Exploding Moment: Narrative perspectives

“… artistic gratification of a sense of perception altered by technology. This is evidently the consumption of l’art pour l’art. Humankind, which once in Homer, was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, has now become one for itself. Its self alienation has reached the point where it can experience its own annihilation as a supreme aesthetic pleasure. Such is the aestheticising of politics”

Walter Benjamin, Kunstwerk essay, 1936

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The quote alludes to perhaps a further progression into a project and development of my position on expanding moments. With the amount of information and the technology through which it is experienced, all these narratives and their interaction with the viewers are increasingly non-linear both in terms of time and space. It is also interesting how Benjamin makes a parallel between the homeric apparatus of “Olympian God-view” that Manolis also referenced as a device in the Illiad has transformed, through our technological experience of events, into an aesthetic experience for everyone.

In essence from the body and it’s prosthetic footage receivers (phones etc), the home and the city we are all simultaneously in a mount Olympus space.

As a work in progress, the overall setup for my second test is ready to burn! Stay tuned for the video that is to come out of it.

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I am in the process of conducting the second test, exploring the idea of exploding a moment through its staging, the way the footage is captured and later to be formated for viewing. This set up is larger in scale but more importantly the views are set up to represent potential “characters” or narrative perspectives that I intend to use to start exploring different narrative effects when the footage is composed together.

For instance, below are the views from an iPad and iphone setup. The former is an almost aerial view of the “fields” or landscape within the Kuwait oil fire scenario. The latter view is a bottom-up ground view, capturing the “ground troop/journalist” effect. The case study of the War and the fires are at the moment a prop for me to explore the techniques I am using and the way I want to set up a narrative and design around the overall ideas of proliferated footage and the way we access/view a project through it.

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A fish-eyed view will record the burning from a drone-like position while a God-eye of the entire process will record me coordinating the simulated oil field fires.

Following what was discussed last time, below are methods of formating footage I am currently looking into as well as some general references of how the project can progress beyond the specific scenario of the Gulf War as a case study.

Hierarchy and formating:

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An app called mosaic.io (that sadly was pulled from the app store) would allow multiple ios devices to be tiled together. In this example the screen size and position becomes a narrative device/apparatus for exploding the moment. It also plays with the surface of the table since the viewing is predominantly done by laying the screens out flat.

Visual Hierarchy:

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In the Eames IBM pavilion the interesting aspect of the formating is that it becomes more hierarchical in visual terms with the screen positions, angles and dimensions as well as the sound used as methods of driving the narrative.

Audio Hierarchy:

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In the film Timecode (which I got half way through with a lot of patience and concentration; alas it became too overbearing to finish in one go) The narrative hierarchy was established through sound, as the means by which to focus on corresponding grid areas.

Dividing Screens:

Finally the acappella youtube videos Natasha referenced are something I find interesting as a starting point, mazes that can turn into labyrinth depending with the narrative progression. In the video above the focus is shifted by the grids activated and deactivated according to whether it’s bass, lead vocals etc. but the overall composition seams to lack hierarchy because of the consistent grid. A potential break could be to overlap or expand events in some grids to adjacent ones etc. Below another similar video has a central focus on the lead vocals.

Spatial Speculation on the narrative effects of footage manifesting architecturally:

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Domestic space does not have to be the focus at the moment but this is an example that came to mind of how certain spaces (here the vietnam war) are brought into others (the american home) by the media and the tv set. Today the process is much more complex with the invasive nature of footage not as straight forward as a simple ‘media to viewer’ relationship; and also the spaces are expanded way beyond the home, as televisions have been replaced by increasingly more mobile sources of footage.

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