I brought my pillow to school to install my piece. Originally, I wanted to hammer my pillow onto the space I had chosen, however, that would mean damaging the pillow and the pillar. So, I changed places and found a place where I could hang and basically have the pillow dangle similar to the way Nobuyoshi Araki had his models pose. I really liked the outcome. Now, I need to find a way to elevate the projector for my assessment.
April 15th 2018
I finally finished the primary and secondary video for this unit 7 project.
Like mentioned before, the idea is that the primary video is stylized to seem like it's a TV which is homage to a particular scene in Requiem for a dream where the character Sara sits in front of the new TV set and is basically a subordinate to it. In the scene, it's almost as if Sara is being devoured by the television set. Stylizing it as a TV is also refering to the past styles I've used in previous projects which involve "glitches" and making it look like a VHS. I really like that aesthetic, I think it has to do with how music videos are stylized as well (I mean the editing of music videos wasn't really an inspiration but it kind of was??). Additionally, it's stylized as a TV because the clips I'd used were from a time where technology hadn't really existed so flipping through channels was kind of like the act of scrolling through social media. Basically, TV had a big influence like social media does now.
I had stuck to this idea of using old clips similar to the Prelinger Archives (sadly, I couldn't find anything that I wanted to use within the archives so I went on YouTube to find clips instead). The reason why I stuck with old films is just because they're so unique and "ephemeral" which is when something lasts for a short time but serves it's purpose and can exist after the social or commercial context for its creation has disappeared. It's also interesting how ready-made footage can be manipulated to your liking and creates a different context (basically pertaining to the idea of ephemerality). Also, looking through the work I'd done throughout the whole of foundation (which was recommended by the tutors during the start of this project), two particular pieces I had made that really stood out to me were from the re-edit project and the parklife video). The reason being was because of the themes from the videos and the way I edited them. In the re-edit project, I'd used found footage and had similar themes of "nightmares" and "dreams". In the Park Life video, I'd used my own footage, however, I really liked the style of editing. In that video, I had tried out this "VHS" effect to make it look like an old footage. During the re-edit project, I remember that my initial idea was to create a video surrounding the stigma of the importance of beauty, but, I never finished it or continued to make it because I didn't know what to do at the time. However, after making this video, I feel like that initial thought/video was the foundation of the final primary piece.
Making the actual film was quite difficult because I didn't know what to go with. I didn't know if there should be a solid structure or whether I should just be completely random with it as I am with the majority of my videos. I ended up doing a mixture of both. The intention of the narrative of the film is to mirror what a dream would be like, being that dreams don't actually have a particular flow and can cut through dreams halfway through and jump to a different idea. The clips I had chosen for my "old" films were sort of like informercials and "how to's" almost persuading the viewer to be a certain way or do things a certain way in order to be more "content" with their lives or, better, how to live a perfect life (again, very relevant to the concept of being in a simulation which is why I'd chosen these clips). I had chosen clips of shampoo commercials with attractive white women, makeup tutorials with white women, and dieting pills/ways to lose weight with white women. Granted, this was a time of severe racism which is why there aren't any people of colour (but then again society is still racist as hell), but it also links to this idea of identity and the struggle I had growing up of wanting to be white since being white was the ideal standard, especially growing up in an international school where the teachers were predominantly white and had favouritism towards white students. However, that's not the point. With the vintage videos chosen, it was time to mesh it with the videos of today. Like mentioned, I had used porn, surgical videos, animals and food decomposing, and pills being shown. I've explained what the porn, surgical videos, and the decomposing meant, however, the pills were something I thought of after watching one of the vintage videos. The pills are a metaphor for the "fast" way of losing weight and all those "skinny" teas seen on social media. It's funny how such things existed in the past and still exist today. The modern videos were used for the nightmare sequence and, to be fair, it's actually quite difficult to tell what you're watching in the nightmares. This concept is also because of the idea that, again, dreams are sometimes intelligiable and blurred to the point where we only really remember the concept rather than the details in the dreams. The video sequence was also similar to the seven deadly sins in which it displayed them in subtle ways (porn being lust, the decaying sausage being glutony).
