26 October 2020 – 8 November 2020
Working on a digitally drawn animation experiment
The inspiration for this animation came from my recent research and was greatly inspired by investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr and her TED Talk titled ‘Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy‘. Her investigation unveiled how Facebook as a platform was very involved in spreading false information and influencing voters through illegal ads being targeted at certain demographics during the Brexit referendum. Cadwalladr’s accusations of crimes committed instantly gave me an idea of visualising getting rid of evidence and I decided to express this idea through showing a bias ‘orange’ facebook timeline being destroyed in a shredder. The idea of the orange timeline links back to my previous couple of weeks of work were I used the idea of the colour blue and orange as opposing bias sides shown through social media algorithms. Cadwalladr had pointed out how ‘convenient’ it is that these social media timelines disappear and facebook doesn’t share information about who has seen what meaning the timelines are temporary but it’s important to point out that the ideas and views these ads and posts expressed don’t disappear instead they stay rooted in their audience.
This is the first time I have ever done anything like this and I thought it’d be quite challenging and fun to try something new. I had to combine a few different techniques to make this short animation and I realise it is very basic and there’s a lot of room for improvement but right now I’m focusing on creating multiple varying experiments across different platforms and using different tools to explore my concept. I think that by creating these small experiments I will later be able to pick apart what I believed to be successful visually, which programs I liked to work with most and what techniques I need to improve before creating larger scaled work.
I felt that the animation I was making reminded me of David Shigley’s style in his drawings, illustrations and paintings.
Darren Cullen is an artist who also uses hand drawn techniques to portray concepts and opinions most often about politics, advertisement and marketing.
After the group tutorial I really need to focus on experiments and creating a lot for the next 2 weeks so that I have a good amount of work before I can narrow down and move forward with more focused research.
Recently I have found it quite difficult to get any work done and to stay motivated and creative. Spending time in my house all the time makes it difficult for me to manage time properly and I’m missing the studio environment where every idea would be a discussion with other people and I always felt other peoples comments and opinions motivated me to create more so being at home by myself makes it a lot harder to feel positive about any ideas and I feel blocked when it comes to creating as I don’t think I have a great knowledge of the programs I think I have a wide range of experience at trying many different platforms and programs but I don’t feel very confident I can create complex things in them without any help. I think this is stopping me from dwelling into complete ideas and designs but it’s probably okay to start with simple things as long as I’m making something and moving forward which is why I will try to start creating in processing even if it means going back to basics.
I started with a blank canvas and just started typing out code in a very simple way to try and portray my idea. I have a studio support session with Jen tomorrow so I’m sure if I try my best with what I know she’ll be able to lead me in the right direction if I’m focusing on the wrong type of code.
I started by creating two rectangles and filling them in with red and blue, I them made it so that the Y axis is moved by the mouse giving the impression of ‘scrolling’. I think the next step would be to map the mouse so that it can only affect the rectangle it is currently on but I want to create a simplistic/minimalistic timeline as the visual in photoshop, I think I’ll make this cleaner, neater and simple than the one I made for the short shredding animation. I think the choice of colour is decently influenced by todays US election, I’m still debating on which colour to use for the timeline visuals.
I kept coming back to the idea of viewing two opposing timelines simultaneously and I wanted to visually portray this in processing. I used orange and blue since those are the colours I’ve been using recently in other work to portray my idea.
After my studio support with Jen she gave me a processing example, ‘rollovers’ by Dan Shiffman on learning processing, to use so that only one timeline would be scrolling at a time. I have some problems because the sketch is quite jumpy and glitchy so that when you move the mouse to the other side of the screen the previous side glitches back to its original position. I tried to fix it but I wasn’t sure how and my improvisation didn’t work so for now I left it as is because I wanted to move on and start working on a new sketch.
I think it’s important to point out that I’m still exploring a very black and white , 50/50 kind of idea in my concept which many people argue isn’t actually how everything really is because there’s always a very large grey area, however looking at elections like the results in Poland and now the US I think it is a very current and interesting way to keep developing my work with these kinds of restrictions.