Moshe Ladanga

The Rules of the Game (MADA 08 Final Proposal)

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Project Proposal

Moshe Ladanga
Camberwell College of Arts
MADA 1
November 2, 2007

I. Working Title: The Rules of the Game
A visual discourse based on Michel Foucault’s examination of relationships as power relations (cited in Moss.1998: p54).

II. Collaboration

A. Aim
We intend to challenge the current modes of artistic collaboration by juxtaposing two independent visions within a singular framework. We will individually create visual media compositions that will engage in an audio-visual interpretation of discourse. The final work will be a visceral experience, engaging the audience in an immersive environment.

B. Framework
The concept for the juxtaposition and interplay of the individual works is based on Michel Foucault’s theory of discourse as a medium of power (Foucault. 2002) and its implications on relationships; that all relationships are negotiations of power (Strega and Brown.2005). The purpose of the experiment is also informed by Foucault’s theories in his later books, specifically The Care of the Self, in which he states,

It is not the case that the new importance of marriage and the couple, together with a certain redistribution in political roles, gave rise, in what was essentially a male ethics, to a new problematization of the relation to self? These developments may very well have occasioned, not a withdrawal into the self, but a new way of conceiving oneself in one’s relation to others (Foucault. 1990: p71)

C. Methodology

methodology.jpg

The methodology diagram was inspired by Lev Manovich’s ideas of hybridity and its implicit DNA structure (Manovich. 2006). The process will be a collision of ideas through the confrontation and manipulation of each other’s visual media.

III. Individual

Objectives

I intend to create sets of moving image clips, which will have visual elements that will remain in a digital state. The exchange of imagery will be an exchange of data, and the degree of manipulation will be at the level of digital composition.
For the compositions, I am going to use certain pictorial and textural elements of the modern city, and approaching the gathering of data with a sense of experimentation as well, it being a way to examine my visual perception.
In response to the images that I gather, I will execute a series of drawings, specifically videotaped acts of drawing; these images will also be composite elements for the moving image clips. In the same vein as the gathering of pictorial data of the city, the videotaped drawing acts will allow me to examine my perception, albeit in the traditional way.
Reviewing the skills I share with my collaborative partner, I plan to use software that we are familiar with, which is Final Cut Pro. It is also the schemata of the interface that will allow us to visually create and manipulate the images, since the compositions will move, transform and develop through time. The format and logic of the time line, with its layers for video and audio also have a metaphorical fidelity to the process of how I compose moving images.
To explore other ways to respond to the visual discourse, I will study the function of sound in the moving image. Ableton Live will enable me to manipulate and deconstruct sound from footage, construct loops and possibly integrate them into the moving image compositions as elements themselves.
I will also explore animation as an alternative response, which will be a platform for mark-making on the images themselves. I initially intended to learn Flash, but Adobe Photoshop is the piece of software that is more adept at the simulation of traditional mark-making techniques.
Recognizing that certain elements of the responses have the potential to be mediated using the platform of Puredata, I will explore the possibility of constructing a set of values, specifically the tonal values of the images in the exchange. I will be generating black & white imagery exclusively, and the contrast of monochrome and color values in the final work does imply a set of parameters that can be integrated in the evolution of the discourse.
As a filmmaker, digital technology has been the medium that allowed me to explore the alternative possibilities of the moving image. I intend to develop a professional approach to this practice, and the skills that I gain through experimentation and research will refine my skills and deepen my understanding of the digital medium.

Rationale

http://wwwhomes.doc.ic.ac.uk/~svb/Schiele/HandOnderKinG.jpeg

When I see myself entire, I shall have to see myself and know what I want, not only to know what is happening within me but also to what extent I have the ability to look, what means are mine, what enigmatic substances I am made of and of how much of that greater part that I perceive and have hitherto perceived in myself (Egon Sheile, cited in Steiner. 2004: p12).

In my art practice, drawing is the means in which I explore concepts of identity, and the works of Egon Schiele influence my studies of the body as gestures of self.

But the study of the self is a problematic one in the context of contemporary art. Postmodernism, the dominant currency of the London art world, is suffused with the language of theory, of discourse. It is a paradox, because Postmodernism at the onset was a condition of freedom, but in being co-opted by the galleries and institutions, the strategies of openness and subversion have become disconnected to what is was meant to do. Zygmant Bauman describes it as the result of competition, where

The stratifying power belongs now not so much to the artistic creations, as to the site in which they are viewed or purchased and the price they command. (Bauman. 1997:p101).

