As I approach this years open studio I have really been starting to take the safety of these pieces of seriously. As stable as these pieces are when I’m testing, they are not with the public, and I know they can if knocked…fall. So I devised a method of adding triangular feet to the base of two of them. These two are the Unforgiven pair, which I’ll be testing out this coming weekend with the public.
I came into the studio, starting the day by adding a few more coats of paint to the new additions which are now in place. I also applied fresh gum-tape to further secure the plinth. I’m surprised I had enough to go around and still have plenty left over. The opportunity to finally see this large piece projected into was too good to pass up.
I was then freed me up to focus on further stabilising the model miniatures for the public. I had an idea for triangular legs, but I knew I needed to flesh them out at this scale, so I decided to sandwich them out with strips are cardboard inside two triangles. Repeat that method 3 more times and hopefully I have made a piece more stable for the public. Only time will really tell as I make a start on the other legs for the other pair next weekend before I do another test with all again.
The real test in this Saturday, if things go to plan I will be a step closer to bringing this piece to a close and exhibition ready.
After 4 days straight in the studio, I’m tired. I’ve completed all I set out to do – to fix the projectors into the four model miniatures. I’ve removed the need for horrible tripods, which looked horrible and also created a real hazard in the dark. Having removed that I’ve now got everything attached or concealed to each piece, whilst hopefully they will be fire safe too. They are all secure and well ventilated allowing them to project the slow-motion violence into the spaces. They may no longer consume them. but they are more intimate which can only add to t he miniature aesthetic.
Onto today’s piece I quickly set on where the project would go, It wasn’t going to be hidden in the double bed. For once it was going to be suspended well raised above and attached to the a wall. The fixing had to be right for everything to work, otherwise it would be loose and dangerous. I was careful when even trying the projector in its final position. Angling and support were the first things to get right. The angling was achieved and ensured with five pieces of lattice that sit below the shelf.
Once those criteria were met I moved onto securely holding the projector above adding ventilation and allowing easy access to the ports/buttons. Once this was sorts I could fix in place, and work on the hidden pocket that concealed the media player within the plinth. I finished the day by returning to the first model miniature and hiding the supports in the bar, boxing out the bar before I got the paint out to begin work on the new features that I want to be seen as part of the pieces, whilst others will be left bare. I’m still not happy with the structure I made yesterday, it maybe completely redesigned before it’s fixed in place. Even though I have begun painting it, that won’t stop me.
Next time it will be all about making the new plinth and carrying on the painting of the new pieces which then allow new tests to be carried out.
We’re into the final half of the Easter holiday and I’m doing well. With a structure in place to hold the projector for the Japanese model. One that I am beginning to have second thoughts about now. However I need to see how it looks once painted. Part of me is not used to such a massive change that from the view I’ve been looking at to be obstructed. It wasn’t an easy decision after looking at all the possible positions for the projector to site. I was prepared to construct a bar for it to sit with in at an angle.
The construction of the piece was pretty straight forward once I got the initial height to build a base which I could then adapt, cutting into and repositioning to allow the projection to dramatically fall onto the back wall. The position of the piece now means that a new plinth’s required too. Working with the base, to consider the ventilation I worked in a lattice pattern that would also look interesting and allow the viewer to see within to what is slightly hidden – maybe that’s a fair compromise that I need to accept here.
Now all I have to do is paint and more than likely fix in place ready for presentation. I’ll make a start on a new plinth once all the projector positions have been sorted and painting is underway. Laying the groundwork with new tracking in place. I’ll be making use of the old one to make a start on the new. I have also been looking at added a line of cardboard around the interior of the bar in yesterday’s model miniatures to hide the additions, I’ll paint all the new additions too that sit within the model. The first one I’ll leave bare as its external. Lastly I have the biggest and most interesting model to work with. I’m not sure where the project will go. I have a lot of space to place with too.
We are half-way through the Easter Holiday and I also half-way through adapting my model miniatures to hold the projectors within them in some shape or form. After weighing up my options for this one – the saloon from Unforgiven (1992) I decided to conceal it within the saloon bar itself. Which took some time to figure out, after carefully removing the bar, I began to look at the angle and how to then secure it in place. Whilst also allowing the image to come through the bar unaffected. Also considering the ventilation which runs through under the base and straight outside again.
Once the projector was secure I had to consider the bar itself, how do I keep it secure, yet lose. I decided on a system on cardboard strips that would run around three sides of the bar on in the interior, so that it slides over the top, holding it in place.
Again I made some necessary cuts to the plinth for the cabling, with the addition of the media player pocket, which will be a standard part of all of the modifications. I’m pleased with how this one has turned out and the creative thinking which went into make the. This new method will really free up the presentation, only restricted by the length of power cable which is easily resolved.
Next up I’m hoping to work on the Japanese piece, to conceal it would be hard under the raised floor, causing more work than I really want. Also the positioning of the projector (which I am think will be overhead) could potentially change the plinth it sits on too, as it currently sits on it’s side. All come make more sense when I return to the studio.
It’s been an interesting day in the studio. I now have kit that makes the set-up a lot easier, which allowed me to focus on what’s going on in the work it self and not lose time. I began by editing the other pair of videos, however I might hold back on that idea as I’ve been advised as much as I wanted the clips of slow motion violence to play consecutively, if both pieces are not started together then an overlap will eventually build up. There is a piece of kit that is available, however as I have done with all my work, I want to keep it simple. At least for now I have the method of how to approach this technique. However I might re-edit them.
During that process I was trimming down both test videos to so both show more or less clips of violence, even re-timing them in places. I’ll again re-time them to have similar breaks in-between each reaction to violence. Today I went back to an earlier edit, which I feel works to get an idea.
