All posts filed under: essays

site report – ryerson image centre

Read Site Report here I attended a curatorial talk at the ROM’s Africa-Asia wing as a field trip for an Anthropology course a few years ago. The talk was on an exhibit about the Berlin Conference (1884-85), its impact on museum collections, and the role museum collections played within the European colonial project. The curator was particularly passionate as this was part of her contribution to the museum, and in a small way, she felt it worked towards correcting some of the historical legacies of museum collections. The Berlin Conference was a western diplomatic effort to renew colonization efforts particularly in Africa, around fifty years after the transatlantic slave trade ended (1834 in the British colonies), when criticisms of the slave trade made public opinion a cause for concern for the new imperialist project. According to the curator, one approach was to look for ways to dehumanize Africa. Museums exhibited artifacts constructing narratives devoid of market forces, politics, any semblance of economy, religious belief, culture or civilization. Historically, museum exhibitions of these regions focused on displays …

philip beesley architects

Image Credit: Philip Beesley/ ROM Updated 12.16.2018 / I developed a concept for a global outreach program for the “Philip Beesley: Transforming Spaces” exhibit. View here. ______________________ I recently volunteered to work in Philip Beesley’s studio for a handful of days (for creative practice hours), helping with fabrication for an installation that was commissioned for an upcoming tour beginning in Vienna in October. The evening of my first day, I was invited to “Le Metabolism: Transforming Design on Film,”an artist talk at the Royal Ontario Museum — including a screening of the film “Le Metabolism” about the making of the ROM Dome Dress; access to the 2 exhibits “Philip Beesley: Transforming Space” and “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion”; and a private reception. The ROM commissioned Dome Dress was the focus of the documentary and artist talk, and became the hinge between the two exhibits. Four (of their ten) shared designs are on display in van Herpen’s adjacent exhibit. A Dutch designer known for “her otherworldly dresses, and shoes that defy the laws of physics, [van …

text reflection – hito steyerl

“The poor image has been uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. It transforms quality into accessibility, exhibition value into cult value, films into clips, contemplation into distraction. [..] The contemporary hierarchy of images, however, is not only based on sharpness, but also and primarily on resolution.” Hito Steyerl Demons is an experimental film/ music video collaboration with a sound designer/ composer based in Belgium and a singer/ songwriter in Italy. The narrative concept focuses on mental illness ~ we drew inspiration from the Miss Havisham character (‘Great Expectations’) imagining her in her younger years; imagining how her story might be different if she suffered from mental illness. The concept was developed and shot in 2014/15, and while we spent the better part of 2015/16 editing the footage together, life got in the way of the project getting off the ground. Two of us had deaths in the family, which necessitated putting the project on hold for extended periods. The marketing never fully came together. The launch was again postponed until 2019, as it was intended …

iacx73545 – pieces

For the IACX73545 Dossier project … read more here. Production budget This budget covers the costs of taking a fully developed concept to a commercially viable prototype. It follows the CMF budget format for prototype development. The project assumes the app development portion of the app project will be covered by a production partner, so the breakdown of these costs are not provided at this stage. The budget also assumes the prose writing/ audio scripts will be complete and a handful of prototyping of the VR and audio scenes are (hopefully) complete (by me). Audience feedback / questionnaire This proposes an approach/ questionnaire to initial and on-going research throughout the development/ launch of the app.

mirrors: in pluralism, syncretism and construction

Image: The Battle of Algiers (Film) This essay attempts to explore/ deconstruct how Assia Djebar’s socialization informed her literary style in her novel “Children of the New World.” Polarities of praise and criticism Djebar has received, point to how her formative experiences (cultural, political, gendered) have informed the structure and artistry of the novel in ways not often seen in other writers’ works. However, the aesthetic approaches used by Djebar in writing this novel are perhaps equally (more interestingly) derived by how the tools of her socialization aided in achieving her intended goals with this book. Assia Djebar’s Background Born in 1936 in then French Algeria, Djebar was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, and became part of a generation of writers who not only came of age during a series of colonial independence movements, but also whose socialization was shaped by a range of influences — in Djebar’s case, Western, Arab and Berber. The only woman amongst the Algerian literary pioneers of her generation, her work included novels, essays, documentary films and plays, all …

inducing curiosity

This outlines an interaction design for an exhibition flow inducing curiosity in short-form narrative content. The focus is on the interaction design rather than the tech setup. Once the tech specs/ limitations are explored, the UX design aspects (shape/ size of projection screens, projectors used, sensor specificity) will all shift. While it is questionable whether an arduino microcontroller can accommodate the electricity this interaction requires, the interactions from a conductive paint sensor, to microcontroller to light source + screen is actually feasible. JRAMLOCHAN_process JRAMLOCHAN_reflectionpaper

in pursuit of social change

This essay analyzes the construction and filmmaking approach used in “Cidade de Deus” (referred to as City of God throughout), a 2002 Brazilian film directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same title, by Paulo Lins. The film was an international commercial success, receiving widespread critical acclaim, sweeping the awards of international festivals in 2002-2003. The film illuminates the darkest corners Rio’s favela’s in the 1960s – 1980s, raising the invisibility cloak on its most vulnerable inhabitants — the children who are brought into gangs, drug trafficking and who ultimately become victims of gun violence at a young age. While there does not appear to be clear quantifications of the film’s impact, nor its ability to garner social change (particularly for residents of the favelas), the construction of the film/ story can be credited (at least in part) in catalyzing much needed dialogue in Brazil and abroad about the social crises central to the film. The term ‘favela’ refers to highly populated urban agglomerations that emerged in Rio …

a viable model

It’s one thing to question your mind. It’s another to question your eyes and ears. But, then again, isn’t it all the same? Are senses just mediocre inputs for our brain? Sure, we rely on them, trust that they accurately portray the real world around us, but what if the haunting truth is, they can’t? That, what we perceive isn’t the real world at all, but just our mind’s best guess. ~ Elliot Alderson This essay focuses on Mr. Robot, a television series equivalent of an indie film, whose first season is said to have pushed boundaries and captured the cultural zeitgeist, almost overnight. Its first season ratings established it as the #3 most watched scripted cable drama in the US, garnering multiple awards and nominations — leading to the series being licensed in almost 200 countries (Birnbaum). This essay analyzes the strategies employed, deconstructs the elements contributing to its success, and explores why the series may be a model for future television properties moving forward.    The series is about a hacker genius whose …