Friday, 5th February - Mind mapping my initial ideas for PPP
In order to help with the writing of the PPP, I decided to create a mind map of the the areas that have interested me and that I think would be potential starting points for Unit 7. I think this was a successful and useful task as it enabled me to identify several key areas as well as establish links between them and other sub-categories that I could also incorporate. However, although I think it was helpful to lay all my thoughts out, I am still unsure of an exact area/title for the PPP and am worried that I may try to combine too many of my interests into it, making the proposal confusing and difficult to create work from. From my mind map I then began to research several of the areas I had identified. I read a book on psychopathology of everyday life by Sigmund Freud which was enlightening because I am interested in the the idea of mundane life of human and how human have an internal and external conflict in their own consciousness. Also I several articles on how readymade objects and rooms has been used by artists (e.g. Jee Young Lee) and the several connotations it has, which again was interesting as it helped my connect several more of my interests together (e.g installation and performance, as well as revealing my personal experience to the audience). However, I still feel very unsure as to what my PPP should be about despite carrying out this research therefore tomorrow I will begin to write the other sections of the Proposal and continue to carry out research to see if this can help me narrow my focus.
Sunday, 7th February - Continue to write the draft of the PPP
I was still unsure of what to write for section 3 of the PPP so my priority was to clarify my ideas in order so I would have a clear idea of what the aims of my project were going to be. I decided that the best way to unite all the ideas I was looking at would use allegory to contain all the compile themes and links. In order to clearly define these allegories, I decided to work through the central themes and assign them to the two opposing sides. I still found it difficult to write section 3 of the PPP as I was unsure as to how much detail I was required to put in the paragraph regarding my aims, research, techniques and resources. I feel that next week with greater clarification of my idea I will be able to refine section 3. I think that the opportunity to speak with tutors regarding my PPP will also help me to see whether I have met the criteria for Unit 7.
Writing the action plan was also quite hard, as I was again unsure of how much detail I need to put into the plan, and what the headings of each column meant. I was also unsure of how much time I needed to allocate to certain actions (e.g. how long I should plan to make the final piece, how long I should spend experimenting). However I think that speaking to the tutors will also help me clarify what is needed in the action plan.
Monday, 8th February - Consider how to write a successful PPP/Discuss the PPP with a group and receive feedback
It was helpful to discuss and dissect all the sections of the Project Proposal in detail as a group as this made me feel more confident about what was required of me as well as ideas regarding how to gain the top marks in the proposal. The main message was, because of very tight word limits, to be specific (i.e. mention specific skills you have learnt/specific ways of evaluating). In order to improve my PPP further I will go back and re-edit the sections I have already written in order to ensure that I am both specific and succinct in what I am saying.
It was also useful to view the timetable of Unit 7 broken down into the various stages (e.g. research, plan, experimentation, make and install) as this provided me with a base that I can then use to construct my action plan around (I was confused while writing the action plan yesterday and therefore I can use this basic outline in order to provide me with a key structure I can work around). Bea also gave good advice in terms of including a period of time at the end of the plan for contingency as well as making sure that we are as detailed as possible on this initial plan (which is flexible) as this will be the most beneficial for us in the coming weeks. I therefore intend to go back and modify the action plan I created in order to take this advice on board.
I found it very useful to discuss my PPP with a group as although I did receive many useful resources (e.g. practitioners, authors, flims) it helped me realise that the reason for this was the fact that my Proposal was very confusing (I also struggled to explain it to the group). I therefore recognised the need to clarify it and so decided that in order to help solve this issue I would speak to Bea. This was a successful strategy as I was able to voice the concerns I had about the Proposal (I as unsure about whether the scope of my project was too limited and I was worried that I might get entangled and confused within it - due to the complex nature of the links I was creating between human conscious/uconscious and our behaviour) - she felt that my aims in the PPP did not accurately reflect what she felt my actual aims were and that I should work on phrasing my aims with regards to this exploration. She also raised concerns about possibly finding myself in a situation where I was frustrated with the contradictions I might find, however said that these contradictions would perhaps form the most interesting part of the work and should not worry about finding them. I also feel that I need to explain in my PPP (and clarify myself) why I have settled on this title (why I have picked the idea of human internal/external conflict?) as I feel this will make the PPP less confusing and therefore more successful as a base for me to make work from. (perhaps looking at past to establish sense of self - important to show how the idea of the image and object connects not only with the present but also with our relationship to the past)
Wednesday, 10th February - Add more detail into the action plan/Begin to construct a bibliography/Begin to carry out research
I also went back through my action plan to add more detail as this will be especially beneficial to me in the coming Reading Week when I will need to know exactly what I starting with. I found this difficult to do as I felt that I was sort of predicting what work I was going to create (which I should not do) as I found it difficult to lay out times without knowing what work I would be producing in these limits. I also felt that I was being over-ambitious in the beginning few weeks by setting myself a lot of tasks which in the end I might abandon because my research has taken me to other areas, however I felt that I needed a place to write all these thoughts and ideas down in case I did want to carry them out. I feel that my action plan is also very confusing, as I feel I have tried to add too much detail of what work I will be doing, even though I do not know what work I will be producing (and so I have presented myself with various different options depending on what I am making but I feel this has just overcomplicated the plan). I feel that generally I may have set myself too much to do and that perhaps my project is too broad and that I am trying to incorporate too many ideas when I should just focus in on one. In order to try and solve this issue, I will go through my action plan again and try to simplify it and on Thursday I will speak to a tutor about my concerns and see if they can help.
I found it relatively easy to construct a bibliography as I have produced one several times before. I decided to include all of the research I carried out to date as I feel that this is the most effective way of recording all the research I have done, and that if I decide to add it in later it will be much more difficult as I will not be able to remember exactly what research I carried out.
I also spent today finding resources for research so that I am able to carry out research over Reading Week while not in college. I feel this was an effective use of my time, as it means that during Reading Week I will be able to focus on working my way through this research rather than having to keep taking time out to look for more relevant resources.
Sunday, 14th February – Research Week
- See ‘The Inoperative Community’ exhibition at Raven Row
It was my first time seeing this gallery – Raven Row. I found the gallery space really interesting and the scope and ambition of The Inoperative Community. The show features seven films permanently on loop in rooms of their own, and a main screening room with a weekly programme of 19 moyen-metrage to feature length films. It was amazing to see over 50 hours of film screened. First I wasn’t quite sure which one should I look first – but I managed to watch 4-5 films on that day. I found that common to each of these works is the dissolution and dislocation of community, and the rooms of Raven Row are put to use in making each film an isolated experience – which I found really motivating.
I was really drawn into the four-hour selection from Anne Charlotte Robinson’s 34-hour opus Five Year Diary (1981-97) at the beginning of a visit, and then again at the end. I liked how it gives its own sense of her struggle with mental illness and various obsessions. For me I think we are probably unable, more likely unwilling to watch the whole four hours that emphasises the complexity of the individual’s experience as a node in a system – or outside of it. I think it necessarily implies from truly connecting with others, and this has a strong connection with my work as I am looking at the idea of people’s obsession. After watching this I began to think about the process of documenting my video performance and the context within it – I want to film myself for hours to see the development of my reactions and also to notice myself how am I going to overcome with my real life performance with both obsessive/non-obsessive habits for longer hours. This is something that I will carry out this week and in one-week time.
Ericka Beckman’s You the Better (1983) is another film piece that I really liked, and it was not so challenging as like Anne Charlotte Robinson’s piece. Ericka’s film was quite a playful and mesmerising piece which tracks the dissolution of community through drawn special effects, dark humour, and an incantatory soundtrack pivoting on linguistic turns. I really liked the opening with the chant “subdivision knows no end, you break down into a unit and you do it again” in which I saw solid prop-houses replaced with transparent special-effect representations. Later, the meaning of the word house – a central object for community – becomes the house, in the sense of an authoritative adversary against which one might play a game. At the logical conclusion of subdivision we are asked: “what do you have left when there is nothing left at all”. The answer: “points”. I liked how the exhibition successfully provides a space to consider “modes of attention and distraction” and the migrations between gallery and cinema, while simultaneously fragmenting – and recording the fragmentation of – any totalising or communal knowledge or experience.
Tuesday, 16th February – Research Week
- Continue carry out more research into several practitioners
I looked back at my PPP and picked out more several artist's names as key influences to my thinking (Vito Acconci, On Kawara, Bill Viola, Chantal Akerman, etc). I spent hours in Library to find all the books referring to these practitioners and read through in greater depth and made some notes. Today's research have provided me with further ideas and understanding of how the artists' idea influences are coming from. I can see a very strong connection between Marina and Acconci's work looking into the content of their performances. Both pushed to the limits of the physical and mental, and their works that were exhibited in the galleries are very intense and powerful piece which i found really interesting. I think their presence in their artwork were distinctly heard by those who came to experience the event. Both artists' work made me think about our actual experience of higher consciousness (according to the Tibetan monks' description) - this idea led me to look more into the idea of our state of mind and being mindfulness of the living, which reminded me of the exhibition at the Wellcome collection called 'State of Mind' and 'Tibet's Secret Temple' that I will be planning to see this Thursday.
How did my find my research today? What ideas i have drawn out?
However I am not quite sure how this research would help me to narrow down my ideas further - I was quite worried about this. I felt some of the contexts in the reading are not quite relevant to my topic such as On Kawara and Bill Viola's work - the video film called 'The Inverted Birth'. I found quite difficult to understand some readings that has some historical background. So I find out about Bill viola's work further on the Internet and watched some of his past exhibitions videos on YouTube - as well as Marina Performance and Vito Acconci's work to give me better understanding. Though I felt Marina and Acconci's work are more relevant to my project by the content of their performances and showing their behaviours which is something i would like to try for my own work. On Kawara does not really related directly but from my understanding it reveals the idea of his life diary in a form of a different series of canvases painted with black ink with the specific dates handwritten by him. Here I then thought about writing my own diary of my routine including the specific times of each day which is something i might do as an experiment. As similar to Bill Viola, though I couldn't find the relation between his work as such but in terms of the content of his work i really drawn into his video piece -the way he established his video as a pioneering art form is something really thought provoking for me. I loved how his work reveals our universal human experiences - which are birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness, and also have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions. From this point it allowed me to narrow down of what i should focus on further - which is the idea of our human basic life cycle - our conscious/unconscious mind that has an impact on our behaviours that makes it to become our obsession - as well as our religious and spiritual beliefs of our living, etc.
At the end of day I found the research on the internet more helpful to support with the readings that i've read through further and gave me more deep level of ideas that I need to focus on.
On Thursday I'll go to see two exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection to find out the Buddhist idea and the history of our human consciousness.
Sunday, 21st February – Research Week
- Photograph and film experiment: staging my own decontextualised space performing my behaviour according the idea of obsessive habit/routine.
What problems that I’ve encountered? How did i overcome this problem?
