Instead of taking an entire album, I thought about what it would be like to use one photograph and create a soundscape out of that. Kind of like telling a story through an audio clip.
The sort of sounds I’d consider recording for the above picture is:
1. Prepping a camera on a tripod
2. Voices, asking for everyone to sit down
3. Setting up the timer
4. Scrambling to find our seats
5. The lighting of a match
6. Silence for a few seconds
7. The photo is taken
8. The lighting of a match, again
9. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’
10. Blows out the candles
Last night, we headed to Testing Grounds for the dinner party that we had been talking about in the past few weeks. We were going to try out Joseph’s backpack projectors, and all of us were pretty excited about that.
By having the dinner party at a place such as this, it made me think about how we might reuse a place for our own purposes. I took several photos to illustrate the environment that we were in. On a wall right next to the electric blue TESTING GROUNDS sign, was a lovely projection setup. It reminded me of the Wednesday Night Market – they, too, have weekly projections of old movies, sometimes the silent kind, and people could gather around to watch short films from long ago while feasting on whatever night market goodies they could lay their hands on.
It was a lovely night, complete with food – each person was required to bring something to the table – and a barbecue pit as well. There was salad, fruits, hot sausages, and even a homemade cake topped with bright blue icing, chocolates, and lollies.
We sat on plastic chairs around the little bonfires, enjoying the music and embracing the cold that came along with it. All was well, and it was a very pleasant evening.
It then came the time for us to try out Joseph’s projection backpacks. I admit to not quite knowing what I could project for that night, so I chucked in a random selection of photos and videos that I had.
When the time came for us to head out in the cold to try out the totally cool and advanced – excuse my use of simple language – projection backpacks, Dea managed the gadget while I helped take some video footage with her camera. It was cooler than I expected, as we projected different images and videos onto various places.
As I reflected on the evening, I thought about how different visuals are capable of reacting with a particular environment and the various meanings that could be concocted out of it. Apart from that, the use of different textures and shapes in which we projected on could too be something of consideration. It was an eye-opening exploration piece, and it was something that we were left to think about in regards to space and place, and the way in which it was utilised.
The entire evening was both enjoyable and interesting, and it ended with Jordan presenting us with a short musical accompaniment on the outdoor piano that had a spot at a quiet corner of Testing Grounds.
In class earlier today, we watched the final few presentations. One thing that stood out to me was from Elle and Claire’s videos of the drains at South Yarra. They placed little candles on the waters of the drain, and we watched as they travelled from the pitch darkness of the tunnel, out into the bright daylight. There was a sort of significance to it, and it was almost as if a reminder of what our own lives are like.
The drain reminded me of life as a valley; a continuous journey. The lighted candles represent us, as people, and how we go through life without ever being able to go back in time, but having to keep moving forward, through both darkness and light. And if we can keep a positive attitude, such as the lights do, even darkness – or difficult times – wouldn’t have a hold on us.
There was also a moment in the video where they were in the bridge/tunnel, and they shouted “HELLO!” followed by some whistles, as if testing what they sounded like under there. Jordan commented on the audio and it was a very interesting point. He talked about how sometimes, the nature of the audio is sometimes lost when we try so hard to manipulate it or imply different things on to it. The innocence and natural response of them going “HELLO!” just gave the video a rather organic feel, because if anybody were to venture down that tunnel as well, it would too be our very response.
After having completed and submitted our videos for Assessment 2, we were then required to present them in class earlier today.
Some of the comments I received was on the video’s sense of eeriness, which was what I was aiming for. Someone also mentioned that he liked the contrast between macro and wide shots. Robbie noticed my tendency to trace objects and linkages from one end to the other, and also the play of light and blurriness, and mentioned that it was as if mapping the building’s history and the connection of perhaps people who have had interacted with that place.
It’s interesting how we begin with a particular intention or interest in mind, and how others who watch it would be capable of noticing something else instead. Robbie also commented that my sound was a little overlooked – which I now do agree with – and that there is so much more that can be experimented with both sound and visuals.
Overall, it was a very interesting class as we got to see the places that our fellow classmates have explored and documented. It’s very inspiring. I also do hope that I will be able to outdo myself in the upcoming assessments.