Tagged: Unit 1: Project Proposal

To Do List 092015

I’ve fallen into another pit of laziness with the blog. June, i was focussed. Since shifting my focus to the interim show, I’ve been bad at updating my research progress but it’s been a lovely summer. 

  1. Project Proposal – As I mentioned in a previous post, this has to be updated. 
  2. Interim Write Up – Photos / experience / review.
  3. TRIBE 15 Photos, write-up. 
  4. Research Proposal Notes 
  5. End of Year 1 Thoughts 
  6. 2nd Year Hopes 

Pre-Tutorial 3 11062015


I feel my progression in recent weeks has been dyer. I’ve focussed too strongly on work outside of the course, and I feel its beginning to effect my practice. My intention from my application and the first draft of my project proposal was to find an equilibrium between both physical and digital elements in my work. I don’t feel I’ve got much closer to this goal, which is sad but obviously its better now than never that I notice this drop. I’ve succeeded in learning new software and hardware, as well as the opportunities they allow. However, looking over my proposal, there is a lot to be changed.

The title ‘Digital Identity and the Virtual Space Race’ is now too vague for me. “Digital Identity” as a concept in itself is too broad. Its definition is yet set in stone, as it encompasses the entirety of a person’s online contribution. I’ve become more interested in focussing on an element of identity, and what better to investigate for both individuals and communities, than Religion. I mean Religion as “A particular system of faith and worship” and/or “A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion”. These are just two of the definitions of Religion written in the Oxford English dictionary. What better place to start… Obviously I’m not using it alongside any actual, existing, and practiced Religion. Its simply the dedication shown by a person (or user)… Maybe Worship is a better word.

Whatever it is that we use the internet for, there’s certainly a sense of worshipping its functions. The insights into the worlds of others, and of our own, without much effort at all, anywhere, anytime. This fact alone can be seen in how we perceive friendships, relationships, ethics, morales, research, charity, services, communication, entertainment, pleasure, health! All of this and more from one thing. For something to have such an effect on some of the most important elements of your life, you have to trust and worship it.

A Digital Native, if unplugged from the web, would have to compensate for all of these factors and translate them in the real world, which is obviously possible, but would at first be a culture shock. (I mean, imagine going back to letters…..) The phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone” comes to mind. Growing up in a world surrounded by something that is relentlessly popular amongst everyone you meet will inevitably be engrained in your very existence, unless your the salmon of course. In this way, the digital or internet uprising we’ve experienced in the last few decades is comparable to an international, growing religion

A……. Digital-igion…… hahaha…. the stupidest combination of words possible. how about Techno-ligion….. You get the point. (That point being, that I should never mix two words together again…)

Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha, although not intentionally, sparks debate on religion and technology, the past and present, old and new….. The Buddha in the present sits still whilst being filmed, he watches opposite, as himself stares back at him from the past. At the same time, The Buddha recorded from the past sits opposite watching himself in the present…. This has a number of questions surrounding it. An interesting one would be to compare it to the self-reflection of social media. The fact that you can scroll back through your history like a journal with multiple categories and parameters. Does this idea of self-reflection, or maybe even self-absorption effect that person’s reality? I believe it does, and surely it can’t be good for people to reminisce too often. I despise TimeHop for this reason. Bringing this back, given the fact that Millenials, and the more recent Generation Z are reliant on their online activity, is this comparable to addiction or religion? and if so, can religion be seen as an addiction?

TV Buddha in regards to religion clearly holds its link from the simple fact that a Buddha is at its core. Some have said that the piece represents Western media and the Oriental Deity, but in today’s context, I don’t believe the faith system, or where the tv and camera were made, really matters. For me, its either showing the reflective effects that information technology has had on the legitimacy and relevance of religion, or, I.T. usage as a quasi-religion (or as neo-religious) itself.

