Interstellar – Christopher Nolan / Hans Zimmer
Despite being an excellent film with stunning visuals and a really captivating storyline I was even more impressed with the soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer.
Compared to most modern sci-fi films with their extreme lens flares and very robotic, synthesised sounds, Interstellar brought through a fresh look to the scene with really simple stripped back visuals and compositions with strong classical links. I found this contrast to be particularly interesting because the combination of a futuristic world and music from the past really twisted the film and compliments the plot perfectly.
In summary; Interstellar is based around a world in which mankind has run out of food long before they run out of fuel or other resources. In one final desperate attempt to save themselves, NASA send shuttles through a wormhole which appeared almost 40 years prior in the hope of finding a new world to colonise. The story focusses not around these first missions, but the attempt to find a new world and rescue the first people sent through. Throughout the film time and gravity are two of the most important themes and are what drive the space exploration, one one planet, close to a large black hole, a single hour spent on it would cost seven years back on earth. Toward the end of the film, the main character (played by Matthew McConaughey) falls into this black hole and into a 3 dimensional structure based in a 5th dimension. The structure is made of time, each branch is a single moment in a room where the film all began and he uses this to solve humanities problem of harnessing gravity to get off the planet.
With the idea of time being one of the most important factors in play throughout the film it is interesting to see that it also takes affect outside of the film in the musical score as well where Zimmer chooses to use an orchestra and organ as opposed to a more obvious synthesised approach. What is even more interesting is that parts of the musical score sound incredibly similar to the final scene of Koyaanisquatsi (1982), one of the most influential films to date.
Composed by Philip Glass, Koyaanisquatsi’s final scene (shown above) contains a prominent church organ throughout. This brings in links to death and religion which seem fitting as the film bases itself around humanities relationship with nature. However to bring this into Hans Zimmer’s pieces in Interstellar it can seem obscure as to what his intent was by doing this.
In the film, the first mission’s sent to explore for new life were labelled as “The Lazarus Missions”, this is another interesting link as in the story of Lazarus, he flew too close to the sun, melting his wax wings and falling to his death. This look back at Greek mythology could be the link to why Zimmer created such pieces as if to state, “There is no hope, death is guaranteed”.
One character, named Professor Brand, (played by Michael Caine) recites a line from the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” written by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953).
“Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”
This quote seems incredibly fitting to the film and the score as it further ties the link between future and past in an elegant statement. When all three points from the past are combined it begins to make sense as to why Zimmer composed such a strange and wonderful piece, I find that the combination of art and written pieces, (both very much based on history) with the idea of looking toward the future and to finding hope in a place in which we believe there to be none, is a really powerful idea and I could not think of any other composer more suited to the task than Hans Zimmer.
– Thursday 30th April 2015 –
Natural History Redux – Coral Morphologic
Coral Morphologic are a group based in Miami who study and grow coral. Besides growing, studying and selling the coral they have discovered a distinct luminescence in the coral which only shows under a blue UV light. Using this and a macro lens, Coral Morphologic have captured a variety of clips and images based around the luminescence of the corals.
I find these clips and images produced really interesting because they remind me of my light work I did back in 2014 except they movement and complexity of the coral is truly astounding. To think that such a basic organism has developed in such a way to give off vibrant colours in blue light is really intriguing and brings me to think why such a thing would be necessary for survival? Many of the clips produced are long periods of filming sped up as these organisms are not fast creatures however the resulting video makes it seem unnoticeable and some really appear alien and remind of something you’d see under a microscope, obviously if the cells were luminescent.
Not only does this show a variety of wondrous spectacles the sound and ambient music to accompany them are also really quite incredible. The group has recorded live clips underwater from the coral itself and made sounds based around the recordings. It is really interesting to hear these sounds because it sounds like a very distinct crackle amongst the silence, this is normally due to fish citing off bits of rock and coral however with none in view I can only assume it must be from the coral? It’s an interesting thought to think that something that appears so lifeless and stationary can produce such a sound and be so beautiful.
