Documentation of the Process

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INVERSE – final documentation

The Documentation of INVERSE (UNIVERSE)

Summary+User Experience: INVERSE by Stephanie Luong is a 3D typo-graphic sculptural art object that can be handheld and viewed in a 360 degree manner. INVERSE portrays our society’s fascination with augmentative experiences, digitalization, technology and sleekness by playing with optical illusions, sewing threads to represent data/pixels/networks and lo-tech or hand labour methods. This perspective is shown through viewing INVERSE in a landscape orientation to experience the illusion of three-dimensional depth. As the title suggests, the opposite or alternative to technology, the parallel “universe” would be nature. When observed in a portrait orientation, this dueling tension between man and nature is revealed with an organic form resembling a tree.

Keywords: Handmade, lo-tech, nature, man-made, technology, box, parallel, universe, optical illusion, art object, graphic, sculpture, graphic design, typography, sewing, data visualization, 360
Artist Statement: The world is a two-sided coin, full of contradictories, looping constraints, dueling ideas, parallels, and balance all at once. One that always attracted me is the conversation between analogue and new technology combined with the continuous conflict between man and nature. The objective was to comment on this with no use of technology and in a form of a sculpture. With selected materials being crucial to any sculpture, I decided on some unusual but simple ones after some exploring and experimenting.
For such a minimalist art work, I thought an emphasis on detail would continue my concept of duality. With this in mind, all decisions made were in the name of strengthening my concept. From example, purple sewing threads were used instead of simply black to represent hope, magic, mystery, imagination and importantly Crown Chakra (link between individual and universal). Or, another example, the small scale of the piece allowed handheld ability, like the small electronic devices of today. Or, carefully documenting my work against specific backdrops to give it context.

References to Relate Works:
1. Soapbox (2009) by Stephanie Luong – an interactive art object that embodies the ignorant and racist soap advertisements of the 1900’s. The simple, clean-cut white box lit with a pulsating glow in its opening slit, invites participates to place their hands into the box to have soap automatically disposed. To the participates dismay, the exaggerated amount of soap received depends on the colour of their skin, read by a sensor and calculated through an Arduino micro-controller board.

2. Bottled Lightning (2010) by Stephanie Luong – is a sound object that fantasizes technology’s unlimited possibilities and the continue tension between humans and nature. In the form of a black canteen bottle, as if lightning was captured and contained in the very palm of your hand, an 3D accelerometer sensor that collects data of your interactions with it, can allow you to “play god” with its behaviors, quality and characteristics. Similar to the notion of a bottle full of soda, depending on the intensity of tilts and shakes the participate performs, an Arduino micro-controller board with a wave-shield attached will playback the appropriate intensity and types of lightning bolts, rain droppings to thunders rolls or rumbles.

3. The Paradise Institute (2001) by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

File:Cardiff miller paradiseinstitute.jpg

4. Flight Patterns by Aaron Koblin

Flight Patterns

Technical/Equipment Summary: sewing threads + sewing skills, transparency sheets, clear acrylic box, glue, Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop was helpful in calculating and visualizing the scale of my type design to aid me in the sewing process. If you look closely you can see I’ve graphed the points on each transparency. I realized it was impossible to free hand the perspective element.


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Post 2: Contextualization

MPM33B – Comm. Within Hybrid Environment

eXplore posting #2: Contextualization

Since my first response to the “Why Things Matter” article, it was clarified to me that the involvement of working technology wasn’t a necessary element to this project. Since I decided my project will not have agency, I’ve shifted my project into a more sculptural piece that observes topics of networks, the digital age, blogjects’ locatablity and their spatial presences/occupancies.

I’m very much interested in the following: use of projections/projectors, mirrors and reflections, surveillance, loops/loop holes (i.e. the Penrose Stairs or in coding), layers (i.e. the onion metaphor), parallel/alternative universe/worlds, contrasting analogue ways with new technology, the constant tension between nature and humans, the fight between 2D and 3D and the complex 4D, data visualizations, illusions and skewed perspectives.