To be quite honest, whilst creating the video, everything was very spontaneous in the sense that a lot of the ideas I'd had in my storyboard changed. One old clip in particular had really helped make the piece more consistent and the narrative more vivid. It was a clip about losing weight and how to lose it through a healthy diet. In one scene, the narrator questions its viewers on how to lose weight and asks whether or not you should "starve yourself". However, I'd taken that clip and taken it out of its context and used it as sort of like a propagandist way to force people to "starve themselves" since the narrator's voice sounded so persuasive. Something really interesting about using found footage is the idea that you can literally take things out of context and manipulate the footage to create your own context. I added the clip in different segments of the video and as the video progresses, the more distorted the clip becomes. It's a recurring and repetitive piece because it surrounds this idea of how dreams can be influenced by one particular thing and that particular thing will change the whole mood and "plot" of a dream. As well as the idea that we can be consumed by one thought and spiral.
The original title for my project was Idiosyncrasy and the exploration of my identity, however, I feel like a more fitting title would be "beauty sleep". The reason being because it is a reference to the fact that this piece will be presented on a pillow and it's showing the dreams/nightmares caused by the struggle to be the "ideal" in society that we inflict on ourselves; the obsession and desire to be beautiful.
After watching the final product again, I've realised there were several things I could've done to improve the piece, as well as unit 7 overall. One thing I should've included was to use a technique I'd done when I was experimenting different "looks", in particular, the effect of overlaying different clips on top of each other. This "technique" could've created a different narrative and been more "unique" to really emphasize that although people can dream of similar ideas, nobody can ever have the same dream or be able to fully describe it in detail. Another thing I should've done was create several different outcomes within this piece because then I would've been able to develop this film more. If I'd been more organised with my time, then I could've developed this idea into something better or a piece that really illustrated the message I was trying to convey. Albeit, if I had really planned out and organized my time well, stuck to my timetable and did a bit of work everyday, I don't think I would've struggled as much as I had. I'd always thought to myself that usually the best ideas come from when you're closer to the deadline, however, after this project, I've realized that that's not the case. If I'd really sat down and tried to solve the problem of being stuck on a very narrow "project concept" then I would've been able to create more outcomes, in particular, experimenting with different mediums. In addition to that, I've learned the true importance of research and constant reflections. Through going to exhibitions and talking to my peers and tutors to find more artists to search for, it really broadens your horizons and opens up more directions for you to explore. I didn't realize how important reflections were until this unit either. Reflections really help you evaluate and resolve problems throughout the course of a project. You're able to look back and avoid mistakes you'd already made. The point is, finishing the piece was very much rewarding as it was eye-opening. Although it's not something I'm particularly proud of, I'm glad I still somewhat managed to stick to my goal by trying to keep on top of work with this project.
April 13th 2018
I'm struggling to finish this video. I keep getting stuck on what to put on next. Although I had a plan, I keep straying from it and wasting time. What if I never finish this video.
April 12th 2018
Talking to David about my idea and the whole concept being sort of inspired by "Requiem for a dream", I was told to look up "Lizzie Fitch". Wasn't sure why, however, after looking at Fitch's work, I kinda see why. Talking about the movie, David asked me how old I was, which I replied, "19", and David responded that the first and last time he'd watched the movie was when he was my age. It's a movie he'd never watch again. I can see why. Watching the movie, I thought I wouldn't be as affected by it. I feel like it's just a film you can't watch twice. Firstly, because the concept of the film is so intense and complex that it's just hard to digest again. Second, because I've watched it at this age, the movie will hold a very personal meaning at this time of my life and will be different when I watch it again. I want to be "surprised" and to forget about it for a while. It's such an intense movie, but I'll get back to it some other time. Point is, I looked up Fitch's work, and I have to say, the concept of her work is interesting. It's combining pieces she'd made (movie images and set pieces) and placing them together which creates a different narrative to the pieces as opposed to when they are presented individually. For the presentation of my piece, like mentioned, I want to use a pillow to showcase the moving image rather than a projector. This way, it'll kind of also be a "set" and the idea of piecing together two contrasting objects brings a whole narrative to the piece too.
A Meeting With Myself Pt.2
I've realised that I'm slightly behind schedule in terms of workflow and sketchbook work. I feel like I really just procrastinated way too much with this project to the point where I'm rushing to finish things. To be frank, I feel like reflections and evaluations need to be truthful, and the truth is I am struggling. Although I had planned out what to do (making a timetable and all), I still find myself falling behind and freaking out about the deadline for this project. Every time I look and reflect on what I'd done the day before, new ideas just spring to mind to the point where there's a lot but none of them are detailed enough or really connect and relate to each other. The plan, now, is to try and connect these thoughts and ideas and just make the final outcome. I plan to create two separate pieces for my primary and secondary video because I feel like the ideas in my head deserve separate pieces rather than condensing it into one.
To make better use of studio time, I need to use the school computers since my laptop is out of memory (maybe, even, free up my laptop storage so I can work at home). To also make better use of studio time, I should try to get as much done during the day as we're in school for, like, seven hours. Wasting seven hours a day... isn't impossible, but shouldn't be done. Also, use the resources of school, resources as in talking to peers about how to improve my work and talking to tutors to get feedback about my work so I can actually have somewhat of a more clear direction to go to to finish this.
Going into more detail about the secondary video, the inspiration behind it was the idea that being on the tube was a place I had significant thoughts, but also a place I'm stuck in, in the sense that I'm unable to stop thinking about these thoughts and I'm stuck on trying to solve it, which consumes my energy and day. Being stuck in the notion of dreams, and, again, consumed by the idea of living an ideal life, so, basically living in a simulation. I've decided to use text for this piece as well since I've never explored text and to somehow make it look "digital" since we live in the digital age and to simulate a "simulation". I think our life is somewhat a simulation because we're being told how to live a certain way, being bombarded by materialistic thoughts and constantly being shown what "happiness" is. I think that's our aim, to be happy, but how so? In this video, I'll incorporate what I'd thought of in the initial stages of this project, which is adding videos I've seen before that depict the "foundation" of society and what influences us (or me I don't know) and collaging them together.
Whilst making this video, I struggled, again, to find structure in the sequencing. Then I thought about the influence of the seven deadly sins. From those, I tried to find footage surrounding each sin and placed them in a montage.
Current Idea(s) ?
My current ideas for my two pieces are creating two moving images.
My primary moving image will be a series of old commericials and videos ranging from the 1950s-1970s which are directed at women and trying to manipulate that found footage to fit theme. The idea behind the primary video is actually inspired by the fact that the final outcome will be presented on a pillow, hence, it'll be all about dreaming about being "beautiful" and fitting the standards within society. I've kind of figured out what clips to place in the videos and how I will sequence them. I'll place clips (like I said) from the 1950's-1970's of commercials because they kind of reinforce this idea of how to be an ideal woman (and because there wasn't a concept on what sexism was, and, to a certain extent, how this affects people mentally). The "modern day" videos will be of porn (because of the idea of how we should be), food decaying and animals decomposing (to make the viewer disgusted by the idea of eating after watching the video), and plastic surgery procedures (because this whole obsession to FIT a certain way). Again, I don't wanna offend everyone but, in all honesty, the importance of being attractive has been embedded in me even though I'm not attractive which fucking sucks and it's really fucked me up because I don't even know what to think anymore. Like why is this such a big concern??? There are actually important matters to be more worried about, more aspects in yourself to work on besides being attractive. LIKE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME. I'm not even doing anything about it. Okay, going on a tangent again, but anyways, that's the main idea for the primary video. The sequencing will be similar to what it's like to switch channels on a TV. Although TVs are pretty much obsolete, I'm paying homage to the scene in Requiem for a dream (honestly I'm talking about this movie and referencing it so much but it's just too good not to). The TV switching is also kind of similar to dreams in the sense that our dreams usually just change scenes each time. Sometimes, we have more than just one dream within a nights sleep, so, playing with this idea, that's why I kind of want it to mirror channel changing. The video will start out as a supposed, non-threatening, non-scary dream, but slowly progress to a nightmare sequence. The idea is that the dream is so fixated on one idea that the dream evolves into a nightmare. I'll use techniques such as "rapid cuts" as well as sticking to my style of editing which is honestly placing random clips together and trying to create some fucked-up, grotesque clip. The primary video is very much inspired by the character of Sara and her struggles and discontent with life because of such a big change (similar to mine). The whole "her husband dying", "her son not amounting to anything", and her "physical changes" and not doing anything about it and similar to me in the sense that I've moved from Asia to England by myself, my body is physically changing because of my different habits and I'm not doing anything to help myself and only want solutions with fast results. Basically, this obsession with a "materialistic" lifestyle to avoid the root of the problem.
