3.53. Artist: Bálint Boloygó

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1. SkyLoupe, lumino-kinetic installation, London, 2017
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2. Mappings II, sculptural installation, British Library, 2017
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3. Trace II, sculptural device, British Library, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! Today’s post is about an artist I was introduced to out of the blue, and after researching his work I wished I’d encountered him sooner! This post serves to outline Bálint Boloygó’s practice, discuss how it relates to mine, and evaluate its influence on my ideas.

Even upon first glance of Boloygó’s work, you can see it exists in the intersection between art, science, and engineering. Many of the pieces are intricate machines that carry out an ongoing process that unfolds in front of the viewer. For example, SkyLoupe (fig.1) involves a series of objects that interact with the beam of a laser, creating shimmering, ephemeral patterns of multicoloured light. Mappings II (fig.2) involves a rotating globe, onto which a pencil, which is driven by swinging pendulums, draws a pattern. Lastly, in Trace II (fig.3), a machine measures the undulations of a cast of a human face, and translates them into a topographical diagram, resulting in warped representations of the face.

Boloygó’s work involves motion, which in the Autumn term was one of the central motifs of my practice. He also expresses motion in a similar way; via constant, self-sufficient processes. I’ve noticed a particular similarity between SkyLoupe and my piece Wandering Star (which you can read about in 3.30), because they are both processes that explore the interaction between light and physical objects. While I used a projected animation and a rotating sheet of perspex, Boloygó uses lasers and slow-moving lenses to create more transient light patterns. This is an interesting take on this interaction idea, because it creates patterns that are harder to predict, and therefore perhaps more unique.

I would love to revisit this idea of the interaction between light and objects, and I feel Boloygó’s work would have been valuable to me back in Autumn. However, now my practice has moved on to different themes and mediums, so Boloygó’s work is less relevant to me at the present moment. This isn’t to say Boloygó’s work isn’t informative: I am still very much interested in art of this type, and perhaps as my current practice progresses his work will become a relevant source of inspiration.

Thanks for reading!

 

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3.52. Authenticity

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1. The film begins with TV static, as if it were ongoing, and the viewer tunes in halfway through. This makes it a fragment of a longer video.
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2. I was interested by the idea of fragments, and I feel windows are a perfect symbol because you only see a fragment of a larger view through them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Windows are also symbolic because they represent a barrier between you and the view, which is like the barrier between us and the real.
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4. I found this image of fire interesting because of what fire is. It’s not an object as such, merely the release of chemical energy: can we say fire is ‘real’?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5. I wanted to keep with the fragment theme, and I used a mug handle to produce a ‘fragmented’ view of these flowers.
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6. This fragmented view of a book represents how far removed we are from an author’s intentions when we read: all we experience are black symbols on a page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7. The final scene of the video, continuing the fragmented view of reality.

Welcome to 3.52, where I talk about my latest art film experiment: Authenticity. This video is 2 minutes 29 seconds long and consists of random, time-lapsed scenes, and a soundtrack of two people having a philosophical conversation. This post serves to outline the ideas and questions behind this piece, how they relate to the execution of it, and discuss the feedback I received for it.

In my last video experiment (called How Many Removes? You can read about this in 3.51), I opened up a more overtly philosophical discussion than previous works this year. All my works this year have touched on this concept called the ‘real,’ but now I’m exploring this idea in more detail, which I feel is opening up an interesting narrative for my practice. I felt that it was setting up a conversation about these ideas, leading to the idea that an actual conversation might be an effective way to explore this narrative in detail. There is also something about casual speech which intrigues me: it can be an effective way to build tension, or to create a certain atmosphere, or to subtly allude to something. Filmmakers use dialogue in a variety of ways; Quentin Tarantino’s use of dialogue in particular really adds value to all of his films.

In Tarantino’s 1994 classic Pulp Fiction, there are frequent scenes of fairly banal dialogue, like this one, interspersed with intense action and drama. The relatively inconsequential conversations create an interesting contrast with the violence, and both elements seem to be intensified by the other. Calm conversations in the context of this film have a peculiarly tranquil, yet tense, atmosphere that I find really effective artistically, so I want to explore how conversation can be applied to my own film work. The soundtrack of Authenticity is a conversation I had with my girlfriend about the very thing we were doing: attempting to replicate a ‘real,’ natural conversation for a thing that wasn’t real: a film. It was an odd exercise and the conversation acknowledged this, bringing up ideas of representation, the real, and we even ended up naming the film by discussing the idea of authenticity, and how an artwork can be authentic.

The visual elements of the film were largely taken from last week’s film, and here they serve a symbolic purpose: all of them represent a kind of fragment or remove from authenticity. For example, two of them involve an impressive skyscape that is clearly from a window, showing a remove from the skyscape itself. It almost invites the viewer to say, ‘why wouldn’t you go outside to enjoy the sunset? Wouldn’t that be a more authentic experience?’ However, isn’t the most authentic view of the sunset from up a mountain? Or from the international space station? This film deals with the question of what authenticity is, how absurd the notion is, and whether it is possible to be truly authentic, and the imagery is a symbolic extension of this.

