Part 3

Reflection 3 v.2


 ABSTRACT:   Parasite, a living entity considered as insignificant. Dregs to all living organism and depended by other yet infectious like a uncurable disease. We are in a metaphorical sense just like the existence of a stem cell organ, multiply in mass until construct into a overall systematic structure.



Today I spent time sketching out designs of model that I wanted to work on for this project. There will be many changes to make along the way when I'm experimenting with different material, this is merely one of a conceptual sketch that I might use in the future.  Whilst I was trying to sketch some ideas for this project, I have researched some characteristics about parasite and their behaviours. Nematodes are parasitic worm known as orphiocordyceps that adapt inside a insect's body and reproduce into more nematode worms. The idea of attaching inside another host body fascinates me, I am interested in how they gradually transform from vulnerable being into part of another system but also have its own conscious. I was inspired at the unpredictable and grotesque structure that a parasite have. 





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These are some of the doable sketches and designs I have come up with for this project. These are some of the set design idea of what my outcome to be. In the beginning when I am starting to develop this idea, I was not sure what I was going to make, but while I was sketching I realised to capture the idea of grotesque characteristics and transformation of a body structure is to create organic shapes out of normal organic objects to exaggerate the form. therefore I decided to design loosely and expressively without a definite shapes or structure, I wanted to experiment and explore that throughout my experimentation. This way of explaining parasite also made me think perhaps in a more archietectural way; parasitic forms is so common that we choose to ignore its existence. I wanted to capture the everyday existing parasite in our surrounding environment throughout collecting various kinds of materials and gradually develop the evolution pattern of parasite from my practice. Without a specific shapes to follow, this idea gave me a lot of freedom in ideas and the use of materials; there will be no restrictions. 






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                                                                                                       < Material: Pistachio shell >


I started off my experimentation by using material that I found in my nearby environment to see how i can interpret the idea of parasite in my everyday life. I begin by collecting some pistachio shells, I soon picked up some interest on this and started experimenting with them. By simply attaching the shell on top of each other, I have manage to construct all the shells together forming into series of small models that resembles like a worm-like creature. Although these models seems very intricate and looking precise to what I originally wanted to make, but these types of maquettes are still in a miniature scale, I have already considered on trying different materials that is more stable for building up structure like foam board. Therefore for the next experiment, I will try out construct a model using foam board to test out which one is the best choice to express the idea of parasite. Throughout this experiment, I have learnt the importance of different scales and perspectives, I believe in order to capture the forms of parasite, using geometric and organic materials can really capture the characteristics of a parasite and become realistic. I wish for further experimentations I can capture not only the form but also the different ways of that a parasitic structure transform or evolve. 






                                                                                                            < Replicated > 


This is a continuation through the previous experiment, I was inspire by the shapes and the outline of the reconstructed pistachio shells. I have decided to trace out the outline onto foam board can cut off the shape and repeated this process many times to cretae this over-layering platform. The idea behind creating this model was inspired from a 3D printer; the idea of replicating the same shape using polyethylene and carbon fibers to  turn it into a three dimensional model. I think this is a great way of representing the idea of a parasite, which is known as a self replicating (as a way of reproduce) organism and evolve throughout habitat. Whilst I was making and tracing the outline of the shape, I realised that when I try to make bigger structure, the outline will become less distinct as each time I trace and gradually become more and more simplistic. 







Today I focused on experimenting more and test out different materials and developed into a different result from the previous series of model that I made. I used the similar technique of over layering same shapes on top each other, but only this time I replaced the material to eggshell. 




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                                                                        < black: 'dissolved' egg yolk in progress >


Apart from experiment with eggshell, I have also looked at the inner structure of a egg and conducted series of experiments on the yolk. From today's experiment, I have focused on observing the structure of the yolk and the way it gradually changes throughout time. In order to showcase this transition, I decided to test 2 egg yolks, by keeping a normal egg yolk and a broken egg yolk that I intentionally opened up to represent the transformation from a normal, ordinary cell structure undergoes changes into a different organism. After few hours I have realised that the broken yolk have begun to gradually fade and dissolve forming a clouded particles. I have accorded this transition using photograph to demonstrate the result of this experiment. Unfortunately this is only a temporary experiment because I have problems to keep the egg yolk in a perfectly static motion in the fluid state. This is a good opportunity for me to observe what a embryo like and its characteristics. 

