1.Very first ideas
**PLEASE READ - I have numbered each reflection. With the oldest being 1.
*ALL VIDEO OUTCOMES HAVE BEEN UPLOADED INTO THE PART 3 OUTCOMES SECTION*
The project has just begun and things are still quite unclear to me if I'm honest. I am unsure where exactly to begin, so I will start with a mind-map to get all of the thoughts onto paper. Tonight I will decide on a starting point to begin experimenting with, I currently only have the display of potential ideas in mind. Perhaps an old tv?but once the idea comes to mind I will have to re-assess whether this is the best way to present the type of work I am going to create. I thought of an old tv because they were once thought of as quite innovative, though in hindsight the channels provided were very limited and controlled with regard to channels and information, it could be interesting to create something false and play it on an older tv.
I like the idea of creating a number of channels that only play certain footage over and over again.
2.Considering my first steps
Flat planet is a project which will allow me to explore my thoughts about the news and the ways in which we believe/absorb information. What do we believe? Why do we believe it? What is being hidden from us? What makes a person/something believable?
First I turn to the news presenter - who is picked? What makes them a good fit? It is arguable that their job is to administer indoctrination on a large scale. I turned to the below article from award-winning news presenter Huw Edwards to read his tips on being a news reporter. I came across his section on “looking smart”, I feel that people that do not comply with this “cookie-cutter” appearance (suits and shirts) wouldn’t be selected to communicate with the world on TV. I notice that there are often seconds on the news (particularly at the beginning) where the news reporter suddenly jolts to action after the intro sound and it feels really abrupt and robotic. Prior to the swift spring to action, they had been looking down at some unknown papers at their big desk looking quite pensive (I realise this is an act that many mainstream news stations repeat) and somebody pulls the “puppet strings” and BAM action!. Robotic characterless action, over and over again. Hours in hair and makeup, an army of suit-selecting stylists working around the clock to sculpt the “perfect” person that the public will believe.
I have been observing the news for some time to begin the project, I am interested in looking into things that challenge the news, conspiracy theories for example. Conspiracy theories pose as a threat to the mainstream news, I feel that these can be found widely across the internet, circulated by news “amateurs” but not on TV. By opposing the generic news, I am sure I will come across people discussing conspiracies of all different kinds and experience the “news” differently.
(Below:Article I have been looking at).
HUW EDWARDS' TOP 10 TIPS FOR BEING A NEWS PRESENTER
“Anyone who is a presenter, regardless of gender, who says that they're not aware of the looks issue would be lying. And I have to say, of course female colleagues are affected by it, but male colleagues are too, because the look is important. These days, on a 60 inch plasma screen in HD there's no hiding place!
How you appear is an important thing, it's the impression you make on people and it can be a good impression or it can be a less good impression. I think the most important thing, and this applies to all colleagues, is to look smart, to show respect for the audience in the way that you're turned out”.
In-text: (BBC News, 2018)
BBC News. (2018). Huw Edwards' top 10 tips for being a news presenter. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26766230
4.An addition to my project
After the discussion we had about ways of thinking/generating work I began to think about something that I would like. I want to photograph candidly and quickly in a way that isn't focused around a phone. When photographing on a phone we can lose sight of the moment and begin to overthink images and poses for social media. I have got myself a little fujifilm "old school" digital camera, the kind I would have had on school trips. This camera will stay with me in my daily bag and I will have this readily on hand to photograph anything of inspiration to me. I hope to have a wealth of inspiration eventually through day-to-day life. I assume that with this separate camera (without wifi etc) I will start to capture photographs with the intentions that I feel I should be capturing them with and cut out the superficial aspects of my imagery.
6. Sourced books
In attempt to spark some inspiration on the subject of conspiracy theories and what we believe - how we can be made to believe things and how this is powerful I am looking at all of these books that I've got hold of.
Oliver Sacks is a key person in my research,
7. Inspired by my theatre trip - Hologram experiments
After the trip to the theatre, I started thinking more about the ways in which information is actually circulated, we are used to TV's, radios, word of mouth speculation...though it hasn't been introduced into mainstream communication - I thought of using the hologram. I will admit I struggled with figuring out how I could actually grasp something like the hologram, a "real" projector without a net/shape reflector would set me back into the thousands (so that was a no). I discovered through searching, that with the use of clear plastic, or even a CD case,craft knife and cutting board that I could create a pyramid that would reflect in the style of a hologram, so this was my next step. I have created a basic model and will reflect onto this.
Definition of hologram: A hologram is a visual projection of a person or object, generally used for communication or entertainment purposes.
Reason for the use of the hologram- Though the hologram is something far more "modern" and "advanced", you cannot interact with the hologram projection, you have to (as you do when watching tv news) passively receive the information being communicated. So though it is a modern device, it is not really progressive. The same circulation of false information can take place without interruption.
One draw-back :With my hologram projector, everything is pre-meditated and artificially constructed- I will have to put the reflected material in place on a template before projecting it and cannot edit this through projection. Where the "actual" news can be recorded and adjusted in "real time" , the hologram projection cannot. I would have to turn it off and edit the video/imagery and then reposition the hologram projector.
Moving forward, I will source some material to begin experimenting with my hologram pyramid with.
9. First D.I.Y hologram
I have started experimenting with Diy hologram projection and am displaying results in my sketchbook.
(Above: Initial paper net).
11. George Orwell 1984
Link to movie I watched - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCZBnUt6rZ0
Today I watched the original film based on George Orwell's dystopia 1984. I was motivated to watch this when thinking about us, the public as consumers of the news and how we are influenced by agents of control. 1984 presents a dystopian future where people are controlled under a totalitarian regime and are stripped of their own critical thoughts (personally I think this is happening to some extent already). George Orwell's 1984 is ultimately a conspiracy about the future direction of the world, a controversial one. The whole film made me think of Karl Marx's idea of the "opium of the people" something that suppresses rebellion and forces people to comply, "big brother" serves that purpose.
Telescreens (televisions that also record as security cameras with microphones) are placed everywhere that the protagonist (Winston Smith) goes...thinking about society and the way we actually live, it is highly rare to enter into a home or a space where we do not have technology that has dedicated channels for mainstream news. I could experiment with the idea of the hologram inspired by 1984 and Orwell's conspiracy by having a strange device in a room presenting information (for Orwell it was the telescreen,for me it will be my hologram projector). 1984 made me think that any space with technology connected to mainstream news is unsafe, it is a breeding ground for propaganda and indoctrination.
Long story short: The protagonist (Winston) loves a girl named Julia, they sneak around to be together but this goes horribly wrong and the two are separated. Winston is tortured mentally and is threatened by his greatest fear (rats being released onto his face), at which point he exclaims "Do it to Julia". He is successfully indoctrinated, has lost the person he loved and has turned to Big brother as his opium.
