Anatomy – Group Ideation
May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Recap – Jonathan, Steph and Heather’s ideas
Jonathan’s grounding research delved into the dichotomous nature of Cockatoo Island. His research brought him to explore the trace memory\narrative lingering within the industrial ruin. Interrogating human interaction with such sites, Jonathan uncovered a tendency for inhabitants to unbury and make sense of desolate remnants; flare which informed his ideation process.
His idea revolved around creating a generative, atmospheric experience, where the proliferation of un-truths are granted authority within a privileged space. Interaction with the space through physical presence and speech recognition alters the very fabric of the didactical narrative. This causes a feedback loop between person and space.
Stephanie investigated her ancestral links which inextricably bind her to the Cockatoo Island for her grounding research which she attempts to illustrate in her ideation phase. Stephanie inquires into these invisible relationships, deciding to further explore and decode other invisible connections on the island, such as the microcosm and macrocosm of the island interconnection within it.
Her concept involves interactive projection, where veins spill from the surfaces your body touches, and connects with the metaphorical anatomy of the island. Illustrations demonstrating the island’s previous functions, and faces from those who have experience with artwork blossom from the veins. Other participants veins and illustrated narratives then connect with your veins, and soon the rich fabric of the island is reveals itself.
Heather focussed her grounding research on the lives and experiences of those that had lived on Cockatoo. Her general aim throughout the ideation phase was to somehow connect and intertwine the experiences of individuals existing in the same space – past present and future; perhaps using their presence to heighten an experience or generate something curious.
Her concept uses a hanging glass pane (representing the island) on which generative imagery is projected. The interactive installation aimed to utilise the presence of the individual to tear away the layers of projection. As the individual approaches, layers are wiped away, bit-by-bit, delving deeper into its inner detail. Through the he collective experiences of the participants, the output is created, intertwined and networked.
At the outset, we began to mind-map each of our concepts with the aim of identifying similar themes between them. We commenced examining each other’s ideas in depth which lead into a detailed discussion of the direction our group concept should take.
Our initial development was to move away from the existing ideas and ideate from scratch from our combined research. However, after a lengthy ideation session (including valuable input from Baki and Lian (thank you both)), we reigned our ideas in and brought the discussion back to our existing concepts and what they had to offer.
After further individual exploration and ideation, we met up again to finalise the concept. Each of us brought some new inspirational material and sketches in order to discuss new angles and approaches that we could further develop. After a few hours of discussion leading nowhere at the Customs House Library, we headed to McDonald’s where our ideas came together and we finalised our design (if you’re ever stuck, perhaps a lovely trip to the fast food giant will do the discussion some good (!)).
Here are some initial sketches that were created with a few options on how the installation could be realised.
Beyond the visible surface of Cockatoo Island, an unseen world of invisible truths eludes us. A dichotomy exists on the island between the transient and the permanent which not only contributes to the physical augmenting of the space, but leaves unseen layers of history, experiences and impressions behind. These layers build over time, contributing to the island’s fabric.
Through the use of the body, this work aims to refocus our perceptions of a space and its underlying narratives in order to uncover something we may not have otherwise seen. With the body as the tool, an individual has the ability to delve into the previously unseen, revealing layers existing beneath the surface. The work seeks to reveal the microcosm within the macrocosm which interweaves us within the island’s fabric.
As you approach the structure, you will be enticed to touch the glass pane (how this is achieved is still to be decided).
As your hand makes a connection, the ‘island’ will distribute a unique layer of its fabric which will pour over your skin and remain there in a lively flux, even as you steer away.
As you begin to move away, and the distance between your body and the textile structure grows, the fabric will slowly absorb into the skin, becoming part of you.
Sculptural element – textiles:
As a group, we were aiming to bring a tactile, sculptural element to the work. We decided on the use of textile art due to the ethereal feel it brings and its potential to incorporate multiple textures to the work. Textiles hold a unique ability to connect to people’s everyday lives across many cultures – clothing, household items, rope, string and much more. We seek to use this familiarity to aid in connecting an individual to the work; perhaps by bringing this familiar tactile element to the work, the individual will feel a greater connection throughout the interaction.
Aesthetic and Technical Inspiration:
Delicate Boundaries – Chris Sugrue
An interactive artwork that allows the spaces inside our digital devices to move into the physical world. Small bugs made of light, crawl out of the computer screen onto the human bodies that make contact with them.
Mary Babcock – Unnatural Acts, 2003
Materials – Prickly pear fiber, silver solder, wire.
Maggie Ayres – Connection
Materials – felt and stitching on painted canvas
Where to from here?
During some colourful discussion following our presentation we received some constructive feedback to help us move forward and continue to develop our concept.
We were encouraged to incorporate industrial materials to be juxtaposed with the organic structure we had designed. The metal materials could then extend from the floor and join with the textile vein like structure, uniting the island’s aesthetic qualities and prior functions.
We were also introduced to alternate ways of presenting our work, such as transforming it into an organ like sculptural interface where you are able to put your entire arm (or body) into. In this way the island could envelop the people interacting with the work in a controlled environment. A secondary suggestion was that rather than having a hanging artwork, it could be floorbound which could perhaps be more enticing and inviting to be touched.
When discussing the material choices of the structure, it was suggested that rather than utilising glass or perspex as the screen material, we could experiment with silicon. Silicon has a hauntingly skin like quality that people are apparently quick to to engage with and touch. When the silicon is projected onto, it also has a glowing effect which could be interesting to play with.
It was realised that conceptually our work is still a bit disconnected, and we are going to remedy this pronto. These comments will help shape our work, and push us to create a more profound experience for the audience so that they are able to have a deeper connection with the island.
Further posts coming up…technology info and initial testing recap, updated concept development.
Anatomy – Steph, Jonathan & Heather