This experimental video work is based on the idea of the ‘mask’ as continuously morphing our identity and responses to the world. By combining the sculptural element of the harlequin-style mask with the projected animation, this reflects the connection between encoding and decoding objects.
The harlequin-style mask is usually associated with pantomime theatre as the “mute character”, comparable to a jester or clown. The projected animation in the background was based initially on recreating a “jack-in-the-box” scenario, with the main difference being that the jack-in-the-box does not work accordingly; instead faces are morphed out of faces until the whole scene is deconstructed. This nonsensical scene, does not follow a particular linear narrative but reflects on how objects can refute their meaning, by going against their programmed actions.
In relation to “encoding and decoding”, the connection between the mask and animation resembles the process of encountering and deciphering knowledge. Whilst the animation is not always clearly seen through the mask, the mask itself is given a new meaning as a conduit for the animation, as the faces slip in and out of the main harlequin mask. By forging a connection between the stable object of the harlequin mask and the moving animation, a new meaning is constructed. Simply, it is like placing another mask on a mask with the layers converging. This has a psychological significance, as the mask can be viewed as the inside of a mind processing information.
Google Maps : Typologies (2014)
‘Google Maps: Typologies’ is a collection of various highways, from selected Google Earth footage. The finishing film is a compliation of nine different video streams showing various aspects of a ‘highway’ or the close-ups of a particular aspect of the surrounding landscape or sky. The chosen film format reflects an interest in the ‘grid-like’ structure of cities and the construction of highways. By attempting to connect the various highway together, this work plays on the idea of an ‘endless road’ with the footage constantly looping. The accompanying audio, is a collection of digetic sound on roads in the city. Overall, the footage can appear very abstract, uneven or grainy at times, but reflects an interest in directly recording the computer screen and any glitches that may have occured when continually clicking on the road through Google Earth’s software.
“Gravity” is an exploration of the notion of bending space-time and the interaction of objects within nature. Research for this project started with a scientific model of ‘bending space time’ and continued experiments with different ways in which objects could be manipulated to either follow the model or defy gravity. Thec ompleted installation was located within the bushland area of Centennial Park. Here, a grid-like structure using string, surrounding four trees was created. Along various parts of the string, there were representations of ‘bending spacetime’ – a depiction of the globe, black spheres weighing down pieces of fabric and a compass and mirror tied to the trees, in order to represent direction and the distortion of space.
The video of this installation, re-evokes the atmosphere of the park and contains various snippets of film footage that try to encapulsate the installation from various angles. In the final piece, the progression of the work is shown, starting with a simple black ball moving in the wind to the centre-piece of the film – a distance-shot of the installation. As the film progresses, various close-ups of the installation are shown depicting the globes and the fabric moving in the wind. The audio piece of the film is an unedited take of the sounds in the park when the work was being created. Towards the end, the installation in ‘nature’ begins to merge with the projections that had been later created when editing the footage. Thus, in the end the first shot of the swinging ball is merged with a blue-background projection of another swinging ball, however this time the string cannot be seen. Overall, “Gravity” plays on the idea of weight and weightlessness. Although the work starts following the laws of gravity and was set in ‘nature’, towards the end gravity is distorted and merged with the technological.
Post-Humanism: A Documentary (2015)
This film was a group collaboration project for my art theory course ‘Contemporary Practices and Methods’. Basically, we explored the notion of post-humanism through analysing our dependence of technology, in a semi-satirical manner. Footage of my farm features in the film – I strapped a gopro to myself and recorded my movements during the course of one day. My main contribution however was the research involved in creating this visual documentary.
Fragile Tape (2015)
This is a very short film clip, designed to be played on loop. For my second year sculpture course, we went to the Smith’s Lake Research Station, owned by the University of New South Wales (UNSW). During this time, I worked on a number of sculptural and installation works that reflected the environment. Most of my documentation, took the form of photographs however I did manage to create this film clip while working on a ‘larger project’. Therefore, this should be seen as a work-in-progress that I might expand on in the future.
Patterns and Numbers (2014)
A description I originally wrote for this work:
This installation work is situated around the idea of numbers as a chain reaction, with the processes of gathering information, interpreting, creating and destroying it. For the past 29 days I have written down the numbers I see every day inside a journal – whether that be the time, phone numbers, identification numbers, passwords, barcodes, street signs, page numbers; any numerical data I could see. With these numbers, I have then written them down on 52 sheets of A3 paper on my bedroom wall, resembling a series of puzzle pieces or a spatially-layered map of numbers. This process was animated, so the numbers continually fill the paper, inundating the viewer with what appears as an array of nonsensical, numerical data.
Eventually, the animated numbers become more jumbled and overlayed, under the pieces that continue to move and are displaced, until the numbers completely disappear. Whilst the computerised voice in the background mimics the sound of the numbers, the overlayed shredding noise at the end represents the final destruction of the work and the actual process of using a paper shredder to eradicate any meaningfulness still associated with the numbers. The paper shredder can also be associated with the destruction of confidential information and in some sense, the shredded paper has erased the diary of numbers associated with my life.
My choice of space, for the projection and the shredded paper as the “evidence” or the detritus of my work resembles my initial starting point – the journal with numbers. By displaying the journal in the corner, along with the two-sided projection, this resembles the “book format” and how an open book can reveal a bombardment of information.
I was initially inspired by ideas surrounding what we consider as meaningful or meaningless information. Together these binaries reveal a process in how the mind organises or decodes information, as well as the subjectivity of meaning. Although the string of numbers might make sense to me, as I can read the numbers like a diary of my movements and events throughout the day, the numbers might also appear meaningless to others, who cannot relate to the mundane events of my day. Thus, my work attempts to reverse the process of meaning.
In researching these ideas, where excess information becomes a burden, I was also inspired by the short story by Jorge Luis Borges “The Library of Babel”. This story explores a similar concept regarding an abundance of information however with books instead of numbers, creating a mathematical thought experiment. “This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences” (p.80, Labyrinths – The Library of Babel, Borges, 1964). With a library that supposedly contains all possible books arranged randomly, any ‘actual’ information is indistinguishable from ‘false’ information, thus the library might as well contain zero books, rather than an infinity of randomised books.
Overall, through the multiple processes of my work, the numbers entail an exploration of the collection of data and the eventual destruction and overloading of meaning, as a chain reaction.