New Design

I started thinking about whether it was a remedy I wanted to create, or rather to illustrate the process of making a digital image, so the viewer can understand what is really behind it and then see that everyone’s images are essentially made up of the same things. For example digital images use RGB, so I thought if I could illustrate that everyone’s pictures are made up of the same colors, they could hopefully see that it doesn’t matter what pictures are posted online because at the end of the day, it’s all the same (in terms of social media).

 

Experiments with RGB in mind

additivecolor-svg

 

Then I began thinking about pixels and how these are what everyone’s digital images are made up of as well as RGB.

 

 

At this point I was inspired by Camille Malala’s work – like Lakwena Maciver it is very striking and she uses lots of squares and geometric patterns. I would like to note how my idea has gone from calming blues and curvy shapes to bright red, green and blue and sharp edged shapes.

 

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I re-designed what was to go in the bead compartment of the kaleidoscope so that the pixel-RGB could be viewed on the inside. I used tracing paper so that the line would still shine through and the colours could be seen. At first I found that there wasn’t much movement of the little squares (pixels), so I tried sticking tiny beads on the back to make them move, however it worked better to just make them smaller and layered so they carried more weight.

 

 

Further experimentation

After analyzing this design, I found that looking into my kaleidoscope was almost holy, the colors reminded me of a stained glass window. Although it was very lovely to look at, I felt that it still didn’t marry with my concept. Then, I thought about what the outside design should be and realized that the squares were actually more decorative rather than conceptual and that they should go on the outside of my kaleidoscope and the digital-type image with the phone/s which was on the outside should go on the inside.

Outer design 

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I played around some more with my imagery and came up with things like this:

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None of these felt right, so after speaking with my classmates and tutors, I decided to try out making the squares much smaller and coloring them so it is slightly easier on the eyes and came up with this:

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As for the inside, I came up with this:

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I am much more happy with this conceptually now! I feel like this imagery marries so much better with my concept.

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Outer Design

Experimenting with different designs – initial ideas

 

 

I was playing around with these designs when I started to add some of my own drawings and came up with this – by accident at first – and then I actually really liked it –

 

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I felt that this image symbolized exactly what I wanted to say – to not get so caught up in your phone and remember to step out of it every now and then or when you feel it’s getting too much.

 

Experimenting further I felt it needed more of an interesting background rather than a plain one…

 

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However once printed the lilac-type colour it was a bit too harsh on the eyes so I decided to go for softer tones and made this using pastels:

 

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This would go underneath my design, however I also needed to put my QR code on there so that people could scan it and listen to my manifesto. Using my previous drawings I designed this:

 

practice-plain-1

 

So that when the paper goes all the way around the cylinder it will join up at the back and so the design goes all the way around.

This is how it looked on the actual kaleidoscope:

 

 

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I decided to add a thought bubble to the girl as well, so that it is as if she is climbing out of her phone away from social media thinking ‘this is a highlight reel’… and nothing more. She is taking herself away from it. She literally moves out of it, changing her perspective in this literal way, much like you could change your view/perspective on whatever is infant of you from using a kaleidoscope.

 

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(my QR code)

How my design looked on the kaleidoscope:

 

It was quite difficult to get the code to join up at the back, however this would just take a fe more tries of different sizes. I also printed the cover on laser film which I loved the effect of, so that it could act as a sleeve on the kaleidoscope to give the image more depth.

After some further speculation on this, I decided that this cover was too plain. I very much liked the image but I felt it was not impactful enough for the viewer and I felt that I would definitely need to be there to explain it as they wouldn’t know what it was about just from looking at it. I wasn’t feeling like it did what it needed to do.

 

Colours

Colour Theory

 

I researched into different colors and their meanings as well as different shapes and the effects they have on the human brain, for example curvy shapes are said to stimulate brain activity more so than shapes with sharp edges and as humans we respond more to them in general.

 

Experimenting with colors of beads: 

 

 

Below, I experiment with a purple color scheme, and just how much yellow is acceptable before it becomes chaotic for the brain:

 

 

 

Experimenting with light from a torch shining underneath:

 

 

As I was deciding what color to have on the end compartment, I tried out green and blue colors, however I found that when held up to the light, the color of the acrylic didn’t come through and it made no difference (see below), so I decided to stick with a white color.

 

 

Bead Compartment

Using the laser cutter I made a compartment for the beads using acrylic, and made a detachable lid to go with it so that you can change the beads!

