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Plastic-ism

Following my pursuit in finding Janet, I began to think of moments that intersect within the audio walk; some form of entanglement that happens when one follows the narrator. I like the fact that the time and space relationship is not stagnant and somehow the audio acts as a portal that allows us to hop from one dimension to another. We are given the choice to imagine what could happen at different moments within the audio walk and to make our own narrative. Henri Lefebvre (1996, p.80), explained that ‘people represent themselves to themselves by what they are lacking or believe to be lacking. In this relationship, the imaginary has more power’. I found that pretty relevant to what Janet did in the audio piece, injecting certain scenes with what could be lacking in the context at that time (the gunshots etc). Mace (2013, p.96) elaborates that ‘with the monuments of place, these, like our dreams can present false – or at least – multiple realities’. While looking at the intensity of information that is present within the walking experience, I find the layered multiple realities to be evident. I am trying to encapsulate these moments spatially and within an object that could act very much like a souvenir.

The encapsulation, however, depends on the device that is used. Given the context and time in which Janet recorded the audio at, the objects I am looking at are analogue data carrying devices such as the cassette and tape recorder, photographic film and vinyl records. I wrote those three in particular in relation to its capacity of recording sound and image. The main component that captures data in all three boils down to the plastic film/disc/tape. Plastic is a wonderful material that most everyday objects today are made of and I want to explore further on its role in data encryption and its malleability to change morph/grow/deform. Stephen Hawking (1998, p.131) mentions that plastic time and its elasticity exists to allow movement between different points in space. There is also the possibility that if events were changed, we would never notice it because all events following our memories would have been instantly altered to remain congruent with the new (disrupted) timeline.

Betsky and Adigaard (2000, p. 55) explained that ‘we need to build such places not with stones and concrete, steel and wood, but plastic materials that can change at a moment’s notice. We need to create stage-sets in which we can appear and see at least one version of the world making sense, if only for a moment’.  These are some of the criteria that I am looking at for the final object and architecture; something adaptable and light. I began experimenting this week with some photographic film and how it reacts in light to catch data (it gets darker in colour). I am hoping to test with actual cassette film (still in search of cheap ones) and taping over the film with a tape recorder.

Well then, till my next post..!

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One thought on “Plastic-ism

  1. Nice ideas – the layered or multiple realities could correspond to how data is stored within these analog objects like records, tapes, film etc. I found this link about tree rings being played on a record player: http://www.livescience.com/33673-tree-rings-sound-record-player.html which is tangentially interesting to think about how we reveal the data embedded within objects that aren’t manmade but also how this “record” of time in nature can be played. But I also like the idea of using plastic as the most ubiquitous material of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as a way to manifest a theory of time. It would be great to investigate how data could be embedded into 3d objects and then think of a how you would modify the cassette player or record player etc to read them. Also thinking about the use of plastic as a material – its ability to last without degrading over time, how would you manipulate it to make your object? Can’t wait to see your tests on Tuesday and dont forget to start formatting all of this research into a portfolio. Keep thinking about the drawing as well, and as suggested on Tuesday, get rid of the flat plane of foamboard and start to weave the intensity of information that Cardiff presents to us with objects and spaces.

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