My project Specious Spaces is an animation that takes on the form of a title sequence to generate a poetic style of narration. Void of characters, the project utilizes light and color in various environments to bring attention to contrasting emotional points with childhood trauma as a result of abuse.
The feedback I got on my presentation was mainly in three areas. The first being how does culture and symbolism affect the way that the piece is being interpreted and how have I thought about its use in the narration, which one example being how does color translate across cultures. The second part of feedback being how to tailor the experience and make it more specific and less broad, specifically what kind of trauma and abuse. Dr. Chan recommended that I narrow down the project to a smaller more focused experienced and go through iterations first before moving to a larger perspective. Lastly, there were questions about what can be used to elevate an emotional experience, especially when talking about sound and camera. Dr. Lewis mentioned noticing the difference between listening with sound and without and generating thoughts around what it means for emotions, especially in title sequences. With the camera, he mentioned considering what it means to use a dynamic range of shots for emotions, considering things like height and the angle of the camera.
With the color and symbolism, this will be something I am more aware of moving forward as I start to examine what it means to look at stories across cultures. In this piece, I think I had placed more emphasis on the objects and their reading and used the color as a way to connect sequences, like the color of the crayons being found in the paper and houses, then with a shift being focused on the use of red and dark colors. I had been thinking on a broader scale like what colors create a tension or a feeling of nostalgia. With the idea of iteration and narrowing the story to create a more tuned piece, this project played with a flurry of ideas to look at the emotional contrast through color and light, but as I move forward, I want to dive even deeper by really understanding the perspective in which that story is from and what these factors mean in its generation. In relation to sound, I think with the next project, I want to be more attuned to diegetic and non-diegetic sound in the translation of emotion. Thinking about what it means without sound is also interesting, and I keep thinking about if the images were set up right would they be able to be read as paintings if paused and would the emotion still translate without the aid of something that creates immersion, like sound?
One of the biggest conclusions is about lighting. It proved – as I thought it would – to be the hardest part of this project. To invoke a certain emotion meant not only really knowing the narrative but understanding how that lighting integrated to elevate that. For me, I think as I got to the end of the project, I realized I did not have as clear of a narrative as I thought I did. Instead, I was relying on generating two different emotions: one of nostalgia and one of defeat. In addition, I did not leave enough time for lighting. I feel as thought my piece is too flat. This could be more dynamic like lights moving or considering gobo with the lights to add greater depth. Even though this goes in a totally different direction in terms of the narration and style, I have many questions on what it means to build environments based on merging different components across cultures, especially in the relation to identity. This coming from my tiny experimentation with the classroom drawn from both a Korean and American style.
In terms of pace, I learned that it takes me a lot longer to get things into motion than I had initially anticipated. Friday and Saturday became the most productive days for me as I learned that I have trouble balancing more than one thing in a day when it comes to a project because once I start on it, I prefer not to stop and continue with the momentum. However, that doesn’t mean I did not work on it during the week. It just meant moving through the process much slower. As a result, I left literature, tutorials, and synthesizing information for the middle of the week in between classes and work. I did learn that I really like to examine more material than I thought I initially did. It was a double-edge sword. It really helped me think of perspective looking at other projects and their commonalities, but too many ideas bring challenges as well when refining ideas. This meant a lot of the content and ideas shifted during the process as well as a lot of uncertainty. In this next project, I am going to be clear on which days I work on the project again to keep up a good pace. In terms of source material, I want to really refine to the subjects and specifics to keep things from getting too out of hand.
I think the next logical step for me is to scale back the project and really thinking about what the components mean to a narrative this time versus a mood. Until recently, I had been really focused on horror and child trauma. However, I want to take it into a different direction and really get to explore all my options for storytelling. Because originally, it was limiting the directions I could go with the projects and the application of things like lighting and color in a multitude of scenarios related to narration and emotion. Also, even with this project, I have noticed that I have had a constant shift back to Asian narratives but have yet to explore it in the context of the practices and projects I have undertaken recently. I believe that by taking this next step I can really address the feedback I got and dive deeper into meaning in a focused story. In addition, I can continue the process of exploration for application of these techniques in a new context and what they mean for environments.
This is the explanatory diagram for the first project.
This time the next step would take those same elements but would be heavily influenced by the narrative and culture and what it means in the translation to the viewer.