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


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March 2017 Activity Summary

Curation, Failure and Success 


I only have another 10 days to decide what will be exhibited in pictorial form for the MA Visual Arts Summer Show as I head off back to Japan next month. These past few weeks I’ve had a few prints and canvases done but I’m still not satisfied with the results. Printing and framing is a costly business too.

Disruptive Technologies: Sequence 2, Frames 59,60,61 & 62 (digital prints,12’x12) 

Sequence 2, 59,60,61,62Sequence 2 (side view)


Motion Tween Images (clockwise) 

Sequence2, Frame57/Sequence 3, Frame96

Sequence 4, Frame 118 /Sequence 5, Frame 129        

2 Motion Tween Sequences1 Motion Tween Sequences


Presently, I’m in the process of submitting an application for the Sussex Open . An annual exhibition held in The Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne for local artists to show their work. As applicants are able to submit five entries, I’m considering including drawings as well as rotoscope work. However, while considering what to submit as well as write about myself and practice, I’m trying not to let once bitten twice shy affect me. Read on.


Dear Applicant,

 Thank you for taking the time to prepare your submission,

 We are sorry to inform you that you have not been selected to take part in our exhibition. While your application and credentials were very strong, we had a number of outstanding submissions and regret that we could only showcase some of them.

 Once again, thank you for the interest you have shown in The Expanded City, We wish you the best of luck with your projects,

 Yours Sincerely,

 The Expanded City Curatorial Team

I suppose where I feel more disappointment with this rejection is that part (not all) of the submitted work is my current project. Just move on!


Last year my daughter entered the Peace Poster competition 2016-17  (Lions International Peace Poster contest). Amazingly, her poster was school and regional winner. The poster will now be judged along with other UK regional winners. Fingers crossed!

Peace Poster (2016)


And finally, The Guardian are considering publishing a short article of mine about a Japanese/British improvised recipe, tempura udon. This is a seriously scrummy dish! To be continued.

Tempura Udon British Style (2017)



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A Certain Kind of Light, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

In need of some artistic inspiration so went along to the A Certain Kind of Light exhibition at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne yesterday. On view was a very eclectic mix of work which all involve lighting effects of some kind from various artists. Below is the blurb for the show and I’ve picked out a few pieces of work that I was particularly engaged in.

A Certain Kind of Light explores how artists have responded to light, its materiality, transience and effect.  The exhibition brings together artworks that reflect the relationship between light and a wide range of themes from brightness, colour and perception to transformation, energy and the passage of time. Encompassing paintings, sculpture, video, photography, drawing and immersive installations, it features artworks created from the 1960s to the present day by almost thirty leading artists including David Batchelor, Ceal Floyer, Raphael Hefti, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, L S Lowry, Katie Paterson, Peter Sedgley, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Given its function as the basis for vision, light has long fascinated artists as both a material and as a subject. The exhibition considers the different ways artists have explored the various aspects of light, from its importance as a source of illumination, as a pure sculptural material, as a mysterious force and as a source of energy that can be conceptually converted into other forms’


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Angela Bulloch, Pink Chance Corner (1995) Perspex, glass, metal and plastic

Interior décor qualities that follow a set of rules. We see objects like this in their masses on department stores. Is this a comment on or poke at consumerism? The lights softly blink, like a pulse, a life form characteristic. The blinks are systematic, simultaneously and individually like there is some dialogue happening. The sculpture is positioned in a dark corner which also references the title of the work.

Anish Kapoor, Untitled (1995) Stainless steel

Where ever I position myself the work alters. I found this piece fascinating, largely as it draws on optical illusion effects which made me consider how artists explore relationships with surface, space, depth and scale. When viewing, the reflective surface captures its viewer, quite apt in the way in which we are continually recording ourselves

Brad Lochore, Shadow No52 (1994) Oil on canvas

During some of the Research Presentation discussions in February and March, phenomena in art was discussed a few times. Here, the shadows convey a transitory phenomena, a manifestation from the light. The concept of Lochore’s work is interesting. The shadows are not from real objects but from digitally manipulated photographs which are projected onto the canvas and then painted.

