MEDA301: ASSESSMENT 2

Any work of art in a public exhibition generally serve several purposes, one of which is to be aesthetically pleasing. Despite the look of a work being the catalyst of immersing the audience into the exhibit, the true beauty of the work is not truly understood unless we can contextualise both the work and the artist. Through gaining an understanding of the artists life experiences and their relationship with the world and their chosen materials, we are able to appreciate the work at a heightened level and ultimately assist ourselves in becoming individually better creative. At the Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science in Sydney, there is an abundance of works that are both aesthetically interesting and cause us to question the interrelationship between the tangible, materialistic world and intangible digital world. In a exhibition comprised of many different means of materialising a digital idea such as 3D modelling and printing, sculptures and computer sketching among other things, each individual work although not originally intended to be displayed together, assist in allowing the audience to gain a greater understanding of the exhibits overall theme. Despite each work having their own upside, the one exhibit that I found particularly captivating is Faig Ahmeds duet of traditional rugs that had been digitalised; “Hal” and “Simurg.” Through a critical analysis of both Ahmeds works displayed in this exhibition and others, along with research of the history around his particular practice we are able to reverse-engineer his process and understand the ways his ideas came to fruition.

Born in Azerbajan, a place where tradition is of upmost importance, Ahmed’s work with rugs represents more than just defacing and changing familiar patterns that are a backbone of his culture. Through the manipulation of the rugs, Ahmed is able to question the tradition within his culture, and while not criticising it is able to offer his own insight into the importance of culture and whether or not change is a good thing. Ahmed encapsulates his motives in an interview, seeing rugs as “something very stable. Carpet is the result of ages. Even 2,500 years ago there were similar patterns, similar techniques to today. The centre and the borders are like a social structure, giving the idea of everything we know.” Through this statement we are able to understand the different viewpoints that creatives such as Ahmed have towards the world as opposed to their counterparts. Through altering a familiar object associated with comfort that is seen in practically every Azerbaijani home, Ahmed can offer his insight from the Eastern world and explain the differences to a more progressive Western world that tends to not be caught in such traditions.

 

tumblr_inline_op4mpqhJRy1u8d4zl_500

Hal (left) and Simurg (right)

When walking into the exhibition, we are thrust into an environment that is beautiful but at the same time unsettling due to the somewhat algorithmic nature of the design of the space and the materialised works. Placed in a particular setting among works created via 3D printing among other means, Ahmeds work despite immersing itself in the premise of a digital-material hybrid, offers a strong contrast to its surrounding works due to the obvious blur between tangible and intangible. Hal encapsulates the relationship found in Ahmeds process, that between the material and digital world as a sturdy pattern stood to stand the test of time breaks down into a magnitude of individual coloured lines. The rug, made to appear as if it is melting unsettles the audience as we are drawn to the top of the rug first, and as our eyes venture down we expect to see a perfectly evenly designed rug, yet the end result is anything but. Ahmed causes us to question many things, as rugs in his culture tend to last many decades, yet this particular one when infused with a digital influence breaks down rapidly. It is through these intentional choices in the creation of a work that we are able to understand artists views towards technology and changing values in their own context and that of their target audience.

Despite being part of the same collection and exhibition, Simurg offers a different perspective and although both works share the commonality of a rug, this one incorporates a three dimensional aspect as opposed to that of a rug melting. Bound with a fake shadow and an object extruding from the work, we are able to compare this work to something that wouldn’t seem out of place in a 3D modelling program. As this work is surrounded by objects made through 3D printing, Simurg is not out of place at all despite the main feature being a recognisable one as old as time.

In order to fully appreciate a work we must be able to not only appreciate the visual look of them, but also the relationship that an artist has with their chosen material. Ahmed’s work both displayed in this exhibition, and many of his other similar works showcase an excellent blend of traditional carpet materials that have been picked apart to represent a digital pixelated world. Just as the two works on display Hal and Simurg offer a juxtapositions due to their differing visuals, the entire premise of his work in itself is much the same, involving a pastiche of different methods that compliment one another. Ahmed states “I make my sketches on computer and then transfer them to special engineering paper dot by dot. After that I pass my sketches to a carpet maker who weaves the carpet using the ancient techniques of the region. All threads are woolen or silken and are dyed with natural colors. The process of weaving is the same as it was 300 years ago.” Through this process we are able to see the ways that technology has advanced in the recent decades and centuries, to be able to essentially computer generate a design and offload the work to another party as opposed to the traditional ways of weaving the rug individually.