– Monday 23rd February 2015 –
The Dø – ‘Dust It Off’
I discovered this song whilst watching the film ‘I Origins’, I was immediately drawn in by its simplicity and subtlety and gradual build up to the climax. However, the version I was familiar with was only a short 3 minute song compared to the 6 minutes displayed above. In the piece, The Dø have used a variety of instruments that all get introduced one after the other, it starts with a very simple melody and singer with the odd hit of percussion and a really light guitar that I wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t seen it in the video. To begin with I want to focus on the first 2-3 minutes of the track, this is the piece that i am familiar with and have been listening to for the past week or so, I really enjoy the stripped back take they’ve given this song, you can almost hear their thought process in the creation of it. In the album version of the song they have a very subtle use of samples and repeats, particularly in the vocals and drums, at first i thought this was a mistake or a crackle in my headphones, however as i listened on I realised it was a purposeful input into the song and I was even more intrigued. Unfortunately the same was not repeated in the video above however the last 3 minutes of the song seemed almost like an entirely different song, the way that the guitar and rumbling drums along with a low synth worked was, in my opinion, a really interesting choice. I felt that the last part was very reminiscent of early dubstep and really reminded me of a group called ‘Engine-EarZ Experiment’ who’s work consists of strange frequencies and out of time melodies.
– Wednesday 28th January 2015 –
As mentioned in the post above I was really reminded of Engine-EarZ Experiment in the last half of The Dø’s song. After writing it I took a quick listen back into some of the songs I was interested in. I found this particular artist very interesting because of the way he hasn’t conformed to the typical dubstep trend and has used more frequencies and white noise than notes on a melody, the result is really quite incredible. Accompanied by various vocal samples and odd synths, I am reminded as to why I liked this groups so much.
– Wednesday 28th January 2015 –
The Fifth Element – Luc Besson
An action sci-fi originally released in 1997 starring Bruce Willis and Mills Jovovich and a personal childhood favourite. Whilst watching the film I really began listening to the sounds and music involved. In one of the very first scenes when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) escapes the medical capsule in which she was introduced to the film there is a fast paced electronic beat running along whilst she’s in the ventilation system. This style of music reminded me a lot of the music you’d tend to find in a lot of sci-fi action games released around the 2000’s. It had a very generic running synth underlaying a light piano across the top similar to something you’d find in a thriller.
After hearing this I began to drift in thought as to which came first, the movies or the games? I simply cannot just claim that a movie before a game or vice versa is correct. However, that is not the topic of my post.
I tend to really enjoy sci-fi films, not just because of the infinite possibilities and the wide variety of stories out there, but also because of the ingenuity of the sound used. The fact that we can invent sounds for something we couldn’t possibly know what sounds like is just mind blowing to think about. Flying cars, spaceships, laser guns? Science fiction is something we can only imagine and has been for a very long time.
I felt the need to post about this film because I believe it to be a true classic and I have only began to notice the sound involved now because of my new course. There is a huge variety of music displayed in the course of the film, jumping from a dramatic classical to a smooth funk in just a split second. Eric Serra has done a fantastic job. I would definitely recommend this to anyone even if sci-fi wasn’t their thing.
– Tuesday 27th January 2015 –
Emergence – Susi Sie
I find this piece really interesting because of the way both sound and visuals go together perfectly in a really immersive piece. Not only do the movements and sounds feel very organic like little microscopic organisms moving around on a page but the way the whole piece develops is almost like an evolutionary path.
I feel like I cannot single out either sound or visuals as when you watch the video it becomes very hard to distinguish between the two or focus on either. I will be using this as an inspiration point to go out and see if I can create something just as immersive using what I’ve learnt on Sound Arts so far and my previous experience in Fine Art.
– Saturday 25th October 2014 –
Eye Know – Hiroshi Kondo
I felt really inspired after watching this because of how creative and effective it was, I wanted to go out and do the same things with a camera. I feel this piece really reminded me of my final piece for Fine Art last year (2014), the way the image has been manipulated and reflected so many times to create a kaleidoscope of lights and colour is really impressive. It almost gives of the impression of a kind of psychedelic journey through the motorway on which it’s taken.
