2W45 :: Final Video – 040909::

July 13, 2009

Finally, does JAck Cafferty responses to my letters? check this out:


2W45 :: Unit 2 – Assessment ::

July 8, 2009

In unit 2, i spent more of my time doing practical works, trying to  experiment more for my final installation…since i have changed my idea in late january,  I started to send Cafferty a letter or postcard everyday until early April (here and here). In keeping with his comment, most of the content in the letters is related to China and United States. Some of them are related to the old/new media as well. They are intentionally cheesy, in terms of the texts or the visuals I used. The letters will be part of my installation in the form of a DIY book. It is a documentary of my idea and the whole project.

and basically the the main practical work of my piece is the electronic, which include sensors, wireless keyboard, a programmable microcontroller (BX-24) and my custom-made circuit.i have done some experiments with these electronic elements:

1. i have experience making things from a reverse engineered keyboard, but this is the first time working with a wireless keyboard (test 1 > test 2).

2. initially i decided to use a PIR sensor from a garage sensor light, i have done a few tests with the circuit of this sensor light, such as studying its passive infrared sensor and generic variable resistor, modified the circuit from a batteries powered circuit to a DC powered circuit by using a voltage regulator and finally did a quick test with my BX-24 chip that tried to turn on a LED by triggering this sensor (test 1 > test 2 > test 3)

3. however, i decided not to use this sensor from the sensor light. the main reason is because of this sensor light had electroniccally programmed with some other electronic components in its circuit board to stay on for around 20, 30 seconds, it may affacts my installation with less accuracy. within that 20, 30 seconds, my viewer will has no control with the sensor, so i decided to use a Sharp GP2D series infrared sensor that gives me more flexibility (test 1 > test 2 > test 3 > test 4)

4. i need to program the bx-24 chip to connect the sensor (input) and my wireless keyboard (output), i played with this chip few years ago but haven’t actually make anything out of it, luckily the BasicX code is not too horrible and my final programe is really stright forward anyway (test 1 > test 2 > test 3)

5. my own circuit design started after i got everything ready, such as, keyboard was taken apart and still works fine, the new sensor is working with my bx-24 chip to switch a LED on etc. i basically spent most of the time putting, fixing, testing and re-programming everything work together, one key change in my circuit is the dicision of how to connect the bx24 with the key press “r” wires. it was first tested with a NPN transistor and finally works fine with a bilateral IC switch (test 1 > test 2 > test 3 > test 4)

6. my own PCB production sounds easy when everything is working fine after all those tests, however, it is not! everything works fine in the breadboard doesn’t means everything will work fine after u solder it, even it is the same cicruit. working with electronic is “fun”, because you can never tell which component goes wrong, u cannot “see”. it can be short circuit some where, it can be doggy connection, it can be something burn by over heat when you were soldering or applying too much voltage etc. my final PCB didnt work fine at the first time, as i assumed that i burn my bilateral IC switch when i was soldering it directly on the PCB. it basically made my circuit out of control with connecting the “r” wires whenever it wanted to (test 1 > test 2 > test 3 > test 4)

finally at the final week before assessment, i made everything look neat and tidy. as well as, did my first on site test (here). i have done so many testing before again and again is because i need to make sure everything will work fine at the end. sometime those test maybe really small or repeating, however, it is easier to find where is the problem when something goes wrong…finally, after everything has been set up, and when i look back, working with electronics is still “FUN” 🙂 and i am definitely keeping this as my future practice and medium of making my art pieces.

2W45 ::practical works 20::

July 8, 2009

as in my installation, i will finally show all the letters that i wrote to jack cafferty as a form of a hand-made book. i did some quick research about book binding and the design of traditional chinese book. because this piece is intentionally political between chinese and the states, so i would like the book at some points reflects chinese cultures.


basically i printed two pages on the same A4 paper and then fold it, as traditional chinese book were using folded page. and i am also experimenting with different type of papers. however the one i did for my assessment isn’t ideal, its texture looks good, however, the text is not clear enough. anyway below image can give you an idea of how my book looks like.


