Disruptive Technologies: Layering & Augmentation

From Symposium Talk transcript

During that pressure period in the art making process, I was analysing our relationship with device engagement or life support machines as I refer to them. Observations in urban environments, city streets, cafes, public transport, restaurants, etc. It’s amazing what you can see when watching with purpose. It got me thinking about fragmenting form as a way to communicate distraction of a mental state. Again, more experiments, more reshuffling and rethinking though at least the project was moving again.

The fragmentations later become much more intensified when layering the rotoscope work. By doing so, I felt this captured distraction and disruption which was the objective.

For the audio, after consideration, a voice-over was vetoed in favour of a soundscape which sounded much more exciting to compose. For diversity, the collected material was recorded when traveling from Tokyo to London. As with the rotoscoped work, the sound bites were also layered. Automated and notification sounds predominate the arranged soundscape, fading in and out, some played simultaneously. The end result being a cacophony and chaotic assemblage triggering a sensory intrusion.

I feel now that this is a resolved body of work. I’ll read an extract from Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, which for me sums up this whole exploration and artmaking process:

‘But if asked to describe how it felt during the artmaking process-well that often comes out a bit like Dorothy trying to describe the Land of Oz to Auntie Em. Between the initial idea and the finished piece lies a gulf we can see across, but never fully charter. The truly special moments when concept is converted to reality- those moments when the gulf is being crossed. Precise descriptions fail, but it connects to that wonderful condition in which the work seems to make itself and the artist serves only as a guide or mediator, allowing all things to happen’

Bayles & Orland (2001)

Disruptive Technologies: Self-reflexivity & Black & White Aesthetics

As I’ve been experimenting with colour vs black and white recently, it made me consider self-reflexivity in the filmaking process. Not that my project exclusively relates to this subject matter though it did get me thinking about the aesthetics of black and white and colour in film in more depth.

A reflexive film is a film that makes the audience aware of the filmaking process.Reflexivity is defined by such devices as looking into the camera, taking advantage of two-dimensionality of the screen, or simply making a film about making a film. In other words: A reflexive film is a film with self-awareness.


Here, five motion tween sequences in black and white have been assembled including audio. Initially I was surprised by the multitude of grey gradients creating a softer resolution. The positive spaces are more emphasized in black and white.

A grainier version


Sequence Five Motion Tween

Throughout the project I’ve been texturing and rendering countless frames though not a motion tween. Using the revised Sequence Five which comprises of 75 frames , here I’ve textured each frame individually. Below are the sequences, the second being textured with SMS alert sound bites. The textured sequence adds more rawness to the overall effect.

Sequence Five 











Curating Sequential Narratives

With exhibition thoughts forever in mind, earlier this week I was in pixels2canvas  having a consultation and getting invaluable advice with the shop manager about image, image quantity, image collage design, colouration, canvas sizes and thickness etc etc. Curating is now the heavy weight of this project. After considering sizes and prices, I opted for a 16 x 14 inch (1.5 inch depth), single image to begin with.

Disruptive Technologies (2017):  Sequence Three, Frame 96 (motion tween)



The shop was full of canvases of all shapes and sizes though a large pop art-inspired image really caught my eye. The same image, multiplied by four with only background colours were transformed. Scale plays such a big role in the dynamic of artwork, I thought as I analysed the piece of work. Here, I’m looking at doing something similar but with different images (frames 59-62 from the animation). The images are not quite dissimilar, bearing in mind the viewer is looking at 1/3 of a second when played continuously. I wasn’t pleased by the flatness of the drawing so I’ve more texture on the original. By contrast, now I’ve got something darker, grubbier and more brooding.

Disruptive Technologies: Sequence 2, Frames 59-62 (editing data: neon glow(overlay), texture (miscellaneous, multiply).


Experimenting with various textures though I’m fairly sure that the exhibited images will be using one texture. Editing data: Textures F59 miscellaneous, F60 grunge, F61 grunge&miscellaneous, F62 grunge, nature & miscellaneous



Disruptive Technologies Montage

As a rule, I don’t post much artwork on Facebook other than an end of year retrospective which just basically informs friends and family of my artistic endeavours over the past 12 months. This year, with the help of my daughter, Moe, I’ve ‘knocked up’ a montage of rotoscoped material which won’t be used in the final cut of the project. Audio is provided by Moe performing Camille Saint-Saen’s, The Swan. A dodgy recording by me.

Happy New Year!


Disruptive Technologies: Testing, Sound & Visuals

Just a brief one. Here I’ve collected an assortment of foley (notifications/radio tuning/telephone dialing and…erm dripping water?) for the project. Testing this arrangement with black /white and colour motion tweens. At this stage of the project, so much decision-making to consider.  Keeping me endlessly thinking…always thinking.