Artists and their works:

Painter Wassily Kandinsky – shape and geometrics

Lyla Rye’s – plays with perspective, space and scale, with her signature use of doll houses (architect). Artist likes to throw the viewer off optically, physically and often psychologically.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Paradise Institute

Golan Levin – floccus

Paul Sermon’s Telepathic Dreaming; the feedback and forth, loop

David Hoffos – Scenes from the Dream House; holographic illusions created by reflections of tube televisions on his 3D-crafted model-scapes.

Threads – Simone Rubi; using threads to create graphic geometric designs:

daniel barrow – transparencies; lo-fi animation narratives through a transparency projector

Aaron Koblin – Radiohead video; data visualization

Broken Social Scene’s Forced To Love – music video; 3D, digitalization

rachel whiteread – house (for its play on negative space)

image transformation matrix + love for graphic design

plastic vs. wood (sleek, manmade vs. natural, textured)

Mr. Nobody – movie; about parallel universes and alternative worlds.

joseph beuys fat’s 3D objects:

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Post 1: First Response

MPM33B – Comm. Within Hybrid Environment

eXplore posting #1: First Response

Web 2.0 into World 2.0

I’d like to explore the uncanny feeling of the virtual occupying real physical space and the real becoming digitalized. For example, why do I feel very comfortable and creepy talking to someone about the information they’ve posted online to their blog or their Facebook profile. I feel this unspoken division, that the online should remain online. If it’s posted online, it should be replied to with a comment online and not be mention in real life. But these days the line is blurred and everything has crossed over both ways. Is it only me, or do other people feel uncomfortable about this too?

Blogjects are slowly creeping out of the primordial soup of passive, low-impact thing-ness. Blogjects aspire to relevance, and assert themselves because of new perspectives or additional insights they can offer on a semantically meaningful topics.

                For my art pieces I am very interested in provoking eye-opening and worldly topics that are undermined from people’s day to day rush. This way, I feel like I’ve slowed down what we can call the “human race” for someone. As I, myself, always feel this constant race against time.

“Things” in the pervasive Internet, will become first-class citizens with which we will interact and communicate.

It boggled my mind as how an object could be first-class “citizen”. Then I thought it like how a human with citizenship who contributes to the greater society and as mentioned in class, has responsibilities. I find this idea very interesting. Day-to-day objects can then have responsibilities like a medical high-blood pressure machine reader that is responsible for a human’s live. For example, an object can be responsible to the environment too, like when the article speaks about cars who can talk about how much emissions its emitting to the world.

However this makes me think about how blogjects will make people even more dependent on technology as it is. For something with responsibility will play even bigger roles to us.

Possible projects:

1. Money Works

– An object. The tracking of how money physically circulates in our world. An as-small-as-possible sensor attached to dollar notes or coins and tracked through a GPS. Collected data can then be visualized. Or an interactive website that allows people to see how their dollar note is traveling around the world.

2. The Aware Chair

– An object. A chair that records your body weight and the time spent sitting on it. This information can then be viewed to help realize bad habits, a great tool to bring upon and/or maintain new and healthier lifestyle changes.

3. A Memorable Photograph

– A photograph is indexical, always pointing you to some place else. However, they have no agency. I’d like to explore photographic themes of lost and memories and perhaps create some sort of photograph that is a Blogject.

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Documentation of “COOKIE CRUMBS: shapes’n’patterns”

COOKIE CRUMBS is a info-graphic print/poster that features Christie’s iconic Oreo cookie, breaking down the patterns and shapes found in its intricately designed face. This poster is meant to encourage people to re-discover the smaller things in life by my simple de-construction of the familiar. By doing so, I hope to remind everyone that every little man-made thing surrounding us was once designed or reviewed by someone because this concept often goes unappreciated in our self-centered, fast-paced hectic lives.

As an artist, I have the opportunity to spark unusual perspectives or shine a new light on the dull and ordinary. I chose to do this with a very famous and loved American snack, the Oreo.

This idea began when my eyes laid on this vector image on Oreo’s wiki page.

