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.

Assessment 2 – Matthew Gardiner

Multimedia artist and programmer Matthew Gardiner is well known for his interaction with oribotics relating to his work ‘The Future Unfolds’. The term “oribot” was first coined by Gardiner in 2004 and has since entangled his love for science and art together to refine his work and practice. “Oribotics is a field of research that thrives on the aesthetic, biomechanic, and morphological connections between nature, origami, and robotics. At the highest level, Oribotics evolves towards the future of self-folding materials” (Matthew Gardiner, 2010).

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The field of ‘Oribotics’ came to Gardiner through his passion for folding paper and programmatic animation, this grew as Gardiner joined the Melbourne Origami Group to create a giant origami of a dinosaur skeleton and a full-scale origami house, with furniture and light switches all using the origami technique. It was during this period in Gardiner’s life where a passion for making animations of origami and experimentation with visual programming was brought to life.

This particular work comes from the idea of the ancient Japanese art of origami and robotics, looking deeply into the geometric folds of nature in natural proteins. Gardiner’s work was heavily influenced by Biruta Kresling’s paper ‘The Geometry of Unfolding Tree Leaves’, which illustrates clarity and understanding of mechanical and biological functions of folding in nature, thus revealing a natural mechanism, through which Gardiner uses to materialise the digital. Gardiner also took inspiration from his hero Theo Jansen, who used computer models to evolve the strandbeest mechanism in his work ‘Stranbeest’, “the outcome of his program was eleven holy numbers that recur in the functional legs his mechanical beasts. Eleven perfect numbers and they formed the basis of all his subsequent works; I find that incredible to think that all his creatures derive from this initial calculation” (Gardiner)

Gardiner process for this piece was split into four main stages, inspiration, research, resources and execution. Gardiner goes on to describe each process; “Inspiration: for me is the collaborative assault on the synapses by a set of ideas and concepts that feel like as they self-organise they release positive brain chemistry (a good idea always feels good!). Research: the on-going process of finding out if someone can help you do what you want to do, or if you have to find a way do it yourself. Resources: finding people, funding (waiting for funding decisions mostly), materials, tools, and access to expensive tools that the research and inspiration requires. Execution: the systematic, patient and determined will to follow the inspiration” (Gardiner). It is through this process that Gardiner makes decisions that affect his development of the work through technical aspects relating to the interaction design, the material used as well as the type of creasing used.

Gardiner not only mixes art and science together but also integrates digital mediums throughout his work. The first was done through the implementation of a 3D printer, which created the external fabric for the origami blossoms “‘origami of nature’ takes microseconds to complete thousands of folds, and a single folding error can profoundly affect the survival of the lifeform” (Matthew Gardiner, 2010). After testing various materials, Gardiner found that creating a material from polyester and using a 3D printer to create the fabric meant it had a longer durability.

Initially, the pathway for Gardiner’s work started in 2005 with the mechanical design that followed a five-fold symmetrical arrangement with a simple lever system of opening and closing the pattern. This particular mechanism was so successful that Gardiner decided to keep it running throughout the development of this work. There were only a few changed made to the original work from 2005, which were the materials and production method used.

The original bots used folded aluminum and laser-cutting technology to score the folds onto the material creating the creases needed onto plastic paper. The plastic paper used was strong and impossible to tear, as it lacked the fiber structure, however, the laser scoring weakened its structural integrity and produced holes after three years of mimicking the same movement through its interaction.

Gardiner’s process into the materials that would be sustainable for the duration of this work as well as the constant interaction from them started with the ‘mechaniflourm quinqueplicaticum’, they “were super fragile, and had images of real flowers projected over their surfaces, as if they were dreaming of being real flowers. Their fragility meant they self-destructed over the one-week show, a fact that many found endearing, as they watched these once pristine, in a state of decay” (Gardiner). Gardiner used as a pivotal turning point for further practice and research with various types of materials, the current status of the material is a pleated polyester fabric that has executed over 1.7 million folds and is in perfect condition, from the day it was made.

