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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)

The Proposal of Late Show

This is link of the Late Show’s recording process, which contains some pictures and notes that i write on.

Seven Stories Proposal:

Seven Stories is the national home of children’s books. Everything they do celebrate children’s books, their creator and reader. Many of the best loved books for children and writer by British authors and illustrators. Changing the lives of those who read and enjoy them. They select original artwork and manuscripts form first scribbles to finished books to create their innovative exhibitions and popular events. Seven Stories’ unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities bring children’s book to life – every day for everyone – making it a place to remember.

In the studio space, curator of Seven Stories give us some introduction about this space and Seven Stories. And different floors have different story topic, which using creative way to display the process of writing story, also engaging different type of audience with different activities and events.

As for the proposal of the Late Show, which should be inspired form one place of Seven Stories with creative thinking to make project that could connect and response to children’s book .

1. Idea discussion.

The idea discussion about the Late show. The idea of the Late Show which around some key words, such as interactively and creative experience. According to different exhibition topics of Seven Stories, we got a lot of ideas. The most I interest in is the story about bear which always are written in story and described as human’s friend. In terms of the idea about bear, which has ‘Teddy Bear as a boundary creature: not a fucked up doll’, ‘disserting Teddy Bears’, ‘Teddy Gets An Operation’, ‘Teddy Bear anatomy’, ‘the movie Teddy’, ‘Teddy talks: a proper Ted Talk’, ‘Teddy Talks’, ‘Teddy Bear support groups, group therapy’, ‘Teddy Bear Picnic At Hanging Rock’, ‘Teddy Bear night out in Big Market’……

The original idea I had that around ‘Teddy Talks’ with anthropomorphic way that teddy bear can talk about some story about itself to engage different type visitors……

However, I realized that ‘Teddy Talk’ just base on the talk and listen, which I think that this kind of activity not interesting enough and might not that could response the ethos of Seven Stories. Although Teddy Bear be a ‘Talk Person’ is interesting to audience, it is important to note that the way of audience get story still with normal way. Therefore, continue with the topic of Teddy Bear, I try to come up with some ideas that could involve audience in show and response Seven Stories’ ethos…

2. Puzzle Game.

The inspiration of this idea is adventure. Also some stories star with adventure. Because, adventure is mysterious and challenging for the ‘hero’ of story and reader, such as “Peter Pan”. In addition, in some degree I think that the process of writing a story also an adventure for every writer. Therefore I plan to use the idea of adventure in this projects – puzzle game. Comparing with the traditional puzzle game, this one is different. For the traditional puzzle game, the segments of puzzle could be provide, the player just need to think about the segments place in puzzle. As for this puzzle game, it needs player find the segments in Seven Stories by themselves first. And the process of finding segments is more likely an adventure game that lead audience go and explore something unknown. It might stimulate their curiosity and make them involve into activity actively.

However, there are two points I remind myself when in design this game. Firstly, the process of find segment could not too complex, which might influence participants’ enthusiasm. Secondly, there need an outcome (Bear’s pictures and stories) after participant found segments and finished puzzle, which as an aim for participants that could promote them.

The idea about putting the segments into box, which is inspired from the ‘treasure box’. It is a metaphor segments are treasure that participants could get after they find box and open it, which also a part of adventure could attract visitors.

The place consideration is Studio Space where Seven Stories suggest a participatory work that visitors can interact with….

Reflection of HSS8121

This is link of reflection, which contains pictures and notes that i write on.


To be honest, I had confusion about this module in the early. Every lecture of this module, there was a guest speaker presented their project and research area. But some subject area is very new to me, although I felt it very meaningful and interesting, I had no idea how can those things useful to me. Such as the practice we did with Serena Korda. We put device and receive signal form Jupiter. Then we recorded the voice form this signal. It is amazing and I am very excited. However, the follow practice is that using different ways to edit the recording sound. Actually, in that time, I was not sure what should I did, what I would get and what for.

After that, I try to not just think about the content of those research, but think about the research its. Then, I realized that it is a question I should be addressed by myself, also it is the thing that I could learn from this module – research and exploring.

For myself, I might ignore the important and meaning about research. Early, research for me is more likely to seek something I need. Also, design is the thing about how to response the demands of customers when I did interior and landscape design. And in graphic design, I more likely to seek a beautiful visual effects. Although visual effect is an important part of design, sometimes I will lose the value and meaning of design. That is the limitation of my thinking.

From this module, it reminds me the important of research. And I realized the meaning of research in our creative project. In the process of research, it not only about to seek the things that we need, but it more focus on finding new things and relationship between them with exploring and wild thinking. Such as the creative project which called Yossarian, it is a search program and attempt to find the possibility relationship between every key words. And the concept of this project is that developing ideas. According to this, I realized that every idea not just on side, and try to stand in different position to think about it and find the different possibilities.

