The ideas that I tried out at my solo show (moving into a more sculptural approach to my moving image work / the role of light on the surface of the work, and how this alters the viewers interpretation of a narrative) have been expanded on for my MA final show.
Figuring out how to use multiple screens, with dense, fractured narrative and how these should be presented (both audio and visual) has been an exhilarating challenge.
I may make some very minor changes prior to the PV (covering the wires, perhaps introducing some colour to the install) but overall I’m very happy with how this has turned out. It’s undoubtedly the most well-planned show I’ve created so far, leaving myself options as to my approach because I’d sourced all the materials I needed, and created all of my moving image pieces) in advance.
Light on surface experiments come to fruition during the final day install
Having these boxes fabricated was a step forward for my practice, bringing into play lots of skills that I never want to utilise (measuring, planning, loss of control). I had some issues around syncing the videos to avoid them being too in sync. Each screen contains 4 variations of 4 core films, with soundtracks changing across all 4 screens guide the viewer across the install, and to make breathing space for the imagery and narrative).
Working with the tech meant I had to figure out how to house the media player and hard drives, power them and still have this very stark feel to the installation (necessary because of the very dense imagery.)
Sourcing the same screen and media players meant that I could use one remote for all the screens and one for all the media players – a massive consideration when controlling multiple devices)
Curating the room so that the sun hits the installation and reflects off the boxes.
The install was planned around me having one day to physically put it up. I learned a lot from the solo show about how to deal with storing drives, players, and how the box can tie some very disparate physical objects together (tvs, hmdi cables, plugs, hard drives)
Knowing that I’d need these massive screwdrivers (to get to an awkward screw after mounting the screens) was another dull but necessary thing!
This picture underline why I had the boxes fabricated – this is a TV on a wall, nothing else. Definitely helped my install by working with a prototype version of this during my show in April.
Boxes made my Hamar Acrylics of Bethnal Green (sadly just moved to Canning Town), had a good experience with them after they built my first box.
I figured out how to house all of the wires and players during the design of the boxes, and how to power them all while leaving just one wire out of each box.
Having a studio space has definitely professionalised my practice – being able to gather all of these materials together and play with them prior to the install meant that I had a very clear vision of how the final piece would turn out.
Lots of figuring out in the studio, taking my moving image work into the sculptural object.
Unit 2 Symposium Video
I’ve spent the MA exploring the relationship between the image, the viewer and narrative.
By user interaction
By using found objects, linking with digital narratives
I perfected a technique for making Redacted Comics,
matt ink on light paper (giving a hand crafted feel) to a high density gloss, a harder, (yet still hand-made) approach.
I worked with paper & digital and made pieces based on how they inform each other (ie light thru paper as below that has directly informed my final layered, ‘lit’ video pieces as featured in my MA show.
Thinking about how the single image is a frame of the moving freed up my practice, allowing me to create works that interrogate the image with light – the equation of cinema
So this meant I started to look at layering within the moving image
And then this was progressed by having a solo show in April 2017 and making a densely layered video piece housed in a glossy acrylic white box
This allowed me to start playing with light, boxes and reflection
From my show text
Miller intuitively selects and re-edits still and moving images, as if raw data, recombining them to create new works. Using source material spanning diverse genres and typologies, the original material is rendered unrecognisable, painstakingly selected for its potential to create anew, rather than for the significance of its earlier context.
In They Are Returning Miller creates an elusive narrative by interrogating the image; subverting, layering, cropping and re-editing, and contextualised by his theoretical research into diversion and postproduction. Through this multi-layered approach, often experimenting with duplication, Miller evokes a sense of the uncanny.
In the Redacted Comics series, Miller digitally manipulates images taken from the comic series Gotham Precinct before finally painting them with a particular type of industrial black spraypaint which reacts with the ink of the original print to create a subtle or highly glossy surface finish. The resulting image is partially obscured and leads the viewer to scrutinise it in order to decode it. The eye is drawn to brilliant white masked areas that further subvert the original narrative and create a deeper sense of the unknown.
With this show Miller continues to navigate, consume and use form in compelling new ways by intuitively assembling material as if through a process of detection, his works steeped in noir and bringing an uneasy mystery.
This is the beginning of anything you want
Grenada, March 2017
London, April 2017
I sampled the title of my solo show from a clothes shop in Granada, Spain. The identical font used was a happy coincidence.
