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D/zine

ISSUE 11


Editor: Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Graphical Coordinators: Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Rani Shanks Printed by: Cornerstone Press Sponsors: Cornerstone Press Ball & Doggett QUT SCAPS Editorial Contributers: Rani Shanks Will Nutting Markos Hughes Vicky Zhang Hunter Eccleston Dan Sherington Joash Teo Sam Vidler Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Brayden Lee-Hiscock Thien Pham Imogen Barker Kate Hemsley-Hackett Cover Page: Markos Hughes


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the eternal cloud

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missed details

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sew brisbane

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moving east

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mind’s eye

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virtual reality


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(de)contextualisation

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isolation

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milimetre

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the gaze


perspective

Imagine you are in an art gallery. GOMA, MoMA, perhaps even the Louvre. As you navigate the space, you may find small prompts to help you to experience the art in a certain way. Signals such as footprints on the floor indicate where to stand, or little plaques below or to the left or right of the work to explain the artist’s thoughts and themes of the piece. These things can help us form opinions on the work; whether or not we can relate to it and engage with it, or if we dislike and disagree with it entirely. Whilst they can help to shape your perspective, no one can experience it the exact same way as you. Even if you grabbed the nearest person in the gallery and led them to the same spot you stood moments ago, they may not be able to understand how you felt looking at that Piccinini, van Gogh or Michelangelo piece. Whilst design and art is often considered worlds away, they both have a similar function — to help communicate ideas. Both involve a conversation between two parties: the artist and the viewer, the designer and the client. Often we can get caught up in our own world, designing only the way we want to and thus creating with only one vision. But it is vital that we consider all viewpoints; listen to anyone with a voice, be it your teacher, your neighbour or even that keyboard warrior and challenge these perspectives. Because once we stop having these conversations, we stop learning, we stop empathising and we stop creating with meaning. So next time you’re in a gallery or designing, maybe just take two steps to in the other direction. Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera Editor

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tilt book & look from here

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embracing the c l o u d words and images by Rani Shanks In this age of ubiquitous computing, online personas and big data, Rani Shanks attempts to unpack various view points on how a future of artificially intelligent bots may present a rather discomforting reality for our present-day selves.

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What if when we died, we didn’t really die? What if we all went to The Cloud? If you haven’t heard yet, some innovative minds are already creating journeys for our digital that we did when we were living. afterlife. MIT fellow, Marius Deathbots would have our quirks, Ursache and Dr. Hossein Rahnama communication ability, know our of Ryerson University and MIT stories and continue to learn and media lab are just two examples behave like us. of those paving the pathways. Ursache is the founder and CEO of Scared? I don’t blame you. But Eternime, a platform that seeks to consider this: create an app-based digital avatar or chatbot that will become the Apply the idea of a Deathbot artificially intelligent version of future to the story of an elderly, you after your physical death… co-dependant couple. In a scenario the chatbot is for those you’ve left when one passes away, the other behind. Dr Hossein Rahnama is must now perform additional tasks exploring and creating a similar to maintain the same quality of concept: the possibility of a life. The cognitive load of digital afterlife technology “Welcome to two, has just become one. called ‘augmented eternity’. the digital Now, that person must This technology relies on remember to put out the the application of artificial afterlife, bins, bring in the washing you aren’t intelligence to your and empty the dishwasher, there… but on top of the all other tasks digital footprint, which is expected to then have you kind of that they’ve been doing for an understanding of how 20+ years. For the person are.” communicate like you and left behind, the death of essentially be you. their significant other presents an overwhelming amount of change Welcome to the digital afterlife, you and new knowledge for them to aren’t there… but you kind of are. adapt to. A Deathbot here could be the gentle reminder to bring in What makes the idea of these the bins on a Wednesday morning, ‘Deathbot’ versions of us so or that the birthday of a friend is appealing, is the fact that they coming up. Deathbots are a way for could still contribute to the lives us to offer some vestige of comfort of the living; our families, friends and normalcy to those loved ones and workplaces, in the very ways we leave behind. 08 /

