6th December 2019 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How my artefact has been informed and produced ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This report is intended to illustrate the practice adopted in the making of my film titled The Consequences of Human Behaviour. The task given to us at the beginning of the lens-based media section within this unit was to produce an artefact that would explore themes around ‘the city’, ‘the body’ and ‘identity’, having the ‘environment’ as a category of enquiry. With this record of my piece I aim to give a self-evaluative account of how I have developed my technical and creative skills, and how I have gone about making choices based on some theoretical frameworks which have informed my work. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In the recent times, there has been an increase in the urgency to address climate change issues through activism. With activist parties such as Extinction Rebellion and figures like Greta Thunberg, more people are starting to get involved in the ongoing fight to save the planet and our futures. In the process of making this film, I saw the chance to convey a message in the hope that the viewers would leave the exhibition having felt something gut-wrenching. The final goal I would like to achieve is that to physically embed those sensations I felt whilst filming into the audience who will be able to watch it. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Consequences of Human Behaviour is a 9-minute long film shot on a GoPro camera about a walk from Peckham to Soho. I have used psychogeography to show how I have taken in the environment that surrounded me on this specific journey. According to French philosopher Guy Debord, psychogeography is “the point at which psychology and geography collide” (Debord in Coverley, 2006: 11). My interest in this philosophical branch arose in week 5, whilst discussing concepts around the notion of materiality and that of psychogeography in film. Having the latter as my theoretical framework, I believed I could combine it with my set category of enquiry, therefore creating a discourse capable of tackling the experiences of our bodies in the city, and how they affect the world we live in. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As I have mentioned before, my intent was that to leave the viewer with a ‘gut-wrenching’ feeling. If we want people to make a change, we must provoke a response in them; strong activist movements are not born from passive groups of individuals. How could I talk about my experience in the city and ask for climate intervention at the same time? I decided I wanted to look into ‘synesthesia’, that is a phenomenon in which “one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway” (‘Synesthesia’, 2019). Personally, I have often felt a strong link between what my eyes can see and how that can lead to hearing sound that is not necessarily there. As a matter of fact, psychogeography allowed me to imagine music based on my surroundings. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I believe that music can really impact how people act. I wanted to reinforce the need to address the climate crisis by making an electronic music mix that could raise a sense of panic and confusion in the viewer, in the same way that a footage of a climate catastrophe could. The soundtrack begins with the 1975’s opening track to their new EP in which a mash up of speeches made by Greta Thunberg makes up the whole song (McAleese, 2019, 6:05). From there, I began to mix in tracks that would become increasingly intense and higher in beats-per-minute, causing once again this sense of chaos. It is worth underlying the lyrics in the last track: “I’m a human being, my life has values!” (KAS:ST, 2019). With this latter, my choice was influenced by the need to question what we really value as individuals. Do we really care about the world we live in? To me, it was a good ending track that helped contribute to the whole nonsense caused by the combination of visuals and sound. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Speaking of the medium itself, I must argue that the process was a complex one; I started with one idea, then moved onto another, as I was not sure what my main focus was. Thankfully, I managed to keep a sketchbook on which I would gradually record my progress and the changes I wanted to make to my film. It is an approach I had never encountered before in my academic years and I must say that it did prove itself useful in documenting the work and organising it simply; it made the editing process on Premiere Pro much easier and as a consequence I have felt more confident in using the software. Regarding its display, I have chosen to have a screen at eye height with a pair of headphones attached so that the viewers could immerse themselves into the walk and linger for a while. Finally, speaking of its dissemination, I believe this film could work at its best efficiency in an urban environment where it is accessible to a varied audience that walks, and perhaps nearby a bus stop or an ATM. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Lastly, I would like to dwell on the comprehensive meaning and production of the piece. In terms of visuals, I have chosen to start my journey from Peckham and end it in Soho – ‘from quiet to busy’ – to focus on the environment. Throughout the film, it can be noticed how the imagery itself becomes more intense in the same way the music does. Furthermore, I have edited the film so that the clips would be speeded up gradually, creating a disturbing shaky effect. The stylistic choice I have made at the end of the film is also key to the understanding of the overarching message of the piece. Following the last image of the digital billboard at Piccadilly Circus, I have inserted three videos which to me symbolise the consequences of human behaviour: a rave scene, a rotating planet, and a scene of a boy moving bits of plastic that seems to be covering the whole background. Not being able to solve the climate crisis, the rave scene represents how we often try to run away from our problems (I personally look at raves as my way to escape); the planet followed by the scene with the boy is meant to provide the audience with something to reflect upon, showing that the problem of overpopulation is an environmental threat we should take into account. We always want more than we need and destroy what we should preserve.
'THE CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR' ⎮ a conceptual film
Practice-based element, Critical Practitioner unit', BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures (Year III) made by UAL student Iman Cavargna-Sani.
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