2 07 2010

PLEASE PRINT FOR ACCESS TO PRIVATE VIEW ON JULY 13, 2010. (This image links to more info)


Final Adjustments on Showbuild: Curatorial Notes

2 07 2010

As expected, these last few days of the showbuild have been insanely busy. I am very happy with how the installation is coming along in regards to the space and some of the working elements of the installation (the interactivity, sound from the speaker/suitcase/overall look of the piece). The space works on many levels and I feel the positioning of the installation works well with the other exhibits around it.

As the project has also been the first installation I have created there have been several variables that I didn’t account for and wished I had more time to sort out. One such variable is the technology of the screen and projector. Throughout this unit I spent time on figuring out the details of programming, video compression and creating a moving image. That said, in future projects I intend to allot a certain amount of time working in the location.

Due to the time constraints of the show build there were a few variables I could not account for. My plan for a floating screen was tested with premium ink-jet glossy paper mounted on an acrylic sheet at my house (in the evening with the lights on). The projected image was viewable from both sides of the screen. Consequently,  I was devastated to find out today that the location of the installation has too much ambient light for the image to project through! I have opted instead to use a mosquito net mounted on the acrylic screen. The net is viewable from both sides, but loses colour and brightness. Also there was some damage to the screen from removing the paper I had previously mounted. I am quite disappointed by this as I won’t have time to replace in time for next week.

Furthermore, by spending more time ‘on location’, I found that the projector was best suited behind the screen as it allowed more space for the viewers to see the installation. The pitfall of this was that this position, combine for a more transparent net material, caused a slight glare from the projector beam!

I have also decided to take out the second video as the sensitivity caused by the ambient sound in the open space was causing to much of an oscillation between the videos (even with the auto-calibration). Instead, I have placed the text of the saying directly on the screen in the form of printed type. I much prefer this as I found the 2 videos to be quite dizzying at times to look at.

Another final adjustment I have made to the installation while on location was to pass on painting the zebra crossing stripes on the floor. After an impromptu chat with Andy, I confirmed my hesitation that it might be bit redundant. As this is my first installation I realize some of my aesthetic intentions to go big might be due to insecurity. As with the creation of the video component of this installation (also a new undertaking) I have found that simplifying the elements allows for a clarity in message.

Despite these unforeseen challenges and frustrations, I am quite satisfied overall with everything. The installation works. It is interactive, the heartbeat sound is quite profound when coming from the suitcase and I have already received great feedback on the look of the screen despite it’s imperfections.

Overall it has been more about the process and the things I have learned to get here. Although I wish I could have a few more weeks to perfect the installation I have to remind myself of how much I have changed as an artist from a year ago. In this year I have gone from creating static digital-montage prints to interactive moving image installations!

“It’s good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” -Ursula K. LeGuin

Unit 2 Assessment

2 07 2010

1. Realise the Project Proposal and prepare towards final exhibition.

The realization of this MA project was made possible by an evolving project proposal ( that guided the development of my creative practice over the last 10 months. In summary, this has meant a thorough theoretical contextualization in Unit 1 and an intense practice-based action research in Unit 2.

At the end of this MA, I will have achieved the aims and objectives set by this proposal through: a) a portfolio of theoretical and practical research (please see Point 2 of this assessment) and b) the completion of the proposed installation.

The Installation:

Entitled Tahanan (‘Home’ in Tagalog), the proposed installation references concepts of movement, displacement and integration.

“The installation will be comprised of a suitcase and a floating screen. Interactive moving-images/films will be projected on the screen…”

(Please link here to read more of the physical elements of the installation:

“The conceptual elements of this installation are centered around themes that digitally express transnational realities of the Philippine-London diaspora. These themes are evident when describing several key elements of the installation…”

(Please link here for more information about the conceptual elements of the installation:

In the final days of this project, I found that some minor adjustments had to be made to my initial plans. Working on location presented itself with some unforeseen complications.

(Please link here for more information about the final adjusments during showbuild:

2. Present a resolved body of creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge and understanding.

Through the course of this project, both the proposal and the final outcome have evolved and developed considerably. The changes and enhancements made in this unit reflect a creative development guided by the two initial aims of this project and has resulted in a development that has exceeded my expectations for this MA.

The first aim of this project was to better understand the ways in which the migration, immigration and movement of transnational communities are visually represented on London’s urban landscape. In particular, I focused on the Philippine diaspora.

In lieu of this aim, I interviewed members of the Philippine diaspora; I read texts by transnational and cultural theorists who have specialized in Philippine identity as well as selected texts by national icon Jose Rizal. Furthermore, I reflected on my own views/biases of Philippine identity.

