Thesis SOL First Draft
- 1 Content
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 Bibliography
2.1 THE JOURNEY TO FUJI
2.2 THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING
2.3 BLUE TEETH
2.4 BOWS AND CLOUD
2.6 ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION
Over the past year I have been experimenting different ways to tell a narrative with my work. These investigations are in an array of subjects within digital-pop-culture, such as; computer symbols, digital devices, internet, networks, archives. I use topics to reflect on relationships between humans and the system they create, to start a social dialogue about media and the digital age. I try to create an unexpected perspective to these subjects, to get a different perception of them.
I use the tool of narratives to provide a path for the viewer to lead them in to my story. With these narratives I want to create a body of myths, a set of stories, a belief associated with a particular group or the history of an event. By testing all kind of different narratives structures, I want to find which on fits my art practice and inspires me to create visual work. Also whether narrative structures can help me to create visual work, or can provide support to my visuals. In the end these personal written narratives will be translated in a visual, physical work of art, with the medium that speaks the most.
In this research I will describe, analyse and reflect my own works, trying to identify the decisions that I made over the past year; these included THE JOURNEY TO FUJI project, in which I first experiment with storytelling. Here I use the HERO’S JOURNEY structure, a fairy-tale structure in which the protagonist overcomes obstacles to achieve an aim; I use the same structure at the BLUE TEETH and THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING stories, but told in a more fairy tale manner- in which the APPLE takes a central role; a poem ZHUANGZI which I used as a place holder, in which I substituted the names of people and objects; the BOWS AND CLOUD which uses the Bible “BOW IN THE CLOUD” (Genesis 9:13) as a structuring device; ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION where I made my own categorization from existing, non-existing and fantasy animal, based on Jorge Luis Borges THE BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS; the last work is ARCHIVE THE ARCHIVE (optional title) in which I give films an anthropomorphic voice.
THE JOURNEY TO FUJI
Long time ago in the village of Minami-Ashigara in the prefecture of Kanagawa, at the foot of Mt. Hakone, there was a young boy named Dai-Nippon Shūichi. He lives in a nice warm house with his mother, father and two sisters. Every morning when Dai-Nippon wakes up he looks out of his window. There he sees the great holy Mount Fuji, situated not far from Mt. Hakone. Mount Fuji is an old volcano that towers over Japan, and it’s an important part of Japanese culture. There are all kinds of myths and stories, and each Japanese family tells their own version. The mother of Dai-Nippon always tells the story about the goddess of Fuji. Women were prohibited to climb the holy mount, because they could wake up the jeal¬ous goddess Konohana Sakuyahime (tree-flower-blooms-princess). The name refers to the short-lived beauty of the cherry blossom that grows on the mountain. Dai-Nippon is always wondering what Konohana looks like, and imagines how she lives up there.
Dai-Nippon’s father Asano Shūichi is a big business man, who is known for his company called Fuji Film. When Dai-Nippon grew older his dad’s company got bigger and so all the males in the family have to work within the company. Dai-Nippon is part of the design department.
But one day his dad gives his son a big assignment to make symbols for the cameras. A Big challenge because they are going to be used on every Fuji camera. You have several different modes on a camera, so for each he has to make a symbol. Portrait, reminds him of the goddess Konohana Sakuyahime, so the symbol becomes a female head seen from the side. Close-up mode, makes him think of cherry blossom that grows on the mountain, so the flower becomes the symbol. The last mode is landscape, and he could only imagine one thing, the mountain Fuji. The perfect Japanese landscape.
A room with the wooden symbol, size of 200x100 centimetres, painted grey. In the space you can hear the audio voice telling the story, for 2.30 minutes long, with Japanese background music. You can walk around it and listen to the voice wherever you want in the space. I also made a booklet of the story, if you missed the audio experience or if you want to read it in your own time. The booklet looks Japanese, like the binding of the pages, the title in Japanese language, and some original illustrations Japanese of the Mt. Fuji by Hiroshige.
