Lazarus (2012)

So for all my planning and prototyping, the result was totally unexpected and because of that – the entire feeling changed (sadness)….. I was pretty upset, and being super-perfectionistic control freak it was kinda inconsolable for a bit. BUT then, I kinda realised halfway that it’s OK because it’s not worse – it’s just different but just as good(?) as what I intended.

Presenting…… Lazarus!

90 gallons of jelly, 144 packets of powder, 60x10mg of quinine pills, 9 x 4w chandelier lightbulbs, 30 superbright UV leds and countless countless hours of stress and standing infront of the stove stirring that stuff up. Nothing in the photos captures the sound of Pendericki’s chorus rising from beneath the clouds of jelly, the sensation of ethereal light and wet slime, the surface tension and fragility (like holding cold flesh, someone said) the slumberous dark coldly enveloping.

I think ….. I think I finally made peace with this project. I still want to do the violet-orange version, but at the same time I have a really clear idea of what this tripartite is now. A triangle: Lazarus, Sekhmet and [?]. A series – God Eaters. She is sleeping was never meant to be because it never existed within the group. That’s OK. shikata nai. life goes on. Thing is, what is the [?] ??? I wish I knew.

Lazarus…. Lazarus was good (well, depending who you are). If you are Ryan R. or Ted B. or Nick F. then you love it and know it without too much explanation from me – which is good, because every time I try to explain it just gets worse. If you are Zhang G. or the reporter dude then you’re in the middle of the scale – you’re obviously affected by something, but you reason it out by explaining to yourself that it represents *this* or represents *that* and is symbolically of *this*. If you are Anzeka.S, then unfortunately this totally passes you by, because it has no critical question or problem to solve.

Something I realised while observing people, the best reactions were from game players – possibly because games are a weird combination of calibrated experience and free play, so in a way, it kinda trains you to open yourself to pure affective experiences? does that make sense? I adore games too, and I can see it a bit; little like. Like for me: cinema, theatre and game experience is really similar in affectiveness…..

Anyway, the best part is I now have a real abstract – ta da!

God Eaters is a series/trinity of works that examine ideas of divinity, ritual and myth by exploring uncanny materials that iterate various immanence experiences towards the sublime. Myth is seen as a function for creating familiarity through narrative, only to be broken by ephemeral materiality. In this state of confusion, reason gives way to affect where the experience overwhelms and devours to create sublime.

Lazarus is an installation comprising of 90 gallons of quinine agar arranged in a cuboid pyramid (tetrahedron) of 3 x 30 gallons blocks each embedded with chandelier lights and UV leds and flavored with artificial pandan and powdered vanilla in a dark room. The wiring is exposed through the translucent layers and broken pieces of agar and the lights flicker, as though pulsing with life. As the lights heat up, the jelly melts and you can clearly hear the sound of it dripping over the choral music. Forks are arranged in a regular square formation encircling the installation, and the audience is invited to participate by consuming or touching the piece. Over time as more people consume and break parts of it, the installation disintegrates until it becomes nothing but the sound of water dripping over the music.

Sekhmet […………….] is the chloropyll piece I will be presenting for major studio finals.

and the rest, to be continued????

Steve S. (from rhino class tutor) gave me the most AWESOME reference ever. I love! 😀

all i really want is you

😀 😀 😀
am in a ridiculously happy mood today

My new and awesome UV leds from LedsSuperBright which are freakin amazing. They are mindblowingly rave-party bright – running on 100mA current and a whopping 620 lumens EACH. That’s even brighter than some standard lightbulbs

simple trial – tonic water LASERR!!! check out the beauty of that beam! This quinine test – I knew that the UV was working properly since the quinine was reacting and glowing very brightly through the frosted glass. So I decided to do a chlorophyll test

And so I tested a small sample of the chlorophyll I bought from the health food store – it was supposed to turn red, but didn’t!! NOT AT ALL. NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST HINT OF RED and it couldn’t be a congealing issue since I was using liquid chlorophyll. Even with preservatives (boron, vitamin B1 or B12) it would’ve glowed because most additives have luminescence properties. Anyway once it didn’t fluorescence as it was supposed to do it, I quickly did a chroma test (iodine + yeast solution) and bam! that stuff is not pure chlorophyll. Fuck knows what’s in it, but it’s not chlorophyll

So that gave me a major headache because I was supposed to do the chlorophyll agar for this Sunday during the Spring Fair – so what else could I do? I did a project swap. I swapped the final project with the spring fair project and suddenly when I did that it was like magic – all the things made sense. I never realised it, but actually the final project should have been the chlorophyll one – because that one grew out of the lightbulbs in water idea except I didn’t realise it because I was going nuts with the studio and spring fair events.

Added incandecense colouring using a yellow torchlight – and bingo!


Agar version of the quinine + incandescent light – OMG IT LOOKS FABULOUS! The violet is a lot stronger than I expected (in my head, I imagined a softer look) but feel is perfect. GLORIOUS AWESOME FANTASTIC FABULOUS FIERCE UBERCOOL SEXY GODLEVEL PRO-BOSS BALLER WOOHOO INSERT SUPERLATIVE HERE

Now to just finish up blocks of it…

translucent wood finally!

and after cutting the fiber-optics embedded wood piece:


some things we noted:
1. unevenness of distribution – I’m doing it all by hand, which leads to a rougher and less regular look. could be nice though, since it has a lovely effect of depth (some F.O being shorter than others, more deeply embedded but still visible – looks like stars!)

