After some serious hard work, a lot of patience and determination, my corner of the final exhibition has been set up and organised to my own design plan. Thankfully, I had planned the space out clearly enough in my head and in my sketchbook that there was little to experiment with. That is not to say however, that there weren’t teething problems because there most certainly were.
Initially, there was problems with the wall being slightly uneven that meant by plans had to be moved off center, but that in turn was a blessing because visually I had failed to account for how the thick and chunky plinth for the Mac would weight the balance of the exhibition. This then developed into issues with the L-brackets for the shelf because they were allowing it to sag away from the wall. This meant I had to go and purchase a larger bracket that would better support the size of my shelf. This minor set back cost me most of one of the set up days.
My vinyl was always going to be the trickiest thing to set up and it didn’t let me down in that respect. After having a stressful challenge of peeling away the negative vinyl to only leave the intended outline, the transfer onto the wall went fairly smoothly. I had some rough areas and a few splits in the lines that were easily neatened by cutting and replacing them neatly. I am a little disappointed that there are two lines in the design that have cut badly and there is nothing I can do to rectify them; one has notches missing out of it and the other is slightly wonky. These will both have been faults in the document that I had overlooked. In the final display, these issues are minor and only noticeable because I am aware of them. I was worried that the navy wasn’t going to be a good enough alternative for the black that I wanted but with the colour added, naturally by contrast, the navy works well the define the flow of the diagram. I had a small trouble applying the colours to the diagram because they had cut slightly smaller than the navy outline shapes. This meant that all the oblong pieces that I stuck upon the wall had a navy outline to them. This again will have been a fault in the document that was irreversible now that the document had been cut. Therefore, I decided to scalpel around the shapes to neaten them and reduce the navy outline as much as possible. In the end, I am really happy with how the vinyl has turned out and I really think that it seems very professional. The colour works really well to capture attention and break up the white space. Having been asked to provide a paragraph for the show, I was considering simply having a key to the diagram. This in a way would clarify slightly more about the process, but wouldnt really give a lot away because it would use phrases like ‘generate random outcome’ or ‘dice roll’. The fine details such as which dice or how to randomly generate an outcome are withheld but the key manages to shed a slightly clearer insight onto how the process functions.
Visually, I think my exhibition is nicely balanced and all the objects really manage to visually connect. I think that possibly I had overestimated my audience in how they would read my curation; some of my peers failed to read the connections between the wall display, the shelf and the work. This was why I thought it would be a good idea to feature the key in the display explanation as it might enable more people to understand and appreciate my work.
Working from the word ‘Walk’, an image of a couple walking their dog in the park and the medium of video art, I chose to create a piece of work that illustrates the two perspectives of the everyday dog walk. I experimented with attaching a Go Pro video camera to my dog so that I could get her view point. I tried attaching the camera in multiple ways but the most successful was when it was placed upon her chest. This view point allowed the camera to see everything that she does as well as capture the things that she does on camera. Having the camera so close to her face meant you could hear her barks, sniffing and the sounds of the world around. The only problem with having the camera placed on her chest was that her chest wasn’t wide enough to fit the camera comfortably. This meant that every step she took knocked the camera slightly; this made the footage jumpier than it would already have been. It is this size malfunction that also causes the knocking noise; even though it is slightly distracting, I like it because it documents her every step so the knocking alternates speed with how fast she is going. Luckily, the footage that I received from the walk featured some stiller sections where actions can be seen or understood a lot clearer. I felt it was necessary to keep a balance of these hectic and still moments because in partnership they create an understandable viewpoint. Therefore, I decided that a good way to edit the work would be to show a stream of short clips, this would put across the dogs view quickly and efficiently. It would also prevent the viewer from getting motion sickness because any clips of her walking would be short and be over fairly quickly. This method of editing also meant that the hour long walk gets compacted into a minute and a half through a process of selecting the highlights. What I find interesting with this footage is that the places and the landscape mean something to me, they are recognisable and they draw up my own memories. This video is very personal, which in a way, makes it quite abstract for a someone who doesn’t know me or where I live.
I then filmed my Mum walking the dog to get her perspective; for this third person view was essential. I didn’t want another stream of messy and difficult to follow footage so I decided to record her from a distance. In doing this, the footage remains fairly still and visually peaceful which operates as a complete visual antithesis to the footage of the dog. Where before the noise is constant, loud and almost abrasive, this perspective is tranquil and soundtracked by the sound of the birds and local wildlife. One of the down sides to recording from a distance was the effect that wind had upon the audio of the footage. In certain clips the wind is quite dominating but I feel that this can be seen to symbolise the power of nature in comparison to humans. The second half to the video manages to document a beauty in nature and communicates how lucky we are to have this space to explore. I feel that that view is very human so I wanted it to feature in this perspective; on the other hand, the dog footage has a much more impulsive nature that reflects how animals live in the moment.
