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 – not only the project was inspired by the frogeten history but also practical. 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 : https://www.dropbox.com/s/zdu79dep1t9g98x/Colour%20%E2%80%93%20Sound%20Correspondence%20in%20Design.pptx?dl=0




Another interesting project – A Hidden Order : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=080aWdyf1tc


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:

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


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.