Thursday, 6 June 2019

3 D p r i n t i n g i s c o o l

Got a test done to see how the 3D printed origami unicorn would turn out and it looks great! Definitely going to proceed with the work, perhaps do a couple more tests to see what sizes would be best.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

p e t i t e p r o p p r o g r e s s

We’ve made some more movements with regards to the work about small props within cinema and the value/symbolism they hold. The work will be reproductions (3D printed) of props connected by a sprue and runner system (similar to scale-model kits). There will be several sprues with specific props within each; they will either be related by concept or physicality. By reducing them to the same material they will become shadows of their original forms. The films these objects originate from are a stylized fantasy, constructed by airbrushing reality into a narrow and illusory ideal of perfection. Therefore, by rendering them in grayscale resin they’ve been stripped back to only communicating their narrative importance within the film. There’s a great quote which sums up part of our thinking “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.” In Praise of Shadows, Jun'ichirĊ Tanizaki 

In terms of the different sprues, an example of a conceptual link would be small props which are all about the nature of reality; the totems in inception (the spinning top, chess piece, die, and poker chip), the small origami figures in Blade Runner (unicorn, chicken, matchstick man), the business cards in American Psycho. A physical link would be keys from films; The Mondoshawan Tomb Key (The Fifth Element), The Hatch Key (Lost), The Copper Bones Key (The Goonies), The Key to Erebor (The Hobbit), The Key to Dead Man’s Chest (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), The Meerschaum Pipe (National Treasure), The Winged Keys (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), The Fleur De Lis Bank Key (The Da Vinci Code), and The Key to Zathura (Zathura).

Thursday, 23 May 2019

m o r e y o u t u b e r s b e i n g y o u t u b e r s

We’ve come back to a couple of ideas we had a while ago (when we were in New York so around 3 years ago). The first is to make a video of a YouTuber presenting their college portfolio. It’s a fairly touchy subject as the original videos are only kids talking about something they enjoy doing, so we don’t want to appear like big bullies making fun of teenagers. However, the videos are hilarious and are a very identifiable slice of contemporary teenagers; 99% of the work is painting and a high percentage of those paintings are self-portraits where they have chosen to depict themselves as far more muscular/good-looking/generally more attractive than they appear in the video. Due to the reasons we’ve already laid out, this will most likely need to be original content as opposed to a found footage film. It would be similar to the apology video and the Mandela Effect video; develop a character and a script by watching as many videos as we can find on the subject and insert some of our own material into it. We could also get portraits of the actor made in similar styles to those of the original videos. 

The other idea is about college professors reviewing college portfolios (for money!) on YouTube. We’re not sure how this might manifest itself but it’s definitely another strange slice of the art on YouTube. At one point, we were going to send our own work in to be reviewed but now aren’t too sure if that’s what we’re interested in. Perhaps it could be another character in the YouTuber universe and we could make the video from scratch using an actor and fictionalised paintings or a new specific body of work but it doesn’t feel right yet. Need to let it simmer for a little longer.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

p a i n t i n g i s t h e n e w b l a c k

This week we've listened to a podcast which gave us some unexpected ideas. It's called Everything is Alive and it's unscripted interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. It's an excellent idea for a podcast (wish we'd thought of it!) And the episode we listened to was an interview with a painting. He's a painting of President William Howard Taft, but for us it was more the idea or concept of a painting. Throughout the interview the painting says all sorts of amazing stuff such as "no one ever looks at me, just was I'm depicting" - a very astute observation. At one point the interviewer even attempts to draw the painting and ends up drawing Taft instead (much to the painting's frustration). 

It gave us a whole bunch of ideas (some more fleshed out than others) but all of them were to do with painting. The initial ideas we had were about the personification of a painting; what does a painting see. The work would then be paintings from the view of the subjects in the paintings, produced in the style of the paintings themselves. Another idea around this theme was paintings of moments that happen around famous paintings. Subjects within paintings must observe huge political decisions being made. The podcast also discussed unfinished and stolen paintings, the most famous being the unfinished painting of George Washington. Our idea was then to commission someone to paint only unfinished portion of the painting on a canvas the same size as the original.

The part about stolen/missing artworks made us think about painting the spot where Barbara Hepworth sculpture was stolen from; the work would appear like a generic landscape painting but would in fact be a painting of absence. On a similar note, we wanted to make some frames that have Windowlene cream on the glass (similar to windows of buildings that are getting redecorated) and the frame is same dimensions as particular stolen artworks. We also wanted to make something about the queue to see space where Mona Lisa was stolen from. The Louvre was, unintentionally, exhibiting the first conceptual installation in the history of art: the absence of a painting.