Due to the nature of the Go Pro, the two sections of the video are in different size formats. Instead of editing this out, I felt it was important to maintain their original formats because it further enhances the gap between the perspectives. I think that it quite effectively relates and symbolises the size of the view point (the dogs is reduced because she is smaller). The two compositions work well with my intentions as well; the dogs perspective becomes more focused and pinpointed on what her attention is on which reflects her impulsive nature. Whereas, the widescreen format suits the human perspective because it is an extended view that takes in and appreciates the landscape around.
Initially, I wanted to combine the two videos into one video so that visually they are comparable and the cuts would happen at exactly the same time so that the viewing would be crisp and defined. However, I felt that this would prevent the ability to appreciate both perspectives because the audio for both would be combined. That would remove all potential for the tranquility of the human perspective to be appreciated. I decided that the two viewpoints needed to run one behind the other but not directly; this was why I edited in a 15 second gap. I wanted the viewer to have a moment to appreciate and contemplate the footage before seeing the other or before seeing it again. I also felt that if they ran directly off the end of each other, the two would seem too closely linked. I like the way that it documents a shared experience, yet the perspectives are polar opposites.
In the exhibition, I intend for there to be a pair of headphones because I want this video piece to be immersive. Through headphones, the audio will be direct and it makes the whole video more understandable because the audio and the visual both work to communicate the two perspectives.
With the final exhibition looming, I have spent weeks planning what my final method of presentation may look like. After much deliberation, I opted to go for a style that is very formal and suits the objective nature of my process. There had been ideas of an installation space that mimics my own working space, portraying through a visually constructed narrative, the way in which I have been working. Although this idea was interesting, I felt that it confused and further complicated an already complex process. I also considered running one on one workshops so that I could extend my method to the viewer; but I feel this only manages to draw the attention away from the process,which ultimately is at the heart of this collection of work, and draw the focus onto me as a teacher. Although in my proposal I suggested that I was interested in extending my formula to others, I don’t think that it is appropriate anymore. As an artist, the process has become my own and it has governed the way that I act and to remove it from me almost voids the method. Its a process that makes art for me because I made the process and the art I make fuels me to make more work. It has become a cycle that I don’t want to break and shouldn’t have to break.
I decided upon a formal gallery style presentation because it would be simple and it will draw the attention to the work. However, I experimented with how certain objects visually worked together and I decided to have subordinate, supporting pieces that accompany the main pieces of work. Breaking formal gallery conventions I liked placing these objects off centre or having them placed on the floor or leaing up against another piece of work. What became important for me was the visual connection between all of the objects. For example, I really wanted to include the mathematical blackboard because it encapsulates the whole first half of this project; but within the layout it felt accurate to have in on the floor leaning against a newer piece of my work because it is less prominent but it underpins the process that I am currently working with.
I also wanted to adopt a museum style aesthetic and include a perspex boxed shelf that will contain the dice and phonebook as thought they are artefacts. I felt that it was important they were included because they are as important as the rest of the work is; I feel that the work is no more important than process because they are co-dependent and rely on one another to create a sense of depth and concept. By displaying these objects as such they get viewed by the public as something of worth and importance. To compliment this display shelf, I have decided to apply a vinyl flow diagram to the wall. After experimentation, I decided that the best way forward was to use block colours in place of text; the overall appearance was simple and completely made sense to me but without an idea of the process the diagram gave nothing away of what the process actually entailed; all it manages to achieve is provide the sense that a process is involved because the viewer understands that a flow diagram symbolises a strict and structured process.
Presently, this visual plan best describes how I think my mini exhibition will look within the final exhibition. I felt that the triangular formation is the best way to allow viewers the mobility to see the work but it is also the most aesthetically pleasing layout due to its balance.
