More selected projects

Short Life

This project is going to construct an interaction between human and machine which can express fragility of relations in human’s short life. It will start from memory. Humankind can not bring their special memories when they leave this fantastic world. But at least they know that they had been there once.​ The idea of this project is influenced by Existentialism, especially some quotes that I have selected from "Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett.

produced by: Miduo Gao


“Every man his little cross…Till he dies…And is forgotten..”

“Tomorrow, when I wake or think I do, what shall I say of today?”

"Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! … Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it before it is too late!”

"We wait. We are bored… No, don't protest, we are bored to death, there’s no denying it…A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste…In an instant, all will vanish and we’ll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!”


The first video part concept:

At the beginning of the story, "O" is alone in the world. Time flies, he has a chance to meet other people. Same interests enable him to gets friendship with someone. Several years later, they are feeling bored with each other. Fights and arguments smash their friendship into pieces. They became the stranger. When they at their old age,  they start missing their friendship, but time can not allow them to repeat happy memory. So one of them because of the illness left the world. O start recalls those memories including the period of the fight. Unfortunately, time also steals O's life. I created this story in code which can be viewed at the following link:

The final video part concept:

This part will use the previous video part as memory fragments, then add white tear clock and teardrops to extend this fragile short life emotion. In this video will contain how to interact with those elements through the webcam.Link:

Developmental Process:

First, I have reviewed my previous experiment, which has used a hand as a tool for developing images. A hand is part of humankind’s body. It can translate our idea directly. Also, the expression method is inspired by Chinese shadow play. I have changed the screen background into a black colour, then the shape of hands will appear in that kind of black screen through a webcam. It will look like the shadow. Shadow is a good way to express the feeling of memory. I set different times in my code, so it will present different scenes, for example, the direction of the screen, set a mirror effect, then when your hand interacts with the webcam it can appear like your hand is hanging up at the top of the screen.

About the clock, I just want to depict it as a witness and catalyst. A wooden artist manikin has played a regret emotion when those two people(two hands) can not own the precious memory again.

About the music part. I decide to use music file “sleepmakeswaves" - "It’s dark, It’s cold, It’s winter" for the first video. Music track(including this album cover) can generate an actual animation in viewer's mind. That is also the inspiration for this 'short life' project.

Technical Process:

This part is going to talk about how human interacts with the machine(Computer),  then human’s movement can interact with those fragile memories, teardrops, tear-clocks.

To achieve this interaction part, I have used computer vision - the optical flow part to support my whole project idea. “Optical flow is the pattern of apparent motion of image object between two consecutive frames caused by the movement of object or camera.”Through the optical flow, the human can interact with the machine through the webcam. Then for this project, the human can interact with those white teardrops, tear-clocks and memory fragments videos by webcam.


Beckett, S.(2006) Waiting for Godot; a tragicomedy in two acts. 2nd edition. London: Faber & Faber Plays.

Chinese shadow play:

Further Reading:

Frame Differencing:

Lab assignment in Term-2 Computer Vision


Sound Track:



  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image
  • gallery-image