What I really enjoyed was the smooth transitions between reality and the space they were creating. The way the image is blended makes you question the solidarity of the sequences they present you with. I think this will influence a lot of my future works in Sound Art and Design as it really demonstrates how far you can take a sourced video (sound in my case) and manipulate it so far out that it no longer resembles what it used to be.
I have been creating a lot of sound pieces recently so I think maybe creating some visuals to go along side them could really enhance the experience of the viewer.
-Tuesday 30th September 2014-
Jim Campbell’s Sculptural LED Light Installations
I found this brief video on Campbell’s work really inspirational because of the simplicity of his work yet the effect it creates. I really feel that some of his work is what I’m striving toward because he mentions reducing the image definition and really focussing on the movement and form, for me that is really important in my light work.
What I also found interesting was his projections onto textured surfaces, I found these pieces very interesting because not only was the projection even more distorted Campbell has also created constant shadows and grooves.
Using this as inspiration I am going to try to create a few moving image pieces using light, I feel that this would be a good path to follow down. Later I may even include sound as it will then affect all senses.
Bot & Dolly – Halo Remember Reach
I have chosen to reference this particular video by Bot & Dolly because of the resources and the way they did this ‘drawing’. I have recently been experimenting using light to create shapes and forms and I feel this technique is really interesting because they haven’t used solid lines and created the form out of dots of light.
I have recently purchased a smaller robotic arm in order to attempt to create smoother lines with light and more accurate forms, I feel this direction of using machines as a drawing tool will be really interesting.
I find Laura Buckley’s work interesting because of the way she uses reflections and refraction in her pieces. Her use of light is very interesting because it’s not so obvious, I find that the way she projects a video through an installation piece interesting because it almost forms a kaleidoscope. I have chosen to focus on one particular piece by Buckley called ‘Fata Morgana’ I have chosen this piece because it really took my attention whilst looking at her works. I really like the way she has created this tunnel into which she project an image that reflects off all the sides, it almost becomes slightly off-putting because it really changes your depth perception.
In terms of my own work I think Laura Buckley’s light pieces will be very helpful to look at because at the moment the pieces I have been looking at have been very complex. I find the Buckley’s work gets a similar effect but with less complication, and I will attempt to apply a similar process to my own work.
Synesthetic Sensory Stimulation – Ryoichi Kurokawa
I find this artist particularly interesting in terms of the way he combines his sound art with visuals. To begin with his sound work is very electronic and I feel is really boosted by the very geometric, computer generated visuals to go alongside it. Listening to his work completely as a sound piece becomes something else however, I feel his sound work has an acute sense of ambience, because there is not so much upfront but much more of a background noise. I really like the way he has combined his audio and visual works because the visuals are drawn from the audio and so move and transform accordingly. I am currently learning some animation software at the moment and have already begun a few sound pieces of my own, I feel Kurokawa’s work will influence them greatly.
Bringing Still Life To Images – Yorgo Alexopolous
I found this video shortly after the ‘Box’ sequence. Again referring to space I have found a new way of portraying the space in a flat image, the way Alexopolous layers his images is really intriguing, unlike ‘Box’ I find that Alexopolous’ work is much more subtle in the way he creates the sense of space. I find that the media Alexopolous uses can only go to a certain depth before the illusion is lost, however for the level of digital and hand rendered art I am currently at, I feel this effect may be a good place to start when creating space.
‘Box’ – Bot & Dolly
My current project is based around the body and space, I believe this piece of work by Bot & Dolly covers both aspects really nicely in a way of transforming space around and influenced by the body. After watching this clip I was really inspired by the ‘magic’ created, also in the video below they mention the five stages of magic; Transformation, Levitation, Intersection,Teleportation and Escape. The way they have programmed the projectors to correspond with the movement of the hydraulic arms is very interesting and the lack of light further pushes the depth and mystery to the piece. After watching the video on how the piece was made everything became much clearer, however the fascination was still there.
I think this piece really links to my project because of the way they manage to trick the eye into seeing a 3D space in what we know to be a 2D surface. With this in mind, are the artists creating space? Or merely hinting at the possibility. I find the way that the body also effects the space really intriguing as eventually it seems to become a kind of dance, a performance piece. With the subtle ambient music in the background it really pushes the piece as a film and completes it as a whole. I found myself being drawn in to the lines created through the Intersection stage in the video and the overall compilation really breath taking. I am uncertain how this will effect my current work now but I hope that I will be able to create something similar.
