Planning & Development, Mind-map - 'Being Human'


What issues from the list seem the most important to you as an individual?

In groups, we discussed issues relating to class systems, social hierarchy as well as human qualities and traits such as 'egoism', 'greediness', and 'hypocritical'. We also discussed more common issues relating to our surroundings such as environmental issues and political conflicts resulting terrorism and war. We also incorporated other interdisciplinary subjects such as religious beliefs, philosophical theories as well as psychological studies exploring mental health issues.

As a group, we finalised with three most important issues which were: "self-destruction", "ego" (standing out and fitting in at the same time) and "privacy". I thought these  issues were quite interesting to explore as it also relates to the behaviour and attitudes of how humans behave around a certain situation. It also involves a sense of psychological thinking where the individual has to make a choice of whether he wants to be 'unique' or stay normal in order to 'fit in' with the rest of the group. This reminded me of something I learnt in psychology about in-groups and out-groups. By fitting in a certain group, this builds up self-confidence in the individual by conforming to the groups expectations and standards. Another interesting fact about in-groups that I have learnt in psychology was that humans tend to label or make assumptions of others in the out-group. This is called 'social categorisation', which relates to the notion of hierarchy. This is the reason why certain stereotypes and class status are differentiated.

Personally, I believe that human qualities and traits are most important to me as an individual. These traits can be categorised as positive, engaging qualities which help initiate interaction and communication between humans, but it can also be categorised as negative, conflict-inducing behaviours which may result the downfall and corruption of our world. For example: "greed" and "selfishness" were two qualities which I focused predominantly in this project as I was interested in how we never stop wanting more. It's like there's a sense of urgency which overwhelms the individua, thus making him/her desire more by  just looking at other people and what they have. This usually leads to comparison between people and competition between who has the most 'wanted' things in life. Sometimes it just makes me think whether humans really care about what they already have, which sounds a little stupid, but honestly it bothers me how we already have so much but still have other desires. Money is a big example which also leads to self-destruction.

Another issue that I found most important to me as an individual is the human body. Our bodies are made up of different organs, each organ has it's own purpose of existence to perform its given function. I found it really interesting how our bodies our capable of detecting infections from bacterial diseases. Thus, creating antibodies to combat the disease.

Which ideas from the lecture were most inspiring?

I was particularly inspired by Heather Dewey-Hagborg's works on 'Stranger Visions' shown from the lecture. Stranger Visions is a series of portraits created from DNA which the artist had recovered from discarded items such as hair, cigarettes and chewing gum. I saw one of her works in the Wellcome Collection - 'Being Human' and was especially intrigued by how realistic the portrait looks. It made me realise how simple it was to identify a person by just using their DNA and genetic information. This made me want to further explore the biological genetics in our body as well as what happens when our body is infected by a bacterial disease. Since I took biology and psychology in my previous studies, I feel like it would be an interesting idea to incorporate these two subjects in my artwork. Moreover, I think that the idea of incorporating biology and genetics into artwork is very uncommon. Hence, being able to look at all the different artworks in the Wellcome Collection relating to being human has definitely sparked my interest to trying something 'different'.


Heather Dewey-Hagborg's - 'Stranger Visions', 2012

Do some of you share similar concerns? What were the three points your group highlighted?

During our group discussion, there were definitely similar concerns that we all shared which we thought were the most important issues that would impact the world of Homo Sapiens as a whole. Some examples involved: class systems and social status and the ability of humans creating things more powerful than themselves - advanced scientific technology, thus creating their own destructions. We also shared similar concerns relating to the issue of gender inequality, racism and sexuality. I think that the idea of labelling and self-obsession is also a main concern that was discussed in our group due to its impact on society regarding to the assumptions and judgements made. These assumptions are made based on our expectations and standards of what a 'normal' human being should strive for in their live. The three main points that our group highlighted as the most important and pressuring issues/concerns to humans are - class systems, the increasing use of scientific technology, as well as self-obsession. We believed that these concerns lead to larger conflicts which are probable of occurring in future generations. 

What other points made by your group interested you and why?

Aforementioned, I was especially interested in the issue of human traits and qualities (greed, selfishness, hypocritical). To further expand on this point, we also discussed about the idea of social division and privacy. Social division refers to act of grouping 'things' or 'subjects' into individual groups based on given standards and expectations. This usually leads inequalities and differences between social structures. The idea of social division is categorised into 'in-group favouritism' and 'out-group discrimination' where the in-group refers to intergroup bias - a pattern of favouring members of one's in-group over out-group members. When being categorised as a member of the 'in-group', this may induce stereotypical assumptions and raise judgements about other members in the 'out-group'. Out-group discrimination refers to the inability to 'fit in' the in-group, hence as if not being able to match with the common standards that were created based on our high expectations of humans. What we discussed as a group had a similar approach - trying to stand out in a group, yet wanting a sense of belonging. This relates to the selfish behaviour of humans - wanting something so badly, but can't help but be afraid of the consequences upcoming if the action is performed. 


Developmental planning of ideas for 'Being Human' project

What issues/sub-themes are you going to explore?

After discussing with our group members, I have decided to explore the issues of human qualities and traits. I believe that these are the most important issues that define humans as an individual. They are the 'building blocks' of conflicts and disagreements that arise due to abnormal behaviour and actions. In order to make this idea more memorable and interesting, I decided to do a twist and incorporate Biology into my artwork. This way I can show two different sides of 'Being Human'. My idea is to explore different types of human traits and qualities, more specifically the negative traits that are exhibited by humans. By doing this, I will explore six main human qualities that we share in common as discussed in our group. I will  be portraying these human qualities as a individual 'bacterial disease'. I really like this idea as it is completely new to what I've been doing before. It also has a metaphorical symbolism behind the artwork which depicts the 'ugly side' of Homo Sapiens.

What materials/ resources will you need? How can you get them in time?

The materials that I will need to complete this project are petri dishes and nutrient agar. In order to grow bacteria, a suitable environment is essential for its growth and development. I have done some research beforehand and found that bacteria requires around 4-6 days to grow and develop to be visualised, therefore I knew there wouldn't be enough time to display them on Thursday. Therefore, while the petri dishes and nutrient agar haven't been delivered yet, I decided to make my own nutrient agar out of beef stock (beef boullion cube), water, sugar and gelatin. I felt that this would definitely make my project easier and more efficient in terms of time management. While researching on information associated with the growth of bacteria and diseases, I came across an artist named Elin Thomas. I was inspired by her textile and crochet nature studies of corals, lichen and mould. I found her use of material very suitable for mimicking the texture and imagery of what bacteria looked like. From far away, it almost seemed as if was real which shocked me even more I really liked how the artist left the material standing up as if creating a furry texture/outcome. I think that this further created the realistic texture of bacteria that we cannot see from 'real bacteria'. I also really like Thomas' choice of colour in her works, she particularly chose natural colours such as black, brown, white and beige. I think that these colours really allow the 'bacteria' to stand out in the petri dishes which made me want to try using yarn and wool to create a similar approach for my bacteria as experimentation.

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Elin Thomas - 'Petri Dishes'




How have you refined your ideas to something workable?

Originally, I decided to use resin as my main medium to create the 'nutrient agar' for my petri dish. However, once I received feedback from my tutor - David; I was told that resin is a very toxic medium to work with. Just because it is transparent and see-through, this doesn't mean it could be the best medium to work with for my project. This made me realise the importance of consideration and decision-making when selecting the type of materials and medium required for a project. Keeping this in mind, David also provided me with other interesting ideas to approach this problem. He explained that the 'bacteria' doesn't actually have to be "real", instead it could be made by a completely different medium. In this case, I decided to work with yarn and wool which was quite a difficult decision - originally, I only had the visual imagery of using the most suitable medium which best resembles the features and appearance of bacteria. Hence, my mind of thought was always directed to the 'transparency' and 'gross' side of bacteria. In fact, I realised that the texture and appearance of yarn could help create the effect of 'mould', this is possible depending on the choice of colours utilised to depict the subject matter. To conclude, I refined my ideas by using a different approach in terms of choice of medium. This not only helped me minimise the amount of time required to complete my final outcome, but also prevented possible risks from using resin as my main resource.


Original photo - Bacteria made from yarn & wool

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'Bacteria' made from yarn & wool - Edited

How could you get more from your time in the studio in future?

I guess I wasn't as prepared for my first project since the materials that was needed for my project wasn't sufficient. There were still other materials that I ordered which haven't been delivered yet - (nutrient agar and petri dishes) Because of this, I was quite disappointed and anxious about the limited amount of time which I was offered compared to other students. Taking inconsideration that the bacteria itself requires approximately 4-6 days to fully growth and develop, it felt as if it was impossible to accomplish anything during my time in the studio. Despite this, I was still able to use my time efficiently to complete other tasks relating to my project. This involved the making of posters (scientific reports), specifically referring to each individual human trait/quality based on the bacteria. Moreover, I was also able to research throughly on the various mental health issues and bacterial diseases which could be helpful for the written text in my scientific reports. The written texts are very important features for my project as they are the fundamental basis of analysing and explaining each human trait as a bacterial disease. There texts involve informative descriptions of the diseases, thus including a sense of humour which contrasts to the 'expectations' of what a normal human being should act like. Hence, the purpose and aim of these reports are to question the existence of Homo Sapiens and how their behaviours has impacted the society in various ways. Reflecting on my achievements throughout this week in the studio, I felt that to get more from my time in the studio is to prepare my materials beforehand after reading the project brief. This will in turn speed up the process of completing each task according to my planning schedule for the project.

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Experimentation - Bacteria Growth (Apparatus/Preparation)

Can you complete the work for Thursday?

Truthfully, I wasn't able to complete the work for Thursday since I still had to wait for my 'final' batch of real bacteria to fully grow and develop in my petri dishes. Thankfully, I did a quick experiment beforehand by creating my own nutrient agar out of beef boullion (beef stock), sugar, water and gelatin. I boiled the substances together and filled them into six similar-sized transparent dishes that I had found. This worked perfectly well and went accordingly to the scheduled that I had planned in mind. The bacteria that I had grew for my experimentation was able to fully develop, which gave me the opportunity to display them along with the 'bacteria' that I had made using yarn and wool. I was inspired by Jo Spence's works on her 'cancer shock' project and the way she displayed her posters onto the wall. I really liked the layout and composition of the posters - not only did it grab the attention of viewers based on it's choice of colour, but also the way a plastic, transparent sheet was used to maintain the positioned of the posters in place. I thought this really helped bring out the health issues that were depicted in the posters. It definitely felt more 'real' and 'scientific' compared to not having the plastic sheet.


Jo Spence - 'Cancer Shock' 

How are you going to manage your time between now and Thursday?

Up until now, I think that my time management throughout the project has been going pretty smoothly; I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do for my project in terms of concept and meaning. I also knew the exact materials which was required for the production/making of the project. Moreover, I knew I had enough time to research and plan the written texts for each scientific report. Hence, in order to keep up this state, I think that the only efficient way to manage my time between now and Thursday is to create a clear schedule for each day of the week - having separate tasks categorised to be completed for each day. This way I would be able to manage my time efficiently, even for future references. Another element which I think is a helpful way to manage my time between now and Thursday was that I made sure to constantly refer to tutors for constructive feedback about my on-going processes and development. I made sure that the direction and approach I was heading for my project was a suitable in relation to the theme of the project.

Are you using appropriate methods for your work? 

Considering the fact that the two elements (subjects) that I am predominantly focusing for my project are 'Biology' and 'Psychological Emotions'; I believe that the materials and methods that I've chosen to use in this project is relatively appropriate for my work. Since the project focuses on the idea of 'being human', I wanted my project to stand out particularly from my previous other works in terms of uniqueness and exploration of subject matters. Hence, I approached this by incorporating elements of real-life situations. For example, I decided to grow my own bacteria instead of using resin as my main medium. One of the most important methods that I have used throughout the development of this project is the use of experimentation. During the beginning of the project, I have prepared the materials that were specifically required for the making of my own nutrient agar. This not only helped me with my time management, but also gave me a larger and much clearer scope of what the final outcome would look like once the whole project is complete.

How has your discussions and or research impacted on your ideas, decision-making and making?

The discussions I've had with my group members has definitely played a huge role in my final decision and theme for this project. Since there were so many different opinions from many different perspectives, this gave me a better understanding of what 'being human' was like. Not only was I able to perceive what being human was like from my own perspective, but I was also able to acknowledge the various concerns that bothered my group members. Some of the ideas that were shared were ones which I myself have never even thought of, it was only until I heard it directly from their mouths which made me realise how true they were. Moreover, the research which I have gathered from different resources have too strongly impacted on my ideas, decision-making and production of my outcome. I have gathered both primary and secondary research for this project; I think that the exhibitions and gallery visits were definitely one of the most important aspects which influenced me to explore the human body as well as bacterial diseases and how the brain functions - dealing with emotions as well as mental health issues.



One of the works I saw in the exhibition was Ellen Gallagher's works. Her works explore the gender and cultural issues that are occurring in today's modern society. The artist merely uses hair accessories such as wigs to represent the differences in gender society and how this has affected the fashion industry. Moreover, the fact that the artist chose to use collaging and layering as her main artistic techniques for her work creates an interesting effect to the whole piece. It further allows the audience to understand what it means by "hiding" the faces of the female models. I think Ellen's works plays with what it means to be 'beautiful', which is an interesting approach to raise awareness of the ideas of capitalism and consumption in society.



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What did you identify as being the most important issue(s) related to being human?

In my opinion, I believe that human characteristics and the biological makeup of our bodies are both important elements related to being human. The characteristics of a human can be defined as 'emotions' which play an important role in how we think and behave. It is also considered as a form of communication tool which allows us to express ourselves and present our identity to others. The emotions we each feel can compel us to take action and influence the decisions we make about our lives. Since human beings are unable to control most of their emotions, it is highly likely that this will cause the eruption of social conflicts, leading to the downfall of our developing world. Hence, stereotyping and gender inequality are examples of conflicts and issues that are likely to be generated due to diverse perspectives and opinions on each side. Furthermore, our emotions will influence our thoughts about a certain issue, thus creating biased and subjective conclusions regarding to concerns in society. Whereas our bodies consist of a number of biological systems that carry out specific functions necessary for everyday living. 

What research did you undertake to explore your idea(s)?