A part of my PPP was considering who is susceptible to the news? Since news shows at different times all day long, perhaps one group of people who would be susceptible are the retired/those that spend a lot of time at home. As a result of free time, those that are retired/home often might find themselves spending more time and finding purpose in filling their days watching the news as a way of keeping "up to date". Quite like Winson (the protagonist of 1984) turned his thoughts to obeying "big brother" as his life's purpose.
13. Narrowing my focus
I have identified my biggest interest in this project to be conspiracies and theories which hint towards the future/advancement for the simple reason - they often cannot be proven/disproven. They are the future. I am intrigued as to how people might determine whether they believe or not without "evidence". What will make these futuristic conspiracies believable?
For example conspiracy theories around Space or the future construct of our society. I am not set on focusing on just one of these elements but I am confident through experimentation with both of these areas I will be able to determine which I would like to progress with and go into detail for the remainder of this project.
I was drawn to Orwell as he discusses the future through his eyes, not through outer space but through politics and advancement in technology to aid the totalitarian government but this is still the future.
On the other hand, I have the option to explore the future through literal Space conspiracies,UFO’s and strange modern occurrences.
I will continue to experiment until I make the decision about which area I would like to work with in greater detail.
14. The hologram experiment
Inspired by Orwell's 1984 I have decided to use a still found at 1:29 in the movie that reads, "This is a story of the future. Not the future of spaceships and men from other planets. But the immediate future". Following the instructions of a tutorial found on youtube for my Diy hologram projector, I opened powerpoint and drew two diagonal lines to create an X shape. I then set to extracting the still from the video and pasted this into the powerpoint four times. I placed one video in each segment and enlarged the powerpoint to full screen. I ran into an issue at this point - The video's text was projected backwards. In an attempt to amend this, I found an option that flipped the video in the opposite direction, so this then mirrored on the hologram pyramid the correct way around.
Another issue I encountered was the lack of contrast between the still video and the powerpoint background, the cross also was visible. I remembered at this point that I had seen a tutorial on youtube where a woman had created the illusion that her head was floating without a background on the projector, for this she surrounded herself with a black background.
I attempted to change the powerpoint background itself to black and then the issue was averted and the still appeared as I had hoped it would.
I was pleased with the end result, a static hologram of the still. I liked the way that the still's text alludes to a grand revelation and does not provide this. It is like the news in essence, we watch it daily hoping for the truth but it is arguable that we are only faced with distractions from the truth.
19. Watching conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura
I have been watching Conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura where he explored the 9/11 conspiracy. When I think about conspiracies, this is the one that springs to mind first but it is not necessarily the conspiracy theory that I am most drawn to exploring.
21. Discontinuing hologram use
I had considered working further into the hologram, perhaps even trying to construct a giant hologram…I spoke with the technician in the workshop and he quoted the cost of this to be approx £80/£90 for a standard large hologram that would have projected from a flat TV screen. I had a think about it and whether the hologram was really something I would like to carry forward or just an element of my initial experimentation to take me to another point of experimentation and development.
I decided against continuing with the hologram pyramid at this point as I have noticed too many limitations in the way of audio and clarity of image.
If I am to produce moving image with audio (which is what I envision my development consisting of), I am better off working with technology that will be able to deliver the clarity in visual and audio that I will require.
24. Video 1 - evaluation "the immediate future"
My first video experiment, entitled “The immediate future” was inspired by a BBC video I watched of Orwell giving what was described as “A final warning” where he said these words that were engraved into my brain for hours on end, before I decided I had to experiment with these words and his message.
Orwell said, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face…forever”. “Fear, rage, triumph and self abasement” “the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless”.
These words were what I decided to build the entire short clip around. I edited these sections from the video in premier and discarded the rest of the interview after playing it several times to be sure I had extracted the bit that I responded to the most.
I decided this video should have a few audio layers, one layer symbolised indoctrination and the nature in which the general public can place authority/influential figures on a pedestal and take in all that they are saying. So this layer is the sound of somebody scratching on a paper with a pen, trying to make notes quickly. This has the volume edited low so it becomes subliminal but still there with the introduction of the next audio layer.
The next audio layer I looked for was something for slight irony, I thought I would like to add a song that is quite idealistic,I decided on “What a wonderful world”, with the key line being“and I think to myself…what a wonderful world”, I decided on this line being placed carefully in conjunction with Orwell’s speech about his 1984 conspiracy about our dystopian future.
I was pleased to have come across Sharon Van Etten’s cover of “What a wonderful world”, the slowed down pace of this cover was exactly what I wanted for this piece so this formed the second layer of sound over Orwell’s talking.
Throughout the editing, I had to continuously replay certain bits where Orwell speaks at the same time as the other two audio layers to ensure that I had successfully tweaked all of the audio layers to the correct volume to be effective. I kept the second audio layer (song) very low throughout, until I decided on building up the volume for “what a wonderful world”, which I then rapidly faded-out in time for the repetition of Orwell’s “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face…forever” as a closing statement, faded out by a few seconds of instrumental sound found in audio layer 2.
The visual component of the piece was extracted from the introduction of the original 1984 movie. Critically considering this step, I would probably improve this piece by removing that screen as I now feel there is too much text for the emphasis on the audio component that I had wanted to put on the piece.
I would potentially not even present this piece as a video, but as an audio immersive piece. In an ideal studio setting, if I were to be faced with the same space that I was given to work with atLux studios (place project). I would most likely opt to place this as a surround sound piece with each layer coming in from a different section of the room/ a different speaker. The room would be entirely dark, so that the audience would have to focus solely on the sound. By using surround sound, I would almost be orchestrating a message, one layer would be like the violins playing, another layer would be like a harp entering at the correct cue and so on…this would be suitable for this piece as Orwell’s message aimed to paint a picture of the future, to warn and terrify people so that they would rebel against agents of control.
I would need to carefully consider and construct this piece, continuing to add layers which would build and develop the narrative that Orwell built during the construction of 1984.
Anybody with a conspiracy that decides to share this will most likely have the motivations of convincing others that this is true, I am intrigued by the way Orwell has gone about this through his intricate story - this is why I felt the need to work with found audio to explore how I might use his theory to create something persuasive.
27. The creation of email@example.com
Today I have decided to figure out a way to conduct some primary research into accounts and UFO conspiracies. I created a new email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and have decided I will start searching for various chatrooms,meetups,facebook pages and more in order to get in contact with people that might be willing to speak to me personally and share their accounts.
Update- I have come across many Facebook pages that people have shared accounts and sightings on, but am yet to receive anything personal just yet. I am still persisting. I feel that I will have to design a banner to highlight my project and intents, this can be easily shared and will be eye-catching. This is what I will set out to do tonight.
