From the perspective of an all-knowing, all-seeing machine, how would human be seen?
Work Type : #Installation #Collaborative #Light
Materials: Found objects / Light Tubes
Made in collaboration with Deming Chen and Longxin Chen
“Domestic Daikon”, which means “domestic-grown white radish” in Japanese, is a light installation made of ready-made: Using traffic cones as the base, the installation was filled with LED light tubes and food trash: empty drinking bottles, food packing boxes and plastic bags. All the ready-made materials were hung with fishing lines, all together constituting the look of ice-cream cones.
Trashed, dirty ready-mades together compose a sweet, shining and dreamy figure, “Domestic Daikon” gets its inspiration from a contradiction I’ve observed during my two-week residency in Yokohama, Japan: From the one side, streets in Japan, even with so few public trash cans, are impressively clean. There are very strict rules for trash sorting, disposal and recycle. Littering could receive heavy punishment including five years in jail, or fine up to 100 thousand USD. But from the other side, we realize there is no such thing as plastic bag usage charge. And foods in Japan are usually over-packing: 3-4 plastic bags could be handed out to customers every time you shop in convenience shops like Family Marts or 7-11. During the residency we rely heavily on convenience shops to buy foods and drinks. After one and half week, even we had been frequently taking out trash, we were left with huge amount of empty bottles, food packing papers, and so forth. To commenting on this situation, we took use of the trash and created three giant “ice-creams” using these trashes.
Inspired by the music video Musical Fiction, a song about the song writing process, I created this Ren’py game called A Heart-broken Boy.
I basically follow the plot in the song when designing this dialogue-driven game: a lonely boy named Robert was heart-broken in a little bar because his girlfriend just broke up with him. What did he drink? Where did he go? And who did he encounter?
See the play-through below:
With Inform 7 I created this game named “How Cinderella become the mysterious princess”, a game that adapts the scenario of which Cinderella’s godmother asked her to get several things: a pumpkin from the garden, six mice and a fat rat from the mousetrap from the kitchen , and uses her magic wand, by a simple tap, to transform these items into a fancy coach, six horses and a coachman.
Source code could be found here.
But figuring out the logics of Inform 7 was very challenging. I have the plot now pauses at where Cinderella’s godmother has collected the elements she needs and give Cinderella a luxurious set of transportation tools and servants.
How Cinderella become the mysterious princess
An Interactive Fiction by Tong Wu
Release 1 / Serial number 180926 / Inform 7 build 6M62 (I6/v6.33 lib 6/12N) SD
You are now in this spatial room. Your step-mom and two step-sisters were all dressed up and left you for the prince's party.
When their coach gradually disappeared in your sight, you starts to cry.
Look at yourself, bare feet, a dirty grey dress. How could you go to the ball like this?
Your godmother, who sees you all in tears, who was a fairy, asks you tenderly: "You wish that you could go to the ball; is it not so?"
"Yes," cries you, with a great sigh. "Well, " says godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go. Can you check around and bring me a pumpkin?"
In the room there is a door to the south, which lead to the garden. And the kitchen is north of the chamber.
>examine grey dress
A grey dress you've been given three years ago as a gift when you dad married this woman, which later become your servant uniform. It is full of patches since it has been mended many times. But it cannot hide your beautiful appearance.
The garden is full of flowers and fruits. When you are young, your mom and you are always in the garden. She put you on her lap, sang you beautiful nersey rhyme. That's one of your sweetest memory you've always treasured.
A doorway east will give you a short cut to the kitchen. Don't bother going back to chamber to find the kitchen.
You can see a pumpkin patch (in which is pumpkins) here.
>examine pumpkin patch
Take pumpkins, as your godmother said.
In the pumpkin patch is pumpkins.
Bring it to the kitchen to see your godmother.
The kitchen is where you've been staying in for the past few years. Every day you wakes up before everyone in the house, and dedicately prepare breakfast for your families.
You god mother is now here. She is waiting for you to give her pumpkins.
You know every corner Inside the kitchen , including the mousetrap an old servant placed in the northeast corner.
A doorway south will bring you back to the chamber, or you could use the door you just came in that takes you to the west to the garden.
You can see a mousetrap (in which is six mices) here.
You gather the finest pumpkin you could get, and brought it to you godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help you go to the ball.
Your godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.
There are six mices, all alive.
In the mousetrap is six mices.
You so damn brave, girl. Your godmother gives each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the mouse is that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether make a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse colored dapple gray.
Being at a loss for a coachman, You said, "I will check the rat trap in the yard and see if there is not a rat that we can turn into a coachman." "You are right," replied her godmother, "Go and look using the door to the west."
This is the exit of the house with beautiful lawn and a huge fountain.
You can see a rat trap (in which is three rats) here.
>examine rat trap
There are three huge rats inside the rat trap.
They just keep moving and screaming, make it hard to cath. But you manage to pick the one with the largest beard..
The fairy choose the one which had the largest beard, touches him with her wand, and turned him into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.