For this project, I did some secondary research using books from the CSM library as well as online internet regarding to the evolution and background history of Homo Sapiens. I was interested in how humans learn and adapt to their surroundings. Moreover, I also researched on the various psychological emotions which relates to the human brain, thus how these emotions influence the brain to make certain decisions, thoughts and actions. Since I studied psychology in my previous studies, I was very interested in the interaction and biological makeup of humans. I believe that without psychology, humans wouldn't be able to learn how to fit themselves in a group and adapt to different environmental settings. In my opinion, I think that 'learning' and 'adapting' is the 'starting point' of being humans. I also read some journals, articles and press releases regarding to the museums that I wanted to visit (Wellcome Collection). In order to support my background research, I also did some experimentation with growing bacteria in my accommodation. I was a little hesitant whether this would actually work; first, I knew that the environment that I am currently living in may not be the most suitable place to grow bacteria. Moreover, I have not tried or approached any kind of activity which involves the form of growing bacteria before, the closest experiments that I've actually tried were only the ones that were carried out in science laboratories with the help and guide of teachers. I was scared what would happen if I didn't seal the petri dishes properly. Despite how anxious and hesitant I was, I believed that by carrying out experiments, this would allow me to observe the change, growth and development of the bacteria.

Do you think that what you produced raised question(s) about your interest?

I think what I have produced for this project has definitely raised questions about my interest in biology and psychology. I was especially interested in how different emotions are created and the interaction between the brain and the emotion that was delivered. I learned that different parts of the brain can be responsible for a particular emotion, hence the stimulation of the parts of the brain triggers us to deliver certain emotions regarding to the situation or event that is occurring. As I have mentioned earlier, the issues of human emotions can also lead to larger conflicts which could possible impact the society based on our assumptions and expectations of people. After this project, I had an deeper understanding of what the term 'interdisciplinary' means. In order to step out of my comfort zone and to explore with other wider areas of knowledge involving both critical and philosophical positions, I decided to investigated the smaller details in relation to our body, thus learning how to break big themes down into workable sub-themes.

How can it be improved if you had more time?

The main change I would do to improve this project is the installation - due to my lack of preparation, I hadn't thought properly with the installation and layout for this piece. Hence, the only option that I had was to put the medical reports into transparent folders/sleeves. This to me didn't seem as scientific as what Jo Spence had did with her series in 'Cancer Shock'.  Although I had done another experimentation with actual nutrient agar that I had ordered from amazon, I didn't like the outcome of the bacteria that grew in those petri dishes... It didn't come out as 'gross'/'disgusting' as I expected. Therefore, I decided not to use them, and leave them as part of my experimentation process. Despite this, I think the feedback that I had received from the class as well as other students from other pathways were overall positive and very helpful. They were all very surprised with my project and also questioned me how I had done this.

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Real Bacteria grown in petri dishes

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Feedback given from students



What kind of data is collected every day, and to what aim?
One of the most common types of data that are collected everyday is through our social media accounts. We use our social media accounts almost every day - from the moment we wake up, to the moment before we go to sleep. Through this period of time, the data can be collected as numbers. Some common social media accounts that collect our data are: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube... Data can also be collected through the internet. Whenever we visit a specific website, this could be recorded into your device as a 'memory' which thereby presents similar websites according to your interests. What surprised me the most was the fact that I've always thought I was the one who 'owned' the information that I posted online in social media or in email. For example, the digital photos in our smartphones that we store in our gallery as well as posted in social media are in fact owned by the server of the particular website. For instance, our texts and emails are also data stored into the server system which thereby allows it to track our identities and what we do. Referring to an article that I've read in The Guardian, I was shocked by the amount of information the internet gathers up about our identity.

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The Guardian - 'Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you' - Dylan Curran

While I was reading the article, I can't help but have mixed feelings about the fact that I knew Google and Facebook knew so much about me as. As mentioned in the article, today data science knows everything we've searched and deleted. It also determines the ads we see online, as well as the books and movies that are recommended to us online. In a way, I thought this felt very creepy, I don't think there is another way of explaining this feeling. It just feels as if I am being watched everyday. It also feels disturbing that I don't know what the servers know about me. The thought of this scares me in so many ways. 

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The Guardian - 'Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you' - Dylan Curran

What are the ethical challenges and legal issues to preserve privacy?

In terms of ethical challenges, today's data science holds certain knowledge about an individual without their consent. This prevents people from making informed decisions. For example, many companies and governments gather a lot of information about our social life and who we contact with. The information that they have recorded is unknown to the victim, which makes it very confusing as the individual does not know exactly how much the companies know about them. Moreover, in some cases, our phone calls may also be recorded or listened to which may also lead to certain troubles regarding to law policies. This does not stop here; oyster cards have the ability to track the individual's destination by using its machines. Hence, when the card is scanned or detected, our locations will be exposed as well as the places we go to. In terms of legal issues, certain private information can be very useful to solve cases. This could take place in crime scenes or stolen credit cards. By keeping this information, the location of your personal belongings may be found easily.

What impact does it have on society/identity?

There is a clear difference between identity and society. Identity refers to the individual, relating to personal matters. Whereas society refers to the response from the public. Referring back to the impact of data, I think that it really depends on whether the individual is willing to share his/her information to others. This is solely depended on the individual’s rights and decision-making. The individual has the option to keep their private information to themselves, by making everything about them personal. But when they decide to expose their information to the public, this means that the information owned and generated by the individual is not private anymore. Thus, everyone else will be able to gain access to this information by just looking at it. This raises the question on whether the individual still owns the data or whether the data can be owned by anyone else since it is already shared to the public.

What images come to mind when you think of data?
The idea of science and technology has come to my mind when I think of data. (Futuristic environments involving large sets of data?) This reminds of why technology, machines and robots are developed. I believe that the reason why these kinds of advanced technology exists in today's worlds is to correct humans ability to make mistakes and have the ability to react quickly without hesitating. In my opinion, humankind at some point has a need to record things that happen in their everyday life. This cannot be done solely by just looking or writing as this is both inconvenient and time consuming. Hence, AI has been created to make things ten times easier for humans. This may seem like humans are useless and lazy. But it is the truth. The image of numbers as well as coding has also come to my mind when I think of data. I think that big data is something very complex and detailed, it incorporates large sets of information that is gathered together and analysed computationally to reveal different patterns, and trends. When I think of coding, it reminds me of how accurate and precise data is, since coding is a very detailed process, it makes sure that the input of information is accurate. Similar to the idea of big data, it gathers up the data which resembles an individual physically and emotionally.

What images can collate this evening so that you can start to explore your ideas and develop them tomorrow?
Big data immediately reminds me of fingerprints and footprints. I was fascinated by how our fingerprints can be scanned using a machine and immediately transferred to a system where the individual can be identified in a matter of seconds. This idea struck me because I was originally more interested in the scientific visual imagery of art since I previously studied biology and psychology.  I think it's an interesting idea to incorporate my prior knowledge from interdisciplinary subjects to create an installation or 'story' made out of human prints. I remember studying about criminology in psychology and how forensics scientists used different 'hints' left behind from a scene to identify mysteries. I find it intriguing how investigators can easily identify an individual by extracting  fingerprints with powder and tape. This also reminded me of a drama I watched called "Partners in Justice". This drama explored how forensic doctors and prosecutors work together in solving cases by performing autopsies and finding hints that were left behind.


Fingerprints Experimentation with red and blue paint

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Forensic Science Online - Fingerprint Identification (

I proceeded this idea by researching further on how fingerprints can be extracted and transferred to a database. While reading the article, I thought of some questions which would help me further develop this idea: "Do we have the right to take someone else' fingerprints?" - "even if it is for investigation purposes?" "By taking other people's finger prints for research, does this mean we are invading their privacy?" I imagined the situation where my fingerprint was taken without my consent and used for research - I think I would feel both confused and anxious as to what the researchers would use the information for. It is inevitable that by obtaining the fingerprint of an individual, the identity can be easily revealed; which could lead to other serious troubles/circumstances such as exposing the individual's personal details or track the individual. This made me realise how advanced today's science and technology has become. However, at the end, I felt that the idea of using fingerprints for this project wouldn't be the best direction for me.

I didn't really like the idea of using fingerprints as I thought the subject matter was too commonly used and heard. Fingerprints are already used all over the world and almost everyone knows what they are, it's purpose of extraction and how they are used to identify an individual's personal details. For me, I just thought it was too 'obvious'. I didn't want to focus on something which is already 'publicly understood'. Instead, I wanted to focus on something in which questions can still be raised in society. This was when I came across 'http cookies'. I realise that not many people actually know what cookies are - surely, everyone knew it existed. But the purpose of it's existence and why or what it is used for is still unknown. Hence, I want to explore further on this subject matter.

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During our discussion in class, we talked a lot about HTTP cookies and 'accepting terms and conditions'. An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data in the form of a file which is installed into your device (e.g computer) which records information about the sites that you have accessed. However, the type of cookie that I predominantly want to focus in is the 'persistent cookie' - which as mentioned above: "allow websites to remember settings like login or account information." The article follows by stating that if a virus window suddenly pops up for no reason while the individual is accessing the website, there is a possibility that a hacker may have hacked into the user's device and installed the 'forged cookie' which allows the hacker to steal the users information and personal details. By depicting this into my work, I want to create something like a game in the form of a video which shows how easily an individual can be tricked by downloading or accessing websites online.

I believe that everyone has encountered a case where they had to make a choice of whether they want to accept the terms and conditions on a website in order to accesses its information. Because of this, I thought it would be a very relatable subject to proceed my research and idea in. I just love the idea behind the 'mysteriousness' of things and why some things can still be unknown to the world. It makes me think about how I can portray this to society, and raise questions to whether these mysterious 'things' generated by data are important and how we as humans should be more aware of them. Doesn't it feel creepy or strange by the fact that the mega corporations/data collectors know everything about us and every single thing that we do? The most scary part is that we have no control with the type of information and data that 'they' are collecting from us, thus, we don't know when, where or how they are going collect our data...




Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to class today due to sick leave. I was a little disappointed that I didn't have the opportunity to be in the studio physically with all the other students to work on our following project. Luckily, I was able to contact one of my classmates and managed to catch up with the work that we were given from today's class. We were given the task to make collages of what we think interests us and inspired us when we think of the word 'big data'. Personally, I like to read newspapers, which seems a little old fashioned, but I like the idea of reading the news and being able to engage with what is happening outside the world. I didn't think I would have any luck in finding any information about data or technology related issues/concerns and how that may have impacted our society. To my surprise, I actually found a lot of information from newspapers in relation to data and technology. One of the news that caught my attention the most out of all the others that I've selected was about the competition of data being stored in big technology companies. The title of the news was "British competition watchdog probes Google's £2 American tech takeover" The news stated that there has been competition between the amount of cloud data being stored - Google is known as one of the biggest cloud data markets, yet they still want to expand their storage which makes me raise questions about how important data and technology is in society. It has come to my realisation that the competition of storing data may lead to dangerous consequences - for example, what if one day there's just too much data and couldn't be stored? What would happen then? It also surprises me how much large companies are willing to sacrifice in order to expand their storage space for data sets. I think this is important and may be questioned further when I visit the data centre.

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Further reading: 'theregister" - explaining how Google's takeover of Looker Data Sciences may bring negativity to markets due to competition

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Further Reading: Cityam

I think working by ourselves isn't really a difficult task to do, it really just depends whether we spend that time wisely. For me, I find it quite calming when working alone. I don't have to rush my work and I can work at my own pace. I find that I work better when I'm alone in a quiet area as this makes me more focused. I usually go to the quiet zone when I'm working in the library; maybe this was a habit that I have developed since coming to London as I have to do everything myself. It makes me become a more independent and mature individual. Therefore, I find working on my own in a quiet place makes me more productive. I think this is a very good way to better understand ourselves and work out which methods of working are best suited for us.



Today we focused on the UCAS application and how to write a personal statement in preparation for applying for our five universities. I am planning to apply for BA Fine Art in CSM, Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), Goldsmiths, and Chelsea. I'm still unsure about my choice for my fifth university choice. But I think if I can spend more time in researching about the courses for different universities, this will further confirm my choices. We were given some notes and worksheets to complete which will in turn help us with our UCAS statements. As I started brainstorming some points for each of the questions, I realised how important it is to show why I am interested in Fine art, and how my practises and the choices I make in my works show my interest in this particular pathway. From today's session, I learnt that the person reading our statement would be looking out for what we have learnt during our foundation year and how we are suitable for the course we are applying for. In order to speed up my UCAS application, I also started creating my UCAS account so that before finishing my statement, I can just quickly upload it into my account and send it away.

UCAS Personal Statement (Notes)

- something that reflects your own portfolio and sketchbooks, integrated with one another - not too personal
- how you evidence that, separating what you think you made from what you have made, evidence your decision making
- evidence your work as it is in progress
- portfolio shouldn’t be lottos final outcomes, see what you are thinking, how you engage with the world sound you, the practises
- explain why you want to study the course you are applying for
- mention experience, skills and interests which are suitable to your course
- reflect on what you are learning on the foundation course, how this helped you make decisions about your future
- things that really excite you, that you are interested in - know your courses, make sure you understand the course that you are applying to - how it operates
- personal statement saying why you want to go on that specific pathway
- (Fine Art All Pathways) - UCAS Information, good layouts, good things you should or should not




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Today, we had a mini group critique along with our tutor. Truthfully, I felt quite embarrassed as I didn't really have much to say or show during the group critique. I was upset with the fact that I had disappointed my tutor since my ideas weren't fully developed and my research wasn't at it's best quality. Compared to others who had lots of research and ideas, I felt that I was lacking in so many areas. I knew there would be a mini critique session, but I just wasn't fully prepared for it... At one point, I admit that it is fully my responsibility to catch up with the work and tasks that I have been given to do, and I do feel very guilty about not being prepared since a week of our project has already passed and I still don't really have any solid ideas!! I just didn't know what to do... But, at the same time there were so many other 'things' that have affected my current state and attitude which stopped me from focusing properly in my work. I've tried reading the project brief multiple times already, but nothing 'interesting' from my perspective still sparks my 'brain' to start "working"... I think the first week of this project just wasn't the best week for me to focus properly. 


Mapping of emotions in human bodies

Anyways, during the critique session, since my research, ideas and interests were still a mess, I changed from one idea to another; which in my opinion is a very bad way of working. I explained to my tutor about how I was interested in our human behaviours and emotions. Writing this now, I had no idea why I would say that, but during that particular moment, I think my mind was just full of different emotions and thoughts and this was the first inspiration/idea that popped in my head which I wanted to share with my tutor. Now, thinking about it, I regret not saying what I really want to discuss about as I wasn't able to fully share my other ideas and interests. Despite this, I still received both positive and constructive feedback from my group members and my tutors. During the critique session, I was interested in learning about the data that was generated from our emotions. I am unsure of how I would obtain the data; fortunately, one of the students in my group had suggested a reference image which I personally found very helpful and interesting. It was an image that depicted how scientists have mapped where people feel emotions in their bodies. This chart was generated by surveying different people from different nationalities and ethnicities. They were all asked the same questions as to where they think a particular emotion is felt. The results turned out to show that even though they were all different people, they had similar thoughts in regards to where they think the particular emotions can be felt in their bodies. I really liked how this chart uses the brightness of the colours red and yellow to portray the strength of emotion that can be felt in different parts of the body. It seems both scientific and realistic at the same time. It surprised me that even thought this was just a 'current' idea that I had thought of during my critique session, I was able to receive such interesting information from my peers which I feel very grateful for. Of course, my tutor also told me that since 'emotions; is very broad, therefore I should pick a particular emotion that I am interested in. I was particularly interested in the emotions of both anger and pain at that time.