My secondary moving image is to create a video surrounding rapid cuts. There won't be a "build" or "climax" like in the primary video, but it'll be solely of rapid cuts (except for a few frames) An idea I had was to create this "instructional" video of escaping your dreams. This idea was inspired by Omer Fast's "CNN Concatenated". The video will be directed at the viewer, much like Fast's piece. It'll be more "poetic" though, in the sense that it won't be legit instructions but a way to make people realise that our society is somewhat of a simulation. I was talking to David about this earlier on in the project. To be honest, I think that's what also gave me the idea for the primary video (but Requiem for a dream really helped develop that idea of being in a simulation).
Initial idea has DIED... RIP
My initial idea was to use animation as my main medium and create depictions of my dreams through that. I had a lot of difficulties in making that because I'm really shit at drawing, and because I felt like starting off with that idea narrowed down everything. It felt as if I was already done with the piece. I had done a sample animation, but it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I was really stuck on this project for a while. Even the theme of "fiNDinG mY IDeNtiTy THroUgh dReAMs" sounded so dumb and was such bullshit. I really wanted to give up on this. However, after doing more research on different artists, as well as, still looking at animators BUT interpreting the pieces differently, I was finally able to just avoid the idea of animation and develop the theme of dreams and how I can find my "identity" through that. I mean obviously not A LOT of my initial ideas have completely gone to shit, however, I was able to break out of the "narrow" pathway of having an artist block.
As of now, my idea is to create a movie image piece. It's a response to a dream I'd had about Kendall Jenner telling me and my family that we were ugly. Although it was just a dream, I analysed it and came to the conclusion that I felt this way because I've been on social media way too much, following way too many pretty girls (as you do), and feeling like absolute shit. Also, adding to the fact that I can do something about how I look and feel yet I indulge in too much food and don't do any exercise whatsoever. So, this whole turning point in my life from being super active in high school to coming here and doing nothing has taken a toll on me mentally and physically. The idea that Kendall Jenner can come in and tell me what I am just goes to show how much of a pushover I am and the fact that, out of all people, Kendall Jenner, someone with a massive following and "influence" and someone who's young and is already a millionaire, telling me that I'm ugly and how this has somewhat massively affected me just goes to show how narrow and shallow minded I am. Why should this even bother me. This lead me to explore the themes of how social media and (to a certain extent) pornography, and religion have affected my life. I've added pornography and religion to the mix because through exploring my identity, I've also come to realize that growing up, religion played a big role in my life. Although I say I'm Christian, I'm starting to doubt it and question whether I am Christian because I believe or because I was told to. Pornography because, growing up, there was this stigma around sex and how it "should be". In school, we were always told that porn didn't actually depict what real sex was. However, what is real sex? We're subtly told to be a certain way and that "this is how we should be having sex" and "this is how girls should look like", but then again if pornography didn't exist, how would we know? I'm kind of going on a tangent, however, back to the main issue, I just always felt like I had to uphold this ideal character. I was (and still am) never happy about myself. And I think that's where the identity issues come in play. Just the fact that I don't know who I am, but discovering that the biggest problem (the problem being my insecurities) I have with myself is so shallowminded just makes this even more upsetting.
So yeah, I've sort of changed the idea, but I'm still sticking to the themes surrounding dreams and identity... if that makes any sense.
"Requiem For A Dream"
In this section, I'm going to talk about how this movie really just changed my perspective. I won't really go into the research details since that'll obviously be put in the research section, however, I can't stop thinking about this movie. It's been a few days since I've watched the movie, yet, I can still picture everything vividly, particularly, the end scene (the montage(?) of what happens to our beloved characters). To be completely honest, because of the title, I thought dreams meant the meaning of dreams as in "a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep" (thanks Google), but I misinterpreted that for its meaning which is "a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal." I mean, it is debatable, but that's just my take on the movie. Hopefully I don't sound too pretentious, but I just really like this movie. I'm just in awe with the whole idea, the concept, the way it was carried out, and the cinematography and effects used to convey the whole plot. I wish I could watch this movie again without knowing the context. Before watching, I'd always thought it was a movie depicting drug-use and romanticizing it. However, it's far from it. The emotions I'd felt whilst watching this movie are indescribable. I felt horrified, disgusted, intrigued, and somewhat empathetic (or maybe more sympathetic). I'm not going to spoil the movie too much because if someone who hasn't watched this movie reads this I'll ruin it for them. I honestly watched it without having any idea and I think that's how you should watch this film. The character I felt most sorry for was Sara Goldfarb. Ms. Goldfarb just wanted attention. The intention of the "drugs" she had taken wasn't the same as the three other characters, the reason she'd taken them was similar (to numb herself from doing things to actually help herself) but it was to satisfy her obsession of wanting to be on television and to be, like mentioned before, numb.
