Thesis Research PROCESS IN SP14-WEEK 5

Inspiration from some recent exhibitions:

Doug Wheeler @David Zwirner

I have been David Zwirner Gallery to experience the wonderful light spatial installation work by Doug Wheeler. I think he create a fantastic and immersive environment, and the light that he used make the space looks mysterious and feel dizzy.


3D PrintShow

I saw many 3D printing piece, and sculptures at 3D PrintShow in New York, which just happened last week from Feb 13th-Feb 15th. The two pieces impressed me a lot! I love some landscape stuffs, and it inspired me to continue my interests and prolong my pervious ‘sound mountain’ concept, but maybe the new thing is employing body language to reconstruct the landscape shape, presenting kind of the urban landscape.


-Light Research (a little bit)

I really like some light installations. I’m still doing many different kinds of light and their work principles during this period.




Yesterday, Madeline Schwartzmanf gave us a great presentation of her book, See Yourself Sensing. She is very impressive, and has sensitive view of artwork whatever the digital art field or fine art. From her presentation and her book, I known more about how to do a real efficient and practical research based on one concept or topic but combine many other directions. This is my issue. I always feel lost in my own research. In studio critique , she said she likes my work, especially in visual part, but she suggests me to think about more on concept. Her point is that my artwork need a real specific and powerful concept inside. Yes, sometimes, when I explain my work, and explain some keywords that I concerned, such as Landscape, sound visualization, interactive and identity. She said it is great because I can clear to think about what I like and what I concern, but I need to make myself more clear about what the specific point you want to convey from your work, whatever the idea is big or small, smart or kind of “stupid”. If it is interesting and powerful, it will be explored by artists.

When I showed my Thesis Research Keynote to her, she gave us some suggestions. She think I already found what I like, what can be reference of mine. She recommend me to read more about the origin concept of these artwork references, because artwork is not only just something looks cool, but also have a strong and unique concept inside, like the soul. Yep, that should be very difficult to combine a great visual part and powerful concept together in an interactive spatial installation. Maybe due to her original education background is architectures,so she have an novel viewpoint of space. From her perspective, she think body is an extendable space and communication between people also form a new space. That inspired me to think further about space.



Week 4:Feb.5th – Feb. 12th


review my materials/reference and my proposals from last semester until now…

I must admit I’m a collecting-addicted guy in images, videos, books and many kinds of information. I collect images everyday from different channels, so I always have a big storage folder which is fun and rich. However, I found many innovated artworks, creative ideas, latest technology methods are update everyday. I definitely can’t catch all of them that make me even can’t focus on one specific topic and constantly develop it for a long time. From this week , I decide to slow down my tempo to review these current information, artwork references and inspiration, because if I continue to find more references, I may totally get lost in an more wide ocean and I can’t find my own direction. In the other hand, a amount of artwork references are kinda of overwhelming for me, because those artists and artwork which I choose are such successful and influential. I don’t want to see a big shadow in my own thesis work in the future.

I think these current materials and references are enough for me. I started to review them from the discussion activities: 3 WORDS OR PHRASES “CLUSTER” and INDEX(1ST) FOR THESIS which happened in the end of last semester. I reviewed the two presentation proposals which are “Artist Talk” and “Thesis Inspiration Presentation”. I realized I’m not that confused in my thesis topic, however, I found my favorite direction never be changed that is about spatial installation, body language and emotion, human’s perception in an immersive space.


The second thing I done in this week is make a category of my references including different aspects.

Form:wall piece,spatial installation,objects…

Materials: projection, 360  panorama projection,LED, OLED, Lights……

Text Description: Text reference about description of artwork

Visual Part: -motion sensors+camera+tracking-get real-time capture environment live feed;

-generate landscape shape employed human body and body language;

-video layers on/off effect controlled by human body;

Sound Part: reflective sound feedback in specific spot

Interactive Experience: -human body-time-left portrait-time-subtle transforming effect in colors, shapes, and density-think about the different viewpoint may watch a variable thing;

-tracking the direction of body language or tracking and analyzing facial expression to interact/make a reaction between audiences and work.




Space Construction:transparent fabric/voile may be contracted  in an intricate structure,kind of extend my pervious work Manufactured Landscape. 


Artwork Packaging: I think thesis project is more like a big project which should including the main object and some other Derived/related Works which may includes 3D printing objects,drafts, paintings, visual elements high-res printing works and mobile application. Although I’m not sure that which parts will be involved in, it is a worthing question to consider. I know it sounds like a huge project that generate a lot of stuff to do. Well, whatever which part I plan to accomplish, I still need to consider this question because of I always think whatever the work comes from a simply or a complicated idea, the completeness of an artwork is really really important.



(PS: When I saw a pervious thesis work of other student was disassembly abandon in our studio corner,I felt like very sad and regrettable.)


Timeline, following days, studio visiting, technology experiment, test……ing,Thesis iBook

Technology experiments before Feb.21:

-kinect tracking and impact visual effect

-tracking data from kinect and make delay portraits(Luckily, I’m learn this kind of tracking skill in my DDA elective class: performance.)