For future experiment, I want to mould the structure of egg yolk still; that way I can capture its shape and work on other experiments that interprets the idea of parasite. 





                                                                                                              < Resin experiment > 


Today I decided to try out some resin to mould the egg yolk into place. Resin is a transparent substance that can be moulded into a static structure. 





Today I went to the Francis Crick Science Institute at Euston where they show case some of the latest discoveries on different characteristics of microscopic infectious disease like cancer cells and stem cells etc. that is unseen from our naked eyes. There are many interesting researches bases on different types of illness throughout scientific observations using microscopes to let people get to know more about each different symptoms and how they behave. For me, its interesting to see these cellular structure transforms and adapt in certain conditions throughout time. Although I think some of the idea in Francis Crick Institute have gave me many inspirations and ideas but there are still many limitations. I am still looking for a way to adapt and translate the scientific form and express it into the language of art. There are many organic structure that involves in order to build up a model that may resembles to many other work. I will focus on develop some of the experiments that I have worked on into design ideas to see which one would stand out compare to another. 




Evolving Robots


 Today we had a group discussion on the idea based on 'evolution', as in a scientific terms on how they change forms and adapt throughout experiment. We found a interesting video clip that show case a computing program that generated soft robots made out of various parts; each of the components represents a specific function in order to let the robot to walk.   







 After all these experiments that I have tried out I think now is a good time to try to think of different methods of setting up; and later on decide which is successful in terms of the design. Today I focused on creating the sketch design based from the experiment on eggshell. While i was trying to sketch up the design, I realised there are various approaches of setting up and each one of the brings a different effect to the idea of 'parasite'. 

In the beginning of this process, I wanted to create a set design to put out the series of experiment that I made. But later on as I started brainstorming the characteristics of a parasite and what it is I realised there are other ways to interpret. Another idea is to suspend the series of eggshell sculpture to the ceiling by attach it with transparent fishing wire. This will make the work look like as if they are floating and each one of the model becomes and resemble as micro-organic cellular structure enlarged.  The idea behind this way of setting up was to create a spatial design of what it is like to observe fragments of our multiplying cell organs floating inside a host body.





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This is the sketch design for the pistachio shell experiment that I did from the past, today I have focused on designing the setting up process for this potential outcome. I have come up with 3 design ideas for this model. Firstly, I tried to sketch out what it might look like if it is attached from the ground by connecting it with wooden stick. While I was making this design, I realised I was relying on the suspending method that I had designed earlier on. Therefore as a result I wanted to try out something different. I have heard some suggestions from my tutor that to put the sculpture that I made into a a container as a way to capture the shapes and form of a embodied parasitic cell. I wanted to set my model on top of a watch glass for people to observe its structure. 

I was inspired by Francis Crick Science Institute’s method of observing cells throughout using microscopes in watch glass. I found this is a effective way to allow people to focus onto the work by concentrate on a small scale cell structure and set on top of a clean glass.





 For the last design; which is the foam board model that I made, I decided to simply build up the structure by stacking the pieces of foam board on top of each other. From this model I wanted to rely the evolution of shapes that is presented in the model. From the beginning creating this model, the technique of tracing the outline and use the shape to construct into another structure that is constantly growing its structure. While I was making this repetitive patterns, I felt that I am part of the model as well; I have thought so much of what this structure should be like and how it will support the structure. Therefore in a sense I feel like I have become its conscious. By trying to evolve its shape and form throughout construction like a  modifying DNA trying to improve itself throughout evolution. 




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                                                                < Altered Carbon >

Recently I have watched a film series called Altered Carbon, while I was watching this I found part of the concept behind it is interesting. This film is based on a futuristic dystopia where human consciousness can be passed down into different bodies and back up a person’s memory through a portable disk; therefore once a person dies, it can be transfer all of the information into another body. As a result of this, many people in this world lived by multiple identities of themselves: the original self, the body that belongs to another person and also the owner of the body. It is interesting to see how in one body there are combined with so many personalities from different time changes. To me, it is almost like the consciousness of a persons body is like a parasite; moving from body to body doesn't really seem like it is just a protective shell from who they really are. 


