During our MEDA301 class in Week 7, we had to recreate an installation piece based on one of the five areas listed on Medadada blog post (Law 2017). The exercise was designed to improve our group work skills in preparation for our third assessment and any other artistic projects we may work on in the future. The selection of these groups was based on our personal vote of which area from the list we wish to work on for the duration of that lesson, and after some thought I decided to choose ‘Expressing Digitally: Textuality and Expression’. After some discussion, the work my group had chosen to reinterpret/recreate were the projection works by created Jenny Holzer in Sienna (2009) as we were interested in the political interpretation behind the quote projected onto the building.
As we opened up Photoshop and started to think of a quote we could type into the program, we had to decide whether we wanted if our reinterpretation of this piece was going to be humourous or serious. On one hand, we wanted our audience to be engaged with the political concepts similar those represented in Jenny Holzer’s works. But at the same, we didn’t want to create something that seemed too stern and preachy. So we eventually decided to choose this humourous tweet written by Donald Trump (2012):
However, when we proceeded to recreate this piece using a couple of the projectors provided by Glenn, one major problem we encountered earlier on was that we couldn’t project the text on its own without having a grey box show up behind it. After experimenting with the projector settings and Photoshop for a while, we decided to carefully place sticky tape around the projector lens based on the advice that was given to us by Mat. Once we had done this, it had softened up the edges of the grey box and therefore made its existence seem less obvious.
In order to increase audience interaction with our piece, we resized the text by shrinking the quote down while enlarging the text stating the quote’s author. Because Donald Trump is a widely recognisable political figure for his right-wing political standpoint and his provocative statements on global issues, making the text of his political status larger would make people wonder what he has said and therefore encourage them to take a closer look.
Although, while the simplicity of our piece provided a clear communication of our message, I felt that something else could’ve been added to increase audience participation even further. One particular work that’s an example of this is He Will Not Divide Us by Shia LaBeouf (2017). While the typography in this piece is painted rather than projected onto the wall, the work also includes an installed webcam underneath it which encourages audience members to voice their opinions on Donald Trump and have them be broadcasted onto an online livestream. Even though this particular piece had to be taken down due to the strong reaction it received, the additional installation piece of the webcam had drastically expanded the audience’s interest in the work overall.
Holzer, J 2009, Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise, image, Jenny Holzer Projections, viewed 10 April 2017, < http://projects.jennyholzer.com/uploads/project/image/attatchment/402/large_2D11_113_19.jpg >.
LaBeouf, S. 2017, He Will Not Divide Us, Museum of the Moving Image, New York City.
Law, J 2017, 07W Material Discourse Emerges, Medadada, weblog post, 7 April, viewed 10 April 2017, < http://medadada.net/2017-301-07/ >.
Trump, D 2012, It’s Freezing and Snowing in New York, viewed 10 April 2017, < http://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Global-warming.png >.