Requiem For A Dream Drug Clips
I put together a set of clips from the film ‘Requiem For A Dream’. I chose to put these particular clips together because of the way they are shot and also the sound produced by the montage.
I found after watching each individual clip that there is a certain flow in them, although each clip is a compilation of individual sequences, the way they are arranged and the length of each bit is fast but not fast enough to become a blur. I find that I have just enough time to take in what’s going on per shot before it moves onto the next.
In terms of the sounds produced I think it could be presented on its own as a sound piece, especially at 00:00:23 into the sequence. When they layer the sounds over a beat the sounds eventually become part of the rhythm of the song, even without an underlying beat I find myself noticing a regular beat produced by the clips.
Another clip I find really interesting is the short clips of the pupils. When the pupil dilates I really like the way the rest of the pupil reacts around the iris, the way the colours and lines all move feels very unique and obviously everyone’s eyes all react differently however some differences may be subtle.
NASA – Aerogel (Solid Smoke)
“Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and thermal conductivity. Nicknames include “frozen smoke”, “solid smoke”, “solid air” or “blue smoke” owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material; however, it feels like extruded polystyrene (Styrofoam) to the touch.” – Wikipedia
I found this information on the material particularly relevant to my current work with smoke because after photographing and capturing the split seconds and movement of the smoke the resulting image almost seems solid. I think application of this material can be particularly interesting when thinking sculpturally, perhaps the twists and movement of smoke frozen into position using Aerogel.
“The brain seeing this picture, realising it is photographic, adds reality to it. And that’s why it’s important to me that it’s not painted, because painting you would only see as the intention of the painter whereas this has some connection to the reality of the world, even though it’s not depicting anything” – Wolfgang Tillmans
After looking at my smoke pieces, I began to spot various similarities between mine and Tillmans work. Besides the fact that he is a Fine Art photographer I am really inspired by the way he uses photography to create his images, rather than using the camera as a way of recording and documenting he is using it as a drawing tool to make art.
‘British Art Show 7’, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 23 Oct 2010 – 9 Jan 2011 [image] http://tillmans.co.uk
What I find particularly interesting about Tillmans’ pieces is the way he uses light to make his images opposed to a more solid medium such as smoke or water. The interesting part in that is the fact that ink in water, smoke and light all produce similar visuals when used to create an image.
For this artist I have chosen to look at his selected works “Obstructed Views”. I found this set of images particularly relevant to my work because of the way Antas has obscured himself using smoke. I find this ties in nicely with what I am currently working on at the moment because of the idea of disappearing and creating an illusion really comes out of these works.‘Obstructed View (Cliffedge)’, Axel Antas, 2010 [image] http://www.axelantas.co.uk/photographs/obstructed-views/
I also find the way Antas has positioned himself very interesting because he has tried to get at an angle where he is against the skyline, where after releasing the smoke he blends nicely into the background.
“Obstructed views is a series of large scale photographs where a figure, the artist, is occluded by a temporal and manufactured cloud within the landscape. Although the same physical height as the artist the photographs act to dissipate the subject and hint at our failure to fully comprehend the space we inhabit.” ‘Obstructed Views’, Axel Antas, 2009-2011, [text] http://www.axelantas.co.uk/photographs/obstructed-views/
I have recently subscribed to a youtube channel called “The Creators Project”, I find the videos they post to be very interesting in terms of finding new ways to explore and push the boundaries of my art, they also introduce me to new artists who are potentially up and coming. Whilst browsing through the videos I found one on .GIF files, and after watching this can potentially open up a new way of presenting my art and giving it a lot more movement. In my proposal I talked about planning to make my art a more music/video piece rather than the prints I have being creating for the past projects, this could be the way I bring some of that into my current work.
After doing some brief research into the subject of making .GIF files I realised that thankfully no other software was required other than Photoshop, which I currently have. However in order to make these .GIF files I would need video files. So over the next week I will hopefully be able to get some short clips to experiment with.