-IR sensor/motion sensors,force sensor, tracking software and hardware……(still not sure,purchase list in process)

-thesis iBook is my personal idea because I try to put all of stuffs including brainstorm reference, logical flow, inspirations, book note, research process, influential artwork and exhibition, technology test result, prototype and so on together which will make me more clear and more easy to show to my classmates and professor. I try to do it.

New books I read:

Staging Space by R. Klanten, L. Feireiss


Along Together by  Sherry Turkle

The vital of illusion by Jean Baudrillard

Stay tuned…

Research Process in SP14-Week 3

Week 3:Jan.31th-Feb.5th

-Thesis Flowchart/Logic from Other’s Paper

In this week, I borrowed Taezoo Park’s Thesis Paper and DVD documentation. This is my first time to read a completed Graduate Student Thesis Project. It make me more clear to know how to build a thesis project and main aspects we should follow. In general, It would start from a interested theme, then do a deep and profound research and then accurately select some direct references. In the following step, we need to confirm our idea and make it specific and clear. That’s more important then other aspects, such as visual part, sound part, interactive part, because that is essential part of an artwork. Moreover, I need to resolve the technological  issue and do some tests. Finally, we need to think about the exhibition form and derivative stuffs from this work.

-Make a Thesis Schedule

I will make a thesis schedule from now, because time is very tight. I will  add/delete timeline based on my schedule and make everything is in a straight-forward process.

-Theme/Concept Confirmation

In this week, I was doing some work about confirming my thesis project theme. Last week, although I already said I found I am fascinated in space, big screen, illusion and installation, these are all kind of wide topics. Currently, I read some books and watched some films which are all recommended. I want to find the specific point that I will convey, in another word, the theme and the storytelling part is my first step whatever my work is abstract and narrative. They all need a story/structure inside. It’s kind of the core of whole work.

-Technology, Material, Research

Last weekend, I went to Chinatown and Greenwich Village and tried to find some light stores or LED light market which are common in China. It was like a “light material research field trip” of mine. However, I didn’t find a suitable one which can meet my curiosity, and I didn’t get some inspiration from there. Another, lights as a kind of material are expensive in New York, despite they are attractive, and many artists use them. I must do more exploration about that and I already sent email to a friend who is a light expert.

-Issue/Search for Solution

The thing is I felt the time is quite tight, but I am not quite sure the thing that I’m doing is right. That’s the big problem! Actually, I eagerly want to know how can we get the first step, what the schedule should be helpful. In my personal suggestion, could you display some thesis samples for us at class.(I think it is the purpose that you asked us to read thesis paper by other people.) , or introduce some experience stories of yours. I think that would be a good guide and inspiration to make us get more clear direction and have a more efficient work plan.

Research process about Thesis Project in Winter Break

In last semester, I started to think my thesis project and I already had some ideas assembling in a rough way. In general, my thesis idea will much related to space, vision, structure and interaction.

I am fascinated by the concept of space, and how digital media can  challenge spatial boundaries, encouraging audiences to suspend their sense of reality and become immersed in a new surreal space. The concept of space is an origin, from which I think about many spatial elements, such as light, vision, sound and interaction. In another way, I can replace the word “space” with “context.”

The book Brutal and Beautiful by Elain Harwood, an architecture historian, offers this thought: “Space is a consecrate place and no one knows the dimension and depth.” I was inspired by this sentence and these words also reminded me of some other influential installation artists such as Ann Hamilton, Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell. They are all masters of how to handle spaces and successfully leverage space with their artistic concept, visual elements, materials, sound and interactivity. Their works provided an immersive environment for the spectators, and more importantly, they provide a new impressive experience for viewers.

In my perspective, a space can be a canvas, and inside the space, as if on a canvas. I need put the installation, create the visual elements  incorporate the sound, develop an interactive function and guide to my audiences to a real immersive experience and make them generate some new emotion and perception.


Based on these elements, although I am not clear about what I need to do in a physically or practical way, but at least I already established the direction of my research. I will develop it through this semester. Through this semester, I need to prepare my materials, explore the technology, resolve problems in technology and constantly refine the artistic content.

Recently, I read a book, Picture and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings, by SAIC professor and art historian James Elkins. This books introduces why people cry in front of paintings. Although crying in front of a painting may be a “weird” experience for some, whichever part drives people to weep, they definitely be touched by personal experience, memory or encounters and shocked by the artwork. They may feel sad or excited, or they may feel they have been placed in a special environment and encounter a sort of new sense that they have never felt before. That’s my goal. It is a big goal, but I try to make something stimulating, powerful and thought-provoking, whatever through the visual content, interactive experiences or the space itself.

Similarly, artist Tatsuo Miyajima, who is a contemporary installation artist who has made many digital art installations. He always employs massive spaces to display his installations and presents infinite environments for audiences. Miyajima likes to use LED components as his screen and use large digital number as his main visual elements. These vast LED lights are installed on huge, flat wall without any other light sources, and diffuse the blue light which creates a mysterious an tight environment. I have been the spatial installation in UCCA in Beijing; Inside, I felt like surrounded by the digital elements, as if go in to a cyber and virtual world. Despite my attraction to the powerful environment, I felt uncomfortable with my eyes and after I had stayed in the space for a while, I felt fearful and nervous.

