Documenting Doom

Doom 5 smNext up we were asked document one of the outcomes of the practice swap group project. Focusing primarily on something created that was previously unfamiliar and create new work from it.

I chose to expand on the music I made for Ben’s task as for me that was the task that was the least familiar.

When I was putting the piece of music together I was thinking about big sounds and daunting, expansive landscapes.

My musings are often inspired by my experience of the gigantic, atmospheric and overwhelming. Difficult to describe sometimes but the feeling of insignificance when in big spaces/expansive landscapes and in what feels untouchable environments. An impending sensation or feelings of uncertainty and ideas of infinite space. I mean environment in all senses of the word, physical, mental, aural etc…

What I am trying to explain does actually scares the shit out of me a bit but I think thats what I like about it, a historical Ashley fact here… I used to have a recurring nightmare when I was a kid about what I can only describe as a huge black mass chasing me and there would be people surrounding having conversations that where overbearingly amplified. All very strange but those eerie, intimidating, overwhelming sensations are what captivate me today.

Anyway. I took a trip to Iceland not so long ago and I was really taken by the sounds and the drama of the landscape. Vast, void of human activity.

The sound of the rolling waves on a black volcanic beach was like nothing I had ever heard before, a deep, otherworldly rumble uninterrupted by any far off din of civilisation. I took a really crude recording on my phone which doesn’t do it justice at all obviously.

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Getting back to creating new work from documenting where my inspirations came from for Ben’s tune. I decided to do a couple of things, firstly I wanted to create art from some of the photos I had taken of glaciers and volcanic rock in Iceland. I created abstract images by repeating photographs in various configurations in a attempt to produce alien, otherworldly environments.

Although photographs of huge landscapes, I feel the resulting images could be macro shots of alien organisms as they remind of cells and biological matter under the microscope, playing with scale in an interesting way…

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Doom 2 smSecondly, I was interested in making a music video for the piece of music I had made for Ben’s task. Keeping with the theme of vast spaces, this time I was keen on going cosmic.

Stanley Kubrick is one of my film hero’s (along with Alejandro Jodorowsky!!!) and his handmade visual effects for the Star Gate sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) which include and the slit scan camera technique as well as ink and oil in pans and trays of water have always mesmerised me. Creating a galactic environment in a meter squared of space is just dreamy!

I decided to conduct my own experiment with oil and ink on water, creating a visual for the track I had made.

Using a Panasonic AF101 film camera and a fixed zoom Voightlander lens, I messed about with food colouring, oil in some oven dishes and tried to create some expansive landscapes of my own, particularly enjoying the lo-tech aspect of the exercise. Using Premier Pro for the first time I edited the scenes together to create the little vid below. I’d say it’s a little crude and could do with refining at some point.

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