Today we took part in a group activity which helped us understand the importance of leadership and communication. It was a really fun activity which got the whole class to act as 1. Being told different commands and having to carry out the opposite but having to move in unison was fun but also challenging. When people made mistakes and carried out the wrong actions it really highlighted the significance to clear directions and also being the participant meant we needed to be fully engaged to understand what we were being told to do. After this task we got into our commune groups and began to brainstorm and plan our manifesto for our project. We split up 3 main areas to help cover the key areas of our project into :
-wake up at 9 am each day
-3 galleries per day/ cultural hubs
-also documenting the time within the time from going from location to location, as key discussion and thought will come up when discussing what we have just seen/done
-each complete 1 book each day (3 books in total) documenting visual elements of our journeys and inspiration, lots of drawing
-all sleeping in the same room
-eating all meals together
-democracy; everyone has to agree with will all plans and decisions one can make on their day, acting as a single unit
-have to all learn something from a stranger each day
METHOLOGICAL: film and photography
-co ordinate outfits for each days e.g. wigs, crazy make up, clothing
-everyone has to bring 1 material i.e. paint/pens/pencils and throughout the day we share all 3 materials and use them in our documentation of our journeys in our note books
-the idea that we are 1 unit working together
Today in our group we finalised our manifesto and all the components we need for our commune project. Overall the experience was really positive, fortunately we all worked together well as we initially had similar ideas for what we wanted to achieve over the 3 days. This allowed us to develop our common understanding and created the strong sense of unity and acting as 1 as our main running theme throughout the time we spend together.
Statement of intent “WE AIM TO WORK TOGETHER AS 1 UNIT TO SHARE OUR KNOWLEDGE AND LEARN FROM EACH OTHER AS INDIVIDUALS”.
Today I began planning my commune day. Key ideas which I have decided to investigate in Amsterdam is perspective. I have found it interesting to think about impacts defining qualities can influence our understanding of things. I will begin to look into:
- identity and how what we wear and the way we present ourselves impacts others
-basic structures e.g. typography/design and how this influences connotations
-looking at parallels in a different location compared with london
-impact of defining features in different aspects
Today was our first day back after commune where we completed our 1 day project. For my 1 day project I created a mini 8 page publication exploring first impressions. I used the images from my day in commune of one of my group members who was wearing a blue wig. I decided to present the response we got from the public in Amsterdam by asking people throughout GCD the words that came into their heads and what they would think of Poppy in the photos if they didn't know her.
Initially I was thinking of creating an illustration in the style of drawing which I used throughout Dam, however when I began to draw out the key parts of the images I was using, I thought that it took away from the content and did not produce an appropriate exploration of what I wanted to present.
I decided to use only images and layered text over the photos. The text consisted of the adjectives used to describe Poppy. I presented the text in an unconventional experimental way to suggest the fragmented and random process of words and understanding coming into our heads as we receive information through our eyes.
After being inspired by David Hockney, I began to experiment with collage and distorting images. I found this to be an integral point within my project as it made me understand more clearly which points to the images taken in Amsterdam where key parts to what I remember and what is more visually important. Using scale and layering to help distort the images to present a result which demonstrates points of higher and lower importance to the composition.
I did not think that the outcomes experimenting with presenting visual hierarchy and showing what I remember clearly juxtaposed with less important components that interesting. I felt that using people wasn't that gripping. In response to this I decided to take the same principles and apply this to a location as my project is mainly based around experience and memory, using a location would take the viewer on more of sensory journey as they could be submerged into the location where memory took place resulting in more context for the audience.
Before I want to use location, I have decided to make a self portrait within the same style as this project is an investigation into my personal visual hierarchy, so presenting a piece of myself is a reflection of me.
After experimenting with David Hockney inspired collage, I decided to make a self portrait and asked my peers to tell me what key features of myself is prominent.
HOW DOES ARRANGEMENT OF KEY FEATURES EXPRESS/ CAPTURE A PERSON?