What more, research not only happen in the academic area, but it also needs us to concern in everyday life. When you walking on the street, try to listen and observe the environment around you, or when an ice cube melt in your mouth and hand, concerning about your reflecting, thinking deeply and research deeply. And I believe that I could explore more possibilities.

HSS8121 Interface Critique

Since I ended up learning a lot about interaction design in a short space of time, I figured it might be interesting to take a look at some of the programs and websites I use a lot and see how they measure up to some of those criteria for good design. Let’s see which ones come out on top!
Warning: may contain frivolous misapplication of design criteria and bad comparisons.

1. Adobe InDesign
Professional desktop publishing software
The number of clicks required to achieve any goal is usually very few, generally 1-2 to find the tool you need and 1-2 more to apply it. Considering the sheer volume of things you can do, does this make it a ‘generous interface‘? You can accomplish a ridiculous number of things in very fine detail, using only the buttons available on the main screen, but considering how tiny they are and how very few of them can be used intuitively without going through a lengthy tutorial or spending 20 minutes googling them first.  InDesign does its job perfectly, but you really have to work for it. Which I suppose isn’t that bad a verdict, for a piece of professional design software.

Pros: mediates a lot of content simultaneously, good on both big picture and fine detail
Cons: interface must be courted with caviar and roses before it will consider helping you
Final Score: 7 out of 10

2. Runescape
Online MMORPG I’ve been playing too much of lately

I know MMOs are complicated, but seriously, how many different menu tabs do you need? How many different kinds of menus do you need? Zoom in on this screenshot and you’ll see icons for combat styles, daily tasks, skills, quests, armour, inventory, 9 different kinds of chat settings, friends, groups, contacts, settings, emotes, music, health, money… it just goes on.

I suppose it gets credit for having that many things onscreen without the game becoming unusable. I like this game, but considering that I’m already paying to play it I don’t enjoy the nagging suspiciousthat its much better at showing me the content that encourages me to spend more money than how best to experience what I’ve already paid for.

Pros: provides the comforting illusion of setting yourself goals and then achieving them
 the interface and the mechanics feel like they’re getting in the way
Final Score: 5 out of 10

3. Youtube

Video browsing website

A bit more alike in form to the digital archive/collection interfaces I’ve been studying, because it mediates content in a more linear way. Following this train of logic, I suppose Youtube is a pretty strong interface, given how easily and enjoyably you can get sucked into browsing material for extended periods of time, which includes discovering things you didn’t intend to search for. Pretty good on the ‘big picture -> subsection -> individual piece of content’ front too. Shame about the algorithms that recommend new content though; for my money they present you with videos that are too narrowly similar to the ones I’ve already been watching.

Making a channel, uploading videos and making playlists is much worse though, partly because the things you do as a browser and the things you do as a content creator are needlessly entangled. The screenshot above represents my channel, but only about a quarter of the visible screen deals with uploading and posting videos at all.

Pros: easy and intuitive to start browsing, and keep browsing for ages
you’ll mostly find more of the same, and managing a channel is much less intuitive
Final Score:
 8 out of 10 for browsing, 4 for uploading


4. Steam
Digital storefront and library for PC video games

I’ve always thought of Steam as the iTunes of video games, and I’ve generally liked it a lot more than iTunes and the other musical equivalents like Google Play that I’ve tried. Those always try harder to show me new things I might buy than to make it easy to navigate the songs I already have. On the other hand, Steam divides the storefront and the things I’ve bought from the storefront into two categories (and does a better job of handling dual purposes than Youtube).

As far as the storefront goes, its easy to search specifically and browse generally. The presentation of the library is lacklustre, but then again, it only has to represent a list of things you’ve already paid for, so chances are you know the contents pretty well already.

Pros: looks nice, handles the store/library distinction well
recommendation algorithms have the opposite issue, casting the net a bit too wide
Final Score:
 8 out of 10

And the winner is… 
hard to say really. As much as they could all stand to do certain things more intuitively, is it really in their best interests to do so? Arguably they are all generous, browseable & aesthetically pleasing to the extent they need to be, and no more. This was probably a doomed enterprise from the outset, but its been interesting to think about the interfaces I unthinkingly use in a more critical way, even if I mostly just ended up venting.

Seven Stories – The Late Shows

As part of the Enterprise and Research methods module the CAP team made an appearance at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Stories as part of Newcastles and Gateshead’s famed culture crawl. Mike Hurst and Lewis Brown equally brought an interesting, entertaining and engaging range of demonstrative and thought provoking performances and installations.

During the night I helped document activities in Seven Stories (yes that’s a lot of stairs) and tried to capture the engagement of those around me. In this post i’ll attach some photographs taken on the night: