DISPLACEMENT // critical reflection

For 13 weeks I have progressed in creating a media artwork that deals with the notion of ‘Futures’. A critical understanding of theory, practice and research was laid as a foundation to which our ideas would then be built upon. I find that my works become more valuable when I use myself and things that affect me as a filter – in continuing this momentum I decided to touch on the issue of refugees through the eyes of higher powers and societies rather than the directly impacted population.

My work began as an investigation and drawing of binaries between my visions and the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul titled Fireworks (Archives)

Continue reading “DISPLACEMENT // critical reflection”

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Installation Period // More Testing

During this time of study and installation period, it gave me the opportunity to rethink and compose my visions properly. My last blog post mentioned my plan and sketches of a new approach and image to depict my information and story. During this time off I was able to qualitatively put it together, film and edit my work in a way that I believe stay true to my motives.

In the beginning of my composition I began with the filming of my flower sketch, the reasons why I decided to play off paper flower are:

  • Government and society views on refugees are fickle, not everyone has the same thoughts. With the alternating ‘responsibilities’ and ‘burdens’ petals, it depicts how some view the issue
  • Flowers represent living things, but a lot of the time when governments talk about asylum seekers, on paper, they are just indices and matrices. The paper flower is used to depict these two thoughts and acts as a reminder that this is ultimately about human beings.
  • Legislation and Policies are based off collective or ruling decisions, in doing so, is that not just taking a chance in some ways? Like the plucking of the flower, it showcases the making of changing decisions.

The circular nature of the drum also provided possibilities of content composition. The initial text that was projected was in the structure of a stanza in the centre of the drum. It was noted to be too structural and straight forward, to increase interactivity and stimulation for the audience – a circular unfolding of the text around the drum would be more suitable – encouraging the investigation into the drum as the piece progressed. With the help of Anh and through After Effects this circular motion was achieved around the border of the drum.

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I also used a time-lapse of the cloud-filled sky to express the fluidity of refugee interest, acting as an opportunity to start conversations and express the visions of ‘what’s next?’. solutions for the refugee epidemic is far from having a solution, this factor in my work gives the responder to think about what has happened, what is happening and what can happen.

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The outcome from all of my efforts, experimentations, fall backs and motives have led to a visually simplistic piece that I believe holds strong messages and data. The abrupt and sombre sound works well with the round moving images and overall narrative expressed.

Week 13 // Last Class – New Vision?

Speaking with Jo about my previous week’s iterations and idea brainstorming, it was apparent that my play on words with the UN article 14 is still very dreary – in terms of stimulation. I think that handwriting different versions of the same text is easily overlooked, especially within a gallery space setting, that’s why I need more of a vision to come to life. The situation of the matter which was going to be present on top of the drum, bouncing with the sound was still unclear and at this point I think it is unnecessary. I have been thinking about its lack of purpose for quite some time but held onto it because it was so well received in the first iteration though it had no real point than to make the projection visible.

Jo recommended that I look at the works of Tokyo-based artist KEN MATSUBARA. His works encompass the same sort of elements that I deal with and that this particular work is working towards. These elements include the subtle and powerful nature of his composed moving images and how he generates them through beautifully built installations and screen-works. I needed more life in my work, something that tells a story without punching you in the face. Jo has pointed out an aspect of his work that I have grown very fond of –  Paper In The Wind: 

The paper is fluctuating in the air without ever floating away or falling to the ground. At the same time as the state of our heart that I keep fluctuating slowly uncertainly and but is shown. As in Buddhism, all things are connected “engi”. The paper is shaken by the wind, and we can see the wind because of the paper.

[VIDEO HERE]

This reinforced a passing thought/vision of painting the surface of the drum black to then make the projection of my content to be bold and clear. I would film my story in a way that was animated and would play with the surface of the drum and also the quaking nature from the sound. I always appreciated simplistic works and I think eliminating the distracting factors that would dance upon the drum refined the simple aesthetic. I was originally thinking of writing out the text where I would then use wind to disturb the paper and blow it away, this option was okay, but still did not fulfil my desire to create a meaningful piece. It was still the same writing, just on an unstable piece of paper. I have since been working on an illustration that I want to bring to life, when ever I would make a decision as a child I would go outside, pick a Daisy flower and pick off the petals alternating between YES and NO. Rather than just text, I think that if composed with a degree of care, this could be a turning point for my piece.