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Ed Atkins, "Old Food" (production still), 2017. Image courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau.

I was also introduced to Ed Atkins - since I talked about the emotion of pain, my tutor suggested this artist which worked with artificial intelligence and making people cry. The artist created three-dimensional avatars and made them cry which depicts the ability of humans to empathise. Visually, I thought the avatar was created in a hyper-realistic way, especially the way the face was crying as the tears were rolling down its face, it almost felt surreal and a little creepy by just staring at a big face. At first, I thought it felt a little disgusting since you can literally see the snot that was forming and dripping down the man's face, but this was what makes the avatar look so realistic, almost to the fact that it seemed like an actual being. Even though this doesn't really relate to big data as much, but I thought its quite interesting on how the artist incorporated the idea of emotions and technology into his works.

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The Store X Vinyl Factory - 'Vanishing Point', UVA

My tutor also introduced me to a few artists for references which I also found very interesting. One of the references that I particularly liked was the work that was exhibited in The Store X Vinyl Factory - "Other Spaces". The exhibition involves a multi-sensory exploration of light and sound. It features three large-scale installations by UVA. When I looked at the images of the work, it immediately reminded me of what big data looks like - in my mind, I had thought of very futuristic and technological images likes numbers and wires. This was exactly what I had in my mind. One particular installation that caught my attention was called "Vanishing Point". I really liked the simplicity of the installation and how the light directly shines through space, creating a calm and peaceful mood. It uses an immersive laser installation that uses perspective as a way to reshape and redefine a space. Compared to other installations, this particular one made me feel at ease when looking at it, whereas when I watched other documentaries of the other installations in the exhibition, I felt that those were a bit too noisy for my liking, although I still really liked them.

Overall, I thought that this critique session wasn't as informative and detailed as I wanted it to be, but this was because of my personal issues and that I wasn't fully prepared for it. Therefore, I feel quite disappointed about today's session. Nevertheless, I am happy that I have received such interesting information from my peers.




'Black Mirror' - Nosedive (Netflix Film)

During the weekends, I decided to do some self-directed research to get inspiration from other resources such as films and other time-based video art. I felt relieved that my 'working mode' was finally back to normal which motivated me to spend the whole day at home to develop and finalise my ideas. I gathered up all the notes that I have previously written down, including keywords, brainstorming and questions that I have raised for my self that have yet to be fully answered. I have been thinking - why does the internet ask us for our personal information? For what purpose? This immediately gave me an idea of utilising the idea of 'accepting terms and conditions' thus depicting this in the perspective of a living 'thing'. In other words, I want the 'accept terms and conditions' to become alive, communicating to the user of a device. Following this idea, I thought about how I can use the 'accept term and conditions' to raise questions and concerns to the user - for example, "are you sure you want to accept the terms and conditions', almost as if foreshadowing or hinting that something unpleasant would inevitably happen to the user - without the user knowing of course. From this idea, I knew my direction was not focusing on the actual data science, but rather the social implications of big data and the impacts of technology. I am very interested in working with how humans respond to a certain issue and situation, in this case - I am interested in exploring how humans respond to 'subjects' which are rarely known for its purpose and reason of existence. (People in today's society still accept terms and conditions without know what it really is about, and what the information 'they' collection are actually used for) - The information used to reflect on our interests in websites is merely the "surface" of how the information they collect are being used. There is so much more behind that, I want to show this in my work. I think the reason why there is such an big impact is because people who go into data science/CS don't often think about these matters.

Since I have a clear direction of what I want to focus now, I decided to check out Black Mirror - "an anthology series that revolves around a group of people's personal live and how technology manipulates their behaviour". I first watched 'Nosedive" - an episode in the Black Mirror series which explores how sharing and giving too much power to social media and technology companies in our lives. When I watched this episode, it immediately reminded of a previous project that I did in foundation - "Come here, I want to see you". It reminded me of how much we as humans depended on the number of likes or popularity we deserve. In this episode, the characters specifically depended on the number of stars they were given in order to place their ranking and status in their technology world. I found it quite ironic how everyone in the episode knew each other through technology, it seed very 'fake' and 'artificial' by the fact that the people were able to know everything about a person by just scrolling their phones. I think the writer of this film is trying to show the connection between technology and humans, and how much information can just be shown via our technology devices. I also really liked the idea of how the main character in the episode was able to learn from the impacts of social media and technology, thus being able to break away from the 'technology world' and going back to normal where the number of stars and media was never an issue which represented their lives. After watching this episode, I was immediately immersed by the idea of using the impacts of media as my starting point to develop from. I was in fact very excited to begin and plan out my project outcome.

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'Black Mirror' - Shut Up and Dance (Netflix Film)

Even after being inspired by 'Nosedive', I wanted to watch one more episode from Black Mirror to see if there were any other directions that I could use to approach this project. I came across an episode titled 'Shut Up and Dance'. This episode explores how a virus infects a teens laptop, leading to unwanted threats given from an unknown individual. I was really happy that I came across this episode because this was EXACTLY what was in my mind when I was thinking about http cookies and the impacts of accepting terms and conditions. While watching this episode, I had so many different thoughts which started to piece up together into a puzzle - I looked at the captions and script in 'Shut Up and Dance', there were phrases like: "I joined this website, I was curious. Just wanted to see what was on there". "But not just pictures, chat messages, all the arrangements, where and when - they've got it all". I thought these phrases in the script were very strong by itself which reflected how dangerous the internet can be. It also shows how blind humans are by their desires. The overall summary for this episode simple talks about how humans are blinded by their greed, desires and lusts which in turn leads to unwanted consequences. The writer specifically portrays this using 'data' technology by spreading the individuals personal information and privacy. I thought this was very important as is clearly portrayed the horrifying consequences of technology. After watching this episode, I also felt very frightened and creeped out by what technology and data can do to our lives. The main teenager in this episode was caught by the camera in his laptop device, which therefore allows the 'unknown' to track every single thing that the teenager does. It made me wonder if there could be someone secretly watching me through my camera as well... The thought of this really creeped me out. But that's exactly why I wanted to show this through visual imagery.

In order to further plan out my visual outcome for my project, I decided to look at different types of video art from various artists. I came across Danielle Brathwaite Shirley's works. Danielle is a Black Trans artist who focuses on film and sound; he explores QTIBPOC experience whilst incorporating technology into his outcomes. I think that the artist's works are visually amazing, I really liked his use of composition in his films - everything is digitally created as if another world is created which portrays the world of Black Trans. I also find his use of bright colours fascinating, it really grabs the viewers attention, along with the audio which sounds both overwhelming and fulfilling at the same time. The first time I watched his films, it made me feel very anxious but excited at the same time. I was able to feel the 'community' and bonding that was shown in his works in regards to bring the Black Trans 'family' together. I decided to incorporate elements of his work into my own - focusing predominantly on video-editing techniques, audio tuning as well as making the film look visually appealing and aesthetic, as well as adding an element of horror and anxiety in it.



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Data Center Notes 



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Files selected and saved for 'Datafied' project (Most are made from Illustrator)

After our visit to the data center, I figured that this would now be a great time to start develop and produce my video for this project. I was certain that I wanted to create my own graphics for this particular video due to my inspiration from Danielle Shirley's videos art pieces, however I was worried that I wouldn't be able to create them in a visually aesthetic way due to my lack of editing skills in photoshop or illustrator softwares. I chose to use Illustrator to create my graphics as it can create perfectly smooth lines. The program is also perfect for creating and editing graphics such as logos and other design elements. Since Illustrator allows me to work in vectors, I was also able to scale the images in different sizes as well as keep its clarity and resolution. If I had to be honest, I didn't really touch Photoshop before, and I even lacked the basic skills to create visually aesthetic graphics in this program. This was mainly the reason why I chose to use Illustrator as I thought it would be easier for me to familiarise with the different tools and effects it offers. After being familiarised with these tools, I can then proceed to using Photoshop in my future works. I felt that this would be a good starting point for me to learn how to create graphics and logos which can also be used in my future works. The idea I had in my mind was to create a website using bright colours which both captures the audiences eyes as well as reflect a scientific sense into the video - I had an ongoing theme of science in my works and since my idea involved the subject matter of viruses, I thought it would be suitable to use brighter colours to reflect this. All of these graphics were created by me using the Illustrator software, even though they took quite a long time to make, I had a lot of fun making them because it was my first time making graphics in these programmes. Hence, I felt quite accomplished and proud as I saw the finishing outcomes for each of the graphics. What I liked most about the graphics was how consistent and scientific they look while contrasting the black themed background that I had as my website colour. The colour black connotes mystery and danger which in my intention all along for this whole video. As I made the graphics, I kept referring to my research images as well as error signs that pop up on our desktops so that I can clearly connote my message to the audience. Throughout the process of making my video, I kept experimenting with many different fonts in order to pick the best and most suitable typography for my video. (This will be further explained in next section)

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Experimental Editing on Premier Pro


Today we had a discussion about chapter one of the book '24/7' by Jonathan Crary. It was interesting to learn about the relationship between sleep and capitalism. It specially focuses on lived time, relevant in subjects relating to humanities and social sciences. To sum up the first chapter of the book, it states that sleeping time is non-productive time, which meant giving our brains time to rest. Metaphorically, this can be represented as a time where the brain processes it's data to prepare for the next day. Without sleep, this would disturb/mess up the sleeping patterns and REM cycle. (occurs at intervals during the night) Contrasting to the idea of 'capitalism' where the world is considered as a "factory" with people working constantly every day. This makes sleep the sworn enemy of capitalism. Crary further argues that sleep is an irreducible aspect of human existence that resists the demands of a 24/7 capitalism that requires us to be always ‘on’, available for the demands of the employer and the market. Hence it is inevitable that the thought of 'removing' sleep from humans lives is impossible and can be considered as a type of torture. 

During our discussion, the mention of technology, especially phones are constantly referred to remind us how much we use them on our daily lives. As such, we have an obsession/habit of checking our phones before we go to sleep. On the one hand, our habits of checking our phones meant that we are constantly generating data every day. On the other hand, this reduces the amount of time we are given to sleep and rest. It is ironic that humans know how important sleep is to their health, yet this seems to be ignored very easily. The thought of "removing sleep" from our lives is so surreal. However it also feels like we as humans are forcing ourselves to stay awake for the sake of generating more data. The mention of industrial revolution in relation to our sleeping patterns also intrigues me, knowing that the amount of hours people need to sleep depends solely on light. Due to the invention of technology (cell phones), this causes humans to evolve with the development of technology. The longer we keep our phones in our hands, the less sleep we get - which therefore affects our sleeping patterns. This links to the idea of robots since the idea of not sleeping 24/7 basically means humans have "evolved" to the fact that they have the ability to function like robots. To this day, I don't think removing sleep from humans lives is clearly possible.

"Sleep is an uncompromising interruption of the theft of time from us by capitalism"
As I have mentioned earlier, capitalism can be considered as a world where people constantly work day and night without rest. I strongly agree to the statement above. I believe that 'sleep' itself plays an important role in good health and well-being through our lives. Moreover, getting enough quality of sleep can help protect mental health, physical health as well as quality of life. It is understandable that sleep can be considered as a 'waste of time' since it prevents us from working at a constant rate, causing us to do less work than we expect. However, I still believe that without sleep, this would still affect our performance during work as well as the quality of it. I guess it can be affected both ways in terms of having enough sleep - better quality work, and lacking sleep - poor quality work.




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Finalised version - Online website

Since this is my first time creating a video which is only graphics based, I felt really excited just by the thought of learning how to use Illustrator and having the opportunity to be familiarised with the tools. As I've mentioned earlier, I first made a website page using simple shapes such as squares, circles and rectangles. I did this to keep the video simple and straightforward. My intention is to make it clear to the audience that the screen monitor shows an online website. Since the website itself isn't the main focus throughout the video, I figured that by using simple regular shapes would best portray the idea of the internet. The composition of the website was quite difficult to make, thus I had to change it serval times before the finalised version. First, I worked on the header/tabs of the website (top), I did this by following a similar composition shown from my MacBook Pro. As referenced to my laptop, there are three circle buttons on the top left corner which indicates whether the user wants to cross, minus or enter its page into full screen. Instead of using colours in the order of red, yellow and green, I decided to use primary colours (red, yellow and blue). I thought this would not only allow the buttons to stand out, but also show a clear difference between it's purpose and functions. I liked its contrast with the background colour of the header which I've chose to put bright green. When I think of 'viruses', the first colour that came to my mind was green. I also thought that bright green is a very hypnotic colour which allows the viewers to be immersed in the visual aesthetics. I followed by choosing darker shades of red and pink as colours for the individual tabs. This not only creates contrasts with the bright green colour, but also adds visual aesthetic to the whole composition. Originally, I didn't have the intention of adding small black squares at the end of the header, but seeing that if I filled the whole header with pink/red shades of colours to represent the tabs, I don't think this would stand out as much. Instead, if I added the squares, I think this would help bring out the colours of the header. 

Next, I thought about what the name of the website should be. This took a while since I wanted to create a name which sounds mysterious and strange in a way, but also adds a twist and surprise to it as well. While thinking of a name for the website, I searched up some videos that involve themes of science-fiction and technology. The purpose of this was to find the most suitable font and voice audios for my video. Given that my intention was to incorporate science-fiction and danger as the two main themes in my video, I thought that the colour brick red would create a nice contrast above the black background. I chose brick-red since it represents danger, but also not in an obvious way. I felt that there is still a slight mysteriousness behind it which encourages the user to click on it. I didn't choose a bright red colour since this would clash with the bright green header, hence cause a blurry vision. I think the brick-red contrasts really well with the header. It seems as if it has faded in with the black background, as if hiding something from the user. I came up with the name 'DekcarTru', which in reverse can be read as "urTracked". As mentioned before, I think this is interesting since the viewers wouldn't be able to notice it at first glance until they watch till the end of the video when it's revealed. This further adds tension and suspense to the video. The following "C0_NST36 Organisation" was created to give a sense of scientific effect. It further adds a bit of professionalism in order to 'reassure' the viewer/users that the website is "safe" and "secured".

