UNIT 2 Assessment

1. Present, in the final exhibition, a resolved body of creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge and understanding

– I wrote a Video tutorial compiling tips from 4 reference books about meaningful cinematography and editing tecniques for low-budget short films and video. It focuses on the concepts of treatment (that is, the subjective/philosophical/moral/ political viewpoint adopted by the filmmamker) of a subject (the raw events of the plot, regardless of the subjective googles chosen by the filmmakers) and establising film mood, and the technical choices that contribute to this.

– Then I used the technical knowledge learnt while writing this tutorial to make new and improved edits of ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Disciplinary Institutions’. The new versions of both videos also incorporate newly shot footage, and the editing is designed to trap the viewer inside a subjective experience. The ‘Disciplinary Institutions’ video was shown at a commercial gallery in London and the ‘Ghost House’ video will be screened at Optica festival (Madrid, 16-18 September). I also made a short video of Woodlawn House, an empty mansion with ornamented decor, with an mood inspired by ‘Last year in Marienbad’. This is a work in progress because I do not have enough footage yet, and need to find similar places to make a longer composite video (both ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Disciplinary Institutions’ are composite containing footage from several actual places with the same look and concept).

– For the photography side of my practice, I wrote a Technical Tutorial about Digital Photograph Post-Processing Workflow (in Photoshop) compiling tips from 2 reference books, then applied the techniques I learned to enhance my photographs (the photographs were shot in Unit 1 but post-processed in Unit 2). Practical examples of processing for the photographs requiring the most post-processing are detailed on my blog, and the whole series of photographs are visible on my website (Ghost House and Disciplinary Institutions). I also experimented with HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing even though I decided in the end to use a different, more creatively appropriate processing.

– Before our show, I wrote a Round up of other MA Digital Art/Media degree shows containing critics’ opinions about the way they were presented to try and find useful tips about what to do and the common mistakes to avoid in our own show. Photographs of my space at the MA Digital Art 2011 show are shown on the blog. The Ghost House and Disciplinary Institutions videos loop one after the other on an Imac screen, and I have curated 7 Disciplinary Institutions and 15 Ghost House photographs on the walls.

– Finally I made a website to showcase my work in a more organised, succint and professional manner. I also made most of the MADA show website (with some help from Jonathan).

2. Analyse and reflect coherently upon your own practice and its context in both written and verbal forms

– An analysis of my current practice can be seen in the first part of my Written paper.

– In depth articles on my blog contextualise my photography practice within the subjective documentary genre and my video practice within experimental film and traditional video-art, especially the genre of ‘psychodrama’.

– In a blog article, I do a comparison of the technical choices of several photographers treating the same subject and discuss how their technical choices are linked to their subjective treatment and interpretation of their subject. I then study more in depth the example of
Robert Polidori and explain in what measure I share his concerns and process.

– Because I could not access the audioconference from my day-job and had a problem with my Firewire cable at the time, my Pecha-kucha presentation for the symposium was text and still images. However the
comments judged the presentation ‘clear’ despite my limited participation.

3. Summarise your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing Personal and Professional Development.

– Future plans for my art practice are detailed in the second part of my Written paper.

– For professional development, I applied to Phds or equivalent (at UAL, Brighton University and Le Fresnoy). Although I was invited to 2 interviews (UAL and Le Fesnoy), I was not accepted anywhere, but the application process gave me the opportunity to research cognitive film theory (for UAL).

– Developing a project proposal for Le Fresnoy led me to contextualise my practice within digital moving image. Researching artists who use digital technologies (such as sensors and randomness-generating algorithm) together with moving image and share my themes of predilection, led me to think about how I could go about using more cutting-edge digital techniques in future work while still focusing on my non-technology-related themes. This is one of my future plan detailed in my Written paper.

– The second possibility detailed in my Written paper is to make a narrative short film where the cinematic mood would be carefully crafted to reflect the character’s subjective experience. This is also a project originally developped for my Fresnoy application, that I now would like to pursue independently. I started working on the script.

– My third and last plan for my personal art practice is simply to continue my abandoned buildings photography and video practice with both ongoing projects and new ones (abandoned cinemas and theatres). The practical possibility for exploring abandoned buildings is limited in the UK, that is why I want to take my practice in new directions as well, so as not to be prevented from producing work by external circumstances I have no control on (inaccesible buildings).

Apart from my personal art practice, I also started thinking about how I could use the skills gained in this MA commercially. My two goals when I started this MA were to develop my art practice, but also to try and gain useful skills to get a better day-job. I am not sure yet what type of job would be a good match, but I explored a few possibilities.

– Teaching/art workshops/adult education: I wrote a 10 000 word Video tutorial compiling tips from 4 reference books, 1550 word Photography tutorial explaining shooting tips, general principle of exposure and specialised tips for architectural photography compiled from two reference books and a 2500 word tutorial about Digital Photograph Post-Processing Workflow (in Photoshop). I wrote these 3 documents as structured course-type pdfs because I wanted to train myself to write structured teaching material usable by other people.

– I added to my website a section of documentary and architectural photography and video in order to showcase a possible commercial development for my practice (shooting promotional for interior design, publications, architects, monuments and such). This section is still incomplete and only contains a few pictures. My documentary photographs were used in a blog about outsider art environments.

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