After watching the film, I was super inspired. I was really inspired by how simple the editing was yet it gave such a strong narrative. The use of short clips to depict intense scenes and to narrate what was going on was so smart and so effective. Because of the repetition, as the viewer, you knew exactly what was happening. I admire the parts where Harry Goldfarb is in an anxious state, then, after the "hip hop montage", he appears in a more relaxed state. It's such a simple editing style, yet it really portrays the process in such an effective manner.
The themes of the movie, combined with the editing, are what I want to incorporate in both videos. I want to be able to imply hidden meaning without having it explicitly said. In a really subjective way for the viewers to interpret themselves. I want the viewers to be able to apply whatever is going on in their life to relate to this piece. Although the piece will be more personal to me, I want it to somewhat be relevant to others (although obviously it might end up failing in that aspect, I hope it's just as aesthetically pleasing as this movie).
April 5th 2018
I really like the way Nam June Paik's work is presented. The way Paik sets his pieces is visually aesthetic because the videos make the objects come alive. I feel like the videos are still the main subject of his pieces, however, the objects he presents them in emphasize the context of the moving image and really bring it to life. My piece is all about dreams, with a hint of the themes of consumerism-ish and of social construct and how it affects us, so I had this idea of either presenting it on a helmet or headpiece (inspired by an early MRI model that I saw at the science museum), or on a bed, pillow, or blanket. I'm leaning towards the concept of the bed idea because the helmet piece reminds me more of brainwashing which is still an underlying/lowkey theme in my piece, however, it's too "techy". The idea of the helmet piece, first-off, would be too time consuming, considering the fact that this project deadline is approaching and there wouldn't be much time to come up with a head-piece model, also, the feel of a helmet isn't as organic/soft as a pillow or blanket. I want the video to kind of contrast with the object it's being projected on. It might not be obvious, but because I feel like the footage within the outcome will be more grotesque and "heavy" it needs to be presented on something that's the complete opposite to create a narrative; the narrative being that even when we're on something so soft and comfortable, we're still capable of having "nightmares". Kind of a metaphor for life, even if we have everything, we're still able to find the negatives and let that consume us.
April 2nd 2018
Whilst making my "primary" video, I found it difficult to create a sequence. By sequence, I mean by placing the clips together to form the video. Since my video was going to be created by using found footage, I had to be selective on what to place and choose. I really went through a "brain dead" moment where I couldn't decide what footage to gather for the film, basically, what I wanted to include so that they portrayed the overall theme of this project. To be quite fair, I was still unsure of the overall theme. I knew that my theme was based on identity and the idea of dreams, which I'd decided halfway through the project as I'd realised that the problem with my identity isn't about "displacement", rather, the constant fixation with my physical flaws (and by fixation I mean it in a negative way, however, I'm unable to find the right word to describe that) that I found out about through analysing my dreams. Even making my secondary video, I didn't want to just crop my primary video and present that, I felt that I needed to do more work since I was lacking in outcomes. I wanted both films to have the same themes but convey somewhat different points. Honestly, I'm actually just struggling to get these two pieces finished.
My initial idea for the found footages was to use things like videos I usually watch on YouTube or TV shows because they do influence me on a day-to-day basis (hence why I'm so illiterate and can only express myself through memes, vine references, and facial expressions). However, I felt like the footages needed to still have something in common. I don't exactly know what to use. All I know is that I want to do something similar to what I did with the re-edit project in which I used footage from the Prelinger Archives. I feel like the Prelinger Archives are such a good source of material. The reason being, is because they're so well made for its time and I feel like the script and narrator really make the video. Like, they actually thought they were helping people better themselves when making these films. I also LOVE the accent and enunciation of the narrators, both female and male. It's just so different from how today's videos are narrated. So... yeah... probably gonna do something with old footage since I already experimented with that before and in this project as well.