I like the idea of data being realized visually to emphasize an issue with dramatic effect. People tend to not process numbers as well as seeing data laid out in front of us. So I thought it’d be neat to data visualize something that is already visual, such as the Oreo’s design face. For example, I thought using Oreo cookies to depict moon phases was ingenious:

Perhaps I’m OCD but I really tend to take notice of similar shapes that repeat and then generate patterns in my day to day life. For example in Joshua Davis’ work, I immediately saw the shapes and patterns in the graphic. I wondered how many shapes within a shape there were and how many of those little x’s is his graphic made of. I’m also taking a graphic design course this semester and I think this may have influenced my decision in making a graphic poster too. Plus I’ve always been a huge fan of screen prints. I think that influenced my choice in making my poster’s background very textured and almost paper bag similar to the heavy paper stock of screen prints.

I love that taking away a repetitive shape from a pattern can change your entire perception of it. For example, this Oreo should now be strawberry flavoured:

I’ve now made you see something differently and open up your imagination too!


Originally, I ambitious set out to do a series. This entailed some researching on groceries store catalogs online, educating myself on the variety of cookies and biscuits in the market. This proved harder then it sounded. Poor image quality, small photos, and none designed as well as the Oreo made it hard for me to vectorize the designs in Illustrator. So I decided to just work with one and make the best it can be.

Considered were Arrowroot, Baker's Tennis Biscuits, other bootlegged Oreo cookies, the Maria, Custard Cream, Fudgee-o, and even the Nutter Butter.

My pitched prototype was also an interactive Flash. Here is an sample of how that may have worked: ( I wanted highlights and rollovers on grouped shapes and have then animated into organized data. This working sample only goes at far as, “please play with me” and the appearing of data. I never completely figured it out so I opted for the print version of my visualization instead. I thought it’d still work well as I had made the .swf app very visually tasty.

But before my design went into Flash Catalyst, a lot of my time was spent in photoshop working with layers, cutting and pasting all the shapes and deciding my layout:

bar graph styled

preferred arrangement of data

layers and layers

final product


A .gif version (*Click image below to view animated .gif) was also experimented with, it enforced my concept nicely as you can see your perception change in front of your eyes:

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Final project – COOKIE CRUMBS: shapes’n’patterns

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mpm35a – Final Project Proposal

“Cookie Crumbs”

..finding patterns and shapes all around us.

The iconic Oreo cookie. I’ve never noticed the beautiful and intricate design face on this tasty little food item until I saw it graphically vectored.

Instead of using shapes in repetition to design wallpaper-like art, I wanted to do the opposite. I want to create a breakdown of how many times a shape or a colour was utilized in a piece of art or iconic design. I want to do this in the form of infographs. Inspiration: Joshua Davis.

I came across these infographs while doings one research for Lila Pine’s cultural theory class:

I also remember loving this:

I wanted to do more of an poster/print. Very graphic designed. However that seems a little unimpressive for a final project and since this is new media, perhaps an interactive infograph. I love processing and what it’s capable of doing but I don’t have the brain power for it. So my project will be realized in Photoshop and Flash. The process will probably go like so: take photographs of chosen items, vector to simplify and visualize the essences of the item’s design, breakdown the shapes of the vectored items in Photoshop and add function and interactivity through Flash.

Like opposite of Chris Jordan taking many small items and their issues, and magnifying them into this supersized images. I’ll be doing that on a different scale. Maybe take Jared Tarbell’s Sand Dollars and simplify them, strip them into the smaller shapes that make each dollar’s patterns.

I want to emphasize the importance of small things as they’re often easy to miss and go unnoticed and maybe use items from our daily everyday lives to depict this.

A series of cookies / crackers: i.e. Ritz, Cheese Nipz, Fudgee-O’s, Pirate’s peanut butter cookies, maple leaf cookies, Peek Frean’s fruit creme’s, and rip-offs of Oreo, Tuxedos and Twistos?

Breaking down design and the shapes that complete it. More iconic items. Perhaps Blackberry cell phones’ face plates?

Maybe appropriating works from mentioned artist?

I’ll start with the Oreo though.

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