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THE VIRTUAL

HEREAFTER

A short film about digital afterlife, presenting an analogy with biological organisms and the idea of replicating code


THE FILM -ANALOGY This short film explains the issue of digital afterlife by comparing it with processes similar to biological organisms. It presents the analogy that similar to biological immortality, where the organism such as bacteria can go on to live forever (if optimum conditions are maintained) by replicating themselves and forming colonies, we are also replicating our identity by uplocading digital cells and creating a digital DNA. Bacteria reproduce through a process known as Binary Fission, where one cell divides into two, we are also replicating our identity twice or more depending on how active we are online. It is not very easy to gather an exact number of how many times our digital code divides because of the open and huge structure of the World Wide Web. The film compares biological and digital processes to map out similarities and speculate what may happen in the future if the digital universe is performing like a bilogical process such as a recombined digital code. The idea of replicating code and in specific digital code has been explored by George Dyson who said, ‘there’s no reason life won’t use the self-replicating abilities of digital code, and that’s what’s happening.’ The visual experience of the film is like a laboratory experiment report, such that the structure of the film fllows in the same way as how experiment reports are written. The first part of the film is an explanation of the experiment method and investigating question, followed by an analogy and results of the experiment. The symbols, diagrams and 3D models are how they would be shown in a science book or video. To make the viewer understand the in-depth nature of this analogy I have incorporated microscopic, grainy, fuzzy images and negatives to suggest the viewer to study the concept further than the surface level. Initially, when scientists were trying to dicover the structure of the cell, the first point of reference was a bubble, therefore I have used bubbles to provide a visual imagery for cells.


The latter parts of the film, loop back on how a biological process is influenced by the digital, where as the analogy is mainly about tehnological process acting like biological. Hence, the final part of the film shows images of bacterial growth on agar plates, these are samples taken from different areas to visually represent the amount of online data (digital cells) stored and shared in different servers such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.


THE PROPOSAL The Virtual Hereafter is a piece of critical design in the form of a short film that explores the topic of online activity and digital immortalilty. All of the activities and interactions in the digital environment are recorded, which is known as the digital footprint. This data is stored in the cloud and can be used by others because there is unclarity about ownership of digital content. This is an important issue today because of the amount of data we are storing online. Life after death has been explored by religion, science, art and metaphysics. In most cultures, there is a strong belief that the same individual who lived and died continues to have new experiences. ‘Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition,

hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by a god, gods, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life. Science explains that everything is made up of natural elements, the big bang is held responsible for the creation of everything and at the end of life, the human body will be absorbed back into the system. Technological advances such as cryonics have allowed the freezing of the body in the hope of restoring it to life after death. Architecture and memorabilia have an important relationship with death and leaving a trace behind. There are three main issues concerned with digital after life: preserving useful information for the future, providing escape such as grieving and control such as legal issues and authorship.


FEAR SOUND OFCAPTIVE SOUNDS AN AUDIO VISUALISATION IN COLLABORATION WITH SOUND DESIGNERS - ‘COMMUNION’


THE PROPOSAL Title of your Project: Sound Captive Field of Study: I am collaborating with musicians to create an audio visual piece that will explore themes such as anticipation, delay, music as torture, sound collage, atmospheric / common every day sounds, immersive media, installation, experimental, sound design, manipulation of sound and it’s corresponding visuals, relation between emotion and design, representation of an emotion, silence, repetition, patterns of sound, mixed media, abstraction, surreal, subliminal, Synaesthesia. DesignFocus/Question/Problem/Proposition: Visualising Acousticophobia with audio and video. A metaphorical approach in creating the feeling of fear from sound. Can a relationship between fear and sound be explored with visuals and audio. Context: Acousticophobia is an intense and persistent aversion to loud noises, “everyday noises”, even the sound of a human voice can be fearful. People suffering from this condition feel irritated, upset and psychologically distressed. It can lead to self-harm. Some other symptoms of acousticophobia are disorientation from reality, seeing abstract shapes, anger, loss of time and tunnel vision. In the past loud music has been used by United States to create fear on hundreds of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. A similar idea was seen in the film, ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ where a character is tortured by a sound he dislikes. Moreover, there has been a long history of audio visual compositions. Kandinsky is one of the best known of many artists who converted the musical experience into abstract color patterns which reproduce sound impressions. The Avant-garde movements of the twentieth century resulted a boom in audio visual systems, where “real-time” tools for the performance of visual music were developed. Other pioneers used animation to illustrate sound such as Hans Richter, Oskar Fischinger, Walter Ruttman and Viking Eggeling. Similarly, at the same time John Cage experimented with sound in unconventional ways. In recent years Carsten Nicholai has used electronic signal,science and sound to produce interesting results. Also, sound

