The way to approach the project was almost a daunting task, due to we felt like our iterations we getting further and further away from what actually worked really well in the early weeks of showcasing. We were advised to start disagreeing with one another and sparking debate about projects to create a sense of jamming within ourselves.
Yet another iteration, this time Chloe had the idea to make a ‘room’ out of sheets utilising the square framework of the ceiling. The idea was to use these sheets as walls and a new way to project images around a contained space. We were advised by Jo to use Tulle, as when its spread over a series of layers it can project multiple copies of the one image. This was utilised to create the sense of multiple letters, using the live typewriting as this theme.
The red overtone was lost due to it being too obvious in previous weeks its influence of the work. The typewriter was still one of our major success factors from previous weeks so we decided to play with positioning until we placed it on the floor below the tulle filled letters. We had a strobe light set up accompanied by a helicopter audio piece to give off the effect of outside horrors of the space. This room was suddenly turned into a house of curiosity inspired work that had themes of war and claustrophobia. An uncomfortable space to which the outside happenings forced the panic and quantity of the letters being released.
The end was much similar to previous weeks. It felt like a lot of content and lacking some real direction and meaning. We also agreed that the sheets would be a very difficult medium to present on as they’d need to either be weighted at the bottom or ironed out to look more presentable. The room or disconnection to the media space and immersing the audience in a new world however, worked well. Perhaps just the content being forced onto the responder is where we need to improve on. Allowing the audience to not fully understand what the meaning behind some content features are is where we need to focus. The suggestion to fully understand an emotional connection with the happenings of such a disastrous event like war, was to gather as a group and read letters written by people involved as a group and see what sparks from this. Another suggestion was to split up as a group and formulate ideas as smaller factions, then allowing the works to speak to one another through different locations and creative process that we’ve been trying for weeks in a row.
Perhaps our greatest and worst feature as a group is that we have so many good ideas that would make projects for a smaller magnitude of members. This week showcased this when we iterated feedback last week that not enough was being talked about or not enough angles and subjectivity were being explored. We decided to show an assortment of images, text, sounds and projective content that had something to do with the hardships or parodies of war.
On one screen, displayed was The Tin Pot General and the Old Iron Woman, which is a satirical take on the pointlessness of the Faulkland’s war, filled with sexual innuendo and exaggerated images. On another screen, was the typed letter we’ve continued into this week, however we’ve taken the scale to one extreme to the other, making it the smallest projection shown in the whole installation and being perhaps the most excluded section of the space. The use of the paper and projection of words onto it was re-thought as a group, we weren’t using the true materiality of the paper, and instead we could write another story onto the paper. Taking some of Mat’s feedback about using a completely different way of storytelling, like a Taylor Swift song, we decided to write the lyrics from Khe Sahn by Cold Chisel about returning home after the Vietnam War.
Perhaps something we aimed for, and indeed didn’t get across effectivley was the earlier weeks of exploration of the Virtual Reality experience of being taken out of the space and submerged into another. Something was happening no matter where you look and no two people would have synced movements and audio listening. The feedback we received was that now there were too many stories and they didn’t work together well, so the space felt disjointed. Jo suggested we play with the white sheets, that maybe the empty furniture could represent the home of a family who had fled and this is what they left behind.
Perhaps the idea of the previous work I created with white spaces creating a sense of ambient presence.
This week we decided to change it up from an immersive space and try what worked last week and upsize the scale of it. This was done using more LED screens and spitting up the keyboard over 4 screens. We decided through consultation with other external opinion and our own input, that the screens weren’t flush against one another enough and it lost the sharpness of the image when it was blown up over the 4 screens. What we did decided to keep however, was the red wash of light over the original seat. This alluded to without screaming, the Communist associations with the colour red, relevant with the war stories we wanted to embed in the work.
This iteration quickly developed back to the original screen idea, and perhaps jamming the idea of using materialistic objects with a digital influence. more specifically, the typewriter creating a letter infront of it that used digital projection to showcase the writing, as if it were happening live.
We decided that this giant piece of paper could act like a physical component of a typewriter, that would suggest a scaleable installation. We then wanted to play with the immersion side of the project, to completely trap the responder with the idea that this is happening in front of them and a presence was felt from a war torn individual.