I realised that by doing art performance I need to take physical risks using my own body to perform those behaviours in more serious/extreme to convey this message to the viewer. I also take psychic risks as I confronted my limits which i found quite challenging. Due to its unpredictability and reality of my performance, I’ve experienced with so many failed outcomes and photographs while I was doing this. I found it really hard to set the right angle and the perfect lighting in my room as i was shooting this set during night time, and i did not get the real sunlight from outside the window. So at first I did not manage to get good outcomes as i planned. So I’ve moved around a lot to sort everything out by trying out different lamps that i’ve got and test out the distance from how far and where should my tripod to be located, etc. As I wanted to see different outcomes from this trial, I’ve located my tripod with my camera in many different angles and positions - e.g. placing my tripod on my sofa bed and lowered the height of my tripod up and down as well as using the zoom function of my camera to capture my photographs in a more close up section, etc. It was quite a difficult process for me though as I had to stage my own trial by myself.
I’ve also had several problems with the content of my photograph/video - due the small size of my room space, all the equipment and backdrop that i’ve set up were very crowded and I did not have much spaces in my room to place my tripod with camera for a farer distant. So I need to move my sofa and all unneeded stuff away in order to add more spaces for this shooting - but then it still looked the same; very narrowed space. Therefore my camera couldn’t be able to get everything that I’ve put into the photo frame due to the room was being small and here I also found it really difficult to sort out my body composition within the backdrop frame - as when i moved myself into the center frame and set the self-timer to snap different shots, I couldn't see my entire body in the photographs and it seemed like the camera were being zoomed. Now I knew that I couldn't take photographs from the long distant due to the room size. So i decided to use that spaces that i had but try to re-positioned myself as well as my camera in the most suitable way as possible. I overcome this by rotating my camera that connected with my tripod to a portrait size and then zoomed into the frame instead - though not all my props will be seen in this frame but I decided to take more several outcomes to show each of my obsessive behaviour more closely than before. I also change different modes of the colour brightness and photo effects on my camera and take load of them to look for the best ones. Though it was overwhelming during the first stage but again it was quite fun doing it - I’ve learnt from setting up my own images and visualise it my head of how it should be like on a real thing.
What have I learnt from doing my own staging and video experiment?
After I’ve taken more outcomes I’ve found most of my photographs that i’ve taken turned out quite successfully as i’ve used different photo effects and lighting in my room. So at the end I managed to get better outcomes than during the first stage. I felt today was a very exhausting and time consuming process of doing photoshoot and video trials by myself. By setting up everything on my own it really takes a lot of time for me to complete every single bits to the best of the ability. First I really wanted to take photoshoot and video myself at the studio so that I could ask my peer to help me press the camera and so I did not have to move around a lot, but then it would requires more time for me to bring everything that i need over to the studio which would be more tiring. So for me this probably was the best appropriate way to do this experiment at my own place. But I’m glad that i did it and they were all quite successful as my first start of doing this experiment. I’ve learnt that failure is always possible throughout experimenting process and it requires me a lot of risks to trial out and make decisions quickly. I started to become more interested in making art as a form of a performance - I found my own performance experiment really thought provoking and it was ephemeral as these actions created by me was just for a specific time and place, and each of my obsessive behaviour and routine was all combined together into one place and time in a decontextualised space instead of a reality space - which i found quite interesting.
Tuesday, 23rd February – Talk with tutor and See the exhibition at Tate Modern
I worked on my research that I’ve gathered and given from discussion yesterday and I spoke with Annelore about what I’ve done from the reading week. I told her that I was considering about making a video obsessive performance separately and then possibly trial out editing my videos and put it together in Adobe Premiere Pro. My tutor really appreciated what I’ve done and she suggested me to look at the video and film artist to see their process of editing and creating films based on their ideas. She suggested me a Thai Artist called Apichatpong and I was drawn into his idea about giving a sense of Thai local people and the frustrated living of poor people controlled by soldiers in the south of Thailand. However I could not find his video work on YouTube and BOB website so did not get chance to see the entire content of his film. But I looked through his images that were taken from his film so kind of get the idea of what his video looked like. I also looked at another artist called Lila faulen with her work titled ‘Space in between’ – I really liked the process that she overlaid different layers of video throughout the film as well as the using different scales and opacity of her moving image. So I thought of editing my video in different ways and thought about displaying it in an appropriate way based on my idea of obsessive habit/routine.
In the evening I’ve booked a ticket to see the Erwin Wurm Talks and the exhibition called Performing for the Camera. I found Erwin Wurm sculpture works and exhibition really interesting and I loved how the viewer can actually interact with his artwork by balancing our body to the time given with a variety of objects that they’ve provided – e.g. I tried out putting several books between my legs and kept my body stable for a couple of minutes. I found this exercise really fascinating and all the viewers were helped one another trying to make we look like a piece of sculptural art. I also tried out standing myself in a bucket and placed another bucket over my head and let someone to take a picture of me balancing my body. I totally loved this evening exhibition and I found making this kind of interactive artwork really exciting and thought-provoking. If I were able to do this kind of interactive artwork as my final outcome I would discuss with my tutor about this. I thought it was interesting to see the public interact with the artwork in various ways.
After that I then looked around the 'Performing for the Camera' exhibition and noted down names of various artist that I thought was interesting. The names are: Boris Mikhailov, Erwin Wurm, Amalia Ulman, and Ivars Gravlejs, etc. This exhibition made me think about the display of the photographic series that were mounted on the walls in the gallery. Most of the works were a mix of performance and video art but the way they display the photographs of performance in an organised way into different rows and grids made it look very eye catching. I also really interested in the work of Amalia Ulman – which was the photograph of herself taking a selfie and she displayed it in a large photographic scale – this made me think back about my idea of our obsession with our phone and mac devices which acts as a metaphor of our society and people today; we do concerned with our own self-image as well as we are really care about how we look to others. This led me to think about my own obsessions with social media – such as Instagram and Facebook, etc. I felt these are our addictions these days that phones are so attached with technology and the social world. I found this work really connected to my project.
Friday, 26th February – Record my obsessive thoughts
Wednesday, 2nd March – After Progressed Tutorials on Monday
- Carried out more research – asking myself
:Focusing on my obsessive behaviours that are self-destructive -? comes down to my own thought processes that cause my obsession.
I think the idea of "obsession" is that you cannot focus on anything other than a specific issue (or a few issues), and no matter how hard you try you cannot distract yourself. Many people, including myself have these thoughts without anxiety disorders. E.g. when I think back about my first crush back in high school probably can become an obsessive thought, since my affection was all I could think about. For me the thought may change depending on the situation (more on that in a moment), but once they've entered my mind, you'll often do anything you can to shake it.
Here I listed some of my obsessive thoughts that I can think of as examples:
• Fear of getting sick.
• Thinking about hurting a loved one or a stranger.
• Stress about work and things that challenges me e.g. getting used to the new environment/place.
• Worry over little things (did I lock the door, etc.).
• Thinking about going for a cigarette/shisha place, etc.
• Thinking about good moments I had with a loved one.
• Keep playing on iPhone/laptops, social network/media, etc.
My feedback about my self-research – How did I find? What have I learnt?
I started to focus on my own obsessive thought in the afternoon for a short while but it wasn’t quite successful as such. I found myself really hard not to think about it – for me trying too hard to "not" think about something actually causes me to think about it more than if I tried to think about it. Probably my mind kept reminding me of the thought in order to remind me not to think about it? I really want to convey this idea to visualise our obsessive thought in our brain into a work of art and see what its look like in our deep thought. It's a strange way for me that our human brain works that makes it very hard for us that wants to end our obsessive thoughts to actually stop it. I found this idea more interesting and I really think to explore more further.
Thursday, 10th March - Analyse my own research
Analysing my own thoughts/feelings – go into details:
- From these small thoughts I noticed that some of these are obviously far more negative than others. E.g. the second bullet point that may cause myself to become paranoid too much, whereas others are just a constant fear that I haven't turned off the stove, etc.
- But one thing they all have in common is that they cause myself significant distress, and once the thought enters a person's mind, it becomes impossible to shake without some type of action. I think that's what causes compulsions - (the action that an individual completes in order to reduce this obsessive thought) - which always occurs to me and this is probably the reason why we aren't be able to quit those obsessions. When I want to smoke, I keep thinking about going outside and take a cigarette; otherwise I am not being able to carry on my work. Sometimes I also fear the door being closed, so I need to lock in twice to stop that fear, but this case does not happen that frequently.
- I think its quite crucial to me to remember that I am the person who actually cause these repetitive thoughts and negative thinking, without being completely aware of it.
- Also those everydayness and life struggles that we keep at the back of our head becomes an obsession and it alters our mind chemistry makes it very hard for me to focus on the positives or the future.
- I think it's not our fault that we can't distract ourselves from these thoughts or that you're having them at all. So I think its very normal thing in our lives, as we born as humans we need to face those internal struggles and deal with it in order to be alive.
- I felt it’s also a part of our life lesson as a human being, which I found really interesting.
Saturday, 12th March - Analyse my long film experiment - edit film
How did I find making long durational film experiment?
I found t it quite difficult to judge the whole effect of the film due to length, which means that I could not rematch the whole think after making each decision. I therefore made sure that I watched it through at least once for every hour working on it, and after making any big decisions to ensure that I could see which bits were successful and which were not, and find the message or ideas that I receive from that further. I also found that I was becoming 'blind' to the piece - unable to see the film properly as I had become too familiar and involved in it - I felt that it was an issue filming long lengthy videos, as it creates boredom to the viewer an so they did really receive any messages further - i found today’s experiment was not successful as I expected.
I am concerned about the length of my film experiment so far, as it was more than an hour long. Although I like the idea of this film being very long and winding, in order to reflect the progress through the obsessive behaviour in my daily routine.Therefore tomorrow, my plan is to sit and watch it all the way through with the intention of seeing if there are any elements that I can cut out that I can be used for constructing my final outcome. I felt I also need to be aware of maintaining balance within the film itself and so should not remove all the sleeping and smoking shots for example, as these are needed to serve as counter-weights to the more detailed sections, and to give a feeling of physical space to the film.