With the help of Twine, I adapted one of my favorite short stories, “August 25, 1983”, by Argentine short-story writer Jorge Luis Borges, into this interactive story project, “August 25”.
August 25, 1983 was the only Borges short story that uses date as its title. It’s about the meeting of two Borges: Borges of 61-year-old dreamed about that he visited the Hotel Las Delicias, accidentally ran into Borges of 84-year-old and observed his death.
The essence of the story is about “dream”. By repeatedly asking “who is dreaming about whom?” in the story, Borges creates time warp under a linear story structure. He purposely set up narrative traps inside a few suspicious keywords and hides the distorted story lines insides it. You could easily fall into these traps and get lost in his world.
The theme of the double has always been around Borges - in his short stories, non-fiction works or even inside he himself. He always tried to separate the public self from the non-public self and believe they are two people.
Therefore I adapted this short story by having two story lines going together: the 61-year-old “player” visited the Hotel Las Delicias, while the 84-year-old “player” went back to the apartment of Calle Maipé, and they ran into each other. There are several steps where, by choosing different way of answers to the question, you may switch from the 61-year-old to the 84-year-old, or vice versa. And you only notice the role change by figuring out the logics of the on-going conversation.
I did my avatar scanning in the micro studio with Yiyao. I set up three spot lights to provide enough lighting.
I had my first scan as a burst scanning with my hair down. The texture of hair then became bulky and rigid in the final scanning result. Also it leaves terrible distortion on my shoulder part.
The second scanning went much better after I tied my hair up. But my partner started scanning my face from a side angle, which led my face look distorted.
“Tong can be anyone today” is a self portrait project of mine creating with express server and p5.speech library. Every time it listens to the keyword “Who is she” and “What’s her job”, the server will randomly pick and play a 3-second short clip from two videos as the answer to these two questions.
The project is now running on https://tw950.itp.io:7000/index.html
Cautionary Tale for Chinese is a sarcastic tale generated with Tracery that features the terrible end of a Chinese who escaped from his socialistic reality and then ended up being eaten by decadent capitalism.
The tale was adapted from a 1907 children's book written by Hilaire Belloc called Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years. Besides the tale which I chose for this project, “Jim: Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion,” the book also includes other tales with similar structure and topics: "Henry King: Who chewed bits of string, and was early cut off in Dreadful agonies”, “Matilda: Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death" and “Rebecca: Who slammed doors for fun and Perished miserably”.
The tales for children in this book have such a strong sense of disciplinary power, which keeps reminding me of the invisible surveillance and regulation from the government that I experienced when back in Shanghai this summer.
I keep the original structure of the tale as six paragraphs, and extract the key conflict of this story:
“Jim” escaped from the protection of “nurse”, even though he was treated well and given lots of “good food”.
“Jim” ran into a “lion”, he shouted out “words” to his “nurse”, but it was too late, and the “lion” ate him.
“Jim”’s parents wasn’t too sad about their son’s death, because “Jim” wouldn’t do what he was told.
“Jim” - Here I replaced “Jim” with a collection of “Top 10 common Chinese names”
“nurse” - “Nurse” is a metaphor for something that provides protection/daily need while restricts the free will of Chinese people.
“lion” - “Lion” is the invader as well as the terminator to “Jim”’s life, which I interprets as cultural invasion. So I picked a few stereotypical cultural “invaders” to Chinese culture such as Hollywood movies, idea of LGBT equality, DINK, K-pop.
“good food” - The book The Global Trap gives this 20/80 theory, in which 20 percent of 21st century’s population keeps the economy going, while the rest 80 percent of frustrated citizens “happy with a mixture of deadeningly predictable, lowest common denominator entertainment for the soul and nourishment for the body.” These low cost entertainment is called “titty-tainment”, which is how I interpreted the metaphor of “good food” in this tale.
“words” - With his life threatened, “ Jim” finally realized his protection only comes from obeying his nurse, so he shouted out “help” to his “nurse.” Here I adapted the word “help” with the Core Socialist Value, which is a set of new official interpretations of Chinese propaganda about socialism promoted at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. Shouting out the “core value” has an explicit meaning of the ultimate surrender to his protector.
1.Final Presentation"I-Ching Master" is an oracle deck I created, where the querent uses their own sketch instead of flipping coins to get I-Ching hexagon results that tells their fortune or gives suggestion about their concerns.
The demo could be accessed at https://tongwu226.github.io/I-ChingRead/
2. Inspiration & Methodology
I was inspired by two very traditional divination methods originated from east Asia, I-Ching and literomancy.
Traditional I-Ching divination consists of 64 hexagrams, composed of six stacked horizontal lines, where each line is either Yang or Yin decided by throwing three coins together for six times.
Literomancy is a form of fortune telling widely practiced in Chinese-speaking communities, where the querent asks the reader a question or tells a concern, then writes down a Chinese character. The reader tells the fortune or gives prediction on how to solve a question based on analyzing each single part of the character, or by adding strokes to or subtracking strokes from the original character to indicate potential change.
