Week Two: SCENE TRANSITIONS

URBAN ITINERARY: CINEMATIC SPACE

Seeking to trace the Urban Interior as a point of origin and departure for Cinema

19. 07. 21

For this weeks studio workshop sessions, we are to continue developing ideas from our site device and documentation explorations to eventuate into the creation of spatial models.

Proposing a shift in transformation and form from 2D imagery photographs into 3D surface model discoveries.

Firstly in smaller groups we all shared our Site Mapping Image Sequences generated using our cinematic devices. Getting to collectively review and and discuss not only our own sequences with each other but seeing others explorations was incredibly interesting to visualise our unique array of site mapping techniques. Our approaches to the site were so distinctive to portraying a representation of our constructed cinematic devices. They allowed us all to perceive the site in a completely new way and with a completely new approach, one that is individual to us and our revelations towards the Fort Lane Precinct. While sharing my sequences with the group they were all really intrigued by the perceptual framing and depth revealed within each photograph. They were all drawn towards the contrasting blurred, hazy qualities that progressed or transition throughout each sequence. The erratic, motion imagery generated from my cinematic device evidently shifts ones intrinsic way of viewing the site, by showcasing it through active, lively movement. Almost like stillness in motion. The device allowed me to capture Fort Lane in fluid moments. Movements that were suspended and variable. Images that were not planned, controlled or predicted. As I wanted my approach not only to the site but to the outcomes created from my cinematic device to be more openly conscious in relation to how I responded to the site itself.

Proceeding our site visit I also jotted down my initial thoughts and observations in relation to not only Fort Lane but the city being this viewed as this Urban Site, itself a place that conveys cinematic moments. The site was being documented whilst documentation was already taking place, and is frequently occurring as a means of observation.

THE URBAN SITE: FORT LANE

Following on from our group sharing session, we collectively came together as a class to share and discuss the image sequences of others and their cinematic devices in response to Fort Lane. It was really interesting to hear how others respond, read and perceive others work by drawing out conceptual values in them. As a cohort we began discovering revelations and potential explorations into ones image sequences, as well as understanding how we individually can respond and analysis our sequences in a similar way.

How do our images sequences progress? What is their correspondence or relation to one another? How do they begin to merge into a scene transition? Thinking about Transitions in Film, how are cuts used to show time, and space?

In relation to this, it is important to consider layout, composition and sequencing of images. How are they arranged? These sequences eventually develop into memories, yet how do particular cuts show a story, a progression?

SPACE, TIME, CHARACTER
are quintessential components to consider when formulating a progression of imagery, of moving images especially showcased in film.

Scene Transitions become an expression of movement, a generative movement, one that perhaps might be a rapid shift, a straight cut changing perspective shots, or perhaps a cross dissolve, fade or gradient showing glimpses in a transition. Yet there are also limit points to consider around transition, how long can you extend out the pause before the next image becomes the forefront? By undergoing this shift in thought process we can start to consider our image sequences with regards to exploring the idea of transitional space and movement.

Scene Transitions, an expression of movement

Some artist models we began exploring deeper into in how they construct and conceptually materialise transitional space was through the works of Olafur Eliasson and Junya Ishigami. Eliasson’s work Your rainbow panorama is a transformative rooftop design, an elevated 360-degree walkway, one that offers visitors sweeping views of the city, the sky, and the distant horizon. Visible from afar, the work divides Aarhus Museum into various colour zones and acts as a beacon for people moving about the city, an effect that is heightened at night when lights running the circumference of the walkway illuminate it from within. This walkway layers a fading gradient of a rainbow colour palette. For this work colour is the fundamental component towards creating a transitional space, an expression of movement as one walks along the walkway experiencing a development of colour gradients. However Ishigami’s covered plaza design is an open, transparent structure where the new addition appears from outside as a solid mass that is partially submerged in its site. Previously the campus’ existing outdoors spaces were mostly surrounded by buildings, resulting in distinctly artificial environments that lack the ever-changing qualities of natural spaces. Whereas this plazas intends to create the feeling of a landscape, where changes in the seasons and weather effect ones physical experience in the space. Openings on the roofing allow for days when the sun is shining, sharply defined patches of light form on the floor, while on cloudy days a more blurred pattern of light and shadow is created, an enhanced, more transitory approach towards stimulating a transitional space.

