28 May 2018, 3:21pm
Public Art

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HSS8121 Public Art—reflective blog 5

1.Concept Development

Actually, I think this stage is quite difficult and time-consuming. Because of we always got some new ideas and new ways to do things. We change our ideas quite often which made our progress slow. I understand that there are a lot of ways to make things happen, but when we work with other artists and institutions, I think it`s better to settle the plan which will make our work more efficient.

2. Problems

We encountered some problems in the implementation process. Although we have successfully solved these problems, we should make a flexible plan and consider our plan more comprehensive in the future.


3. Team Work

Teamwork and Communication are also very important skills I learned from this module. Assign tasks properly so that everyone can do their best.

28 May 2018, 3:03pm
Northern Stage

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HSS8121 Public Making Northern Stage The late shows 2018-Post5

After deciding our final plan, we start to make our installation.

I am mainly responsible for making the physical sculpture of New York skyline.

We measured the space so we can decide the size of our installation.

First, I chose the material and  I made a small version of the skyline. Then I made the final version using the laser cutter

At the install day, we use stapler and tape to stick the skyline on the wooden box.

We use a tablecloth and a small box to decorate our table.

It looks like this

We also designed a poster for our artwork


The details of our work

3 May 2018, 1:46pm
Public Art

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HSS8121 Public Art—reflective blog 4

Pbulic Making contains two deffirent meanings

1.Making in public: space

2.Making with the public: people /new forms of public engagement.


the notion of “public” is one of the most issued categories in current debates on culture, yet the notion itself remains largely un-reflected. The meaning of both “art publics” and “public space” have become complex in a time where boundaries between public and private are shifting, and where “the public” comprises different groups of changing composition and identity.


Regarding the work it draws upon:

1.Warm Digits

Warm Digits make a semi-improvised brew of metronomic rhythms, snowstorm guitar and radiophonic electronics, dual-laptop electro, swathes of no-wave guitar and frantic free jazz drumming.

INTERCHANGE is their experimental film and album of music inspired by photography and illustrations drawn from the Tyne and Wear Archives, of the 1970s’ biggest civil engineering project on Tyneside – the construction of Metro.

This picture is one of the collections that inspired INTERCHANGE

This kind of cooperate like TWAM and Warm digits, shows that new technologies and innovative archive and collection digitization can enhance a museum`s reach, improve visitor experience.


2.Tim Ingold written a book called Making

Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture are all ways of making, and all are dedicated to exploring the conditions and potentials of human life. In this book, Tim Ingold ties the four disciplines together in a way that has never been attempted before.Ingold proposes an anthropology and archaeology not of but with art and architecture. He advocates a way of thinking through making in which sentient practitioners and active materials continually answer to, or ‘correspond’, with one another in the generation of form.

Making offers a series of profound reflections on what it means to create things, on materials and form, the meaning of design, landscape perception, animate life, personal knowledge and the work of the hand. It draws on examples and experiments ranging from prehistoric stone tool-making to the building of medieval cathedrals, from round mounds to monuments, from flying kites to winding string, from drawing to writing.

Through public making, we sought to create a stage in which objects could be reworked as things with varied material potential.

3.The Indoor Weather Stationsare small domestic appliances that draw attention to the microclimate of the home, both as an indirect means of pointing to the ways energy is used and as a kind of conceptual rhyme to the planet’s climate.  They were designed to explore a less didactic approach to environmental reflection.  Rather than nagging us about our responsibilities in terms of energy consumption, they balanced data and aesthetics, reminding us in subtle ways of the environments we construct.  The weather stations were deployed to twenty volunteer households for six month periods.  Each set consisted of three stations: The Wind Tunnel, The Temperature Tape and The Light Collector.

The intention of this work is to explore designs which are open ended and amenable to a number of interpretations of their point and value, rather than engage in more classic forms of ‘user-oriented design’ which tend to privilege the function of interactive artifacts.

Drawing on this work, we sought to create ambiguous pieces which did not didactically mandate any particular interpretation of museum artefacts but allowed them to be imaginatively appropriated.

24 Apr 2018, 9:42am
Northern Stage

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HSS8121 Public Making Northern Stage The late shows 2018-Post4


Because my original ideas are not very practical, I`m trying to find new ways to achieve this.

