Our perception of reality is, for one, affected by society. Society is everything human. The prominence of artificiality in our society has become more and more apparent as my research has progressed. I see it everywhere to the point that everything we surround ourselves with whether it be a physical object or a virtual entity, is fashioned by society. It may sound like an obvious observation, but I want to look at how this premise affects our perception of reality.
Perception is a sensory process enabling knowledge of the outside world to be obtained. Our perception of reality is substantially affected by the level of artificiality in society. We formulate our morals and opinions, which contribute to the formulation of our identities, on the basis of an artificial society. Artificiality considerably affects our perception of reality.
I’ve been working on a piece that is a representation of my thought process at this point in time. I wanted to depict a scene that was artificially constructed and overtly staged. Heres some film stills of the work below.
The mannerisms and reactions that the characters show are supposed to be not natural for a human in this predicament. The structure of the situation, the use of of very deliberately placed lighting and music that is entirely formed from synthetic instruments and the visual look of the piece all aim to accentuate the premise of artificiality. I see this piece the beginning of a non-linear narrative about the construction and deconstruction of the media celebrity. To what extent does media decide an individuals path? It is a media world that they have created and therefore control. What implications does this have on the individual? What implications does it have on the viewing public? What is their motive?
I’ve had some real technical difficulties with this piece! I’m using a new colour grading program and I got the workflow between final cut and colour in a in the wrong order, this lead to me having to work a lot harder to get it to look how I wanted it. Still its all a learning curve and I really enjoyed the whole colour grading process (even though it did give me a headache from time to time!) Hopefully I can use this experience to be more efficient in future.
I wanted to start start to look for artists just to get that side of the research flowing and I’ve found that Aernout Miks’ work demonstrates a vivid portrayal of artificiality. His carefully prepared scenarios are performed by amateur actors and documented on video. Cause, time and space can never exactly be determined within Miks’ work. It is a mixture of the artificial and the real.
‘He stages situations that involve groups of people with scenes that puts us in mind collective archetypal images: a riot (Glutinosity, 2001), a crash of the stock market (Middlemen, 2001), waiting refugees (Flock, 2002), or a scene of pillaging (Pulverous, 2003). The people in his films seem to be in their proper place, exactly where they should be, until in the course of observing them we discover certain details that don’t quite fit, behavior that is inadequate and unexpected. Indifferent, Mik’s camera passes over these incongruities, neutralizes tham, and brings us back to a reality that is more reassuring, until still other oddities surface in the image. Thus, we are constantly veering back and forth between realism and fiction.In his video installations, Mik drops us right into a middle of some critical situation whose causes are always unknown to us and whose effects are never revealed. We are transported to a space where time is drawn out and any plot has been obliterated; there is neither beginning not end, only the perception of the passage of time and a state of being’
I will look further at particular aspects of society that are overtly affected by artificiality. The world of fame interests me, the values of fame, how it has the ability to reveal severe cracks in the ego or to view it from a marxian perspective the celebrity sign becomes a fabricated commodity. The psychological aspects of fame, both on the individual and the viewing public. How the media can offer us a perception of an individual that is an artificial, purposefully structured persona. The concept of the media creating a public stage which they use to exploit their creations and influence their consumers. This makes me think about the concept of putting someone onto the public stage, to offer a representation of an individual, or an artificial representation, and what connotations that has on the viewers perception of that individual.