Take 2 Influences : Going around the buoy

After playing with the images (small printed versions) to come up with a single pairing that I was reasonably happy with (below), applied the text and came up with what I put in the previous posting, an e-mail came reminding us to submit our 5 images and 2 questions as a slide presentation for group crit. In deciding which images to include with the diptych, further thoughts came to mind of an alternative take on the images as the individual slides started to work like a more traditional narrative and I was reminded of a comic book collection from my youth. One by one, the images looked like frames from the book, albeit as photographs instead of black and white line drawings.

Game On
(images used for educational purposes)

So, with the diptych discarded for the time being, a second round of activity started, playing with the order of the images, pulling more options from the library of images made when viewing the film Battle of Britain (by Guy Hamilton) and the Ubisoft game Blazing Angels, organising them in a longer sequence, a narrative of five instead of two. Adding more images allows for different options (obviously), so things were definitely changing - back to the drawing board and around the buoy... not reworking the images but what they mean and how they interact with each other.

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The “influences” for this piece originally came from appropriation and mixing text and photography in a way that goes beyond mere captioning (the text is part of the work). Barbara Kruger is one source of inspiration, although she is very recognisable by her graphic delivery (I still haven’t listened to the radio programme mentioned by Angela - on my list of things to do over the weekend). I like it, it’s a throwback to my own short-lived graphic design training. Maybe it can be argued that this is a third influence, but I would prefer to think it’s a continuation of the text and art form, whilst also feeding the realms of the appropriation and the position that could have in the postmodern arena, I’m thinking Roy Lichtenstein and positioning low culture as high culture - I have mentioned these might be developed as large scale artworks for the gallery wall, not small images on a computer screen or pages in an A5 booklet, although this could actually be an alternative resolution of the piece - back to being similar to the war stories, referential to its roots.

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With this idea of a more narrative driven piece, still mixing video film and video game source material, the mood perhaps changes a little. Does this continue a theme of glorification of war driven by the media, is it romanticising a period of our history? Or does it actually question what we see, what we do with that media? This is where I want to be coming from, questioning the raison d’être of the source material, that conditions us to be more accepting of conflict, maybe even more aggressive in our outlook - certainly as a male anyway. Perhaps this questioning stance would have to be supported by the statement that accompanies the work, otherwise people will simply take what they see and not be nudged into thinking about things (it’s the same with pretty much anything I’ve produced).

The work submitted for the crit is not truly “finished”, not by a long way; it’s been bound by the constraints placed in terms of time and the number of images. I’m not even truly sure if it’s actually worth pursuing further, but I’m sure the feedback due on Monday will give some guidance with regards to this. Maybe it will be worth playing a little more with styles of text, or working with the underlying DLP mesh that is a feature of this way of working to square everything up in order that it is suitable for printing large...

I’ll post the image sequence and some further notes on the outcome of the critique session later next week.
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(images used for educational purposes)

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