‘Futuristic Fantasy’ was the underlying idea behind my narrative, thus the aesthetic I was for my look was futuristic, edgy yet at the same time elegant and delicate. This is to convey the fantastical beauty in the technology, the wonderment in the third space. To add on to the fantastical look, I might use embellishments. I designed two different pieces, with some experimental preliminary sketches included. Most of my colors consist of black/grey/white as I was going for the high-tech look(though color palette is not confirmed). Regarding texture, I want the contrast as well – soft chiffon/organza ruffles alongside the smooth and crisp.
For inspiration, I looked at futuristic fashion. These were the pieces that striked out to me:
Anouk Wipprecht’s Smoke Dress – I was intrigued by the high-tech yet elegant look.
Chomat’s Boning Dress – The architectural and geometric element in the design inspired me.
The main highlight for this piece would be the boning structure, which I plan to use boning as the material. Its rigidity and geometrical structure purposefully contrasts with the soft and flowy costume underneath.
I plan to use comfortable fabric for the top, preferably cotton or lycra. For the skirt, I plan to use grey, slightly shimmery organza. In terms of wearables, the boning structure has many possibilities. It could expand via sensors, or perhaps LED lights used to light it up.
However, its rigidity might be challenging due to movement from dance. A possible solution would be to make the piece malleable, or structure it in a way that the arms will not be impeded during the performance.
Once again the clean structure will be used to contrast with the delicate ruffle skirt. The ruffle skirt can be expand via sensors, and the look can be achieved by the boiling of fabric. The color of the dress could be an ombre from white to grey, and the material more stiff. Once again, boning can be used as the shoulder pads to add the edgy, futuristic look.
During my exposure to the subject of ‘Touch’, interacting with one another via the third space, I explored my thoughts regarding the topic.
Looking into virtual space made me realised how it was something that we take for granted. It is so integral in our everyday lives, yet we often do not observe how it affects us inside. Only when we started consciously taking note of the third space then we realised how it matters.
My main takeaway from the virtual touch was that it is not real. No matter how close and seemingly intimate, it will never be or replace the real tactile feeling. Something magical is missing in virtual touch compared to physical touch, might in fact leave us a little empty in the communication.
Yet, the feeling of ‘touching’ or even ‘hugging’ someone virtually, while not having physical contact – it very surreal and interesting. It even challenges the boundaries of what is real, the distinction between physical presence and telepresence. These statements were strongly referenced by Paul Sermon’s ‘Telematic Dreaming’.
Paul Sermon’s Telematic Dreaming, first exhibited in 1992.
The installation questioned the physical presence and telepresence. Though they are separated by geographical locations, this piece allowed the users to exist beyond their own time/space and create an alarming sense of touch. Also, the use of speakers allowed intimate conversations to kickstart. A vivid interaction between Paul Sermon and the audience was thus created, giving an out-of-the-world experience to the participants. – Research Critique on Telematic Dreaming
Therefore, this was a thought-provoking piece that tested the boundaries of distance, whether the sense of intimacy can be crossed over to the third space (and even invade on personal space), and the topic on reality versus virtual reality.
At the same time, the third space is very susceptible to imperfection. There will always bound to be glitch in the media, at times when we had virtual classroom we might face connection issues e.g. someone would disconnect, or their screen would freeze/glitch at times even. It would often cause us some annoyance. Yet, sometimes this glitch might be a beautiful thing as it produces nice results aesthetically, like ‘The Glitch of PAL’ by Rosa Menkman.
The Glitch of PAL by Rosa Menkman, example of an aesthetically interesting glitch.
Therefore, these were my thoughts about ‘Touch’ that I am very keen to explore in the performance. Next, I started to conceptualise for it.
Conceptualisation + Narrative Overview
Overall narrative: Transcendence into the Third Space, a fantastical “utopia” > Disillusionment > Possible endings (closure – fading away/open-ended – entrapment)
Telematic presence is a constant theme that needs to be addressed on. Moreover a strong, surprising sense of touch needs to be established whereby the audience should feel that the performers are even transcending their own time and space. This can be achieved using the wearables. During the interaction with Angeline, our actions should transcend our current space and make the audience feel as if we are in the same plane as them. It could be like as simple as making her dress interact when we perform a trigger action. For example, through a hand movement (performing magic gestures/switching on a button etc.) we can ‘trigger’ her dress, which then lights up with LED lights. Thus it might seem that we ‘magically’ lit up her dress through a hand movement, and as if we are in the same room as her physically, though we are not. This would then challenge the physical presence and telepresence, creating a deceiving reality that is more surreal.
Performers can look very intrigued and in wonderment, because the third space is a very interesting concept and transcending across space feels like a fantasy.
In ‘Hakanai’, there’s this sense of fantasy being established with the movement and the dancer’s expression.
