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.

March 26: Thesis Proposal PROCESS IN SP14-WEEK 9

My recent trajectory for thesis:

-Meet LED expert:

Yesterday, I met my friend Michael who work in ESI Design Company in New York as well as one of faculty in NYU-ITP, teaching Creative LED Display in Public Art. He give me many practical suggestions about how to construct a soft and beautiful LED wall. How can I mix the LED light color and make them diffuse soft light like my inspiration picture. He ask me to purchase some stuff and make many test by them. I already order them, but I have not got them yet so far. I will list them here.

1. LED



2.And then, I need to buy a kinda special fabric or luminous textile to cover the LED wall in order to make light diffuse and soft.


16’6″ Supersilk, White, IFR

3. I can project the text content to this white textile/surface by projector.


-Jim Campbell’s exhibition

He inspired me a lot. He concerns about low resolution vision and time, and uses LED as his main material. In addition, his work is very beautiful and poetic. I love them, I feel surprise when I read each one, although they are not extreme high-tech interactive work. I think that is high level of artwork that he hide technology part and explore more meaning beyond it.


IMG_1774 IMG_1782 IMG_1804 IMG_1845




















































































-Visual Content that I really concern about and always draw me in

San Francisco:

Last week, I went to San Francisco, and I really love there. I felt natural landscape inspired me a lot. Human and nature originally have a very intimate distance,space and relationship, but due to some reasons about pollution or development thing, we can’t see beautiful landscape that often or we lost it forever in somehow. …(sth happened in my country)

屏幕快照 2014-03-27 下午2.08.07 1






Beijing haze:

It’s too sad for me. I feel like this is my homeland, but I can’t come back. And I know how it beautiful normally. 





























My Process:

Therefore, in the end of spring break, I generate my new idea about thesis. I found I still concern about landscape, and this topic is related contemporary society more.

3D space_00054 3D space_200096 3D space_300138 3D space_400176 3D space_500217 3D space_800249
































































































I will make an audiovisual installation in gallery space, and the interactive process depends on the distance between audience and installation. The distance is kind of a metaphor of human and nature. When they walk more and more near, the visual part will change from in term of color, resolution as well.

References that I really like:

屏幕快照 2014-03-27 下午3.00.25











Related materials or tech:

GPS to get the Beijing Haze Sky Picture?

Real-time video.

normal method to get video. (as a pollution dairy from now that I capture from Google everyday?)






















LCD Screens by an Artist.

Yorgo Alexopoulos

Note: I showed it because I really like this form, because it look like landscape is