Final project (Chen)

Group member: Charlie and Helen.

We have made a project about the second brain on our head: the King of Chin. We intend to make it in a funny style and want to show that everyone should show their true heart to each other. Chin here is just a medium. Maybe it looks weird, but it represent a real state in our mind. Here are some screenshots.

Hope users can enjoy it!

Final project(Chen)

Team: Charlie & Helen

Idea: Our project is based on two Chins, which represent our true thoughts in our mind. We are building our plot and storyline already:

So the web will mainly built by videos and audios, along with some pictures and animations. The interaction will be located in the video and can make the drawings on the chip become different. Two chins will be upside down and become a face, but normal faces will also appear to represent the pretended though part in our minds. So the demo is basically like:

The idea is inspired by a game played between me and Charlie. I just Drew some drawings on his chins and then made it look like a upside down face. This is so interesting and we just want to make it as our project concept. Now Instagram has the kind of emoji, but we think we played with it even earlier, and we will make it meaningful and storyful, more than a emoji.

Week 11: Response to “Hackers and Painters” (Chen)

In this article, the author talks about his opinion on the hackers and hacking that hacking is more like a creating and making process, just like painters doing painitings or composers making new songs. I think this idea is really interesting. First, as the author also mentioned, people usually condsider hacking as a formal and restrained behaviour that hackers must follow some specific rules and structures. But by considering in the way that computers and programs are just like the burshes in painters hands, hakcing would become creative. I like one point the author raised, which says the existence and meaning of program is not just for use, and hackers should not only use it as means or should not have an exact concept of what they would do with the programs. Hackers should make their own program, starting from no program. So the idea in hackers have are really precious, though we may not have practical program to present it, we should always remember hacking can be and should be creative. Second, hackers themselves have attitudes of being creative. Another point mention by the author I like very much is that hackers is different from programmers, just like architectures and engineers. So don’t take it for granted that hackers are just doing something with some fancy programs and difficult mathematical formulas. Wrong. Hackers have attitudes. They love programming and use programs to express themselves, just like painters. These two aspects change my stereotypes on programming and make me begin to pay attention to those “hackers”.

Week 11: Computers, Pencils and Brushes (Chen)

After reading the short article of Computers, Pencils, Brushes, it lets me rethink of what computer means to us. I have heard some scholars argued that for the future digital and artificial intelligence world, art is the only way to let human be human. However we may ignore the fact that art design is highly influenced by advanced technique. As the author said in this article: “The hand and mind will eventually become atrophied.” Because computer may simplify the art creation process. In the past, if we want to sketch a bridge we need to go there and spend more than a week to be familiar with it, then we need to find a perfect spot to start our sketch journal. However, through computer, some lazy drawers may just google it and check its information online, then they can sketch it at home. Gradually, we just lack the capability to sketch without the help of computer. As the author said, computer is just a tool with various advantages but it is not a creative tool, the beauty of art should not be determined by computer.

Furthermore, the author also points out two essential questions: When to use computer? How to use computer? I really agree with his idea that: “nothing can replace the hand in early stages of design education”. Artists should collect what they want by their own hands rather than through computer. They should use pencils and brushes to draw the world, touch and feel the temperature of their papers, make messes in their painting rooms and not feel afraid to draw the wrong thing. It’s the best way to let artist be artist. For their future development, computer is a good tool for them to enrich the meanings of their pieces.

Interactive Video Project (Chen)

For our video project, we give it a name: “Dream It Till You Deserve It”. Our basic idea is to create a story about a lost senior student who is restricted by the outside success standard. She feels confused about her future and she can not find herself. After talking with her friends who will go to great graduate school or have great salary, she can feel how different she is. She needs time to think what she really wants rather than following others’ life style. When she walks in the Century Park, she is inspired by how happy these lovely kids are. The lake, the flowers, the sunshine and the people who enjoy themselves in the park are all elements that can encourage the girl follow her true voices. Therefore, when she backs to the school, she can not help herself dancing freely. We decide to use the song called “The Song of Spring”, it can show her inner feelings: if you do not need to worry anything, then you have already had the most happiness life in the world. When she walks upstairs, it applies that her new life starts at that point.

Tiger and I focus on performing, shooting and editing the video, Flora focuses on building the web. At beginning, we want to add two frames (money and dream) on the top of the video to represent the girl’s feeling changes. However, after editing, we find that these two frames can not help users have a better understanding of our thesis. Therefore, we decide to only use the video scenes to tell the whole story. We keep the original interactive idea that users can choose where should the girl go (left or right) and what to do (essay or music). At the end of the video, we also add a message box to let users share their opinions. For the future video project, we may create the interaction part more interesting and meaningfully, such as different locations to go and different music with different types of dance.

For this project, it lets me rethink of the angles of shooting and how to use close-up shot. I think we still lack a lot of different angle shots and connections between close-up shot and distant views. Furthermore, the plots can be enriched a little bit in the future. It may need some internal monologues to help users to enter the girl’s world. But I still like how we tell the story, comparing to audio project, this one is much more fun!

Audio Project: The Novice Chef (Chen)


For our project, we want to record the first cooking experience in Shanghai, start from buying food in local market and cooking fried noodle in dorm, but unfortunately the meal is not that good at end. The reason why out main character wants to cook in her dorm is: she finds a cool market photo on instagram. Therefore, she wants to experience the local environment by herself. One of her favorite food in China is fried noodle and it is easy for beginner to try, so after preparing cucumber, egg, cabbage and different sauces, she starts to cook. However, there are lots of accidents happening there, such as breaking the glass and cutting her finger. After her first bite of the noodle, she decides to throw it into trash.

