The Final Stretch

After discussions made by the group, we came to the conclusion of changing our set in regards to the screen and speaker system. Moving from the black sheet and DIY’ed speakers to a white two-way screen with stand-alone speakers. This was done to make the work look more professional and clean-cut, as a result from Matt’s suggestions made during previous weeks, that there was too much happening.

 

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Final set-up

 

During last weeks iteration we found playing the video from two sides of the screen gave off a ghosting effect that worked in our favour. To expand on this we decided to reshoot the video allowing the audio and lighting to work in one fluid motion. This created a contrast between the faces and allowed half of each face to come together as one in certain areas. The enhancement of the shadow and lighting effect also allowed us to create more expression through the face without having to use actual facial expressions. Thus leaving an ambiguous effect on the audience, as the true emotion of the person is left to be questioned.

 

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Final video 

 

 

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Final video

 

If we were to change anything, we definitely go back to making the video landscape and make the faces bigger on the screen instead of leaving it portrait. However, all in all, I believe the piece came together nicely in the end. Though we some major direction changes the elements we wanted to enhance and focus on were done effectively. Given more time, we’d be able to fix minor details and possibly focus on the sound element a little more.

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Week 13: Coming to an end

This week we changed our space from a corridor effect running down the length of the gallery to a single screen work. Having only needed to make a few minor adjustments to the space by adding a black sheet to project on and moving the speakers; the focal point became the visual and audio elements in sync with each other.

 

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The new set up.

 

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While Briana and I rearranged the screen and placement of speakers that would work with our new space, the boys went out to improve the footage they had created last week, by playing around with different tones when recording the dialog and using different emotions when filming the video.

By the end of the class today we realised we had a solid foundation for our final piece. Our areas of expansion are on creating more of a conversation between the video and audio, making them talk to each other. To achieve this we will experiment with projecting on both sides of the black sheet using recordings from the side of the face and placing them at opposite ends of the screen behind each other. We will also look at poems of conversational dialog that will help us fill the gap between the visual aspects and create curiosity with the audience.

Our concept is to create light and shadow displacement within the visual element and within the audio element as well by using a stereo effect when presenting the sound allowing it to move with the video and around the space.

Week 12: Breaking Boundaries

This week we made some big progress with the sound system Briana and I started creating last week, completing it with the last of speakers and testing it out in its full capacity.

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Shaun and Nathan worked on the footage needed for the video focusing on lighting the face and moving it to create different shadowing on the face which in turn altered the expressions.

Joel and Sam worked on the audio for the piece looking into dialog through to poems relating to sadness and happiness. This was done after the suggestion made by Jo and Matt to test out dialog instead of using music. In practice it worked well, the only way to change would be to slow it down and vary the tones to portray more emotion into the sounds.

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After reviewing the work we did today, we decided that projecting just off the wall onto a black sheet will not only eliminate the shadowing of the projection edges but also may work better in our space.

In the video created today the, Shaun and Nathan were reciting the poems and not creating any facial expressions. For next week we are thinking of recording the footage without them speaking, possibly only using one person for both sets of expressions and experimenting with Nathan’s suggestion of creating rhythm in time with the rhythm of the spoken poem. Experimenting with the movement of the light and turning it on and off to create a dialog with the visual and the audio and break reality.

Week 11: Sound Creation

The progression for this week was mainly focused on sound, Briana and I were working on refining the spatial elements in regards to Matt’s suggestions of using pipes to help the sound to resonate through them and use to bring the space closer together by allowing the audience to look through the pipe.

However, as we were unable to find a pipe big enough to look through we decided to look more into using them for sound. We tossed out ideas that involved hanging the pipes from the ceiling and positioning them next to the speakers to get a resonance from the sound. When testing this working very well, however, we found various sizes of pipes that allowed the sound to resonate in different ways.

 

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Testing the sounds created with the different sized pipes near the speakers.

 

Therefore we decided to create a board that held three different sized pipes, a large pipe, medium pipe and small pipe. Resting below it are speaking to channel the sound specifically through each pipe creating a focused channel of sound.

 

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Our board creation to channel the sound through the pipes.

 

As we were unable to test out our creation in full as we need to find one larger speaker, we will have to wait until next week to see it all come together and the improved audio to accompany it.

