A session with Tim Shaw involved an introduction to sound art and its history.
A couple of things of interest I noted where:
The discovery that Palaeolithic cave paintings could be evidence of mans first forays into sound visualisation as paintings of bison, horses and mammoths were positioned in places of natural resonant sound which amplified and transformed sound. Perhaps using primitive instruments in a particular part of the cave mimicked the sound of a stampeding herd?
Sound hallucination. The idea of sounds existing in the mind, a person having their own inner soundtrack. This also made me think of sounds not existing where they should be, our expection of sounds and how they can be our anchor to reality.
We also had a go at building a solar sound sensor circuit using a solar panel and piezo speaker which responded to light levels in the environment. Taking our little thingy’s for a walk around the building and around the campus it seemed to get the most excited about the lights in the corridors of Culture Lab, making sounds reminiscent of little analog crickets in the night.
As part of a John Bowers ethnography exercise we were asked to observe happenings in the town centre. As well as taking notes on the awkward avoidance of people running the chugger gauntlet we recorded some sounds on a H1 Zoom recorder I brought along with me.
Rolex Clock – Blackett St.
We (Alexei, Garry, Lewis and I) were interested in the reactions to the clock bell tower as it chimed 11am…expecting people to look up and confirm the time or maybe check their own devices or watches for accuracy. Most people didn’t react at all in fact…
Whilst checking out the Odeon demolition on Pilgrim Street we found a piano with its innards exposed. Garry and Alexei went about tinkling its ivories and plucking it strings with a student card..
Next 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.
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…
Secondly, 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 go with refining at some point
So at the start of semester 1 we were asked in groups of 4 to identify our individual practices and create 4 separate works by exchanging our practices with the others in the group. In essence in my mind to become familiar with the unfamiliar.
During my undergraduate I started to work with design fiction. As part of a project I designed a card game based on a concept from the Situation Lab called ‘A Thing From The Future’. The scenario generating game uses extrapolation theory to conjure up fictional objects for the future, whilst the game I designed, ‘Future Fictions’ is tailored toward future sport and physical endeavour.
My task for the other 3 asked to describe a near future scenario using the cards they picked and create an artefact that contextualises that future in some way our gives insight into a day in the life of an individual, society or culture from that fictional future.
This stemmed from an interest in objects and the way they can reveal the collective conscience of a society or the evolution of a culture.
Jade’s task was concerned with artistic proces. It began with Jade presenting me with piece of her work which I was tasked with responding to. The idea was to the pass whatever I created on to the next person so they could respond to my work, leaving out Jade’s original and so on until the circle was complete…a kind of art based Chinese whispers.
Jade handed over her work (image below) with no description leaving me to decipher it and draw inspiration from my understanding of it alone.
The aim was to work quickly so I wrote down a few observations and decided to create an image from the list.
Her work drew me to thoughts of restriction, constriction, bondage and sadism…
The image was then passed on to Garry to respond to.
Ben task involved making a piece of music around a minute long using a range of simple samples and Garageband. Any tempo, any style and not all samples had to be used.
I had never used Garageband and I had no experience with creating music so I was excited about this task! The program performed a little like some film editing software I had used before so I applied what I knew there.
In real life, I am generally attracted to dark, drone-y, heavy, big bassy but ethereal sounds…doom sounds I call em…so I used that as the basis of my creation by starting with the bass samples.
I have a slight fixation with lining everything up so when it came to putting to track together, in my complete lack of music production knowledge I couldn’t help just stacking things together so they looked really neat…soon realising that that didn’t make for a very interesting sound so I had to break that habit and offset things a bit.
The outcome sounds like this >>>
Garry was interested in swapping photography as his practice so he passed around his Nishika N8000 3D camera which uses 4 lenses to take a shot from 4 slightly different angles and when layered produce 3D gifs (see above) which Garry created with the images we took.
I am interested in storytelling through imagery and the day I planned on taking the photo was the eve of American presidential election so I used this as a starting point.
The goal was to create a speculative story of a day in the life of Trump’s future dictatorship…polluted water, deformed food. I also mocked up a cereal box, keeping Kim Jong Un style propaganda in mind to show a world where Trump is consumed on every level.
In presenting the work we decided to put together an exhibition reserving any explanations allowing the viewers to interpret the process themselves. Making use of a modular shelving unit in the studio that conveniently had 16 compartments to display 16 pieces of work.
