After some discussions, my group (Rachel, Tiffany and I) managed to focus on one of the ideas we posted earlier and develop it further.
When you’re feeling insecure, you feel helpless, weak, unsure of yourself. You also become reliant on external validation. Other people’s opinions mean a lot.
If you happen to be around someone who makes you uncomfortable (either because they themselves lack confidence and are judging you, or because you simply perceive them to be judging you), there’s a good chance that your confidence will wane. You may hear other people’s voices and opinions in your head, but it’s hard to distinguish those from your own.
Hence, for this project, we would like to address this issue by showing that our insecurities are just in our mind. We need to step out and realise that they are just mere imagination.
At first, we were inspired by the teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters called Mean Girls. The film is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls.
We also referred to a Kinect powered digital billboard created by Autism Speaks featuring a life size girl who avoids eye contact no matter how hard you try. The Kinect is used to track the head movements of the people looking into the digital billboard and continually position the child’s head and movements to avoid eye contact.
We thought about the space where the audience will be interacting in and saw a video installation by Elizabeth Price called ‘The Tent’. It was derived from a single book, Systems (1972-3). The book was the video’s primary visual subject and its text was the source for the narration.
The ideograph of the tent – the video’s central motif – was derived from James Moyes’ Vibration Tent (1972), proposed in Systems as an environment intended for the intense, reductive experience of extreme white light and white noise. Basically, the tent created an enclosure for a sensual and psychological experience.
Perhaps, we could use a similar enclosed space to represent the ‘shell’ of our mind.
The Sketch / How it works
We planned to place a small pathway that leads audience to the entrance of a tent. Initially, nothing happens around and inside the tent until someone enters it. We will be placing a clicker hidden underneath the entrance floor/carpet which triggers the video installation.
After giving a few buffering time while the audience settles down in the tent, a crowd sound effect will stream in outside. Then, silhouettes of a crowd walking by will be projected on the outer side of the tent. Occasionally, certain groups of people will come closer to the tent as if they are just outside and create gestures/sounds that make the audience inside wonder, ‘Are they judging me? Why?’. We hope to create a sense of vulnerability and instability in him/her due to the response made by the people outside.
Once he/she steps out of the tent, she will deactivate the clicker and everything goes off.
This whole installation is to display what we think the society will perceive you is just inside our mind. We are the ones who are self-conscious about what they think about us. While the crowd outside symbolises the modern society, the tent you are in is your ‘mind’. The whole time you are inside your ‘mind’ is when you think all these are happening.
Main background : the crowd passing by
Occasional scenes :
– People peering into your tent
– Girls glancing and whispering at you
– A child tugging her mother’s hand and pointing at you while the later tries to ignore and walks faster
– Group of guys taking pictures of you and laughing
– A female figure approaching you but her male partner prevents her to do so
– A dog barking at you
We tried to play around in creating silhouettes by experimenting with the distance of the light source, the colour of the light and the furthest/closest the crowd should be to create a sense of depth.
From here on, my group will be finalizing our concept and start experimenting the silhouettes using a larger canvas. We also need to keep in mind the sound effects to use, the distance of the projector from the tent and the size of video.