Generally, I have two main goals this year.
To create a new methodology of creating art that integrates my design-oriented thinking(which came from my architectural background) with artistic thinking.
To refine my concept development in terms of depth of the issue, thinking logic, and audience experience.
To achieve the goals I mentioned above, I divide my discipline into two approaches.
Conducting practice-based research which helps to prove the feasibility of the idea and create a hands-on experience.
Reading and writing which give me in-depth knowledge and offer me a chance to debates my own work and thinking.
These two approaches seem to be parallel researches, however, the dialectical thinking coming from the research process sometimes inspires each other.
Conceptual thinking_A new sense of time
In terms of conceptual development, I am interested in the topic of time. To create a new sense of time that encourages people to perceive time, not in a normal sense but in a thought-provoking way. I have distressed about the loss of time for a long time and keep trying to capture every meaningful present. However, the topic of time is very broad and vague. I don’t know how to get into the point precisely. Currently, I create several prototypes on the topic of time to cross-compare the relevance of what I want to focus on. In the next stage, I would like to apply this relevant idea to a systematic art project. In this semester, I research and practicing the idea of time in self-directed research and the Eye film project. In the Eye project, I research how I could express the present in the cinematic context by using live-stream projection to create a real-time film. On the other hand, in the sector of self-directed research, I made several prototypes about the present and memory. Meanwhile, I also pointed out some questions. What will be left behind when we in this constantly changing time? How do we face the present? How can we express different ideas of time in the lens media? In the following sections, I will list the study prototypes I made in this half-year, and analyze the inspiration I got during the working progress.
The practice-based research
In terms of adapting myself to the new methodology, in this first half-year, I tried hard to integrate design methodology and artistic creative practice. Design thinking is already firmly rooted in my mine. In the past ten years, I practiced this way of thinking on academic discipline and the professional design project as an architectural designer. At present, it seems that solution-oriented creative design methodology is quite efficient. Due to the fact that it can quickly find out the method and rapidly produce the target object in the early stage of creation. However, I found there is a lack of emotional connection and sensation (a sense of touching someone’s heart) in the later stage of development. Currently, I am still in the process of finding relevance closer to the heart.
In addition to the transition of working methodology above, the practical part of my integrative, technical research focuses on the human perception and self-awareness of the man-machine relationship of computing interface, mechanical, and chemical phenomenon. More precisely, the hidden relationship that subconsciously embeds in daily life. For example, recently, the face mask effect is going viral on social media such as Snapchat. From time to time, We use a special effect to make up our appearance. In this sense, we change and replicate our identity subconsciously and conveniently. Sometimes, it is enjoyable to change appearance on social media but I felt I am lost in this diverse world. I wonder that what is the real me in the time I go online?
Furthermore, I study various of the man-machine relationship. A machine with human emotions, a machine with human activities, a machine as our accompany, a machine as an interlocutor, and a scope for creating a new sense of vision and hearing.
In these two trimesters, I took advantage of each assignment to enforce the concept development of my project. Integrating inputs from technical courses with the dialectical thinking from theoretical tutorials – enhancement of my conceptual thinking can be developed both technically and sensibly. The following are the projects of my technical research.
The man-machine relationship
For instance, in the photobook section, I redefine the relationship between object and subject by utilizing the nature of a book that is being watched. In my photo book “The other”, people only saw an unidentified man and woman facing away from the audience. All you can see are their backs. After a period of confusion, they can gaze into the only face in the mirror on the last page of the photo book which they gaze into themselves. The idea of this photobook is to present a phenomenon that we often see ourselves on others but rarely face in our own hearts.
Seeing human activities as variables, the second and more technical example, in focal camera workshop, I created a suspicious-package-like camera by integrating the Arduino development board, ultrasonic sensors. In this creation, I combine technical practice and variables from human activities. The combination allows the camera to capture the moment of people being curious.
In addition, I conducted an experiment in which I talked with Siri on a mobile phone, trying to imagine her/him as a real person, and asking her/him intimate questions.
