MEDA201, Uncategorized

The Pull – major project

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Douglas Gordon’s 1995, Confessions of a Justified Sinner, investigates the psychological impact of the moving image and themes of perception, memory and voyeurism (sexual stimulation by visual means). His work features footage which is enlarged, slowed down and projected onto two separate screens, one negative and one positive, in order to prolong and blur the two states. To me, the most interesting concept portrayed throughout this piece is that you don’t actually know why the man is making the facial features that he is. Throughout the piece, the man goes through a lot of emotions that are intense to watch, but you don’t understand the cause. I am fascinated by how one screen effects the other in this work, and how the image wouldn’t really be complete if it only featured one screen. These two aspects — the difficult to understand cause and the complimenting screens — are the main ways that my project engages with this work.

I am also responding to Joan Jonas’s 2014, Light Time Tales.  Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 4.54.02 pm.pngHer work featured ten different installations – one of them was this light projection where light shattered off these hanging glass objects. It was a reinterpretation of the relationship between art and narrative forms. I have tried to incorporate and engage with this idea throughout my work, using art to portray the narrative that exists between two people connecting.

Other small inspirations for my work include Gill Eatherley’s 1973 work, Chair Installation. However, most of this inspiration came from the reinterpretation I conducted in class. In my belief, the defining factor of the reinterpretation was the physical chairs that sat in front of the projection. The chairs added a further dimension to the work and when light hit the chairs, it cast very interesting shadows. I have included a similar aspect within my own project, a prop that adds to the story rather than not serving a purpose.

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Execution of concept, exploration of medium and exhibition: overview of project

“I ignored your aura but it grabbed me by the hand, like the moon pulled the tide and the tide pulled the sand” – Talib Kweli

The quote above is something I’ve always really loved and has acted as the sort of building blocks of my project. This quote to me is all about the energy forces that we have no control over. We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea. We are held down by a force we cannot see … these are aspects of our planet that are so mind-blowing – to me it has always seemed ridiculous to think that there aren’t energetic vibrations constantly acting on us as well, around us and inside us. So my project is all about being aware and in appreciation of these energy forces.

To do so, I am exhibiting a two-screen installation that aims to portray the energy that exists between two lovers. Slightly sexual in nature, my fascination for the human body is evident within the project. It will be lacking in full nudity, but rather a man and a woman on separate side-by-side large screens. The two people will be back to back and the image will cut off just above waist height. The image will be very dull, with the brightest thing in the installation being a hanging Perspex ball of sorts that hangs in font of the middle of the two screens. The disco-ball-like shape acts to shatter light all over the room. A mini projector will be shining on to the ball which will refract the light and cast these rays which are my way of portraying the energy I was referring to earlier.

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Touched by these light rays, one person in the projection will make actions that have an influence on the other, without physically touching each other – since they are back to back. So say the man reaches forward and does a hand movement that would look like he is pulling on something, on the opposite screen, it will be like the woman has just had her ponytail pulled, making her head jerk back towards the mans back. The movements will all be slowed down and quite sensual to try and portray the energy that makes the two people do things and I think it’ll look interesting back to back when they are not actually touching but one person’s movement still effects the other.

In terms of medium and media that I’m exploring, I’m interacting with the projector light and allowing that to be the actual solid meaning behind my work. I like that it will be a physical light, rather than a metaphorical energy, that people can actually walk through and consciously think about the fact that this energy is actually working on them at all times. I want people to really think about how it feels to be inside a body and think about what causes you to want to reach out and touch someone. Further on this, since it’s a two-screen projection with two projectors, I want people to be able to walk in front of one of the projector and see how this stops the connection between the two people.

My ideal conditions would be in the black box which would make the energy have the most intense impact on both the work and the people viewing it, and also make the people in the projections stand out a lot more.

This is my project, an exploration of The Pull spiritual energy has on people

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Presentation feedback and comments:
The biggest feedback I received was to keep everything as dark as possible — from the room to the image that is projected. Another idea was to project the same image (the two people) onto the light ball so that the flashes of the light are in sync with the movements of the people.

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MEDA201, Uncategorized

In The Elements

Our earth is in a constant rhythm. Controlled by the elements. A rhythm that moves between water, fire, air and land, a rhythm that only continues through the interaction and interlocking of one element to another. We feel this rhythm everyday: the sun rises and the sun sets, the air moves into and out of our lungs, the wind blows the leaves along, the moon waxes and wanes, controlling the tide, pulling the ocean back and forth.

This cameraless film explores this rhythm by playing with each element on film celluloid. Inspired by and paying homage to Stan Brakhage’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, the film uses techniques applied to celluloid such as burning, scratching, stitching, painting with nailpolish and markers, as well as attaching glitter and leaves directly to the film. The film separates each element before interlacing them all to create a rhythm that sways from calm to overwhelming, portraying the way the elements enfold our earth.

