Micro Project 3 — Together Split

SPLIT SCREEN

Concept

We decided to produce a whimsical take on the stages in life — birth, growing up and marriage, particularly. It is essentially a sped up, comical caricature of birth to adulthood within 30seconds. We also decided to keep it cyclical, in line with the overarching concept of ‘life’. As such, the viewer is guided in an anticlockwise direction as the split frames unravel one by one. This proved to be effective as viewers would only have to dedicate their attention to each frame as the narrative unfolds, as opposed to focusing on all four splits of the screen at once. Taking into account our inherent preference to not multi-task, and our intent to depict a cyclical process of progressive life events, this was the best approach for our group.

Link to Video : https://youtu.be/xBFrMJK8Dho

Video Flow

The video flows anti-clockwise, starting from the bottom right screen.

1. It starts with Jess, a pregnant woman in labour, thrusting out a baby. Her facial expression is exaggerated to contribute to the comical aspect.

2. Starts crawling out into the second frame to transition from babyhood to early childhood.

3. She then stands up, and Feriga’s head pops up in the third frame.  This is representative of the transition from childhood to teenage hood. The synchronisation between the two frames here create a comical caricature of a cartoon like human figure.

4. They both then walk towards the left, in sync and exit from their frames.

5. LX’s torso and my legs then emerge together as we walk in sync leftwards. This is the transition to adulthood. The mismatch between the two bodies continue the caricature element in the previous frames. 

6. LX then drops a ring which falls ‘down’ back into the first frame on Jess’s fingers. Transitioning from adulthood to marriage.

By starting from the first frame, proceeding in a clear consistent visual directional flow, consistency in synchronisation and mismatch of bodies, and ending back at the first frame, we managed to create our intended outcomes. Even though there were parts where the mismatch was not spot on, we were satisfied with the overall result.

Location

We shot this outside B1 lift area. Initially we tried doing it at separate locations but quickly realised due to both technical glitches and the distance, that coordinating with each other within the given time frame was too time consuming. Hence we decided to shoot it at a common area with each of our phones facing a different direction to still achieve the split screen effect. It was important that the screens itself were kept separate to ensure the desired outcome.

Challenges

The main challenge for this Micro Project was coordination and cooperation. Initially we kept retaking our videos as each person was trying to take their cues from the previous person. However eventually Jess took over to allocate positions and delegated roles clearly while I cued the timing. Even though this was a shared project, it was really important to have a leading figure to manage to overall flow of the work. Conceptualisation was split between all 5 of us. However execution could not have all 5 people shouting out directions or taking directions from their own instincts. Having an overarching ‘director’ was key.

REFLECTIONS

overarching thoughts

I personally believe that theses two types of control differ in each project. Some allowed for very clear personal control over the content while others allowed for more overall ‘creative control’ in a sense where every creator had an equal amount of control while not diminishing that of another.  However the latter results in no sole control of the resulting content.

Creative Control

Personally I feel that Project 1 had allowance for the most creative control. As it was based on a public hashtag on Instagram, arguably everyone had equal creative control as we could essentially post anything we wanted to. There were no external regulators or moderators to alter the content. The creators themselves determine the outcome of the alternate space created under the hashtag #1010adm. This project also had zero barriers to entry — our followers including those not from ADM, could choose to utilise the same hashtag to hack or disrupt the page.  However personal control over content is diluted due to the accessibility of this space.

Unpredictability

In terms of having the most unpredictable outcome, I would say it was Project 2. In Project 2, me and my team mate Jess, had absolute control over our concept and choice of platform — Grindr. We were our own regulators in a sense where we could choose how and who we wanted to reply or initiate conversations with. However the outcome was highly determined by the other users. It all fell back on the users’ discretion. We did try to influence certain outcomes by nudging or luring them towards a certain direction. However in some cases they went in the completely opposite direction. Most of the messages were also spontaneous and we barely initiated any of them. As such I believe this social experiment had the most unpredictable outcome — which is important given that our intent was to document and collate unbiased results to dissect our chosen concept.

