Experiment a lot
Past week was like a stream of consciousness felt a bit like the portrait of the artist as a young man or being in James Joyce’s Ulysses only 1 day but writing about the whole week it feels like ages has gone by how did I get about here while I was reading and researching so much different stuff for my proposal and practice which is sometimes enlightening and troublesome at the same time while
I started working with Processing for an interactive work that has to be presented in December. It was great to see how my past programming experience from the good old technical college helped me now. And how much easier programming has become because just after entering your code, you can see if it functions. Quite different from the 1980’s when I had to use a teletype-tickettape-machine like on the left. The green tape with holes is basically the memory of your code, so the paper trail has transformed into the hard disk nowadays. I especially notice that the visual appearance has changed much more than its functional concept.
Back to interactiveness: when I found out that the Kinect v2 has abandoned by Microsoft and will not produced anymore, I took a different route for reaching interactivity in my X-Swings. Of course, I can work with sensors and the Arduino, but that is another learning curve for another time. I have put that on my action list too.
So I decided to get a camera and with Processing I do a kind of face/body tracking to manipulate the interactive imagery. Open source is a blessing because with a good idea you can find a lot in this digital world. Sharing your work is important and here I remember myself to write a post about that ambivalent position I have concerning this issue.
Two pieces of code have been rewritten now and the variables mouseX and mouseY, which made the image swing, have been replaced by some other codes. I dreamt up a small set of variables which work but I do not grasp fully, but they will give me the possibility to adapt the interaction in the rebuild of the exhibition. Being creative with some logic and having a physical idea is something which brings me in a flow. So time flew by. The project is far from ready but the promotional image is out there, so I will show it here just for the sake of memory. In December I will write a post about the development of the whole work and whether it achieved the audience interaction I am aiming for.
Last Tuesday we had two interesting alumni Donald TakGuy and Terrence Quinn addressing our Skype session class. Both gave great insight in their two years master pathways. Hearing them made me realise that my second project proposal is not yet fully written and already ready for revision. Things will make a turn, for sure.
Donald started out as filmmaker and is now painting cats and curates exhibitions. The latter because he is interested in why artist choose what they do. He organises a pop-up exhibition in London beginning of December in the 2 Girls Gallery. We may deliver a small piece of work which I will do, but that is stuff for yet another post coming soon. The working title is ‘Thank you for dancing with me in-between‘ and it will be a script-like interactive video piece, as this can be a fine opportunity to experiment with audience engagement.
While Donald spoke about his filmed pieces, he was aware of the lack of viewer engagement and as he explained – really briefly summarised – that made him go for painting. Some personal (counter) observations I drew out of his talk:
- engagement is not per se an equivalent of how much time somebody spends at your work, it has more to do with lasting impressions I think.
- when there is more meaning in the image, as figurative works have more than abstract ones, it engages the audience more because they are able to talk more about it, according to Donald. Taking a Rothko painting for example, I believe that the opposite can be said too: engagement has more to do with emotions, feelings, aesthetic attractions, the intuitive response and so forth.
- I should do some research on viewer engagement as this is apparently something I am aiming for, but what is that something exactly?
Terry showed us his impressive journey which was ambitious throughout. He encouraged us to experiment a lot and personally he did so with a lot of techniques. His IT-background and approach was surely recognisable. I felt his work was balancing on technical possibilities and in the end led to a great work called ‘The Refugees Crisis’ with the Microsoft hololens, which is by the way the reason why the Kinect is abandoned. I came across the artist Golan Levin who is an artist and engineer as well. He makes a lot of works with the soon to be obsolete Kinect and he quickly had to buy a lot of Kinects to ensure his work is not becoming obsolete as well. This will interest Terry as well as he was writing his research paper about the conservation issues of digital art when technology progresses.
I felt quite some similar in some aspects with Terry I made an installation in 2015 which in a way was also about the refugees crisis it is called Drifted Times and was my attempt to get to grips with a world in chaos it was a narrative that gave meaning that led to engagement that was in a space where things take place that has much to do with my urge to tell moving multilayered stories that is why I want to experiment a lot that makes me go to the next experiment as a moving story with objects in-between