most ideal stuff among the senses.

Walking and field recording is a very interesting and innovative way to carry out a research. Because walking configures our relationship between the body, space and time. Which makes people think some of the suppositions of research methods. More interesting thing is, in fact, the way we walk is influenced by cultural norms. Which means that walking itself  can be an ethnographic technique for understanding space through people’s motion.

I think soundwalks and acoustic ecologies are both creative research methods. Soundwalk is a walk to focus on listening to the environment.  Hildegard Westerkamp defines soundwalking as “… any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are.” Likewise, acoustic ecology is a discipline study, which is about research the relationship, mediated through sound, between human beings and their environment.

Here are the sounds that I recorded during the class :

1. people talking, car and wind

2. Street

3. In the elevator

4. The quietest room that I can find

5. Going upstairs


DMS8013 : Further Development

By recoding the processing programme, the electronic colour organ can become a device which present the colour-sound correspondence in a different way. To be more specific, each button match a particular colour or shape, player can easily turn a song into a painting.

Here is the song ’Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ looks like:

HSS8121: Documentation and Reflection

Research, at least in-depth research, is not something I am used to. As a writer primarily dealing in fiction, specifically fictional worlds and settings, a large bulk of my brain’s processing power needs to go to creation, with research being more a secondary objective used to smooth out the details and rope the setting closer to reality so as to make it believable.

Putting together a proposal for a real-life research project made for an interesting challenge then, one that required me to tweak how I actually view research as a whole. Naturally it ought be something I was interested in and passionate about, but at the same time I needed to switch off, or at the very least, mentally rearrange aspects of my imagination. Assumption was an easy trap I was all too aware of and afraid of falling into while brainstorming ideas.

The topic I eventually settled on was one close to my own interests, namely fiction and its consumption in modern culture. Originally the research was going to revolve purely around the idea that sequels, adaptions and reboots were overly abundant. The questions and many of the core ideas from that avenue still remain in the final proposal, but it was not quite enough to really make for an interesting thesis, at least in my eyes. It needed an additional edge to it, that could compliment and help expand the field as a whole. This was where ideas of escapism and how this might fit in with the idea of the sequel came in.

Escapism as a topic is, I feel, inescapably tied to fiction which in turn is inescapably tied to human culture. However, this began to raise additional questions on exactly what is meant by ‘escapism’ and whether the modern definition of the term is really applicable to most people as a whole. At first I assumed it might be, even with a little tweaking, but quickly came to the conclusion that this was another opportunity to expand on the research as a whole by exploring the ideals of escapism and what it actually means to different people. The author may truly be dead; I did not want to force my own ideas of escapism onto others and it would surely only make for self-fulfilling research to do so. Thus, the questions began to open up and it became imperative to properly nail down how people feel about the term.

Giving people free reign to define escapism themselves could be argued to essentially split the research proposal into two, one dealing with the nature of the sequel and its relation with consumers, and the other how people feel about escapism. This could still be argued even as the proposal enters its final forms, but as noted the two areas of sequel and escapism are always going to be linked to some extent. How strong that link is may well depend on the public, and it is that link that forms a core part of the research, as many of the questions intended to be asked can be turned on their heads. If someone does not feel they consume fiction as a form of escapism, why don’t they feel this way? Such open questions may be more difficult to process but in the end the data would be far more valuable to studying this area of society, and can of course be refined into a more useful state as a part of the thesis.

The research needed for the report on Seven Stories was much more practical in nature, since it would involve physical equipment that might not be immediately available to the center, and a more specific form of expression that would be appropriate for a wider audience. The proposal itself was still, however, based in the realms of fiction. This of course was not just because fiction is my personal domain of interest, but simply due to Seven Stories being a large proponent of it. My proposal at its core remained just that, story, with only the elements of its telling being the true ‘creative’ centerpieces.

Science fiction is a great love of mine and the genre I am most interested in. Seven Stories does feature exhibits inspired by the ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ series, and although the franchise is a clear hit and very popular with audiences, I wondered if maybe its potential engagement with the genre could be taken further. Although ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ does technically fall under the scope of the genre, it is more inspired by particular common elements of it, rather than an exploration of its possible principles. This served as inspiration for myself to create a more speculative, ‘realistic,’ educational piece that was still enjoyable and not too grim, harsh or gritty for younger audiences.

Automation was the perfect avenue for this, being a phenomenon that will effect the younger generations even harder than it has the older, while also allowing for interesting means of expression. Rather than having the traditional storyteller telling everyone to sit comfortably, it made far more sense to use screen and synthesized voices. These resources are readily available with just a quick google search, with plenty of software fitting the bill and several companies that rent projectors or screens for reasonable prices.

The rise of technology in the home was another natural boon that fit in nicely with the proposal. Rather than alienated or confusing children, the use of screens and robotic voices will come naturally to most of them. Indeed, simply walking around Seven Stories revealed a number of children with access to phones, tablets and or other similar devices. It seemed clear then that a story about automation would be relevant enough for them to understand while also being educational and pushing them to understand and work with technology, rather than being left behind and unable to function in the modern world.

All that, I am a little guilty to admit I did not use many of the lessons or resources provided by many of the guest speakers as part of the module. Although Dan Smith and his Yossarian site was an interesting take on the traditional search engine, it felt somewhat gimmicky and has so far – with a few little play sessions – been used as little more than a thesaurus when looking for synonyms or potential metaphors. Its use as an actual search engine capable of quickly and easily gathering resources as a part of research has been limited.

Similarly, the ice cube… performance? Meditation technique? was a little too far out there to be of much practical use to me in creating and developing my ideas and approaches to research or other areas. I can relate somewhat to the idea of different sensory reactions to the same situation, reflecting on the passage of time and so forth, but I feel the true meaning of what she was trying to get across was perhaps lost in translation.

Serena Korda’s work in picking up natural interplanetary signals was by far the most interesting on a personal level, but again on a practical level was maybe a little bit too niche. There is certainly some applications to be had in using the sounds and data (especially the use of wavelength and frequency, I’d suspect) in the use of music or perhaps as fun details to include as part of a bigger fictional setting. Of course, the scientific data itself could make for important material in ensuring realism and accuracy in any sort of sci-fi portrayal, this I won’t content, but the method of doing obtaining it – though again interesting and fun to engage with – is both somewhat impractical for the level of payoff.