DIWO & Open Source

Project 3 illustrates DIWO the most in my opinion. Personally I am someone who loves portraying darker and more ironic content. Comedy is the last type of genre I would intentionally choose to explore. However I had to make this compromise in Project 3 as the rest of my group mates wanted to do something comical. As such in the initial conceptualisation stages itself, I had to put aside my personal creative direction to DIWO. This then forced me to think out of my comfort zone and to also take cues from the rest instead. It required everyone to cooperate in order to produce a smooth transitioning split screen video. However regarding Open Source, I believe Project 1 illustrates that the best. It being the most accessible, as mentioned earlier, literally makes it an open space for anyone to alter or influence.

ConclusioN

Overall, the Projects gave me a clearer and first hand understanding of these seemingly obscure and ‘new’ concepts. It also makes us realise that these concepts are mutually exclusive nor do they exist as discrete entities. Their potency, accessibility and fluidity all reflect the demographics of the alternate realities that exist in virtuality.

Micro Project 2 — Crowd-Sourced Art

1. INITIAL CONCEPTUALISATION

Concept

Exploring Anonymity, Privacy, Pleasure and Threshold. These were the concepts we were able to explore and alter through our Crowd Sourced Art

Aim

Before we jumped right into any of the social media platforms on our phones, we took a step back. We wanted to keep the social experiment/art as ‘real’ as possible. We did not want to have to let our audience know we needed participation nor explicitly suggest that it was an art piece. We also did not want to compromise the authenticity of the work and hence decided to utilise a platform that was in line with our vision. This was to try to achieve our intended outcome as best as possible.

Platform:

We decided to use the popular/notorious Gay Dating App, Grindr as our Social Media platform. The demographics of the platform would allow us to explore the concepts we wanted to with quick interaction, given our 60mins time frame, to start and conclude our experiment. It also would not require us to solicit help from our peers to participate.

2. PROCESS

Set Up

We set up a ‘fake’ profile using a picture of Jessical’s friend (with his permission) using the tag line – fun (a slang for sex in the homosexual community) . We also added the visible bio (actually I’m only 15…). Given that the legal age in Singapore for consensual sex is 16, we wanted to test how many people would still approach our profile and solicit sex from an underage teen.

 

Approach
  1. We did not initiate any of the conversations and decided to leave it ‘floating’, waiting for other users to message first
  2. We only uploaded one picture and disclosed no personal info to emphasise on anonymity
  3. In every conversation that was initiated we emphasised on the age issue by directly asking the user if they were okay w the age. This was to remind them of the legality and morality surrounding it
  4. For those that eventually turned us down, we wanted to see if we could convince them to say yes
  5. We also wanted to test how far people would be willing to reveal (personal info, pics etc) just for the momentary hope or indulgent pleasure that they may be able to hook up with a good looking person despite having only our profile pic as the one information they had

3. RESULTS/OUTCOMES

We segregated the responses into those who said yes and agreed or wanted to solicit underage sex knowingly, and those who rejected us with the same knowledge in mind

YES

The above people all seemed shocked about the profile’s supposed underage status and were apprehensive initially. However without any prompting they went ahead still.

 

No (BUt YES?

These were the users whose threshold we managed to ‘push’. These were the group of people whom initially seemed shocked but with just a little convincing, their mindset seemed to completely change.

 

No

These users were very clear about their stance and consistently turned the profile down despite advances.

Interesting Response

This particular user acknowledged the legal and moral issue but seemed to justify that since the act of engaging in homosexual sex itself is illegal, doing so with an underage person was acceptable, given the premise of the app’s interface and purpose.

4. ANALYSIS

Commitment vs Rewards

We realised that the reward in this case for users was a prized sexualised object that was just too ‘within reach’ to resist. Most of them were willing to divulge personal information and pictures just because we were dangling a carrot (an illusionary one too) before their eyes. There was also no form of tangible commitment needed. Hence the potential rewards were enticing enough.

