Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Canon- The Story Beyond the Still Project

I've been meaning to blog about this for an age.

One of my early ideas, which i think i did mention at some point, maybe not, is now coming back in relation to where my head is at now. I'll start from the beginning:

I had a dream about a year ago where my father and I were walking through one of the parks in London. We came across an opening where a huge circus tent / marquee was being disassembled. We approached the guys working on the site and asked what we'd missed.

They told us that there was a 1 day event that had taken place yesterday, where a group of artists and members of the public had filmed a scene from a film. They only had the 1 scene to work from and had no idea about the whole plot, or where this scene fitted into it. They had a list of characters, some clothing and props that were associated with those characters, and some materials to construct a Michel Gondry type set.

They had a script and a time duration and they created and shot the scene.

This event was taking place in multiple locations across the country, maybe even internationally. Each location had a different scene. They would then be brought together to form a complete narrative.

This was a well informed workman. Anyway, we'd missed it and on we walked.

On waking I initially just thought, that was odd, but on reflection later that day I realised that it was quite an interesting project idea.

I thought I would save that for my final project and carried on with my life.

A few months later I came across the 'Story Behind the Still' project, organised by Canon and run and presented on Vimeo.com

Here's a link to the site: CLICK

This is a different direction which i had also thought about taking. The first scene is made by canon, uploaded onto vimeo, then the public are challenged to make the next chapter, they are uploaded, a winner is chosen, then the competition starts again asking for responses to chapter 2.

The link is that the last frame is a still and must be the first frame of the next chapter.

The end result is an 8 chapter film, complete in it's own right.

But what you also get are the other entries, possible paths that could have been taken. A labyrinth of options, a web of narrative flow.

Cool huh.

Copy Cats - CBBC

There's a family gameshow on CBBC that uses a number of different methods of creating chains of information.

Rounds include, Drawing, Music and Mime.

5 people stand in individual pods with walls on either side. The first member is given a word or object or song. They then have 10 seconds to convey that information to the 2nd person. The doors then shut and the 2nd has to convey what they have received to the 3rd.

Basically it's Chinese Whispers.

It's interesting and of course entertaining to see how in under a minute the information can be distorted and confused.

So how is this going to work?

This process will take place between my 2 twin towns, Bishops Stortford and Lincoln.

I'm interested in coffee shops, a place to escape and have a break from the daily cycle.

Individuals, sitting alone, drinking and eating, alone. I could bring these people together. Not in the moment, not in reality but in the final edit.

In Stortford I have the tea shop: Delicious
In Lincoln I have the tea shop: The Angel

Cafe culture, the meeting point, social interaction (these are some words)

The Medium

I want to have a conversation with you, just a chat, dialogue back and forth, back and forth.

I then want to have a conversation with you, just a chat, dialogue back and forth, back and forth.

I want to record this both sound and vision.

I then want to remove myself from this conversation, this chat, the dialogue remains

back and forth, back and forth.

The definition of Medium:

an intervening agency, means, or instrument by which something is conveyed or accomplished: Words are a medium of expression.

an intervening substance, as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced.

one of the means or channels of general communication, information, or entertainment in society, as newspapers, radio, or television.

I will play the medium, the messenger.

I will ask a question, get a response, be asked a question in return.
I will pose that question to someone else, get a response, be asked a question in return.
I will pose that question to someone else, get a response, be asked a question in return.

A chain of dialogue will form, from which I the medium will be removed.

Conversation will remain. A complete conversation that never took place. Time and distance will blur.

This is the plan.

What Jayum's been thinking

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


A friend at work has been raving about geocaching for a few months now, and has just set one up in Lincoln in relation to Boolefest.

I just had a chat with him about what it is and how it works, I was planning on explaining, but then I found this video that kinda does it for me:

It's pretty simple to set up, and could be an interesting addition to this idea of connected locations and user interaction.

It's doesn't just have to be about finding treasure, but can be run as a pass the parcel exercise. It's found initially and then taken to the next point, found again and taken a bit further.

I could set up a geocache in Stortford and either get it set to Lincoln or perhaps more interestingly to Villiers-sur-Marne en France.

Time scale would be totally unpredictable and down to the geocache hunters, but I think i'm going to give this a go.