In the past, developing news stories were literally word of mouth or hear say through the grapevine. There certainly is still an element of that on Twitter, but, for the most part, we usually receive facts within minutes of an event unfolding. I have faith that the news and social media services will deliver me this information in realtime. I have faith that I will be able to communicate through Facebook and other sites, with people I haven’t seen in years, if I so wished to. A letter is more likely not to arrive on time, or even at all!, whereas I have faith that my Facebook message will. How does this change that persons outlook on friendships and relationships? When “Keeping in touch” is made too easy. Thats slightly off point, that is a whole other element of Digital Identity.

To conclude, what I’m trying to say, is that my project proposal, as it stands, is not specific enough. This Objective: “Decipher the differences between the ‘real self’ and digital identity by unravelling each individually,” incorporates a wide range of elements, all of which I aim to look into, but maybe not all of it can be done on the MA. As for the digital architecture and virtual space race side of my proposal. I have a very focussed interest on the emergence of this technology as a consumer item. By simply defining this NoWhere Space, I believe it gives the opportunity to look into the identities created within it. The other side to this, would be to record and research the loss of identity on a real stage / setting. (Society of Spectacle).

For the Research Paper, I hope to find a contrasting work to Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha. I was considering Daniel Rozin’s new mirror-like work made out of revolving Penguins, but this is something I need to discuss in the tutorial.


I’ve played around with visual languages. I naturally don’t like to stick to the same thing for too long, which can be seen as a pitfall, however, I’m optimistic with the potential outcomes, especially as we approach the Interim show. In a previous post I’ve mentioned using a similar process to ‘Monitor,’ using fishing wire, and in another post I’ve said I hoped to use the Ultrasonic sensor and LEDs with canvas and duct tape…. I stand by both of  these, and actually aim to incorporate these altogether, though this depends on whether it’ll work…. but I have faith. i’m meeting Ed maybe next week to discuss it.

RIGHT, off to sleep…. or I won’t get the opportunity to discuss this… or even begin work on phishermans.net !!!!!

To Phish – “To try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organisation, usually a financial institution, but contains link to a fake website that replicates the real one.”


Project Proposal V1 28102014

Working Title:

Digital Identity and the Virtual Space Race


To look into whether man’s approach to the digital reflects that of reality, specifically through the cultivation and shaping of virtual environments.

To investigate the growing reliability of technology in the everyday and both the positive and negative effects of media consumption/creation on individual and group identities.


– Decipher the differences between the ‘real self’ and digital identity by unravelling each individually.

– Investigate the effects of Media consumption and creation on the user’s reality by considering the specific elements of media and the way the user interacts with, or is engulfed with its subject or effect. How does it alter our opinions / everyday decisions / habits?

– Create or find characters/figures to exemplify the effects of technology and their digitally altered lives.

– Approach the idea of creation / customisation / alteration in virtual and physical space. Digital architecture?

– Break down the city and online networks to their key components of structure, power, space, complexity and culture.

– Experiment with the equilibrium of physical and digital process to best fulfil my aims, both conceptually and aesthetically.


Digital Identity and its effects on reality will be my central theme. I’ll be making paintings/imagery, multi-media collage/installations and sculptures focused on de-ciphering identity and environment’s relationship with the digital.

On Identity, I’m intrigued by the open array of characters found online. Although users are fully aware of the publicity of the internet, many users still act as if your actions have no effect in real life. The lack of corporeality online gives each and every user the ability to customise and control their identities. This is mainly seen through social media, forums or blogs, however its tangibility is truly endless. You only have to watch Catfish, 2011, to understand its potential misuse, be it malicious or just plain shy.

The average net-user has the ability, if they choose, to express their views, share their ideas, or even just converse with almost 3 billion different worldwide users. This ability to communicate and contribute with these people is solely possible through the use of this network, and therefore our dependence on its growth is increasing. The more applications we find, the greater the dependence. The collective impression of your internet/technology use says a lot about who you are, and potentially even more than simply having a conversation with you. This culmination of data is the basis of your online identity and experience. This is a metaphorical idea, and no such ruthless data harvesting is known to exist, however the effects each of these online interactions has is on the individual’s reality and his/her own sense of identity.