My oracle deck was just a clean, black box mimicing Fu, an important tool which is the symbol of Daoism practice, on which Daoist practitioners draw the incantation and make it function as summons or instructions to deities, spirits. An individual who participates in my divination practice could think about his/her concerns in mind, and then freely draws on the black canvas. The "Erase" button could clear the canvas if the participant is not satisfied with the drawing. Once done, he or she could press the "divination" button, which then generates four hexagram results from I-Ching based on the drawing. And the "read" button would generate content that explains what each hexagram result means, based on the traditional interpretation of I-Ching.
3. The Algorithm Behind
The algorithm behind this prototype is based on calculating the proportion of the pixels actually being painted in four different sections of the canvas, and mapping each of the four outcomes generated by the sketch to 16 hexagon results. Therefore, each drawing could generate four random results from 64 possible hexagon results.
4. ReferenceSimple I-Ching hexagons illustration: http://www.eee-learning.com/article/2076 I-Ching hexagon result interpretations: http://divination.com/iching/lookup/12-2/
IntroductionFor the first meditation assignment, with Dan Oved as my collaborator, we created the Indecision Space, a mobile-friendly ritual accessed at http://indecision.space. This is an “electronic” ritual that visualizes the conflicting thoughts we usually have when making a decision and explores how human's minds are influenced by unrelated implication when making decisions. In the system to perform this ritual, the participant:
- Thinks of something he/she feels undecided or worries about
- Holds his/her phone and waits patiently for 5 seconds for the results to come out
- Gets a sentence of "oracle" that suggests about decision making
Documentation of ITP students performing Indecider
InspirationThe idea of Indecider came from our discussion about what part of our daily routine is worth transforming into an electronic ritual. We went from ideas that celebrates our "graduation" from a day of ITP, as many of us stay in ITP until pretty late, to posting on Facebook every single time someone solves a bug, then finally to Indecider. We want to write a small program that performs the role of the Oracle of Delphi, who is the High Priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi that served as the oracle, that could let us know the "oracle" from program about our common life struggles.
How it works:The oracle is actually nothing but a sentence "the answer has to do with something ..." plus an adjective word picked from a database with about 300 common english adjective words. And to avoid stereotypes about "fortune telling" or "goddess", I sketched two cats, one for the "indecision" and the "undecided" pages with a question mark and one for the "oracle"page with an exclamation mark.
We add a three-second waiting time before you can hit the button "Oracle, please help me choose" and a five-second pseudo-loading time for the oracle to show. Based on our own experience and our observation of others performing the ritual, proper amount of waiting time in a ritual raises people's interest in and attention on the results that's about to come out, and it helps to enhance the sense of the ritual.
Thoughts:As we experienced as well as observed, most people who performed the indecider ritual consciously try to build a loose connection between the oracle and a choice they have in mind, or try to interpret the oracle and associate it with some practical suggestions. And the interpretation actually to some extend is a process to convince the person who practice the ritual something he/she prefers or has decided.
- Huffington Post - "Fingers, Water, Tails - Tactile Tech at ITP"
- New York University PR Team -"ITP Winter Show 2016 Highlight"
As the continuation of the midterm project , Tong and Nick decide to develop their ideas and design a RPS game robotic hand (and arm) that are more interactive and with more personalities. The final presentation for this project is an installation in which users could simply come and play with the RPS game robotic hand without wearing any extra devices.
(1) 3D printed Robotic Hand & ForearmTo build the hand and the forearm of the robotic hand, we used the models from InMoov, an open source model library for 3D printed life-size robot. We used superglue and 3mm filaments to connect finger joints, 3d printed bolts to connect between the forearm and the hand, and used fishing lines and servos to control finger movements.
(2) Robotic Hand & Forearm Assembly
The Orignial Version (Nov.2017):
(3) RPS Robotic Hand w/ Flex Sensitive Glove
We designed a flex sensitive glove for this installation. There are two flex sensors, a "start the game" button, and a “throw” button, all sewed to a right-hand glove and connected to a Arduino Nano board, which has a nRF24L01 wireless transceiver that talks to the other same-kind transceiver from the robotic hand part.
To play the game, player would put on the glove, press the "start the game" button, then press the "throw" button twice, and make a hand gesture indicating his/her choice of rock, paper or scissors.
Final Version (December, 2017):
(4) Leap Motion
For better user experience, we use leap motion to replace the glove with flex sensors, which was in the previous version of the RPS game robotic hand. By doing so, users could simply activate the robotic hand by doing certain gestures such as waving.
（5）Re-design the forearm
We also redesign the cover for the wrist part and rearrange the motors, so a steel tube could run through the arm part, which allows the hand to be mounted inside an acrylic enclosure and move up and down freely.
Two other elements are added to the design: a gesture display board, and a set of LED lights. The gesture display board would light up the corresponding icon as what the user does during the game, which helps users to understand whether or not their gestures are detected correctly. And the set of LED lights would light up in turn when an user throws twice before doing a RPS gesture.