Archive for February, 2014


Artist Research 

There was one primary inspiration for my ‘Rest’ set, and that was videos like these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDajjGwCyVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B26asyGKDo

Time lapses are, for me, strangely therapeutic to watch. They make something that would otherwise be rather boring to watch in real time absolutely fascinating.

This resonates with me when I think about how I, myself, ‘rest’. My idea of a truly lazy, restful, day is me being online, scrolling through tumblr, watching videos and shows online and generally things that are absolutely fascinating for me, and completely engrossing, but everyone else would find it awfully mind-numbing to watch me do it.

And, so I decided to do a time-lapse video of me doing just that.

Production Research and Execution 

I booked out a Canon 5D mark II for this video, and luckily, thanks to my first year of university, had at least a vague grasp on what I needed to do with it to create a video.

I recorded myself from multiple different areas of my room, creating a basic storyboard of how I wanted the images to go from being brighter to darker and lead from me being at my desk and moving around with my laptop to being in bed.

I also recorded my actual screen, showing me scrolling through tumblr and watching videos.

I chose the music for the video based on how connected I am to the internet constantly. I picked Lindsey Sterlings ‘Crystallize’

Lindsey Sterling has become incredibly popular through Youtube, and connects with her fans through the internet. She has amassed a large online following through this method, so I thought it would be apt to use her music for my video.

I edited the video in Adobe Premier Pro, which was difficult for me at first because I hadn’t used it in so long. Luckily my idea was relatively straight forward so didn’t actually require to much complicated editing.

I did use a couple of online videos to help me:

I think my video definitely does what I want it to do. I wanted it to show the constant connection we have with being online and how we feel we are doing ‘things’ when, in reality, we are basically acting like a zombie staring at a screen.

Artist Research 

For Play, I looked at photographer Robbie Cooper for a second time, however, on this occasion, I was looking at his work ‘Alter-egos’.

Robbie Cooper places photographs of people in their real life next to images of there game alter-ego/ character. We get an insight into the life of that person and also a hint at their likes and preferences based around what game and Online Avatar they have chosen/ created.

This piece of work by Robbie Cooper has always been something I have loved. I think it is a fantastic look at the connection between ourselves and our habits online when it comes to personal enjoyment.

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However, I didn’t want to just recreate Coopers idea, though the concept has greatly influenced me.

So, I began researching other artists, and became drawn back to someone I had discovered years ago back in Secondary School, Joshua Hoffine.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 16.47.22 Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 16.47.32 Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 16.47.41Joshua Hoffine’s work, to me, shows nightmares leaking into reality. I adore this project, and love the thought of applying some of the basic concepts of the idea to my own work.

And so, my idea developed. I am a massive gamer, and definitely wanted to focus on that part of my ‘play’ life.

Production 

The photographs I took for this project look rather silly unedited, and others look incredibly dull, because my plan developed into me photoshopping parts of the games I was playing into my reality.

I wanted to show a physical representation of how immersed and attached you become in the games you are playing.

So, I started collecting images of important ‘tokens’ from the games I play, with the intention of editing them into my reality in some way.

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I then began the photoshop process. Some of them were relatively simple, but some took a long time to get looking ‘right’.

I didn’t mind if they didn’t look perfect, I wanted them to look more fun than amazingly crisp edits that are indistinguishable from reality.

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Overall, I am incredibly proud of my edits. I think they are fun and properly represent what I wanted them to.

Artist Research
I looked at multiple different artists for my photo-set Work.

I looked at artists Robbie Cooper (Immersion) and Philip Toledano (Gamers).

I was primarily focusing on their chosen lighting for the images. Both photographers use the light from the screen, which creates this dynamic reality where the subject is being drawn into the light of the screen, while everything else is inconsequential to their reality.

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I liked the idea of showing the repetition and obsessive nature we develop while attached to the digital world, and how dependant we have become on digital products when it comes to our work.

With that in mind, I looked at the video created by Noah Kalina

The only mild changes in appearance and lighting, with a constant repetition create the feeling of obsession, something which I, and i’m sure many others, feel when working with the digital world.

The digital world is a fantastic tool that has become irreplaceable. We have become dependant and repeat the same motions with our digital products again and again while feeling accomplished for how much we are achieving when, from an outside eye, we look rather gormless and enveloped in a digital reality.

Having finished my research, I came to the conclusion to create gifs to represent the concepts I was trying to conceptualise.

Production Research and Execution 

I researched multiple different ways to create gifs online, including finding website that offered to do most of it for you with just a simple upload of a video clip (https://imgflip.com/gifgenerator).

However, I eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted to make my gif from images, so researched, and discovered, videos telling me how to do so. It is, in fact, and incredibly simple process which I really enjoyed.

