“Film is like origami, it folds into itself from itself”
I wrote this manifesto on film a year earlier, very much inspired by Dziga Vertov’s The Man With A Movie Camera (1929). The manifesto presents itself as an origami camera. I believe that the medium of Moving Images really create this unique experience for the viewer because of the folding of time and space. Hence, for FYP I’d like to explore Projection as the act of unfolding and what sort of interaction that can ensue.
The central idea is to allow participants to experience the very act of Projection itself and experience an alternative mode of receiving Moving Image content from their Smartphones.
This will be achieved by a dark room installation space in which participants will run an application on their Smartphones and place them onto an analogue projection device which will project using only the brightness of the screens themselves.
Links to the full proposal and workplan are below:
This is my initial Proof of Concept. The Shoeboxes create a fully darkened and enclosed space for the light of the Smartphone alone to travel through the entire device and eventually project outward. The Mirror and Biconcave Lens serve to correct the rotation of the image from the user’s Smartphone as he/she places it onto the device. This set-up will be further developed during the course of the FYP.
Having attended much of the presentations for the seminar Emergent Visions Adjacency and Urban Screens, I had many takeaways that would definitely inspire the development of my FYP project. Here are some notes on that experience and the thoughts connecting back to my FYP ideations.
In particular, I was most inspired by Kimchi and Chips presentation by Elliot Wood, which I also talked a little about in class. It was an eye opener hearing him speak about his ‘projector hack’ where he looked at the digital projector not as a media device but from the standpoint of physics, and came up with a scientific solution to make the light way brighter than a low-cost projector should be able to. I watched his tutorial on the ‘projector hack’ and I certainly believe that light and projection is really physics that needs figuring out and I am totally excited with what I might be able to develop in the coming months.
Also, Erkki Huhtamo’s presentation on the mediated city was really fascinating, how he delved into history and cityplanning and the different stratas of media within the complex jungle of the modern cityscape. I was particularly inspired by this and thinking of how it might drive the subject matter for the pen drawings i will do for the sort of backdrop for my projection installation. It is certainly an area of research that is intriguing. I borrowed Erkki Huhtamo’s book Media archaeology : approaches, applications, and implications from the ADM library and will proceed to read into it and see what ideas come up.
I was also really fascinated by the sort of guerrilla movement of Manifest.AR which Tamiko Thiel introduced. I think invasion into MOMA was really great fun. So I was thinking like how AR is really an overlap of the real world as in captured by the phone camera and the virtual as in the content provided by the AR app. So what if I sort of extend this idea of overlapping the digital content and physical into a configuration where I project onto my drawings. That is essentially not so dissimmilar to how AR works. My drawings are physical traditional media and the projected animations are digital manifestations overlapped onto the physical and thus possibly creating an interesting interaction.
Also I must say that Refik Anadol’s energy and innovations were really so infectious and I greatly enjoyed his presentation. I don’t think my FYP will be anywhere near the scale of his aesthetic and architectural endeavors but it was really great to see someone so brilliantly bringing huge architectural spaces to life by the effects of light and projection. I enjoyed the urban screens that he presented and would certainly like to see them myself should I ever be in any of those cities.
I might be sidetracking in the next section … but just more thoughts …
I also enjoyed the projection mapping that other ADM students did with Rose Bond for the Chinese Heritage Center.
It was also wonderful to catch up with Marc Glode whom I had the great fortune to attend his course on Experimental Filmmaking last year. He invited me to come to this wonderful informal film screening curate by him on the rooftop of Grey Projects in Tiong Bahru. I greatly enjoyed the experience for its informality and Marc’s choice of the series of films was great as usual. In particular I really liked Une Homme Qui Dort (1974) by Bernard Queysanne, that stream of conciousness black and white film really bringing us into the psyche of the modern understanding and feeling loneliness in big metropolitan city. During the event we just moved around, chatted, drank while in the midst of each film. The informal context and the sort of small community feeling in the heartland of busy Singapore was profound. I wonder if I might be able to create this sort of community atmosphere in my FYP? Because I also do this informal gathering of coursemates to watch obscure films together in the school auditorium and really to me that is the best feeling to watch a film and experience it together.
Of course I was greatly impressed, like everyone else was, with Matt Adam’s compressed account of Blast Theory’s journey and some future plans in the pipeline.
