User Test_01 – NYC Computer Science, Opportunity Fair

SO, first user test. O_O

I took the house mask and few Cardboards with me. Tons of high school kids. Fun. Exhausted. Learned a lot. And here’s the quick-&-dirty note:

  • Multiple users is definitely much more fun than just one
    • Fun to look at each other
  • People feel interesting and WOW when looked at there hands
  • Audience played with the house when there’s an user in it 
    • Phone died so easily!!!
  • PHYSICAL <3<3<3
    • It’s special because it has a physical representative – House mask. People got it when realizing they are both physically and virtually in the house.
    • If choosing from Cardboard and house, people choose house
    • The acceptance to put their heads inside the mask is unexpected high

And also I found an important thing I have to always bear in mind. That is…


–> Scenarios for daily use
–>Physical forms and input
–>Not all by yourself, but connect to other people through VR

Midterm Presentation

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 9.36.49 PM( Click to see the slides for presentation<3 )


Good to explore

  • Mask fools others, VR fools you –> reinforce each other
  • Single experience with multiple masks, all together VR (Group experience)
  • The physical input to change VR (e.g. open door of the house to change the digital content of it)
  • Use the mask to do normal things, live daily life
  • Dive in one then iterate more
  • Strong performance, theatrical element



  • They’re confused because they don’t really know what’s the media content they’re seeing.
  • Should show both outside and inside view at the same time
  • User scenario sketch is confusing
  • What to explore
    1. Is it an introvert experience? Feel to be an introvert?
    2. Does it connect you to other people?
    3. Does it invite others to interact?
  • The introversion can’t explain all of the project. It’s not just about you. It’s about others and so much more


Next steps

  • Prepare for USER TEST!
    • What to show? Short and quick?
      • 3/16, high school kids at Columbia University
      • ITP Quick DIrty Show
      • On the floor grab people when they go pass by the restroom
  • Dive in one first
    • Control Room
      • Physical input changes digital output
        • (Is it possible that digital input changes physical output?)
      • Better user scenario (more than kid building his/her own castle, ppl don’t buy it)
      • Be more able to walk smoothly ( Tested on 3/10 by myself)
      • The distance between user’s eyes and phone in real world, is different from the distance between user’s eyes and eyesight plane in the virtual world :
      • Couldn’t find out the usage to import other video feed yet
      • Daily life use possibilities
        • For now, the mask’s appearance is LOUD, and the content inside is also LOUD
  • Iterate more
    • People are interested in
      • Two people
      • Group (as a single AR effect though)
      • Nonverbal Mask
      • Projector Mask


mushroom. intervention. systemic.

First thought after reading “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”, Arts of Inclusion, or, How to Love a Mushroom”, and the interview with Oliver during weekend is that, I kind of found the purpose of a project, what can I do about it and what’s the possible future of a project. As an artist, I can start from


, start from developing deeper and knowing thoroughly about what I love, and then gradually, with the creative interventions, I can bridge worlds between public and the field where my passion lies.  Quoted from Anna “… my stories tell how advocacy for mushrooms can lead to projects for democratic science and publicly inclusive wellbeing.“, I’m inspired to search what I’m crazy about and immerse myself in it. Before that, I don’t really understand the goal of this class now I’ve found it. It’s not about just trying to use fungi in your projects and trying to involve Led, motor, Arduino, but trying to intervene this mysterious field with your point of view. Then as a messenger, you expose the rarely-knew info and make it connect to the public.

Thus, simplifying and more comprehensive project update:

2014-02-19 08.08.44


  • One line description: See the world through fungus.
  • I want to build up connections between fungus and people, and further take fungus as a bridge to connect people with the world beyond fungus. Thus being aware of what fungus is, what fungus does, how does it affect the planet.
  • The idea is playing with the notions from “Mycelium Running” by Paul Stamets,
    • I see the mycelium as the Earth’s natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.
  • One particular thing I’d love to highlight is fungus’s decomposing ability. It is the key of the nutrient cycling system, and also degrade or remove toxins from the environment.
  • So yes, it’s a project with eco-friendly aspect and hope people will be more aware of the environmental issue.