So, how effective is the outcome? Well, from my point of view the film is interesting in terms of the philosophical questions it raises, and the introduction of dialogue to my film work. However, I wonder if the realisation of it is a little thin. Perhaps there is opportunity to give the piece more depth by presenting it in an installation format, like I did with The Hyperreal (you can read about this in 3.49). Upon presenting this film to my tutor, I was encouraged to think about the self-aware nature of the film, and to research the concept of breaking the fourth wall. I was recommended a program called Fleabag, in which the main character not only breaks the fourth wall, but other characters seem to be aware of her doing it, so it’s kind of doubly self-aware. Perhaps the next step for me is to create a film that breaks the fourth wall, and to see how effective it is in terms of my practice.

Thank you for reading!

 

3.51. Video Experimentation: How Many Removes?

Following the Week 8 exhibition, and after creating a video documenting a public performance event some of my fellow art students organised, I had learned more about camera techniques. I began experimenting further with these techniques in week 9 in the creation of a new video, and after studying philosophical concepts in other modules I applied these to the creation of my video. This post serves to document the process of creating the film and discuss where to go next.

The feedback I received: Have split screens for the shots, have the definition spoken but not with my voice, with an electronic voice, make them incidental moments in time. 

 

 

 

3.50. Public Performance Event

I recently took part in the documentation of a public performance organised by a few of my student peers. This was a valuable chance to practice some new filming and editing techniques, which has been invaluable for my practice. This post serves to document the event, how I shot my footage, how I edited this into a video, and how it has informed my practice.

3.49. The Hyperreal: Feedback and Edit

When I received feedback for my exhibition piece “The Hyperreal,” I set the piece up again but in a slightly different way. This post serves to document the feedback I got, the changes I made, and the result of those changes.

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When I first set up the piece for the exhibition, I did not get any immediate feedback.

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3.46. Exhibition Week 8 Final Prep

This post serves to document the preparation and troubleshooting process before the exhibition in Week 8. This involved assessing the available space and working out where to go and how to respond to it.

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This is the floor plan, which is used to share the space out between everyone.
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This is a bird’s eye view of the AV room, which is one of my favourite spaces in the studio.

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I had presented my work in the AV room before (Nuclei, for example) and I found its clean, minimalist aesthetic a perfect space to complement my artwork. Whilst I find the studio much more spacious and vibrant, it is also rather cluttered, which would not suit my art’s aesthetic. Also, since it was video work

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3.44. Experimenting with Special Effects

After the feedback I received for “Simulacra,” I wanted to explore more ways I could create films that trouble reality. This post aims to document some of the experimentation I’ve been doing in response, and evaluate its artistic potential.

My experimentation began with the idea of glitches. “Simulacra” featured a scene in which a person realises their world is within a computer, which relates to the film The Matrix because it discusses the possibility that our universe is a computer simulation. If it is, then surely it is liable to glitches, just as it is in The Matrix. Could I incorporate simulation glitches into real-life footage?

I searched ‘computer glitch’ on Google and have made a mood board out of some of the results.

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From this, I used PowerPoint to create some animations inspired by computer glitches. I used PowerPoint regularly last term to create animations, so I feel comfortable and experienced with the program. I did not intend this animation to be a finished art piece in itself. Instead, I used it as practice for presenting the glitch idea in an artistic format, with the possibility of it being incorporated into my film work.

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I converted the animation to a video format using iMovie, and this is the result:

Once this was complete, I had the idea of incorporating it into some leftover footage from  “Simulacra,” to see how it works with real-life video.

Does this have artistic potential?

 

 

 

 

3.42. Simulacra

Simulacra is a short film I made. It is centred around a character, played by myself, who is presented in a way that challenges the nature of reality. This post serves to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the outcome, discuss ways I could present it in an artistic context, and evaluate my feedback.

This film represents a significant change in medium and ideas for me. Last term, I focused on the relationship between light and physical objects via 3-dimensional installation. My film “Aberration” was inspired in part by those same ideas, but simultaneously took those ideas towards the medium of film.

Overall, I am very pleased with the result. I put a lot of thought into this film; only choosing methods and content that went with the theme of simulation. I believe this shows in the final result, with every scene in some way troubling the nature of reality. In my view, the strongest scene is at 1:09, in which The Matrix plays on the laptop and my face is reflected in the small mirror. I believe the film choice and the composition work well together because The Matrix is about simulation; and the image of my face is simulated. The viewer only sees a reflection of my face, and that reflection is shown via video, so the viewer is always at least two removes away from reality. I believe the least strong element is the scene at 0:12, which begins with a view of my desk. The camera then pans away to reveal that this view was from a mirror, and then reveals the real desk.