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[ The animated image would showcase the petals being plucked one by one ]

 

Sonny’s Eating Show // MUKBANG

Sonny’s Eating Show // MUKBANG

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I ate in front of a camera for the first time yesterday – considering it as ‘an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)‘ (ELLIS, 2004; HOLMAN JONES, 2005). I have framed my further auto-ethnographic project with my direct personal application into the food phenomena of ‘Mukbang’.

This time around while performing my eating show, I would at the same time present my research on the production and consumption of this form of Asian media which had originated from South Korea – the concept, its emergence, popularisation, statistics and facts revolving around its growth and the society that surrounds it.

For example utilising the platform AfreecaTv rather than an edited YouTube video or streaming through Twitch, allowed for a thorough investigation into Korea’s social eating culture. Initially I could not navigate through the site due to the language barrier. But after researching into how to stream from different nations, you run the site broadcast through OBS, just like Twitch. The site has a layout unlike any other video/streaming platform I have experienced, it looked a lot more like Ebay and/or Gumtree. This depicted this service and form of expression as a great commodity in Korean culture, where money is a main factor in its progression.

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I used this methodology as a narrative form of inquiry and can be seen as a ‘way of knowing’ established through thinking in one’s own person and through the making of judgements – “the narrative is especially relevant to the analysis of organisational processes because people do not simply tell stories – they enact them.” (Pentland, 1999). I wanted to show first hand the aesthetics and evocative nature as to why Mukbangs are becoming popular, convey how they gain traction and present a different perspective as an unfamiliar researcher.

In so doing, according to the Ellis reading I have aimed to:

  • Improve and better understand our relationships.
    The potential relationships between our asian counterparts, to understand the factors that influence their media consumption and to allude to my own experiences in interpreting this culture
  • Reduce prejudice.
    Rather than throwing away all of my preconceived ideas of this genre within Asia, I educated myself on them. I soon learnt that my pre-mukbang thoughts were not all invalid but were mainly the tip of the iceberg in terms of its social utility for audiences. I saw Mukbang as a strange, dark application into the objectifying of people, which can be the case. But as South Korean society changes  in terms of social relationships and the overall demographical sphere, so do their media habits.
  • Encourage personal responsibility and agency
    Because I experienced this form of asian culture, I could then understand it in a more professional manner where I channelled my efforts into judgements that assisted my data collection/depiction. Content that is emotionally engaging (Behar, 1997; Ellis, 1997; Ronai, 1992), as well as critically self-reflexive of one’s sociopolitical interactivity. “Good Autoethnography strives to use relational language and styles to create purposeful dialogue between the reader and the author.” (Goodall, 1998)
  • Give people a voice that, before expression, they may not have felt they had.
    The stigmatisation in this form of Korean culture is heavily placed upon the hosts and audiences. I attempt unpacked the significance of each section of the Mukbang model in terms of its social utility, how it affects the people within and how it is  essentially growing as a self-branding business around the world.

I believe that placing myself in the social context of the South Korean food style of Mukbang has allowed for myself as a researcher to be challenged, changed, embraced, and interrogated in the performance process. At the same time all addressing the key findings of social eating in Korea, why it is happening and what it developed from.