Rani Shanks


embracing the cloud

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Rani Shanks


The Discomfort with Deathbots: What makes the prospect of deathbots so uncomfortable, is that death is not a topic that is very high on anyone’s list for conversation. In fact, it could be said, that in the West, we have no real language, no culture, that lets us normalise something so inevitable. Universally though, death on a human level is not something people really look forward to and Ernest Becker sums up our collective sentiment to it pretty well: The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else. While the optimism and positive motives for creating a digital version of ourselves after death seems honest and well meaning, what makes these future technologies so uncomfortable and disconcerting is the risk of great abuse of the technology. It presents many questions to the presentliving. If everything we do online now, both privately and publically, becomes a literal representation of who we are, should we start

censoring ourselves right now in order to control the view point and opinion of others’? When we aren’t around to explain the context of our weird yahoo answer searches, or 2am YouTube video habits, should we try to limit our perusal of them, lest they be accredited to our ‘everyday’ future, dead selves? While the idea of censorship might be an alarming thought for people of the present, will the people of the future find it commonplace to censor themselves, knowing that it will one day be what creates their digital self? If the people of the future censor themselves to try and create ‘better’ versions of themselves, then will those AI Deathbots be accurate and helpful to those we’ve left behind? Would it really be us, if we don’t give them everything? Would we ever be able to discount parts of our lives from our future selves, like the embarrassing Facebook albums we made in high school or even some less-than-pleasant private messages we may have sent? In the future, would we be able to provide AI Deathbot curation guides alongside our will, so that our digital selves only present the best versions of ourselves or should we only be able to put it ALL on show? At the moment, we hold all the questions with very few answers. However, going off the rules of today, here’s a little bit of guesswork: embracing the cloud

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In response to the idea of censorship: Most of us can relate to the ‘weird’ side of our identities, the 2am side. While censorship has occurred many times throughout history, such as during the Bolshevik censorship of Russia, Nazi censorship in Germany, or communist mandated ideals in China, we can only hope that in a world where information is everywhere, that we learn from our mistakes. Now, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises freedom of speech from all forms of censorship and it’s nice to know that technically, right now, we’re covered. As humans, we’re weird, we’re imperfect, we’re visceral, creative and curious creatures. While it would be naive to claim that we’ll never trek down the path of censorship from state or from ourselves again, it’s worth remembering that our uniqueness is something to be celebrated – and that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. On the topic of curating our digital, but dead selves: Ethically, it would make sense that perhaps the best route to take regarding the curation of ourselves is off limits. If no one can hide anything, then really, no one stands to lose anything more than anyone else. However, of course we don’t want to do that. We’ve all got reasons for wanting to discount parts of our overall story from the


public and at the moment we’re fine to do just that. In fact, the current projects working toward a digital afterlife rely on you to give them as much information as possible. The information is not taken without permission. If our future selves would like to acquire a Deathbot of our own, we’d have to give it everything to make it the most reliable copy of ourselves. We would be entering a relationship with this technology knowing that we’re going to give it our all. We’d be relying on the technology to know us and therefore know what we do and don’t want people to see. But perhaps, instead of questioning how we could choose to hide and reveal parts of our lives, should we perhaps be asking whether or not it really matters what people know and think of us after we die? After all, how would we know? We haven’t really had to think about all of this before, but now we might. In a world of ubiquitous computing, where everything is in the cloud, will we akin to Dorian Gray and pursue only the things we wish for others to see? Will we hide our shameful search history and late night browsing in a dark cupboard? It’s hard to say exactly what the future might hold, and what it might mean to die but it definitely won’t hurt to start being a little nicer in the comments.

embracing the cloud

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missed details 14 /

words and images by William Nutting More often than not, interesting and beautiful detail within architecture and urban design is missed or ignored. Photography can discover, highlight, and magnify this detail. Whether it be through framing, a different point of view, or magnification – a new perspective provides one with a different understanding and appreciation of the detail within design.


