Signal Reflection

Signal’s umbrella idea involved the word OBSESSION, an object, theme or story we desperately wanted to tell to the public. For my theme, I played on an idea derived from Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in his book “Alice in Wonderland”, I was fascinated by the idea of world inside a world, or in this case a small universe inside the walls of the Signal building. This connected with reoccurring motif of Alice growing and shrinking, pushing up against walls and trying to escape from tiny spaces. I combined this idea with the thought of loneliness and confinement from reality, being hidden away inside of a fantasy world where nothing is as it seemed to the viewer.

Carroll’s book has always been associated with “Memory, language, and consciousness” (D.Robson, 2015), many of it’s themes and stories being directly linked to the idea of madness and insanity. I discovered that back in 1955 a psychiatrist, Jason Todd, found that many of his patients reported a feeling that was similar to Alice’s growing conundrum, a condition dubbed Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Most common in little children, they reported seeing the room upside down, people who were standing next to them could be seen across the room and the feeling of their bodies expanding or contracting (micropsia (objects appear too small) and macropsia (objects appear too large)). I wanted to pinpoint that exact feeling of pressure and exposure, becoming trapped inside the four walls of a building, a feeling that was ultimately psychological – “They were almost too embarrassed. People want to be told that they’re not crazy.” (H. Stapinski, 2014). While I originally wanted to incorporate a singular model interacting with a glass screen into my shot and play that on micropsia, I soon discovered that it would be too difficult to create that fourth wall I wanted with the glass screen. I wasn’t able to find a sheet of glass large enough to give the effect I intend it to, so I changed my idea and decided to position three different models throughout the four different shots I wanted. Also, instead of having a full body shot, I switched to portrait but still kept the element of interaction.

However with the introduction of multiple models came the idea of isolation. When an individual is a singular display on the screen it is the primary target of audience members, but if you bring multiple model into the image then viewers will expect them to somehow interact in one way or another. I decided that for my models, they will all be separated by the borders of the Signal windows, each window has a dark border and thus will provide a wall between each person.

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Isolation itself is both a physically and mentally harrowing experience for individuals, once again playing on the idea of psychological illusion and madness, isolation caused “hallucinations… bizarre scenes, such as squirrels marching with sacks over their shoulders or processions of eyeglasses filing down a street. They had no control over what they saw” (M. Bond, 2014). It seemed only logical to mix both Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” with the theme of isolation, both conformed on the idea of mental instability and the unreliability of our memories and senses themselves.

For my soundscape I looked into augmented 4ths in music, also know as the Devil’s Interval. Not specifically associated with Satan himself, the triad causes a dissonance between the two notes and gave an ugly sound, gaining it’s name from the Church when music was primarily used for Hymns and songs referring to God. Used only “by composers when they want to create an atmosphere of evil or dread” (G. Veith, 2011) I believed that it was only fitting to use such a morbid and organic tone to accompany my visuals (although not related). The only real issue I had with the sound was the form, have a three channel system did complicate my soundscape and I would have preferred to have something a little more precise and delicate, hopefully in the future I’ll dedicate some more time to sound editing.

Despite the long processors I’ve gone through, I am happy with my final and finished shots and sounds. The idea behind “Alice in Wonderland” still interests me greatly and I know that there are still many different themes and motifs I have not explored behind the book and it’s hidden meanings. Overall it’s been amazing showcasing my work in a space like Signal and I wish to continue expanding behind my ideas in the future, not only for class but also as a personal experiment.


D. Robson, 2015. Five things Alice in Wonderland reveals about the brain. [ONLINE] Available at:

J. Veith, 2011. The Devil’s interval. [ONLINE] Available at:

Liua, Liua, Liu, Liu, 2014. “Alice in Wonderland” Syndrome: Presenting and Follow-Up Characteristics. Pediatric Neurology, Volume 51, Issue 3, Pages 317–320.

Signal Exhibition & RMIT Media Studio Presentation Reflection

During the final weeks of our semester in Specific to Site we were given the opportunity to collaborate with Signal which included an opening night for our work! This was a pretty huge deal for most of us because it was a public event and Robbie made it clear that it was all hands on deck for this project with set up, making posters and invites. The class was divided in technical, PR, documentation and Exhibition for the exhibition. Nicolette and Siobhan became the production managers which I feel helped all the groups communicate easier. I was placed in the PR team, who dealt with the Facebook group, press kit, invites, posters, booklet and general promotion of the event itself.