Public Information Film Project: Persuasive Narratives (part 1)

Public Information Film Experiments

Back to work on the blog and hopefully I can kick-start some momentum again now that all the mayhem has quietened down over here.  Yesterday was spent looking back at clips of footage I had taken over the past six months. I came across this rat trap clip which was meant for an    Objects of Disobedience   post but decided I could make better use of it which would be relative to my project. Off we go.

The process:

1/ Video clip (unedited) filmed with a Pentax Q7 . I’ve not done much in the way of filming with this camera and was impressed with the high grain resolution.

2/ The video clip after experimenting with film speeds, notably the trap ‘snap’. Windows Live Movie Maker is better than I thought

3/ I thought about doing something fancy with the footage. Even though I quite like the  harsh minimal edge detector effect, it radically affects the persuasive message I’m trying to convey.

4/ The audio: This smashed glass soundbite was taken from freesound.org then amplified in Audacity. I was pleased with the result.

5/ The narration is provided by me, “Are you aware of your child’s online activity?” (I couldn’t think of anything else at the time!) Anyway, again edited in Audacity (merged, reversed and echoed). No, doesn’t work. If fact, a narration isn’t needed, in my view.

6/ The final edit. Yes/No? It looks a bit 70s retro

Overall, I’m looking for an end product which is succinct and minimal, a bit like the persuasive narratives in  Broken Glass (1973)  I’m far from that yet but this experiment has been worthwhile.

Public Information Film Project: Sequence No 11

I haven’t been writing about my practice for a while now. It’s not that I’m procrastinating or anything, far from it, it’s just that I don’t want to bore myself with the project. It’s easy to do that when you’re working on one thing and you’re in your own little world most of the time. You know what I mean? I’m at that stage where I’ve just completed all the drawings and I’m trying to plan the following: script a narration, edit the sequences and the create the audio. On top of that, after adding all the aforementioned technicalities, I hope to stimulate awareness, create fear and persuade all at the same time. What a challenge! Had I not decided to take a year out, the situation would be erm…well, just get something framed for the graduate exhibition and reflect on what might have been.  I hope that will not be the case.

To get a second opinion on things, recently, I went to see a friend who is currently working on a documentary based on an incident in World War II in Tokyo. His previous project was Lessons from the Night (2009) . It was a well-spent two hours. His comments and challenging questions were of great benefit for me. As a result, I felt much more inspired. It’s important to hear others’ views. When showing your work, the audience is viewing an unfamiliar journey, a journey that is all too familiar for yourself. He was able to ‘‘see’ what is difficult for me to ‘see’. As his film making expertise is predominantly in editing footage, I got a few useful pointers. In his opinion, areas of the animation seemed flat. The viewing dynamic could be tweaked. Using Adobe Premier, I could consider panning the visuals or homing into areas for effect. All considerations taken on board


In earlier sequences, to increase movement within sequences that I considered too static, I added pattern to the hair. Something child-like that could work with the narrative. The pattern creates a bubbly effect as a consequence. I feel it doesn’t interfere and detract the sequence too much and comments have been generally positive.(famous last words!)




Sequence 11 Gif












Public Information Film Project: Sequences Nos 9 & 10

Sequences 9 and 10 now completed. One more to go. Re Sequence 9: loops and toying around with colour and textures. The black & white representations alter the mood dramatically. My ever-changing moods are constantly reflecting my practice/experiments.


14 Frame 295

Frame 295 (unedited)

Frame 295

Frame 295 (edited)


Sepia Tone




Edited Frame Info:

Resize, Weaver (i) highlight, Texture (materials, highlight) Focal Zoom (darken), HDR  




Frame 333 (unedited)


19 Frame 333.jpg

Frame 333 (edited)

Edited Frame Info:

Resize, Weaver (i highlight, ii space 5, size 10) Focal Zoom, Rainbow, Texture (nature)

















Collage Graphic Interchange Formats (part 1)

As I’ve almost finished rendering and editing the 11 sequences, recently, I’ve been considering aspects such as scale, shape and animation millisecond speed.  By creating graphic interchange formats, commonly known as gifs, the visual appearance changes dramatically, especially with circular screens. Also, I’ve learned that animated sequences which involve rapid movement, suit more millisecond speed as opposed to sequences with less movement. (note: the higher the millisecond speed, the slower the movement). The visual appearance intensifies when collaged, though grouped imagery appearing too theatrical would be a concern as it would conflict with the persuasive message carried in the narration. Anyway, on a cheerful note, my daughter seems over the moon in her animated state….naturally!


