Suggestive Tone ::

A discourse on technology has unveiled a profound engagement with what is termed “technological fetishism” displayed critically yet subtly in Digital Intercourse. Just like the enhancement of technology, we’re subtly becoming more and more reliable on it. The term “Intercourse” was chosen deliberately to maintain a suggestive tone, capturing the essence of this interplay. Throughout the entire process, it has become increasingly evident that solutions emerge through the act of creation rather than perpetual contemplation of questions. I have discovered that employing a methodology centered on continuously refining and building upon existing forms can yield intriguing results in various contexts.
The term fetishism here denotes the tendency of human behavior to attribute mysterious, autonomous, and occasionally emotional capacities to both tangible and abstract objects– empowering them to then influence and transform the world. Technology, a fundamental aspect of our daily existence, shapes our perceptions of the world and the alterations within it, presenting a stark contrast between our imaginations and reality— but how different are they to us really? I started Digital Intercourse as an visual exploration to significant questions such as this one. When I procured the word fetish alongside technology, I’m not attaching some fantasy to technology– but rather our attachment that has become normalized to which we can barely grasp the undeniable importance it has in our lives. Whether technological progression is associated with good or bad for any of us, as humans there are more or less subtle perceptions of our undeniable tie we have with technology, and it leaves a mystifying feeling. There is no good and bad.

I started my explorations with describing a digital aesthetic. I have always felt a tie to the digital world in the sense that it feels unreal to me. Through Digital Intercourse, I had hoped to reflect that feeling through the exploration and experimentation I’ve done. My journey through began with an articulation of a digital aesthetic, driven by a personal affinity for the digital realm which to me has always felt somewhat surreal. This project has been an attempt to capture and reflect that sensation through continuous exploration and experimentation. By engaging deeply with these concepts, I aim to illuminate the nuanced yet substantial ways in which technology influences and reshapes my design perspective and reality. In the end, my research led me to adopt a tone that highlights the visual aspects, settling on an ominous atmosphere to capture the mystifying impact of technological advancements. This effect, creeping upon us unnoticed until recognized, leaves a lasting impression. Drawing inspiration from the tones of both the series “Maniac” and the film “Her,” I aimed to convey a nuanced voice through carefully crafted visuals in Digital Intercourse. Both works reflect a blend of ambivalence, tinged with optimism and caution, towards technology. While they depict technology’s potential to offer comfort, companionship, and even love, they also raise questions about its integration into our lives. I sought to underscore these themes by infusing a subtle sense of unease, highlighting the risks of isolation and the erosion of genuine human connections. This unsettling undertone is most evident in Wire Play, where I aimed to personify User abc as a digital entity experiencing human-like sensations. Throughout my experimentation, I explored the juxtaposition of digital and real-world aesthetics, aiming to evoke a sense of discomfort through unpredictable digital behavior. To enhance the discomfort of the audience, I selected a suggestive– sometimes overtly sexual tone, toward technology virtual objects and digital beings. If User abc were a tangible presence, I envisioned them interacting with humans in peculiar ways, their existence blurring the lines between the virtual and the real.


Lighted Pears I’ve always been drawn to the allure of bright white screen-lit environments juxtaposed with objects. By “bright white screen-lit lighting,” I refer to a semi-transparent material often illuminated by stark white lights, visually similar to artist light boxes and white screens. There’s something very particular about the essence conveyed by this combination, especially when set against darkness. One night, while contemplating and snacking on pears, it struck me that pears possess a similar transparent quality I’ve been idealizing. With some acrylic in hand, I set out to merge these two materials into a single piece and observe how light interacts with them.

After documentation the lighted pears against a light-box, I had contemplated what to do with the creation. I kept it in my fridge and ended up forgetting about it for a period of time. pears began to mold, transforming into an intriguing visual display through decay. Reflecting on this process, I saw parallels between the deterioration of unused technology over time and the natural decay of food. Thus, I opted to preserve the creation in my fridge until a later exploration into Digital Intercourse. Surprisingly, it emerged as one of the primary visuals for the visual experimentation phase.

Turn Me On I continued my exploration with acrylic and lighting. With leftover acrylic from a previous project, I opted not to purchase new materials for the initial phases of experimentation during the weeks of Digital Intercourse. As later discussed, text juxtaposed against certain materials has consistently evoked a digital ambiance for me. Intrigued by this, I sought to combine acrylic, text, and light within a physical space. Adopting a tone that personified the illuminated object, I imagined what it might express as part of the textual content. This approach resulted in wording that was suggestive, reminiscent of the dialogue I envision technological objects engaging in, given their constant use to fulfill our needs, often sounding overtly sexual in suggestive terms.

I envisioned that if light had a voice, especially one aimed at enticing others to utilize it, it would likely encourage diverse uses while also requesting respectful treatment, acknowledging its imagined capacity for feelings. The acrylic text embodies this dual aspect of light’s nature: one side inviting engagement and usage, and the other desiring to be left undisturbed, albeit with kindness.

