A4.BoW: assignment submission

Introduction

This assignment is a multi-faceted submission. The main work is in the form of a narrated video of photographs, featuring ambient sounds from the canal. This is accompanied by a selection of 10 prints (represented on a website for the purposes of this assignment). The psychogeographic narrative that accompanies the video is a supporting work. Finally, I developed a website that houses the different facets of the submission.

The submission can be viewed online here: https://leedsandliverpool.co.uk. Please use this link to view the work.

Snapshot of contents at time of assignment

As the website and content is likely to evolve as I progress to A5, a record of the main components at the time of this submission is below. This is for the record and the website’s presentation cannot be recreated in this post.

Video

Prints

gardenroom

Image 3 of 10

Prose

A locked in flow moves through memories, land and time.
A world connects with a space inside my head, where thoughts wander freely.
Stumbling upon experiences real and imagined.
Layers of histories and hopes, some owned and some borrowed.

Two hundred years of time are trampled
and worn into the paths along this watery route.
The heritage of a grand project and as a dead poet from God’s own country said, ‘a gloomy memorial of place. The fouled nest of the Industrial Revolution that had flown’.

It is a hotchpotch of a space.
There are shipshape gardens and drowned shopping trolleys.
Lovers’ graffiti and the anger of the disillusioned.
Those living the grey dream, afloat 50 footers.
Those subsisting on the margins. 

There are no celebrities on barges,  and no café culture along these banks.
But there are ‘stories and songs that hang in that space between memory and water.’
There are doors that once were, land cut with shovels, relics of industry and bird song.
There are makeshift shelters, and childhood memories encrusted in rusty bicycles.

Whoever shouts the loudest claims a space. The water calmly reflects. 
It’s from Leeds to Liverpool where my mind wanders.
Through worlds within a world. Between presence and memory. 

Andrew Fitzgibbon

Quotes from poets, in order of appearance. Ted Hughes from Stubbing Wharf . Ian McMillan from Canal Life.

Self-reflection

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills (30%)

I’ve swapped from an ebook presentation in the previous assignment to a video presentation in this one. My rationale for the change and experiments in video are documented in my learning log: Experiments in film making #1 and Experiments in film making #2: Sound; in summary the change is down to the medium specificity of video better fitting the inclusion of sound with work.

For the video, I researched various tools that would enable the video production and in the end settled on a simple solution that used Apple’s Keynote to create a video-slide of the images and then added layers of sound within Apple’s Garageband. In the past I’ve used Adobe Premiere Pro, but it is over-specified for making a simple video from photographs and the tools I used offer a simpler and streamlined workflow. Decisions on tools are documented here, Prose and exploring Apple Keynote. I obtained feeback from fellow students on the video draft, which I’ve noted for discussion in my tutorial, A4.BoW: Video draft for feedback.

The production of the video involved creative challenges and decisions in several areas. Including the selection of images for a video flow, the pace and overall timescale of the video, the timing and sound processing of ambient sounds and narrative added to the images, the development of a narrative script. The script was a significant additional work and I blogged on my approach here, Narrative – rough draft and discussion.

In addition to the video, I produced a website to disseminate the work. This was made using Adobe Portfolio by customising one of the standard themes to project and industrial/canal vibe through the typeface and colour scheme. Details are discussed here, A4.BoW: website draft for feedback, along with a summary of feedback from fellow students. I describe my technical work around to Portfolio’s poor lightbox options here, Google slide show embed.

Quality of outcome – content , application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%)

I believe this is a significant step from A3. Moving from the ebook format to the video format for digital dissemination has been transformational and also allowed me to indirectly introduce my own reading of the photography work with the inclusion of a narrative. I enjoyed revisiting my passion for sound and recognise that this should become a habitual aspect of my practice, which I’ve noted in my reflective journal, Thoughts at BoW A4 – sound. I feel that the website brings the content together in a clean coherent place.

There are a number of points to consider when refining the work for A5. The timing of the images / overall duration – a number of observers have commented that they would have liked longer to view the images and found themselves rewatching to take more in. If I were to extend the timing it would allow longer and also more time for quiet observation between the narrative. However, the work is already 6 minutes long and I’m not sure about extending it further. A couple of fixes will be to split the end titles onto separate slides so they are easier to follow, and to shift the narration to avoid clashes with slide transitions. Something, I’m more certain of is to work on the selection of prints presented on the website – I discuss the decision making here, A4.BoW: Ten Prints workings, but feel I need to revisit a broader range of shots to consider which might be of interest for display on walls (versus series in video or photobook).

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (30%)

This assignment is a continuation of refining a digital dissemination of a work that in pre-Covid times would have most likely taken the form of a book – as I’ve mentioned before, I’m likely to revisit the book format during SYP. However, looking for an alternative solution and eventually ending up with a video has provide a specific output that stands in its own right, without just being a record of a physical object for digital sharing. Video, I conclude can be a useful way of both showing the work and expressing my intent for it through a narrative in quite an indirect way.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (20%)

Lot’s of activity on my blog that can be skimmed through here. Two pieces or research that strongly influenced the video production are British psychogeographic cinema and Video — LAURA EL-TANTAWY. My work sits firmly in the psychogeographic genre and examining this helped shape my own output. At one extreme is the rambling production in Patrick Keiller’s Robinson in Ruins and at the other is Laura El Tantawy’s short and fast moving videos. The former, I’ve noted is not to my taste.