Archive for January, 2009

Reflective essay

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2009 by billylai

Reflective essay:


This elective didn’t really interest me at first. The title ‘Digital environment’ is something commonly appears or happens in life. It is quite confusing of what it defines. I thought it is simply related to the use digital camera, mp3, cell phone, etc. I didn’t have a serious and deep thought about what it means to us and how it relates to art before I study this elective. However, after attending the lectures and viewing the exhibitions, I found some of them quite informative and impressive. It leads me to think wider. Digital technology can be very creative.


There is great concern on how digital technology and development affect today’s environment, human, arts and the future. Manovich’s article has constructed a clear explanation about strategy and tactics and the business of media. Internet can be convenient, it assists communication among the public worldwide. But we cannot eliminate the adverse effect of internet, e.g. the violation of privacy. The EAR cinema and Barbican centre exhibition gave me an innovative impression of digital technology. The study of surface and personalized surface induce my notion of the connection between art and digital technology. Nowadays, nearly everyone cannot come off with digital life. It improves and fulfils our daily necessities, e.g. the use of digital camera, DVD, web 2.0. Therefore, education of how to make good use of digital technology is important to its future development, which digital technology can greatly contribute to make life better. In long, ‘Digital environment’ is much more than what I thought.


The best thing in this elective is that I can learn a lot sharing ideas in groups during the lectures. It is a good opportunity to know what others think and learn to express myself. The result always comes as a surprise that everyone think differently and   have unexpected answers to the same question. Such interaction is a good way of learning how to widen our vision and make agreement on certain discussion.


The least well thing is that there wasn’t a definite explanation or answer to all questions. The concept of digital environment varies depends on the concluded discussion from a group of people. So, it is sometimes confusing and challenging to me. I am unsure if my way of thinking corresponds to the title we discussed.


Overall, I have a better understanding of the impact of digital technology on different aspect of our daily life. Besides, I quite enjoy the visit to Barbican centre and the EAR cinema, as well as the personalized surface lectures. I love the idea of using simple equipment to produce inspiring and amazing art pieces. I have learnt some new skills to present my work in a more different way other than bounded by illustrator, though I haven’t tried to produce any yet. But this elective is worth to attend. In the future, I hope this will be useful elements.


Week 6: ‘surface is…’ & ‘personalised surface’

Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2009 by billylai

surface is…

Surface, in general, means the outer face, exterior part, outermost layer, any face of something or a boundary between two objects.
To me, everything got a surface itself. What we touch, we hold, is the surface of the object. It is a must pass medium, an interaction point, a point that we need to comunicate between objects/subjects. Digitally, surface can be known as a touchscreen, any display screen of your mobile or camera, a plain 2D face that can cover or hide anything behind/in it. We can’t reach or touch what is inside the face, but we can control or see what is under the surface in some circumstances, such as we can image a digital 3D objects,etc. That is how we can communicate or interact with the ‘surface’ to make the most of it.
But of course, what  I mentioned would only be a tiny part of what ‘surface’ is.

personalised surface

In this exhibtion, it showed more role of surface from a variety of perspectives. Everyone got a different thought or definition about surface, therefore each create their own unique personalised surfaces. They have a common point, to interpret their at piece as/on a  ‘surface’ digitally. Paul Coldwells imaged his work on screen in layers, Kathy Prenderagst mapped the sculpture with drawing, Sissu Tarka visualise the animation on a monitor screen, etc. Each have a distinguishable exploration and presentation of their work on their questioning of surface.