During Thematic Project last year we investigate the photobook as narrative possibilities of both tradition photobooks and exploring possibilities of the digital reinvention of the ‘photobook’. I chose to research the symbol of ‘two mountains’, which is often used as the ‘empty placeholder’ in the online photobooks lay-outs. I investigate where this symbol came from and how it contributes to a more contemporary use of symbolic imagery.
I started by looking all the variations of mountain imagery used in these layouts, and intended to investigate the historical path which these images took. This symbol stands for a landscape and that’s how I found the relationship to photography, especially the Fuji Camera, which leads me to the Mt. Fuji.
I have assigned my own history to the “two mountains” as the Mt. Fuji in Japan. Based on my own fiction and some facts, I created the story around this symbol. This story is told by a female voice with serene Japanese background music. Beside of the audio voice, I placed the symbol in the room made out of wood, so the Mt. Fuji is present while you listen to the myth. I wanted to change the context of the symbol, and the perspective of these ‘two mountains’. I gave the symbol a historical and cultural Japanese background to create a dialogue. I want to outline the significance of every day symbols and the unknown meanings or uses that came before our contemporary uses or appropriations.
The combination with the audio and installation created a so called Japanese- myth experience. A lots of Japanese mythology includes god, goddesses, and spirits, and most of the stories concern the creation of the world. I concern the creation of this symbol and include Japanese mythology to bring it more to life. To combine this symbol to cultural folklore from Japan, and the iconic Mt. Fuji it creates a mythologies. A story that you want to past on, to your children or friends.
Almost after a year of working within narratives, and I noticed how I was making THE JOURNEY TO FUJI story, I was using a narrative structure called THE HERO’S JOURNEY. It is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization . I connected the stages of the HERO’S JOURNEY to my FUJI JOURNEY, to get a clear overview.
Stages HERO’S JOURNEY Story JOURNEY TO FUJI 1. THE ORDINARY WORLD We get to know Dai-Nippon Shūichi, and can identify him with the situation. It shows his personal history with the mountain and the goddess. 2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE Dai-Nippon has to work at the company called Fuji Film owned by his dad. He is working at the design department. 3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL All the males of the family have to work within the company, so in a way Dai-Nippon has no choice. 4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR - 5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD Dai-Nippon embrace his job at the Fuji Film company and his task. 6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES Dai-Nippon got the big assignment to make symbols for the cameras. A Big challenge because they are going to be used on every Fuji camera. 7. APPROACH Dai-Nippon approach this challenge with both hands. And with his history he creates the symbols. 8. THE ORDEAL - 9. THE REWARD The symbols are on all Fuji Film camera’s and are on other products, even digitally 10. THE ROAD BACK Dai-Nippon is going back in his mind when he creates the symbols. 11. THE RESURRECTION - 12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR -
Taking symbols and using the HERO’S JOURNEY structure to fictionalize a historical path they took to become contemporary symbols used in our everyday lives. In the next paragraphs I will experiment with this structure to THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING and BLUE TEETH symbol.
Template books One of the first experiments was template books, where I place the template in a photobook. First I made screenshots of the templates, which the company provides for you to make the photobook. Some of the companies respond to me that the book was ‘empty’, but I told them that I put images of the template in the book. I receive six template books, and all of them looked different. They all used different templates, different ‘mountain’-symbol, and colours. These books are a gimmick, and there for a finish product.
Template room After I made the books I realized that we are living in a big template. I was sitting in my studio with these idea of the room is a template, including the symbols. Life becomes a template, life is a template. Everything around is plan, a plan of life, and the template provides a path to follow. You are filling the empty placeholder. To create this template room, I CNC the symbol of the mountain, and the ‘T’ of text, of wood. I make them large that the match up the studio, what I took as an example of a template room. I painted them in the colours such as the template books and placed them in the room. I made a flyer with ‘you are here’ to lead you in to my template room.
Fuji tourist If you look up Mt. Fuji, you will especially find tourist photos with this iconic mountain. Now that I have my own mountain I noticed that people want a picture with it. My mountain is becoming iconic to, but to see this symbol in a picture is also ambiguous. Normally, in a template, you fill in this symbol with a picture, now the symbol is in the picture to.