Thursday, 17th March - No Class
-Art & Action Exhibition-
- work on my reflection/sketchbooks
Sunday, 20th March - Review all my work throughout the project - struggling with my idea
I looked at all of the work I have made so far for this project and generated a mind map which attempts to track the interconnecting threads between various ideas. I did this to try and figure out what I would present for the final show as well as to begin trying to investigate the idea of how we as humans live in an age of obsession that becomes our routine - and most of our obsessions are very destructive. I found that my exploration of this project isn't deep enough yet as I'm still generating and thinking about visual responses to those ideas. In terms of thinking about ways to bring in the element of human's conscious mind and our daily obsession into this idea, I'm finding that difficult as although they are slightly hard to explore into my experience of those unhealthy habits and i felt it is something very personal that relies on my mental health. I did explored with one idea of our self-destructive behaviour that could somehow tie into those ideas and that is if it is possible for our mind to be unconsciously aware that we are punished ourselves throughout our lives. I also felt that the experiment that I was filming my self throughout last few weeks it was somehow not inform any message to me further as it was just me showing my own obsessive routine that were quite unhealthy and destructive. The problem I have with this idea that there is an artist called Marina Abramovic and Vito Acconci which I have researched a lot about their work who has created various extreme performances testing on their body limits, exploring notions of our self-endurance and the repetition of their behaviour that were very extreme and destructive. So to investigate this idea I would have to personal strip the theory to develop that and avoid simply creating a replication of their work. At the moment i felt really struggled with the idea so on Monday I need to speak with Alan for further discussion of my work and what should i do for my next stage.
Monday, 21st March - My Exhibition Specification Form
Monday, 21st March - Struggle with my idea - Individual tutorial
- Fill out Exhibition Specification Form
Filling out the Exhibition form was very useful as it forced me to consider exactly how I would like to display my work. I think that I want to have my film on one monitor with a disply of my photographic actions of my performance on the wall, which will establish a dialogue between each other. I think that the monitor are a key part of my piece, as I am playing with my idea of our everyday obsession which will be enhanced further through the use of my photographic outcomes. I researched types of monitors that I would like - I think a large, boxy monitor is the best as this crystallises the idea of the monitor as an hard object and its thick figure makes the viewer gets more attention to it. I need to find the particular monitor I would like to use (either rent or buy - I need to sort out the cost of everything). I think that the monitors should be placed on plinths in my space (plinths placed away from the wall in the centre of the space) - I also think that it is also interesting to place the tv in the middle of the space to make it look like they are free-standing. This would be my ideal arrangement but I will need to establish whether this is possible in terms of cost and technicality.
- Speaking to Tutor
After had a long discussion with Alan, I still not felt confident of my current work and idea of how will I take this further. I showed my tutor of various performances of obsessive behaviour that I did which was like a very long durational video - consists of one-hour duration of me doing different sorts of obsessive behaviours e.g. playing iphones, smoking cigarettes, looking on laptop screen, fell asleep, netflicking and so on. Though my tutor said it really informs my addictive routine and everydayness of my behaviour but then the weakness is that we are not quite sure how the other people will receive this message, and what sort of message they would get back?. It made me realise that by doing long durational film does have a big issue; as it does not really come across to the viewer and it is very hard for people who do not know me and look at my performance for minutes or even an hour - which is very tolerating.
After talking to Alan I then began to criticise and analyse my overall outcomes that I am not trying to make notion of judgment for us being obsessive/ or saying that it either right or wrong. Instead I wanted to implicate the viewer that I'm just giving/accepting these habit and not battling it as it reflects our human thing that is very normal. All my behaviours are connected to everydayness that everyone has a bit of. Alan suggested me to consider about whether this idea of our everydayness of obsession might go beyond normal? - something that we cant control and it is go onto an extreme level? Here I tried to think about what Alan said but again I felt pointless to put my self/mental health down to an extreme mode and show it in a form of my performance. I felt this is still hard for me to come a conclusion of what should I do next.
So Alan advised me to possibly do a shorter performance video by recording my daily actions that I may/may not be addicted; things that considered good/bad routines. I thought of looking back to my previous research brainstorm sheet and explore the idea to play with routines and obsession; whether am I obsessed or is it just a routine, etc. Then he suggested me to play around and edit videos through software Premiere Pro and construct my OCD situations - e.g. speed up the loop, etc. So I started to plan the content of my video: showing bits of my routine and behaviours through the notes that I've written as my plan for another video-filming below:
Monday, 21st March - Understanding the Assessment Criteria
Monday, 21st March - Stuck with my idea - Thoughts
Thursday, 24th March - Peer Assessment Day
Saturday, 26th March - See Art Basel Fair in Hong Kong
It was such a rewarding day for me to see Art Basel fair this year which was taken place in Hong Kong. I was really appreciated to see variety of works including paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, particularly video and editioned works of the highest quality which are something that I wanted to see in particular in order to foster my thinking into my idea of displaying my final video outcome for the show. As first I wasn't quite sure about the TV and the process of how to curate this sort of artwork in the real thing, in terms of making the spaces tidy and clean with all the cables hidden, etc. There are so many video artworks in this exhibition in which their works have been laid out in different configurations and scale - which I found really interesting. I was so glad to see the video artworks by Bill Viola displaying in 5 different flat screens with sounds which is the one that i've been research earlier since the first start. I loved how Viola creates works that combine filmed images and music in what he calls “total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound.” Also I was quite drawn into the elements of birth and death that roots in both Eastern and Western art and spiritual traditions within his video images, I think it was very powerful singular installations with interesting loops of the videos that observe the visitors as they come in and gaze up. I really admired its simplicity of his work but within that it articulates life and what it all means to us as humans; reflect back to own own experience of emotions and basic life cycle. As I watched his video in the soundless Quintet of the Astonished, I get into experience that alternates between electronic scores and silence, and pursuing timeless themes like birth, death, and extremes of emotion. There were five figures in the throes of a powerful feeling which are filmed in ultra slow motion - I found this very clever way of editing video process.
I looked around the works that displays with TV monitors and screens to see how they curate in an appropriate on its own way including headphones and plinths. I found that there were so many old-fashioned TVs that were being used in the Art fair - which I thought it looked amazing because its size and scale of boxy kind of monitor makes it look eye-catching and attracts more attention due to the size of the screen. They were displayed in a different way: some TV was displayed in a diagonal/slope orientation which looks bizarrely beautiful on its own and that made me wonder how did they manage to make it stand itself - while some of them were displayed in the middle of the space with out any plinths - which I found really outstanding. This made me think about my own TV that I will be using - first I was not sure about the aesthetic of putting the TV on the floor so I thought I would need a plinth to put my TV over the top to avoid any health and safety issues. So I might ask my tutor for further advises to see which is more appropriate. Looking at variety of video works display, has helped me to think about further equipment that I need to prepare for my Final Exhibition - e.g. I just realised that I need to buy a headphones and the cable that works with my DVD player in order to make the sound work properly. I took pictures of different positions of each tv were being displayed and how it has been tidied up nicely o make it look professional - which i found really helpful.
Sunday, 27th March - Read a book called ‘History of Obsession’
IDEA FOCUS: Human rituals/routines and habits becomes Daily Obsession ----> mostly are self-destructive behaviours (according to my primary research and my own personal obsession - e.g. negative obsessive thinking and obsession to smoking, alcohol, social networks, etc) -
WHY IS THAT?
Why is it frowned upon, and is it a product of CULTURE or EVOLUTION?
Is it a product of evolution? No. I think obsessive behaviour has happened for centuries.
Is it a product of culture? I think It's not something that happens to only a few cultures; every culture is prone to have obsessive behaviours and thoughts - its normal as we are humans.
I read a book called 'Obsession' found on: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo5856991.html
I found this book really engaging which I read with considerable - dare I say, obsessive? with an enjoyment. He has compiled a thorough history of 'obsession' throughout the ages and across disciplines which i found interesting. His book has led me with lots of questions about the our evolution and culture of obsession, allowing me to think more deeper about this idea as at first i was not sure how will i going to take this further. He looked at how our society distinguishes hobbies, artistic pursuits and other excessive behaviours from obsessions, and I liked how he delves into the deepest mysteries of human consciousness and the myriad ways that culture has tried to solve our mind's riddles.
= I think we all live in an age of obsession, not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others (love/people/relationship): we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern.
I read further and I found that obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category—both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which the writer Davis tells in this book - Obsession. Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem.
Monday, 28th March – Order electronic equipment/devices
Tuesday, 29th March - Read a book called ‘History of Obsession’ (Continued)
Focusing on my obsessive emotions/thinking:
- My emotional defense that is always being in our heads (thinking, fantasizing, ruminating) + subconscious adapted by our egos to help us survive.
- Things that we adapted in childhood to help us disassociate from the emotional pain we were experiencing.
- It is dysfunctional as it keeps us focused on the future or the past - we miss out on being alive today.
- Worry: very negative fantasizing/ a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry ? caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life. I think this self-perpetuating, self-destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but also on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear.
- For me it was always about trying to fill the hole within. I would focus on a person or the outcome of a situation as the thing that would fix me. Or I would obsess about getting the substance that I needed to temporarily fill the hole within until I got the person or outcome that I thought I needed.
- It is also about focusing externally in order to escape from our self, from the fear and shame we feel at the core of our being. When we obsess on another person, thing, or outcome of a situation as our savior, as the magical ingredient that is going to fix us, we are making that external source our higher power, our god.
My opinions/ideas for project development:
- I think it comes downs to our polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood that causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong." At the core of our being, we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret. The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that then at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or smoke or sleep or television, etc. ? That is all it comes from that brings us to approach to those unhealthy habits ? then becomes self-destruction.
I felt this idea of obsession we are empowering is about the future - the shame is about the past. We are not capable of being in the now and enjoying life because we are caught up in trauma melodramas about things which have not yet happened - or wallowing in orgies of self recrimination about the past, which can not be changed. It then seems to me that we do not really live life – but we endure, we survive, we persevere, and we are in denial of our emotions at the same time we are allowing the feelings of the wounded child within to define and dictate our lives ? which is destructive.
Sunday, 3rd April - See the performance show of a Thai artist, Korakrit Arunanondchai, at Bangkok City Gallery
This was my first time seeing the actual performance art from the artist himself as it was very interesting and rewarding seeing his recent works even though they weren't directly related to my work, but performance art is a new area that i am really drawn into at the moment so i could do this form of artwork in the future. His performative art piece is called - ‘Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3’. I found his film and performance really difficult to understand during the first part of the show - but I could source out aspects of the work that could foster the creation of my own. i was not quite sure about the content and message that he is trying to convey but at the same time i felt he did not intend to expect the audience to get his idea straight away. Instead it has some emotional feelings that the viewer has as they’re watching this. I loved the part that he was painting his huge canvas his his body and pouring the paint bucket over his body and jumped over to the canvas - at the same time his artwork team were singing a thai song throughout his body paint performance which i found really emotional to listen. Also the elements and symbols that i can draw out in his video was the rise of denim culture with the importation and appropriation of western culture which affected everything from fashion to modern art, and this contrasts to our conservative traditional thai culture that i’ve been grown up. This gave me the idea to superimpose the video that i took when I was doing my obsessive routine performance, which is the element of a thai buddhist beliefs and cultures that i’ve always been enhanced by. It made me realise that this new element of religious belief would add to the mystical aspect of my work. His black velvet cloak which reminded me of my own belief of buddhism into the endless of time that is ongoing and how we live our lives as very sinful - Looking at the this elements of his work through my thinking/and my personal belief/experience really helped me visualise my final product and develop my idea further.