The process of traditionally weaving a rug, as mentioned before, is much more complex than just using a persons hands to create random patterns. In Azerbaijani and many other similar countries cultures, the rug represents much more than just a decoration, acting as a symbol of comfort and a welcoming symbol. The intricacies that were traditionally created within a rug via hand centuries ago are still prominent today but the symbolism of a rug in the Western world, the main audience for Ahmeds work allows room for criticism and insight due to differing contexts. In Ahmeds homeland, rugs are often not mass produced, instead they are delicately taken care of in each stage of the process; inception, design and production. These traditional methods offer contrasts to Ahmeds aim, as he outsources the weaving to somebody else, despite creating the design himself. Although commonplace in artworks created for exhibition, delegating work to somebody else begs the question of whether or not the work is of an acceptable level of authenticity. Despite many people in Eastern countries making a living off of the craft of carpet weaving, the style in which Ahmed and these people go about their work differs due to predominantly two reasons; the intended purpose of the work and the contextual influences.

The intended purpose of all of Ahmeds works, is to adorn walls as an art opposed to floors allowing the purpose of a rug to shift from something that is seen as an expectant commonality into something more subjectively beautiful and artistic. Although his work is ultimately ruining an aesthetically pleasing design, the ideas behind is work of merging the digital and physical world are what cause his work to be popular and sought after. Although his work is considered prestigious and artistic, it comes with a trade off as mentioned prior through his use of outsourcing. As he is creating the rugs for the sake of art as opposed to the traditional reasoning, a dilemma arises that allows us to question the different conexts between the Eastern and Western worlds. Selling his works for upwards of sometimes $15,000, it is easy to see why Ahmed would like to create works at a larger scale and consistently in order to make a living off it. Through altering a traditional design that would sell for much less in an Azerbajani market place, we are able to critically analyse Ahmeds work through a business lens and draw comparison points to those on similar entrepreneurial endeavours that have seen opportunities arise. When viewing Ahmeds techniques for work creation, we can view it through a McDonaldization approach and see the ways that his work has reached the level of popularity and the price tag attached to it. Through the four principles of McDonaldization; efficiency, predictability, calculability and non-human technology we are able to examine the influence the concepts of supply and demand have on an artists works. (Cleggg, 2015)

In any successful business, you will generally find that they are applying atleast two of these principles, and with Ahmed an artist who has built a brand for himself it is no different as he uses three of four, minus calculability. Efficiency is highlighted through the use outsourcing certain aspects of his work to other more skilled people in order to continue working on other projects, or different stages of the same one. Predictability is seen through the fact that all his works share a common theme and that although each work is different, if an Ahmed exhibition was announced every body attending it would know what to expect. Closely linked to the concept of efficiency is the use of non-human technology, which accounts for minimisation of human error. Despite being operated by a human, the use of a loom and using a computer to design his work Ahmed is able to minimise these errors, and if any do arise, due to this technology he is able to easily undo them. (Clegg, 2015) Although these concepts apply to almost any business and any artist that has made a name for themselves at a similar level to Ahmed, these comparison points are particularly interesting as his work thematically focuses on the premise of business, using technology to break tradition in order for a certain gain. Just as Ahmed explores the relationship between a material and digital world in his works, these axis represent the contextual differences concerning economics and business between the Eastern and Western worlds.

In conclusion, a person’s piece of art goes far beyond just the visual aspect of the work. In order to fully appreciate a work we must understand both the artists motives towards the work and the contextual influences that help shape the work. In Ahmeds work we are able to understand his work by analysing the importance of artefacts such as rugs in his culture and comparing the Eastern and Western worlds. Through the differences in contexts and being able to analyse the works of materialising the digital through both a critical and business lens, we are able to reverse engineer the work and understand the reasons as to why the works were created.