Mockumentary Almost after a year when I created this project, there was a Fuji exhibition in the SieboldHuis, Japanese museum in Leiden. This exhibition consisting of 140 works, gives a multi-dimensional view of the sacred Fuji. Masterpieces by legendary artists Hokusai and Hiroshige will feature prominently in this two part exhibition. Mount Fuji is undoubtedly the most famous scenic element in Japan. When I went there to see it I felt so inspired to try another experiment with this project. I want to create a mockumentary with THE JOURNEY TO FUJI and test if the story also works on video. Mockumentaries is a type of film or television show in which fictional events are presented in documentary style to create a parody. I’m not creating a parody, but I try to pass on this myth. Still this kind of video making attracts me, and I want to experiment if my story also works with this kind of setting. I contacted the museum if I could film in the exhibition, and to tell my story about the two-mountain-symbol. There were amazed by my story, and they believed it, so I think therefor they allow me to film there. But to make really this mockumentary work I needed a Japanese to tell it for me. I found Sato Endo, a performer and yoga instructor, to help me with my project. First I made a different version of the original story, so her role in this video is like a museum guide/historian. Then we meet up and made a plan when we going to film there. She translated my latest version and we were ready to go. I had the idea of making overview shots of the exhibition and between them you will see her telling the story. The head-shot looks like what you often see on documentaries, or Discovery. Most mockumentaries are there to let you believe in something, and there for the video has to be believable. They to gimmick that feeling to look like ‘real’ documentaries. With this video I try to convince the viewer that my myth really took place, and that the symbol of two-mountain are the Mt. Fuji.
THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, was really a journey for me. It really inspired me to make different experiments and it felt if I was in my element. To work step by step to a different outcome, and to really make work, keeps me going. After one experiment it inspired me to create another one, that’s a method that I use before, and it works for me very well. Two experiment were more extended, the installation with the voice (in the beginning) and the mockumentary video. Both with different outcomes and feel, but yet the same story. The first one felt more like a poem, because of the voice and the Japanese background music. That Japanese-myth experience what I talked about early, becomes more forward in the first experiment. The video becomes more a documentary and therefor something that’s informative. It does not gives you really an experience, because it’s just a video what you looking at. The first installation you are really involved in the story and the room. For me the video presents the story as ‘real’, contrary to the installation more like a myth. Both can be represent my story, just in a different context. If I have to show THE JOURNEY TO FUJI project in the future, I will make the decision by which one fits the location/concept, the most. Because both can work on a different level.
THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING
When Steve uttered the name ‘Apple’, Ronald laughed and said, “It’s a computer company, not a fruit store.” “But I like apples and love to eat them..”
So the name was created for the computer company. Apple was the idea of bringing simplicity to the people, in the most sophisticated way and nothing else. But what about their logo?
Steve always admired Sir Isaac Newton, the great English physicist and mathematician. During his studies he was fascinated by his book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, first published in 1687. So Steve really wanted to incorporate Newton in his company. The designer, Ronald Wayne, agreed and the first logo showed Sir Isaac Newton, sitting beneath the very tree from which an apple had fallen on his head as he revolutionized the laws of gravity. If you look carefully, the phrase on the outside border reads,
‘Newton… A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought… alone’
After 22 years, it was time for some change, a modern change. Steve hired Rob Janoff with the task to design a new logo. Little did he know that the logo he planned to design would become the most iconic logo in corporate history. It was inspired by the death of Alan Turing, the ground-breaking mathematician and computer scientist, who committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple in 1954. When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and the apple was tested for cyanide. He committed suicide because he couldn’t live any longer as a gay man in that time, which was punishable up until 1967 in England. Steve could relate to Alan and therefor, the iconic logo was created. The logo in a form of an Apple with a bite out of it, and again with a personal touch as an underlying thought. But that was a secret.