Monday, 4th April – thoughts from reading and researching ?led me to develop into my final outcome
How did my additional reading take my idea further?
This made me to think further about how our suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable, and our human lifetime is very limited and impermanent. From my own belief we were taught to recognise that suffering is part of life and that it cannot be avoided. We tend to obsess with those things, as we believe that those would make us feel happier and escape from reality. But again that happiness is real but its just temporary - it does not last forever and does not stop suffering. Many people try to escape from the suffering in life by distracting themselves with temporary pleasures. There are many examples of people who try to block out sadness, pain, loss and grief by indulging in pleasures they think will bring happiness but actually end up disguising their real feelings, and making them feel even worse when the temporary happiness runs out. Imagine a person who likes chocolate, for example, and thinks that the addictive experience of smoking cigarettes or eating junk foods will always make them happy. If that person has a toothache or get a lung cancer and tries to make themselves feel better by smoking and eating, it might work once or twice, but smoking or food substance will never solve the our health problems and soon it will make it worse.
Drawing out my idea with Buddhist beliefs:
So I think my idea of our obsession and suffering is a fact of life. There are four unavoidable physical sufferings; birth, old age, sickness and death according to my own religious belief of Buddhism – and these are another 4 main religious elements that I want to connect with my idea of our own obsessive living. Happiness is real and comes in many ways, but happiness does not last forever and does not stop suffering. So I want to convey this moral and Buddhist idea of human’s limited lifetime (through what we say, do and our livelihood), and to reflect the idea of our indecisive mind on not being fully aware of our thoughts and actions (our unconscious mind).
Buddhist’s 5 Precepts ?sinful things that we should avoid that makes our life shortens but we still do:
there is the moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are:
- not to take the life of anything living,
-not to take anything not freely given,
- not to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence,
- not to refrain from untrue speech, and
- to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
=== Link with this idea ---? Most of these are actions that we should avoid to do but humans do forget about these harmful things that takes over our lives. We do all take this for granted. ? I found this has a irony to what we mend to do in order to live life longer, rather than unconsciously punished ourselves.
Monday, 11th April - Film an experiment (my obsessive emotions & facial expressions to be put in my video outcome)
I also began filming a small experiment of me showing obsessive emotions and facial expressions in the morning before go to class - in order to test out the position of the camera, the background and the action itself. I found it far harder to film, as it took several attempts to make sure that my face and body figure stayed mostly central while filming (and I was trying to get myself at the right frame on the camera focus) and I was sitting at a strange angle, which meant that it hurt to sit and perform for a long time, therefore I was unable to do as much as I would have liked. I think that next time I will work out a way to sit in front of the camera (maybe position it at a table) so that I can position myself comfortably and can carry out the actions much more easily. However, I did like the background (the green cloth) and the close up of my facial expressions, as this adds an extra sense of the tactile to the piece (body interacting with my own feelings). I also liked the way that i built my inner thoughts throughout the camera gaze and showing my stressful reactions of struggling with my own obsession - this adds an extra dimension to the piece - the feeling of the relationship between my indecisive mind and those addictive and obsessive pleasures as a struggle. The detailed and quick facial movements also added pace to the film. However, I am still unsure about the connotations that my inner thoughts has and the fact that it may not fully communicate the interaction with our livelihood with obsession (as although my addiction to media, laptops and electrical devices are objects, they might not as readily perceived as such compared with other things like food, or cigarettes etc). I think that domestic objects that are more clearly viewed as objects (e.g cigarettes, beer bottles, etc) will be a better way to communicate the my obsessive relationship to those sinful and destructive ways of living. So I decided to included that as well.
Talk with tutors:
I also drew out the several changing ideas I had for the installation, as in order to satisfy the assessment criteria, I need to show that I have considered several ways of displaying the work and have selected the most appropriate one. I had initially intended to use box monitors on plinths with the photographic outcomes on the wall, but then I realised it would be too much outcomes within my own space and it might not be a good idea as it shows the inconsistency of my own decision on selecting the best one. So my idea had to change to reflect this - I thought of displaying my video performance instead as it is more powerful on its own without the photographs. I also have considered where I would put the DVD players, although I realise that I will need to flexible depending on the space I am allocated (if I am on a free standing wall then I could put the DVD players on the top, if not then I could put them on the floor - how to disguise the wires- perhaps white casing?) I also need to be aware of how long an extension cord I need (this will only be clear when I have been allocated a space). Alan also said that I may have to have headphones (as all films on monitors may be required to have headphones to keep the noise level low), which I will now have to account for in my installation. I would prefer not to have them however, as I want the sound from my film to be heard out loud, but only as background noise and I think that providing the viewer with headphones may mean that the sound becomes a more central element than I want. But at the end I decided to have a headphone so that my work would not disturb any other work in the studio.
Thursday, 14th April - Continue editing my final video outcome + Get feedback + Make a Plan
Today I decided that the best way to move forward with the editing of my film was to insert all the clips I had highlighted previously as interesting and that I wanted to include. From this base, it would then be much easier to rearrange these into an order that I was happy with. I felt this was a successful way of working, as it meant that I could make progress quite quickly and then could make more important and refining decisions later, rather than getting hung up about details early on and this holding me back. I found it quite difficult to rearrange the clips, as I felt that my options were endless and that I could never be sure whether I had settled on the 'right' order. However, as I added more clips in, I began to get a greater feel for the film and how to weave the narrative I wanted with the footage I had taken. I found that placing short detailed 'zooming' clips of my face and emotions near each other makes the film look more sensational and powerful, and break up the pattern of each loop in order to provide relief or a short pause for the viewer.
- My feedback - Discuss with my sister for further feedback/advice
I found that because of the length of the film experiment before Easter, it was quite difficult to judge the whole effect of the film due to length meaning that I could not rematch the whole think after making each decision. I therefore made sure that I watched it through at least once for every hour working on it, and after making any big decisions to ensure that I could see which bits were successful and which were not. I also found that I was becoming 'blind' to the piece - unable to see the film properly as I had become too familiar and involved in it. I therefore asked for feedback from my sister which I found was very helpful. She liked several things, such as each part of my behaviours and when I was showing my self inner emotions and thinking through my face. She also liked the main audio of my video - e.g. the sound of the monk chanting that is played through out the clip - she liked the way it made the mood of the video is very intense and stressful, making herself feel anxious and aware of the limit of our lifetime - and its like time never waits us as we have less and less time. However, she was also able to offer suggestions on bits that she did not like that I may want to reconsider. There were some sections of me doing a lot of smoking along with the the image of a laptop and the people playing phones, which she did not like as she felt that I was lost/unsure of where I was going which was distracting, it was quite confusing and also too repetitive. I will therefore act on this advice and cut these sections out. I like the reflections of my face with the clock as I feel that the clock (showing the passing of time) itself is a central part of the film (as it the device that creates the images at the back of our head and it appears there to keep warning us). While I was filming myself, I found it very hard to do so, as I had to position myself right in front of the camera to get the shots I wanted.
I also created a quick plan to ensure that I would get everything done by the deadlines - I have therefore set myself a deadline of Sunday to have finished editing the film, to give me the whole of next week to focus on testing equipment out, installing the work, writing the evaluation and finishing off things like the research on workflow. I think that this is a reasonable deadline, but one that I can also extend by a few days if I find the editing is taking longer without much impact on getting the rest of the work done.
Sunday, 17th April - Finalise my video outcome
Today was the deadline I had previously set myself for the completion of my film. I decided to add some sections of my face in the previous video that I took to show the emotion of anger and frustration that I expressed in order to reflects the real situations that I guess people are facing with nowadays. I believe we are all being trapped in our own feelings (both positive and negative), and so it becomes an obsession that we find difficult to get over at a certain stage of our lives. All these elements of my own behaviours and thoughts that I’ve trimmed out and put it onto towards the end of my timeframe are the ongoing process that keep continued repeatedly, as well as the ticking of the clock that flashes up in my video, warning that the time keeps passing by and the age of our lifespan keeps running out. Now I felt more confident with the message that i want to inform the viewer - which is to demonstrate the conflict between the time and our sinful ways of living that happen in parallel with one another, but then the time never awaits us.
My own feedback of my finished outcome:
I decided to watch the whole film that I’ve edited and start to give my own feedback to myself.
I think this video really reflects the dark side of people lives. I can feel the anger, the frustration, and the discontentment that is going on in the video. The figure in the video is very expressive, which when combine with the sound effects, this video renders even more powerful message to the viewer - as i can see from my stressful facial expressions. I felt the mood of the video is very intense and stressful, making me feel anxious and aware of the limit of our lifetime - time never waits us as we have less and less time. However I was quite unsure as to whether a particular section with smoking was appropriate (whether it looked out of place in the film as it was focused on clock), but I quite liked the section and felt it fitted well. Therefore I was happy to export my film from Premiere Pro after a final watch through.
Tuesday, 19th April - Photograph my final outcome; setting up my own background for shooting my outcome
I spent the afternoon setting up my background with my camera and tripods as similar to what I did previously for my video performance experiment - I got my caution tapes and all the equipments and monitor well functioned, so I decided to take photograph of my tv that was being wrapped and surrounded by the tapes all over the floor. I intended to make it like that as i felt it makes the viewer feel cautious and give them sense of awareness before having a watch through the content of my video. I also intended to use the tapes for wrapping my tv and included within my workspace for the exhibition as well - I have been thinking about how to display my outcome in a powerful and interesting way and then thought about the yellow tapes - which I thought it has a strong connection with my idea. The outcome of my photographs was turned out very beautifully - i began to think about wrapping my self with the tape as well - because i thought i would be a good idea to include myself as a performer that was appeared in my video outcome and it also convey the message that we should warn ourselves to be more conscious/awareness about our sinful ways of living that we tend to forget about it. So I wrapped myself with the tape without wearing my outer clothing.
I found doing this shooting very hard to achieve as it was such a long process for me to set all the equipments by myself to begin with and then began to wrap myself and the tv afterwards. It was something that requires a lot of thinking for me to plan of what to do first and what to do later, otherwise I would mess everything up and it might take longer to complete this task. But the results were quite successful as I planned. However I was unsure whether these photographic outcomes appeared too inappropriate for others - sue to my pose seemed to look quite sexual as my legs were being seen in the frame. But i did not intend to make it that way as I found no other way to sit behind my tv as it was very big. I asked several people straightaway once i showed them my photographs - though most of them did not think it was inappropriate but instead it looks very powerful in its own message that i was trying to convey; i was quite happy with their positive feedback. However I was not feel confident of this outcome as some are thought it looked inappropriate. So I considered to edit my photograph in Photoshop and remove my legs by blending it away from the frame - then i need to see the result whether it looks better than the first version that i originally did.
