Saturday, 28 May 2011

Lynette Wallworth: Evolution of Fearlessness

I recently went to see this installation held at the University of Brighton's Art Gallery.

Evolution of Fearlessness is an intimate, interactive installation dealing with loss, survival and strength. The work incorporates filmed portraits of several women, originating from countries such as Afghanistan‚ Sudan‚ Iraq and El Salvador. They have lived through wars or survived concentration camps or extreme acts of violence and are brought directly to the audience, through this intimate installation, to share their stories.

Built around the importance of gesture‚ and responsive to touch, Evolution of Fearlessness provides a tactile gateway to the women contained in the piece. Whilst cinematic techniques are at the heart of Evolution of Fearlessness, the work goes beyond cinema in its immersive and interactive form, revealing the strength of the human spirit. The work resonates strongly with the themes running through Brighton Festival 2011, which have been inspired by the courage of it's guest curator, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The room was very dark, a small lamp focused on a book in one corner where viewers could sit and read. I could also see a glowing light which I first headed towards. I touched the light and a life sized women gradually appeared. She put her hand out and looked at me. I touched her hand while continuing to look at her face. She projected such  intense sad emotions just by her facial expressions alone. She gradually faded and the glowing light reappeared. I touched the light again and a different women emerged. This unique but similar experience repeated several times with a different person.

I usually like to video exhibitions that I visit but this one I couldn't. This wasn't because photography was not allowed either. It was due to the emotional response that this installation had on me. It was so effective in conveying such sad emotions of each individual. I was literally in tears, and this was before I even read the horrendous stories of their lives. While there was a book containing each women's personal story to read as part of the installation, there was also a little booklet to buy. I have just finished reading all the stories :-(  Although it's so sad reading their tales it shows how individuality can prevail in such awful social systems. The courage of these women is commendable.  The video below is a clip about the installation.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Mid Point Review Feedback

As part of the MPR the custom is to present a brief overview (5 mins) of the work so far. After that you are not allowed to speak while your work is being discussed. This was quite tricky for me :-)

I would like to say thank you to everyone that contributed in the discussion about my work. It has been brill to get such good feedback.

I have split the feedback up into three sections:

  • Questions
  • Comments
  • Suggestions/Links


Moira: I wanted to ask whether you are thinking of mixing the fire video with your initial experiments?

Kay:  I have thought about that, but my next steps are to continue filming natural generative elements  then later experiment combining them with computer generated software.

Osiris: Yes I liked the Spiro. I think that the Spirograph is fascinating because it is only possible with circular forms. Even if the result is not circular. What are your thoughts about that?

Kay: Yes I agree I think that's also fascinating too. The end result doesn't have to be circular which reminds me of this joke: What did the triangle say to the circle? You are sooooo pointless :-)  But in this case triangular shapes can be made by a circular spirograph, which  makes me think a circle is not as pointless as the triangle thinks :-)

Mariana : As Kay has demonstrated with her experiments, generative elements can be digitally manipulated to create great visuals but I wonder how is she going to use those visuals at the end?

Kay: I'm wondering the same thing Mariana :-) I haven't got a clue but I like not knowing.

Louis: Are the sounds "that individual" from one spirograph to another or the graphics effected by the choice of filters.

Kay: Yes I recorded each individual sound made by each pattern then combined them all together. The colours originally used for each pattern were chosen by a random method. I then filmed the end result of this system and then later added in the effects.


Eva: I really liked the film you made and I loved that you were struggling with not sticking with your rules.

Mariana: I like Kay’s research on generative elements, systems, interconnectivity and individuality, it opens up so many possibilities.

Moira: I am really impressed with Kay's theoretical research, and jealous of all the exhibitions she is visiting.

Osiris: I think it is a very philosophical work.

Olivia: Maybe there is a pattern within all probability?

Madeline: To me it has strong links with minimalist composers, sound structures, repeated patterns.

Louis: The fire video was simple but brilliant.

Mariana: I also like the fact that Kay is as focused on the sound as she is on the visuals because they both are a great source of work.

Moira: Yes, using the sound was a great idea.

Eva: Chance and triggering of your own memories through others. The spirogragh was a perfect interaction of old and new memories.

Mariana: I especially like the geometric patterns with great colour palettes she created with the spiral sounds.

Osiris: I understand her results correctly, up to now all existence is based on Individualism even if it comes from mechanism ? Or not?