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Two separate pieces of acrylic glued together to make the outside of the bead compartment.

These are the mirrors once inserted inside the tube – normally there is a tube slightly bigger than the one containing the mirrors in order to be able to carry the bead compartment on the end, however I only had one that was slightly smaller than the main tube, so I made the separate compartment instead. Below are the amount of different sizes we had to try to get the correct size that would fit snugly inside the tube, but only so much that you were still able to take it out.

 

Kaleidoscope Making Part I / Experimentation

Taking one apart

– looking through both ends –

Cardboard

 

This did not work too well because I realized that the paper inside should be as reflective as possible, and the iridescent paper is not. It is also very basic in its design, however I made what I could with the materials I had.

– testing –

 

 

Card

 

 

 

This model was slightly more useful when it came to gauging what pieces I would need and the different compartments e.g. where the beads would go and how they would fit in. Also, the type of material that would need to go on the end so the light could reflect through in order for the beads to actually be seen.

 

 

Seeing how the beads would fit in the top compartment.

 

 

Experimenting with what I could put inside, I wanted to try out cloud shapes (colored in blue with inks) on the inside however found that the inks made the paper less translucent when held up to the light and therefore made it very dark on the inside so you weren’t able to see the clouds too well. However, the layering of the colors was slightly visible which was nice. Tracing paper may work better.

 

Wood

I had to measure the diameter of the tube I would use for the outside of my kaleidoscope (the vessel) so I drew around the lid and then found the centre-point – which took me quite a few tries! I managed to do it in the end, after a whole day spent drawing circles.

 

I then worked out the measurements for each piece of mirror, as the shape inside was to be an octagon – for maximum reflective surfaces.

 

 

My wooden prototype of how the mirrors would join together once cut to the right size, joined together with masking tape.

 

 

The mirrors after they had been cut and glued together into an octagon!

 

 

 

 

I needed to account for the extra space inside the tube that the compartment for the beads would take up, however I temporarily forgot about this and cut the tube to 297cm (the same length as the mirrors) without accounting for the bead compartment length. We were able to cut down the mirrors so it was fine in the end, but it could have been avoided.

Further Research

Stefan Sagmeister – Things I Have Learned

This book pleasantly surprised me. I found the images interesting but the stories were particularly fascinating for me. They are so honest and eventful. The function of this book is simple yet so effective; it allows the reader to see that as humans we really are capable of changing things about ourselves, such as bad habits, in order to better ourselves and our lives. Sagmeister has created this function by including various statements such as ‘Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.’ and then creating typographic images to go with them, followed by accompanying stories which back up his statements. I loved reading this. Even though it is very personal to Sagmeister, it is inspiring for others who may not be sure to know that they are capable of change, even if it is just drinking more water or reducing phone time. Much of this work includes numerous collaborations with photographers, creative directors, artists etc and I think this is a great addition as they all helped Stefan to achieve his personal goals for the book.

 

Stefan Sagmeister – ‘Assuming Is Stifling’

my notes –

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Future Face

I found this book very interesting and if I have taken anything away from it, it’s that the notion of looking at a photo of someone else and thinking you know their entire persona, when really you have no idea what their personality is like, is not a new thing.

 

 

On page 35 (highlighted above) it says ‘Sustained media exposure and the development of computer technologies have shown us that the faces we see in newspapers and magazines, in films and on television, have been idealised, manipulated and touched up. The private person is less important than, and often invisible behind, the public image offered as a commodity for the viewer’s consumption.’

16th century – ‘The popularity of portraiture and with it the social construction of the individual face quickly spread through the upper classes as an expression of power, wealth and social status.’ Whereas today anyone can upload a selfie.

19th century – ‘Portraits began to invite speculation about the personality of the sitter and their inner self and soul’ and ‘Photography… provided the answer to a widespread and increasingly affordable desire to represent the self and to have a realistic picture of a friend or loved one as a token of them in their absence‘  —offline—

 

 

my notes –

 

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Unit London (social media related)

I visited this gallery on Friday last week and the way it was set up really took me by surprise. On their website it states ‘

We are strong believers in the power of online, and we use digital and social media to broadcast our artists and their work to audiences all over the globe.

In selecting our artists, we put talent and ability before reputation, status, or profile. We therefore represent artists spanning a broad range of different ages, races, cultures and backgrounds.’ (Unit London, 2017).