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[ CLICK HERE FOR MY AFREECATV STREAM ]

[ If broadcast is unstable and cuts out – I have uploaded the same stream onto YOUTUBE ]

 

REFERENCES:

An, T. 2016, ‘The Third Voyeurism.’,  QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF DISSIMULATION IN ART | ARCHITECTURE | DESIGN, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.47-54, date accessed: 11 Sept 2017, < https://dailysonny.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/817c9-masks_0nix_2016.pdf >

Conquergood, D 1985,  Performing as a moral act: Ethical dimensions in the ethnography of performance, Literature in Performance, Vol.5, No.2, pp 1-13 date accessed: 27 Oct 2017, < http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10462938509391578 >

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. <  http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095 >

Holmberg, C. 2014,  Food And Social Media — A Complicated Relationship., HuffPost, date accessed: 10 Sept 2017, < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-holmberg/food-and-social-media-a-c_b_4898784.html >

ISSUU 2017, Mukbang. date accessed: 26 Oct 2017  < https://issuu.com/carolhia/docs/mukbang >

Palladino, V. 2017, Mukbang and Hauls: The rise of super-indulgent eating and shopping videos, ARS Technica, date accessed: 26 Oct 2017 < https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/04/mukbang-and-hauls-the-rise-of-super-indulgent-eating-and-shopping-videos/ >

Pentland, B. 1999, ‘Building Process Theory with Narrative: From Description to Explanation. Academy of Management Review, Vol.24, No.4, pp. 711-724, date accessed: 26 Oct 2017, < http://dsi.esade.edu/theorybuilding/papers/99-Pentland%20Building%20process%20theory%20with%20narrative-%20from%20drescription%20to%20explanation.pdf >

Spry, T. 2001, ‘Performing Autoethnography: An Embodied Methodological Praxis’,  Qualitative Inquiry,  Vol.7, No.6, pp.706-732. date accessed: 26 Oct 2017, :< http://www.nyu.edu/pages/classes/bkg/methods/spry.pdf >

 

Peer Review // Benjamin Trainor: Youth Legal Aid Blog

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The concept of Benjamin Trainor’s project ‘Youth Legal: 21st Century Rights‘ is to create a legal-aid style resource, with a young Australian audience. Beyond this youth focus, there was initially no particular limitation placed on the scope of content to be covered beyond that of the project’s goals. Ben uses a blog-style website to put forward aid/knowledge/research as a Media and Law undergraduate, about legal topics pertinent to his aimed audience and ultimately Generation Y. I have chosen to compose this critical appraisal of Ben’s work because not only through his words “The firm I am employed with doesn’t have an affiliated or in house legal aid resource as do its competitionand to add to his CV, but rather, it is immensely relevant to my own demographic as a young Australian. Living in a country where we have the privilege of a fairly decent legal system, I see it as an obligation to know my own rights in order educate and protect myself in all situations.

The social utility of this project and why it deems importance in the lives of its audience is the way it educates and informs responders about the the legal system and the legalities surrounding an array of issues. It’s free-to-view purpose allows readers (so long as they have internet connection) to seamlessly examine the legal structures that affect them or want to be informed by. It aims to challenge the misinformation that is so commonly found online in terms of our rights and what we can and can’t do in all sorts of conditions. This form of work also helps Ben and his aims in defining himself within his desired field of Law, showing his capabilities in highlighting diverse sets of data for online audiences.

Throughout my experience in Ben’s work I have witnessed the variation in regards to his trajectory.  This change is evident in his content scope to which he was expressing to his audience. His first three blog posts delved into the ‘Rights Framework‘ within Australia as well as digital misinformation within our digital spheres – these posts were informative but I feel did not grasp the audience that he originally wanted and were not hitting the mark for strong utility. The posts were not were composed in a way that would be well receptive by all members of the intended demographic because of its dense use of language and context. His reiterations through the development stage refined this content scope as he turned away from dreary matter and harnessed his efforts into the more contemporary.

Youth Legal: 21st Century Rights is conceptually germane, the  latest prototype examines legal issues that deal with the (17-25) age bracket directly or that we as a generation may have or could perhaps experience at one point in our lives. He has shown adaptivity in this transformation –  exploring topics such as:

  • Vehicle Offences – Drink Driving
  • Police Powers – to arrest/search property
  • Legal stance on the use of VPNs
  • Tutorial-like information (Writing a Character Reference)

It focuses on the actual law, putting them in context with thought-out scenarios which helps the responder frame it’s usefulness in terms of their own experiences. For example, a scenario of domestic violence is laid down as a foundation for the work’s continuation into the topic of Police Power and the how one should deal with officers who want to enter their property:

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[https://youthlegal.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/police-powers-power-to-enter-property/]

Performing this step explains the situation in a way that is digestible for the average viewer, suggesting real terms and outcomes – making it a valuable resource for the legality of everyday occurrences. Knowing what precautions to take, and what authorities have control of (if any) in a position where so many internal and external factors come into play, is a useful tool to have.

