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 
  • Malleable 
  • Retains folds and lines
  • Reflective 
  • 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 
The use of the projector allows the work to retain an elevated and artistic state of being without juxtaposing the works integrity. I believe even with the difference of tangible experience, the use of projected elements instead of physical plastic can achieve the same function. 

Sunday August 23, 2020

Tuesday August 11, 2020

This week while still working out the content of my project I began to think about how to exhibit it. Whether I wanted to continue with the idea of a book and if so what they actually meant. When I locked in the book I felt it would help me narrow my idea and scope however, I believe it has listed my project. 
There are so many other ways a book can be displayed. It doesn’t have to be a traditional book front middle and back pages of images laid out in such an analog way. Rather I can explore the ways of displaying the book in 3D? As an interactive space? Maybe no book, perhaps rather a collection of prints arranged to tell a story in the same capacity of a book. 
The “Interactive Walk Thru Book” – A full experience where the user must ‘walk through’ the book itself. The images will surround the participant and has the potential to fully submerse them into the works. I like this idea because it allows the book to take shape even if abstractly. I also love the idea of forcing people to walk among the images more than just flipping past them. This process will hopefully enable people to connect more with the work as they will be literally met with the images head on. 
The “Open Book” – A table with a panel behind (a wall even). The form resembles an open book, static on one fold. A way to experience the book in a story like sequence, from one end to another, a visual story compelling the reader forward with the help of linguistic cues and pressing visuals. 
The “Contact Page” – While not indicative of a book as such this layout would display the images in a contact page style. Involving ideas of ‘random’ layout, still telling a distinct story however encouraging the user to experience it all in one go. This is both a pro and a con, it changes the way people will experience the work however may be more shocking and pressing when all arranged together? I like the contact page style however I also release I can use this style in the other two layouts. 

Reference Images:

Tuesday August 4, 2020

While I feel like I’m slipping behind with my project I don’t believe it is because I have too much on my plate. However, I feel it is more due to the fact I’m confused about what I want to create, how to do it and what to do to achieve it. I’ve been struggling creativity mostly. Today I felt blocked but retreated to pinterest in order to be inspired by the creative visuals I love. I continuously stumbled upon contact sheets, displaying images and ideas in a messy and yet considered way. I like the idea of these within the art book to break up the heavy type pages I’ve been playing with and the intense photos I’ve created. A way to showcase all the images together, walking a viewer visually through their relationships.
After completing two of these contact sheets, I felt inspired to begin building the document and creating the visual space where the images, thoughts and creations would live. I wanted to begin playing with layout, mapping visual ideas I’ve been seeing in my head. Allowing myself to start taking my ideas from mind and transferring them to something real and physical so I can begin analysing completed drafts. 

Sunday August 2, 2020

This week consisted of reading more into visual communication, and the basis of user semiotics. I have previously understood through brief user testing that linguistic cues are of intense importance to this project. Thus I feel I need to continue prototyping ways of developing and discussing narrative in order to present the story in a clear and concise way. 
In my research I found works from Sarah Bahbah – a photographic artist who uses linguistic messaging in the form of subtitles to inform and persuade her works. Her art uses strong and direct linguistic cues in order to direct an understanding and set the works intentions. Personally I love her works and I think her use of focused cues creates a world and a place for the images. In an attempts to adapt these ideas I used the images which I thought presented abstractly within the concept of the project. I supplied them with direct linguistic cues – however in my work I centred the words obstructing the images. It was my thought that these words would appear to be “branding” the images, degrading them almost. I also hoped that using direct linguistic messaging would place the more abstracted images back within the scope of the project. 

Sunday July 26, 2020

Visual communication is more than just images that say something. It’s about storytelling through visual means. Allowing an audience to view what has been created and understand the story being told. Simply and with ease. 
Photo-manipulation has shown to be a big part of the process in order to create exciting and interesting visual that will feature in the work. Manipulation elevates images further than traditional editing practices.
I took the original images first layering  a plastic film over the top, screen mode on blend. Then adding the same twice more. Each layer had it’s own colour in order to create a holographic / 3D style print. This idea was inspired by the works below and my own interpretation of their styles. I tried  to create something that was tripy and confusing but aimed to still resonate the aim of the project. While I don’t hate it, it didn’t fulfil what I intended.
Instead I took the images back a step and focused on just the layering of a plastic texture. Creating images that looked like they themselves were wrapped in plastic, giving them a tangible quality utilising the materials featured in the photo and adding depth to the story they were telling. 

Tuesday July 21, 2020

Photography experiments and typography prototyping dumps…