The reason why I’d like to experiment with .GIF files is because in the video they presented some very simple .GIF’s of which I saw that they can bring a whole new dimension to an image making it appear a lot more real and a slight 3D effect which I found really interesting in terms of applying that to my own work.
Huang is more of a digital artist, his works mainly appearing in the film/music industries. Although his work is digital he has begun with a material beginning, he uses a lot of Arts & Craft to influence his digital work. I find Huang’s work particularly interesting because of both his development from craft to digital and also the way he presents his ideas in his videos. I really like the very naturalistic movements he is able to capture in his animations, the way he gives his work a very organic feel.
“His film career is preceded with a love of drawing and painting, paralleled with experimentation in animation, fashion and puppetry.” Biography, Andrew Huang, http://www.andrewthomashuang.com/about.htm
Huang is most well known for his two short films, ‘Solopsist’ and ‘Doll Face’.
After watching Solopsist I was particularly attracted to the use of colour, music and dance in his video. I found the combination of all made the video seem almost psychedelic in the effects that were created.
After watching Doll Face I felt it almost described what I was progressing to in my topic of influence and being influenced. I found that the way the machine stretched toward the television and attempted to mimic the images shown to it as if it were being influenced by the televisions.
In the description of the film it says: ” A machine with a doll face mimics images on television screen in search of a satisfactory visage. Doll Face presents a visual account of desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future.”
The way it describes the images that were displayed as “in search of a satisfactory image” is particularly interesting as this can be used as a twisted description of fashion all together. “Desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension to the future” the way it describes the desires as being misplaced I find interesting because it can almost be linked into religion and the love of material possessions.
Find Young’s work very interesting because a lot of it would not be viewed naturally as art until displayed in a gallery. I find her take to art particularly inspiring because it seems so raw and original, I would like to try and find a similar approach to my own work as I find what stands out the most is often something unique and different. A piece of Young’s that really caught my eye was the ‘Redshift Series’. I found it particularly interesting not only because of my interest in photography but the images created were breath-taking. I really like the way Young has exposed negatives to light shone through translucent pieces of meteorite, I find the approach to this piece to be really original and the outcome really bizarre. In order to see what the images are actually of you have to read the information otherwise you are left guessing. I would really like to develop a similar effect to approach an audience with as I find leaving a person guessing gives them the space to draw their own conclusions from the artwork and mentally face it in their own way.
‘Redshift Series’, Carey Young, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, 2010 [image] http://www.careyyoung.com/past/redshift.html
I have chosen to look at Dickinson’s ‘Milgram’s Re-Enactment’ piece. I found this piece particularly interesting because I think it pushes the border on what can be viewed as anything. The Milgram Experiment is designed to test how far a subject will go under the influence of authority. The subject (teacher) is led to believe he is delivering lethal shocks to a second volunteer (learner) in a separate room. For each wrong answer the learner gives the subject is to increase the voltage of shock. The figure of authority stays in the room with the subject throughout the experiment, whenever the subject questions his actions he is pushed on by the authority figure who uses positive language such as “You must continue with the experiment” or “Please continue”.
I think by re-enacting the piece Dickinson wants the audience and viewers to feel the discomfort similar to that of the subject participating. The subject has no awareness that he is being watched. I find the piece inspiring because Dickinson manages to evoke a reaction through this piece but in a very separated way. I found whilst watching the video I felt shifty, wrong and uncomfortable, much like the subject in the experiment.
I find Parla’s work really inspiring because it has such an urban, graffiti look to it. The way Parla makes these works by building up several layers to create the painting is very interesting, in his videos he describes his works as a form of story telling, I think that the way he builds up the layers in his work can be compared to building up layers and adding depth into the story his work tells.
I think incorporating a similar style into my own work could be really effective as not only would I be able to add depth into my work but also several images/views. I think size is a very important aspect in Parla’s work because a lot of his work is based on a very large scale, I think this helps his work envelop the audience and I also find his style quite mesmerising so being surrounded by it may capture the viewer.
