WEEK 3: INVENTION AND INNOVATION

Read the assessment outline carefully and jot down what you need to include in the profile statement.
“A professional profile statement (250 words) that describes your practice. For example, what medium/ media do you work with? What are the ideas, concepts, and techniques you explore in your practice? What are the broader contexts or fields you work within?”

Find and compare biographies of 2 creative practitioners (look at least one of those listed below and find one other). Look at the style of writing and the structure the biographies take. Look at how the work is presented and where. Assess the logic of the design – does it support a coherent narrative about the persons’ practice?
Luz María Sánchez – Yes
Adam Khamis – Yes

Does the platform adequately support the content and its claims? What perspective is used?
Sanchez – Yes, her website is very minimalistic, but it works in her favour, directing the eyes to the information; which is the only thing that really matters. Her biography is written in third person, which i think helps understand much about their academic life asn well as her life as an artist. She has 3 paragraphs telling the reader different, and needed information, and i think the website would be hindered if all 3 paragraphs weren’t there.
Adam Khamis – Yes, His website is much more ‘in your face’, but it shows exactly what he does, directing, editing and writing. All his work i s available to watch very easily, and shows a variety of genres. His biography is longer than Sanchez’s and goes more into what exactly Khamis hoes, his awards and who he has worked for. it is also written in third person, but in disagreement to the formers website, this is too much information and i got bored reading through it towards the end.

What elements are included?
Sanchez – A collection of past, present and future works on the home screen, with tabs directing you towards her information and a more in-depth look at her works. Like previously stated her website is very simple and quite plain, but it works in favour for her. Sanchez also has a statement tab, where she goes into great depth about her artistic practice and the themes that many of her works involve. It is an added element to her website that i think is welcome, as it doesn’t bulk up her information page, but gives the reader and added insight into her creative thinking.

Khamis – His home page boasts a collection of vimeo files of short films he has directed, all of which are then sorted into genres, with tabs at the top of the page directing you to his directorial, editorial, and writing works, along with his information and contact tab. Khamis’ webpage is a little more cramped that Sanchez’s and i don’t think it works that well, as it is saying too much with the the flashy visuals and not enough within the substance of his work.

How is the interaction design – does it support a narrative unfolding? Does it follow a STAR structure or something like it?

Sanchez – Her website talks about many of her academic feats, as well as her artistic ones, so i would say yes.

Khamis – Not at all, as his biography is quite jumbled up, so it is very easy to loose you train o thought when reading his page.

What tone does it take?

Sanchez – Academic and formal, but in a way that is impressive not obnoxious

Khamis – Informative and intriguing, but also too much about his past feats, so you have to sift through it all to get to the interesting recent achievements

Which statements are effective?

Both have interesting qualities, bit i think Sanchez’s works better for the sole fact that she has all of her information broken up into different tabs, so depending on how much information you want to read, its there for you, laid out in a very easy to navigate website. One downside to her website is that the font is very small, so it may be hard to read for many, whereas Khamis’ is nice and big, making it very easy tot read.

Which fail and why do they fail?

I think both are successful, but in differing levels. Both convey what the needed too, having all the needed information, as well as ample works to show what they are capable of. Khamis’ fails in only regard; like i stated before, he has too much information on himself, and oftentimes the information become convoluted and disingenuous. Sanchez’s page is very minimalistic, which some would describe as boring, but i think it works for what she’s trying to achieve, and it is very similar to her works, so it works well.

Draft your story by using by listing 5 skills or qualities you need to include in your statement that relate to your field – think about how you can demonstrate them using the STAR systems. Sketch these narrative out as a means of clarifying your story. You can include software skills generically (e.g. 3d visualisation), there is no need to be specific here (e.g. Maya) – this may be listed in your list of works.

– Video production (pre and post)
– A keen eye for detail
– Sound production
– Ingenuity and creativity
– A willingness to use new and exciting mediums

Draft your own short statement that will provide the introduction and frame for your portfolio given the evidence and examples you’ve developed above.

Stephanie Garner is a third year Digital Media student studying at the University of Wollongong. Her works largely focus on short films, post and pre – production, photography and writing, and many of her works revolve around the future, and how everything that we do has an effect on it, positive or negative. These works have tested her ability to create interesting but still entertaining works, and they have also allowed her to sharpen her skills in many areas, and has permitted her to engage many group works, as well as many of her own, self directed works.