Monday, 25th April - Finish my long evaluation and begin to cut down
I was able to make good progress on my evaluation. After struggling with it over the past few days, I was able to work a lot faster as I removed myself from distractions to work through the difficult section. I then was able to begin to cut it down to the word limit, as it was quite a bit over. I have had to get rid of certain sections (e.g. any dead-ends that you would continue with, what I would do differently next time (as this was already included in what I had learnt and what was not successful) - I am worried that this means that my evaluation is not as strong, however I have kept in the sections that I felt were the most important (what I had learnt, research, time management) to ensure that it hits the main objectives.
Saturday, 6th February - Continue to write a draft PPP
Today I decided that I would focus on completing sections 1, 2, and 4 in the PPP draft as these were the most straightforward elements which I could get underway and so leave me more time to consider the main element of the Proposal in section 3. I was able to write these sections relatively easily, although I found it difficult to express all I wanted to in such a limited number of words. I am also not exactly sure whether I have included all the necessary information in these sections either, however this is something I can address on Monday when we get the opportunity to speak to tutors and look at previous PPPs.
I am still struggling with the title and section 3 of the PPP as I am unsure what I want my Proposal to address. Yesterday I was considering the possibility of 'internal vs. external conflict in human'', however I am no longer convinced that I want to make work relating to that anymore, as I feel it could end up leading me down a path that I do not want to go and causing me to ignore other things that I would rather explore. In order to help clarify my thinking I decided to carry out more research. I had previously thought about the things that are around me in everyday routines and the simple stuff that we always take for granted. I thought about things that keep influencing me and causing me to become obsessed with. So I thought about the addictions and behaviour that we unconsciously becomes so obsessed with, e.g. social media, food, smoking, alcohol and drug, etc I think that a lot of my work has been concerned with the tension between an individual and the everyday therefore I decided to read some more articles on the internet about our internal struggle to quit those addictive behaviours - to explore this a bit further. It was very interesting and informative on the relationship of the human's mind to images and objects (and treating images as objects) - possible link with the idea of the body/the human?
Despite reading this I was still confused as to exactly what I wanted to write my PPP about. I decided that the central thread that I wanted to base my art on would be the 'conflict between the physical and the abstract' as this is something that I think has been a constant throughout my previous work. In order to clarify and classify all my previous thoughts from the mind map I created yesterday, I decided to create a venn diagram in order to sort my thoughts out into the two categories (human obsession and habit), and although I feel this was helpful in establishing some kind of order which would help me construct a central concept or wide territory for my PPP. However, I feel that the conflict between these two concepts (the physical and the abstract) is too broad a topic and therefore I still need a more tangible aspect to narrow it down. I have been considering either addiction or our everyday obsession however am still unsure as to which one (if any) I should pick. I intend to carry out more research tomorrow which should help me narrow the broad base I have established down into something much clearer to enable me to have a successful PPP and therefore a successful outcome from Unit 7.
I also identified several artist's work as key influences to my thinking (Vito Acconci, On Kawara, Bill Viola, Marina Abramovic, Chantal Akerman) which I will research in greater depth (and asses why I am attracted to these pieces) tomorrow to hopefully also provide me with further ideas of how I can narrow my focus in.
Tuesday, 9th February - Write my idea into words for Section 2
Section 2: Project Concept – self-destructive behaviour- suspend notion of judgment?
Artist: Chantal Akerman Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, On Kawara
Wellcome Collection - State of mind?
- My project is going to be based around the theme of human’s internal conflict; through addictive behaviour and obsessive habits in everyday basis. With this project, I will get others directing my outcomes, for example asking peers and public to describe their own addiction and what are their obsessive habits. This will be a valuable resource during this project as initial research, in order for me to expand my research from their perceptions even further.
I am interested in the irrational life of people who will not, or cannot, quit their obsessive habit such as – smoking, gambling, drug addicting, sex and vice versa. I gained inspiration from my obsessive experience of smoking and also the people and society that I have encountered. My intention is to examine people’s responses and reactions through this theme whether it is just a quick passing chuckle or possibly others remembering their own alcohol-induced scenarios or from the stories of others. I don't want this work to be just available to the "alcoholic" but relative to everyone as I think everyone has his or her own personal experience with addiction either first or second hand. In the aspect of "Recovery", I also want to discover how the viewer's attention can be held just long enough in the addictive world to make a connection with my art, to prove them that their desire will be disappear if they can succeed that level of ignoring their personal obsessive desires.
My main resource will be my personal objects that shows my addictive behaviors, which I will continue to grow as the project progresses, through visiting pound land and finding things on the street. The wealth of museums and galleries that London offers will also be an important resource in investigating different avenues of displaying my work and the theme of the human state of mind in Wellcome Collection which also relates to my current aim. I will also look at my personal obsessive habits and my addiction throughout the reading week and note down all these elements into a schedule format. I will then explore different methods of documenting these research; through drawing, photography, writing and photocopying. Through this experimentation I will determine what forms my final piece(s) will take and through my research into addiction I will determine how the piece will be organized.
I think that addiction was also something that overtook the lives of many people that I loved dearly. Addiction can come in many forms from substance addiction, to addiction to food and even an addiction to people and circumstances – which are areas that I also want to explore further. With watching so many loved ones and acquaintances succumb to addiction I felt I want to raise some awareness about how human heavily influenced by those addictive fields and how that slightly changes our everyday habits, e.g. smoking and alcohol in particular. I also want to explore the consequences of human behaviour through addiction and our refusal to quit, and how our addictive behaviour is mostly rely on an individual and their own battle of trusting their own gut whilst influenced by nature/nurture. So I hope my ambition for this project can be seen as a catalyst for personal or social change; the concept that a small choice of addiction can lead to great transition
Thursday, 11th February - Learn about the Library services available at CSM
The E-library session we had was very useful in teaching how to search for a broad range of resources (e.g. journal articles and images) which will be very beneficial for the research I intend to carry out over Reading Week. It was also helpful in making me aware of how to get the best out of the different ways of searching (e.g. by applying different filters or searching in different databases), which I also think will be very beneficial during Reading Week as it will enable me to access lots of resources that previously I might have been missing due to my lack of knowledge of how to work the search facility correctly. Another useful piece of advice was to look for sources using bibliographies of other resources we have previously used, which will be a strategy that I will use while looking for research material during Reading Week as I feel this will enable me to research much more in-depth, as well as giving me a place where I can find associated and therefore more relevant sources.
Saturday/Sunday, 13th -14th, February - Begin the research project set for Reading Week (research 10 practitioners and create something using this research)
I was busy travelling and working over these two days, therefore I only had a limited time in which to concentrate on my art. However I decided that I would use this time to create a timetable for Reading Week to ensure that I completed all of the research project and anything else that I had included in my action plan. I feel this was a very useful activity as it means that on the 15th I will be able to start my work straight away and feel confident that I will meet my deadlines and complete all the work. In order to help me create this timetable, I found the sheet that I completed on the Thursday assessing my own time management skills very helpful as it enabled me to create a timetable around times when I work most effectively.
Monday, 15th February – Research Week
- At CSM Library - reading: 'Marina Abramovic - The House with the Ocean View'
I spent time finding relevant books about the artist's work today - as i was interested in the performance art and the way Marina uses herself as a medium of her work to interact with the viewer. I came across with the book called 'The house with the ocean view' and i found it interesting how the audience responded when confronted with the reality of their complicity in that process. I also watch the video of her performance and I was excited of watching behaviours of different people throughout the video. it was unpredictable thing that makes this work of art so fascinating. Here i understood her idea that she tried to proof how human behaviour isn't what we suspect or believe it will be. She did took some risks for herself, I agree..seeing how far the public would be going" in a public" place: the gallery. How far would humans go in a closed non-personal space..without control of others? Human, adolescent beings with education as well wouldn't be so trusty as we think they will. I thought it was a really good idea that she didn't try such an experiment in an uncontrolled space. I felt this is very important documentary video for my project about human behaviour and display artwork in a performative aspect without any preparations. I appreciated the idea that she tests the limits of the human body, and even the endurance of audiences who may witness performances lasting hours, days, or weeks. I think this endurance-based activity is somthing that challenges myself if i was doing it. My research today has led me to think about my own daily routines and behaviours that i would like to discover further and thinking of showing it in a form of the video and photographs.
I noted down some ideas from readings today as shown below:
Wednesday, 17th February – Research Week
-BA Fine Art Interview at Reading-
Thursday, 18th February – Research Week
I went to the Wellcome Collection to see 'States of Mind' - and this exhibition focused on the viewer to explore their own understanding of the conscious experience - which I found really fascinating. It made me thought about what happen when our typical conscious experience is interrupted or undermined by something that triggers us to act that certain behaviours – I found this exhibition sort of related to my project by the fact that our human’s childhood experience, people and society that we’re in the past triggers and shape us to become a person today, as well as our emotions and thoughts that we’re addicted to it. From my own obsessive relationship with food, drink, cigarettes and social media as well as my own obsessive thought; all my obsessions that I can thought of, I felt my idea of our obsessive habit also comes down to our mind that are unconscious – e.g. obsessive feeling of boredom and stress stand as our natural and thoughtless process, a daunting and difficult process, a compulsive and comforting process, or something in between – which I found hard to express. I can see a strong connection between this idea of human consciousness and my project; our individual experience of the world, our everyday inner life as well as our interaction with an external reality.
Another thing that the exhibition depicted was that of our 'conscious selfhood' the experience of being you - is a key aspect of human consciousness. 'I' describes the subjective centre of our conscious experience and that indicates how language ends up becoming such an integral component in internalising consciousness.
Another exhibition that I saw was ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple’ – which allowed me to think about what mindfulness actually is and its links to Buddhism – the idea of focusing on the moment and forget stressful situations that have already occurred and that we kept thinking about it, and not dwelling on those that might be ahead – which is something I was really drawn into. By meditating yourself using our own body/living and listening to yourself, I think it is the best way to train our mind. I came across two very interesting quotes at this exhibition that I had watched in a room wherein the Sixth Dalai Lama says: ‘I have seen in my wanderings great temples and shrines, but none are as blissful as my own body.’ and, ‘The world we see is a painting, born from the brush of discursive thought. Within or upon it nothing truly existent can be found. Knowing this one knows reality; seeing this one sees what is true.’ I found these quotes very inspiring and led me thinking back to Marina’s The house with the ocean view’ where she placed herself in the gallery for 9 days without talking, eating food – just only act a basic human routine like sleeping, sitting, taking a shower, and drinking water, etc. Both research led me thought about doing my video performance and record in writing by taking away ‘avoiding those obsessions and addictions I’ve been attached to my daily routine rather than embracing it. I found this strong connection between the two and allowed me to come up with an idea of doing meditative activities.
Friday, 19th February – Research Week
- Take photographic actions of my obsessive behaviour as first trial.
