Wednesday, 28 October 2009

PROJECTS: More mouths...

Here are the other faces I used, along with my own mouth to try to form the generic shapes for each of the 18 symbols.
Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
As my idea could potentially work, it in a bias account if I use my own mouth shapes for the work, as I am quite an expressive speaker. I decided to photograph an average of 4 people so that the shapes would be more generic and an accurate reading.

I got the testers to say the 18 facial appearances of the visible sounds. The test proved to me that as individuals we have very different facial features. Some people speak differently due to their accents, how much they move their lips and expression.

The tests did prove to be an overall account and I'm happy with the results. I have know taken them and traced each mouth shape so that I can form a generic shape. This then will enable me to take them onto the computer to arrange colour and layout to distinguish the different shapes.

The colours look really cool, John Walsh recommend a book to me called,
Type and typography. I have requested it out of the library but some one has got it.
Ive looked it up on Amazon and its like £50 so hurry up who evers got it!!

I cannot wait to take them onto the computer and who knows maybe other media like screen printing or I stop motion could work.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

PROJECT: Photo-shoot

Advice from Hitch has really been helpful, he has directed me into a direction that could possibly be as far away from my comfort zone as possible. But it is all good. This is what it is all about, I'm learning new skills and areas that I'm actually quite good at. I already love to research and get to grips with the concept of an idea but to actually make something with the research is another level for me.

The plan is to document different people speaking the 18 symbols that are visible in the English Language. From this I will be able to form a generic set of shapes that I can use to further this idea. The routes and possibilities for my idea are endless and I'm prepared that experimentation may take me in different directions than intended.

My goal at the minute is to photography four people to get an average.
Recording them saying the 18 symbols including:

Here is my photo shoot that I did over the weekend. I played around with the colours of my face as I wanted to take exact pictures rather than alter them on photoshop. The bold colours would also highlight the main shapes, as its the interior shape of the mouth I'm most interested in.

A sneaky picture of me preparing for the photo-shoot.

I painted my face white, with black lips.
The shapes are well defined.

Black face with red lips.

It felt like Halloween but I had fun, it was tricky to get the positioning but I did it!
The shapes are more defined which means that Ill have a more precise recording.

PROJECT: Silence

My idea to try to create a new visual language based on the shapes created by the mouth when speaking had developed and now has become about mapping these shapes in response to our convention alphabet.. Through my research, I came across a book called 'Lip reading made easy where I found the discovery that there are 18 visible shapes created by the mouth in the English language. These shapes relate to how the letters look not read, so that if you are deaf or hard of hearing you can understand a conversation.

This idea has stemmed from the concept of having a conversation face to face, when you take away the sound what is created? The face, neck and body language of a person is very important to how we speak but for my idea theres are too many elements, so I have decided to concentrate on the mouth shape alone.

When you take away the sound, you are left with shapes. These shapes have a meaning but in my research have never been visually mapped, but they are represented by a symbol.
For example:
  • The sound is a long e, as in the word 'we', the facial appearance is a narrow mouth that is simplified into the symbol 'na'.

The 18 visible shapes take the facial appearances different positions the mouth forms when pronouncing words/letters. What I have found is that these visible shapes can be graphically visualised and have the potential to have a function within speech therapy.

Mack told me to look at Samuel Beckett 'Not I'.

The mouth tells a story of a 70 year woman whom is talking about an experience that happened many years ago. The mouth speaks very fast but it is memorising to watch.
The expression of erratic movements of the mouth confuse the naked eye, but it fascinates me.

My idea is very different from this video but my idea is not logical or factual but it is an experiment into understanding how non conventional language could be used within our society.

The shapes which I plan to experiment with are part of a visual narrative that is neither speech nor written words but something between the middle.

Ive also been researching into information grahics, the book Visual Research has been a great beginning to understanding design that maps the idea graphically.

Alison Barnes is a fantastic conceptual designer.

These are great as projects that could benefit my own idea.

FILMS: The diving bell and the butterfly.

The film is a true story based on a successful editor of Vogue Magazine, Jean Dominique Bauby suddenly as the age of 43 he has a massive stroke which has left him with 'Locked in syndrome'. This means his body is paralyzed but he has full functioning of his brain. He is trapped within his own body. The film is quite abstract but there are more representations within the film.
The film for me was quite personal, strokes are very common in my own family and it touched my heart deeply. I find communication a major part of my personality and it was reassuring to know that even thought he was paralyzed it was his self preservation that allowed him to look past self pity and achieve something. The film was from the viewpoint of Jean Do, that meant you were even more consumed within his existence and the feelings he was going through.
With the help of fantastic therapists he was able to communicate by blinking, he even wrote a book whilst in the hospital which showed immense determination. Although he died 10 days after the book had been published he had already achieved so much. Was he almost holding on, then finally he let himself go? I hope he did.
As part of the Silence project I am working on, this film didn't directly relate to my idea but it proved to myself that communication is a massive language, through our evolution and with the most difficult conditions we can communicate on many levels

His therapist who helped him develop a communication based on blinking to the letters of the alphabet to speak a word. It also shows that love and devotion play a large role in keeping someone alive and to pursue their own goals.


