Full Circle (Pre-Interview Decisions): Introducing Diagram Art as Part of Art Direction, Narrativising Techniques, and Episode Planning

7 AUG 2020
NOTE: incomplete citations, will update.

i. Diagram Art

Mark Lombardi: George W. Bush, Harken Energy, and Jackson Stephens, ca. 1979-90

The term “Diagram Art” is not definitively a coined genre of art. Rather, it was a thought that I had conceived upon conceptualising for the art direction of Full Circle. One may colloquialism it as the genre of Infographics, but my understanding of contemporary infographics are much more graphic and abstract than I may find suitable for this project. It is of priority to ground this project in its manifesto, to chase a genre of science fiction that maximises the potential of fiction in retaining its truth value. Scientific diagrams, especially traditional ones, would be a good starting point for developing a style for this format. The intention of a scientific diagram is never to abstract the information it presents, but rather demonstrate as clearly as possible research-based concepts through a visual medium. However, while it is presented in such a manner (Fig. 1- 4), there is a clearly poetic form present within the generative amalgamation of shapes and forms used to make the readers understanding clearer. This generated visual can allow us to reach a softer, more humanistic, more poetic dimension of reading research.

Notable Diagrams

สาระคดี ประวัติศาสตร์ ความเป็นมา เรื่องราวต่างๆ: Figure of the ...

Fig. 1 The Ptolemaic System (Claudius Ptolemy, c. AD 140-150)

Bartolomeu Velbo, a cartographer and cosmographer from Portugal created this diagram to illustrate the Ptolemaic Geocentric System — ‘Figura dos Corpos Celestes’ (Four Heavenly Bodies).

Islamic Science's India Connection - AramcoWorld

Fig. 2 Lunar Eclipse (Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, 1019)

This diagram illustrates the phases of the moon. It was a concept featured in the manuscript of his Kitab al-Tafhim (Book of Instruction on the Principles of the Art of Astrology) by al-Biruni.

Vitruvian Man - Stock Image - C038/5853 - Science Photo Library

Fig. 3 Vitruvian Man (Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1487)

Da Vinci’s diagram of his understanding of a human’s proportions.

File:Copernican heliocentrism theory diagram.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 4 Heliocentric Universe (Nicolaus Copernicus, 1543)

A simple diagram that demonstrates Copernicus’ theory of the Universe.

Mark Lombardi — Diagrams as Political Art

Mark Lombardi is a conceptual artist that demonstrates diagram in the form of political artworks. He uses information from public documents to create “narrative structures” that form networks in a diagrammatic form (MONEY KILLS). Unlike traditionally informational diagrams, Lombardi’s intention is political and artistic, yet it serves the purpose of informing and provoking. His conceptualist ideas are in line with the founding ideas of Sol Lewitt who believes “The idea itself, even if it is not made visual, is as much of a work of art as any finished product.”. Lombardi was also more interested in the “idea behind the creation”, rather than “the idea itself”.

His artworks are composed of lines drawn in pencil in a precise spirographic manner (Networks of Corruption: The Aesthetics of Mark Lombardi’s Relational Diagrams). They are representative of Lombardi’s research findings on the interactions between political and financial institutions, and their head figures. The political intention behind his art is to “expose” financial corruption through demonstrating “networks of transactions, spheres of influence”. Robert Hobbs’ also mentions that Lombardi’s artwork demonstrate the importance of gathering information, following the intricate research that goes into his diagrams.

Mark Lombardi, World Finance Corporation and Associates, ca. 1970-84 : Miami, Ajman, and Bogota-Caracas (Brigada 2506 : Cuban Anti-Castro Bay of Pigs Veteran) (7th version), 1999. Graphite and coloured pencil on paper, 175.58 x 213.36 cm. Courtesy of Donald Lombardi and Pierogi Gallery (Photo: John Berens).

Useful link: https://www.stevenbaris.com/diagrams-and-art

ii. Narrativising Techniques of Fictionality

The following concepts have been derived from the article “Hybrid Fictionality and Vicarious Narrative Experience” by Mari Hatavara and Jarmila Mildorf. This article focuses on narrativity in fiction and non-fiction, highlighting the signposts of fiction. It is indicated in the following headers where Hatavara and Mildorf had derived these theories.

