As discussed in my previous blog, I had spent some time reflecting on my progress and testing different methods for presentation. The previous two weeks were about finalizing deliverables and presentation methods. I first finished making time lapse videos of making the ‘color’, ‘position in space’, and ‘movement’ sections for Transient Stillness in addition to the previous section on the ‘form’. I am very satisfied with the format of a video for showing the process of how each drawing and picture was created. The time-lapse technique allows me to tell a somewhat long and complicated history of making in a shortened period of time, which could be a very effective tool for communication.
In addition to this time-lapse video, I included ‘body’ pages to the ‘Transient Stillness’ book design, which are five selected drawings from each section alongside with the source picture of the sky. I photoshopped all the pictures to be black and white for the section on ‘form’ and ‘position in space’ to match the style of the drawings. And for the section on the ‘movement’, I included three screenshots from the original time-lapse videos that were used to create three divided sections for each of the images.
Similarly, for the Choreography of Light, I wanted to find a way to organize all the contents and unite the chapters in a cohesive manner. Choreography of Light started with an intention to create an open, accessible, and friendly forum to understand and analyze light around the world. More specifically, this project is focused on understanding the coexistence of natural light and artificial light. Each photo chosen for a chapter serves as a starting point to discuss important issues around the use and power of light. And through a collection of photo-analysis of different urban light conditions, the project aims to find the right amount and balance of bright and darkness needed in our cities and beyond.
Last week, I came across a literature on public narrative written by a professor. Marshall Ganz in 2008 for Harvard Kennedy School. In this article, he talks about how to effectively create a shared story through a story of self, us, and now. He states that through the story of ‘self’ and ‘us’, one can build a sense of community. Similarly, through the story of ‘us’ and ‘now’, urgency forms and ‘purpose’ arises from the story of ‘self’ and ‘now’. And I thought his logic on public narrative could be perfectly applied to the Choreography of Light.
So far, I have five chapters in total – four chapters on exploring lighting usage in a house, office, museum, and an urban night-scape, through which I discuss the problem of light pollution and the power of light in an architectural design. I also have a chapter on light and perception, questioning how different light intensities and angles could alter our vision. Light and perception shows a story of self – what has shaped ‘me’ – as it reflects one’s individual perception of their surroundings. The chapters on lighting design for a house, office, and museum form a story of us – shared values and experience – as it talks about the connection between lighting and spatial experience, shaping the community of place. The chapter on the excessive usage of artificial light in a city and the problem of light pollution is the story of now – strategy and action – as it asks for a solution to urgency. As my chapters could follow Ganz’s structure of an effective public narrative, I would like to try organizing my chapters with the same strategy by telling the story of self, us, and now.
As we are approaching the final month of the fellowship, we created a sharable remote server between my laptop and the office in Hamburg, Germany. Through the VPN connection and the Microsoft desktop software, I now have access to all the files from Germany and can easily share and save my documents on Ulrike’s computer. This remote connection allows us to work more efficiently and take advantage of our time difference by using the same computer in different time zones.
In our previous group zoom meetings between South Korea, Germany, and Mexico, we proposed that dusk and dawn periods have different colors and durations depending on the latitude and longitude. Both Ulrike and Luca shared time-lapse videos they took in their countries, and I combined them with mine to create this short video to start the comparison to test our theory. It is just a beginning to an ongoing research project, but we are already noticing apparent differences just by looking at the videos.
Before I end this blog, I wanted to share my notes from an exhibition I visited on July 25th, Watching Together hosted by Jeju Museum of Art. The presentation aimed to explore and contemplate the future of Korean art through a display of various multidimensional art. Every single artist from the show made a very careful use of light in their work, and many different light sources were installed in various colors, intensities, and scales. Although these works were very different to my projects in terms of their style and format, I found some commonalities between some of the works and my projects in the language of light. And the exhibition was very moving and inspiring.
I have just completed my last few days down at the Green Phoenix Farm, and am following though on a few last minute elements of the project that need finishing touches. In the past two weeks I have spent less time working on the murals, and much more time editing the virtual tour video. Though it is now completed, Wasatch Community Gardens has yet to post the video, because we are still evaluating the best context to show it in. The intended impact is on potential donors and volunteers who show an active interest in learning more about the farm, but there is possibility for the virtual tour to have a larger impact. Overall I am pleased with the film and feel that it depicts the lively energy of the farm as best it can. James, Julie, and Cher did a wonderful job speaking on camera, and their personalities showed through even in the shorter clips.
Over the past week many members of the team including Cher and Julie have had to miss work for personal reasons, so unfortunately only a few members of Wasatch Community Gardens have seen the final film so far. Though it was well received by them, I am still hoping to show the rest of the team at some point and see what they think. Because so much of the team was absent from the farm recently, it has been a quiet end to my time here. Though it hasn’t been the ending I expected, reflecting on the past 9 weeks I can proudly say that in collaboration with Wasatch Community Gardens, I have been able to accomplish all of the goals set out in our proposal.
Compared to when I started the fellowship, I now know so much more about what it means to make public art and work with a community to create visuals that are significant to them. The murals I have been able to do on the farm are nothing like the paintings that I make in my personal practice, but learning that those can be separate has been a positive. I have also learned so much more about planting, harvesting, and plant identification. These new skills will affect my artistic and personal growth more than I even expected initially.
Though I will still be able to occasionally go volunteer or visit the farm, my time there will be much more limited. I am still looking forward to the possibility of working on more public art on Wasatch Community Gardens’ educational campus in the future, but that wouldn’t happen until construction is finished a while from now. After having gotten to know the Green Phoenix Farm so well, I am still amazed at their impact and how many people from different areas of the city they are able to feed. I have so much admiration for the work that they do and their consistent dedication to it. I can only hope that my artistic contribution will help to better reflect their mission and personality to visitors of the farm in the future.