This project explores the theme of time and development of popular culture. To do this I experiment with new media- Stop Motion Animation. I chose this as a source to express my ideas because I thought it had the potential to reference the immediate past and the long term past as a basis for a personal investigation of culture. The technique of Stop Motion means that static images are collected together to create the impression of movement and passing of time. When combined with other media such as pencil and paint, different time plains meet. As a young person open to influences of popular culture, utilising personal experience and also more generic youtube footage to reference the inspirations that shape me through time.
The improvisational techniques of both musician artists Bitjam and the evolutionary nature of Oskar Fischinger’s animation inspired me as they suggest a stream of consciousness. The work explores a personal interpretation of the world in the present and how it links with the past. Documentation of large scale gestural marks through stop motion animation is an ideal way of representing my personal interpretation. The imagery gets increasingly more chaotic as the animation develops. I explored the editing soft ware Final Cut and used cross fade techniques to create smooth transitions between how the paint was applied. Therefore, the process is not immediately clear thus challenging the viewer to consider the development through a passage of time. The effect of the animation being reversed means that the viewer can consider the origins of the source and inspiration.
I initially hoped to explore sound as another method of interpretation. It was decided that the end animation result did not suit an audio field recordings captured at the Green Man festival as they would have clashed and confused the visual. With more time, I would have made an audio piece that suited the animation. Perhaps future work could incorporate an ambient, background sound that was not intrusive and referenced a communal experience. The fact that the animation shall be broadcast over a blog spot is integral to the themes of my work, because the current media networking sites bring the past into direct contact with the present culture.
I need to decide the most appropriate format to display my video when preparing the dvd for submission. I have two options, for the animation to be viewed with a border- which may be distracting, or for it to fill the screen but crop the sides.
I have tested the cropped format on the latest vimeo format and I think that too much important information is lost when the animation is cropped to fill the screen. As a result, when preparing my piece for burning on to disc, I made sure that the letterboxing option was turned on.
‘Kelly has written a manifesto about trends he believes began with the big bang. Still he has not written a retroactive manifesto, Kelly projects the trends he sees in the past forward. What are the trends? In a word: Progress. That is Progress with a capital P - the way your dad used to spell it: Technological Progress. We are talking good old fashion Modernist meta-narrative, and one that Kelly believes is inevitable.’ John Powers.This artist epitomises the reason I chose this modual. His theories on the relevance of new media inspire my work as my themes regarding memory and experience are reflected by the appropriation of media. I develop from drawing and photography through paint then animation- an entirley new skill learnt by me. Although my work does not reference old media directly in the sense of using old analogue equipment, it does reference the ‘technological progress’ as mentioned in the blog I quote.
Final cut of Animation. -
I was considering whether to continue the animation, developing more layers until it became so compact that the information became indistinguishable. However, I decided against because although the complexity of memory is an important theme in my work, I thought it might be more visually engaging to strip the animation back to the beginning. That way, the viewer can recognise the developments that have been made through time and recognise more thououghly the links between influences and triggers for memory. By ending the piece where it began, a cyclical loop is created that reflects the fact that memories are interlinked. It reflects my subconcsious stream of thoughts that develop through time.
Haroon Mirza -
Similarly to my work, this artist uses a mixed media collaboration of techniques in order to create a whole piece. The equipment he uses is relevant to the subject as he explores old technologies and adapts them fittingly. In a similar way, I have taken a the technique of painting- which is rich in historic background and connotations and brought it to the present through manipulation in Final Cut to make it into an Animation film. The concept of Stop Motion animation itself is steeped in historic context.
Again, with more time in this project I would like to explore the relationship between audio and visual to a greater extent. What I notice from Mirza’s piece is that the audio- although a well known track by Cat Stevens- does not have any vocals. Perhaps this would help the visuals connect with the music without distraction. (Something that proved a problem with the Green Man Audio.)
Oskar Fischinger -
This artist is very influential regarding the painting aspect of my animations. He developments layers so that the piece evolves beyond recognition. This transformation, in my work reflects the growth and development as me the person, based on experience and judgement. For example, choice in colour pallet in my work is subject to my memory of the event and evolves like a stream of consciousness. This concept shares links with the musician art group Bitjam, who improvise their artworks to a live audience. I created my animation with no set plan as to what the animation would look like in the end. I allowed myself to be inspired by the imagery and realise the effect of the chaotic build in sources.
If I had more time in this module, I should like to explore how music can influence the piece directly. Like Fischinger’s motion paintings that seem to evolve in response to the music- I could chose music that is intrinsic to my taste and relevant to my influences, then see how the music effects the rhythm of the animation.
Cross Fades using Final Cut -
This is the action of fading in an out, creating an extended duration to the animation. The effect is that of a less noticeable trasition between images. The viewer does not get distracted by the jerky quality, instead becomes aware that time is passing but can not tell how quite so easily as the eye can not follow.
I think there is still room for development, perhaps I could continue the animation on the wall in order to develop. This could emphasis the development in influences and memories as it gets more and more chaotic. Practically, this would prove difficult however, as the camera position has altered so there would be an obvious shift and disruption in animation.
Alternatively, I could use Final Cut to reverse the imagery and so the end result is the same as the beginning. This cyclical technique could reflect how interpretations and memories can build- but can be stripped back to reveal the core influences of an individual. I think this is more effective than the previous technique which merely records the build in chaotic memories.
After development within the Stop Motion animation field and listening to the two medias together, I think the audio is not suited to the visuals and could distract the viewer and anchor the visuals too tightly to context of the sound. I do however, think there is potential for this media to be developed in my Studio Practice- I could experiment with acoustics, technology and placement of audience.
Stop Motion Animation with Multiple Images -
Taking the advice from a seminar meeting, I created an animation that explored the whole of the composition more thoroughly. Therefore, rather than line progressions that are not noticeable, I used paint on a large scale to create more gestural marks. This is more appropriate because it clearly shows development that originates from memory and experience.
By changing the Imagery through out the animation, I hoped to gain a fluid progression from memory to memory. I like the fact that the background images remain static, because it reflects the snap shot style recall of memory.
I selected the images based on a wide source of influences. Some elements are taken from first hand experience such as the figure with a hat on, while others others like the figure with a bandana on is taken from footage off of Youtube. I think it works better when the youtube context is not visible within the animation, because then the audience is unaware exactly where the influences are drawn from.