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.

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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.

Project Progression

Todays class was purely dedicated to working on our projects. I decided to start with going and filming off campus in the bush area and around the beach. There was little public traffic and therefore the footage I captured wasn’t as effective.

The following images are screenshots from the footage captured today.

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It was a really windy day, hence why the pile of plastic continued to blow away which made it difficult to film for five minutes at a time. I edited this footage along with my exisiting footage and meshed them together. The entire thing went for about 5-6 minutes, but it got quite boring. It didn’t seem like there was enough simulation to keep anyone entertained.

Jo and Matt gave me some constructive feedback. Matt suggested that I approach my idea in a different way by filming high traffic as well as secluded areas with absurd amounts of pollution. I thought this idea could have potential, I could film areas out on the beach, in the bush like what I have already done but make sure no one is around I would project this footage next to another. The other would contain masses amounts of rubbish in high traffic areas, where I will continue to add to the plastic to the point where it becomes insane that no one is addressing it.

Through contrasting this footage with footage from  the secluded areas it is establishing that it doesn’t matter where but this pollution is everywhere and whether it is around society or not we still don’t do anything about it. I could also address peoples reactions, if I make this plastic as large as I’m assuming I will people won’t be able to miss it, so it will be interesting to observe their reactions and see whether they pick it up or leave it for someone else.

Jo suggested that I take the project in a different direction by making rubbish (something that should stereotypically be seen as unappealing) look beautiful, this would be an idea within itself. Through careful composition, choice of lighting, positioning of the plastic and location I could potentially make this into a ironic, yet aesthetically pleasing work.

My aim for the mid session break is to test out both ideas and see what I can do with the footage that I get. I will record during the time for lighting as it is too hard during the hours of 11-4 and carefully choose my locations. Perhaps I could go to the city and/or cronulla mall and film on the streets during peak hour and continue to film from there.

Major Work Progress

The following images are screenshots of the videos I have taken to experiment with my initial major idea of exploring plastic pollution in society. I did my best to hide the camera so no one would react differently to their surroundings. No one picked up the rubbish, but I did notice that a lot of people completely ignored that they were passing a big pile of plastic. My aim for this week is to go to the city and film again in a busy street to seek peoples responses and research the level of pollution in different areas of Sydney.  I will then find a suburban area, and do the same so my film will present the contrast in how various locations respond to pollution and if they do anything to reduce it.

I also really appreciate the choice to frame and composition, it adds a pleasant aesthetic to the work to can make it more appealing and enjoyable to watch. I am unsure about how many films I want to join together, as I am still in the experimental stage. I guess I will continue to shoot and see what does and doesn’t work together but I still want to work with building on the pile of pollution as the film goes on and as the location changes.

This lesson I have been editing the three videos I have taken, using Premier Pro. I have sped the footage up to 400% and have put them together with a dissolve transition in between to make the work flow smoothly together.

Still not sold on one solid idea, I guess I will continue to create and see where it goes. Perhaps it can be up to the viewer to decide on how they respond to the work and what its about.

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Proposal

I would like to create a short film that explores the theme of plastic pollution becoming a additional element to public society. Almost everywhere you go will have some form of disposable plastic, whether its a coffee cup, shopping bag, glad wrap or a water bottle, plastic production is growing and over time becoming the alternative to other materials such as glass and metal. Our consumption heavily affects the environment and our way of living, if you go outside and look around you are bound to find some form of plastic pollution in a close radius but humanity isn’t doing anything enough to stop this.

My idea and techniques are inspired by Wonbin Yang’s Segnisiter continues 2012 from his Species series. Yang creates an ecosystem of insect-like robots that he imagines could thrive in a city of the future. His interest lies in the idea that contemporary cities are a ‘primordial soup’ capable of generating new forms of life. Made from urban waste and small mechanical parts, each robot has a distinctive set of behaviours and biological characteristics that give it a unique personality. Yang documents the lifecycles of his robots in their ‘natural environment’, creating short videos, reminiscent of nature documentaries, that capture their struggles, triumphs and failures.

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I will begin the film at a specific public location with one piece of plastic rubbish in the cameras frame. The camera will be unseen by pedestrians, and I am planning to film at each location for about 15 minutes each. When moving to a different setting I will take that same piece of plastic to another location and superglue it to another. Building on this pile of plastic rubbish one by one as the location continues to change. The fact that the pile is building is meant to encourage the audience to realise that if only one person picked up one piece of rubbish eventually together it can make a real difference. If anyone picks the rubbish up to throw out I will include this footage too and continue to film. I want to expose an honest human response to being surrounded by plastic pollution.

I plan to display the work as a projection with the pile of plastic used in the film on a plinth displayed in front. So it will not only be a film but also an installation. I will need a video camera, projector and plinth with about 2×2 meters of plain wall space in the gallery.

Reference:

https://www.mca.com.au/discover-new-romance/wonbin-yang/

Major Work Brainstorming

Brainstorming for my major work

IDEA ONE:

  • I am leaning towards creating a short film that comments on the threat of plastic pollution on the worlds beaches.
  • Create a bundle of plastic from used bottles, packaging, plastic bags, bubble wrap etc. Put together using super glue
  • Set up a hidden video camera on the beach and place the plastic object in the cameras frame so it is in the path of pedestrians.
  • Intention is to film for at least an hour each day until someone picks the rubbish up or walks by it. Emphasises how big of a difference such a little contribution can make.
  • The work is meant to encourage the public to clean up where they can. To prevent pollution and keep our beaches clean. Everyone can make a difference.
  • The film will be sped up to a high speed in the form of a time lapse, this will give indication of how long it takes for the rubbish to be picked up and thrown out.
  • Influenced by “Bristol Whales” by Sue Lipscomb – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/11743986/Whales-sculpture-marks-Bristol-as-UKs-first-European-Green-Capital.html

IDEA TWO:

  • My second idea is to create a series of multiple exposure images that explore human movement. Much like the work of Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne – Jules Marey.
  • The photos will be taken in a studio with stage lights.
  • Minimal clothing to highlight bone and muscle tone
  • Black and white
  • Doing various poses
  • Female form VS male form – Masculinity VS Femininity?

Working on my Biography

Today we spent the first half of class in the computer lab working on our CV profiles. Jo recommended that students read each others profile statements and biographies and provide feedback from a different perspective.

Jo and some of the other students agreed that my original statement painted me as a student as opposed to a potential employee. So I decided to cut my high school education and achievements out and re-wrote this:

Isabelle is a Communication and Media Studies graduate from The University of Wollongong.

Isabelle is competent in all aspects of social media and regularly uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft Office as well as Adobe Photoshop, Premiere and Final Cut Pro. Not only does she use these as a form of leisure, they’re also all essential components utilised frequently throughout her University degree.

Isabelle has placed in numerous photography and film competitions, including the Everyone Comes from Somewhere short film competition where she placed 1st in 2014 submitting her Life of a Samoan documentary. She also won the Woolooware High School Creative Arts Award for having her Utopia photographic series selected to be exhibited in the ‘Uffizi’ Gallery. Isabelle placed 2nd in the Scott Morrison Capture Cook 2014 photo competition where she submitted her Untitled – Cronulla Sunrise. Isabelle also successfully placed 2nd in the Endless Summer Photographic Competition in 2013 with her landscape photography featuring Cronulla beach.

This biography is short and sweet, clearing portraying what I am about and what my achievements are.