In my first symposium at Camberwell in September 2014, it was pointed out that out Project Proposals would change direction especially during the first year of the course. Over the past month, a lot has changed in my development and will no doubt continue to change. During the next few months I will need to consider the Project Proposal structure with more clarity. Earlier this week I was looking at the Project Proposal (first draft) which I submitted in March 2014. It was interesting to compare the changes over the 6 month period. Though my intended project has not changed radically since March, over the past 4 weeks I have gained new ideas, inspiration and stimulus through my peers, tutors, going to lectures, exhibitions and reading course participant’s blogs on Word Press. Fortunately, I have had a lot of time to give to the course. However, I’ll have to consider new working strategies for October, November and December when I’m away working in Tokyo. Below is the Project Proposal I submitted earlier this year.
Project Proposal (March 2014)
My development will involve extensively researching digital visual culture in art but specifically in film. I will investigate developments of rotoscoping from its’ infancy stage (Max Fleischer) to the work of modern day directors such as Richard Linklater (Waking life/ A Scanner Darkly) and Thomas Lunak (Alois Nebel). It will be important to consider issues surrounding rotoscoping as an art form and I will take into consideration the questions raised by Kim Louise Walden in her 2008 essay about recent feature length motion pictures. “what have been the consequences of this digital animation technique for screen performance and what spectatorial pleasures does this mean of storytelling afford its audience?”
The scene takes place in a grey stone-built prison surrounded by barbed wire. The cell walls are grey and even the singlet the prisoner wears is grey. The colouration of the background is unremittingly drab yet juxtaposed with this greyness is the startling puce-red colour of the man’s complexion. His face seems to literally boil with rage. The dark etched lines on this face contort his features as he rants and the jagged white teeth add to his menacing mien. Together these features of line tone and colour express the prisoner’s anger but what we become aware of, as the scene progresses, is that this anger has another purpose. It is the very thing that sustains this man in his captivity. Wells states that the objective of the animator is to make every movement a poignant expression of the nature and implication of the character’s thoughts. Here the animator’s design represents aspects of the character’s personality that cannot be explicitly stated by the voice-over actor. On one level the animator creates the character and so becomes an actor (Wells 1998, 107) but it is the relationship between the animation and the voice-over acting of Gunning that creates the character.
Kim Louise Walden -Refractory, 2008
Further Reading (Digital Visual Culture)
Acting in the Cinema-James Naremore 1988
Visual Digital Culture- Andrew Darley 2000
Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres 2010- Andrew Darley 2010
Fairy Tale Films- 2012 Sidney Eve Matrix
Cyberpop -2006 Sidney Eve Matrix
Meta-Morphing: visual Transformation and the Culture of Quick Change- Vivian Sobshack 2000
Digital Visual Culture: Theory and Practice – Anna Bentkowska-Kafel, Trish Cashen, Hazel Gardiner 2009
Publications/ Jessica Aldred/Lisa Bode
I will contextualize my practice by going to current exhibitions, attending seminars and symposiums either at universities or at independent galleries. By visiting current exhibitions and researching artists’ work in Japan and England, I will inform my research strategies. Being involved in exhibitions and collaborating with other artists that work in similar fields will be a source of inspiration.
My experiences will be recorded in a weekly blog as well as in a reflective journal which will provide a visual documentary of my work and findings. Readings on the selected artists and their works related to digital visual culture as well as a wide range of readings on themes related to my field of study will also inform my work.
Peer-to-peer learning (using Skype) among other course participants especially from diverse backgrounds will provide me with more productive stimulus; it also gives the opportunity to build relationships between students distance learning and possible collaborations within projects.
Presently, I have one major project in mind which I am considering, it involves being site-specific and is a microcosm of Japanese society. I intend to use the Tokyo Underground as a work space. In the mid-90s, while an undergraduate at Bristol University, I was very inspired by a photographic exhibition titled ‘Workers’, by the Social Documentary photographer Sebastiao Salgado. His images reveal the kinds of extremities people have to endure in their daily working lives. Using the Tokyo Underground as the stage for my for my context, I intend to film at Shinjuku station and capture the everyday intensity that occurs each day during the rush hours.
Shinjuku station alone disgorges 900,000 passengers each morning, sucking them in again in the evening, some of the men (and they are mostly men) by now inebriated, before dumping them in their distant bedroom towns. Indeed, the commuting salaryman—the selfless company drone, one among a sea of dark suits pushed on to their morning train by white-gloved platform attendants—has as much claim to be Tokyo’s iconic figure as Christ the Redeemer has for Rio de Janeiro. The Economist, 2011
As an American journalist commented on CNN recently, “It’s just bodies squished as tightly as you can be into a small space. You can see people whose feet aren’t touching the ground sometimes because they are wedged in so tightly,” For my project, I hope to film sequences in the underground that exhibit the intense congestion within a small space (i.e. the train carriage). The rushes (footage) can then be animated using the rotoscope technique. As well as filming in the underground, I will also record visuals with a series of pencil sketches and photographs. The visuals will be included in the journal as part of the production process.
As a side project (which may become the main project), I am currently considering a few of the following options:
An anti-racism rotoscope animation
A rotoscoped animated scene, no longer than 30 seconds long from a major feature length film.
Regarding equipment, I have acquired most of the software needed for my project. The ability to use the software for my realizations will be more challenging. However, there are I.T. technicians at the UAL campuses for technical assistance and there will be workshops during term time which will be productive and invaluable for me. Other equipment that will be used: graphite pencils, A3 and B5 sketch books, putty rubbers, Indian inks, graphic tablet, graphic pen and the use of a digital camera. Comprehensive Art libraries in London and Tokyo will provide me with books and periodicals and relevant literature.