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CategoryProject Hyperessay

Project Hyperessay 2: Technical Realization

My project is all about playing with the space of the viewer’s screen. Three live cameras will be broadcasting different images, and composited together on Wirecast Pro to form a sort of triptych on screen. The center image will show a live image of my computer screen, which will be playing a pre-recorded video of my soccer boots against the gray backing of the classroom wall. The 2 images on either side will be broadcasting different sections (but identical looking) of the classroom wall.

The aim is to achieve a uniform look across the 3 images being broadcasted. All of them will feature the gray classroom wall, in an attempt to unify all the images to look as if it was just one image of the classroom wall. It does not seek to trick the viewer into thinking it is a single image; it just has to give the impression that it is.

The two side images will be two additional cameras, positioned facing the wall on either side of me. The camera showing up on the left side of the viewers screen will be positioned on my right hand side, and vice versa. This means that when I walk to my right, I will appear to be walking into the viewer’s screen from the left hand side, and towards the center image of my soccer boots. In these two side images, I will be walking in and out, or showing just different body parts reaching in towards the center, in a sort of attempt to interact with the soccer boots on the center image.

Using the pre-recorded video of my soccer boots as the center image, I want to portray a feeling of playfulness as the viewer tries to make sense of what I’m trying to do when I reach in or walk towards the soccer boots. I will also be ‘interacting’ with the video of my soccer boots by placing my hand in between the camera and my computer screen to create a new layer, almost as if I were doing some physical, live video editing.

The sense of playfulness will also be (hopefully) accompanied by a tension as the viewer realises that the soccer boots are not inhabiting the same physical space as I am, and the the spaces on their screen are not coherent. This tension will be the narrative of the piece, as viewers try to make sense of what is going on and the different interactions between the spaces on screen.

I hope that the element of ‘liveness’ will play its part to further interest viewers. It seems contradictory to call it a live broadcast since I’m partly using a pre-recorded video, but since I am able to interact with the video in real time, I want to propose that the value of ‘liveness’ is only psychological, and that perhaps nothing on the internet can truly be ‘live’.

Project Hyperessay 1 update

 

This project started out focusing on soccer boots, and below is a short experiment I filmed to see if I could get more ideas of what to do for the final broadcast.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDobHITldIg]

This experiment involved me filming my soccer teammates during a training session. After editing and reviewing the footage, I realized that by focusing solely on the soccer boots, my teammates were essentially stripped of their identity. Because of this, I found myself unintentionally assigning various characteristics to the different boots in the video. This anonymous nature of my teammates led me to think about similar works we studied involving collaboration, such as Douglas Davis’ “The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”. 

After discussion with Randall, I managed to draw plenty of parallels between soccer and the way people work online. The Collective Artwork already highlighted a few works which involved people coming together to create or perform a work of art. In the same way, soccer requires each team member to understand their role and function together towards a single objective.

My broadcast will essentially be a live ‘game’ of soccer. Just like the video experiment, the whole video will only feature images of the soccer boots. However, I also intend to blindfold some or all of my teammates, thus forcing them to rely more on verbal communication. I think that this would allow viewers of the broadcast to listen to their thoughts as well as allowing the players to heighten their other senses to focus on their awareness of their surroundings.

By focusing entirely on the soccer boots, I want to evoke the sense of anonymity akin to that seen in Hasan Elahi’s “Tracking Transcience 2.0”. My broadcast will be like a webcam into the the game of soccer, to “open digital windows onto real scenes within the far-flung geographies of the Internet”, as Thomas Campanella argues in Webcams: The Subversion of Surveillance (p447).

Overall, what I hope to achieve with this work is to delve deeper into soccer than just the game, but furthermore explore the dynamic relationships between the players.

Project Hyperessay 1

I have experienced several conflicting thoughts when thinking about this project. Firstly, just like during my experience with Periscope, I feel a rather overwhelming responsibility as a creator to broadcast something that will appeal to the majority. I know that this is not possible, but I just get the feeling that my ideas are not good enough to create a broadcast that people will want to watch. In addition to this, I have also spent a considerable time trying to think of ways in which people can interact/respond to my broadcast. As of now, I feel that I do not have a very solid and cohesive idea, but rather several disparate ideas which, if I could somehow combine them, might be a good project idea. I will share these ideas and my thoughts/doubts below.

My current idea is to do a review about the soccer boot. However, this review would not just simply be me talking about the boot. The twist is that there would also be subtitles, but they would not reflect exactly what I was saying. Rather, they would act as my thoughts or the ‘truth’. I felt that with the right script, I could make this into a rather entertaining, maybe funny and a not-so-typical review of a soccer boot.  However, I could not think of a way to better utilize the third space to allow for viewer interaction.

As a solution, I thought about allowing viewers to access the raw footage used to create my review. In this way, they could remix my video and create their own review, without having the need to have the boot itself. In this way, perhaps there could eventually be a playlist of reviews about the same boot, creating a sort of collaborative review. Another alternative is that users can simply use the video clips to extend my video, thus also creating a collaborative review. This idea of collaboration is, of course, inspired by Douglas Davis’ “The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence”. I feel that this also allows people to feel some sense of ownership of the boot and that by making my videos available for everyone also highlights the benefits of open source.

I also have an alternative solution to get people to participate in my project. The idea is to use the hashtag #UltimateSoccerBoot on Instagram to allow people to create collages of photos that represent their ideal soccer boot. Using the hashtag, I would first post photos of elements of soccer boots to create a database of elements that people can handpick from to ‘create’ their ideal soccer boot. However, I don’t have a good idea about what material I can broadcast following this idea.

Another separate idea that I was toying with is the idea of being blindfolded in front of the camera. This thought came about when I was thinking about Jennifer Ringley’s “Jennicam” and the notion that although the audience is aware of the presence of her, she is totally unaware of them. I feel that being blindfolded and perhaps performing some kind of action will serve to highlight this idea. Once again, though, I feel that there is not much room to allow for viewer interaction.

The last thought I want to share is inspired by the ‘Exquisite Corpse’ exercise we studied and tried out in class. Using the auto-complete feature of Google, I could essentially write a whole story just by typing the first part of the sentence into Google and choosing one of the auto-complete options. I like this idea because I feel that it ties in closely with the ideas of Glitch and random chance composition. I think it could perhaps also allow for viewer participation to create a collaborative story. However, in regards to broadcasting a video about this, I feel that it wouldn’t be particularly interesting.

Overall, I think that I’m still having some trouble trying to figure out what exactly will work for this project.