David Batchelor, Festdella (2006) Plastic bottles, low energy electric lights and festoon cable

This got me thinking about how we see illuminated lighting in urban environments. Using ephemeral fluid containers such as PET bottles, hair care products and cleaning agents, the lighting dimly-lit bottles softly glow resonating party or festive aesthetics.

Julian Opie, Indirect Lighting (1989) Rubber, aluminium glass, plastic, wood, stainless steel and florescent light

Again, like Bulloch’s work, Indirect Lighting is very industrial. I imagined a big deep-freeze display cabinet you find in supermarkets. However, there is a lot more going on. From its scale and shape, it appears extreme and powerful and its smooth steel exterior bears the hallmarks of comfortable, modern living.

Peter Sedgley, Corona (1970) PVA and pigment of canvas with kinetic lights

I didn’t notice the kinetic lights, very subtle, I wondered how it views in the dark. You can detect 1960s Op Art influences with the geometrical pattern and contrasting colours. The inner lighting defusing the pigment. The effect is multiplied by a sequence of alternating coloured lights.


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Disruptive Technologies-Stand Clear of the Doors!

The soundtrack for the Disruptive Technologies project has been in the making for quite some time now. I’ve been out in the field collecting all sorts of sounds which I feel are relative to the project. Adhering to the Unit 1 feedback, I’ve tried to maintain originality and used my own recordings.

The composition is largely made up of phone notification, train, airport, shop automated sounds and police sirens have been tightly woven together. There’s been a considerable amount of sound which didn’t make the cut. For instance, pneumatic drills, traffic lights, car hooters etc. The assembling was the most time-consuming. I really wanted to convey a bombardment of automated and sensory intrusion. Does it come across that way to the listener? Have I over-effected areas? I’m not going to arrange this any further. The art maker has to make an informed decision, when to say, that’s enough.





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The Expanded City Group Exhibition (London 2017)

A few weeks ago Jonathan posted us information regarding a group exhibition, The Expanded City in London which focuses on living in cities. As my current project fits the brief, I thought it might be worth my while submitting work which will also be shown later this year at the summer show. Also, I’ve submitted an animation, Alienation & Conformity (2015) which didn’t get the airing it deserved at the time of completion as I had to leave the MA course for personal reasons. Now everything has been sent off so two animations are being considered for curation.


The Expanded City is a group exhibition collaboratively curated by Goldsmiths Visual Cultures Society and the UAL Curation Society, featuring works from students across London universities.

This exhibition will explore the ways that life in London is organised and influenced by structures of capitalism. How do we, as cultural producers, shape the space we live in, and how are we shaped by it? Although published more than a century ago, the depiction of city life and its impact on the individual depicted by George Simmel in his text The Metropolis and Mental Life remains relevant. Those who live in the city are familiar with the profound alienation and anxiety engendered by a constant sensory barrage. The individuals living under total capitalism are denied the ability to change the social and economic structures that shape their lives. Life has been flattened: nothing now can be imagined without its presupposed monetary value.
The reach of the city has become ever wider. Accelerating developments in technology and communication have resulted in the spread of cosmopolitan values through mass media. The city has expanded beyond the physical, and into the transcendent connective platform of the digital, bringing together people in an unprecedented scale.
The density of the metropolis has facilitated spontaneous cultural collaborations, projects and ideas. With this countercultures demand and produce autonomy over their work. The city as a centre of production in turn attracts more producers. However the resilience of the market-economy has absorbed the aesthetic strategies: the search for authenticity and self-management are now used to promote the conditions required by the current model of neoliberalism. How do artists react to the conditions of the contemporary expanded city with its effects, infringements, and limits that affect the experiences of mental life?
The Expanded City envisions an invisible and vital part of the city (and the mental life) and the impact it has on cultural producers. This compounding of sensory information and the subsequent anxieties it draws on, will provide the opportunity for students and members of the public to collectively resist the solitude felt within the city.