  • Upon a box of soil, are 5~8 mycelium lights hanging and changing between bright and dim gradually.
  • In the background screen, playing the collage of the mycelium activities(growing, moving, etc) video footages, representing fungus’s daily life.
  • Once  someone comes near(detected by ultrasonic sensor), the mycelium lights speed up changing, and forming a pattern of spreading. Also, the screen’s content turns to show the interactions between fungus and humankind, including foraging, pollution, infection, bio-chemical etc.
  • If time permits, the soil will be pushed by the solenoids beneath, amplifying fungus’s awareness of us.


  • Mycelium Lights * 5~8
    • wrap mycelium(post-blender) around balloons, and poke the balloons once mycelium eats all the materials
  • Wood sticks * 4
  • Wires hiding in flax ropes
  • Wood base
    • soil in wood box
    • ultrasonic sensor attached
    • solenoid beneath(if time permits)


Also about the case study, one thing interests me that most of the projects from reading and from Oliver, all have certain degree of public influence, and create new behavior. I wonder how many artist originally had this kind of visions and how many artist eventually made it and change the real world? Or are they actually all make it through but just in different level? And how can we keep our vision and passion vivid and lively?

physical aspects {Tranquil_v2}

Based on the physical characteristics assigned by Neva:

  • Scale: Immersive versus Distant
    • distant
  • Density: Heavy versus Light
    • light, in order, orientation like lotus
  • Rigidity / Elasticity: Hard versus Soft
    • freely, floating, soft
  • Energy-Level: Exciting versus Calming
    • calming
  • Number: One versus Crowd
    • only one
    • or many but with a lot of space, freely floating like stars

I adjust my {Tranquil_v1} from this:

to this(click to switch the background mode(black, grey dots, white), it’d run faster if you enter the post to see):


Quick notes after Winter Show 2013

Dope Ropes



  • “Is it NIME? Just PComp? Wow good job guys, amazing!”
  • “What does it do?”
  • “Wow I like that, check this out, this is my favorite!”
  • “Why do you choose those sounds?”
  • advices for the ropes attachment
  • very satisfying when pulling
  • bell instrument
  • “Are they sex tool ropes?”
  • pretty on and off switch LED
  • “LED is fun.”
  • Are you a musician?
  • Can you compose song with this?
  • Using headphones for this.
  • Speakers can be located separately for each set.
  • People are afraid they’re going to pull it down; afraid to pull in the beginning

Aftershow Notes

  • too high to adjust, all the wires need to be glued to be stable
  • xbee data sending –> glitch!
  • pulling instrument –> potential, because it’s rare. The only association people have is ringing the bell.
  • people seems more related to recognizable sample sounds
  • pitch changing one needs to be more subtle and gentle
  • Pulling demonstration helps people understand






  • some just pass by
  • some enjoy it, standing for a long time and coming back later
  • people feel more comfortable when I’m not beside the stand
  • watching –> realizing –> smiling –> seeing EyesMouthes –> laughing
  • “Ha. Big brother is watching.”
  • “How do you say this title?”  “I see. Sounds like what they look like.”
  • “Fun” “Very interesting”
  • “Hmm”
  • “What should I do?” “How does it work?”
  • “Can I take picture with it?”
  • “Can I record this?”
  • people wave at the camera
  • “It’d be cool if it can detect me smiling”
  • interested in how it works
  • “I want to take this home and put it in my room.”

Aftershow Notes

  • If it’s workable would be more interesting to open more sketches
  • Ideally two computers with 4 projectors!
  • can add more interaction function e.g. detect smile and laugh
  • more knowledge about surveillance and psychology of people’s react with it

Application_What’s your definition of time?

a glass of wine and a clip of time.

a glass of wine and a clip of time.

It’s a response to Einstein’s Dream, written by Alan Lightman. Einstein’s Dream is a novel depicts several kinds(approximately 27, I counted) of world views, based on Time. In one world, time is circle that bends back, in one world cause and effect are erratic, and in one world time has changed plans thus sometimes people can glimpse the future. Beautiful and sad stories happen. Being a fiction novel, the book well translated the vision of Einstein in an artistic way.