The methodology of ‘Youth Legal: 21st Century Rights’ has been a crucial factor for the project from it’s start-up, progress and now current state in terms of it’s functionality and relevance to audiences. The goal of the project was to combat legal issues clearly, with no misinformation or disruption from its reception – supported by current statistics/legal information, scholarly materials and  legislation and case law. Though his take on the topic on VPNs and their legality was depicted in a different way, because legal information on this form of emerging private networking is definitely new – which would highlight blurred boundaries of research. The methodology therefore was shifted in this response, outlining what VPNs are and do and what laws they may be linked with (Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)),  rather than presenting data they would very well be biased and unclear. Therefore the integrity of the work is maintained by delving into facets that VPN’s are capable of and how they could be wrongfully used. Critically thinking about his approach I feel as if harbouring another medium/s through his project could have been very effective and could have allowed a good opportunity to scale up. A podcast or video series may have ticked boxes of accessibility and professionalism in expressing the legalities of specific issues.  Ben could have really benefited from presenting himself and his knowledge in formats more than just text, but in saying this he has kept his content short, precise and to the point.

Ben presented his BETA effectively, outlining his new approach based on the feedback from his curated seminar, tackling issues that we wanted to see and that were important to us a collective of young people. Myself along with many others found his work resonated through the notion of helping today’s youth at the same time effectively building up his own portfolio. He was able to find a stable middle ground both both goals were elevated and were in the stages of successful progress. Because this project is so applicable to the daily lives of this generation – where most people do not know the legal parameters in modern issues, this resource would boom further if given the opportunity to gain traction. Suggestions like reaching out to licensed or larger-scaled  publishers that deal with young people or those in contact with the offended or offenders of such legal situations. Triple J, VICE and even collaborations through universities would have great potential to reach larger audiences under he same social banner. I would heavily suggest that he go through with these forms of avenues to further build his practice and credentials.

In conclusion, I am thoroughly impressed by ‘Youth Legal: 21st Century Rights‘ and Ben’s application of this resource through a contemporary manner. We learn about the importance of our rights and understanding the law, so that if we are ever faced with such circumstances, we have correct knowledge and judgement to effectively deal with them. Furthermore, he was able to channel his own desires of building a profile for himself through an important facet of society and law. His project is a successful depiction of a intent-driven resource which is very valuable to his audience.

 

Week 11 & 12 // What Are My Motives?

Weeks 11 and 12 acted as a contextual revamping of my work. I was stuck with what I wanted to express and how it was going to be showcased. I am unhappy with the layout and specific individual elements of my installation and need to quickly think of what my real motives are behind my work, rather than what my tutors want to see. I spent time researching and delving into different ways of depiction into different facets behind the politics of those seeking asylum in different countries.

Some elements I intend to showcase through my work include:

  • The fickle nature of refugee interest
  • What is happening right now within the issue
  • The play between people as responsibility and/or burdens
  • Encourage another way of thinking about asylum seekers
  • Depict how higher powers/society interpret the influx of refugees
  • Illuminate different perspectives to then move forward

Continue reading “Week 11 & 12 // What Are My Motives?”

Week 10 // Process & Project – not quite there…

This week I decided to experiment with the actual projection itself, building upon the book video in my first iteration. I wanted to add a personal dimension to the work – so I decided to film my own book projection. In this, it would depict myself writing in a book which in hopes for a different level of stimulation for the audience.

I stuck with writing the passage evident in the basic human rights of the UN:

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

Continue reading “Week 10 // Process & Project – not quite there…”