Disruptive Technologies (motion tween animation complete, 2017)


Artists are invited to submit a PDF (no more than 15 MB) containing:
– Contact details, including place and course of study
– An artist’s statement (maximum 200 words)
– Up to 6 images of works to be considered
– Up to 300 words explaining how your work relates to the concept of the expanded city
Submissions will be accepted until the 23rd of March (midnight) sent to expandedcity@gmail.com
Our aim is to promote London based students and to give them a platform in which they can share their own original ideas and contribute to a wider artistic discourse. We encourage the use of different media in order to open the field to experimentation at various levels.

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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 









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February 2017 Activity Summary

The low residency week and my Research Discussion presentation in the studio were notable highlights in an eventful, action-packed February. (such as drama queen!)

Framing February

In terms of drawing and animating, the project is now finalized. It’s now all about curation. Between 6-8 selected  frames will be exhibited as sequential narratives. Also, the selected frames  will give the viewer some idea into the mechanics of this painstaking but enjoyable process. However, with the original edited rotoscope animation and motion tween animation combined, I’ve got about 2000 frames in total! Well, in the Art & Fear book, it did say to make art in great quantity. Anyway, over the past week I have been busy framing. I bought four 12 x 12 wooden box frames (one inch thick) with the intention of customizing them in relation to the narratives woven into the project. Here, sliced up vintage Beano comics and Penguin books have been lightly glued to the frames. Then, varnish has been applied and dried over night. I was pleased with the results, especially how the gloss gleams like a wet surface and has darkened the covering paper too. Finally,  the front of the frame has been taped with Unibond, extra strong, fabric-layered, black power tape. A few selected frames will arrive by the end of the week. If the frames pass quality control, then I can sort out the sticky labels.


The Tate Britain featuring Pete Mansell

During the month I finally got round to meeting Pete. When I say, ‘finally’, I mean due to the nature of the MA course, we have only corresponded by email, phone and Skype discussions so it was great to meet him in the physical. We met in a busy Tate Britain during the low residency week. It was lovely to engage in chat about Art and our lives. Also, Pete gave me a few welcomed tips about presenting for the summer show. I hope there will be another encounter in the near future.




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Disruptive Technologies: SMS Alerts (test)/Soundscape Notes

Using  sound bites such as short message service alert sounds combined with the fragmented visuals (also know as motion tweens), have shaped the animated film to how it will presented at the exhibition. Black and white or colour?


Below are gathered sound bites which will be used for the soundscape:


RECORDED (by myself)

Shinjuku train station automated voice (Tokyo)

Takadanobaba train station automated voice (Tokyo)

Village Vanguard store (Tokyo)

Heathrow automated jingle

London Underground automated voice

Victoria Station automated voice

Sainsbury’s self-service check-out automated voice

Police siren (Peckham Rd)


Narita Airport announcement

“Stand Well Clear” (London Underground automated voice)


Phone dial

East Croydon train station automated voice

SMS Alert (x5)

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Psychogeography: London, Southwark

It’s now the low residency fortnight on the course at UAL. I’ve spent the past three days in the Southwark area of London while attending some of the course events. Since starting the course, most my Southwark walkabout explorations have been from Denmark Hill train station to Camberwell University of Arts on the Peckham Road. Now I had the chance to soak up this buzzing, thriving environment even if it’s just fleetingly. Below are a few observations recorded in sound and visuals. It’s true, what you read does have an influence. I’m currently reading Jon Day’s Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier. Day’s (now a lecturer at a university in London) memoirs are very engaging even if the reader (like me) is unfamiliar with areas of London he documents. I make comparisons when I’m weaving through the traffic in central Tokyo.


Camberwell Rd & Peckham Rd Derive


The local cafes offer warmth from the bitter cold and are good retreats to scrutinize the everyday activities. The two that I did frequent were surprisingly almost empty at peak breakfast time. Is it the end for Greasy Spoon cuisine? I hope not.

The Jungle Grill on the Peckham Rd


A recording of a police car’s screaming siren on the Peckham Rd.

Lyrics of an old Jam song spring to mind, more nostalgia:

“A police car and a screaming siren
A pnuematic drill and ripped up concrete
A baby wailing and stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamp lights blinking
That’s entertainment”

Peckham Peace Wall

I was really taken by The Peckham Peace Wall. Jonathan had gave us some historical background  when visiting Peckham platform the previous evening. I returned the following morning just to get a better understanding of this moving piece of art.