Consequence

The consequence in actuality for soliciting of underage sex is punishable by law. Yet many didn’t seem flinched or bothered by it. Maybe the protection of being a profile behind a screen gives people the power to exercise and indulge indirectly. After all a profile can be deleted. One does not directly feel or bear the consequence unless they are reported.

Choice

All users had the choice to say and send what they wanted to us. We did not force or instruct them to do so. In fact we reminded them about the potential consequence of their choices

Control

Though we did not directly control their actions, we intervened and influenced them with our tone such that it appealed to the specific characteristic of the stereotypical user of the app.

As artists we had full control over our piece but no control over the outcome that was essentially still determined by the autonomy of the user in the end.

Role of Creator

Being a fake profile, there was the issue of ethical behaviour at the back of our heads as artists. There were moments we did feel a tinge of guilt for ‘baiting’ the users. However in the bigger picture, many fake profiles do exist and were simply utilising a temporary one. We did not disclose the personal info that were shared (pictures, address, linked SM accounts). We also made the choice not to let the users know they were part of a social artwork, but simply deleted the profile after the timeframe.

5. Conclusion

Anonymity gave us the power to be an alternate persona with its own reality on the platform we used. It allowed us to explore the concepts we wanted to, effectively and in an unbiased manner. However we also needed some pre existing knowledge about the community, to navigate the conversations that were initiated.

6. Art?

Our collective piece served as a social commentary on privacy and anonymity in today’s world where virtual reality is an entity with its own rules. It is a documentation of spontaneous responses that illustrates the above mentioned alternate reality. Most of the things during this interaction would not happen in physical reality. To some extent we have to agree that this might be due to the ‘extreme’ nature of the platform. On other general SM sites like Instagram and Facebook, people do not usually exercise such voracity and boldness.

Micro Project 1 — Creating the Third Space

SPACE

Space to me is simply an indiscrete state of existence in which its boundaries are either limited by or expanded by our physical/emotional/mental interaction with it.

PHYSICAL SPACE

For my physical space, I decided to document and explore overlooked elements in a common public place – the sunken plaza. We often populate and interact in spaces without noticing the details and unique qualities of the inanimate objects that may occupy them.

I wanted to highlight these details through close-up shots. By magnifying their proportions, I imbue them with individuality and a glaring presence — as opposed to how we treat them daily.

I also wanted to portray the concept of distortion in the space within these physical objects themselves  — the warped reflection in the water (Image 5), frosted reflection of lightbulb cover (Image 4) , view of ADM facade through stained plastic cover of socket (Image 2) etc. Hence, depending on the way we treat these objects, they may have the power to alter our visual perception of a greater physical space.

Instead of simply being objects in the physical space, they now have become obscure entities that also lead us into another reality.

Virtual Space

We had to use the hashtag #1010adm which in itself propagates a virtual space where all our pictures are uploaded and viewed publicly.

Most of the pictures taken were somewhat recognisable.  Hence my initial instinctual response was to create a series  that would be visually unrecognisable while still originating from the same physical space (ADM) that everyone had to create their posts from.

This would make other viewers question the fidelity of my images, juxtaposed with the other ones within this virtual space. In some sense it creates a smaller, obscure space within a shared space.

The shared space is accessible to anyone from in and out of ADM. Anyone who decides to intentionally or blindly utilise the same hashtag will be able to influence this alternate space easily. It is a fluid entity that is constantly changing even with the interaction of a single individual.

Process:

1— The first few participants form the beginning  and ‘common definition’ of this shared space.

2 — Later participants are then able to view this posts and choose how (and if), they want to react to the already established explorations of spaces in ADM.

3 — There is no defined ending to this process as it is a free floating alternate space. Anyone who uses the #1010adm will be able to turn this shared space into literally anything. The limits are boundless as there are no external moderators. Everyone has the autonomy to include what they want.

Physical + Virtual

From this task, I learned how I could give a physical space new reality by having it manifested and archived in a virtual space – where realities are what individuals determine it to be.

For example, physically my lightbulb is just a bulb. However in the virtual space of #1010adm, it’s obscurity and ambiguity is a cause for question and pondering.

