Week 6: Project Pitch – The Multi-Sensory Experience.

My idea for a final project for this subject would be to engage the viewer in a multi-sensory experience. During class we were given the chance to mind-map our fields of practice and our interests, and brainstorm ideas that would align with those. My mind map was… messy – however it greatly clarified the type of project I would like to undertake in the future for this subject.

The other students were then able to add their own feedback and ideas – however having overheard other students struggling to work out where exactly I was going with my thoughts (I thought I’d made it clear, though perhaps it was only clear to me!) I decided to come home and make the thought process a little clearer. From our mind-maps we were told to pitch an MVP (minimal viable project IIRC) – however I believe I would be able to turn this into a full-fledged final project.

I started by centering my initial concept – The immersive digital space. Around this, I placed my 4 key interests and practices: Photography, Digital Media, 3D work, and Sensory Experience. I was then able to link these keywords and create new ones by highlighting their commonalities, in which I was able to come up with concepts for works that I could create. From that I managed to combine several points of interest to create one MVP.

I recreated the mind-map at home to make it a little bit clearer:

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Pink indicates the core concepts and keywords linked directly to those concepts; yellow are ideas created by linking these keywords and concepts together.

The MVP pitch ended up sounding like this:
“To create a 360 degree photographic space viewed through a Virtual-Reality headset, accompanied with a soundscape with headphones”.

I realised upon creating this MVP that I wanted to expand upon this concept entirely and create an entire immersive and 3-dimensional space using sound, image, smells and textures.

There are a couple of artworks I could reference from various gallery visits, but I am particularly drawn to those from the 2012 Biennale in Sydney, entitled All Our Relations; and from the 2014 Biennale, entitled You Imagine What You Desire.

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Looking at all the above images of installations that I have previously experienced reminds me of the experiences I had when viewing them and interacting with them – all very clear memories. This is the kind of response I hope to have with my own work.

As stated previously, I want to expand on my own MVP – to include an entire room and incorporate smells, as well as have projections in 360 degrees of images of places with a soundscape in the room, perhaps with objects that can be interacted with.

I have still yet to decide on exactly the subject matter – however having experimented with soundscapes and panoramic photography in the past, I have a few ideas on how to go about it. I feel like this project would be best achieved in a group – however I am not above doing it myself if need be.

Week 5: Researching My Project

I have decided that I am very keen on creating a multi-sensory experience installation for my final project – with or without a group.

For this to happen I need to engage at least 2 senses, but ideally, I’d like to engage 3-4.

There are the so-called “5 senses” that we are all taught from birth:

Sight, Hearing, Smell, Touch, and Taste.

The obvious senses that I would appeal to would be sight and hearing. Touch would be the next step – and then perhaps even smell. I believe with the time and physical constraints however, it would be a bit hard to incorporate taste effectively.

So how do we engage with the senses?

I believe the easiest sense to engage with is sight – it is the foundation of art, after all. There is the colour theory that dictates the mixing of colours to create harmonious effects – which colours go well and which ones clash, for example.

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The basic colour wheel

Then there is colour psychology to consider – which colours and colour combinations can combine to evoke certain thoughts, feelings, associations and memories.

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A more complex graph that also includes basic colour psychology

In basic colour psychology, the following colours mean the following things:

  • Yellow: Positivity, light, warmth, creativity, motivation.
  • Orange: Vitality, fun, playfulness, exuberancee, youthfulness.
  • Red: Aggression, energy, provocativeness, passion, power.
  • Purple: Royalty, sophistication, nostalgia, mystery, spirituality.
  • Pink: Tenderness, sensitivity, friendship, beauty, compassion.
  • Blue: Trustworthiness, dependability, security, integrity, calmness.
  • Green: Wealth, health, serenity, prestige, abundance.
  • Brown: Earthiness, natural, simplicity, durability, rustic.
  • Black: Prestige, value, timelessness, sophistication, formality.
  • White: Pure, noble, clean, soft, freshness
  • Gold: Elegance, affluence, quality, elite, idealistic.
  • Gray/Silver: Scientific, balance, calm, maturity, cold.

The source for this is quite a fantastic read in itself; although there are flaws – in particular, cultural ones. For example, colours in different countries can mean different things – red in western culture may symbolise passion or aggression – in Chinese culture, it is the colour of luck.

Moving on to sound – sound is a great way to evoke certain feelings – such is the theory of music. Beautiful melodies can evoke feelings of gaiety, and carelessness. Harsh shrieking tones may evoke fear responses – common in soundtracks to horror films; while high pitched notes held for a period of time with harmonies in minor tones emit an overall feeling of melancholy or sadness.

Let’s for one moment divert from these theories and look at how I could apply them to my own work, though.

For example – I will create an immersive, intimate scene of a warm, sunny afternoon at a beach. Here’s how I would do this in a single room with a single projection screen with no images, which the senses engaged.

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Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beautiful, calm beach, surrounded by white sand…

Sight: Lights firstly – shine the lights on the screen and use the colour yellow for warmth. The brighter the light, the warmer it will ‘feel’ to look at – we wouldn’t want the light to be too bright or it will feel too harsh and look hot, instead of the relaxing warmth we’d want. The ground could be blue.

Sound: create a soundscape with stereo speakers or even surround sound – being sure to create a “3 dimensional” space by engaging with each speaker in production of the sound. Having the sounds of rolling, gentle waves emerging from the front speaker, with perhaps the sound of a gentle breeze blowing from behind. Throw in the occasional gull, perhaps moving from the left rear speaker, to the right front speaker. This places the audience into an immersive space in their head.

