Aspen Art Award + More Than Profit Award

I have been lucky enough to receive some great news recently, regarding the shortlisting of one award and the additional awarding of a grant to run a programme.

Aspen Art Award

I was notified by Jonathan that I had been shortlisted for The Apsen Online Art Award earlier this year. Since then I have been a through a process of submitting a proposal for a commission, that Aspen will purchase for their growing collection of art, a collection which the Contemporary Art Society have helped them put together on a consultant basis. It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with a company so passionate about art, from what I understand, one of the main reasons that they buy art is to enhance the daily experience of their employees working for them. You can photocopy next to a valuable piece of work, it’s there next to you and it’s yours to experience. It goes without saying that art is a great asset to companies such as Apsen, it’s great to see that they have been leaders in recognising the online space as a platform for art, investing in the emerging and experimental territory when other funding streams have been cut.

My proposal for the piece can be seen here, the decision will be made at the Aspen offices on May 8th between 6-8pm.

 

More Than Profit Award

I have also been successful in having an award granted by UAL, to hopefully run a workshop project with the u26 folk from Camberwell Foyer in an attempt to get them to engage with art using their own contextual references, expressing themselves and contributing towards the everchanging language of online culture. The award is called the ‘More Than Profit’ award and it offers a small amount of money to develop a social enterprise or project.

It’s a great way to try out an idea, to see if it’s a viable option for me in terms of generating income in a portfolio career, should I be so lucky to be an artist once i’m all grown up and graduated.  More importantly, it’s also a great way to offer young people a way to express themselves and contribute positively towards culture, hoefully leaving with them a new way of thinking. The dream of course, is that one of those young people would go on to have a retrospective in the Tate Modern one day, but i’ll take one step at a time!

New work, an update.

It’s been a while since anything has been posted on here however it’s been a very productive period. I have now completed 47 of 49 compositions, or scenes, shot over a 5 day period in February in Rugeley. Working through this large catalogue of moving image has now taken two months work to complete, the extended working time has given me a beneficial perspective on my own work, enabling natural reflection whilst the production process is still ongoing. If the scenes are viewed linearly, there is a natural visual evolution in style, changing the aesthetic from that at the start, to that at the resolution. For the very first time, some scenes are unedited without any added effects, as I’ve had time to recognise the unique qualities that the particular clips offer, qualities that cannot be improved with extra work. In fact, the extra work would only be of detriment to the original.

 

These scenes are likely to be displayed in a linear style. Although they were filmed with conventions of normal chronology, showing events which ultimately make up a journey, the clips do not necessarily need to be shown in order. They are able to sit entirely independently of each other. A t the same time they borrow natural order from the sequence of initial filming, enabling a linear mode of display. My main worry at this point is that equipment may not be available, so alternative options in terms of final edit must remain viable until the last.

 

I mentioned to Jonathan in my last tutorial that I am thinking of writing an essay about my own project, which will help me to lay all the components of the project out in front of me and enable me to make editing choices on what I want to display and how I want to display it in the summer exhibition. We also touched upon what an installation of the films might look like, what iconography might I use? I don’t want to leave anything to chance, I want to question every decision that I’m making, however futile it may seem to anybody else.

 

I will now begin the quite laborious task of exporting the compositions, to standard movie files and then editing those files into a piece of linear film. Wish me luck, and check back here for progress in the near future.

 

 

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New work – a taster

I recently went home to collect footage for new work. While this work is going to take an age to complete, I’m very excited to post some taster pictures.

After my chat with Dave Charlesworth I have approached the project differently and shot the footage with post production in mind, which has proved invaluable when it’s come to editing.

Anyway, here are a few screengrabs. One composition has 256 layers of video, I hope I don’t kill my computer!

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 20.14.06Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.28.49 Mum cooking pork

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 22.34.17 Video footage: Mum looking at my blog, trying to understand my work!

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 22.36.19 Beer, fags, my blog and a Sky remote.

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.28.04256 layers of walking, layer duplicated to reflect memory both digital, collective and individual. It’s interesting as my family read this blog how memory is different from person to person.

 

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256 layers of video. Crazy.

 

 

 

 

Southend on Sea – Practicestack

Monday 3rd February was my birthday, hurrah! What better way to bring in your 33rd Birthday than to head to the seaside to gather some experimental footage to play with. There was a serious point to this journey, to refamiliarise myself with the techniques practiced so far as on Tuesday the 4th Feb, I headed to the World Capital of Rugeley for a week on location to collect a mere 31GB of visual and audio data of my Mother to assemble. That will be edited over the next few weeks.

