PRESENTATION DAY

Today is the day!

IMG_2654Chelsea and I came in to plug in the final video and make sure everything was perfect before practicing and finalising the speech. We were happy with the work overall and all of the components worked well to convey the story we are trying to tell.

The speech was a nice and presise way to summerise our semesters work, so we were able to remember our process and how we got from our begining idea of a genre study of tech noir to the climate change installation work we had at the end. We were also reminded by all the works that influenced us (especially Olafur Eliasson, Hayden Fowler and Chris Wainwright) and how their works specifically influenced our choices in using the ice, the distopian setting for our original idea and the red light.

IMG_2649We were also able to talk about the choice of the sound, for both a performance tactic (to bring the audience over so they can interact with the clock) but also as the reasoning for white noise is caused interference, which encapsulates the entire backbone of our piece which the two of us loved. We also talked about why we decided to use a time lapse rather than a real time video (it was more engaging) and why the clock was used (it filled in our missing peace for a physical thing in the space, but the flipping also shows time passing at a fast rate, similarly to the ice melting; they are both metaphors for global warming)

IMG_2645Both Jo and Mat were pleased with the work and only had a few things to nitpick on or change. They liked the time lapse, but thought that the videos should be longer, and perhaps they shouldn’t ‘come back’ after melting, which we immediately agreed upon after Mat pointed out that it takes away from the meaning of the piece. They also suggested maybe extending the time lapse to around 20 minutes rather than 25 seconds to show the passing of time more slowly, and it might be beneficial to use to use a few different videos rather than just the one. Both Chelsea and I thought that these were solid critiques. Jo and Mat both want us to try and connect an Arduino to the computer so that when the audience comes close to the projection, the ice melted faster. This is an idea that we had talked about wanting to try and achieve, but we talked to Glenn and he seems to think that the amount of coding required for this is too hard for the two of us to do in the week and a half before Grad Show, and we aren’t using a computer anymore, were using a blu-ray player.

They also suggested the placement of the clock could be different as the sensor on the clock isn’t strong enough to pick up anything further away than 1 metre. Mat suggested that we place it on a coffee table, so that we moved it off the plinth and it looked less like a “History museum exhibit” Chelsea and I were talking about this afterwards and we still haven’t figured out a different place, so we will have to work on it.

We were also told to perhaps light where the audience would stand, which Chelsea and I were hitting ourselves over as it is such a small detail but such a needed addition to the work.

We took all these comments in and immediately began discussing how we could change it for the Grad Show. Overall, Chelsea and I are incredibly happy with what we ave achieved over the past semester, and are excited to perfect it even more for the Grad Show!

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WEEK 15/STUDY WEEK 2 – MONDAY

Chelsea was able to do a few more time lapses over the weekend, except one of them was interrupted at the very end with a phone call and the video was unsalvageable. She was able to take one on Monday morning that was our favourite, so we repeated it and got it ready to install.

We did have a last minute change setup, as Josh needed a computer, Glenn suggested that because we were only using a single video on repeat, we could use a DVD/Blu-Ray player that plugs into the projector. We only had a small hiccup with this, as the video cut to black for a split second and that annoyed both Chelsea and I, so we decided to edit the video to repeat for 10 minutes rather than the original 50 seconds. After this we were happy with the setup after being at the campus for 3 straight days and we were ready for the presentation day!

We also wrote a speech for us to use on Tuesday (as both Chelsea and I a talkers and we didn’t want to diverge off what we wanted or to talk too much and leave nothing to the imagination) We felt that each part talked about in the speech held an important part in the piece and we didn’t want to miss out on any integral infomation:

“We started off by joining forces due to our similar interests in film genre.  From there we started researching to see if we could find a niche where our two genres intersected.  We then found a genre called tech noir which is a combination of noir and science fiction.  The characteristics of this genre were the classic noir story line combined with the film techniques associated with both.  We compiled a list of films that were in this genre and spent time analysing their content.  We came up with the idea to create two contrasting video pieces, one which featured different dystopian clips that could be said to represent a future and the second which focused on facial expressions that were looking at the futures displayed in the first clip.  We used clips from our research list to start off with and when the product wasn’t what we hoped and we felt like we weren’t getting enough from our idea, we started to think that we should use our genre study as an influence, rather that the focal point of our work.