It is interesting to see the progression the group made over the years (in parallel to the advances we’ve had in digital technology). From the very much dramatically stage-driven performance of Gunmen Kill Three (1991) where participants were invited up to ‘shoot’ at two other participants in an improvised live-situation, to the entering into the VR world of Dessert Rain (1999) where participants first play a virtual mission and are afterwards confronted with the real world events of the Gulf War.
While the graphics and technology may appear dated given today’s standards, those designed experiences still remain very profound as we can see in the documentation of the various projects. They really draw people into a theatrical experience which is at the same time opening up the discourse into many real world issues and the human psyche.
My favorite work was 2097: We Made Ourselves Over (2017). The core concept was this world in the future where young girls will govern the world and the many problems that people will come to face in the futuristic hybrid city of Aarhull. They made 5 short films to showcase this world and its people from the future. These were very effectively screened on moving vans around Hull, UK. These mobile platforms delivered the story rapidly to the people of Hull as they were short to watch and easy to comprehend. The films were also available on a smartphone app. And then the magic happened on 1 Oct when every phone-box in the city rang out all at once. The people of Hull scrambled to answer the call from the future. A lucky few even getting the chance to get on an electric car that drove right up the street and on the vehicles they met a member of the cast from the future.
What surprised me is that people interacted as an entire populace and they each had a unique experience and connection to this futuristic city of Aarhull. I wonder how this would’ve panned out in Singapore? I enjoy how these lines between fiction and reality can be broken down and the suspension of disbelief that participants are willing to invest in a successful immense work of interactive media. Getting introduced to this work and hearing Matt Adam’s thoughts about it all was the highlight of the night for me.
I normally don’t really enjoy Q&As because they sometime get very sidetracked and all that. But this one was really engaging as some of the questions raised by members of the audience were really tricky issues like the ethical and societal concerns surrounding Blast Theory’s work and I think Matt Adams addressed these extremely well. It made me feel like legalities aside, the works were very well-thought out for everyone’s unique experience and I’d definitely like to be part of one of their works someday.
Also another case in point, during the Q&A, I was very impressed by Matt Adam’s clear understanding and distinction in where he situates his intent for the works even though the team as a whole pretty much sit on the crossroads of a diverse range of media. Mark Adams asserts that he started out with Blast Theory in a creative endeavor towards theatrical design and direction. And that has always been his intent and input ever since. He pointed out that the talk would have been much different if it were to be given by Ju Row Farr or Nick Tandavanitj. He sees the works as theater performances, albeit working in very much unconventional and expanded theatrical spaces. That really reminded me of the honest truth of any collaboration. Every member should bring a different perspective into the project, all can be equally valid and instrumental. After all, collaboration is the coming together of parts to a whole.
I think that the talk was extremely inspiring and I hope that these notes that I’ve written will help push me forward in my aesthetic endeavors.
Board-game designed for the hard-gripping, fun-loving, alternative ping-pong sporting souls. All you need is 4 hands, 4 air bottles, 1 good squeeze and you’re on your way to lots of fun.
Players pit against each other in either a 1 V 1 or a 2 V 2 situation. All they need to do is grab the bottles and squeeze away, with the objective of landing the ping-pong ball into the opposition’s gutter.
This was a really simple concept that I was endeavoring to explore with this exercise, as I occupied myself in the design of a sort of alternate board-game meets sport. My focus was really more on the engineering of fun through simplicity and so allow my participants to Be Part of The Art.
Here are some snippets of the process that ensued:
I begun really, by looking into many hardware / kitchenware / convenient shops for a kind of bottle. One that was handy enough. Could be squeezed with sufficient pressure such that a light ping-pong ball would be propelled on a level plane.
Finding what I needed for the crux of the game, I then proceeded in the designing of the playing field and the rules and such that will make it happen.
I wanted to make the playing field simple. A good level wooden board, nailed in the right places and with the most straight-forward features possible. Hence I needed these cylindrical building blocks, I was sawing in the above GIF, to hold the entire thing together.
Here above, I was cutting up a good cylindrical cardboard for the purposes of the gutters.
As all these things came together, it was important for me to figure out a good length for the radius in which the air bottles will have their effect on the game.
I used mostly wood and brown string to keep the design ‘look and feel’ consistent and I also desired it to have the appearance of a very much DIY sort of game.
It was much to my delight at the end that I realized there was really not much in the need of rules for the game to work itself out. All my participants sort of instinctively knew what to do when presented with the A!r Pong set. Hence I kinda let the interaction happen without any much exposition on my part.
It all was good fun and I enjoyed the realization of my very simple little idea.