As for my thoughts  –time exists in each individual’s mind. We can decide our own setting of time, just like what the book depicts. It might flows backward, or it might be in what people live just one day. Once our mindset changes, we can live in whatever kinds of the world the book depicts, and of course in the world you define.

Right now, I live in the world where everyday is the day before due. Chased by deadline, sometimes I work hard to try to win the race against time. Like trying to occupy all the seats in a hall against time. Compared to my rush and anxiety, time moves on gracefully in its pace. Or sometimes, I ignore the existence of deadline in the  “Oh Whatever” way. I explore the environment leisurely and spend time admiring surprising details of life. It’s like comfily curling in a sled, and let time drag me forward. I still do my work, and it probably just turns out being ordinary, but I’ll never be left behind. I can choose to be either kind of person. It all depends.

But this is not my ultimate dreamy setting of time. The one which is closest to my ultimate dreamy setting, SO FAR, would be –time is like the video clips you can stroll around on Youtube. Sometime at night, after all the work, it’s time for a glass of wine and a clip of time. Vividly, you see the beloved eyes from your grand grandmother, the ones without wrinkles, and you interpret the words from her that you couldn’t before. Or it’s a chilly random night, you and he continued the first acquaintance at bar to a 24/7 breakfast branch. You re-cover the taste of alcohol with eggs and pancake, and re-cover the talks of non-sense with visions of future. Or it’s an unexpected museum visiting, and you re-feel the shocks and touch of amaze from the first time of seeing the workpiece of your all time favorite artist.

In this closest to ultimate dreamy definition of time, that each clips of time is reachable, I can hold the one I thought I’d never be able to hold again, and I can recapture the sudden emotion pulse I thought I’d never be able to feel it again. Dose it sound too beautiful to be perfect? What’s the drawback of this? And what’s your ultimate(or the closest)dreamy setting of time? Those are the questions I’d love to quest you guys 🙂


Web_Free On Internet?

Response to Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality.

From this article I learned the idea of internet isolation. It has never occurred to me, about being locked in the social media website. Internet is amazing because any person can share information with anyone else, anywhere,  and each piece of information has it’s address– URI, which is accessible for everyone. And this related to me deeply because during the first homework of Web(building website w/ html), because it’s the first time I felt the existence and importance of URI, and therefore was more shocked to realize that, each information we send through Facebook, Twitter, etc. doesn’t really have its own URI!! Quoted– “…the more you enter, the more you become locked in.” It was really a horrified moment when I read through this.

But, then I thought about something probably being equally important… what about privacy? Quoted– “…walled gardens will never better than the open world.“, it seems quite right at the first glance, but… really? For the outside world, of course it’s wonderful that you can go where ever you want, but personally, we all need personal place. Probably not a good metaphor, but I think most of the people will agree walled gardens are not that bad, sometimes even lovely?

It’s really an interesting human behavior that people post personal info and feeling on the Facebook/Twitter, and then ask for privacy. It’s this kind of humanity that makes this problem complicated, but at the same time makes this world more vital and life 🙂



There’s an old Chinese saying– “Water can carry a boat; it can sink a boat”, and I think it can also describes technology perfectly. There’s no black-and-white judgement for technology, and in my opinion any innovation is neutral. It is human that makes the difference. For example, text message can be an excuse to avoid talking to someone(causing isolation), but at the same time it’s efficient to send quick and clear information(saving time). It all depends on how human use it.

But, I don’t mean that inventors don’t need to be aware of their doings. At least not in the vicious way. Inventors cannot control the usage of their invention by others, but at least they should, or try, to hold an intention to make this world better. Villains are not welcome to this world, sorry.

V&S_01_Copy and paste ourselves!

Before I start my feedback to the Video and Sound week_01 reading/video-admiring, let me introduce you the “70 Million” by Hold Your Horses, one of the millions(or countless) of sweet and juicy fruits of plagiarisms!

Before this essays/videos assignment, I had an impression that America was strict about copy write and filing law suits about it every single days. And now I know they only represent business. Free spirits exist behind those ugliness and I feel awesome to be here, because I buy the spirit that plagiarisms is inevitable and it dose make good works. Just like before writing a good movie screen, screenwriters must read/watch tons of scripts/stories/movies before, and it’s a lie to say they aren’t affected at all. Indeed, I might hesitate or even be angry about the plagiarisms if it’s about my works. BUT. Since this hasn’t happened on me so I’m good.