Aid You Following the outcomes of Turn Me On and the exploration of personifying a lighted object, I felt compelled to extend this suggestive tone to other objects. As a result, I delved into several items, with a particular focus on band-aids. Although the choice might seem arbitrary, I found that mundane everyday objects, which we typically use without much thought, held the most appeal when imbued with this conceptual tone of personification. In this instance, I began digitally generating outcomes, crafting an advertisement for a futuristic-looking band-aid and elevating its presentation akin to how technological ads often operate. Ultimately, it evolved into an emulation of contemporary phone commercials, where products are glorified, every intricate detail meticulously documented, with the aim of capturing futuristic elements and enticing consumers to make a purchase.

Integrating the concept of light into this digital piece, I employed 3D techniques and emissive lighting to render the band-aid in an otherworldly manner. Subsequently, I filmed it with the intention of elevating its perceived importance far beyond its practical utility, mirroring the approach seen in device advertisements.  


Sym Tests I realized there was no concrete answer to choosing a “digital” looking aesthetic. Besides the fact that this could be a highly subjective term, I felt that the options were too infinite to reach a conclusion on what digital aesthetics could mean, even after a few explorations. I wanted to establish limitations that would enable me to create forms with less concern about what digital aesthetics could or couldn’t be.

Alongside my other visual explorations, I had also been contemplating symmetrical design elements as I believed symmetry was a design element integrated into both the physical world, mainly nature, and the digital world through technological design. Symmetry also presents an otherworldly perspective to me; when encountered, it serves as a captivating feature that is a frequently rare occurrence. In nature, symmetry is often pervasive, seen in the shapes of leaves, petals, shells, and even in the overall structure of organisms. This symmetry often serves functional purposes, such as enhancing aerodynamics or optimizing resource distribution. For example, bilateral symmetry within many animals allows for efficient movement and balanced sensory perception. What I found most intriguing about symmetry in nature is that even at the microscopic level, its details are often subtly asymmetrical.

On the other hand, in technology, symmetry is often intentionally designed into objects and systems for both functional and aesthetic reasons. Leveraging symmetry to improve performance, balance loads, and simplify manufacturing processes. Symmetry operations, such as reflection, rotation, and translation, are essential tools in fields such as physics, chemistry, and computer science, enabling people to understand and manipulate the world around them. In nature, symmetry exists in a very natural manner that is unique only to its own. In technology, the humanized effect of design is utilized.

I felt that symmetry was a unifying principle that bridged the gap between the natural world and human-made technology, showcasing the interconnectedness of these seemingly disparate domains. To include this in Digital Intercourse, I began with physical tests of creating symmetrical forms, which all resulted in a likeness to Rorschach inkblot tests. Initially, I mainly wanted to explore the loss of control within the creation of forms and didn’t consider how paint was applied previously.As I continued with my Sym tests over time, I refined the process by integrating textual or numerical patterns to strike a balance between spontaneity and control. In some instances, I recited phone numbers, while in others, I used dates or sayings. Surprisingly, one of my earliest experiments—a simple recitation of the alphabet—captivated viewers the most and became the focal point of my animation, Wire Play.

The Sym tests played a pivotal role in Digital Intercourse, serving as the primary source for the visuals used. I undertook approximately one test per day, gradually transitioning them into 3D format. During this phase, I focused on infusing each test with unique attributes. In doing so, I found myself imbuing them with human-like qualities, akin to how I initially personified objects, ultimately transforming them into characters for an animation. I assigned each of them User(names) corresponding to the textual patterns from which they originated.

Wire Play The creation of Wire Play followed the Sym tests. As further visual experimentation unfolded, I sensed that the end results lacked something compared to other explorations. Having discussed the personification of objects multiple times in various contexts, I believed that the numerous individual characters derived from the Sym tests could offer more depth.

When personifying these characters, there wasn’t a specific commitment to fully humanizing them. I envisioned the Sym test characters to represent human behaviors while retaining enough abstraction for multiple interpretations. Originally conceived as part of an Asemic typeface, preserving the abstract nature was crucial to the piece. Incorporating stark lighting in many scenes and focusing on scenic angles to evoke emotions rather than constructing a singular narrative echoed the idea of blurring the lines between the digital and physical realms. Open to interpretation, my own understanding is that these figures are abstract forms imbued with human-like traits but ultimately exist solely in a digital realm.

These forms’ behaviors are depicted through subtle movements, complemented by audio that amplifies the mood of each scene. Altering the placement of audio throughout the short film varied the emotional tones, while increasing speed conveyed a sense of swifter movement for the characters. All visuals were crafted using the Sym tests as the original foundation, evolving into the distinct aesthetic of Wire Play. The creation of the character’s limbs was intricately linked to the generative aspect from which the entire concept stemmed. Each detail and contour of the legs was carefully crafted, echoing the foundational inspiration that shaped the character’s design. By juxtaposing real-life footage with digital 3D renderings, the film encapsulates both processes, illustrating the character’s “birth”, which metaphorically is represented by the painted symmetrical form footage and resulting in differences in film throughout.

User abc’s design has a wireframe element that is seen present throughout the animation.

