goldfish pantheon

I have a thesis!!!! A _REAL_ thesis!! I’m so happy I’ve been telling everyone and anyone about it because omg you have no idea what it feels — this RELIEF that swells through your entire skin that oh my fucking god you know what you’re doing at last *___* in any case, thanksgiving was the break I needed. I don’t work well under pressure, much less when I feel like a gun is pointing against my head to makemakemake(!!!) Anyway I remember the moment of realising what my thesis is (half drunk + godsknowswhatelse and in a party) and started madly texting myself before I forgot. Afterwards? Spammed everyone on facebook! (of course)

So the idea is basically that:
1. game is the real; reality is the experience of game
==> so an action like everyone entering Googlepolis (as represented by the landscape) will cause a DOS/SYN flood attack
==> the other ability is to ‘mine’ web data and arrange it in such a way to misinform bots
==> see LOIC; being able to ‘shoot’/’destroy’ bad webs
==> shifting data from one node to another when govts take it down (see megaupload)
==> completely 3D landscape generated with webgl geometry
==> minecraft with world effects!

2. Data does not exist; only memory/storage does. Therefore, internet does not exist but perhaps internetting (verb) does

3. Geography as language? it is NOT mapping but creating the symbols to understand/write your own maps

So I’ve very clearly split my thesis into 2 because it’s really too big. Thesis practice (within DT) is to build the game/representation interface itself — working with J. on that.  Things like figuring out how to make the actions create reality (it’s like magic!), how to determine the zoning/signals, transferring data etc etc basically the ‘proof of concept/interface/magic layer/representation’ part.

The language of it, like coming up with new words and metaphors and images to describe this collision-detection course, to talk about what is really happening without creating a map or being forced to give an area of interest etc etc I’m doing with Ken Wark cos he’s cool, he can really write and he’s open to stuff and also more organised than I am (most of all we really get into a flow, which is awesome). I’ve made a separate blog for it since it’s independent study, and this ‘area'(?)is tentatively called meshtectonics. mesh = because it deals with the shape of networks tectonics= because it questions the boundaries of where a network starts and ends and it’s kinda nice to be allowed to be completely emergent and just let what we’re seeing/patterns inform and create the symbols for the map instead of doing the whole ‘this is an area I’m looking at’ + ‘these are the people’ + ‘this is my map/case and their behaviour’ because that automatically dates the work and closes off parts to new extensions

More sketches from the animation/printmaking layers… check out my murderer character! doesn’t he have the best tormented expression? (he’s also driving a cadillac) I still need to ink it and clean it up a bit, but overall quite happy with progress. I doubt I’ll be able to finish the entire video by this year, but I’m hoping to get all the etchings printed out so I can assemble them over time (maybe after thesis…) and then submit to siggraph or whatever

But yea thanksgiving was really great — just being able to NOT STRESS or come for classes or deal with people was amazing……  and actually I got more work done with no one to bother me than anything else woohoo! lol thesis accomplishment

milk candy

Drawing master frames for animation. I don’t understand why I said yes, but I’m doing an animated video for Printmaking Finals — basically handdrawing every single frame, transferring it to etching drypoint, and printing every scene out to create the Most Tedious Animate video ever. Hand-drawn is bad enough, combining it with etching is a level of complexity that hurts even if I think too much about it. Anyway it’s not too bad….. except by the end of it I’ll probably be able to draw monument valley and cadillacs and dead bodies in the trunk in my sleep @_@;;;;;


………Okay I’m being ridiculous. But look at the tiny laser-cut mecha! Suddenly I’m imagining Halo-meets-Betty Crocker dioramas lol the tiny thinger was a gift from G. for no reason at all (I love things like that)  and just felt like commemorating it lol

!!!……..Annnnnnd this is my notes from Ted & Scott. As you can kind-of-see, underneath is the original sketch for the video (amusingly this week two people told me I should go into filmmaking)

With Ted, he came up with this exercise 1. I wasn’t allowed to use any metaphors 2. Words like “Internet”, “Path”  was taboo 3. As much as possible describe what it is and it’s actually really hard for me since I think only in images. A lot of what I write and say is a translation of the picture in my head, and it’s a struggle in language. In the end we started doing process of elimination type of things where he asked me a question and I answered yes or no; or between a couple of words i.e. “trace”; “trails”; “path” I had to chose one that was closest to the idea in my head

– It’s not about identity politics or creating a persona across multiple internets
– more about trails of connection; fades but never disappears entirely
– orientation in an invisible social landscape WITHOUT identity?
– graduating scale between things that are and are not “interesting”
– instead of a uniform resource locator VS unstable resource locator
– moving away from a ‘relevance’ model
– read: Jefferey Perle; Ezra Pound’s ABCs of Reading
– read: Android Dreams; Zap-Gun –> how does Philip K Dick use images to expand an idea?
– Japanese idea of ma