After being rather unsatisfied with the resulting drawing, I began experimenting with ways to potentially mix up and alter the presentation so that it would further the potential of the drawing. Where before the work has been conceptual and pushing the boundaries, I felt that this piece of work had failed to reach that same standard. The first dice determined that the work must be a drawing, but I found it a challenge to make my drawing conceptual and as unique as the works that have come before in this process. Initially I thought that by removing and replacing geometrically cut parts of the drawing I could visually confuse the drawing whilst playing upon certain visual connections to the original image. However, after experimentation, I felt that the style had potential to go wrong and look quite childish. Also, in the interest of my exhibition, I didn’t want the drawing mounted onto the wall, I wanted a more physical presence (which is why in my exhibition visualisations I had it stood on the floor leaning against the wall). This lead me to consider a more sculptural method to presenting a drawing; this way, it would straddle the border of being a sculptural form and a drawing. I think it would be a nice touch to leave that definition down to the viewer. I chose to work with my scale up lines that still existed within the drawing because I felt that it gave tribute to the process that was used in its creation; since my project is all about process, I felt it was appropriate to stick with my focus. I began experimenting visually with ways of stacking the drawing; I enjoyed how all the viewer was entitled to see was the sheet that I placed on top but it was perfectly obvious that there is more to the drawing. Having that significantly reduced view point, enhances the focus upon the areas and clues that are on show. This is exactly why I decided to stack the sheets neatly; I felt that presenting them in an orderly fashion would provide a visual clue to the order and uniformity that can be seen in the original image and the subsequent drawing. The neat stacking also allows for a clear view that the other sheets have visual content but their exact images cannot be seen. I felt it also worked to draw more attention to the top facing sheet because it fitted to its exact shape and made it more prominent.
I was worried that the stack by itself didn’t visually communicate itself very well because it had such a limited method of understanding; so I considered having a brown bottle to accompany the stack (just as I had visually planned for brown bottles to help prop up the leaning drawing in the exhibition visualisations), this way the bottle would act as the visual support to the piece of work. However, I just found the range of compositions rather uninspiring. The two objects failed to visually communicate and I felt that it was due to the huge variation in size.
I then felt that creating a plinth structure from beer crates could potentially work as it would elevate the real focus of the piece while also creating a visual clue to the image itself. This composition felt too full on; the combination of the beer bottles and the crates was too much. Without the bottles present, it gives a suggestion of multiple bottles, but doesn’t indicate what colour or whether they are beer, milk or wine bottles. This therefore allows the viewers own personal experiences or preferences to fill in the gaps and inform how they visualise the rest of the image that they are forbidden from seeing.
Until I can see the combination in person, I am not sure that it will be as impacting as I am making it out to be in my mind. At present, I am also unsure as to whether it will make it into my final display considering my space limitations. I might have the final thing ready to slot in provided I have the space for it once my main pieces are in place.
Having rolled drawing and generated the word ‘Brewery’, I had to work from an image that features a sea of brown glass bottles. My first thought was about how abstract they seemed due to the high contrast of light upon their surface. I didn’t want to create a photo realistic drawing but I wanted to be able to capture a likeness of the image. My main intentions were to incorporate those abstract shapes and maintain the sense of order and repetition that features in the image. I did a small amount of experimentation to discover that the best medium would be charcoal as it allows for quick and shapely marks but also maintains intense contrast when used on white paper. I also decided that using white acrylic paint as a mid tone had a nice effect because it allows for the charcoal to smudge in a way that maintains an aspect of it true nature. When the characoal is mixed with the paint, it creates a smudged blend of colour that I think creates a suitable midtone in relation to the white of the paper and the black of the characoal. I didn’t want to overuse the white acrylic as I felt in my sketchbook test strip it ruined the effect that it could potentially have upon the drawing. However, when the drawing was finally scaled up, the white acrylic failed to have much of an impact at all. I achived its purpose in creating a selection of midtones, but it failed to bring out and give power to the existing white areas.
Presently, I feel that the drawing lacks the abstract qualities that I wanted it to possess; I didn’t want something completely unidentifiable but I wanted to achieve an abstracted version of the original. I managed to capture that sense of order and repetition that occurs in the image, but I want to push that further and confuse the image in such a way that the pre-existing order is percievable but not viewable. I experimented with cutting and replacing copies of the drawing so to confuse it and make it seem illogical. I was worried that it seemed quite childish in its intentions so I felt that this would be a good time to gather some research on artists who have cut and restuck their work. Hopefully, I will be able to draw some inspiration from their process. I am thinking that I might try to make the process as objective as possible and replace the pieces entirely dependently on the dice; that way chance governs how the drawing turns out and no matter how it looks, it is art. Alternatively, I can use this as an opportunity to challenge the boundaries of my process; if I cut the drawing up and stack them neatly in a pile that so that no-one can see the full image, is it a drawing or is it a sculpture?
