Archive for the 'The Installation Term 3' Category


Final show space…

For the MA final show I am located in the corridor in the basement.  This space suits my work aesthetically and conceptually (thanks to Adriano for curating the show and giving me such a great space!) 

Conceptually, the corridor is a transitory space, it is the space in which all visitors to the show will have to pass through in order to see the other work located in the other 3 rooms in the basement (which by the way is looking great!)

As my work focuses on transitory spaces this space lends itself perfectly to my installation as visitors will inevitably have to pass through this space, the sensor will continually be triggered and therefore the work will be allowed to fulfill its intentions.

Aesthetically, I first intended to use a projector, my reasoning for this was that the space is quite large and I am the only one showing there.  Although I like the idea of my work having to be found rather than seen, Adriano, as well as other students felt that by displaying something very small within this space would be unsuccessful.  So I needed to scale it up and take full advantage of the space.  

Even though we decided that the visual imagery would need to be large, I felt that I could still maintain the subtlety that my work intends to have by only using one sensor.  By using one sensor there would be a relatively small, narrow area in which the work could be triggered, this will hopefully maintain an element of investigation for the viewer yet also the work (methodology wise) could still become lost.

The problem then arose that because the the corridor is quite narrow, I couldn’t get the distance a needed to make the projection large enough by using the parallel wall.  This meant that I would have needed to project at an angle, and consequently the visuals would not have maintained their correct aspect ratio (it would have been a sort of sideways triangle as opposed to a rectangle)

To add to this I then found out that I couldn’t get a projector from the central loan store at Camberwell until the 23rd of June because they were all out on loan for the B.A. shows, and the 23rd of June was also assessment day! meaning that I couldn’t build my piece within the allocated show build time (16th to the 20th June) and as this space needed a lot of configuring I decided that it was not going to be possible to use a projector like I originally intended.

Moshe and Katrin were hiring plasma screens for their piece so I decided to jump on board and hire a 43″ screen for myself (thanks to Katrin for sourcing and organsing this 🙂 )  and as it turned out, this was a great decision.

Below is a diagram showing how I intend to install the work within the space.

The computer will be stored and powered within the storage cupboard located at the end of the corridor. The wires for the visuals and audio will be laid and taped along the skirting boards, over the door frame and underneath the door to the computer, this will keep all wires off the floor therefore they cannot be tripped over.  The screen will be powered from the socket that is located opposite the cupboard door.  

As it turns out, using a Plasma screen solves a lot of problems.  It solved the aspect ratio problem as the video could now be displayed as it was originally intended.  It solved the scale of the work issues as it was large enough to cater for the size of the space.  It also solved my audio issues as before when I intended to use a projector, I would have needed to mount some small speakers somewhere above within the corridor, this would have equalled to more wires, more clutter and more conversations (if you can call them that!) with the building facilities management to pass all health and safety requirements.  This decision cleaned up my whole vision, and as a result I have ended up with a final piece that I am much more happy to stand by.    


Final show videos…

Below are the videos that I will use for my final piece.  

Video 1 is what will play when the sensor is in its idle position, i.e. when no presence is sensed.

Video 2 is what will play when the sensor is triggered.  I decided to go for the frame blending variant for this piece (over the widetime/trails variant, see this blog entry for more information) I feel that this variant is more consistent colour wise in comparison to video one, thus when the sensor is triggered, and the flowers come into focus, it results in a much more natural and believable shift from video one to video two.


Widetime/Trails vs Frame blending…

I’ve been experimenting with a couple of different ways to display the footage that will play when the sensor is triggered.  Below is an example of footage that uses two filters to effect the footage.  These filters are “Widetime” and “Trails”.  I have composited the two layers on top of one another, each using the same footage and with each using one the effects respectively. The result is a more abstract look when the lights of the cars pass in front and behind the flowers.



The second example just uses frame blending (both videos are slowed down to 8%) This results in the colours of cars lights being more vivid, and less abstracted.   


