“But as I started to think about it, I also thought, ‘Who tells this story?’ I decided it would be important to actually describe the 21st-century experience in relation to the last 400 years of colonialism – and how that will alleviate any romantic ideas of native people embedded in the UK and Europe.”
it is also hard to reflect on just the one project; there is an inherent relationship between the two projects. They were done at virtually the same time, if there were no correlation between the two, then that would be worthy of a reflection and a possible insight I say this as I think there is a chance that I picked the science museum thinking it would possibly be the most different from the previous self-initiated project. Maybe it was the word ‘science’ in the title? maybe it felt more tightly scripted with more parameters and definitely no chance of screen printing. But it was never about the screens….of any kind. While on the surface, they seem to be very different projects, during the process, I started to see parallels and connections. they are both about stories. they are both about how we tell stories factual or fictional, what we consider real or unreal, and they both deal with who owns these stories and who should be telling them and how. They also both end with a piece that is pushing towards expression rather than communication. Although, of course, I do think they communicate and are functional. But perhaps I pulled my punches a bit, perhaps, I wanted to push it a bit more towards the expressive nature; not that I see that as a fault, certainly in the Science Museum case, the project was not about me, there was a ‘client’ and a target audience, it shouldn’t be too self-indulgent. But neither were about the final piece, it was always about the process.
I’m glad I picked the Science Museum project, but I also believe that any project is what you make of it, there are easy and hard projects, fun and tedious ones but this has less to do with the respective briefs.
I am not yet sure if it was just these briefs, but I am noticing that my process is including more and more writing and talking and fewer visuals. The visuals show up very late in the process and are a result of the words. It is not that the visual aspects are not important, they are, and it is not that I don’t like my current outcomes, I do. I just think the why behind it all is – in the case – more interesting. It is not that shapes, colours, size, movement aren’t incredibly important, it is just that no matter what the shape or colour I choose, the question of why remains the same and always equally interesting. I don’t quite know yet what this means, but I think I am beginning to find an overriding theme or interest for my work moving forward.
The project itself I am really happy with – for an 8-week project. I think it has a fairly simple premise but allows for so much to develop from it. It is tied to technology only in its manifestation, meaning as technology changes, so could its visual incarnation.
It could even work without any of the secondary digital visualisations,
books were was cutting edge technology. It is a piece of DNA that can evolve with the changing technological environment. That is something I am most pleased with. It is human-powered with digital tools. When AR/VR nano-bot implants become the norm, the project idea and basic process would remain the same. Currently, it is a digital screen, either on a computer monitor or on a giant one at the science museum.
1. this is an installation representing the ever-changing flow of stories and how individually our stories have little meaning and only in a group do they/our culture take shape.
It could also mean the opposite. While we think of our history as an agreed-upon fact it is actually made up of individual, subjective and at times fictional stories
2. reversing the authority of museums and having the users and viewers be part of the creation of the stories and meanings a changing of the [power balance, perhaps – culminating in a later phase in the users uploading both objects and stories as the project develops over the decades
As long as we are telling stories and cooking food, we will be human.
Yuval Harari believes that what humans do best and makes us so successful is our ability to collaborate and agree upon fiction, fiction such as religions, or even countries and entities. If I unleash the ability for every object in the archive or world to be described differently and subjectively, does this lead to some form of breakdown? Or are we doing this already? Are not many of our apps a democratisation of telling stories from our perspective, something that has always been done by humans, but mostly by those at the top. Gutenberg’s invention undermined the authority of the Catholic Church and led Europe out of the middle ages. I am not comparing my 8-week project with the epoch-making adaption of an old grape press, but if in doubt maybe more and more diverse voice is a good thing
It was John Stack’s idea to include a print on demand heat printer, which I think is a very nice solution and brings a finality to the process which was arguably lacking.
I will say that those I have spoken to while liking the idea and proposed outcome, took a little longer than I had hoped to fully grasp the concept and understand the underlying meaning with the visual. perhaps one should be explained at a time.
My initial goal for this project had been to have the Science Museum create enough information and content for each of its seven million objects to allow users and viewers of the archive to uncover or find unlikely connections.
Something that would have probably tedious for both parties. It was through the development and research into how and what objects mean to us
– that they are manifestations of beliefs, open to interpretation and mere snapshots of a much longer and continuing development and that it is easier and more natural perhaps to create connections rather than to find someone else’s – that led me to the project’s current incarnation
I think everyone wins.
The science museum gets external research and data, those data are not reviewed or agreed upon, but it is a starting point.
More and importantly more diverse voices have a say in the stories and histories that we create
Viewers get are entertained and/or informed by the archive.
And hopefully, students and pupils everywhere enjoy their existing assignments just a little more, knowing it might be someday seen and printed out by a complete stranger.
I am not sure if that was my verbal communication or that it is just a little further out there…wherever there is