M&P(Installation): Feedback+Reflection

Reflection about our installation and how it went:

I was satisfied of our work, I think that the experience for the audience went well, the feedback we got from our classmates was exactly what we intended them to feel. Our intention for the whole installation was to make people feel confused, dizzy, scatter minded(looking into 4 different screens,sometimes not knowing where to focus their attention) and disturbed. I was happy to hear and read how they described their feelings and how it was a conformation that we did a good job at the end.

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Our concept foe the installation was for the audience to feel how a schizophrenic person feel. The video was a transition from a normal state of mind( the audience(hopefully)) to a schizophrenic person POV. we made the video in a way that made the audience see the POV of a schizo and at the same time putting them in their shoes for them to experience the feeling fully. wiggly fabric gave a nice effect distorting the videos even more, and the popping candy also added to the effect of noise in the head that schizophrenic hear. i think we did a great job activating multiple senses vision, hearing and taste.

Our videos:

Test video of text

Main video

brain scan video

 

Reflection about group:

I was frustrated because i felt like the only people who cared for this project was me and reham, we made the time to work on our ideas and how to improve it, but we felt that we were kind of a separate group so overtime we try to include the others into discussion they only agree on what we had to say, i don’t know if that was demanding of us to do. We listen to them when they finally share their ideas, and to be honest some of the ideas we used it’s not like we dismiss them,we try to make them engage more in the process and in the making of the installation because at the end it’s ‘our’ project. i don’t know what they think when we take their opinions and they rarely add anything. Another thing was that they were kind of uninterested in the whole process, whereas for me(and Reham) I was so interested and trying to make everything work no matter what. I made time to work and think about improvements along the way, finding out that things might not work, suggesting solutions and things like that. i wish they were more hard working i don’t know if I’m asking too much of them but because i don’t want to be unfair to myself i made(forced) them to work, i planned meetings to discuss and let them in on what me and reham was thinking, i hated that i always find myself going to reham when i figure out something or have an improvement on an idea because she was the one who interacted with me the most she will get excited tell me her opinion and insight on things, but for the others they will not add much, i don’t know if i was expecting something they could not achieve or do but i wanted them to at least put as much effort and time as me and reham, i feel that they didn’t care because they knew that someone else will do the work or finish the work for them. (btw Noor was quite helpful throughout this process but as I said i wish she made time to work, rather than work for a bit and leave the rest to us to finish).

Things I learned(real reflection)(not ranting, maybe a little):

  • not to have high hopes for others.
  • it’s not always easy to work with others, but trying to make people work was also uncomfortable, it felt that i was demanding something they can’t do (which is not true but i hate that they made me feel this way), if i can do it they can too.
  • it made me really think about the things i don’t let myself do, like lying, depending a lot on others and letting others work more than me. because it means that I’m not contributing to the group.
  • working alone is much easier and faster because you don’t have to take others opinion on what to do, unlike working with others where you have to consider every member and their opinion on how to do things.
  • deconstructing was hard when i was doing it alone at the beginning, but as a group it was easier because i learned from others and understood their perspective the topic.
  • although we went a bit abstract with our approach i felt it was more interesting that we did it this way, it was unexpected and at the same time we delivered a message/idea from the movie.

 

M&P(Installation): Process 5

Individual work:

i went to get the wire from the design shop to start making the hoop. Some difficulties was that at first i didn’t know how to measure how big i should make the hoop, but then remembered that we used the tape measure from fashion to estimate how big we wanted the hoop, and used it to tape the diameters of the circle on the ground and taped the wire itself around the guideline i created for myself. i was concerned because this circle was supposed to fit 30 people but now that i see it in front of me it barely fit 15. i’m considering to make it a bit bigger just in case.

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Group work:

since the wire is not that thick I have to wrap it around itself several times, noor came to help me with this but i seem to make it harder on us since i looped the wire around itself and created a continuous circle instead of cutting the length i wanted first and wrap another piece of wire around it. but we managed to finish one round and we’re thinking of making another two wire ropes and wrap them together to get a sturdier hoop.

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we were using this method, we want to create two more and wrap them around each other. So three in total.

During the weekend noor took the wire and made 3 more ropes.

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Individual work:

after we wrapped all the wire together i taped half of the circle and reham helped me with the other half because it was time consuming to wrap masking tape around the circle wire.

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i made a video of the phrases i found to use on our main videos as an introduction and ending, since we wanted to give the audience a better idea of what is schizophrenia i thought that this was a better way to deliver the idea and give the audience a chance to develop their own perspective/meaning of the experience and how they define schizophrenia.

