"When you know what you're doing, you're not experimenting."
Associate Professor Paul Thomas (2016)

"I have no idea what I want to do... or where I am going with this."
Saskia Mulder (2016)


I am of Dutch Australian heritage so I decided to look at the colours of both flags in Hexadecimal colour values and RGB to see if I could generate data randomly to take me where I needed to land.

The Dutch and Australian Flags are both red, white and blue. In HTML, their Hex Colours are specified with: #RRGGBB, where the RR (red), GG (green) and BB (blue), the components of the colour.

The RGB colour value is specified with red, green and blue. Numbers between 0 and 255 define the intensity of the colour in RGB.

The word Hex caught my eye because in Dutch it means ‘witch’. In English in The Oxford Dictionary the meaning is defined as :


noun: hex, plural noun: hexes
  • a magic spell; a curse"a death hex"
  • a witch

Serendipity, rather than a random generator led me to hex; synonyms being curse, spell, jinx, voodoo, abracadabra, bewitching, enchantment, magic, soccer, curse and spell.

Not sure of how to proceed with hex as subject matter, I brainstormed, drew a mind map and wrote notes on a scroll of paper.


For most of the second and third day on campus I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or where I was heading...Mind mapping seemed to take me on tangents to nowhere. After a discussion with Paul I settled on making potions which relates back to the magic spell definition of hex. I packed my bag to head home early to look for vials for put the potions in, and lost my scroll notes on the way to a pathology centre where I was hoping to get hold of some vials.

I back-tracked, looking for the scroll which I eventually found in the train station lift. A kind person had put it up on the handrail.

saskia mulder lift.JPG

I figured that if I hadn’t found my notes I would have to stop being fixated on getting inspiration from them for this assessment, as my time was limited to do the first experiment.

Tunnel vision can be really limiting and constraining ... and I think I was too constrained and not being experimental enough. So I figured instead of using my notes for inspiration, I would use them as a device, and experiment by rolling up the scroll and taking photos through it. The results were not what I expected.

saskia mulder 1.jpg

saskia mulder 3.jpg



And here the scribble is visible....


I took photos of the tunnel vision photos on my laptop with a fish eye lens. It reminds me of an astronaut’s visor which ties in with the tunnel vision shots reminiscent of outer space. There are infinite ways of documenting and processing things around us that can lead to a serendipitous discovery like this.


Artwork Experiment #1Materials/hardware/software : iPhone, Macbook, colour pencils, ink, paper, fisheye lens, Photoshop + Instagram


From my standpoint a magic potion is much like a placebo. Both are supposed to have beneficial healing properties if you believe in them. In the case of a potion its properties, powers and energy can make someone fall in love with you, bring retribution or help you get rich. I think this strong belief in, and desire to design and change the course of our future using remedies that aren’t scientifically formulated or based is an interesting one.

A liquid with healing, with healing, magical or poisonous properties : a healing potion


A medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patients rather than for any physiological effect.

meaningless talk or activity, typically designed to trick someone or conceal the truth of a situation.

PS - Rather amusing hocus-pocus synonyms include : mumbo jumbo, argle-bargle, gibberish, balderdash, claptrap, nonsense, rubbish, twaddle; gobbledegook, double Dutch, hokum, bull, rot, garbage, tripe; informalflapdoodle; informalbunkum, mumbo jumbo and abracadabra.

Many of the vials I looked at came with a chemical in them and the Pathology assistants at two labs I visited, were reluctant to give them to me depending on what I was going to put in them. If I was using liquids that could have been an interesting experiment!

Developing my line of thought for this project, I found that there are common and intriguing questions in science that relate to our daily activities and lives that we still have no answer to, such as :

1. How long is a piece of string?
2. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
3. What is the meaning of life?
4. Is time an illusion?
5. How big is the universe?
6. When will I die?
7. Is there life after death?
8. Are we alone in the universe?
9. What is consciousness?
10. How did life begin?

And so I have decided on a mumbo jumbo, hocus pocus take on life’s unanswerable questions for this experiment. As a kind of play on spells and potions, I have put these questions on the vials that have an invisible substance in them. Whoever opens them will have an epiphany or some kind of divine/scientific revelation in relation to the question on the vial.

Am I a charlatan? Am I deluding you? Is this the art of delusion or delusional art?


Artwork Experiment #2Materials/hardware/software : Pathology vials, Canon SLR, Macbook, Photoshop.


There is something quite distressing and horrific about researching witches being burnt on pyres. For the purpose of this experiment I don’t intend to go into any of the historic and cultural facts about women suspected of witch craft being burnt alive. It is my intention to build a pyre and observe the process.

Initial ideas were:

  • place a plastic figure on the pyre and burn it and take photos of the flames, melting plastic and burnings sticks in stills to animate, which would not have been an environmentally friendly thing to do;
  • place an effigy of a “witch” made from paper and cardboard on the pyre pinned into a sausage and burn it, taking photos of the process.

I decided to keep it simple and see where that would take me. I collected twigs and sticks from the garden and brought them back to clip them to the right length.

A pyre is actually quite hard to build - fiddly - for lack of any other way of describing it. It’s kind of like the game fiddlesticks; one wrong placement of a stick, and the pyre will collapse. The texture of the twigs and sticks, the shadow they throw on the paper and the space within is interesting. For some reason the pyre looks alive, like a badly made arthropodic movie prop.

Below is a Power Point presentation of a series of stills accompanied by the sound of twigs being cut with secateurs. Unfortunately the Wiki does not import transitioning slides or sound in the PP file.

Artwork Experiment #3Materials/hardware/software : Twigs, blue tack, secateurs, Canon SLR, Iphone, Voice Memo, Macbook + PowerPoint.