From there were started to discuss what we thought was an important future to represent and we decided on climate change.  When we were introduced to our topic of futures we looked into a few artists whose works looked at the idea of human life affecting that of our environment and we found them particularly striking.  These works by Olafur Eliasson and Hayden Fowler were the starting off point we needed to create our own future inspired work.

We then began experimenting with how we would present this idea.  We still wanted to include a screen aspect into our work so we started by creating time lapses and displaying them all together in a grid.  We wanted to add a material element, but we were struggling to connect the screen to one as we had so many different images in our video.  It was then that we received feedback suggesting that we focused on one video rather than nine.  As we were looking specifically at climate change we chose the video of an ice melting time lapse as we felt like it is one of the more recognisable signs of climate change.  We then played around with the idea of having ice melt in the space, but as we had to move it for the Grad Show, we wanted something that was less susceptible to change.  This was when you suggested that we could use a clock as a material element.

Now very confident in our concept we started to experiment, we made several time lapses of ice melting in different shapes and we able to locate a flip clock which Glenn thankfully could fix (as it didn’t work).  We also wanted to incorporate lighting into our work and we decided to light the clock using a red gel, which referenced an artwork we used as inspiration by Chris Wainwright and also honed back to our genre study which focused on neon lighting.  Once we had this foundation we thought more thoroughly about what the work was representing, we had played around with mirrors because we were trying to showcase how climate change is an issue that each individual is a part of whether we’re aware of it or not, so we wanted an element of our work that was affected the moment the audience stepped into our space. This is when we had the idea of the clock ticking faster when an audience member approached it, however, we didn’t actually know if it was possible, when Glenn said he could do it using a sensor and an Arduino.  While Glenn was working on it, he also discovered that he could get the AM and FM channels to create sounds.  We chose to use a sound as a presentation tactic so that it draws the audience in because we needed them to come close enough to the clock to set off the sensor, but more importantly Glenn told us that the FM station plays a white noise/static sound that is caused by interference.  This then directly relates to the audiences’ experience with the clock and our overall concept and became the final element of our work.”

WEEK 14/EXAM WEEK 1

This week, Chelsea and I came in on Wednesday and Friday to set up and test some more ideas for this major work. On Wednesday, Glenn wasn’t quite finished the clock so we improvised with the top of the clock being a fill-in until we had it running and ready to go. Chelsea had taken 4 time lapses while home so we played those on a loop after we had everything set up to figure out which one we liked the best. All of them looked awesome, she really outdid herself with the lighting of them all, i was really proud of her. We left them playing on a loop while we set up the red light that would be shining down the plinth and on the clock (looping back to our genre study from the start of the semester, but also to reference Wainwright’s Red Light- White Light (2008-09) that i talked about in my previous posts.We laid around a fair bit on the positioning of the projector and lights, before finally figuring out where looked best.

On Friday Glenn had the clock working for us and it is amazing! I’m so grateful to him for being able to complete it for us! He still needed to fiddle with it a bit, as she needed to put a longer range sensor in it as on Friday the short range sensor wasn’t exactly what we needed. We had that set up for around 45 minutes before Glenn had a meeting and needed to take it with him, but we finally were able to look at our work almost complete!

Chelsea still wants to take a few more time lapses to get them perfect, so on Monday we will have the final pick of the videos to put up!

STUDY RECESS

This week was crunch time for Chelsea and I as we hadn’t taken a time lapse that we were both 100% happy with. As Chelsea was going home for the break she decided it would be easier to take them there. We also wanted to try and see what it would look like with a dark background to contrast the brightness of the ice. I took a time lapse taken o some white tiles, using ice cubes that i put into a bowl and filled it in with a small amount of water and refroze it. I couldn’t find my go pro anywhere for i settled on my iPhone, and it worked so much better than i could ever have hoped!