There was no writing whatsoever next to any of the art pieces on display, only QR Codes which you scan with your phone and then you are taken to the artist’s Instagram page. After speaking to the kind gentleman at the front desk, I found out that this was because the exhibition was co-curated with a company called ‘Avant Arte’ which is also an app where you can buy, sell and share artwork. The exhibition incorporated only the Instagram artists. I thought this was a very unique way of running an exhibition and is a tribute to all the artists out there who don’t necessarily have the means to really put their artwork out there and be seen (i.e. me).

 

HyperNormalisation – Adam Curtis

My notes after watching this documentary:

This was very interesting for me as it opened my eyes to the relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East, technology and the developments of cyberspace and how we dealt with this as humans. For example, many people felt helpless and so they needed to control something about their lives resulting in the growth of individualism and taking care of one’s appearance, fitness, diet, etc. Above are my notes taken throughout the documentary to help me follow the programme and understand what it was all about as there was a lot of information to take in.

 

Avant Arte Manifesto

ART IS THE FREEST FORM OF EXPRESSION.
ART SHOULD BE SHARED WITH THE WORLD.

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE ALL ART ACCESSIBLE TO ANYONE IN THE WORLD.
TO CONNECT PEOPLE WITH ART AND THE ARTISTS THEY LOVE.
TO EMPOWER ARTISTS AND CREATIVES TO SHARE THEIR DREAMS WITH THE WORLD.
TO BECOME A PART OF THE ART YOU LOVE.

WE BELIEVE AMAZING THINGS CAN HAPPEN
WHEN ART AND TECHNOLOGY COME TOGETHER.
AND WE’VE CREATED A SINGULAR (OR UNIQUE) PLATFORM
THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO PURSUE THEIR DREAMS OF ART.
TO ALTER THE PERCEPTION OF HOW ART AND LIFE INTERSECT.

WE BELIEVE ART REFLECTS THE IMAGINED TRUTH OF OUR PAST,
PRESENT, AND FUTURE DESTINIES. FOR ALL OF US.

THAT IS WHAT ART IS SUPPOSED TO DO.
IT IS SUPPOSED TO INSPIRE.

IT IS OUR EVERYTHING.
ALL ART EVERYTHING.

 

 

Stefan Doitschinoff

This was my favourite piece! It is expressive but controlled at the same time (how?!)

 

 

Sandra Chevrier

Beautiful paintings, I like how she combines faces with comic strips – almost like masks.

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Most importantly, the exhibition presented ‘art popularised by Instagram’. I think this is amazing (and relevant to the social media aspect of my project) and gives so many artists a platform for exhibiting their work, no matter what their background is. I feel that this shows a positive side of social media, given that it can be so detrimental to one’s mindset, and we should encourage these kinds of events and organisations (using their platform to do something positive).

Manifesto forms

For my manifesto I will definitely stick with my original poem, because I really believed in it when I wrote it and that hasn’t changed. Originally my idea was to put it onto a CD, possibly with some other short songs on there in order to manifest as a type of ‘audio scrapbook’. This was inspired by one of Tinie Tempah’s original mixtapes which he called an audio scrapbook ‘Hood Economics: Room 147: The 80 Minute Course’. Upon its release in 2007 he said ‘Hood Economics Room 147 of which he refers to as an ‘Audio Scrapbook’ is complete and ready for release. ‘Hood Economics’ is my dissertation which is open to the public I suppose,’ he says, explaining the title. ‘It’s my own interpretation of music and economics based around Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand, a theory I learnt at college.’

 

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Tinie Tempah, Hood Economics, Accessed 16/01/17

I began writing lyrics to the tune of a couple of other songs, developing the intention of having little snippets (instead of whole tracks) of songs to present my manifesto. The other songs either had a space theme (to help incorporate the cyberspace aspect) or were songs that I personally felt had a deep, moving quality to them which really made me listen carefully to what the lyrics were saying.

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/02d9ed3c-d71b-4232-ae17-67da423b5df5

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hood-Econ-mics-Room-147-Minute/dp/B000YWI060

http://theunitldn.com/social-2/

https://outlook.live.com/owa/#authRedirect=true

Things I Have Learned, Stefan Sagmeister

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/avant-arte/id1034437481?mt=8

 

 

Media – Visual / Audio

KEHLANI

I’ve had a bit of a Kehlani inspiration brainwave it was very unexpected !

 

I LOVE her album cover art. Literally all of them:

 

 

I think I love them so much because they have a comic/cartoon style and comics illustrate situations that can be very relatable to people. The style has a realness to it yet is other-worldly.