The overarching messages from the feedback that too much “stuff” could be detrimental to the original connection made with the audience of almost an accidental aesthetic. That by throwing a whole heap of materials to a work to see what might work, could be the wrong way to approach the project. That we should refer back to previous week and focus on the ways we could understand perhaps the emotion that certain elements of the war the country experienced could be showcased in letters and archive stories. Generally there was a lot being thrown at the audience and the end decision that it was indeed, ‘too crowded’.
Week 8 provided us with a new group member and the chance for us to revisit our project pitches and areas we are particularly interested in. How we can allow interactions between different mediums represented through ideas and expertise we a major part of this week. Getting to know one another we learnt that, Chloe’s was scale, being new to the group this also gave another theme to a group adding to the quantity of us being larger than most other groups, Steph’s was retelling a story through editing, David’s was utilising the medium of clay, Mine was utilising the medium of broken technologies for an aesthetic, Sonny’s was utilising installation to explore the Vietnam War and Chelseas was using projection on an installation.
We began talking and trajectory quickly lead into the works I’d created in the past. This was a projection based work that worked with the idea of holographic projection. I’d filmed myself doing activities in a typical household set up with colours and definite furniture arrangement. I then projected this exact film onto the space, however, coloured or covered the entire (once coloured) space white, and the projection of the video captured would light the space to make a presence felt, without being occupied.
We ended up creating a video feature of the Vietnam war showcasing the different sides, implications and effects of the warfare over two different projections. We had quite a few set backs with the projectors getting to play the files, later to discover the problem was due to our drives were formatted incorrectly and not to MS-DOS (FAT 32). We ended up setting up something to showcase at least what our ideas, which in fact ended up being our strongest presentations of the iteration process. We kind of “jammed” something together using a tv monitor, one with a typewriter laid across a table and the other projecting a looping letter typed that was an transcript of a Ho Chi Minh talk. These were a quick mashup, and our feedback was that there was something that worked with the typewriter on an LED screen lighting up a dark space. There was an absence feeling given off the the responders that was something we could possibly explore further.
When we weren’t trying to force an emotion or a theme was when we connected more. The absent feeling in a room or having a sense of loss was strong, almost like the audience was interrupting something or someone that wasn’t there. This was something I really felt fascinated by and would assume we’d continue in the future, or at least keep the elements that worked well.
Given the task of group assessments is usually something daunting and as a practise sometimes counterproductive to its initial purpose. However, a different approach was given to this group iteration process. From a combined effort on pieces of large paper written over by the students about what their processes and practises, the collective figured out a list of categories we would dive into for the final project, these included:
- Reconfiguring space time through sound, image and interaction to tell stories has been the domain of cinema.
- How can we reconfigure space time to create layered experiences or narratives in other ways?
- How do we create new space time through the use of sound and image?
- How do we open up storytelling as an activity by configuring human senses through the media of sound and image?
- What kind of stories can be told? What kind of stories should be told?
The category highlighted in red was the one I felt as a practise I could see myself excelling, having the best creative input and something I wanted to develop personally in the field career I wanted to pursue.
A group was formed. Sonny, Chelsea, Steph, David and myself. We all had come across in one way or another and we discussed interests, project pitches as well as ideas to recreate a work from an assigned bunch. We ended up choosing as a group Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Dark Pool (1995), due to the mysterious nature, and the way we thought we could incorporate cyber cultural elements of Virtual Reality into the space.
We ended up wanted to create a physical version of a blend of VR and a house of curiosities. The intention was to evoke the responder to have a different experience to the previous and indeed the next person to enter. Through the use of various coloured lighting, audio alluding to a sense of “loss, or losing something”. This was then jolted, glitched and merged into one audio file that was looped and exposed at different times to those who entered.
What would be interesting to investigate within these works would have been the utilisation of sound and how that could have been perhaps more immersive. The objects chosen, though small and inanimate, didn’t create enough curiosities, in that it was perhaps the only subject. In terms of recreation however, our finished product definitely hit our mark with the VR experiences and disembodiment element discussed.
