Archive for the ‘ISCO’
Absurdables is a series of instructables that were created for the Rhizomes section of ISCO, in collaboration with Carolina Vallejo. For the series, we added two more (and coming) to the series: An absurdable on how to cry and another one for the recently deceased. Both followed the same aesthetic as our first one and paid homage to literary pieces; the former is by Cortazar and the latter by Bruno D’arcy.
This time, our absurdables didn’t receive as much attention as the our first one, since for one, it wasn’t picked up by the editors and featured. Secondly, it seemed like we hit a point where the series start running the risk of being less interesting and the novelty might very well wear off. I think for this project to be successful, we need to find new literature from various backgrounds, keep working on making them as absurdables, release new ones on a regular basis to keep the community connected and expecting. In my opinion, only after few more absurdables will we see better, consistent results. I think we are onto something here that needs development and effort, so we definitely want to continue working on absurdables together and take them to more absurd/interesting levels.
There was a big discussion in class about whether absurdables is a suitable name for the series or not. I think it fits perfectly, since the name suggests that we are not trying to deceive the average instructables user with this project. From the very beginning, the name shows that we have a clear intention of simply being absurd, nothing else. Therefore, we expect (or hope) to be taken with a grain of salt, and I think the name absurdable is an integral show of that intention.
Absurdables: How to climb a staircase is an instructable that was created for the Remix/Reframe section for ISCO, in collaboration with Carolina Vallejo. The piece is an attempt to revisit and remix a literary piece that gives instructions, in this case a short story by Julio Cortazar, and making it absurd by “literally” following the instructions, executing and documenting them and sharing the results with the instructables community. On top of paying homage to the author and his great short story on how to climb a staircase, our interest in this pieces was to use the existing framework of a community and remixing that framework by introducing new content, one that would also be a remix. The piece has pictures that we took with a DIY feel, our additional comments on each step and picture, and some minor changes to the original text to maintain the overall instructable language.
Here is our instructable/absurdable.
After we published our piece, it got featured by the editors, became popular soon after and got over fifty comments. The scale of the reaction and interest encouraged us to keep working on absurdables and create a series of them with works from different authors as a collaborative project, as well as for the Rhizomes assignment. Also at the beginning of the class, we handed out copies of the instructables to the class and made them work in pairs to follow the instructions step by step. This exercise, we think, was also a very exciting component of the project as it enhanced the absurdity of it.
Cereal is a two-channel video installation that was created for the Portrait of… section of ISCO. It is made of two white cereal bowls placed on the opposite ends of a black table with video projected into them. The first bowl has the video of an obsessive cereal ritual; one that involves little pieces of fruits, different kinds of nuts, different kinds of cereal and unsweetened soy milk. The second bowl has a close-up video of a mouth being fed the cereal, in an indefinite loop. One has to walk from one end to another to see the videos inside the bowls.
My intention with this pieces was to portray an obsessive character by dissecting his/her ritual into edible parts. One that involves the meticulous preparation with her hands, and the other that involves the eating/destruction of the prepared food with the mouth. To the left bowl comes the food, from the right bowl it goes. A circle, a repetition that the character will ensue/pursue every morning, every day, without exhaustion. An important component of the happiness of the character becomes a monotony to the viewer soon after she/he discovers that it tells the story of a cereal ritual.
Bowl 1 video.
Bowl 2 video.
The piece wasn’t as successful as I anticipated, because it didn’t really succeed in portraying the character very well. I thought that everyone would point out to the obsessiveness of the character at first glance, but that was a secondary reaction to the piece. It seemed like the setup was confusing to the audience and they didn’t really make much out of it at first. Only after a few minutes of discussion, some of the themes I was trying to play on were mentioned. (the obsession, the coming in & out) The biggest visual improvement I could make to the piece is masking the video so that it is round and it blends into the round surface of the bowls. Conceptually, I could add different morning rituals to the table and perhaps, remove the mouth bowl, as it seemed like it wasn’t very well connected to the piece in terms of conveying the portrait of a character.
I know you’re here. is an interactive piece created for the Exploded Comic section of ISCO. The inspiration for the piece was three sequential words: LOSE, SEARCH, FIND. It is about that one thing (such as an idea, a memory, a word) that gets lost in one’s mind and his/her struggle to find it among lots of others -relevant or irrelevant. It is an attempt to simulate the search into one’s mind, while not knowing exactly where to look at or what it is that s/he is searching for. The comic is composed of three frames of three actions:
1st frame: LOSE - Lose a white bean in a jar full of black beans.
2nd frame: SEARCH - Search for the white bean inside a black sac.
3rd frame: FIND - Find the white bean without looking inside the sac.
The project wasn’t as successful as I’d like it to be, because the interaction I tried to get from my classmates didn’t really work. The first thing people did was to dig into the black sac, that was the second frame in the comic. After that, they went back to the first frame, hesitantly opening the jar. The next two actions were then completed as I desired.
Also, the title of the piece wasn’t very well taken. The majority thought it was better to name it as I know it is here. The placement of the title above the third frame also confused people. The second time round, I’d probably place the title not on top of the table but on the wall next to the piece.
I O NY is a personal map of gratitude I have for New York City. It tells 9 little stories about altruism and goodwill that I’ve experienced this past year. These stories helped me appreciate NY more for what it is and strengthened my enthusiasm to live here, despite all that happened, for which NY owes me big time.
Please follow the stories with the key that comes with the map. The stories are marked in order of my memory.
Story 1 is about a cry from the backseat of a car that made me realize that I’d dropped my green-blue silk scarf in the middle of the street, while running around to avoid getting soaked in the middle of a summer storm.
Story 2 is about a touch that saved me from breaking my neck when I was falling from the stairs that lead to the subway station.
Story 3 is about a taxi driver who helped me carry this enormous old-school desk up to my apartment that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to carry on my own.
Story 4 is about a search for a gold ring, which my mom used to wear 30 years ago, with the help of a handful of people that stopped dancing and knelt down to look for it with their cell phones during an 8bit concert. We couldn’t find the ring.
Story 5 is about a delivery guy, who went out of his way to show me how to get to the Williamsburg Bridge, when I was completely lost, disoriented, nervous and late for a meeting. (It was my first time crossing the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan.)
Story 6 is about a compliment that gave me confidence about my new super short haircut that I had gotten after years of having long hair.
Story 7 is about an advice that an old Polish lady gave me, when she saw me painfully scratching my Long Island mosquito bites at a bus stop. She said: “Those mosquitoes always find me, too. Forget OFF! The best solution is Listerine. My husband is a gardener, and trust me, Listerine works better than anything.”
Story 8 is about a warning that woke me up from my jet-lagged nap on the 6th train, right before my stop, because the warner thought it didn’t seem like I’d be going up to the Bronx.
Story 9a, 9b and 9c is about a wallet that got lost 3 times and found its way back to my pocket with no loss or damage.
To make the long story short, I O NY; and this map is dedicated to the goodness of her.