We plan to make a sketch of New York with white cardboard, so I`m thinking if I can use projector to project a shadow of New York to make our physical work looks more vivid. I did some experiments at CAP studio.I experimented on a white background and a black background, respectively. And I tried different pictures(black and white/colored). Below are the results:


Then I`m thinking project a moon on the wall. These are my results:

24 Apr 2018, 8:54am
Northern Stage

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HSS8121 Public Making Northern Stage The late shows 2018-Post3

2.Concept Development

The Moon

There is one scene in the play: As the radio plays《clair de lune》and moonlight filters through the apartment windows, Johnny finally break through Frankie’s defences and turn a one night stand into something more before the sun comes up. My public artwork is inspired by the scene.

3.Implementation Plan

3.1 2D Moon Light

A 2D moon on the wall. Using light to create a lunar phase.

Main Materials: LCD, Arduino


3.2.1 3D Phases of the moon

Arduino controlled. Light inside the physical moon.



3.2.2 3D Rotate Moon

Using paper or other materials to build a moon, just need one light source.

Use the shape of paper to create a light effect

Other inspirations:

24 Apr 2018, 8:50am
Northern Stage

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HSS8121 Public Making Northern Stage The late shows 2018-Post2

2.Concept Development

Rough ideas

No.1 radio art:《clair de lune》Debussy

An interactive installation which can play music according people`s actions

Connect radio with telephone, the radio plays the song automatically when we dial a number.


No.2 Flower Mirror

idea comes from a shopping mall window

The flowers on the wall open as people make a specific move


No.3 pedestrian paths design

I think we should reset the furniture at the foyer. For instance, there are some architecture researches show that put an obstacle in front of the entrance can help the flow of people move more efficient. So, I`d like to improve the indoor setting.

BTW, the bar can launch ‘Frankie and Johnny menu’according to the story.

24 Apr 2018, 8:46am
Northern Stage

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HSS8121 Public Making Northern Stage The late shows 2018-Post1



MA in Creative Arts Practice and Northern Stage

Artistic commission for the Late Shows 2018

Newcastle University’s MA in Creative Arts Practice and Northern Stage are pleased to invite proposals for a creative commission to create a new artistic piece to be presented at Northern Stage during The Late Shows 2018 on the evening of Friday 18thMay and/or Sat 19thMay 2018.

The brief is to respond to the current programming of Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Luneto invoke New York City in our foyer. Your piece should enhance the pre and post show experience for audiences attending the performance and to also work as a stand-alone piece for those visiting as part of The Late Shows.

1.2 Site for the commission

Northern Stage: Theatre from Newcastle, Theatre for Everyone

We make theatre that is imaginative, engaging and politically connected to the life of our region.  We present and collaborate with the most original regional, national and international theatre companies in our venue in Newcastle upon Tyne. We create opportunities for a broad range of audiences to participate in the performing arts, and are a vital resource for theatre training in the North East. We champion creativity and support a diverse range of artists to create ambitious and adventurous theatre.

Northern Stage’s values:

Innovative:    We believe in better.  We work imaginatively within our diverse communities and serve as a collaborative, open and supportive space for new ideas to grow in. We are rigorous, determined and original in our practice. We seek to empower remarkable individuals and partnerships.

Inclusive:       We ensure that diversity is enabled and deliver inclusive practice with creativity and commitment in all the work that we undertake.  We are proactive in developing relationships and creating pathways for marginalised and excluded individuals and groups.

Collaborative:    We work with generosity, ambition and imagination to share our resources, skills and networks with individuals and groups across our region. We offer leadership for the development of talent and work in partnerships with colleagues in the sector to ensure access to opportunity.

Daring:           We believe in the social, emotional and political power of theatre: to challenge the status quo, to imagine alternatives and create new narratives.  We retain a spirit of rebellion through all our work, and champion boldness, transgression and the unpredictable mess of creativity.

International:We are citizens of a complex and interconnected world.  We forge connections, create an exchange and build partnerships with artists, communities and audiences across the world as a vital ambassador for the North East.

Resilient:        We are strategic in developing our human, financial and physical resources to ensure the long-term resilience of our organisation.  We strive to grow and broaden our audiences and participants, to improve our financial sustainability and minimise our environmental impact.