Although the video itself wasn’t that flash, i immediately told Chelsea that the video from the iPhone looks so much better that the go pro so her next ones could be shot smoother. It took about 5 hours in the sun, but we both decided that the light tiles weren’t what we were after.

Chelsea kept me updated during the week on how her time lapses were going, as the weather at my house was not optimal, and i couldn’t get the setting right on my phone again to get a good time lapse. Chelsea’s use of two bowls seemed to be the way to go as it is the most interesting and aesthetically pleasing way to present the ice, and it melts in a way that is near symmetrical but still interesting enough that you aren’t bored, even if the video is only 25 seconds.

We are seeing each other on Wednesday to start setting this work up, we are going to figure out what we need to get done before next Tuesday

 

WEEK 13: A FINAL CHANCE TO TEST

Last week Jo gave us the advice to perhaps research works that influenced us in our works. Chelsea and I had a few works that overlap and a few that we found ourselves.

 

Roni Horn’s Nine Liquid Incidents (2010–12) is a piece that works with coloured ice that are made to look like pools.  The Biennale of Sydney describes the work, “With rough edges and fire-polished surfaces, these exquisite sculptures seem to both draw in and exude energy, appearing transparent or highly reflective depending on the play of light in the space. Our associations with the life force of water are endless, and these pieces highlight its chameleon qualities, resembling frozen pools, mirrors or bottomless wells – objects to fall into, to float on and to drown in. Beyond simply seeing ourselves in the water-like surface, Horn invites us to see the water-like qualities in ourselves, to see ourselves as water. Water has the capacity to be brutal or gentle; to inspire both reverence and fear. It is most often connected with the realm of the imagination, with emotions, intuition and sensuality. Water is life, and both are ever-shifting” (Biennale of Sydney, 2017). The concepts of the water being the reflective surfaces is something that interest both Chelsea and I, it would be interesting if we could try and incorporate the clock into an idea like this.

 

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Roni Horn Nine Liquid Incidents, 2010–12, solid cast glass ten units 45.5 x 91.5 cm (diameter) each. Installation view of the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Courtesy Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul. The presentation of this project was made possible through the generous support of Simon and Catriona Mordant. Photograph: Sebastian Kriete

The second work Minimal Monument by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo, works with 1000 ice figures, posed sitting on a building steps in Berlin. She has talked about how this work specifically related to the Arctic’s ice-cap crisis, with the work warning that the warming of the Arctic will change weather in different parts of the world and increase the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. She has stated “‘This work was conceived as a critical view of the official historical monuments. As the reading and interpretation of an art piece is open, I’m glad it can also speak of urgent matters that threaten our existence on this planet. The project started with solitary figures, later a multitude of small sculptures of ice were placed in public spaces of several cities. The memory is inscribed in the photographic image and shared by everyone. It is not reserved to great heroes nor to great monuments.” (Azevedo, 2009)

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Melting Men (2009), Nele Azevedo
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Melting Men (2009), Nele Azevedo

Chelsea also suggested a work that she studied in one of her CAVA classes called Red Ice-White Ice (2008-09) by Chris Wainwright.  “Red Ice-White Ice is a series made at night whilst circling around icebergs in a small inflatable boat off the north-west coast of Greenland in sub-zero temperatures.  The photographs were made using red or white flash to reflect the temperature changes taking place in this fragile wilderness”  (Wainwright, 2013). We liked this work as well as it worked with the red light that is still so prominent in noir films, even of we aren’t doing a genre study anymore.

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I was able to pick up the clock, but unfortunately that actual clock part doesn’t work. Chelsea and I were trying to figure out how we could get it to work in the piece when Mat came up and suggested to us to ask Glenn if he could help. We liked the idea of getting the clock to tick faster when an audience member came closer to the clock, and we loved that idea, so we went to Glenn and he said it was doable!

We left him to try and get that done, and Chelsea and I spent a large chunk of the class planning for the fundraiser BBQ, so our iteration this week was much the same, but we have decided that we liked the multiple ice cubes/ice block so we are both going to take a few time lapses during the week do get it done!

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We touched base with Glenn at the end of the .class and he said that he can do it! Chelsea has class on Friday so she is going to see where he is with it then!

