3 Big Questions at SFPC

The following 3 questions have been asked three times in one month so I assume they are guiding questions. Hopefully I will be able to see their importance later on.

What do you want the School for Poetic Computation to be?

SFPC community will provide me with experience of being surrounded by creatives and collaborating on projects from an interdisciplinary approach. We will generate unique ideas when different fields and thinking collide.

I would like SFPC to be a stepstone for me in my newfound career-media art and provide me with artistic guidance and inspirations for my future teaching in the community.

A place where I can experience new way of learning technology and art in a positive way. Growing up in China my school didn’t provide me with techonolgy education, which is common even now to most children in China. When I become a high school teacher in Australia I saw students get bored in technology classes due to out-of-date content and teaching padegody. Even though I can learn myself I want to experience new way of learning technology in creative ways in a school setting being surrounded by creatives.

What would you like to make at SFPC?

In general, my making focuses on two aspects: education and media art.

Education

- One of my career goals is to teach people to use technology+Art to express their own creativity. Previously I have taught robotics at high schools and I have led creative tech art workshops internationally for both kids and adults. I am dedicated and passionate about expanding this kind of education for the broader community. I want to create computational tools that encourage individual creativity and play learning, with a special interest for underprivileged or marginalized communities. Some of my favourite inventions include Makey Makey, Drawdio, Littlebits and Scratch. As such, how to foster nurturing communities for learning is a constant question for me and, while at SFPC, I will explore these questions in order to inform my educational practice.

-Then I started to run soft circuits workshops in both Melbourne and Beijing after I realized how well this idea engaged females in technology. Earlier, as a robotics teacher, I noticed a gender disparity in interest in technology biased towards males. This disparity was quite pronounced in China, which is why I brought the soft circuit project there. I would like my educational programs encourage females participating in techology.

Media Art:

  • I would like to make an installations that simulate a natural phenomenon: bio-luminescence in the ocean.

The effect I would like to create is similar to this video below: I have made a prototype using Kinect 1 to track the moving head of the participant when projecting to the water the blue ligh created by Processing.

  • I would like to focus on participatory public art because I would like to make art that lives through the interaction with ordinary people. When participants interact the art is triggered and make either visual or audio effect. At the ITP end-of-camp show this July I presented my project “Body Contact” which is a circuit producing different tones based on the resistance. I really like how much excitement and surprises it brought people when they interacted with each other. Some hugged and kissed; at one time there were 10 people holding hands together to complete the circuit to make sound. I would like to further develop this project by adding some visual effects or modifying this presentation of this device to make it less noticeable.
  • Collaboration with other peers in co-creating projects. Currently I am working with Jason a classmate in Flying Fish(a working title). The idea is to create flying marine creatures in an enclosed environment which looks like underwater. I am interested in this project because it seems playful and imaginative and I love for the mysterious marine world. I have always been curious about how to use a motor and propeller to make things fly. We are going to NYC Resistor this Thursday to build a prototype.

Final thing I would like to make is documentation my experience using all sorts of social medium and blogging both in Chinese and English. The reason I would like to tell my story in Chinese is to encourage Chinese to see the possibility of having a Tech/Art educational experience. I hope students, educators and policy makers in China can be inspired by reading my experience.

How would you like to contribute to SFPC?’
How to design and deliver an educational experience that is learner-centred?

I can contribute to SFPC by providing my skill and interest in connecting people and sharing my network in China, for examples by organising events at SFPC or encouraging others to lead help people bond better.

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