User:Dennis van Vreden/proposaldraft

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The Self Is Absent


A brief general introduction or abstract laying out the field you wish to research, possible key questions driving what you want to explore and how you will test these questions through practice.

The Practice and the Method

Recurring themes in my work have been identity, gender, the body and pop culture. Each project always begins with a certain fascination for certain behavioural patterns people have.

Right now I am interested in the stage. The affect of it. The stage gives the opportunity to transform and it is that short transformative moment that fascinates me. The work I did last year is an example of that.

The Wonderful Media Design Technicolor Experience and ビヨンセ! Biyonse are two interactive installations. Both the installations The Wonderful Media Design Technicolor Experience and ビヨンセ! Biyonse had the same setup, but were different in topic. They were set up with a projection and a Kinect underneath it. They also both had music and a center spot facing the projection where the ‘user’ gets in the Kinects radius.

TWMDTE was exhibited for one day only, while Biyonse ran for five weeks in the gallery of Roodkapje in Rotterdam.

The installations used the Kinect to recognize the users skeletons and movement. The user enters the room not really knowing what will happen. As soon as they approach the center spots laid out in front of the projection the Kinect immediately reads the user and either Beyoncé (ビヨンセ! Biyonse) or Dorothy (TWMDTE) pops up in the screen and reacts to every movement of the user. The techniques that were used in the animation and Kinect were Processing and Animata.

TWMDTE was developed to coincide with the Musical Symposium that took place during the Open Day at the Piet Zwart Institute to represent the Media Design department. Biyonse was a follow up installation to see it in a gallery space and watch the response. There is something quite fascinating to see people react when all of a sudden whatever they do is reinterpreted by technology and acted out into a superstar.

Biyonse turned the gallery into a stage. Creating a center spot was mostly to send the visitor into the radius of the Kinect, but also functioned like the infamous 'Idols' spot where contestants were supposed to show their talents.

Biyonse explicitly invited the visitor to assume over the top poses to make the virtual Beyoncé respond to their movements in unnatural ways. A small movement is of course not of interest, but the Kinect requires some extremity in the skeleton to see a response. TWMDTE version was used in a more extreme way. Since Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz are such classics they were interesting to take to extreme movements that physically aren't possible. To fuck Dorothy up as much as possible. Beyoncé being a music artist therefore asks the visitor to actually dance. As if you are choreographing Beyoncé to do your bidding. Fucking her up also happens, but not like the Dorothy version. Of course the music acts as a huge catalyst for dancing. Beyoncé's being very up tempo. Dorothy's being quite slow (with music from the original soundtrack).

The Context

Meaning practices or ideas that go beyond the scope of your personal work. Write briefly about other projects or theoretical material which share an affinity with your project. For example, if you are researching urban interventions, you might talk about Situationist approaches to psychogeography, urban tactical media and activist strategies of reclaiming the streets. Or, if you want to explore the way data is tracked, you might touch upon the politics of data mining by referencing concerns laid out by the Electronic Frontier or highlight theoretical questions raised by Wendy Chun or others. (Keep in mind that we are *not* expecting well formulated conclusions or persuasive arguments in the proposal phase. At this juncture, it's simply about showing an awareness of a broader context, which you will later build upon as your research progresses.)

The Plan

As a start, during the second term I will take an additional course at the Erasmus University. The course I will be doing is called Media and Cultural Globalisation and it will focus on the key role of media and media entertainment in the international spread of culture. As to say the impact of entertainment. My goal in this is to have a new perspective on my interest in popular cultural phenomenons such as Beyoncé.

Overall my working method has always been to work instinctively within my topics of interest and let it lead me.

The References

William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Andy Warhol
Chrissie Iles, Issues in the New Cinematic Aesthetic in VIdeo
Spinoza, Ethics
Richard Avedon
Bruce La Bruce
Paris is Burning
Other Voices, Other Rooms
The Wizard of Oz
Swan Lake
Korean Pop
Anish Kapoor, Leviathan
James Turrell
Inventing the Victorians