2. probably need to use more F.O per layer since the wood is so much thicker…. I used one tube (100pcs) per layer currently, probably up it to 200/layer to give a greater translucent effect

3. Smooth-Clear resin is really not that clear, even after sanding and polishing the closest it got was a matte shine with a hint of cloudiness. I tried polishing with acetone, will probably try car wax next but I don’t think it will buff to glass-gloss anyway

4. the top layer was accidentally made soft (excuse: really tired, did not mix proportions perfectly) and interestingly had a rubber-gel like texture. Not as brittle as the pure 1:2 ratio and also the cool part is that adding more resin seems to have increased the clarity slightly

5. we both kinda preferred the rough-hewn natural wood shape compared to the very evenly cut small wood. The difficultly is having it rough hewn and flat enough to lay the F.O because it’s an irregular shape+surface. Working on it though!


give me courage to be truthful and not hide under the smokescreen of Art.

serious question: how do you write dispassionately and academically about the art you make, when it’s so deeply personal and tied to you? how do you do it without feeling like you’ve just put yourself up for display and critique? how do you untangle yourself? i feel so naked. i don’t want to give anything away. someone give me courage because i hate that feeling of being pathetic.

interval: a little bit of hand-holding

Right now, all I want to do is crawl under a blanket and pretend to be a turtle as though pretending to be a turtle will make all the human worries go away. I don’t feel like an adult, I don’t know what I’m doing and worse of all – I’m wondering why I’m doing a masters in the first place when I don’t even know what I’m doing next.

I envy people who seem so sure of themselves, secure and stable and legal in their world. Often, I feel like I’m teetering at the edge of a tightrope where the slightest push either way would send me falling down down down the cracks; past the wonderland and rabbit holes and spacetime wraps – to become a ghost. The truth is I have no real status of any kind, I’m an alien on alien soil, a foreigner, an intruder, an immigrant and migrant and nomad all at once; homeless to the extreme; a wanderer and on good days I’m an explorer and traveller and reveller of sights; come night and I feel more and more like a matchstick girl running out of fire.

I worry so much about it – do you? it goes beyond anxiety or stress, to the exactitude of the word: to fret. I fret about it needlessly, and it seems that every reassurance is akin to pouring water on desert soil. On the darkest, lowest days I wonder if it’s even worth it. Be another cog in the capitalism machine, give birth to a 2.3 replacement rate children, eke a living secure in my semi-hipster sustainability practice but still buy a macbookpro despite it’s rare earth content. I wonder if there’s any point in living or in creating art at all, when humanity seems to be strolling happily down the road of destruction. I try to find answers in ontological philosophy – up and down Deleuze and Nietzsche and Foucoult and Aristotle and Heidegger, pouring over their works as though it’ll pop up with sparkles and go YES! THIS IS IT! THIS IS A GUIDEBOOK/WALKTHROUGH TO LIFE! in giant, blinking caps. And then, when it doesn’t happen – all I want to do is lie down, close my eyes and dream forever. Is it wrong to wish for an easier existence?

I say this now, because I want people to be aware of it. I read so often about so-and-so path’s to success or interviews they give to people who have “made it”. The problem is that once you’ve “made it”, you have essentially moved to a different time and you can never recover or remember how shit-tastic life really was. Well. Now I’m recording it. I’m recording that doing an MFA is both bloody awesome and bloody awful and you’ll wake up doubting and hating yourself several times a month, possibly more during finals. I want you to know it without the cynicism that accompanies this kind of feeling – because what I’m feeling is not cynicism but a despair over my future. “You’re so young” or “you have youth on your side” but what does that even mean to me? That means I’ll merely live a different period from the one before (not longer, but just starting and ending at different points) and the period seems to be full of madness: the world is going crazy when pregnant women have different rights’ from humans, when telcos play police and scout you for copyright violations, when the poor pays more taxes than the rich and social justice has become a meme catchphrase.

wargh I hate being 20-something. I still feel like I want someone to hold my hand and tell me it’s going to be OK and the world is a fairytale of beautiful wonder; and at the same time I still want to be able to make my own way through the world – except I really have no fucking clue how.

ok rant over, back to work!

in which, alternatives

So the post earlier stated, the lights from dj are crap. Regardless of how crappy they are, I still have only a week from april 15th show and about 3 weeks from the finals…. which means massive rethinking time(!)

1. buy from UV scientific company i.e. Way To Cool or – both with metered lighting, extremely realiable but also extremely expensive

2. buy UV Leds and do the wiring myself. I’m very tempted by this option because it could potentially work out to be much much cheaper

I’m looking at these in particular:
ProLight ultraviolet 1 Watt (140 degree viewing angle; 400-410nm)
5mm UV led (30 degree viewing angle; 380nm)
LB4 lightbar in ultraviolet (90 degree viewing angle; 405nm)

I also emailed the person who took this photo on flickr – with amazing results and his response was really helpful and great! Truncated email:

“……Chlorophyll is really amazing stuff. You can get red fluorescence from a UV lamp like a Way Too Cool brand mineral lamp, or by even using a cheap UV LED.

Blue light will make it fluoresce red too. A blue LED or just well filtered sunlight will make it red.”

Which makes me think that I should just stick to buying LEDs and wiring it up myself. The good part would be that it gives me a lot more control over the lighting setup, although I might have to think of housing a bit more since the agar tends to be a bit on a the wet side.

Some schematics – I’m favouring the stronger 1 Watt Led for practical reasons; even though they cost more, I’ll need less of them because of the viewing angle and although the nm~ is a bit too high to achieve pure red (I think the higher you go, you’ll get closer and closer to orangey flourescence) and I’ll need to be extremely careful when working with such high nm~ values……. but I reckon I could do with a tan anyway, and I’ll be careful not to look at it directly in the eye.

9V battery setup

5V battery setup

I think I’ll buy 5 of each type as a trial, then see which one works best. I do have a lot of agar to light up, so I was thinking 5/piece of jelly would work the best….. or at least that’s what I hope!