Walking around in the woods I'm starting to collect bits of dead organic matter. In someways they evidence our physical plane, which I feel as though I'm slowly but gradually losing contact with. I'm spending more time now in second life - seeing as how I feel freer there. Yet I cannot ignore the awkwardness of the interactions between avatars. They are undeniably unnatural. It could be really interesting to begin making some form of performative work with a friend through digital means - where one reacts to the other - one reacts to the code...
Using old knitted fabric I had made previously, I began drawing it around my metal structure in order to create interesting forms. Perhaps I should use waterproof fabric for the real thing? By talking with my tutor I know now that in order to create and maintain my work in the park I will need to create an extremely stable lower structure, which will take some time to make... It could be really interesting to use some from of battery-powered light which could sit inside the structure.
I am starting to begin thinking about how to realise my park project idea. Perhaps instead of using plaster (being too expensive and heavy) I could make use of fabric which can be wrapped around some form of metal wire structure in order to achieve the volume I want. It could also be fun if the sculpture was kinetic - wobbling slightly.
I guess my obsession of online avatars comes from my theory that they are the most truthful representations of ourselves - free from social expectations.
I think it could be extremely fun to make use of the water function in the fountain - changing the colour of the water into something extremely otherworldly. I have talked it over with my tutor and it seems unlikely that this will be possible. I'm starting to truly realise how much planning must be made beforehand when trying to realise a project like this. So many variables which must be taken into consideration. I'm feeling somewhat frustrated as I really want to get started with the making of my work however my process is halted by the fact that my sculpture proposal has still not been approved.
Today I completed my virtual experiment. I have made a sand pit inhabited by virtual avatars who are doomed to repeat endless, looped actions - performed without having any choice whatsoever. I wanted to create a really bizarre work, mirroring how bizarre of a place the internet truly is. One might even argue that the internet itself is a reflection of true humanity - unrestricted by social constructs.
To further my project I want to find a way of making this work interact with elements of the physical realm, or perhaps find some manner in which I could anchor it to reality... I feel as though I should start working more in the workshops where perhaps I might get inspired by a certain material with which to create my sculptures.
Today I was rewriting my PPP again - it’s still too much all over the place. I feel like I’m gradually getting somewhere though. Through the animations I’m creating I want to create some form of hectic chaos - mirroring my own annoyance with online absurdity. I feel like this could quite simply be translated physically into some form of sculpture...
Being back and talking with my tutor has made me realize how my PPP is still to broad. I need to focus on something specific in order set achievable goals for part 3. I’m struggling with finding a way of condensing all my ideas into single phrases. I don’t want to limit myself but at the same time I can acknowledge that some form of clear idea is needed in order for part 3 to be assessed properly.
I have now also begun playing around with certain animation software as a means of creating avatars which interact and move on a digital intangible plane. There is something absurd and seemingly wrong about manipulating humanoid figures like this - perverse almost...
Reading Week | Day 3
Christina Kubisch's work has really opened up my mind to the possibilities of sound - how it is cable of awakening a spacial awareness to the world around us as well as the constant constant energetically-charged whirlwind we find ourselves in. Through the use of electromagnetic waves she is evidencing the physical world as well as giving an insight into the mechanics behind the electrical equipment which shape the worlds of others. To explore my project, I think making use of sonorous mediums might be an effective way of communicating the tangibility of reality seeing as how sound is the direct effect of physical changes and actions.
Reading Week | Day 1
To begin this project I think I need to be more specific about what it is I am exploring. Energy is too broad a theme to investigate in a few months. I can't stop thinking about the movement and vibration of energy though. Why it's so interesting to me is the fact that we exist in this space which is constantly moving and yet we are so unaware of it. Everything revolves around our insignificant worries - mundane compared to the dance of the cosmos. I find it absurd how we are even trying to escape this reality by devolving into unphysical worlds of code and fantasy. Whats more, I myself partake in this sort of escapism.
My life is now lived through conversions in data format. Particles being pushed as I speak into the microphone - converted into data only to mimic the frequencies of my voice once made physical again through speakers. I keep being torn between simply accepting that my only form of interaction is through/with digital means and being completely horrified by the reality of my loneliness. Why make physical works when the digital reality is currently playing a greater role in my life. And you who is reading this is viewing everything through pixels. Of course, digital interaction is not as rewarding as the 'real thing'.
I have decided that tomorrow I will isolate myself in my room without internet which seems to me more distracting to me than ever before. I can feel how my brain is turning to mush as I scroll endlessly through imagery which I'm noticeably becoming less and less sensitive to.
