Critical Analysis

Blair and I finally installed our work for marking. We are really happy with how it has turned out and the massive journey we have endured to create what we have. From filming one plastic bottle in the bush, to creating an installation of them on the beach while incorporating sound and confronting statistics as well. Disregarded Debris still has potential to go much further and expand beyond the limits we have explored. Our work projects the effect we want, by being proactive in raising awareness on pollution and debris but also makes the audience realise how much we subconsciously try to avoid it. All of the materials and litter used in our piece was 100% recycled and sort from bins and our own rubbish.

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Being so passionate about the environment and cleanliness, Blair and I plan to continue on with this work, by creating much more elaborate rubbish installations that we assume will gain a large audience and hightened attention. We also have the objective to update our tech gear and therefore work more on the quality of our film, which is an important component to master.

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I learned a lot doing this work. In previous years I have attempted to do many works that intended to involve the public, but I never had the confidence to actually complete them. Striving through this with Disregarded Debris I realised that the result of having a finished work was much more beneficial than letting the nerves overtake me.

When it came to actually presenting our work to Matt and Jo, our projector decided that it didn’t want to play our film so we had to project it in the classroom which was unideal after spending hours installing the speaker and projector and putting it in the right position. However, Matt and Jo seemed to be pleased with our work despite the room change and were happy with the massive progress we made during this semester. Disregarded Debris was a success thats Blair and I are proud to be exhibiting it in the Grad Show.

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Artist Statement – Disregarded Debris

Disregarded Debris is a short film consisting of numerous clips of various locations containing debris. The work explores the publics relationship with the material and displays their response. Disregarded Debris is a reaction to the neglect of rubbish in society and responds to this through displaying this rubbish as objects in a suburban context. Doing so, right in the path of pedestrians and therefore, eliminates the option of avoidance that we are so familiar with. All of the materials presented in the film were collected from bins and were 100% recycled.

Sound and statistics were included into the work with the objective to add depth, encourage audience engagement and provide confronting knowledge.

The work was initially inspired by Wonbin Yang’s Species Series. The physicality of the objects in Yang’s work as well as his composition techniques is what intrigued us to further research how we could reconstruct his ideas for our film. Yang’s work is made from trash and small mechanical parts that were positioned in carefully selected locations. It was through arranging our objects in the form of an installation that we too were able to give our work a unique aesthetic that participants could not ignore.

Disregarded Debris is neither an experiment, nor a judgement but an observation in human response to litter.

Statistics

Water bottles:

  • Australians purchased over 726 millions litres of water in 2015. The average cost of the most popular bottled water in Australia is $2.75 per litre. Therefore Australians may have spent up to $2 billion dollars on bottled water in 2015.
  • Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes.
  • It takes up to 3-7 litres of water and one litre of oil to produce one litre of bottled water.

https://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary/

Plastic Bags:

  • If you joined the 500 billion plastic bags Australians use annually, they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.

http://oceancrusaders.org/plastic-crusades/plastic-statistics/

Cans:

  • Australians use over 3 billion aluminium cans annually. By recycling just six aluminium cans you can save enough energy to offset the carbon emissions from a 10km journey in an average-size car.

http://www.sita.com.au/community-education/site-tours-education/fact-sheets/

Glass:

– Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, or a fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.

http://www.sita.com.au/community-education/site-tours-education/fact-sheets/

Coffee cups:

  • 1 million disposable cups end up in landfill every minute

http://vs.keepcup.com.au

Filming Complete

Blair and I spent the week finishing the filming for our major work. We decided to film on campus as we thought the public would be more understanding and not take our installation as such an offence.

We continued to work with busy pathways as a way to make people respond to the objects we were displaying. The first footage we caught that week was a success, there were many people passing through the coffee cups we displayed as an installation over the pathway. Many intrigued participants also stopped to ask what we were doing and what the work represented.

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We then found a location where we were able to get footage from above and therefore gain another perspective of peoples responses. This time we decided to shoot plastic bags  that contained weights that were randomly placed underneath a balcony. Here people stared, ignored as well as kicked the bags to seek what was inside them. Overall, this location gave us the effect we desired.

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For our final location we decided to shoot on the esplanade in Cronulla during the busy hours of the morning. This was the only location out of all that no one from the public stopped to ask what we were doing and why the objects were randomly placed on the ground. People completely ignored the glass bottles on the ground which was a surprise as the last time we shot in Cronulla every single one of the objects we placed in the frame was picked up by the public.

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The plan now is to edit the film together. My job is to edit the film while blair creates the sound. I’d like to condense each location to about 40 seconds, after this I plan to fade to black for approximately 5 seconds where I will provide a statistic in text on screen while Blairs sound plays over. We have 5 locations to put together so our film should come to about 5 minutes all up.

Project Progression

During the week Blair and I went to Cronulla and decided to film the water bottles carefully placed on the main pathway. The results were fairly similar, people were very confused as to what we were doing and did whatever they could to avoid touching or going near the water bottles. Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 11.07.50 AM.png

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We firstly decided to film from afar so the camera wouldn’t have any influence over the participants reactions. However, despite our distance people were still looking over wondering what we were doing. We also didn’t think this angle was effective enough for what we wanted and the water bottles weren’t the main focus of the frame which is what we were after.

