hello fall!

I keep telling myself to write and post some things every now and then, but I always keep it on the backburner! There are so many awesome projects I want to finish up and am really excited to show…

This summer was really eventful, and kind of life-changing. Well, I think everyday brings some life-changing moment, but the past few months after graduation have been an especially intense experience and reflection on my post-grad life. I enjoyed every second of it.

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I had the amazing opportunity to teach at a summer innovation camp. I have a ridiculous amount of stories, emotions, moments, and challenges that I could go on and on about forever… but all I can say it was one of the funnest, most incredible life-changing experiences I’ve ever had (just a little under Learning How to Dance)! I feel that I came out of the summer maybe, slightly, partly, totally, a different person. Picked up a whole set of techniques and bag of tricks to use in my dance classes as well. I’m still learning everyday, but I feel really confident and happy getting to teach the things I really enjoy and care about.

Some photos taken a bit before the spring semester ended:

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A few weeks ago, my cousin and I took a trip to Napa. It was my first time going there for wine tasting!

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He has this thing where he’s extremely photogenic and enjoys dressing really well on any outing we have, and it totally inspires me to step up my photography/fashion game as well, heh.

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Often throughout the summer, I’ve been using the time I suddenly acquired to keep busy and indulge in personal moments. This includes going to my favorite coffee shop, doing a whole lot of reading (been catching up on my favorite series, and it’s been so long!!), a whole lot of running, drawing, writing, movie-watching, comic-booking, resume-ing…

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I wish I could have added “a whole lot of blogging” to that list.

Fall is coming really soon. I’ve been kicking myself into gear in all the things I want to do and be, now that I have a lot more time and responsibility to do so! More updates and things to come soon!

September 6, 2014 - 11:11 pm | Comments

fanime 2014 and post-grad life

Every year, I get a chance to be part of the awesome Black and White Ball staff at FanimeCon in downtown San Jose!

There were lots of fun moments teaching, meeting new people, doing shenanigans on stage, and overall having a great time with friends throughout the weekend. My dance partner and I got a chance to perform at the Black & White Ball, and here’s a clip:

So… I graduated last Thursday! With all the constant activity and craziness happening immediately after graduation, I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and process/reflect on things. I have another teaching-related summer gig coming up which I’m extremely excited for, so I’ll still be keeping busy.

Now to experience what the rest of post-grad life will give me!

May 28, 2014 - 11:52 pm | Comments

the boat dress

Sometime last year, I picked up a few patterns and relearned how to use my sewing machine. I attempted a few skirts and small projects, and eventually made my very first full dress back in September!

I made my second dress a few weeks ago. It was kind of a rush job because I wanted to wear it to an art event in the same week, so my craftsmanship wasn’t the greatest this time. But I’m learning rather quickly, and the dress fits me well! I call this: THE BOAT DRESS

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Either thats a heck of a shadow on me in the photo or the California sun must have been really nice to me lately, because look at that tan!

I really enjoy making my own garments lately, especially when I can custom fit them really well to my petite size. Looking forward to trying more challenging projects and improving my craftsmanship in each one.

May 19, 2014 - 2:44 pm | Comments

projects: first friday at ZERO1

This semester, I had the opportunity to work on a group project for an SJSU exhibition to be featured at the ZERO1 Garage in San Jose. The result was a fun and interesting and collaborative work about USBs and the alternative forms of data exchange in a social and interactive environment. It was a lot of fun showcasing our project to a large and friendly audience on First Friday!

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My particular assigned group made a sushi boat-inspired waterway to deliver our USBs. On the night of our opening, we acted as sushi chef and hostesses to the audience as a performance for our piece. It was really silly, and a lot fun.

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Two short clips showing our project in action:

It was my first time exhibiting a work in this way, and it was a great experience!

Another project that I worked on in a class over the semester for a gallery was this, titled Mobile Eye View:

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It was a collaborative work with other students in my class to photograph showcase their final pieces in a “virtual gallery,” but with an interesting and/or unexpected perspective. The online part of the project can be found here: http://digital-dust.net/photo120/6.html

Welp, it’s kind of hard to believe, but I’ll be graduating with a BFA in Digital Media Art next week! It’s been a crazy and wonderful 5 years of growing, learning, and creating at state. I look forward to continue working on new art, new processes, and new projects as more exciting opportunities come up!

May 14, 2014 - 9:59 pm | Comments

BFA Exhibition – “Once Upon a Time”

This week was the scheduled opening of my solo exhibition. I’ve been planning and working on it for a long while, especially over my spring break vacation. To see it fully realized and working is a huge relief!

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Once Upon a Time: An Interactive Storytelling Experience is a cute, fun, web-based interactive program, projected onto a gallery wall where users can come inside, pick up the mouse, and interact with the game directly while others watch. The program starts with a storytelling narrator’s voice, who responds directly to the people in the room as he is delivering an old Norwegian fairytale to his audience.

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However, being observant in your role as a “listener” and making choices of your own throughout the story may possibly affect the narrator and the state of the program…

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Because it was designed specifically for a physical installation in a room rather than just an online-exclusive website, the sound, atmosphere, physical space, and audience are all pretty crucial. Some of the writing in the program assumes that you are playing in that public installation space, as well. For example, leave the program alone for a few minutes, and the narrator will automatically call out to passerbys in an attempt to lure them to the story. You get a much different experience playing it inside of a gallery room, on a writing desk, with a booming voice surrounding you, and people listening on the side, rather than playing it at home alone on your laptop with your earphones on (though the latter option is available!).

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The gallery was a bit small, so it got pretty crowded quickly. People lined up behind the user as they watched the screen on the wall, and took turns coming in and out in small waves. Some played multiple times to see all the results they could get, some stopped in the middle to allow others to play, and some followed the direct storyteller’s path and read the fairytale all the way through.

It’s a simple concept and execution on the front end, but the planning, pacing, writing, organizing, and coding on the back-end took me a while to figure out… it was my first time learning and working with Twine, which is an incredibly powerful program. I had quite a few concerning sound/looping issues minutes before the show opened, and I had to patch that up quickly. There are still some things that need tweaking in terms of that, but thankfully the major glitches were resolved right away.

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I’ve been heavily inspired by text-based RPGs, choose your own adventures, interactive fiction, and video games with multiple branches and choices. I was aiming for a talented voice actor to deliver the role of “warm storyteller/snarky narrator,” who is technically invisible, but whose powerful presence can be heard and felt throughout the room. Special thanks to the wonderful Bud Ayers, my old dance teacher and coach, for the amazing voice acting!

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The installation show itself is over, but you can play an online copy here view in Firefox, audio required!):
http://digital-dust.net/onceuponatime

I hope to continue exploring the possibilities of Twine games and public installations with what I’ve learned so far!

April 5, 2014 - 11:16 am | Comments