My work is to record and edit the market part. James and Rebecca record the cooking part together and James edit it later. Rebecca focuses on building the web and doing the photoshop of instgram photos. Our plan is to post four photos on the web, photos will change with the development of the whole audio story. Users can click the button to start and pause. We have successfully finished our work. The only problem we meet is how to add voice over the environment sound naturally. Furthermore, Rebecca and I have tried to make our voice sound same, but we fail to some extent. Users may hear the difference.

Maybe for the future project, we can record the voice together, both English and Chinese. Moreover, we can make the story shorter and more dramatic. It will be more interesting for users to follow our storyline.

Week 7: “Danger of single story” (Chen)

As the speaker points out, stereotype is highly related to single story telling. The world in our mind is not an abstract concept but a specific frame which is constructed by what we hear, what we observe and what we believe. Therefore, when people mention someplace or something out of our original culture, we will search in our mind about what we get from parents, teachers and different media platforms. For example, when people who live in the rural area of China talk about Nigeria, they will ask: “Where is Nigeria?”, and then if you tell them it is a country of Africa, not only will they think of poverty, illness, animal and slave, but they also think they can run super fast. Because the television tells them black runners always win the Olympics Games. When they meet a black guy, no matter he is from US or France, they will treat him as a runner from Africa. Of course, they can not tell differences among various African countries. Same thing happen in Ghana as well. When I was in Accra, I find lots of ordinary people there think all Chinese people are good at doing business. They are afraid of coming to China because they will be fooled by astute Chinese business men. Stereotype exist everywhere in the world.

The speaker is right, people need to observe the world from various points of view since it is closer to reality. Furthermore, when she mentions power, I can not agree more. In today’s world, people are influenced by the western value system, lots of information is selected and given by the western side. Sometime it will narrow our perspectives. The way to release stereotype is to avoid single story telling since worlds’ have thousands of perspectives need us to explore. Believe something after you really know something.

Week 6: “Theft and artistry: Coldplay+Beyonce” (Chen)

After reading this article, I feel we should view the cultural appropriation from two different sides. On one hand, it helps propagate the Black and Brown culture in different racial communities which can let it stand on the global stage. From listening pop songs of famous white singers, more ordinary people will pay attention to their local culture. It may even promote local economic and cultural development. However on the other hand, when the problem is beyond culture, it is more about racial differences, cultural appropriation becomes a big issue. As the article points out: the local artists should receive credit for their original works, whether get paid or be announced artistically. This is the basic line between art recreation and plagiarism. As the professor from Northwestern Universities argues: there exist a lot of thoughtless appropriations in today’s world.

For instance, white singers may use elements from African culture, Asian culture and Latin American culture, they won’t think they should thank the originality from these cultural communities but they use it naturally. Although songs get popular, no one will care where the elements come from. The originality is ignored by public. It is disrespectful for these cultural communities. Therefore, cultural appropriation should be discussed carefully.

Same to music, various art forms face the same problem. From my point of view, cultural appropriation exist everywhere, artists should show their respect of the originality and public should view this problem in two different ways.

Week 6: Response to The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism(Chen)

Different from other forms of art, literature is the hardest one to discuss originality. As Jonathan Lethem points out: “literature has always been a crucible in which familiar themes are continually recast.” From ancient time, millions of writers focus on writing the same theme: love, marriage, sexuality, inequality, poverty, war…All of them are originated from life. Furthermore, most artists are inspired by some masters when they develop themselves. Critics can easily tell the “imitation trace”. And with artists’ learning process, finally they can create their own style and works. However, the own style is based on various styles of foregoing masters. Will we treat the “imitation process” as originality or plagiarism? As Lethem says: “Literature has been in a plundered and fragmentary state for a long time”. Unlike photography and painting, it only records one moment, the probability to copy is lower than literature. Different plots from different authors can be combined in one work, it is hard to clarify the plagiarism process.

Especially for today’s world, with the development of Internet, people can search every source they need, it is easier for artists to use it for reference. People can publish their own works on internet as well. The advantage is: the whole world is connected by internet. However, at the same time, it is harder to talk about plagiarism, since people always innovate something and respect something. However, people can tell the beauty of plagiarism. For example, Bob Dylan’s works. He combines different elements from dramas, poetry and movies in his music, which will touch people in a different way. We appreciate his creation but at same time we appreciate the ancient artists as well.

Week6: Response to “On the rights of Molotov Man” (Chen)

The whole question is basically about the copyrights of pictures and images: does anyone have the right to possess the picture and control the context? As for me, I partly agree and I am more biased to Susan Meiselas. As the original creator of the picture, Susan, as she described, did record a wonderful and meaningful moment for this Molotov Man, Pablo Arauz. More importantly, she has contacted him and he knew he was taken as a photo. So actually Susan did a “creation” using her camera. Based on  or inspired by this picture, Joy “created” his picture. Both of them are creations, but their content are almost the same. Obviously, Susan should of course have the explanation and the control over the context because firstly she did the picture first And secondly, she experienced the scene with this “Molotov Man” and had the most accurate information. Joy may ask how far should the control be and should there be copyrights on these public pictures. I think he should at least give credit to Susan and tell the original context by Susan and then describe his new ideas on it. Copyright is something crucial for artist or writers to create more products. No one wants his or her products to be used randomly on others’ products. Every creator spent lots of time and energy creating these great products. Same for photographers and painters. More than commercial reasons, Susan wants her picture to be respected and preserve its original meaning for the “Molotov Man”. This may also be many creators’ thought. So when we using photos and remix things, we should also be aware of the copyright things that may lead to some problems.