A requirement for the MA Fine Art Digital course involves participants to submit the following on their blogs:
A Project Proposal, practice-based research, a reflective journal and a Research Paper:
Project Proposal 4.0 (updated version)
Jonathan/assessor(s), I have tried to be clear and concise and have followed the guidelines from the Unit One Assessment Brief accordingly. The relative links will act as commentary and hopefully will do most of the explaining. For the academic year, Unit One was largely made up of two projects, so in order to simplify the assessment for you, I have separating the links for the two projects (Don’t Have Nightmares 0.1/Don’t Have Nightmares 0.2). This measure is taken as not to cluster, confuse and bombard you with an assessment full of ‘here’ links.
Formulate, describe and implement a challenging and self-directed programme of study, relating to your Project Proposal
Aims & Objectives: I covered most of the points in the proposal. Did I stick to the aims and objectives in my Project Proposal? The aim was to create a psychological animated piece of work with the intention to evoke fear. Evoking fear through animation was challenging. Naturally, I took deviations with the objectives but the methodology was predominantly rotoscoping footage. I experimented with sound and a sculpture was planned but after making a maquette, I had a re-think and due to the feasibility, I vetoed the idea to prevent time wasting.
Only one project had been planned when starting of the course. I have realised now that this was because I wasn’t fully aware with the course dynamic. After a tutorial with Dave Charlesworth in February, 2015, I took a few persuasive pointers from him and decided to go away and consider where I was going with the project and the course in general. A watershed moment? Hence the deviations in the Project Proposal, though it was expected. I vividly recall my first studio symposium and Jonathan, stating that he would be very surprised if anyone’s Project Proposal didn’t deviate during the first year. I totally get that now after four Project Proposals and counting!
The Blog: I have tried to be fairly consistent keeping a dialogue going with practice and blogging. Monthly summaries have helped me considerably as I could reflect on my practice and make future plans. I began to realise the value of the blog after the first term. However, keeping it in order was and is always a bother so I try to make sure I do a bit of blog re-shuffling every so often. Also, checking others’ blogs consistently has fueled me with ideas, motivation and inspiration.
Reading: At the beginning of the course I was given a reading list. As I was not familiar with a lot of aspects of the digital arts per se, I found the books, The Language of New Media (Lev Manovich) and Digital Art (Christiane Paul) informative and useful in providing me with some perspective especially in a historical sense. As I couldn’t find a lot of books which specifically dealt with rotoscoping theory and sythespian issues, I was generally reading scholarly articles which were directly related to my practice. During the first term, Jonathan posted a further reading list which has been useful. Some of the books may not deal directly with my practice though the books I have read have made me more informed with aspects of technologies. Also, during the Skype chats, books and articles are constantly referenced in debate so that has been another source of obtaining reading material.
Critically engage with practice-based research and contribute actively to debate and discussion
The Horror Questionnaire at the start of the course initially gave me a few ideas and provided me with qualitative data. However, at that time on the course, I was largely focusing on animated horror and how fear can be evoked through sound, objects and visuals. After the midpoint of the course, still keeping to the ‘fear’ theme, the next project explicated personal fears. Recording material and gathering contextual data involved filming on the Tokyo Underground and researching site-specific artists.
Most of the debate and discussion has been done in Skype sessions. Typing my comment has been challenging to say the least especially on unfamiliar topics. However, I find the Skype sessions very practical as I am able to learn a variety of viewpoints from my peers. I especially enjoy the critique sessions. Articulating my own work is also very challenging but rewarding. The highlight debate session for me was the Mid-point Review and the manner in which the debate was staged (i.e. listening to your peers discuss your work). I feel it was a turning point on the course as I could learn and reflect a great deal from remarks about my work. The more brutal the comment, the better. I took a lot of food for thought from that particular session into the next project.
There have been a few occasions on the course where I have been involved in direct communication with established artists/curators which have been documented on my blog. The most notably was while working on my Research Paper, I was fortunate enough to get two written interviews, one with Jeff Grant, the director of the Public Information Film, Dark and Lonely Water (1973) and the other from Tony Dykes, the Archive Content Officer from the British Film Institute. Their comments, which were answers my question argued in the conclusion, can be read in the Research Paper Appendix. Also, American artist, Mark Williams kindly wrote to me this year following up with an article I had written on his exhibition in which I was fortunate to briefly interview him at his exhibition in Tokyo. I have also communicated with photographer, Ori Gersht and Gill Saunders from the V&A during The Curator’s Talk at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne.
My practice-based research is quite an extensive area so I have tried to be as selective as possible and made a note of notable sound experimentation, artists and exhibitions that made a big impact on me with my practice during Unit One.
Practice-based Research & General Research
For Don’t Have Nightmares 0.1 (Psycho Project) & Don’t Have Nightmares 0.2 (The Tokyo Underground Project), please see selected links below:
Critically reflect upon your practice and articulate a clear understanding of methodology and context of your creative practice
Don’t Have Nightmares 0.1 (Psycho Project) Selected links:
Reflections & Considerations:
The first project involved animating iconic material, creating an installation and arranging a piece of sound. Overall, it was a very engaging project and I could work and experiment with a range of media such as designing maquettes for the installation, arrange sound and receive qualitative data from the questionnaire. However, I needed to consider the implications of using iconic material. A clear outline and justification is essential for ‘why’ and ‘what’ I was ‘repurposing’ others’ artwork for. On reflection, I felt I should have been more coherent when presenting my aims and as a result, my practice was subject to criticism by peers and staff. Naturally a bit disappointed and frustrated as I presented a far from finished project. However, I learned a great deal from my early investigations and was not to be discouraged. For my next project, I made more considerations in my approach and methodology.
Don’t Have Nightmares 0.1 (Psycho Project)
Midpoint Review Presentation March 2015 (with voice-over)
Don’t Have Nightmares 0.2 (The Tokyo Underground)
The Tokyo Underground was site-specific and based in Tokyo where I work. Again, the fear element is exposed by exploring personal fears, living and working in an alien environment. I began by researching site-specific artists and gained more stimuli by going out into the field recording visual information (filming, photographing and drawings) in the underground, during rush hours and urban areas/life activity. From my findings, I was experimenting more with texturing and sound. Though very time-consuming, the textured rotoscoped frame totally changed my approach to rotoscoping. I could now make animations with more painterly natural characteristics as opposed to something flat looking and processed.
Don’t Have Nightmares 0.2 (The Tokyo Underground Project) Selected links:
Reflections & Considerations:
I was very pleased with the outcome as I had extensively covered most of my objectives. The icing on the cake would have been to present the project to my peers as I felt this project particularly was much more accomplished than the previous one. Unfortunately a presentation did not materialize. Though disappointed about this, I felt encouraged by Jonathan’s comments in our tutorial. More of my thoughts and reflections can be viewed in the Project Presentation link below. To sum up briefly, what I did not do in the first project (0.1) which I did in the second (0.2), was to be more focused, experimental and map out a clear outline. For instance, what am I saying here? What is my argument?, What do I want the audience to see and why etc? For project (0.3) I have laid a solid foundation which I can build on though I should not limit my explorations and stay comfortably in the ‘safe zone’. The mistakes, as I have found out, have often enhanced what I was originally trying to actualize.
Don’t Have Nightmares 0.2 (Tokyo Underground Project)