Eva: When I was little i was always amazed at the pattern of the spirogragh as if it had never happened before as if it was by chance that this amazing pattern appeared.

Osiris: Was it clear to you all, why Kay includes Chaos Theory ?

Suggestions and links:

Madeline: I discovered an artist recently, Jack Ox, plays with structures and repetitions, influences by sound. There was also an exhibition in New York a few years ago - Radical Lace and Subversive knitting, structures created by repeated actions.

Osiris: There is always a pattern, Stephen Hawking's theory of all things!

Jedrzej: There is one artist which I will recommend for you. I remember that Phillip Glass once done an animation called Color Wheel, and it remind me a bit of what you have done with these simple shapes.

Moira: The sound reminded me of a Hafler Trio Dvd with generated sounds:  Click here

Olivia: It would be interested to see them overlapping.

Mariana: In terms of incorporating generative elements to your work I thought of some ideas: you could film oil in water, bubbles, smoke (cigarette smoke) under different lightings, drops of ink in water filmed through a fish bowl.

Monkee: I like her generative drawing by spirograph! if she can record how the lines come out, like an animation of a spirograph, it might be interesting. I know it's hard to record it without seeing the spirograph.

Mariana: Another thing you can film is a cd in a microwave here is a video on youtube you can watch later, the CD makes great visuals towards the end of the video: click here

Louis: Could this concept be applied to other subjects wind movement, shifting light/moving shadows, insect movement/swarms colonies etc.

Claire: Looking at the images on the blog reminds me of these projections: click here

Moira: I also think there are endless things you could do with the Spirograph, Processing and After Effects.

Eva:  For some reason I ended up thinking about this scene from Midnight cowboy after I looked at your presentation click here

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mesopotamian Dramaturgies

I went to see this amazing installation today by Kutlug Ataman. Below is a short video that I took of the exhibition.

Animating the atmospheric disused space of the Old Municipal Market, the exhibition brings together two works which use the theme of water to meditate on political change. The centrepiece is the world premiere of Mayhem. In this new multi-screen film installation, commissioned by Brighton Festival, water is used to subtly symbolise the transformational energy of revolution. It is presented with Su, a video installation shown in the UK for the first time.

The Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2011 is Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate. Inspired by her, the festival celebrates themes of freedom of expression, liberty, and the power of the individual voice in society. These works by Ataman strongly resonate with these themes, at a time where revolutionary change is sweeping through Ataman's own region. Ataman passionately believes in the need for democracy and freedom of expression in his native Turkey, and in the wider region.

Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Mayhem (2011)
In Mayhem, Ataman transports us to another Mesopotamia - ?la Mesopotamia? in Argentina, itself located between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers. Here, in what Ataman describes as an "alternative promised land", we are confronted by the spectacular and chaotic energy of the Iguazu Falls. In what he refers to as a direct response to the uprisings taking place in his own region, Ataman casts water as both a cleansing and destructive force. Just as water shapes and transforms nature, the Arab Spring is sweeping aside old structures and allowing new ones to evolve.

Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Su (2009)
Su takes it's name from the Turkish word for water. It was filmed over a year, and illustrates the different moods of the Bosphorus strait, the narrow strip of water that separates Europe from Asia. Formed of two split-screen installations, each a mirror image of the other, Su calls to mind the fluid, constantly changing nature of geographical boundaries. As visitors enter, they are met with one of the key phrases of Islam - "There is no God but Allah" - written in cuneiform script, superimposed onto the shifting waters. In one screen the text is reversed, as it is in some mosques in Turkey.
In Su, two realms often thought of as separate and opposite, are united.

Ataman intends to complete filming for Mesopotamian Dramaturgies in Syria, and was only recently prevented from doing so by the current political instability there.

About the Artist
Kutluğ Ataman (born 1961 in Istanbul, Turkey) is a filmmaker and contemporary artist. His work has been shown internationally at major forums such as Documenta, and the Venice Biennale, and at notable exhibitions at the Serpentine, Istanbul Modern Art Museum and many other galleries. His work is in international collections, including those of MoMA and Tate Modern. He is a recipient of the highly prestigious Carnegie Prize and has been nominated for the Turner Prize.