During these interesting times what really has struck me is the importance of the connection and communication the internet allows. Being in a completely different country from my parents, Skype and FaceTime are my primary modes of communication. Most of my conversations are now happening through digital means. Perhaps once all this is through - we might realise that we don't really need physical interaction after all? Pixels are now my new eyes. The digital now seems more important than the physical.
I am extremely unsure of how to proceed with my project seeing as the park project will most likely not be happening. I could continue to delve into the exploration of digital worlds. I think that is my best option for now. After talking with my tutor during my progress tutorial last week I now need to figure out some way in which tonsuring my characters in the ‘real’ dimension. Find some program which would let me play with augmented realty.
Having left London I am now in the countryside and so perhaps I could make use of the materials available here. Rethinking my approach to this project is harder than expected. Perhaps I should just get on with making and playing with physical material? It could be interesting to do some form in performance piece in which one sees both me and my created creatures existing on the same plane - interacting…
Today I began playing with sound - how music and frequency greatly effects how my digital works are perceived. There is a certain intensity and movement one can achieve by using techo music. The endless repetition of arguably dystopian waves. Whats the attraction? A willingness to lose control - escape the enforced sanity of social structure?
I still have yet to make anything physical. I feel stuck. I am only now truly starting to appreciate how useful dialogue with my peers and tutors in my practice. Being in quarantine has made aware of how much we need social interaction to function normally. Something really interesting has happened now though where people are socialising though FaceTime and Skype. Perhaps the virtual worlds play an even greater importance in these times where physical interaction is not possible.
Today I began working in the metal workshop - talking with the technician to try and begin explaining my idea. I am starting to realise how expensive this project might be. I then began making a small model of my sculpture - welding rods together and twisting in order to achieve their swirling movement I want my work to communicate. I need to find some way to make sure my sculpture stays grounded.
The real impact workshop today was all about Anthropocene and the impact we artists can make. The discussions which began happening were thought-provoking. They really got me thinking about the impact my work could have (whether positive or negative...). I guess there exists a danger when a single artist communicates their vision/ message as apposed to a collective of artists. I have realised that it could be extremely helpful and exciting to work with people from different fields - such as scientists. You get more opinions and voices which, in turn, evolves your projects for the better.
There is something really alluring about the idea of making work which is only going to be viewed in the distant future....
Working in the library - I have begun exploring the notion of cybernetic kinetic sculptures. I would be extremely exciting to make such a sculpture for the park project, however I know that presently I lack the technical skill to do so.
I have begun making quick visualisations of various ideas for sculptures for the park and it seems that colour might play a key role. There is something attractive about the notion of merging the organic with the digital. Representative of new life through digital means - how we have come to a point where the two are inseparable.
My PPP is finally finished.
I’m creating a virtual loop. A space which in some ways could be classified as non existent. You see what’s happening - an absurd scene of nonsensical doing. In many ways it represents my annoyance with the zombie-like manner in which we live our lives. Passively looping and repeating. Stuck on our endless routines. Living in our own bubbles. Each character is doing something different - different aspects of reality. We are looking in on their world as we live our own. Not in a virtual world but a physical one.
I need to find a way to tie this to physical existence. Some manner in which I could represent this physically. Some structure which converts the energy of our world into theirs. (Way in which you can physically see the conversion).
It’s a saddening scene - I want people to reflect on their own lives. Find a way to break the patterns. The longer you look at it the more bored you get. You start to realize how the whole thing is hopelessly looped.
Reading Week | Day 4
I keep coming back to this notion of dancing. It's a participatory action which has no other purpose than pure enjoyment. If vibration and movement is at the core of existence then this form of expression is a means of feeling a connection to that. Feeling a connection to the sensory universe. The video below frustrates me as it is obviously extremely staged - people forced to dance and smile. The exact opposite of the freedom dancing is supposed to represent... The uncomfortable absurdity becomes humorous. I think I could use this absurdity in my own work as a means of achieving a more evocative response.
The manner in which sculptures exist in the physical space could in itself evidence the tangible reality. How am I going to express the notion of a dual reality? Perhaps through subversion, and manipulation?
Reading Week | Day 2
I have now begun to refine my project proposal. I intent to explore the tangibility of reality - which after all is what anchors us to what we perceive the true reality to be. Virtual worlds aren't "real" because they are not physical (in most people's opinion). What about those people whose lives are lived mainly in these digital worlds? The more I research the less I find the said statement to be true. Perhaps, in order to connect with a bigger audience and community, the use of digital mediums might be more impactful...