Our Network project for the second half of the semester was the ‘Population Dynamics’ installation. The installation we have created is based on the marine ecosystem which we researched and mapped out during the first section of the brief.
During this project it was my role to create the overall aesthetics of the installation; to take the core concepts we were collectively running on and to accurately develop them into the images running on screen. We had also changed species to demonstrate a locally-based ecosystem (see ‘Ecology of rocky reef fish of north‐eastern New Zealand: A review’ (Jones, 2010), Marine reserves demonstrate top-down control of community structure on temperate reefs (Babcock & Shears, 2002). To effectively demonstrate this a lot of time was spent during concept stages, and pursuing different aesthetic choices. Responsibilities not only included meeting deadlines with drawings, and achieving the standard we work towards, but involving everyone in discussion on concepts and frameworks behind the installation. To offer up an insightful take on the idea of ecosystem sustainability, it was important to visually represent how we all felt about the idea, and what we were hoping to achieve with the installation. Working to attain this was what I potentially enjoyed most this time round.
Depth was critical, as achieving the level of immersion we desired, would rely heavily on creating scope and drama, drawing inspiration from interactive artists such as Sonia Falcone (Falcone, 2010). Technically we are delivering our final installation via a projector which allowed for vast rolling underwater planes as backgrounds, aesthetically similar to ‘LIMBO’ (Jensen, 2006). In contrast, after watching the ‘Growth’ (Nusz, 2012) installation at the Aotea centre, we wished to create a degree of abstract but organic feel to the creatures involved, and so opted for a more symbolic visual approach as opposed to a style grounded in realism. The movement of the creatures would be the final, and potentially most important method of identifying the individual creatures, and were created individually ranging from the flocking motion of the ‘Snapper’, to the wave movement patterns of the ‘Rays’. Balance and oscillation were words often used when creating the installation and were equally as important during the design process.
The program has opened my personal creative practise to another avenue in interactive installations. I had dabbled in the installation medium before in an earlier project (‘Star Trak’) but had never gone as deep into the field as i was forced to with this brief. Also it is good to see projects such as the ‘V Motion Campaign’ (Fahy, 2012) bring installation art into the public eye. It is a medium I would definitely be interested in working in again, due to the large scale of the projects, and the level of immersion required to really pull it off.
In reflection, the installation I believe is a functional, enlightening and entertaining way to deliver a vastly important message to a wide audience. This essentially is what we were hoping to deliver from square one. It incorporates strong components from several different parties within the group and encompassed what I believe to be the essence of our interdisciplinary degree structure.
Babcock, R., & Shears, N. (2002). Marine reserves demonstrate top-down control of community structure on temperate reefs . (Master's thesis), Available from SpringerLink. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com/content/pd7t69mqean6tmh6/
Fahy, B. (2012, June 1). Going through the motions: V and colenso harness human energy for hi-tech musical project. Retrieved from http://www.stoppress.co.nz/news/2012/06/going-through-the-motions-v-and-colenso-harness-human-energy-for-hi-tech-musical-project/
Falcone, S. (2010, September 14).http://www.soniafalcone.net/. Retrieved from http://www.soniafalcone.net/
Jensen, A. (2006). Limbo.org. Retrieved from http://limbogame.org/
Jones, G. (2010). Ecology of rocky reef fish of north-eastern new zealand: a review. Informally published manuscript, Zoology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00288330.1988.9516315
Nusz, J. (2006). Growth. Retrieved from http://www.the-edge.co.nz/growth.aspx