Experiment Medi 259


The final stage of setting up my exhibit.

To enhance and develop the surrealism of my installation I have rotated the TV screens towards different cameras, enabling viewers to look at an image from one screen of another screen’s image. The cameras themselves have also been rotated to create this multitude of images and perspectives. 

May 9

Following tutor feedback I have carried out a further alteration to my piece. My tutor felt that the boxes would be more artistic if they were all painted white, instead of all being wrapped in white paper. This would also develop the sculptural aspect of the stacked boxes.

Having determined the layout for the boxes and completed painting I can now focus tomorrow on connecting up the cameras in their respective boxes. 

May 8

First official day of setting up final exhibited piece in the exhibition space. Apart from one blank screen, which I will getting a video cable for tomorrow, the photographs above display the overall set up. I now have the TV’s, tables and boxes in place. The other slight alteration to my final piece is the replacement of the side tables with boxes, as my tutor felt this detracted away from the significance of the piece, so I will getting some more boxes tomorrow in order to raise the side cameras.

May 2

Camera boxes complete and ready for construction of piece next Tuesday.

May 1

Conducted a complete set up of my piece in the room I intend to exhibit it in. This set up enabled me to get a clearer idea of how the piece would look and function within the public exhibition space. It also allowed me to address any underlying issues like availability of plug sockets and positioning of side tables within reach of these sockets for powering the side cameras.

The above photographs illustrate how the piece will be structured in the selected space. The TV screens you see under the table will be mounted onto a table positioned below the upper table level of screens. There will be a side table each end positioned at an angle to accommodate the side cameras. The final positioning of my piece within the room will be determined during next week’s practical project hand in, when other pieces will arrive for set up.    

Now a complete set up all six cameras connected to their respective screens. With this complete set up I was able to start focusing on where each camera would be positioned within the space. I intend for there to be cameras located to the side of the screens and some above the upper level of screens (as displayed in the final photograph). There will be three sets of camera positions with two each in the same position. 

During this next stage of preparation I identified further issues which need to be addressed:

  • Syncing the camera settings with the TV settings. Whilst the cameras were functioning some of the TV’s started glitching, causing the projected camera image to become distorted (see final photograph). Therefore I will need to ensure that each cameras settings are correctly set up to sync with the TV settings.
  • Extension lead/leads needed for powering TV’s. This is dependent on the space I exhibit my piece in but it is likely that there will not be adequate wall plug sockets to accommodate each TV. 
  •  Two tables required to support cameras positioned to the side of the screens.

I did ask about possible extension cables for the video cables, but these are not available in the Hub. Therefore the side positioned cameras will need to be suitably located and connected to the nearest screen. With the level of wires involved gaffer tape is also going to be necessary. 


The Art of Surveillance

Away from the practical set up I have been researching into one particular aspect of my piece, which is surveillance. Wired: The Art of Surveillance looks at various works from artists who have created art from this technology which keeps watch over us. Their installations explore the question whether this is such a thing as a citizen friendly surveillance?

I focused on three installation examples:

  • Target Interactive Breezeway by Cameron Mcnall and Damon Seeley

Circles of light track spectators through 18,000 LED’s and 4 stereo video cameras, which are each programmed to define the coordinates for each spectator passing through. Through a webcam installed within the space both artists can track activity direct from their studio. Damon Seeley sees their installation as “an almost unlimited opportunity for turning the tracking of people into a wonderful experience”.

  • Face Time by Steve Appleton

A mirror like monitor displays real time video feed of face. The monitor stores previously captured images within a database, which is then projected to create a constantly transforming portrait gallery. Appleton provides his own take the artistic style of his piece “an almost cartoony but groovy abstraction of a figure, I’m intending that presence to be inquisitive and friendly”.

  • Access Spotlight System by Marie Sester

Spectators are caught in a spotlight. Marie Sester states that “my work is not making a statement about subjection or manipulation, it intentionally stays on the edges between playful and scary to reveal the underlying perversion”.

Accessed from: http://www.wired.com/culture/art/multimedia/2007/11/gallery_surveillance_art?slide=1&slideView=1

A complete set up of the exhibition piece.

Now I have a box for each camera I can begin to consider the positioning of each camera in the box and amongst the screens. As displayed in the opening photograph there is an issue with the lower boxes partially blocking the above screens. I therefore decided to reposition these boxes to the side to ensure each screen is in full view to the spectator. Within the exhibition space itself I am proposing to place tables at either side to accommodate both sets of cameras.With regards to cameras I have organized for five course members and myself to each loan out an individual camera, as the media hub only allows for booking of one camera per person. Later this week I will be assembling all the cameras to gain a clearer idea of how the complete set up looks.

A successful first day of setting up my final piece. I located six TV screens and found some old boxes to hold each camera. For this first set up I used just four screens and cameras. To assess the visual experience I invited a fellow course member to interact with the piece and see what impacts it had on them. 

Through test assembling my piece I have been to able identify a number of issues to overcome in the next stage of preparation. Unfortunately when trying to photograph the set up each TV screen began flickering (as demonstrated in final photograph of the set), so I had to film the set up and gather movie stills for the photographs.

Practical test set up of camera concealed within box.