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Sarah Miles

Independent Practice: Articulation

Brief 1 & The 5 Obstructions

BRIEF 1 Stop Motion Animation

VIDI - THE 5 OBSTRUCTIONS Observations on Society


THE CIVIC CENTER Before I Die Before I Die was a project started by Candy Chang. After a close one passed away she found herself questioning how much we really make of our lives. She created this project not only to invite people to analyse their aspirations in life, but also as an attempt to unite her New Orleans neighborhood in the process. I found this piece quite moving and so began looking into design ideas surounding the community and society.



CIVIC CENTER Neighborland


ILLEGAL ART Various inspirational projects To Do, Indelible Memory, Incomplete & Suggestion Box






DAVID HORVITZ Everything That Can Happen In A Day



I WAS I AM I WILL BE My first experiement involving post-it notes whereby people were invited to write their thoughts on the above statements.





Upon my first visit to occupy i was lucky enough to catch an open mic session. Many people got up and spoke about what they felt needed to change. They were increadibly passionate about what they were saying and the atmousphere was very tense. All i could see that day was a lot of anger and despair and it was quite hard to llisten at some points whilst they were talking. I filmed many speakers that day, but felt these two pieces of footage were the most compelling.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER The problem with the NHS

The video on the right features a lady desperately trying to explain her views on the current state of the NHS. She breaks down not far into it as she describes the state her mother was left in whilst under care.



I wanted to capture the tension between the two forces at work that day. St. Paul’s Cathedral stood there like a giant serene tower of protection promising peace and shelter amid the cries of the sirens and calls to protest. I went inside to compare the difference in atmousphere and as i left, made a short film to preserve the experience.

Seeking Opinions

SECOND VISIT: PLEASE EXPLAIN MESSAGE BOARDS Opinions As i didn’t quite understand what their message was exactly, i decided to take the same experiment i conducted at uni and bring it to Occupy, this time with real questions which would hopefully clarify things, not just for me - but for them also. So i made some boards that featuring questions i needed answers to, and taped them to the pillars surrounding the camp.

Seeking Opinions

QUESTIONNAIRES Filling in the Blanks As well as this i also created a questionnaire designed for both protesters and non-protesters whereby they could fill in the blanks. This would make their answers a bit more in-depth and hopefully less boring for them to fill. I managed to get eight people to fill them out, each person who did so spoke to me in-depthly about their viewpoint on the movement. I actually learnt more speaking to them than i did reading their responses.


To me OCCUPY LONDON means a lot bcause i don’t really have anywhere else to go.

Smash the state, smash the church, smash the banks. Burn it all down and start again.

The solution is to encourage more people to think, feel and engage.

We are one under Love.

I won’t fill out your questionnaire because i don’t understand any of this… but i think it’s amazing because this would never be able to happen in France.

I think it’s terribly wrong because i believe it’s not equality that’s needed but fairness.

People standing up for what they believe in to reverse

corporate greed.

It WILL work because people all over the world are coming together.


CONVERSATION WITH FILM MAKER FELIX GONZALES A MORE BALANCED VIEW Whilst outside Occupy’s University tent i got talking to a man who had been making a film about the movement for some time. He explained he was interested in understanding how communities form and shape society. He has a company called You and I Films – and later discovered that all of their films are based on the idea of community, within a spectrum of different topics.

- The camp has a ‘come to us’ attitude – this is not the way it should be. They need to utilise creativity in order to make this grow and get more people on board. They need to be proactive about it. They need more dialogue and a greater public involvement in society, a real belief in creating opportunities for people. At the moment it’s anger and ‘sit in’, which is slowly proving ineffective.

I explained that i’m interested in the same ideas, and asked him to share his thoughts on the movement. Regrettably, i didn’t manage to record what he said. His view however, was the most rounded i had come across all day, and so feel it most relevant piece of information to include on here. It’s helped me to understand this a lot better. He wasn’t against the movement, he thought it was a positive thing, but he had some criticisms towards their approach. He had been there for a number of weeks, observing and getting to know how the camp works, what the people are like, where they’re from and what they want – and had come up with some interesting ideas.

- It’s great to question the system, and i empathise with a lot of points they are making, but they have separated themselves from society, and in doing this have not tackled it properly. Perhaps they need to become part of the system in order to create the change they want to see. - If a political party like the BNP can win seats and nearly an election, then why can’t these people if they really are the ’99%’?