 

 

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JRNL201, REVIEW

The Spectacular Now

This is one of those movies that has a lasting impact on you. One where you feel everything the characters feel, you cry with them, laugh with them, audibly gasp when something unimaginable happens to them. One that makes you visualise yourself in their position, because you have been— it takes you back to that time, or pushes your mind forward if you’re not quite there yet.

This is a bad-boy meets good-girl story. But so much more. There are no clichés, no stereotypes, no over-the-top storyline or vomit-inducing corniness, just an honest film with relatable characters.

The story follows Sutter Keely (Miles Teller, Rabbit Hole), an amusing, almost attractive high school senior who throughout the movie makes you question how you feel about him: His quick wittiness leads you to believe that he’s intellectually keyed in, but we discover that he’s barely passing high school; his charm and compassion leads you to believe that he would treat a girl right, but we discover the opposite. He can’t see the point of school or adulthood; he is all about the present, hence the fitting title. It is clear from the beginning that there is an unhappiness pulling at Sutter’s insides – he carries around a fast food drink spiked with alcohol and continuously tries to stop people from caring for him – especially Aimee Finecky. Portrayed by Shailene Woodley (Divergent), Aimee is the studious, unnoticed yet attractive girl who beams with energy and thoughtfulness. The two meet and fall in love, predictably so, but in such an honest and believable way that you forgive the cliché. There’s no exaggerated make-up or elaborate settings, both their physical and psychological blemishes are on show – what evolves is a real, beautiful and anxiously fragile love between two people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Aimee is transformed by Sutter’s attention, standing up to her mother who smothers her into not moving away to college, and Sutter’s life is catalysed by Aimee who drinks to avoid dealing with the fact that his dad left and his high school days are nearly over.

The changes in Aimee are subtle, from swearing for the first time, having her first sip of alcohol and losing her virginity, it is clear that Aimee becomes more confident, but there is a despondent counterpoint to her bloom, and after Sutter causes something completely unexpected and dark to happen to her, you find yourself torn between desperately wanting them to be together and wanting to sit them down and tell them to cut ties because they’re so beautifully wrong for each other.

The film’s writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, along with the director, James Ponsoldt, have created such a well-told and in-depth yet unstylised and imperfect film that captures a wall-to-wall spider web of relationships. Whilst it is obvious that there are main characters, every other character’s life is explored to such a depth that makes it seem as though we are not only invested in Sutter and Aimee but also those around them. This is the result of an impressive supportive cast including Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

A hauntingly honest and beautifully memorable film which should be applauded for tackling the topic of young love without conforming to the stereotypes and clichés that we see far too much of. The Spectacular Now.

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COLUMN, JRNL201

Sonder

Sitting at a bus shelter, uncomfortably close to a stranger, surrounded by more strangers, with strange cars flying past, I started thinking – if I am sitting here stressing about the growing pile of uni work I have, wondering if I locked my front door this morning, and drooling over what food I’ll carry through that unlocked door tonight for dinner, then these strangers much each be thinking similar thoughts – they all must have there own worries, ambitions, pleasures, memories and favourite dinners. That fact is easy to accept. But the fact that I will probably never know any of these things about the strangers, and they will never know these things about me, is harder to swallow. We will only ever be people that once waited at a bus shelter together. But why are they catching the bus, where are they going, what is their preferred bus seat? How do you express that feeling, that realisation that there are millions of stories happening all at once around each other, completely oblivious and contained from one another? If ‘erinaceous’ exists to be used when something resembles a hedgehog, and ‘tittynope’ is used to describe a small quantity of something left over (yes, tittynope is a word and yes, I agree the English language creators must’ve been drunk at the time), then surely there is a word to describe this gut-wrenching, blissful insignificance everyone will feel at some stage.

“Sonder – the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

A made-up word, like every other was at some stage, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows has coined the term, sonder, to fill the hole in our language that exists when describing this phenomenon that has the tendency to make you freak out in a fit of realisation and appreciation. Appreciation that every person you pass has a life just as intense as you do, and that passing could be the only connection you ever share. So make it count. Make eye contact. Smile. “How you going?” “Have a good day”. Compliment them. Make every interaction memorable. Make sure that you interlace your life with as many people as possible. Instead of just being the stranger at the bus shelter, be the friendly person who made waiting at the bus shelter slightly less time-wasting. It’s never too late to start making a small impact on as many people’s lives as you want. You can make the best or the worst of sonder. I hope you make the best. I hope you meet as many people as you can. I hope people remember you. I hope you make someone’s day. I hope you spread happiness. Gandhi says, “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it … every life and every death changes the world in its own way.”