The crease pattern used for Gardiner’s work was also experimented with through various types of patterns before he stumbled on the ‘waterbomb’ pattern. Each variation of the crease pattern was modified using a visual algorithm created in Adobe Illustrator, it was through this that Gardiner created the ‘waterbomb’ pattern by selecting the bottom and centre points, and scaled them by various amounts, then copied them and rotated them to the next positions on the fabric building horizontal rows. The process required modification, especially on the scale; these scale factors were test folded before the final decision was made on the creasing at a 75 percent scale factor. From the material found and the crease design established, Gardiner was able to animate and program the fabric through the structural memory of the crease design. Taking the material from lifeless pieces of fabric to intelligent materials, which knew how it should move.

 

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Waterbomb crease pattern

Gardiner also used digital sensors for movement and light to create a systematic pattern that would change when a person got closer or further away from the work. “Micro-interactions occur with sensors, inside each bot a proximity sensor measures objects in front of it’s “mouth”. As an object (a human hand) approaches, the oribot blossom opens, causing 1050 folds to actuate in the bot. Macro interactions occur via the network and software; each micro interaction is broadcast to every other oribot in the installation, causing the sympathetic movements of over 50,000 folds across the entire installation, creating a stunningly complex moving image” (Matthew Gardiner, 2010). The interactive details for the work were a mystery for the audience, to begin with, Gardiner realised at this point that creating a simple interaction process would benefit his piece as well as encourage more interaction with the oribots on a larger scale.

 

 

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The folds found in the motion of moving your hand closer to the oribots

 

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Gardiner wanted to use the interaction as “food” for the oribots “that would effect the movement of the oribotic blossom and the expression of colour”, the initial intention of the interaction was to mimic the movement of watering a plant. However, the audience, to begin with, did not pick this up.

The interaction between Gardiner’s work that I experienced was easy to interpret and generated interest and engagement on my behalf to learn how to interact with the work. It was almost instinctive to place my hand in front of the work to see if anything would happen, Gardiner’s research into the interactive design found that his audience (like myself) instinctively placed their hands in front on the sensor in hopes of getting a physical reaction from the work. From this observation, Gardiner realised his intention was to reveal in a simple way the interconnectivity of the folding pattern through micro and macro interactions.

 

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The motion used to interact with the oribots

 

He goes on to state the “micro interactions occur with sensors; inside each bot a proximity sensor measures objects in front of its mouth…macro interactions occur via the network and software; causing a ripple effect…over 52,500 folds across the entire installation, creating a stunningly complex moving image” (Gardiner).

Interacting with Gardiner’s work was simplistic and easy to understand, it gave off a rhythmic feel as you moved across the work activating each sensor on the bot, which in turn activated the light sensor. The use of the colour, as well as the connectivity between the work, added another level of engagement to the piece, making the work come to life, adding the narration of growth.

Gardiner uses a constant mix and flow of different cultures and elements that are distinctive to his piece, using the traditional elements of Japanese art and well as the mix of western technology to create a cohesive installation, which encapsulates its audience into the natural flow of nature and life. It is through the interactive design that allows the piece to come together as a whole and not be left by a singular oribot, by causing a ripple effect across the whole installation when reaching a certain distance from the sensors.

This work in particular really encapsulates the elements of multisensory interaction through its interactive design and its process of becoming what it has. Gardiner has brought to light the different industries of technology and art to create a perfectly balanced installation.


References:

Gardiner, M 2010, Oribotics [futurelab], Matthew Gardiner, viewed 27 March 2017, <http://matthewgardiner.net/art/Oribotics_futurelab&gt&gt;

Marlette, D N/A, The Oriboticist. Interview With Matthew Gardiner, DIGICULT, viewed 24 April 2017, <http://www.digicult.it/news/the-oriboticist-an-interview-with-matthew-gardiner/&gt;

Wang-Iverson, P & Lang, R.J & Yim, M 2016, Origami 5: Fifth Interantonal Meeting of Origami, Science, Mathematics, and Education, CRC Press, pp, 127-136, viewed 26 April 2017, <https://books.google.com.au/books?id=E7LMBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=matthew+gardiner+presentation+in+the+future+unfolds&source=bl&ots=OWIqWvsQfi&sig=ub_RpSrYRX-_24wTHXI5_ODJzJo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif1ZP318HTAhXBjpQKHTF9CBMQ6AEIQDAE#v=onepage&q=matthew%20gardiner%20presentation%20in%20the%20future%20unfolds&f=false&gt;

The Image Of “Evil”?