Project Proposal 4

Here's my latest Project Proposal
Project Proposal

Friday, 13 May 2011

Generative Elements

This is a short video clip that I made by zooming into fire.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Jardin Flambeau

As night fell St Ann's Well Gardens came alive transforming into a wonderful fire garden of kinetic sculptures, flaming pots and cascades of candles. I have been to an event by the French outdoor alchemists Compagnie Carabosse before, which took place on the lawn of the Tate Modern, but this was by far much bigger and better. I felt so lucky that this event was being held in my favourite local park as part of the Brighton Festival. It transformed an already beautiful place into a magical night time garden.

I filmed and also took quite a lot of photographs here. I watched the constant transformation of the flames move in random sequences not unlike waves in the ocean. I remember watching these natural elements of nature as a child for long periods. I am today still fascinated with their generative qualities.

Below are just a few photos of this event. I choose these ones because they are quite abstract and I much prefer them to the other photos that I took.  I decided that next I'm  going to use post production effects on my videos of the flames and incorporate them into my own practise for experimentation.

Jardin Flambeau

Jardin Flambeau1

Jardin Flambeau3

Jardin Flambeau2

Jardin Flambeau4

Jardin Flambeau5

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Consciousness Engine

I had no idea this exhibition was on! I stumbled across it totally by accident and I felt so happy that I did, because this work relates in some ways to my own project. The artists Shardcore and Sam Hewitt explore notions of the collective and individual via scientific and spiritual inquiries in the search for truth.

The Consciousness Engine is a series of visual and digital art installations at The Old Market. Rooms distributed around the venue contain pieces of video and audio staged to suggest evidence of a consciousness making discoveries about its own nature. Not like a child learning for the first time but as an adult looking at their habits of self identification.
As an audience member you may explore the building in your own way and interact as you wish with phones and cameras incorporated into the installations. These allow you to contribute audio and video to the Engine and they allow It to gain information about humanity. The core of the Engine can be viewed at any time as a constantly evolving, self-editing film in the basement of the venue. As the festival progresses, video of the most memorable visitors will be incorporated into Its regular thought patterns.

My favourite part of this exhibition was a video installation in a white ceramic tiled room at the basement of the building (core of the engine). The tiles worked really well due to both the reflections of the projection on the other tiles in the room; also viewing the video projection on the tiles gave a more geometric graph like effect which also was very apt when you knew that it was a computer speaking in the video. The computer made random sometimes contradictory statements, for instance at one point it was talking about religion and then afterwards it said something on the lines of - If you are trying to put this into some sort of religious or spiritual connotation then you are missing the point! There was also one sentence that really stuck in my head - Can freedom be organised? This question ran circles in my mind because if you can organise freedom then you haven't got it, but then if freedom is not organised how do we achieve it? Could freedom only be achieved by random happenings? How do we define freedom? Can freedom even be defined within a collective because everyone's idea of freedom would be different. So can freedom only truly exist in isolation? Hmmm I still don't know about this either as this then led me thinking about existentialism being a prison for the mind! Also if we were isolated it would have to be by choice so then this would have been organised but I can't see many people opting for isolation either. I haven't really come to a conclusion. I think that freedom is very hard to achieve in society, but it can possible be organised for individual personal choice, if isolation is of your own choosing. This is by far means incomplete and I know that I will be thinking about this for sometime.

Most of the scenes in the video were of places in Brighton that I recognised. Personally I think this worked well for me because I live in Brighton, and some of these scenes triggered my own memories in a way that I felt like they were mine. I found this video to be quite remarkable, not only was it extremely thought provoking, the video was also made using generative software so it never repeated.

I really enjoyed this exhibition it also felt quite apt that I found it by chance too :-)

For link to The Consciousness Engine by artist's Shardcore and Sam Hewitt click here.

And The Birds Fell From The Sky

As part of this year's Brighton Festival I first went to see an immersive video goggle performance at a venue called: The Old Market. Only two people could enter at one time and we were both fitted out with googles and earphones.

This combined both cinema and instruction based theatre to cast the audience as the main character in a wild journey to the world of the Faruk Clown. Anarchic, dreamy and dangerous, ‘And The Birds Fell From the Sky’ takes you on a joyride inside your head all the way to the edge of civilisation.

I thought this was a brilliant multi sensory experience and definitely worth checking out. I do not want to say any more at this point because it will ruin it if you thinking of going. However if you do not like surprises then click here to find out more, but I recommend that you just go and read nothing more beforehand :-)

And the Birds fell from the Sky is on every weekend until the end of the month (May 2011), at the Old Market, Upper Market Street, Hove, BN3 1AS.