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JRNL201, REVIEW

Port Stephens – a must visit

An unwritten rule, it seems, is enforced on the streets of Port Stephens, a rule that makes it impossible to not feel invigorated and cheerful. A location where people walk around in bathing suits, thongs and singlet tans, enjoying the twenty six white-sand beaches, the mountains, the shopping, and of course, the restaurants. Port Stephens is a place that should make an appearance on everyone’s bucket list.

GETTING THERE
Travel by car is most convenient, being a short two and half hours drive north of Sydney. The roads are car and caravan friendly with regular stops for food, petrol and bathrooms along the way. Travel by bus is also very reliable and convenient, with Port Stephens Coaches making regular return trips for a highly reasonable price depending on location – the coaches are air-conditioned, quiet and comfortable. Alternatively, flights are available to Newcastle Airport, which is located roughly fifteen kilometres from Port Stephens with buses regularly shuttling between the airport and Port Stephens. Return plane tickets from Sydney during the peak season of December/January are around $200 per adult.

STAY

CARAVAN- Halifax Caravan Park is set in natural bushland surroundings and is situated between two calm water beaches – Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach. Halifax Caravan Park was a finalist in the 2014 NSW Tourist Awards and is a favourite with boating enthusiasts as it has a deep-water boat ramp beside the caravan park. It is a dog friendly park and is an easy fifteen-minute walk to the centre of Nelson Bay – Nelson Bay is the main town of Port Stephens. It also has its own shop/café with a large outdoor seating area. The Maritime Light House is located up the mountain beside the Caravan Park and has its own café with stunning 360-degree views. Pricing of the caravan park is subject to the time of year. Prices for powered van or camp sites start at $34 per night, and villas start at $100 per night, with varying sizes and styles.
HOTEL/UNIT/BED & BREAKFAST – there are endless options for accommodation throughout Port Stephens such as units, apartments, houses, bed & breakfasts and hotel rooms. Prices vary depending on size and location, but all accommodation in Nelson Bay is within walking distance to a beach and will almost always have beautiful water views.

DO
Port Stephens’ pristine beaches, bays and inlets offer crystal clear water, ideal for boating activities, surfing, diving, fishing and aquatic activities. Dolphin watch cruises are hugely popular, running all throughout the year, as well as whale watching cruises running from May to November. Spotter planes are used to search for whales and dolphins to almost guarantee an unforgettable experience.

There are a large number of mountain and coastal hikes to experience the very best views of the Bay, varying in time and difficulty. A must-do is the Tomaree Head mountain hike, with breathtaking 360 degree-views and amazing history, as the mountain was used during the Second World War and several gun emplacements and a radar station still exist today.
Camel riding, tobogganing down sand dunes, quad bike riding, an Olympic size swimming pool with a huge slide, snorkeling with turtles, fish and dolphins, surf lessons, I could go on for hours. Port Stephens really has an endless list of activities.

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The best time to travel to Port Stephens is during the hotter months of December and January so as to make the most of the beaches. During these months, a lot of activities are put on to accommodate the large number of tourists, including a carnival and markets as well as a spectacular firework show on New Years Eve. In saying that, Port Stephens is equally as beautiful all throughout the year and there will always be ways to make the most of your holiday. So visit whenever you can!

Go out for breakfast, go for a hike, go to the beach, go out for lunch, go to the beach some more, go shopping, play a game of backyard cricket with a cool drink, go for a late afternoon swim, go out for dinner, have a wine, go out for dessert, go to sleep late, wake up early, and repeat! Enjoy!

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ISSUES-BASED FEATURE, JRNL201

The Age of Sexting

A surge of sexting is flowing throughout Australia’s high schools it seems. Sexting is the act of taking naked or revealing pictures of oneself and sending them to others via mobile phones or the Internet, behaviour which has become far too easy and widespread due to the increase in the use of phones and laptops with cameras. Whilst participating in sexting may feel completely normal and innocent at the time to teenagers, it is in fact illegal and can lead to very serious legal and emotional consequences.

A 2014 survey by La Trobe University found that sexting is a normal part of most teenage relationships, and sending and receiving sexually explicit images is not a big deal to many teenagers. More than 2,000 sixteen to eighteen year old students were interviewed throughout the survey as part of a study commissioned by the Federal Government which is conducted every five years to explore the sexual behaviour, knowledge and attitudes of young Australians. The research found that more than half of the survey participants had received a sexually explicit text message and twenty-six percent admitted to sending a sexually explicit photo of themselves. According to Susan McLean, a former Victorian policewoman turned cyber safety expert, “There is not a secondary school in Australia that hasn’t had to deal with it”. Research conducted in a Queensland primary school found that girls as young as eight were sending naked pictures of themselves to other pupils. Lesley-Anne Ey, an early-childhood researcher at the University of South Australia states that sexual behaviour in primary schools, including sexting, was a lot more common than parents and schools were aware of: “We live in a sexualised society. Children are copying behaviours they don’t understand.” These are alarming statistics considering the impact sexting can have and raises the question of why young people are partaking in such behaviour.