From these practitioner insights I begin to question how might I design thresholds, circulation spaces, or other spaces of movement based on my site document from week one? Reflecting on my site document how have I connected different scenes? What are the transitions at play in my image sequences? How can I translate these ideas into a series of spatial models? As part of our Scene Transitions workshop, we are to construct spatial models based on transitions from our site sequence. The will be fragments of spatial thresholds, spaces of movement and transition. These spatial models will begin to shift my mindset towards potential explorative ways of how I could interact, intervene and enhance the Fort Lane Precinct. Using the rich insights gained from our collaborative class discussions and context talk in coherence with analysing my site sequences, I started to explore, ideate and investigate into various prospective ways I could generate or construct models focused around transition.

Exploration Sketches of Scene Transitions

20. 07. 21

As part of this quick fire design exploration workshop, I firstly gathered an array of textural materiality to play with as a means of exploring the underlying transitional movement concepts and qualities depicted within my site image sequences. By compiling an extensive collection of materials to work with, it allowed me greater opportunities to explore and test out any of my design hunches when spontaneously making. Considering how do these materialities interplay together and respond to one another? What qualities are they evoking when put together and how do they showcase an exploration of transition?

A blurred, motion quality highlights the relationship between the captured image and the bodily pendulum, gestures used to generate them. Details are focused erratically, and in direct action as one transfers along and in between the neighbouring building facades. Transition becomes an expressive movement, a rapid shift that is slowed down to be captured in momentum, in movement, in motion.

Using both my initial scene transition, explorative sketches to help guide my model making ideation with my materiality textures, I started to create and construct a series of spatial models. As a main, considerate part of this workshop, once we had established our models we were to photograph their interior spaces. By photographing our models from various angles and with deeper, more considered perspectives it helps us to capture the transitional experience of each model. It immediately creates not only a viewpoint shift but a perceptual shift were you can begin to imagine being immersed or surrounded by its interiors as an inhabited spatial articulation. Whilst photographing each of my models, I made sure to carefully consider the lighting, shadows, contrasts and surface textures being showcased and how within the portrayal of each image.

A Collection of Spatial Models

Establishing interior spaces through model making, as a means of revealing and unpacking the scene transitions between my site documentation imagery.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of tissue paper and wooden sticks.

Playing around with explorations of ethereal qualities, a layering of delicate, light, translucent materiality where subtle transitions can alter, shift or activate a sense of liveness.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of tin can and black and brown card paper.

An immersive, almost performative activation of movement in motion. Light and shadow bounce off the outer surfaces to display moments of ephemerality.

An investigation into the blurred motion quality that highlights the relationship between the captured image and the bodily gestures used to generate them. A layering of curvilinear lines become an invigoration of impetus movement in motion.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of wooden sheets and glue.
Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of wire mesh.

A disposition of sequences shifting in motion. Blurred, hazy qualities evoke a sense of ephemerality, where you become immersive and enthral to the transitions, performative gestures occurring in the live.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of black card, wire and hairnet fabric.

Details are focused erratically, and in direct action as one transfers along and in between them. A montaging of elements to play with the conceal and the reveal, a veil waiting to be uncovered.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of silicon gripping matt.

A rapid shift that is slowed down to be captured in momentum, in movement, in motion. Not only through physical motion but a psychological motion, a transposing in habitual worlds where you become immersed within what is in front of you.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of wire and tissue paper.

Playing around with explorations of ethereal qualities, a layering of delicate materialities to explore their relationship within a more structural, immersive and encased form.

Spatial Model Iteration. 20/07. Materiality consists of wooden sticks, hairnet fabric and wire mesh.

Details are focused erratically, and in direct action as one transfers along and in between them. An assembly contrast where ethereal qualities are explored against more rigid, built forms.

21. 07. 21

Beginning todays studio session, we started by reviewing and reflecting on the scene transitions design workshop and our outcome spatial models generated from it. As a class we collectively displayed our models, all producing such different spatial interpretations from our site image sequences. Getting to view the array of unique models and seeing how variously they had been created, not only in terms of materiality but form and composition was incredibly interesting. Within this session we all separated out into our tutorial groups, each having a one on one catch up meeting with our set tutor. Getting to have these one on one meetings is really beneficial towards gaining insightful feedback and greater knowledge into how to further explore, extend and develop our ideas within each of our design projects. It gives us all a chance to build a strong relationship with our tutor in terms of them understanding the depths, insights and processes of our project and even for helping us with certain barriers or design funks that we may have during this creative process.

Following directly after my individual meeting I proceeded to add more conceptual insights to my previous brainstorm exploring and extending from context discussions, site visits, and design workshops.

