As a review on our progression for our final work, our main idea behind pursuing a projection artwork was to really aim for the aesthetic feeling of interaction and media. The elements in our work can easily start from the ground up like we did, starting from a simple re-creation of colours, then an painting, then an animation, then a real life aspect of image with a narrative, then finally, working into video format.
As well as the content, the method of presenting also could be changed, initially starting from just a flat out single projection, into working with multiple projectors and using blocking to express our ideas, to even including the smallest of sound elements to just give that extra meaning behind it.
Working with illusion is always a hit with viewers, it appeals to our sense of wonder and amazement, regardless if we know or do not know how it is done. We were able to present our ideas of multiple projectors and blocking of elements, it was just the small technical hardware issues that made it a bit hard for us to fully show what we intended.
Along with the illusion, we wanted to bring in a narrative that could connect with the theme of blocking and appearing/disappearing. We decided to include a variety of symbols to act as the basis of our work. Using hands as a symbol of being able to recognise a person (2nd to a person’s face); the black background acts as a simple and even playground for all the hands; the different forms of tapping representing the diversity of people, each with a different beat and rhythm, but ultimately all playing as one; and the large hand in the middle in the shape of a fist acting as the heart of the entire group constantly beating with everyone around it. The purpose of the blocking of different hands is to show that people come and go, whether it be someone known for a long time, or someone new entering.
But as a whole, this work represents a community.
This was a quick overview of what will be presented:
This week was the final decision on what we will present. We had a change of content which made it simpler, but still clearly shows what our idea was.
Every week we had some clashes of ideas, such as, who’s idea we will go with, how we will set out to present out idea, what form of medium, etc. But in the end we tried to agree as a group, taking each of our ideas and trying to implement it altogether into the one final idea. Although there were some moments where we had to be a bit blunt on what would not work, in a collaborative process, it is better not to cram too much in if it does not help the final product overall, even if that means one of our ideas is not included.
We had a bit of a discussion about the way we will present our final work, with the main focus on whether we will have sound or not. but we came to the conclusion that it will be better if we did include sound, just to add to the dynamics a bit.
This quick clip shows our method of recording our content. Using the green wall as a green-screen to chroma-key the background. Using a recording of a beat to sync up a tapping noise with the hand movement:
We did this for multiple takes, each with a different beat that will ultimately be synced up all together to give this rhythm.
We were unable to test our video projection this week as the rendering for the video was taking a long time, but we were able to set up a test for where the projectors will face and how it will look as an image. The result seemed positive.
This week out group brainstormed ideas on what content we will record for the final project presentation. We did not want to use any stock image or created image from a computer (for obvious reasons), so we were planning on what kind of ‘real life’ situations we could use in terms of projection.
After some time deliberating we came up with an idea of involving ourselves as the subject.
The idea we came up with also developed a bit of a story/narrative and our main theme we were aiming for, which was a blocking of elements in the image. We decided on having our group all in the image, with several projections of our silhouettes sitting at a table on our phones or looking disconnected (e.g. looking away or alternative), as the viewer walks across the image, our outlines would disappear depending on which projector they covered. The narrative behind this was to indicate the disconnection of human interaction because of technology. When a viewer would block out someone, it literally means we are not even there even if we are right next to each other.
This story was just a quick idea developed with these images we took.
We again set up these layers on a projections. This time we had a bit of technical difficulties, the projectors we had access to (Qumi) had different luminosity level (some were faded, dimmed, etc.) so we may have to try to use the other, bigger projector (NEC).
For this week we wanted to work on implementing some sort of animation into our projection. Again using an image as the base, we chose something more plain/basic which would be easily adapted into something moving. We had an image of space or a galaxy which we could separate into a series of layers:
- Whole black background layer
- Purple/dark purple nebula cloud + set of stars
- Whole screen spread out with stars further away
Using these layers we tried to animate them by using a parallax animation technique, having the purple nebula layer and stars layer to zoom in slowly (the whole screen of stars moving closer slower than the nebula to give the effect of distance).
We attempted to set this up, but the result was not as expected due to it’s dark nature. The black that was projected still gave off a brightness that lessened the effect of the whole image.
In saying this, the layering did work to an extent with the blocking of different elements to show the individual layers.
From here we decided to come up with our own media to create. So for next week we will brainstorm ideas and try to shoot some images or video around iC, still with the idea of projection and blocking elements.
This week we started brainstorming on ideas to find our own project to create. We decided to continue with the theme of projections, using that as our main form of communication. Our content idea was still in the works, but we wanted to focus again on aesthetics. With this in mind, our first initial idea was to produce something in terms of illusion and manipulation.
Will had picked out an image we could modify into parts and use that as our base artwork to work with.
This was a simple painting taken from Google Images. We then used Photoshop to separate a certain element of the image and started to set up a quick projection test to see if our idea will work out technically:
We were satisfied with the result and feedback from the class agreed on our proposition that it was nice to look at, with some ‘unusual’ elements (in a good way), which made the work entertaining.
From here we need to work on what more we could add to these kind of projections, and maybe start developing a certain narrative about it.
During this week for Materialising the Digital, we were put into groups to find which theme in this area appealed to us the most. Together with Mackenie, William, Chloe, and myself, we all agreed on the theme of ‘(Re)configuring Spacetime: Storytelling through sound, image and interaction’.
For our re-creation of an artist’s work, we chose Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Your Uncertain Shadows’. This work played on the ideas of light and projection, using the audience’s own interaction to shape their experience with the work.
5 differently coloured spotlights would hit the wall at different angles and create a bright white light. As visitors entered the space, they block each of the coloured lights from slightly different angles, producing an outline around their shadow of each of the 5 different colours. Additionally as the visitors move from side to side, closer and farther, the silhouettes shift in colour and intensity, even producing additional colour shadows.
Our re-creation of this work included the use of colours, but 3 instead of 5. We still received a similar effect, even if we had limited space and time (pun not intended).
This was the result of our re-creation attempt:
This theme we decided on appealed to me aesthetically. The ideas of projections and blocking/manipulation to give ‘other than expected’ results was pleasing to experience, and I felt it could be explored more than just using colours and /or light.
Instead of using lights and colours, other mediums that could fit into this theme could be images, or videos. Playing with more complex media could potentially open up different opportunities to explore in terms of storytelling or narrative.
The aim for this week was to recruit a number of people to navigate around my prototype website and follow some tasks I give them. After they have looked around a bit I will get them to give a review by answering simple questions which will help me find out the things in the website that worked well, and the problems in the website that need to be resolved (both of these are in terms of ease of navigation and simplicity of locating certain features).
It’s almost guaranteed that there will be some problems, but the advantage of having a third party to look at it is that it eliminates any bias. I would think my prototype is perfect (after looking over it myself before handing it out), but others are the one who will using it so it’s more realistic for them to find out problems.
The issue I was trying to improve on the original website was the idea of simplifying navigation and compressing the layout as it had an influx of information for the viewer which seemed like it didn’t have a hierarchy. Simply, it was like trying to ‘declutter’ the website as a whole and order them so it is easier for the user to navigate and find what they want.
The results of the test will be briefly outlined in the final report.