Some more general painting ideas were to commission portraits of us and then use the paintings to commission another and so on and eventually the image will deteriorate. We also wanted to produce some paintings of locations/scenes within films that are about reality. The dream locations/sets in Inception, biblical boat journey in The Truman Show, girl with the red dress scene The Matrix. 

A very early idea is also to reproduced the fictional painting from. The Grand Budapest Hotel titled Boy with Apple. Fun going down the rabbit hole a bit with this - hopefully some of them get all the way to made!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

i n t i m a t e f i l m p r o p s

The studio is now finished! For the time being anyway, it’s now definitely a work space as opposed to a space to work in. It’s quite bizarre how it changes your attitude to making; suddenly you’ve got all these ideas that you could work on slowly and not need to rush them in one or two days. Having a studio enables you to just chip away at work and it doesn’t get in the way of your life. safe to say, we’re enjoying it! 

Now, speaking of work, we’ve been thinking more about certain objects in cinema and the value/symbolism those things hold. From working on the chess video (still in progress) we began thinking about the different chess sets in film and how the small differences in the pieces have significance within the story. The relationship between the players and the pieces is very close due to the scale; they are constantly looking down at them and pick them up and hold them in their hands – it’s very intimate. This caused us to think of other intimate, smaller objects within cinema, ones that still carry a lot of narrative weight but don’t necessarily steal focus (e.g. the ring in lord of the rings). Some that we thought were most significant were the totems in inception (the spinning top, chess piece, die, and poker chip), the small origami figures in Blade Runner (unicorn, chicken, matchstick man), the blue box in Mulholland Drive, the business cards in American Psycho. 

This particular selection of props are ones which are all about the nature of reality. In Inception, the characters use the objects to make sure they’re not still dreaming; in Blade Runner Gaff uses origami to taunt Deckard by subtly referring to Deckard as an intricate fake; 

in Mulholland Drive the blue box represents the repressed memories and awareness of reality that Diane must seal away in order to construct her fantasy world; and in American Psycho the business cards are a physical nod to Patrick Bateman’s minimal grip on reality – all the business cards are identical with only slight variations in the texture of the paper stock and the font lettering yet with each new font, colour, embossment, he shudders and squirms with inadequacy. 

We had some thoughts to 3D print some of these, the origami and the totems especially but haven’t done so yet. Part of me thinks I should just do it and see what it’s like and potentially it’ll help with whatever needs to happen next…The blue box and its associated key brought on more thoughts of keys in films and we’ve got a big list below:

Alice in Wonderland Key, The Mondoshawan Tomb Key (The Fifth Element), The Kingdom Key (Kingdom Hearts), The Hatch Key (Lost), The Copper Bones Key (The Goonies), The Cupboard Key (Indian in the Cupboard), The Secret Garden Key, The Key to Erebor (The Hobbit), The Key to Dead Man’s Chest (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), The Meerschaum Pipe (National Treasure), The Winged Keys (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), The Fleur De Lis Bank Key (The Da Vinci Code), Cinderella’s Key (Cinderella), The Golden Scarab Beetle (Aladdin), Hellboy’s Arm (Hellboy), The Hunt for Red October Key, Kida’s Crystal (Atlantis: The Lost Empire), The Silver Key (The Silver Key), The Skeleton Key (The Skeleton Key), The Staff of Ra (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark), and The Key to Zathura (Zathura). 

We had a thought that reproducing these and having them on a big key ring or in a bowl or left in a plinth of ledge would feel more complete but that’s only in the very initial stages.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

c h e s s i n t h e m o v i e s

Working on a new film which is basically clips of people getting 'check mate' in films. Chess is a very versatile game and can have many meanings when brought into a film. The most common use is for an analogy, usually to associate something with patience or precision (see Independence Day, 1996). It can also be used to show a character’s intelligence (see 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968), or a battle between two people (see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, (2011). Another popular use is to illustrate a person’s sacrifice (see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 2001). You can also allow the chess pieces themselves to serve as metaphors for what’s happening in the film (see X-Men, 2000). And sometimes it can even do all these at once (see The Wire: Season 1, Episode 3, 2002).

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

m a k i n g s o m e c h a n g e s

We’ve been thinking a lot about the point of this blog and there have been a few times in the recent months that it’s felt more like a chore than a purposeful activity. This is probably because we feel it’s necessary to post every week and we had a specific idea of what we thought was necessary/important to post. We’re in the process of re-assessing these parameters; we’re now going to be posting about any ideas (big or small) regardless of whether or not they’re going to make it into the full-fledged artwork category. We hope that this will keep our ideas fresh and the art-making part of our brains sharp. These might be single lines of text or a bunch of bullet points but it will encourage us to use the space as a sketchbook – making notes and building on ideas. It could also be a single YouTube video or image we’ve seen that is accompanied by the reason we find it noteworthy. Let’s see how it goes…