WEEK 2: Some Questions on Theory and Practice

Have a brief look at Terry Eagleton’s introduction to his classic textbook Literary Theory: An Introduction. Note how he begins to address literature as a theory.

Given this approach can you provide a definition of what theory is?

  • “Theory is a set of discourse that is related to practice.” – Chloe Smith
  • Everything we do is grounded in theory
  • Contemplation and Speculation

“if there is a thing called literary theory there must be litereture”

Given this definition why ‘do theory’?

  • to understand the meaning of a work
  • cohesive understanding
  • Theory enables a different, deeper understanding of the practice

How is theory different from research? How might they compliment each other – does one require the other? Are theory and practice fundamentally different practices? Why? How? In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different?

  • Theory is empty without research
  • Contest is fundamentally important when discussing research
  • Marcel Duchamp’s fountain/bicycle wheel – relevant to art at the time
  • “Every discourse has a history, and that discourse affects history” Eagleton backs up his theories with research, with having examples for his ideas.

Is theory useful to art practice? how? How might the use of theory (a critically engagement and /or invention of concepts) – propel a project?
Theory is useful to art practice in a way that it deepens the meaning of the work, theory can kick start a project, push it in a certain direction related to the theorist.

Many artists resist theory. Can theory dangerous/counterproductive to art practice? how?
Although i previously stated that theory can be great in a certain situation, where as with theory and following up on theorists ideas, it makes sure that many artworks are hitting their full potential, but also helps to enable the fact that not all art isn’t 100% original

Can you name an example when theory has moved your practice forward? Which theories? Why?
Jo?
 Walter Benjamin – thinking about practice, rather than making an artwork, shifts your lens from looking at it differently.

What is future?
After this discussion, we were asked to split up into groups to talk about our personal reasearch from last week; we were asked to try and find a text that discussed ‘futures’. In my group, Chelsea, Clare, Josh and I, we had three different texts to discuss.

How many versions of what is future can you come up with? How many theories can you generate by asking this question? Which ones generate the most interesting questions? How do the particular futures which you have found work? Or rather ask what work do they do, or functions of they serve within our culture and society, what work do they do, or function do they serve for the individual?

We had 3 initial ideas to work from

  • Restorative Futures
  • Impact of Technics
  • The Unknown of Technics.

Restorative Futures:

  • Humans have ‘destroyed’ the planet and it’s desolate, but nature is coming back.
  • Nature will prevail.
  • Different dystopian interpretation of what could happen to our world.
  • Art is now being used as an avenue of creating awareness, particularly with political issues. It tries to bring about change in society.
  • Artists use art to predict their own idea of the future.

The Unknown of Technics, which came from my research about the future of technology of art:

  • Unlimited possibilities.
  • Dependency in life and in art.
  • Transferred art practice.
  • Art never sits still anymore, it transforms very quickly because of technology.
  • Art becomes a fad, then fades, then becomes art again.
  • Society depends on technology.

Impact of Technics:

  • Technology had alienated us from nature
  • A melancholic picture of what people once enthusiastically hoped would be better for the future
  • Julian Rosefeldt’s work.

These ideals/theories in relation to tense:

  • Restorative Fantasy: projected very far into the future, but it stems from current, contemporary issues.
  • The Unknown of Technics: Living in this now, constant, always unknown, no answer.
  • Impact of Technics: Past, current, future. Technology had shaped out contemporary society.

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This exercise helped us all understand how future related to theory and practice, when will aid us with the continuing semester.

 

Additional ideas:

When trying to find ideas about futures, i stumbled upon a podcast called “A Piece of Work” hosted by Abbi Jacobson in conjunction with the MoMA. She talks about different genres of art, how they affect the art world now and when they were created, and why they are so interesting. her insight into different art worlds, talking to ‘every day’ people, as well as people well known in their art fields. Its an incredibly insightful podcast and i am very happy i found it when I did, as i think it will id me this semester.

WEEK ONE: THE CREATIVE PROCESS

This week, we began talking about terms and questions that will help us with our semesters work; futures, and the terminologies that we would be focusing on this week of craft, art and research. In my group, Lily, Joanna, Jasmine, Jane and I discussed these words and what they mean to us as practitioners, but also as people who digest different art forms on a near daily basis.

