Week 15: Exam Week and Setting Up

As I continued to edit the frames together on Adobe Premiere Elements 13, I was under the assumption that this procedure was only going to take a day or two because of the little amount of time I have had to work on previous editing projects that were completed in the past. Yet due to the large quantity of frames that I had to import into the program, the editing process was extended to being a few days longer than expected. But in the end, the final video was a combination between the bold aesthetic of Jenny Holzer’s work and the rhythmic editing as Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.

Further Conceptual and Composition Developments

Earlier on in the week, Josh and I also had a quick online discussion to exchange ideas on the content we had created so far. Josh suggested that my current script should be slightly shorter than what I had originally written earlier, so I decided to cut out sections of dialogue in Adobe Premiere Elements 13 that I felt were unnecessary tangents from the narrative and were too extensive in general.

Josh was also interested in including statistics on domestic violence against men in our project, such as the diagrams shown on the OneInThree website, as he felt that men’s voices are often left unheard when this subject is being discussed. He was also considering collecting personal stories from male survivors of domestic violence on an online support group that he found on social media, yet he didn’t want to use this information for public exhibition without permission of the authors who wrote these accounts.

He also wrote his own section of dialogue that represented the voices of people who wish to assist the victim to recovery. This creates a contrast in tone of voice against the dialogue I had written based on the aggressor’s demands of the victim and provides examined evidence to support the storytelling aspects of my contribution too. This overall setup allows the viewer to experience the work within the role of the victim caught between two varying perspectives on an unsettling and dangerous situation, with the aggressor’s voice being the dominating voice the victim hears and the helpers being the unknown voice that exist outside of the isolating circumstances the victim is in.

Setting Up

One major issue I encountered was that the editing of the text was not properly synced against the wall corner it was being projected against. This problem could easily be resolved by mapping the individual frames apart so that there was a slight gap within the center, and Josh offered to transfer video projection mapping software to the laptop I had been working on so I could accomplish this. Yet, as I inspected this issue further, I noticed that the positioning of my work had stood way too close behind the advertising project my previous group members were working on and this posed the risk for the unintentional interaction in meanings. So in the end, I settled for the simplistic composition of projecting the video against the flat surface of the wall to allow more focus on the written expression the work holds.


References:

– Chang, YH & Voge, M 2000, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, weblog, viewed 22 May 2017, < http://www.yhchang.com/ >.

Family Violence – Australia Says No! 2009-2017, OneInThree, viewed 16 June 2017, < http://www.oneinthree.com.au/ >.

– Holzer, J 2009, Projections, weblog, viewed 10 April 2017, < http://projects.jennyholzer.com/ >.

Week 14: Progress Report

Script:

During study week, I focused most of my energy on composing the script for the text that will appear in the final project. The original script was written using a Word document so I can freely change sections of dialogue before making any final decisions for when I save the text into image files. This script was also just over one thousand words long, and it allows the events to slowly progress so the viewer lacks suspicion of the relationship’s power dynamic for a certain amount of time.FireAlpaca

As I was writing this script, I used neutral language that did not specify the gender of the perpetrators or victims involved so that the storytelling could be applied to different scenarios of violence being perpetuated against victims that are female, male or transgender. This is so individuals are not alienated from the discussion that is being presented. I also described specific places and events, such as the unnamed arts academy located in Sydney or the victim being fired from an unspecified restaurant, so that the narrative is more believable to audience members viewing the work.

Once the script was completed, I composed the individual frames in FireAlpaca (an artwork creation program) in a procedure similar to how stop-motion animations are created. Every time I add a new word onto the screen, I will save the file into a specified folder that specifies which stage of the domestic violence cycle that the text is addressing.

Editing:

 Adobe Premiere Pro

Throughout this week, I also worked on finding alternative editing programs to use other than Adobe Premiere Elements 13 as I did not have access to the program at that time. I downloaded Blender, not only because I enjoy experimenting with 3D modelling and animation in general, but because the program also contained an editing feature. Yet, I discovered that PNG files cannot be imported into the editing feature of the program nor can they be exported as an MP4 file. I also downloaded Easy Movie Maker to work with in hopes that it would be a simple editing program, but I also discovered that the program would watermark the exported file as the editing software was only a trial version.

Eventually, I was able to track down the serial numbers that were needed to install Adobe Premiere Elements 13 and was able to import large set of PNG files I created into the program. I also began to spend a bit of time adjusting the time sequences of each frame so they would appear for 0.15, 1.15 or 2.00 seconds.