In some sense I’m forcing people to interact directly with these objects they wouldn’t be up close to or notice in physical reality.

In this image of the lightbulb, one user, not part of the participants in the #1010adm, commented that it ‘looks like alien teeth’. 

Conclusion

These are some questions I hope to trigger through this micro project : ‘Was this really taken in ADM’ ‘If so what is it? Where is it from?’ ‘What is ADM?’

Poetics of Time Final Piece

Title

‘Exploring the Duality of Pain and Pleasure’

Concept

I decided to do a Performance Art piece for my final project. My main concept was to use my body as the canvas and medium in this piece. I wanted explore experienced time and how its perceived duration can alter according to our feelings — specifically Pleasure and Pain. I also wanted to create a piece that would enable both the Artist (Me) and the Audience to experience these feelings within the linear duration of the work (Measured Time).

Inspiration

The idea for this piece was inspired by Marina Abramovic’s ‘Rhythm 0’, as mentioned in my previous OSS post. I wanted to convey that same idea of simply being a medium for the audience to interact with — it was important that I did not enforce any ideas upon them but instead enable them to formulate their own concepts through the interaction alone. Hence, isolating myself from my body, and conditioning my state of mind for the duration of the work, was key.

Description & SKetchES

Initial Idea : I decided to explore Pain and Pleasure through two specific items — Candlewax and Honey. My initial idea was for both Candlewax and Honey to drip simultaneously on either side of my arms while the audience watches it unfold. Measured time here, will be defined by the drops of wax every time they hit my arm and the slower dribbles of viscous honey on the other arm.

Added Concept : However I wanted the interaction to be physical and not simply visual. Hence I decided to lay out tools around my arms — the same way Abramovic surrounded herself with 72 tools. Due to the specific focus on exploring the liminal relationship between Time and Space, I decided to use just two tools — A Scraper and Marshmallows. The Scraper will be placed on the arm with the Wax, to provide the audience with a tool to help me scrape the piling wax off (which will continue to pile up no matter how much they scrape). The Marshmallows will be placed on the arm with Honey, as a complement for the Honey.

Hence this contrast of seeing me get hurt, coupled with the futile inclusion of the scraper vs the choice to experience blissful indulgence by eating marshmallows dipped in honey instead, is created.

Final Concept: I pondered about my concept further, and decided to push it a little further. Instead of merely ‘disabling’ the Audience from relieving me of my pain, I wanted to provide them with a tool that could both scrape the wax yet hurt me further. So that every time the think of helping, they may hold back, knowing that the tool could induce more pain instead. Hence I chose to use a penknife instead. I would also be doing it topless, to emphasise vulnerability.

Items

Squeezable Honey with Stand — pressure from clasp just enough to cause Honey to flow.

Wooden Bookstand — Rotated so that Candles will be able to drip at an angle that ensures the dripping does not stop prematurely.

After Candle has been glue gunned to fasten it to the stand

 

Final Work

This is the documentation of my final performance piece

Brief Breakdown

1. Initially the Audience seemed reluctant to participate or looked like they were waiting for someone to initiate interaction.

2. Audience started interacting with both sides of the work as they saw the wax accumulating.

3. I intended for the candles to be lit for only 2m30s. Hence I instructed Rayven beforehand, to blow out the candles at that mark. The remaining 3 minutes, I sat there still in ‘character’ and gave the audience enough breath to process the performance while allowing them to still interact with my body in any way they wanted to.

Observations

1. The audience barely mixed around the props from either side, though I never laid down any rules preventing them from doing so. Only one or two decided to roast the marshmallows. My Prof poured Honey over the Wax to relief the supposed pain I was feeling, which the class did not think of doing.

2. Not everyone participated and some just seemed like they could not wait for the performance to end.

3. Some of those who did interact, seemed very reluctant to. They looked like they were being forced to when they had the liberty to not participate if they did not want to.