The legal consequences of sexting may be severe and lasting. Sexting is a crime when it involves people under the age of eighteen, as this classifies as child pornography. Child pornography is a picture or video of a young person who is showing their private parts, posing in a sexual way, doing a sexual act, or in the presence of someone who is performing a sexual act or pose. Child pornography extends to include real pictures, Photoshopped pictures, videos, cartoons and the like. Child pornography is illegal if the photos or videos are asked for, taken or created, received and kept, or sent, passed around or uploaded to the Internet. Even if the participants are willing, it is still a case of illegality, with legal outcomes varying by State and on a case-by-case basis, however maximum penalties may include jail time.

As well as the massive legal consequences, sexting can have enduring emotional and social consequences on the individuals involved. In the technological and social media age we live in today, it is far too easy for images to escape the control of the sender and receiver. A prime example of this is the relatively recent 2014 iCloud hacking scandal which saw almost five hundred private pictures of numerous celebrities, mostly women, being posted on various websites for dissemination across social networks. Whilst the photos were all taken with the intention of privacy and intimacy, millions of people ended up being exposed to the pictures, demonstrating how little control the individual has once the photos have been sent into the abyss that is technology. Whilst the iCloud hack is a hugely wide scale example, smaller occurrences have been known to happen amongst normal teenagers in high schools. Young girls send photos to their friends or boyfriends, not thinking much of it, and trusting in the recipient. But, often the recipient will break that trust and send the photo around, meaning that the girl’s photo is seen by many more people than she originally intended. This exposure and betrayal leads to serious emotional struggles. Speaking to a young woman who has experienced what it is like to have her private photos made public to the world, she expressed the lasting impact it has had on her. This girl was only fifteen when she took photos of herself naked and sent it to a boy she was seeing, trusting that he would delete them or not share them with anyone, “I kind of just didn’t expect anything to happen of them, I just thought oh everyone does it, doesn’t matter”. However, the photos were soon after spread around, with people from her own school and the schools around her seeing them, even her father was shown the picture. She speaks of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, exposed, alone and humiliated once she realised that her photos had been leaked, “I wanted to hide, I was embarrassed and just didn’t want anyone to know … everywhere I went I just felt like everyone could see everything of me and I just wanted to hide, I just felt that I was so exposed to everybody and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it”. This young woman claims that sending the photos was one of the worst decisions of her life, thus, the emotional and social impacts of sexting are clear and irreversible.

Perhaps the media is to blame for the increase in sexting, due to the sexualisation of children at young ages through our celebrity culture, pornography, video games, teenage magazines and advertising campaigns which all place huge importance on the idea of being sexy and provocative. With children being exposed to sex at younger and younger ages, they begin to view it as something that is normal and acceptable for all ages, which puts pressure on them to fit in with the sexual culture. Regardless of what has caused it, the issue of sexting is obvious and ever-increasing – proper education and consistent legal punishments must be put in place so as to demonstrate to young people that sexting is not just one message sent and deleted, it may mean enduring legal and emotional consequences, long after the send button has been pressed.

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assignment 3, MEDA101, SONDER

Sonder

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.18.31 pmWilliam Gibson tweeted this photo – Grand Central Station in the 1940’s, re-imagined in colour with Photoshop. To me, this photo represents a crowd of strangers, going about their daily lives, passing hundreds of strangers throughout the day. The photo captures a sense of separation, yet at the same time, traps the strangers together for an eternity, as their photo is passed along with technology they couldn’t have even imagined in the 40’s. Each person in this photo would have their own crazy lives, filled with worries, ambitions, pleasures and memories, and yet none of these traits would be known to the strangers surrounding them.

The word, sonder, coined by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, is used to describe this realisation and appreciation that there are thousands of individual stories evolving around you, completely oblivious and contained from your own.

My cine-roman project explores this concept, by telling the story of passing strangers wherever you go, and how that passing may be the only connection you ever share. Photos of an individual are used to portray their personality which are interlaced with photos of passing a stranger, representing how each individual has their own personality which the passing alone cannot portray. Fast flashes of photos show how many strangers you would typically see in a day, and how you only have a second to glimpse into that person’s life. Sound grabs were used from the previous audio project to portray the filling of a coffee cup and the passing of traffic – examples of where you might see a stranger, and where you are a stranger to everyone else.

Sonder.

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