I was thinking about exploring my daily routine and obsessions that I’m involved with – and smoking and social networking are the main behaviours that I thought it is always my repetitive routine/habit throughout the day. So my intention was to capture the amount of smoke clouds that comes out from my mouth/breathing using electronic cigarettes, and I then took a series of photographs of myself smoking. As I looked at the work from Marina Abramovic performance recently, I really liked the way she used her body as a medium to emphasise her work so here I decided to take photograph of myself using self-timer shooting on my Nikon camera. First I was thinking about using my two lamps in my room but the lights were too bright and yellowy while I was testing out my camera – the quality and the colour were seemed a bit dull for me. So I decided to set myself with a camera and a tripod by the large window in my bathroom, which has a very strong sunlight from outside my flat – and it turned out really well and enabled me to capture a lot of smoke and my facial expressions. Though I felt the overall of my photographic outcomes were quite dark as I changed the light setting into low light function – so I adjusted the brightness and contrast once I transferred all the images onto my laptop.
My own feedback/What’s my next stage?
Overall I was quite appreciated of my photo experiment today but I still felt it doesn’t really convey a message to the viewer yet – the content of my photographs need some sort of context and development of my obsessive behaviour. So now I then thought about constructing my obsessional scene and the staging of my photograph to be taken. I wrote down some notes and my idea visualisations, which are shown below – I planned to create another outcome as a form of photographic series and possibly a video performance as well if the time was suitable for me to achieve this during the weekend.
Monday, 22nd February – Discussion with peers and tutors
Today we were asked to bring in our experimental outcomes we created over the reading week inspired by 10 practitioners. I showed my peers and tutor my video and photographic outcomes of my performance that I was inspired my practitioners. I found the task of presenting my work to people quite challenging today as my tutor asked me with lots of questions of how and where all the elements within my photograph were coming from and what do I think about developing this work further. I was not quite sure about my reasons of using my green background as such because I thought it would have a contrast with the rest of my props and elements within my photographs – so I told my tutor that I want to trial out different backgrounds and configurations and then see how I could take this idea further – which my tutor agreed with it. I also told them that I’ve experienced with many unsuccessful outcomes from yesterday and here are my chosen outcomes that I thought it was well informed my idea at this stage. One of my tutors also suggested me to look at a book titled ‘What about me?’ By Paul Verhague – which I will be research later today.
After discussing with class we then exchanged our artworks in groups of 3, these groups were created on the basis of our project titles and the ones that had the most commonality. For me this was quite beneficial as it enabled me to discuss the various ideas I have been thinking about. One point of interest was the one of peers suggest that my photographs really acts as a metaphor of our society today especially in our generations. It appeared like we are all living in an age of obsession from obsession and it was also speared like we are unconsciously punished ourselves throughout our living. I totally agreed with her comment. This made me think more about other habits from different obsessions e.g. media and films that we are influenced by it. I will definitely look at those elements later this week. My peer also mentioned that my photographic actions reminds her of a video on YouTube called ‘Spider on drugs – which I found really interesting because it shows the development and changes of a spider before and after it has consumed a small amount of drugs, which was really amusing. Another peer also suggested me to look at one artist called Jack Dinos Champman – which is also about the idea of our repetitive actions and routines, so I really look forward to researching them. I think from this point on I'm going to properly note some of the other ideas I had thought of from the discussion today and from there I think I would like to build upon the narrative between the our obsessions and human mind and human lifespan through researching more about Buddhism keeping as well as exploring the idea of the our unconscious mind when we are obsessed with things. I’m also really interested in finding out other people’s obsessions and their thoughts about this reality and so my aim for the end of the week is to of developed a plan and carried out primary research to ask peers and people about their obsessive routines and their thoughts behind it. I also want to do more photographic actions and filming of myself in order to record each of my obsessive behaviour individually. So I needed to order more large tripods and the backdrop to carry out this performance experiment, which allude to my current ideas.
Tuesday, 23rd Feb (evening) + Wednesday, 24th February - thoughts and plans for my experiment
Thursday, 25th February - Absent
BA Fine Art Interview at University of Westminster
Friday, 26th February – Off to my visa appointment all day
Today was such a hectic day – as I was waiting for applying my visa for several hours today. I knew that I was not able to get much work done today due to the long waiting queue within the visa place. I felt waiting was really a pain and really took my energy to tolerate, not talking to anyoneor playing on phones, in order to get through the day. I realised that I got my notebook and pen with me while I was waiting for visa photo sorted – it was an hour an a half waiting there so I decided to write down my thoughts at intervals of 5-10 minutes of what I was doing while sitting there waiting with unknown people. I found this experience of continuous writing my thoughts down to be very repetitive and frustrating and I realised that often my mind wanders in two directions - one having to concentrate to write down my thoughts and the other being various different thoughts surrounding the people my relationship with them and the expectation of getting the queue and go out of this place, at a point I realised I began to get irritated by other people who never kept noises down, evoking me with a lot of emotion deeply inside but I cannot show it off, which I thought was beautiful. Writing down my thoughts every 10 minutes led me to introspect even further making it a very gratifying experience. I realised that even our deep thoughts and emotions are also very obsessive and again very destructive – as it made me feel really bored and annoyed of having to wait this queue for so long. So I felt today was not a wasteful day as I expected and It made me think more about our emotions within our mind apart from our behaviours – which I look forward to researching them further next week.
Monday, 29th February - Progressed Tutorials
Sunday, 6 March – Filming myself doing those obsessive actions for longer hours
What have I learnt from doing performing art for my initial experiment?
I've learnt to accept all my silly/immature obsessions that they're a natural part of my life at this certain stage, though its obviously very hard for me as well as other people, but then I need to find a way to overcome with it anyway during performance. My thoughts are what they are that I have to accept it - they sometimes caused me to do silly or "irrational" things. It was a bit of a challenge for me to present my obsessive thinking and behaviours through my performance and photography for peers and tutors as I found it very embarrassing and shame to see, but then I asked myself so what? - Its very mundane thing that we all do in our private lifestyle - e.g. who cares if I check a lock three times or drinking and smoking during a day? Or who cares if occasionally think about my past experience or fearful things? I also felt it was good to put myself a challenge to do this kind of performance and take photoshoot by myself doing obsessive actions – testing my own body and reality in a more timed pressure while recording this – which is something that I've never done before.
I will write out my persistent thoughts in some type of journal or diary, starting from morning until midnight to analyse my obsessive thoughts further.
Monday, 7th March – Record my obsessive thoughts
What I have learnt from writing down my obsessive thought throughout one day?
I realised that sometimes I wrote my thought that then it wasn't so much obsessive as it is persistent. From my list, most of them bothered me enough that once I started to worry they'll become obsessive thoughts. Overall, from doing this, I think my mind has a tendency to focus on persistent thoughts less often when I knew they're being kept in a permanent place, which may make me less obsessive somehow, etc.
Wednesday, 9th March - Absent
BFA Fine Art Interview at Slade.
Friday, 11th March - Go to Archway Computer Suite
I thought about my photograph that i've taken last week when I did my performance and I wanted to print it for photopolymer workshop. I think it would be beneficial to print these images as it would be something to actually show for the work I have been carrying out on and I want to see the quality of my photograph in different medium and process. In terms of the photopolymer printing, I have prepared two images - one which is me in my decontextualised space with various objects that has a lot of lighting, and the other one with the same composition but it is in a portrait size and it is darker. As the print will be in black and white this is so I can see the effect either it looks better either on a discrete image or on a defined image. The process of preparing images today was really straightforward so I just hope that it would turn out well on Monday when we were introduced to do printmaking workshop.
Monday, 14th March - Photopolymer Printmaking at Archway
I decided to print the first version of myself doing performance as it was lighter that it could be seen much clearer than the darker one. The process started by cutting out image that was printed on acetate and then layering it ontop of the metal used to make the printing plate in a UV vacuum. Then we washed the plate and dried it before adding ink to the surface and using the printing press. I did three prints but at the end i felt the first one had the most consistencies, the other two were a bit dirty and did not come out as clearer as the first one. I was quite pleased with this experimental outcome - it was my first time doing photopolymer and it was not as difficult as i expected. I think it is interesting how my image was made using a computer program as well as the UV light. I felt the quality and the colour of it was more delicate and saturated than my original one that was printed on normal print paper. However for me it would be better if I could transfer this photopolymer image into colour scale rather than grey scale - but it is not possible. Although my image looked a bit dark and the privacy elements within my image aren't incredibly clear, but there was an element of mystery within my image which I found really interesting.
Overall I felt this piece of work was quite successful, but again it does not really convey any message to the viewer as it was so unclear what it was. Also I think it doesn't have a movement of my actions within the photo - so i felt this might be an appropriate medium for my project. So I'm going back to the video and filming that i've done and I think I need to explore perhaps editing and rendering it together and perhaps looking at the video artists that i've researched and explore new editing process in Premiere software.
Brief Plan for next two weeks
Monday, 21st March - My Exhibition Specification Form
Tuesday, 22nd March – doing more video performance of my obsessive actions
: Today I filmed myself all day - I kept the tripod in shot as I felt that this would emphasise the presence of the camera - another object - and therefore emphasise the physical space in which the action was taking place.
How did I find making video performance as my main medium?
I felt it allowed me to be opened and honest about my internal struggles with my own obsessions that are actually self-destructive. Though filming myself hasn’t really helped me to overcome this as such but to realise my own thoughtless and compulsive process that I was unconsciously aware of – to realise my inner self that I was actually wasted my own lifetime doing these unhealthy things that had already became my life habits. My obsessions like smoking, drinking, social media and eating have always been my drug of choice but I have learned, and continue to learn, how to simply feel negative emotions instead of trying to eradicate feelings with food and technology, etc.
I found making performance in a form of video really challenging – due to time, spaces and the equipment that I needed to prepare. It took me a long while to set up the right angle and composition of my camera with tripods and the distant of my camera. I did many series of photographs and short videos of myself, which require so much energy for me to set everything as I planned.
What have I learnt from doing this process?
After I did this process, I think, in terms of the content of my performance, is not like therapy for me, but instead it’s a reflection of my life. I actually had the destructive feelings when I kept repeating that behaviours for longer hours, and even I’m not in the process of videoing myself - my compulsive thinking and smoking was still something that would pop up when I was under stress – even if in a relatively minor way. What I hope my work points people towards is a broader question of how we distract ourselves from the deeper issues that are always at hand and how we can find more constructive ways to seek solace.
When I set out the series of my photographs and videos, I was also aware of how many people that I know would relate and were also struggling to find solace with these obsessions that I face right now. My friends in the UK and some of CSM students were the people that came crossed my mind, as they were people who are relating to this subject matter. Also the responses that I have gotten from my peers, and some men that I knew has been quite shocking to me. I felt this idea also acts like a metaphor of our society that we live in as well.