I’m Feeling Digital Combining all these diverse aesthetics proved challenging in crafting a final cohesive piece that unified all the created material. The outset of Digital Intercourse differed vastly from the recent creation, Wire Play. To seamlessly amalgamate these elements, I opted to present them within an abstracted narrative, symbolizing the initial exploration of light and transitioning into darkness. This narrative thread was the only consistent piece retained in the visual book.

I observed that my physical pieces often portrayed illuminated narratives, while the digital counterparts tended to evoke darker undertones. Consequently, sequencing the narrative from light to dark felt natural. The typical outcome of my experimentation process in the realm of fine arts intrigued me, and translating these results into the digital realm transformed the aesthetic entirely, showcasing a myriad of forms. Reflecting on the inception of this journey, I found it challenging to articulate the sensation of blurring both worlds—it felt truly otherworldly. Consequently, emphasizing the realms of creation and experimentation rather than verbal description became paramount.

There may still be a lack of visual coherence, yet this collection highlights the disparities in forms as they transition between physical and digital spaces, and vice versa.
How I Feel Digital ::

No specific term has been coined for the saying “Digital Aesthetics.” My aim was to delve into the possibilities of what Digital Aesthetics could possibly represent, but ultimately explored the limits of my own personal definition.

My initial experience encountering the concept of “feeling digital” was through the introduction of a 3D film. In 2008, the debut of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” marked the onset of mainstream 3D cinema. Although recalling this specific film may seem arbitrary, its impact remained significant for me, resonating even years later as I embarked on my thesis journey.

Seated in the front row at a young age, I was immersed in surreal moments as the movie unfolded before me. A particular scene lingers: when the protagonists ventured into the cave, accompanied by a flock of electrified blue birds. The design of the birds also enhanced the impact and captured the immersive effect of the 3D technology, despite birds typically not being emissive. This introspection prompted consideration of the concept of feeling digital and remains a primary memory when reflecting on what it means to feel digital. Even as time has passed, I’ve often contemplated the blurred boundaries between reality and virtuality, especially in the context of everyday experiences where unreal objects from the virtual world seem tangible. This particular memory, with its surreal elements, challenged the authenticity of my recollection, leading me to question its existence at a young age. I was momentarily convinced of the birds’ presence, reaching out as if they were within arm’s reach in the dark theater. Although “Journey to the Center of the Earth” may not hold a prominent place in my cinematic preferences, its role in exposing me to technological potentials remains indelible.This early encounter serves as a foundation for understanding the complexities of the digital world and its integration into my own life. I attempt to intertwine with the surreal by utilizing 3D as a medium, to amplify visual mystique and wonder.

A white screen or projected light, accompanied by darkness of a space
The presence of white lighting is a very unnatural departure from our daily lives, as its illumination only arises upon human intervention. Presently as screens and white lighting are ubiquitous, their prevalence impacts a distinctly digital ambiance. There’s an intriguing contrast in witnessing a radiant laptop screen amid the darkness of night, prompting contemplation on its stark difference from natural illumination. There exists a peculiar comfort– almost, in the act of staring at a screen in the dark and being enveloped by its luminous presence. While the existence of screens inherently denotes the digital world, the spatial context in which the are in intensifies this supposed sensation. As we carry on, we might find ourselves captivated by the 14-inch screens on our laps, unable to tear our gaze away from its compelling glow. It exerts a subtle dominance over us during our most intimate moments, asserting its presence in the intimate confines during times of darkness.

Crossing the street, we are inferior to any crossing street light
It’s intriguing how we rely on a luminous traffic signal to navigate our path, adhering to its guidance as if our safety hinges upon it. It transforms us into players in a game, maneuvering through the potential danger posed by passing vehicles, resembling a cynical game embedded within our daily routines– an unavoidable obstacle that we must overcome to reach the next level. Any repetitive occurrence can amplify this sense of cyberness, as the familiarity of a particular routine imbues our surroundings with a surreal, almost game-like quality reminiscent of digital media and gaming environments– that we much get through each obstacle to reach the next level.

Overlapping voices Multiple sounds can be a disturbing digital aspect proven overwhelming in continuous cycles. I find that more than one voice feels unnatural in many senses, within a crowd, focusing on the voices can be overwhelming in many cases. The overstimulation of voices combining can be described as digital, to have many entities in once place to the point that our audio sensory is becoming overwhelmed. It feels unnatural to constantly attempt to focus on more than one noise, which is why I believe the existence of musical sets are so intriguing to most, because of the constant overstimulation it provides and in many cases can allow humans to easily let go and become one with the moment instead of attempting to focus on anything small.  

Windows, a screen to the natural world
Windows serve as portals connecting our enclosed spaces to the vast expanse of the outside world, providing fleeting glimpses into the external environment as we navigate our daily lives indoors. I perceive windows as embodying a digital essence in many instances, as they often present transient and ephemeral moments that require prolonged attention to be fully appreciated. Similar to digital spaces, windows offer a brief interlude of enjoyment, bridging the gap between physical reality and the virtual realm.
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