- When you spend a lot of time here, you get sucked into lots of different opinions and views. At first when this started it had a clear message, they The main points he made to me where as follows: were building a weapon, it was a spear – now it’s more of a club. It’s not as refined as it was and they have strayed from their original mission. - This is more complex than we realise, as each person here has an individual It’s confusing now. story and background history of experience. We need to understand them as individuals, and take into account why each of them is here to better - Are they really the 99%? I know a lot of people who have worked their understand the bigger picture. way through the system to achieve what they want. It’s not unobtainable many of these people just don’t know how to play the game right. They - In the same token, they need to do the same, understand why they are all expect a free hand in life, and that’s what i was getting at about the here as individuals better – what they’re each doing to contribute to the banking crisis – are we also to blame for this? Do we need to take some movement. Who is doing what on a daily basis. of the responsibility, and accept that most of us are always looking for an easier alternative, unaware of the bigger picture? - They have a website and over 24,000 followers on facebook but is this enough? - There is a system in place that you have to be a part of in order to effect it. They are separate from it – they have become lazy and want an easy way - Can we really be sure that the entire banking crisis is a result of the out, but it doesn’t exist. They’re not earning their worth in a proactive way. banking system alone? Or has it been in some parts due to our constant need to wangle to system? Are the people as much to blame in this respect? - Their message is a contradiction, on one hand they want equality – yet are Are we always looking for a free hand in life? – This is an important point to ready to judge those who have worked hard to achieve what they have. consider, we are always quick to point the finger at authority. It’s easier than looking ways that we may have effected things. -They could make this work, if they invested more effort into it as a creative body, and spent more time going out and getting people on board. It can’t work as it is at the moment


THIRD VISIT: ANSWERS I was aware that the government were in the process of trying to evict the protesters, and so was eager to see if anyone had written on the message boards i left there. These are the answers i recieved.


Mai 1968

SIMILAR MOVEMENTS PAST THE BEAUTY IS IN THE STREET A Visual Record of the May 1968 Revolt in France

Celebrate People’s History


Alex Ostrowski



SMILE Attempts To Make A Council Block To Smile Using Only It’s Windows

Michael Landy


ACTS OF KINDNESS Adverts on the Central Line

ACTS OF KINDNESS actsofkindness

Conclusions on Conciousness


IMAGE FROM 1st VISIT Some Wisdom Amid The Chaos

I’d been investigating ideas around producing some kind of testimony to the protests, looking through the pictures i’d taken, watching the footage and reading through the comments to establish a way to collate it all perhaps, as a visual record. The problem was, this wasn’t something i feel strongly about, i wasn’t sure whether documenting it would be a ‘nice’ way out of dealing with how i really felt about the situation. After listening to many opinions - i realsed that many people agreed with a demonstration of sorts, thought it was great to see people standing up for what they believe in - after all, aren’t we all annoyed about something? But to me this doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, many of the people involved seem to expect the world to change, without thinking about how to change themselves. This brought me to the idea of indvidual conciousness, and it’s ability to bring about change. Science has even proved this is possible with the dicovery of ‘The Butterfly Effect’.

9GAG.COM Student Protests, Columbia


As the world economy falls prone to ever increasing instability, chaos and financial loss, for which neither politicians, economists nor journalists can find any solution, we face a woeful lack of leadership able to navigate a global economic Titanic into calmer waters.Yet the lives of each of us, from employees to managers, CEOs to politicians and governments to countries are being negatively affected. The predicament follows years of profligacy. State, municipal and government coffers are overwhelmed by enormous refinancing needs. Desire to abuse the system for self gain has created havoc with our global economy. Even developed countries are no longer able to finance themselves, the once thought of impossible, is now happening, with Greek default looming around the corner.Yet this underpins a key point – countries, governments, corporations and populations are powerless to create solutions unless individuals change their own CONSCIOUSNESS. Revelation:The global economy is the quantum effect of every individual’s actions, be they irresponsible or resourceful, of greed or generosity, selfish or altruistic. Neither banking system nor government can control human intention. Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” The most profitable investment we can make, and only solution, remains values-based leadership.That is to empower individuals to lift their consciousness and generate a positive domino effect on all of society, to the larger economy and an entire nation.The solution is no longer top-down, but bottom up, yes, the buck stops with us. It is all about efforts to raise our consciousness through learning, studying growing and evolving, a prerequisite to any genuine solution.