 

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I think this album cover may be the most beautiful one I have seen in a very long time. The warm colours and the delicacy of it.

 

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This is also very beautiful, so delicate like it is a glass ball and it could break if you dropped it.

“The name is supposed to challenge you. The name is supposed to make you question… only to let u find your own answer,” she says, suggesting that the title is meant to protes the idea that women can not be multi-layered. “But really.. it’s me reclaiming myself. Me accepting myself. Good & bad. All the way around. It’s me.” – Kehlani on her album ‘Sweet Sexy Savage’.

Twitter: @Kehlani

Twitter: @Kehlani

 

I made my own version of this artwork using a mirror:

 

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As a way of saying that whoever looks into it can care for themselves.

I also experimented with some polystyrene balls to see what I could come up with:

 

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I hollowed out the inside to get paint in a galaxy looking-scene with stars which contrasted with the pink outside; a way of saying that you never know what’s on the inside just from looking at the outside, in other words not to judge a book by its cover.

 

 

 

Looking at songs which have social media in them (literally) hoping to gather more ideas on how to recreate/edit my manifesto recording.. which admittedly did not happen.

Sorry but why is this a song?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHj85oyYpfI, Accessed 03/12/17

 

Recording

I borrowed the Zoom H2n sound recorder from the kit room to record my manifesto and did lots of practices. They are quite similar but from listening to the first one and then the last one, I feel the expression gets better each time and there are certain pauses and changes in tone of voice that I think I learned with practice, which make it sound better overall. Sadly I wasn’t able to upload all of my practices because I don’t have the software, but here is a list of them all and a couple of examples you can listen to.

 

 

Screenshot of all of my practices:

 

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Sources:

http://www.vibe.com/2015/03/kehlani-you-should-be-here-mixtape-cover-art/

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/kehlani-reveals-sweetsexysavage-artwork-and-official-release-date-news.25853.html?image=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHj85oyYpfI

Groups

G I R L S

I think it’s important to find other organisations/groups who support similar themes, so I have decided to write about a few who I have followed on social media for a while. I am focusing particularly on girls here, as I know more about what it is like being a girl with the effects of social media so I think this is a good place to start.

LAPP THE BRAND

Lapp The Brand was created by model Leomie Anderson and “is all about empowering women and promoting confidence, positivity and unity through fashion and creating another platform to voice womens issues.” (Lapp The Brand, 2016). Leomie’s first t-shirt collection was based on “reclaiming the word ‘No'” in order to empower women to feel confident in their rights and abilities to say no in circumstances where they feel uncomfortable. “The aim was to make girls feel proud and confident to say no to situations they don’t feel comfortable in and remove the negative misogyny around women denying men their bodies, something Anderson feels too many young girls fall victim to.” (Lapp The Brand, 2016).

I love this brand and what it stands for, not to mention the cool clothing collections! The most recent one is called the ‘This P***y Grabs Back Collection’, going against Donald Trump and everything he represents. It is a unisex collection, as his policies do not only affect women, but marginalised communities the most.

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http://www.lappthebrand.com/collections/, Accessed 02/01/17, Shot by Philipp Raheem

The first collection which relates back to women feeling confident and proud enough to say ‘No’ is bright and carries a positive feeling with it.

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http://www.lappthebrand.com/collections/, Accessed 02/01/17, Shot by Philipp Raheem

I would love to design t-shirts relating to my own manifesto – as part of the user guide!

GURLS TALK

I would say that this movement has its own manifesto, “Gurls Talk is a movement that strives to create a platform where girls can openly share their experiences and feelings in a safe and trusting environment.  We are working together to create a community of girls from all different backgrounds, looking beyond external differences, and focusing on the essence of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.  We strive to show girls that you are not alone, and that by opening up and sharing your personal stories, you too can discover that many others are going through the same things.  Gurls Talk is about working together, empowering, and taking the time to listen…”

I think that this is so important.

Founded by model Adwoa Aboah, the aim of Gurls Talk, a charity, is to give girls a voice. Feminism has such a negative stigma attached to it when it doesn’t need to. All it means is the belief that we should have equality of the sexes. The fact that Adwoa is challenging this and encouraging girls of all ages to open up and express their views and beliefs as young women in such a positive way is amazing. She says “It’s just about opening up a space within schools where we as women and girls can talk about whatever we want.”. She goes on to say “They tell me things that they would never tell anyone, so I’ve got to meet them half way, I’ve got to start confiding in them… I can’t tell you how nervous that makes me feel. But as soon as I do, you know I’m 23, they’re 15, and we’re still going through the same things.”

