week one research
On the 12th of October, the first week of the collaborative project we were given our brief and put in to groups. I was in a group of five, we had a handful of different courses between us which I felt would help. Our collective knowledge meant we could use almost all of the workshops competently if we so wished. I felt that this would give us fewer limitations in our design and thought process as we worked together towards a final insulation piece for the festival on the 17th of November.
We created a group chat so we could all keep in touch. We also have work to do in our individual pathways so organising times to meet up became easy and efficient once we could all communicate as a team. This chat was also good for posting ideas we were separately coming up with and sharing our individual research journeys with the entire group. A lot of times this proved to be useful when one of the group members would add on extra insight in to someone else research or ideas.
Below is the text we were given as a starting point, we decided it was largely nonsensical but spoken with a lot of confidence as if it made perfect sense to the writer it was 'Language on the edge of sense, on the edge of not coping at all' Etchells, T. (1999). Certain fragments.
From this we were led to looking at old oils and so called 'medicines'. Much in the same fashion old medicines specifically 'snake oil' was advertised to cure all sorts of ailments. The labels and proclaimed nonsense and did not actually work. At this point in conversation we were trying to find basic initial inspiration. Below are also some notes I made about the text we were given as a starting point.
Week Two Research
In the second week we had looked in to confessions. The text seems to take on a confessional tone and lots of symbolism pointing towards religion and God steered us towards the idea of creating some kind of confessional booth. I had ideas for the booth to have some elements directly relating to the text such as 'graveyard pipes' or perhaps some of the soil mentioned to emulate the tone and feel of the text physically. We considered how we would build the enclosed confession booth and thought about how it would function.
Confessions in pop culture are also becoming popular, various videos of people reading out anonymous strangers worst confessions are popping up which perhaps signals our growing curiosity around wrong doings and insight in to other people. Perhaps as a scale to measure our own moral standing against or perhaps it just stems from curiosity alone. There is also an application called 'shush' where people can post anonymous confessions and strangers can react to them with comments, 'dislikes' and 'likes'. It shows that something about confessing and interacting with the process of confessions is appealing to people everywhere.
Some ideas we came up with were -
- having a wall of confessions where you can openly read others confessions
- having a typical confession booth inspired by church confessionals
- Have an environment of calm to enter after confessing to symbolise the relief of confessing
Week Three Research
In week three we proposed the confession booth as an idea to our project leader, Glen Neath. He however didn't like the idea and thought we could do something better. We began discussing alternatives and new ideas. We all went back to the text and looked at it. Here are some notes I made independently after our discussion with Glen -
SECOND TASK - Group A
Ethics of listening when viewing
spaces for audience in the text - how would they react
Cognitive dissidence - believing your view even when proved wrong, or even more so when proved wrong.
30 -week 4
New ideas, two computers at either ends of campus, promoting dialogue between strangers.
one for questions one for answers, study responses after.
Word association as an option, topics can be chosen and manipulated or subjects can be left to ask any question.
Creating a nonsensical dialogue through opposing questions - audience engagement?
External decoration, related to text ?
Ritualistic elements included?
Here I explored an idea we had come up with of having two computers or iPads logged in to a chat room. We could place them at different ends of the campus and promote a dialogue between two strangers. We wanted to see if it would be non-sensical and what people would say. We decided we would have one for asking questions and one for answering and after the festival was over we could see how and if people interacted with each other anonymously.
below are some designs we created for the project.
Week's Four and Five Six Research and making
For week four and five we filled in the risk assessment forms and space proposal forms we also began thinking about when we'd need to rent the iPads and how to best avoid any damage to them. We thought about power chords and where they would need to go.
In week six we had allocated time to fabricate our insulation which was very useful as we are usually all very busy with our pathway work. We all collaborated very well to get the plinths made in time. I used my previous knowledge in the wood work room to make sure no one was hurt, I had been briefed on how to use a lot of the machines previously and I also enjoyed helping the other students from costume gain confidence using the machines and drills. At first one of our team was nervous to use the drill however we all safely guided and encouraged her. I think this shows how well we have all collaborated together, we are supportive of each other in every way we have been helping each other since the beginning. All working as a unit as opposed to separate people.
Here are some pictures of the making of the plinths.
Outcome of public interaction - Week 6
The installation was certainly popular we had a lot of people interacting with it. It was a known item to almost everyone so was very user friendly. As you can see from the small sections of the conversation I posted below we got two main types of interaction.
One was for the purpose it was intended - asking and answering questions and one was for more childish interaction, use of swear words and taboo topics was high however rarely were they discussed maturely. This suggested to me that the fact the iPads were left with very subtle supervision created the environment for people to not feel watched as they typed it was also clear that engagement though high was for a minimal amount of time as these responses required little effort or thinking. Perhaps in retrospect an improvement to the installation would be to make it more appealing to interact with for a longer period of time, it could be made less public so people feel more comfortable to interact with it in a more sincere manner.
Overall though we were only looking for what people would do, we were interested to promote a non-sensical dialogue emulating that of the original text we were given which I believe was achieved.