A street is more than a street, a faรงade more than a wall; and a door more than a door.

missed details

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William Nutting


moving east words and images by Markos Hughes Markos Hughes writes about three different modes of transport he took in China, and how they each offered a new perspective of the country.

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Metro Shanghai 11PM: Nanjing Road East Metro

in my direction. A large mass of bodies, like what you would see after a football game were darting through pockets with purpose. People were spilling out of hidden stairs and joining me, moving east to the connecting station. Swept up in a current of bodies moving fluidly through the tunnels, I paused only for a moment to locate my ticket, causing a ripple in the sea of humans as bodies dispersed around me. It was a spectacle to witness the sheer volume of people at 11pm on a Thursday night.

I crossed the road, hesitantly, trying I began thinking holistically; that to find the entrance into the Metro there was virtue to the notion station of Nanjing Road East. I that the city is alive. Rationing was headed home after a late night its existence through the invisible exploring in Shanghai, trying to and technological networks we locate the distinctive red M that have created to satisfy our desires. glowed amongst the other neon Expanding and contracting to cater signs on the street. By the to the volumes of people time I found the entrance, “..there was and their daily schedules. and bypassed bored virtue to the Breathing a sigh of relief guards at the turnstiles, notion that only in the quiet early I had been taken down a hours of the morning. the city is series of long escalators As light returns, and the alive.â€? and winding tunnels last travellers find their that led deeper underground. The burrows amongst the towers, the hustle and bustle of active life above city rests‌ if only for a short while. soon gave way to a quieter hum Before the next wave returns. I of moving footsteps and hidden noticed that there was a certain machinery. While the map had flow to the chaos of the people, stated that this metro was in fact moving together as one; organically an interchange along Line 2, I soon and rhythmically. The metro learnt that this did not mean they platforms showed very few signs of converged over each other, but were human control. in fact some distance apart. Moving A gentle hum of hidden machinery deeper into the tunnels, I was swept the only clue in an otherwise up in a group of people walking invisible system. 22 /

Markos Hughes


A loud shrill voice broke my reverie, announcing the departure of one train and the arrival of the next. On the platform, unmanned metro trains would come as quick as every 2 minutes, with large glass doors and walls needed to keep the vying mass at bay. I crammed into the last remaining pocket of space available on the train as the doors closed behind me. The train’s wheels buzzed alive as we moved deeper into the tunnel, and electronic advertisements outside the train raced and danced along, following us briefly along the platform, before it all went dark.

amoving east

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High Speed Xi’an 4:30pm Zhengzhou to Xi’an North Railway Station   I woke up to the welcoming voice of the train conductor, explaining in English that we were arriving into Zhengzhou, the last stop on our way to Xi’an. I felt the foggy haze and confusion that comes from an afternoon nap made necessary by a morning hangover. The memories of my last night in Shanghai came back to me slowly. I was with my friend Gracie, and seated all around us were chattering Chinese families using the high-speed rail to go home over the long weekend for the national holiday. Their excitement evident in the chatter, games and continual tea drinking sprinkled amongst the lone travellers glued to their devices.


I had missed much of the miserable weather leaving Shanghai and looking out the window at the flat landscape, I noticed that the drizzling rain that had followed us was replaced by a hazy sunset. Picking up speed, we whizzed past smaller houses on the outskirts of the city and began passing farm lands. I was surprised at how quickly the Zhengzhou metropolis had faded to grass lands and smaller apartment buildings. Single roads with a stray truck would weave and duck in and out of view of the train’s windows. China, I was learning, did not seem to have suburban residential sprawl; choosing instead to build hundreds of neatly arranged pockets of “apartment” towers. As we hurtled into and out of mountain sides, the farm land became sparse, and the fickle fog of distant pollution