Post Performace — Reaction, Outcome, Feelings 

 

Project 3 Revisit

PSYCHOSIS

Rhythm

There is a repeated used of the subject matter, which creates a constant rhythm to the over all piece. The use of short B-Roll like clips one after the other, also creates a harmonious rhythm of constancy. The sounds used initially are isolated, however as the climax builds up, crescendo is created as previously used sounds are layered together to form an ominous new ‘sound’. This speeds up the pace and rhythm of the film. The use of an overarching background track also anchors the film’s rhythm

Movement

The use of emphasis on subtle movements versus dynamic movements. Subtle movements such as the tremor of the hands, nodding of head and smoking cigarette are contrasted with the dynamic movements of brushing intensely through the hair and the sharp turning of the neck. There are some scenes with very little movements — where the movement is either by the lens or totally absent and others where movement is solely within the scene — water drizzling in tub or fan turning. Overall the use of various movements, creates a visually dynamic piece. Movements are also very natural and not forced.

Casuality

There is no clear causality due to the nature of the film. Causality can only be inferred after watching the whole film, due to the interspersing of seemingly random clips. However there is a clear end when the screen blacks out, giving audience time to process the film.

Duration

It is 1m29s long. I could have cut it down to immediately after the final scene and omitted the continuation of the song. This might have evoked a more impactful effect. However my concept was to evoke the looming lingering effect of the ‘head voice’ even after the build-up and chaos of the climax.

Impossibilities of Being

Initial Brainstorming

20 Places :

1. Schizophrenic State of Mind

2. Afterlife

3. Internal Organs

4. In a Wall

5. Grave

6. Washing Machine

7. Egg

8. Clouds

9. Autopsy Room

10. Coffin

11. Urn

12. ICU

13. Comatose

14. Madison Square Garden

15. Antartica

16. Mariana’s Trench

17. Bermuda’s Triangle

18. Outer Space

19. Cell

20. Garden of Eden

 

Concept

I wanted to explore a fictional ‘place’ or rather a state of mind that only certain people are able to experience. Rather than focusing on a completely fictional space, I decided to explore a reality that only exists to some people. Hence I narrowed my ideas down to ‘Schizophrenic State of Mind’.

“Schizophrenia is not a disorder of ‘split personality’ but rather a disorder of fragmented mental processes. It is a major psychotic illness. Many suffering from schizophrenia would, usually, have suffered the symptoms of psychosis for at least six months before seeking help. Sufferers will have experienced a deterioration in interpersonal relationships and in daily functioning at school or at work. Although it can affect anyone at any age, its onset is usually in adolescence or young adulthood.” — IMH, SG.

Constant periods of Psychosis are what Schizophrenics experience, alienating themselves from people around them. I wanted to make a film that would allow the audience to see and feel the fragmented thoughts that go on in the minds of affected people.

In ClASS SOUND EXERCISE

Here are the sounds I recorded (All were taken within ADM)

 

FILM concept

As we were tasked to produce a 1 minute short film, I decided to focus on one specific episode of Psychosis. Hence the title for my film, ‘Psychosis’.

Sound Concept

To use asynchronous sounds with clips to accentuate the idea of undergoing Psychosis.

Initial Idea

My initial idea was to capture close up videos of random actions and details and string them together into one film. Almost like the idea of B-Roll footages.  However after consulting with my Prof, I decided to anchor the whole film through an overarching subject matter. This would also help provide a narrative for the audience and ease their grasping of the abstract idea of Psychosis. Hence I decided to include shots of my friend performing random actions, together with the initial B-roll like shots.

Subject Matter

I chose one of my closest friends to be the subject matter for the film. As someone who has experienced mental illness, I thought her to be the appropriate subject matter to be featured. I did not want to use a person that had completely no concept of the idea of mental instability. This was to ensure my directions to her would have at least some form of conviction and naturality instead of coming off as mere ‘acting’.

Visually, she is someone who gives off a very grunge-like aesthetic and as much as this may be a stereotypical portraiture of a mentally unstable person, I decided to utilise that — considering my audience were mainly made up of the ‘normal majority’. The point of the film is to convey an idea and I decided that employing a ‘harmless’ visual stereotype would help reinforce my concept.