designer Rychard Cooper works with electronic, found sound and manipulates it to compose an interesting piece. Dennis Miller creates sound, image and virtual form taking the viewer to another world. Rationale: I find the idea of fear of sound very fascinating because sound is always related with pleasure and enjoyment, but very rarely it is depicted in a negative role. Also, I am interested in immersive design, depicting a certain emotion, playing with senses to give a feeling of some sort. In New Media audio and video have always been knitted together to express an action, feeling, movement or a story for example in music videos, commercials, installations and films. It provides ways of communicating an intention or a thought to the audience. Methods : -Experiments -collecting sound -filming -meetings -planning and story boarding Skills Evidence: - Film and cinematic skills - experimenting with camera lens and filters - Lighting - experimental film making - Research skills in understanding acousticophobia and symptoms of phobia - Interpretation of symptoms in a creative way - Software skills in editing and selecting the visuals - understanding sound visualization theories - Avant-garde composition in audio and video Predicted Resolutions : Moving images or a video installation that plays with anticipation and actual production of sounds. Bibliography : - Rainer, C., Rollig, S., Daniels, D. and Ammer, M., 2009. See this Sound, Promises in Sound and Vision. Linz:Lentos -Daniels, D.ed., Naumann,S.ed., Thoben, J. ed., 2009. See this sound, Audiovisuology 2 essays: Koln: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute

- Hollein, M.ed., Jorgensen, J.N.ed., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt,2002. Frequenzen [Hz]/Frequenzen[Hz], Audiovisuelle Raume/Audio-visual Spaces:Germany - Schwartzman, M., 2011. See yourself sensing, redefining human perception. London: Black Dog Publishing -Art music video. 2008. Visual Music . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~wakefield/amv/visualmusic. htm. [Accessed 27 November 11]. -Rychard Cooper. [ONLINE] Available at: http://rychard.org/. [Accessed 27 November 11]. -Ann Hamilton studio. 2011. [ONLINE] Available at: http:// www.annhamiltonstudio.com/projects/stylus.html. [Accessed 27 November 11]. - Hillerband+Magsamen. 2011. [ONLINE] Available at: http:// www.hillerbrandmagsamen.com/works/airhunger.html. [Accessed 27 November 11]. -Acousticophobia – Do you have fear of noise?. 2009. [ONLINE] Available at: http://common-phobias.com/ acoustico/index.htm. [Accessed 25 November 11]. -Immediate help for Acousticophobia. 2011. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.changethatsrightnow.com/ acousticophobia/. [Accessed 24 November 11]. -Dennis H. Miller. 2007. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. dennismiller.neu.edu/. [Accessed 27 November 11]. Plan of Work : Week1: initial meetings and exchange of ideas. Week2: collection of sound and experimentation Week3: further experimentation and develop a storyboard or a narrative structure for moving images. Week4: development and initial production Week5: development and production Week6: production and final touches.


THE CONCEPT AND ANIMATION Sound Captive is an audio visualisation inspired by Acousticophobia (fear of sounds inclusding music). Acousticophobia lives in the subconscious state of mind, it has emotional, physical and mental effects. This video explores the way sound affects a subconscious mind, it is a journey through the subconscious. It considers symptoms of Acousticophobia such as feelings of unreality, seeing uncomfortable images of noise, anxiety and attempt to escape by communicating them visually with animation and video techniques. I have created visuals of elements, which make us feel uncomfortable, imprisoned and the over all look has a surreal, deserted feel to it. Although, most of the visuals are based on my imagination, I have however

related it to ordinary things such as insects growing, sharp objects, fast movement, movement of heart pumping. I wanted to keep it quite abstract because I don’t exactly know what fear of sounds looks like. The audio is created by two musicians named as, ‘Communion,’ who have used instruments along with everyday sound samples such as bangs, glitches, machinery, scrape, sounds which are not pleasant for the ear. We have avoided to use visuals of these sound sources to illustrate that everyday sounds are seen as a threat, hence they do not relate to reality. As the visuals are abstract, we have kept the music consistent. Hoever, the type of sound has influenced the movement of elements in the video.