Aesthetics wise, I thought of this piece like a ‘futuristic fantasy’. During the interaction between the performers, a surreal feel can be suggested through the fluid moves and aesthetics of the set/costumes.
I thought it might be interesting if halfway in the performance there is a staged glitch, which the performers can act like they are in dismay too. This is to show the reality of how the media is always imperfect and we often face unforeseen circumstances which makes us annoyed. Yet, at the same time the glitch needs to still look aesthetic, to prove that it is spontaneously appealing. Therefore, the concept of an imperfect third space might be a climax.
Moreover, the performers could convey the lack of reality in the third space that leaves one empty, through sad dance movements and music.
The ending of the performance might be a closure or might not be. It could end with a proper conclusion to the narrative, for example fading away in sadness when the connection goes off slowly. Another option would be it going somewhere new with the narrative that leaves the audience to probe further. Maybe it could be as if the performers got so immensed and they went into the virtual reality itself. It could bring out the sense of entrapment. Then the audience would ask, did they get trapped there? What happened to them?
There are many possibilities with what this item can encompass and there options are only some considerations regarding the direction we can go towards.
“Thinking Herself Back” is a personal narrative of Angeline Young, using the body to explore the plight of refugees and their displacement. The piece looks almost like a ritual, it being referenced by Daoist ritual practices. The role of the personal narrative brings out the issue further as it is relatable to the artist and this makes it more convincing to the audience.
The question I have for the artist is: What is the significance of the white powder, what does it symbolise in relation to the narrative?
“Reaching out for my father beyond the bamboo curtain” is regarding the distance that Angeline Young faces with her father, and thus the idea of absence. It contained recorded conversations with her and her father which drew on the idea of absence further. The role of the personal narrative brings an intimate quality to the piece, makes it very heartfelt and relatable to audience
The question I have for the artist is: How did you come up with the motifs for the piece?
My dog looked at me with eyes devoid of life, filled with sadness. I asked, “Zack, what’s wrong?” The whole time he just kept avoiding me. He was behaving very, very weirdly. He would usually be coming to me for attention. Then, my mom alerted me in horror. “Zack is at the window!” I rushed to the place, however only to find my dog looking into my eyes and saying that he was old and did not want to want to burden us anymore. He leapt out of the window. I sobbed uncontrollably.
I was a random soldier. We were at stealth mission and supposed to be not be discreet in retrieving information. Then, someone screwed up and knocked down a Pepsi can. The enemy was alert and the soldier who messed up was terrified. He thought it was the end of him. Until, the captain suddenly turned up and said it was him. He sacrificed himself for a comrade, so heroic. We just looked silently as he got arrested…
I was in ADM with my sister, we were having a function and socialising around. We decided to go further in a gallery to explore, suddenly it was really weird and red. It felt eerie. I asked her that we should go out, so we went out and then we opened the door to outdoors. Suddenly everything was back to normal and party resumes.
Task #3: Translating journal entries into video
Dream Sequence: I was in a beautiful, divine sanctuary. It was a magnificent glasshouse that had influences from the Greek architectural style. In this fantasy, I was awestruck and left wandering in amazement. Outside the glasshouse was a garden that looked very grand. I was simply socialising with my friends inside this glasshouse, and decided to take a stroll on the gardens outside with a friend. We walked down the main stairs to go towards the garden.
However, something was strange.
Suddenly, it was extremely dark almost as if we were in a basement. The plants were dried, the vibrant colours of the flowers were no longer present. The air was stale and dreary. Then, we heard a shrill. A hoard of creatures started charging towards us, they looked like ghouls. My friend yelled in shock but promptly took out his weapon, “Quickly! We need to eliminate them as demon hunters!” Then we just started killing the ghouls. It was an intense experience.
Dream Sequence: Earth was slowly falling apart, grounds were collapsing. The sky cracked wide open to reveal a glimpse of the solar sky. Gravity was no longer holding Earth in place and I saw a school bus lit on fire, as it got dragged slowly into the solar sky. I was terrified, I could not do anything to help and could only stand there. I ran down to the subway station and strangely, I saw Japanese restaurants still present with staff inside. They calmly did their jobs. I was bewildered and continued to run on, to nowhere. Then, something enlightened me saying that there would be a safe haven and I need not worry. I simply followed where my heart and that enlightenment led me.
Experimenting with different combinations of colors
More abstraction (more tiny glitches)
Glitch using Photoshop
While compiling a series of photos on Photoshop, it glitched and produced this set of interesting images by chance. I thought it was interesting as it successfully amalgamated three different portraits of myself, thus conveying the sense of hyperactivity. It also had a cubist touch to it, which I thought was intriguing.
Glitched by photoshop
The glitch exercise showed new perspectives to a certain picture, opened up different viewpoints which I would not imagined the picture in, especially the accidental distortions. It might be sometimes too random which makes it difficult to control. At the same time, it also showed that accidents and unintended effects in art can sometimes be even more exciting due to its spontaneity.