Sunday, 17 January 2010


A Group effort.
We began with three filters;
  1. -The Half; Photography by Simon Annand
  2. -A Luxury Christmas Hamper.
  3. -Busby Berkely.
We also got allocated a quote;
"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them" - Adlai Stevenson.
We were united in the belief that the quote represented the idea of correcting ones own mistakes or admitting when you are wrong. However each person had a slightly different idea of how this could be represented.
We had to create a pitch for each filter, and each must be relevant to our allocated quote.
The Half:
The exhibition contained black and white photography, which showed actors during the last 30 minutes before curtain up. We decided to take the idea of something transforming within an allotted period of time, just like the actors did. The making of the work would be 'the half', and the work itself would be the 'performance'. We also liked the idea that within a group we could each have our own input, yet create a collaborative piece, so bearing in mind the quote, we decided that each of our individual inputs could be excercised, and as each person took turns in transforming the work, they would essentially be correcting the previous persons 'mistakes' in order to put across their own interpretation of the quote.
The Luxury Christmas Hamper.
We decided that a hamper could be defined as a device for the transportation of something. A hamper is something you put things in, transport them, and then take them out. When we added the meaning of the quote into our thought process, we decided that 'The Hamper' did not have to be used in a conventional sense i.e for food, but could also be used for the transportation of words. When words getted passed on or 'transported' from person to person, often they can change, things can be mis-heard, mis-interpreted and mis- repeated. This was something we wanted to explore. We were also intrigued by the difference between what people say and and what people mean. therefore could we create a device where the 'input' is what someone says and the 'output' is what they really mean.
Busby Berkeley.
We enjoyed the decadence of the Busby Berkeley films we researched. From his idioscyncratic style we took the idea of synchronisation and uniformity, as well as an indulgent and decadent tone. As with the other two filters we had to relate the filter to the quote, therefore we took the idea of 'eating your own words' literally. At first this idea seemed as though it was in danger of being a cliche, but we thought, Why not? For once we might want our work to be deliberately cliched, a deliberately literal response to the quote. For this we decided to host a dinner party. The invites read: 'You are cordially invited to eat your own words.'

For this idea we planned to host a dinner party, in which we would create a dinner table, as decadant as a Busby Berkeley and record the whole affair from a birdseye view. We decided that the food should be words, and these words would be confessions of mistakes we ourselves had made; we envisaged sinful spaghetti, jealous jelly, ignorant ice-cream or double crossing cheesecake etc. the specifics were un-clear but the idea was strong, we could generate a lot fo diverse work during one sitting. We wanted to mess with location and peoples social inhibitions as well as making the project interactive by perhaps hosting the dinner party in the park or a lift.
After pitching our ideas, our 'client' chose 'The Half ' filter, being honest with ourselves, we really wanted to get the Dinner Party idea, this is an obvious lesson in 'Pitching'- we need to learn how to get the client to choose the idea we want them to.
A Six Sided Affair.
Straight away we jumped nto the project, and organised a group 'Layer Tennis' session. Armed with a stopwatch, a soundtrack and a vast array of craft materials, with our research about the quote in mind (see blog), we began. We each started writing on paper, things we regretted and threw that into the mix also. At first we gave each other 30 seconds each to make our 'mark' on the page, obviously the result was poor, therefore we upped the time limit to five minutes, this meant that our response could be instinctive, but not over thought- out. We decided as a whole the page was very clumsy and dis-pleasing to the eye, but we used a viewfinder to try and pick out some of the more sucessful aspects. We repeated this same process a number of times, and ended up with a large body or truly collaborative work.

We then needed to decided how to develop the work, to narrow it down slightly to make it more relevant. We held another session of 'layer Tennis,' this time we were not just trying collide every persons input together, but trying to cover up the last person's work completely, discrediting it as a 'mistake.' One person would create their interpretation of the quote, the next would try to completely cover it in whatever means possible, and then next would do the same etc. We then decided to each 'admit when we were wrong; and try to 'reveal' the work underneath again, in order to discover the best bits.

Refinement We decided we needed a way to bring all of these strands together, therefore we decided to each create 6 circles, using the work we had made. We would hav 36 circles in total and would display these in a square (rubix) on the window, this was a way of showing individual and collaborative inputs in a uniformed way. it was impossible to define who did which work, but it was clear there were 6 different inputs.

Chinese Whispers
As another way to output work, we decided that it was approriate to play chinese whispers with the quote. Here is the outcome of 6 random individuals.
We each took a 'whisper' and created out own response to it, these then formed 6 screen printed posters in six colours.
Zine. < We wanted to create a buzz around ‘Rubix’ as a collective, to try and get people more than just interested, but EXCITED. We had already created business cards, a blog and posters, centred around ‘Rubix’ but we needed something to represent the concept of the project and also to reflect the tone of ‘Rubix’ as a group. An effective way to collate research, process and group comraderie was through a handmade ‘fanzine.’ Then text used in the zine comes from parts of the blog, comments made in group sessions, a game of chinese whispers, and from general warm- up excercises throughout the project. Each member of the group appears by name. There is not a separate section for each person, everyone’s contribution exists in harmony with eachother. Our emphasis is on the group not the individual.We chose this handmade format as we felt the tactile nature of the zine and the photocopier publishing emphasised the way the work had been generated throughout.

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