I have searched the internet for some accounts "closer to home"/ in the UK initially, I had thought that if I found people willing to share stories in England that I would be able to arrange a potential meet-up to discuss this in person, but unfortunately as of right now I have not entirely achieved what I set out to find.
Action plan to seek personal responses
- Monitor UFO account Facebook pages daily, looking for member contributions.
- Identify members that have posted excerpts of their accounts and theories
- Approach these members both through private message sharing a contact email and commenting beneath their post with the banner I create for the project.
- Keep searching for sites and platforms to contact.
- Email each UFO conspiracy website that accepts submissions to request information.
31. Florida MUFON UFO research connecting with the project
Honestly, primary research is hard...but I am persevering and hoping to interact. I downloaded the "meetup" app and searched for UFO research/UFO sighting groups that were holding events, at this point I am aware that I probably won't be hearing from anybody in the UK. I have discovered through some searching that Florida is especially interested in researching UFOS. MUFON actually stands for Mutual UFO Network and was established in 1969. I managed to get in contact via Meetup with John Gagnon (Florida's MUFON chief investigator) with the message of my project. He has kindly passed on the banner and message I created for my project in his MUFON meetup. It's crazy to think that word of my small-scale project can travel all the way to a UFO meeting in Florida... the power of the internet.
Side note - John has listed a lot of positions...
I can't imagine having field investigators in the UK dedicated to looking into and solving such cases, John mentioned that he has been inundated with cases to solve. I will keep looking into accounts that I can access online and hope that John's message to the meetup generates some responses.
34. A conversation with a skeptical UFO blogger
A conversation with the owner of Alien UFO Blog. I was surprised to come across somebody that was quite sceptical about many things that I had come across related to Aliens and UFO's. This encounter for me is a first in the entire project, everybody else that I have spoken to has not highlighted what they think the flaws are in UFO conspiracy theories. The owner of this blog claims to have been kicked out of many UFO organisations due to an article he wrote called "UFO community credibility:Eroding itself with every share". The chat led to him questioning what the point of believing in something simply for the sake of it is. We managed to chat for quite a while, ironically at no point did he mention a sighting he believes in. I am curious as to why you might run a UFO blog with such scepticism. I am glad to have encountered somebody who has many questions, somebody that does not believe everything. It strengthens my interest in my main question: who/what do we believe and why?
36. Unexpected UFO story from Canada (Summer 1991 - Quebec)
All day, I received nothing in the way of personal responses. I have been hoping for a response after circulating the banner (shared in the previous reflection) to capture the attention of members of UFO sighting organisations around the world...but nothing until I refreshed my email at 1 in the morning, to find an unlikely response. Guillaume L from Canada has written to me with an alien sighting account! This is the first (hopefully not the last) personal response. I was pleased to find that Guillaume had actually provided me with details into his account, this is a first!
For an entire stranger, Guillaume's account feels like a message from a pen-pal I have been chatting to for some time, comfortable and natural with the use of funny expression (like his description of the darkness being "darker than a black cat's ass"). Guillaume's account has provided me with a form of "news", though I wonder if his account would be ridiculed and discredited if shared through the media as it is not cold, formal and rigid - the way I see the news being presented on a daily basis.
Alongside seeking accounts, I have been researching through books what makes a person believable/the ways and techniques in which people are successfully able to make people believe them - one book I came across presented an argument that I hadn't really considered. I have always thought that authority generates respect and as a result credibility (even though this is not morally correct). Today I read an example that might support why Guillaume is more likely to believed than the news. This particular piece of writing claimed that people that appear to be 'relatable' , discussing topics mentioning their children, pets and other relatable topics when putting forward their argument subconsciously generate a high level of trust and as a result appear to be believable. If this is the case, then maybe accounts from people like Guillaume stand a chance of being believed and having a power that I did not realise they could possess. This is a turning point in the project, there are two arguments at hand now, the original one (people will believe what they hear from distant figures of authority) and the new one (that people will believe "everyday"/relatable people). I can now think about the power that the people hold over each other as well as the news. And how the people might be able to control our opinions and convince us to believe them and their conspiracies.
*Surname and email has been removed with red blocks for privacy.
42. VIDEO PIECE "Do you see em? Do you see em?" - Outcome
43. Evaluating "Do you see em?"
This video is the experimentation using my favourite account found on youtube (the woman from Colorado). As planned, I began the video with the audio from a section of Alien covenant (Ozymandias) but discarded the visual as it was of little relevance. I went through the original video from start to finish, deleting each section which showed the face of the woman and any accounts from other people. Until I was left with many shots of empty spaces outside and 4 minutes of verbal audio from the woman. This is when I decided to listen to everything I had and decide on my next steps. I came across a section towards the end, where the woman’s voice is so animated and she is screaming “Do you see em! Do you see em!”.
I knew I had to make this a key part of the audio. It puts forward the person’s desperation for others to believe in what they are seeing. I decided this section of the video would be looped, so after the Ozymandias section, it leads into this “do you see em? do you see em?” fairly loudly, but I ensured that it was not too loud and overpowering so the account could actually be heard. In the silences, I have tweaked the “do you see em?” layer to make it louder in contrast.
The visual throughout the video is all of the empty outdoor spaces in Colorado. I regret this decision now, but I decided at the time to leave some scenes of flashing lights and implication of spaceships also towards the end of the video. If I were to do it over I would omit this altogether as I think it is too much and one addition that is just too distracting.
My favourite part of the video is the end bit, I decided that at the end, during the last sentence, the screen would go completely black (as if someone was turning off the tv) before the audio is completely isolated to "and do I believe? you betcha!" (without the "do you see them?" track).
Moving forward,I am happy with the audio component and some of the visual (all excluding the footage which looks like space). I would consider not beginning the video with the poetry and keeping it simply to the account, the empty spaces and the layering of "do you see them?" if I wanted to simplify this video.
45. A reply to my email from Rich Dodwell
After reading a bit about Dodwell's play in a Frieze article, I decided to contact him with a few questions of my own. I want to know Dodwell's opinions on conspiracy theory and why he links the suicide to the disappearance of the Malaysian airways flight. I have emailed him about this and have also asked him about who we choose to believe and why. The below is his response to my interview questions.
My response from Richard Dodwell
Dear Marianna ,
46. Next steps
In my PPP I stated that I’d like to shoot some footage for myself, I think I have now come to the point when I have an idea I would like to film for myself.
I am going to take the UFO account from Colorado and source the transcript for this. Thinking back to a conversation I had with my friend Robyn about who we are used to listening to telling accounts/around conspiracy theory, I would like to take this exact account I have been working with and create approximately three fictional characters to tell the exact same account.
I will work on three stereotypical yet different characters to give the woman’s account. The idea of this is to see who will appear most “believable”/ “credible” to strangers. I have considered how I will be able to solve this, I think a way to gain a quick initial insight is to run a poll via social media asking people to cast a vote between the three people giving the same account.
The percentages I come out with will (of course) not be representational of everybody, but this is a good first-hand indication for me to discover who the random public/strangers will decide appears to be most credible despite the story being exactly the same. It would be good to take in a few comments about why people find one to appear significantly more credible than the others.
It has gotten to the point in the project when I want to find some form of answer to my question - what makes people believe? (of course there are other questions too- but if I had to be critical and narrow it down, this is key). I know my outcome will not necessarily be reflective of all opinions, though I will conduct the research to the best of my ability in order to reach my conclusion.
- Create three fictional character profiles
- Extract the transcript from the Colorado video
- Arrange the set design/the appearance of each character
- Organise person to play the characters
- Set aside time to film each video
- Edit the videos
- Create the poll based on outcomes and reflect on these.
49. Character 2 profile and set
Character 2 has her head in the clouds, she’s a teenager going through an awkward “phase”. She gives a half-arsed account very slowly with big overly-dramatic mannerisms. This character thinks she is extremely trendy and buys expensive vinyls of modern bands from Urban Outfitters. She is a user of tumblr and can definitely be found regramming lots of edgy posts about Space.
Character 2 will give her account in her bedroom on top of a bed with crisp white and beige bedding she will be wearing an all velvet ensemble with a fortune-teller style headband to match. Behind her there will be a framed print of Marilyn Monroe (think teenage beauty queen idol).
50. Character 3 profile and set
Character 3 is a flustered young woman running around trying to manage her house, job and care for her young child. She has little time to worry about her appearance and takes a few minutes to give her account with a cup of tea in the kitchen before she sets to cooking a meal. She is humorous, though a little blunt and rough around the edges. She takes time when giving the account, breaking to calm herself down and sip some tea.
Character 3 will be filmed in a kitchen. It will have character, hints towards her personality with a cluttered fridge with magnets and knick-knacks in shot. Her house is modest with her front door in shot behind her.
53. Editing accounts
Today I edited the second video on the car journey back. I used the same technique for recording the process as I did on the way (see reflection 52) as this worked well. I'm pleased that I have been able to maintain focus and edit 2/3 at this point.
Tonight at home I am editing the third account so that they are all done and I am ready to set up a social media poll to put the question to the public (going off these three characters) who would they believe?
I have been trying really hard to upload the accounts to vimeo, but for some reason this is not working at all. Should I continue to fail, I will ensure that all moving image experiments are submitted via USB for referencing.
Tonight I will begin to stick all of the video stills with their corresponding editing notes into my sketchbook to display the development of each one. I assume this will take quite some time. I am allowing myself two days to do the screenshotting,fill out the table in detail and stick each piece into the sketchbook (as I am anticipating hand-cutting 40 ish sheets per video) I will do this alongside my updating my research component.
55. Arranging a social media poll for the three accounts
56. Poll results and thoughts
I offered no insight into the personalities of the three characters, the poll was taken based on the provided stills. I can't say I am surprised that Character 3 has been chosen as most "believable". As I read a section of a book about persuasion (mentioned higher in the reflection) that suggested that in order to be persuasive/believable, one has to appear human and personable. For that reason, I believed that Character 3 would be chosen. However I have to admit that I am surprised that person 3 still has 40% "I don't believe" votes. I had thought that the outcome would be more "straight forward" than what I have been left with. Though Character 3 is most popular, not by far. If I had to consider the reasons why Person 2 came closely second, I would hesitate a guess that the demographic of voters were young adults that responded well to her youthful look. Person 1 was the least popular by far, if it is true that people are most believable when they appear to be relatable, then Person 1 is definitely the least relatable character to my voters.
60. Preparing for final piece
For my final piece, I am going back to the original Colorado account. I will be taking the "do you see them?" audio I have experimented with, the gaps of no speech from the account video (the sounds/music in each gap) all edited together and white noise to make a final piece.
I have made the decision to collaborate with Raphael (also 4D) as our projects work together nicely at this point. I have been looking at accounts/conspiracy theories and how we decide what we believe, he has been looking at absence. Since I initially preferred my edit of the Colorado account without the visuals of the woman, I would like to work with the absence of the person telling the account in this piece too.
We think the piece will consist of:
- Projection of the visuals from the Colorado account (blank spaces outdoors)
- A motion detection sensor that activates MP3 audio when somebody passes it (it will play "do you see em?" over and over again).
- A button - when pressed it will activate MP3 audio of the sounds/noises in the Colorado account excluding speech.
- A speaker playing white noise. (To evoke an eerie feeling of emptiness).
The motivation behind this piece is - If you cannot see the person telling the account, do you still believe it? If nobody is there to hear the account , does it exist?
After searching for hours for the motion detector that we wanted, we have found it via a site called "talking products". Their devices are predominantly used in retail environments which is interesting in itself. The motion detector MP3 player is used on sale stands to blast out sales pitches about what is on the shelves without the need of a sales person. I wonder if that is actually effective though...without the person being there to interact.
3.The news, impenetrable language and us.
Initial thoughts - the news, impenetrable language and us.
I have begun this research by looking generally at the news before beginning to delve into conspiracies. I came into this project with the belief that the news and agents of control have adopted techniques to appear to the public (at face value) that they are being truthful and informative but is being secretive by using “impenetrable language” that is (perhaps a bit too conservative) not widely understood by the general public. I was reading an article on BBC News (by Nick Triggle - health correspondent) entitled “NHS confusing public by using gobbledygook”.
I was drawn to this article through this introduction:
“Imagine the scene. Up and down the country, local NHS leaders are crowded into meetings rooms discussing information transfers and ambulatory care, when someone jumps up and shouts out “I’ve had enough of sticky toffee puddings”.
The article goes on to say that the language being used by the health service is simply “gobbledygook” (The Plain English Campaign/ PEC). The PEC spokesman, Steve Jenner of the PEC believes (cue the first conspiracy) the NHS is using confusing and impenetrable language deliberately, stating “If you use impenetrable language, it means the public has no clue whats going on. I can’t help thinking this suits the NHS sometimes”.
Personally, I believe that all agents of control have their own private lexicons and speak in impenetrable language. I often find myself able to follow various parts of the news, though when it comes to political conversations, the language begins to become harder to follow and I find myself (sometimes) using my own common sense to interpret and “translate” what I am listening to, in attempt to “stay in the loop”.
Though in all honesty, are any of us “in the loop”? Or will we understand only what the agents of control want us to understand and have a false-sense of security, so much so that we remain passive and do not challenge them?