I am not quite sure whether how well I can communicate and inform this idea to my peers and tutors, as I was a bit struggle during the middle stage when I was trying to develop my own obsessive experience to a deeper level. I knew it is inevitable that different people will interpret my work in different ways, and I am conscious of these interpretations and other people’s understanding of this topic that I’ve covered. I will try to listen to all their interpretations but I am not going to be concerned by it too much. I want people to bring their own history into what they are seeing. I am not going to set out to say a specific thing, but here I am putting my own experience up on the wall and space and I am hope that others would find something of their own experience in it whatever that might be.
Wednesday, 23rd March - Finalising my idea:
Analysing my experimental outcomes: My own feedback ? Evolving my idea further:
I felt my video performance and photographic actions are my self-reflections into my own obsessions. What I want to get across is a sense of distraction. How we grasp for things that distract us from being present when the present is too uncomfortable for us to sit with. How this "checking out" (or compulsion) often creates more harm than if we had just sat with the discomfort in the first place. I think it really informs not only the negative aspects of our behaviour but also the comfort that's found in doing it, and the absurdity of it.
However I am not that happy with the results of my filming - I feel that they did not really convey what I wanted them to, despite trying different approaches. The films where I put myself to an extreme obsession by exploring it with my own routine felt a bit staged and stilted, as well as not long enough or detailed enough, and so did not convey the idea of a genuine interaction between my own awareness/consciousness and my obsession However, I did like the section of the film where I was trying to repeat that obsessive behaviour again and again and created into an extreme level - trying to achieve a union between the body limits and my own awareness. However I feel that it is still a bit too difficult to explain further how is this affects the viewer once they see it - (may have to reconsider the idea of my behaviours - the routine could be far beyond normal and not comprise of one action but several).
My further thoughts of my idea in the afternoon:
In regard to ourselves as humans, living in this patriarchal society with the laws and religions we live by, I think that many men/women are brought up, both through our immediate families and through society, to nurture others at the expense of our own needs. We hide our routine and behaviour, not just for smoking or any unusual habits but also in many areas of our lives, our hidden obsessive thoughts and emotions, and then consume in secret. So I felt this idea seems so personally important to me. What I’m hoping to get is that when I put it out there and then others start to resonate with it. It’s like a way of connecting with people to see my artwork as a reflection of ourselves – which I found thought provoking.
Visualising my possible outcome based on this idea:
My outcome will be in a form of a video showing on my own TV monitor, showing my own obsessive relationship with food, drink, cigarettes and social media as well as my own obsessive thought; my obsessions, in my opinion, stand as a natural and thoughtless process, a daunting and difficult process, a compulsive and comforting process, or something in between – which I found hard to express. I will create my own compositions and recurring use of food, Netflix, unhealthy routines, as well as the choice of myself as the subject to make it individual and identifiable and allow others to pin-point a piece as my own.
- Order my own TV monitor for the final outcome:
: After I've been told from Annelore and Alan that I couldn't borrow any electrical equipments/devices for the assessment + the show, I spent the evening looking online to find the suitable TV monitor. It was taken me a long while to find the TV shops in London as they do not really sell that kind of old-fashioned TV that I wanted. But then on a surprise I found on a Gumtree.com which has only one TV left at their shop. I looked at the product details and the size carefully to make sure that it was the right suitable size to display my video for the exhibition and also ensure that it was still worked properly. The TV was around 19-ish inches wide which was not too bad as I wanted the audience to see my video clearly. So I contacted them on the other day and I gave them my number and delivery address to be delivered on Monday the 28th which was during Easter Break.
Thursday, 24th March - Peer Assessment (Notes from discussion)
Thursday, 24th March - Peer Assessment (assess another's work and receive feedback on my own work)
I found the peer assessment activity very useful in helping me see where I am at in terms of the end assessment, highlighting areas I need to improve on and in helping broaden my perspective by allowing me to look in-depth at another student’s work. Having to mark another's work by the criteria helped to increase my own understanding of her work in relation to my own work, for example, having to assess Raveena on how her research connected to her experimental works made me realise that I needed to make these connections between my research and my work much clearer. I found it hard to give specific feedback, however was able to be specific in some areas such as making sure that all her research (including book that she read plus exhibtions seen and her account of visit and thoughts) is evidenced in her workflow and being clearer in documenting ideas and outcomes in the sketchbook. I think that this was helpful for Raveena – we were able to have a good dialogue and took our time over the assessment so I think that it was very beneficial for both of us. I found Raveena’s work very interesting e.g. what she said to me about her plan during Easter that she was going to record audio from Mumbai and France, on the mountains, on land, and incorporate all the sounds with the Schumann resonance, etc, although did not seem to be particularly relevant to my own work but it seemed fascinating to explore regardless.
Raveena also suggested me to write down all my obsessive thoughts each day/time and keep it as a journal - to find the core of what are my main obsessiveness and try to reinforce my mind and deals with my consciousness. This is something I felt I need to record more further as my previous one does not really inform anything as such, as well as more research about our obsessive traits - e.g. obsession of people in history and how it has an impact on us as human today, which I found this advice really useful. Raveena’s assessment of me was very positive – I received a merit overall which I think is a very good position to be at as the project is not yet complete. I received Distinction in many areas, such as experiement and research which I think is very encouraging as these are areas that require a lot of consistent work, so it is good to know that they are at a high level already. However I felt my reflection part is still weakened as I did not manage to make it up to date, and also I had experienced a problem with uploading my reflection as well. So I will spend more time next week thoroughly going through my reflection page as well as the assessment and notes she made to ensure I fully understand the areas I need to improve upon.
Saturday, 26th March - ideas for my outcome after seeing Art Basel Fair
Friday, 1st April – Further Research on Buddhist beliefs of living + jot down ideas
: Relating to the Buddhist idea of spiritual belief ? life is suffering according to noble truths
Time waste? - In my opinion, our obsessive pursuits of humanity can be defined as a path of human evolution; physical, mental and spiritual. There’s only one thing certain to every person alive - death, which means we all have a limited time alive. Yet, despite being aware of this fact, I felt one of our favorite obsessions is wasting time. We have a million actions for choice of indulgence in the name of recreation that include social networking sites.
In my belief and experience, a person's obsession to any substance or their own thoughts can be improved by the adaptation and integration of a Loving Spiritual belief system. As I am influenced by enhance of being a Thai Buddhist, I believe it really depends on our own positive views and perspective of having a good life and develop some kind of benevolent spiritual relationship with life. We can change our relationship with our own emotions in order to take power away from the distorted, magnified and mutated variety of fear that drives obsession so that we can stop the compulsive behaviour that is driven by repressed emotional energy.
I came across one interesting passage from the website: ‘this adjective, spiritual, would be a word describing an expanded level of consciousness. A level of consciousness, of awareness, that is expansive and inclusive and facilitates personal growth - as opposed to limited, exclusive, rigid, and inhibiting growth, development, and alternative view points. I think all people have one thing in common: if they think about their own life, or look at the world around them, they will see that life is full of suffering, according to the Buddhist belief’
: So, the way we obsessed with feelings and things around us ? known as suffering, which may be physical or mental.
Linking back to the idea of our sinful behaviour ? obsession:
? I realised that our behaviours were also known as physical suffering- as we get older all of us find that life can become more difficult for all kinds of reasons; our eyes may not see as well, our hears may not hear as well or our teeth may not be as strong making it harder for us to eat. The pain of disease, which strikes young and old alike, is a reality for us all from time to time, and the pain of death brings much grief and suffering.
? For me ‘suffering’ from obsession does not only come from the body. There are also forms of mental suffering. - People feel sad, lonely or depressed. They suffer when they lose a loved one through separation or death. They feel irritated or uncomfortable when they are in the company of people they dislike or who are unpleasant. People also suffer when they are unable to satisfy their limitless needs and wants. Teenagers may feel utterly frustrated and dejected if their parents won't let them join a late-night party, watch certain movies or buy the clothes they want. Adults too can feel unhappy when they cannot pay their bills, frustrated when their job bores them or lonely when their relationships are unfulfilling or complicated.
? All these experiences are examples of what Buddhists call mental suffering — they can be summed up as painful feelings that arise from being separated from the people we love, or having to be with people we don't like, or not getting what we want. This feelings then start to become like an obsession and self-destruction >> which is therefore show that we are all suffering for every moment of lifetime but in variety of ways, and we cannot avoid it.
Wednesday, 6th April - Document previous films in my sketchbook
I also documented the films that I made (undertaking my repetitive actions of my own obsession) by sticking stills of the films into my sketchbook. I think that the change to making a film is a pivotal point in my work - I realised with retrospect that the majority of my experiments had been in film and that film itself is a key medium for expressing my own addictive experience of my daily habits that are mostly crucial and self-destructive, and this is then displayed on a monitor. Seeing Korakrit Arunanonchai's performance, the time lades filmed by Mike Jiggis were key turning points in my decision to make a film as my final piece, as this gave me the distance to look back at all my previous work and therefore see that film would be the most suitable medium. In order to help me make this film to the high standard I want, to explore all that I want to within the film, and to make sure that the film successfully communicates all I want it to, I think I will need to carry out more research into film artists (e.g Korakrit) as I feel that this is an area that I have done less research on, but is an area that is key to my film, as I want to question about the content of artist's video context and how this can be displayed through film.
Saturday, 9th April - Start editing film for my final outcome
I spent the majority of today editing my film for my final piece. I felt that I made good progress with it, however was slightly disappointed in myself as I was feeling ill and therefore was unable to concentrate on it as well as I wanted, alongside with a lot of travelling in Europe with my family this week. I made several key decisions today regarding how the film will pan out. It was clear at an earlier stage I had begun doing long durational films which were be quite long (half an hour plus) not very well-informed the message to the viewer. So for my final outcome I intend to make this film massively shorter - probably no more than 3 minutes just to keep excites the viewer throughout the clip. I thought about the material that I wanted to include and the pace I wanted the film to move at (quite slow to replicate my movement with obsession and then starts to create more fast paced). I collected a lot of footages that I found from YouTube - e.g. time-lapse films of the cityscapes, skies, ticking of clock in two different styles and the sound of monks chanting. Then I imported all my footages that I took and found in Premiere Pro.
My main task in the editing process is to try and work out where to position sections of the footage I took in relation to other sections and which sections to edit out. This involves a lot of reworking the film as I was constantly shifting clips about as well as trimming them in different ways to try and achieve the best arrangement. However I am unsure of how obvious my decisions will be from these - whether to make it faster paced throughout the film or whether I keep it smoothly. I will therefore have to make my annotations of them very clear to show my decision-making process in my sketchbook for the assessment. My main process of editing is also about adjusting the duration of each video and audio in each layer - i mostly made it overlaid through each other and adjusting the opacity of it. I intend to use a lot of overlaying video and audio as I want the mood of my film to be as busy as possible - reflect our modern society that we live in today with the load of work and duties, etc. As well as these, I made the duration of my audio slightly increase throughout the film - especially the sound of the monk, clock and the movie trailer background audio that were played through the clip, put the volume louder to thrills the viewer and give a sense of anxiety.