The Late Shows at Northern Stage
Northern Stage has a sporadic history of presenting work at The Late Shows and we miss being a regular partner. Working with you is an opportunity for us to enhance our existing offer to members of the public, take part in new collaborative project and put ourselves back on The Late Shows map.  The Late Shows take place on Friday 18thMay and Sat 19thMay 2018. Your work can take place on either or both dates.

Programming at Northern Stage during The Late Shows

On both evenings will be a performance of the play Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Luneby Terrance McNally, directed by Mark Calvert. The show is an off-beat rom-com set in New York City in 1987. Frankie is a waitress in a diner and Johhnie is the side order chef. The show is set in Frankie’s modest Manhattan apartment and begins at the end of their first date with the couple are in bed together. The action takes us through into the early hours of the following day and the audience follow Frankie’s straight talking and Johnnie’s romantic optimism. It’s a tender and funny ‘will-they-won’t-they’ showing the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance.

More info : www.northernstage.co.uk

Target audiences
The Late Shows aims to primarily attract adults aged 16 – 34. However, the target audience for the show is slightly older 35-60 regular theatre going audience, the majority of the ticket bookers are women. In the summer months Northern Stage traditionally presents a more light-hearted ‘good night out’ piece of work than hard hitting drama. On this occasion we don’t want to showcase the grittier side of 1980s NYC!

Available spaces: Foyer bar

The foyer is a large glass fronted open space and contains the bar/restaurant franchised by McKenna’s. The bar will be open during The Late Shows some customers will be dining, primarily pre 7.30pm. Your artwork needs to work alongside this and bear in mind the swell of audience arriving for the show between 7pm-7.30pm and the interval rush at the bar. You could consider:

  • Creating a structure or installation in the space (talk to us about how much space you might need)
  • An artwork that incorporates music or other audio
  • Film / lighting / projections
  • A participatory artwork that visitors can interact with and add to
15 Apr 2018, 1:18pm
Public Art

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HSS8121 Public Art—reflective blog 3

“The real revolution here is not in the creation of the technology, but the democratization of the technology. It’s when you basically give it to a huge expanded group of people who come up with new applications, and you harness the ideas and the creativity and the energy of everybody. That’s what really makes a revolution.”

This reminds me of the discussions that have been taking place since the beginning of the twentieth century on the impact of scientific and technological advances on human life and cultural creation:

The concept ” democratization of technology ” is similar with a concept of “technical replication” form Walter Benjamin. As technology gets closer to the masses, there is a process in which technology is constantly being copied, and in the process many people move from passive to active participation in cultural activities. Benjamin used the development of communication technology has changed the way people engage in literary activity as an example, a change that is more pronounced in the Digital Media.

For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. [1]

“Design for Makers”,Although the mention of design has risen to an artistic level in some way, it is also a means of technical reproduction, designed to make technology more replicable:

To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility.[2]

In the digital age, the replication of digital technology has enabled the wider application and dissemination of technology:

Digital reproduction both accelerates and shifts processes of textual of reproduction. Digital reproduction might be said to open up new spaces, social relations and domains of textual play. It affects the appearance of a new textual ontology. In the age of digital reproduction, material moves in different circuits at high speed. Virtual centres gather textual material together and offer new combinations and opportunities and modes of access. Access is dispersed and distributed anew. Models of inert consumption are displaced by models of active engagement. If anything, the significance of Benjamin’s essay is accentuated and renewed by digital reproduction [3]

In the view of scholars of the Benjamin school, technological reproduction gives cultural products a social and political function that, in their view, is not just a technological revolution, but a social revolution, it adapts to the times and the needs of the masses. In some ways, the capitalist society after the two industrial revolutions, the monopolization of technology and the control of the possessor of technology had an important influence on the division of social strata. And today’s move to the masses is certainly an innovation.


with good reason the interest of countless consumers is focused on the technology, not on the rigidly repeated, threadbare and half-abandoned content. [4]


[1]Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. New York: Schocken, 1969. pp. 232.

[2]ibid. pp. 224.

[3]Peim, Nick. “Walter Benjamin in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Aura in Education: A Rereading of ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.” Journal of Philosophy of Education 41.3 (2007): pp.376.

[4]Adorno, Theodor W., and Max Horkheimer. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” Dialectic of Enlightenment. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002. pp.108.

