A WASTED WORLD
A Wasted World - Process
Finally came the time to form the individual works into a cohesive gallery space. This meant considering the layout and reviewing that when the works were in the space to make sure the layout chosen in analogue form reinforced the ideas while hung.
We experimented with a steel wire first however it wasn’t thick enough or durable enough to hold the woks and so we settled with a think roll of twine. At first I was frustrated with this decision as I wanted the wire to appear invisible however once all the works were hung I realised this didn’t effect the installation at all and didn’t stand out as I thought it might. We attached the twine to the walls with nails and hooked them in with the steel wire. This was added to reinforce the durability and weight the twine could hold and withstand.
Once the twine was hung I began to attach the posters. Each A3 poster was printed with biodegradable and sustainable ink on a thick 170 GSM gloss paper. This meant the pages were sturdy and the gloss gave the images a shiny quality.
The works were hung in groups of photoshoots. My initial ideation had them all scattered throughout but I thought a loose structure would push people through the work as if reading a book. The black and white photos are the ‘cover shoot’ of this work thus I thought it best to start with them. Next the shoot with the most content – the outdoor shoot filled in the middle sections. I ended with the last two shoots which had the least amount of content, filling in the corner at the back.
The next step was to add the projected elements. As previously discussed this was attempted as a way to simulate the affordances of plastic without using plastic. The image was projected with a red filter over the works and a crinkling plastic noise was added in order to fully immersive the audience into the space. The use of audio made some people feel uncomfortable as they found it hard to stay in the room for too long. This was one of the intentions of the work as I attempted to make the space inhabitable suggestive of our world’s future if waste, consumption and pollution is not managed.
Tuesday August 25, 2020
When discussing how these works will exist in the world I previously thought of exhibiting styles. Through an iterative and discussion based process I decided to work toward displaying the work in a walkthrough gallery style as seen below. The purpose of this style of space is to fully place the viewer within the work. Creating an embodied experience which envelops whoever enters the space. Indicative of the physical qualities of plastic and waste and also how they exist as pollutants on the planet.
However just having the works hanging and creating a space where people walk through mindlessly didn’t allow for enough of an experience. Thus, in an attempts to create an experience suggestive of the physical and emotional qualities of plastic and waste one must consider the affordances of plastic as a material.
The affordances of plastic:
- Crinkley (sound and feel)
- Tacky and Sticky
- Retains folds and lines
- Transparent (not fully – dilutes and distorts image the looking through)
Subjective qualities to consider:
- Can smell (bad or good?)
- Comes in many forms some are better / more usable than others
- Can create shine, rainbows and other interesting manipulations of light
- Not always transparent can be opaque
- People appreciate plastic because it is convenient
- It is easy and cheap to use and produce
- It is very common
- Plastic is usually a synthetic material
The next question was how may I take these affordances and create an experience that embodies that? Creating a space which allows people to feel the plastic itself. Considering the physical qualities and how I may make a space that communicates and allows participants to feel fully immersed in a plastic space.
Affordances of plastic in practice
1. Creating a space where the images are printed on plastic, forcing the participant to walk through a plastic coated room. Perhaps the images can be hung close together so participants will be forced to touch the plastic, encouraging a tactile and fully immersive embodied experience. This can be reinforced with a plastic based soundscape of crinkling sound bites.
2. The second idea enables the space to hold an event for the participants by handing a piece of plastic in the middle of the space. This creates opportunity for participants to become apart of the exhibition taking photos from behind the plastic. The plastic could either be a regular piece of cellofane or plastic sheeting, however it could have an image printed on it. Having only that one image printed on the plastic sheeting allows for less plastic waste as well as a centre piece for the exhibition. Giving participants the autonomy to take their own photos and post encourages a collaborative experience and contributes to the building of an online community.
3. The final idea centres itself around ‘making an entrance’. The exhibition would remain fairly similar to how it was originally devised however to enter the space participants must walk through plastic sheeting. Forcing people to fully interact with the plastic as a means to enter the space. This can also be reinforced with sound bites again.
When considering all these ways of existing and exhibiting the works I am still concerned about the authenticity of the piece itself. While the works are a representation of my own understanding of the literature and contextual reviews they still must be held accountable to the same standards I am reviewing. Thus, using plastic to produce and display the works feels hypocritical and I believe doesn’t align to the core values of my work. I feel torn as I want the works to force people into uncomfortable places, I want the works to enable interaction with plastic materials in order to present the ideas and thoughts. How can I do this to allow for the fully embodied and interactive experience while still aligning the work to the values that make up the basis of this ideology?
Discussing this with colleagues we looked at ways to create tangible experiences without using tangible materials. A way to fully embody the experience without negating the ideals and values of the work itself. The most promising idea discussed was the use of projectors to emulate the experience of plastic. Projecting images and videos of plastic texture onto the works will allow for the experience of ‘a plastic world’ to remain but take an intuitive and sustainable approach to the idea.
Use of projector in place of physical plastic
- The prints will be hung in the same style – a walkthrough and fully immersive book
- The projector set up in the corner will project images and videos of plastic texture, this will create the look of plastic texture over the images and walls.
- Shadows will be created by the images and moving participants – this becomes another medium for the piece adding layers of texture and light indicative of the photographs and they’re use of light and shadow
- This set up can be reinforced with sound scape of plastic rustling and crinkling