As an artist from the Philippines, I came with my own sensibilities, as well as my own preconceptions of art. With a certain naiveté, I began to analyze my work from this perspective, subjecting it to the process of deconstruction. The effect was immediate; I developed certain prejudices about my own process, almost hindering my efforts to achieve a clear vision of how I work.
To put it bluntly, I failed to acknowledge my difference, my individuality. Therefore what I intend to do in this project is to question these preconceptions, and to engage, challenge and even subvert the concept of discourse, in order to reveal what may lie beyond it, beyond the implicit relationship of power and knowledge (Foucault. 1969).
In this experiment, my personal aim is to develop an alternative language to express the self as an individual through digital means. Quite paradoxically, the machine, which in essence works with analogy and association (Landow. 1997:p10), is the medium that enables me to create compositions that will facilitate the dynamic interplay of images that I associate with power, specifically the city as a visual metaphor.
In contemporary art, The Light Surgeons are a collective of artists who investigate the relationship of the city to the individual. In their performances and films, they juxtapose the fragmentary narratives of individuals with images of the city, exposing the contradictions of these relationships. Their approach is site-specific, shooting and editing footage in the city where they are set to play in, and the gathered data is remixed during the performance in the city itself.

https://i0.wp.com/www.adobe.com/de/designcenter/thinktank/form_in_motion/images/tt_acodrington_4.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/www.pixelache.ac/2007/img/panvj-light-surgeons2003.jpg

Another contemporary collaboration with a similar approach is Cornford&Cross. In their most recent installation, The Abolition of Work, they examine the sociological and economical dimensions of a particular site, which is the town of Penzance in Cornwall. They focus on a potent visual symbol, the coin, and the material, copper, to create a network of analogies and associations about the site. The symbol of the coin, the materiality of the element, and even the process of creation itself became a commentary and a critique on the larger themes of economy and art. It recalls and affirms in a visual way Bob Black’s pamphlet, The Abolition of Work, hence the title.

Pennies David Cross sorting though the pennies

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a lucid conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. (Black. 1985)

It is in these contemporary collaborations that I situate my own practice, and by studying and observing their work, I hope to develop a philosophical and professional approach to my art.

Outcomes

For the final show, I plan to make an installation of the two films that engage in visual discourse. They would likely be projections that face each other, and we are currently studying the possibility of a third outcome that would result in either a projection of the two films mixed, or a projection of images that would be triggered by an interactive component- through motion detectors or spatial recognition, using Puredata or MaxMSP.
We also want to produce a DVD as part of the documentation of the project. It will contain the films, the drawings and photographs, and our recorded conversations which inform the nature of our collaboration.

Media

The installation would require at least 2 projectors, DVD players or laptops and a 4-speaker sound system. The projections would be on two opposing walls, and the space would need to be enclosed for the images to be fully seen.

Methodologies

In the gathering of images of the city, I will focus on the details, not on the overall structures. What I want to use for the compositions are the ‘vectors’ and as counterpoint, the ‘l’entre-deaux’ (Virilio. 2005). Using my video camera, the images will be captured in high contrast and will be in movement.
I will capture and assemble high-resolution freeze-frames of these pieces of footage into a mind-map, and analyze the associations between them. I initially planned to use images representing the city (buildings, roads, maps), but the associations would be predictable and generic. What I want to discover is how I identify with the city itself, not the symbols associated with it.
I will continue to draw studies of the human body and digitize them. I will explore processes of rendering motion, weight and volume in Photoshop and FinalCutPro.
I will also videotape my hand drawing on the floor with charcoal, with the camera in close-up and following the line. I’ll be wearing white surgical gloves in order to key them out in compositing. I plan to have 3 sessions to acquire a variety of strokes and movement.
I will then proceed to study the analogous relationships of form and meaning between the body studies, the videotaped strokes and the city detail footage and experiment with layering and compositing to create sequences for the discourse.
I made a few preliminary sketches of how the compositions would look like, and the concept behind these is the idea of hybridity in new media (Manovich. 2006) and the ‘locomotive body’ metaphors for progress (Virilio.2005: p43).

mosh-sketch01.jpg mosh-sketch02.jpg mosh-sketch03.jpg

These are going to be media compositions, where all elements will have movement. As projections, I am going to eliminate the frame and the compositions will be moving and transforming in a void.