Reference Images of Her

I decided to go for an intentionally messy hair and smudged make up look for my final film.

 

Film

Breakdown of Themes and Techniques in Film

1. Fragmented Clips — Fragmented Thoughts

The use of fragmented B-roll clips, strung together jarringly one after the other, portray the concept of fragmented ideas that form the reality of a person with Schizophrenia.

2. Looping/Repeated Shots — Trapped in a Psychotic Loop

I took a very short clip of the subject matter’s head turning around, and being cut off just before she fully turns to face the lens. This shot is repeated twice, once at the 11s mark, and again when the film ends, at the 1m10s mark.

I wanted to evoke an insidious feeling by repeating this supposedly random shot at the end again. When viewed at the 11s mark, it may not have created much significance. But by ending the film with this same looping movement of her head turning, I wanted the audience to question its repetition and significance and also feel discomfort. It draws attention since it is the only repeated clip. This idea of looping in a circle is also a key aspect of psychosis where people may draw links between completely isolated concepts and end up forming a skewed reality.

3. Close-Ups — Acute Sensitivity

Most of my shots are close-ups — different parts of the body or items. I wanted to keep the subject matter consistent without having to show her face all the time. The close-ups also bring attention to tiny details such as the tremor of hands or scratching of bruises. I wanted to highlight the acute sensitivity a person undergoing psychosis might experience by including tiny details that require the audience to take a closer look. Here are some examples from the film:

Hint of a back tattoo and a yellow bruise mark

An empty slab of pills with just one pill left

Black bruise beneath all the scratching 

Nail marks and slightly reddish mark on right breast

Pale specks of yellow and red stained tissue in toilet bowl

4. Perspectives/Gaze — Skewed Perspectives

I used different angles and perspectives, and different gazes towards the lens to convey the idea of having a non constant and perpetually skewed train of thought. Here are some examples of these shots in the film:

Distant glare in the mirror

Intense and direct stare at the mirror

Disassociated yet calm gaze, away from the lens despite front facing

Top-down shot in intimate place of toilet, idea of a pervasive prying

Bottom-up shot with subject matter staring down at lens, giving her power

5. Asynchronous sounds/Layering of Sounds — Voices in head

I mainly employed asynchronous sounds and increasingly layered more sounds together towards the end of the film, to build a rising climax and a crescendo. For example in the bathtub shot, I used the hard sound of crushing a can. I wanted this juxtaposition to be conveyed. The layering of sounds also explores the concept of the objective and subjective voice. It creates a confusion and blurring of the lines between these concepts — audience may not be able to tell if the sounds are objective or subjective. I also used a backing track beneath all the recorded sounds, to provide a constant head voice to the subject matter. I used the song ‘Born to Die’ by Lana Del Rey but asked a friend to sing a cover for me instead — I wanted it to be raw and original. Here are some examples of the clips which employ these contrasting yet similarity between sound and clip:

Use of lighter clicking sound vs image of a lamp

Scratching sound of chalkboard vs scratching of soft skin

Blowing of hairdryer vs Spraying of hairspray

 

Other Techniques

1. Transitions

I used clues between the clips to help connect them together in a more visually cohesive manner. Though my idea was to convey fragmentation, I did not want the final product to look ‘messy’. Below are some clues or details I utilised to aid in transitioning smoothly between adjacent clips :

Breeze of turning fan followed by blowing of mist from hairspray

Street lamp in background, followed by close-up of streetlamp

Random wall in background followed by same pattern in clear toilet shot

Reflection of red traffic light on road, followed by flash of red light from phone, illuminating the skin

I also kept the dark red lipstick, cigarettes and the blonde streak in my friend’s hair as anchors for most of the scenes.

Film Ending

The film ends with my lens following the trail of a teardrop, through this obscure looking hole. This was actually a hole burned through a sheet of paper, placed right in front of the lens. When looked closely, you can see the dark burnt edges around this ‘hole’. I wanted it to be a subtle yet powerful ending. By this scene, the crescendo comes to an end and we are only left with the backing track — I wanted to attempt giving the audience this sudden ‘breath’ after the climax. The looping head turning appears (explained earlier), and the screen blacks out with the song still playing. The film ends with the lyrics ‘we were born to die’. I wanted it to evoke a lingering ominous feeling.

