Monday, 22 June 2015

FMP Responding to Nothing and Empty Ambition

Being given a project where, for the first time I have to generate my own brief is initially a great struggle, as I'm looking for a way to respond to something that isn't there. I spent a great deal of time attempting to come up with some form of an original concept, something that both interests me, to my knowledge is relatively unique, and refrains from sliding into a cringe worthy cliché. Suffice to say I came up with no such astounding concept but that didn't stop me from continuing to do so for a longer than necessary amount of time.

 During my stage of attempting to develop an entirely original concept I began to consider the amount of ambition I often put into tasks, and it occurred to me that I was rarely this driven to accomplish something. I began to reflect on my past empty ambitions, and how easily dissuaded or distracted from them I was. One way of presenting such thoughts would be to collage paving slabs with desirable images (adverts, celebrities, objects, luxury goods etc.) with images the purvey my past ambitions amongst them also, then once all assembled to paint over them in almost opaque black paint that should hopefully still allow for faint likenesses to be drawn from behind the vail of paint.
After making the cement slab it looked unfinished and was not in the style I wanted and the paint looked to dark and thick so I decided not to continue with making any more.

Eventually I decided to re-examine my initial dilemma, a way to respond to nothing. The idea of such a notion began to fascinate me, exploring my own interpretation of the meaning of nothingness and the states I associate alongside it. One such interpretation was finding nothingness in objects or spaces void of use, as they become meaningless once there functions have stopped being utilised. These kinds of objects are prominently found at night when there are naturally fewer people around, then not only are people not occupying spaces or objects but even light has has abandoned some of them. I want to explore such places within my area and plan to go out one night and document places and objects that I find particularly evocative of such notions, through both film and still images.

I went out and took photos of these "nothing/empty" areas before I filmed them so I could gather a sense of how the piece would look when finished, and which areas to include in the film and which to exclude. After having filmed all the locations I had agonised over a lot of variables such as how long each film clip should last and whether each location should be interrupted by a section of black to break them up. After watching the video several different ways I concluded that same length clips and slowly progressively longer black slides intermittent between film clips looked best. The original film lasts around 5 minutes.

 I had recently seen a show at the white cube where the artist had used several old stereo TV sets and I really liked the aesthetic it achieved and decided that a similar aesthetic would suit my work also, so I purchased an old TV that Ideally my film would be played on when it was on show. The TV had a built in DVD player so it would look less messy than having to prop a DVD player on top of or next to an old television set, and the original video was repeated many times on the DVD to make a film lasting around 2 hours.

I wanted the location of the TV to echo the sentiment of my video, therefore it shouldn't be in a glaringly obvious position and drawing immediate attention to itself, but should instead be on the floor, repeating itself monotonously.

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