When Steve was asked why he named the company ‘Apple’, his answer was simply.. “I like apples and love to eat them’’
There are a lot of stories about these specific symbol, the Apple. It’s also a good marketing tool to tell a great story about this famous icon. I choose this symbol, to practice my storytelling. After THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, my first story, I want to train this skill of storytelling. When I was researching all the possible stories I noticed that there was already a historical path. In opposition with THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, where I had to create this path, I used what I could find. I try to use the same narrative structure as THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, to experiment if it might work with a different symbols.
In combination with the story I created a video of found footage that connects the story. For example; when I talk about Isaac Newton, you will see him in the video; when I talk about the first logo, you will see the first logo of Apple. These video footage I found on Youtube, and make a kind of collage to support the story. An assemblage of different videos from Apple, to creating a new whole. I find video a good way to experiment, because you kind find every visual online and mixing them up on your screen is much easier than cutting/pasting physically. It’s like a first step if visuals work with the narrative.
After my first experiment with exercising the storytelling and collage video, it didn’t really worked. Because this is not my story, my voice, at all. I just put the existing stories what I found together, and create a structural story out of it. Also the Apple is more an icon then a symbol, and there for a bad decision to choose this symbol. For this story I didn’t had to fictionalize a historical path, there was already one. That’s way I think it didn’t worked. The video collage that I made for the story, was already there to. There are about 50 of these videos on Youtube telling also there version of the Apple story. I’m just one of them, and that wasn’t my goal.
A great king of a land far away, in the East of Denmark who was named Harald Blåtand Gormsson held a great feast to celebrate the harvest of the blueberries. He invited everyone to come to his castle and eat the newest and finest blueberries of his land, which the king is extremely fond of. He even helps the farmers of his land to harvest, because the king finds his blueberries so special. Each year, the feast is bigger and grander, it has become a national holiday for Denmark.
On the 20th anniversary, king Harald wanted something extra special at his feast. He asked everyone to help with the harvest, so the feast can start as quickly as possible. Finished the harvest, they collected all the blueberries around the castle for the feast. Once back from the land, the king couldn’t stop smiling from happiness, but the villagers noticed something about the king. His teeth were blue!
King Harald didn’t only start his feast meal with his beloved blueberries, but after 20 years consuming the blueberries so regularly and in such volume, they stained his teeth blue forever. The king accepted it, and he wasn’t going to stop eating his lovely blueberries. Only the king had a new nickname that is still remembered today: Bluetooth, the 10th century king of Denmark.
Just like the Apple story, was this Blue Tooth symbol-story also a practice for me. When I was researching the blue tooth symbol, I found one sentence that inspired me to make a extend this story: Bluetooth” now commonly refers to the Bluetooth wireless specification design started by Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and Toshiba to enable cable-free connections between computers, mobile phones, PDAs, printers, etc. The Bluetooth communications protocol in these devices is named after the king, because he unified Denmark and Norway much like the technology whose goal was to unify computers and cellular phones.
Beside this story I try to create a different support for it (then video), I found real teeth’s and made them blue. I wanted to give this object the feel if the blue teeth’s were from the king. Instead the teeth’s were more like a prop what you see in amusement park, such as the Efteling. Because there is a King and a castle involved in the story, it took quite easily a fairy-tale tone. Fairy tales are known of their folkloric fantasy characters, such as dwarves, elves, kings, princess. The BLUE TEETH story also had a happy fairy tale ending. Also nobody thought the story not only isn’t true, but could not possibly be true. These are all ingredients for a fairy tale story, BLUE TEETH has them all. I took it maybe too far with all these fairy-tale elements, especially with the prop; the blue teeth’s, I took it quite literally. Again this was a good experiment, but I’m not creating the next Grimm’s book of fairy tales.