March 28th 2018
As I sat on the tube on the way to the library, I had an epiphany (I made sure to search for whether epiphany can be used in a negative/catastrophic sense). This thought that manifested my mind was that you truly realise you're OLD when people start offering their seats to you out of social etiquette. I started to have a mini existential crisis on the tube; the fear of growing old suddenly became so real to me. I used to like to idea of growing old; I would question my mum as to why she was so scared of physical changes, but, now I understand why. This idea that life is slipping out of our fingers, the idea that I have to many aspirations but "no time", this idea that it won't be socially acceptable to do certain things because of my age, this idea that I've wasted my youth and not doing things that could've impacted me or the people around me for the better. I'm already 19, I'm almost halfway to 40. This thought of growing old just fucked me up. Also, pertaining back to the aspect of physical changes, I've gained so much weight since moving here which I'd been oblivious to. Realizing I'll probably never meet that ideal weight, I've been so discontent and unhappy with my life. I wouldn't say I have dysmorphobia because that would be really unfair and insensitive for me to say. I feel like it's just that I know what to do to not feel this way, yet, I feel so unmotivated and I can't be fucked to do anything about it when I should. This negative and lazy attitude that I've developed since moving here isn't benefitting me. But yeah, as I experienced this epiphany, I also had this sudden realization that the most significant thoughts/realizatoins in life don't have to be in very significant places or in so-called "special moments", rather, it can be in the most random places, much like dreams (after reading through Sigmund Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" I've tried to analyze every single dream I've had and this idea that insignificant things we see everyday influence our dreams more than significant events). The tube is my place of realisation, subconsciously (because of the dream I'd had about the subway) and consciously (because that's where I spend alone time with my thoughts, much like the majority of people). Hopefully, I don't sound dumb.
Anyways, this whole experienced just reinforced the idea of how "important" looking attractive and being "beautiful" and living the "ideal" life was to me. Thus, I came up with a new idea.
March 25th 2018
For this piece, I had fused the idea of using different types of "blending" for the video (from the Prelinger Archives experiment) since the footage overlaps each other (the footage being the mosaic-esque collage video of the subway of New York). To be honest, I was just trying to get my brain juice flowing when I made this. I just wanted to experiment the different effects that blending would give especially when different types of options were placed together. Again, it creates a unique and surreal look, almost as if there is information missing which is, again, similar to the idea of dreams being somewhat "blurry" and incomprehensible.
March 22nd 2018
Still in the computer room. I made another collage video type thing but in a different composition. I revisited my previous work, specifically, the work I had made for the re-edit project during unit 1 of foundation. I remember enjoying this project this most out of all the things we were learning in Fine Art. In my previous project, I had used a video from the Prelinger Archives called "Sleep for Health". I really like the Prelinger Archives because of how obscure and obsolete they are. Honestly, it's hard to recreate something like these videos because of how knowledgeable we are now. You have to understand that during the time these videos were mass produced, people actually believed what they were saying. I don't have earphones that can connect to computers anymore, so I'm unable to actually check whether the audio in the video makes sense or not. I didn't delete the audio because I thought it'd be interesting to watch the final piece and see what was being said whilst the video plays. The context of the audio will make no sense, however, I want to see how that effects the whole video. I realised that I really don't focus on audio when I create videos (which I really should), I solely focus on the visuals.
Pertaining to the videos I used, I decided to try experimenting with the Prelinger Archives because, like mentioned, they're so weird and authentic. I used "Sleep for health" as well as "Alcohol and the Human Body". I chose these two because I'm having trouble with sleeping at the proper time (or just sleeping in general) and because I'm experiencing dysphoria and can't cope with the actual reality that we call life, ---
March 22nd 2018
Whilst editing the still images to overlay on the moving image, I thought about collaging them altogether to create a surreal-esque depiction of my dream. Although my dream wasn't really about the full on jungle or apartment buildings of Hong Kong (I vividly remember a scene in the dream where a staircase leads up to a noodle shop within an apartment complex that had this garden-like interior that almost resembled a jungle).
After laying the images on top of each other, I wanted to do more to the collage. So, I used the magicwand tool and selected sections of the piece and increased the brightness, played around with the saturation, and manipulated the colors. I didn't do many sections and kept the editing simple so it wouldn't be the main subject of the collage, rather, something you'd catch onto if you look closely at the piece.