Below are links to the aforementioned research throughout Unit 2:

a. Community exploration into Philippine identity:

b. Interview with Benito Vergara, American cultural theorist who has focused on the Philippine diaspora and analyzes the population’s movement with a ‘post-Marxist’ lens in his recent text Pinoy Capital:

c. Post-colonial theorist Benedict Anderson writes about the Philippine identity in relation to texts by national hero, Jose Rizal:

d. is a text that holds a collection of academic articles that discuss nationalism, identity and the Asian diasopora in the context of digital culture:

e. Writings from Jose Rizal:

f. Self-reflection on my Philippine identity inregards to this project:

The second aim of this project was to locate points of connection between digital art and the phenomenon of global diaspora. Specifically I wanted to better connect my digital art practice and interest in new media to my own research interests in transnationalism.

Critical to achieving this aim was my involvement with open source communities/projects. The theoretical groundwork that I established in the first unit revealed a need for connections between transnational and digital art. Through the discovery of ASEUM (Asia-Europe New Media Symposium), I found that digital art could serve as both a vehicle for expression and collaboration among communities on the periphery of a hegemonic art establishment. In ASEUM, digital artists from the Philippines and Slovenia were exchanging ideas and collaborating in projects around themes of open source programming.

In Unit 2, I have deepened my knowledge of post-colonial/transnational theory and have started to forge theoretical bridges between the collaboration in digital communities with global migration and diaspora identity. I have found that the Web 2.0 ethos of open sharing is applicable to both digital and transnational agendas. The concepts of hybridity and authenticity, complexity and borderless transnationalism found in diaspora studies can be paralleled with the non-proprietary open sharing and interoperability found in digital culture.

As a result I have studied open source digital art projects and artists and have developed skills in Arduino, Processing and Pure Data. Furthermore, I have acquired new knowledge in both moving image and interactivity.

Below are links to the aforementioned research throughout Unit 2:

a. At the Victoria & Albert Museum I linked the theory of digital and transnational art in a post-graduate seminar with faculty of the Transnational Art Identity & Nation Research Centre (TrAIN) as well as a members of the TraIN MA and PhD cohort:

b. Key experiments/research into open source projects and programming:

c. Key experiments/research into moving image:

d. Key experiments/research into interactivity:‘plan-b’/

3. Analyse and reflect coherently upon your own practice and others through your presentation at the programmed symposium forming a synthesis of your practice-based research.

My analysis and reflection of my practice and of my colleagues was clearly seen in my participation in the Unit 2 Symposium. The symposium required that I present my project progression and showcase a sample of its most finished state. The challenge of summarizing the project into a five-minute presentation required the effective and coherent communication of a vast amount of work/development within a very small amount of time. In the creation of this symposium presentation, I prepared several key elements:

The symposium speech:

A sample of nearly finished work:

A video presentation, representing a change in plans whereby I decided to play this video instead of making a speech in lieu of the online cohort:

Summary of peer feedback:

4. Summarise your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing Personal and Professional Development.

The Unit 2 Essay represents a written synthesis of the MA project and evaluates the success of the project in relation to the project proposal. Please link here for the essay/progress summary of the project:

A plan for continuing my personal and professional development can be found in the last section of this essay. I have included key excerpts of this section for assessment purposes.

“My intentions to further professionalize and enhance my art practice as a researcher in London are being realized. I have successfully completed a PhD project proposal/application that will potentially allow me to continue the work I have accomplished in this MA. I have been awarded a doctoral offer to study at both Goldsmiths College (Arts & Computational Technology) and at Camberwell College of Art (TrAIN Research Centre). The opportunity to study at one of these institutions will allow for me to deepen my knowledge of the connections between digital and transnational art and to further exhibit my work in London.”

“I wish to use this opportunity to further my study into HRMIs as well as to expand my practice to incorporate mobile technologies. I also look forward to the possibility of deepening my knowledge in Arduino technology and the interactivity it can provide. Integral to this work is my continued research into open source communities and projects while locating ways in which my digital practice can better represent transnational realities.”

“I have deepened and broadened the professional contacts that I established in Unit 1. Correspondence with Honor Beddard (Victoria & Albert Museum curator of the Digital Pioneers Exhibit) has given me insight into the history of digital art within an Asian context and has lead to my membership with the Computer Arts Society. Consequently I have responded to a call for papers from the 2010 Computers and the History of Art (CHArt) Conference titled ‘Technology and the death of Art History’. Other future developments include an Autumn 2010 group show with four other London-based identity artists around the theme of cultural authenticity.”

Overall, I am very satisfied with the future developments this MA has afforded me and as such I have found these last five months of intensive work invaluable to my art practice. I wish to thank my dynamic and inspiring colleagues in both the digital art and transnational art MA courses at the Camberwell College of Art who are pushing the boundaries of their practice and have encouraged me to do the same in mine.  I also wish to give special thanks to my supervisors Andrew Stiff, Michael Asbury and Jonathan Kearney who have offered excellent guidance and feedback throughout the course.