Then the next day I had a meeting with Scott, and it was really helpful too. I really like the 16th floor… it feels so airy and bright although I think I will never get any work done with that kind of view (just stare out all day, watch the shimmering river and people scurrying through life)

– kinda managed to encapsulate the problem: my thesis is very specific, but it’s almost like the language for it doesn’t exist without reverting to cliches
– irrelevant VS anti-relevant question
– what kind of data will drive it? <— SUPER BIG QUESTION. or maybe it *is* the question of the thesis…. because right now it’s all images and not driven by any kind of change. If it is magical then it needs to cause a change in reality either online or offline or something
– prototype interaction due on Tuesday…. I’ll just build it on processing for simplicity’s sake.


😀 😀 😀 webgl progress!! I also found out that while you can use jquery and webgl together, you cannot use webgl and jquery in the same script (it only supports pure javascript). Part of it is because of the order in which jquery calls elements, it just counters out the logic (bad logic)

Hopefully by next week can start implementing textures…. I aim to have a camera-ready scene by the end of semester.


Test etching in dual colours. Just straight up wax and acid with a thin needlepoint.

I’m glad to be drawing again. It feels like a fog has been lifted, and things are clearer. Drawing always makes me feel better, even when it looks bad or the lines are uneven or wrong weighted. It’s one of the few things in my life is that consistent, even when time and memory cannot be trusted. That said, my family recently chipped in to send me a package!

Can I say how awesome my mom is sometimes? She knows I get upset when I start disappearing more frequently, and surprises me with a box of CANDY and HERBAL TEA. It’s just so hilariously like her I can’t help but smile and it’s like even with millions of miles away and so many years between it’s like rolling in the fluffiest warmest socks of love (so warm, it even keeps your toes happy!) And it’s true – it’s hard living alone in a foreign city, I miss my old friends and siblings and listening to roadside noise and shopping mall chatter and sometimes, it feels like reading with your eyes closed

Recently I came up with an idea for a prototype, or just something to show for final reviews. A wandering mage dressed in tattery red robes with a sandbucket. A blazing sun. A giant desert with shifting islands and an ocean full of sand – so hot that steam rises from the baking earth obscuring the scorching sun. In my head, I call this: desert islands

It’s a kind of game-ish, except there’s no points or no score or any of that sort. Basically you just hop from island to island where it intersects. Every time you pour sand from your sandbucket it freezes time for a moment, and then in the next turn (when it unfreezes) the islands move faster and faster. There’s no end zone. Just islands, intersections and a sandbucket.

I talked to C.P. whether it’s possible at my level of webgl to make it, and he was like: ‘yea, definitely.’ which makes me feel 1000x better. I expect there’ll be the usual problems of debugging, but I already have an exisiting collision code (thanks to processing) and since it doesn’t require external linking/back-end organisation of file systems it makes it more do-able within the time limit.

Anyway I’m meeting C.P on Tuesday, to show him the animate function I’ve been working on for webgl so xxxfingersxxx

Otherwise it’s been a lot better. Calmer. I’m actually drawing again and going out with other people and feeling less shaky. I have so many people to give thanks to, and hopefully one day I can pay them back for being so awesome (you know who you are!!) I went for J’s party on Saturday and met N & B — B actually works as a consultant to the opendata/opensource movement and she totally digs Pathways and thinks sticking to webgl is a great idea and most of all, she’s really nice (I have her email, and plan to do it soon probably after thanksgiving)

Besides that, PlayThings event is slated for next year Feb 2013 and I’m pretty excited at the panellists and potential interests and running this weekend event. It’s a nice change to do something fun, family-orientated and playful (most of all it doesn’t require zillion of hours). I reckon if thesis/art doesn’t work out, at least I could get a job in event coordination or organising.

this is bad and i don’t like it and i wish that it would just end. i hate this, i hate this so much and it reminds me of every thing i have tried to get away from and why must you be so like this?!?!

紅い飴玉想い出がほら 一緒に溶けて無くなる…..

blind game again

So tired, I fell asleep during my last class today. Anyway most importantly – Prototype: Exhibition in Cloud just opened!!!

omg you have *no* idea how happy I am that it’s over. All that work+++ over the last 6 months finally finally culminated in the exhibition opening. There was so many things in this show that nearly screwed us over: problems with two seperate themes coming together as a event (different professors gave seperate themes to their students); then Makerbot backing out as a sponsor, then Hurricane Sandy which set back our production schedule by a week etc etc etc and that one moment where we decided whether or not to have the show at all in wake of the storm…………..