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In terms of video and audio, we took a step back but this testing allowed us to see what would definitely not work. We were missing two members of the group this week, however, Nathan and Shaun took it upon themselves to refine the video and audio. Shaun’s video focused more on the face and it’s facial expressions, whereas Nathan’s approach looked at the expressions created with the whole body. After discussion with Jo and Matt, it was stated that focusing on just the face with very little movement but more on the lighting would work better for our piece.

With the sound, this week we decided to use music and instrumentals to see how that would work, however, this choice was ineffective to our piece and meant we were throwing too much at the audience with the music. Therefore, next week we will look at the audio reverting back to what we originally had of bird noises and ambient sound, focusing more on the ambient sound to find something less abstract.

Week 10: The Progression

This week there was only three of us, so we decided to expand on what we had produced last week, focusing more on the spatial element that was brought up during the comments made. A few suggestions were made last week, looking into a corridor space, or hanging the screen in the middle of the room and projecting the video onto both sides of the screen.

However, we decided to experiment with the corridor effect. We projected from the ceiling onto the walls on opposite sides of the gallery, placing speakers at either side of the room. We do need to re-film the short videos and adjust them so the fit the screen and are better lit, we will be experimenting with lighting on the face at different angles to showcase different expressions as well as changing the sound to create more of a distinct contrast.

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Suggestions for this week were to change the sound and video, which we had reused from last week to make it more clean cut. It was also suggested that we add a tube hanging from the middle of the room to look through to both ends of the gallery, also allowing the sound to resonate within the tube and give the work more depth. This addition will also engage the audience attention to interact with the work.

Week 9: The First Step

During this weeks experimentation, it took us a little longer to refine our ideas. We did start off with some miscommunication and spending a lot of time discussing and not enough time experimenting.

Realising that in the previous week we had too many elements, with the sound, space, and projection. This meant that we didn’t really have a direction, we just put every idea anyone came up with and put it into one installation.

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Therefore, this week we decided to simplify our installation by focusing on three elements of sound, space, and video. We split up into 3 groups of two each focusing on one of the elements, creating a piece that focused on sound and a correlating visual to confuse the audience. Relating it back to our initial brainstorm at the beginning of the project.

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Knowing we had too much happening with our other installation we decided to make it simpler by changing the space from a narrow room that only allowed only one person to view the work at a time to a more open space, allowing the audience to walk around the space.

We discussed having multiple screens looking at three small screens all sectioned off but when we started putting it together we realised it wold be harder to work with and more complicated to get the photographic frames to work. This is when we opted to project onto the wall having a piece of cloth/paper used to divide the two screens.

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It was later suggested that this may not be the best way to present the work, but instead using the space more to our advantage by placing the projections at either end of the room would work better for the effect of the piece.

But this is the direction and the foundation to our final piece. Next week we will be wokring on refining the three elements of the piece, specifically working on the spatial element.

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Week 8: Experiment: Consequences of Media Consumption

In this week’s tutorial, we aimed to create a work that encompassed a common element from all of our individual pitches.

We found that distortion, interactivity, and awareness were among of the few common elements found in our pitches. From here we decided to discuss the various common elements to create one cohesive idea that we could workshop.

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We dabbled with a few ideas mainly revolving around the idea of social media and our consumption with it in our daily lives, looking into the reactions and psychological depth into social interaction behind a screen.

We were all in agreement to create an interactive piece that would showcase the discomfort you actually feel while online. Though when you are using social media in your everyday life you seem free the reality is that you are constantly being watched, judged and beckoned by every ping your phone makes.

It was from this that we looked into a small space, such as the cupboard to really create the essence of a cage. We then created a video of flashing notification commonly found on facebook and featured an array of annoying pinging sounds to really get the mind confused and simulated to find out what was going on.

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Due to the space we had to work with we found projecting the video onto the wall was harder than expected, as we couldn’t angle the projector down enough we opted to use a mirror to reflect the image upside down onto the floor. This allowed us to play around with distortion, which was one of our common elements.

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Reflecting back on our work, we did find that we had too many elements being used at once and it did take away from what we wanted to show. For next week, I propose that we dedicate our time to one element and see how we can work with that to create elements of our final piece.