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Throughout my research into the topic of mega corporations and their Hollywood sci-fi equivalents, I have developed an understanding of how they are constructed and what elements drive them to domination. Sci-fi corporations and real-life corporations are one of the same, they all strive for money, power and to be the only ones that can do what they are doing and ultimately become the sole provider of these things.

With this in mind, I initially wanted to create a podcast that was reminiscent of a crime shows that gave off a who did it, kind of vibe, however with further research and peer feedback my view has slightly shifted in terms of the structure of the content I want to create. My second idea was to do a comparison of big named film companies, such as Disney, Pixar and Lions Gate, and how they inadvertently portray themselves as the megacorp villains in the movies they create.

However, discussions on the topic led me down a different route. To really understand the essence of evil I decided to review the philosophy into the word, New Yorker writer Rollo Roming (2012), states that centuries before evil was described as a manner of ills from natural disasters or the impulse to do wrong. However, in today’s world, we look at evil with an emphasis on crime, trading on the term’s aura or religious finality.

Crashcourse’s Hank Green explains evil from a religious perspective looking at the problems it can cause. religious evil is the most common view of evil and causes many problems, through the aspect of the all-knowing.

However, “The meaning of “evil” has become increasingly unsettled even as it has narrowed, yet the word has proven to be an unshakable unit in our moral lexicon.” Roming goes on referring to Peter Dews who describes evil as “lending itself to exploitation by whoever uses it”. The meaning of evil has many vectors and can be shaped in many ways from supernatural to religious but from a standpoint of mega corporations, evil can be defined as an extreme moral wickedness.

Against the moral wickedness, you will usually have an alliance that will combat the evil doings of the situation. Hollywood movies do this effectively with rebellions who attack mega-corporations taking them down and exposing everything they have done. With this angle, it was proposed to me that I look at the different activist groups and other rebellious organisations combatting real-life corporations within my research and the content for my podcasts.

image041.jpgAdbusters was called to my attention as “a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age” (Adbusters Media Foundation, 2007), a rebellious group fighting mega corporations. The Canadian-based activist group was founded in 1989 by Kalle Las and Bill Schmalz, two award-winning Canadian documentary filmmakers. Through the Adbusters campaigns, a sub-culture is formed known as culture jamming.

Culture jamming refers to the practice of criticising and subverting advertising and consumerism in the mass media, by methods such as producing advertisements parodying those of global brands. The founders of Adbusters, explain culture jamming as “a metaphor for stopping the flow of consumer-culture-saturated media” (Sandlin & Milam, 2015). Adbusters content focuses on two main themes, “how marketing and mass media colonise space, and how global capitalism and rampant consumption are destroying natural environments” (Sandlin & Milam, 2015).

This particular direction will work well for my podcast by giving more depth and knowledge about the different activist groups that are out there in the real-world. Thus getting back to the notion of mirroring within film, Boffard (2014), writes about the possibility of movie-like mega corporations existing in real life, he continues on by establishing this happening when powerful corporations in arms manufacturing, healthcare, and software come together creating one massive mega-corp. “These kind of partnerships difficult, and fraught with all sorts of complexities, but it’s a lot easier than separate corporations trying to merge to become something like Resident Evil’s Umbrella Corporation” (Boffard, 2014).

It is possible for mega corporations to be formed in real-life, just not the extent to those that are found in film. However, mega-corporations on a smaller scale still exist, such as the ones that we interact with on a daily basis, cause a lot of problems that we often don’t see because we’re brainwashed into believing what they stand for and what they are selling.

