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.
It’s been a very successful day in the studio. I set aside a full day to look into any possibilities for the plinth I was going to make today. Not sure of what I was going to encounter. My worries were thankfully short-lived. As you can see from the image above, it’s not exactly a straight surface to build on. The tracking is reduced to ensure I’m on a flat enough surface. As per normal the pieces slotted in and began to come together, shaving small amounts off to take into account the other pieces. It wasn’t long though before I decided to see, just what I was working with after lunch. Turning the work the right way up, I was pleasantly surprised to find the plinth was taking all the weight and continued to for the whole day.
I carried on after lunch, applying the gum tape to further strengthen the plinth. My only guess that even with all the weight at the top, I think that the inclusion of the beams, the balcony wrapping around the interior must be working in my favor.
Now that I have three plinths constructed I had two see how the two responding to Unforgiven (1992 & 2013) work together. There’s definitely a height difference, which was determined by the boxes I used. I won’t be going any smaller for the last one. I really want to see them working in the dark to know whats going on. I can then start to look at timings of the work, how audio effects the opposite piece and just how far they need to be apart for them to project. Hopefully I can see that next time I’m in the studio, thanks to a delivery I received tonight, allowing me to play once more.
I’m now at the half-way mark of having all my plinths in place. I began t he day by working with the cardboard I had pre-cut to work on today. Bringing everything together with only a few pieces needed trimming as the pieces went in. I then moved onto strengthening the two pieces with gum tape which has ensure they last.
With the second one now in place I have been left with a challenge to tackle, the Japanese model miniature which is by far the heaviest. The plinth tracking its set up for a narrow piece, which I’m not sure will take the weight, I may have to make some adaptations to allow it to hold. First lets see how it looks and holds, if I need to I will work on support in the rear and work off observations.
Another quick but essential day in the studio, adding what I have called Plinth tracking. On the sides where a plinth – made of cardboard of course, I have laid two tracks of cardboard with a gap to safely allow a two-ply thick plinth to be added to the bases. This can be easily slotted into place at any time and when in place, it should not move as it’s trapped between two lines of tracking, locking it without gluing it in place. It would allow me to more easily transport the work.
As I look back at the work which is now covered for it’s own protection, I can see just over a year of dedication has gone into making these four pieces. I’ve learned how to make furniture, expanded my gestures from external to internal pieces. The level of detail has definitely increased, making the process a lot longer. My making skills have also increased, whilst still keeping detail lose I have grown in confidence in what I make. I’m really proud of what I’ve made and really want to see them with projections simultaneously now. I know that’s only a matter of time and patience.
In the meantime I have seen some complete (folded) boxes in my studio space. I’m very tempted to expanded them and experiment to see what the possibilities are. I will obviously have to reinforced them with strips and triangle pieces for structural reasons before I even consider placing one of the pieces on top. I think I just like finding work for myself sometimes.
A few posts ago I shared the first of two test videos of the my The Great Silence projection tests. Tonight I can share the second half, which I feel as interesting as it maybe, it has little in terms of distortion, it’s too easy to see the image. Projecting onto the floor reveals too much, it’s too easy for the viewer to make out whats going on. I want them to stay and work it violence being projected. I’ll be going with the first test. Now its just a matter of bring every test together.
I was going to post 2 updates this weekend, however I was at the cinema catching Phantom Thread (2017). So I’ll bring you up to date now. I began the weekend by wanting to look at how the presentation of the final piece will look. With a lack of kit to do this properly I decided to return to a tried and test formula, maquettes, which allow me to look at this on a smaller scale, without the worry of space of setting everything up and hoping that it somehow make sense as I switch from one piece to another. The first day saw me make a start on the first 3 of the 4. Working at a smaller scale I’ve reduced the detail again so I know the piece by a few gestures made in the piece.
I came back today to complete the 3rd and 4th pieces that was still outstanding. I know there are about 1.20 scale so they are all about the same size still, allowing me to understand how they will relate to each other. I’m tempted to even make stand in projectors on tripods – or signifiers. Once they were all complete I added plinths that replicated the heights of the cardboard tables which I’ve been working with so far. I feel that these pieces need there own purpose built plinths, they would also need to work around whats already on the boxes.
I then made a start on a few set-ups to see what works. As much as I want the cross formation I don’t want to limit myself as whats possible. I saw a number that could work. Always having them in pairs I continued to rearrange them. It’s given me a few to consider. I can even take them on the road when the work is installed in a shows so I can see what works too. All I need now is the extra kit to see how the real thing works.
Lastly I have finally finished work on the new tables for Minnies Haberdashery, installing them into an already crowded pieces. I was able to manuveur my glue-gun around, just being mindful of the beams already in place. This brings the piece inline in terms of detail with the other models in the work. I can now just focus on the last hurdle.
It’s a rather short day, however I’ve done all I’ve set out to do. Before I get onto what happened today I want to share the video documentation of the projection tests from last time in the studio. I’ve placed both tests alongside each other to see how they look. The Unforgiven one is short by about 20 seconds. I could match that longer one Yurusarezaru mono to take out portions. However that could effect the impact or effectiveness of the piece. Of course these are only test and I have yet to shortened/remove the gaps, which will effect both pieces. It could be a vicious circle.
Moving onto today’s projection tests with the latest piece – The Great Silence (1968) which I’ve found to be very successful. That’s with the piece in two positions I tried out. I’m now torn as to which way I go, the standard straight on approach on it’s side. Having the projection direction onto the back wall gives it a sense of place, we can see that the action took place in this setting. Yet when its projected onto the floor there’s something else going on. The image is more clear, yet I’ve always like how the furniture breaks up the image, it’s more dramatic. I need to see how the video footage works when I review it later.
Lastly the painting of the replacement tables is almost over, I’m thinking another coat and they can be installed. I’ll run another projection test to see how they footage works against them.
I feel I’m getting back to 100% now so I can put more of myself into the work again. Allowing me today to finally bring two of the model miniatures together. It’s been a day of progress with a massive limitation which I’ll get to later. I began the day by getting the paint out again to add another coat to the remaining pieces. Which are slowly becoming a solid white.
I spent the majority of my day in the project space starting to see how the finished piece will look which is finally starting to come together. I’ve been working with the extended saloon and the Japanese piece, which I forgot how heavy it actually is when I brought it down to the space. Sadly I can’t see the two projected at the same time as yet, something I need to work on (financially). Looking at how these two pieces work opposite each other, which is still hard to tell really. What I do know is that they need to be at least 3-4 meters apart, allowing for the projected image sit in the pieces and the audience to explore them. The saloon front is now being dropped, they will add nothing to the look of the pieces. At least one wont be sitting to allow this to happen. Also the work will be in a dark space, which leaves them invisible to the viewer, so I’m wasting my time on these pieces.
On a positive, staying with presentation pieces I looked at how the extended saloon would work on its side, the open section looking on facing the table. I would have needed to paint an otherwise hidden piece that was left bare as its generally out of view. Looking similar to the Japanese piece which really needs to be on it’s side to work. I am however considering removing the suspended light as it does create an obstruction. I know that once it’s removed, its not going back in.
So I need to invest in more kit, sooner rather than later as I realise this piece. If I am to see how at least a pair work together they need to be projecting simultaneously, then I can look at timing of the pieces which is also important to how each pair works, do they play together or one after the other? I need to ask the questions to know how things will look.