My initial role in the team was to design and sort the posters for the event, I was planning on waiting for the blog to be completed before starting anything, however in a moment of miscommunication Rose created a poster instead. So I busied myself by trying to help others and seeing if anything needed to be followed up during the first few weeks, but obviously this wasn’t enough and everyone else had their roles they needed to complete. I was a little disappointed with myself that I didn’t help more with the PR during the beginning and I did notice that I needed to communicate more with the group and keep myself updated with what everyone was saying in Facebook chat.

However in the end I was told to start the booklet, which I drafted and passed onto Rose who posted in the bio photos and made some edits with the design of the booklet. The designing and drafting of the booklet was not the most difficult part, obviously not all of the bio photos were taken – which I was guilty of, it was being able to print and create the booklets themselves that gave everyone trouble. I wasn’t able to make it to the printing day, nor was Rose and therefore the pages ended up being printed incorrectly which only gave us until the day of the opening to get it printed, cut and all stapled together. What could have be better was to have the overall design of the booklet thought out before the printing, we all had different ideas on how the booklets would look and even when we were cutting them we still had to stop and discuss the manner in which we stapled them.

So a few of us assembled around an hour before the opening time, Nicolette had printed out the booklets (around 40 of them) and just began cutting like no tomorrow with the slicing machine. I helped organise and staple and with two people cutting and the rest of us stapling and organising we were all done before the cut-off time!

Overall I believe that my team all communicate really well and worked sufficiently together, everyone tried to make themselves available whenever they could be and fulfilled roles with great gusto and enthusiasm. Rose, of course had a huge role with the theme and design of posters, invites, and helping with the booklet. Elaine created out Facebook event and did a large portion of writing. Marissa completed the press kit and Gianna did an amazing job on finishing the website. Of course since many of us, including me, did have jobs outside of this event, I was disheartened when I wouldn’t be able to make a meeting or go to help with the printing of booklets. However I tried to make the best of a bad situation and wanted to help out as much as I could, and attempted to make myself helpful whenever anyone needed something.

The opening night was a success, with everyone being able to complete their videos and sound, as well as all the posters, invites and booklet being complete on time. If there was anything I had learnt from this experience was that it’s important to keep communication lines open, especially when working with such a large group of people. I made the mistake of thinking that someone would always follow up with me on what to do rather then informing the group that I had no job or that the booklet was ready to be printed. I did feel like I could have made a larger contribution to the team and I struggled to find time out of my personal and working life to give more effort into the exhibition and postering. I think in the future I’ve definitely better understood the dynamics of working together in a large group, and that communication between each of my team members was the most crucial part to the success of Signal.

With the exhibition on Thursday, I wasn’t a large part of the set up as most of the work was delegated to the Exhibition/Installation team, who all did a wonderful job of presenting and setting up the space.

In the end, my second semester was probably one of my favourite within the past two years, we not only create quality content, we were also allowed to publicly showcase our work. And the best lesson I’ve learnt from all of this is communication and being able to work together and plan ahead with your team members on what you want to create. My class and teacher, Robbie, have all been really supportive and great to work with, I hope that I could continue creating content and working together with other people next year!


Finally, FINALLY, had our opening night at Signal tonight, it took a lot of rushing around but finally the booklets were printed correctly and some of us gathered a little earlier in the Signal building and began cutting and stapling our heads off to get them ready by the opening time!

Finishing Sound and Visual and Signal!! (At last…)

It was a rather tricky weekend as my model/actor that I was going to use originally dropped out and so I had to find someone the night before to fill in and reshoot the whole sequence that I had to edit out as well as the changes I wanted to incorporate.

Luckily I found someone who was available and we all got together today and finished filming! Alas, I am somehow someway cursed and I realised – whilst editing –  that I had ONCE AGAIN FORGOT TO SHOOT A SCENE. Woe is me I say… But I managed my way around it with the editing and the final product turned out in my favour.

Here are some images below: (Unfortunately, I’ve been so into “Director Mode” during every time we shoot that I never bother to take pictures of our actual set up… boo… What poor taste)

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I also got around to editing my sound, I know I said I wanted to do 3 different channels of sound, however after having a listen to the Devils triad on it’s own I promptly made the decision to keep it as a single track to be played on its own!Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 11.36.13 pm


So from here on its finally the home stretch! I’ll try my best to document all the busyness that’s going to happen within the next few weeks!!