I asked myself this question and used key features of my face to try and capture the essence of myself. Enhancing and using scale to try and show visually what people are first drawn to and remember when looking and thinking of someone.
Overall, again I don't think that this was a successful experiment as I felt that the piece lacked depth.
Today I went to a street in Farringdon and took photos to show what my eye was drawn too. I chose this location as in October at the start of the course, I had moments of complete memory blank after coming out of hospital. When I was looking for the printers to get one of my first pieces printed, I completely forgot what I was doing and sat down on a bench for 30 minuets before I remembered why I was there. As it was a place I had never been to before I remember feeling extremely lost and confused.
Initially I began to experiment with tape after looking at Sean van den Steenhoven as he uses tape to create type. However, I was mainly inspired by the aesthetic of the tape texture, so I applied this to the images and used it as an isolation tool to present only key sections of an image. Overall I thought visually it was interesting, however didn't display the composition in the way I like it. I think using the tape principle will be interesting; using areas of block colour to draw attention to key areas and clearly demonstrating areas of no information. I think that this would work better with images of people, so for my next piece it would interesting to bring in this same principle.
I took a series of photos in this location, without editing any of the images, I got them all printed on 6x4 paper and created a collage over 3 A1 pieces of white mount board. I pieced together areas which I remembered clearly by over laying images and placing close up sections of these key areas.
Overall I think that this outcome has been a good stepping stone within my project to help me clarify what type of subject matter I am interested in. It has shown me that I want to use a more personal approach tome work as I have felt most inspired during this piece when presenting a personal moment.
isolation experiments perception
After creating a triptych displaying an almost snapshot within my memory, I wanted to investigate perception within my own memory.
How can I show key points within my memory?
Previously using tape as a medium to cover up and isolate sections within the images, I wanted to apply this to photography which I have taken over the last year. Initially I took 2 photos from Amsterdam of each of my commune members and used a red posca pen to help construct and stress the energy of that particular moment of time when we were on a train at night heading to Amsterdam Central.
The red marks on the black and white images create a visually stimulating aesthetic. The harsh contrast really adds to the overall composition; I think that the colour really works well, however the actual pen marks don't seem established enough.
As previously the tape experiments worked well, I have decided to go back to using tape as a medium. I took 2 photos from New Years Eve where I was at a dinner party where I only knew 4 people. I used the tape to then show how now whenI think of the evening and the guests, I cannot remember the people I had met there at all. I think that the tape is a good medium however when overplayed onto the colour images, I felt that the contrast in the last 2 experiments worked better due to the black and white harsh contrast against the red tape.
I then decided to return to the black and white images from Amsterdam and used 3 images of a stranger who was playing one of those public pianos where anyone can play. I decided use magazine paper as the medium to cover and conceal sections of the images. I think that this worked well in presenting a scene as the rough texture of the paper overlaid on the clean b&w images visually evokes the roughness within my memory.
After experimenting with tape in photography, I really wanted to visually communicate my memory, however I felt that there is only so much you can communicate through stills. In response to this I have decided to create a video montage of films that I have taken over the last year and present these in such a way that it demonstrates my thought process when thinking back over these times.
Establishing what to use within the video I found hard as this year has consisted in so much change. This is why I made a timeline from memory establishing my visual hierarchy within my memory uninfluenced by looking over photos or videos of the last year. I really wanted to ensure that it was an accurate representation of what is vivid in my head so I spent roughly an hour thinking and writing down 3 key components to the year: location, people, music. I was surprised with how little I actually can clearly remember, however in contrast what I did remember and consider a key moment is incredibly clear in my head.