Here's a LINK to the website

Twin Towns

This is something that has come up a couple of times in conversations about my project with others.

With this idea of multi locational interaction and study, the concept of twin towns is an interesting area of research. What's it all about?

On a personnel level I have twin towns in my life. Living in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire and working in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

I lead a double life and spend equal amounts of time during each and every week in both locations.

I think a starting point for some new work would be to use these initial locations as a starting point. After all, I have access and knowledge of the 2 spaces already.

Just now though I looked up Bishop's Stortford to find it's twin town only to discover that it's a place called Villiers-sur-Marne in France. A Parisian suburb.

But hang on i thought, that name sounds familiar. Looking back through my research for project 1 I found the connection here in a post from almost a year ago in relation to Louis Daguerre.

The diorama in the church, a place I was longing to visit is in a village called Bry-sur-Marne, France

Turns out, it's located 2.6km from Stortfords twin town, a 11 min drive, a 32 min walk.

A sign? I think so.

French Exchange Idea

'New' Family Portrait
An idea as a possible side project came about a few weeks back, but in true tradition i forgot about it until last night.

My school had a french exchange program with college in Angers, France.

A connection between 2 locations, a relationship between people and space.

When the french kids are over, the plan would be to take traditional family portraits of the english families, but with the addition of the exchange child. Embed them within the family, as if they have always been a part of it, but in the knowledge that they are only part of it for that week and that week only.

My sister partook in the french exchange in the early 90's. She is one of the only people I know that is still in contact with her french other. Earlier this year I was invited to the exchange students wedding. I regret not going.


I'm interested in the static location and the people that use it. This is a great film I stumbled across last night. The cameraman is ever present in the lift, the confined space, constantly used. A transitional space, people heading out, people heading home. Snapshots of their day. The interaction between the individuals and the camera / cameraman are fascinating, especially how they evolve over time.

He starts as a voyeur, but then starts interacting with the characters, asking simple yet huge questions.

"Have you ever been in love?"
"What did you dream about last night?"
"Do you have religion in your life?"

and the one that struck the strongest cord with me:

"What is your best memory of your childhood?"

The time limit and the confined space with the characters in transition from one space to another give rewarding, insightful and inspirational responses.

Yes it's 24 mins long, and yeah, you will end up watching the whole thing. Brilliant.

Hakuna Matata

"From the day we arrived on the planet, 
And the blinking step into the sun, 
There's more to see than can ever be seen,
More to do, than can ever be done."

I do know that Hakuna Matata is a different song, with a different message.

So i'm thinking about user interaction in a different way these days. With "The Box" it was about hiding away the content, with the user having to curious and also willing in order to receive the content hidden within.

I'm now working with the concept of user generated content, user interaction, but with no content.

That doesn't make sense does it?

2 interaction stations. A + B

User 1 approaches station A and "interacts" in some way. The results of this "interaction" are represented and displayed at station B. User 1 doesn't see the result of their efforts.

Meanwhile, User 2 approaches station B and sees / experiences the work of user 1. User 2 then "interacts" with station B from which content is displayed at station A. User 2 doesn't see their own efforts.

Crude Setup sketch
So these 2 stations could either be separated geographically or temporally.

A connection to another space, realtime relations, a Symbiotic structure (well something like that)

A delay in time, and echo of the past, a message for the future.

The Circle of Life

In order to be entertained, you must participate and share.

A collaboration.

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Where we're at

Over the past 3 or 4 weeks I've been stuck in terms of finding direction and purpose with project 2.

All work and development up until now has been of interest, useful, but haven't evolved as I'd hoped they would have done by now.

I'm a strong believer though that everything happens for a reason, and time and effort is never wasted. All past experiments and reading will of course still be influencing where i'm currently at and also where i'm going, whether it be a direct obvious link or something subconscious. In that sense, no time has been wasted, and I win.

New areas of interest are now:

Audience participation


The viewer as the individual

The Circle of Life

Echos of Time


Positive Intervention

Multi-locational Relation / Delivery

Twin Towns


It's been far too long since i've posted.

Please accept my apologies.

I've been lost, I've been found, I got lost again, I focused on my personal life, and a little bit on my job, and this fell behind a cushion on the sofa.