 

 

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We were asked to create a vent diagram using the works craft, art and research and discuss how they relate to our 301 work as well as where it fell on our vent diagram, but our group didn’t discuss them, we figured out our own definitions for the works, and where they fell on the diagram. It was a bit more conceptual that other groups, talking about how art is a combination of intentuality, instinctual knowledge and understanding, context and how sensory experience aids our aesthetic experience, helping us understand art and craft, which then links over to research. It posed more quests that answers for us, but it also helped us understand more of what we will be tidying this semester, and how these words are more like doorways into a large room of synonyms rather than a window.

 

 

After some talk talk between us, Sonny, Sam, Chloe, David, Chelsea and I were discussing the possibility of making Absense a series of works, and working with that towards our major work this semester. I would like to focus more on the multi sensory immersion and more with screens and how they interact with installations. I would like to incorporate futures into it, but without hitting the vein of over tired and over used; we hit this mark a few times in semester one and it disheartened us, I think we need to think of a conceptual way of discussing futures. I would also like to look more into Howardena Pindell’s work Free, White and 21, although it deals and discusses topics relevant to her (racism in 1980’s New York) it would be interesting to try and conceptualise the work with a futuristic perspective and how it might aid or hinder the meaning of the piece. The 12 minute long piece is her very candidly discussing bias incidents from her childhood and early adulthood, which are then followed by Pindell’s dressed up as a white woman reprimanding black Howradena for being paranoid and ungrateful “but then”, says White Howardena “you’re not free, white and 21”

its a very interesting way for filming, showing the who very drastic opposites in the same space and even more interesting that she is portraying both versions, I think it would be interesting to delve into this idea further. but on the flip side, it would be incredibly hard to make sure it isnt cliche, so that is also something to investigate further.

 

References:

http://www.ubu.com/film/pindell_free.html

http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/howardena-pindell-free-white-and-21-1980

 

 

 

Week 12: Finishing touches

as this was the final week of in-class time we hadn’t to work on the installation, we agreed upon picking and choosing bits and pieces from each iteration and work on our final piece. Chloe was set on trying to create a paper trail, comig down from the roof and attaching to the ground, so for majority of the class she was preoccupied by this. We were all a little sceptical, as we didn’t really have a reason to place upon it, but we decided to “cross that bridge when we get to it”

Sam, Chelsea and I started tidying the area, jamming with it to try and come up with a few viable ideas, Chloe still working on the flying paper, and Sonny and David worked on better videos for us to work with.

We wanted to try and give the room a more “homey feel, as one of the things that Matt said was that it just looked like wall with plinths covered in sheets, so we agreed to find more homey hardware. Sam went on a one-man mission to find some furniture, and Chelsea and I worked on the placement of the tv/photo frames. Sam came back with the white door, which had seen better days, which we instantly loved, and a small coffee table. We started using these things immediently, and Sam found a cardboard box to put on top of a plinth to try and make it look more like a bookcase, and also for a place to hide the speaker we were wanting to use.

We decided to use only photo frames to show the videos, so sent David and Sonny to work trying to make them the correct format. We also decided to have two different coloured lights on the paper, creating shadows and a colour contrast we all enjoyed. We had an red lifht coming from the side, with a yellowy white light coming from the roof, hitting the paper towards the bottom. The feedback from Jo and Matt was that this was the most conceptual idea we have had all semsester, and that we should work on it during the study break. We were told that it seems a little squished in the corner, so we could expand it out, it was getting there, but still didn’t feel like a home, and that the walls were a little bare. We talked about projecting an environment into the sheets by quickly decided that it’s wasn’t a viable option this close to the submitting date. We were praised on finally getting rid of the typewriter, as we didn’t have a purpose for it anymore, and we’re were so connected to it since the very first class, but we never got the same reaction any other week. We talked about maybe projecting a window onto the wall, which we all agreed would look good. Chloe vollenteered to take the photo, as she lives in an old terrace house in Sydney. We planned to meet up 3-4 times before the submitting, and agreed on the days, deciding we needed to finalise ideas before the day before submission. IMG_0918.JPG