15 Apr 2018, 11:49am
Public Art

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HSS8121 Public Art—reflective blog 2

After reading Jane Bennett`s ‘Political Ecologies’, I have a new understanding of the concept of Public Art. I have a deeper understanding of the functioning and movement of public.

Anthropomorphism is the part that fascinates me the most. This reminds me of a story from Ancient China <The Pleasure of the fish>.

The story goes like this:


Zhuangzi and Huizi were crossing the Hao River by the dam.
Zhuangzi said, “See how free the fishes leap and dart: that is their happiness.”
Huizi replied, “Since you are not a fish, how do you know what makes fishes happy?”
Zhuangzi said, “Since you are not I, how can you possibly know that I do not know what makes fishes happy?”
Huizi argued, “If I, not being you, cannot know what you know, it follows that you, not being a fish, cannot know what they know. The argument is complete!”
Zhuangzi said, “Wait a minute! Let us get back to the original question. What you asked me was ‘How do you know what makes fishes happy?’ From the terms of your question, you evidently know I know what makes fishes happy.
“I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river.”


Based on translation by Thomas Merton, The Way of Zhuang Tzu, New Directions Books, 1965







Not being fish, how do we know their happiness?
But we may express our feelings in our artworks.
In order to probe the subtleties of the ordinary,
We must describe the indescribable.



18 Feb 2018, 5:49pm

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HSS8121 Public Art—reflective blog 1

    The public environment of human being is a stage of activity which is in the image of the social group tribe, and it is a human living environment which has a great relationship with the landscape, race, culture and ecology. Considering and treating the public environment from the angle of art is an important aspect of human beings optimizing their living condition and optimizing their own situation. Looking back at the development of social history, we can read about the development of environmental art and public art.

    If public`s meaning in the term of public art is only in the sense of “group”, almost all art has this kind of public nature. To explore it in the spatial sense, then, is an attempt to define public art. All public art is called public art because it exists first in public spaces, that is, it must exist spatially in a public way, even if a sculpture is used by a sculptor in a public place, if it was placed in private space before it was finished, it would be a private work of art, not a public art. One exception, of course, is that private space can, in some cases, be transformed into public space, albeit temporarily. Thus, the concept of public is also spatially variable. One of the simplest examples is that the same sculpture works are placed in private spaces and in public spaces, and their properties are inconsistent. In private spaces, we cannot call it public art. By this definition, all works of art placed in public spaces can be counted as public art. The problem, however, is that the meaning of the word public changes over time as it evolves over time. For example, because of the change in ownership of ancient private or imperial gardens and castles, a large part of them is open to the public nowadays, and the expansion of the audience has transformed the art of gardening from being dedicated to private families and royalty to having a public character. This kind of art, which used to belong to only a certain class, is truly universal today. As it turns out, public space can be changed.

    Space is a relatively philosophical term, relative to time. Public space is an important part of urban space. According to Andres Schneider et al. Public space can be divided by several different levels: 1. Physical public spaces, 2. The public spaces of society, 3. Symbolic public spaces. The first concerns the existence of its material, the second focuses on the relationship between the internal norms of space and society, and the third focuses on memorials and the “atmosphere” of the place. They believe that every public space, whether objective or subjective, can be defined by one or more of the meanings of these definitions, understanding the meaning of public space changes the way we think about public space. It should be noted that, while we are willing to consider the three types of public spaces that are well positioned as three different types, each public space incorporates one or more of these types. Physical public spaces such as streets, squares, meadows, beaches, etc. can be formed through urban design. Social and public spaces such as coffee rooms, restaurants, bars and other forms of media, the internet and private housing. The physical public space is the most obvious, arguably the most romantic… it is determined by the type of ownership that is connected to the building and the “natural environment”.

    The social commons is one of the most interesting of the three forms, because it has the potential to transform or reestablish ownership and give new meaning to urban space. The social commons is in constant re-definition, through which conflicts of use value and exchange value can be accomplished in a real place. Symbolic space is accomplished through norms and the collective memory of people, because contrary to the material in the physical public space, this form of determining public space is difficult to classify as a “physical place”. In most cases, symbolic public space is a short-term survival experience and is limited to a certain group of people. If symbolic space becomes part of the general history, it is vulnerable to a transformation in which the meaning and connection of this space begin to be linked to a current prevailing historical method. This is enough to explain why our prehistoric rock paintings, carvings, religious art, and tomb art can be classified as public art today, art that can be seen as public art in a symbolic public space.