Group work:

on Sunday, we went to set up and clean the room and bring tools we need, like projectors and tripods, finding extension cords, setting up the projectors where we need them and later in the day we went and did a test run.

we went and made a mini station for our candy that we will distribute, in order to get more organized, and have more of a system where people enter, take the candy, eat it and go inside the hoop the watch the projection.

i got quite angry because of one of the members, i think they thought that we reserved this classroom for them to do work for other classes, me and reham cleaned the room the day before but came on Monday morning and found it quite messy, they had their things all over the place, i don’t think we are meant to look after that person for them to feel free to use the place like this especially after we cleaned(we didn’t do it for them!!!), at this point I was just holding my anger, although we asked them to clean the mess, they didn’t really do much other than removing their stuff, we had to reorganize the tables and chairs again, and remove sadu cushion they brought from outside the class.

we also ‘packaged’ the popping candy:

 

M&P(Installation): Process 4

 

we were supposed to have a meeting today but unfortunately not all of us were able to show up except for me and reham, noor had a meeting at the same time but she was able to meet with me and Reham for a little bit to tell her what to do and to inform her that we want “our audience” to enter in two 2 groups, 15 people at a time.

for this meeting we wanted to check that everyone had a task to do and whether they did something or not, I made a list of what we have to get done this week at least:

  • buy fabric, wire and fishing rod.
  • shoot some footage for video + edit.
  • make hoop and attach fabric to it.
  • make sure that the room is not used by anyone(take permission of the people using the room, ask if they could take class in another room for the day)

I also wanted to address that it’s not possible for us to fit all the class in the hoop and make them see the projection at the same time because it will be packed and people will be close to the fabric so it will be hard to see, I want to suggest that we make two groups at least and see if anyone had any other solutions for this problem. but i guess that we’ll have this conversation tomorrow.

another reason why I wanted to meet the before class time is that we were planning to use class time to go and buy stuff that we need. but at the end we went a bit late and didn’t manage to get back by 4:30 like the professors said, so i had this plan to use our time but other group members were not cooperating and wasting our time which made me mad at that person.

We met in class time and discussed the situation above, everyone agreed that we should make two groups of 15 people, so we will go in two rounds for about 3-4 min for each group, so we decided we will make a 3 minute video(of a schizophrenic person POV) which is the main video and another abstract video of a brain scan with added effects. Reham mentioned that we should give out something for the audience, and suggested we give out cards of what schizophrenia is because our classmates/audience probably don’t have any idea of what it is. but then we came to the conclusion that we give out the popping candy, because in the end we want the audience to feel how a schizophrenic person feel, we remembered from our research that they feel their mouth being rough and they hear voices/noise so we thought that this candy kind of give the feeling of something rough in the mouth and noises that come from inside the head. we agreed that we will print out and stick a definition of the illness or a brief description of what to do on the packet.(maybe both)

Then me, Reham and Noor went to buy things we need: 15 meters of fabric, fishing rod and popping candy. we left Nikko to work on the video in the meantime.

 

M&P(Installation): Process 3

Individual Process:

Nikko suggested that we search about insomnia and schizophrenia since the main character was diagnosed with those two diseases. So I did that and found some interesting phrases that may help us which are:

  • withdrawal from reality.
  • fault perception.
  • fantasy and delusion.
  • mental fragmentation.

I also wanted to know how a person with this illness feel so I researched about that(link to an article i read : http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-does-it-feel-have-schizophrenia-outside-and-inside-chronic-brain-disorder-270889 .)

I also found an interesting tedtalk about schizophrenia: https://www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_seeing_mental_illness/transcript?language=en#t-873623

I screen shot some phrases that i thought would help us, or even use it for our video:

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I searched for some inspiration images for installations and exhibitions. These are the ones I found…

I liked the one with the rounded space because it gives the idea of being separated,the one with projection is kind of delusional and goes with our theme. The one with broken mirrors i think gives the idea of a scattered mind and confusion.

Group discussion: 

I sat down with Reham to brainstorm some ideas, based on the research we both did individually and my inspiration images we came up with 5 ideas for our exhibition.

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  • my very initial idea for the installation was to build 3 sided walls(just like in sketches),(eventually i suggested to make it a circle,since we chose the fabric projection idea and thought it was easier for us to also hang from the ceiling)

Reham went and made some quick sketches to show our ideas:

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we met at the library to discuss our ideas and sketches, we looked for some books about installations for more inspiration. we discusses these ideas(basically the two i liked more):

  • mirrors: reflection of self how a person sees him/her self, and how others sees them.
  • broken or a lot of mirrors in different sizes/ angles: to convey the idea of different personalities that a schizophrenic person have.
  • projection on fabric

we felt that the projection idea was the best and strongest, so we discussed the idea further and considered experiential design, we thought of how to tackle the visual, sound and somehow touch senses to deliver the idea to the audience without explaining it to them.