So we then decided to get slightly closer by filming from the other side behind one of the residents fences. (see below)

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As seen above, majority of people did their best to completely avoid the path all together even though there was plenty of space to walk through the bottle arrangement.

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Two and a half minutes into filming from this angle this man actually begun to pick up the bottles along with other rubbish and plastic surrounding it, until he realised that we were actually filming, so he brought it up to the camera and explained why he felt the need to pick it up.

We believe that this angle is our most effective yet and will be displayed in our major work. Next week we are planning to film coffee cup arrangements from above, which will add depth to the work being able to observe it from various angles. From there we will film plastic bags on the beach during the busy weekend peak hours.

In terms of sound we are planning to incorporate audio from plastic crushing, crowds racing and cans dropping but whatever sound plays will depend on what is currently on the screen. Each clips duration will be for about a minute each and therefore with clips the entire piece will go for approximately five minutes.

 

 

Public response

This week Blair and myself went out into public areas and created sculptures that we placed in the middle of pathways. We did this so the public would have to interact with them and by filming this reaction we could assess whether it is positive or negative and also how they respond to pollution.

First we went to the main streets of Gymea during the earlier hours of Saturday morning so we could catch everyone going past the cafes and walking to the park. The area had a group of people walking past at least every 30 seconds which is necessary as our idea wouldn’t be affective if it wasn’t a high traffic area.

First we attempted to form our sculpture as a pyramid style which was only small and although we placed it in the middle of the pathway people were hardly noticing or responding to it. In fact they just walked around it like it didn’t exist so we went to more drastic approach and lined them up all the way along the pathway so people had np choice but to interact.

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We were surprised at how people responded to the sculpture, some tripped over which was quite concerning others just stood and stared, and there were a few children that stopped to ask their parents why water was on the ground. Some people got pretty angry with us for putting up the ‘tripping hazard’ and some just laughed at us with stupidity, but at least we got a good form of response.

We then went to the local train station and decided to place soft drink cans on the stairs and film from below to get the entire view. We placed them diagonally instead of as a group as we believed by spreading them out it would force more people to interact as oppose to ignore. Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 10.51.30 am.png

This response varied to the previous location with less people and of a younger demographic. Some boys were running down and didn’t see us filming at the bottom, as they ran they kicked over all the cans as a game and were shocked when they saw we were obviously filming them. Despite this, it was great to get their natural reaction to the cans straight up.

We have another few ideas of location and materials to use for a few more videos to shoot in the next coming weeks. We are however, unsure about how to display it and whether projecting one film by itself is enough, perhaps we could have two contrasting to one another both playing simultaneously.

MEDA project development

Last week we had mid session break and therefore I was able to continue to shoot and experiment with my pollution idea.

I added to the bundle of plastic making it almost too big to hold in my hands.

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I shot almost everyday in both populated and segregated areas, as Matt suggested in our last class. I did one set of filming at the local train station during the peak hours of the morning. I was so surprised how people reacted to the plastic, no one noticed I was even filming so there was no excuse to walk on the rubbish or even kick it! I was shocked that people couldn’t care less about this much pollution in the middle of every bodies way.

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I then decided to film outside the entrance of a busy shopping centre and observe peoples reaction to the plastic which I thought might of been different since people wouldn’t be running for a train etc. But it happened to be exactly the same, no one cared or picked it up. But I did notice a lot of people stare, i’m not sure whether they were surprised it was there or whether they are just used to this rubbish constantly being in their surroundings. However, I am still not completely sold on this idea, I feel like it needs more depth than what I am producing but I am unsure on where I can take this.

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I then drove out the a more segregated area under a bridge which didn’t really give the effect I was after.

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People continuously walked through the tunnel and definitely stared at the plastic, but again didn’t do anything about it. Nonetheless, in their defence me filming was very obvious because there was no where for me to subtly hide so I assume they would think they would ruin my filming but picking up the plastic.

I then filmed on the side of a part-segregated suburban street, a family riding a bike rode past me and decided to stop, stare for about 5 minutes and continue riding which I didn’t really understand. But the idea behind this location was to emphasis that this plastic pollution isn’t just right in front of us but around our streets and in less populated areas as well.

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The location above was a lake I shot at for its beauty. My intention was to show this lovely location and purposely place this plastic here which is meant to encourage audience to question their stance on plastic and promote them to make a difference.

I showed this footage to Matt and he responded with my same reaction, that it wasn’t enough on its own and that it needed more. He mentioned that this plastic doesn’t look natural, more like a sculpture, and that no one will pick up the plastic if they see me filming it. So he suggested I take this and progress with it by actually creating various sculptures from rubbish and purposely putting them in the publics way and therefore they will have to respond to them in one way or another. Ive decided to collaborate with Blair and that way we can tackle this idea together as she was planning to work in the field with film as well.