Faig Ahmed 2014, At the crossroads – a conversation with Faig Ahmed, online video, 1 December, Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/113289667

Faig Ahmed 2014, The nomination of Jameel Prize-3- Faig Ahmed, online video, 1 December, Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/113302419

Clegg, S Kornberger, M & Pitsis, T 2015, Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice, 4th Edn, Sage, London.

UNESCO, Traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic of Azerbaijan 2010,, http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/traditional-art-of-azerbaijani-carpet-weaving-in-the-republic-of-azerbaijan-00389

Carter, P 2004, Material Thinking: The Theory and Practice of Creative Research, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne

Johnston, L 2015, Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship and the New industrial Revolution, Thames & Hudson, London

Advertisements

MEDA301: Week 4

My chosen field that I wish to get into, either sports broadcasting or doing creative work for a bookmaker such as Sportsbet or William Hill, is tough and not as easily as simply acquiring a degree. There are several stages that need to be undertaken in order for me to gain employment, and these stages vary depending on which route I choose to go.

 

The first stage that I am well and truly in already, is to attend Univeristy and gain a relevant degree that fits the criteria for what these companies are looking for. Although something specific like a degree in Graphic Design or something of the sort may be more beneficial as it shows I am well rounded in one aspect, my Digital Media degree should show that I am well rounded. Along with my University degree, I have completed a Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media through TAFE, which shows I am committed to the field and have the necessary skills to succeed.

 

Step 2 is build a showreel/portfolio of video and deisgn work that I have done throughout my studies and on the side. I have helped create quite a few videos now since I have been studying, with experience in a team environment that is similar to that in a sports broadcasting role, minus the live aspect. Through the TAFE system I have utilised their studio at the Innovation Campus and learn the roles of Directors, Producers, Gaffers and everything in between, so going out in the field to shoot creative work for a company would be no issue. Along with group class assessments I have also done a little bit of work for myself on the side, trying to help out friends while at the same time getting my name out there for future opportunities. Out of the work I have done, only 2 videos are probably relevant to the industry I want to enter; with both videos revolving around poker. One is a promotional video for a company, and the other is promoting a player. Both of the videos utilise multiple of my skills and I am very proud of how they turned out.

 

 

Once I have a sufficient showreel, it would then be time to seek employment opportunities or something like an internship to get my foot in the door. Although I do not intend on doing it until mid 2018 at least, I have been searching online for many employment opportunities in Melbourne involving what I want to do. There are constantly jobs advertised for bookmakers, in particular William Hill searching for a “Junior Creative Designer”, and I believe that I would be employable due to my skill set and passion for the industry. As a young person without previous work in the industry, I think that would add a tick against an enthusiastic person such as myself as they would like to mold a person into what they want them to be.

 

MEDA301: Week 5

To be completely honest, I have next to no idea what for what I am aim to create for a media arts project. Though I wish to make it relate to my studies over the past 4 weeks, it may be too difficult ton conceptualise and create something that is actually decent in the eyes of fellow classmates and the tutors. Instead of focussing on a sports related video, I will instead just focus on a video installation that involves interaction with the audience.

 

In MEDA202, I created a work that involved human interaction and a linear story that was filmed in POV by a go pro. I assigned each individual clip to a particular key on the keyboard so when that key was triggered, the clip would play. To take this a step a further I connected a makey-makey, to objects that were visibile in the video, so in order for the story line to progress the participant had to physically touch the relevant audience, thus immersing them into the story.

 

Though I do not intend to use a makey makey in my new project in MEDA301, I will still aim to have an element of interaction, despite me not knowing what that interaction will be yet.

 

Something that I find interesting, though I’m not quite sure how to implement it, is by physically placing the audience into the piece that they are witnessing. A nice example of this through ‘Feedback’ in The Weitz Center’s White Spaces Gallery in Northfield, Minnesota. February 2012 (embedded.) I believe that in the video, the camera has been coded via a program like Processing, to transmit the video but using a “lag” command, creating the desired effect. Though I will not use this idea I will definitely use it as inspiration in my final work.