I feel that conspiracy theory has come about due to our lack of truthful information, those of us that do not necessarily believe all that we hear might resort to thinking up alternate theories to bring ourselves closer to the truth, I am interested in this. Though society has conditioned people to scoff at those with less “mainstream” views , often forcing conspiracy theorists into silence. To me, the conspiracy theory and the ability to think that there could be “more to the story” weakens the power of agents of control.
At this stage, I am looking at the agents of control and news reports in detail as these are the most “reputable” sources for information. Everything is executed with such precision, from the women tightly zipped into dresses straight off the “trendy work-wear” rails and men in the monotonous suits…there are moments when the reporter jolts to action, reading the news quickly without a trace of emotion, pausing on cue - they are essentially puppets on the world stage.
Side note - I stumbled across a conspiracy theory video on youtube which showed celebrity “Cardi B” on the red carpet appearing to be acting strange/hypnotised and snapping out of this abruptly, this conspiracist claimed that “Cardi B” is a puppet of the rich and powerful Illuminati who has traded her independence in for a quick rise to fame.
What happens when we resort to other “news” reporters, for instance youtube reporters sat casually discussing the news with less formality? Scroll down and you will find lots of spam comments about the appearance of the reporters, the latest show on netflix and doubtful comments discrediting the channels. Sure, the news might be false, but perhaps the mainstream news is even less truthful? I find it interesting when I hear people saying “the BBC is full of shit” or “Don’t believe what you hear on that TV”, though those same people tune in every morning like clockwork to watch the news…it leads me to think, maybe we are conditioned to not want the truth, or to have no desire to seek it beyond making doubtful comments.
5. ENO Britten's "Midsummer nights dream" : Circulation of false information and deception.
I visited the English National Opera house Midsummer night's dream which was a contemporary response to the original work by Shakespeare.I had been drawn to this as a key component of my research will be miscommunication/the circulation of false information - with an interest in what we believe and why. I recall my work in English Literature and how a Midsummer nights dream had many elements of miscommunication and deception through it's plot with a complicated love triangle and magic being used to manipulate protagonists.
The production was excellent but I actually found myself more interested in the visual components and how the set itself opened up as a large bed with huge pillows,I really got the sense of false reality through the way that the set had been put together. I liked the way that the humungous emerald green sheets of the bed were used in place of the green forest.
8. "The Space in between" - not what I thought it was...
Sunday night - Tonight I was quite excited to have stumbled across a new documentary which I began to watch with Raph, "The Space in between" (Marina Abramovic in Brazil)...but am now mildly horrified. I suppose I drew the line when a man started extracting part of another man's brain through his nasal passage. When a man started removing another man's eye, neither of us could stare at the screen for long enough to turn the show off, so naturally we darted for the mains and turned off all the electricity which did the trick. I had high hopes for this programme as I am always drawn to performative artists despite the fact that I am yet to perform a piece myself. I have realised that I take inspiration from theatrical practice and try to integrate the features I like through my moving image work. I wondered if the documentary style of this video would inform my work in a way...but alas - no.
10. Why holograms? (Notes)
12. A more durable hologram pyramid
My hologram pyramid worked effectively ,but proved to be too flimsy to use over and over again for experimentation. So I have opted to purchase an inexpensive acrylic pyramid of a similar size to use for further experimentation due to its durability. I am pleased that the small model I made as an initial experiment worked though.
When I first tested the hologram projector on my phone (as I had seen in videos), I will admit I was not impressed by the scale of the reflected objects. As I am not in possession of a flat screen, I have been placing the screen of my MacBook down flat, with the keypad as the backdrop so that I am able to reflect from a larger surface and create bigger reflections.
16.About the above experiments
The above (two videos) are further hologram experiments. I have sourced the moving image via the gif website and reflected using the hologram pyramid and a flat screen. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my sister's laptop which has a larger screen, it can bend to appear like an iPad which gave me the opportunity to reflect the hologram without my keyboard in the way as a background.
The motivations of these two experiments were to try and create a set-up where the hologram reflections were clearer and of a better quality so that I could determine whether the hologram is really the best way to present my work in this project.
It was a vast improvement without the keyboard on full display and the second gif selected to see whether text would be legible worked, I feel that the small hologram pyramid would not be suitable for anything more than a brief gif or a static image. I see my development taking form in video format and I don't think the hologram projector will do this justice. My developed moving image will need to be presented in a way that I can guarantee it is completely clear and can be viewed properly.
Even the gifs appear to be too pixelated at times. I am glad that I experimented with the hologram as it has enabled me to think critically about what will be best for the presentation of work to an audience. Though I know it is time to move forward from the hologram now.
17. Chanting -noticed a comparison between the two films
Orwell's 1984 movie, at 26:03 the public chant "hate! hate! hate!" repeatedly. Today when watching episode 2 of Netflix's A series of unfortunate events (Episode 2) the evil Count Olaf visits the boarding school posing as a "motivational fitness instructor" and forces the crowd of children to chant "Remember you will die!" repeatedly.
I have noticed that chanting in unison immediately makes me think of brainwashing and indoctrination. It is interesting how after hearing something in one specific way, you can no longer associate it with something else. Chanting is now a sound that has too many negative connotations for me.
18. "Remember you will die chanting" Episode 2 Series of Unfortunate events (Comparison to chanting in 1984).
22. George Orwell 's "final warning"
23. VIDEO PIECE "The immediate future" Outcome
25. Choosing between "literal space" and the future of our "space" (society)
I have identified my biggest interest in this project to be conspiracies and theories which hint towards the future/advancement. For example conspiracy theories around Space or the future construct of our society. I am not set on focusing on just one of these elements but I am confident through experimentation with both of these areas I will be able to determine which I would like to progress with and go into detail for the remainder of this project.
I was drawn to Orwell as he discusses the future through his eyes, not through outer space but through politics and advancement in technology to aid the totalitarian government but this is still the future. On the other hand, I have the option to explore the future through literal Space conspiracies,UFO’s and strange modern occurrences.
I will take some time tonight to reflect and decide on which element of the above I want to continue working on.
26. A turning point
I decided that after having already touched on Orwell's "1984" conspiracy about our future "space", I am interested in looking further into conspiracies about Space and UFO's. My decision was mostly made up when I thought about a book I read about techniques of persuasion in sales and it mentioned that personal touches make something more persuasive. Since I am not able to speak to anybody claiming to have experienced what Orwell is describing, I am confident I will be able to source personal accounts about space and UFO sightings which will present these "persuasive" elements that I have read about. The biggest motivation of the entire project is to determine why people believe things? what makes something believable? I think rather than resorting to the mainstream news, at this point I will turn my focus to what makes people generally believe each other? What makes an account believable? Space and UFO's is an interesting area as there is not a real way to prove or disprove this visually, since we are equipped with many photographic and video editing softwares we are led to making a decision based more on what is said and the person telling the account as we know that anything could be visually fabricated.