For the visual discourse, I have a preliminary set of rules for my responses based on the Formation of Strategies (Foucault. 2002:p73-75).

1. Visualization of the points of diffraction through incompatibility (images are ‘imprinted’ on the other, rather than integrated)

incompatability-mosh.jpg

2. Integration of responses from the other (through desaturation and deconstruction of elements)

integration-mosh.jpg

3. Establishment of authority and desire (this can be twofold; my images can take over the two projections which will create a momentary void in the discourse, or the delayed mimicry of the other’s techniques, which will create a subtle correspondence)

authority.jpg

The frames were taken from our first experiment, and I identified certain key frames that illustrate each rule. The rules are preliminary, and I take it into account that they are subject to the evolution of the exchange, keeping in mind the DNA form in framework page.

We will also test these rules in the form of improvisational sessions using digital stills and Photoshop. We would evaluate the results with our weekly reflections and tutorials.

Risk assessment

For the shooting of footage, I will have to check out the logistical details of the buildings and roads that I choose to document, such as the general safety of the area, the permits I have to acquire, and if certain shots are physically difficult (high angle shot from the top of a building, horizontal shot from the middle of a road), I have to consider the use of equipment such as harnesses and jibs.
Reviewing OfCom’s rules and regulations, I shall limit my edit points in the final work to 9 frames per second. I will also have periodic reviews of my moving image compositions in the UAL Davies library where they have facilities for large-scale projection.
The installation for the final show will require multiple projectors, and a sound system. The cables and wires will require careful consideration of the space to ensure the safety of the viewers.

Timetable

MADA UNIT 1

  • November: Experimentation, Research, Submission of Project Proposal

o Nov 5: 1st video experiment
-Additional research: Camberwell Library
-Online chat for the MA forum
-View work of Detanico&Lain, Camberwell Main Building
-Formulation of the rules of engagement
o Nov 6: Research of possible locations in London for shoots
– blog reflection
-media composition in FinalCutPro
o Nov 7: Seminar for Puredata at Digital Arts Studio
-Exchange videos, edit partner’s video work
o Nov 8: Review and assessment of experiment,
– blog reflection
o Nov 9: Submit video work experiment for the MA forum
-Begin reviewing additional literature
-Work on illustrations
o Nov 10: 2nd video experiment, gathering additional visual material
o Nov 11:Write Project Proposal
o Nov 12:Exchange videos, edit partner’s video work
o Nov 14:Experiment Assessment, MA Forum
-Blog reflection
-Refine Project Proposal
o Nov 15:Drawing studies and Project Proposal Illustrations
o Nov 16:Finish Final Draft of Project Proposal
o Nov 19:Submit Project Proposal
o Nov 21:FT Crits, Present work and gather feedback
o Nov 23:Log and Assess video experiments with Partner.
-Make necessary adjustments.
-Individual review of techniques.
-Blog reflection
o Nov 24:3rd Video Experiment, gathering footage and research.
-Drawing studies
o Nov 25: 3rd Experiment, video exchange.
o Nov 26: Research for PGPD essay.
o Nov 27:3rd Experiment Assessment with partner
-Refine Techniques
-Blog reflection
o Nov 28:FT Tutorial and MA Lecture

o Nov 30:Reassessment of the rules of engagement and results of the experiments. Plans for 2nd round.

  • December: Adjustment of the Process (2nd Round of Experiments), Collation of All Visual and Written Research, Gathering of Additional Data

o Dec 1: Collate all visual research (drawings and experiments) and written research and assemble into a DVD
o Dec 3: Gather additional research material and organize results of all the work done including the blog.
o Dec 5: FT Assessments. Submit all records, drawings, and experiments on DVD
o Dec 7: 2nd round of experiments. Combining drawn media and images into media compositions.
o Dec 10: PGPD Research
o Dec 12:PGPD Outline
o Dec 14:Assessment of Experiments.
-Shoot 01 for city details
o Dec 15:Write PGPD Draft
o Dec 16:Gathering of additional research material for the project.
o Dec 19:Complete PGPD Final Draft

MADA UNIT 2

  • January: Submission of PGPD Essay, Continuation of the 2nd Round of Experiments, Further Research on the Project

o Jan 9: Submit PGPD essay
o Jan 10: Videotaped drawing sessions (Drawing Studio, Wilson Site)
o Jan 14: Continue 2nd round of experiments.
o Jan 16:Presentation of Work. Gather feedback.
o Jan 17:Assesment of the comments and recommendations. Make adjustments to the process. Additional research if necessary.
o Jan. 18: Shoot 02 city detail
o Jan 21:Learn necessary additional technical skills.