So our piece, titled Marchenmaker (tale-maker; story-maker? marchen is like folk story?). Description:

Märchenmaker is an exploration in how myths, folklore and history are entwined to form cultural narratives. Using a collection of archetypes gathered from our personal experiences in Berlin/Kassel as well as monuments of history and fable characters, we have created a set of miniature stamps where the public can create their own memorial maps across a giant papered wall.These stamps are made to resemble antique toys, as a nod to Germany’s manufacturing past. However, they also exist in the digital cloud and can be mass produced anywhere in the world as a downloadable font and 3D printable sculpture.

So after this show ends on 21st, will take it down and it will travel to Berlin in January (yay!) The opening was pretty great too and T. came!! (yay) also had a very interesting *hintage* so with luck there will be some hope of what to do next after thesis…..


Then today for Writing&Research we had to put up our thesis object + writeup; mine being the ball of twine + story-ish posted earlier. I figured twine would be a nicely apporiate gesture – not only did it make path, intersecting created knots and it left traces…. plus mythologically it fit neatly into the narrative.

ALSO AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS! Philip K Dick? Borges? YES YES YES. I have good feelings about this. Good like omg!there-will-be-thesis-ideas in there kind of good.

Talking about thesis I’m still seriously considering changing a chunk of it and maybe moving towards a more mesh-network friendly or mobile device friendly system. Pathways still exists (as in the idea of being able to ‘hop’ from intersection to intersection) but maybe applied differently. It’s still stewing in my mind……. at least, it should be more accessible and doesn’t require so much setup (or at least a variation of it that is mobile friendly)

All the Borges’ reading has been really useful though (thanks C.!) Most importantly, I promised to do a writeup or some kind of scenario for C. — it’s kinda weird, he professes not to know anything about technology and he really is *not* my target audience (both of us know that) and admittedly it’s a challenge to get him to understand it — but at the same time he gives me really good references. Like the “plz go read Borges.” and “look at architectonics” and it’s almost like — because he doesn’t get it easily, it makes me want to try more and make him ‘get’ it. (kinda like in the beginning when I was testing all my projects with a ‘what would mom think?’ meter)

object descript

In this:

A long long time ago, in a very far and ancient land there lived a king, Minos was his name. King Minos of Crete had an arrangement with the sea god Poseidon – in exchange for fair weather and good sailing, he was to sacrifice his best bull every year.

(And also:

In another world, perhaps in the same time but different years there lived a playwright, Jaromir Hladík. Hladik lived in Prague, and was unfortunate enough to be just when the Nazis invaded.)

In this:

One year, King Midas’s herd bred a beautiful rare white bull. He thought it so lovely that he hid the white bull and decided to sacrifice his second-best instead, much to the sea god’s anger. As revenge, Poseidon cursed Mino’s wife Pasiphaë to fall in love with the bull. In the haze of her accursed lust, she dressed herself as a white cow, and seduced the white bull and nine months later, gave birth to the bull of Minos — the minotaur.

(and also:

Hladik had protested his arrest, however none would listen. There was no one who would vouch for his German ancestry – not his family which he had long forgotten, nor his name Jewish sounding name, nor his peculiar signature, nor his interest in cultural plays. He was, in other words, an expediency.)

And together:

With the best architects, they built a maze. He sits alone in the center, solitary, unknowing and confined. Fed in prison-dark, odd hours where time is counted by the flesh or scraps thrown to be eaten. First comes terror, bone deep and despairing. Then comes acceptance. I will be the monster they want me to be, says the man in the center.

In this:

To add to the tragedy of his wife’s affair, Androgeas – son of Minos and winner of Panathenaic games was brutally murdered by jealous Athenians. Despair burns into cruelty: King Minos decrees that a tribute of seven best Athenian youths and seven maidens, drawn by lots, be sent every seventh or ninth year to be devoured by the minotaur.

(and also:

Despite his fear of death, Hladik’s primary concern is for his unfinished play: The Enemies. He dreams of a vast non-linear narrative structure full of intrigue, where the acts flow fluidly across ages and characters dance to the music of chronos….. and time is the biggest double-crosser of all. He knows this will be his best work, his oeuvre – the play that history would vouch him and judge him by.)

In this:

Fate too, decrees a hero to be born. Theseus, son of Aegeus and prince of Athens volunteers to put an end to this cruel plague. He is sent to Crete on his eighteenth year with his father’s blessing, strong beautiful and proud. Ariadne, daughter of Minos and priestess of the labyrinth falls in love with him. They make a promise. If she can help him slay the minotaur, he would take her to Athens and wed her.

(and also:
Hladik knows he will die tomorrow. He can see it in the soldier’s eyes, they way they refuse to look at him. He worries for his play, which will never be complete. The last night, he prays and prays and falls asleep. Dreaming. He dreams: a vast library of incomprehensible infinity, where every room is a thought and every thought that has ever existed lives inside these books, remembered.)