became punctured by new “superblock” apartments arranged in tight grids, looming like termite mounds. As opposed to Shanghai’s lively outskirts that brimmed with signs of life, these towers did not seem to be built upon any pre-existing infrastructure. I knew from prior research that these apartment towers had been constructed at the turn of the century in hopeful anticipation across China. A government initiative had enticed residents away from overcrowded cities into new -and most importantly, empty- cities that could be created with enough infrastructure and manpower. Post war industrial prosperity had driven the largely agricultural population into these new urban areas, which required a huge strategic development of housing units. The government’s aggressive expansion to cater to the


growing middle class of Chinese workers favoured wealthier, urban residents over the poorer proletariat, who were forced to look for work and move into to urban areas to seek an opportunity. Rural migrants were willing to live in smaller, less than ideal apartments, on the outskirts of industrial cities. As a result of burgeoning economic prosperity and industrial prowess, the government built super-tower blocks in large quantities to cater to the influx of newer residents, aiming to reduce the strain on the overall population. I felt a strange uneasiness, witnessing these devoid concrete masses slip silently past the train window. Beneath the apartments were new, impossibly wide, highways, stretching three stories over houses and streets below. Even as I was hurtling past these towns for what seemed like less than ten seconds, I could see empty plots for future development and demolished housing that stood in stark contrast to the towering concrete shells. I sensed a tension to the excessive demolition and construction, as people continued with their lives, apathetic to the changes going on around them.

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Markos Hughes

Staring blankly out the window as the distant sunset dipped below the horizon, I turned back into my seat, choosing to soak up the last remnants of sleep, anticipating the rush that would surely greet me at Xi’an North Railway Station.


Cycling Beijing 9:35 am Beijing Turning off the bike lane into the city’s central roads, I was met with an incredibly wide lane of cars heading down to the Forbidden City in the early hours. Hundreds of large red flags billowed above the rows of government buildings. The cool grey morning sky leaving no shadows on their facades. The mild pollution in the air was already beginning to tickle the back of the throat. I rang the bell on my rental city bike and looked before overtaking. Ahead was an elderly lady on a tricycle who was carrying fruit, plus what I could only assume was a precariously placed child upon a basket of watermelons. As I overtook her, I spilled into the lane of cars outside the bike lane, if only for a brief second. This caused a bus to veer slightly around me, and a car to veer slightly around the bus and so on, until eventually 3 lanes over, a motorbike was forced into a decision it did not like… stopping. I was heading back to a hostel not far from Beijing’s city centre and the relative flatness of the capital city made longer distances accomplishable. Plus, it allowed a much more intimate experience into the daily lives of the city’s people. Rentable public bikes were all over 30 /

Markos Hughes


China, easily accessible through an app on your phone. Traveling by bike was only burdened by your fitness, or as I quickly found out, your ability to avoid the pedestrians, cars, motorbikes, policemen, animals, cleaners, rubbish, gambling old men or lost tourists that you may encounter in the 2-metre-wide strip of “cycling� lane. Heading further along the main axis past Tiananmen Square, cycling would become increasingly difficult, as crowds of people would spill out in every direction from the tightly packed markets with crowds of Chinese tourists bottle-necking

moving east

the intersections. It was at this junction that the real flow of cycling was visible. Many of the people choosing to use the cycle lane were on mopeds, scooters, or bicycles. School children, businessmen and elderly ladies could all be seen going about their day in transit. Taking a left toward the hostel, the first street interactions were straight into a relatively quiet hutong lane, designed to cater to people, yet often a truck or desperate taxi driver would pull up, ignoring the passing cries by pedestrians. Cycling up the hutong, past food vendors selling insects and children playing outside, I immediately felt


the presence of life; intimate, trivial, and social interactions of people going about their day in both the fore and background of hundreds of other lives. Elderly women were cleaning, old men were playing cards and young families would be socialising, all within the visible view of the street and the community. As I turned into the street of the hostel, I realised the insular experiences of the crowded metro lines in Shanghai, or the ghost-like towns along the train line to Xi’an seemed long distant. In Beijing, the nation’s capital, it was evident that the streets had seen centuries of use. There was a palpable social