I think in order to interpret this idea, I can try to add in some of the human gestures in the model that I am currently working on and attach together. The body parts will probably be casted and mould into shape as a representation of a 'vessel' for another persons memory. The pistachio model i made will be presented as a person's soul, attaching to the 'vessel'. 











 After the inspiration of Altered Carbon, I wanted to bring in the human element into the model by adding a human feature into a the current work. In the beginning of this, I was not sure the definite way of setting this up because I used foldable paper mask. After some experimentations with different angles, I found out  that I can attach the model into the eye, which is hollow. I will later on fill this with plaster to mould the two structure. 








Today I have spend some time on trying to improve some special effects onto the mask to make it look like a realistic human face. In order to create that, I wanted to mould the structure with plaster rolls because the original mask is made out of paper and I wanted to add a extra layer of protection to it. In order to get the glazing effect I put a layer of PVA on top, this allows the face to get the glimmering effect like the body is being preserved.   







 I decided to try out some metal grid to see wether or not it helps sustain the structure of the model. Although I'm not sure this will be a successful experiment on trying out this material but I just wanted to see what kind of effect it will give to the current model. To put metal and organic naturally made structure together into a whole, there seems to be a combined element of nature and man made material in one piece that transforms into this hybrid form of structure. I think this is not the result I wanted because it is rather confusing to combine these two together. Many people have suggested that the original version is better due to its simplistic shape and not to over complex a design too much.  Secondly, my theme is based on parasite, which is a way of portraying life; bringing in metallic structure will change the idea into different complex. Therefore as a result, I will focus more on the current pistachio model making. 






Today I had a talk with my tutor about the current Model I am making and talked about what improvement I can make into the work.  She have suggested that I should focus more on the pistachio shell model that I made and try to find methods of setting it up instead of further expand the work. The idea of the mask attaching to the model seems to be a little distracting to what I wanted to do, I think by bring in the human feature might cause some confusion to the idea of parasite to some people. Also there are many people uses casting and moulding human features in their work, so in terms of originality, I think it is for the best to stick with what I am doing. But overall, I think this is a good experimentation for my piece and to see there are more directions to lead to in making this model.





I spend most of today's time on setting up all the different pieces of the model together. In the beginning, I have struggled to join up all the seperate parts together due to the unsustainable weight.  I have attempt to try to use glue gun to connect but failed in the process. After many efforts, I have come up with a solution: by tying and stitching transparent fishing wire onto each parts as a way to hold the general structure. This is a very time consuming work because fishing wire is thin and transparent therefore I spend long time on preparing and measuring the necessary amount of fishing wire that is needed. Although it is a slow process but this method have proven to be successful and I have secured other loose parts with glue gun. 






Today we have a peer assessment section giving feedbacks to a selected group of two student. I also get a chance to see other students work and their conceptual ideas for this project. This is a good opportunity for me to look at how other people perform in this project.  I was drawn by the amount of research analysis used on introducing their theme ideas; there are many written texts that gives me sense of directions in the area they are researching on. I feel like in comparison to some of my research I have done, I could have add in more text references on things that relate into my work or theme. 




Did I achieve what I set out in my proposal?

Has my project changed from my initial proposal? If so, why and how successful were these changes?

What breakthroughs occurred during the project (Breakthroughs are incidents and experiences that stand out as having had a major impact on your approach / thinking)

Francis crick:  (microscopic, transparent, unpredictable, seemingly abstract in shapes yet organic ). ————-A breakthrough


How has my research influenced, informed and shaped my project outcome?

What is the most successful and what is the least successful aspect of my project?


If I could start my project again, what would I do differently and how would I go about it?


Try out:

1. I want to set up the design I made for the eggshell ceramic sculpture

2.  Further develop on the egg yolk experiment using resin to mould

3. Overlaying foam board


Are there any ‘dead end’ ideas that I would like to explore further after this project?