2W45 ::set up + final piece::

July 6, 2009

since last week, we have been building plinths, moving stuffs from the exhibition space, cleaning up, painting and organising equipments for everyone etc., it is actually quite stressful as my electronic was not working at the same time. however, as long as my piece is fine now, and looking back is actually quite enjoyable working as a team. the images below show my final piece. i would say it contains sweat and blood…


and here is my final test in the site, which use a sensor to refresh a web browser in the next room (refresh short-cut key is “⌘ + R”, thats why i was only testing with the “r” key press in TextEdit):


2W44 ::practical works 19::

July 6, 2009

tracing the reason:

the last thing i did to my PCB last week is to connect my very long wires to the circuit, so, im thinking it maybe because of the wires are too long and make the signal become too weak to reach to the BX chip. so, i decided to cut my wires and test it once again with clips.


however, the result was the same, the circuit also type “r” by itself even though there is nothing triggering the sensors. the other reason that i come up with now is the IC switch, because i soldered it onto my PCB directly, and somehow i guess i may burn it by accident. so, i decided to build my circuit once again!! but this time i used a socket specially for the IC switch.


this time i even soldered 2 connecters for the very long wires that connect to my PCB, just in case something goes wrong again and i dont have to cut and solder again and again. it also brings me more flexable for the installation later on. luckily, this time my circuit works fine. so i will say i probably burnt my first IC switch accidentally when i was soldering it onto my PCB.

2W43 ::practical works 18::

July 6, 2009

final product and first test:

my own PCB was done, and i also put my keyboards in a box (as show below), drilled wholes for their number keys and also for the wires which will be connected to my sensors.


indeed from time to time, i keep testing my circuit, even though i was just using breadboard. because in electronic you can never tell what will go wrong, tiny mistake likes doggy connection can actually takes you days to figure out. so, it is very excited to have the first test of my final piece.


as i wrote in my final essay “i see the process of making art as an experiment. experiments never run smooth.” it is the same this time, after i put everything together, it doesnt work well. what happened is basically my sensors are sometimes not working accurately or sometimes even not working. when it becomes not working, it will just type “r” but it is supposed to type “r” when someone trigger it… what to do now is to trace back my circuit or my connection bit by bit. in my experience, possible reasons could be doggy connection, short circuit or something burnt or broken…

2W43::final essay::

July 6, 2009

in the few weeks before week 40, apart from doing my practical works, i had also documented my process of producing my final piece, in terms of my theoratical and practical study. i see this essay as a reflection of my MA research study and practical development this year. my MA final piece, 040908/040909, is subtle and conceptual. it questions the reliability of the traditional mass media. how is it affected by the “new” media, such as blogs, forums, wikipedia, youtube etc. in the web2.0 era?

i see the process of making art as an experiment. experiments never run smooth. this is the interesting part of making art. it is full of challenge. being an artist, i think we should have the guts to take risks, make mistakes, learn from errors and more importantly, don’t give up. in general, I have become more mature as an artist during this year…

pdf version will be downloadable here later.

2W42 ::practical works 17::

July 6, 2009

production of my own PCB:

basically i just transfered what i have done in my breadboard before to a blank PCB and then solder it. but i have to be very becareful, as things here are going to be permenant. it will be painful to take things out once it has been soldered. thats why i used a socket for my BX-24 chip, because i would not risk to solder my BX-24 as it may burn. as well as, i am able to re-use it later if i dont solder it directly onto the PCB.

this is the socket that i used for my BX chip

this is the socket that i used for my BX chip


2W41 ::practical works 16::

July 6, 2009

pre-production of my own PCB:

as i would like my electronics look neat, tidy and more flexable, so i custom-made wires, plugs  and switches for my final circuit.


the reasons of spending more time to make it more neat are:

1. it will be easier to trace if there is anything goes wrong later

2. more flexable for the set up, as i can actually take apart the whole electronic bit to 2 very long wires, 2 sensors and a box with my hacked keyboards plus my own PCB

3. it looks more professional

2W41 ::practical works 15::

July 6, 2009

BX-24 + GP2D  IR sensor (x2) + bilaterial switch + wireless keyboard (x2):

as my idea is to have 2 sensors controlling 2 youtube pages, so technically, i just have to duplicate the sensors and the wireless keyboards as what i have done so far, as well as, duplicate my code. but just for safe, i also did a experiment on breadboard with my final basicX code, trying to make sure everything works fine before i make my own permenant PCB, plactic circuit board.

28062009053 28062009054


sub main()
Dim Voltage1 As Single
Dim Voltage2 As Single

Call GetADC(13, Voltage1)
if Voltage1 > 0.14 then
call putPin(12, 1)
call putPin(12, 0)
end if

Call GetADC(15, Voltage2)
if Voltage2 > 0.14 then
call putPin(10, 1)
call putPin(10, 0)
end if

end sub