Marcus is one of the leading teachers at The Kabbalah Centre London. He currently spearheads many European and African charitable projects, and coaches individuals and companies to achieve lasting success and balance.

Practical Happiness


Today, don’t talk about yourself unless someone asks.

Phone someone close to you. Ask them to tell you everything about you they dislike. Write it all down and say nothing. When they finish, thank them and end the call. Give yourself time to cool off. Come back to the list. What parts of your list can you see through their eyes?

Today do the thing you said you’d do tomorrow.

Intentionally embarass yourself today. Notice how you felt. Did anyone care but you?

Practical Happiness

Start a conversation with a stranger today. Listen to everything they say. Find a way of doing something for them. Stay in touch. Imagine your day without them.

Happiness & The Missing Link


Research carried out in Europe suggests that lottery winners revert to their previous state of happiness within one year of their windfall. However, if the money is spent on improving the health or well-being of their loved ones, the effects are longer lasting.

The Freedom Project

GIVING BACK TO TRANSFORM OTHERS & YOURSELF A Butterfly Effect I volunteer a few times a week for charitable organisations, one of these is The Freedom Project, designed to rehabilitate prisoners.I find it increadibly rewarding, especially when i see story’s like Marc’s to the right.Volunteering changed my life, and so i thought it only natural to include this here as it links into my point that to gain fulfillment, we must give back.


FREEDOM PROJECT Project Branding - Artist Unknown

FMP Proposal

ACTS OF SERVICE A RECORD OF PHILANTHROPY Designed to Inspire Society is something that has always been of interest to me, but in the past year it has really made itself apparent as the driver for not just my work – but the way i live my life and vice-versa. Through the creative process of thinking seeing and doing – It feeds into how i think (about the problem), view the world (see it in action) and then approach it (provide a solution). With this in mind I identified my focus is on people and their interaction within society. I want to explore their ideas, opinions problems and observe the way we live to better understand this thing we call ‘society’, and perhaps within this – see if i can find an argument or mass opinion. I did this by collecting primary research and conducting public experiments. I also wanted to investigate ways this has been done before within art and design and how it’s effected society in turn. Where it was first about creating work that brought people together, I feel it has now shifted to a deeper level. The focus is now on work that brings people closer to themselves and in doing so, closer to each other. The experimentation with public interaction set out to explore what can bring people together and unite them, but I soon found that despite people appearing to be united, there was an element of separateness.

I am part of a team of volunteers from many different backgrounds, the organisation we work for provides people of all religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds with a variety of educational resources and aim to inspire students to become proactive members of their communities and the world. These charitable programs provide physical assistance for people living in impoverished conditions; crime prevention programs to prison inmates and juvenile delinquents; and peace-building programs for children and adults among others. I am beginning to see that I am in fact part of a community, but we are only a community because we work on our own personal development. Becoming part of a team united for a cause for others has brought us much happiness as individuals. Volunteering changed my life, and it’s for this reason I believe it’s the missing link in the pursuit of happiness. I want to encourage the public to take this one simple principle and try it for themselves. I am not alone with this philosophy, there are many who have reached the same conclusion and so I intend to create a testimony to these people, in the hope it will inspire others.

I will collate a series of material, interviews, photographs, footage, artwork With the world in the state it’s currently in, I believe it’s crucial we provide etc. surrounding the theme of sharing and voluntary work, designed to form a solution. I feel this is a responsibility, and as a designer, I feel it’s my duty to a publication aimed at promoting the act of sharing and it’s link to well-being. communicate this. By visiting Occupy LSX and interviewing the people there, It will be a record of philanthropy, entitled – Acts Of Service. this became all the more apparent. I wanted to find a way of uniting people but in a different way - avoiding the habitual actions we time and time again fall into when we unite for a reform of any sort. I wanted to steer away from anger and frustration, something I discovered was rife amongst protesters at the camp. From experience I know that nothing in life will change unless you change yourself. Conducting these live experiments, talking to people and documenting the movement helped me arrive at this conclusion. I have been exploring themes around happiness – what it is, how you get it, and more importantly, how you communicate it. What it came down to I discovered - was giving back.

Sarah Miles Independent Practice: Articulation  

Process of work, portfolio so far.