In addition, Jim Campbell also greatly inspired me a lot, especially in visual and interaction aspects. He is a pioneer artist of new media art, who has recently created many interactive light installations. His work always consists of bulbs and the bulbs arrays in cubic shapes like a screen, and the video on it is presented as a blur moving images, which looks emanational and touching in some way. I will try to use this method to present my video material, but I might not use the exact same form of LED screens. Campell’s concept just made me open my mind that anything could be my screen including velvet, LEDs, or even some natural things or new materials. I think these explorations might create new visual effects that have not ever seen it before; I need to explore materials further.

In term of interaction, I am fascinated with some interactive tools, such as web-cameras, sampling sound and video in real-time, and using tracking tools to make trails when people pass by in front of installation. I think I will work more on the technological aspects and find the most suitable approach to accurately convey my concept.

I am most inspired by Elke Reinhuber, a German artist who use panoramic screens to present her AR video work. I do like the immersive spaces and how she uses new technology to make the environment more immersive. Panoramic screen create 360° environment which can form a complete visual space and totally immerse the viewers in the stimulated world without interruptions.

In last semester, I have introduced another artist, Camille Utterback who made a landscape piece and employed bodies to change the video through walking pass the screen. I might use a similar method to make an interactive effect in front of my installation wall. Viewers may walk parallel to it from left to right and their bodies can be a reader and writer of the landscape. They leave their portraits behind which blend together with other in a mix of multiple, time-based layers.

3 words or phrases “cluster”

Sound Visualization:audiovisual synchronization,3D modeling, form, particles, dual experiences, waves,

Performance: experience, visual decorate, public area, illusion

Landscape: immersive, body language, manufactured landscape, artificial, illusion, reality, virtual space, time and space, confusing, utopia, urban,

INDEX(1st) for thesis

1)In the style of an “index” that you would find at the back of a book, write a list of terms that relate in some way to your interests and ideas. You might use John Baldessari’s My Files of Movie Stills as an example.


antiVJ, artificial,accessibility, atmosphere, agency, abstract, archive, 


boundary, Baudrillard Jean, behaviors, 


conversation(between medias),context provider, consciousness, confusing, cross-media, capture, contrast, compelling, communication, crossover, 


dialogue, digital artistic, 


experience, engage, empower, environment, electronic sound, emotion, encounter, 


from waves, feedback, fragment, future cinema,functional, 




illusion,immersive,intuition, internet platform(for engaged artwork),image bank, information,invisible, industrial society,interdisciplinarity, installation, interactive, interprete, integrate, innovative, 




local data, local event,



manufactured, metaphor, memory mirror, mixed culture,minimalism, man and machine,mental, meditation, 






performance, public area, public art, pervasive, process, particle system, perception, psychological, poem, participation, physical, photographic experience, perceive, possibility of interactive space



relationship(between different medias),role, responsive, reconstructure, randomly, reading(-engaging, becoming),real-time,random formations, resonate, relational aesthetics, remix, reaction, receiver, reshape, 


sound visualization, slow, subtle, social media, sensor, sensory, synthetic, second-life, spiritual, simultaneously, 


transforming, transection, transition, thought provoking, 


urban, ubiquitous, Utopia, uncanny, unexpected, unpredictable, 


vision, visual traveler, 







Week12 Reading:Exhibitions, Institutions, Communities, Collaborations(Shanken)

In this part,the book introduces some important organizations and institutions. I want to talk about some of these which I have involved in or related to, or just interested in.


Journal of the international society for the arts, sciences and technology. It is a very important organization aim to art and technology, and Interdisciplinary topic. In New York, every two weeks or 1 month, they will hold a critique salon about art  and Technology.

Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) is a nonprofit organization that serves the global network of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, researchers and thinkers through our programs focused on interdisciplinary work, creative output and innovation. From its beginnings, Leonardo/ISAST has served as THE virtual community for purposes of networking, resource-sharing, best practices, research and events in Art/Science/Technology.

-LISA Conference

On Nov.1, I have been LISA Conference 2013. It is a great and creative conference for new media art artists and coder. I think it is a good opportunity to inspired by those outstanding artists and leaders in the field.

“Leaders in Software and Art (LISA, @softwareandart) is a society of creative thinkers centered around monthly salons.  Founded by Isabel Walcott Draves in fall of 2009, LISA is a membership organization with the following

– To join interesting people together for fellowship, camaraderie and
good food and drink
– To introduce the membership to fascinating endeavors
– To become the first stop for the best new art in the world
– To advance the artistic and/or technology careers of its members
– To help creative software entrepreneurs grow their businesses”

-The Kitchen

The Kitchen is a very important art space focus on video, performance art and some new cross-disciplinary exploration.

-Ars electronica

Ars electronica is the most important award in new media field, it can be the “OSCAR” in this field.


ZKM is a leading international organization that support the creation and exhibition of work at intersections of art and provide related education programs for artist.

-Intel Corporation

Creators Projects is a young creative project sponsed by intel and collaborate with VICE magazine which is a art and design magazine aim to promote young artists culture.