BOWS AND THE CLOUD
I set my bow in the clouds — the rainbow, it is likely was seen in the clouds before, but was never a seal of the network till now. This seal is fixed with repeated assurances of the truth of that promise, which it was designed to be the ratification of; I do set my bow in the cloud to connect to other clouds. It shall be seen in the cloud, and it shall be a token of the network. The rainbow appears when the clouds are most wet. When we have most reason to fear the rain prevailing, God shows this seal of the promise that the rainbow shall not prevail. The rainbow appears when one part of the sky is clear. When the time is right, and the clouds are hemmed. As it were, with the rainbow, that they may not overspread the heavens; for the bow is coloured rain, or the edges of a cloud gilded. As God looks upon the bow that he may remember the network, so should we, that we also may be ever mindful of the network with faith and thankfulness.
For this experiment I choose the cloud symbol to create a narrative. The cloud stands for ‘on-demand computing’, is a kind of Internet-based computing, where shared resources, data and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. The first thing that I do to create a story is searching the word, this time ‘cloud’, on Google. I look at the research results, and the images images that Google provides for me. Then I found the story of BOW IN THE CLOUD, and sounded like a good starting point to make a connection to the symbol. The story is of the Bible, Genesis 9:13, and I used it as a structuring device. It’s like a place holder, in which I substituted the names of people and objects; God and covenant is replaced by the word network. This Bible story gets a whole different meaning, and feel to it. It’s not about God anymore, but about the rainbow connecting these clouds, and the network with faith and thankfulness. It reads weird and ambiguous, it sounds familiar but something is just not right. Even when I read it, I get confused what it is about, and I think that was the reason that I could not continue with it. I didn’t made any visual support for this experiment. Also I don’t want to offend the Bible by doing this, I can imagine that it can be an insult to some believers. Either way this is not a good placeholder, but the method of substituted words of an existing narrative structure can be interesting.
Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awaked, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and butterfly there is necessarily a barrier. The transition is called Metempsychosis.
Version 1 Once upon a time, I, stone dreamt I was a bird, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes as a bird. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a bird, and was unconscious of my individuality as a stone. Suddenly, I awaked, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a stone dreaming I was a bird, or whether I am now a bird, dreaming I am a stone. Between a stone and bird there is necessarily a barrier. The transition is called Metempsychosis
To support my poem I experiment with video. Like I said before, it’s an easy way for me to experimenting with visuals. Again I use found footage of Youtube that connects to my narrative. The words that I have replaced are the keywords for my video search. For example; the bird, I looked for a calm video and natural environment of this animal. Because the original story has this natural feeling and it’s about dreaming, I try to look for videos to compliment that. In the story I replaced two words, therefor I find two videos, and I place them next to each other. These images on the left are screenshots of the video. This visuals helps you to relate more to the narrative. In the background of this video, you will hear the story.
Once upon a time, I, tree dreamt I was an elephant, tramping hither and thither, to all intents and purposes as an elephant. I was conscious only of following my fancies as an elephant, and was unconscious of my individuality as a tree. Suddenly, I awaked, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a tree dreaming I was an elephant, or whether I am now an elephant, dreaming I am a tree. Between a tree and elephant there is necessarily a barrier. The transition is called Metempsychosis
Version 3 – Cat & Bat Version 4 – Waterfall & Whale Version 5 – Human & Butterfly
I used the story of ZHUANGZI, The Butterfly Dream, as structure device. (Like what I did with the Bible) The poem means to make a philosophical point about what we take to be real. The general question – do I wake or sleep? – seems both valid and ultimately unanswerable. If we do not know whether we are waking or dreaming, we cannot appeal to a body of knowledge belonging to the world of the waking. The realization that if we can see how dreams can seem completely real, then we can also see how reality can be just like a dream. There is the temptation to find oneself ‘understanding everything correctly.’
This time I substituted the words of people and living creatures; ‘Zhuangzi’ and ‘butterfly’, I change with other livings or Mother Nature. My versions of this poem creates a different kind of relationship, and a different intersubjectivity. The way I started, was looking to find two living things that comment each other and find an interesting opposition. The first version what I created was already interesting, because I give an anthropomorphic voice to a no living stone. In the original story it’s between a man and a butterfly, both living creatures. To see a different relationship between objects and living, gives the poem a different intersubjectivity. To see this contrast was for me the most interesting part of this experiment. The support part, the video, was lacking something. Because it’s repeating the story over, and over again, even the words change, it becomes dull. You know what’s going to happen, in the next version. It is quite hard to keep het interesting for the viewer, even when you looking at stunning documentary images. I try now twice the ‘placeholder’-method, and notices that it’s missing my voice in these narratives. You see more of the original version, than my version.