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http://www.gurlstalk.com/, Accessed 02/01/17

http://www.gurlstalk.com/about/, Accessed 03/01/17

They also have t-shirts!

https://everybody.world/x/gurlstalk/, Accessed 02/01/17

StyleLikeU

StyleLikeU is a movement created by a mother and daughter team, Elisa & Lily, who document people and their own personal styles. Their website explains more about their mission:

From the moment we are born, the fashion and beauty marketing machine saturates us with monolithic and unattainable notions of beauty and fashion. Obsessed with youth, meaningless consumption, photoshopped “perfection,” and celebrity-worship, we have been brainwashed to hate our bodies, dread aging, yearn for fame over integrity, and spend our lives paralyzed by a desire to fit in.

Six years ago we created StyleLikeU as alternative to this unconscious self-hate. Home to a series of radically honest docu-style video portraits that redefine our culture’s notion of beauty, each piece of our content is driving public engagement around the reversal of the fashion and beauty industry’s crippling status quo.

By featuring the diverse stories of unapologetic individuals who are true to themselves and comfortable in their skin, you will be empowered to discover that same sense of freedom and comfort in your own skin.”


 

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http://stylelikeu.com/about-us/, Accessed 03/01/17

 

I really like what their mission states and the movement has reached so many individuals around the world, including here in London where StyleLikeU visited and documented people who volunteered themselves to be filmed. The name of this project is ‘What’s Underneath’ and it aims to tackle narrow-minded views of style which vary from country to country as well as ‘demolishing these self-destructive norms and replacing them with standards centered upon expressing and accepting our true selves.’ Adwoa Aboah actually featured on this too, which you can watch below.

 

http://stylelikeu.com/the-whats-underneath-project-2/model-rips-addiction-comes-safe-space-girls/, Accessed 03/01/17

A few notes from this:

“I think if you don’t like being in your skin it doesn’t matter how many times people say beautiful or how many jobs you get or whatever it is  just didn’t, I didn’t wanna be Adwoa.”

“I might not love myself all the time but I’m pretty alright”

it’s very inspiring.

All of this has got me thinking about the way we perceive ourselves and how this is a mental process as much as it is a physical one. What we portray on the outside is not how we feel on the inside (much like how we may portray ourselves on social media.

I am reading this book called ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It is about the inner life of women and includes many short stories and Pinkola’s psychological commentary. During one of these commentaries she references song and singing “Since time out of mind, the song, like the drum, has been used to create a non-ordinary consciousness, a trance state, a prayer state. All humans and animals are susceptible to having their consciousness altered by sound. Certain sounds, like a dripping faucet or an insistent car horn, can make us anxious, even angry. Other sounds, like the ocean’s roar or the wind in the trees, can fill us with good feeling. The sound of thudding – as in footsteps – causes a snake to feel negative tension. But being softly sung to can cause a snake to dance.” (Pinkola Estés, 1992). She also says “In this manner the giving of song is a compassionate act that enables humans to call the Gods and the great forces into human circles. Song is a special kind of language that accomplishes this in a way the spoken voice cannot.’ (Pinkola Estés, 1992).

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With my manifesto in mind, I have been thinking about how I will edit it and if I will produce a DVD or a CD. Part of me wants to sing and re-record it, mainly because I feel that it will engage people more to take in the message and I want it to evoke a certain feeling of inspiration or encouragement (?) in the listener. I’m not entirely sure yet. Looking at what Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes, this adds to my idea of singing it as well as feeling that sometimes spoken word can feel a bit abrupt.

UNIFORM / MEMBERS (of my manifesto)

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I am beginning to picture this to be a women collective, all of whom are advocates for female empowerment.

 

Further experimentation – pop-outs

 

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Using make-up, make-up removers and their prints and acrylic paint –

Sources:

http://www.lappthebrand.com/about-lapp/

http://www.lappthebrand.com/collections/

http://www.gurlstalk.com/about/

https://everybody.world/x/gurlstalk/

http://stylelikeu.com/the-whats-underneath-project-2/whats-underneath-project-london-trailer/

http://stylelikeu.com/about-us/

http://stylelikeu.com/the-whats-underneath-project-2/model-rips-addiction-comes-safe-space-girls/

http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/adwoa-aboah-opens-up-depression-addiction-gurls-talk