The part where I enjoyed making the most were the pop up signs where it reads "Downloading please wait", as well as the "Virus Detected" signs. I intensionally made them slightly lighter colour in order to maintain a rusty, old style - in a sense like it came out from a game. I've purposely made the font styles and graphics very pixelated to create this 'game' effect which I really liked. Although it took quite a while to make these as well as transferring them into Premiere Pro while editing. I still felt very happy after I've finished them. Another part from the video that I also found really interesting was the way I designed and composed the red pop up text as they flashed continuously. In order to make them look more scientific and internet like, I did some more research and learned about leet language. Leet speak is known as a system of modified spellings incorporating both letters and numbers, used primarily on the Internet. I found this very interesting, so I decided to incorporate this into my video. In addition with the bright red and flashing effect, I aim to convey the user being threatened by the tracker. After I finished editing the video, I had an idea of how I would like my installation to look like. In general, I want to project a moving glitched background on the wall, and put the emac in front of it as it plays my video. I think this installation would feel very striking to the audience.

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 12.31.43 PM.pngInstallation Composition - Experimentation Edit in Photoshop


Download editing process videos.mp4 [2.42MB]


Download screen recording DATAFIED.mp4 [17.79MB]


For today's contextual practise, we visited Mark Leckey's exhibition - O' Magic Power of Bleakness'. I was especially drawn to his works due to his use of space in the gallery areas. The artist utilised found footages which explored themes of cultural influence as well connoted personal experiences. One of his works that caught my attention was "Dream English Kid" which depicted the artist's childhood memories. I like his works because it portrays how humans have the ability to store memory of an event which happened long ago. The idea of 'forgetting' and 'remembering' was heavily suggested in his works which made me so intrigued by all his other works. The installation of Leck's video works were also very impressive, not only were they presented through a screen, but also physical objects were placed all around the gallery space to reinforce the artist's childhood memories. I thought this was very powerful in his works.



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Final Outcome after Photoshop Workshop (Left) Editing Process on Photoshop (Right)

Today we had an workshop which focuses on how to use Photoshop. I found this very helpful - since I had longed to learn how to use the different tools for my own datafied video too. I was happy that the workshop was offered to us so we can become more familiar and confident as to the functions and purposes of the tools in Photoshop, as well as have a greater understanding of its potential. Although the purpose of this workshop was more of teaching us how to resize and scale images in preparation for our digital portfolio, however, I still found it very useful and I'm glad that I was able to be a part of it. During the workshop, I've learnt  and understood the different types of file including: (psd, jpg, png...) These images can come in different file sizes including image size and canvas size. I also learnt how to adjust the resolution according to the number of pixels, mm etc. What I found most interesting was the fact that there are two different options which allows better quality when printing. Since I wasn't very familiar with all these terms in the start, I had some difficulty following up the instructions that James was giving in the beginning, however as I wrote them onto my notebook, I had a better and clearer understanding of how to use the different tools. From my understanding, resolution refers to the number of pixels or inches that are contained within an image. The images below are the notes I have taken during the photoshop workshop so I could refer to them again for future uses.

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Notes taken during Photoshop Workshop

How did the use of the De Bono hats theory make you feel about your critique thinking process and how did this affect your own ideas and your critique of others?

Other than the workshop, we also had an interim crit of our projects to look at our ongoing processes and developments as well as receive feedback for further improvement. In this particular interim crit, instead of just watching the videos and giving feedback whenever we wanted to, we used the six thinking hats method developed by Edward De Bono. This method was designed referring to designated emotions which initiates action to help us think differently when we critique the work of others. I found this method quite interesting, considering the fact that I sometimes keep my thoughts and opinions to myself to prevent others from feeling offended or affect their perspective about their own work. However, I found that by shutting myself and my opinions from others, I wouldn't be able to clearly share what I think about their work, which means they also wouldn't be able to receive constructive feedback or advice in order to improve their work. Overall, I thought this method would be very helpful for initiating communication between peers. The colours and emotions were slightly changed from the original version to fit in with the purpose of this crit. As such, the black hat represents negative responses towards a video/creative piece, the red hat represents first thoughts/impressions to how the video makes them feel. The colour yellow represents positive responses towards the video piece. The blue hat represents next steps - how to take the concept forward throughout the project. And lastly, the grey hat refers to references and artists that can be recommend as research. Personally, I really liked the blue and grey hat since they were really useful to my upcoming processes, thus, it provides interesting research which allows me to further develop my piece. It feels quite sudden every time a hat lies on my hands, as it feels like everyone is watch me and that my comments would depend whether the others would agree or disagree to it. Because of this, I did feel quite pressurised but the environment as well as the awkward silences between the periods when the hats were being delivered from one student to another. Although this affected how I felt when giving out opinions, I felt relived after finishing, knowing that the person receiving feedback would be simply accept it. I found the way of categorising critics very interesting, this not only allows one to fully express their opinions to others as well as boost their own confidence in communication skills.

In what ways has the peer critique enhanced or denied how you see the development of your outcomes, concept and project brief?

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Notes Taken During Crit (Left)  'Datafied' - Summary Notes (Right)

Overall, I was very satisfied with the comments and feedback I have received. As mentioned above, the first thought/impression that was given from the audience/viewers we as that they felt very stressed - as if they were immersed in a chaotic visual experience  and audio. I was very happy with this comment since this was the intention I was going for. I wanted to create a chaotic environment for the audience to feel the danger and tension building up. Of course, since the video hasn't been finished yet, I was disappointed that I couldn't show the whole video with my main focus. Because of this a negative response that I had received was that they have not fully understood the concept behind the video. Which, I agree, since the video is incomplete, I completely understand why the viewers would be a little confused while watching the video. Another interesting point that I found very helpful in developing my video was the audio. One of the students commented that the audio itself feels very lost - which made the viewer feel worried and anxious. In general, lots of emotions were building up as they were watching the video. This made me happy because I had spent a long time carefully selecting the audio and voice overs that I wanted to be in my video to create tension and suspense, as well as creating an overwhelming atmosphere.

Consider the install of your work for the peer crit. Was this well received? What would you have done differently?

An interesting point I got from another student was about the installation of my video. Since I haven't finished my video, I didn't have time to think about how I want my video to be installed. Instead, I was recommended that the video should be projected onto a very large wall as well as making the audio as loud as possible. This way it would not only create an overwhelming sense when the audience watch it, but also feel as if they themselves are in danger. I was quite surprised when the student also said I should project the video on a large building if I even had the opportunity to do that. I really liked this idea, but I figured it would be impossible at this stage since the projectors may not be as professional enough for the video to be projected onto a large building. Overall, I felt that this crit session has definitely enhanced how I see the development of my outcomes, especially the part where I was recommended to install my video onto a large building. This not only boosted my confidence, but also reassured myself that my work has potential to be developed further. 

How has the peer crit challenged the ways in which you think about big data and the dissemination of it over mediated devices? 

Being exposed to all kinds of technology and devices have changed my thoughts about whether they are actually used properly for their own purpose and functions. To make this statement more clear, I feel that humans are not using their technological devices properly for its given purpose. As such, cell phones and the internet are invented with the purpose of entertaining users as well as for emergency matters. It never occurs to me that these devices are generating data itself every day depending on the website pages and social media we visit online. Keeping this in mind, humans have evolved from just using their phones to entertain themselves, to hacking and tracking other users to gain more data as well as private information. I think this is a huge problem in terms of invading the users privacy by taking advantage of its new technology. Relating to my own video, I aim to show how humans have learned to track a users as well as insert forged cookies to obtain private information, thereby using this as an as threatening material. This is a matter of life and death. If humans continue to use big data as an advantage for obtaining a users private information, this would not benefit the development of society in any way.



I knew that our UCAS personal statements and interviewers were all comping up very soon, therefore I spoke to one of the students in the HK society who is studying their 2nd year in Central Saint Martins to host a special talk for foundation freshers about different BA courses, portfolio as well as for the interview. I was very grateful that I was able to attend to the talk as I was able to gain a lot more useful information about the 4D pathway in CSM. I also received a lot of experiences from other students who have once done the interviewers and portfolios themselves. They were all very friendly and welcoming, plus they shared all their experiences with us which was very helpful. Although at one point I did get a lot more anxious after hearing what one of the students said about the interviews, especially in the 4D pathway, however they told me to not worry too much about it and to try my best with all the projects I have now. 


29/11/2019, Friday - BA FINE ART - CSM OPEN DAY

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4D pathway studios in Central Saint Martins

Today was the CSM open day for BA Fine Art. Overall, I thought it was very useful, but the speech that was given to the students was a little intimating and overwhelming for all of us. We were first introduced to the system about how students will be considered an offer in the university. We will either be considered an offer through an 1-1 interview, selection activity, or on the basis of our application without an interview. All the interviews and selection activities will be processed between 4th and 14th February. If we are not successful in getting an offer from any of our choices, an alternative offer will be arranged. The thought of having an alternative offer was one point relieving, but also very overwhelming since there would be a chance that we won't get the offer that we've expected. During the presentation and speech, the tutors also told us that they are interested in students "who are prepared to question and to take a critical perspective, as well as show potential to develop as innovative artists." I think this phrase is very important as it really defines what Central Saint Martins want as a whole. We were further introduced to the Fine Art course as well as different diplomas in professional studies. I thought this was very interesting as it gives an insight into what the university offers as well as how much potential the students have as artists that are studying in the university. I think these open days are very important for students to not only know more about the university and the course, but also allow comparison with other universities with the same courses. This way we can distinguish which university is the most suitable for us to study in. I decided to put CSM as my first choice within all my UCAS choices.



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Comparison between two technological devices for installation layout

How has your work developed today? Any artist references that have inspired your work?

After the first crit, I quickly finished the second part of my video piece which was mostly the typography. As I have mentioned briefly about Danielle Shirley's video art earlier, I had a further look at the artist's works and was really amazed by the moving graphics and typography that was carefully selected. Followed by my research through YouTube videos, I came across an advertisement that displayed a website titled 'FAITH'. I decided to check out the website myself since I was really attracted to the use of black, red and white colours. It resembled the idea of a pixel horror game which reminded me of post-internet art. Being introduced to post-internet art gave me a better understanding of its purpose. This type of art aims to create interaction with the following widespread adoption of the internet. All this time, I had the idea of creating my video piece with the purpose of making it look like a website which involves 'gaming' features - for example the mouse clicking features and the flashing tabs.... I didn't realise that this was connected to post-internet art until now! Nevertheless, this was immensely helpful as part of my inspiration since I was able to refer to the website in order to make changes to my own. I also took inspiration from the typography which was used from the website to create both a 'welcoming' and horror themed website at the same time.

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FAITH - Edition Website (Inspiration)

What problems have you encountered? Are there any potential solutions? 

Today I wanted to focus more on the installation for the datafied project. As mentioned earlier, I already had a vision of my installation composition in which my video piece would be presented in one of the television/computers from the studio. (Either the Emac or the Samsung television) I was told that a mouse and a keyboard would be required in order for the Emac to work, therefore I borrowed them from the technician and started installing right away. I started with the Emac, which was pretty straightforward - all I needed was an USB. My initial thought was to use the Emac since it looked a lot like a computer, in fact it looked like an old-fashioned computer which is perfect for users to play online games with. Since my video looked like a gaming piece, I thought it would be the most suitable technological device to present my video piece with. However, a problem was encountered when the video pops up onto the Emac screen, due to the difference in the shape of my video in comparison with the computer screen, it seems that the video file was too small. The corners of the video did not match with the corners of the screen, no matter how I tried to fit the video to full screen, it either just cuts the video or does not show in high definition. Hence I had to switch to the Samsung television. This time, my video fit perfectly with the television screen, it also looked really appealing to the audience. The other students watched in awe when my video played through the television. There weren't any major difficulties once I knew how to transfer my video to the device. I figured that the other part of my installation (projecting a moving image behind the device as a background) would be simple. Hence I only recorded images of how the installation looked like when the video was being played on the screen.



Since I've already finished my whole video piece, I thought I would focus more on preparation for the portfolio and interview. We were introduced to how an interview was structured as well as some of the possible questions that may come up from an interview. As shown below, I have taken some notes referring to what our tutor has mentioned during class.

Portfolio Making + Preparation (Interview Preparation) - Notes

- Select one piece of work that you feel that is the most important piece for you. A breakthrough (could be anything)
- Why have you sleepy this piece? What is it important?
- May look at how they fit with the rest of the video. Changing work, working on various projects show work in progress how work has developed
- How you might see it develop in the future, communicate your passion
- Pathway u think that might be best for your work
- Why are you applying to CSM BA fine Art, structures pathways, potential, environment - why do you want to come here
- How can we develop your practise - what the offer in CSM that is going to help us in our practise
- Do you have any questions to ask us (must ask) - opportunity to tell more. Expecting to interrogate then in some way
- How is tour work going beyond your project briefs? That is yours?
- Don’t put things that look like something you can’t develop
- Put something that has potential
- Can you say something about he cultural concerns - artists you are looking at, inspirations, London based? (Galleries?) Music videos

Short Introduction on LUX (GREEN SPACES) project:

To view reflections for project 4 -'GREEN SPACES (LUX)' (Please refer to right column)





Since the internal deadline for our UCAS personal statements are coming very soon, I decided that it would be a good idea to go to the study support to ask for some advice for my personal statement. The feedback that I had received was mostly positive - I was told that the personal response that I had given was very important since it allows the tutors to know more about why I think art is important to me. I also talked about my experiences during the foundation course which gave the tutors an insight of what I am capable of as an artists and how this can affect their university. However, what I lacked was the artist references that had inspired me and my artwork. This is important as it tells the tutors what I am interested in and how I am capable of developing my ideas further through research and reflection.


07/12/2019, Saturday - 4D FAD OPEN DAY - Experimental Workshop

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Experimental Workshop - Phones taped on bodies

An open day is is held today in Archway. One of the workshops was specifically made for 4D students to explore various ways in which smartphones can be used to adorn the body. I felt that this would be a good opportunity for me to understand the relationship between the body and cellphone devices. It would also be interesting to see what happens when our bodies initiate contact with our phones. This reminds me of our daily life habits which involves holding phones in our hands - "Why do we like holding phones in our hands?" "Is it because of the the placement and touch of the device with the surface of our skin?","Or does the action of holding our phones keep us safer?" "Can we live without our phones being placed near us? (e.g in our pockets)". Different questions are raised when I think about the idea of keeping smartphones near the surface of our skins. The aim of this workshop was an attempt to see if a single body can be covered in devices and what the resulting footage and documentation says about our reliance on these devices. A theory popped in my mind about the amount of time we spend on our phones - the nearer our smartphones are placed near our bodies, the more we are encouraged to spend time on them. I believe this statement is correct since humans cannot help themselves, knowing that smartphones have basically become part of their lives. In general, humans cannot be separated from their phones.