For this Thematic Project we had a group exhibition in V2, with the results of the research of the encyclopaedia of media object. The illustration that I found were quite dated and that’s way I chose to make slides and project them during the exhibition. But only the slides were not enough, so I made a little guide for the slideshow. Each slide has a number, where the guide tells you a short description, and which category the animal belongs to. These descriptions are about the animals, some parts of the information are facts some of them are fictional. If that was not enough I also had an audio voice reading the guide for you. Every time when a bell rings through your headphone, you could go to the next slide by the remote controller on the slide projector. All this together felt like a zoology class, that’s way I put a school desk, chair and notebook, were you could teach yourself in your own time. Just listen to the audio voice, read along with the guide, writes some note, a manual the slide projector yourself.
During the third Thematic Project in the first year with Florian Cramer, we research the encyclopaedia of media object. We dissect this topic by questioning each word individual; what are objects, what is media, and what is an encyclopaedia? While we research these issues, we approaches a lot of theories, such as Jorge Luis Borges THE BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS. This fictional book contains descriptions of 120 mythical creatures from folklore and literature. Often descriptions from one to four pages, these creatures are bizarre of far from absurd. Borges gives the mythological origins of each, and also some indication of how they have been used and seen throughout the ages. Borges was my biggest inspiration and starting point of this project.
I created my own ‘book of imaginary beings’ in an installation called ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION. My project started with hard to classify animals; the platypus and the extinct dodo. These animals are rare, (I can’t be sure of the dodo) because they are egg-laying mammals, and have evolutionary relationship between mammals and reptiles. Borges inspired me to find and imagine more of these animals and came up with my own categorization; existing, extinct and fantasy animals.
The search for these animals proceed in the following way; category existing, I looked for animals like the platypus, and other rare evolutions within animals; category non- existing, most of the extinct animals have a rare evolution and there for it fits well in the category. Most of them I find by searching the keyword- extinct animals; category fantasy, has a totally different way of searching, because I didn’t have to look far. I carry a book named LEVEN NA DE MENS, from Dougal Dixon, since I was 7 years old. The book is a fictional guide to zoology of the future. In it, he presents his hypothesis of various organisms apparent after a mass extinction succeeding our own time. Beside the descriptions of these creatures there are incredible illustrations of them next to it. I was always amazed by the book and still today I loved to look at the illustrations. For the category fantasy I chose one of my favourites. After I chose all the animals for my categorization, I collected illustrations of them. These illustrations are found footage from the internet. I try to find the same drawing style, this way you won’t tell the category by the image.
This project had a lot going on, slides (projector), audio, booklet, and school-set up. Normally I always try to be as minimal as possible, because all does things could also be distraction. The project worked because all of those things, but it’s really not my style of work. What I found interesting of this project, is the way I gather all information and illustrations, and in the end make it my own. Choosing books from my past connecting to contemporary found footage of the internet, and transform it with changing the context, and you get a very personal result that nobody can imitate. It creates something really special and original. Maybe the outcomes wasn’t my style, but the method was a disclosure process for me.
I started this process to experiment with narratives and after I created them I investigate and study the outcome. I found out that I naturally use narratives structures, such as HERO’S JOURNEY, in THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING and BLUE TEETH. Also I can use the Bible and a Chinese poem as a structuring device to create different versions out of them, like what I did with BOWS AND CLOUD and the many versions of ZHUANGZI. Finally I can get inspired by a fictional book to create my own fictional myth installation, what you saw at V2 with ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION.
What do they all have common?
All these methods create a narrative that can provide a path for the viewer to lead them in to my story. But which one speaks the most for me? And which one is most my voice? What is the recipe to create my next narrative?