Inspired by the AI section in the school, I intend to seek a method that generated images. A moving image creates by the vocal interaction between humans and machinery. Connecting speech recognition software and AI engine( Runway) by processing coding. The voice sent to the vocal recognition software, then the software sent back a string to trigger the AI image data set (AttnGAN) that eventually generates an image relating to the sentence I said.
The initial idea of this project is to explore the new way we perceive our surroundings by creating a mixed duality of our perceptions. What I can do with an image? Can a vision generate sound? When I work with the AI image generating project, the sound-vision relationship is an image generated by audio input. Following this logic and I am thinking to reverse this relation. Is possible to utilize image to generate sound? To achieve this goal, in the first of the beginning, I use TouchDesigner to convert pixel data of different color channels into 32-bit digital signals. By resample them, I can select which RGB pixel I want to use and I successfully convert pixel into sound. However, this sound is harsh and I have a little control over its output timbre. Because of the deficiency above, I use Processing to gain more control of data which tracks specific RGB value of a pixel in the live streaming footage. When the target pixel was detected, a certain MIDI file will be triggered. By assigning thresholds in certain areas in the image, various sounds can be generated by the movement of the image. For instance, in Environmental Sound Production, a wind-chimes-like melody plays when the leaves dancing in the winds. By redefining the conventional usage of the image, I turn the visual experience into an acoustic pleasure.
The present- Localization of time
This is a series formed by several moving images and installations, which as a pilot process of the Eye film project and part of the self-directed research. The purpose is to study how to use image media as a medium to zoom in and focus on a localized time.
In the worship culture in Taiwan, we often use the time of a joss stick to mark the time. When we hold a ceremony to pay tribute. You will only be able to retrieve the offering once the incense has been burned. Over time, the Taiwanese will express the duration of time by the amount of incense that has been burned. However, in contemporary society, we commute according to the clock time and run to catch up with the train schedule. This localized time system has gradually disappeared. As Stephen Kern points out, “The independence of local times began to collapse once the framework of a global electronic network was established.” (Stephen Kern. 2003. The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918: With a New Preface, Harvard university press. page 14) “In 1884 an international conference on time standards held in Washington, DC, divided the world into twenty-four time zones, established Greenwich as the zero meridians, and set the exact length of a day.” (Mary Anne Doane. 2002. The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive. page 5) The independence of personal time began to change qualitatively under the influence of the above-mentioned social rules.
In this research, in order to allow viewers to feel the change of time right next to them. I replaced the original instructions from the social conventions with the change of things that existed in parallel in the same space and time. For example the pulse of our body.
The present in the cinematic medium
A film projection installation that transforms real-time footage into a movie. A real-time film projection with mobile live streaming in different locations.
The aim of this project is to discourse the concept of time in a film. By introducing the idea of a real-time movie, the audiences could immerse themselves in a screening experience that subverts the traditional concept of time in a film—a real-time cinematic experience.
Can a movie present now? The timing of the object to be photographed, the act of filming, and storylines (except for futuristic films) in a majority of movies was past tense. For instance, the story became past fragments after the shooting, post-production, and screening. I would like to dislocate the concept of time in a movie, merging the multi-location footage into one screen in order to shift the timeline of film production and storyline into the present. In this sense, the movie here is not served as a recorder but a medium, which projects the present.
There are many definitions of the sense of time. After this project, I summarized the sense of time that I want to study further: the neglected present. In terms of research methods, I divided it into reading and implementation. On paper research, I am currently reading The Emergence of Cinematic Time by Mary Anne Doane, and analyzing this book from a technical perspective, trying to summarize the method of creating "a sense of neglected time" in film.
This is a multi-channel video recording installation. Cameras mounted around my body will capture an hour I can't see. This is a trailer of my conceptual film” One hour that I cannot see”. A film captured and witnessed the moments and scenes coexisting in my surrounding. This is a multi-channel video recording. Cameras mounted around my body will capture the time that I can't see.
