Week 7: Reconfiguring Spacetime

In this weeks workshop the final assessment for the subject was beginning to be discussed. Both classes were combined and then split up into groups according to the practice to which each student defined themselves in. With this, my group was founded with the overarching topic of  ‘Reconfiguring Space Time: Storytelling through Sounds, Image and Interaction’. I chose this vector because it linked closely to project I proposed in my previous post, conveying stories using different mediums, technologies and personal ideas. 

This topic deals with and ask questions such as:

  • Reconfiguring space time through sound, image and interaction to tell stories has been the domain of cinema.
  • How can we re-configure space time to create layered experiences or narratives in other ways?
  • How do we create new space time through the use of sound and image?
  • How do we open up story-telling as an activity by configuring human senses through the media of sound and image?
  • What kind of stories can be told? What kind of stories should be told?

Group Members: 

–  Sam Noakes, Chelsea Lowry, David Antioch, Steph Garner and Sonny Nguyen

The workshop commenced by the groups being given an artwork to interpret and recreate. This led to our group working with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Dark Pool (1995). The work functioned  as one encounters a realm of suspended animation, an elaborate assemblage of furniture, carpets, books, empty dishes and mechanical paraphernalia. As viewers move through the installation, they activate acoustic components of the work – the silence of the space is broken by strands of music, echoes of stories and fragments of dialogue.

The creative process and began with the discussion of the work. The cabinet of curiosities theme was evident and we interpreted the work as that where the sensory presence of the responder was a constantly stimulated. We then alluded this to the way Virtual Reality functions, creating experiences through the viewer’s consciousness. In that was we agreed that a physical model of virtual reality would be interesting and ran with the idea to create a real life immersive room. Before commencing the construction of the piece we needed substance, but were stuck. We were encouraged to pitch to each other our own project proposals which were previously written, and from then ideas were being thrown around and we landed on the theme of ‘Loss’ whether it be physical or internal.

We then split up, Chelsea and Steph working on the audio element. Splicing and creating a piece that embellished the theme through already established media, having to do with loss. Meanwhile, Sam, David and I began to bring the essence of the room together, where the lighting and objects were to be defined. The idea of hanging items from the ceiling soon stuck and we began to do so with an assortment of things. Soon there were many things up which detached from our envisioned work, looking skit-ish. Taking a more minimalist approach, we soon found the sentiment of jewellery was more appropriate.

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[Final Depiction] 

I believe that the work did not reach our expectation, in theme and execution. The ‘immersive’ direction was in a way achieved but it did not emphasise much to the audience, so it was ultimately open to interpretation; some may even say too open. The approach we took used up a lot of our time and we found that so many ideas were being thrown around, and it soon took its toll on the final outcome. Though I really like the idea of immersive environments telling a story, we need to find out what that story is to ensure an effective depiction of it. I felt as if the group has been working good together, though we need to push each other more to tease out valuable elements that would benefit us as a whole.

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