This workshop was inspired by Nam Jun Paik's piece which surrounds the theme of technology as a threat. His work explains how mediated imagery can be used to shape our desires and political thoughts. The artist made a whole family of robots as a performance by attaching technological device onto an individual's body. Before we start taping our smartphones onto our bodies, we looked at some research references where other people have also done a similar method of attaching cameras or cellphones onto their bodies. I found the 'life-logging apparatus' very interesting - it refers to a wearable computer or camera with wireless internet connection. I really liked the idea of recording each and every event in their daily lives in the small cameras, some devices aren't even easily noticeable. Because of this, a few questions were raised regarding to the position of where devices are placed we well as whether this is considered as an illegal action. Since the individuals are placing cameras/technological devices on their bodies and recording 24/7 of what is happening around them, this could be seen as invading someone's privacy. "Is there a right to invade someone's privacy?" We discussed as a group whether this is considered as an illegal action, but it has been confirmed that recording on the streets isn't illegal if a contract/module release is signed.


Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos - "The _ _ _ _ _ is absent"

From the research that was shown from the presentation, I was especially interested in Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos's work - "The _ _ _ _ _ is absent". This piece explores the concepts of presence and absence of smartphones in humans lives. It allows viewers to investigate the 'semi-presence' that we find ourselves in as well as distinguish the difference between analogue and digital self. The gif below mimics a digital hand holding a 'phone' while scrolling up and down. In here, the artist clearly shows the absence of the smartphone and how reveals our habits of scrolling through social media platforms as well as texts. The more I watched the gif, the more I found myself getting stressed, waiting for the hand motion to stop at some point. Clearly the artist here wants to show our obsession with scrolling through the text messages/social media which therefore keeps people awake at all times.

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Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos - '15 pairs of mouths'

The image above shows another work from Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, installed in an exhibition room. The exhibition includes nine sculptures from the growing bodies of works '15 pairs of mouths'. The artist invites people to cast their hands, mimicking the actions of humans when they are texting. This relates to the workshop since it questions the relationship between the human body and technological devices, exploring the new role of the hand as a 'machine' for communication in post-internet age. Other artists that we looked at were: Cindy Sherman, Edward Hopper, and Philip Lorca - "Heads".

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Introductory video footages taken on camera - Selfie Mode (Screenshot)

We first created an introductory video of ourselves using our smartphones. The purpose of this activity is to know more about ourselves as well as other peers. At first, I felt quite awkward and reluctant to share my video since our faces were right in front of the camera. I wasn't very used to the idea of taking videos of myself speaking, nor have I tried taking videos of myself giving an introduction of who I am. However, when I placed the two videos together, I found it was surprisingly interesting. In fact, it was quite funny as well. There were some parts in the video where we coincidently spoke the same phrases/had the same subject matters even though the individual videos were taken from two different places. I think this relates to the idea of our brains recognising the word 'introduction', which caused us to talk about the most common/important points when introducing ourselves. We talked about the hobbies that we liked as well as our overall personality in our introductory videos.

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Experimental Shots - Moving in different spaces

We first began by taping one single smartphone onto our bodies. We chose to tape them onto the stomach area and recorded the footage using  the camera. The activity was very fun, as we progressed further, we recorded video footages where we started running around in the rooms. This made me think about the idea of security and safety when we had our phones near us. Since we only have two pairs of eyes on our faces, wouldn't it be interesting to know what happens behind our backs? If we had another set of eyes or 'lens', would this increase the possibility of prevent threat and danger? In my opinion, I think the idea of taping smartphones on the back of our bodies is to help add visual from another perspective. As such, we also taped our smartphones onto other areas of our bodies. e.g arms, hands, legs... I noticed that in every video footage that was taken, the video had a completely different perspective of what is happening, this made be affected due to the amount of movement that was given on the specific area of the body. But it gave an interesting vision of what it would look like if their were other sets of eyes on other areas of our bodies. In order to further develop this, we decided to record the video footage by posting it on Instagram story (social media) and putting it on live. I did not expect other viewers to water the footage live, or even comment on it, but to my surprise, there were actually a few people who watched through the whole video footages. This is interesting as it allowed us to interact with other through technological devices, knowing that the viewers are on the other side of the screen, but our phones are place right on the surface of our bodies. I also found it interesting how my friend made sniffing noises near the camera. It sounded very much like animal noises, more specifically from a dog. This raised the questions about how humans can be treated as animals as well as the idea of dehumanisation. Some viewers in the room also engaged in the video footage by commenting on the position of the individual with phones taped on her face and arms, questioning it purpose of performing these actions.



Today was my progress tutorial, I had a very helpful conversation with Annelore on my progress and development throughout part two of this foundation course. I had received both positive and negative feedback which I am looking forward to improve on. I was told that my sketchbook had great documentation and well work development. I think this was successful because I had kept in mind that our sketchbooks are also a method of keeping up with our progress and planning. It is important to show our work and planning through Workflow, but also in sketchbooks. I was also told that there is a lot of enthusiasm and energy in my work which I am very grateful for. Since I had done a lot of experimenting, as well as pushing myself further to test alternative methods, materials as well as ways of exhibiting/installing my work. Hence, the development of my work is going in an interesting direction. Some improvements that I can make are to include all the various installation shots that I've done for my datafied project as well as identifying my recurrent theme. This way, it will help me with contextualising my works. I will also have to include more exciting research that includes various texts and exhibitions. My research should help me with understanding the context surrounding your work.



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UCL Slade School of Art- Studio Spaces

Today I visited Slade School of Art in UCL for an open day that they had held for students. Similar to the open day for CSM, UCL had introduced us to the Fine Art course and distinguished the differences between the BA and the BFA course. The BA course is made up of four years including additional areas of knowledge. Whereas the BFA course only consists of three years, and this is solely based on Fine Art. I was very impressed by the works that were created in the studios, they were so abstract and massive. It was almost too overwhelming for me. However, I noticed a big difference between the environment and atmosphere from UCL compared with CSM. In my opinion, I think the architecture in Slade is more traditional, compared with CSM where everything is more modernised. Because of this, I felt like I preferred more of the CSM environment since it seems more open and welcomed. Moreover, there were a lot more people in CSM that made me feel more comfortable. I also thought that the studios in UCL were a little small and narrow. Although I do like working alone in small spaces, I felt that the space was too small for me to work with. However, as I visited the rooms which were for higher levels of study, they were a lot bigger and spacious. Hence, this made me more relieved. The students studying in Slade were also very friendly and welcoming, therefore I felt very comfortable when observing the surroundings as well as when other students were working.



Collage Experimentation - exploration with black & white film + theme of escape/running away


What do you think constitutes a found footage artwork?

I think found-footage refers to videos and scenes that have already been made and shared to public. It is considered as a film in which all or substantial parts of the work are presented as if it were 'discovered film' or 'video recordings'. This idea of 'found footage' refers to the rendering of a 'pre-existing' work and turning it into a new outcome/art piece. It is known that artists have the ability to create new meanings and realities as well as reflect certain issues derived from society. Hence, I think that it is perfectly normal to take something that already exists, and incorporating them in their own works to create a whole new narrative. To expand further on the point about issues reflecting society, I think this applies to most, even all artists as they must be inspired by a certain theme/issue or topic in order to develop their own work. Hence, it is inevitable that an artists work would involve something that already exists. Thus, this allows artists to reveal something 'new' from the original work/theme. As mentioned in the reading (The Editor - Stefano Basilico), it states that the editor's impulse to create something from what already exists..... must also be recognised as a form of political art" "For unlike video work that aims to seduce and entertain viewers.... these works require active engagement, which hopefully will lead to critical thinking". 

How can you subvert or extend the original meaning of the found footage?

In the reading provided from the brief - (Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor), it stated that film and moving image is appealing to the public and economic viability. Hence, it is known as the most 'persuasive and influential medium of out time.' It is a form of communication where stories, recorded disasters (both natural and man-made), inspired political movements can be shared which can be used for education and entertainment processes. There are many ways in which we can subvert or extend the original meaning of the found footage. This can be explained in separate categories - in terms of changing the physical footage and outcome of the original video, various editing gestures can be utilised to alter the original meaning of the video. Examples of gestures are: looping, stretching, repetition, erasure, or compression. These gestures actively manipulate their medium in a way in which the "editing and shaping of what may already exist in the world is a more powerful and revealing act". The purpose of using these difference gestures is to tell a story convincingly through film. For example, the gesture of continuity editing "makes different scenes come together smoothly which makes the transition look normal, even expected, and thereby propel the story along without causing the viewer to wonder what the original video was altered this way". Another example of altering an original video is by fooling the viewers through the editing process, this helps direct the viewer to accept certain conclusions without considering others. Another way of altering or extending the original meaning of the found footage is by changing the main theme/topic of the original video. This can be done by actively extracting certain scenes from the original video which interests the editor, and combine them into other similar scenes from different films. This way, the original meaning of one film can be altered into a completely different theme using similar/related video scenes from different films.

How have you altered your previous idea of what could be Art?

Previously, I thought of Art as something that can only be expressed through two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. It never came across my mind that moving image and filming itself can be considered as a form of Art. Surely, it can be used to tell a story convincingly to an audience. However, I always thought they were only created for education and entertainment purposes. I still consider them as art, but I am still a little unsure of how to distinguish the main themes and stories that were presented in the videos. Another concern that made me hesitant about considering whether something can be seen as art is the fact that internet enables artists to share their work on the virtual network. This makes me think whether this action would rather reduce the artwork's actual meaning and power, instead of depicting the artwork's beauty. 

Nevertheless, the fact that I was able to learn how to work with Premiere Pro widened my perspective and allowed me to see different effects and outcomes I can make through 4D art. I also really liked the idea of using existing artworks and altering its shape, form or outcome to turn it into a completely different piece of work which suits the artist themselves. This reminded me of the artists that I was introduced to during the Fine Art Painting pathway in my part 1 of my foundation course. The artists used a similar technique - 'erasure' to remove parts of an existing painting and created a completely different effect which became an artwork of their own. 

How did the artist's work inform your understanding of ownership?

There are definitely ownership and copyright issues regarding to the works of artists who have used pre-existing video clips and found footages. However, I think that the act of altering the meaning and outcome of the found footages has already allowed the editor to fully obtain originality of the work, taken from previous artists. In simpler words, I belive that once the found footage have been altered and selectively edited towards the editor's liking, then this means that the editor has the ability to take full ownership of the new video. Since the outcome is solely produced based on the editor's standards and expectations. When the found footage has been deconstructed and edited in the artwork, it becomes a part of the piece, under the ownership of the artist. It further helps reveal something about either the original work or the medium itself. Therefore, I don't think that by taking someone else's works and altering from it, this would be seen as a huge form of copy right. 


Storyboard Planning for 'Re-Edit'

What are you going to do for tomorrow?

Our tutors introduced us to 'Prelinger Archives', a collection of films which can be used for re-editing purposes. On the first day of the project, I carefully selected a few video clips on Prelinger Archives to edit and experiment with. We also experimented with different functions on Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The main purpose of using found footage is to allow us to be familiar with using the video-editing software, as well as understand how original footages can be altered differently to deliver a new narrative or meaning to an audience. I was completely new to Premiere, and had little experiences with editing videos and clips. However, once I started using the software, I found it fairly straightforward and quickly understood most of its important functions.

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Screenshot of Prelinger Archives - Diverse selections of found footages and videos/films

As I was experimenting with the different functions in Premiere Pro, I realised that just by speeding up the audio/soundtrack from an original video can completely change the mood and atmosphere of the video. A huge difference can be made and seen from this gesture which inspired me to focus predominantly on the audio in order to capture the viewer's attention, thus making them feel uncomfortable while watching the video/film. Hence, I decided to make a video which mainly focuses on the building up of tension and suspense. Before the project was even introduced/started, I already had the thought of making a video which relates to the theme of 'escape'. Therefore, I might find extra videos from other resources such as YouTube to enhance my inspiration. I am eager to create new realities and meanings through my final project outcomes, thus create a whole new context on existing footage that I've found elsewhere.





Mind-map exploring the theme of 'Escape'

In what ways has the editing process informed your decisions?

I was interested in exploring the theme of 'escape' to demonstrate how unhappiness and fear within people make them perform actions such as running away or fleeing from the current situation. This could be seen as 'moving on to something better',  but it also mean 'running away from their problems'. Hence, this generates larger problems as time passes. Because of this, I decided that it would be interesting to explore the consequences about not being able to escape from the problems and issues of an individual. As well as exploring the concept of escape, I also wanted to make something more personal, something that would relate to me deeply and would reflect as a person. Although I did think of creating a script for my video, I felt that if I focused on two things at the same time (script/captions & audio soundtracks), this would be too overwhelming for the viewers, hence leading to confusion and making the audience feel even more uncomfortable than they should be.

We spent most of our time in the computer room today to explore different functions on Premiere Pro. I came up with different ideas for my video and one of the main aspects that I want to include in my video is a black and white theme, which will be set for the whole video. I felt that this not only enhances tension and builds up the mood and atmosphere, it also has an 'old', 'vintage' effect which was something I wanted to go for in my video. I also want to include both individual running/escaping in solitude as well as crowds/mass numbers of people running together. I think this not only sparks attention to viewers, it also creates a sense of confusion - allowing audiences to think about what is going to happen. I wanted the viewers to fell like they 'knew;' what was going to happen, but then having a second thought from just looking at the video clips, thus creating doubts of what they actually know from the video. The most important element that I want to include in my video is the audio of the video. My aim is to ensure that viewers would feel uncomfortable while watching the video, as well as making sure that the audio is uncomfortable in the viewer's ears.

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Screenshots of editing in Premiere Pro software (Progress & Development)

As shown in the screenshots above, I experimented with different functions in Premiere Pro. I learnt how to cut videos and split frames from original found footages. While editing the video clips, I learnt a special editing technique called 'continuity editing' which refers to combining different scenes together to create a smooth transition.. While making the cuts seem natural and convincing, I also wanted to explore the idea of speeding up the duration of the videos to enhance the build up of tension and suspense. I altered the speed of the found footages and this resulted a distortion of time, thereby extending the playing time. I really liked the effect of stretching the videos as well as slowing down the pace of the footages as this not only  builds up tension but also raises questions to the viewers as to thinking what is going to happen next as they continue watching the video.

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Screenshots of editing in Premiere Pro software (Beginning of Editing)

The screenshot above shows my progress during the beginning of the project when we were first introduced to working with Premiere Pro. There is a clear difference between the 'before' and 'after' of my final outcomes when working with Premiere Pro since I've never worked with this video-editing software before Hence, I was only able to drag and drop the video clips that I've selected from my files into the software. This was considered as my first 'beginning' step in learning how to use more advanced types of video-editing softwares. I was really happy during the process of learning how to edit video clips as I felt that these were the techniques and skills that I would need to produce a video in a professional level. Hence, being able to approach these different functions has widened my perspective on the different outcomes I can create using the software.