As part of the project set over summer I had done alot of research about this film, so I did have some expectations but the more times you watch it suddenly you realise what sections you missed.
I have to say I did thoroughly enjoy this film, it took you back to a time that I am not aware of, it allowed us to be transformed and thrown in with the boys, in their world of dreary school life. The sights that they expected and the surreal visions of what life could be like. The film is associated with the 1960s counterculture movement, portraying an ultra conservative military type school run in the old English style where there was no room for individuality.

This is the end scene where the boys retaliate against the school on Founders Day.
Lasting around 10minutes it is a powerful ending that you have to empathize with the main characters to understand why are they doing it. I love the fact that the end music is the piano of classical church songs that probably would have tormented them their whole lives.

The main character Mick Travis played by Malcolm McDowell, couldn't have been a better choice. His mannerism played a superb role and I think the film wouldn't have been the same without him. His eyes, face and body language throughout the whole film made you connect with the character and you could grasp his sense of freedom that he so badly wanted.
There are many surreal moments within the film, not to mention the mix of black and white with colour. Supposedly there is no meaning for this other than they ran out of money. But look how well it suits the film.
The main moment of the film for me is the surreal naked, animal fight in the cafe between Travis and his girl. Totally unexpected and it flutters between worlds of real and fake reality. I loved it, the reason behind it I'm not totally aware but it seems to add to the non-discript element of the whole film!

FILMS: Rollerball.

As part of the KINO4 film night, Johnny Hardstaff picked this inspirational film, as the first film. I had never heard of this nor its background so I was open to anything and everything.

So, whats it about?
Made in 1975 it looks outdated in parts, its about visual communication. A sebversive film about manipulation in the corporate world, in terms of who we are and how we live. It highlights how media is used as a weapon and how violence is used as a distraction.

The game Rollerball, is ultra violent sport with more than gruesome, explicit scenes that I think I might have needed to be prepared for. The game, a metaphor for manipulation shows James Caan as the biggest star in the world, but he's also a thinking man, and when the corporation which owns his team wants him to retire, he refuses, wanting to know first why they'd want him to retire when he's playing at his best.

He plays an incredible part, proving to himself that he will not be beaten and as a character you really feel for him, even though he is crushed by every aspect of his life he will still win.

I thought the film was well directed, the art direction followed every angle and the design of the 1970's is obviously outdated now but it was great to see the interior of the houses.
It made me consider how media plays an important role in our society and are we really controlled by it? What should this say to us? Even the classical music is baded on manipulation, but manipulating the audience to tense and expect the unexpected. The beginning scenes are a clear example of this.
It is definately a must see film.

Liverpool City and Fact Gallery

Us ladies in Liverpool

Liverpool & Around

Whilst in the city we went for a walk round (really we were trying to find a gallery but then time ran out) and we came across the Cathedral, I didn't realise but a city is only allowed one cathedral but Liverpool has two, we stumbled across the modern one.

It is a funny looking building, mainly built in concrete it looked an eye sore when viewed from far away but up close it has certain qualities that are beautiful. The architecture formed many different lines and patterns when taking photos, but the scale of the building wasn't properly seen until inside the building.

It had beautiful array of colours from the many stained glass windows that allowed light to come in. It was shaped in a large circle with access to walk all the way round, there were many different rooms off the walkway that people could explore or get guidance.

There was also this scary looking plaque on the wall, very freaky but lovely to see as the light shone down on the evil looking goblin man thing!

Here is a picture of the Albert docks from inside.
The Tate is on the left.

FACT Gallery
Fact (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Gallery is based in the
centre of the city, it is combo of a gallery, cinema bar and cafe.

The sound before you make it by Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey.
This is a sculptural flip book in which miniature zombies are brought to life through the flashing of a strobe light. The work use 19Th century zoetrope optical toy with Michael Jackson's Thriller music video. At first I didn't really understand that it is a circle of repetition which loops relentlessly, but it was sooo cool. These little men dancing in a continuous spin whilst the theme tuned played. It was a new way of taking media into art and the endless possibilities it can have.

This was a scary man painted onto another exhibition within the gallery. Unnoticed at first it was Stacie who spotted the lurking figure. The room was in blackness but the invigilator allowed us to take pics with flash, its here you see his real purpose!!

Gallery: A day in Liverpool

There had been a previous exhibition I had wanted to go to in Liverpool but I had sadly missed the date, but a day trip to see other ehibitions was on the agenda. My 'yellow banana' (my car) took the four of us on a bright but chilly Saturday of the 17 Th Oct, where we first went to the Tate, as obviously this would take the longest!

Liverpool is an undiscovered city for myself, I've been here on days out but don't think Ive ever really appreciated the amount it has to offer to a designer myself. Its full of grand architecture, hidden history and a vast scale of galleries that could take several days to go round. As we only had one day I definitely want to go back to see some more exhibitions and the city itself.

