This week was the first of practical research and experimentation. In order to find people to collaborate with, we were asked to nominate one of five broad themes to which our individual research was most relevant. The theme I chose was ‘expressing digitality:
textuality and expression’. This theme seemed to relate strongly to my research as textuality and expression are two of the main concepts that connect everything I have done so far.
To get us started, we looked at the work of Jenny Holzer. Jenny Holzer mostly works with large scale projections in public places. Her work usually makes bold statements and has a political edge to it.
In order to recreate the work in a new way, we thought about the kinds of messages the artist usually send. She often works with bold statements that are designed to make the audience think. Messages are also often very short, which got us thinking about tweets. Jenny Holzer herself has a twitter account where she tweets many of the same messages as her projection work. I particularly found this interesting because recontextualising tweets works really well into what a lot of my research has already been about.
A hot topic at the moment has of course been Donald Trump, and particularly his twitter feed. We decide an out-of-context Trump tweet would be a good first choice in order to allow us to quickly move on to setting up the projection. The tweet we chose was “It’s freezing and snowing in New York–we need global warming!”
In the projection of the tweet, we also experimented with size and angles. Jenny Holzer’s works are usually projected extremely large scale, so we experimented with projecting the tweet extremely small. The idea of this was to engage the audience and make them feel the need to move closer. In the end we projected the tweet extremely small but “The President of the United States of America” quite large. As well as hopefully causing people to get closer, this also allowed the audience to draw conclusion before even seeing the actual text.
Angles also worked to our advantage, as the way we were projecting the text across a pole looked from a certain angle as if it said “F the United States”. This was unintended, but is something to experiment with in coming weeks.