Looking forward I discussed the presentation with another artist in the studio who suggested that the projectors I am using could be concealed, this would work for two reasons. One if the work was shown in a lit space I need to still have the image visible. concealing the projector within the model miniature would ensure the image is not lost. I would however lose the blanket projection over the model. All of the models can potentially hide a projector, if I made the decision and began to make cuts, it’s a change that I can’t reverse. Two it would also remove what is becoming a nasty site to see, the projectors on tripods takes up a lot of room. If they are worked into the model miniature, I can hide the wires (and lose the blue light from the media player. It’s something I need to investigate.
I’m also looking at projector boxes to do the same job of concealing the wires but not concealed in the model miniature. Either option means more work, the concealing is more appealing, and would make the work more versatile. I’m leaning towards that making them more unique, not relying on external pieces, keeping it within the model miniature is a fun idea.
I was mad to go into the studio today, with what is looking like freezing snow outside. I was determined to go in if the roads were clear. So they were and I did. My main focus of the day was to reinforce the fourth plinth, which is by far the largest of the set. I’m struggling to find space now in my studio space.
With the gum-tape in place I decided to see how it would look paired up with other model miniature. Looking at the two together I could see a massive difference in height. The larger piece dominates it without doubt, which really concerns me. I was considering how it would look with the viewfinder in place, how that would change the piece, giving more power to the larger one.
I had to see how it looked, and it just took all the attention away from the smaller one which just cowers away in comparison. I need to see how they work with projections, how will that change things. I’m starting to lean towards removing the viewfinder completely as much as it draws the audience in, the envelope like screen that it cut out to reveal the violence is something that could work on it’s own without the other piece.
I’ve spent longer than I expected to on this piece in the studio today. Just showing that even with all the material I have to hand. I began by sourcing the longest box (when flattened out) which measured to just over a meter. Thinking that I may have the tallest plinth on my hands here. As the day progressed I was searching for pieces that matched the original box. I couldn’t, settling for two varied sizes, which ultimately took the height down to just under a meter.
With the height fixed I began to get the pieces cut to size, slowly in place and fixed together. There are support strips of card on either side of the with some of the sheets that are forming the plinth. I have to make do and carry on the best I can with some pieces. Once in place I began to reinforce with the standard triangles on the 90 degree angles, it was the those of around 120 degrees that needed a different approach to ensure they did the same job.
As I’ve had with the other plinths, the model miniature slotted in with ease once more, allowing me to see it raised and supported. All I need to do now is add the gum tape for extra strength before pairing it up with the other piece. I’m glad that all four plinths have been constructed, bringing me a step closer to drawing this piece to an end. Moving forward I want to see how this pair looked when projecting together too. Before that happens I need to buy more kit that will streamline what I already have, making further tests and ultimately installations an easier process to set-up. Lastly I need to see how the projections work with both the viewfinder in place and without. I’m also concerned how it will look alongside the others which have so far not needed one. All these decisions still to make.
If I’m honest today was really stressful, nothing went as straight-forward as I thought it would be. With new kit came new issues which now have to be resolved moving forward for a public installation. I won’t go into detail about them but they took up a lot of my time in the studio.
Moving on I did finally get to see the first pair of pieces projecting opposite each other, I had to compromise in places and there’s still things to iron out. The main being the timing of the footage being projected. As I began to see them working together, the volume cranked up for effect there was a lot of overlap. I want to see how they work if I even out the gaps. I’m thinking about a new tests where the videos are timed to bounce off each other, allowing the audience to look at both pieces instead of being conflicted. For example the original Unforgiven (1992) leads with a bit of footage, a break of a few seconds, before a piece from the remakes played, this would allow them both to work together, no overlap before a long/short break at the end before they play together as they go into a continuous loop. I could carry out the edit next time I’m in the studio, also allowing me to source the kit I need to carry out a more streamlined test. The video documentation naturally wants to look at both at the same time as they are wanting your attention, so why not work with that.
I also looked at the lighting, which I am concerned about. I will have between 2-4 tripods in the installation, I need them to be secure and safe for an audience. Lighting is needed, if only to illuminate minimally. I don’t really want to cast as shadow of the tripods, just the plinths, I can’t help light coming from the media players, unless I work on a concealing method.
It’s all about seeing what’s working now as I move towards a more complete state, making the idea a reality is harder than it looks. I have however been able to see them working and that’s something I want to see again, without the stress of all the problems that arose today. They should iron out by next time.
Can’t find earlier posts? – you can find them all here in diary form
A shorter than usual trip, with only a handful of shows this time. Starting off with a bit of fun at the London Film Museum – Bond in Motion. Billed as the largest collection of Bond cars ever, which wasn’t my main draw, it was to see everything else on top of the cars/vehicles. Once I was there I was like a kid in a candy store, looking at the cars, especially those which the guns and rockets on show. Definitely one for the boys. The icing on the cake being a model miniature from Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), that was built to allow the production team prepare how to film the finale, complete with cylindrical saws.
My next stop stayed with the filmic theme at The Photographer’s Gallery, for a show I really wanted to see. Instant Stories. Wim Wenders’ Polariods. Exhibiting some of the remaining polaroids the German took on location and for inspiration. Out of the thousands he has said to have taken only a fraction remain which allow you to get an insight to his thinking. I see them like sketches, see it, capture it and move on. Taken in the 70’s and 80’s, you get to see him working and exploring America and Germany. I really could have stayed longer than I did, going around the two floors of the show a few times, taking in each carefully framed polaroid, given a new precious status, this ones throw away images are given something far greater than was ever intended for them.