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Markos Hughes

cohesion in the air. The social milieu had a cultural relationship that spanned deep into the past; evident by the smells, noise and constant movement of the people. Of the modes of transport, I had taken in the brief time I was China, it seemed cycling was the most revealing. The autonomy of cycling also meant constant movement was the goal, and as long as you stayed in the bike lane, anyone behind or even in front of you were mere objects to bypass; their subtle movements or directional changes briefly analysed and assessed to calculate the smoothest possible path. I soon learnt after a couple of hours riding that hesitation was the killer. You hesitate and you die. Either physically or through


the shame induced by stopping hundreds of others. Your death only inconveniencing the thirty people behind you and the pedestrians trying to cross around you. Undoubtedly there would be a line of cars using your misfortune to quickly turn right past you. To my surprise however, I did not see one accident on the streets.

“...hesitation was the killer. You hesitate and you die.�

moving east

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sew brisbane 34 /

words and images by Vicky Zhang Vicky Zhang asked some locals (L) and some new residents (N) of Brisbane about their perspectives on what makes this city special. Or not. The following embroideries blend various answers together to create little snapshots of Brisbane.


I love the suburbs where I live which have wide streets, large trees and nice houses. -- L: Davina, 20

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VZ:“What do you think is special about Brisban e? ” 36 /

Vicky Zhang

N: Streets beach is such a unique place in Brisbane. Instead of seeing the endless ocean and horizon, you see skyscrapers and cars. -- Jonli, 21 LOL. -- Anonymous student L: Bin chickens stealing my calamari rings. Every time I see one, I know it’s got to be Brisbane. Also twistie bags flying in the wind, a guy riding his bike with a helmet full of zip ties being chased by a magpie. -- Jennifer, 20


N: I love the Roma Street Parklands. The gardens and lawns are beautiful and perfect for having picnics and spending time relaxing with your family. -- Yaping, 52

L: I love the nature — South Bank Parklands, Kangaroo Point, Wellington Point... -- Anonymous student

sew brisbane

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VZ:“What are some of your favourite places in Brisban e? �

N: Southbank and Fortitude Valley -- Fabian N: CBD and the Valley -- Jonli, 21 L: The laneways in fortitude valley. -- Isabelle, 19

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Vicky Zhang


sew brisbane

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isolation words and images by Hunter Eccleston

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Hunter’s design proposal for the 2018 Venice Biennale, expresses an alternate perspective on how Australia may be perceived by its own people through a rationale deconstruction of significant elements, places and perceptions.

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The Brief

Showcase Australian architectural thinking, culture and design. It should communicate a rich and engaging story about Australian architecture, potentially also embracing urbanism and landscape, to an international audience.

The Proposal

Australia is quite literally isolated from the rest of the world. “Girt By sea”, the country sits by itself. Being surrounded by water, the natural angle of interest is often turned toward the ocean – not only due to human kind’s infatuation with water, but general climatic liveability. However, through Australia’s short history, a lot of events have been swept under the rug, or in Australia’s case, pushed further out into the isolated centre. This point is raised mainly regarding the treatment of Aboriginal Australians who were moved off their land and gathered into remote communities still existing today. Completely isolated from the rest of their country, the perception they have of Australia is very different to that of most Australians and most visitors to Australia. The ‘real’ Australia needs to be shown to the world.

Hunter Eccleston


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Hunter Eccleston


To challenge the ideology of Australia’s outward facing glory, I intend to flip it and bring the focus back to the heart of Australia; the centre, the red centre that is ‘girth by dirt’. This topic of isolation can be viewed on a macro scale as the whole of Australia and its urban density occupying its perimeter with not much happening in the centre. In a more relatable level, the micro (human) scale of this isolation is observed by the architecture people are occupying and the nature in which they occupy it. This issue of isolation is not just focused on aboriginal communities in the middle of Australia, it relates to a whole societal issue of isolation that is occurring even in the densest of cities. For a person can feel isolated in their house in the middle of a busy neighbourhood – if designed to integrate, include and engage with community this lonely person would not feel as isolated. In comparison to the distant community, observed from a distance it is isolated, but on closer inspection the people are together, living and interdependent.