The initial unveiling of work was planned to take place in the seminar room, we set our work up upstairs in the Space 8 studio in order remove the viewer from the predetermined space and in the hope of increasing anticipation on the the journey to the work.
We let the viewers guide themselves around, purposefully putting screens showing short films in awkward places close to the ground to order to have viewers more actively observing the work.
Initially I intended on exhibiting the tat I have been creating of the course of the project. Mainly as a means to distract and confuse you about what the project is really about whilst I talk my way through it.
It seems that setting up an exhibition may logistically difficult, given that we are presenting in a different building from usual and also I feel presenting bits n bobs of crappy art may be underwhelming and I don’t want to let you get too close to my art-work, I feel you will see my lack of effort too easily. Best for work is seen from the perspective I choose.
My new plan is to distract and confuse you with something unrelated and mundane…I’m thinking of cutting my toenails whilst talking you through my project.We will see how that goes down…
The points in the manifesto correlate directly with my understandings of post-truth from the research and rooting around I did at the beginning of the project.
Here is a little breakdown of each point-
no. 1 – Post Truth art uses the space between people as its medium
It’s clear from the definition of post-truth that the phrase relates to emotion, intuition and the psychology of belief. The invisible human forces.
no.2 – Post Truth art does not concern itself with the opinion of experts
Relating to the quote from Michael Gove, Conservative politician and former Secretary of State for Education, “people in this country have had enough of experts.”
no.3 – Post Truth art has the utmost conviction
To hoodwink 50% of a nation you must be good at lying or believe the lie yourself because you don’t know otherwise. This relates to, well all tales that have been told and later revoked in an attempt to gain votes. (Nigel Farages’ £350 million per week/NHS gaff being one of them)
no.4 – Post Truth art does not strive for perfection it strives for deception
To trick the public into a particular way of thinking by concealing information or publicly lying in order to sway opinion. A common tool used by our politicians. Also relating to journalism and colouring the truth in an attempt to sell papers or attract clicks.
no.5 – Post Truth art should excite yet leave the consumer and artist feeling empty, confused and mis-sold
Post-truth news/media is designed to get the blood pumping, to appeal to our hopes and fears and nothing in between but it usually goes nowhere, a fleeting rumour, a sensationalised scoop that explodes all over social media and is then forgotten as quickly as it came around.
no.6 – Post Truth art is unconsidered
Post-truth politics, news and information is not concerned with offending people.
no.7 – Post Truth art works to a dinnertime deadline
The pace of news has increased rapidly thanks to its digital evolution and the rate of social media news sharing. Journalism has suffered under the growing pressure of getting seen in a sea of online news articles and the need for having the headline that deserves that sought after click. Reel the stories out quickly and often to keep the reader engaged seems to be the current business model…chasing down cheap clicks at the expense of accuracy.
no.8 – Post Truth art does not require skill to be successful just exposure
Post-truth news, celebrity and information is made credible by exposure. To be bombarded with the presence of a particular subject makes it prominent and hard to ignore. You are forced to have an opinion and it becomes irreversibly recognisable.
no.9 – Post Truth art does not stand for anything
Of the information and news that is changeable and favours the current mood.
no.10 – Post Truth art can and will contradict the points in this manifesto as often as possible
Relating to the unreliable information and news the is common in the journalistic landscape, predictably contradictory from one day to the next.
One thing that must been mentioned is that I used 4 fonts!! Normally I live by the rule of never more than 3 fonts in a document. The f**king rule book has gone out the window!!
Essentially there is no true layout for the document. I’m normally a layout freak, everything in its right place, symmetrical, logical. I’ll move text a little to the right a little to the left…put it back where it started. It takes me long time. I started that process whilst putting the manifesto together then I remembered point number 5 of Post Truth Art A Manifesto – Post Truth art is unconsidered. After that I tried my best to be random..
I have told myself that I must have the utmost conviction in the project and just carry it on regardless but every now and the facade slips and I start having doubts about whether this project has any value.
The point is to deceive and one of the major things I have been having trouble with is my own doubt creeping in and telling me this whole thing is a load of rubbish…which it is. And I guess it is meant to be. But I do worry that I can’t present work that I knowingly feel is crap or executed badly. Lying is hard.
Also battling with the fact that I feel I’m not doing anything wholly productive, making a lot of things that have no meaning and trying to give them meaning. I’m still getting used to replacing the facts with my new post truth values…