MEDA301 – Assessment 3 – Progress Post 3

Unfortunately, over the previous weeks I’ve been so swamped with other uni work that I haven’t been able to focus a lot of attention upon this particular project. Going back to my initial concept and my Progress Post 1 and Progress Post 2, I’ve tried to brainstorm some new ideas and potential new angles for my work.

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I continued to dabble a little in mediating the work. Looking at projecting one statement above the crime on a board on the wall, as well as using multiple screens to show the juxtaposition of it all (although this was a little impractical). I was recently working on an idea to have an animated transition of the text, someone blinking awake and asleep, simulating the experience of death in a sort of way. However after discussion, it was obvious that I was getting lost in the presentation of the work and how to put my own spin on it. Mediating the work simply because it is a media arts subject. Upon this realisation I did agree that the direction I was heading in was not one I was actually interested in.

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So with that in mind I went back to the drawing board and my initial testing. Simply printing out these statements and sentences and putting them in a place so that others could read them. I made a mind map of the materiality of the printout in the hopes that it would jog and idea. I noticed the different feel we have as an audience towards a handwritten note and a typed out one. It was this simply difference that I thought could be important in distinguishing between my final statements and criminal sentence. Someone had mentioned paper aeroplanes and although this seemed absurd at first, the more I thought about it, the more the idea began to appeal to me. Bot necessarily planes or other origami, but small paper boats.

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From here, a whole plethora of ideas an interactions came forth. Throughout history and religion around the world, the role of water, rivers and “crossing” has permeated for the death moving on to the afterlife. In ancient Greek mythology you have the River Styx, similarly in Japanese Buddhism there is the Sanzu River. A Viking funeral is well known for sending a boat out to open water and then setting it alight in flame. Even ancient Egyptians on their path to the afterlife had their “crossing the river”. I also remembered another part of ancient Egyptian religion, namely the weighing of the heart. Your heart would be weighed against a feather to see whether you would make it to the afterlife or forever be damned. This sort of judgement is what I ask of my audience. You look upon these humans, what they have done and their remorse, and you unconsciously make a judgement.

And so thus, for the moment, as absurd as it may seem, my current idea is an installation of paper boats, some handwritten statements and others typed up crimes. Numerous ones of these will form a weaving line in a section of the gallery, creating there own little river. I think it would be good if audience members could get up close, pick them up and read them as well. However I will need to put more thought into this!

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