References:

Biennale of Sydney 2017Artists: Roni Horn, Biennale of Sydney, viewed 23 October 2017, http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/19bos/artists/horn/

Melting men: Thousand ice sculptures left to thaw in the sun to highlight climate change in Arctic, The Daily Mail, viewed 24th October 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1210783/Melting-men-Thousand-ice-sculptures-left-thaw-sun-highlight-climate-change-Arctic.html

Minimal Monument, Nele Azevedo, viewed 24th October, 2017, https://www.neleazevedo.com.br/minimum-monument

Wainwright, C 2013, Red Ice – White Ice, Chris Wainwright, viewed 23 October 2017, http://chriswainwright.com/2013/11/30/red-ice/

WEEK 12: DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

This week we spent the first portion of the class working on our artist statement and webpage for the grad show. After this was done, Chelsea and I started working on this weeks version of our work.

Meg found a large mirror on the side of the road near her house, so Chelsea and Clare went to get it for us to try and use this week. We spent a while trying to clean the grime off of it to get it sparking so we could use it.

During the week previously, Chelsea took some time lapses, mainly on her go-pro as it has a built in setting and its easy to set up and leave, or so we thought. Trying to get it to stay in the same spot, stay charged long enough to capture it all was a task in itself. She ended up figuring her way around this and took 3 time lapses at different angles that we could work with. I liked the second and the third (as the first one was out of focus.) We decided that the third one was the most visually interesting to use for that class, so we put it up on the projector.

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We jammed with Jo for a while about where to go from here, and we came up with the idea of perhaps using multiple ice cubes or a block of ice to make it more visually interesting.

I’ve also been in contact with a lady who is selling a flap clock, so i’m going to pick that up this Friday so i will have it for next class to play around with in the space and to see what we want to do with it and where we go from here.

WEEK 11: HOW WE ORGANISE OURSELVES

Chelsea and I talked during the week and we decided that projecting on the wall would make the most amount of sense, but we also wanted to play around with the whole physical/digital space we have been taking about for the past few weeks. We decided to play around with objects that are often thrown away. We decided to use different coloured plastic bags, paper bags, and we thought we could also play with clothes being up on the wall to see what that would look like.

 

When class started, be began with just projecting the video onto the wall, and we really liked the way that they looked all together (Chelsea and I found some better fitting videos during the week, as we were a bit pressed for time to film our own) even if it was a little bit too crowded. We started to pull apart the plastic bags, find the paper bags and pin the clothing to the wall, we wanted each physical object to correlate with the video in some way. It didn’t look good at all. It looked messy, and we didn’t have anywhere near as much stuff as we needed to cover the whole wall. We kept it up for around half the lesson to see if we could come up with some ideas.

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We ended up finding a small mirror on the floor and put it up against the wall and immediately loved the reflection it had. It distorted the video just enough that it was difficult to figure out what it was. We LOVED the notion that the minute that the audience interrupts the piece, it distorted their shadow, similarly that when people interact with the environment in any way that are influencing their future and climate change. Although it looked interesting, we were unsure how we could use this in our actual work.

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We talked to Mat and Jo separately, and Mat understood our concept but agreed with us that it was too messy; we should focus on just one of the videos and hone in on the meaning of that one. Mat, Chelsea and I agreed that the ice time lapse was our favourite, so we pulled that one up on the big screen and instantly thought that was more affective that the 9 videos put together.

 

Mat also commented that the ice melting looked similar to something breathing in an out, which we both thought was incredibly interesting. He also suggested we try and find an old flip clock to incorporate into it, saying we could program it to tick back and forth but never stay in one place, which we both thought was really interesting.

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When Jo came over to talk to us, we relayed the information we told Mat and his feedback, and she agreed it was better with the larger, single image. The main criticism she gave us was that we don’t create a work about reducing waste while simultaneously creating more. We both agreed with this, with Chelsea saying she still has a heap of unused bags from her MEDA202 major work that we could use. She was also interested in the clock idea, so we both decided we would like to peruse that in the next few weeks.