My first ever idea was born wanting to do something with the current traffic cameras showing the traffic of the Causeway and the Second link, which is the bridge that connect Singapore and Malaysia. Usually people uses this traffic camera to see how heavy is the traffic before they decide whether is it a good idea to cross the border. Broadcasting and juxtaposing this traffic camera with another video of another bridge (say Golden Gate Bridge) from another part of the world will be an interesting visual actually.
Then I realise I was fascinated with looking at the traffic was because I want to get away from Singapore and cross over to Malaysia. I am fortunate to given the opportunity to travel quite a few countries and every time I travel, what I particularly enjoy is to actually Escape from reality, from Singapore, from school, from assignments and of course, seeing the world. I feel that the idea of Escape is very relevant in my life given the restriction living in a strict country.
From the idea of the traffic camera, I begin to see patterns of escape. As I begin to look at more traffic cameras, I begin to put them side by side making a collage. Even though it is a still image, imaging all this are videos of real traffic cameras. It as if we are working at the road authority! This collage also reminds me of a journey of escape through the never ending roads.
I feel that the idea of Escape do not have to be a destination. It could be a temporary high or a continuous chain of events that never stop. The concept of Escape is related to the idea of letting go and letting the universe to take control. Even though I envision Escape in a very literal visual such as video of airplane taking off and ship sailing off, this a good way to start thinking of the idea of Escape.
The above video is some sort of a collage which I have compiled to visualise my idea of Escape. After this video, I feel that it can be improved through more actions and even colours. However, the sense of Escape can be sense through the different aspect of ‘escape’. The next process I did was to photograph what ‘Escape’ means to me.
Right after this process of documenting Escape with a SLR 30mm camera, I realise that Escape is not always about escaping from your troubles or restriction, sometimes it’s about embracing them instead. I also feel that I took some mediums of ‘escape’ for example the ladder or the tracks. Even practising one’s religion is an escape and I agree on this because when I am practising my religion, I do get a sense of calmness in me, spiritually, escaping from the reality for awhile. From this point onwards, I envision my project to be a mash up videos of all things ‘Escape’. I begin to look at different artists for inspiration and one particular artist that I was inspired was Nam June Paik, the pioneer of Video Art. The fact that he sees the television box as a sculpture is somehow very new for his time.
I remembered watching Good Morning Mr. Orwell in class and Randall telling me that Nam June Paik is behind the scene making this all happen. And he was responsible for the overlaying of images during some of the performances, particularly during the one with Charlotte Moorman. In Good Morning Mr. Orwell, Nam June Paik played the role of coordinator and was responsible for those live images the audiences see. As the show was broadcasted live, Nam June Paik would depend on the aesthetics of the live network and have little control if anything would have happen. In this work, I see Nam June Paik as someone who is actually performing in a sense. He was the main man behind the whole aesthetic of the programme and without his input, Good Morning Mr Orwell will not happen.
Another work that was inspired to me was the TV Garden. TV Garden is an installation mimicking a garden with plants and you know gardens but surrounded by television set. What inspired me was the visual content of the displayed, as shown below. It shows a very abstract visual which i find it very appealing.
Combining these two aspect of his work and my initial idea, I have decided to hold the position of ‘performer’ in my final broadcast. In this new amalgamation of ideas, I will be manipulating real live video in real time using the Arturia Beatstep. By programming certain video editing style into my machine, I am able to control the aesthetic of my live broadcast. Moreover, a camera capturing me performing in real time will be overlay on the video as well. My act of performance in real time will be the metaphor of Escape, like how musicians playing live in front of thousands of people, they get the adrenaline rush and energy.
However, the final broadcast should not be just abstract forms and explosion of colours. I feel that it should have some kind of narrative to the idea of escape. The video could also be about my own definition of Escape and it could be about me as well. Thus, I have to decide if I should even be inside the final broadcast. Since my final broadcast have some element of randomness and glitch, I think it is also relevant if I could relate some of the technical aspect and compare it to Glitch Art.
4. Employ bends and breaks as metaphors for différance. Use the glitch as an exoskel- eton for progress.
-Glitch Studies Manifesto, Rosa Menkman
In my final broadcast, it will be many videos overlaying each other to the point where one won’t be able to recognise the scene. I am able to achieve this by using softwares that is able to bend and modify video clips. I believe with each bend and effect I apply, it should act as a metaphor in the final narrative that I am telling in the final broadcast.
Above is a screenshot of a test that I did which I imagine my visuals to be.
I like your concept of ‘escape’ and how you try to convey your definition and its meaning through your photographs. I like how you are going to define this further through your real life performance, which I truly respect. Perhaps, if you could share your perspective like what Jon Cates had done in Bold3RRR, I think it would add more definition. Just a suggestion.
I really like the way you worked through all these ideas to arrive at the end result: a kind of vj of Webcams that signal aspects of “escape.” It would be interesting to establish an interface, either with the browser/Max, or purely in Max, to give you a surveillance display, not unlike the ones used by authorities to monitor a building or the streets, etc. So you become, like Paik or the authority, the “man behind the curtain,” the vj, the surveillor (not sure about that word), the conductor of Webcams: perhaps you could say an escape artist for all of humanity!