March 22nd 2018
I'd made this video by combining the two previous video ideas, which was collaging still images with moving images. In this video, I'd made a pattern for each frame of the video. The pattern corresponds to the previous pattern in which image A will be shown individually, then image B will appear, so there'll be two still images overlaid on the moving image. Then image A will disappear and image C will appear in the place of image A. Then image B will disappear and be replaced with image D, and so on. I think the purpose of this video was to experiment with just patternmaking and how to edit a video differently without using so much 'editing'; to keep it simple.
March 22nd 2018
My computer is completely fucked so I went down to the computer room again to continue experimenting with my ideas. I'm very much into collages, however, they're seen as development pieces. So, I wanted to incorporate the idea of collage in a video format. Honestly, the final outcome still looked like a development piece. I basically based this piece off of one of my dream collages. The concept of the piece was to create this juxtaposition of the city (New York) and the wild (some random jungle). I didn't exactly know how to mesh the two together. I think the outcome ended up becoming this clusterfuck of shit. Meaning, it looked like ass. I like the idea of fusing together still images with moving images but I still don't know how to do that. For the still images, I went on photoshop and used the magic wand tool to remove bits and pieces. The process was random, which I like because I feel like some of the most random pieces end up looking really cool. The effect itself is also symbolism for how dreams aren't entirely clear and that there are many chunks missing. The overlapping also creates this idea that dreams cut from one to another as well as the fact that dreams change from scene to scene. There's no order to anything.
March 20th 2018
I stayed in the computer room the whole day and worked on experimenting with my ideas. I used found footage of the interior of a subway in New York and collaged on top of it. By collaging, I mean using the same video but creating this mosaic kind of look to it. I zoomed in on things we consciously wouldn't usually focus on but we might subconsciously take into account. I liked the effect that it created because, being a regular tube-taker, it made me realise how unaware we are of our surroundings. Personally, I like observing things closely so I guess this would be a visualisation of what goes on in my head whilst I'm taking the tube. My mind really can't focus on one thing and will constantly pick up on the most random things which is what this video shows.
March 15th 2018
I'm having an artist block. Every time I reflect on my current ideas, I feel like it's missing something or is complete shit. I feel like I don't have a direction on how to approach this project. Revolving the project around myself and my dreams, I've realised, doesn't make any sense. I feel like I'm very much stuck in a hole and can't climb out of it. I mean, I'm still interested in the concept of surrealism which is something I've been looking at, specifically looking through Sigmund Freud's essays on what dreams are. Something I'd read from the essays are that dreams are very much effected by our day-to-day lives, specifically, the most insignificant things. Apparently, your mind picks up on unimportant shit and places them in your dreams. It makes total sense, since, sometimes you really can't explain as to why you had a specific dream or dreamt of a random person's face. So, recently, I've just been trying to analyse as to why I've been having certain types of dreams (basically, decoding everything).
However, I'm still very much stuck on my idea. I feel like I need to expand more on this "finding my identity" through dreams thing because it really isn't working out. I kind of want to explore the route of how our life is a simulation and the fact that our dreams are a product of consumerism and what corporate wants us to believe, but then again, that would be a whole different turn on my initial idea. Honestly, having to show the progress of how ideas happen to me is quite difficult in the sense that my ideas are so random and have little to no connection with the previous one. I'm not bullshitting but I'm really struggling to try to come up with this piece. I regret not doing more research during the beginning of this project.
March 9th 2018
In class, I talked to David about my piece and the ideas I had developed through research. I changed my idea from forming my identity based on the city I grew up into forming my identity through finding it in my dreams. Through this idea, I will be experimenting with using footage of films I've recently watched or snippets of videos that I am currently interested in and splicing them with footage I've taken myself. I don't think it should have a set theme because dreams don't actually have a theme themselves. So, the footage will range from music videos, to YouTube clips, to interviews, to Vines, or whatever caught my attention. I'll also be doing collages of dreams I have had. By doing so, I'll have a range of experiments to reach my final outcome.
A meeting with myself
On Tuesday, I worked more on my sketchbook and research. I feel like I'd stuck to my timetable, however, I need to visit more galleries/exhibitions. On Wednesday, I could've made more use of my time by updating workflow and working on my sketchbook.
