Media Art Nexus: Process and Documentation #1

Starting out!

From my moodboard, I mentioned i wanted to explore the concept of depicting the creation from a Japanese point of view. One can imagine, when you think of Japan, you think of cherry blossoms blooming, the fauna and flora (green) growing slowly, their clear lakes and mountains. I wanted the three main colours of the earth and flowers (pink, green and blue) in my project.


The first step to my entire project was to try and figure out how i was going to do up the time lapse. I asked many people, tried to do as much research, and i finally found out the best way to do up the time lapse. So according to the video that I found, best was was either using the in built time lapse mode or get an intervalometer.

So i followed this tutorial quiteeeeeeeee intensely.

Next was to figure out the crystals. Below is my tutorial for growing the crystals.

I had a bit of headache trying to get all my materials that i needed, which were
1. Mrs Stewart’s Bluing (not sold in Singapore, thank goodness someone was selling it off carousel)
2. Household Ammonia (this was a bit tricky to find as well)
3. Salt
4. Water
5. Food colouring

So the concept of how the salt crystals form: The Bluing, which is a clothes detergent of sorts, attaches itself to the salt particles, so that when the liquids evaporate, the attached particles will clump together to form the salt crystals. The household ammonia acts as the agent that speeds up the entire process of evaporation, making the it grow faster. BUT, it still takes anywhere between 12 – 24 hours (sometimes even more) for a full proper growth.


Moving on to actually trying it out.
Below is my very first attempt at my crystals. This took about 6 hours before i stopped the time lapse, thats why its not complete.

Below is what i envisioned on how to apply my footage to the dimensions of the north spine wall.


The way i edit my colours to get the very nice neon and mystical feel, i edited the images on Lightroom before bringing it into premier pro. One entire set of a full growth would normally be about 1000 images. That’s a few thousand images for a few sets. Almost died. hahahahha But i’m happy with my colour edits. Especially because it turned out to have the nice neon feel. The pink also gives the idea of the cherry blossom.

Also!! Initially i was using cardboard to be the medium on which the crystals grew on, but i found a more aesthetic medium — charcoal!! I needed a medium that was porous to make my crystals grow, so i was pretty happy to find that charcoal worked well. And it gave the sense of the earth element.

I experiemented a few more rounds and below are my tryouts of my crystals growing.
To get the high definition so that it wont appear pixelated on the big screen, my time-lapse used many photos.

This was the first part of my experiment and i am quite happy with the turn out. Though it took a longggg time to get done. I made use of the entire study break when my roomate was not in to film and photograph for 5 days straight!

Another thing i realised was that i needed a controlled environment. The tutorials i saw on youtube were all done by people in America or other countries. Countries that had a very cool environment, not humid. So i had to turn on my air conditioner almost 24/7 to get an environment that allowed for evaporation to take place faster. It really was quite an interesting experience.


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