  • February: Refinement of the Process (3rd Round of Experiments), Deepening the Contextualization of the Work, Discussion Paper

o Assess all gathered material and create a refinement of the process.
o Shoot 03 of city detail, additional videotaped drawing sessions
o Begin the 3rd round of experiments.
o Further research on deepening the contextualization of the work.
o Write the Discussion Paper
o Assessment of the 3rd round of Experiments

  • March: Presentation Plans and Feasibility Assessment, Interim Project Progress Report, Future Plans

o Begin researching on the possible ways of presenting the work.
o Assess project feasibility. Make adjustments.
o Write the Interim Project Progress Report and Revised Project Proposal
o Discuss future plans.

MADA UNIT 3

  • April-June: Building the structure for the presentation, Organizing the show, Finalization of Output, Submission of Two Written Reports (Artist Statement and Reflection)

Bibliography:

Bauman, Z. (1997), Postmodernity and its Discontents, Cambridge: Polity Press
Black, B. (1986), The Abolition of Work and other Essays, Port Townsend: Loompanics Unlimited
Boyes, C. (2005), need to know? Body Language, London: Collins
Buchloh, B. ed. (2000), Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry: Essays on European and American Art from 1955-1975, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press
Druckey, P. ed. (1999), Ars Electronica Facing the Future, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press
Foucault, M. (1990), The care of the Self: The History of Sexuality Volume 3, London: Penguin Books
Foucault, M. (2002), Archaeology of Knowledge, rev. ed. London: Routledge
Grau, O. ed. (2007), MediaArtHistories, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press
Landow, G. (1997), Hypertext 2.0, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press
Manovich, L. (2001), The Language of New Media, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press
Moss, J. ed. (1998), The Later Foucault, London: Sage Publications
Murray, J. (1999), Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace: MIT Press
Popper, F. (2007) From Technological to Virtual Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press
Schneider, I. and Korot, B. (1976), Video Art: An Anthology, London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Steiner, S. (2004), Egon Schiele, Germany: Taschen
Brown, L. and Strega, S. eds. (2005), Research as Resistance: Critical, Indigenous, and Anti-oppressive Approaches, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Virilio, P. (2005), Negative Horizon, London: Continuum
Virilio, P. (2002), Ground Zero, London: Verso

BBC Cornwall (2007), The Abolition of Work, (internet) 21st September, Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2007/09/21/theatreandarts_abolitionofwork_newlyn_feature.shtml (Accessed 24 October, 2007)
Manovich, L. (2006), After Effects or the Velvet Revolution in Modern Culture. Part 1, (internet) 2006, Available from http://www.manovich.net (Accessed 15 October, 2007)
Manovich, L. (2006), After Effects or the Velvet Revolution in Modern Culture. Part 2, (internet) 2006, Available from http://www.manovich.net (Accessed 15 October, 2007)
Manovich, L. (2005), Remixability and Modularity, (internet) 2005, Available from http://www.manovich.net (Accessed 15 October, 2007)

Godfrey, M., Obrist, H., and Gillick, L. (2006), Anri Sala, London: Phaidon Press
Jager, J., Knapstein, G. and Husch, A. eds. (2006) Beyond the cinema : the art of projection : films, videos and installations from 1965 to 2005 : works from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof, from the Kramlich Collection and others. Ostfildern : Hatje Cantz
Walwin, J. and Krokatsis, H. (2006), You’ll Never Know: Drawing and Random Interference. London: Hayward Gallery Publishing

Lost Leader: A Collection of work by The Light Surgeons (DVD)
Onedotzero 2, Adventures in Moving Image (2004) London: Onedotzero (DVD)

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Written by mosheladanga

January 15, 2008 at 1:10 PM

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