The video consisted of overlay of music and static sound and no sound. This is represent the fragmented audio of listening to the same songs over and over during periods of time, contrasted with the blank noise within my head when struggling to remember things. Throughout the piece is black and white block colours which flash in and out to represent moments of blankness which I experience regularly. I also decided to slot parts of each video alongside each other to show the random nature of memories coming in and out of my head. I think that overall the video works well as a piece in demonstrating moments of clarity juxtaposed with nothing. I enjoyed making it as I found it rewarding creating a piece which visually communicates my everyday struggles.
Today we had a crit where we were put into groups of 3 and walked round the room looking at everybody's work so far. I was really happy as after reviewing each others work, someone mentioned my video. I was actually surprised as I had left the video out on my laptop with no clear description in my sketch book as to what it was. When they spoke about my piece they said it was a representation of my mind and memories of the last year. This meant to me that I had successfully communicated a personal piece which sometimes its easy to think someone who is looking at your work knows all of the background to it when they don't, so I was relieved that this piece illustrated and communicated what I wanted it to.
After making my video piece, I was really interested in physically taking people on a journey alike Eddie Peake and Leonor Antunes. I also wanted to included typography as it was something I was really interested in after Commune. After thinking how I could combine the two in once piece I researched dictionary definitions and synonyms around the word memory to try and come up with key words which could be used.
In doing so, the adjective mnemonic appeared many times.
a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations which assists in remembering something
Thinking about how I could take people on a physical journey which emulates these qualities was challenging. I then came up with the idea of creating a typography treasure hunt, by which participants take part on a treasure hunt following instructions. The outcome being that their physical journey would spell out a word.
From this I visualised letter forms through google earth and wrote navigations around Shoreditch which would result in each letter form. Accompanied by a map and clues, the participants will be able to take part and try and crack the code.
During the Easter holidays, I got 3 friends to take part. I was interested in how they would approach the task so got them to take screenshots of their location on their phones as they completed the hunt so afterwards I could visualise their user journey.
I was really interested in their fragmented journey and did experiments with outlining their path. Initially I placed each blue point in the location screenshots on a plain piece of paper to visualise the letter forms within their location. It was important to do this as I felt that I got a good sense of their own journey when following my instructions.
After experimenting with overlay of tracing paper and plastic, I decided to create a range of posters around the word mnemonic integrated with their user journey. I thought that this was an appropriate choice of outcome as it joins all elements together.
I went to these locations and took photographs of things which I felt captured the setting when I was working out the logistics of the hunt. I used the images within some of the designs to help an audience get a sense of setting and purpose within the designs, to help them understand it.
Overall I am pleased with this project as I felt that it used a range of different mediums and incorporated real people and purpose.
PUBLICATION FOR LETHABY GALLERY
The publication which I am going to present in the Lethaby Gallery will be of a similar nature to my video piece, demonstrating my visual hierarchy over the last year.
I wanted to display the same importance of music and sound as I did within the video, however doing this without audio, I wasn't sure how to display this. I decided to listen to the playlists which I have listened to consistently over the last year. As I listened over these songs, I wrote down the key lines from the audio and integrated this text throughout the publication. After taking inspiration from Netflix style of subtitles, I began to write in yellow italic Arial font over images to visually present things which I would be hearing when these photographs were taken. I also presented the text against plain black and white backgrounds to help isolate and draw attention to the written words. The contrast between images and negative space further demonstrates the fragmented tone within my memories. I also took elements from what I've learnt using tape and other isolation tools and within indesign covered key sections of images with vibrant colours to communicate the contrast between the compositions in the images and the blank space within my head.
Many of the images which I decided to use were out of focus which I did on purpose to try and further communicate moments of blur and lack of information within my memory. Overall I am really happy with the piece as it is a vibrant display communicating my visual hierarchy over the last year.
Reflecting on the project and thinking about how my pieces would live in a real life scenario, throughout the project I have shared many of my outcomes to social media where I have received responses from the public to my work. In many ways the work lives within social media, however I feel that my work has been a very personal reflection on my own experience. It almost lives within my memory and experience and cannot be experienced in the same way that I have over the last year.