Both results I like for different reasons:  I like the first video for the fact that the flowers are less obstructed by the cars lights passing, and as this is the focus for the piece, it is important that this element of the work remains visible.  Yet I like the second video for the vivid colours of the lights, it, to me, makes for a more striking piece of visual imagery.  I have tried to mimic the colours in video two using the effects in video one but to no avail, the effects when applied just don’t seem to adapt well to this more vivid colour scheme, and as I have been forcing the colours using more filters the results have ended up looking overtly processed.  So it has come down to this, to Widetime/Trail or not to Widetime/Trail…. that is the question.    


Audio for Final show piece…

I have been experimenting with audio in preparation for my final piece.  The audio is important because it contributes largely to the overall tone of the piece, and in turn this will affect how it is received.  It is also another sensory tool that digital artists have the benefit of utilising.  

The first example is the audio that will play when the sensor is in its idle position, i.e. when no presence is affecting it.  The visuals will be presented in acceleration, personifying how we conventionally experience the motorway, and also our modern world.  I want for it to sound repetitive, ominous and uninviting.  I want it to represent the overwhelming scale of this space.  I experimented and manipulated audio I had captured when filming from the top of relatively desolate bypasses, capturing the sounds of the sporadic cars accelerating between horizons.     

The second example is what will play when the sensor is triggered, and the visuals change to something more identifiable.  I wanted for this audio to scale down the piece and for it to incite a more reflective state.  This audio was originally sounds I had captured when filming a traffic jam at a busy intersection.  The manipulated sound is the noise of the cars horns slowed down and effected by a delay filter.  There is a loop to it that in some ways is quite child like, and for this it incites a familiar feeling, one of time and memory.  I hope for this audio (together with the video) to affect the viewer in this way, not to provoke any kind a reminiscence but more to create a feeling that subconsciously we can relate too. 



reflection of group crit…

In the group crit this week I raised my ideas regarding the reassessment of my final piece.  I wanted to get some feedback on whether simplifying the work would benefit the viewers overall understanding of the piece, and although the general consensus was ‘yes’, the process of talking about it did throw up some interesting suggestions which I found quite enlightening.

Firstly, my refined final piece intends to only use the flowers that sit on central reservations as its main visual and methodological focus.  These flowers symbolise an event happened within that space, they embody it with a certain identity, they incite a narrative and change the space into a place.

There was a concern the work could be construed by some as some sort of memorial, which I can totally understand and is obviously not the works intention, but we talked about it and by adding some supporting text and to not personalise it in any way (i.e. a personal title) would be a good starting point for communicating the true idea behind the piece.  This still needs a little more thought though.

There was also conversation about what imagery I was intending on displaying.  To recap, I intend to use ultrasonic sensors to detect movement, this movement will trigger a change in video.  When there is no presence within the space the work will show accelerated imagery, which epitomises in many ways how we conventionally experience the motorway.  When movement is sensed, the work will flip to something more identifiable, the flowers in this circumstance, that show there are signals of events and identity affecting this space, and maybe because of our constant movement we often fail to see it.

Tim suggested that I could still use all of the material I was intending too, and have an accelerated version that plays when there is no movement flicking through all the videos at a pace that is unidentifiable.  When movement is sensed the video slows right down so the imagery can be inspected more clearly, offering the viewer to opportunity to comprehend it.  I have to say I really like this idea but I do still feel that, with the particular imagery I have (some of it being quite abstract) it would still demand a lot form the viewer to truly understand.  Maybe this approach would be most successful if all the footage was the same subject matter? I do like this approach  and I have a piece of work in mind for the future, beyond this M.A that will use this idea (thanks Tim…!) 

