Wednesday, 16 March 2016

i Light Marina Bay 2016: Day 14 Visit

To read my Day 5 visit to i Light Festival  

The art installations are basically placed at 3 locations around Marina Bay. In my previous visit, I went to see the exhibits in the Promotory @ Marina Bay.

In this visit, I was going to see the exhibits located next to Marina Bay Sands. So the views I saw are that of the CBD.

Theatres by the Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore
View from Marina Bay Sands towards north: the tall cylindrical white chimney on the left is Swissôtel,
Theatres by the Bay (aka "The Durians") is in the middle,
and the pair of hi-tech looking buildings wearing large fishnet stockings on the right
is South Bridge Towers, which are either just completed recently or is in the final stage of development.

CBD citiscape, Marina Bay, Singapore
View of CBD from across Marina Bay
with sunset beam sneaked through the gap between HSBC and BNP Paribas buildings

CBD cityscape, Marina Bay, Singapore
Another angle of CBD view across the Bay

 Groove Light 

Groovy Light, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Art installation, Groovy Light, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore

The 1st thing it struck me was the shadows the above lantern cast on the ground. I expected to see some complex curvy shadows on the ground, not squares.

In the video below, starting from halfway in the video, you can see the shadow is transformed from a closed circle into a lattice of squares as I moved the light source vertically from the topmost position down to the bottom position.

I think it should be called "Groovy Light" because it's groovy, man.

This sort of "magic" (aka science and technology) can only be produced in practice by a 3D printer, which Singapore is into in a serious way. They have done 3D printing from trivial stuff like cakes to aircraft engine parts.

Many people still have no idea what a 3D printer is. When I mentioned to Ada, she said the photocopying machine in her office can print 3D and in colour. Should I LOL or roll eyes? I smiled. A wise choice.

I told her that 1 day, 3D printer can produce a replica of me (if I live that long). At least in theory. Who knows? It can happen (and can be mildly frightening or wildly heartening). Scientist say that the chemicals in our body cost less than a cup of coffee. But Russian mafia say an organ alone can be sold for more than the cost of a car on the black market. Maybe the part is more than the sum of its parts?! It doesn't add up. Does it now?

So how much does it cost to print me? I'm saving my money now, and save much more than one can earn from a steady wage earner because of central banks' money printing (the worst form of printing). That's why I have to invest in the share market where it's helped by money printing. And I'm watching 3D Systems company to invest in for the last 2 years. Lately, their stock price action is looking good. One day, I may say, I like 3D printer so much, I buy the company (parts of it in the forms of stock). Soon, I think.

Do we print the whole body in one go like the teleport in Star Trek? Or do we print the individual organs and put it together like Lego pieces? Dunno. If I can be put together (unlike Humpty Dumpty), I would like to be a transformer who can change into a car. It should solve my parking problem. Indeed, solve the world's parking issue. My name is Frank, Frank Enstein.

"Sorry my friend. 3D printer hasn't been invented yet, so I just have to put you together
in the old fashion way. I'll create you like one would build a Lego action figure but with 
human body parts. Some of them came from the Russian black market. Okie dokie?"

Lego of Lisa Simpson
Lego of Lisa Simpson from her ear (i should say "rear")

At the moment 3D printer can print simple body part like a human ear (don't click on it if you don't want to see a photo of human ear on a petri dish). The doctor said that the printed human ear is actually better than the real one (of course, there's nothing fake about the printed ear). Better? How? I guess the Canadian, Russian, and Scandinavian would save money on earmuffs and spare the pain of winter cold. What's that? I can't hear you very well. My ears are all frozen solid. Don't pinch it, it may shatter into pieces.

This is a simple bright spark, but I like it. While the whole art installation is meant to simulate lightning in nature, It's not hard to see how the inspiration comes from (with the lightbulb lights up above your head. Ding!). When you switch on a somewhat old flickering fluorescent tube, doesn't the flickering remind you of lightning with bright flashes in a dark room? By arranging those in a tree branch like structure, one can simulate the form of forks in a more varying and interesting way.

The experience would be better if the trigger is implemented using motion sensor instead of a manual switch.

Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore
Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore

 Light Walk 
Right:  The large and sprawling Mist Walk sculpture.
Mist Walk Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore

Following is a video showing how the melodies was sounded as a pedestrian walked under the sensors.

The following video was made as I walked under it while pointing my camera skywards to record the flashing colours in the sensors.

The thing that this art installation triggered in my mind is the obscure musical instrument called theremin. Below is the video showing a musician who seems to specialise in playing little known instrument.

Somebody called it an invisible musical instrument. This is clearly - no pun intended - a wrong name because you can see the instrument. What's invisible is the "string" if you can call it that. The musician produced a sound by "plucking" the invisible "string" not too dissimilar to guitar. Although the "visible" musical instrument that theremin reminds me of is the Vietnamese Dan Bau (Đàn Bầu), except in theremin the string seems to be vertical while in Đàn Bầu the string is horizontal.

The theremin produces a somewhat eerie or otherworldly sounds that you would have heard of if you watch horror flicks from the 1950s to 1960s. Especially in sci-fi flicks. They may not be produced by the theremin, they sure sound like it.

In the 1950s and 60s, it sounded futuristic because it's produced artificially. Today, the instrument is nearly 100 years old.

Apparently, the creator Jen Levin had been displayed this large-scale artwork as a public interactive installation in various public spaces around her native USA. She has been working on it for 20 years. I wonder if she's thinking of producing a scaled down version as a musical instrument. Something akin the theremin. I suspect that when she experiment with her art installation, she did it on a small scale.

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