“Fiction” and “narrative” themselves are asymmetrical in their inclusiveness: while fiction always entails narrative, narrative does not necessarily entail fiction. The process of fictionalization not only involves features of narrativization, such as the inclusion of experientiality, but it is also accompanied by a more or less gradual loss of (perceived) truthfulness. We are of course aware of the fact that in the context of postmodern theorizing it may no longer be safe to talk about, let alone assume, something like “truth” or “truthfulness.” However, while such notions may have been problematized in postmodern cultural theory, they still hold validity in other philosophical pursuits and arguably in many (most?) people’s everyday lives.

Paratextual Signals

Grishakova, Marina. “Literariness, Fictionality, and the Theory of Possible Worlds.” In Narrative, Fictionality, and Literariness: The Narrative Turn and the Study of Literary Fiction, edited by Lars-Åke Skalin, 57–76. Örebro Univ., 2008.

Hatavara and Mildorf describe “paratextual signals or context signals of fictionality” as a mind-representation technique that is used to narrate the story of a nonfictional subject. They may not be classified strictly as a “fictional” narrative, since they are based on nonfictional experiences.

“Their referential framework is still the real world and real people in it, and this is how they will be understood by listeners and readers.”

Representation of thought and consciousness

Zetterberg Gjerlevsen, Simona, and Henrik Skov Nielsen. “Distinguishing Fictionality.” In Factuality and Fictionality: Blurred Borders in Narrations of Identity, edited by Cindie Maagaard, Marianne Wolff Lundholt, and D. Schäbler. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016.

Two situations relating a narrative to a personal thought or consciousness were highlight in the article by Hatavara and Mildorf. They are third-person narratives that involve “internalised focalisation” or “verbs of consciousness”, and “forms which mix two discursive subjects” (Herman, David. Basic Concepts of Narrative. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.).

Dissociation of the author and the narrator

Nielsen, Henrik Skov, James Phelan, and Richard Walsh. “Ten Theses about Fictionality.” Narrative 23.1 (2015): 61–73.

Monika Fludernik’s, followed by Neal Norrick’s, described the use of third-person narration in nonfiction as “narratives of vicarious experience.” Traditionally, it had been the standard to use first-person narratives in nonfiction, as facts that have been experienced by the narrator himself, rather than descriptive of another person’s experience.

iii. Full Circle // Episodes

These episodes will be focused on building a narrative for the Moon, using only theories of scientific/research nature. Their goal is to paint a factually guided picture of the Moon, but paratextually demonstrating the philosophy and poetics behind this body of scientific study. The three episodes — “Gravity”, “Rhythm”, “Light and Darkness” — are some of the main characteristics of the Moon in relation to its relationship with Earth. These characteristics are also some of the founding principles of existence and human life. In another sense, this amalgamation of topics will personify the Moon in a ‘character’ role and vicariously communicate the narrative consciousness through this third-person ‘voice’.

(Side note: ‘Philosophy of Science’ — Science is not necessarily truth. The nature of reality may be metaphysical, and we may want to take into account the ‘actuality’ of things we observe since science cannot prove what is unobservable.)

Focus: How the Moon Keeps Us Alive

This focus has been chosen because of its familiarity and harsh factuality. It will serve as a good base to demonstrate the new narrative structure.

Expected duration of each episode: 8-12min each

Episode 1: Gravity

— Stabilising Effect

— Protection Role

— Time (Segue into next theme)

Episode 2: Rhythm

— Tides

— Seasons

— Phases (Segue into next theme)

Episode  3: Light and Darkness

— Daytime, Nighttime

— Creation and Destruction

— Lunar Eclipse

Narrative Structure

I will use Waltz with Bashir as a starting point for the narrative structure for this format. The reason for this is the debatable genre of Waltz with Bashir as it actively dabbles between the consciousness of the director and protagonist Ari Folman, interviews with nonfiction subjects recounting their war experiences, while sometimes suggesting a world of fiction and fantasy. However, there will be elements of such a narrative structure that will not fit in with the interests of Full Circle, since Waltz with Bashir has much more paratext and consciousness than scientific studies such as the Moon. Waltz with Bashir involves much more psycho-socio influences, such as trauma and amnesia, all while told through the first-person perspective of a perpetrator.

