Culture_Jamming

This piece of culture jamming is aimed at the way in which some people use facebook, creating an alternate self. Moving away from their real personality and towards how they would like people to perceive them. This is in no way a criticism of facebook but is a criticism of those that use it.

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Blind_Final Project

There is just a few weeks left of my final year at University and my focus is on my Disability project.

The project is a designed and illustrated story book for blind children. The reason you might ask? Well, sighted children have the ability to extend their imagination through sight,  memories, and using image references. But the majoirty of blind children(if born blind) have no perception of light and with that no image references.

Thus the point of this book is to extend the experience of a story or book for blind children, creating new experiences, new thoughts and references that are  not based on gimmicky tricks such as fur and fabric.

I have chosen the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, why? Because after visiting a few blind adults at cohearant vision in Headingley Leeds (which is due to shut down in June – But that is another story)http://www.cohearentvision.org.uk/, I was inspired by some of the comments made by individuals about certain books, experiences and textures. The excitement  became about sounds and smells and so this set me off on a journey to create a real multidimensional and multi-sensual experience for blind children.

This project has had many strengths, but there have been obstacles to overcome, for instance, convincing other designers that blind people deserve to be designed for was a breathtaking experience for me and has driven this project right from the start. Sourcing the paper, binding materials, finding the right techniques to produce such a book as a one off or as a commercial project, realising the time constraints and developing a sense of double message towards blind people and children, as well as targeting designers to think more about the way in which they look at design and the act of designing.

The book has about 25 pages and within that about half is braille and half is illustration. I am very excited at the prospect of the finished book, as I have worked very hard to get this project to a point where it has an established design, structure and commercial standing.

The project hand in is the 13th May 2011, more about the project development and finishings soon.

A digital walk cycle

I have now moved on to drawing walk cycles out to creating them digitally, this one is the most recent. I am quite proud of it, yet I can see there is a lot wrong with it that needs changing, and I will be working on ironing out all the little problems today.

The second video is a further developed version of the animation.

Please, feel free to comment.

Today’s pigeon’s

I want to create an animation that uses pigeons as a representation of people/human beings. The activities of the pigeon will reflect the society we live in and the world we contribute to.

I want the pigeon to be simple vector based image, to retain its quality finish, but be stylistically produced. The attitude of the pigeon will show the average persons attitude towards life, society and the way we live.

Here are the first ideas of what the pigeon will look like. 

pigeon

Avatar

I went to see Avatar last week and ever since has surfed the internet for comments, reviews and other information. Why is it that I chose to reverse the process? Did I want to be unaffected by the review, comments and opinions of others when watching the film for myself?

Avatar has swept our nation and is raking it in when it comes to showings at the cinemas. Nearly all the viewings are fully booked out making more than $1.9 billion pounds so far, beating teh record set 12 years ago also by Mr James Cameron (with TITANIC).  James Cameron seems to have an ability to make films that keep people coming back and back. Its got real talent that cannot be faulted. Avatar took just 17 days to beat all the records ever made, quite an achievement for Cameron. Avatar is showing few signs of slowing down here and internationally. it has become so big that Tim Burton is also bringing out a 3D film this year (Alice in Wonderland)  is set to rival and beat Avatars success.

Avatar’s astonishing success has fuelled speculation that Cameron will be making at least two sequels, speculation he is doing nothing to squelch. “We always planned on continuing the world and continuing the characters,” he says. “In fact, that was part of the original pitch to 20th Century Fox.” Even he admits he is stunned by the film’s performance. “People think I’m arrogant, but I don’t have that kind of hubris,” he says. “Avatar we thought would make money, but at a certain threshold. We didn’t think it would align with people’s emotional, spiritual, political, whatever the hell it is that’s the alchemy that’s causing it to work so well in so many markets. You can’t predict those things. I’m just sitting back with amazement, going, ‘Wooooohhh!’”

Cameron wanted the audience to feel as if they have been somewhere after watching the film, witnessing the changing of life itself and seeing the troubles of our society and through the film. Hes says that he wanted Avatar to be “a visual journey, a physical journey, in the sense that you’ve actually  climbed that mountain, and an emotional journey. Ultimately and most importantly, and emotional journey.

Avatar is blatantly a metaphor for the destructive footprint of America and the western world against war zones and vulnerable countries such as Iraq and Africa. It is the corporate body stopping at nothing to save themselves and their own planet, including the demolision of entire civilisations. Alongside that the film promotes an environmentally friendly theology, I believe a way in which we can create a better world if everyone was a bit more environmentally friendly and pro-active about it.

There is another part, I would suggest, a crucial compositional one, that has not been seen. Which is that Avatar has such an astonishingly powerful psychological impact on audiences because, more closely than any film ever made, it mimics a human dream. Interestingly, this is something Cameron makes absolutely clear, right at the beginning of Avatar. In his first voiceover, the first words spoken in the film, Sully says: “When I was lying there in the VA hospital, with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying…” He then says, prefiguring the inevitable end of the dream, the end of the film: “Sooner or later, though, you always have to wake up.” We are, Cameron is clearly telling us, in a dream, Sully’s dream. But it is our dream, too, in which, as one can in dreams, we can fly, find love beyond all understanding, but also have to face our deepest fears and face down our most terrifying demons. Quite explicitly, throughout the film, Cameron makes it clear that Sully — and through him, we the audience — can only be on Pandora, in his and our dream world, when he is asleep.

The film was stunning to watch, the CGI was great, and the technology behind if for me was the lift in the film. I watched it with a careful eye for mistakes and issues with the 3D and only spotted a couple of sections that were a little wrong, but possibly due to the angle of where I sat to where the cinema screen was. All in all I loved the film and cannot wait for the sequel, however I will be expecting bigger and better from Cameron with every new Avatar film that is produced.

Make it interesting.

Making University projects interesting, put your own interests in it, choose your own themes, focus and develop projects into beautiful masterpieces because when you reach the real world, you do not have time.

University projects are luxurious, having the time, space and software as endless tools. So why is it then that we (as students) ignore the advantages of no responsibilities when it comes to deadlines, software and costs. It’s not until the real world hits us that we become the uber poor designer we always wanted to be and realise how good it really was.

I have recently started suffering with migraine, I have never suffered with them before two weeks ago, but I have learnt that they are generally caused by changes in your life, for instance, stress, location, work load etc. However I have been unaffected by these things, so my migraine remains mysterious. My brother has a lot of them, and although migraines are said to be genetic it has been proved that they are not genetic and do not get passed down from one generation to the next.

Inexperience

Inexperience isn’t great when you enter a world where that is the most important thing on your CV. How did I end up here with no experience is usually the only question running around my head.

‘you should never trust a man that says he’s got 20 years experience, what he really should be saying is he has 1 years experience repeated 20 times.’

Paul Arden is one of my many hero’s, he shows me that even if my talent is lower than others, my drive, determination and passion should take me far enough to satisfy me. I believe what he is trying to say is that experience shouldn’t just be about racking up time, its about how much you learn, and in the first year you learn so much that if you could learn that much in a year every year of your career then you would be the king of the land.

Just recently my inexperience got the better of me, and I just kicked myself afterward. How could I have not seen the consequences in my actions? It was a silly mistake that I have now corrected, I feel terrible because I have annoyed and offended people I like. I have learnt a lot from this experience and will remember it. I just hope that my apologies were accepted.