Robotic implications and emerging technologies have always been a fascination of mine, and my university career has lead me to want to dive into these potentials usually by obtaining a new device or creating an account on a platform and just using them. Over the years at the University of Wollongong, I’ve created some digital artefacts, media art and written countless blog posts that have attributed to a creative content portfolio that will serve as a resume moving into the digital generation, lead by us in communications and digital media. This aggregated content curation has lead me to drone technology and how this emerging technology will be something this degree and certainly its graduates will have to become aware of as a tool to capture aerial images and video. I’ve been focused on the devices for about 2 years now, ranging from theoretical research and skillsets within ethical privacy, e-waste, production and consumption in the Asian Pacific, commercial and non-commercial use, agricultural implications, aesthetic filming and editing as well as launching a start-up within iAccelerate fuelled by UOW pitch 2016 whereby I’ve designed, built and implemented a drone device in collaboration with the RMS.
What I intend to do for this kind of research is something perhaps down the aesthetic road, whilst still defining my expertise and encouraging others to do so. I was to understand and field test the options that “off-the-shelf” commercial drones offer filmmakers and creatives, essentially out of the box ready to fly. Collision avoidance, active tracking and smart landing features are all components that drone manufacturers have to have as a core to their product if they’re to compete in the market today. These devices are a flying personal camera crew, and I want to create a video that captures myself as the subject that’s filmed by me. The edit is then done by me and my skills in two fields are already being tested and improved. That the act of creating and learning from failure still have more physical work showcase potential than ever before, we now have an evolutionary showreel to showcase what we’d describe in a written resume’ as “flexible, diverse and hard working”. Inevitably, this content creation goes back into my portfolio online and hopefully as media professionals scroll through the years, areas of improvement are evident.
For this digital artefact titled, “Be your Own Camera Crew”, I want to create a series of, or one video, to capture the skills I’ve learnt over the years of university attendance and the skillset from that, and create a visual showcase of this device potential for content creators like us who are trying to create jobs that perhaps aren’t even open for positions yet. The processes of editing, planning shots and ultimately creating a start to finish product that can then be used for a workplace portfolio is something i’d be interested in exploring. The drone I will be using is a product made by DJI, one of the world’s leading manufacturers in quadcopter technology, utilizing what’s called “active track”. This feature allows its user to click and drag a virtual box around a subject on live view from the drone on a smartphone, to then become the focus point of the shot. Once the subject is recognised and focused on, piloting the drone becomes automatic, without the use of the controller or even any piloting gestures. This means the person creating the work doesn’t have to worry about missing a particular moment in the filming process as the drone stays fixed on them. The type of video I would like to create would be something visually aesthetic as well as something with motion. The editing is then done with free software that comes with both personal laptops, in my case iMovie, or at the University. Lastly, the platform YouTube, allows this to be publically available for anyone with an internet upload connection. This will allow feedback for critic, as well as the convenience of a link to embed in future career initiation talks and applications.
I will be tangling with the week 5 topic of “The Object” and the autonomous function found on commercial quadcopters today. With some research, I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in my thinking that drones could serve a real world place in terms of providing accessibility to social, educational and creative disciplines, as theorist Utkarsh Mittal conveniently states that drones will provide new opportunities for content creation and research, users may expect drones to be part of the technology resources available. I use this example broadly, but some specific examples that I’ve been exposed to are the library at the University of Wollongong. The ‘maker-space’ will encourage emerging technologies and new devices on offer for students to complete projects that require an extra layer of physicality or aesthetic. These include drones, 3D printers and virtual reality, all available within a University library, which means the integration of these devices are already being encouraged as academic resources.
In my project, I want to contribute to this discussion from the viewpoint of a creative content creator.The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are linked to all kinds of prejudice and harsh criticisms about privacy, hostility and the unknown realm that is autonomous robotics. My intention is to explore the latter of these categories, and unlock what it means to aspiring media professionals like myself, when devices we use to conduct research and perform our creative tasks suddenly are able to do this without piloting and without supervision.
My first real trial of the active track feature with the DJI Mavic Pro. Very useful feature and allows the ability to be your own camera crew…i used a skateboard to see how well it keeps up.
edited in iMovie.
Music Available @ [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KoWCGl73u8]
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