Waltz with Bashir’s story arc less steep than would a traditional story arc (Exposition – Rising Action — Climax — Falling Action — Conclusion). Rather, it takes a slow boiling approach of a steadily increasing rising action, and cathartic release at the end. The docu-animation unravels with interviews with the perpetrators as the collectively recover from traumatic amnesia, and the protagonist, Ari Folman, gains an obscured piece of information each time he talks to someone new. The big picture can only be made sense of towards the end of the film, where the audience finally understands the source of Folman’s trauma as they vicariously piece together snippets of his war memories.

Full Circle will take also be making use of interviews with ‘non-fiction’ third-person narrators’ (experts on subject), and adopt a slow-boiling unraveling narrative that ends with a ‘big picture’ conclusion. The said “episodes” and topics have already been arranged in a manner that will facilitate this narrative structure.

The Moon will take the role of what resembles a protagonist in this docu-animation, while the experts act as third-person narrators on behalf of this character. It should seem as though they are directing the narrative of the Moon. The world in which this moon will be based in should consist largely of diagrammatic elements that amalgamate to form a fantastical universe to accompany these experts’ information (but not negate its ‘truth’).

NEXT STEPS:

Make poster of project explainer to send to interviewees

SOUND TEST:

I bought a synthesizer to create the sounds reminiscent of the examples in the previous update (Fantastic Planet, Apollo 13, etc.). The following is a test I did with my new synthesizer. The animation was done in after effects, live looped in GarageBand.

FYP Proposal

Keynote

Abstract

Full Circle is a series of docu-animations that serves as an exemplary pilot to an experimental format of presenting facts, exploring the multifaceted realms of fictionality. While facts serve as the cogs of this narrative, the series yields context and familiarity as poetic devices, actively treading the line between truth and fiction. The format seeks to encourage further discourse into the way we understand research, creating a bridge between hard-shelled facts and humanistic tendencies.

This particular series explores the extent to which the Moon is entangled with life on Earth. It follows a narrative paved by a combination of facts and analytical speculation with experts, creating a narrative that is generated by research. In this narrative, science is accompanied by the rhythm of life, bringing the planetary scale of the Moon down to eye level. It is exemplary of the empathetic and imaginative realm that creative formats can bring to research, while still retaining its value of truth and effecting towards fact-based discourse.

Keywords

Speculative Fiction
Documentary
Site-specificity (Tentative) or Time-specificity
The Moon
Gravity/Quantum Entanglement

Working Title

Full Circle — a Docu-Animation series about the Moon in an experimental format

Research Objective

Research Questions

1. How can facts and research be explored through new formats such as Speculative Fiction and Documentary?

2. To what extent can we push the agenda of scientific exploration such that it retains its truth value (via exploration of the topic of the Moon, but also through other prospective themes)?

3. To what extent is the Moon entangled with the Earth and those that dwell on it? (Exemplary topic)

Specifically, Full Circle aims to:

  1. Expand the boundaries of research-based art such that facts may retain their truth value 
  2. Reinterpret research on exemplary subject of the Moon and its entanglement with the earth to be presented through Speculative Fiction and Docu-animation formats
  3. Assess the extent to which these methods align with the agenda of science and other practical causes
  4. Discover new methods of integrating fictional or speculative worlds into real-world settings/spaces.

Background

  • There is an important place for Speculative Fiction and Documentary in the realms of education and social reform. Rather than conventional means of understanding facts, these formats are able to invoke an added sense of empathy and critical thinking.
  • Hence, many genres such as Science Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Docu-films and Docu-animations are now studied in a practical context, and often used to perpetuate discourse for real-life problems.