Sound Ideas~~

So I almost (ALMOST) completely forgot about the sound element at Signal that I needed to complete. I’ve asked around to some people but many others were still brainstorming on what they wanted to present since the sound was considered to be separate from the footage/visual.

I didn’t have many ideas for my sound, I was thinking of doing some voices or maybe have some noises of people chatting but I felt that it would be too “busy” and would pretty much disappear being beside Flinders Station. So I was just tossing up some ideas when I thought of the “devils chord” also known as a tritone. The chord of F and B both together gives a strange sound and is kinda ugly to listen to, similarly to the chord C and B which is a 7th. I’m thinking that maybe it’ll be interesting to play these two intervals and have them spaced apart evenly over 30 seconds.

Because theres around 6 speakers, I’ll probably be able to have 3 playing each sound clip.

Editing – Week 11 Classes!!

So today in class we got onto our computers and began editing/continued editing our footage and audio (only footage for me cause I need to get on that audio business!!) So right from the start I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted my end product to start and end. (screenshots below)

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There was a single piece of footage missing, which I realised after I finished the filming and my previous blog post, however I have already gathered a second chance to refilm the missing pieces.

As Previously stated, my concept/obsession is “compression” or just “trapped” and I wanted to show people banging on glass and trying to escape. However, Robbie had a look at my footage and we talked about the relationship between the people that I had cast, and how initially the calm footage of the man and woman seem to indicate some form of relationship between the two and the boundary, as we as the fact that my footage also had a lot of framing which seemed to go nicely.

And there was the dilemma: do I cut certain footage out? Change my concept? Should I explore a bit deeper?? I did agree and liked the way Robbie saw the connection between people, and that the footage itself wasn’t simple humans attempting to escape the glass screen, but also the boundaries and curiosity that they have by peering into the camera. I did ultimately change my design (as shown below) but saved my original just in case!

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Filming for Signal Assignment/Changes to Plans

Today was the day I filmed all my footage for my final Signal video/visual! I decided to ultimately follow the theme of “compression” and had a few of my friends over and I filmed them outside in my backyard behind a window. It was a solid 30 degrees today and so we used the natural lighting we had and with a white background we filmed throughout the afternoon and into early evening.

Of course when you’re filming you have a few bumps along the way, the first one was getting anyone here in the first place, my first person came on time, however had only an hour to film before they needed to commit to other appointments. My second person was late because of daylight savings and so we ended up filming an hour later then what we thought. And finally, my third person was coming after work and so we had to wait until the evening, which was risky because we were using natural lighting. However, it all came together and we finished shooting all the footage we had before the sun went down.


Brainstorm/Poster that I never did/Ideas

Wednesday morning (apart from the the fact that I was running late) I walked into class to find everyone else sitting around in a meeting circle discussing the ideas they wanted to present for signal. Robbie then recommended for us all to make a giant poster on what we wanted to present so we had a visual representation.

HOWEVER, I had an event on later that night that stretched into the next day, which meant that I didn’t really have time to complete it… oops… (Sorry Robbie), but I did have a solid idea on what I wanted to do.

I was torn between the original idea, and then another idea on a human body being trapped and compressed behind the screen/glass, I wanted the people in the video to be banging and on the glass like they were attempting to escape. However the only issue was actually figuring out how I was going to execute a video like that. Hopefully they’ll be a simple way when the times comes.

First Day at Signal!!

So the class all met up in Signal for the first time to begin some brainstorming ideas on what we wanted to do and how the whole system worked. Which was rather complicated and so we had to have some guys ask around and get back to us on the whole thing.

We all sat down and just talked about the possibilities we could explore with the resources that signal provided. This was my first time having a proper look at signal and the type of media entertainment it provides to the public as well as its history. I thought that it was rather to use projectors and special glass to showcase different types of imagery and sound.

Robbie talked about previous types of videos that were created and how many different ways that this type of equipment can be used.

Whilst this week was only the beginning, we were told to start brainstorming ideas on what we wanted to achieve, after some discussion I was hit with the idea of “a world within a world”. Thinking about the tale of “Alice in Wonderland” where Alice fell into a fantasy land, a small world within a hole.

I enjoyed the idea of the people being filmed interacting with the camera and pressing up against the lenses/screen. However I’m still unsure on whether or not I should do a timeline of Alice in Wonderland theme.