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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.

DMS8013: Finished !

After coding the programmes in Arduino and Processing, the electronic colour organ finally finished!

Final look of the ECO:

Here is the annotation:It works like this:

DMS8013: Prototype 2.0

In order to solve the problem in version 1, I wired up power and ground with the breadboard and connected one end of the piezo to pin 13 on the Arduino and another to ground. Next, I connected one side of the first switch to power and another side to ground through a 10-kilohm resistor and I linked other six switches in the same way. Then, I connected the side which with the resistor of each switches to pin 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 respectively and labled each of them based on tones to make clear.

DMS8013: Prototype 1.0 – Not So Good

For this version, I wired up power and ground with the breadboard. Followed by connecting one end of the piezo to pin 7 on the Arduino and another to ground, I hooked up seven switches and resistors to become a ‘resistor ladder’ (Which is the arrangement of resistors and switches feeding into an analog input) and the switches are connected in parallel to analog in 0. Most of them connected to power through resistors respectively (I linked the first switch directly to power and connected the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and the last switches to power through a 220-ohm, 560-ohm, 1-kilohm, 4.7-kilohm, 10-kilohm and 1-megohm resistor respectively. Then linked all the buttons’ outputs together in one junction and connected this junction to analog in 0 through a 10-kilohm resistor). So that when button is pressed, a different voltage value will pass to the input pin.

However, this version of electronic organ is not so good – when button pressed, some tones were not match the pitches that I set since the resistors were not good-quality ones. Thus the Arduino could not read the accurate value and the colours in processing was not the colours that they were supposed to be.

So, I decide to give up using different value resistors to create a ‘resistor ladder’ to make various tones. Instead, I’m trying to let specific values go through each switches respectively to create accurate tones.

DMS8013: what’s Annotated Portfolios?

1. Annotated portfolios provide a way to present the fruits of design that simultaneously respect the particularity and multidimensionality of design work while meeting many of the demands of generalizable theory.


2. The Logic of Annotated Portfolios

functionality of the design (what should it do?) and by implication the value of certain activities (is this worth doing?)

aesthetics (what form and appearance should the artifact take?)

practicalities of its production (what materials, skills, and tools are needed to make it?)

motivation for making (why are we doing this? what are we trying to show?) the people for whom the artifact is intended (what will our users make of this? how can we best design for them?)

sociopolitical concerns (what sort of culture will this encourage or resist?)


3. An annotated portfolio, then, is a means for explicating design thinking that retains an intimate indexical connection with artifacts themselves while addressing broader concerns in the research community.


4. Useful annotations, then, tend to have a general application in the portfolio yet a specific sense for individual artifacts within it.


5. features of Annotated Portfolios

Annotations make a collection of designed artifacts into a portfolio. They bring together individual artifacts as a systematic body of work.

Annotations capture family resemblances between designs in a mesh of similarities and differences.

Typically a portfolio can be annotated in several different ways, reflecting different purposes and interests and with different audiences in mind.

Annotations and designs they annotate are mutually informing. Artifacts are illuminated by annotations. Annotations are illustrated by artifacts.





Annotated Portfolios by Bill Gaver, John Bowers



The work described here has not before been presented in Culture Lab. This is an example of minimal coding. This single line of C code:

main(t) { for (t = 0; ; t++) putchar(t*((15&t>>11)%12)&55-(t>>5|t>>12)|t*(t>>10)*32); }

when compiled produces looped output, which when interpreted as RAW audio gives a kind of minimal techno.

The code is generated using a bash script and compiled on the fly using the clang LLVM compiler.

FIN8010: Morse Code Workshop

Following on from the recent MFA/CAPs group show at the Old Low Light in North Shields I delivered a Morse Code Workshop for year five and six pupils from Redesdale Primary School, Wallsend on Friday 26th May. Pupils also made seagull models from milk cartons and gutted fish on the quayside.

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