Smell: Here’s where it gets tricky. When I go to a beach I smell salt and seaweed. The most obvious way to recreate these smells is to bring the source into the location – however this isn’t always practical! Perhaps a small amount could be placed into a box, and we would direct the audience to go into close proximity to the source.

Feel: There are a few ways to approach this, too – lay a tarp or large box down and cover it with sand, for example, and instruct the audience ember to step inside without shoes. However, this may also not be practical. In this example, the most obvious approach to me would be to have a fans circulating around the room (perhaps in front of the salt) to imitate the ocean breeze.

Taste: For this example, I would not deliberately go about engaging with taste, however the effect of tasting the salty air may coincidentally be achieved by combining the fans in front of the salt.

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Faiyaz Hussain and Kelly Nicholson’s work for their final MEDA302 project on display at the DMC. Photo credit: Paul Jones

I have attached the above photograph of the final work of two friends of mine for MEDA302. The installation consisted of balls of ice suspended by fishing wires and frozen on to fishing hooks with a light in the corner and a candle suspended in the centre. The work was over a tarp which had salt spread on it during the UoW Grad Show Out There (2016). I have included this work as an example of the above; I remember that upon being present for this installation, one of the first things to hit me was the very strong smell of the salt on the floor. As I recall, they sourced the salt from bags of pool salt. It was so thick in the air that you could almost taste it on your tongue!

Of course that is just an example of how I would approach one single project; I have not yet decided on which feelings I’d like to evoke, or how. All I know is the general area that I would like to work in, and what general concept I’d like to approach.

Week 1 Blog Post – Defining My Practice and Expanding My Field.

I find it hard to limit myself to one field of practice. This is evident through the degree changes I’ve made in the past, and even now, with my double major in Photography and Digital Media and Communications. This explains it all really: I dabble in photography, as well as creating an assortment of digital content, as well as maintaining an assortment of different social media profiles for both my personal business and my gaming ‘habit’ (which I really count as content creating). I also like to expand some of my work to include bits and pieces of animation, design, filming and editing in addition to photography. I would one day love to explore the world of virtual or augmented reality, too. So if I were to really put it down to five key words or phrases, it would be the following:

Photography; animation; design; film; editing.

However that just scratches the surface of what I’d like to do. I consider myself a bit of a creative all-rounder. This is me now. However, during today’s exercises, what I’d like to do over the semester paints a very different picture. There is almost a completely different set of key words here:

Media Arts; photography; manipulation; installation; sensory.

Ideally, I want to always be expanding my skill set so that I can continue having being a bit of an all rounder – as I am to understand it, having lots of different skills is a benefit to many job positions as it encourages creative problem solving and can be a great management tool to connect with peers who specialise in these areas.

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My “mind map” from today’s exercise – very messy, and no where near resembling an actual mind map.

Seeing as I’m not limiting myself to just one field of practise, there are many many skills that I wish to have – I don’t intend on mastering all of them however; I believe in diversity and I would always like to keep myself open for opportunities to learn more. For the sake of this exercise though, I will limit myself to exploring a few skills that I may need for the second set of keywords – the ones that I aim to work on this semester.

I would, for example, like to learn a little more about the After Effects and Premiere Pro Adobe programs, so that I may make my content creation (specifically videos) a little more polished. I have begun to dabble into Illustrator a little bit, which is essential for some design aspects. I already know quite a bit about Lightroom and Photoshop as I have been using those for editing photographs for quite a few years. I would also like to look into learning more about Google Sketchup – a sort of program where you can build and render objects or scenes in 3D which would be great for working on installation concepts. In terms of the sensory aspect – I would need to do more research on sound production. I do know a bit about sound – however my skill set in that regard is also quite limited. I would also like to dabble into learning more about psychology and ways to evoke certain responses in people through a range of different ways, as I’d like my installations to be a multi-sensory experience; which may effect hearing, sight, touch and even smell (though I think I’ll steer away from taste for now).

I am not the first to appeal to multiple senses and construct my installations to evoke a certain response in people. Installations are a great way to interact with an audience and invite them to explore a space, perhaps even touch or feel objects, and get really close to details. This is something that I hope to achieve. One such example would be the “Google Train” (real title: The Other Side), which I had the privilege of experiencing myself in 2014’s Sydney Biennale. I’d like to look at this work a little more closely as a research point in the future.

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The entrance to the work, The Other Side (2014) Image retrieved from the Biennale Website.

I feel like I’ve pretty much got my thoughts out for today – and I risk rambling (which I’d rather avoid). I will elaborate and further develop some concepts however in future posts, while I brainstorm ways to move forward with the semester.

Enterprisingeneurial Makingerfacturing.

What does this abomination of a title mean?

We were asked the question: what do the words enterprise, enterprising, entrepeneur and entrepeneurial mean to you? How about the words making, maker and manufacturing?

Let’s be completely subjective for a moment (when am I not, though?). Without looking into the history of each of these words, they all have similar meanings for me.

Enterprise: an innovative or large business venture.
Enterprising: undertaking a large business venture or a business expanding innovatively.
Entrepeneur: a person who seeks to turn an idea into a viable business venture.
Entrepeneurial: the act of an idea being turned into a profitable business.

My definitions did not differ wildly from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definitions;

Simple Definition of enterprise

  • : a project or activity that involves many people and that is often difficult

  • : a business organization

  • : the ability or desire to do dangerous or difficult things or to solve problems in new ways

Simple Definition of enterprising

  • : having or showing the ability or desire to do new and difficult things

Simple Definition of entrepreneur

  • : a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money