Sunday, September 27, 2015

Processing Practice

As it was mentioned before, my project is about making people feel more interested in biological science. I planed to create an interactive animation, so I did some searching to look for software that could help me to work out this idea. I found an open source called Processing. Although the program involved some coding skills, it was very accessible for a beginner (like me) to learn. Here is a basic practice of interactive animation I did with Processing. The two figures are set to follow the direction of the cursor. But when the space key is pressed, they are replaced by a cross-shaped image.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Exhibition Review: Sound Art New Only by Name

The exhibition New Only by Name tended to bring out people's appreciation on sound as a form of art. Not just showing sound, the works included video installation, experimental art, and even sculpture piece. The two pieces really had my attentions were Clinton Sleeper's We Are Singing As Softly As We Are Able and Robert Morrison's and Jean-Paul Perrotte's Structures in Microtonal Harmony.
Sleeper's piece explored the character of pop music, noise and history. The work was presented in a short video projecting on the gallery wall. In this 5-minutes long video, Sleeper continuously put and threw dirt on a set of guitar and drum instruments. The sounds, or noise, from dirt hitting on the instruments were playing out via the stereo. A variety of audio equipment was used such as loop stations, distortion, acoustic simulator, radio and tape deck to manipulated the sounds. The piece seemed to explore what defined music and what then defined noise, and tried to build up subtle relationship between these two elements.
The sculpture installation Structures in Microtonal Harmony was right next to Sleeper's work. Morrison is aware of the relationship of sound and space and interested in inserting sound into sculpture. His collaborator, Jean-Paul Perrotte, is a composer. The eleven bronze bowls were placed along both walls. On one side, the audiences could interact and make sounds from the bowls. On the other side, the sculptures were controlled by Arduino, which played sounds randomly.
This exhibition introduced sound art, explored the connection between different sound elements, and left a space for the audience to define this new genre of art. When walking around in the gallery, I was impressed by these works, especially Structures in Microtonal Harmony which changed my view on the capacity of sound art. There were four pieces shown as I remember, but I would really like to see more amazing sound art works for any future exhibition similar to this.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sample Animation

For the style of animation, I decided to use pixel art. The reason is because it can mimic how scientific illustration generally looks like. I started with an ameba-like creature. The gif, which was done by Photoshop, shows how the animation will be, but this is only a test, so it won't be included in the project. Even though I only animated a simple movement, the process was sort of time-consuming because some parts had to be animated pixel by pixel. But overall it was a fun experience.
It is kind of interesting to mention how pixel has been connected to science in an episode of Futurama. In this episode, the characters try to find the basic unit of matter. Because the entire animation was styled in pixel art, a pixel is described as "the fundamental structure of the universe." Here is the clip of what I'm taking about.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Constructing Idea

For the my decision, I decided to make a project related to biological science and
animation. The idea is to make life science be more approachable to general audience, getting people to feel interested in this subject. It may be focused on anatomy and biological process.
I always think visual content has strong power to influence people. I hope that by using animation on my project, people are more interested in biology. I also think interaction is another way to allow people to engage with something that they are unfamiliar with but enjoy it at the same time. I will try to find possible sources for the interaction part. So far, this project is set to be an animation about life science. The drawings shown above are the drift of the storyboard for this project.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


In the first week it was to come out an idea to work for this semester. For my project, I want to study the questions that how the value of an artwork is determined, and what kind of measurements people use to evaluate an art piece.
I thought of some elements people may base on, such as how the work or the author has been widely known, the identity of the author, whether the work follow the public taste or not, the uniqueness the work has, or if the work contains technical skills.
So far, my initial idea for this project is to present it as a board game. The player, or audience who interact with it, would be the role as art collector. The game would provide images of different art works to the player and ask them to choose. During the process of playing, it may help me to find out possible answers for the question that how an art work is evaluated by the people.