Altered States

Press:

In the first issue of @Version.mag by @foxallstudio.

OPPOS"RENOVATOS2020" Honourable Mention​​

Altered States presents a virtual space exploring the effects of global warming. Through three phases the work explores and exaggerates the effects through the use of light, colour, texture, characters and garments. The virtual space offers an insight into the past, present and possible future effects of global warming.

For this project I wanted to continue looking at the idea of discomfort, but move away from the way I had approached it before. I touched on the idea of the environment and effects of plastics in my last project, so wanted to further explore the idea of global warming and the impact humans are having on the world. This was something that I was interested in after learning about the recent fires in Australia. I didn’t fully understand the cause of the fires, so researched more into what was happening, the causes and results of the fire. I watched one video that explained in simple terms the process of global warming and how this was likely to cause the fires in Australia. 

Looking at the effects of the fires was shocking, but interesting to consider how I could translate it into a piece of work without making it seem too on the nose. I want to play with light and colour when using fashion to explore this topic, referencing the fires, but generally exploring the idea of global warming, how the earth is heating up and causing these things to happen.

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I started looking at different artists and designers that have previously explored this topics previously. I was interested in the fashion shows that had themes or the walks set in nature as a response to global warming. These mainly were referencing the use of fast fashion and how the fashion industry has a large impact on the environment, so I want to stay away from that specific topic as I feel that it has been explored quite a lot.

The Dior show from Spring 2020 had a walk that was themed in nature, which I thought was interesting and something that I could incorporate in my own work, I like the idea of creating a space that can be used in combination with the clothes and further reflect the ideas. This is something that I discovered with a group of artists who were asked to create works based on global warming. Mei Chin created an app that allowed you to see Times Square under water if you looked through your phone camera, creating this post apocalyptic digital space, but in a famous setting. I thought this was really interesting, the idea of creating a space as a projected idea of what might happen due to global warming.

Also a musician used the rising temperatures of the last 150 years or so and assigned each temperature a musical note and created a musical piece. This was a really interesting way to play with the idea of global warming and the piece makes the thought really intense, as the temperatures rises, the notes get higher. I liked the idea of something building creating a narrative with information and exploring the idea of effects over time.

I have also looked at Jaquems show form 2019 where they walked through a lavender field on a pink runway, this was inspiring in terms of colour and setting, as I’m interested in having the characters walk through a space. Also I looked at the Chanel show from a few years ago in Paris where they had a huge iceberg referencing the effects of global warming on the melting ice in the world. Again I was interested in the use of space and nature as an object to compliment the clothes and portray a message.

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In the first step, I started to try the different softwares I would need to use to see if it worked. I watched online tutorials and created characters with DAZ 3D, then I sent it to mixamo website to play around with making my character move. After this I went to clo3d to make basic clothes for my character. Then I wanted to focus on creating a space, I used c4d to create some basic environments. I confirmed that the whole process and plan were feasible in relation to my idea.

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This about using light within architecture, how it interacts with the space. The light is also a material used the construct the building, it defines the shapes and creates new ones within the space. The interaction of light and space is important in my project when thinking of light as a material.

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In this talk Hindson discusses the adaptability of light and how it should be recognised as a material. He likens it to physical materials such as wood and metal, referring how when these things are used to make a product, when you look at the components you can see the structure and parts of the material used. He talks about how this thinking should be applied to light, not only thinking about the source, but how it is used and other elements that are part of the lights effect. So thinking about light as a material in the same way we would see wood or metal then allows you to consider the possibility of how the light can be changed and moulded like these other materials. Hindson goes on to talk about the different aspects of light and how it can be used with regards to shape, shadow, reflections and refractions, which are all created with using light as a material. At the end of the talk he shows a video of a work ‘A Dream of Pastures’ he created exploring the interaction with light, exploring movement and how light can be moulded to create something unexpected. 

 

  

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This text looks at the connection of art and science when referring to holography. The first holograph was created over 70 years ago, the development of the technology now means there are 3D holograms and holographic projection. These are interesting as the projection allows you to create something tangible and almost realistic view of something. Which is interesting when thinking about the use of digital fashion and the creation of something that looks real, but is only a digital creation.

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After researching, I started experimenting with different spaces and different visuals using light and also connecting them to my main concept. Firstly I tried different ‘spark’ like visuals to reference fire, but I felt that it was too simple and direct and not connecting to the kind of work I usually produce. I started looking into using the aesthetic of the thermal imaging, it presents these rich colourful images, that I felt would really help me demonstrate the extreme states I was thinking of. I found this software, a sonic visualiser which used sound to create visuals, the images created to the thermal imaging visuals. So I thought I would experiment with using sounds such as fire and to see what it produced and how it added to the sound. I also added some sounds from the list of animals I researched earlier which died in the largest numbers from the fires in Australia.

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Further to this I found a ‘thermal imaging’ style camera which used light to calculate what would be hot or cold. This was interesting as it referred back to the material of light that I began to look at. It also produced these strange images, almost science fiction settings, which also connects to the hologram I am interested in using as they are prolific in science fiction cinema.

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After this I began to explore with the characters and shapes with colour and light. I used natural forms of light to just experiment with what I could make in terms of garments and the structure of them. Although I thought they were interesting, I though it was a little too direct. Also I felt as though it didn’t really help explore my concept of global warming, it was too ‘pretty’ and didn’t point to anything dark or create a feeling of something changing.

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The next stage was to focus on how I would create the hologram part of the work. I purchased a small prism which is used to make small holograms with your smartphone, I just wanted to see how logistically it would work. After using this I thought it would be interesting to scale it up, so I made a number of prototypes to see what some of my earlier tests would look as a holograms. Some of the tests were more successful than others, but I thought that some of the holographic projections crested something quite interesting. I also made some adaptations to the hologram projector I made to see if they would have an affect on the images produced, but nothing really happened to the images, so it was not successful.

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Here I focused on the making of the characters, before I had just made more of a generic character, so I wanted to make subtle changes to illude to the theme that I am interested in. I looked closer at the different animals that dies in the Australian fires and thought about how I could incorporate some of their features into the characters. I think that the results are interesting, also the fact that they are not directly related to any animal, they have an animalistic feel to them. Also have a sort of bizarre look, something kind of unnatural, which is exactly what is happening with global warming, something unnatural. Also previously I was interested in mutations, which I think is emulated in these characters, in a way suggesting that global warming could create these changes and created these mutated creatures.

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First issue of @Version.mag by @foxallstudio.

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