Personal Exhibit

21 06 2008

For our personal exhibit, there was much planning and coordination as well as problem-solving that took place. First of all, since we were exhibiting in a corridor, getting permission from John Carbery was quite difficult. I had a meeting with him to be able to get permission to hang our screens using braces, but he didn’t allow us to do so. He also told us that we needed to have a space of atleast 1.5 meters between our work. Since the corridor was 2.2 meters, we only had .3 meters for each of our work.

Because of that, Mosh and I had to put our heads together and find out how to do this. We could not use the screen stands, so we decided to create thin plinths which would house the CPUs as well as would be the base for the screens. Since there would be a danger of it tipping over, Mosh and I designed a way to both hinge the plinth to the wall as well as lock it down on the other side with a padlock. We also went to Whitten Timber, where we spoke to the son of the owner, James Whitten. He designed the plinths so that it could withstand the 30kg of weight without it getting unstable.

Mosh built the plinths, while I prepared the corridor space, which included asking for permission from Alain Ayers and the Admin regarding the removing of the canvas boards as well as the form boxes on the walls. Even after getting permission, preparing the space was still quite difficult. I was reprimanded for not warning the admin offices that I was going to begin drilling, even despite their admission that they knew I had permission to do so. After giving my apologies, I proceeded to remove the boxes.

I also received quite a degrading comment from the building manager. First, when Ryo was painting the wall and he saw that a drop of white paint went unto the floor, he turned to him and told him that he’d better wipe it off. Ryo respectfully said he would. After that, I decided it would be best to clean the floors and scrub the white paint off. I was on my knees scrubbing when the building manager came up to me and told me with a laugh that now there’s a new MA, Cleaning Floors. I was honestly, too tired to respond, so I didn’t and I just continued to finish the job. This was a good choice, since I was able to complete it and we were able to finish most of the work that day.

Thankfully, I was helped by many people in preparing this space, without whose help it wouldn’t have happened. Chris, Zai and Yan helped me paint and clean the floors. Ryo also helped me paint the walls. Dom helped me by drilling back the boxes into place. Much of this I owe to them. They really didn’t need to help, but they did and I am so grateful because honestly, I couldn’t do it on my own and Mosh was building the plinths for the rest of the class.

I realize now that this class is really special. People are exceptionally generous and all this couldn’t have happened if not for these people. I also realized that when problems occur, you just look at the solution and do it. Don’t look at the problem, look at how to solve it. And because of it, I have come out of it stronger and with an excellent space to exhibit the work.


Artist Statement and Reflection Paper

10 06 2008

*Please click the image below.


Colloquium Presentation

10 06 2008

We had our colloquium presentation. Here is the video of ours:

We had to collect everyone’s work, which took a bit of time, so we weren’t able to burn it on a singular DVD. Plus, the formats all differed, so this proved to be a problem. The thing was that the audience questioned this. One person was particularly bothered that the presentation of the work was not on a singular DVD and that the technology (meaning computer desktop) was visible between the presentations. I suppose this is a small element, but it did bring to my attention that how we present the work is of utmost importance. Even though the presentations over-all were quite good, and students put a lot of effort into them individually, it’s still so very important to make sure that it is presented well to the public. I suppose regarding these things, the audience can be quite unforgivable, but this is training for the real world , where professionalism is the key. For the final show, I am keeping this in mind. The details are very important and must not be overlooked.

Conceptual Research and Development

7 06 2008

The concept of the project has developed tremendously. From something that was supposed to be just two films to be viewed side by side, it has become a video feedback that constantly changes as the other changes. Just like in relationships and collaborations.

Because of the possibilities of this Video Feedback loop that we discovered in the 2nd Term, we began experimenting with all sorts of interactions. This made us get a little lost; it became fun, but meant nothing. This led us to the book of John Maeda, The Laws of Simplicity.

John Maeda, Laws of Simplicity:

1. REDUCE The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. When in doubt, just remove. But be careful of what you remove.

2. ORGANIZE Organization makes a system of many appear fewer. Of course this will only hold if the number of groups is significantly less than the number of items to be organized.

3. TIME Savings in time feel like simplicity. And we are thankfully loyal when it happens, which is rare.

4. LEARN Knowledge makes everything simpler . This is true for any object, no matter how difficult. The problem with taking time to learn a task is that you often feel you are wasting time, a violation of the third Law of time. We are well aware of the dive-in-head-first approach—“I don’t need the instructions, let me just do it.” But in fact this method often takes longer than following the directions in the manual.

5. DIFFERENCES Simplicity and complexity need each other. The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simpler stands out. And because technology will only continue to grow in complexity, there is a clear economic benefit to adopting a strategy of simplicity that will help set your product apart.

6. CONTEXT What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral. Context – what holds story together… embrace = engaged

7. EMOTION More emotions are better than less.

8. TRUST In simplicity we trust.

9. FAILURE Some things can never be made simple.

10. THE ONE Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

Through these rules, I decided to go into a simple image, and a simple interaction. I chose to focus on expressing the idea of vulnerability. How the state of consciousness is always in constant flux and how one cannot even begin to comprehend and understand it. We can merely live with the knowing that it is there, but until today, its presence is still a mystery. I also chose to focus on bringing out this image into the interaction between myself and Mosh and to allow the video feedback to change the image naturally.