In this:

Ariadne knows the only one who can save Theseus is none other than the architect who made the labyrinth, the gifted inventor Daedalus. She seeks his help, but he turns her away. “I have sworn never to reveal the layout of the labyrinth”, he says. And yet, even as he closes the door to her, he passes a ball of twine.

(and also:

“one of the books, contains the word of God” says the librarian. “I have looked for it all my life.” He takes off his glasses, and Hladik can see he has black holes where his eyes used to be. Like a dream (or was it one already?), Hladik walks towards an atlas spread on a desk and touches a letter. A voice comes from around/inside him: “”The time for your labor has been granted”.)

[?] [?] [?]

In this: Theseus slays the minotaur with the twine. In this: Theseus slays the minotaur with the sword of Aegeus, and uses the twine to find his way home. In this: Theseus weds Ariadane. In this: Theseus takes the younger sister instead, and leaves Ariadane to die on a deserted shore. And also: Hladik dies the next day. And also: Hladik is given a year to work and refine his play, after which the bullet kills him. And also: Hladik creates the greatest play ever made. And also: Hladik has no play at all. Together: we are all monsters and heroes and labyrinths, only we know… …

This ball of twine, is the only real thing about all stories – a thread, a line, an intersection. Where lines meet and cross, between historical fiction and mythological truth. Twine, or in ancient Greek: Cleos. Clue. We can only trace and retrace fragments of clues, piecing together different pathways constructed… … only we know.

kept coming & coming

As you may know, recently there was a hurricane in my area. Today is the 5th? 6th? day without internet/signal power. All in all, I’m thankful for having power…. the 12hrs during the peak of the storm, being plunged into sudden darkness was a terrifying experience. Anyway here are the pictures (finally!) uploaded, courtesy of starbucks wifi:

14th st union sq, on the saturday/eve of storm with all the ConEd trucks ready

lamp-post casualty

and the facade was totally ripped off. I spotted a few random stuff like bikes atop of traffic lights and a couple of dismembered car doors on rooftops too

I had to send a couple of sales parcels out (note to self: international buyers don’t give a shit about localised hurricanes) and the USPS office in my district was running on generator power and was only doing pickups since delivery was impossible. In the end, I walked 10 blocks up to the next district to get the items mailed out……

Shuttle service from Brooklyn to Manhattan – despite the horrendous line, it went pretty quickly (about 15mins and I got on) I gave up trying to get signal/internet at my place so I went to Arnold Hall where Parsons had set up a relief center.

Manhattan was a bad idea. Union Sq and everything outside the main avenues (mostly 3rd ave) was completely dark. No traffic lights, no street lamps, no signal, nothing at all. I had to borrow a torch from a fellow student to make my way home. It was so eerie. You could barely see what was infront of you, and some people were using their mobile phones as torch lights — I passed by 3 people without lights at all, almost running into them because they couldn’t see me/I couldn’t see them. On my way home I saw a horrible incident – this very well-dressed couple was fighting with their cab driver who demanded they (the couple) paid him for taking them into Brooklyn. The couple refused to pay him, saying it was ‘only a bridge’. The cab driver was so angry he was about to cry. Thinking about how much fuel costs, and how desperate the situation is — his frustrated tears.

To be honest, even though I live within the evacuation zone I was really really lucky. However, this entire week (and counting!) of not having internet, of barely *barely* having signal — basically wandering up and down streets until the network sign comes up, had really made me rethink my thesis project and the fragility of some of the technical aspects.

Webgl in particular is a fragile, fragile system. You need to initialise shaders, and unlike PHP which uses MAMP as a pseudo-server – nothing like that exists yet for webgl. Not only that, webgl is barely browser-compatible; you need to go into your preferences menu and literally enable it for it to work. Doubtlessly, not mobile compatible at all. (I shudder to think how long it’ll take to load on a phone). The technical fragility of it, the lack of support it has is making me seriously rethink whether I want to use it for thesis. It’s true that it’s exciting and wonderful, but this week – living in the aftermath of hurricane sandy; made me realise how frightening it is to get cut off from everything.

To be able to communicate robustly, is a requirement. It’s not even an ideal. It’s a requirement. Why? Because I live 9,000 miles away from my family. Because during that dark period between losing power + signal, and them watching it happen on TV, on news — they tried calling me and texting me with no answer, fearing the worst. Because I felt so alone, and lonely afterwards, no where to go and unable to contact anyone in Parsons around me, with emails barely working and nothing. There *MUST* be a better technical approach. There must be another way.

I’m returning back to the original incarnation of the idea – a mesh network of intersecting paths. Can it be done in an analog way? Can I do it via mobile phones instead? Can it be done by radio signal, or something else? I still believe strongly in the idea of intersecting paths, of potential routes and possible futures ….. all the what-ifs ever made. Conceptually, yes. Technically? we need to do a rethink, gurl.

For now I’ll let my thoughts simmer and stew. A good dish never tastes good hurried along.