Issue:

  • There is concern surrounding representation of facts in creative formats such that there can be implications that arise from the stylised representation of said facts.
  • This is commonly concerning in fact-to-fiction interpretation of violence, criminals, gender issues and abuse, such that there is sensationalist or misconstrued framing of said issues.
  • There is also concern surrounding the psycho-socio manifestations of more factual formats, such as documentary, concerning traumatic events such as war
  • The practical outcome of project focuses on the representation of science in creative formats, a field built on facts and truths. While science fiction, speculative fiction and some experimental documentaries tread the grey area of fact and fiction, it is not commonly recognised to have substantial educational or truth value.

Solution

  • Identify truth value of various research-based artworks
  • Develop a new format of presenting fact and fiction that can hold up in truth and educational value

Anticipated Contributions and Benefits of project

  • This new format of research-based art has the potential to push facts into effect, encouraging discourse and invoking a more empathetic connection with the audience
  • Such effect is a motivation for action, social reform and the improved knowledge and consciousness of the audience
  • Benefits of this particular exemplary topic of the Moon’s entanglement of the Earth:
    Both scientifically and philosophically connect us to an out of reach body that is familiar to the audience. Meld themes of fact (Time/Gravity/Size/Distance), speculation (Gravity/Quantum Entanglement), and philosophy (Existentialism/Scale/Relationships/Cultures). A topic that exemplifies how such a format could apply to other realms of research.

Research Milestones
(Deadline: Action)

  • 25th July: Observe format of precedent work (Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Documentary and permutations of it)
  • 30th July: Breakdown methodology and assess truth value of precedents, hence formulating some tentative ideals to maximise potential of both fact and fiction.
  • 10th August: Plan content of series and organise narrative (questions to ask) based on primary research. Subsequently, experiment with graphic and animation styles, and sound design.
  • End of September: Gather interviews with experts (Science Centre, A*STAR, Centre for Quantum Technology, etc.) based on planned narrative. (Start to create animation framework)
  • 1st Week of October: Organise gathered information and assess whether planned narrative is appropriate for new information gathered. Otherwise, narrative can be restructured.
  • 2nd Week of October: Finalise graphic and animation style, tone of sound design and documentary, the factual information should be the basis of every part in the creative process.
  • End of January: Execute practical outcome of project.
  • Mid–February: Review by experts and common audience.
  • End of March: Revision and compilation of final practical outcome.

Literature review

Conspicuous fabrications: Speculative fiction as a tool for confronting the post-truth discourse

By Kraatila, Elise. Narrative Inquiry. 2019, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p418-433. 16p

An academic article by Social Sciences Professor in Tampere University. This article highlights the issues surrounding the ‘post-truth’ world that we live in, citing storytelling as a cause for compromise with empirical facts and our ‘shared social reality’. The gist of her argument aligns with the project aims of Full Circle, such that she believes challenges faced by speculative fiction, fantasy genres and said storytelling in the ‘post-truth’ world to be ‘meaningful communication’.

Speculative Fiction in Russia and the Alchemy of Renewal

By Vladimirskii, Vasilii. Russian Studies in Literature. 2016, Vol. 52 Issue 3/4, p274-281. 8p

A discourse by Vasilii Vladimirskii, who takes Russia as testament for the power of Science Fiction and the political conflicts it entails. This discourse was published in the journal Russian Studies in Literature, which publishes “criticism and scholarship on contemporary works and popular cultural topics as well as the classics.” The article makes note of the bureaucratic red tapes that prevent Science Fiction from flourishing in Russia, and the concerns by the Russian government that it may propagate ideas that compromise their political rhetoric.

Speculative Fiction and the Philosophy of Perception.

By Keeley, Brian L. Midwest Studies In Philosophy. Sep2015, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p169-181. 12p

An academic article by Philosophy Professor in Pitzer College, Brian L. Keeley, that provides an unconventional focus on perceptive senses. He discusses how Speculative Fiction is a translation of a “scientific image” into the “language of the manifest image” as described in American Philosopher Wilfrid Sellars’ Philosophy of Perception. The article also categorises Speculative Fiction under “humanities, fiction, and imaginative arts as a whole”. It is also understood from this article that Speculative Fiction is able bridge science and ‘commonsense self understanding’.