With my production research being very fruitful, I endeavoured to take between 18-20 images for each gif set. I set up my camera in my room on a tripod, and set it to a ten second timer and a setting that meant it would take 10 continuous photos at a time.

lighting diagram WORK 1 lighting diagram WORK 2

Sadly my camera doesn’t have the option to take 20 continuous images, as I had to get up to press the button on the camera to take the next set of ten for the gif, and try to get back into a position that was close to the one I was previously in, as to not break the flow of the gif. It made taken the images troublesome, however, I succeeded in doing so and was able to very easily put together my ten gifs in photoshop.

For some I kept the light on, and for others I kept the light off and only had the light of the camera in the gifs. This is so I can create a kind of narrative in my images, showing how the world slowly falls away and I become encased in my, digital reality based, work.

Virtual Reality is something that I love the idea of. As a Sci-fi fan I have always been interested in the idea of virtual reality. And we are coming closer and closer to it. However, moving past Star Treks Holodecks, many people have also looked at the possibility and how it could have everlasting effects on humanity and how we interact with each other.

Here is a list of movies that all feature the concept of Virtual Reality: http://www.allmovie.com/characteristic/theme/virtual-reality-d573

One on here I really want to talk about, primarily because it is considered one of MANY, MANY movies the Matrix was influenced by, is Existenz.

Existenz’s whole premise is that you have no idea whether you are still in the game, or actually in reality. The Virtual reality is so real that you can’t differentiate between it and real life, which leads to dramatic consequences.

We are constantly trying to improve virtual reality, particularly for video-games, but could making something as violent as Grand Theft Auto so realistic and immersive cause people to become warped and begin to reenact the games events in reality, or even believe they are still in the game so damn all consequences to hell?

(I would like to make incredibly clear at this point, that I believe that the notion of Video Games causing violence in people to be absolute stupidity, but that is a rant that would completely take me off topic so will be avoided in this post. What I will say is, if you are stupid enough to ignore the 18+ warning on a video game and give it to a 12 year old, and then blame the game that was not intended for his young, still in formative years, brain, for any behaviour he shows that could be considered influenced by said game, then perhaps you shouldn’t of been allowed to create a child)

The 2009 film Surrogates (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986263/) deals to an extent with Virtual reality but in a different format.

Surrogates is:

‘Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.’

The movie basically comes to the conclusion at the end that (spoilers) humanities lack of real interaction was a negative step to far, and that we had become overly immersed in the use of robots that we neglected our real bodies.

Surrogates is similar to an Anime series and movie called Ghost In the Shell (the series is amazing, the movies are a little weird) which also happens to be another series/ movie that The Matrix was heavily influenced by (seriously, what wasn’t the Matrix influenced by?)

Ghost In the Shell also has people living through robot bodies, except they actually have there brain/ consciousness transferred into the body. There is no real body on the other end controlling the robot, the person is the robot. There is the option for them to keep a real body and could control a robot wirelessly probably, but it’s not commonly done. What we see in Ghost In the Shell is a level of separation between people with Cyber Bodies and those who have chosen to remain human. There is not massive amount of discrimination but there are undertones of it under the surface, and there are references to religions that don’t allow the use of cybernetics (not even partial cybernetics). It also opened the door to an entirely new kind of criminal activity that had to be combatted in different ways. Cyber Terrorism became an everyday occurrence (though that part we really are closer to in this day and age)

If we did develop to the point of having purely cybernetic bodies, would it be reserved only for people who could afford it? At which point, would we live in a awfully classist society where if you didn’t have a superior Cybernetic body, you were at the bottom of the pecking order for all things, like jobs, partners etc.?

It’s basically the concept of futuristic Eugenics.

252MC: Dreamweaver Work 4

Adding a Gallery 

Adding a gallery was incredibly easy actually. I wanted a gallery that would scroll to the right, so all I did was create a Div Tag (called sidescroll) that was the height of my images (500px) and then made it about 3370px long. This fit all of my images in perfectly with a small space between each of them
Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.30.14
I didn’t even have to create a separate Div Tag for each image. All I had to do was insert them into the sidescroll divtag and they fit in perfectly next to each other.
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This is how my first created gallery ‘Work’ looks in Google Chrome preview. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.30.43

 

Firstly, I had to download the plugin ‘Links Manager’ which allows me to add links to my blog as a sidebar option.

Then I began adding my research groups websites and names as links. 
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You can add as many are you wish, specify name, link, relationship and put them into separate categories depending on what you are linking to. All of my research group are under the category ‘Digital Media’.
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 12.04.24

#Picbod Artisan and Artefact

prov·e·nance  (prŏv′ə-nəns, -näns′)

n.