Another big factor in my choosing this was our tutorial with Andy. He kept on mentioning simplicity and the strength of the idea. This led both myself and Mosh towards a deeper reflection of what we really wanted to do and say.

Initially, we wanted to let each other’s techniques go from one side of the work to the other, but it became more of a game, and as a viewer, it became confusing. Watching it, even I was asking myself what it all means. So we decided to keep it simple. To allow the work to speak through its simplicity.

Mosh and I also visited the Albion wherein a Peter Campus retrospective was being held. A particular piece of work caught my eye, wherein a viewer sees a double image of themselves that is a few seconds past. It is almost like seeing oneself reacting to oneself. Or even a window into the past of oneself. The work was very powerful and might I add, simple. There was one other viewer that I watched as she interacted with the work. She was absolutely taken by it. She fell into silence as she watched herself. Here is an image of the work in another exhibition.

Because of this, I decided that it was of utmost importance to keep the interactions simple. Not to wow the audience with the technology, but to focus on the idea or the concept, so that they forget that the technology exists and it merely becomes another medium for communication. When the technology becomes invisible, the idea becomes visible.

DVD Team Leadership

3 06 2008

I volunteered to be the DVD Team leader for the MA Final Show. Working with the team was quite smooth; Nick Buer became in charge of the DVD mastering and menu creation, Moshe Ladanga did the MA Slideshows and Editing, and Nikolas Almpanis, the sound authoring.

The difficulties that arose from the creation of the DVD were in dealing with the late submissions as well as some coordination with other MA’s. As expected, there will always be this part of the work, which taught me a great deal. I learned a lot in terms of negotiation as well as being assertive regarding deadlines and what can cannot be done given the amount of time we had. Another great lesson was to always be organized and to learn how to delegate. Because of this, we were able to get creative with the DVD and the design was excellently executed by Nick and Mosh.

My task was to interview students and faculty and to get some tours of the building. I was not able to get a hold of enough faculty, since this is the busiest time of the year, so I am still contemplating whether to include it or not. This taught me a great lesson as well in learning how to juggle my personal project and the demands of things that need to be done for the whole. In a way, this is great preparation for the real world where in I will be juggling my artistic life as well as my work. What I learned the most was to prioritize well, and not to take on more than I can handle. Where there is a big job to be done, get the right people in your team. I am very very happy that Mosh, Nick and Nikos were in the team, their perfectionism, technical and creative skill as well as generosity were invaluable.



The videos above show the footage that I gathered, edited by Moshe Ladanga. We also had to incorporate other footage from another MA, Maryam Ouji, as well.  Here is the Menu that Nick and Mosh made together:


Technical Research and Development

1 06 2008

Basically, I have been researching, learning and implementing Processing for my project. It has been both difficult and rewarding (the beginning was hard, due to learning the language) but now, it has gotten easier as I am now understanding how it works. I started with a bit of code which was created by Golan Levin. It’s a presence detection code, which allows the computer to sense how many new objects enter the frame. Here is the original code:

By reading the book of Ira Greenberg called Processing: Creative Coding and Computational Art, I realized that I can add an additional element to the code which is the Alpha Factor. By studying the chapter on Bitwise operations, I found that I can use this with a much faster processing time, this way the interactivity becomes more immediate.

I decided to use the Alpha factor because I wanted to create a color blur, more like an imprint of a presence rather than of the presence itself. I wanted to create a void between the viewer’s expected image of themselves and the image they actually see. Through this difference, the viewer will begin to question the meaning of the experience…therefore, creating an experience with the work itself.

Here is the code that I changed:

As seen above, I added the Alpha Factor through bitwise operations into the code. This way, the presence detected is layered on top of itself, blurred color presence.

I also was able to debug the program by creating a loop within the code, so that as the layered image reaches a maximum point, it returns to its original form. At first, I couldn’t figure out why after a time, the image turned completely black, then through Moshe’s suggestion (he said quite simply that the image was layering unto itself until nothing could be seen), I figured out that I had to create a loop. So I wrote this bit of code to allow the program to return back to its original commands after it reaches a certain point.

I realize that there is still so much to learn about Processing, and to be honest, I feel I’m only beginning to understand the possibilities of this environment. But now, knowing how to do it, I can see that this can be achieved.

External Exhibitions

15 05 2008

Through one of my experiments in the 2nd Assessment, I was able to take part in three external exhibitions. Here is the work that was shown:


1:27 minutes


This work explores the contradictions we experience when we touch. Like the work of Bill Violo and James Turrell, I explore ideas of consciousness and perception by posing the question, ‘What is it that you see?’

This film was selected at the Audiovisiva 5.0 in Milan, Italy,

at Future Film at the Camden Arts Centre,

and at Sharp Shorts 08 at the University of the Arts London.

Joining these festivals proved to be quite exciting as well as a good practice for professional development. How to present my work and the context of the piece was something that I had to think about carefully. It was a good experience all around. At first, I didn’t think that what I write about the work was just as important as the finished film. But when I attended the Camden Arts Centre Film Showing, I realized that many viewers really take what is said into account. I realize now that research is not just important for in developing the idea of the work, but in contextualizing how this work is seen and understood as well.

I think after this MA, I will definitely join more.

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