Mobile made up of four discs, each representing a different stage in the sleep cycle
Printed on acetate suspended with invisible thread
For the project Explain I made a mobile out of a wooden embroidery hoop and embroidery thread, from this mobile hung several threads with paper discs attached. Each discs would contain factual information on why we dream. Acting upon the feedback given to me at this crit I have remade the mobile out of transparent materials, the discs are now made of acetate with my vector illustrations printed onto them and they are hanging by invisible thread. These materials allowed the mobile to appear more dreamlike as the elements appear to be floating and can be seen through one another. Furthermore acetate is very reflective so interesting visual effects were created due to lighting.
To record my mobile it was decided that I should create a moving image piece, and that the way in which the mobile is filmed should optically convey the elements that it is informing, for example rapid eye movement. The advice given for creating a moving image piece was to add a soundscape to the video, also to make sure that the video is very short so that it is manageable.
I also decided to focus on one strand of the mobile to use in my moving image piece, the strand I choose was the strand documenting the 5 stages of sleep. I choose this strand as the various stages of sleep could be creatively illustrated in the piece, for example during the rem stage of sleep eye movements could be conveyed by moving the camera in certain directions.
During the art of the accident project I attended an etching workshop, further information can be found here, and as part of that workshop I produced a variety of hard and soft ground etching prints. These prints were based off my photography done at Brighton Beach as part of the art of the accident project. My prints were inspired by my close up photography of rusted and eroded metal, and the mark making within the etchings aims to convey the textured surface of those forms.
For assessments I made my collection of etchings into a book. All of the etchings within the book are the original prints. The book is hand bound using Japanese stab binding and has two covers made of copper pearlescent card. I choose to use copper pearlescent card as it is similar to colour and metallic appearance of rusted metal, furthermore I used this card for the covers of my art of the accident book, therefore by using the same material for the covers it links the two books together.
Above are my final set of five GIFs, to play on each GIF simply click on the image. I choose these five GIFs as there is variety within each GIF between the two combined gestures, there is also variety between each of the five GIFs. Despite being variety between both of the gestures in each GIF they still run smoothly due to the similar lighting and positioning within the photographs.
These GIFs combine two different flirtatious gestures together, both of which would be subconsciously understood by the viewer. However the way in which they are combined causes confusion and distorts the meaning of both gestures, despite them both trying to convey the same message. These GIFs can be seen as a play on the idea of someone receiving mixed signals. Mixed signals is when an individual believes that another person is sending signals that they are interested in the individual and at the same time also sending signals that they are not interested.
Biting lips and winking (click on the GIF to preview)
Touching earrings and licking lips (click on the GIF to preview)
Winking and licking lips (click on the GIF to preview)
3 of my initial GIFs that I produced in Adobe Photoshop. To create these GIFs I imported my images using scripts > load files into stack. I then created a frame animation in the timeline window and made frames from the layers. I also set each frame to play for 0.1s, with exception to the replaced frame which I set to 0.12s, before I formatted the GIF to loop forever.
I have decided to not include these three GIFs in my final selection as the GIFs as a set are too similar. Furthermore the replaced frames do not smoothly integrate with the rest of the GIF, therefore disrupting them and taking away from the content for the GIF.
During my crit it was suggested that I further develop my self portrait photography of me re enacting gestures related to flirtatious body language. It was suggested I make a series of GIFs of me acting out a gesture, however one frame in each GIF is replaced with an image from another gesture, therefore mixing the gestures and the meaning associated with them. To begin doing this I reshot the photoshoot, this was due to all images for one gesture needing to continuously shot and have the same lighting, which was not the case with the first photoshoot. Above are my contact sheets from the photoshoot, each gesture is represented by a row of 10 images, which will make a 10 frame GIF. In the contact sheet in each row I have replaced the keyframe for that gesture with a frame from another gesture.
The gestures featured in the above contact sheet include: winking, lip biting, licking lips, playing with earrings, playing with necklace, playing with hair, touching face, touching neck and touching lips.
Above is a photograph my final perfect bound book’s front cover. The book is split into 3 sections of 4 pages/16 sides which are perfect bound together. The spine is then covered in slate grey book cloth, then 300gsm copper pearlescent card is attached to the front and back to become the cover. Below is a video of my final bound book, there are also photographs of the book spreads once bound, some of the spreads are made of paper, whilst others are acetate allowing layers of imagery to be built up.
