Week 2: Media Arts Theory, Practice and Process

This weeks discussion in class produced some interesting a mind bending approaches to theory and the way we look at future through the use of theory.

Not only was our discussion about future it was about the past and present and thinking about time as something that isn’t fixed.

Theory vs. Research

Theory and research may often be confused with one another. So what are the differences?

For me theory is the concept that is derived from research. Usually theory has come to a conclusion about a certain topic. Research creates more knowledge about a subject which would help aid the theories conclusion.

And how is this presented in art?

In my group we split future into three parts according to the writings/artworks we researched in preparation for this week’s workshop.

We used:

  • Hayden Fowler’s New World Order categorising it as ‘restorative fantasy.’ 
  • Julian Rosefeldt’s The Shift as ‘impact of technics’
  • Eyal Gever’s Technology and Art: Engineering the Future as ‘the unknown of technics.’ 

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Restorative Fantasy

  • Art is being used as a tool for change
  • Artists use their work to predict their own idea of the future
  • Hayden Fowler explores how nature will ultimately prevail in the dystopian future

The Impact of Technics

  • Technology has alienated us from nature
  • Past and present technology has shaped how our contemporary society operates
  • Julian Rosefeldt paints a melancholic picture of what people once thought would better our future

The Unknown of Technics

  • Art never sits still anymore, it transforms very quickly because of technology
  • Living in our ‘now’ is always unknown, we see so much change on a day to day basis
  • There are unlimited possibilities with the future of technics

Final Work Ideas

A possible topic that I’m considering exploring for my final project is the effect of social media on our psyche; are we becoming robotic with our emotions? I’m exploring general research to do with the effect social media has on our lives for a short documentary in my film class, so this could possibly be an avenue for me to bring this research alive in a different way.

Week 1: The Creative Process

This week we discussed futures and delved into terminologies such as craft, art and research. In groups and as a class we explored how these terms shape us/people as artists.

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We were asked to think about where our MEDA301 final project would fall on this venn diagram. And also the effects of technology in craft, art and research.

When approaching my process of material thinking/research creation/art making I tend to begin by listing certain skills and interests I have. I then use these to decipher what may or may not be feasible. For example my interests mainly lie in the film industry and digital art that explores traditional film making techniques.

Skills and interests I have that may inform my process:

  • Video editing.
  • Small scale use of science and engineering in art. My laser spirograph I created in MEDA202, while it did tested my limits, it sparked a hands on use of art that I hadn’t thought about.
  • Camera work.
  • Another interest of mine is subverting genres in storytelling.

So does that mean I should do a work that is simply a film or a work that uses pieces of film making to create a whole new meaning?

Four terms that help inform the future of my creative process are practise/practice, culture and research.

With practise makes perfect. Practising your practice informs your craft substantially. Without practise your practice could fall short and be devoid of meaning. So with practise, an artist is able to shape their creative future.

Culture informs works of art substantially. Whether this be the culture of the art world the artist works in or simply the culture the artist lives in on a day to day basis. There is numerous ways that culture influences art.

Research for me is essential in creating a work. I tend to be more inspired and motivated when I am exposed to other artists works. It’s incredibly hard to create an original idea out of nowhere.

For week two, Thinking about ‘Futures’…

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Julian Rosefeldt’s photo works based on the video work, The Shifthttp://www.julianrosefeldt.com/photo-works/the-shift-2008/

Rosefeldt uses non-linear narratives that alienate the viewer, speaking to the impact of technics and media that have alienated us from nature. Rosefeldt describes four channel film installation as drawing “a melancholic picture of what people once enthusiastically hoped would be better for the future.” This is work is more of literal look into ‘futures.’

 

Week 14 and 15

Meeting 1

Anh, Meg, Josh and I met at Wollongong Central to gather some more shots.

Meeting 2

Anh, Meg and I mounted the projector, testing the size of the projection. We also learnt from Glen that the projector we chose to use is perfect for full HD video, which will benefit us greatly in creating a cinematic feel.

