Some Photos


Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou (2015.4)





Mao Live House, Shanghai (2014.12)





Shanghai (2015.3)





Chongqing (2015.3)





Chongqing (2015.6)





Focus on What Can Be Feel #V&A Project#

At the later time of my V&A project, time is limited and trouble was happened to us one by one. The most urgent of which is, we have to send the real time content from Processing to projector, to project it on the printer, while we did not know if it was technically possible, or even it was, we could not estimate the time we need to approach it.

Nicolas [who is my tutor] gave us some suggestions. He mentioned that there is a third-party software that can record the window of Processing in real time, and send it as flow to syphon, which is a plugin in Madmapper. Then we can send the video-flow to projector. Meanwhile, this method will cause decrease of computing performance.

However, would audience care about computing performance?

Obviously not. What can be feel by audience is the process of inputing, the way of interaction and the content of presenting. Apart from these, efficiency, transforming procedure and theory, are important but not so important, which is less influenceable for the whole art work.

I was conscious that it is necessary for us to pay more attention and time to the content that we present itself than other things when time is limited.

  • What can be seen and sound by user is usually easier to approach than making the whole thing really work. In the final procedure of our project, we decided to use projector to imitate the working process of dot matrix printer. Because we do not have enough time, it will be more difficult to run the printer than make it pretend to work. We found that it is a good solution for other projects as well – concentrate on the sensible part and make it exquisite as possible.

Consequently, we accepted Nicolas` advice. The time we saved were costed on re-editing the video we would present and iterating the Processing code.


Focus on What Can Be Feel #V&A Project#

Research Processes & Findings of #V&A Project#


The artefact we decided to work with, is a printing geometric figure on a piece of special paper, which is made through computer art.There are artefacts from three artists in the box we selected. They are very similar, and most of them are from the artist named Kathryn Nash. Who had later been seen as a historic people in computer art and artist-programmers.




Kathryn Nash

believed several principles which is in her book Computer Programming – ART 1 .


  • Professionalism is efficient, however, it would restrain the procedure of art working in modular method.
  • Participation design would bring more possibility for art.
  • Compared with expert in a field, people in society, usually with fewer knowledge of the field, are more open-mind and creative.


Also, in the article, Kathryn Nash and Richard H Williams[who wrote this article together with Nash](1970) outlined three fundamental approaches to making Computer Art:


  • The artist can learn a computer language and then write a program for making a work of art.
  • The artist may collaborate with an expert of computer to make a work of art.
  • The artist can use a smarter computer with a more natural language, which can understand more the mind of art.


After analysing from some former examples, Nash realised that the third way in all three can keep the most initial mind, and seems to be approachable. Then she notified the modified the process model of the printer and computer, with unbelievable difficulties[in 1970s], to change the printing process depending on the computer language, into a process depending on numbers.

For example:

Signal of 2 specifies that the character is to be put in to second array;

Signal of 010 specifies the number of rows in the SOLID RECTANGLE;

With the improved old computer in 1970s, Nash finally made many interesting, beautiful and potentially revolutionary artefact.






Tracing on Nash`s procedure

in making work, we are impressed by her creation and insistence, and inspired by her method as mentioned in the beginning:


  • Can we reproduce the narrative? with much more advanced computer program[which is more understandable to human], to make the same art work through the same procedure[the printer Nash used is analogue, and she made the art work by printing on a same piece of paper over and over again].
  • According to Nash, people with less professional knowledge may be more creative and inspirational about art. Thus, can we hand the creation to the audience?


For the first presumption, we are quite confident because we just learnt Processing and Max. We believed it is possible to modify the natural processing procedure to a easy and resourceful way.

We consulted with tutors, and found that there are three ways to modify the language processing procedure.


  • Through a technically technical way, construct the advanced[compared with one in 1970s] computer language, transferring the content we want to make into the package, and send them to the printer through cable.

Advantage: signal is well packed by computer, so we can put some very rich and complex content in the signal to print it. Such as photos.

Disadvantage: the printer s running as a normal printer. which will print piece by piece after receiving signal package.


  • Through a more flexible and manual way. The printer receives the simplex signal pulse from arduino directly, which is handled by the audience. Once the signal is transferred, the printer will print it immediately line by line.




Advantage: signal is send as simplex pulse. As a result, the printer will print line by line. This is more close to the original working status of the printer. And seems to be more interesting for the audience.

Disadvantage: Different kinds of dot matrix printers have different signal map. It is not easy to find a specific one since it has been half century.


  • Using the old printer as an interface, present the procedure of the art work through visual and sound ways from other devices. Such as projector and speaker.

Advantage: easy to approach, better quality of presenting[due to the advance of technology]. possibility of iteration.

Disadvantage: the audience can only see and sound how the artefact was made out, but can not feel the procedure directly.

All of the presumption are interesting and attractive for us. But which one exactly we should choose, is depend on the audience[according to UCD].





So, how the users may participate in the art work?

We referred some ideas of other modern artists.

Usman Haque spoke of technology be taking form based on how the audience used the design.



Controlling an environment that puts the audience in control, keeping them engaged and filled by what they created.

We found that our project shared this belief that designs that put the audience in control allows them to gain excitement and learn from the experience.



Hellicar & Lewis Design created by user interaction


This piece is inspirational because it combines and engaging interaction process with a survey that creates designs based on how certain audiences were involved with the design

The animal the mask generated could spell to a personality or sound that they preferred relating to that animal.



Bruce Sterling


The art He have analysed of bruce sterling brings to mind the combination of traditional media merged with technology.

The technology brings what would be seen as remnant styles of from the past to life.

He believed that the contributes to our goal to link the the mystery and fascination of the technology from the birth of computer art to life with modern technology.



We found that for those successful art work from great artists, the content was generated by audience. Or, sometimes, the audience are encouraged and inspired to generate content, often by environment and narrative. What`s more, the witty part is the audience are the most possibly to engaged into the art work through creating it themselves.





Referred to our project

we decide to place a real tool – the dot matrix printer, in the school, on purpose of survey, to see what will happen between the audience and the object. We thought this as a direct and efficient way for the specific project. Cause the stuff is strange for most of people in this age. It might not work well if we give a questionnaire or introduce some concept and theory to those surveyed. To present the machine realistically, is more possibly to get the real answer.



We found that apart from what the printer is able to do, the surveyed were also interested and desired about how they can make it run[Cause most of them can not make it work]. Therefore, what we should try to do basically, is to give the audience a reflection or response to tell them, “Hey you, I am running! I am running! ”.

Finally, basic on the result of survey, as well as the possibilities we explored before, we concluded two plans.


To make the dot matrix printer do some reflection as long as it get the commendation, rather than really run in program.




To use the printer as only an interface, let the audience try to operate it. We will arrange some other devices to generate the content [Most possibly the content will be the faking status that the printer is working], to tell the convey a message to the audience that they are manipulating the printer.


This was seen by how they try to press, pull, push and twist various parts of the machine to make it work.

Inspiring us to look into ways of analysing their interaction and finding ways that the printer could be used as an interface.

Research Processes & Findings of #V&A Project#