During my crit I had a large body of work to present however I did not have a final outcome. In my work I had explored a range of areas relating to body language, for example proxemics, flirting and advertising analysis, however I was struggling to refine my work in a creative and effective outcome. Whilst discussing my work with the tutors and other students many possible ideas for how I could progress my work were highlights, such as:
Go back to proxemics or an area of body language I am interested in
Analyse a single particular gesture of interest
Look at combining body language with another theme
Look at a way of giving people dating advice based on body language
Cut gestures or body language out of magazines
Analyse eye shapes or something small where you have to look at details
Research gestures in jobs such as dancers
Look at the ways in which different jobs change the body
Investigate the speed of gestures
Create GIFs mixing frames from different gestures
Look at the books ‘Decoding Advertising’ and ‘Notes on Gesture’
Whitechapel gallery books on body language
Look at how artists show expressions in fine art
Censor body parts in body language
Analyse when gestures become meaningless
Distances between people and what they mean
Look at gestures in film and focus on how one gesture is portrayed, for example how people hold cigarettes
From the wide range of ideas given there are some that particularly interested me, these were looking at how the gestures in jobs change the body as well analysing a specific gesture in film, for example how people hold cigarettes. Both of these ideas however would require extensive research to produce a well researched outcome, therefore due to not having much time before assessments I decided to go with the idea of mixing gestures together through GIFs. This idea was inspired by my contact sheets where I used self portrait photography to capture myself reenacting flirtatious body language. It was suggested that I take a series of photographs for one gesture, and replace the key from from that series with a frame from another gesture. This idea I thought was quite amusing and it creates confusion and distorts the intentions of both gestures, even though they both aim to appear flirtatious.
After researching flirtatious body language I realised that many of the gestures associated with flirtatious body language are included in advertising to help sell products. I found that this technique was particularly used in high fashion and perfume advertisements. To investigate this association between flirtatious body language and advertising I have analysed the two advertisements below. Not only have I noted the gestures displayed, but I have also looked at the context of the advert and the other semiotic devices used as these are also important in forming how the advert is interpreted as a whole.
‘Heat’ Women’s Fragrance by Beyonce
Beyonce is a well known American singer known for being strong, confident and seductive, these traits are imbued onto the perfume
Directly looking at the camera, is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
‘Heat’ and ‘catch the fever’ are associated with heat, sizzling, steam, these words all have sexual connotations
Hand raised to her face drawing the viewer’s gaze to her face
She is wearing silk which is associated with luxury, wealth and is sexual
Connotations of red include heat, love, lust and sensuality
A low camera angle makes her appear powerful and confident
Her dress is short and ends at her upper thigh conveying seductiveness
‘Catch the fever’ is written on top of her breasts, immediately drawing attention and making the perfume appear sensual
Her mouth is open which connotes sexual desire, temptation and playfulness
‘Miss Dior’ Women’s Fragrance Advert Featuring Natalie Portman, Photographed by Tim Walker, 2013
Dior are a French brand known for class and sophistication, ‘Miss’ suggests that this perfume is for younger women who aspire to the brands identity
Natalie Portman is smart, sexy, charismatic and sophisticated, these traits are applied to the character Miss Dior, as well as the perfume
The pink rose connotes romance, love and flirtation
Directly looking at the camera, eye contact is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
Biting a rose and holding her hand near her face is a way of drawing attention to her lips and face
Open mouth connotes sexual temptation, desire and seductive playfulness
Seemingly naked women leaning on a chair signifies confidence, sexual desire and playfulness
As influenced by my research into books exploring the themes of love and flirting, I have closely cropped my a select few of my photographs from my previous photoshoot. The photoshoot featured a series of self portrait photography, documenting me reenacting flirtatious body language gestures. From the series of photographs I selected those which best illustrated some of the main flirtatious gestures to experiment with. Above I have experimented with the gestures winking, licking lips and lip biting. In photoshop I explored cropping each image in a variety of ways and found that the more closely the cropped the image the more successful it was. By closely cropping the image you feel closer to the subject and therefore it is more intimate, this idea of an intimate distance relates to my earlier research into proxemics. Furthermore I enjoy how the photographs are closely cropped as they remove the subject’s identity, which not only help the audience to focus on the body language and not on the model, but it also allows the audience to easily identify with the model or apply the actions being shown to someone else.
I started to exploring flirting through self portrait photography, above are contact sheets showing me reenacting flirtatious body language. To capture the entire of the gestures I set the camera to take 10 continuous shoots once the trigger was pressed, therefore capturing the action of the gesture in 10 photographs. The body language included are as follow: