Live Web: What does Internet think of your world?

This week, I coded a site that allows users create a collage of images collectively through inputting keywords.

User click the whiteboard to get a text box. Then the user can type the “thing” in his/her mind, which will be searched in Google image. The first image in that search will be displayed on the whiteboard.

I am curious about whether the images on the Internet is the image in users’ mind. I am wondering when Internet makes content easier to be accessed — the content of which can reshape people’s perception, are these images really represent the reality? Are these images are those in users’ mind?

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[Thesis] Interests & Passions

Write short blog post on the big concept or passion or interest or questions you want to tackle (not the technology!)

I think Thesis is a journey for me to study and contemplate on a certain topic that I curious and care about. So the “thing” I am going to make is not the only goal. The process of researching, experimenting, writing and making is also very important to me.

I still don’t have a specific idea on what to research on. While reflecting on my previous work and things that excite me,  I listed the following as a wider spectrum of my interests.

Fields that I like to research on:

  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Nature and physics

Questions / topics that I want to explore:

  • In a world of imagery, what is the reality? Does it matter?
  • The quantification pervades our society. We are measuring and defining all kinds of things, including ourselves. The development of technology make measurement, analyzing and defining even easier and pervasive. Where does this invisible force come from? Why it is like this?
  • Each of us are forced by the normalizing power. Can something that would normally be perceived as restrictive, actually become liberating?

  • How language and sign system influence our understanding of meanings and our perceptions? How can we think about something that surpasses our language system?
  • What is the shape of boundaries between self and others?
  • What is self? Is “self” already there, waiting to be explored? Or is “self” just a concept we invented?
  • Why people have motivations? Why some don’t? What is  depression?
  • How does wind work? How wind shape the terrain? Why wind make certain sound? What are some stories about wind?
  • Body rhythm & perception on time

Stuff I like to create:

  • poetic metaphors / expressions of research-based concepts/questions
  • physical and analog forms
  • absurdity and humor
  • experience that is healing or thought-provoking


What is MeshLab?

The open source system for processing and editing 3D triangular meshes.
It provides a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering, texturing and converting meshes. It offers features for processing raw data produced by 3D digitization tools/devices and for preparing models for 3D printing.

What can it do?

3D Acquisition

3D Data Aligning (Registration)

  • Process 3D scanned data


  • Transform independent acquisitions (point clouds) into a single-surface triangulated mesh

Color mapping and texturing

  • MeshLab contains a pipeline for the alignment and projection of color information (from a set of uncalibrated images) onto a 3D model.


Cleaning 3D Models

  • MeshLab offers a series of automatic, semi-manual and interactive filters to remove those geometric element generally considered “wrong” by most software and algorithms.


3D Model Scaling, Positioning, Orienting; Simplification, Refinement, and Remeshing


Visualization and Presentation

Built-in decorators and shaders


3D Printing: Offsetting, Hollowing, Closing

  • Export to STL (one of the most common formats for 3D printing)
  • MeshLab can be used to prepare 3D models for printing by creating inner shells, resampling/remeshing the 3D model to make slicing easier, closing small holes to obtain watertight meshes, and flattening the bottom area to have a better platform adherence.

3D Models Conversion and Interchange

MeshLab can import and export a number of different 3D data formats and to online services like SketchFab.

user can interchange data with other tools (including Blender, Photoscan, VisualSfM, Cloud Compare, Autodesk tools)

Learning Resource

NIME Concept

“沒有規矩,不成方圓” is an ancient folk-say in Chinese, meaning that you cannot create a square and circle without using the ruler and compass. People usually use this quote to indicate that you cannot accomplish certain things without norms or standards.

Square and circle is a very specific definition of a shape. There is no space of ambiguity when they are referred to. To recreate these shapes, we, without practice, need to use tools or processes.

It seems to be our instinct to define, classify, disambiguate and interpret. Other than square and circle, there are many other things that are clearly defined by human, which are believed to be the “correct” or “normal” to pursue and follow — definitions of a happy life, good wife/mother, success, purpose… And to pursue such things, rules, norms, corrections, procedures and forces are usually compelled onto individuals. Some extreme of which have led to numerous ideologies and historical events such as genocide.

— “You should behave like a girl”

— “You should be social and cheerful”

— “You should go to the best school, get a stable job, marry happily and have a child before 30”

— “You are not like us”

— ”

In my limited life experience, I have started wondering more and more: why making a circle or square? Isn’t the ambiguity and the in-between state seems more natural in our lives? Isn’t the uncertainty a source of creativity? Jean-Paul Sartre followed Heidegger in describing the human essence as ambiguous. Nietzsche said that “There is no fact, only interpretation.”

Albeit, I have found myself being quite afraid of ambiguity and uncertainty. I always hope for knowing the fact, the correct answer, doing things in a proper way. Sometimes, I would arrive at a moment when I can see the meanings and purposes, while followed up by self-doubt and frustration again and again.

Maybe some people share the same feelings.

Hence, I want to make a musical instrument to express the idea of the dynamic tension between definition and ambiguity in life, and my emotion when struggling with them. 

I am inspired by Japanese artist Akinori Goto’s work “Rediscovery of anima” — use strings to connect 2 shapes, and create a morphing effect.


I then prototyped this craft techniques with my context: using strings to connect square and circle to create a series of varied shapes in between.


I am happy with the effect. I then plan to make an instrument using this form.

Thoughts on the interaction:

  • User add ambiguity to shape highlighted to change the sound dynamics


  • Users transform the related positions and rotations of 2 shapes to interrupt with the perfect square and circle shape highlighted by light
  • The instrument will make sounds based on the highlighted shape: sound of square, sound of circle, and sounds of variations in between



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