1W8-1 Deep Collaboration

30 10 2007


Came across this deep collaborative project One Giant Leap by filmmakers, Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman. It is a collaboration that spans the globe in scope and includes music and a film.

Their process is both unbelievably organic, epic and incredibly moving. They’ve gone around the world with their digi cam and laptop and allowed people to jam with each other by letting artists who would have never met listen to each other and jam along. The result is beautiful.


They pulled together things that would not have naturally mixed…including philosophers.

This kind of collaboration is what i aspire to do.

The other very important thing that they did was that they all had something to say. The content of the communication is so important. What’s interesting about the collaboration…since it happened with different languages is that the musicians did not necessarily know what the others were literally saying, but they followed the movement of the music, the rhythm, the sound, the tempo, the pitch. Was thinking of how I could do this with image…with Mosh. That I need not necessarily understand the literal meaning of the image, but follow its form, or the tempo, rhythm, the movement within the shot. These I believe would deliver a greater impact in terms of meaning. The repetition. This would in a way would transcend the literal meaning of the picture/image which is culturally bound (since meaning and semiotics rely on ones cultural context as well).

Must study the basic language of cinema…probably the jumpcuts in 400 blows, the juxtaposition in Battleship Potemkin, the closeups of Joan of Arc, the repetition in Measures of an Afternoon. To use these elements in communication, rather than the overused ‘semiotics of an image’.


1W7-8 Multi-sensory Learning

25 10 2007

The key to interactivity is the fact that we are multi-sensory beings.

The question of immersive environments, like films, is the fact that there is hearing and seeing. Interactivity brings a greater possibility. Doing. And mixing typography adds another element, reading. It’s experience in all levels, which is exciting.

I found a clip of the latest teaching techniques (for babies) that allows 18 month olds read books to their parents (of course there can be a lot of debate about this, but for a book lover like me, I don’t see how equipping a child with knowledge can in a way harm her). But for the sake of research, here’s the clip:

This doctor experimented on his own babies. Seriously. He’s been interviewed by cnn, msnbc and other news channels. But what struck me about the technique is seeing the original video he showed his baby (in the middle of this following clip).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It was as though he was forming memory with a mini-dv camera that included the spoken word, the written word and action. The experiment proves that we do not learn through the logical a-b-c method, but through a multi-sensory one that includes action. Somehow, by engaging with the object, an experience is formed, and learning accelerates.

Something I must research further.

1W7-7 Interconnection of Science and Art

25 10 2007

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein


I am enthralled by this connection between science and art. Many discoveries in science influence and inspire me. And I feel that somehow, these things are one. Why can’t we use art to explain the latest findings in science. Andy says, there is a danger in this. I like being dangerous. He said, I must in a way only refer to it…as an inspiration. Oh, the semantics of it. Honestly, it intrigues me. These findings. It excites me and I begin questioning how I see reality (which is always a good thing).

As Eistein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

1W7-6 Interactivity- The Meeting of Science and Art

25 10 2007

“It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.”

Jackson Pollock



I found the site of Jackson Pollock, and on it was an interactive game, where you can basically be him, albeit without the years of mastery and planning. The result was beautiful. A true example of the merging of science and art. I am wondering though, how did they choose the color of paint as one clicks the mouse? How did the programmer choose which color was to go next? Was it through studying his work or is it random? I disagree that his work was random, colors were not chosen by chance. And in this sense, I wished for more control as a user…I wanted to choose the color of the pain. I wanted texture.

But its strengths lay on how the paint falls. When on begins playing, it is as though a can of paint is poured unto a page…and one struggles to control it. Mine is a very good example of the unpracticed hand (pictured above). I have read that he practiced endlessly to achieve the strokes he made. And in a way, this is how the work succeeds. It’s in the subtle details. You see what went into his work, by momentarily mimicking him.

But there is also something quite powerful about figuring out the game. There is a mystery to it. The fact that it has no rules or instructions makes it so compelling, addicting and fascinating. It is so simple, and yet, you can almost put yourself in his shoes. Discovering this technique of merging science and art through interactivity opens up new realms of understanding another person’s work. Even those that do not understand his work, may begin to get interested through the process of it. The utter freedom one feels (which again, in my opinion is what he was also trying to say with these paintings).

The last element that makes it so engaging is its simplicity. These are things I have to remember if I choose to include interactivity into our work. As well as to remember one of the things Pollock said:

“The method of painting is the natural growth out of a need. I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them.”

1W7-5 Trusting the Process

25 10 2007


Karel Fonteyne

Stumbled upon photographer, Karel Fonteyne’s work and honestly, I was intrigued by his process. He said that he really doesn’t know the meaning of his work, until he begins doing it…like trusting the process. He follows the same action-reflection methodology that the course is suggesting, and looking at the work, it’s very powerful. In a way, it makes one go beyond one’s own perceptions…expressing the experience of a thing rather than one’ s limited initial perception.

Experience deepens. Perceptions do not. Perceptions can only change through the reflection upon experience. For it is only by being mindful about a situation that any sort of shift can take place. That’s why some people never change…despite 50, 60, 70 years of experience…or why some do the same thing over and over again (mistakes and all) banging their heads against the wall saying, “why does this keep happening to me?” (I must admit, I am one of those people.) It is because of the lack of reflection upon experience.