Tate Liverpool: The gallery had three exhibitions on, but we only went to see two.
Firstly Mark Rothko's 'The Seagram Murals'.
As always, I hate to read the description of the work before seeing the work, as I feel it overwhelms my own judgement and opinion. On this occasion, his paintings I did not quite understand, I didnt quite know what I was meant to experience. There was a sense of darkness, depression maybe? Reminding me of being alone, with the illusion that it was moving as I was becoming absorbed into it.
When reading the description I couldn't have been more correct.

For 'The Seagram Murrals' Rothko was influenced by Michelangelo's Laurention Library in Florence, with its blind windows and oppressive atmosphere it was 'Just that kind of feeling I'm looking for'. Rothko wanted the viewer to feel trapped in a room where all the doors and windows are bricked up, so all that they can do is butt their heads forever against the wall. It was an experience of compact space and oppression that disturbed me.

First Floor: DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture.
Curated by Michael Craig Martin.
There were three rooms to explore; Sculpture the physical world,
Sculpture remixed and Performing Sculpture.
The first room had selected works on display chosen by Craig Martin, whom I love very much anyway. He aimed to challenge conventional notions of sculpture by exploring the relationships to a range of processes and practises within art today, and how they engage with modern life. He selected art that makes people talk and some of the well known artists work on display included Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and many more.
All the rooms were filled with amazing artists and work that did relate to the project I'm currently working on Silence. Ive had to chose my favourite artists, otherwise the list would be endless, so here goes:

Michelangelo Pistoletto - The door

Richard Long - South bank circle

Jeff Koons - The balls represent death.
The ultimate state of being.

Sir Edward Paolozzi - Michelangelo's 'David'
This reminded me and Stacie of a miniature concrete statue
(like the pyramids in Egypt)

Rene Magritte - The future of statues

Carl Andre - 144 Magnesium square

The work that really did influence me was the work of artists Helen Chadwick, John Coplans and Charles Ray. They were personal, and really made me respond to the imagery, I felt like I was interrupting, stumbling in on something from an outer perspective point of view.
Absolutely amazing imagery.

LECTURES: Libby Scarlett & Nicola Rowlands

Libby and Nicola both graduated last year from D&AD and achieved firsts in their degrees. I remember both girls, they seemed to be all the time and very hard working which is to no surprise as they are fantastic inspirations to me. As part of a mini-lecture series Mack thought it would be great to see past experiences of how third year went with them, and we could learn from them.

Libby Scarlett: is a very, very thorough conceptual designer. Her work is meticulous in every shape and form, but beautifully well presented and visually eye catching. I find it interesting to look at and to see her background behind her ideas, as like myself we maybe similar in the way we work. I did find her to be not so genuine as Nicola, she wasn't really giving us a true picture of what she did, rather she told us how to act whereas Nicola just was herself, told it like it was. I think the latter I preferred more..(can I say that?)

Nicola Rowlands: is a designer who works very differently to myself but I could respond to her work. She is a mixture of all things good and great, able to work and design to any brief, always eager and very much able to produce work that is inspiring. Her work is somewhat undefined, but is now realising that she can play her own ball when it comes to design. Her recent work for 'Don't Panic' was the winner and I cant wait to see it around Manchester. I feel like she's done alot, more experienced and able to tell true accounts of life experiences that definitely helped me. Some advice from her was:
"Be nice to your teachers"
"Write genuine letters to people"
"Don't be wacky, get an online presence"
"Make tea"
"Be yourself"
"Blend in"

Some great advice, I will take it all in!

I cant wait to see more graduated third years in the future.
(I still cant believe were in third year!!)
And I hope I have a fantastic year like they have???

LECTURES: Johnny Hardstaff

Before Johnny came to give us a lecture I had already done a little research about him so kinda new what to expect, but didn't realise how blown away I would be about him...His work is truly amazing, such an inspiration to a new designer who wants to succeed and achieve life goals.
He was to show us his 'underwear', an insight into how he has worked, what influences him and where he's at now.

What I liked about him is that he looks at things that culturally interest him, his work is massively influenced by what happens in our culture for example, imperialism, antiquity, good and bad elements of the English.
"Graphic reforms and structures"
He has worked on some major brands including Sony, Orange and Johnnie Walker.

"The commercial work is exciting and the movement is to re-purpose it"

He has a love, hate relationship with huge corporations but loves to make commercials. My particular favourite (well all of his work is amazing) are the Sony High Definition adverts that like himself said "what a fantastic way to explore and play". He refers to graphic design as a sensation, something that you cannot articulate, it is a weapon that you cannot argue with.
His work has lots of references to other metaphors of daily life and I find his way of thinking might be quite abstract but he is hitting the spot. Take the Orange adverts of more is good, what is it intending to do? It says plenty, a literal summary of the overflowing that you cannot contain. He also said that Orange is about corporate manipulation, but what isn't?

After the lecture he came to talk to us third years in the studio about how we as designers have so much to offer, his main critical advice for me was that I should do what I want to do, be who I want to be. There's so much to offer at university that I need to use these resources now and do work that interests me. I have always felt a little miss-understood, not quite understanding what I want to do within this creative industry but he really made me see clearly what it is I should do. He is a major influence and I thank him for just being there. He is genuine and 'normal', someone who we all can connect with. I look forward to working with him in the future.
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