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Exploration and experimentation with colour (different colours)

I documented the processes of altering different levels of exposure, contrasts, highlights, saturation, tints, shadows, whites and blacks of each video clip I edited. In order to make the whole video black and white, I further edited all the clips under the same alterations, making the entirety of the video more uniform. I experimented with the different levels become some of my clips did not mate the year range - some clips that were originally selected were already black and white, taken from 1900's, whereas others were recorded in the present (2010). Hence, it makes more sense to put them all under the same year range in order to maintain a constant effect throughout the whole video. I proceeded to edit each clip to achieve a 'vintage' effect, making the entire video look older. 

What kind of footage have you used? 

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(Left) - Found footages selected from Prelinger Archives (Right) - Found footages selected from youtube

Before I had a solid plan of what I wanted to create for my 'Re-Edit' project, I decided to look at a collection of films provided in Prelinger Archives. The film collection involves mostly short video clips and educational films relating to US cultural history, the evolution of the American landscape, everyday life, and social history. What I liked about these video clips was that they were all produced from 1982 to 2002. I really liked the 'vintage' effects that were presented in the films; especially the black and white video clips with audio generated voiceovers. I decided to download a few clips from the film collection that I think would be most suitable to create a film with. As shown on the image above (left), I used clips taken from six different videos - all ranging from the early 1900's to most recent history. Since we were only learning how to use Premiere Pro, I decided to play around with the different functions using these video clips before creating my final video for this project. The image on the right are a selection of video clips that I have taken from youtube. These were the video clips that I have used for my final video - a total of 16 clips including audio soundtracks. I found these video clips the most interesting as they they best depicted the theme of escape which I thought was most important for my video. Moreover, I mostly selected darker themed video clips in order to match with the monochromatic theme that I was going for. For the other footages that weren't black and white, I edited the videos when i grouped them together, and made them monochromatic and same in colour.

IMG_0165.jpg.1 Analysis on selection of found footages in Prelinger Archives

What kind of process(es) have you used to alter it?

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Before editing the audio (sound level) - Volume relatively high (Peaking above level 6)

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 After editing the audio (sound level) - Lower volume (Peaking level reaching/below 6)

One of the processes that I thought stood out most from other processes when I was altering the footages was the original soundtrack that I've selected for my video. As mentioned before, I chose a whole soundtrack from a trailer called the "Arcadia' which was produced by Simon McCallum. Simon works with the BFI, producing programmes and films that explore a folk horror fairy tale about the British people's relationship to the land. What I thought was intriguing about the trailer was its ambitions and painstaking video scenes, as well as thought-provoking, beautiful and at times disturbing pieces of work. Everything about the trailer was just fascinating to watch, and when the audio was added, it further creates tension. This piece of work was the largest inspiration for me to create a video which relates to escape. I really liked how the produced selected a calm, peaceful melody in the beginning of the trailer, followed by delivering a calming speech to the viewers. Once the audio changes, it starts creating a beat which immediately catches the viewers attention, thereby building up tension and atmosphere. I was intrigued by how well the audio matched with the scenes in the trailer. Hence, I decided to incorporate this audio into my video. What I didn't realise was that by including the whole soundtrack into my own video without altering it, it only reduces the tension that I was expecting to be created, it also sounded more like a music video than media art - which was definitely not the direction I was going for. When I showed David my video, he suggested to speed up the soundtrack so that this would help enhance tension into my video. I did as he said and surprisingly it really did create more tension.

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Individual scenes/video shots in 'Arcadia' film/trailer

Even though I sped up the soundtrack, I still wasn't very satisfied with the audio as a whole when it was played with the found footages. I first tried to reverse the soundtrack to see what effect or outcomes would be produced from this function. Unfortunately, I didn't really find this appealing all, furthermore there weren't a lot of changes to it since there weren't any lyrics to the audio soundtrack. So it pretty much did nothing and sounded the same as previously. For my second experimentation with the functions on Premier Pro, I decided to slow down the audio track by altering the audio gain and volume. Although it did have some interesting changes, I found it pretty messy and made the audio sound more blurry than it should be. I also altered the volume of the audio by changing it to static peaks, making sure that the peaking of the audio is around minus 6. Next, I normalised all peaks to -6.0 to make sure that the audio isn't too loud - as shown in the screenshots above. There was a clear difference between the before and after of my final audio soundtrack in the video. 

How would you develop your project further?

If I had more time to develop my project, I would have thought more about the installation for this piece. I was quite certain that this piece should be presented/watched in a dark space, however, I am still a little unsure about how I should present the video to the audience in terms of installation wise. So far, I am quite satisfied with the audio that I've made for this video piece. Due to it's loud, overwhelming sound effects, I think this helps fill in the whole space thus creating suspense and tension in the atmosphere. I also like the way it allows the audience to feel threatened, as if they are encountering a threat or dangerous experience. Hence, I don't have any intention to change the audio or sound effects from this video. However, something I would change and develop more is the lighting of the found footages. Although I liked the idea of using both high quality and low quality video footages in this piece, as well as the mono-toned theme. However, I don't think the lighting of the footages made the contexts in the video's clear. This could be a problem since the viewers had a difficult time distinguishing what is happening in some parts of the video. I think the idea of focusing on an individual or multiple figures running away from something (fear) can be further developed. For example, I have thought about creating a separate short video that presents the opposite of running away. This allows the artist to create comparison between 'imagination' verses 'reality'.

Video clips links (Youtube) - appropriated clips trailer for arcadia - Arcardia audio - the white collar revolution
snake circling rat - - after leaves - slow down tension pace -  Mickey on fire building escape - slow down video.



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Satoshi Hashimoto - Performative Art, Interacting with audience/viewers

Today we had a visit from a Japanese artist named Satoshi Hashimoto to share his personal experiences throughout his practises in the art industry, specifically focused on performative and interactive arts. Hashimoto attempts to challenge cultural exchanges, fixed ideas of social categories and unequal economic relationships. His works predominantly focuses on the interaction between viewers/audiences and the work itself. Instructions are provided next to the works to help viewers initiate the 'action'. During the visit, Hashimoto explains that his works differs from theatre and dance-based performances. Instead it focuses more on the space in galleries/museums and streets. Some of his works lasts up to 7-8 hours per day, hence they can be known as time-based performances. One of Hashimoto's works that surprised me the most was presenting his own leg, shaved and powdered on the doorway through a hole. What I found intriguing about this is how difficult this was since he has to leave his leg in the whole for hours while viewers get shocked by the leg. At first, even I thought the leg came from a woman, never have I thought that the leg was in fact his own... Another one of his artwork's that intrigued me was when he prepares crushed newspapers and throws them at random strangers across or walking in the streets when they weren't focusing on him. This was to catch their attention as well as raise questions about the meaning of 'existence' and ignorance. Hashimoto explained that these kinds of performance are also a kind of communication when the viewer doesn't just look at the 'artwork' itself in his performances, but also use the performative action as a device to force/push audiences and viewers to look deeper in awe about what just happened. Due to this performative action, it is inevitable that the viewers will then have a conversation about what they have just saw, as this is already stuck in their heads. The artist further explains that he likes to watch and relate with the audience. This is similar to watching some of the most amazing films, where when something interesting/eye-catching happens, this diverts the viewers gaze to it, thus allows us to relate and think back to the work. As such, an example of this could be considered from societal issues such as the Hong Kong protest - even though this may not relate to others personally or emotionally, but there is also a personal interaction between the conflict as well as people who are originally from Hong Kong.

Hashimoto mentioned that in performance, there are three different tiers that makes up the performance as a whole: the performer, the director who gives instructions to the performer, as well as the audience. These three different tiers are essential in 'activating' or initiating an action towards the given object. For example, when a chair is placed in the middle of an exhibition, our first initial thought/assumption is to sit on it. Yet, Hashimoto diverts this assumption by providing instructions that are less likely to be expected or created. Interestingly,  he purposely instructs viewers to push the chair down, thus making loud noises in a quiet museum. This will not only affect other audiences, but will also create a reaction from the viewers which can be seen as part of the performance in his work. Another example of this occurs in one of his works - 'Over or Duck Under'. The purpose of this piece is to make viewers decide between choosing to go to the right or to the left. This not only triggers the decision-making processes in humans, but also forces them to be responsible and reflect on their choices, even though the result is the same. 'Which way is the easiest?", "Which way allows me to arrive faster?" Even just a simple action will raise many different questions. (Further notes are discussed in the PDF attached below)

What is your main concern?
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Issues and concerns discussed in groups
As shown above, we came up with different concerns which we thought was important to discuss about. Out of all the concerns listed above, what I thought was my main concern is the fact that we can't control our behaviours and emotions in different situations/circumstances. Because of this, conflicts, arguments and competitions will always occur in society. An example of this in today's world is the Hong Kong protest. Since humans have different opinions and perspective, this will lead to conflicts occurring between two sides, thus leading to the idea of 'self-destruction. In my opinion, it is important that we have our own voice to speak about our concerns and thoughts, but it is also important to understand and open up to other opinions. This way, conflicts won't be as disastrous.
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Main concerns discussed in groups (Left)    Personal Activity (Right) 'Draw your own animal'
What sort of activity did I do?
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Photoshoots of people participating in personal activity
In the beginning, I had quite a difficult time in thinking about the instruction that I want to give for other viewers. Since many instructions are so common and obvious in every day world, it seems that no matter what instruction was given, it just seems to obvious, common or simple. I wanted to create an instruction which requires both thinking as well as interaction with the viewers as well as with the art piece itself. The instruction I ended up with was instructing others to draw an animal of their liking on a branch. I thought this idea was both creative as well as challenges the brain activity. It allows viewers to thinking about space (the area they want to draw their animal on), and decision making (which branch/area/animal they want to draw). I didn't really think much about the activity, but I was surprised that when a viewer thats drawing an animal on the branch, other viewers also came up to take pictures. I think this relates to the works created from Hashimoto where viewers initiates a performative action while others capture the action through camera lens. I found this very interesting.
Can you find a link between the first answer? How can I forge the link between the action and the issue?
I don't think I can find a specific link between my activity to my main concern. However, if I had to create a link, I think it would be about decision-making. Referring to the concern about Hong Kong protest, even though people have their own rights and perspectives, they will also think about the overlapping issues and concerns in both sides. Similar to this activity, I think the decision making in overlapping other people's drawing is an important issue here. I found it interesting how the drawings from each viewer barely overlapped - "maybe they don;'t want to cover other people's drawings due to respect?"




How did the footage used inform the understanding of your piece?

Today was our critique session for the 'Re-Edit' project. To be honest, I was quite nervous for this critique session since this was my first time creating a film/short video using a professional video-editing software (Premiere Pro). I felt that I learnt a lot in this week and felt proud that I was able to create a video using the tools and skills that I've learnt from the workshop. Overall I was quite impressed and satisfied with the feedback that I've received. In terms of the audio in the video, the viewer's first impression was that they felt half-conscious and heavy due to the thumping sound effects as well as the swinging sounds. They further said that the audio depicted a nauseous feeling as if they were almost knocked out. This was an interesting point since my video revolved around the idea of trying to escape by running away due to fear. Hence the idea of feeling nauseous while running is bound to happen. Another viewer described that the video had involved the themes of running away as if there was an outbreak, she also related my video with the themes of death and destruction. I really liked this idea since it really blends in with the tension and suspense created in the video. I was also told that the audio also makes viewers feel unsettled, as if they don't know what's happening. At first, I was a little confused about this comment, but the student explained that it made him want to know and see more. This made me feel like my work has potential to be developed further.

There were parts of the video which the footages were sped up, this allowed the viewers to feel as if the tension and suspense was building up. Whereas other parts of the video showed slower footages in which I either decreased the duration of the video in order to represent the situations as reflected in real life. The fast-paced footages involving figures running represents panic and threat, hence running away from their fears. This can be referred as as 'flight'. Whereas the slower parts represents the consequences when there is no way of escaping. Therefore, time goes slower. 

Another idea which was mentioned from the crit session which intrigued me was the idea of assembling people together in crowds. Initially, my intension of incorporating both crowds and single figures in the video was merely just to show different forms of escaping and running away from fear. However, the teacher mentioned something in relation to a 'collection of bodies', and the way they are socially active and behaving this way which was something I found very interesting.

Was your development of your concept a product of the found footage? Or in spite of it? How could you improve this? What could you do next?

I guess my concept of 'escape' is already very obvious in terms of its subject matter. Hence, the footages that I found online also very much presents the idea of running away. However, since I made my video very ambiguous, it's hard to determine what the figures are running away from. I took this as an advantage in my piece to allow viewers question about what the figures are running away from. Personally, I think this approach is interesting as it initiates communication and interaction with the viewers - some students wanted to watch the video again to be fully absorbed by what is happening in the video since there are so many different movements and actions happening all at once. This is not only overwhelming for the viewers, but also allows them to distinguish the actions that the footages are expressing, thus they can then categorise them into smaller groups regarding to the different types of 'escape'. 

How did you feel about the re-approaching of someone else's work and making it your own? What did you choose to reveal about the found footage and what did you choose to hide?

I think this method of creating work helps train our creativity and imagination. It takes a high level of skill to be able to create something our of an already complete, polished piece of work. In the beginning, I was a little hesitant with taking footage from online websites and calling it 'my own', however, I learnt that if we appropriate the footage and make it fit in with our context, this would diminish the idea of 'plagiarism' within other works. It was also interesting to find that other artists such as painters would also use this method to create new pieces of work. As such, they would remove/paint over the original work and change it to transform it into a new piece of work. I chose to hide the faces of the people in my video since this wasn't my main focus in relation to the context of my video. Instead, I wanted to focus on the back of the figures to portray the sense of urgency and overwhelming mood and atmosphere.

To view reflections for project 3 -'Datafied' (Please refer to left column)



On 5th of December, we were given an introduction to our new project - Green Spaces. For this project, we must create a video piece that is no longer than 90 seconds and must explore the notion of parks and landscape. We had a choice to investigate and explore the observations of life, or to use Waterlow Park where Lux is located as a starting point for our video pieces. I was very interested in the idea of a video being 'time-specific' as this allows me to explore the potential of 4D duration modes of representation. The brief mentioned the concept of 'durational realities', which meant how events develop over time - this could be caused due to a change in environment or may even deal with the idea of past, present or the future. Although I still do not have a clear idea of what I want to explore yet for this project, I believe that it would be interesting to create a video piece that is completely different from my previous video pieces. Instead of raising awareness of obvious issues/concerns that are occurring in society, I may be interested in the deeper issues that people can barely 'see' or acknowledge of its existence. It could be something that is not visible to a human's eye. By exploring what humans cannot see from the eye, this looks more in the psychological state of humans. Instead of investigating what humans see at first glance, it explores the hidden realities. As referred to the project brief, I answered the following questions in order to widen my thoughts and development:

What do you see that is visible and observable? What is the role of green space in urban environments?