Can we really identify the evil in the mega-corporations, whether they be the villains of the real or fictional world?

Are there deeper roots into the systematic constructions of mega-corporations and how they operate?

What makes them evil, to begin with?

These are all questions I wish to address in my digital artefact, hopefully, make the issue a little clearer for myself and my audience listening in.


References:
Adbusters 2017, Blackspot, Adbusters, viewed 21 April 2017, <http://www.adbusters.org/&gt;

Adbusters 2017, Occupywallstreet, Adbusters, viewed 21 April 2017, <https://www.adbusters.org/occupywallstreet/&gt;

Boffard, R 2014, Could An Evil Mega-Corporation Ever Exist In Real Life?, io9, 9 April, viewed 22 April 2017, <http://io9.gizmodo.com/could-an-evil-mega-corporation-ever-exist-in-real-life-1630401831?IR=T&gt;

Romig, R 2012, What do we mean by evil?, The New Yorker, 25 July, viewed 21 April 2017, <http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-do-we-mean-by-evil&gt;

Sandlin, J.A & Milam, J.L 2008, “Mixing Pop (Culture) and Politics”: Cultural Resistance, Culture Jamming, and Anti-Consumption Activism as Critical Public Pedagogy, Curriculum Inquiry, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 323-350, viewed 23 April 2017, >http://www-tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-873X.2008.00411.x?scroll=top&needAccess=true&gt;

Week 7: The re-creation

This week we took our research skills and core practice from the previous 6 weeks and used them to re-interpretation/ re-create/ re-stage of a work correlating to our main interests.

In a group, consisting of Briana, Joel, Shaun and myself we looked into our shared interest in multisensory interaction, deciding to look at the work of James Turrell, particularly into his Afrum piece, which consisted of a projection based piece through the displacement of light and illusion. This worked well for my specific interesting in distortion through light interaction, projection and the use of mirrors.

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Jame Turrell’s work Afrum

 

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Afrum with radiant colour panel

Turrell’s practice is with light and projection creating works that amplify perception, through installations that activate a heightened sensory awareness that promotes discovery. To understand Turrell’s work we had to first gain an understanding of the constructs of how the work was made by reverse engineering it. Initially, we thought there was a cube in front of a wall with a light in the middle of it reflecting out, however, through our research, we found that it was, in fact, two flat panels of projected light; with a rectangular piece of radiant colour hovering in front of the wall. With this setup, Turrell wished to “coax the viewer into a state of self-reflexivity in which one can see oneself seeing” (Collection Online, 2017).

“Turrell has consistently utilized the sparest formal means to perpetuate the consciousness of perception. As demonstrated by the projected geometric “cube” of Afrum I, in which light creates the illusion of volume, the artist’s work derives its power from simplicity.”

Turrell’s practice into the psychological implications of perception involved within sensory deprivation stated in 1968 where he participated in the art and technology program alongside scientist Edward Wortz, who at the time was investigating the perceptual alterations encountered in space travel.

When it came to re-staging this piece, we went through multiple ideas before putting it into practice, we talked about the use of light and projection but ultimately choice projection as that was Turrell’s medium.

There was a lot of experimentation done with this piece, in regards to creating the shape to mimic that of Turrell’s cube shape made with projected panels. To create ours we started by getting a cardboard box and cutting out a hexagon shape to project the light through.

We did start with a diamond cut out but we soon realised that it was not going to be effective when creating a cube shape onto the wall. Starting with only one projector we found that the shape was coming out rather flat and wasn’t giving the 3-dimensional shape needed that Turrell’s work had.

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Attempt 1

Therefore we decided to add another projector sitting one top of the first to give an overlapping effect, this gave the projection more depth and also gave off an accidental illusion aspect, which ended up working for the overall piece.

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Attempt 2

This process worked really well in conjunction with what I had in mind for the final project. I want to create a piece that uses distortion as a way to get the audience not only to interaction with the piece but also to leave with something to think about.