Week 5 workshops
The theme of this workshop was ‘now’. The aim was to make sure we are present and engaged with the now and ground ourselves; it gave a little break from learning more new things. The first activities were related to our senses, we had some soil to put our hands in, ginger to eat and lime leaves to smell. When our senses are completely engaged, we tend to forget about the past or the future and are just in that moment. I found it really nice and calming, the tactile fiddling with the crumbly soil and the warm sweet taste of ginger made me feel more relaxed.
The other part was watching an interview with a philosopher talking about the power of the now and that that is all that matters and really exists. After that there was a 20 minute? guided meditation, where we closed eyes and checked in with various bits of our body and tried to completely relax. I have previously found meditation a bit difficult as my mind sometimes just races and loses focus, but this time I managed to clear my head and I really calmed a lot and felt very relaxed afterwards. I felt that this feeling was a little reminiscent of how my mind goes when I am on a long run.
The last part of the day was focused on idea generation for the upcoming group project proposal presentations. The start of this was to hold the image of what you have actually done in our personal projects so far and then think about what that is. For myself, the work I have got is videos of myself running which is related to the self, time and movement. The group project idea is then meant to be an extension of our own project, so that might mean a workshop related to movement and the body. I did find it difficult coming up with some solid ideas as I know people won’t want to run and moving the body on camera is not something a lot of people are comfortable with.
Doll burning. After Monday’s class, some of us met on the south beach in the evening to burn the worry dolls from Jennifer’s group workshop last semester. We had music, snacks, had a sort of ceremony where we placed all our worries into the fire. I helped to make a bonfire and then we put the human sized fabric dolls on top. The experience was lovely and quite weird at times, but it felt nice to let go of all our notes and feel like last semester is now properly finished and chatting around a fire is always nice.
The takeover meeting on Wednesday was the first one so far, therefore we had to go through all the plans so far and what roles we could take on. I enjoyed organising the winter show on the whole and I want to carry on and use that experience to help run the Takeover. I put myself down for the front desk team, which will be organising food, drinks, the design of the welcome area, hospitality and the tours of the exhibition. I think I am well suited to this role having worked in food and hospitality and I enjoy making things look nice and being a guide.
What I have done:
I got some help this time with filming my one-minute running videos. I had my dad cycling alongside me and tried getting some interesting angles of me like a dolly shot of me from the side. The shadows were really good on this day so that was another opportunity to make some more abstract and compositionally interesting videos. I started to discover new angles I could film myself from and did a couple of close-ups that I could maybe use for cutaways and just to add variety.
What I think:
The videos I have taken so far are starting to feel a bit like a diary, all these one-minute clips in different places. I think I need to start putting things together properly now in post-production. I do think that the videos from the bike alongside do have a less immersive feel to them as it is obvious, I am not holding the camera. I do like the observation aspect though and in a film, it would be nice to have a break of looking from my perspective and look from the outside. I am thinking that any text on the screen or talking, like the interview idea I had, would be too obvious. I think I need to put people in my shoes and create an immersive or explanatory experience without making a piece of vis-com or documentary.
The question is, do I just carry on with this style or maybe go back to some videos at the track with a static camera? I think I will stick to the from the body view for now. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I should start to put things together in iMovie now. The only further filming exploration I have in mind now is to use a GoPro. Recording some nice footsteps or ambient sound independent of the videos would be good as well.
Research and context
Martin creed is a British artist, musician and performer. He won the Turner Prize in 2001 and has exhibited several times at the Tate Galleries. His 2008 project called ‘No. 850’ which centres on the idea that a person will run as fast as they can every thirty seconds through a gallery. Each run is followed by an equivalent pause and silence. The participants from all over London were instructed to run as fast as they possibly could. The appeal is of the human form and the beauty of movement. I think that bringing sprinting into the Tate Britain is very fascinating project as it certainly raised the eyebrows of some people. The focus being on this performance instead of the surrounding art work, is a bold move and very reminiscent of the Takeover. Although I am not planning on a live performamce, the way he highlights the aesthetic nature of running is just as important in my own videos.
“In Palermo we went to see the catacombs of the Capuchin monks. We were very late and only had five minutes to see it all before closing time. To do it we had to run. I remember running at top speed with my friends through the catacombs looking desperately left and right at all of the dead people hanging on the walls in their best clothes, trying our best to see it all… it was a good way to see it. It was that kind of delirious running which makes you laugh uncontrollably when you’re doing it. I think it’s good to see museums at high speed. It leaves time for other things.” -Martin Creed-
“Remember, remember, this is now, and
now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I
want to become acutely aware of all
I’ve taken for granted.”