1. Place of origin; derivation.
2.

a. The history of the ownership of an object, especially when documented or authenticated. Used of artworks, antiques, and books.
b. The records or documents authenticating such an object or the history of its ownership.

[French, from provenant, present participle of provenirto originate, from Old French, from Latin prōvenīre :prō-forth; see pro-1 + venīreto come; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

provenance (ˈprɒvɪnəns) or provenience

n

1. (Art Terms) a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen
2. (Archaeology) a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen
[C19: from French, from provenir, from Latin prōvenīre to originate, from venīre to come]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


prov•e•nance (ˈprɒv ə nəns, -ˌnɑns) n.

place or source of origin: a manuscript of unknown provenance.
[1860–65; < French, derivative of provenant, present participle of provenir < Latin prōvenīre to come forth; see pro1convene-ance]
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

”… But remember that the intuition of a good artist is a most powerful, a most intelligent and a frequently underrated tool.’ Hans – Geord Gamdamer

  • Artists ‘Horizon’: Vision/ Ideas/ Agenda
  • Viewers ‘Horizon’: not all exactly the same
  • Viewers Horizon Shaped by countless things: memory/ knowledge/ experience/ politics
  • Hans believes these two Horizons should fuse together
  • True understanding between artist and viewer
  • Have you ever read a book that has changed your perception of the world and informed your opinions?
  • That is what we are striving for
  • Horizon: Our presentation choices must reinforce the communication of our message or theme
  • We can only control our own ‘Horizon’

The submission must exist both as a singularly unique and finely crafted artefact. The weight of objects The craftsman The Edition The Digital repli(can’t)   A physical object occupies physical space.   Kevin Kelly – Better than Free

  • The Technium
  • Can’t replicate truth and provenience digitally
  • ‘The digital copy does not have a body’
  • No end to greater embodiment

Need to embrace the weight of physical objects  

  • we don’t have to create physical artefacts: but when we do we must make sure they are precious, and inform our Horizon.
  • A book has weight, size, thickness and tactile qualities, qualities which are handled by the hand as it’s optical form is handled by the eye. 
  • Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong: ‘Poppy’ book. Interested in the trail of cocaine.

Brigitte Frase

  • ‘The printed page, the bound (codex) book with its title and author page, looks authoritative; it can be described as embodying or containing wisdom in a way that the unstable electronic text does not’

Kadir Van Lohuizzen

  • Via PanAm
  • The digital copy was out before the physical and is drastically cheaper
  • Yet the physical copy still sells
  • proves that there is weight to the importance of being able to react with the physical.

Brian Griffon

  • Published in 1988 by Black Pudding and designed by John Warwicker
  • There is a story behind the book and the physicality: adds provenance
  • costs £125.00
  • You have to destroy the book to understand the book
  • based on death
  • the closer you come to death the closer you come to understanding life

The IRL Fetish

  • We are obsessed with the physicality of reality
  • We don’t tweet or blog about logging on, but we do about real life, even the seemingly mundane
  • Becomes fascinating
  • There is a clearly a want for this embodiment
  • We are digital Natives: we shouldn’t do this – yet we crave it
  • Value is placed in a different way: people who rip music online don’t NOT respect music, but they place more value on the physical versions of that music and the space it occupies in reality (special edition CDs, Vinyl, Gigs,

Space

  • To think
  • To pause
  • To break the flow of images

Part of the reason for us printing work: makes people stop and look and interact with it The Craftsman

  • The Photographer as Alchemist/ Craftsmen
  • Stories Truth Experience Process

Faux Vintage: filters and such – obsession with it currently

  • we have the ability to create the real affect
  • we can make archival prints

Digital photo of a rose

  • no value
  • can be replicated

Real Rose

  • worth a small value

Real Rose given to use from someone we care about

  • worth more
  • The story gives it provenance

Physical Photo of Rose

  • worth more
  • permanence
  • not going to die

Physical Photo of Rose – hand printed, hand tones, signed, 1 of 1

  • worth drastically more
  • original
  • unique
  • permanence and not going to be replicated

The Digital Repli(can’t) 

Skeuomorphism

  • When the car was invented it wasn’t called a car it was called a horseless carriage
  • Because we understood it in the context of the previous thing we understood
  • A digital book that is made to look like a real book online is more relatable because we understand the physical artefact counterpart.
  • This is Skeuomorphism

What does digital do well?

  • Accessibility
  • cost
  • distribution
  • information
  • layers
  • networks

We don’t try and make ‘versions’ in the other world

We try and utilise both worlds for our work

Digital Exhibition

Kurtis Mann

Even our #Picbod Google+ group is a digital exhibition: but it is nothing in comparison to physically being in the lessons.