If only we could approach everything with this almost scientific and inquisitive mind. To experiment, and then to question again, causing a growth or deepening in our perceptions of the world and ourselves. Perhaps then, an evolution of a greater order would take place. I can’t expect this of the rest of the world (it’s a mighty tough job, even for just myself). But ‘me’ is a good place to start.

1W7-4 Talking Back

25 10 2007


Today, I’ve decided to trust the process. I will give in. I won’t resist. I feel my head a little clearer…a little more order here…I will do this as a daily practice…as often as I can. It almost creates a space for my mind to clear itself up. And strangely enough…also a sort of neutral ground for mosh and me to speak:


from Moshe’s Blog

Basically, I responded to his comment on my tutorial, by posting my comment unto his blog.



It was strangely intimate…almost sexy. And most important of all, it was fun. And maybe that’s what Jem Mackay was also saying about ‘morale’ being an important, almost essential part of any collaborative environment. This is his work, creating platforms for collaborative works to take place and he gave us 5 elements present in successful collaborative environments.






And another idea he tossed in was IMPROVISATION…the theater technique where in there can be no negation of the other. In this live technique, all the players agree before hand that no one will negate the suggestion of the other, practicing a ‘yes’ technique. It’s sort of like adding unto someone else’s idea…no going back…only forward.

This of course goes against the collaborative process of Cornford and Cross. Proving that so many different kinds of collaboration exist and can work. It all depends on the context. The entire process of C and C is the negation of the other…until an idea…one that goes beyond them both…is left standing. Quite interesting to study the idea of improvisation as well. What are its pluses, its minuses. What are its rules? But this will have to wait for another blog.

1W7-3 ‘Combative’ Collaboration

25 10 2007


Had an MA Lecture today and honestly, it was very good. It was given by David Cross, one half of the collaborative team who call themselves Cornford and Cross. Their process is wonderful…kind of close to ours actually. Paul Tebbs called it ‘combative’. Which actually sounds better than it really is…because it can get exhausting. It’s probably because Cornford and Cross met at University…quite like how Mosh and I met. We met at a feminist film theory class…and our relationship was born and fueled by debate. We never agreed on anything except upon a greater vision of things…idealistic things…which most cynics would say is a bunch of bullshit really (and they’re probably right). But we both believed the bullshit and fell in love.

Strangely enough, since we’ve been together for 11 years…we started becoming afraid of disagreeing…and after seeing today’s lecture I believe we must bring it back.

Paul told us that we ‘cannot’ say we are searching for a ‘true’ collaboration. I guess he was saying, how does one quantify the truth and who are we really to put ourselves on a pedestal and say one type of collaboration is true and another is not. So that’s why we decided it would be a ‘non-hierarchical’ collaboration that we were after.

And after asking David Cross about the process that he uses, I realized that this is what we must bring back. They debate until one cannot debunk the other. There is a trust and a belief in the strength of an idea…that if it’s strong enough, it will withstand discourse. And this was so very inspiring to me. It reminded me of what was talked about with Andy today…to challenge oneself… and i thought for us…why don’t we challenge the relationship…through debate and discourse?


If it’s true, it will withstand all that we put it through. Challenge each other…challenge what we have.

I have realized that with relationships, it has been quite taboo to challenge it…to step on another person’s feet so to speak. I don’t want to wake up one day and tiptoe around Mosh, just to keep the relationship ‘sacred’. I don’t believe in that. Nothing is sacred. And it is in questioning it that things change, that things get better, that we evolve as human beings.


The Abolition of Work by Cornford and Cross

The process they use is amazing. They both go to a place without thinking about what they’re going to do with it. They create site-specific work, by entering a place with an open mind. They go around and get inspired by the place. And then they ask questions and research. Sort of like gaining ideas from a ‘shared experience’ or in this case, Cornwall. They picked up on the idea that the people used to mine for copper there and that these were all around the town, displayed on walls…almost in a kitschy way. David Cross had the idea of using a penny…a virtually worthless piece of currency (you can’t even use it for the washer) and Mathew Cornford had the idea of laying flat on the floor…almost like a grid. And the resulting work is beautiful. These pictures honestly don’t give it justice.


Their bbc interview pretty much says it all. And what I thought was the most interesting thing was how they chose the final idea. By trying to debunk and outdo each other, they came up with something beyond them both. As they revealed their earlier work, I saw how each piece became more powerful than the next. This is their most recent work, and honestly, not only is it beautiful, but it opens up a hold world of debate regarding the subject matter…how we work…how worthless it is…how valuable it also is when seen as a whole…how beautiful…how dirty (he showed pictures of how filthy the coins were leaving stains on their hands)…how utterly meaningless and meaningful…the coins had different colors (from its age and its history) almost like a metaphor for every nameless person who works for a meager salary.

Their ‘combative’ collaboration works. Through this, they were able to achieve a very simple and yet poignant piece of work. Their process is inspiring and something I want to bring back with myself and Mosh. Maybe we’ll come up with something as simple as a penny.

Well as they say, every penny has a story.

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