I find Anthony McCall one of my most inspirational artists because of his light sculptures. In the video he describes his work as “Cinema, sculpture and drawing, cinema because they are structures in time”. I find McCall’s work really interesting because not only is it a piece in itself it becomes something completely new with the interaction of the user. I think the way that McCall has created pieces which make the light seem solid is almost an optical illusion, you become scared to approach the piece or walk through it because the sculpture appears so solid.
‘You and I Horizontal’, Anthony McCall, 2006 [image] http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2013/jan/28/hayward-gallery-light-show-exhibition
I also noticed that a lot of McCall’s work relies on the dark, the interaction between people that don’t know each other. The dark helps the light stand out and envelop the audience, I think this helps McCall’s work seem so dramatic.
Irving Harper is a designer who after working for ‘George Nelson Associates’ became one of the most prolific designers of the modernist style. What really attracted me to Harper’s designs was his recent release of ‘Works In Paper’. I find Harper’s work particularly influential because of his paper sculptures, his ability as a designer to visualise a design and then make it without any drawing or pre-thought into how it would work or fit. I like the idea of ‘going in blind’ as such, I think this kind of approach leaves you much more open to variation and development a long the way.
“”Irving claims to have had a great deal of nervous energy and to be constantly fidgety, and this was his sport, his relaxation,” explains Maharam. The various figures and tableaux are evidence of a mind restless with creativity and hands brimming with talent.” – Evan Orensten, Design, Jan 2 2013 [Article] http://www.coolhunting.com/design/irving-harper-works-in-paper.php
‘A Particular Interest Is A Nearby Trailer Park’, Why Design, Don Chadwick [Image] http://www.hermanmiller.com/content/hermanmiller/microsites/whydesign/02/index.html#don-chadwick
Chadwick is primarily a furniture designer, best known for the ‘Aeron Chair’ made by Herman Miller. However, what attracted me to this video was the aspect of photography in his work. I find that throughout his video he makes it clear that being a photographer is a vital part of his work, seeing and focussing on things that a normal person wouldn’t normally see. After watching the video I could see that “The camera becomes and extension of your eyes”. I find using photography a means of showing people what you as an artist see in comparison to what they see. Using a camera to do this can be really vital due to the fact and ability that you can focus on certain aspects of the image.
“The camera, has always been a guide, and it’s allowed me to see things and focus on things that an average person wouldn’t even notice. But it’s our function as designers to see things that other people don’t see.” – Don Chadwick, ‘The Camera Becomes An Extension Of Your Eyes’, Sep 16 2012.
I find Rozendaal’s work interesting not because of the actual art, but because of his ideas and concept of art.
In the video above Rozendaal talks about his work and the way he uses the internet to interact, display and sell his work. He also picks up on his view of art, what people consider ‘art’, when Rozendaal describes this he says “I don’t worry too much about what is an artist, I worry about what is interesting.”. I agree with Rozendaal’s view on art, as I also think that art has no particular meaning and almost everything can be considered art.
What really got me interested in Rozendaal’s art was his use of projections onto mirrors. ‘Without Hesitation’, Rafael Rozendaal, Tokyo, Japan, 2012 [Image] (http://www.newrafael.com/without-hesitation-interactive-art-installation-in-collaboration-with-calvin-klein/)
I find the effect that the reflections can make are really inspiring. I think that when Rozendaal breaks his mirrors this only increases the effect. He already uses very geometrical images in his projections but the cracks in the glass really break up the reflection and display it in a whole new way.
Lochore’s work is very interesting as much of his artwork is not in focus, he often portrays what looks like the shadow of objects. Looking at his pieces such as Chandelier 1, Chandelier 2 and Ladder I find his style mesmerising as although the image is not clear it really captures you to try and work it out, I find it really makes you struggle to find the edges of the object.‘Chandelier 1’, Brad Lochore, 2005 [Image] (http://www.lochore.com/staging/)
I really like how although you recognise that is a Chandelier you are still stuck trying to fit the pieces together, some kind of mental puzzle. I think the fact that the image is faded enough for you to start adding bits that don’t seem to be there, really makes you try to focus on it. I have begun applying a similar effect to my Person project, changing the persons face to give it a very blurred effect.