isolation

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My proposal utilises the relatable comforts of a veranda deck and the “stick and tin� Australian vernacular construction which enables a more humanistic scale at the micro level, to how isolation in Australia works on the macro scale. By combining the elements of architecture, water and desert, the story of isolation can be expressed. Flipping the outward facing veranda internally, creates a courtyard thus reinforcing a central focus. In the centre of the courtyard is a desert scene, created with the reddest Australian dirt and sprinkles of hardy desert plants and the centre will be heavily lit attempting to recreate the harshness of the Australian sun. The water element strengthens this concept further, aims to masquerade the harshness of the desert by falling from the corrugated roof acting as a clear curtain to what’s behind.

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Hunter Eccleston


It also acts as a divisionary factor prompting visitors to maintain distance from mother nature. The water falling on the roof will also act as noise cancellation device – creating a sort of ‘Australian white noise’. Images and informational stories of the red centre will be displayed on the walls of the pavilion that the veranda connects to. The main purpose and interaction for the people visiting the exhibition is to come, to wait and be present – an interjector of Aboriginal Australian’s connection to the land.

“..to come, to wait and be present.”

isolation

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words and images by Daniel Sherrington

(de)contextualization

‘(De)Contextualization’ examines the subjective illusion that we create, and how a greater contextual dialogue is established in artwork. Utilizing landscape imagery, the work challenges the ideas of complete and holistic representation.

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Selectively removing aspects of the composition, the work enquires into the nature of realism – with the pieces subverting the finished image and allowing a dialogue to be established between what has and hasn’t been represented. As the artist we can pick and choose what is seen, and hidden; focused, and obstructed; contextualized, and decontextualized. What remains as the realized image however, is nothing more than our own subjective illusion. The idea of perspective operates within this same prose. As people, perspective is our own subjective mindset. The basis on which we view the world; the people who inhabit it; the ideas that cross our mind; and the activities we do – all operate within this lens. This lens however is a constant duality. Whilst we operate within


our own base of reference, so do those around us. Perspective is less a singular point of interest and more a holistic view. Whilst we can choose to limit what we see; we can’t ignore the whole image. The art work itself inserts a visual literacy to this idea, and identifies a language in which we can resonate with it. From my own point of reference the image sits right with me. Having lived and experienced the moment, documented it, and finally represented it through my own artistic means - I have come to understand the perspective which I have chosen to present. This idea of subjective imagery however clashes with the artistic perspectives taught to me by others . Whilst wishing to only represents those facets of the image which have been realized; I can’t help but acknowledge the rest of the image which makes it ‘complete’. What remains a greater question from this idea though, is how do we allow these multitude of ideas and influences come to challenge us, and how do we accept our perspective as the right one? Not as a black and white, yes or no; but as the idea which sits most contently with us. I feel that (De)Contextualization is the most important work I’ve ever done, not because it pertains to be the work with the biggest scope; but because it sits right with me.

I asked those close to me, what they thought of the work. Some were disappointed that it was left as the remnants of my supposed boredom; others saw the mystery of it and the questions it asked. Regardless of opinion, positive or negative, I knew that the work was right, and was confident enough in my own perspective, and the own subjective illusion that I had created, to engage the piece with the wider world.


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words by Joash Teo images by Evey Skinner

Joash shows us how he expresses both his creative vision and emotion through avant-garde fashion and haute couture.


To me, fashion is a form of pure self-expression, a visual extension of our values, thoughts, feelings and how we see the world. I’d even go so far as to call it my true speech; a language that will never fail my impassioned colours when words do. Haute couture is my chosen conduit; the grandeur wasn’t the draw, but its authenticity. When I speak I aim for clarity, but through fashion, whether it is dread, wonderment or love, I know such emotions can be conveyed in the poetic detail of high fashion.

mind’s eye

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Follow Joash’ label @saxonhunter on IG to see more of his work Model : Anna Pei Fang, Katz models Stylist : Kelsey Savin Makeup : Nadine Burt Hair : Valentina Pintus

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J o a s h Te o


virtual reality words by Sam Vidler images by Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera

Sam Vidler talks about the relatively new kid on the digital design block and the progress that has been made since its fruition.