Overall the themes I aim to possibly explore, and this is willing to change

  • Interactivity between a human and the digital world
  • A strong link between sound and video
  • A concept of randomization, so that any two people interacting will have a different experience

MEDA301: Week 3

Hero is a funny term. Often associated with someone who does a good deed and is painted in a good light. The figure I am choosing to research however, is far from that term of hero, but has arguably done more for the poker community in the past decade than anybody else. Doug Polk, or as he is known on the online poker tables “WCGRider”, has been a familiar face in poker since he first came onto the scene in 2007 as a young college student. From depositing $20 into an online poker site, Doug quickly turned that into $10,000 in a year by grinding full time and although he keeps this under raps his net worth is said to be in the top 5 of all poker players.

This may seem irrelevant as he doesn’t fit the category of a sports broadcaster, but ever since games has gotten tougher in the past few years, Doug has noticed that it is harder to make money than it once was. Although he is definitely a winning player still, Doug has created a side income over the past 2 years through his creation of a Youtube channel that focuses on the poker community. As a player that started from the bottom of the food chain and has worked his way up to play the highest of stakes knows as the “nosebleeds,” his channel is full of excellent content that is not only informative but is also of a high production value.

On Doug’s channel he has a strict schedule that he sticks to that allows his audience of 77,000 subscribers to know what to expect. His main attraction is his “Poker Hands” series, where he shows videos of televised high stakes poker games and pauses the video in certain points to give a professional analysis on players thought processes throughout the hand.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 4.15.28 pm.png

Along with his youtube channel, Doug often streams himself playing High stakes game on the online streaming service; Twitch. Although he does not have the largest following out of all the Poker streamers, his knowledge of the game and outgoing (sometimes arrogant) personality is what sets him apart from the others. He has posted several pictures of how much he earns from his social media prowess, often ranging around $20k a month. Group that in with poker earnings where he is expected to make +$200k a year, it is easy to see why although he isn’t very hero-like, he is a hero to the online poker community.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.39.26 am.png

It is also interesting to note that ever since Doug amassed a large following, he decided he would create an online training course that could be accessed for the (cheap) price of $1000USD. As a very intelligent man, it is no accident that he has a created a brand of himself over the last few years as I believe this course was his goal the whole time.

MEDA301: Week 2

 

My field is a very broad one, which could be encapsulated by the term of “Sports Broadcasting” and my task for this week is to outline the history of the field. Although what I intend to eventually work in may not exactly be considered this term, it will still incorporate pieces of it. As this area is comprised of many different elements, the research I have done in is not wholistic and only focuses on a few aspects that interest me the most. As a sporting nation, there will always be jobs in this industry and with the increase of technology and outlets over the last several decades, the trends suggest that there will be possibly even more down the track.

 

On the 11th April 1921 in Pittsburgh, Penylvania the first sports broadcast, albeit very different to today was undertaken, where instead of a video being broadcast to the audience, it was instead just a voice and microphone commentating a boxing match to those who could not witness it first hand. A few months later in August of the same year, a baseball game was broadcast over the radio once again based in Pittsburgh. As a fascinating experience to all those who were lucky to witness this revolutionary moment, people had to wait almost two decades until they could watch their sports on the screen. It wasn’t until 17th May 1938 when a college baseball game was broadcast on the NBC that the ball began to figuratively get rolling, with football games being contstantly broadcast from Septemeber in that same year.

 

 

Fast forward to the present date and we can distinctly see how much technology has improved over the time. From what was a dull screen lacking in flashy graphics that immerse the audience, we are now in an era where live sports is the benchmark, and any broadcast that doesn’t have a visible score and a constant update of game analytics is simply sub par. We are arguably at the pinnacle of this industry at the moment, and although there are many positives as with anything there is also negatives.

SC_OPEN_Intro_0004_Layer-8.jpg

lebron-james-espn-game-one-graphic.jpg

As the demand to watch sports increases, many broadcasting companies have put a large price on the ability to do so, in tern creating a monopoly on an industry that is now not as easily accessible for the average sports fan. As an Australian subscribed to Foxtel, I can only watch one game of NBA per day on ESPN, and as a result of that I am forced to go trawling through the internet on less-than-appealing sites to find links to watch the live sports that we have all become accustomed to watch. As technology continually gets better, and the concepts of supply and demand continue to stay in place, I believe that the Australian industry will get in order with leading countries like America and Britain and we will be able to keep pushing boundaries in regards to live sports broadcasting.