Week 12: Reviewing

taking everyone’s feedback into consideration, we decide to go back to the drawing board and figure out again how we can incorporate everyone’s ideas to make a cohesive major work. We went into one of the black boxes to hash out ideas, using butchers paper to start a mind map of ideas to leap from. Sam was thinking of projecting things from two sides of a screen; with one side showing the treatment of asylum seekers, and the other side being the ‘good’ things that happen when they conform to the society they immigrated to. We decided to create two videos, using audio and visual to show the differences. We scrapped the projecting onto a screen, and chose to project the first idea onto the roof, and the second onto the ground, showing how we cant change the past, but we can influence change in the future. Chloe, Chelsea and i decided to work on the ‘utopic’ part, Sonny and David worked on the ‘distopic’ part, and Sam worked on the audio part.

Very quickly into this, Chelsea, Chloe and I discovered it was quite hard to find non-propgandic uptoic themes, as in the 2 hour time frame we gave ourselves, we only came up with around 4 different movies and tv shows to use, but we ended up giving Sam quite a few audio snippets to use (the most prominent being the court scene from the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird

After hitting a dead end in the utopic area, while the boys were flourishing in theirs, we decided, with 30 minutes to go, we should probably set something up to present, even if we didn’t end up using the ideas (how wrong we were) We scrapped the utopic and dystopic ideas, and ran to Jo for help. She suggested covering furniture in white sheets, to imply that a house had bee left, but the occupants still wanted to return. We used digital photo frames, and showed the two videos that Sonny and David had created, with another few showing just static. He had the ever-present table and chair with the TV typewriter, and everything was covered by sheets.

 

Moving forward, with help from Jo and Nathan, it was suggested that the videos could possibly be more homey, with long, static-y pauses in them, making it look like they were flickering on and off. As a group we decided to continue with this idea going ahead into the next week,

 

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Week 11: On Jamming/Push and Pull

after missing out on the previous week, i came into the class thinking of ideas. We were told we had to ‘disagree’ with each others ideas to make a creative flow. We decided to create a ‘cubby’ of sorts out of white sheets, and making what we ended up calling the ‘rave cubby’ with the Ho Chi Minh letter being projected onto one of the sheets through some tulle to diffuse the light, a spotlight with a red gel over it, the typewriter on the floor, and a projector playing a sort of static strobe all being played in the small space. The static we wanted to create the feeling of a helicopter trying to find survivors in abandoned houses, similar to the scene in Tomorrow When The War Began.

We wanted to try and show innocence in a war zone (similar to the ‘tounge in cheek’ visualisations used the week before) by having it all above eye-line.

 

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The creation of the cubby was quite time consuming, as all the sheets were different sizes, so we had to use dressmaker pins to connect them to each other, then use bulldog clips to attach them to the poles in the roof. Chloe, Chelsea and i worked on the sheets, while Sam, Sonny and David got the visual aspects working together (finding placed to his the projectors, figuring out where to position the light etc) We were all quite happy with the final result, but again I think we were looking at the piece through rose-coloured glasses. While some of the aspects worked, them all together felt again like too much in a small space, and it was taking away from the final piece. We were all a little hardhearted by this, but determined to create a work that was visually interesting and emotionally impactful .

 

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Week 9: Gemeinschart/Iterative Process

After the great feedback we got the week before, we decided to focus on the typewriter on the TV screen, with us extending the size of the photo 4 fold by showing a quarter of the image on 4 different TV screens, making the photo bigger. We placed them on a table and played around with where the stands were, but over all we decided that bigger wasn’t always better, and we turned back to just the one TV screen. Sam suggested we place a red light above the chair to create another link to Vietnam.

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During the Q and A portion of last weeks presentation, someone suggested maybe projecting the Ho Chi Minh letter on butcher paper, to connect the typewriter to the writing in a more physical way rather than us just saying that he wrote the letter on a type writer. We got a massive piece of butcher’s paper and connected it from the roof to the table, and we decided to use two projector screens to make make-shift ‘walls’, which we thought looked great, but after talking with Jo, Mat and the class, we decided that it wasn’t telling enough of a story, and it was too crowded to be effective, which we all agreed with. We decided to keep the typewriter for the next week, and start from scratch again.

 

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