Discovering revelations, potential explorations into my image sequence merging into scene transitions

Using these discoveries and insights generated from our conceptual design workshops, both the site mapping and spatial models, it allows us to start considering the physicality of the site and the various approaches or ways of how we may wish to intervene into the Fort Lane Precinct.

Cinema is at once a form of perception and a material perceived, a new way of encountering reality and a part of reality thereby perceived for the first time.

Steven Shaviro

How do I wish to respond not only to the project brief but to the site itself? What aspects did I gravitate towards, find a certain interest in, or perhaps discovered a revelation to perceive the site through a new lens. Through cohesive discussion it was discovered that my image sequences unintentionally but intriguingly draw a direct stylistic influence from the derived Performance Art period that took off in the 60’s and 70’s. A time where artistic movement and performance art became a forefront within the art and design scene. People starting recognising and responding to this new way and approach of documentation of art, where something happens in the live and gets documented in a particular way. A merging together of arts and spectators to enact this notion of display, one that solely occurs in the live, a moment in time.

Pose Work for Plinths. 1971. Bruce McLean

Performance Art

Movement and performance, what happens in the live

While the term ‘performance’ and ‘performance art’ only became widely used in the 1970s, the history of performance in the visual arts is often traced back to futurist productions and dada cabarets of the 1910s. Yet throughout the twentieth century performance was often seen as a non-traditional way of making art. Live-ness, physical movement and impermanence offered artists alternatives to the static permanence of painting and sculpture. In the post-war period performance became aligned with conceptual art, because of its often immaterial nature. Now an accepted part of the visual art world, the term has since been used to also describe film, video, photographic and installation-based artworks through which the actions of artists, performers or the audience are conveyed.

“Performance is not (and never was) a medium, not something that an artwork can be but rather a set of questions and concerns about how art relates to people and the wider social world” – Theorist Jonah Westerman, 2016

The Art Story. (2021). Performance Art. Retrieved from https://www.theartstory.org/movement/performance-art/

Tate. (2021). Performance Art. Retrieved from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/performance-art

ThoughtCo. (2019, Jul, 03). Performance Art. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/performance-art-history-basics-182390

Tate. (2021). Live Art. Retrieved from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/l/live-art

Yet it began to be questioned that should this form of performance arts be documented as it is based on the premise of liveness and instead should be only something you encounter in person? As a result of this a new documentation style emerged (photographic and video), a no editing appearance that mean’t parts were carefully selected and adjoined together through sequential relevances. The performative qualities of movement in motion, being captivated by something happening in the live, a temporal happening are intriguing fasests I wish to continue exploring deeper within my studio project. By developing an extensive mind map it allowed me to write down any possible idea, thought or fascinations that were generated or stimulated through my current conceptual and site observations, exploring deeper into following my design hunches and interests. How could Fort Lane be enhanced through this notion of ‘the live‘ and what it means or feels like to experience it first hand?

Fort Lane Precinct: Potential exploration avenues

Two design practitioners and artists that explore some of these notions regarding liveness, performance art qualities and considerations with their own unique approach are Sophie Calle and Vito Acconci. Sophie Calle’s has developed a practice that is instantly recognisable for its distinct narrative elements and frequent combination of images with text. Each of her projects are seen as a chapter in a vast overall volume of references and echoes, in which she often blurs the boundaries between the intimate and the public, reality and fiction, art and life. Her work orchestrates an unveiling of reality both her own and that of others, while allocating a controlled part of this reality to chance, where ones inherent sensibilities and responses play a role within the revelations of her works. Both her conceptual frameworks and documentation style I draw immediate interest and intriguement towards, as she plays with repetitive motion photography to capture the enactment of the live.

Sophie Calle – Conceptual artist, photographer, movie director

Vito Acconci was initially interested in radical poetry, but by the late 1960s, he began creating Situationist-influenced performances in the street or for small audiences that explored the body and public space, often involving crossing boundaries between public and private and real world and art world. In the late 1970s, he turned to sculpture, architecture and design, greatly increasing the scale of his work, developing projects that frequently embraced participation, change and playfulness. His documentation style embraces a direct interest towards intrinsic human behaviours and movement patterns by writing detailed notes, capturing motion photography and analysing ones responses to his artistic propositions. Playful and interactive qualities showcased in his works allow for strong public participation, engagement and connection. His documentation style draws a recognisable aesthetic and methodology in which I wish to draw upon as a continuation into my own project and site analysis.

Vito Acconci – Performance, video and installation artist, whose diverse practice eventually included sculpture, architectural design, and landscape design.

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