27 01 2010

Midpoint feedback

27 01 2010

Reviewing my notes and looking over the video of my MADA midpoint review I have been able to distill the critique into several key points.

First and foremost, further refinement is needed in the audio/visual.  I was well aware of this as I had spent most of my time working on contextualizing my work but still appreciated the fact that my peers were clear on specifying what aspects of the audio/visual did not work.  A common critique was that the work was hard to tolerate and overpowering at times.  Admittedly I am a little relieved that this was the initial reaction as I intended a reaction of ‘displacement’, but I did want a sense of ‘transition’ and eventual ‘integration’ to shortly work its way into the work. Obviously the initial uncomfortable reaction I intended was inadvertently too much and is something I will have to rethink.

I am relieved that no one picked apart my contextualization of the work and the core concepts of representing the community through a narrative that starts with displacement and transitions into integration, but I need to figure out a way to visualize this. I think I have to rethink the visual themes in the work and the pace I will introduce these themes to the viewer.

Other mention was made of the ambiguity of the piece.

“Are you trying to be specific to the Philippine community or just speaking generally to displacement?”

“…I don’t know if we would specifically think of the Philippines when looking at these images”

“maybe you could use stereotypical things, but it’s hard to give examples because I don’t really know Filipino stereotypes at all…”

All very good points. I do want this piece to be about the Philippine displacement and integration story but I do feel that this narrative has common ground between many diasporas so in truth, I don’t really mind this ambiguity. I am wrestling with the idea of what images make this piece explicitly Filipino. Is there a necessity for the artist to be educational in their work? Must my images teach others what is stereotypically Filipino? What right do I have to decide what is more Filipino than something else in the selection process and hierarchy of my images? Maybe through an absence of explanation the viewer will be forced to fill in the gap and learn more about the Philippine community. I think what is needed is a more engaging narrative of images. I feel the concept of the interactive heart rate was well received but am going to put more time and effort into refining the images and audio.