Thesis Proposal

Thesis Proposal: April 11th, 2014

Chang Liu, Graduate Seminar II, Professor Liz White

Tentative Title: Distance

Interactive Arts MFA, Spring 2015 (anticipated)

General Topic:

Distance is an interactive video installation that reacts according to changes between the

audience and screen. Distance will be presented as a screen with three independent

panels(screens) and stereo. The contemporary urban landscape in Beijing is my main

visual content, and my concern is the increasingly austere environmental problem in



I will make an interactive video installation. I plan to archive a project through a

chronological visual journal which documents the daily smog of Beijing weather. Finally, I

will integrate the images with my other visual materials, in combination with video effect

and interactive function. I will put ultrasonic sensors into installation to detect the distance

between audience and screen, then utilize programming software to direct the visual

content and affects accordingly.

Supporting Research:

When I first time to think about my thesis project, I feel like I am very fascinated in

landscape, color spectrum.Then, I had a trip in San Francisco which is a beautiful city

famous for its natural environment. Except immersed in the wonderful landscape, I

realized what is my really concern about and what kind of experience that I want to create

and share with my audiences through my art work.

I have researched color theory and the relationship between eye and screen in order to

further understand more knowledge about visual perception. I found visual perception is

different according to the artists’s perspective, from small pixel by Seurat, to large pixel by

Roy Lichtenstein, to visual amplification by Chuck Close, as well as 3D pixels from James

Clar and so on. In my perspective, human and nature, they originally had a very intimate

distance, but due to pollution and urban development, we have manufactured an artificial

landscape, and may have lost nature forever. What kind of landscape would I like to

provide to my audiences? What’s the specific distance that stand for the natural and

artificial landscape, which can also convey my idea about “approach and destroy”? Is the

manufactured(destroyed)landscape is a kind of new landscape? I think the boundary is


Distance about amplification and contraction. I try to make my audiences use their body as

a scale-zoom to explore the subtle change. The change of visual part may related to

amplification vision from microscope or in unusual resolution.


I need to complete and refine my concept. Then I need to find out what method is the best

for production of video. In addition, I need to figure out what kinds of video effect I need

utilize and program in my coding software, such as Max or Processing, as well as Arduino.

Another, I need purchase ultrasonic sensors and test it in my project.


I have done some audiovisual installations over the past several years. Some of them are

immersive audiovisual video installation, and some of them are spatial installation in real

spaces. I think distance is a interesting topic that not only integrate my previous

experience, but also inspires me about the interaction process that I am currently studying.

Required Materials or Resources:

3-5 LCD/Projector, MAC Mini Computer, Ultrasonic Senors


Total(approximate): $2000

Research Note_my supporting material:Eyes and Screen

The Eye and the Screen



Color theory and the eye

The screen



Pixels from the artists’ perspective:


small pixels (perception): Seurat for babies













large pixels (process) Lichtenstein

Bauhaus Stairway  by Roy Lichtenstein

























Bauhaus Stairway  by Oskar Schlemmer
























very large pixels(amplification) Chuck Close and his technique






















3d pixels James Clar





April 2: Thesis Progress

-Summary of last week:


  • anthony mccall line describing a cone
  • distance between urban and country, between peace and noise, between physically have and psychologically have, between concrete map and abstract emotion
  • specific interactive effect I need design for audience that convey my idea about distance.


-collection work of this week:

My concern about pollution in China, especially the pollution haze&fog in Beijing. I start to collect my pictures/visual materials which come from newspaper and website as the daily report of mine. I‘m not gonna use them directly for sure, but it’s have straight relationship with my video content and very important archive for my thesis project.




In addition, these are particles of haze through microscope. Some one said “It’s terrible.”, “It is disgusting!!!” Something like that, but civilization still need breath this kind of air in Beijing even they saw those picture already. They have no choice. I feel sad. I think I will add this element as one of visual effect to express what’s my thinking and feeling.