At the start of the project I was looking at news presenters and how they are selected to indoctrinate on a large scale. Now I am looking at the people. How do we determine if we believe a stranger claiming to have an account? Do we only believe things that are expressed through mainstream news? Are there ways in which we can be persuaded?
28. UFO accounts - a conversation with a friend
I have been searching for UFO accounts on youtube to think about how these are being delivered. My favourite by far is a woman in Colorado's account. A conversation (below) with my friend Robyn made it more apparent to me why I like this account the most. We were discussing the pattern of seeing so many conspiracy videos with a "motionless"/"generic" male voice-over. The Colorado account is different, it is an older woman speaking about her experiences, not the generic emotionless voice, I have heard over and over again.
My chat with Robyn highlighted another theory about why we believe people - are we more inclined to believe a Western young male? Do we associate that voice with knowledge and credibility?
With this new question in mind, I am more motivated to seek out "convincing" accounts about UFO's/conspiracies from people that do not fit into the "generic" emotionless Western young male category. I am currently interested in accounts that show emotion and differ from mainstream news.
29. My favourite UFO sighting account
30.About my favourite UFO account (above)
Out of all of the account (UFO) videos I have come across via youtube, my favourite is one given by the Lady from Colorado that tells the story of setting up a UFO watch tower as a spur of the moment decision when she had to sell her cows. She begins the account with a shaky feeling of scepticism towards the subject, but as the account progresses you start to notice the Lady is actually a believer. She passionately bursts a recollection of a time when a woman that attended the watch tower, sited aliens and burst out screaming "do you see em'? do you see em'?". I am drawn to the emotive delivery of the message, the tones and changes in the voice. The account in a way aims to persuade,
32. The banner for sharing
33. Entering the chatroom - Inception Radio Network
I have decided to enter live chat rooms to first observe some conversations and then to share the email for account and conspiracy theory submissions. To my dismay, there were many chatrooms that had great potential, but were left empty with the occasional "hi" and no response. I suppose with Facebook UFO fan pages and communities existing, the early "2000's" style of chatroom has been a little overlooked. However I finally came across (after hours of nothing) https://inceptionradionetwork.com/chat/. As I had suspected, the majority of the contributors to conversations, if not all of the members live in the USA. I entered the chatroom during the day, to be the only person online. I knew I had to adopt a new technique to enter the chatroom when it was buzzing with members, so I have decided to wait until 1/2 AM for the last few days and check the chatroom. I am quite tired if I'm honest, but the results have been worth it.
On night 2 (out of three) I came across a member "Rhino" that called upon the group to offer him advice, he described having seen some menacing entities/aliens, claiming that instead of being helped, he is being laughed at by people. Another member ,"Nick" suggested that he should document his encounters so that people will take the issue seriously. As I had initially suspected, people that try to discuss unusual accounts and their conspiracy theories are made to feel stupid and and as a result are being pressured to "prove it". I think this is why I haven't seen many members go into detailed personal accounts. Throughout my time in the chatroom, members were keen on sharing sightings that had been found on different UFO news stations but rarely discussing personal encounters.
I think it will be difficult to hear personal encounters as people fear the reactions and rejection of others.
I would like to keep researching personal accounts and conspiracy theories as I would like to use these to develop my next piece in the project. So I will keep looking into these.
35. Omegle - Josh,58,USA.
I have spent countless hours on the internet trying to track down people with claims to UFO accounts and conspiracies around this area with limited success. Everything seems to be handled in a secretive way. The people that are followers of many UFO sighting pages are not responsive to the project thus far. And when I do receive a little bit of information, it is limited, quick and unspecific.
I wonder whether having to mail me using their own email/contacting me using their personal profiles on Facebook is proving to be too daunting/ off-putting...so I have taken a different approach. I decided to take to the anonymous chatroom, Omegle where I filtered the conversation to "UFO's", "Conspiracy" and "accounts", I sat and waited for several minutes to be connected with somebody that had filtered the conversation with the same interests. To my surprise (at this point) I was connected to "Josh" (58) from the USA that claimed to have sighted a UFO. I did not have a great deal of success in finding out his individual sighting details, he wanted to discuss the released clips of US Navy Ufo encounters from 2004 and 2015, he described these briefly when I said that I was not familiar with these sightings...as for his own sightings, he dismissed them as "passive sightings" . I tried to ask him for more information about his own accounts, though he disappeared quickly after discussing the Navy UFO encounters.
I have been thinking a lot into this brief chance encounter... "Josh" seemed to be enthusiastic and provide a significant amount of detail into a publicised account by a powerful organisation (the Navy) but dismissed his own accounts as "passive sightings"...perhaps he feels that his own account is insignificant as he is not deemed as a "mainstream influencer". Perhaps if "Josh" had heard an account similar to his own in the news, he would gain the "verification" he needs to truly believe in what he has seen. Do we as humans need to wait for something more powerful than us to tell us what we already think, to be sure that what we think is valid?
Will we always seek validation? Is everybody keeping their accounts to themselves for fear that they could be "wrong"? maybe a part of them doesn't believe in their own findings as they have not been discussed before?
37. Reflect on trip to ENO X Barbican Coraline
The theatre is one of my favourite places to go to seek inspiration from layouts and presentation to the delivery of messages and story-telling. Today I went to see an adaptation of one of my favourite stories (Coraline). Coraline is a dystopia tale. The protagonist (Coraline) moves to a brand-new house where she becomes very bored with the "regular" life she is leading with work-a-holic parents. She discovers a small unusual door that is filled with bricks during the day. Coraline becomes obsessed with this little door...though she hears many voices of warning "don't go through the door, Coraline", she dismisses this warning (from ghosts) and at night she travels through the little door which is no longer bricked. Coraline enters an alternate realm which appears to be exactly the same as her home, though her parents have buttons sewn into their eyes and appear to be fun and spoil her with gifts and games (these are her "other" parents). Though she is unaware of this, Coraline is in great danger. The grass is not greener on the other side as she believes it is. The place she has grown to love, with her "other parents" is a dystopic trap. She encounters three ghost children that warn Coraline not to have buttons sewn into her eyes as the other mother wants her to.
What I find so interesting about the story is the fact that Coraline puts herself in danger repeatedly, no matter how many times she has heard verbal warnings, she does not believe them. Until she sees the ghosts physically and they warn her AGAIN...she finally believes this time. This presents the idea that you need to "see to believe". This has given me something to think about in the way of my own work.
What if I decided to take an account video, that had originally had somebody sat in front of a camera directly addressing the audience with their story and isolated the audio from the visual component... though the person is still heard telling the account (ufo conspiracy) they are no longer seen - does this make their account less credible? do we still believe? will they still have power over us?