 

‘Why’ is more important that ‘How’ 

Don’t just make a picture and then stick a digital copy on the web gallery: that would be a poor use of the digital medium

‘Through the first four workshops you have explored the power relationship between
photographer and subject, starting with yourself before looking at someone close to you
and a stranger. You should now apply your skills garnered through these and the technical workshops to assist either a stranger or someone you already know* to make their own portrait. You should not take charge of the photographic conversation but should empower the ‘subject’ in being able to make their own pre-visualization and chosen representation, a reality.
*You should not work with someone who has previous photographic experience’

For this task, I asked my friend Dale if he would be willing to participate, and though he appeared tentative at first, when I gave him better context to what I meant by ‘Make your own portrait’, he became rather excited about the concept and started throwing ideas at about how he wanted to appear in the photo.

Honestly, I think perhaps I shouldn’t of asked someone so wonderfully crazy.

We started with discussing how he wanted to appear, which he seemed set on from the beginning. Striking a pose that was similar to the idea of someone regal or in power.

He then insisted on what props he wanted, and grabbed an assortment of things: His replica sword from the ‘Adventure Time’ series, a replica Dragonball, a Charizard Plushie and a pair of steampunk goggles.

This, coupled with the pose he struck, created a portrait that appeared quite juvenile and humorous, two words that describe Dale aptly.

He wanted full colour and bright lighting, which, with the pose and decided positioning of the camera, made him appear hilariously angelic, ascending above everyone else with a bright light drawing attention to him and reinforcing his wish to appear powerful.

Dale was uncomfortable initially with the idea, and I think that’s why this portrait become something so posed and comical. He uses humour a lot, including in situations when it’s not necessarily appropriate. The props he chose are mentions to the different shows and things he loves, and the pose and positioning of the camera definitely reflect Dales personality. The bright lighting and keeping the photograph in colour were important for him because he felt that they reflected his personality of ‘being fun and a laugh’, while the face being not in focus and covered by goggles gives him the impression of anonymity and made him feel more comfortable with the self portrait.

Dale

I came across this video:

And it got me thinking how our would is being more and more shaped by technology, to the point where it can create false realities that we cannot distinguish between.

But this isn’t just being used as a way to impress, there is a lot of uses for this kind of technology that we are slowly beginning to implement.

The one example, that really springs to mind, is Sweetie:

This is what the digital age can do. However, this has only become necessary BECAUSE the digital age has created new ways for people to commit old crimes.

Personally, I don’t think this can be used as a criticism because these people would probably be committing crimes with or without the internet. Yes it makes it easier for them to commit these acts, but at the same time we are adapting to combat this new form of cyber crime.

 

252MC: Dreamweaver Work 3

Creating My Drop Down Menu, Home Page and About Page

Always start with creating Div Tags to contain what you want.
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I created the drop down menu using the ‘Spry’ options under ‘Insert’. You select ‘Spry Menu Bar’ and then choose how you want it to be (e.g. vertical, horizontal, how many drop down options). I chose to create a horizontal menu bar at the top of my page (just below the name of my page) with 4 drop down option: About, Galleries, Blog and Home
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I then inserted my chosen front page image into a new Div Tag. It appeared off centre in Dreamweaver due to the menu bar, but in fact was central when I previewed it in Google Crome.
I used some Top Padding (about 30px) to make the image lower, and set ‘Left’ an ‘Right’ placement to ‘Auto’ to make the image central.

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To change the names of the drop down options on the menu bar, you click on the menu bar and then on the blue box that appears around it.

At this point the properties will appear at the bottom of the screen and you can Add and Subtract drop down options and sub down options.
Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 14.13.46
Here is how it will look. To make a navigation option lead to a different page on your website, simply write the exact html name of the page in the ‘link’ box, which is below the box that lets you change the name of the drop down option, labelled ‘Text’.

e.g. I wanted ‘Biography’ to lead to the page about me, I had named this page in dreamweaver about.html
So, I simply put that into the ‘link’ box (making sure to remove the # that otherwise fills the box)
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This is my About page in process.
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This is the code for my About page. To make my life easier, and stop me having to recreate my menu bar for each individual page, I went to my front page, clicked ‘save as’ and saved a second version of it and called it ‘about’. Then, when I opened my new second version, I just deleted the images and home page div tags, keeping only my menu bar. I has made my life ten times easier and ensures better uniformity throughout my website.

The code for my ‘about’ page.
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My front page as viewed in Google Chrome Preview
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My ‘About Drop down’ leading to my biography and Contact us pages links.
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My ‘Galleries drop down’ leading to a ‘252MC’ option, which when hovered over, leads to my three 252MC gallery links.
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