    There is variability in social space, which can be transposed between public and private. Thus, the public spaces we explore touch on a wider range of arts that can be attributed to public spaces, but on an spatial level, the public art space can include the physical public space, the social public space and the symbolic public space, which together constitute the external existence of public art in information age.

    The public and private nature of space are mutually reinforcing and symbiotic, and absolute public spaces cannot exist without absolute private space, in the absence of open and free public spaces, there can be no secret and safe private spaces.

    Cities are a way of human existence, and they cannot be separated from the people who choose to live in cities. The city is used by the people and by the citizens, which is the difference between urban and rural farmers. The Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens points out that the establishment of civil society is directly linked to the emergence of modern forms of the state and is therefore linked to it in terms of reference. In traditional countries, most everyday life, at least in the countryside, is outside the executive power of the home. Most local communities are self-governing in accordance with their traditional customs and lifestyles, and the executive is less intrusive in most forms of private activity. However, this outer sphere is not a civil society.

    In fact, purely abstract urban public spaces do not exist, and each type of urban public space ends up in a different place, a public place, with different social activities. Each kind of place forms different spirit of place, they are closely related with its geographical position, social function and place function. It can be roughly divided into the following categories: 1. Political venues such as Government Buildings, town hall, courts and government agencies; 2. Cultural public places such as schools, museums, art galleries, research institutes, historical sites and so on; 3. Commercial public places, including commercial streets, commercial cities, etc. 4. General public places such as railway stations, wharves, airports, subways, squares, streets, etc. 5. Recreational public places such as plazas, theme parks, green spaces, teahouses, cafes, sports, etc. The nature and function of these places determine the nature and function of the public space, and also determine the spirit of the place. But overall, it is the history, culture, and modern social consciousness of the large public spaces in which these places are located. I would therefore prefer to see these sites as differences in the functions of space in different cities and communities.

    Fundamentally, the public way of public art relies not on the style and genre of art, but on the spatial spirit of a collective or a group, it is the external condition of the human beings to transform their living environment. While human history and culture determine the characteristics of public art, public art, in turn, directly or subtly influences and modifies the cultural concept and aesthetic mode of human beings.

    In general, the greatest feature of public space is openness, the openness of the place of public space art activities and the resulting openness to the public at the site. It is open to all audiences in this space, and the public can communicate with it and make suggestions. In a certain sense, the openness of public art lies in the openness of the space in which it operates, and requires the public to make recommendations and opinions on it once it has been made public, public art management agencies and production agencies can evaluate and amend public art works. Public art is a kind of special social esthetic, its standard must be in being read and corrected. Public art is an artistic landscape of various media, facilities and other art forms that are publicly displayed, it differs from the non-public nature of the private sphere in general, the non-public nature of a minority or individual group. “public” in public art is aimed at the large environment in which people and people live, including the natural ecological environment and the humane and social environment. In a broader sense, human society can be understood as a mosaic in a natural ecosystem.

Public art in china

    Since the 1980s, china has also attached great importance to the construction of public art in the process of urban construction and development, but what is missing is that, first of all, Chinese governments confuse urban sculpture with the concept of public art, second, the management of public art is not given to the people, but to government organizations such as the city sculpture management association, which is set up by the government, the government selects sculptors and urban landscape artists to build sculptures for urban landmarks, which often end up as simple ideologically expressive entities, associated with poor symbolism as an aesthetic urban landmark and symbol, and even a perverted convenience for voyeurs in the name of art; when the government changes, for a variety of reasons, the original city sculptures may have been pushed back, as if the demolition of old buildings was generally undemocratic, and no one had the creative rights, the right to speak and the right to protect, they don’t seem to have anything to do with the value of intellectual property or copyright. The existence of these problems and the reality of china, including the weak sense of democracy of the people, the unsound legal system, some biases in local government’s perception of art, and the lack of support for public art in tax policies, there is a relationship that is hard to fathom.

    Public art is not just a sculpture, or a static visual representation in general, but it is often through acts, events, and the construction of platforms where people interact, so that people can have a dialogue that allows them to be heard. This is precisely the channel and the possibility of providing diversity for social democracy and community governance. Much of Chinese public art appeals to external visual publicity, but not enough in terms of the deep involvement of community life and respect for the people.