HSS8123 – just a report of my progress
July 8th, 2016 by Red Lion

Long time no see. Yeah, because I have been reading and researching and writing code…

At least I am glad that I am doing what I proposed in the HSS8123 module last year. Yes, I mean last year. I recognise that I would normally do what I said (or promise). For example, in the first year of high school, I said I wanted to study in Wuhan University, and I really did!! OK, enough. So, last year in a HSS8123 session I gave a presentation saying that I am going to make something funny and ridiculous, like Fountain or South Park. And so my research topic for final project is humour and joking in digital art. And explore whether people would appreciate joke as art.

May is a deadline month. So I took about a 2~3 week break in June, and then started literature research. I went to dig for materials related to jokes, humour and appreciation of art. I also spent some time reading neuroscience books because I like medicine and biology…anyway the literature research was quite interesting and gave me inspiration. And as a by-product of the research I, again, want to emphasise the power of culture difference…it’s just so powerful, which is one reason why I chose to apply for a uni in Singapore, an eastern country, to do PhD….OK, OK, I’m sidetracking again, I’ll shut up *LOL*. And of course the conclusion is that jokes should be considered art and we are appreciating them just like appreciating other artworks.

Besides the books and articles I also found some nice ideas when I googled some digital April Fool jokes. Check out this one:

I also asked Tom for advice because I had difficulties finding DIGITAL ART jokes and pranks. Tom’s suggestions are really helpful and I think THIS guy is doing great digital clowning performance videos.

But so far I haven’t found any digital art pranksters. How can we make pranks with digital art?

After watching those prank videos I conclude that the most important thing in pranks is the ridicule of the victim…look at those prank videos showing a close-up of the victim’s face expression after being played a prank on. And what causes this ridicule is mostly the erring of the victims or faulty logic. Such as asking someone to help with a gadget that has been hacked so that the person who uses it will cause trouble for sure (erring of victims). Or, for example, your dining table crashes when you press the “call service” button (faulty logic).

Alright, so I am also going to make the visitors to our exhibition “err” when they walk to my installation. Imagine this: you’re enjoying this nice and neat digital art exhibition. Then you see this corner with a warning sign, but the area looks nothing dangerous. It has only got projections of cartoony cute little birds on the wall, and even has a small table and several sofas for you to relax. You are tired and you sit on the sofa. Then you hear a savage cockcrow behind you, and the projection on the wall start to glitch and show weird flashy shapes. You think you might have destroyed the installation by accident, then suddenly the blue screen of death appears. You are scared of being in trouble and you sneak out of the ballroom…

OK, the above are all assumptions. Tom says never make assumptions about how audience would react, but I would love to see this happen…Anyway I have contacted Abi and hope to talk to her about how to deal with audience’s possible reactions to a digital art installation.

The first week of July has almost passed and currently I am working on Processing code writing. I am using Optical Flow to detect people’s movement in my installation area, and I’ll get a force sensitive resistor to detect people sitting on the sofa. Everything is going on smoothly at the moment.

And please feel free to laugh at me if my project turned out to be a flat joke in the end…I love pranks, but I didn’t think creating my own prank can be so hard!!


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