Accuracy and Ethics, Feelings and Failures: Youth Experimenting with Documentary Practices of Performing Reality

By Gallagher, Kathleen, Mealey, Scott, Jacobson, Kelsey, Theatre Research in Canada. Spring 2018, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p58-76. 19p.

This academic article is in line with the direction of my thesis, such that it seeks a realistic way to practice documentary. The article predominantly looks at documentary through the scope of performance and theatre, yet it identifies the same dilemma of unethical and undervalued strains of documentary among creative expression. It cites that the “uncynical praxis of failure” such that ‘provisional human truths’ are discovered through documentary practice can serve as ethical means of representing reality.

War Fantasies: Memory, Trauma and Ethics in Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir

By Yosef, Raz. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. Nov2010, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p311-326. 16p.

This academic article was written by Raz Yosef, an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He poses an argument about the intention of Waltz with Bashir (dir. Ari Folman, 2008) towards exploring a collective trauma and augmented memory, rather than documenting the events that happened during the First Lebanon War. The article covers a heavily discussed topic of the ethics behind representing perpetrators and victims of a war in a documentary, and the truth value behind a production of such nature.

Precedent Studies
(Working on it)

FANTASTIC PLANETdir. Rene Laloux (1973)

WALTZ WITH BASHIRdir. Ari Folman (2008)

APOLLO 13dir. Ron Howard (1995)

THE BLACK CLOUDFred Hoyle (1957)

The Black Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics): Amazon.co.uk: Hoyle ...

Also in process of reading

2001: Space Oddity — Arthur C. Clark
Dune — Frank Herbert
Stories Vol. 2 — Ray Bradbury
The Little Prince — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Distance of the Moon — Italo Calnino
LONTAR The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction #9
The Order of Time — Carlo Rovelli
Reality Is Not What It Seems —The Journal to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli

Next Action

Focus topic and formulate specific questions for interview with experts

Resin and Latex

The rules of resin casting are simple. Mix 3% of hardener into your resin (i.e. the hardener should be calculated to 3% of the weight of your resin), this can be measured with a scale.

If too much hardener goes into the resin, it may crack. This is sometimes done intentionally by artists. If you go way over 3%, it starts to smoke. Too little resin, and it might not harden. The quantity of hardener is key to producing a good result.

Afterwards, you can pour the resin into the mould. Items can be cast in the resin, but be warned that it tends to ‘cook’. One could also opt to poke out the bubbles with a needle to produce a cleaner finish.

When the resin is cured, we can pop the resin out of the mould, and it should retain a solid shape.

Applications:

Amazon.com: Live edge river dining table with turquoise glowing ...

Amazon.com: Handmade Botanical Resin Earrings, Real Flower ...

Block Letter Keychain- Initial Letter Keychain- Pressed Flowers ...

Wood and Resin Art Surfboards Contain the Swirling Ocean Within

Etch, Raster, and Bleach

ETCHING

Fibre etching is a technique used that makes prints by selectively eating at fibres. The solution burns off the fibre of the velvet and leaves only the translucent silk.

We used silk screens to screen out a pattern for the fibre etching solution.

However, to my dismay, the velvet that I used was actually synthetic, and would not separate no matter how long I ironed.

Applications:

Commonly seen on scarves.

Fiber etch with stencil 18

Shiny Objects — Fiber Etch Tutorial (aka Devoré or Burn-Out)

BLEACHING

This technique is rather straightforward. Bleach removes pigment from the cotton, and the imprint creates a pattern on a fabric. In class, we were provided with a spray bottle of bleach. By obscuring parts of the fabric (tying it up, folding it, or even shibori), we could create patterns based on the parts exposed to the sprayed bleach.

Applications:

BLEACH TIE DYE CREW NECK T-SHIRT – Dikotomy

DIY Shibori - Honestly WTF

RASTER

Rasterising is also another common technique that works by removing materials. We can do so by uploading designs to send to the laser cut machine. It then burns partially through the wood (or acrylic), creating an ink-like imprint of your design.

Applications:

Pololu - 2. Laser-engraved wood handgun case

Black Woman Afro Silhouette Wooden Laser Cut Earrings – For Us ...

3D GRACE WOODEN LASER CUT EARRING - MANOA MINI - Sitting Pretty ...

Final Project: Metamorphose Frog Skirt + Samples

THE INSPIRATION (MOODBOARD + RESEARCH)

The frog belongs to the carnivorous group of amphibians. It can dwell in both dry land and fresh water. They could also live under rocks and in trees. Some important characteristics of an adult frog is a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, and no tail (except in tailed frogs). The appearance of a frog changes as it experiences different stages of metamorphosis.

Frog skin

The skin of a frog is distinctly glandular. These glands secrete substances that range from distasteful to toxic. The frog’s skin is also varied in colour, usually to camouflage themselves with natural colours — dappled brown, grey, green. However, some frogs have vividly coloured skin with lucid patterns. These could be bright red, yellow or black. They are usually toxic, and this idea wards off predators.

the life cycle of a frog

The life cycle of a frog comprises of 3 phases — starting as an egg, progressing to a tadpole, then completing metamorphosis as an adult frog.

______

START OF CYCLE

 

As an embryo (egg), it is covered in layers of gelatinous substance. When several eggs are clumped together, they are collectively known as frogspawn. The jelly provides support and protection while allowing the passage of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ammonia.

DEVELOPMENT PHASE

The egg then metamorphoses into a tadpole, it typically has an oval body and possesses a long, vertically flattened tail. As a general rule, free-living larvae are fully aquatic, but at least one species has semiterrestrial tadpoles which live among wet rocks. Tadpoles are typically herbivorous, feeding mostly on algae, including diatoms filtered from the water through the gills.

END OF CYCLE

 

Finally, at the last stage of the life cycle, the frog takes the adult form that we are most familiar with. This process is sudden and rapid.

The most significant change that occurs during this phase is the development of the lungs. The gills also start to disappear from the gill pouch, the front legs become visible. Another transformation occurs with the lower jaw, changing into the big mandible of the carnivorous adult. The long, spiral gut of the tadpole becomes the typical short gut of a predator, it is no longer herbivorous.

The nervous system becomes adapted for hearing and stereoscopic vision, and for new methods of locomotion and feeding. The eyes are repositioned higher up on the head and the eyelids and associated glands are formed. The eardrum, middle ear, and inner ear are developed. The skin becomes thicker and tougher, the lateral line system is lost, and skin glands are developed.

The final stage is the disappearance of the tail, but this takes place rather later, the tissue being used to produce a spurt of growth in the limbs. Frogs are at their most vulnerable to predators when they are undergoing metamorphosis. At this time, the tail is being lost and locomotion by means of limbs is only just becoming established.

SAMPLES

Sample I — Chosen Sample

Printed cloth + Organza + Furry yarn + Facial Pads — Applique

More details about the process of creating this sample will go into the next section of this post, describing how I made the final product.

Applied on some bottles and containers

Sample II — Creating a sculptural translucent surface with tape and iridescent beads

Tape + Iridescent Beads

This material was created by simply arranging some tape and dipping them in iridescent beads and then rolling it up with more tape. Although this technique is very simple, I feel like it looks better than all the other samples I’ve tried to create. It was inspired by the membrane-like translucent skin of the younger permutations of the frog — eggs and tadpoles.

Applied to a living room as wall decor

Original image from Kaodim

Sample III — Creating a 3D Crevice with machine smocking

Cloth + Smocking in circular shape with semi-elastic thread — Smocking

I realised that it was possible to create a 3D crevice-like mound on a flat cloth just by smocking with a machine using a semi-elastic thread. This idea was inspired by the mounds found on the frogs skin. On some frogs, eggs and babies can rest in these mounds.

This idea was not chosen because it uses up a whole lot of cloth to fill a small area. I also could only do this once because of the amount of elastic thread I had.

applied on a sofa

original image from Masons Home Decor

Sample IV — Creating organic looking smocking

variation 1:

variation 2:

Smocking organza to look as organic as possible.

This idea was inspired by the wrinkles on the frogs skin. I also wanted to create this on a soft, translucent material to mimic the fluidity of the younger permutations of a frog.

Sample V — A microscopic view of the frog’s skin

Strips of cloth sewn together in a cell-like pattern.

This idea was inspired by a microscopic view of the pores on the skin of an adult frog. As we all understand, the skin of a frog is also a means for moist breathing — one of its most prominent characteristics.

Sample VI — Creating 3d textures on frog’s skin with applique

This idea did not end well. To create this, I cut holes in the green cloth and popped the organza through the holes. I tried to sew all of it together but it just fell apart in the end.

However, I do enjoy the pinned version of this sample a lot, because it is very evidently inspired by a frog (the skin and its eggs).

Applied as part of Architecture, can be integrated with vertical gardening.

ALL APPLICATIONS

THE MAKING OF

Pattern making — since there was no dress form and also considering I live alone, I made a pattern out of my own measurements.

Using facial pads to create fibrous patches — freehanded cell-like cut-outs.

I also put in patches patterned cloths (picked these patterns out because they are reminiscent of an adult frogs skin). Pinned all of them down and sewed them on with a machine.

Using an exacto knife, I distressed the inside of the sewing to reveal the layers underneath.

Ideally, I would have created the fray of the edges with some sandpaper. However, due to material constraints…

It was quite a manual process. But it was also pretty cathartic.

I also embedded some wooly yarn in pockets, just to add variety to the skirt. They are reminiscent of a frogs eggs that have yet to hatch.

After repeating this process with all the pieces, I then put together the skirt. I sewed them with the machine.

Initially, I decided to create an invisible seam with some of the green fabric. But it was too flimsy to hold the shape and kept flipping out. So I went in with some stitches again.

The finishing touch was some veins that I created with furry yarn, sewn over with a machine zig-zag stitch. I thought it would be more obvious that the translucent layer was meant to be a membrane with the veins embedded in it. Afterwards, I hemmed the bottom of the skirt and added a zipper.

THE FINAL PRODUCT

metamorphose frog skirt

The concept of this skirt is fairly simple. I was intrigued by the way a frog’s been gentle its entire life, but one day turns into a lean mean bug-eating machine. As when it was a tadpole and egg, it had swam around with its translucent skin and flexible bodies. One day it grows a jaw and limbs, the patterns on his skin become more visible and less membrane-like. The skirt describes this process of transformation. I chose the method of distress because it best described both versions of the frog. I also make a skirt out of this surface because the skirt is iconic of poise and effeminacy, and would bear the most effect from raggedy edges and fun patterns. The slit down the thigh is also symbolic of revelation, making the skirt more edgy that a normal circle skirt generally would be.

Research Proposal for Final Project — The Dissection of a Frog

About Frogs

The frog belongs to the carnivorous group of amphibians. It can dwell in both dry land and fresh water. They could also live under rocks and in trees. Some important characteristics of an adult frog is a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, and no tail (except in tailed frogs). The appearance of a frog changes as it experiences different stages of metamorphosis.

Frog skin

The skin of a frog is distinctly glandular. These glands secrete substances that range from distasteful to toxic. The frog’s skin is also varied in colour, usually to camouflage themselves with natural colours — dappled brown, grey, green. However, some frogs have vividly coloured skin with lucid patterns. These could be bright red, yellow or black. They are usually toxic, and this idea wards off predators.

the life cycle of a frog

The life cycle of a frog comprises of 3 phases — starting as an egg, progressing to a tadpole, then completing metamorphosis as an adult frog.

______

START OF CYCLE

 

As an embryo (egg), it is covered in layers of gelatinous substance. When several eggs are clumped together, they are collectively known as frogspawn. The jelly provides support and protection while allowing the passage of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ammonia.

DEVELOPMENT PHASE

The egg then metamorphoses into a tadpole, it typically has an oval body and possesses a long, vertically flattened tail. As a general rule, free-living larvae are fully aquatic, but at least one species has semiterrestrial tadpoles which live among wet rocks. Tadpoles are typically herbivorous, feeding mostly on algae, including diatoms filtered from the water through the gills.

END OF CYCLE

 

Finally, at the last stage of the life cycle, the frog takes the adult form that we are most familiar with. This process is sudden and rapid.