Fig 1: Sequences 1, 2 & 3


Fig: 2 Sequences 1, 2 & 3



Fig: 3 Sequence 4

S4S4Imgflip 15 millisecondswww.GIFCreator.me_GSyKux



Fig: 4 Sequence 4









Public Information Film Project: Sequence No 8

Inspired by an American PSA,   Helping Johnny Remember   by Brooklyn artist, Ashleigh Nankivelle, Sequence 8 involves liquifying the image during the editing process. Nankivelle dramatically distorts features to add eeriness in narrative. Liquify is just one of the many tools used in the photo editing software. The effect distresses and distorts features. The results being quite comical in cases.

Frame 270 (i) Here, I’m considering brush size in liquify. Fig 1-with a smaller brush size, I’m able to create a more fluid-looking and watery image. Fig 2 a larger brush size elongates the line. I prefer the larger brush as the distortion is subtle.

Frame 270

Fig 1  

Frame 270 (ii)

Fig 2 


SEQUENCE 8: Frame 270

270   31 Frame 270.jpg

Unedited & Edited: Resize,Liquify,Weaver (i) dots size 10 (ii) highlight, Focal Zoom (i) darken

Sequence 8 Animated gif- The liquify effect isn’t so pronounced after the fully edited sequence. Gif animation speed set at 140 milliseconds.

Pif Project Sequence 8.gif


Public Information Film Project: Sequences Nos 6 & 7

Using the Weaver effect in Sequence 5 gave me more ideas and I was very encouraged to be more audacious with my approach. While considering designs for Sequence six, I thought about having multiple frames in various colours which would visually boost the rotating pencil movement. I experimented with a Pop Art effect and this is what came out in the wash. The multiple frames inspired me to do similar in Sequence 7. However, I’m unsure about adding the Peeling Paint effect, looks a bit muddy compared to other sequences. I may tweak that sequence at a later date. Presently, I’m well-into the drawing stage of Sequence 8. Also, I’ve began making narration notes this past week so I’ve been just loosely framing the social commentary.


19015 Frame 190

Unedited & Edited: Resize,Weaver (normal), Pop Art (i) Dots size 10 (ii) Images x3, Focal Zoom (darken x2) 



Unedited Frame 223Edited Frame 223

Unedited   & Edited: Resize,Weaver hardlight, (i)size boost, (i) shadow(multiply),Peel Paint, Focal Zoom, Rainbow 



Public Information Film Sequences 5-7

Each sequence is looped x 2



Public Information Film Project: Sequences Nos 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

As I’m about half way with the drawings of my current project, I thought it would be a good idea to keep track of the effects which are used when rendering each drawing. This is an area I neglected in my last project which created problems. As you can see, there are subtle differences in each sequence. However, if you compare these drawings  to the last animation (Alienation & Conformity), I’m being a bit more conservative in my approach when editing the drawings. Preferably , I’d like more continuity as the context will focus predominantly on the message as opposed to the visuals. That’s not to say I don’t want the visuals to stand out, just not to become too much of a distraction. Don’t worry, this post will all make sense eventually!


Frame 11 Frame 1

Unedited     Edited: resize (width: 5296 height: 2979),focal zoom,                                                                  texture(materials)



Frame 47    Frame 47.jpg      Unedited                                                  Edited: resize, focal zoom, texture(fabrics)



711 Frame 71

Unedited                                           Edited: resize,focal zoom, posterize, rainbow



97 1 Frame 97

Unedited                                             Edited: resize, focal zoom, posterize, rainbow



1211 Frame 121

Unedited                          Edited: resize, weaver(hardlight), focal zoom, rainbow

Below are sequences 1-4. Each sequence has been played 2/3 in succession which gives me some idea whether or not I will loop particular sequences


Public Information Film Sequences 1-4






Public Information Film Project: Sequence No 1

The animation in my last project, The Tokyo Underground,  Alienation & Conformity involved animation merged with footage. I received mixed opinions regarding the process but overall positive ones so now I’m at the contemplating stage with this project. Here I’ve drawn the first sequence, 46 drawings in total. The drawings have been individually textured. Test 1 Sequence 1 involves 12 drawings and Test 1 Sequence 2, all 46 drawings. In both sequences the drawings have been copied a few times, by doing so the viewer is given enough time to take in the visuals. After continuous viewing I’m still undecided for a number of reasons. Including footage with rendered drawings,  without doubt helps shadow, line and tone. Stronger and bolder by appearance.  However, by not merging the footage the drawings seem more natural though carry less impact. As for the abstract motion tween, mmmm I’m not sure. It’s a bit gimicky to me. Is it necessary?

Test 1 Sequence 1 (without footage)

Test 2 Sequence 1 (including footage)  

Test 3 Sequence 1 (abstract motion tween)