Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weekly Post February 18, 2010

This week a lot of time was spent thinking about presentation (5 hours).  I also spent time putting the final touches on my sound piece (2 hours), writing the AA News article so I could send it to Megan Levak (4 hours), and reworking my thesis (4 hours).    

Since we are meeting with the gallery coordinators next week, I want to be confident in my presentation decision so I can get their feedback.  In all of the options, I am confident in the fact that I will create a small book of the collaborative series (with about 25 images), so that the viewer can see all of the images in a complete series.  I have a lot of technical work to do on the collaborative series in Photoshop to make the images look completely sharp and crisp in color. 

These were the following ideas I presented to the small group critiques on Tuesday:

Option 1:  Presenting 8 large images from the  collaborative series with Jay, as well as presenting 3-4 headphones to listen to various sound pieces.  The book of 25 images will also be on display.  

This option's is very clean and simple, which is very similar to the way I work in graphic design.  This presentation is the most approachable.  Yet is it too safe?

What the group discussed:  Some of the group members felt this was the best option because of the clean design and liked the fact that the images were blown up.  However, others felt that people would hesitate to put on the headphones.  

I like the idea of listening to the sound pieces, while looking around at the large images.   Many people can view these images at the same time.  However, does it transform the viewer into a new space?  

Option 2:  I came up with the idea of interactive zippers.  Since Jay always talks about struggling with zippers and his longing for doorknobs, I thought this was an interesting solution.  I would place the photographs on wood and cover them with blue tarp and a zipper.  The participant would have to uncover the image by opening the zipper.  The book of 25 images will also be on display, as well as headphones to listen to the sound piece.  

What the group discussed:  Everyone really liked this idea because of the interactive quality.  However, everyone also agreed that realistically, there are some serious technical issues here.  How do I actually go about constructing this?  How do I make this not look sloppy?  How do they uncover the image in its entirety?

Option 3:  Tent Installation.  I place a large tent on the floor of the gallery, to create an interesting space for the viewer to enter.  From the outside, the tent looks like an ordinary camping tent.  Once you walk inside, you hear the voice of Jay as the sound piece is going off.  Crates will be placed around the large tent so people can sit and listen, and view the collaborative series book (there may be four or five copies of the book if I do this option).  

What the group discussed:  In my small group, everyone agreed this was the most promising solution because it completely transformed the space.  All of a sudden, the viewer is surrounded by voices and imagery.  

I think this option is exciting me the most.  I can play with lighting in the tent, and have large lanterns around the tent as this is what the homeless have been using for lighting.  Maybe I can even place this tent outside of the gallery on State Street on the opening night.  Seeing the shadows of participants inside the tent might be interesting.  I can also play with various sounds in the tents:  his voice from the doorknobs sound piece, ambient sounds of the highway going off, his voicemail that he left me yesterday how the state is taking down the tents, etc.  

This idea allows the viewer to play an active role in the experience by entering a new space.  Ultimately, the issue of homeless will not be solved unless there is active participation by society, so it plays off that idea as well.

There are some technical issues with this, as the tent needs to be very, very large.  I don't want viewers to hesitate entering a cramped, crowded space.  I want to invite them into the experience.  

What do you think of this idea?  Any help would be very useful.  I really want to go with an idea and run with it.  If I choose the tent option, I can spend all break picking the perfect size tent.  

What's next?

I am meeting Jay this weekend to interview him about what has been going on with the state forcing them to leave the area (see last blog post).  I want to ask him what they plan to do, what his next steps are, how close he is to getting an apartment, etc.

I am also meeting with Megan Levad tomorrow to go over my writing piece.  I have also e-mailed Patrick Young about help with advanced Photoshop techniques.  

I am going to start working on layouts for my book as well.

Before break, I would love to have picked a direction for presentation.  Any advice/opinions/suggestions on type of presentation you think is working best would be very helpful!

1 comment:

  1. Meg,
    Looks like you've been doing some serious thinking about presentation, and that you're most excited about creating a space that is more immersive than a clean gallery presentation.
    I think the challenge is doing this in a way that is an evocative, rather than literal re-creation of Jay's tent. Do you have thoughts about what the "tent" structure would be made of? Placing the tent outside has some technical and logistical challenges, but would add another dimension to the project. Make sure to ask Mark about this possibility-- he may have ideas for you. Size will be challenging issue if you want multiple people to enter the tent at once.

    Let's talk further this week. I'll be sure (promise!) to stop by the studio.