Michael St John
WALTER PFEIFFER. UNTITLED, 1976 TIRAGE NOIR & BLANC / B&W PRINT 40 X 60 CM / 15.7 X 23.6 IN EDITION DE 5 EXEMPLAIRES / EDITION OF 5.GALERIE SULTANA
UNTITLED (SKY), 2012
PHOTOGRAPH, GLASS, WOOD SHELF, MAGAZINE PAGES, SPRAY PAINT, FRAMES
SELF-ADHESIVE FILM ON ALUMINIUM
Artists I’m digging is a series I’m using to keep looking at artists and expanding my influences.
Nick Van Woert
Jan Willem Van Welzenis
Jacob Van Loon
Further picture editing using .gimp and the pixel tool/desaturation tool
One of the things that I have always tried to avoid doing within my art work is making it very literal, however I was completely stumped therefore to begin the project I photographed the city around me as a lot of artists I like have done the same thing:
As I knew I also wanted to look at typography, I looked at other artists who used it within their own work for inspiration:
During my subject work I had found a fondness for video art, therefore I began to video the city also, as I knew that having as many formats to work with as possible would be helpful. One of the main things I really liked about the city was the way it looked at night, with the contrast between the lights and the night. Using this footage I edited together a video:
In order to find more inspiration I looked at some films I enjoyed that contained visuals taking place within the city. The more films I looked at, the more I realised that the colour blue was used as a filter. This made me think of the relationship between colour and mood. It was through this that gave me the idea of looking at the way the city can make a person feel claustrophobic due to all the noise and movement.
I also began to edit my photography and video stills, adding the colours red and blue in order to project the concepts of claustrophobia and depression. Through this I also began to combine some written work with my images:
It was at this point where I began to look into using a website as a piece of art and having it as an interactive experience, as being in the city is an interactive experience between people. This idea ended in my final piece:
At this point we had the assessment, in which I used the advice given to me in order to produce this work:
I absolutely adored the ‘Hidden City’ project. I entered the project rather apprehensively as the title through me off a little. I knew the major thing I wanted to do within this project was combine text and image as I have always enjoyed photography and typography and felt like it was something that I have always wanted to look deeper into. After being completing this project I was also able to try something completely new to me, which was using websites as art. I definitely feel more comfortable creating 4D work as the possibilities are so endless and the ability to combine 2D, 3D and 4D work is made incredibly simple and very interesting and exciting for myself. This project has helped me gain many skills and filled me with ideas on the ways in which I hope to take my work in the future.
The group field project was something that really challenged me. I find my art work to be a sort of personal release and having to share that side of myself with another human being, let alone a whole group of people I didn’t know, felt tortuous to me at times. Although I do understand the point of the project in terms of learning how to work with others, it is definitely not something I would like to try again in my future endeavours. However, I understand this gripe is personal based, it will not change my thoughts on the overall experience of the project.
In terms of the group work, we worked relatively well with another, and as with most group project, certain members of the team worked better together and branched off more successfully than others. The main problem we had within our group was that we were too ambitious from the get-go, meaning our multi-level project combining 2D, 3D and 4D did not manage to come together in time. However, all the components are there if the project would need to be presented in future. It was interesting to see the way in which other people worked, as well as creating new experiences of my own such as filming with actors and creating art with other people. During the project I also ran a blog to collect everyone’s blog posts (http://webcityproject.wordpress.com/) in order to let everyone know what was going on within each others projects, this was very helpful and showed me how a blog could be used in a different and exciting way.
Although the project was mostly successful, I found it more of a hindrance in terms of time and did not affect the outcome of my personal field work, with exception of being able to use the footage in some research work for my personal project.
Subject (Final subject work presented in formative assessment)
Final Piece 1:
‘Your love is fading’ video series
Final piece 2:
Key supporting subject works presented in formative assessment:
Final field piece, project group:
Final Field Piece, Alternative:
Field Supporting Work:
After having finished writing my dissertation it is safe to say that upon reflection that I have definitely enjoyed the Smells Like Teen Spirit module. I have always been fascinated with clothing and style, especially style that relies heavily on a musical genre, and the ways in which music and style can inform one another. It was also interesting to learn how the idea of a subculture has become fairly lost on this generation.
For me personally, the most interesting week during this module was the week in which we learned about the style within the teddy boy culture. I am fairly anamoured with 50s fashion and style so it was very interesting to learn more about the reasons why men that dressed in the teddy boy style would do so e.g. age, background, politics (see blog post https://broganknight.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/constellation-zuit-suits-b-boys-teds/).
One of the things that caught my attention the most during the module was how heavily masculinity and male style culture was essentially ‘the norm’. A lot of the subcultures such as teddy boys, b-boys, metal culture ect. were mostly masculine cultures. Whereas most people would consider style and fashion to be feminine topics, it was enlightening to realise just how much influence males had on the aesthetics of each subculture. It was due to this that I decided to look at metal subcultures. As I grew up listening to metal music due to my brothers, I never truly realised how much the patriarchy had influenced it. It was definitely an eye-opener considering I enjoy glam metal music, yet consider myself a feminist. Due to the poppy sound and the bright clothes I had never before skimmed the surface in terms of any deeper meaning within the look, the attitude or the musical content. It was not until my research for the dissertation that I began to realise how glaringly obvious the mysogonistic understones where.
Since completing the module, it is safe to say that what I have learned has directly informed the way in which I chose my clothes and piece together outfits. My favourite decade within fashion and style is the 60’s, specifically 1967, and after having done the module I am finding myself asking if an item of clothing or an outfit looks strictly ‘mod’ or if I have instead used Polhemus’ idea of the ‘supermarket of style’ in regards to the different items I piece together.
I definitely believe that I will be using what I have learnt within my future art projects. Subcultures and style seem to go far beyond just fashion and can be explored further in a multitude of ways. As my work tends to be heavily influenced by video art and photography, style is something which often can go hand in hand. I have for a very long time wanted to produce something Jean-Luc Goddard inspired, and now I am able to pin-point why I would like to, and put it down to my love of the 60’s mod fashion, and fashion icons, within his films. Hopefully I shall be able to look further into this concept in my future work, but for now I will just have to show my love for the culture by wearing the clothes myself.