FRAMES FROM THE ANIMATION


A Psychedelic Promotional Video

A digital product for 4AD sampler 2012, based on the song - Chinese High (Nguzunguzu Remix) by Gang Gang Dance. This psychedelic video would be made accessible online via 4AD website and video sharing websites such as You Tube and Vimeo. It is inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama and Koray Parlak.

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This psychedelic visualisation for the song, ‘Chinese High,’ involves the use of reflections, bold colours, and symmetric shapes, which are highly noticable in Chinese classical dance. Listening to the song made me think of a surreal environment similar to the photographs by Koray Parlak for Marie Claire. Hence, I have animated real organic forms in combination with 3D to achieve a surreal, magical world feeling. Certain parts of the 3D animation are influenced by Yayoi Kusama’s immersive ‘Infinity Rooms,’ with repetitive use of geometric shapes that play with the viewer’s senses. The animation moves in and out of the virtual, creating a relationship between organic and digital forms, which emphasises a psychedelic image of the digital product.

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GERMANY 2051 - A COMPLEX FUTURE This project is a prediction of what Germany may be like in the Year 2051.In order to imagine a future one has to consider and analyse the present state. Similarly, when researching the current state of Germany, you are introduced to various issues within each sector: economy, research, education, foreign affairs and many more. The issues within each of these sectors integrate into each other making the future complex.There are so many possible solutions that different stages/levels of solutions can be built up for example the demographic crisis in Germany today. This crisis may mean that immigration is increased, or more machinery is produced to fill the gap for the working force. New robotics also link into the technology and research areas of the country. Technological developments may increase business and help Germany recover from the euro crisis.


Above: Printed version of the map

Above: Online version of the map

A MAP OF POSSIBILITIES I designed a map of possibilities to capture different stages of solutions.There are two versions: online and printed. Due to the growing trends of online access of information, I felt it was necessary to have an online interactive map. Users can move it around and click on a green icon to retrieve more information about that particular option. The map considers five important areas:economy, climate change, research and technology, population and energy. Considering what is happening currently in

each area it offers solutions for the future. Each section is colour coded. I thought illustrating these ideas as a map will be most appropriate because people can see the links and understand how and why these solutions came about. In the everday context we use maps for geographical purposes such as world map, road maps and tube/train map. Hence, this map works in the same way to show a journey into the future.


KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY THE PROPOSAL Project based on a 20 seconds audio clip from BBC radio 5- The Breakfast Show. BBC 5 Live focuses in covering live BBC News, phoneins, and sports commentaries. It broadcasts all sports events held in the UK or involve British competitors. The programs for this radio station, ‘should be designed to inform, entertain and involve. The audio clip is an interview of a former gang member Darrell James who gives a fascinating account of the time he spent making money from selling drugs in London. The reason I chose this clip was because it was featured as one of the best bits on the BBC radio website. The content of the clip about gangs, gun, drugs and crime is very relevant in our society today. Listening to the radio station it is obvious that they are targeting a wide range of people who are interested in the news and sports because the programmes are dedicated in informing and discussing issues effecting society at the moment, especially in UK.


VISUAL LANGUAGE Considering the content of the audio clip, the voice texture and aggressive tone of the speaker, I have used street art and graffiti inspired by artists such as Banksy for the visual language. There are different types of graffiti but I chose to use stencil typography to draw the impact of the letters, that has been spray painted and mono-printed to be overlayed on the video footage. The scene is set in an underground location, where drug dealings and crime are most common, captured with a handheld camera. The animation of typography is very loose and uncontrolled. The size of the type increases as the tone becomes more aggresive or overlap other words. The 20 seconds are thought out as a short story, where a man is walking into a subway (into the gang world), where all the action happens and as the audio becomes more aggressive, the person gets pushed out of the subway.


DATA VISUALISATION THE PROPOSAL Data Visualisation- To visually represent the relationship between Immigration and the Economy. Recently the government introduced it’s plans to enforce a temporary cap on the number of skilled workers from outside the EU allowed into the UK. The government said it was committed to reducing net migration from its current 215,000 to less than 100,000 by 2015. There has always been mixed views about immigration and it’s affect on the economic growth for e.g. employment and state benefits. Most importantly London is

experiencing an unprecedented period of sustained high levels of international migration with impacts on the growth and competitiveness of London. The relationship between increased immigration and the functioning of the capital are complex. There have been many studies carried out based on the effect of immigration on the economic growth, majority of them suggest that there is a direct correlation between immigration and economic growth but there is no definte answer for it.