Then I made a version that combined all of the final videos that I made for the MA installation
The installation piece then moved into a form of linear, narrative by being entered into the BFI London Film Festival under the artist moving image category.
My move into installation / sculpture (beyond that of the projected image in a non-cinema environment) ha been very challenging for me. The requirement to conceive of and execute the final object, as opposed to the endlessly updatable versions of digital and social media hosted- work I’ve been producing
WORKING WITH SCREENS AS OBJECTS
My journey from appropriation to post production
Artists who work within the ‘fair usage
(in) appropriation group
Giallo and the potential reference in my work (coloured bands of plastic concealing the wires)
• Summarise and evaluate your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing Personal and Professional Development
My practice has overlapped between print, digital still and moving image. In all cases I have been preoccupied with the sampling and repositioning of an existing artefact, I concentrated my research around genre typologies; giallo, mystery, thriller, sci-fi. These disposable areas of fiction have fuelled my explorations into narrative, the uncanny and the ins and outs of copyright, copyleft, fair usage and the colonisation of the self by the
mass produced image
My practice has deepened during my MA, a combination of having lots of show, the requirement to write a research paper (allowing me to explore the Freudian theory of the uncanny (Unheimlich) and how this relates to my practice and my own desire to learn new skills and become more technically proficient in my approach to the production of my work – this has changed my practice by literally allowing me to make work that I could not have unless I’d taught myself AfterEffects.
When I started the MA I thought I was an appropriation artist, in the vein of John Stezaker or Louis Klahr, but through my research and practice I’ve discovered that my work sits within post-production theory
and that the methodology I use is as described inThe Practice of Everyday Life
as ‘usage is an act of micropiracy’ – namely that the consumption of an artefact (viewing, reading, absorbing) equates to an artistic act in itself.
My work is like that of a coder of DJ. Intefventions with data, not working toward a final act but a series of events that reflect on and build frm the ones carried out before.
I’ve worked with the still image, cutting, reflecting, redacting, altering. I’ve worked with the moving image
, cropping, framing, layering, redubbing, reversing, stretching.
I’ve worked with how these typologies can be presented to the viewer, as a print, as a projection, as a sculpture, as viewed in a browser.
What ties all these approaches together is my belief in the existence of all imagery, already.
My job is that of an editor. Selecting, discarding, juxtaposing, slicing.
Thinking about how the moving image is a series of stills freed up my practice, allowing me to create works that interrogate the image with light – the equation of cinema. My next project will be concerned with the space between these blurred moments. There is a video file format that’s encoded within MP4 that contains the data for every single image used within a moving image video file. (which produces a series of still images rather than a tweened, algorithmic motion), and taking this into immersive tech like VR
I have been selected as one of the artists for BetaLab at VRUK, July 10-14 2017. My aim for the lab is to test whether it’s possible to import sequential imagery into the VR environment and control the narrative via user interaction
I’m hoping that this new area for me (again something that I am entirely uncomfortable wth) will open us new avenues of research for me, and allow me to continue to explore and subvert existing forms
My further plans involve entering film festivals with a linear version of my MA installation. and working out different ways that I can install and show the modular video boxes that I’ve conceived and made.
My experience of studying for my MA has been life-changing. It’s help progress my academic career – my new Assoc. Professor job involves the the creation of a suite of design-related degrees, with a curation one to complement. I would not have got this job without my experience of being on a MA Fine Art degree. My practice now has a theoretical context, and has moved into installation and sculpture.
The course has allowed me to meander along my research path but create a body of work that explores my interests exploring a range of typologies.
No longer an end point, but a simple moment in an infinite chain of contributions
To go back to the original proposal….
To create a sculptural work (let’s call it a lightbox) that changes the imagery displayed within it depending on how the viewer interacts with it. The data that feeds the sculpture (the source being a narrative film created using appropriated footage) and the film will be used to create an online artwork.
I think this proposal is evidenced in the following ways
A sculptural work to display in a gallery that changes as the viewer navigates it (MA show)
A data-driven artwork to be viewed online (hashtag narratives on instagram)
A linear film to be viewed as a projection (BFI entry)
Through a huge amount of experiments, failures, wrong turns, shows, production I seem to have fulfilled my research proposal. This was possible because of the space, time and support that the course has given me, truly a life-changing experience and one that I will never forget.