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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Relaxing Your Habitual Thinking Pattern

Approaching problems with conventional education, rationality & experience, rigidity, and inhibitions.

Solving a problem, or thinking of a way to communicate something can be restricting, and personally can often leave me stuck with artist block, or in a design rut. The same old tired solutions pop up. But why is this? Is it the rigidity of the school education system forcing us to think more logically and not creatively? Or are we just too scared to put our ideas out there for fear of rejection? Something new and different may not be liked, where as the old and familiar are safe fallbacks.
I was recently asked to design a graphic logo for a website promoting a book, and business. The logo had to communicate the fundamental function for the site, which was basically advice for building work. Building Design Expert. Nothing sprang to mind from this, I had a complete mind blank. My first thought was a geek in a hard hat, (Geek = Expert) stereotype, the old and familiar.
However I allowed myself to free think, I decided to list any ideas that came to mind, no matter how stupid, or silly. This led to a train of thoughts that sprang off one another, providing me with a wide range of ideas on which I can further develop. I googled key words, and looked up definitions, and from the first though that came to mind I noted and expanded upon, and then what idea came from that, ect ect.
By not restricting myself to ideas that would not be mocked or thought of as juvenile, I was able to free my habitual thinking, and approach the graphic with a different mindset. The rigidity of stereotypes fell to the back of my mind. By approaching problems conventionally, we cannot create an original solution.

Escher is a perfect example of what can be achieved when your imagination runs wild. Creating worlds of dreams, optical illusions that boggle the mind but also make you believe in something more. So many layers and levels to one image.


Managing A Creative Environment

Our ideation is greatly influenced by our surroundings; a dull workspace makes for predictable results. Where as a workspace cluttered with imagination and creations inspires us to think beyond the norm what is or could be possible.
I don’t have a set workspace, there isn’t a set studio at university, I predominately work from my bedroom, here I have access to art books, a collection of magazines, past artworks, past research, and the Internet. These are the core things that form my creative space. Everything I have found to be of educational use, or of general interest I tend to horde, as it could come in handy at any point. I fear the moment I discard them, I will need it to explore a design problem.
Bright colours, wide open spaces, and objects or works you find of interest can always help in sparking ideation processes. What we collect reflects our personal interests and thus our personal way of working
“Landfill Editions is an independent publisher based in London releasing Comics, Zines, Prints, Short Fiction and Science-Fact since winter 2009.”
It’s studio I found through the creative review website. The video talks about theire studio space and working within a team. Their creative environment is maintained by surrounding themselves with their work and work they find inspiring. Also because it is an open space “where lots of people are involved it emphasises the exciting bits about art school, all the discussion. Talking to people that do something similar but not the same. Share books, work together, A real sense of community.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sony Blu Ray Lasers

Behind the photograph

Can A Photograph Really Capture whats inside? 

When you look a photograph, what do you see? What's really there? Unless you were physically involved in the process of the image can you tell? Annie Leibovitz was doing a shoot with Johnny Depp in a hotel room in New York in 1994, when his then current girlfriend Kate Moss was asked if she would pose with Johnny. The image portrays the true love of a high status couple 
I think it's true that a lot of photos true meaning is hidden, or the message is mis-interpreted. It's difficult to convey true emotion as photographs are often staged. However I feel when a photograph is candid, or at least candid in a similar sense to Leibovitz's, true emotion can be conveyed. This photograph to me captures a beautiful moment of serenity, and love. 
On the other hand you could say that it is pretty easy to remark upon the emotion when the context is known. As, if it was unknown the two were a couple at the time, perhaps this real emotion would not have been communicated. Knowing the context, history, or story have some grounding in the truth relating to the image will immediately change how we respond to and interpret what we are seeing, what is 'supposed' to be deciphered, rather than what is actually attained.

Sam Taylor Wood's series Crying Men - male celebrities all pictured in a deep state of emotion provokes the question is this real or is it orchestrated? These are people who have their photo taken every single day, wether it be paparazzi or a shoot, it is anothers days work; faking emotion. 
The images still provoke an emotional reaction despite there being the barrier of whether its real or not. Actors seen crying outside the realm of Hollywood, outside of the Hollywood context breaks down the barrier of film and reality. Someone of such status still experiencing human emotion. 
None of the men in the series however are pulling a face, grimacing like you see your neighbour, or best friend do if they were upset. So does this suggest then that the images are false, that as actors they are told to cry on command and thats merely all thats shown in the photograph? In which case the emotion provoked from Wood's photographs are the same we experience in a film, it feels real to us as we become involved with the atmosphere, but the camera does not show all the lighting, staging, and the time it's taken to get the right shot. 
Documentary photography however is different, the famous image of Kim Phuc by Nick Ut running naked down the streets of Trang Bang, Vietnam captures the raw fear and distress of the village at that time. It did not take hours to get a shot, there is no lighting rigs, or script, completely in the moment, nothing but a distressing reality is involved.

How can text help convey meaning or emotion?

As i said earlier understanding the context of an image will automatically change your interpretation. So by adding copy write, does this change it again, provide a fresh outlook or add to what we already know?

(The text reads: "In 12 minutes, a napalm bomb will unexpectedly explode 400 feet from here. Children will run in despair; one entirely naked, screaming in fear and pain. The soldier will do nothing, while a photographer captures this moment, forever immortalising it. Great Photos come without a brief.")

I think this image is amazing unbeknownst to me whether the photo was taken 12 minutes before the explosion, it still triggers thought into how an image known all over the world was taken by chance. A journalist or photographer in the area, a tourist exploring vietnam? Sheer luck or did Nick Ut have some inkling as to what was going on with this area? Either way the copy-write that covers this image really adds to the raw emotion of the original. You start to picture this little girl running towards you "screaming in fear and pain" It has been "forever immortalised." No-one will ever forget Kim Phuc. Nick Ut unveiled the horror of war to people ignorant of its reality, and this copy-writed image emphasises and conveys the unimaginable pain, putting history into perspective as if we were there.


(In order of appearance)

3)When The Stars Weep, Nochlin.L, Steidl, 2004