 

Until then, there are some clips below which I will explain why I have shot and stacked them this way. Audio was recorded on this visit, but I’ve done nothing with it yet.

 

The first clip ‘Vicky Trail Changing’ is of my good lady, Dr Vicky, walking by the seafront lift. In my tutorial with Dave Charlesworth it was mentioned that (for him) the clips almost became boring once he’d figured out what had been done. Instead of simply stacking the footage in line with a single formula, in this clip I have made the stacked trail different lengths and let it catch up with itself at different points. When thinking of family stories, this reflects time passing more easily and faster at some points. It was extremely difficult to achieve and structure in editing – at one point there is over 100 layers of video playing at the same time all at different speeds.

 

Similarly below, ‘Vicky Running in to Focus’ has multiple stacked structures. The disoriented feeling you get  when seeing the stacked eyes for instance is immediately forgotten as the footage returns to normal as Vicky returns to focus. The sharp stacked pull back is again shocking and designed that way, which shows a lot more dynamism in the work and only enhances the feeling of confusion.

 

This sequence ‘Southend on Sea Hyperstack/Timestack’ is a lot more similar to previous work. I have just started a Hyperlapse sequence with Timelapse which worked quite well. I would have preferred a more dynamic sweeping move, however it was a painfully cold day and there was an unsavoury character around who kept shouting ‘DON’T F***ING FILM YOU W***ER ME, I’M WANTED BY CRIMESTOPPERS’. I thought it best to stay in full view of a high street full of people.

 

Finally, in the spirit of Austin Kleon’s new book, ‘Show Your Work’, I thought it would be good to air some shots that didn’t really work. There were some subtleties which didn’t really come across the way I wanted but hey, I’ll explain them all so you don’t have to try to guess what’s going on. If you can bear the three minutes here, it’s everything that was filmed in Southend… with added crude editing (including a double scene inclusion). You will get to see some experiments that won’t be tried again probably!

One scene is of the sea front at 60fps. Nothing really goes on except for at the edge of the frame. This was a conscious decision believe it or not, in an attempt to divert the attention from centre frame, to the world existing outside it. This thought needs more mork. There is cool footage of birds flying, stacked at 60fps, revealing their flight pattern which is interesting.

A second scene sees our lovable protagonist, Vicky, running across the walkway. I centred her in After Effects so that although stacked, she’d be the most stable thing in frame with the background going mental. The experiment worked, however as expected the stacked background, looks like a paint pallet with too much mixed colour. Brown and bland and messy.

There are a few other scenes which I was happy with, however the whole exercise was to really hone my skills ahead of the visit to Rugeley, World Capital.

Not so positive feedback, used positively.

I recently was alerted to an artist producing work similar to mine, using the exact same stacking effect in After Effects, albeit to create quite different patterns. As I have found it so hard to find similar artists, I contacted them to compliment their work, and to also ask if there was room for a collaboration between the two of us.

 

The reply I received was not so favourable, and remarked on my work being egotistical as some of my shots involve camera moves, which distracts the artist from seeing what is in front of the camera.

Later that week I had the chance to speak to Nicola and Tim from Genetic Moo, who taught me that this opinion is based on a form of classical film theory that I’m yet to fully discover  - however it did get my mind whirring and made me re-assess what I am and what I do.

 

1) I’m not a film maker.

2) Although I own a fancy camera, and use it regularly I’m not a photographer.

3) Any rules, boundaries, opinions and theories which limit creativity and exploration will not be tolerated in my fine art practice.

4) Cameras, nick naks and gadgets are only there to help me create art. I won’t be limited by them, or merely use them for the sake of it.

5) Nostalgia for past or future technologies will only hinder me making work.

6) I will exhaust all available technological and creative options open to me, to tell whatever story I’m trying to tell

 

 

JavaScript hyperlapse utility for Google Street View

Something new in the world which saves me even getting off my bum to create hyperlapse sequences! Clever folk at Teehan + Lax have cracked how to use Google Street View as not just an aid, but the source, for hyperlapse moves.

Settings are purposely low on the site for increased accessibility. However, the labs have made all of the the source code available on Github, enabling willing participants like myself to play with higher frame rates, better image quality, and more complicated camera movements.

With Google Maps as the source, the resolution is obviously not what you’d get if you’d create a movement first hand, however in terms of planning your moves it’s one hell of a tool. Plus it’s great fun too. I’m off home in a couple of weeks to capture more footage, so I’ve been using it to plan sweeping moves.

Try it out for yourself here

Or watch a demo here

Below:  A sweeping move of my mums house

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MA Fine Art (Digital) at University of the Arts London – Digital Journal