38. Trip ENO X Barbican Coraline
39. Going back to my favourite video account
Out of all of the account (UFO) videos I have come across via youtube, my favourite is one given by the Lady from Colorado that tells the story of setting up a UFO watch tower as a spur of the moment decision when she had to sell her cows. She begins the account with a shaky feeling of scepticism towards the subject, but as the account progresses you start to notice the Lady is actually a believer. She passionately bursts a recollection of a time when a woman that attended the watch tower, sited aliens and burst out screaming "do you see em'? do you see em'?". I am drawn to the emotive delivery of the message, the tones and changes in the voice. The account in a way aims to persuade, a book I read recently by Robert Levine called "The power of persuasion" discusses some subliminal ways in which sales people employ certain techniques in order to persuade and build a credible image. One of the ways in which Levine said this could be done is to mention something "personable" , for example to incorporate your family or a pet etc into your sales pitch. The woman in the UFO account began her persuasive account mentioning her husband and how they moved house together, describing a stereotypically "normal" life building up to the section where she begins to persuade the listener that UFOs exist and she has seen them.
I wonder if an account would still be persuasive and effective without seeing the person delivering the account. I feel that in person, a technique of persuading might be sustained eye contact or warm expression...but video makes the ability to personally persuade more complicated.
40. "Do you see em" ideas.
Constructing "Do you see em?"
I am taking my favourite account from Colorado and working with it on Adobe Premier Cut Pro.
After watching the video through a few times more, I decided that the lady speaking in the video would not be shown at all, I liked the empty spaces and shots of the roads and sky that the documentary had in them, so I kept these.
(See 43 for details about this video)
41. Ozymandias - why I am experimenting with this for video 2
When I was watching the account, I thought about all of the empty spaces (everything excluding the shots of the woman’s face). The poem “Ozymandias” sprung to mind. I decided to play with this poem for the next video experiment. When I first heard the poem I thought of empty abandoned places with the heat beating down. When I remove the scenes where the woman is seen speaking, I am left with these exact spaces that mirror the poem to me mentally. I decided to incorporate a few lines from this poem into the next experimental video as an opening. I searched via youtube to find somebody recording themselves saying it, but I found something I think is better. A scene from the "Alien covenant" video where a character (David) recites a few of the words, my favourite part "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings. Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
When searching for why Ozymandias appears in Alien covenant, I came across the explanation "humans became more powerful who eventually kill the engineers laying waste to them as time laid waste to Ozymandias". I admire the way the poetry can be used to add to the narrative. I will use the poem based on the way I feel that the derelict spaces look in the video at the beginning .
44. The unexpected Portugese email - translated
I received this email anonymously from Portugal. I know that google translate does not always translate 100% efficiently,but this is a risk I had to take in order to translate the message for myself. I soon discovered that the message was headed with the subject, "They want contact" .
The message itself is quite intense, it differs from the one I had received from Guillaume in Canada. It begins "this message comes from our extraterrestrial brethren" (I had never heard the world "brethren" being used before, so I googled this and it had two of the following definitions: "archaic plural of brother"/"fellow Christians or members of a male religious order"/"people belonging to a particular group"). The person describes the message that follows as "an initial step towards the golden future of humanity". Unlike Guillaume (from Canada) who had written his account to me as an outsider/somebody that has seen something , the person that contacted me next (from Portugal) has written to me as if they are a vessel for extraterrestrial life themselves.
After reading this email, I felt differently to the way I felt reading the previous email. Guillaume had told his story in an approachable and friendly manner, I was able to email him back with ease...maybe this is the kind of person I would believe.
In comparison, I am hesitant to believe in this message, I do not have any information about the person that has sent me the message (no name), upon attempting to send a response to this email, I received a postmaster failure response, perhaps the sender block responses?
The argument for people that appear to be more "approachable"/"personable" is strengthening for me personally.
47. Who will play the 3 characters and consensus reality
Stephanie (acted in my Gardenless video) will play all three characters. I will transform her doing her hair, makeup and set styling to create three separate fictional accounts.
After coming across this terminology when looking at Bonnie Champlain, I have discovered that what I am exploring is technically called “consensus reality”—what we take for being real and credible and what we disavow .
I am pleased to have come across this new terminology as I have been actively exploring consensus reality through my own work, struggling to find the term that corresponds to this action.
48. Character 1 - profile and set
Character one is a very financially comfortable “housewife”, she sits upright quite rigidly on her sofa wearing a Pink roll-neck, pearls and a black skirt. She gives the account in a conservative manner, but there is a sense of sarcasm/scepticism in her tone. She is slightly inconsiderate and takes bites of cake and breaks to drink between sentences, leaving the (imaginary) camera crew to wait for her to be ready to respond.
*I am aware that the account has sections where the woman describes having to sell her cows due to financial difficulty, I have decided that this character will be the polar opposite to the original lady so that I am able to create a diverse range of characters telling the account. This will make the end result - a poll about who is most believable far more interesting.
This character will be filmed in a living room on a rich red Sofa with leopard print cushions, an ornate framed painting takes centre-stage behind the character. On the table is a glistening silver tray with a slice of cake and a glass of sparkling water.
51. After filming the three accounts
Filming the three accounts went well. I am pleased with the way this has gone but I know that I will face a difficult job editing as they have been filmed in lots of tiny takes. This is due to the actress having to memorise one line or two at a time and repeat them until confident, shoot the line/s on camera and repeat. The only issues we encountered during filming were the occasionally challenging section needing to be shot again a few times, sometimes because of stumbling over the words, other times because the actress appears to be too focuses on remembering the lines. All of the issues took place during filming the first account. By filming the second account, we had read the lines so many times that we knew them and only needed one take or two. In an ideal scenario, I would have liked to film paragraphs at a time so that the edit would be more seamless, though I know in this situation it wasn't really possible. I ended up with approx 60 small videos for each account that I need to edit together now. I will try to solve the issue I feel that I will face with the video seeming fragmented by cutting any sharp noises at the beginning and end of each shot so that they will flow as smoothly as possible. I suspect there are sounds of me rustling paper by accident in some shots which will need to be removed also. Tomorrow I am going on a long car trip and intend to get editing done during that time. I am setting myself the goal to have completed one edit by the time I arrive at my destination and one on the way back.
52. Editing the videos - 1
Did I achieve my goal of editing a video on the way? Yes (despite my mum's need to drive down every hill she could find from the moment I got onto Adobe Premier Pro). One video edited and two to go. I am actually pleased with the way it has come out. I know I didn't take enough screenshots to properly document the editing process, so to combat this issue I have devised a table that I will be sticking in my sketchbook detailing each decision I have made,the cuts I have made at certain points and the duration of each clip (I recorded voice memos on my mobile to jog my memory). Now that I have reached my location, I will ensure that this table is filled out in detail so that I don't have to panic about it later. I have divided the sections of the transcript up by numbers and have recorded this on the table, so when I stick all of the stills in my sketchbook, it will show which still corresponds to which section of the transcript and the decisions I made for each part of the edit.
