The test footage I shot in London
First test-run of the equipment has now been done when I went to London this week. The equipment worked but I found that London is too metropolitan and too many tourist for my project to work in practice. I managed to walk on the right hand side at all times, but so did the people in my company.
The test was therefore unsuccessful as I didn’t get to explore people’s walking patterns or interact with people for walking on the ‘wrong’ side of a confined space. I also found London is huge and not many confined spaces if available to explore. On the footage there is a clicking sound throughout the clip and I still haven’t located what caused it, but I was caring a lot of luggage in the time of recording which I will not do at the time of recording for project.
I will therefore have to lent out the equipment again to try out my idea in another and less multicultural city in England. Bristol or Bath could be potentials.
Furthermore, I also discovered that there might be long stretches without any interactions from the public if I have to walk for ten minutes without doing any edits and shooting it in a loop. Therefore I might be forced to edit and lose some of the authenticity. An idea would be to, if I have to edit, having similar places for a two-minute slot on both screens, for example bus/train stations, supermarkets, town centres, roundabouts, etc. Thereafter a black screen for a couple of seconds and then pick up on another place. I would lose some strength but might be necessary to complete the practical task of the assignment.
Iain Sinclair – Psychogeography maker
Works mostly in and around London and the work that interests me is his work from 2002 called ‘London Orbital’. First published as a book and later on, reconstructed as a documentary film, which is what I’m aiming for in my own project. Taking an observation and turning it into film-based theory or documentation.
‘I take a walk every morning. It’s opening up your system to the world, charging circuits to be able to write’ – Iain Sinclair (theguardian.com)
About ‘London Orbital’ Iain Sinclair explains: “I felt quite strongly that with the kind of complicated dense fictions that I’d been writing, there was no place for them in the market. Lights Out for the Territory, which was centred on walks and explorations within London, had been much more successful. I needed to do another book which appeared to be a documentary but went off in other directions. One day when I was out walking up the River Lea to the point where it hit the M25 at Waltham Abbey, I thought this is it. This is the future England. London itself, by being completely enclosed in a motorway, has become a kind of concrete island. The obvious space to explore is this, with this pilgrim journey. It’s a book you can describe in a single sentence — a walk around the M25 — so everything clicked into place. Once I’d taken that decision, the book was there waiting to be written.” through this website.
It’s a visionary film about the M25. A road movie (literally) and a cinematic excursion into the difference between driving and walking, film and tape, time and memory, sound and image. Also a look at covert arms deals, Essex gangsters, drug dealing and Thatcher and Pinochet as vampire-lovers.
Newest ideas for the practical work of my project.
The finished films, one from both countries, are going to run on-screen simultaneously – probably one above the other. I will attempt to shoot the footage with the same finish/start line so the film can loop and be endless, referring to the endless strolls by Guy Debord.
I have also completed my workshop with GoPro cameras and can now start the more practical side of my project. I’ll need to have a chest mount with me, underneath a jacket, partly hidden preferably, so the public will not react to my camera but to my position on the street.
I’m going to London this week where I’ll try out the equipment and see if the whole experiment works. I’m aware that in a big metropolitan city there will be more bumping in to each other and contact, especially if your on the tube, but I hope this can work as a test for my final project.
Primarily, the research has been my own experience while walking in confined spaces in the city frustrated and unsure what side to walk in as I’m a foreigner to England but after having lived here a while also have become a foreigner to my home country; in regards to walking the city at least. Thereafter, I started looking for theory written by academics in the library to back up my own observation of the city.
The academic theory related to my project is mainly where the project question comes from (Michel de Certeau, 1984, The practice of Everyday Life), that theorise the practise of walking in the city, but also the idea about Psychogeography by Guy Debord.
‘The act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language’ (Certeau, M. p.97)
Coverley, Merlin (20060 Psychogeography. Chapter: Guy Debord and the Situationist International p81-p110. Harpendem, Herts. Pocket Essentials.
In this chapter Guy Debord defines the term psychogeography partly as ‘Psychogeography could set itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals’ (p.88). This definition is highly relevant for my area of study as my two main interests are individuals behaviour when someone (me) walking in the ‘wrong’ side and the geographical layout of the city depending on what country you are in.
Debord goes on saying: ‘Emotional zones that cannot be determined simply by architectural or economic conditions must be determined by following the aimless stroll (d’erive), the result of which may then form the basis of a new cartography characterised by a complete disregard for the traditional and habitual practices of the tourist’ (p.90).
These are a couple of books and academic theory I can attach to my practical work in Media Culture 2
My project proposal for the module Media Culture 2
Research Proposal Form
This proposal form must be filled in and signed by your Mentor before carrying out the primary research for your final Research Project. You will need to get two copies signed: one for yourself and one for your Mentor to keep. Please keep this form to two sides of A4, if possible.
Student name and mobile phone number: Anika Nørager,
Mentor name and mobile phone number: Katie,
Student’s blog address: wwww.creativeculturalresearch.wordpress.com
What is the research question that you are setting out to answer?:
“Styles specifies a linguistic structure that manifests on the symbolic level… an individual’s fundamental way of being in the world. Use defines the social phenomenon through which a system of communication manifests itself in actual fact; it refers to a norm. Style and use both have to do with a ‘way of operating’ (of speaking, walking etc.), but style involves a peculiar processing o the symbolic, while use refers to element of code. They intersect to form a style of use, a way of being and a way of operating.” – Mitchel de Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life 1984, page 100
How does ‘style’ and ‘use’ impact our ‘way of operating’ while walking in the city?
How does this develop themes and debates explored within the module?:
It questions the navigational structure of a city and the human interactions within it – psychogeography – and how people make sense of places and spaces in the city and the potential to use it in a payable way – playable cities.
What research methods are you going to use? How are you going to produce the evidence you’ll need to answer your research question?
I will attempt to do my research though walkshops in the city with a GoPro camera attached to me to explore the navigational structure of a city in England and Denmark. Furthermore, to document the interaction between people walking on the streets when someone (me) doesn’t follow the cultural structure.
What physical resources will this primary research require?
Good walking shoes
Where and when exactly is this primary research going to take place?
(NB for health and safety reasons, we need to know the EXACT locations at which this research will take place and the EXACT times that you’ll be working there)
Bristol City Centre, Bath City Centre UK
Herning City Centre, Aarhus City Centre Denmark
Which student colleagues have agreed to help and support you in carrying out this research?
In UK: Beatrice
In Denmark: on my own
Self-assessment of risk:
Is this research exercise likely to expose you to any health and safety risks or any risk to property?
(NB these might include: exposure to theft by using a camera in a public place; journeying into an unknown area of town; entering into people’s homes; carrying out ethnographies in places in which excessive alcohol consumption or drug use takes place; etc).
Theft of camera equipment
I am aware that, whilst carrying out this research (and/or on the Leeds/Bradford Field Trip), I have certain responsibilities both to my tutors and to UWE. I will not endanger my own welfare (e.g. through excessive consumption of alcohol, drug misuse, or engaging in provocative behaviour) and will endeavour not to be an undue burden on either my student colleagues or my tutors. If I need to alter the plan of research here outlined, I will check with my Mentor before proceeding. If I am going on the Leeds/Bradford Field Trip, I will endeavour to keep my Mentor informed about my general whereabouts throughout the three days. I am responsible, however, for the successful completion of this primary research and also for my general conduct and timekeeping. If I turn up late for the coach home, I can’t expect it to wait, and I will make my own way back to Bristol accordingly.
Student signature and date: 12.03.2014 ANIKA NØRAGER
Mentor signature and date:
After tutorials on Monday, the idea has taken a slight turn, hopefully for the better.
As a foreign in England I’m still going to walk the streets of a city always going right as we would in Denmark, but because I’m now so well-integrated into the English culture I equally find it difficult to come back to Denmark and walk the streets. I will therefore attempt to walk the street of a Danish city with an English mind which will be in the left side. I will record the two clips with a GoPro camera (which I still need to have a workshop in, in order to borrow those types of camera) and have then running simultaneously on the same screen.
I will attempt not to edit but have them as one-take-footage to gather the material as raw as possible with 10-15 minutes videos. This project is about the psychological side of walking the streets and the unawareness of the natural navigational options human choses based on their cultural background. In addition to the psychological side, I will most likely bump into a lot of people on my way as I will walk in the wrong side. My project is partly based upon that to see how people react, if they apologies, smiles awkwardly or just continue walking. This with enhance my study of two different cultures. I have to choose two ‘same size’ cities to get the best comparison.
That’s why the GoPro camera is crucial so people, hopefully are unaware of the fact they are being filmed and interact naturally.
I hope to do the workshop in GoPro in the beginning of next week to start testing out if the project is doable and crucially that I walk into people on my way. Furthermore, I need to carefully plan my 10-15 minute walk to make sure I walk where and when people are around and I therefore need to know a little about the cities/towns.