Another decision I made was to emphasise the disjointed nature of the clips of my performance. I decided to extend this to the arrangement of the clips themselves, so that each one started in new place from where the last one ended, creating a disorientating effect (moving through each obsessions as well as showing the zoomed version of my facial emotions).
Tuesday, 12th April - Group Tutorial
I also had my work-in-progress tutorial today with the other two peers, which I found very beneficial as it was good to have feedback after spending Easter working on something and only receiving feedback from my sisters. I felt that it was quite successful, as I did not receive any negative feedback. Some of my decisions were challenged by Annelore (e.g. the content within my video outcome that was sounded like a movie trailer and give the reasons why, how long I intended each film to be, whether I wanted them the same length, and whether I want my videos to get it into the climax and then leave it blackout at the end) which although felt a bit like it was criticism, I knew that I had strong reasons behind the decisions I took, and that Annelore was only challenging me to ensure that I had considered the decisions I made. When I explained the background voice of movie trailer were intended to increase the intense and stressful feeling of physical space, Annelore agreed that this sounds powerful but make sure that I keep the consistency of the sound to make it flow throughout the clip, as some parts were a bit confusing because I put too many layers. This was good as it meant that I had been able to effectively communicate something that I wanted to. Annelore also agreed with my decision to loop the sound of the clock faster, but have to be trimmed carefully and make sure the the end part of the clip is gradually slows down smoothly.
Wednesday, 13th April - Independent study
Today I emailed Bea about borrowing her silver tv monitor that has a built-in DVD - but unfortunately i could not borrow hers as the other peer already told her earlier to be used for her work. So I told Bea that I will borrow the other one of her tv with a flat screen - though I did not actually prefer this kind of tv due to its size and the display of my video, but I was aware and unsure that my own tv was going to work successfully as it was a very old-fashioned kind of tv, and there’s no cable for me to connect my headphone at the back of it. I need to make sure that I’ve got a spare tv that is well functioning in case my own tv is not worked properly (or not passing the pat testing) so I agreed with Bea that Ill used hers for the trial first.
Today I decided to go and source out the different components for the final exhibition set up. I had to get 1) the extension plug 2) a headphone 3) two caution yellow tapes from Amazon. I ordered all these things online and had them ordered to be delivered the next day so i can already start assessing how much area it takes up and visualising the set up etc. I thought of using the caution tape to wrap around the tv and over the plinth instead having only the tv itself - I wanted the form to be eye catching and messy and raise the viewer’s awareness. I felt it would be an added beneficial aspect for the work as it would warn the viewer and transcend them from the exhibition into this performance showing the reflection of our obsessive/sinful ways of living, with the background music that excites and thrills the viewer as well as the stillness/calm imagery of the buddha images and the ongoing clock ticking throughout the clip.
Friday, 15th April - Continue to edit my video outcome (continued)
In order to begin the editing process I watched the whole film so that I could then assess any areas that I was not happy with. I found this to be very useful as I could view how all the component parts fitted together in the whole thing and so could make much better decisions. Most of the issues I had involved the fact that I felt clips were not in the best possible order, and so I had to try different arrangements to try and break up the film a bit, and enhance the feeling of disorientation in the film. However, I found that this film appeared was quite repetitive during the middle part of my film (as the camera passed through the same spaces right after each other). I had intended to receive feedback from my sister today, This is something I will try to push for, as I feel it is really important to get final feedback before finishing the film and put my video file on a USB stick.
Struggling with the process of editing video outcome:
However, I did struggle with the length in the editing process as it meant that I could not watch the whole film back every time I made a change, and so could not tell what the overall effect looked like and whether the whole film was balanced following the change. I also struggled with becoming 'blind' to the film - I could no longer distance myself from it and see the bigger picture, which was hindering my decision-making and my concentration while trying to watch the film again. I also felt unhappy with my film at the minute - I am unsure as to whether it is achieving what I want it to achieve and whether it doesn't just look a bit messy only having myself act to smoking and attachment with social networking sites. I think I will try to re-arrange my film to see whether this is an improvement. I feel that then I can actually make a better judgement as to whether how I have created the film now looks good, or whether a more ordered structure would be better.
Saturday, 16th April - Testing out my video on TV + DVD Player & sorting out the problem with my video file format.
I began testing out my material as soon as I got my tv since Easter break and my recent order yesterday. I realised my tv was a lot larger than i thought it would have been - which at first started me but later i realised its a good thing as the clarity and vision will be better as well as the reception from the audience. I underwent major technical difficulties and learned a lot about technology in the process. I went through the process of fixing my video file format as at first I was exporting it as MP4 format - but surprisingly this format is not supported with my DVD player and so it seemed not to work once it appeared black screen on my tv. So I looked at my order details of this particular DVD product to find out which format that this DVD would work on the player: I found that it has to be formatted as mpeg4 or mpg. so I managed to find a converter on the App store which worked well and have managed to convert my entire film into mpg format. I recognised that it would take a while for them to all convert so I began right at the start of the day to ensure that I could get through them all by the end of today. I then tested out on my DVD and tv and to my surprise it finally worked. However the quality of my film was not very good - was not quite sure whether it was because my tv that was too old or it was my dvd player, and the image quality seemed to stretch towards the side of the edge which makes it look very strange. I tried to edit my video frame again by adjusting the scale of each layer - but then it still appeared very stretchy and unusual. I planned that on Monday I need to ask Alan about the converting my video into the right format so that it improves the quality and the content of my video.
Also I’ve booked my pat testing on Thursday the 21st so I need to make sure that all my equipments are well functioning with my video file by the end of this weekend - On Monday I need to test the sound whether its going to work on my headphone with the tv. if there’s an issue i need to get it fixed before Thursday.
Monday, 18th April - Testing out my video on Bea’s monitor - sorting out the technical issue + Initial plan for exhibition set up
I spent time today considering the hanging for the show. I have settled on my space for the exhibition with the wall and the plinth for putting a monitor. I considered several solutions to this - I moved around my plinth into different angles and positions to see which one would be the best solution to display my work, such as having the plinth in a horizontal position to give more spaces for the monitor and my dvd player to be placed on the slightly on the center, or having my plinth vertically and put it nearest to the wall which will increase the feeling of depth and the height of the tv. I thought about placing the TV on the floor in the middle of the space, however I am unsure whether the monitor will be too low for eye level and they may not be a good representation of my work. So I thought it is better to have a tv on a base of the plinth to allow them to sit on a larger stand. This is something I will need to investigate. I unsure of whether these ideas will look successful (I am worried about the height and whether I will need a seat), but when I am allocated my space, I can then work with ideas in that space to see which would look the best.
In the afternoon I also considered several solutions to technical problem with my headphone on Bea’s monitor - As her monitor hasn't got the plug for an audio output so when i plugged it in the sound did not worked through my headphone. I discussed with Bea and Alan of how do i solve this problem - first thing that Bea told me is to borrow a jack for connecting my headphone to my DVD player at the loan store and see whether its working - I got a jack that she suggested me and tried it out, but it was still not working. I felt really struggled at first to find a solution of what kind of cable or a jack that could make my headphone worked with my DVD. Luckily Alan gave me an extra DVD cable that he found in the cupboard - This cable has a jack that allowed my headphone to be plugged in and once I tested it out, surprisingly the sound worked on my headphone. I was going to order a bluetooth usb for plugging my headphone in but then i need to cancel it. Im glad my tutor found the right cable and make my problem sorted. I told Bea that I will go back home and test my headphone on my own monitor first and if its worked ill make my decision of using my own tv for the exhibition, so that i can let other peer to use to monitor instead.
Wednesday, 20th April - Bring my TV and all equipment over to the Studio
Today I brought all my component parts for my installation set up of the exhibition over to CSM in the afternoon, as I will have a pat testing for all equipment on Thursday, 21st. So i had my large monitor, my DVD player, Extension plug, all the plugs and the headphone. First I thought it was going to be an exhausting day to get them over into uni as my tv was really big and heavy, but at the end of day it was not as bad as I expected. I have got my cleaner to help me bring everything over with the trolley that I borrowed from the porter at my flat. I called an addison lee in the late afternoon to take us over to CSM. It was quite straightforward and quick journey though but I managed to get all the stuff quickly into the studio. I’m glad that I’ve completed this task today and transported all the work as early as possible as i was worried if anything can go wrong in the process if I leave it to too late.
Thursday, 21st April - Initial Exhibition installation + Speak to Alan
After having all my equipments fully pat tested successfully, I got down to test my video again in order to make sure that there isn’t any problem occurred at this stage. However I had a bit of difficulty in converting my file into the right format, as Alan told me that the quality of my mpg video format was not very good. I tried to convert into many different files including H264 as suggested by Alan but the quality was still bad when showing on a tv screen. So I considered to ask a technician on Tuesday to fix this as during the weekend and on Monday I need to get my evaluation completed as well as getting my sketchbook and workflow up to date. I hope I can manage to work it out after a little bit of patience. I learnt from facing many several issues that I need to be very patient to get everything to be in the best possible form for my own desired piece.
In the afternoon I spoke with Alan about my final outcome and receive a positive feedback - Alan said that what he liked about the film was the disorientating nature of the film when it zooms in on the face and eyes expressions. And this outcome was way much better in terms of me being able to find a solution and the ideas of buddhist teachings that I intend my film to show. This was something I had intended while filming, as the disorientating effect acts like an irony to the viewer - demonstrating the conflict between the time and our sinful ways of living that happen in parallel with one another. At the end of clip I also held a smooth-paced and the gradual disappearance of my face and the candle with the sound at the end of the clip to convey the idea of human’s impermanence of living but the sound of the clock ticking is endless- which i found really powerful and thought provoking.
Tuesday, 26th April - Conclude my evaluation - what have I learnt?
After having written my evaluation today it has been making me think about how the duration of Unit 7 has really highlighted my strengths and weaknesses. Though I spent quite hours to write over Saturday and Sunday as I found quite hard to summarise my own learning throughout this unit into a shorter and informative passage with only 500 words. My final draft was still over the wording as I felt i intended to maintain the quality of my writing as much as possible. I felt this challenge has allowed me to clearly see what things were successful within my project and the things that were not as strong. Over ten weeks I have been developing one key idea, and through the use of different mediums and theories, I have come up with an outcome which is completely different to the work I was creating at the start of the project. It makes me realise how much my work can be developed over a certain period of time, and never before have I realised how peer analysis can increase my confidence and strengthen my concepts.
I am really pleased with my final outcomes. They are so much more atmospheric and poetic than the work I was creating at the beginning of the project, and I feel as though my attitude towards solving complex problems has thrived since the beginning of the project. I have faced many practical and technical problems, not gaining the specific atmospheric quality of the video I was desiring. This came down to issues including space, location, styling and art restrictions. I also found a good challenge how to be self-motivated throughout this project that i need to initiate myself really hard to achieve my own targets.