What Works and What Doesn’t Work:

Over the past weeks of experimentation and research, there has been an even balance between the strengths and weaknesses of the work I have been developing so far. After finishing a draft copy of my contribution to this project, I sent it to Josh for review. We both agreed that the thick text against the black background makes for a bold composition and the gradual warming of the text’s colours compliments the steady build-up of the narrative. This allows the composition to remain simple and effective unlike the cluttered and messy composition that occurred in week nine.

However, on a conceptual level, I am noticing a certain pattern in the work I create as it often centers around the theme of authoritarianism. While this theme contains a variety of subjects to talk about, I am concerned that the constant revisitation to this theme could cause my work to appear repetitive and uninteresting. So next week, I hope to make some further tweaks to my script so it strays away from this theme but still remains on-topic to the subject of domestic violence.

Week 13: Final Experimentation and Research on Domestic Violence

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Iteration

This week, I removed the leadership and dictatorship quotes gathered from my previous experiment and I instead decided to write a short dialogue-based narrative that personifies the projected video trying to catch the attention of the viewers reading the text. The tone was a lot more aggressive than I expected, and it reflected on my common choice of theme that is authoritarianism. Yet the aggressive nature that came from this experimentation opened up the potential for developing a story behind this personified character.

After a couple of weeks being away from classes, my group member Josh had turned up to discuss the technical collaboration that was going to take place with our work. He told me that he had been busy experimenting with projection mapping at home from tutorials he had been watching on YouTube. He wanted to create a piece based on the subject of communication within media, and how it has lost meaning overtime due to its duplication across many different platforms. He had also created a short animation to project randomized letters onto a small box to signify this sense of meaning being lost.

After we combined our ideas together into a singular project, Mat and Jo stated that the speed of the text on my projection was too fast while the text on Josh’s projection was too slow. They also believed that the dialogue could be extended further to incorporate a story that is based on a human rights issue including climate change or domestic violence. Upon receiving this advice, Josh and I decided to base this project around the subject of domestic violence.

Research

As showcased in flowcharts found on domestic violence awareness websites such as the White Ribbon movement and Domestic Violence Roundtable, there are different interpretations as to how the cycle of abuse is perpetuated over the course of time. Yet, the aspect that each chart had in common was that it showcased the build-up of events taking place that lead to the incident of domestic violence taking place. The ordinary day-to-day phase of the relationship, the tension building stage, and then the explosion of anger that results in the act of violence being done.

cycle-of-violence-1

Websites such as ReachOut Australia, Voices Against Violence and SpeakOutLoud also acknowledge the varying tactics of violence perpetrators use to control a victim which includes physical abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse. Different contexts in which these methods of violence occur, such as intimate partner violence or family violence, are also acknowledged on these websites as well.

Power-and-Ctrl-Wheel-485x480

Personal accounts of domestic violence given by public speakers, such as Leslie Morgan Steiner (Author of Crazy Love: A Memoir) and Luke Fox (Advocate for Child Rights), are also shown below:

Based on all of these notes, the goal that perpetrators of domestic violence hold is to have complete control over a victim and inflict abuse upon them while preventing the abuse from being acknowledged as the act of violence it is. This lack of acknowledgement involves hiding under falsified narratives that the victim ‘deserved’ it or the perpetrator committed the abuse out of ‘love’, which is something I will explore when working on my final project.


References:

Cycle of Violence 2011, online image, White Ribbon Campaign, viewed 2 June 2017, < https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cycle-of-violence-1.jpg >.

Domestic Violence 2013, Voices Against Violence, viewed 1 June 2017, < http://www.voicesagainstviolence.net/?page_id=539 >.

– Fox, L 2017, A “Normal” Life: When Child Abuse Is Normal, online video, 17 January, YouTube, viewed 30 May 2017, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSTUSxdGaMo >.

– Layton, J & Sluser, R & Kaufman, M 2011, Cycle of Violence, White Ribbon Campaign, viewed 2 June 2017, < https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/understand-domestic-violence/what-is-domestic-violence/cycle-of-violence/ >.

– Murphy, C 2017, Homepage, SpeakOutLoud, viewed 4 June 2017, < https://speakoutloud.net/ >.

Power and Control Wheel 2013, online image, Voices Against Violence, viewed 1 June 2017, < http://www.voicesagainstviolence.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Power-and-Ctrl-Wheel-485×480.jpg >.

