250MC – Idea Development

After I started experimenting with video, I had trouble deciding what I was trying to show from this project. I liked the idea of having the viewer immersed in their own space, but after creating a few more test videos this idea seemed unappealing. I found that the video worked well in placing the viewer in their own space, but the final outcome proved dull and uninspiring. I wanted to create something that wasn’t just dependant on one part, for example the audio in this project wouldn’t have worked on its own, and the same thing with the silent video clips.

Therefore I took inspiration from one of my favourite artists, Roy Lichtenstein. I love Lichtenstein’s work, as I like the use of colours and how unique the images are. The are easily recognisable as comic book style images which while making them controversial in the world of art, makes them entertaining to view. They reach out to the youth within many people, but still retain enough sophistication to be viewed as priceless works of art. Examples of his work can be found here: http://www.lichtensteinfoundation.org/

I did some other minor research and came across images produced by legendary pop art artist Andy Warhol. These images were of a similar style to his paintings, with repetition being the key aspect in most of them. These two artists reminded me of graphic novels and comic books, which contain very unique drawings that could be displayed as pieces of art by their own merit. I came across this site while doing a quick web search: http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php and have decided I will incorporate my previous idea of using ambient audio recordings, but create graphic novel/sequential art style images in photoshop and have them displayed instead of the video clips. This allows me to combine my passion for photography as well as digital editing and manipulation, and keeps in mind my original thought of the viewer being ‘immersed in their own space’. The images on their own will be interesting enough to be viewed alone, but the overlayed audio will give a different dimension to the images as a whole. They will invite imagination from the viewer, as if they are creating their own unique story from the world around them.

I was unsure how I would demonstrate a narrative throughout my piece, and so looked for photographers that also use video in their work. I came across a photographer called Danfung Dennis, who regularly photographs US Marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He created a video titled ‘Hell and Back Again’ which documents a Marine’s struggle with the conflict, and his resulting recovery after injury. The trailer for this can be found here: http://www.danfungdennis.com/ While this photographer’s work doesn’t necessarily relate to the work I’m doing, and isn’t strictly site-specific work, I really like the concept of his film and how he’s able to merge two narrative in one. His photographs also work well in telling a story, which is thanks to his detailed captions and information accompanying them. I couldn’t insert examples due to copyright on his website.

I chose to use Map 6, as I believe this has the most diverse architecture and history. The area contains both the old and new cathedral, a large number of the old Priory buildings including St Michaels tower, and some of the oldest houses in Coventry. There is also a very modern element to map six as many of the brand new university buildings are situated within that area, as well as buildings that date back to the 60s and 70s. I like the contrast of history that this city has to offer, and that is one of the things I hope to explore within this topic by combining the relatively new art of digital manipulation with the centuries old art of photography. Below are some of my initial test images:

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