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Virtual Reality has been at the cutting edge of some of the world’s fastest growing technologies over the past few years. Just about everyone has heard about it at some point or another. Often many who have tried VR walk away with one of two mindsets: this is a life changing immersive experience or; I don’t see what the big fuss is about. These two reactions can be heavily dependent on the specific experience the user had when they tried it. With the technology becoming more accessible and the barrier to entry for development being lower than ever, many new VR experiences are constantly being created and pushed out the door for content hungry early adopters to buy. An issue with this is the fact that VR requires specific considerations to be taken when designing experiences. One of these special 62 /


considerations is the fact that virtual reality is a three dimensional medium, as opposed to the more standard two dimensions of most traditional interactive art forms. The human brain is not accustomed to being so perfectly deceived by all three dimensions at once that it struggles to distinguish between real and fake. Virtual reality has the potential to be a completely immersive and incredibly engaging experience for the user, but in order to achieve that, it requires a solid understanding of what the user experience should be and how to design for that. Video games have been the main focus of many VR developers up to this point, however virtual reality has many use cases in a large variety of areas. Sectors such as training, education, tele-remote operations, and even diversity and inclusion experiences have massive potential to gain from adopting mixed reality technologies. There have been some smaller cases where virtual reality has been utilized in these fields, however what we have seen so far is just a small realization of what the future could hold. Just as other mediums originated with a singular purpose in mind, virtual reality is no different and is evolving every day. virtual reality

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After the rapid expansion of the Virtual reality film is a new realm technology itself over the recent of artistic expression that combines years, there is little doubt that a mix of traditional non-interactive this growth will falter in the near narratives that may be viewed future. The challenge instead will from limitless possible viewpoints come from something that is harder and perspectives. Imagine a to adapt and grow as fast as our movie playing in front of you, technology: design maturity. As a but now you can walk behind the whole, creators’ and developers’ screen and see what is behind the understanding of the limits of both door and inside the character’s the technology they’re using and apartment; what they are hiding the ways in which they can push from other characters within the its limits will require time for the scene. This form of storytelling is creative boundaries to catch up still in its absolute infancy, but it to the technological limitations. highlights the potential explosion of In order to design properly for storytelling capability mixed reality virtual reality, we need to shift from and virtual reality technologies are a two dimensional heralding into the “..limitless possible interactive design 21st century. viewpoints and mindset into a three perspectives.” dimensional one. Not With such an only is this additional expansion of the dimension a key element that storytelling repertoire, it becomes requires special consideration, but less achievable to restrict what the so too is all of the user’s possible viewer will perceive and rather perspectives within the application focus on what the user experience is at any given time. intended to be. It is now more key than ever, for the creator to keep in mind the purpose of their creation and what user experience they are attempting to create when designing for virtual reality.


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Milimetre:

TALL /SHORT people problems words by Brayden Lee Hiscock & Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera images by Thien Pham

The standard door height is 2340mm. The standard bench height is 900mm. Two people explore their spatial relationships with standardised design. This series is a humourous look at how their heights can determine both their perception and navigation of the world.

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Brayden L.H.

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Sabrina N.L.

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Thien P.


millimetre

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the gaze words by Imogen Barker images by Sabrina Nguyen-Ladera

Imogen Barker unpacks what is meant by The Female Gaze and The Gaze in art and how the dominant Gaze shapes culture.