Artist Inspiration

I was hugely inspired to incorporate the use of layering sounds by the band CocoRosie. They employ random daily objects including children’s toys, to create the instrumental for their songs.

Reflection

I could have pushed the idea of asynchrosity by juxtaposing more contrasting sounds and clips. I should have also considered ending the film in complete silence to achieve an impactful ‘Breath”.

Poetics of Time — Research & Inspiration

THEME INTERPRETATION

For this project, we had to focus on portraying the liminal relationship between time and space. Personally I feel Time and Space are intangible concepts that vary according to an individual’s perception. They also alter and morph depending on one’s experience with an event and the subsequent emotion they feel from it. For example, time may feel dreadfully slow, and space acutely tight, when someone feels anxious. Hence for this project, I decided to focus on exploring perceived and experiential time. However, I also wanted to encapsulate the man-made idea of measured and calculated time, and how this in itself can influence one’s perception.

TIME

Time, even in its ‘scientific’ definition, according to Quantum Theory, is just a dimension of space. This highlights the relationship between the concepts.

MEDIUM Concept

I intended to do a performance piece for my final project, instead of an installation or video as I wanted my body to be the main medium. In line with this idea, I drew inspiration from a performance artist I have always looked up to — Marina Abramovic. She also focuses on exploring the internal dimensions of time and space, while ensuring her works have a strict linear time frame — to ensure a focused delivery to the audience.

Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic is hailed as the Grandmother of Performance Art, and she is known for her long durational works which often emphasise on utilising and allowing her body to be the medium through which she portrays her ideas.

Her works also focus on exploring the relationship between artist and audience and testing the limits of the body and the mind. These are concepts I want to be able to execute in my final presentation too.

“What you’re doing is not important. What is really important is the state of mind from which you do it. Performance”

 

Rhythm 0 — 1974

Abaramovic performed one of her most renowned and controversial works, Rhythm 0, in 1974.  She laid down on a table, with 72 items and gave the audience the liberty to interact with her body in any way they wanted to. Hence, for a period of six hours, visitors were invited to use any of the objects on the table while she subjected herself to their treatment. There were items that could induce pleasure and items that were capable of causing severe harm.

Source : guggenheim.org

The Art of Drinking Water Consciously 

“Feel the coldness, wetness. Feel how the water goes into the mouth, goes into the body, nourishing cells and drink this glass in 30 minutes, and nothing else. “

This video encapsulates the idea of being acutely aware of the  sensations and reactions of the body to an external medium. Through a simple and mundane act of drinking a glass of water, Abramovic explores each movement and feeling in a rhythmic and meditative manner. Time is slowed down in this video as opposed to the rapid and nonchalant manner in which we usually gulp down a glass of liquid.

The Abramovic Method

“The Abramovic Method developed over decades of research on performance and immaterial art. Created by Marina Abramovic, the Method is an exploration of being present in both time and space. It incorporates exercises that focus on breath, motion, stillness, and concentration.” – MAI

This method of feeling the physicality of measured time, while conveying the ideas of intangible versions of time, will form the basis for my performance piece. Understanding the importance of the role of the artist and the audience is key to delivering an effective performance.

This an example of The Abramovic Method, practiced by Pop Icon, Lady Gaga.

Personal GOal for final work

On my part, till the days up to my performance, I conditioned myself to be as acutely aware of the sensations in my body as much as possible. I also constantly looped songs that had a meditative rhythm and beat to them in an attempt to set a prepared state of mind. I mostly listened to idiosyncratic songs by Lisa Gerrard and her band (Dead Can Dance) as they imbue a dissociative feeling while employing a trance like rhythm. It was important for me to detach myself from my ‘body’ and treat it like a mere medium for the audience, while still being aware of each ‘sensation’. I had to feel without letting myself process or interpret them.  I also wanted it to be ritualistic.