The most significant change that occurs during this phase is the development of the lungs. The gills also start to disappear from the gill pouch, the front legs become visible. Another transformation occurs with the lower jaw, changing into the big mandible of the carnivorous adult. The long, spiral gut of the tadpole becomes the typical short gut of a predator, it is no longer herbivorous.

The nervous system becomes adapted for hearing and stereoscopic vision, and for new methods of locomotion and feeding. The eyes are repositioned higher up on the head and the eyelids and associated glands are formed. The eardrum, middle ear, and inner ear are developed. The skin becomes thicker and tougher, the lateral line system is lost, and skin glands are developed.

The final stage is the disappearance of the tail, but this takes place rather later, the tissue being used to produce a spurt of growth in the limbs. Frogs are at their most vulnerable to predators when they are undergoing metamorphosis. At this time, the tail is being lost and locomotion by means of limbs is only just becoming established.

Thermochromic Inks

thermochromic inks

Thermochromic powder mixed with a base can create a heat-sensitive pattern on a textile. When heat is applied to the powder, it becomes transparent and reveals the colour of the base (if the base is transparent, the ink just ‘disappears’). It can be applied just like a normal print or painted on.

In class we were provided some silk screens and block prints to play with. We used some of the thermochromic pigments in pink, yellow and black, though the black ink did not work as well as the others.

Applications:

Heat Transfer

DRY TRANSFER

We can transfer an image onto a fabric by ironing a crayon-drawn image on a piece of baking paper. Since the baking paper is translucent, we are able to create a tessellated image or pattern by tracing over it.

The iron should be set to a significant hear (recommended the cotton setting), then it melts off the baking paper and transfers onto the cloth. The image can come off a few times if battered thick enough with crayon, the residue from the crayon could last a few rounds. The iron should round the paper slowly to yield the best results.

I scribbled some graphic drawing of people and traced over them with a crayon on the baking paper. I traced over it twice to create a pattern and then transferred it onto a cloth to create somewhat of a graphical pattern!

Applications:

Pick up some Crayola Fabric Crayons to create an adorable DIY Rainbow Art T-Shirt! The possibilities are endless.

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WET TRANSFER

Wet transfer is similar to dry transfer in a sense that it is a transfer of ink from one surface onto a textile with heat. However, working with a wet medium, we generate more unexpected shapes and textures. They are more organic and allow better blends of ink.

For this method, we used wet inks painted on paper, covered it with a sheet of baking paper, placed it on the cloth (wet side faced down) and ironed it on. I layered the wet paints and also created one that was mixed with a dry transfer. The outcome had a live edge effect and created unique, dynamic patterns.

Applications:

This may be the coolest thing I've ever seen ... definitely the coolest use of gelatin EVER ... printmaking with leaves, printing ink, and a cookie sheet of gelatin. Who would of thought?

 

The Shibori Method

THE SHIBORI METHOD

Shibori is commonly used in tie-dye. However, for this class, we manipulated thermoplastics with the Shibori method. This method creates three dimensional textures on a thermoplastic without the need for sewing. The materiel of the textile should be 100% polyester, and preferably a light one, to yield the most effective results.

We created our outcomes by creating folds in our fabric by tying it around objects or manipulating it in different forms, then wrapping them in aluminium foil (to preserve colour) and boiling it in water for around an hour.

After we remove it and allow it to cool, it retains the shape that we left it to boil it, therefore creating a texture on the fabric. This technique is useful in creating organic tessellations (with marbles or coins) or create complex geometric forms without smocking (origami method).

Applications:

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Knitting

KNitting

Knitting is a common hobby, mostly as an idle practice. It involves a repetitive motion of creating loops and knots in a series that ultimately forms a single piece. This motion is assisted by 2 rods where the piece is transferred at every change of direction. The pattern of the loops can be deliberate (purl stitch/knit stitch etc.) and alternate.

One can use unconventional materials to create knitted pieces. The pieces can also form unconventional shapes and even 3D forms. Here are some of my experimentation with raffia strings, cotton threads and conventional yarns.

Raffia

 

Cotton

 

Applications:

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