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Artists are more than producers of artefacts and experiences; we produce culture. As we create, we weave pieces of ourselves into our project and the final product is a loud reflection of our personal beliefs: political preferences, ideas about sex and love, social rank, our philosophical understanding of life and the essence of humanity. I am not saying that every artist sits down and articulates these murmurings before they produce, create, write or draw. I am saying that what we produce, create, write or draw has been influenced by all personal and impersonal experiences up until that point, that an artist’s ontological understandings are exposed in their creations – whether aware of it or not – and here within lies the discussion point: what artists produce, then establishes an


acceptable or controversial way of thinking about and participating in culture, and thus popular culture. In recent years it has become increasingly popular to discuss ‘The Gaze’ of a piece of art or creative work. ‘The Gaze’ is typically used to critique traditional art mediums and cinema of the themes prevalent in the work, has shifted focus and is now most commonly explored through the notion of gender. This has been particularly apparent in the fashion industry, with many now discussing work from female fashion designers and photographers as adjusting the lens of production and in effect, its reception, towards a ‘female gaze’. The female gaze is described as one that empowers women through their approach to the female body, age, and a celebration of the imperfect nature of the human body. Before I begin to unpack the shift of the gaze from the male dominant perspective to a more multifaceted gaze in modern, western art, let us look at what is truly meant by gaze. There are three key elements to The Gaze; the artist, the spectacle or the work, and the spectator. When an artist creates something, the spectacle is a mould of their understanding of their own place in our world. This results in the audience or the spectator viewing the spectacle through the creator’s gaze. As spectators, we bring


individual understanding and experiences to interpret artefacts. We are unable to escape the creator’s framing of the piece, and the result is a piece of art that can influence the spectator’s opinion about their own culture.

much more – it is multifaceted and complex and unique as our own set of fingerprints.

An example of this is the traditional representation of female nudity in In interviews for Business of classical art. Depictions of women Fashion, female creatives Amanda in classical art mostly portray Charchian, a Los Angeles-based maternal qualities or eroticise Iranian-American photographer, women doing domestic duties. In Susan Bright, British author and actuality, women’s figures were photography curator, and Charlotte never fully naked as it would be Wales, New York-based British deemed immoral and yet they were photographer, were asked to discuss often painted, carved and drawn the impact of their female gaze upon with dresses that clung to their their work. Charchian bodies to accentuate “We are stated “I find femininity too the breasts and crotch unable to complex and immensely area. This nude-but-not escape the varied. I think the notion of portrayal of women creator’s is feminine is always stands to sexualise the framing of what expanding, especially in form but not lend any the piece.” political terms in which power, whereas male feminism is no longer cisgender and nudity representations celebrated heteronormative.” the male form and their strength in a non-sexual manner. Greek Charchain highlights how and roman ideals have formed the ‘female gaze’ is an over all our traditional roles of gender simplification of social commentary for centuries, however their in this category. Bright concurred, “I dichotomous ideals can often categorise things in a very black and am wary of assumptions depending on gender. They don’t seem as white perspective. rigorous or necessary in arguments about a ‘black gaze’ or a ‘queer While we can simplify art down to an artist’s human experience, it is so gaze’. I think these are things to the gaze

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be discussed, problematized and questioned, as they may have more legitimacy...”. And Wales captured the essence of this existential argument by stating, “I suspect you could draw parallels between my work and other modern female photographers, but you could categorise it in lots of other ways that would put me in a different box: my race, my nationality, even the year I was born.” Simply by listening to how different women understand the impact of the female gaze and their work, is opportunity enough to understand just how varied and complex ‘The Gaze’ really. On the other hand, to examine work based simply on gender is to ignore the creations of minorities and suggests that a gender binary can explain all differing perspectives. Ultimately, the ‘new gaze’ is not about gender. The new gaze is the interruption of dominant culture and the societal narrative it has woven by those who have been ignored for much too. So, from one creative to another, I urge you to use your talent to express your perspective, whether it be old or new. It is our duty to paint new narratives or challenge the norm to create a culture that we all want to subscribe to.


the gaze

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Profile for The Dub Designers

D/zine Issue 11  

Students from the QUT School of Design explore the theme of 'Perspective'.

D/zine Issue 11  

Students from the QUT School of Design explore the theme of 'Perspective'.

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