Meeting 3

Anh, Meg, Josh and I gathered the last of the shots and edited the three different parts together. It was difficult creating transitions between each part in a way that didn’t highlight the fact that they didn’t match.

After editing the video we hung the red wool used in our video, from the projector to the projection. We presented the string in a way that created multiple vertical splits over the projection. We created physical splits, just as we have done in a virtual sense with the editing of our video.

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Our overall aims were to:

  • Play and manipulate the way editing is used in contemporary cinema
  • Reconfigure narrative in a non linear way to show that storytelling can be multifaceted
  • Focus on the use of split screens and finding different ways to connect them
  • Play with perspective and challenge how the audience connects ideas from scene to scene

Reflection

Overall this assignment was difficult due to conflicting points of view. These conflicting ideas halted our process and colluded our main idea. Although we did try our best to stay true to our original ideas and experiments. If the group had been split in half, we could of possibly created a better quality work. While the project was difficult in many respects, it was interesting learning and experimenting with different approaches to filming video.

Study Recess

Meeting 1

Anh, Meg and I met up at Innovation to discuss what our final concept would  be. We decided to split it into three different ‘types’ of working with split screens:

  1.  A continuous scroll across the screen where something would be passed from screen to screen. We chose red wool to be the object to be passed from person to person, screen to screen.
  2. Two shots side by side that mirrored each other.
  3. Two horizontal shots, one on top of the other, where the two screens would interact with each other just as the continuous scrolling shot.

Meeting 2

Anh, Meg and I practised the continuous scrolling shot with the red wool being passed from screen to screen. We found that we had to have a buffer amount of time at the start and end of each shot, so that when it has been passed to the other person in the next screen, the shot previous could remain as it slowly pans across.

Meeting 3

We all met up at North Wollongong beach to shoot some shots with the red wool and mirroring shots. We shot around dusk which was great for the mirroring shots to show contrast.

Week 13

I felt this was a very productive week for our group in terms of experimenting. Firstly we edited our four different point of view shots that we collected over the week.

After showing this to Mat and Jo, questions that arose were:

  • How does it work?
  • What does it mean?
  • How does it relate to (re)configuring space time?
  • How can you make more of a narrative so all the screens tie together and just look like random footage cut together?
  • What could link the frames together?

Jo’s main advice was to to play with aspect ratio and cinema scope. She said to make it more aesthetically pleasing if the storyline is going to be simple.

After this experiment and discussion, we brainstormed again. We decided to create something that was like a human puzzle.

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We filmed each of us individually standing on the spot in two different locations. Our first edit was all for of us split horizontally to create one person but with one body part from each of us.

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As we did this with limited time and no previous experience in how to film something like this, our pitfall was having each shot line up so it is as if it’s one succinct person. We each shouldn’t have moved in the shot.

Our second edit was using multiple parts from each shot to create three different people out of many. We also played with positioning of the projector, having Jo’s advice on cinema scope in mind.

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From this point we still need to create a linking narrative for our final piece, think about what sounds we’re going to use and to figure out how to have all the shots line up succinctly.

Week 12

This week we played around with editing. We used parts from two different movies and arranged them next to each other. For examples we tried to line up the Marvel credit opening from Thor and Captain America next to each other. Our main pitfall this week was that we did not have any content of our own to use.

At the end of the lesson Meg, Anh and I decided we needed to film anything we could out of class so that it could help us next week. We decided to each film a point of view shot and then we would edit them into split screens alongside each other the following week in class.

Week 11

Kade and I brainstormed briefly but felt we couldn’t experiment further without the other group members because we did not have footage from previous weeks and our idea is not solid after last weeks brainstorm.

Out of class I did some research on artists who specialise in screen installations. One artist that stood out was Julian Rosefeldt. Many of Julian Rosefeldt’s works use multiscreen interaction.

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The photo above is a still from Julian Rosefeldt’s The Opening. Our work from week 9 somewhat reflects this work.

The Opening is unable to played on word press due to privacy restrictions but if you click the link below you can watch it on Vimeo with no problems. 

 

Below is a still from another of Julian Rosefeldt’s works, The Shift.

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