Digital Media Studio Project Group of
Environment in (E)motion
This project is grouped around the concept of “Recovery”. From the imperfect sculptures sitting in an art college hall to the tired busy human living in the modern society, everyone needs a break time to getting recovery treated. No matter jellyfish or pillow, we aim to communicate the feeling of recovery in many aspects to every person occasionally walk in our space. As the designers of a site-specific project, the purpose of us is to rebuild an augmented environment, which can smoothly impact the emotion of visitors’. Based on a huge and open space, our project is planned to integrate the sculpture court of Edinburgh College of Art with visitors by using digital media technology, projection mapping show and installations. The visitors are supposed to update their knowledge of this site while waving their emotions with our event step-by-step. Not only immersing in our magic rebuild environment, the visitors will also be engaged and interact with the environment.
The most significant elements in the site are the sculptures. This collection is the second oldest educational cast collection in the UK (Smith, 2012). Since the 1900s, these casts from greek mythologies have seen the changes of the Edinburgh College of Art peacefully for an at least 100 years period. Almost all of them have imperfect bodies. From the rifts led by remodelling to the missing during multiple migrates, some parts of these master piece will never be clearly seen by us. The most famous one of them is the Winged Victory of Samothrace (056).
This fantastic cast was made by the Louvre workshops (‘Musee du Louvre 7034’), Paris after 1879. The original Greek marble was found in the sea off the Island of Samothrace, Greece in 1863 by Charles Champoiseau, an archaeologist and French Consul in Turkey. It was headless and wingless but the wings were in 1879 and this enabled a partial restoration. It has been on display in the Louvre Museum since 1884. A plaster cast was placed where the marble was thought to have stood originally.
The original marble stood on a stone replica of a giant ship’s prow: possibly this had a pool of water beneath it so that when the wind ruffled the surface of the water the light flickered evocatively across the figure to suggest movement, she leans forward, her wings and drapery forced backwards by the pressure of the wind. The intensely dramatic pose and interaction with it’s surrounding space is typical of the Hellenistic phase of Greek sculpture. Possibly Victory was intended to commemorate the victory at sea of Antigonous II Gnats over Ptolemy II of Egypt in 255BC.
Not only the goddess experiencing hundred years of misery, but also the modern people need recovery. We are surrounded by digital gadgets and technology in our daily life. Since the information explosion (Hilbert, 2015) and the rapid development of mobile internet, people are even deeper immersed in the ocean of information with anxiety. Basically these technologies are able to speed our busy lives up, however we are thinking about use them in an opposite way. What if the technologies are used to slow your path down? Is a reorganised environment, different from the ones we inhabit, able to help people reconsider the way they interact with the environment? And during the awhile of stop, people can absent themselves away from the familiar environment and stressful destination, leaving with a refreshed mind. The visitors recover to an original version in many aspects, such as the origin area of human beings and the pure mood as infants, and get a recovery from the environment. This is literally what we expect in our project.
Considering the intentions above, we site-specifically developed our original idea to a relatively complete event as the presentation. In this event, the sculpture court will be changed into a vast ocean with a beach. The Winged Victory of Samothrace (056) will be recovered to where she was found by restore a similar but more abstract environment around, created by projection mapping. At the same time, specific graph and animation will be applied to present the theme of recovery. Following this, there will be an interactive wall for the visitors to obtain an interesting theme-relative interactive experience. By exploring within the ocean environment we build, visitors are supposed to update their knowledge of this site while waving their emotions with our event step-by-step, leaving with a feeling of recovery. The abstract concept “recovery” will be visualised by the representation elements we use.
The ocean is an important element in our project. For the main sculpture, the Winged Victory of Samothrace (056), the ocean is her hometown. From another aspect, water is the most important element for all lives and the most effective treat for patients in the traditional theory of Chinese culture (Schwartz, 1985). As the founder of Taoism, Laozi praises highly the characteristic of water that it well benefits ten thousand things without any strife, resides where most people hate to be (Laozi. and Red Pine, 1996). Visitors will obtain synaesthesia while immersing in the suppositional ocean.
Another issue we need to deal with is by using what approach we can visualise the procession of recovery. Facing the incomplete bodies of the traditional Greek sculptures, many people tend to repair and complete them by adding the parts they lost on to show recovery. However in our minds, the permanent broken of the imperfect sculptures are as normal and true as ourselves. Roughly patch them up are never able to make them as perfect as they were, although no part is missing. As a result, we decided to endow the sculptures energy of life by projection mapping. A series of dynamic graphs and animations such as flowing blood, twinkling eyes, beating heart and Mandala (Wikipedia, 2016).
To sum up, we will focus on the concept of recovery, delivering a solicitude over the sculptures and the visitors. The sensorial game, projection mapping and limited entitative setting will be engaged. By having a few minutes’ stop and interact, the visitors will get recovery by having synaesthesia with the sculptures and the environment.
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Cast Contemporaries: Artists respond to the completion of the Cast Collection Project at Edinburgh College of Art. (2012). Arts and Social Sciences Academic press.
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Hillbert, M. (2016). DT&SC 4-4: Global Information Explosion. [online] YouTube. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-AqzPe_gNs&list=PLtjBSCvWCU3rNm46D3R85efM0hrzjuAIg [Accessed 14 Feb. 2016].
Schwartz, B. (1985). The world of thought in ancient China. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Laozi., and Red Pine, (1996). Lao-tzu’s Taoteching. San Francisco, Calif.: Mercury House.
Wikipedia, (2016). Mandala. [online] Available at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala [Accessed 14 Feb. 2016].