I will be engaging with identity on a number of levels. First, within the individual, I will show the changes of personality and everyday decision-making brought about by the prevalence of consumer technology. Secondly, the identities of groups, belief systems and states, specifically their changes as they engage more frequently online. Thirdly, i aim to discover more about the creation of new and alternate identities online, and how they effect the individual in reality. Looking at the identities we see on the street, and now online, I hope to capture the honest existence in the everyday, and their technology dependencies, or lack there of. Media consumption and creation can pose an unexpected change in a user’s reality and identity. This digital media can be news, social media, google results, images, texts, videos, basically anything available online, that has been made to be consumed.

As I’m interested in representing the modern figure, I have taken to reading Charles Baudelaire’s ‘The Painter of Modern Life.’ This essay, from 1863, describes some of the key stylistic themes Edouard Manet used in his depiction of modern life. Manet, both traditional yet cutting edge, captured modern life in the way he saw it, as opposed to artists at the time who followed the trends of what were considered academic conventions. The raw and natural representation of the world around him, and his unrelenting view of it is a characteristic i wish to adopt. Other classical or painterly inspirations I will reference are Delacroix, Caravaggio, Courbet, Millet, Masaccio, Magritte and Dali. More contemporary inspirations include Bridget Riley, Jenny Holzer, Chris Ofili, Sol le Witt, John Baldesarrri, Mehreen Murtaza, Rafael Rozendaal, Pipolotti Rist, Mark Lombardi. Essentially my work, in the simplest of terms will present realist figuration alongside surreal, expressive, digitally inspired landscapes and settings. These will be abstract collages and impressions of our own landscapes and the imagined digital-scape. By decoding architectural drawings, city plans, maps, satellite imagery, network imagery, info-graphics, circuit boards and even the human body, I aim to find a theme within their structure, and combination.

Architecture completes a cultural memory of the area in which it stands. Deep in the cities, there are rows of buildings, each defining their own time. Just walking down one of these roads triggers a sense of physical history that reminds you what had been before. The internet’s current architecture, per say, is based on books, scrolls, images, and videos, however with the potential emergence of virtual space, and a consumer interface to use it, this current structure could be set to change dramatically. I aim to look into the possibility of digital architecture and the cultural identities it could form. A space without land, where the buildings hold influence from cultures from all over the globe. Its a classic utopian vision that any technophobe would cry at the thought of, though it is not entirely impossible, and thus i propose the idea of the virtual space race, except this time our mortality does not hold us back, only our interface, tools and imagination. Unlike real architecture, the user can customise their surroundings. The buildings within our reality are set in stone as the unchangeable landmark of someone else’s work. within this digital space, the user is able to control what the environment is made up of, and the elements within it, be it their own designs, or those of others,

Given the opportunity, will man cultivate and shape a virtual environment  in the same way he has the physical, or how will it differ?


My research will be based on both physical and digital processes, with an aim of finding a balance. I will aim to include physical lighting, sound and sensors. Creating multi-faceted, sculptural paintings and installations will use a number of physical processes including mark-making, wax/clay cast/ wood sculpture, found and manipulated objects.

My work will aim to find an equilibrium between Realist mark-making and digital abstraction, Much of my focus be will be on the city, and its increasing connectivity with its inhabitants. As our cities become more dependent on technology, i will show this distinction physically within its representation. Although my primary skill is to paint, I will further my understanding with more technological processes, such as visual coding, 3D sculpting and image manipulation. I will add electronic elements to my pieces including lighting, projected film/animation and interactive sensors to capture the growing reliance on technology. These Digital elements could also be laser cut images, interactive sensors, projected animation or embedded lighting and sound effects. A lot of these digital processes depend on my ability to become confident with the software, and therefore I see these elements coming in later down the line. In the meantime, I will focus on painting/drawing and sculpture, with some photography and film elements.


To de-construct the crossovers between digital identity and the ‘real self’ through multi-media paintings and installations that in themselves only just find the balance between the physical and the digital.

To be true to the representation of figures and personalities in my work. I do not wish to alter reality to better my work, and instead aim to captured elements of modern life, and especially life in the way i believe it to come across.

To investigate the growing reliability of technology and both the positive and negative effects of media consumption on individual and group identities.

To harness the possibility of virtual environments in Continue reading