I can make better use of my time by not procrastinating in class and by using studio time to update all my work. During studio time, I should also experiment with the resources I have (i.e., the computer room).
Today I will focus on working in my sketchbook and updating workflow.
March 6th-7th 2018
During class, I focused on my sketchbook, particularly, my research for this project. I read this book about the psychology/biology behind dreams. I found it really interesting in the sense that everyone experiences REM sleep which occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, more dreaming and bodily movement, and faster pulse and breathing- a juxtaposition and contrast to what we perceive being in deep sleep is. Reading the book and talking to my friend about my project, we discussed how we, as people, may have the same thoughts (since we've all been influenced by the media), but the experiences we have are all different. These experiences influence our dreams and are usually weaved in with other factors in our minds/lives. So, to stick to the theme of idiosyncrasy, I want to explore my identity through dreams.
March 5th 2018
Today I focused on experimenting with the idea of idiosyncrasy through drawings. I asked my peers to draw a few frames from a photo I had taken and compiled our drawings to create an animation. The animation looks interesting in the sense that you can tell that although we may all go to art school, we have different styles of drawings.
March 2nd 2018
The idea of home has become obsolete to me, however, the theme of what makes something "home" is still interesting to me. I've been looking through artists such as Ren Hang and Nobuyoshi Araki. Their work is very similar in the sense that they photograph the human body is a aesthetically pleasing sort of way. Through looking at their photographs, it's given me a different approach to this project. Specifically looking at Nobuyoshi Araki's work of Chiro, his cat, who'd died but had left an impact in Araki's life. I've always had a struggle with coming to terms with death. Death is the inevitable end to all things, however, I'm not sure if that comforts me or not. Why am I talking about death so much? My great grandmother is currently in the ICU and waiting for death. It frustrates me that I'm unable to visit her.
February 27th 2018
During class, we reviewed our PPP's. The main focus of class was to finish our first drafts for March 1st. I learned that having a timetable was crucial for this project as there's a clear indication of how much time there is to do things (things being experimentation, focusing on completing the project, exhibition visits, etc.). I'm quite nervous about running out of time and leaving things until last minute so this class was kind of like a wake-up call for me.
February 9th 2018
I went to the Saatchi gallery with my boyfriend to look at the pieces there. Whilst we were at a café, we started talking about death and how I was scared about what would happen after we die. This continued as we got home and we started talking about me as a person and my struggles. After a few hours, we finally found the basis of my problems which was that I care too much about what people think and that I actually have a somewhat religious outlook on life. I thought this was really interesting; my conflict with religion was so embedded in me that I didn't even realize until now. Realizing this, I want to actually create a piece related to this struggle.
February 8th 2018
During class, we discussed what the final project for the foundation would be. It's a personal project in which we come up with our own "brief" or "question" and try to answer it the best way we can. I'm actually really excited to be doing a project in which I can explore what I'm interested in or, in a sense, something I haven't really explored before. During a group discussion, I started reminiscing about home and the fact that I didn't really enjoy myself or do the things I'd planned to do once I got back (i.e., sightsee, eat local foods, spend time with family). What was annoying to me was the fact that once I got back to London, I started discovering all the things I could've been doing instead of staying home for most of the holiday. I also started talking about the conflict in which I don't really remember the Philippines ever being "home" for me, more of a vacation spot since I only got to go during holidays (and what's sad is that I haven't been back since 2015). So I wanted to base my project off myself and, to a certain extent, my cultures/homes. To be frank, I've never actually done a project about myself or where I'm from. Usually, I'll try to incorporate some aspect of my personal life into the projects that I do, however, they're not always fully about me. Talking about Taiwan and its unique treasures really made me miss home. I talked about Jiu-fen and how it was the inspiration behind the cult classic "Spirited Away", and how amazing the city is. I miss it a lot and it honestly sucks that I start realizing how beautiful my country is the moment I arrive in London. I don’t know what I really want to do. At the end, we had to come up with a "work in progress" title for our project. I decided to call mine "do it for the culture". I saw this tweeted the other day, I think it was a Migos song or something but I thought it best expressed my intent for the project which was to create a piece that reflected my culture- pretty self-explanatory. I actually want to stick to making an animation since this is a long project and I haven't explored the option of illustrating/animating.