– Steiner, LM 2013, Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave, online video, 25 January, YouTube, viewed on 30 May 2017, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1yW5IsnSjo&t=1s >.

The Cycle of Domestic Violence 2016, Domestic Violence Roundtable, viewed 5 June 2017, < http://www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/dvcycle >.

What Is Domestic Violence 2016, ReachOut Australia, viewed 5 June 2017, < http://au.reachout.com/what-is-domestic-violence >.

 

Week 12: Barbara Kruger and Young Haes Chang Heavy Industries

During this week’s lecture, Jo had recommended that our group check out a video created by Tate that discusses artworks produced by Barbara Kruger:

The video discusses how the use of commercial media allows Kruger to interact with the target audience of advertising and subvert previous messages given from larger corporations, and this dialogue between contradicting meanings is something I could consider when doing future experiments on the project I am working on.

Because Mat was away for this lesson, Jo also told us that there was going to be a substitute teacher named Nathan who would review our works instead.

I set up my work as I did last week and presented it for critique, even though I felt it was necessary to make minor changes beforehand. I still needed to edit parts of my video so that my selected quotes would only display single words. But at least the quotes being displayed would be readable at this point in time. While I was adjusting the angle and position of the data projector, Jo and I had another disagreement as to where the text should be projected onto the wall. Jo felt that projecting the text onto the corner of the wall would allow the work to be more dynamic similar to how Jenny Holzer projects her text onto the edge of buildings, yet I felt that projecting the text onto that particular crease of the wall would make the text blurry and difficult to read.

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries-Video Still-9- Temple-webready

After Nathan analyzed the current state of my work, he recommended that I check out Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, which is a website that produces animated typography works using Adobe Flash that explore political and social themes such as the surveillance from North Korea or the use of online communication. The composition of the work keeps viewers engaged with the flow of text that has a seemingly never-ending dialogue with an audience, and is rhythmically synchronized to background music. Serious declarations that address the topic in question are mixed with bizarre statements that make little sense in order to balance out the tone of the narrative.

After Nathan had concluded his review on the current state of my project, I experimented with writing down a combination of bizarre and serious statements in the back of my workbook. Some of the statements I had written down included:

  •   “I can see everything you’re doing.”
  •   “You know what will cure blue eyes? Poison.”
  •   “Your eyes are trailing away from me again.”
  •   “Taking deep breaths is not a normal thing to do, you know?”

In terms of composition and audience interaction, these statements are designed to create an uncomfortable feeling that the viewer is being watched and judged by an unknown character that is communicating to the individual through dialogue that is projected onto the wall.

Some of these statements are also made in relation to Freudian Theory, particularly the notion in which dreams are interpreted as being symbols of unconscious thoughts and desires of the individual. For instance, while interpretations made from Freudian Theory typically lead back to sexual desires, the bizarre statement of curing blue eyes with poison could signify the self-conscious feelings one has of ordinary character traits that are considered to be undesirable based on the subjective interpretation one has of themselves.


References:

– Chang, YH & Voge, M 2000, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, weblog, viewed 22 May 2017, < http://www.yhchang.com/ >.

– Freud, S 1899, The Interpretation of Dreams, Franz Deuticke, Austria.

– Tate 2016, Barbara Kruger – Consumerism, Power and the Everyday | Fresh Perspectives, online video, 25 December, YouTube, viewed 22 May 2017, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVxtKcDOHYc >.

Week 11: Disagreements

i-disagree

For this lesson, I had set up my work in the same way I had done so last week just so I could practice the overall setup process. I plugged in my USB drive into the data projector, then adjusted the data projector so that my image could be properly projected onto the wall at the appropriate size. There were also some minor changes to the editing and typography made in the computer labs beforehand, such as changing the amount of text that is displayed onscreen based on Jo’s advice from last week, but the work being projected was still the same overall.

The major disagreement I have with my own work is that there is no set theme or motivation that drives the meaning behind the work. This is mostly due to the increasing amount of pressure being given from other subjects, but it is also because I’m also having some difficulty finding inspiration for composition or conceptual ideas that I could use to create an interesting interaction between the typography and projection mediums.

I am tempted to incorporate illustrated elements to generate interest in my projected work, as this is what non-projected typography works tend to showcase such as The Cemetery Keeper Cover by Jessica Hische or Carry Hope by Jessica Walsh. Not only does the stylized nature of these images create a piece that is aesthetically pleasing to viewers, but it also strengthens the mood of the work through selective colour schemes of warm and cool colours.