54. Stills from the three accounts and thoughts
(Above: Account 1)
This is the first account filmed, it took about 1hr45 mins for an end result of approx 2.5mins of footage to be kept. I feel that the time taken for this was actually pretty good considering we had not been able to memorise all the words on the transcript and were vocalising these for the first time. I have noticed towards the ends of the many of the clips there are rustling sounds which need removing. I want each take to flow into the next as seamlessly as possible so that the editing does not ruin/distract from the account and the words.
(Above: Account 2)
Filming this account took far less time, after knowing how the lighting needs to be and the ISO setting adjustments so that the image will be clear any tweaks to the visuals of the video did not take long at all. The transcript reading was smoother, though there were still parts where we stumbled over the words. We tried to focus and repeat the lines several times so that Stephanie did not appear to be nervous/overly concentrated in the film. This proved to be effective. By repeating the lines a few times more before recording, we reduced the stumbling over words. Though I will admit to being disappointed at times that some rehearsal takes far better in the moment than recorded bits, this could not be replicated directly as they were candid/improvised. We did a couple takes of Stephanie clutching a healing crystal (as all characters have some form of prop in the footage), but this felt too distracting and gimmicky. We were also cautious not to offend those that use these Crystals and take them seriously. So we decided on not going with that footage and instead using the takes without the Crystal.
(Above: Account 3)
After discussing the accounts and the process, we both agreed that this was the best account to film. By this point we both felt much more comfortable with the transcript and the takes flowed quite well. We were breaking much less between takes and managed to do this one in about 40 minutes tops.
57. "A meeting with myself"
Did you achieve what you set out to do?
Honestly, not everything that I "set out" to do the minute I began this project, but I feel I am achieving successful outcomes as the project is naturally progressing. I am making sure to consider all the elements of my PPP when developing and moving from one idea to the next.
How can you make better use of your studio time?
I have been giving myself an itinery daily in attempt to get as much done to the best of my ability and I feel that I have been working quite well whilst in "class". But I definitely feel I am creating better work in my own space at the moment, I find the video editing is very difficult to do in noisy spaces.
What do you intend to achieve/how?
I intend to continue to edit the videos I am creating so that I am able to determine how I would like to progress towards a final piece based on evaluating the finished pieces I have created throughout the project.
58. Chat during group crit
During a group crit, I was introduced to the work of Trevor Paglen which I have incorporated into my research component as I feel this is highly relevant to my work. I asked the group about what conspiracies they are familiar with and their opinions. We ended up discussing a conspiracy theory that I've never come across before, apparently a big conspiracy is that Australia does not exist. I have never come across this one before but it just goes to show how many conspiracy theories there are and how easy it is to introduce and circulate a new conspiracy theory. As suspected, everybody joked about the Australia conspiracy theory and it was shrugged off as nonsense. It was only a matter of time when the word conspiracy was linked to the 9-11 incidents. I feel that there are so many conspiracies surrounding the atrocity that it has become potentially the most famous conspiracy theory of all.
59. Reflecting on "Frozen", Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Frozen is definitely one of the most impactful things I have seen. I am glad I got to see this during this projects. The play follows a serial killer and pedophile, a criminal psychologist and the mother of a victim (a child that is killed and sexually abused). It was a deeply disturbing yet effective production. I was drawn to this as I knew the play would be heavily based on monologues and accounts from the characters. The thing that stood out to me the most was the way that through the criminal's description of accounts, he made the audience question the judgement that he was facing, almost pitying him. He had moments where he expressed his vulnerability and said things like "I never wanted to hurt her", but then in different sections he would spiral out of control, allowing the audience to change their minds and feel angered by him. I like the way this play toys with belief, at some points you begin to believe that the criminal is not responsible for the crimes he is committing, that he has a chemical/scientific imbalance (as suggested by the Criminal psychologist). However, towards the end, the play shifts completely and the audience are lead away from the belief that the murder is not his fault. The criminal psychologists gives up on the concept that the criminal is not responsible for the crimes and concludes that he is simply evil and is responsible entirely for all of the crimes he has committed. The whole play was a rollercoaster of belief, disbelief and confusion as to whether you were right or wrong to believe a certain side of the argument. I found this highly relevant for my research about what makes us believe.
61. Final piece -install action plan
- Arrive by 8:30
- Visit Loan store for collection - slot is 10:30, try to collect earlier (at opening time)
- Bring gear back from Loan Store to Archway in time for 11:30
- Install outcome by lunch
- Make final adjustments to presentation as we see fit - lunchtime
- 2pm document the work
62. Update on the action plan - challenges
All went well in the action plan - in the end. We had to avert a minor crisis today with our sound pieces. The cables that I had spent hours googling to ensure I got a match for my motion detector and acrylic mp3 tile went wrong. I had managed to quickly amend the problem with the Motion detector by placing a last minute additional order via the loan store for a micro chip adaptor. However for the other device (acrylic tile) we had to revert back to the manual for another way to load sound onto it. We ended up searching the campus for a quiet space to record onto the device by playing sound and placing the device near my laptop speaker...the only quiet spot to be found was a toilet cubicle...gross but we managed to get the sound onto the tile without compromising the audio quality. In 5 takes, we were ready to get set up.
When adding the final touches to the set-up of our installation, we decided we no longer wanted the button on a table and the projector needed to be boosted higher. We ended up quickly sourcing a hammer and some nails to fix the button to the wall. We did this at general eye-level to entice visitors to press the button and to experience the interactive element of the work. We were also fortunate enough to source a wooden plinth for the projector, tall enough so that the video would be projected in line with the button to keep the space clear and concise. Had we not managed to get hold of the plinth, we feel the presentation of the video would have suffered a great deal as the height of the projection would have been extremely low - forcing us to move the button far below eye-level.
We learnt a thing or two about being resourceful today when we downloaded a spirit level measuring app to aid us with the presentation of our installation.
63. Our final piece- "Tell it to someone that believes you"
Notes on final piece:
Final piece, "Tell it to someone that believes you" is a collaboration with Raphael Delbono.
We have taken a Colorado UFO account apart and reworked it into something quite different. The video you see is a series of shots taken from the sections of the account that feature empty spaces. The speaker on the ground plays continuous white noise. The black button on the wall - when pressed plays the compilation of music and sounds from the account found between the speech. The MIR Motion detector, attached discretely to the edge of our installation section plays the words "Do you see them? Do you see them" when people are in close proximity (sensitivity stretches four metres). We decided to strategically place the motion detector in a spot that would trigger the sound as soon as a person enters into our installation space. By being present, the viewer is able to build as much of the narrative as they wish to do so, through the amount interacting they are willing to do.