3.) Me three
this project Introduces the presence of me on social media. To question the real self and to explore the self-identity in contemporary society. I intend to zoom in the fact that you can change your identity and appearance rapidly. I documented the two replicas of myself in different face mask effect on the Snapchat. Creating a moment that an actual me coexist with my other virtual replicas.
4.)Rebuilding the skinship
A practical exercise of practice the camera movement and the ambient sound to generate a sense of time passes slowly. This film is a documentary short film for a project that has a series of therapies to cure the’ skin hungry’.
5.)Self-dialogue (in- progress)
This is a video recording project that is still on the developing stage. It will be integrating with live performance, where the protagonist talks to himself in a pre-recorded clip. Continuing the dialogue in "Now", replacing the original subject and object belonging to the two protagonists with only one protagonist.
In the context of the media, liberate the boundaries of time. Let the future, now, and the past happen in the present.
Flowing time in still images
This series of works combines my archived images and improvisation of the collection of daily objects. When I was taking photos, I seemed to have the ability to freeze time. This phenomenon emphasizes that the essence of still images is to capture the moments that once existed. If the photo can capture the moment of time, can it capture a period of time? As mentioned before, when things change visually, our brains feel a sense of time. But how to make time flow in a still image? I made still-lives of objects that could tell the history and evidence of time. When you look at objects with historical traces, the flow of time becomes imagination through your observation, and time begins to flow from still photos at this moment. For example, in 'Emotional By-Products', I collect the toilet paper used in a day and photograph them. These fragments represent the various emotions and daily activities you experience. In the process of imagination, the moment when these fragments of events occur, you piece together the time when the story happened.
“Be remembered” is the most obscure but strongest human needs apart from biological metabolic needs. For a long time, we built our monuments from natural resources. But after all, natural things return to the earth, like sandcastles scattered by the waves. In this endless cycle, Why do we want to be remembered and what are we going to create? What are we leaving behind?
This series envisions a few possible pictures as follows:
1. An elder and a kid build sandcastles on the beach. Sandcastles washed away by waves while they are building it. Then, they built sandcastles again from the sand that had been moved to flat ground. This process is repeated.
2. Two-person build a human-like statue collectively, in the process of collecting materials in a trust game-like manner. When the trust game reaches a breaking point, it is time to destroy the statue. The destroyed statue scattered all over the place. The two then re-collected materials to reconstruct the statue in the above action. The process will continue until the statue can't see the original outline, become unidentified or even powder.
Conceptually: After analyzing the history of man-made monuments, I discovered that people began to demolish statues when trust breaks down. So here I use the game of trust as a metaphor to metaphorize people's collective trust. However, the concept is still in its infancy, and it is still trying to connect the relevance of the monument to the metal states that people want to be remembered and to think of the metaphors behind each action. Statue material indeterminate: natural material is currently envisaged.
The presentation method of this series is still a working progress. Currently, the possible expression methods include video recording + live performance or multi-channel projection. Furthermore, I even want to integrate this concept into a real social story and make a short film.
Reading and writing
The reading list
Mary Anne Doane. 2002. The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive.
Song Hwee Lim. 2014. Tsai Ming-Liang and a Cinema of Slowness.
In addition to the practical project, I choose two books to study which relates to the topic of time in a cinematic context. In writing parts, I would like to write my project description in a more in-depth way.
After this first half-year, I have narrowed down my intention to research a new sense of time in a man-machine relationship. I found out that the contemporary sense of time is shaped by machinery and social conventions. The machinery I mentioned here refers to the actual and virtual technology such as timetable, clock, and social media. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. We will not liberate ourselves from the concept of time established by machinery and social conventions unless we have more understanding of the machinery.
Regarding the next stage, in addition to continuing to integrate design with artistic-creative methodology and continuously making prototypes to study the time integrates into man-machine interaction, I will also narrow the research direction of the paper and consider whether to select specific media for discussion. At present, my thesis will be oriented towards how to create a new sense of time (such as the sense of the present, and neglect present) in lens-based media.