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Yet at the same time, I also feel that the graphics have the potential to distract audience members from the original message behind the text that is being displayed and that the images could be unintentionally distorted when they are projected against the walls. The bold colours and illustrations may also cause the work to appear too cartoonish compared to other experiments I have done within previous weeks, which could cause problems when this is combined with topics of a serious nature.

Some interesting projection/typography works that I had previously discovered online also require the use of techniques that have a particular learning curve attached to them, such as the use of projection mapping showcased in the work In Order To Control by Nota Bene or the clean distortion of letters on wall edges as seen in Projection Type by Wenjing Chua.

In-Order-to-Control-Typography-Shadows-3  6d091bae5c5ca8b0f811699adfef3f8b

The conceptual development of my work is also significantly impaired as the project I composed this week still contains the same clichéd quotes that were displayed last week. I definitely need to develop more research into the themes represented within my project and allow my work to have more complexity instead of simply presenting an abstract concept that is overly-generalized.

Jo also had a brief disagreement with the setup of my experiment, and felt it was better to tilt the data projector to the side so the text has the same dynamic presentation found in Jenny Holzer’s work.

Meanwhile, the last issue that should probably be addressed is the lack of collaboration that is occurring within my work at this present time. This doesn’t bother me too much as I have an overall preference for working independently, but it does defeat the overall purpose of the assignment being a group project.


References:

–  Bene, N 2012, In Order To Control – Interactive Installation, online video, 1 June, Vimeo, viewed 24 April 2017, < https://vimeo.com/43257999 >.

– Chua, W 2013, Projection Type, online image, Pinterest, viewed 28 April 2017, < https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/6d/09/1b/6d091bae5c5ca8b0f811699adfef3f8b.jpg >.

– Hayward, D 2016, I Disagree, online image, Naked Pastor, viewed 12 May 2017, < https://i0.wp.com/nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/i-disagree.jpg?w=600&ssl=1 >.

– Hische, J 2011, The Cemetery Keeper Cover, online image, Jessica Hische, viewed 13 May 2017,< http://jessicahische.is/content/01-working/02-Books/03-50_covers/01.jpg >.

– Walsh, J 2011, Carry Hope, online image, Behance, viewed 11 May 2017, < https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/disp/f222b220051285.56041c4ef32a2.jpg >.

Week 10: Further Creative Research and Experimentation

After the failure of our experiment last week, I decided to work on a separate project on my own in an effort to return back to the basics and recreate a simple typography projection work that is based on Jenny Holzer’s works.

At first, I tried to experiment with creating realistic portraits of human faces using typography similar to how Sean Williams and Mike Edwards had created text-based portraits of famous celebrities (such as Keith Richards or Audrey Hepburn) using both digital and traditional techniques.

keith_richards_art_print_SE_mike_edwards           tumblr_n1z6dwYzqK1qgnue7o1_1280

Because I was influenced by the unique composition of these works, I attempted to recreate the Statue of Liberty using quotes from Donald Trump in reference to our previous political theme established from week seven. It was intended to present an interesting contradiction between the original message of freedom behind the statue’s presence and the immigration policies created from Trump. Yet, due to the limited amount of time I had, I was unable to finish the work on time.

So instead, I decided to Google quotes on leadership and dictatorship to collect a series of text that can be used for a brief experiment on typography and projection. Most of the quotes I had come across were stated by famous (or infamous) figures that are easily recognisable such as Warren Bennis or Adolf Hitler, so therefore there were quite a lot of clichés within these statements which therefore gives more focus on the technological and compositional elements of what the final project will look like.

warrenbennis1

Originally, the colour used for the leadership quotes were strictly green while the dictatorship quotes were strictly red. Then I decided to switch things up a little bit and include frames that showed leadership quotes coloured in red and dictatorship quotes coloured in green. This was based on the online image ‘Say the Colour, Not the Word’, which is an optical illusion that encourages viewers to identify the colour that the text is displayed in instead of the name of the colour being displayed.

colorwords

The assumption behind this illusion is that it is intended to create a conflict between the ‘creative’ and ‘logical’ areas of the human mind. This is similar to the internal conflict one experiences when interpreting the meaning behind information that is given to them. This could include interpreting the non-verbal meaning behind verbal communication and body language, or determining the difference between factual or opinionated information in political and scientific environments. So the switch in colours was mostly an experiment in how audience members would interpret the meaning of a work based on the composition elements it has.