Solid effort this week to get this blog up to speed, and this project back on track.

You should know that I've never been so happy.

I am a buzz with positivity.

g said YES!

Life is Good.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Status Update

Jayumcooper is: Drinking coffee and contemplating this project

So where are we at?

My interest lies here:

Artificial Nurture
Re creating the wonders of nature mechanically, within the computer, binary, man made

Tracking nature
Natural movement being harnessed to produce artificial movement. Animation controlled by an external natural force.

Studying the natural movement and converting it into mathematical data. Tracking the movement of leaves in the wind, the flight paths of birds.

Love the idea of projection as a delivery method. A concave projection screen sucking the viewer in, immersing them in visuals.

The possibilities that arise from projecting onto different surfaces. Bodies as canvas, walls, objects, plants and natural forms.

3D projection, where the canvas is taken into consideration when preparing the visuals, the interaction between artificial light (visuals) with a physical object.

Wabi Sabi
The Japanese concept of natural beauty. Seen in the places most never look. The discarded and disregarded natural formations found in everyday life.

Capturing nature in transition. On it's way to becoming, on it's way to nothingness.

What's happened so far:

2 projection photoshoots, where the body is the canvas. A continuation on an undergraduate project started 10 years ago. The work then wasn't really informed in any way, and neither were these 2 recent shoots. I'm glad I have tried this path, and I have produced a few pleasing images as a result. I'm not however in anyway satisfied with this as a solid grounding to proceed. It's a stepping stone, and a way of getting me taking images, but where to take this I'm unsure of at present.

Reading up on Wabi Sabi has left me confused and unclear about the process. I need to read the key text again as it is a fairly simple yet incredibly complex notion that I really want and feel I need to get my head around. As I was reading the text my mind was wandering every other page as to how I could relate these ideas to my practice, and at times I felt that my way of working is the complete opposite to it's principles. How can you plan and organise a project based on the ideas of natural occurrences and hidden beauty. Create it, capture it, the subtle beauty is gone, tarnished by the act of recording it and then bragging about it.

An unintentional and chance set of images vie produced over the past few months are the water sculptures. The idea of capturing a natural form in the state of flux, in a fraction of a second, freezing it in time. The images seem to me made of plastic or glass, objects that have been painstakingly crafted by an individual far more talented than I. Yet they are not. Natural movement recorded in the process of creation and decline. I will try and set this moment up again, this time with the outcome in mind. Try and control and plan the setup. At least have a better background and lighting setup.

Ive also been taking a lot of macro shots, traveling out and about searching for the Wabi Sabi beauty. It's not something I find challenging. I think I've always had an eye for the obscure beauty most ignore. The amount of time I'll have been out with g and I'll see something and stop, take out my camera and shoot. "why the he'll are you taking a picture of that padlock?" "I thought it looked beautiful" g is now very good at not questioning, just letting out a sigh and walking away.

The last big thing that I'm questioning at present is that of whether I can take a photograph or series of photographs I can truely be pleased with, and unashamed of hanging on a wall. I've never been a photographer, (but what does that mean exactly?) As I've studied the practice over the years, and even more these days, I am so aware that it's the idea as well as technique that makes a good image. It's all about preparation and planning, but at the same time having the eye and the balls to just get in there and shoot. Not to panic, to be patient, but also to be ready.

I still lack the confidence to shoot in a lot of situations, and my technical abilities could and should be more progressed than they are. I lack the patience too. I'm too easy with my shutter finger. This is why with project 1 it ended up as a screen based piece. That is my comfort zone. I can be patient there, because you have to be due to the nature of the workflow.

I want to push myself with this project to get away from where I feel safe. Something I think the new MA students are being forced to do. I like this idea, and I wanna see what happens.

Fibonacci Music [Installation View]

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Human Orchestra

Strange Arrangements

Levi van Veluw comes alive

I blogged a few weeks back some of Veluw's stills as part of the mega 'Tangible Inspiration' post.

I had no idea that they came alive:

Taisuke Koyama

Japanese photogra[her 1978 zooms in on the city of Tokyo.

Organic macro abstractions.

Jane Burton

Velvet Portrait Suite


More projects on her website HERE

Irene Kung

Thanks to Mr Downing introducing me to the wonderful blog: 500photographers i have found the work of Irene Kung.