Most of the narratives are based on fictional and factional research what I do on the internet. Often I intended to investigate the historical path which these subjects took and what it contributes to a more contemporary use of imagery. What’s the next topic and what it’s about? How are you going to visualize them?
What don’t they have in common?
The mode of address; they all have a different motivation and goal. Each method of creating a narrative has a different destination. What is your goal? Helps knowing the goal, to make a decision for which method to use?
When I started this investigation I was planning to create more narratives like the JOURNEY TO FUJI, by using the same method. I want to outline the significance of everyday symbols such as; Apple, Blue Tooth and Cloud, symbols what you see everywhere, but never giving any thought where they came from. I try to find the unknown meanings or uses that came before our contemporary uses or appropriations. Where those this symbol came from and how it contributes to a more contemporary use of symbolic imagery. I tried to use the HERO’S STRUCTURE to fictionalize a historical path with THE JOURNEY TO FUJI story. I practice with this same structure during THE APPLE OF NEWTON AND TURING and BLUE TEETH stories, but they didn’t worked. Maybe it’s because I use too much existing information what I found on the internet, and it’s lacking my own imagination and voice. Or it is THE HERO’S JOURNEY structure that I use, could be the reason that they become to fairy-tale-tone, like the BLUE TEETH. Either way I felt to force to work with this exact method that I explore with THE JOURNEY TO FUJI; chose an everyday symbol, create a narrative with the HERO’S JOURNEY structure and make an outcome in a form of an installation. When I had this all planed out, I felt closed for suggestions and spontaneous ideas, like what happened during my THE JOURNEY TO FUJI. Because of this fixated method, I leave no room for experimenting and spontaneity. Another reason that it didn’t maybe worked, is that I was also fixed to the HERO’S JOURNEY structure. I was forcing to connect the stories to this structure, and again felt shut down.
The BOWS AND CLOUD and ZHUANGZI had almost the same method. I do a simple intervention in these existing text and give a different intersubjectivity. The BOWS AND CLOUD got me confused and stuck, and the ZHUANGZI got me quickly dull. By using existing placeholders, it’s lacking my own voice in these narratives. They connect too much to the originals.
There are two project where I feel good about the process and the outcome, does are THE JOURNEY TO FUJI and ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION. Not only I had much fun by making them, but it was also the most interesting for me and the viewer. These two projects had a clear outcome and presentation, unlike the others they were more an experiment. If the others were more thought out, I would have created an outcome, but they didn’t, they were just little experiments. I need to feel that the narrative needs a visual support to make an outcome, such as an installation; like what I did with the ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION. If I had only the animal images, that won’t be enough to tell the whole story. The narrative and the installation are connected and invites the viewer to follow my path that leads you in to my story.
I found two interesting ways when I reflect on my work, and could be helpful during my graduation project; The workflow of THE JOURNEY TO FUJI, after one experiment it inspired me to create another one; The method of finding information and illustrious during ZOOLOGY ILLUSTRATION, choosing books from my past connecting to contemporary found footage of the internet, and transform it with changing the context.
Borges, Jorge Luis, Margarita Guerrero, and Andrew Hurley. The Book of Imaginary Beings. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.
Dixon, Dougal, and F. Hillenius-Gehrels. Leven Na De Mens: Gids Voor De Dierenwereld Van De Toekomst. Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1981. Print.
Fuji: Images of an Iconic Mountain. Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016. Hamalainen, Mervi. “The Book of Imaginary Beings.” The Book of Imaginary Beings - Book Review. Curled Up, Sept. 2006. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
Kardach, Kim. “Tech History: How Bluetooth Got Its Name | EE Times.” EETimes. EE Times., 9 June 2014. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.
Tallis, Raymond. “Zhuangzi And That Bloody Butterfly.” Philosophy Now. N.p., 2009. Web.
Vogler, Christopher, and Michele Montez. “The Hero’s Journey.” The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2007. N. pag. Print.
“Cloud Computing.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.
"Creation Myth." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
"Mockumentary." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
“Butterfly Dreams (Zhuangzi Quote).” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2016.
To see the complete draft, with footnotes and images, ask me for the PDF ;)