I had been trying to refine the project and its brief over the holidays. I came out with a new portfolio organisation for the materials that I had, meanwhile trying to incorporate new drawings and diagrams as much as possible from the comments. Work in progress below:
These are the diagrams I am working on for sections of the portfolio (was thinking of the diagrams as blueprint evidence drawings of the earlier tests), and at the same time trying to collect more data on what happens to the parade elements over the calendar year. There are a lot of empty blanks for that one and it seems pretty hard to patch the information together. I was thinking of giving it some fictional parts, within reason of course, to cohesively weave the drawing. Still not so sure about it.
What I have been working on is mainly the premise of the project as the museum of the present. I’ve proposed calling it Macy’s Mausoleum last semester, which didn’t really suit the idea of timelessness that exists with the parade. I think the suggestion for The Eternal Parade is very suitable and I had been looking into it a little bit more. I had been reading a lot more on this ( The Open Studio by Susan Stewart | Contemporary Art and Memory by Joan Gibbons | The Funambulist Pamphlets by Arakawa + Madeline Gins) and they all had similar thoughts about time and collections. However, the one that is really thought provoking is Arakawa + Madeline Gins idea on Reversible Destinies. They came out with an architectural idea that is about making dying illegal. ( http://the-archipelago.net/2014/11/04/momoyo-homma-we-have-decided-not-to-die-the-work-of-arakawa-and-gins/ ). I like that their project opens with this statement ‘We Have Decided Not To Die”. I began to think about the parade in that manner, they have just decided not to die, hence surviving world wars and economy downturns. It goes on eternally and lives independent of time. Materials of the parade succumbs to death (collision of the material with external forces or natural decay) but is eventually able to reincarnate. Daniel Askill (a film director) also played with Arakawa + Madeline Gins’ work and made a film entitled after it (http://www.wehavedecidednottodie.com/interview.html ). In the film ( https://vimeo.com/12059273 ) he highlights the idea of rituals telling stories. I like how he breaks the film into three parts, explaining birth, the in between moment between birth and death, and then rebirth.
I looked more into Ant Farm Inflatables and came across their Inflatocookbook, where they teach people how to set up their own inflatable structures (http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~bcroy/inflato-splitpages-small.pdf). Currently, I am thinking of the portfolio as a cheeky guidebook that tells the reader how not to die (hence the title as How To Be Immortal, but this might change later on). I would like to model the portfolio in that manner, it is playful and has very interesting drawings that explain the idea of the inflatables. I was thinking of the portfolio as a ‘cookbook’ that explains ‘recipes for immortality’ and the book of evidences for the project as ‘book of ingredients’ for this project to work. I had done some posters to illustrate this, but they are still work in progress for the project:
As for volumetric occupancy of the project, I have been researching on interesting projects that could give me some ideas (I am still clueless on how I could articulate this). I’ve come across Project Loon by Google, which basically are balloons deployed to help rural areas in different countries access the Internet. This is really interesting in exploring the mobility aspect of the project and how this would work all year round. What sort of services that the balloons could cater as well, and from a technology point of view, the sustainability and structural mechanisms involved.
I am not sure what we should present for the crit on our first week back, I am thinking of an updated portfolio and a more solid project brief. Would be great if you can clarify on this
Oh yes, on a side note, I’ve emailed and tried calling the Conservation Unit at the V&A to get in contact with Brenda Keneghan, the polymer scientist who is working there for more information on the plastic collection at the museum. Have yet to hear back from her. Hopefully she will be in touch soon.
Till my next update…!