Thursday, 15 October 2009

Wow... that's two hours of my life I'll never get back.

So, a new project.
I'm sort of in two minds about it, really. Both Graphics and Illustration third year students have been commisioned to design a mural/sculpture/thingy to go on the end of the main Grand Parade arts building in Brighton.
Well, I say commissioned, it's a competition. The brief is kind of odd. Well not odd, just, I'm not really sure what I make of it. Part of me thinks I'd really rather the university spent their money on useful things, like a functioning colour printer.......... but that's another rant entirely, and I suppose I should be glad they're commissioning us on something so different and interesting. But really, wouldn't this be far more exciting for the product design students, who spend all their time doing work like this? I don't know, I'm just struggling to get into the spirit of it.

Anyway, the brief says
'a white on white project that is responsive to the weather and is designed to say different things in different climatic conditions'

White on white? Does that mean we're not allowed colour?
And as far as I can tell it should in some way represent the faculty, although I'm not sure how I'm going to do this yet. Some people are working in groups, but to be honest, a) I'm too bossy, and b) it's more hassle than it's worth... more time is spent arranging when to meet up, rearranging when to meet up, coming up with ideas everyone agrees on than it is on actually producing!

Not that I'm one to talk, struck down with flu this week, I've been spending more time moping about and procrastinating than working, but ho hum, here are some beginnings.

The idea of it interacting with the weather interested me. The wall is north facing, so this sort of rules out the 'sun' element... I was quite interesting in the idea of some kind of sound art. Inspired quite a lot by this, the 'sea organ' in croatia, which I absolutely love.

I was interested in using the wind to this effect, creating a series of pipes at different levels, which would hopefully create soft, ambient noise as the wind blows over them. With this in mind, I spent two and a half hours curled up on the sofa yesterday afternoon doing THIS:

That's right everyone, hundreds of rolls of masking tape at different heights. The idea being if they were up on that wall, bigger, and made of something sturdy, they'd make organy nice noises.

Yeeah, it was dark and the only light place in the flat is our kitchen. Hence the sexy lino. (Disclaimer... I'm aware Tom Friedman has already produced some similar art using tubes of masking tape like this. I'm merely using this as a modelling process, not as a final piece, so I hope it doesn't infringe any sort of copyright...)

And just in case you didn't quite understand...

There is a catch to this however... The university is in a residential area, and the noise could get just a teeeensy bit annoying. As someone who can't sleep through even the tiniest bit of noise, I would have huge sympathy for the nearby residents... I'm hoping there's a way to engineer it so the noise is noticable, but minimal, and certainly not disturbing.

I'm also thinking of something involving mirrors, which, once I have modelled, I will post here. And, I've been thinking of some other wind related but not sound making ideas involving effects similar to rippling grass, but I haven't modelled or drawn these yet either. I'm really inspired by Theo Jansen's absolutely stunning 'strandbeests' (Beach monsters) which are powered entirely by the wind.

Here's another idea which didn't work out. I feel like a 7 year old trying to recreate something I saw on Blue Peter. I bought straws especially! *weeps*

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