Interim Examination Presentation

Yesterday was my interim examination. The aim is of course, to judge my work produced this past year, reflect on what I have learnt, themes emerging, strengths and weaknesses and what could happen next year.

The exam was in form of a panel of 3 tutors, the Head of the course, one senior tutor and my personal tutor.
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So, this is my space at the RCA. I thought I should start with this as one of the good things of the RCA is the studios – and of course your space shows something about yourself.

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This is for ‘Design Without’, the elective I had for the last 6 months, an intensive course of one-week projects. It helped me to ‘train’ my brain to come up quickly with ideas and resolve them in one week, engage with new concepts and new approaches to my work, explore further video and experiment other mediums as well, challenge myself and just try new things. With Design Without I have a better understanding of research and I’m now able to articulate ideas better and see what works and what it doesn’t.

Drawing by touching from Savvas Zinonos on Vimeo.

Drawing without touching: An experiment of the senses. The brief was asking to consider a desirable augmentation of one of the senses. Instead of enhancing one of the senses I decided to remove one – but in a way, when you remove one sense, the other senses enhance, so it worked. I blindfolded myself and asked my flatmate to hand me objects I’ve never seen. With this experiment I had a different understanding of the tactile sense, everything became texture and shape. Further questioning is how blind people visualise objects they have never seen.

The panel seemed interested in this and asked me if I just discovered something there or it exists ‘out there’ and what if I drew the same object after looking at it – a probable next step. I admitted that it probably exists out there but I haven’t explored it further because it was a one-week project.

This is my response for the FUSE project, which asked us to question the assumptions we make about typographic languages. I was interested to perform language/typography through a medium and see how this becomes choreographical. I’m also planning to bring more people in and see how they communicate.
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I stated again that people seemed interested in the ones without the rubber bands but I found this problematic because the gestures are created because of the rubber band, so it probably doesn’t communicate what I want it to communicate.

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A project I’m still experimenting with, the brief for this project was about coercion and how governments use consumerism to distract and manipulate the masses. I was interested in the language politicians use, how they ‘re-arrange’ and distort reality and present it to us as the truth. This reminds me the rubik’s cube. I’m looking at articles and quotes by politicians. For example in this video, the initial quote was “The continent is enjoying a very fortunate era” by the German finance minister.

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This is again a project that has to do with politics. The brief was asking to re-map Europe and I came up with the idea to ‘re-map’ the myth of Europe. I continued the story and I made it to adapt in today’s Europe situation. I’m using the mechanism of tiles to reveal the real meaning of words – Asterio becomes Capitalism and so on.

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At my presentation I showed this mock-up as well, which is a long strip which can be places on a wal in a space for a spatial performance.

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The mechanism for ‘Re-map’ Europe is actually inspired by this project, which was a collaboration between the V&A and the RCA. We were asked to respond on the theme of the future of the poster. My response was commenting on the nature of the poster – through the loop of future, present and past, it suggests the omnipresence of the poster as something being static, something that gives you information (the piece of paper you take, and the poster as something that has an expiry date and something that leaves in the street (throwing the paper on the floor).

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This is for Visual Research, the mandatory drawing elective. I had a very strange idea of what VR was in the beginning and what it was trying to do, although at some point it became something that I can have a break from everything else and just produce stuff.

An animation exploring and questioning the nature of an object – ‘drawing with drawing pins’.

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Drawings for a brief that had to with observing objects again – using the technique of frotage.

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A brief for landscapes – I look at my bed sheets as an aerial photograph of a landscape

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I’ve never spoken about the Cultural Interfaces project on my blog. This collaborative project with students from 3 different courses of RCA was sponsored by Blackberry, aiming at communities of London.

Our project was for Hackney Stream, a class of elders who learn how to use computers. We ran a couple of workshops with them and found out that the reason they go to Hackney Stream was to come together – and particularly at a Spotify workshop we noticed how many stories they have to say about music and their culture. So our brief was to bring these cultural, technological and social elements together using music and story telling. We wanted to make them start conversation between them and come together.

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So we introduced a device that has three play lists, each one distinguished by a different colour, one private, one shared with friends and relatives and one shared with the rest of Hackney/the world. By shaking it, it skips a song, by tapping it on surface twice it likes a song, which later goes into a top 10 list of Hackney Stream with the most liked songs. It also has a recording button which records stories for Hackney Stream or to be shared with other people.

I never had to do collaborative work for such a long time and it was a very useful experience. I realised how everyone has a different role and the level of commitment you have to show to this if you want a really good outcome, because if one doesn’t turn up at the meetings and stuff, the whole thing goes bad.

 

FEEDBACK:

They seemed interested in the work presented although they pointed out that it’s all unfinished, experimental work. I’m aware of this, and as my elective was all about one-week projects, I took advantage of that time to experiment with a lot of different stuff so I can take themes that emerged from these projects – such as language, interactivity, motion and probably performance – to take further in the second year.

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