Poco Poco


It is not easy to work with sound in general, to create pleasing or meaningful kinds of sound in media art. This sound object / installation from the IDEEA Lab (Interaction, Design, Entertainment, Education and Art) in the Graduate School of System Design Tokyo Metropolitan University has succeeded in creating a fun and engaging sound performance using a new kind of interface. This makes for a rather cool jamming performance.

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Lumino Kinetic + Beyond


This was a Masters thesis project by a Japanese lady done last year in 2012. It is an incredibly beautiful work of art/design. It makes use of the properties of light to create an animated light sculpture in a piece of crystal placed on top of a mobile phone screen. The science behind this work is pretty amazing as well. It is also a synthesis of both software and hardware design. The Vimeo video:-

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Hackers – origins

Interesting 30min documentary about the hacker culture that started in the US in the 1980s. Lots of famous hacker personalities. Without them, the information revolution would not have been possible. I find their dedication and passion infectious. They have a vision to change the world for the better through technology. And seeing young Richard Stallman here tickles me.

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Got my hands on a Sphero recently – a cute little ball that changes colour and can be controlled like a remote controlled car. There are over 20+ apps for it on the iOS and Android platforms. That the company Orbotix managed to sell about half a million of these and build up a community of developers, are testaments to its success. It has a cool induction charger as well:-

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The new Kinect for XBox One


Microsoft has just launched the new gaming and entertainment console – the XBox One about two days ago, and the new Kinect is an integral part of this console. The new Kinect is remarkably more powerful than the previous and original version which has been around for a few years. I am familiar with the capabilities of the original Kinect, having used it for a performance installation in my final semester project at LASALLE  in a real time performance with dancers and actors.

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[Article] Why has Singapore failed to prepare its citizens adequately for the knowledge economy

A scholarly and well-articulated essay written by respected blogger – Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, who has worked for a couple of years at the Business Intelligence Unit at the Economist.

I myself am a product of Singapore’s education system and I have worked at a government agency for a couple of years. This was before I took a plunge into the unknown by enrolling myself in a new media art course in an art school here. All my life I have been subjected to the government system – its media, education system, civil service culture, serving national service for 2.5 years. And there had been many a times when I felt out of place in the system or that something was wrong with the larger picture but I could not quite place it. But eventually when social media came about and I read about how others felt the same way I did, I felt increasingly like Truman in The Truman Show when he discovers that his whole life has been a fake constructed reality for a television show.

I empathise with what this article is saying. For example, that our education system is rather dysfunctional in the current knowledge economy, and that the ideological bias of the government who dominates the economy here is outdated and outmoded, being based in the mindset of the industrial revolution.

Paper qualifications don’t mean much in this new economy but mindsets and the ability to innovate are. Rote learning in our education pedagogy is irrelevant in the information age, but multi-disciplinary thinking and ability to synthesise and execute ideas are important.

I blame our media and socio-political environment. There is censorship and control by the government everywhere. The mainstream media is becoming increasingly irrelevant compared to social media due to censorship and functioning merely a mouthpiece for the government. Artists cannot express themselves freely lest their funding is cut by the government. The SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are also crowded out by the monopoly of huge GLCs (government linked companies). National service which all Singaporean males have to go through, is about a military culture of unquestioning obedience that is at odds with the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit essential to the new economy.

I think it all boils down to a lack of respect of the individual here. This is also why Singapore’s track record on human rights is poor. Sigh.

Learning Android development

I ended school last week with my thesis submission and presentation. Yes I am done with school! I am done with the three year Bachelor course in interactive art at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.

Now that I’ve graduated and have not found a proper full time job, I decided to do some freelance work. One of them would be something I have not done before – I have decided to embark on my first mobile phone app development project on the Android platform. I am helping a friend to create a weight loss app for a token fee. I am treating it as a learning experience and hopefully I will be able to complete it with some help from my ex-classmates.

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Data visualised as physical art installations

It is a trend in new media art to use data as narrative, using such technologies such as rapid prototyping, networked data and computation design. In this curated show called “The Beauty of Data” in 2007, Jussi Angesleva (a German based interaction designer at the creative firm ART+COM and also a Professor at the Berlin University of Arts) showcased some of his students’ works. The following description of the show is taken from Jussi’s website:-

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