  • So for visual was the projection, video of POV schizophrenic person.
  • For sound we thought of having some negative words whispered through the video with some noise sounds.
  • The fabric was to further the feeling of delusion while the projection is on the slightly moving fabric.
  • We decided to have the fabric in a circle and people is inside, to give the audience can uneasy/ uncomfortable feeling of being cramped up in one place.

we went to Ryan FYI Professor to ask about what kind of fabric is best to use for projection, we wanted something that could go through the other side slightly so he suggested we use muslin fabric. since they used it for Strange Wonders’ exhibition.

we chose room 216 because we wanted a big space for our installation(initially we were thinking to make a hoop that will fit 30 people) that’s why we wanted a big room. plus we can control the lighting easily so it will be easier for us to use the projectors.

we wanted to hang the hoop and the fabric from the ceiling so we asked the professors if we can do that, and they told us to ask facilities. Facilities said that we have to measure the weight of the thing we want to hang, so we weighted the two wire roles and one meter(then we calculated how much it will weight for 15 meters) we made sure that we measure a bit extra just in case. we measured the circle to be around 3.5 meters in diameter.

after the approval of facilities we distributed tasks, since Nikko showed us some of his photography projects and how he was good at it, we asked him to do the video. Me, Noor and Reham were responsible for making the installation, bringing fabric, the wire,projectors and making the hoop and attaching the fabric to it.

we went to the material library and asked them where we could find muslin fabric, now that I think of  it I think it was a waste of time to go there because we wasted a lot of time explaining to abdulrahman what we wanted to do and he was making it difficult for us, I think he wanted us to give up on our idea because apparently, 1) the fabric is not available in Qatar, 2) it’s impossible to hang a big hoop with fabric from the ceiling i don’t know why ??, 3) we needed at least 4 projectors(which was true in the end) i guess what i’m trying to say is that he was making us feel disappointed and frustrated for no reason.

M&P(Installation): Process 2

My concept was about how the girl in the story (Alaska) was kind of having an inner conflict, since she is convinced that she was the reason that her mother died although it was an accident and she couldn’t do anything about it, and because of this she has become slightly weird and has weird thoughts, and in the end it kind of affected her mental state, and committed suicide at the end of the story due to the guilt and uneasiness she was feeling. Through the story the characters were talking about what is a labyrinth and every character viewed it from their point of view, since a labyrinth is not really a maze or a puzzle to be solved, and it’s more like a path that has one entrances and one exit and once you enter you have to experience it all in order to get out there is no dead ends. Alaska was convinced that the labyrinth was suffering whereas her friends thought that its the experience of life, so she was searching for a way to  get out of this labyrinth, this suffering, guilt that she was feeling.

So my concept was about mental health/inner conflict.

Group Process:

After everyone presented in front of the class, we were put in groups according to our concepts. I was put in a group with Reham, Nikko and Noor Alemadi. We had to choose one concept for our exhibition. Our concepts were very similar which made it very hard on us to choose since we all had this common theme of inner conflict, but then we decided to choose a concept that we can work with fairly easily, a concept that we can imagine an experience for, we thought of these things vaguely. We were leaning towards the mental illness side of my concept and Nikko’s but we also liked Reham’s concept of survival. In the end we decided to voted and it was a tie between mental illness(fight club) and survival(The Martians). After a very long discussion we chose to go with Nikko’s concept mental illness(fight club), For next class we are supposed to come up with at least five sketches for our exhibition.

M&P(Installation): Process 1

I wasn’t sure how to start deconstructing so before I choose a story I went to research how to deconstruct one. These helped me the most to understand the concept:

But then I didn’t really follow everything since we were supposed to choose aspects or find interesting concepts within the content of the story. I chose a book titled ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green. I started with the physical deconstruction of the book so I was looking at the book cover and the image they chose to represent the story and started to connect the cover image with the content of the story, kind of remembering aspects of the story through the cover and remembering personality of the main characters and some of the main events and extracting concepts from that,  I don’t know if I was doing this right but thats how I managed to come up with ideas and remember what the story was about.

Book deconstruction:

 

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M&P(Signs): Reflection

We were all having this preconceived notion that signs are supposed to be ‘traffic’ signs. For me I didn’t really have this preconceived notion but I didn’t know what to do exactly at the beginning and whenever I ask my classmates they tell me ‘just make traffic signs’ or ‘you know in the end it has to be done on illustrator’ and they got me confused at the beginning.

At the beginning I sketched out my idea by hand while most of my colleges decided to start illustrating their ideas. I feel that they affected me at the beginning but thankfully I didn’t want to start working on illustrator from the start, and started to experimenting with material.

During this whole process I learned how to communicate an idea for specific groups of people/audience. How to make my idea understandable for different audiences. While I was working on global and concrete I realized that I was trying to communicate my idea in a way that broke the language barrier because these particular two signs have a huge audience, so it was something that I tried to make these signs understandable by everyone, even if I didn’t really realize it while working I was working in a pragmatic/persuasive way, realized it when Law said it in class. Abstract signs makes the audience think at a deeper level. Working on binary oppositions made it easier for me to understand local/global, concrete/abstract better because understanding one makes it easier to understand the opposite of it. That’s why it took me longer to understand vernacular.