Katrin spoke of what the imagery would look like when the more accelerated footage was being displayed and raised the idea of just having one video that plays and is slowed down by the movement of people accordingly (kind of a singular example of Tims idea)  This idea, as simple as it sounds, made a lot of sense to me and in a way solved a few problems I have been having with regards to the visual presentation of the piece. Prior to this suggestion I had been thinking of using a completely different visual source for the accelerated aspect of this work, below I have posted an example of this:

I have been having a lot of problems combining this kind of imagery with the alternate imagery, this might have been because of colour and form but for the most part, it just didn’t feel right, I have not been able to get it to flow in the way that I think it could.  

To an extent, Katrins suggestion may iron out this problem.  With the flowers, I have been drastically slowing down the footage and using two effects in Final Cut Pro, they are ‘Widetime’ and ‘Trails’  I really like the result of the combination of these two effects as they stretch the time between the frames, note: PAL video has 25 frames per second, if you slow the source down to say 10%, FCP has to stretch the 25 frames over the time multiplied by 10, i.e. 1 second of video (25 frames) at 10%, the new duration would be 10 seconds, the way that FCP handles this is to blend the frames, and when you get down to really slow speeds like I am, this results on longer gaps between blending, which can look bad (depending on what your going for I suppose) but ‘Widetime’ and ‘Trails’ counteract this, kind of like Optical Flow retiming in Motion, yet I find the results of using these effects a little more interesting as the cars lights chase themselves across the screen in an abstracted blur.  The only downside to this process is that it takes about 35 hours to render 1 minute of video! but the results are worth it…..!? 

Anyway, back to Katrins suggestion, I feel that by extracting the moments in the video of when the cars pass the flowers (with the afore mentioned effects) compositing this footage and speeding it up could create this feeling of flux.  This would solve a lot of the problems I have been having with the flow of colour within the piece (my flowers and other footage had been becoming increasingly blue and yellow to flow in and out more smoothly with the video example I posted above) and also situates it more nicely, within one space.  Thanks to Katrin for the suggestion.  

More was asked about what connotations this simplification of the work has on what it is portraying.  Is it showing the manifestation of time within a space? or is it more showing how a space has acquired a narrative? I need to keep on questioning this over the coming weeks, but I feel that the crit helped me immensely in refining my final work further. 



reassessment of final show piece…

This is a reflection on the progress of my final show piece.  I was driving down the road attempting to film truckers stopped in lay-bys for the night as footage for my final work and I have to say it was entirely unsuccessful. 

But as I was driving searching (for what Chris Petit would call) the perfect shot, it did allow me the time to think about all the other footage that I am hoping to capture for this piece, and as I reeled off in my head all the ideas I have I began to think ‘this is too much for the viewer to comprehend’. 

To recap my idea was to capture a menagerie of footage that encapsulated the identity that this non-space embodies, but to present all my research from the last year as one piece, and expect the viewer who is seeing it for the first time to understand it is a big ask. 

I feel that if I do continue with my original line of enquiry the piece will fail, as the viewer will be engulfed by a plethora of information that could hinder their comprehension of the work.  This would contradict the very essence of the piece. 

By bombarding the viewer in this way I would be personifying the very entity I set out to challenge, I would be encapsulating why we fail to identify with this space, which is because of our accelerated movement and a barrage of visual stimuli, and this would be futile.

Then the wise words of Andy came into my head, ‘keep it simple, the simplest ideas work best’… and with that I started to reassess my approach.

I have made a decision to concentrate on just one example of identity within the motorway.  I still intend to use ultrasonic sensors to trigger the change in video; just with this approach the altered video will display one example as opposed to many examples. 

The example of identity that I want to focus on is the flowers that sit on our central reservations, symbolising that a event happened, and now is embedded within a this particular space.  I think this is the most poignant and understandable example demonstrating the methodology that supports this work, and as I have been involved in a serious car accident myself it is also personal to me.

I still intend to capture all the footage that I was going to use, but now I will use this footage for my website, and this will act as a supplement to my final show piece.

By concentrating on just one aspect and keeping it simple I feel that the viewer will be able to relate to the work, and therefore this approach has the most potential for the piece to be successful.

June 2018
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