In terms of what is visible and observable in the park, this can be referred to the animals, plants and flowers - trees and wildlife. In addition, people hanging around in the park is also visible. Since the park is a place filled with natural and planted space, it is inevitable that people would go there to relax and enjoy the fresh air that is in the park's surroundings. Hence, it can be considered as a place that gives a calm, relaxing atmosphere and also a place for people to escape to. This made me question, wouldn't it be interesting if I create a natural space that brings an unsettling, unwelcoming, threatened environment? Would it be possible to create an environment which gives people shivers and sounds of crying? We always see people laughing and smiling when they go to parks, so, wouldn't it be interesting to create 'another' imaginary world where everything is the opposite of reality? 

How do these ‘realities’ alter over time? Who are the users of Parks?

Speaking of 'realities', there could be many different situations that can be considered as realities. These realities could only be defined from an individual's perspective, since each expectation of an reality could be different. However, as I mentioned earlier, the alteration of a reality could be due to the changes in the environment. For example, a person's reality could change due to other people's judgement. In simpler words, belief changes everything. Whether you believe in a situation or not, this can affect the type of reality your are thinking or expecting. There are many users of parks, this include humans, wildlife - birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish... Or even domestic animals such as cats, dogs or rabbits. Parks are public with the purposes of protecting wildlife or natural habitats. In general, anything that takes up the space of parks is considered as a 'user' of a park, this could also even include buildings and man-made skyscrapers.

Does place have a narrative and if so, how is this communicated?

I believe that a place does have a narrative - a common example of this are places where an historical event was held. This could to wars being held in certain places, leaving human bodies buried under the ground and resurfacing again. Or, this could refer to animals going extinct, leaving their bones behind. The method of communicating the narrative of the place is very similar,  this can be done by analysing the leftovers of the bones, and finding how its history by investing back on what had occurred during those events. Understanding the universal experience of being human is essential for community cohesion. A place can also resemble a person's memory, this can be communicated through a old photograph. 'A picture can tell a thousand words' It can capture an entire story by just the objects that are existing inside the photo. The objects existing in the photographs helps give 'context' to the future - our present day.Even a small picture can tell a story about our own history and culture, passing it along to the next generation. Hence, without a narrative, a place can seem empty. 

How do humans use green spaces?

One of the most common ways that humans use in green spaces is to build man-made skyscrapers/structures. They can be built for business purposes or used as artistic sculptures. As mentioned earlier, it is also a place which facilitates physical activity and relaxation - which is a form of escape from nose and work/stress. They are not only helpful for humans in terms of providing safe routs for walking and cycling, but also for social interaction and recreation. When people visit parks, this can be used as a form of meeting or family/friends gathering.



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'Aspect' - Emily Richards

When I first watched the video, my immediate thought was that this piece was DEFINITELY not calming at all... Which to me was very exciting since I have been wanting to explore more of a horror/nightmare theme in my project. I really love the sudden jerks from the camera lens where it zooms up into the trees. I think it really helps create tension and suspense in the video, contrasting with the beautiful scenes of green spaces where it resembles how light, colour and shadow travel across the surface of the branches and leaves. I also love how the artist is using natural light instead of artificial light since it further reflects the beauty of nature and the way sunlight travels across the landscape. There are many different photographic techniques used in this video which included lapsing as well as long exposures on single film frames. I think this really adds a punch to the video itself by creating a mysterious effect. It made me feel like somewhere in the forest, there is an 'invisible figure' traveling from one area to another, very ghost-like features. I had this feeling from looking at the light and shadows as they travel slowly across the forest. It's really interesting to see the movement of light and shadow abstracting the real environment which made it so mesmerising. Especially with the combination of the audio and different sound effects of nature, I think this further portrays the ambiguity and sinister aspects of nature. I think the artist has purposely sped up some of the footages as well as lengthened others to portray subvert the true functions of time that take place in normal situations.


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'All the time in the world' - Semiconductors

'All the Time in the World' not only portrayed the beauty of nature, but it also introduced the natural process of the tectonic movement -  this describes the large-scale motion of tectonic plates moving against each other, causing disturbances and disrupt around the natural surroundings. It was interesting to see the artist represent a natural process in nature as a fictional documentary which allowed viewers to see how the plates moved in an artistic perception. Referring to the ASOS website, it states that the video aims to portray the "millions of years that have shaped and formed the land, played out at the speed of sound." With the use of data recordings from archives, the artist was able to convert this into sound audio. Watching the video made me feel lost, but at the same time it made me want to follow the direction of the light that it was heading to. The audio further adds tension and suspense to the video which represented the thumping sounds of the disaster occurring. Even by just watching it through the screen, it felt like an earthquake where I as a member of the audience can feel the sudden movement of land following with the rhythm and music that it had created. Overall, it feels like the idea of 'beauty comes after a disaster'.



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Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre

Today I went to the Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre in Lantau Island. Despite living in Hong Kong for all these years, this was my first time visiting this beautiful place. I instantly had a strong connection with the lake as it reminded me of my childhood where I was playing with rocks near a lake with my dad. I stopped as I listened to the sounds surround me, there were loud bird chirps and the sound of wind blowing against my face. The environment around the park was so calm and peaceful. There were also people kayaking in the middle of the lake. It was a very beautiful sight. I decided to take pictures of this place as part of my research and progress for planning my video piece. I still wasn't sure where this would go, but I felt that it was important to capture the beautiful scene of green spaces and nature in my hometown. I also recorded the sound of bird chirping noises, even thought there are a bunch online where I could just easily get them from, I think by recording these natural sounds myself has a much deeper meaning. Plus, it would sound a lot more natural compared to the ones found in websites. While I was walking on the side lakes, I came across a small section of the lake where there was a swarm of fish swimming. I really liked the movement of the fish swimming, it looked very mysterious and graceful at the same time. There wasn't a single sound that could be heard, it was just complete silent. The gentle movement of the fishes turning and swimming made me so immersed into the water ripples that was created from their movement. It seemed as if there was another world underneath the surface of the water. A pitched black universe...


Fishes swimming in circles in the lake



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Shing Mun Reservoir

On Saturday, I decided it was a good idea to also visit the Shing Mun Reservoir. This place is perfect for hiking - the view is so beautiful and always reminded me of how much nature is around us at all times. The Shing Mun Reservoir was completely different to the Inspiration Lake recreation centre since everything is all natural including the hiking trails, mountains and rivers. However, a lot of structures and roads seen in Inspiration Lake recreation were mostly man-made. Visiting Shing Mun Reservoir allowed me to experience what it feels like to be around nature. It made me feel calm and relaxed. There were a lot of monkeys though... Again, similar to my experience from the Inspiration Lake, I saw a trail which lead me to another pathway during my hike. The place that I saw seemed like it came out from a fantasy story. It reminded me of a scene in the anime 'Castle in the Sky'.

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Scene captured in Shing Mun Reservoir

The tree roots were massive and the branches were hanging down with just its tips touching on the surface of the water. There was a clear reflection of the trees which almost seemed like a distorted mirror. Again it made me feel like I was in a fantasy story, not knowing which part of this visit was from reality. It almost felt like a dream as I went further down the trail.


GIF scene captured from 'Castle in the Sky'



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Two realities in one

Many of my works deal with the psychological state of humans and the way they react to different situations and consequences in regards to the changing environment. For this project I had thought of wanting to create something which was interactive, allowing audiences and viewers walking in the park to participate freely. I had an idea of creating two videos separately, each video is purposely made for each eye. When an image appears on one video, the other video appears to be blank or dark (empty). When this is being played/exhibited to viewers, they will have to cover one of their eyes to watch the video. In the videos, a black figure will be present, surrounded by nature. This was only a very faint idea, plus, I had no idea if this was possible since we were told the videos will only be exhibited on a presentation in the lux exhibition. Therefore, I decided not to go further to develop this idea. However, I felt that this would be an interesting idea to explore for my further projects. Maybe it could be developed further for my part three project.



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My playground near my house - Exploring childhood & memory

As I started deciphering the concepts that have been appearing in my research and photographs, I realised that I have mentioned a lot about the idea of different realities or worlds. In addition, I have also thought about the idea of dreaming and fantasy in relation to my photographs. I was suddenly reminded about an experience that I had encountered when I was young - sleep paralysis. I remembered feeling numb all over my body and not being able to breathe properly or move. It was a very terrifying experience for me since I didn't know what was going on. I always thought it was just part of our sleeping cycle and that it was a normal thing for it to happen occasionally. It wasn't to the point I had hallucinations or visions of figures moving though. However, it just felt like a shock, as if something was pressuring me, preventing me from getting up or breathing which seemed almost like a nightmare. I didn't know whether it was the reality or just my imagination. As such, I thought this would be my starting point for this video piece. The aim of this video piece is to represent a series of images transmuted from my own dreams as a means of controlling and coping my sleep paralysis affliction, presented in the form of a video piece.

I decided to use the playground shown above as the basis of this video. This playground was very special to me as I have lived with it my whole life. I remembered going to the playground and gathering with my friends, we had secret conversations as well as fun meet up. It was an important part of my childhood memory. I also remembered my first time climbing the tree near this playground and fell off... All of these memories had lived with me till this day, and from this I wanted to change its 'setting' by turning it into another reality, a different world - a nightmare. In combination with my other series of photographs that I had took from the parks, along with the video footages and voice recordings that I have taken, I wanted to try overlapping them onto each other. By doing this, I want to create the idea as if it is resembling my blurred dreams being overlapped by one another. This helps shows the feeling of confusion. In addition, I am going to add the mage of the flowing river to create a sense of being in rush. Since the water flows in a very quick speed, I wanted to create an atmosphere that is filled with urgency, just like how I wanted to move so badly, but end up being glued onto the bed.



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Screenshots of video editing progress on Premiere Pro

Before I started editing the videos, I did some research on sleep paralysis and investigated the affects it has on the psychological state of the human brain and body. I also watched a few documentaries on the artist Nicolas Bruno in order to gain a deeper understanding of what it feels like by transmuting images from an individual brain/memory into real life. Nicolas Bruno is a conceptual artist and a condition photographer who too has experienced sleep paralysis since his childhood. His works reflects the horrors of his conditions and showcases the deepest, darkest depths his mind conjures under sleep paralysis. What I found interesting about Nicolas Bruno's works is the way he created the setting and composition of his works through the vision of his dreams. Not only was he able to create a spiritual and haunting atmosphere in his photographs, but he was also able to use the relentless nature through drab environments, wooden props and anonymous figures to create sinister events. Linking back with this project, it was intriguing how nature and different environmental surroundings can completely change the setting and narrative of a photograph.

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Nicolas Bruno's photography works

Analysis of Nicolas Bruno's Interview

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Screenshots from Nicolas Bruno's Interview (Written by Benji Reeves)

After reading Nicolas Bruno's interview, I selected a few questions that I thought was interesting and useful to my research. As referred to the first question, Nicolas describes his processes of creating his photographs. "I begin my process by logging my sleep paralysis experiences into my dream journal through sketching and documentation" - I found a strong connection between the artist and my own habits as I had also occasionally recorded some of my dreams onto my journal. Although I didn't really know the purpose of documenting my dreams, but I've always felt that these were all part of an inspiration for me. The events that occurred in my dreams were not only strange and unsettling, but also very interesting. It felt very unfamiliar as I looked back at them since they didn't make sense at all. I was only able to document them in words once I woke up and was fully conscious and aware of my surroundings. Therefore, they were all broken sentences with a combination of short phrases and long descriptions of my dreams. Once Nicolas had finalised his sketches, he starts finding common patterns and symbolism in his sketches to introduce defining characters.

I have been thinking of creating a video piece which focuses more on the visual aesthetic and sound effects, therefore the duration of this video was not my major priority for this project. Since the video would be very short, I thought that putting the video on loop would be the best idea for this project. As mentioned before, the purpose of this video was to create and dreamy atmosphere, as if the audience had stepped into another world - 'a different reality'. Hence, I decided to use sound effects that I had found from YouTube which resembled the idea of a gentle, calming atmosphere, almost similar to when an individual is slowly falling into deep sleep.


06/01/2020, Monday - INTERIM CRIT WEEK - 'LUX' - GREEN SPACES

During the Christmas break, I felt that I wasn't as productive enough, therefore my research was lacking for this project. Also, I had to prepare for my portfolio and interview so it was a very stressful week for me. I found it a little difficult keep up with the reflections as well as working on my sketchbook. However coming back to the studio had made me feel refreshed and energised. Since my video was already finished as my 'first draft', I decided that today would be a good time to do some research for this project. I can also spend today's free time to share my ideas with my classmates to receive feedback and advice to change and improve my video in order to present it on the interim crit tomorrow. The responses I had received from my classmates when I shared my ideas were all very positive. They told me that it was very interesting to investigate and explore deeper into the psychological state of human beings, and connecting it with nature. Since nature is a very special place that holds a 'narrative', the idea of creating a nature that stems into another world was both exciting and intriguing. This made me feel very relieved to have received a positive response from other audience and viewers. After the conversations I had with my classmates, I decided to take more notes regarding to my video for further improvement.

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Notes taken during discussion with classmates - Further planning + development


07/01/2020, Tuesday - INTERIM CRIT - LUX PROJECT

What are your thoughts about your work following the crit? Where there any unexpected connotations/interpretations?