From the Peckham Platform website:

“Peckham Peace Wall by Garudio Studiage celebrates the wall of post-it notes of love and respect for the area which grew on Rye Lane following the disorder of last year, and launched on the 8th August 2012 to mark this one year anniversary.

Commissioned by Peckham Space with funding from Southwark Council’s Greener Cleaner Safer fund, the Peckham Peace Wall comprises 4000 original post-it messages including those from London Mayor Boris Johnson and Leader of Southwark Council Peter John alongside those from residents. Each of these was digitally hand-traced by artists Garudio Studiage working with young people from Peckham” 

Letterpress Workshop

The workshop was a very nostalgic experience. After leaving school I briefly worked in a small back-street printers for about a year learning how to operate Heidelberg printing machines. The smell of the inks and machinery in the work area instantly came back to me. However, due to new printing technologies at that time, new companies began offering a faster printing and publishing service and sadly our small company went bankrupt. I was made redundant at 17. Disruptive technologies?

James, the letterpress technician gave a very informative workshop and after a brief history of letterpress printing, talking about the tools, how to do basic compositing, dos and don’ts etc, we got round to ‘play’ Here, I began composting letters, numbers, hard objects and anything that I was ‘rollable’ where I got an impression on the paper. My ‘play’ evolved into an urban landscape. How fitting that the brick wall, some insulated wire and an electrical box make up an apt background.



Camberwell Rd-Walworth Rd-Elephant & Castle Derive


I’m up early and on my way to meet a friend who I’ve known for a few years but never met in the physical. A good example of how technologies are making human relationships. We’re meeting at the Tate Britain, so I head towards the Elephant & Castle. As with many inner city London areas, the busy road is lined with a mixture of council blocks, Victorian terraces, open markets, eyesaw-looking shopping centres, eateries=good,bad and seriously ugly  and a few saw dust bars.  Drifting along the unknown eventually bought up to the Elephant & Castle tube and the end of my play. The statue of red elephant prominently marks the area. I wasn’t able to get lost. What a shame. As I now know that I’m not too far away from The Oval, it will be interesting revisiting this area in a different season.

Star Cafe, Arnside Street Walworth

Egg,Bacon, tea and toast= £3.20

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Research Discussion Reflections

It was nice meeting the Year 2 London-based students (eight students) last week in the studio for the first time. There were three research discussions that morning (09-02-17); I kicked-off proceedings. As I was facilitating the discussion, I planned on the following agenda:

Persuasive still imagery: Advertisements  

Masahiro Mori: Uncanny Valley Hypothesis

Transforming and re-purposing artwork: Ashleigh Nankivell, Helping Johnny Remember  

Future Project direction

On reflection, the video greatly assisted the discussion as it meant that my recorded, rehearsed voice could explain, inform and articulate areas of the project with more clarity. Well, even that’s questionable! Although the framework was fairly clear, I would imagine the link between the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions might have been confusing. The problem here is that over the past year, my project aims and objectives have changed considerably. So, before viewing a few experiments, for example, this had to be clarified as not to confuse.

The still imagery was simply a way of engaging the audience into the topic, get the ball rolling in terms of comment. Well, it did to some degree, though on reflection, I probably didn’t need begin with pictorial persuasive advertisements. It did kind of opened the door into the subject matter though it might have been a better idea just to go over the various types of public information films as in my Research Paper. The Uncanny  Valley discussion generated the most interest discussion wise. I anticipated speculation over whether the Uncanny Valley theory and the Charlie Says series largely or if not at all relate. Questions did not arise though I clarified anyway.

On the whole, I would say the discussion ran fairly smoothly. I was grateful for Jonathan’s timely assists. Bringing in particular images or clips of film in question so that the discussion ran smoothly.  My talk seemed to drift and fragment towards the end, maybe as I rambled on a bit too much in an attempt inform as to where this project was heading. Probably a bad move. Overall, judging by feedback and comments raised by the group, I was encouraged though deep down, I don’t really think that this topic was their cup of tea.

rye-2011Rye (2011)




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