My ‘Inwood’ sculpture worked out quite successfully when I finally managed to fit the speaker within the construct. I was glad to discover that the positioning of the shape does actually affect the sound; when the construct is closed the sound becomes very muffled and distant but when it is opened wide there is a considerably better clarity to the sound. The sound can be played with even more when the structure is placed facing down; however, due to the nature of the shape it is very difficult to make balance in this positioning. I had previously considered encasing the corners in rubber so that they would have more grip when placed on a surface, but I am now unsure whether I want to confound the crisp and pure quality the construct currently conveys. I am thinking ahead to what the construct will look like in a clean white space and I feel that it would suit that space better if it wasn’t coloured or marked in anyway. I am also conscious of the fact that gallery viewers aren’t actually likely engage with my work due to the innate understanding that in galleries we don’t touch unless strictly invited. I wouldn’t want to demean my work by labeling it with instructions so I presently think that it will stay on a plinth closed. In a way, this will make my work more mysterious because the chaotic music will seem muffled and even harder to make sense of. To emphasise this I might also have the volume set fairly low so not to disturb the peace of the gallery setting but also to make the understanding of the audio track even more challenging. Ideally, the challenge of hearing should draw the viewers in close and maybe get them listening closely to the work. From an outsiders perspective (one that may not be able to hear the music or know that there is music), the sight of someone listening intensely to a triangular sculpture would seem as though they were using the wrong sense to observe the art. When the sculpture is installed in the white space, I may ask for a peer to perform this act of listening so that I may document it in a photograph. In photographing it, I am able to remove it from the context of its audio and therefore create that surreal notion that people are trying to observe visual art with their ears.
I decided that I liked the acoustics I have presently and was concerned that if I put a panel on the inside of the two halves I would infact ruin the sound. I was also concerned that my wireless portable would not be able to be removed for charging or security reasons. Therefore, I came to the decision that I would leave the panel out. I am also considering experimenting with inserting a light within the form as I have a feeling it will shine brightly out of the gaps. This would aesthetically encourage curiosity as it will have an almost supernatural quality. Ideally, the light would be so bright that it would shine or glow out onto the plinth slightly. Visually, it would be interesting if the light from within could land upon and interact with the gallery space. I will play with this possibility once I have managed to pin down my intentions for the final display in the exhibition.
Following my dice, for this piece of work I had to create a sculpture from a Youtube video found by searching the word ‘Inwood’. What I discovered was an indie music channel called ‘Inwood Music’ and the song that I landed on by chance was ‘Stay High’ by Tove Lo. I decided that the sculpture I was going to create had to be related in some way to the music or indeed even feature the music. Initially I studied the lyrics and thought that I should work upon the emotional impact of the song or even maybe the characteristics of the song. However, this lacked any real depth and felt like I was just working with the bare minimum. I challenged myself to complicate the process further and become more specific. Ideas included direct and accurate visual depictions of the song – this could either have been in a geometric shapes or in a more recognisable time score format. I again felt that a simple visual representation was not engaging enough even though it would be able to stand alone from the music itself. At this point, I realised I wanted the visual and the audio to compliment or contrast; ultimately, I wanted a multisensory piece of work that encourages a link to be drawn between those senses.
I decided upon constructing a geometric form that conveys a sense of logic and precision but then contrast that sight with a chaotic and unclear audio. I felt that because the music track was the origin, it should become distorted and unrecognisable. Using rolls of a dice, I combined the original song with two others to create this very confusing and clashing audio track. The ending result works upon varying tempos and is frustrating to listen to because there is a strong desire for it all to gel and work together but that moment very arises. I hope that when this audio track is played through a small wireless speaker inside the constructed shape there will be a sort of acoustic effect that can physically be altered by changing the shape of the construct. This, I hope, will add an extra sensory dimension to the piece of work; this way the visual, the audio and the physical act of movement tie in together and create a correlational result based upon the viewers input to the sculpture. A pyramid was my final choice for the final construction shape because when hinged at the center of the base, I felt that it would have the widest variation of possible acoustic positioning. I also drew a link between the popular indie fashion and triangles because feature heavily within the culture.
I had a few teething problems when constructing the structure due to the nature of the plywood and the way that it warps naturally. I selected the material for its light weight and its thinness, as I felt this would help with the acoustic nature. However, this ended up working against me because it meant that nailing the pieces together was nearly impossible without splintering the top surface of the plywood. This meant that I had to settle for hot glue gunning the joints, I am sure that this is perfectly suitable for the joints but I am not entirely sure that it is going to hold on the hinge due to the amount of stress its get put under. I am going to have to combat this with some other form of fixative or screws. My main concern is that I don’t puncture through the surface of the plywood when putting in a screw.
This sculpture has recquired more attention to detail than I had expected and I feel that dedicating more time to it is crucial. I intend to add the audio element next week in the workshop. Only then will I be able to assess the success of the sculpture.