ANIMATED INFOGRAPHICS The outcome for the project is an animation that describes three patterns (UK GDP unaffected by the net migration, UK GDP increase due to the increase in net migration, UK GDP decrease due to the decrease in net migration) dicovered from analysing data from last 2 decades. In the animation this is communicated with the animation of the spheres to illustrate the movement of migration such as magnetic repulsion and attraction . For instance the small spheres, (acting as the migrants) are attracted to the large sphere (the Economy). The numbers of migrants emitted or attracted depend on the figures for the year. In response the economy expands or decreases in size. When the GDP (economic growth) increases because of migration, the white sphere grows and turns green. When the GDP (economic growth) decreases along with the migration level, the white sphere shrinks and turns red and finaly when the GDP increases or decreases but that it is not due to the increase or decrease in migration, the sphere stays white but grows or shrinks.


PLANET CERES This is a 3D virtual environment, where the user can walk around and explore the environment using the arrow keys on the keyboard. It is based on a new dwarf planet - Ceres, which has just recently been discovered. It is situated between Mars and Jupiter and little is known about the atmosphere or life on the planet. Hence, this vision of the planet is entirely based on my imagination.


Followed on from the ‘abstract room’ I continued my fascination with an absract and surreal theme for the planet. The environment is made up of rocky land, quite similar texture to planet Mars, as it is close to Mars. There is not a lot of water present on the planet, hence all the buildings are situated near the source of water. Abstract buildings are inspired by the work of Calatrava and Daniel Libeskind that depict alienated and futuristic cities. There is limited life on the planet such as plants that look similar to cactus with swollen leaves to store water and human

like creatures who have animal textured skin. These creatures are almost like an imprint or silhouette of humans on earth. Users can walk inside the hair salon, where machinery such as scissors, hair dryer, phone and a vacuum are operating without any human involvement. The gerneral aura of the planet is very different to planet Earth such as the sky, atmospheric sounds and the desserted and alienated overall feeling of the whole planet. Even the interior of the Salon seems uncanny. As it is built on unity, it can be further developed for a computer game.


ABSTRACT ROOM Abstract room is an imaginary room created in 3D, based on abstraction. Inspired by the work of Daniel Libeskind and Calatrava, who design symmetrical and rare forms of buildings. Majority of their work plays wth triangular forms. I constructed a room that uses repetetive, rotating triangles. The interior of the room is also abstract such as the shape and texture of the chairs. More interestingly, the reflections from the rotating triangled roof also completes the abstract theme and infuses a disorientated feeling. To accompany these images, there is also a short animation that takes the viewer through the room. It reminds me of modern architecture, that portrays ornamental feature rather then resembling a home.


DIGITAL SYNTHESIS

PROPOSAL Digital Synthesis is a video mashup of found video and audio footage that has been edited together to produce an alternative meaning. It is a collection of simpler elements put together to communicate a complex subject -poverty. This video explores two different lifestyles (wealthy and poor) that are juxtapposed to show the contrast in their way of living. The audio has also been edited together, found from various poverty concerned adverts and documentaries.The main focus for this project was to ensure that two extreme worlds are projected for the audience.


THE FILM The video employs split screen to show two contrasting worlds. The wealthier lifestyle is on the left and the poor on the right. It has been made in the style of a television advert to ‘make poverty history.’ It follows a narrative beginning with a phone conversation between two men discussing a script, where one man sees poverty as a subject for his film, where as the other sees the reality in the subject. It is not just any topic, but a topic that is about real people in need. Hence, he tries to convince him by showing the contrast between the two images. The conversation keeps interrupting betwen the visuals as the moving images progress. In today’s remix culture it is very common to use existing material, but it is necessary that the components are not simply copied but used to produce creative and inventive projects.


LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS

During my work experience at Picasso Pictures I worked on the London 2012 Olympics project by Tranport for London. The aim of the project was to produce series of posters that will raise awareness about traffic issues during the games. I worked on this particular image with crossroads(beside), where I had to lay out the scene from sketches in 3D(above). The renders were then passed on to illustrators to trace over and use as a guide for all the components of the illustration. As a reference for the 3D scene I had to go around London to take photos of crossroads. I also helped in animating the Expedia logo for the television commercial, which was broadcasted in the UK in summer 2011. I had to animate the aeroplane in the logo in Autodesk 3Ds Max.


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