Monthly Archives: February 2014

New development in existing idea

The idea about exploring the navigational structure of a city is now my main idea and from now on I’ll develop and specify my production schedule for the Leeds research trip in March.

My friend and fellow student came up with the idea of adding computer animation to my video of the structured spaces. If the Dane (me) walks on the wrong side (according to english standards) points will be taken. Opposite, if I walk the right way around I will score points. It’s still very early stages of final idea so whether I’m letting the user be active in my game or I make it as a film with a passive audience, is still unknown.

Cinema of Attractions

Early cinema was not introduced for the audience to get an understanding of a plot or walking out with a newly achieved knowledge about something, but simply to create a spectacle that made the audience astonished. Firstly, moving images were enough to create a spectacle but later on themes such as horror, ghosts and magic was introduced for the astonishment and illusion of the audience.

Today audiences still goes to the cinema to be astonished or see a spectacle. Film, including Jurassic Park or Avatar, are film that in their respective time used the newest technology to create illusions and spectacles. Important to notice, is the fact that audiences mostly are aware of the virtual or non-existing world but let themselves emerge into the fantasy of creatures or dinosaurs, where the on-screen action becomes embodied through emotion, attraction or astonishment.

In the class discussion about whether plot or spectacle/attraction is most important when going to the cinema, most students agreed that the spectacle was most important. The spectacle in this case can be seen as newest technology, actors or a creation of an illusionary world. Furthermore, the attractions the audiences seek includes horror, shock, astonishment, fear, disgust but also more positively empathy. Walter Benjamin describes attractions as ‘lust of the eye’.

Todays ‘cinema of attractions’ are IMAX, theme parks, Nintendo DS but also, maybe less mainstream and digital, magazines and novels.

The cinema is always changing from seats to new visual effects. The future is therefore depending on new technology but a couple of qualified guesses could be 4D with movement in seats and for the audience to use more of their senses.

A cinema project set up by Soho House Group, a members club started in London, uses the idea of eating while watching film. The audience will therefore get an extended experience by using the taste buds together with visuals. I have included a little advertising video to the blog but more information about the events can be found on www.ediblecinema.co.uk.

The closest place to Bristol where you can experience this is Babington House in Somerset.

Raw ideas for project

1) Compare the experiences of three different sizes of screens by having audiences watching the same thing on the different outlets and record/observe the different reactions from the clip shown. Include level of focus, with or without known company.

2) As I have just been home for a week, Denmark, I observed the unawareness of how we walk the streets, how we que for trains, busses and flights and how all walkways are carefully layed out for us to go a certain way. It comes naturally to walk left way around in UK where in Denmark is the complete opposite. Escalators, stairs or simply when you walk towards someone there is the right way or the wrong way and if you go the wrong way you end up with the awkard dance steps around people.

Touching Strangers

In relation to playable cities, I came across this beautiful experiment where a photographer put strangers together on the street in a photo. The result is that the people looks like they have strong connection to one another. It’s a way of playing with the city and the inhabitant of it.

The people on the street plays on the street within the rules of the photographer and create magic moments between them.

Audience in Focus

New media is not only consumed in the ‘traditional’ places but also on the go, in trains, in ques and while focus levels might vary. It is therefore important than when producing media that the outlet of the finished product is in focus. There are multiply options for these outlet and the choise is down to content of the final product.

Something to keep in mind when producing the project.

Playable cities

I found the lecture, given by Jon Dovey on playable cities and how humans interact through play, very interesting. The idea of the playable city is that we use the environment around us to create ‘play grounds’ where development and fun exists. Humans develop themselves and objects around them by playing and pushing the boundaries of ‘the game’ by asking why? Furthermore, our ability to explore, experiment, have a curiosity for development and imagination for the unknown creates the culture we live within. As humans, we never stop playing and that’s what makes us to the superior specie.

A couple of examples of play in the city could be, race someone to the nearest tree, skateboarding, draw with chalk on the pavement, avoid stepping on the cracks, holding up an invisible robe in the traffic (see embedded clip) to the extreme of train-surfing (second clip) or cliff jumping.

It’s easy and doesn’t involve anymore than two people is a game which trick people to think they are holding a robe even though they obviously isn’t any. This also ties in with the idea of being immersed in the cinematic experience where special effects might seem so real that you might be tricked into believing what is on the screen even when your common sense tells you differently.

Train surfing in Stockholm, Sweden, is where people jump on top of the trains while they are in motion and ‘surf’ them at a very high-speed. An extreme example of play in the city.

I think people play to get the excitement of ‘what’s going to happen next?’ or the adrenalin kick but also to complete or succeed in the game. It is easy to get involved and immersed into a fantasy or visual world where you don’t have the same limits as in the ‘real’ world and we therefore let go in another way than if we were out in public.

The fascination of playing has in some cases been turned from fun and developing into consumption orientated play with computer games or advertising in a newspaper where you need to but the paper each week to collect different codes or vouchers to fulfil the game. This is a natural marked strategy as that will excite us and make us consume a product.