This project lasted only a few days and required us to create either a still or moving image/video to be presented at the club Patterns in Brighton on Thursday 15th March 2018. We were briefed on all sorts of different approaches that we could take but the end result was always pretty open to what the final thing could be. I was a part of a workshop called ‘the semiotics of ambiguity’ which involved analysing and breaking down images and exploring their potential meaning. I took this as an opportunity to embrace a self developed interest and hobby.
I do this special thing where I browse mannequin listings on eBay, largely the ‘used’ and ‘pre-owned’ on auction. I quickly became obsessed with the images the sellers uploaded. I see them as art pieces in themselves, they often consist of the mannequins composed in either houses or gardens, taken at strange angles, often deconstructed and with special emphasis placed on the damaged areas. I am also fascinated with the idea of a cheap plastic imitation of what is seen to be the most precious and complex form on the planet. They are the least precious version of the human form. Their existence could be seen as perhaps one of the most narcissistic acts of the human species; to create millions of models of themselves. As if overpopulation is a problem.. I imagine a massive human jelly mould in which these bodies are birthed; the mother mould.
I took these notions and collated an archive of eBay mannequin imagery to work with. I then used these to create a gif of over 70 images.
I then took some scans from a recent sketchbook and created this gif:
I then played around on Adobe Aftereffects, overlaying and keying out the white of the mannequin gif to create this:
I thought about how it needed something more, and so I used my all time favourite image I’ve ever come across on a mannequin eBay listing and pieced it back together as a full body before making it articulate:
I added it into the file I was working on in Aftereffects, experimenting with the special effects to distort and make it move more. I also added this free associative gif of text to overlay:
I then slapped it all together to create the final thing. After searching for appropriate music to match the mixed rhythms of the piece. I then thought of a song which my friend had made quite a while ago. I thought it fitted perfectly.
Happy with my final piece I submitted it. It was shown in the club Patterns but the audio was the club’s music and human sounds.
Click the link bellow to watch a recording: