MAN: Actuality (Final Documentation)

Abstract: 

Actuality is a visual narrative that follows a girl who realises that reality is not what it what she think it is. Drawing inspiration from Particle Duality and the Double Slit experiment, these discoveries showcases how light particles can behave in a completely unexpected mannerisms. To the artist, this opens up more questions about the tangibility of our world, of how there are secrets are yet to be unlocked and utilized in our current time. Another theory that shapes the piece is the Simulation Theory. The theory proposes that all of reality, including the Earth and the universe, is in fact an artificial simulation, most likely a computer simulation. This resulted in the protagonist in the video meet a monster that represents a Matrioshka brain, which is a megastructure that is hypothesised to have of immense computational capacity. Hence having the ability to create a simulation in the protagonist’s world.

Reflection:

It was a great experience doing things in After Effects for such a long video. My only experiences so far with the software is creating very short GIFs and effects, hence executing a 2min video was a challenge to my current skillsets. It was a learning curve for me and there was a lot of googling that needs to be done in order to get the effect I want. A lot of time was also need to settle on the illustrations and I kept on making improvements onto it till the very end of the deadline.

Some of the improvements I want to make is adding even more details into each frame. For example, making the protagonist facial features move and the likes. After the last test that was shown on the Media Art wall last week, I realised that it looks quite plain and Daryl suggested injecting more movements into in each frame to make the viewers eye move, hence making it more interesting. As such, I had to compromise by cutting out a few frames to add a little more details and transitions to meet the deadline. Despite this, I am contented with the final output and will keep working on it over the holidays to get it to the standard which I envisioned it to be.

View my final work here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YkZUWlMelRerFmPtfXJN1dzqeEggaCyT/view?usp=sharing

Documentation:

Interactive Spaces – Moving/static image

Moving/Static image: Snowpiercer

In the future, climate-change has caused temperatures to dip to inhabitable levels. Killing all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe for 365 days. In there, a class system emerges to maintain the system, eventually causing a rebellion from the people within the lower class.

Image result for snowpiercer

Image result for snowpiercer

Upon entering into the first few scenes of Snowpeircer, one would be able to take in the tone of the movie just by the visuals of the set. Vast expanses of white snow covers the earth, and a cold steely train zooms past it, empty cities were covered in ice and snow. One is able to tell that it the land outside the train is unforgivable.

This film is very interesting as one would be able to see the difference of caste based from the set that is build, which can be mostly inferred from the colours and costume design of each set.

The first quarter of the movie also takes place in the end of the train where the lower caste are situated. The set there looks akin to a slum, with people packed together like sardines and most of them looking grimy and dirty. The costumes here are drabs which have very minimal colours.

Image result for snowpiercer

The lower caste

This is a vast difference to the upper classmen, as seen below:

Image result for snowpiercer school scene

Lower caste people in the upper class area

Image result for snowpiercer sushi scene

Lower caste group going to eat sushi, again the difference of colour (red of the sushi chef vs the dull drabs)

One could tell the difference just by the colours alone, which is a stark contrast from each other. This shows us how to the colours can be used to influence one’s perception.

The architecture of each set also sets the tone of the increase of class as they move forward to the train. It gets more developed and high tech after every section. For example, one is able to see meat/vegetable production and education happening, things which were non existent in the section they were living in previously.

Hence this movie is interesting as the architecture and design of each set aids the visual perception of the viewer. Moreover, the plot of the movie was something I really enjoyed as well!

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Interactive Spaces – Physical space for art/Performance

Physical/public space for art: Ex-Stasi by Tania perez-Salas

Ex-Stasi is a dance by Tania perez-Salas, and taps on a thin cloth and lighting to enhance the whole performers. Like with the drug Ecstasy, “Ex-stasis” is about the mind letting itself go so the body can let itself go, the rhythm of life is supposed to be when the body is the master of the mind. It’s an analogy for technology and how it has been good or not good for our life. There is different music to go along with this like techno and blues.

Pérez-Salas envisions her choreographic work as a collaboration of lighting, design, music and movement—something she credits to her upbringing and her perception of the world. “I love to imagine things,” she says, “sometimes it’s not me living the things, but the way I see that others are living things.”

Image result for EX-STASIS

Image result for EX-STASIS

Image result for EX-STASIS

 

 

Perceptually, the visuals  is amazing due to the use of the cloth and lighting on the stage. I really love how the material moves with the dancers, and together with the light, how it is able to bring across different emotions differently.

Besides the cloth used in this performance, perez-Salas also uses water and wind. When talking about her inspirations regarding these innovative materials, she responds to say that it is from her own personal experiences. She gets her inspirations from everything and everywhere, and incorporates this to her work. I feel like she is able to tap into her creative mind very well, and this translates to the beautiful works she is able to produce.

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Interactive spaces: 100 lights/Pavillion

1 bulb

10 bulbs

100 bulbs

Bird cages

Keeping singing birds is a dying hobby in Singapore, and the people who often participate in this activity are middle aged men and above.

In the past this sight is prominent within our neighbourhood, as bird and cages fill up void decks or open spaces. One would be able to hear the distinct chirping of these birds from far away, and see groups of the owners huddled together drinking kopi while occasionally looking up to check on their beloved birds.