MEDA301 Week 1

“A sporting event is a genuine battle, but it is in some ways a “trivial” battle. However, ingenious and intricate, however original and surprising the moves, there is something essential lacking. Sporting events are unimportant. The best battles are serious as well as beautiful—“important” if you like, but the word is very ambiguous, and “serious” expresses what I mean much better.”

 

Although it’s a broad field, my desired career that I wish to pursue will be behind the scenes in sports broadcasting. As a BDM student I am well rounded in most jobs that are required in this field, and as the availability of jobs decreases, in order to obtain a position I will need to be sufficient in more than one area.

 

There are many possibilities that can come from attempting to pursue work in this field, from working live at televised games to perhaps just working in the office building upon the brand that has been established. Roles that come under both of these could include;

-camera operator

-video FX

-editor

-motion graphics

-graphic designer

-sound design

-and once enough experience, possibly even a producer

 

An interesting point within sport and its popularity in Australia and the world is that due to a demand, almost all games of all major sporting codes are broadcast live, whether it be on TV or an online streaming service. This opens opportunities to jobs that once didn’t exist, and if I were unable to obtain work up close and personal at games, this aspect allows me a higher chance to work, albeit in a high-pressure situation.

 

The reason I have chosen this field is due to my passion for both sports and gaming and if you aren’t good enough to play professionally, there is no better way to still be involved. Although my primary goal would be something related to Rugby League, other sports could also be suitable by working for a broadcasting company such as Fox Sports, or what is considered the pinnacle of sports entertainment; ESPN.

 

With the increase of gambling in society and gambling advertisements plastered all over the TV during every game of sport, there will also be no shortage in content needed to be created for the oversaturated competitive market in Australia. As someone who is up to dare with all things sports and who also likes to have a punt on occasions, this could also be a good way to be involved with sports.

In terms of current experience, I have done some freelance work for several local businesses, one of which that specialises in poker; Ace of Spades. This particular job entailed filming, editing and a bunch of 3D work. All these skills are necessary in this field, and over the next few years I aim to continue doing work like this to build a show reel and hopefully get my foot in the door of this industry.

 

 

Below is some other work I have done:

 

MEDA202: NATURE OF CURIOSITY

My final presentation for my MEDA202 is going to explore the ‘nature of curiosity’ through use of a Makey Makey and 4-5 objects that will be pivotal in a screen presentation. As per the diagram below, my work will immerse the audience into a party environment via their point of view, and the story and angles they wish to see is entirely up to them. Each object that the makey makey is connected to will replace a key on the keyboard, and each corresponding key will take the viewer to a different perspective of the party depending on what physical object they touch.

meda-diagram

In order to immerse the individual into the whole experience, I feel as though I will need to set up in a dimly lit corner so the only light source is the screen telling the story. In terms of materials in my testing, some of the items are inconsistently conductive so I may need to attach the alligator clips to a more conductive object that is attached to the important object. The audience in that way will have to touch both objects simultaneously, and this will take away from the experience, so I will have to come up with a more viable approach.

 

As I am not really the hands on type, my work will revolve primarily around the screenwork and the real life objects will only act as a supplementary piece just achieve the assessment criteria and an interactive electronic element. In order for my work to look aesthetically pleasing, I will also have to hide the wires running to the makey makey. Along with this, the video will run from my laptop (due to the keys needing to be hit) but will be hidden, with a HDMI cable connected to a different screen that will suit the work better (bigger and black as opposed to my grey mackbook.)

 

As Jo continually mentioned throughout this session, coming up with an idea will be the easy part but the tough part is giving the work a meaning that is lasting and satistfies not just the aesthetic criteria. My work will be more than just a video with interactivity, it will also question themes like fate as the audience is in charge of what they wish to see in the story. I also intend to have a message in there about drink driving, and if executed correctly could leave a lasting effect.

 

Overall, I aim for my work to be stand out from others in the class by interacting both a digital and physical element. Though I have no presented an actual prototype I have researched ways to align certain clips in a long video into individual chapters that begin playing at the press of a key.