Today was my turn to present my video for the interim crit. To be honest, the feedback that I had received from my classmates had gave me mixed feelings. I don't mean this in a negative way, but there were so many different opinions and ideas that were branched from video which involved two sides of an argument. To me, this was very interesting as it allowed me to gain a better understanding of how difference audiences feel when they watched the video. One of the viewers complimented on my editing techniques by overlapping moving images and still images onto each other. She further questioned what the meaning behind this was. It surprised me when she suggested a potential idea which may resemble how humans has destroyed natural habitats in order to place park on top. This reminded me of the idea about hierarchy and power. This was when the 'mixed feelings' start to overcome my emotions when some viewers commented about how dreamy and calming the video felt.  I was told that the music/sound audios that I had included adds a 'magical element' to the piece. The video along with the audio also allows audiences to feel hypnotised, which was a great point as this means it would be suitable when being played on loop. At one point, I was very happy and relieved that I had accomplished the effect of dreaming and fantasy in the video. However, on the other hand, I also wanted to create a sensation that resembled an nightmare, predominantly hinting the idea of sleep paralysis. As I've mentioned earlier, there was also a second argument to this video where some viewers felt very anxious as they were watching the video, as if something mysterious is lurking within the images. I really like what one of the students commented about the fish swimming in the lake. He/she mentioned about the slow, graceful movement of the fish which looked a lot like a dream-like state, similar with the overlapping of the sky and nature. In addition, they added that the black and white stills help change the tone of the piece as a whole from curiosity to an dreary alternative, one of which is corrupted. Another comment which I was very pleased with was when a student mentioned how the 'playground' feels like a crime scene. With the music, this really emphasises the idea of a crime that had taken place - like where a child was murdered, raped or abused. I felt very happy when I read this since it means that the video really sparked the idea about child who had experienced a traumatic memory, as if it was like a 'nightmare', where the child could not escape from their reality. Because of the two sides of argument, I didn't know which way I wanted my video to go... Sometimes there could be other expectations from a piece which you have never even thought of, and this was definitely one of the cases...

How did projection and the use of speakers affect the work? Did your work communicate the ideas you intended?

In my opinion, I thought that the projector and speakers had a huge effect on my work. Since my audio had a dreaming effect, when the speakers were turned to high, you can almost feel as if being immersed into the video. I thought it felt like stepping into another fantasy world. The projection further added an overwhelming mood and atmosphere. It wasn't to the fact where the audio was overpowering the video and moving footages, therefore there was a balance between the images and videos along with the sound effect. As mentioned earlier, I think I had communicated half of my ideas as I had intended. However, I think I would have to work more with the idea of sleep paralysis and turning it more into a nightmare state instead of a calming dream.

How can you work be improved technically? How might the work be developed further in terms of narrative?

A student had suggested some advice for me so I can improve my video before the final crit. Since sleep paralysis is full of anxiety, instead of using a calming dream sound audio, I can maybe use some intense sounds like screeching or nails on a blackboard. Moreover, I could also insert flashing images in between the lovely nature scenes. Another way to improve this would be leaving the video as it is for give to six seconds and putting a filter that inverts the colours of the image whilst simultaneously adding screeching sound effects to represent a nightmare that is occurring in an individual's sleep. This way it can juxtapose with the calming scenes that are portrayed from nature. 



08/01/2020, Wednesday - SEMINAR + ACTIVITY (NOTES)

Key concerns/ Ideas emerged from Contextual Review:

- social issues involving themes of identity and social well-being
- impact of social norms and behaviours in response to issues in society
- Being exposed to multiple cultures --> engaging with political and social views
- The issue of prioritising emotions over our concerns
- social norms and behaviours occurring in society
- true-self, how we represent ourself through social media
- risks of technology taking control over our identities
- cognitive behaviours and emotions in humans

- Human consciousness and the relationship between the physical brain and our sense of self

Anne D’Alleva - Methods and Theories Of Art History



In response to the crit on Tuesday, I decided to work on the audio and sound effects for my video. As mentioned before, I chose to use an audio which depicted the idea of a dream-like state where the viewers would feel calm and relaxed. My first initial idea seemed more as if the viewer was stepping into the dream. However, I wanted to change this to portray the idea of a nightmare. I started looking for different sound effects and audio which resembled that of a nightmare. The first ones that I looked at seemed more focused on the human voices and sound effects of people breathing heavily. On the one hand, I thought this could be quite useful in regards to my context, however, I felt that this would be too overpowering for the video itself. I wanted to find an audio which can balance out the idea of being in a dream state, but also in the middle of a horrifying nightmare. Hence, I found an interesting video which showed an individual playing on an instrument. I wasn't sure what kind of instrument it was, but it was definitely what I wanted to be part of my video. It consisted of sounds that resembled screeching sounds, the mood and atmosphere of the melody adds tension and suspense. 




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Images of installation for previous works

I knew that the interviews and portfolio preparations are coming up very soon, therefore I decided to come to the studio today to re-install some of my previous works that I had created before starting my specialist pathway. I experimented different types of installations including using the black cloth. I found it very interesting when the video was being projected onto the black cloth, as it moves it also distorts the images on the video. It looked very much like the figures in the video were floating. I tried this with some of my other videos - re-edit, however I didn't like the effect it had for my re-edit video. So I only used this technique for my extension week project that I had completed during part one of my foundation course.




14/01/2020, Tuesday - EXPORTING VIDEOS + MINI CRIT

What have been the concerns of your work today? Explain

Having finished the video and edited the sound audio for this project, my main concern of my work today is to successfully export the video to prepare for my final crit this coming Thursday. Other than this, I think I will also need to research more on other artists from LUX since it is very important for me to understand their works in order to have a better reflection and evaluation of my own works.

What problems did you encounter? What potential solutions could help you with this?

When I tried exporting the video, it didn't seem to export properly since half of my footage was gone. I panicked a bit and realised that it was because I didn't mark the beginning and the ending of the video properly. It wasn't a major problem since I could fix it easily, however it did take some time following the guide and instructions from Moodle in how to export the video. I spent most of my time finishing off my research for this project.



Today our contextual practise session focused on introducing different interview questions that may potentially be asked during our interviews. We were told that the ability to talk about one's work and to write about it is an very important part of a professional creative's skill set. The ability to talk about one's work also shows your passion and motivation in pursuing something you love, through the talker's tone and mood, we can identify whether they are serious about their work. It also helps inform the other what you are making and how you make it inform the direction of our personal research. With the help of progress tutorials and crits during our class, I think I was able to vocalise my thoughts and ideas more comfortably now. We were first shown a presentation of good or poor examples of portfolio presentation and discussed the reasons. I knew how important the layout and composition of the photos had to be in our portfolio as this shows our efforts and creating a clean presentation. In the next activity, we took turns interviewing each other in groups of three according to the interview questions sheet that was handed out to us. Overall, I think everyones turn at trying to talk about their works was very successful. Something that I had to improve on was my research and artist references. We spent the last hour looking at students from last year who brought their sketchbooks and portfolios for us to look through. I wanted to take this opportunity to ask about their personal experiences during their interviews and how they felt. The document below are some notes that included the points that I have suggested during the interview trial with other students.



16/01/2020, Thursday - FINAL CRIT (LUX GREEN SPACES)

To be honest, I didn't think today's crit was very helpful... In fact, I found the interim crit from last week even more helpful than today's one. When my video came up, no one seemed to be interested in the video and would be willing to give some reflections or feedback as to how it went. This really brought my hopes down and makes me question what I had done wrong and why other student's aren't seeming to be interested in my video. Throughout the whole day, I didn't really feel like doing anything after the crit since it made me upset as to the amount of work and effort I had put into creating the video which ended up being ignored almost completely. Fortunately, there were a feel classmates who commented about my work and that they love the new audio that was put into the video. They said it looked more like a nightmare which to me was quite a big achievement.



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Space-Time project development in collaboration with sculpture student

Today was the first day of our Space-Time project. To be fair, I had spent most of my time preparing for my interview and my portfolio, I didn't really think much about this project even though I really wanted to. I knew this project would become one of my most favourite ones because the concept and idea is completely different from other project briefs. In fact, I think this project is very similar to the Being Human project because it deals with science - physics to be exact. It really is a shame since I would've spent so much time planning and thinking about the different ways I can approach this project with. Due to its interdisciplinary concepts, I knew this project would be perfect for me. But the problem was - I did not have enough time!!! With all the preparation for interviews and portfolio, I seem to not be able to think straight with how I want to approach this project. Of course, I would really like to create work that involves interaction since it is one of my strengths to engage with the audience. However, I don't seem to get the point of producing a 'decent' piece of work a two before our interviews...

We had our first lecture on introducing the project which I had fun listening to. There were so many interesting points that Adrian had pointed out which made me so eager to learn more about the idea of physics, space and time. It was made clear that we as artists do not need to know all about the theory of relativity completely, but it won't hurt to understand what it is and how this relates to art. Again, I was very interested in the idea of incorporating interdisciplinary practise into my works, so for this project, I wanted to think outside the box - what can I do we space and time? How can I represent space in a specific time period?

We were then split into two groups - our group introduced the concept of using projectors as part of our installation for presenting works. I found this interesting very helpful since it gave me a better understanding of what protectors can be used for and how we can utilise it to present our  works on different spaces or surfaces. I especially found the artists references very interesting.. We were introduced to different artist who used projectors to display their works. One of the works which caught my attention the was Larry Achiampong and David Blandy's 'FF Gaiden Escape' piece. I really love the way the artists put objects in front of the project to make it look more three-dimensional, as if the objects from the game as came to life.

For the next half of the day, we were put into small groups to discuss our portfolios with one another. Through this activity, we were not only able to practise communicating and talking about our works, we also had the opportunity to look at other works from the sculpture pathway. I could see a distinct difference between sculpture works and 4D works which made it even more interesting since I have been thinking about how I an incorporate everyday found objects into video or photography based works. I found this activity very helpful and it made me think about the relationship between time and space in a more deeper level.

The last activity that we did today with the sculpture pathway was collaborating with one of the sculpture students to create a potential idea using found objects from the garage. It was unfortunate that all the projectors were used during this activity so we were only able to create something use the found objects that we had collected. To be honest, I'm not one hundred happy with it, in fact I didn't really like the result at all. But I guess we worked our way in thinking of working with light and reflection for this piece.



21/01/2020, Tuesday - MAKING + PLANNING + DEVELOPMENT


Experimentation and development

Today we started with a lecture that introduced the concept of movement and kinetics. I found this lecture very helpful since it gave me a better understanding between the relationship with space and time. The main activity for today was to start making and developing an idea for this project. At this stage, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do, therefore I decided to work with three other classmates to develop a potential idea. As shown in the image above, we focused on the number of blinks on an individual throughout a span of time. The action of blinking was initiated using artificial light from our phone torches. The flickering of light causes the individual to blink which therefore creates a reaction from the human body. In the beginning I was interested in how our bodies inhabits space and the way our 'spaces' change depending on the environment. However, I felt that this idea would be too broad.



Today was a very productive day where we had the opportunity to look at both good and bad examples of portfolios from previous student. The presentation was very informative and it allowed us to understand the expectations of what a standard portfolio should look like. Since I already had my composition and layout of my portfolio finished, I knew that I should be making my portfolio very soon. We were given an opportunity to also look at physical examples of portfolio to distinguish which portfolios are lacking and which ones are at good standard. It realised how easy it was to make a careless mistake in making the portfolio. This predominantly focused on whether the sides are uneven or the type of paper that is being used for making the portfolio. This contextual practise session made me realise how important it was to present our works in a clear format so that the interviewers can easily look at our works without questioning what it is.



Today, I decided to play out my idea for my space-time project. The concept of this idea is simple and straightforward. I wanted to focus on the meaning of 'absence'. How can I represent absent in the form of time and space? I'm planning to create a series of photographs which depicts my actions (the way I work in my room). There are two different types of space that I want to explore for this project, one of them is 'my room'. My room is a space which is very special to me, it is where I am most comfortable and relaxed in. I can do anything I want, whenever I want because no audience would be there to judge me. The second type of 'space' that I want to explore with are the objects that I have used throughout a span of 10 hours. I wanted to see how the objects are being replaced by 'space' when they are taken away. This approach of thinking isn't very abstract, it predominantly explores how objects are absent during a set period of time. In the next few days, I will be recording a time lapse video of myself working for ten hours non-stop, and analysing the video of objects that have either been taken away or put back on its original location. In a way, I want to represent these 'spaces' as a form of memory in which disappears during a natural process.



Today I decided to take a day off to go to Kings Cross' digital printing centre to print my portfolio pages. The process was very long and time consuming. A reason why it took so long was because I had arranged my photos in word, which isn't the best software to create a neat portfolio since the photos looked uneven. In order to make my portfolio neat when it is being printed out, I had to go to the computer room to rearrange my photos in photoshop. To my surprise it was actually a lot easier than I expected it to be. I did get some help in the beginning in order to refresh my mind of how to use photoshop since I wasn't very familiar with the different tools. However, once I got the hang of it, it was simple to accomplish. A problem with this was that it took a very long time - since I wanted all the photographs to be even and neat, I tried using the rulers tool and guidelines in order to create my layouts for the portfolio. By the time I arrived at the digital printing centre, it was already almost 1:30pm. I had no choice but to continue since I knew I wouldn't have enough time to go to the digital printing centre again. The technicians were very helpful, despite my ongoing concerns with the paper quality. It was obvious that I had a very flustered and worried face when the technician told me to calm down... Nevertheless, I was happy that all my portfolio pages were printed out. 


28/01/2020, Tuesday - VIDEO PLANNING + DEVELOPMENT


Individual images of '10 hours of Memory' 

Today was the making of the project piece. Instead of making a video like my previous projects, I want to create a series of photographs since I think this holds more meaning in the 'memory' that had been disappeared throughout the ten hours. As mentioned before, I first took a time-lapse video of myself working in a span of ten hours. This was a little difficult since I had to make sure I didn't stop until it has reached exactly ten hours. I even an alarm for myself every for every hour so I can count how many hours I still have left. The process of taking this time-lapse video wasn't hard since it was a natural process. I was just doing what I would do even if my camera wasn't recording. Once the video has finished recording, I then watched the whole video and selected scenes where it was obvious that I had taken an object away from it's original surroundings. This not only depicted the idea of absence, it also leaves a 'memory' which I call it since it has been there from the 'past'. I then selected the images and edited the objects of the image to make it seem like the object was never there, but giving it the outline of its shape help remain it's memory of existing at that time, in that area. As shown above, the six images I have created means the most to me and I think these images have successfully depicted the idea of space and time. 



For today's contextual practise, we went to visit waterlow park and had a lecture on it's late history. I find this session very useful since it gave me an opportunity to learn about recent historical movements and famous icons who were brought up in the waterlow park. During the lecture, we had an overview of how the park was created and the type of people who once lived there. After the lecture, we also had a tour around the Lux exhibition. I think today was quite a useful day, plus it also gave me an opportunity to break away from stress.



I was very pleased with the feedback I had received from my classmates for my space-time project. One of the classmates comments was that my work seems to explore more of the 'science' aspect of space and time which I found quite surprising. It was interesting to see how other interpreted the meaning of my work. I was told that the concept from my work was clear after I explained to them what I am trying to explore through my work. It was also relieving to see that others liked my work and saw that I had focused more on the little details that normal humans wouldn't be able to acknowledge it's existence. To me, I think this was a very strong point which can be highlighted in all of my works since it gave me an opportunity to explore further different concerns that go beyond just 'societal issues' and 'political issues'. Overall, today's crit was pretty useful and I had learned a lot more from what others think of my work.