Such images are reminiscent of the olden days of Singapore, of a local culture that is somehow segregated from our very own generation due to the fast pace development of Singapore. The effects of such can be more evidently seen in the lost of dialect or even mother tongue language within my generation.

Image result for uncle bird cage singapore

Image result for uncle bird cage singapore

Image result for uncle bird cage singapore

Image result for uncle bird cage singapore

It’s a pity that sights like these are slowly disappearing as the older generation fade away, it would be great to pay homage and appreciate our local culture.

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FYP Pitch

Presentation slides here!

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1IvPpRXCzmtvae1df8fqS50Qf5EMVfAse7sNxBmLHVW0/edit?usp=sharing

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Project Management: 100 words FYP idea

Fertile (working title)

Unbeknownst to many, soil is the key foundation in the over arching food chain but yet is speculated to be extinct within 60 years. It has one of the greatest biodiversities on our planet, yet is considered to be akin to “dirt” to the common man.

This project aims to demonstrate the future of our society and our eating habits should we not pay more attention to the very thing we are standing on in our everyday life. Cracks are starting to show in our crumbling planet, as toxins from pesticides and artificial fertilisers seeps into our food and waterways. The projection portrays the “what ifs”, and aims to create conversations regarding this topic.

 

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Experience 2 documentation

For our experience 2, Bridgel, Mavis and I talked about our concept over here!

We did it over the week and the video below is our documentation

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Project Management: Assignment 4

Compared to the previous readings where we learnt about thoughtful interaction or Social practice art, Minimalism, a movement that kickstarted in the late 1950s is an extension from the abstract idea that art should have its own reality and not be an imitation of some other thing. Tate states that we tend to think of art as representing an aspect of the real world (a landscape, flower, person, etc), or even to reflect an experience such as an emotion or feeling. However according to Frank Stella in the context of minimalism, ‘What you see is what you see’.

With minimalism, no attempt is made to represent an outside reality, the artist wants the viewer to respond only to what is in front of them. The medium, (or material) from which it is made, and the form of the work, is the reality.

  • Tate

One aspect which I enjoyed from the exhibition is the inclusion of artists/artworks that utilises the many interesting mediums that can be used in this movement.

Image result for Milkstone (1980) by Wolfgang Laib on display at the National Gallery of Singapore.

An example of such artworks that enjoyed was Milkstone (1980) by Wolfgang Laib

But the artwork that really appeals to me is Blank Paper by Liu Jianhua.

‘Blank Paper’ by Liu Jianhua at Tate

‘Blank Paper’ by Liu Jianhua at National Gallery –  the folds at the tip of the “paper” is made intentional. To me, it shows a more paper-like and fragile quality of the work itself.

 

‘Blank Paper’ by Liu Jianhua at National Gallery. One is also able to see the thinness of the porcelain up close

Exhibited at the National Gallery, Liu Jiahua’s ‘Blank Paper’ consists of 3 large porcelain sheets that is thinly crafted to resemble blank pieces of paper, similar to the title of the art piece.

Where do their ideas come from?

Jianhua first learned his craft at the age of 14. He learnt traditional ceramics by his uncle, a ceramicist, in the city, Jingdezhen, the centre of China’s porcelain industry. He then went to the Jingdezhen Ceramic Arts Institute, studying fine art and learning contemporary art styles.

Most of his works involves the usage of porcelain, ceramics, gold, and fiberglass.

I have also read up about galleries explaining that his work has often been interpreted as a comment on China’s rapid economic development and industrialisation and its role in the globalised economy, which to me, is along the same theme that Ai Weiwei explores.

Hence, it can be suggested that his ideas mainly comes from his upbringing and culture. Based on his main choice of materials such as ceramics.

What was their process and methodology for creating their works?

Silke Schmickl, the curator of the gallery roughly explained on the curation and the process of displaying this piece. She said that Jianhua himself created the sheets by rolling it out into thin pieces. I believe that he needed time to experiment with it, as it is quite difficult to find the correct combination of water, clay, heat and etc. Just like baking.

She also explained the difficulty of putting up the artwork due to its fragility. Something along the lines of having to put it onto something, akin to a platform(?) and placing screws onto it so it does not directly stick onto the piece. On other pieces of work, she also explained the steps they took to care and display it. Making the museum come to life, and it is something I appreciate from the experience very much!

Which artworks do you think work well and why?

I believe that this piece, and his artworks in general is inline with the minimalism theme. The following quote by Heini Lehtinen explains how this piece falls into the minimalism category:

“In his work (Liu Jianhua), the Shanghai-based artist places strong emphasis on form and material to the point of standing away from prevailing tendencies in contemporary art, such as social commentary and narrative approaches. With a “no meaning, no content” approach to art, Liu focuses on form and methods of industrial production in making artwork, in which he transforms paper, leaves, bones and ink drops into fragile and at times surreal porcelain sculptures.”

 

Personally, I this piece appeals to me mainly because of the juxtaposition and play of the material itself, porcelain. I think it is a very smart way to reinvent the usage/concept of materials that we are taught to presume in our society. The blank canvas also makes me think about what I would actually write on this “paper” (probably something very important), as it is extremely fragile and “expensive” due to the craftsmanship that involves into making it. Personally, it is a reminder to be more careful of the words we convey to people.

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