Something I haven't really looked at for a while in terms of inspiration is the world of photography.

Let's do something about that shall we?


Irene Kung

I love what's going on here. Some more lovely stuff on her website HERE

so Mike... What's going on here then?

Wabi Sabi Water Sculptures

After reading my book on Wabi Sabi, i've come away rather confused.

I believe I understand what it is, but through this understanding I'm now left in a position where if one were to try and construct a wabi sabi image, it would totally go against the nature of the concept.

Wabi Sabi is finding the beauty in the natural world, seeing the hidden interest that most won't notice. As soon as you identify it though, the moment is lost.

Wabi Sabi is finding the beauty in the transition. In the process of becoming or the process of decay.

In response to that I by chance took some images that I find rather intriguing.

I bought a few pieces of equipment from Homebase with the intention to try and create an artificial stream or water upon my dining room table (I was home alone, what else was i supposed to do?)

Turns out the air pump i made was far too powerful, so i ended up with a fountain rather than a gentle flow.

Here's what I got:

What we have here are water sculptures, captured in the process of creation and decay. An object that only existed for this fraction of a second, never to be seen again.

I like this concept right now.

Projection Shoot 2

Ventured into the studio again a couple of weeks ago with a different model.

I was a bit more prepared this time with a selection of images i wanted to project. Still a lot of testing and seeing if anything would come of it. I did get a handful of interesting images.

An idea that I have mentioned in a previous post see HERE was to try and achieve a russian doll form of image.

This is my first attempt at it. We were pushed for time, and my initial way of working didn't really pan out. Interesting results though:

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The wilderness downtown

Arcade fire's interactive music video.

If you haven't had a go, have a go. CLICK ME!!!

It's a simple combination of tech, emotion, and a pretty decent tune.

oh and trees, and we love trees we do.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Something for the kids

The past few weeks I've been working on a new title sequence for my first lecture back at work with the Level 1 students:

Interpol- Barricade

Thanks Mike

3D Projection within a gallery space

Building projection is not something I have the equipment to produce myself, but this, this is doable:

Video Building Projections

Tangible Inspiration

I borrowed a book called 'Tangible - High touch visuals' from the library.

The book contains a huge collection of art and photography based upon the premise of tactile construction, a hands on aproach to image making. Here are my choice highlights:

Aoyama Hina

Lettre de Voltaire

Les Papillons

Chris Heads

I've posted these as the continuation of my interest in the cutout explored in Project 1. The dress-up doll is something I've been thinking about for a long time now, and seeing these images has caused me to recall it. Dressing a model with projections.

Levi van Veluw

Landscape I

Reinterprets the traditional landscape painting, removing plots of grass, trees, even livestock from their 2 dimensional formats and transporting them to the 3 dimensional contours of his own face. A fresh twist on the obsession we have with the romantic landscape of recreating the world and simultaneously being part of it.


Carpet In

Sarah Illenberger

Food Types

These 2 pieces of work again capture the notion of Arcimboldo and his composite portraits. An unintentional running theme throughout my research it seems.

Jared Steffensen

Tree Watch

Mountain Escape Sleeves

I just think these are something special. Not sure if I'm more envious of the idea, the tweed, or the beard. What a special combination.

Debbie Smyth

Pins & Thread

Now this upset me the first time I saw it. Unrelated to this project I was asked if I had any ideas for a music video for a friends band. My idea was based around thread art. I bought all the materials, had a go at some tests, but then ran out of spare time and motivation. It's something that I'd like to continue with, and could be explored in regard to this project too.

Chrissie Macdonald


Atsushi Fukunaga

I came to Copenhagen by Scandlines

2 very similar projects here, actually presented together as a double paged spread in the book. Captures the idea of natural elements encroaching on the man made. Pushing through. Being natural. The plants and flowers are of course all fake and manmade within these shots, but doesn't that bring yet another layer to their meaning? I like them.

Renate Buser

Depot de Sel

Wocher Panorama


These final few images are here as a link to the idea of projecting onto buildings, replacing the real with an idea of an alternative. I've found a number of examples of 3D building projections to be blogged about next. This project does the same thing, but with canvas and the photographed still.