[Title of project]
This project [How Simple Can it Be?] is a development from my research on boredom of the second year. It’s a video work that explores what are the minimum means to gain attention. It emphasizes the structure of the film, which contains fixed camera position, flicker effect, repeating and looping. In this work, content is the form, form become content.
This work explores how the unattributed feelings slowly appear through the simple structure of moving image, companied with expectation and non-expectation. Furthermore, how small/subtle changes make a big/obvious difference in the seems to be stable and repeating moving image?
In this work, the viewers would be constantly anticipating, correcting and re-correcting in their heads by experiencing the given moving images or reality on the screen. It shows the film itself in its purest form, not as an end in itself but as an attempt for me to arrive at a new beginning unhindered by unquestioned notions of “What film is.” Additionally, I see this work as an expected and unexpected journey or process, rather than coming with a deliverable or specific intention.
The work will be shown in both formats of camera shooting and computer graphics. The camera part mainly records scenes from the environment surrounding me, those scenes contain small or subtle changes yet in a very slow or repeating process. The computer graphic part explores how abstract graphics create the subtle changes in a moving image format. The work will be ideally exhibited as a 2 or 3 channels video installation. Can these subtle changes happen as well in digitalized moving images? If so, what would it be? If not, what else could those digitalized moving images bring to our eyes with simple structure. Those would be what computer graphics part mainly focuses on.
During the very beginning of my research of boredom, I realized myself was actually finding a way to escape from boredom, the looping, repeating the processing. It seems to be boring by simply doing something repeatedly, however, I somehow started to enjoy it since there are changes in the repeating and slow process. These changes can be very small and subtle yet meanwhile, make a big difference.What attracts me more is even the image is literally moving in a quite stable way, however, my mind would slowly create a self-entertainment, like in the Chinese saying – things stay the same, people or their minds change. This self-entertainment in a way is a kind of conditional reflex to me, but in a more subtle and slow way.
What attracts me more is even the image is literally moving in a quite stable way, however my mind would slowly create a interaction. I see this project as a self-reflection, it illustrates my personal way of seeing as a human and maker, either objects or scenes. Additionally, it describes how I react to the environment. More precisely, how to “fight back” and furthermore create a self-entertainment when facing to a forced monotonous or tedious situation. Like conditioned response yet different. However, self-entertainment here does not necessarily mean “entertainment”, basically it is to create a connection between mind and objects, it can be an illusion, a meditation, a spiritual experience as well. It is a process to let a person feel connected and related to the objects.
I’d like to explore how to create this self-entertainment in a very simple visual language, how my mind steps to the next status from the previous status. Furthermore, to analyze the basic visual elements of the moving image. During the current practice of the project, I also realized the work itself is a medium to be anti-entertainment. Since the internet age is full of interesting yet meaningless entertainment information, the project in a way also drives me to slow down the pace. As the article <Meditation through Simple Forms> says: these simple forms never try to impose a way to think about the world or cinema. Instead they suggest that we should take a closer look at the limitations on our knowledge about the world due to the constraints drawn by our perception and the complexities that we face. Moreover, I’d like to explore the difference between computer graphic and camera shooting through the project. During the experiments of my project, I found the relationship of computer graphic and camera shooting is like creating and accepting.
Moreover, I’d like to explore the difference between computer graphic and camera shooting through the project. During the making of tests and experiments of my project, I found the relationship between computer graphic and camera shooting is like creating and accepting. Computer graphic: what’s happening in the screen can be totally controlled by me, thus everything seems to be able to be predicated, what would be shown is more direct to what I want to create or express. In addition, before the visual, I somehow would have a general idea about the content, what the motion is going to be, what objects will appear, what color will be shown, etc. Camera shooting: it seems to be more random and unpredictable even if the position of the camera is fixed, for example: imagining a camera is recording a window, either there would be a bird fly into the frame, or a plastic bag, that’s not predictable. In that case, camera shooting is more like accepting whatever comes to the frame. However, how much unpredictable space there is in computer graphic becomes another point I would like to find out in this project. It seems to be not so complex in the technical part since everything is somehow “minimalized”. However, through this simple format of moving image, it can be a deep understanding of how the human brain reacts to moving images and how the thought process can be incited to make the profound philosophical “brainstorming”.
Due to the whole work contains both camera shooting and computer graphics visuals, I would utilize two different methods to make it technically.
Camera shooting mainly utilizes fixed camera position, the camera will record whatever would happen in front of the lens, can be both expected and unexpected. The selected scenes and objects would be from our daily life, thus, it would be challenging the experiences how we see the world, recording and furthermore questioning the subtle changes between predictable things and unpredictable things.
Computer graphics part would focus on repetition, flickers, virtual materials. As it was mentioned, by it’s more like creating an opportunity or atmosphere by making digitalized moving images, therefore, I would like to find out how much space is left for randomness, and unexpected senses in simple structured computer graphics. In this part, colors and motions would be minimalized.
In addition, l would like to record the environmental sounds in the camera shooting part, the unexpected part about sounds also fascinates me. As for the sound part of computer graphics, more tests and experiments would be required to see if it’s even necessary to add sounds to those graphics.
Now -- Dec: Experiments & tests.
Jan -- Mar: Production.
Apr -- May: Finalize & develop.
I’ll need help mainly to develop my concept of the project. As the review of Warhol’s film –<Sleep> says: “the great challenge, then, of the structural film became how to orchestrate duration; how to permit the wandering attention that triggered ontological awareness…and at the same time guide that awareness to a goal.” The simple/minimalistic structure seems to be easy technically, however, how to choose objects and scenes and how to create moving images with a computer which are in simple moving formats have become challenging to me.
Relation to previous practice?
I see my final project as a further research and development of my previous practice. In my previous work <Unattributed Stimulations of Objects>, I focused on the unattributed and ambiguous feeling and the connection between me and those objects more. However, back to see the project, i.e. the very first inspiration--the toilet towel scene, the basic elements of the scene are: towel, movements of hands, the towel that was pulled down, the towel that was pulled up. There was a time gap between the towel was pulled down and pulled up, time seemed to slow down during the duration of waiting in this gap, and then time suddenly went back to normal speed when it was pulled up. As for my final project, I’d like to develop and spread it out into materializing time, expectation and unexpected. Furthermore, to explore what film is during the process of my final project.
Relation to a larger context.
The MIT Press & Whitechapel Gallery, , <Boredom, Documents of Contemporary Art>.
Hollis Frampton’s Lemon Analysis—The Nature of Film and Vision
Ways of Seeing, Structural Films: Meditation through Simple Forms
Peter Gidal, Structural Film Anthology, Theory and Definition of Structural/ Materialist Film