Though, as I was setting up, I ran into some issues putting my project together in the gallery space. I had some difficulty tracking down certain cables and adapters to connect into the data projector I was using as well as a speaker for the background music of my experimentation. Yet, despite these difficulties, I was able to successfully set up my project in time.

Jo suggested that the transition between these quotes should be altered so that individual words are displayed on the screen rather than full sentences. She also felt that the background music was not necessary as she felt that it dramatizes the work a bit too much. This was a fair statement as the music was just an afterthought I had in terms of what else I could add to the work, and also because this meant that I didn’t have to worry about including the speakers in my final work.


References:

– Anonymous 2015, Say the Colour, Not the Word, online image, Digital Media Studio, viewed 27 April 2017, < http://students.purchase.edu/joseph.mckay/dms/images/colorwords.jpg >.

– Bennis, W 2016, Leadership is the Capacity to Translate Vision into Reality, online image, BrainyQuotes, viewed 29 April 2017, < https://www.brainyquote.com/photos_tr/en/w/warrenbennis/121713/warrenbennis1.jpg >.

– Edwards, M 2016, Its Only Keith Richards But I Like It, online image, Mike Edwards Print, viewed 27 April 2017, < http://mikeedwards.co.uk/gallery/prints/main_images/keith_richards_main_new.png >.

– Williams, S 2013, Audrey Hepburn, online image, WordPress, viewed 25 April 2017, < https://thedancingrest.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/092.jpg?w=553&h=736 >.

Week 9: A Rather Interesting Experiment

In preparation for this lesson, I created a collection of still images that contained alphabetical letters and symbols that could be projected onto the wall. I thought that if we were doing a simple projection works like the ones we created during week seven and week eight, then it could be useful if my group was going to create a simple yet dynamic artwork that’s similar to Projection Type by Wenjing Chua.

Yet, throughout this lesson, the direction of our work remained unclear as we were not specifically referencing any preexisting artworks during our process of experimentation. The final product we exhibited to our tutors and classmates was cluttered, over-complicated and even more unsuccessful than the work we showcased last week.

We originally began our experimentation by dragging out a wooden box, a couple of sheets and two data projectors into our work space in hopes that we could experiment with the concept of “thinking outside the box”. Using two data projectors, we experimented with different combinations of projection art by reflecting typography onto the walls found in the gallery space, the sheets hung up from the ceiling and the large wooden box we found standing nearby. We also experimented with projection further by placing the sheets in front of the open area of the box and projected several images onto that.

f    fb-art    t    Tumblr.svg

During this point of experimentation, I felt that this simplistic combination of materials could have explored multiple interpretations on various subject matters that exist within the world and would therefore have created an effective work overall. I particularly noticed that the text projected on the walls and sheets resembled logos from popular social media websites such as Facebook or Tumblr, and this could have created some interesting symbolism on social media that could either explore the belief that this style of communication has dominated contemporary society and has led people to be closed off from real-life interactions or the belief that social media has enhanced methods of communication and has allowed people to have more opportunities for socialisation within the real world.

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However, the quality of our work dropped once members started to add unnecessary elements to the piece. They attempted to create ‘mountains’ underneath the projection using thick blankets, and placed a doll’s head on top of it to ‘symbolise’ someone who had died under the Trump administration. This was somewhat emphasised with ‘x’ and ‘t’ letters projected underneath the head that was supposed to resemble a dead body. After that, it was decided that we were also going to hang up rubbish from the ceiling at a last-minute attempt to signify the effects of global warming.

When our work was reviewed by our tutors, Mat believed the composition of our work seemed aimless while Jo believed that we were too demographic in whose ideas had influence upon our final piece. Shaun also suggested that we should get a clear idea of what kind of ideas need to be expressed with our work before we begin to work on the technical aspects of it. So for next week’s experiment, I am going to take the advice from our tutors and create an individual piece of my own that strictly revolves around the artistic mediums of projection and typography.


References:

– Chua, W 2013, Projection Type, online image, Betype, viewed 22 April 2017, < http://68.media.tumblr.com/76a8e223c657335cc11a5b3b4028893d/tumblr_nr9a7x3rQC1qkxrtro10_1280.png >.

– Williams, B 2017, Unsuccessful Experiment, online image, WordPress, viewed 25 April 2017, < https://brianamwilliams.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/img_1833.jpg?w=816&h=9999 >.