Also, there’s one thing really turns me on–“Most artists are converted to art by art itself.” quoted from Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstacy of Influence: A Plagiarism. In my ITP two years I’ll keep copying and pasting myself, and wait to see what will I become in the end of this journey.

There’s another things I want to mention, that’s in Kirby Ferguson’s Embrace the Remix video, he said that “… Creativity doesn’t come from within, it comes from without. We’re not self, we’re dependent on one another…” Isn’t it one of the important core notions of ITP, to collaborate? We rely on each others, building ideas based on other ideas. For me, the process is like building a pyramid. We collect “resources” to construct bases, layers after layers, and in the end we reach the point of the pyramid and finish our works. Everyone builds his/her pyramids, with different heights and shapes.


In the first week of PComp reading, 1) Crawford’s “The Art of Interactive Design” ch01, ch02, 2) Bret Victor’s “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design”, I’m gonna post about the question assigned from Tom, some random thoughts through the reading,  and some inspiring words. Let’s begin!

Answers to the questions(duh)

After this class’ discussion and exercise, and reading Chris Crawford’s definition and Bret Victor’s rant, how would you define physical interaction? What makes for good physical interaction? Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?

  • Unlike general interactions(such as conversations etc.), the physical interaction involves materials, such as devices, chemicals, and living things. It’s a back and forth dialogue, and in the end it leaves impacts on the participants.
  • Good physical interaction won’t make its participants wander off. Participants interact with their most intuitive parts, and the experience won’t be diluted through the whole process by meaningless designs of the physical interaction.
  • The non-interactive digital technologies I can think of so far are 3D movies, tv, videogames, …, since the result of them are all set up and cannot be changed despite the different input contributed by different users.


Random thoughts–

  • In the first class of PComp, I found that professor Tom emphasizes “feedback” a lot, much more than others, during the class and within the words of the syllabus. And when I read through the first few sentences of “The Art of Interactive Design”, I suddenly realized that’s because feedback makes good interaction, and that’s the key to PComp. In PComp, we learn how to transform one element into another element with electronics as media, and at the same time, we are media too! We transform others’ thoughts into our thoughts, and we let other know ours. Along the loop of communication, amazing ideas bump out, just like what good interactive technology does.
  • Satisfying, joy, determine the level of interaction. → Good interactive device make users hard to stop using it.
  • I found myself match perfectly and miserably with the awful/disappointing listener/thinker/speaker described in “The Art of Interactive Design”! OMG I feel so sorry… That’s not my intention! Dear friends please keep talking to me, and I’ll learn the experience and improve just like what those hi-tech hard/softwares do.
  • Seeing “…Dancing alone to the music is not interaction; it is participation.” makes me wonder how cool will it be if dancers can interact with music, which means music will be affected by dancers’ moves as well! But questions are: besides the basic movement recognition, how to detect dancers’ emotions and how music responds? It’d be really interesting!
  • If movies can be interactive, it might turn out to be boring? Because audiences love unexpected stories. And not everyone can be a witty screenwriter.
  • My example of interactivity: Living. Characters: Human, Environment. Process: Human’s behavior build environment; environment affects human. It’s a loop.
  • Regarding the video “Vision Of The Future”, if people in the future rely heavily on the control panel which handles everything nicely for you, wouldn’t it deteriorate human’s intelligence/capability as well? But I still love one of its device, the transparent refrigerator. It’s fancy yet at the same time meaningful/eco-friendly, and it’s a small design to easily avoid cold air leaking.


Inspiring lines–

*Interaction: a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.
*Once words have been written down, they are scattered everywhere.
*Interactivity designer regards the thinking content of software as its function, and the user interface regards as its form.
*Interactivity design people are younger, less technical, and stronger in the arts/humanities.
*I’m not saying that we should eschew graphics, sound, or video; I’m saying that we shouldn’t make these factors the selling points of our work.
*A tool converts what we can do into what we want to do
*Pictures Under Glass sacrifice all the tactile richness of working with our hands, offering instead a hokey visual facade.
*With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?