Zeitgeist

 

Ideas    |    Choice   |    Processes   |    Practitioners   |    Documentation   |    Evaluation

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Browsing for ideas

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For this project we are to create our own response to the Zeitgeist Brief. To first truly understand this, I needed to refresh my memory of what ‘zeitgeist’ meant:

zeitgeist
[in singular] The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time:
the story captured the zeitgeist of the late 1960s

This project is therefore about how we perceive our own current Zeitgeist and what we feel are important factors in it.

I watched the following three documentaries to see if they would spark any initial ideas for this project:

Zeitgeist: The Movie – 2007

Zeitgeist: Addendum – 2008

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward – 2011


These were all highly informative and quite mind blowing to watch. However inspiring, the most recent documentary is 5 years old (the oldest nearly 10) and I wanted to explore some more current trains of thought. I would like to maybe encompass some of the ideas spoken about in these documentaries, but I feel much more research on the current zeitgeist will be best to first pursue.


When searching to build ideas for my own response, I looked at things in the news such as the recent Paris attacks, water tracks on mars, Syrian refugees, the Trump / Clinton – US Presidential campaign, Brazilian olympics, War on Terror, Gender trends and new technologies such as the iPhone 7 and self driving cars.

Other places I gathered information for ideas came from: Flux Trends. This website gave an interesting list of different trends that have befallen 2016, these were:

  • The impact of living in a hyper visual world: emoji as a language and the emergence of the social capital traveller.
  • The evolution of wearable tech: from pet wearables to the unusual marriage of fitness and finance.
  • The tussle between privacy and meta data, and the (now real) concept of being held cyber hostage by your Smartphone.
  • The new (virtual) world of eSports and augmented reality entertainment.
    On-demand food trends, and the robots that are making it possible.
  • Shifting demographics and social norms, and the new wave of brand ambassadors that reflect these changes.
  • Generation Z: Why Flux Trends believes that this is the real game-changing generation. #trendevolution
  •  
    These were all talks for Business people to attend to, but these are interesting ideas that I could build on. I am very intrigued as to what the ‘tussle between privacy and meta data, and the (now real) concept of being held cyber hostage by your smartphone’ would say. This is an idea I have looked at in closer detail:

    Above is a documentary on Whistleblower Edward Snowden and about what the information he leaked from the NSA did to him and his country. What I find most interesting from this video is how terrifyingly easy it is for anyone to spy on anyone, simply by hacking your smartphone. Another scary thought is that if your political views go up against the current or future Government, it is very easy for that Government to spy on you. This is insanely controlling and manipulative, the idea that the Government is spying on you or could easily take action to spy on you, would definitely deter people from voicing their concerns in a public protest.

    Other ideas for this project are the Typography Trends of 2016 (More Typography Trends of 2016). I have found over the summer months how much I enjoy typography so I felt this would be an interesting idea to pursue.



     

    Choice

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    Us Presidential Elections

    To begin with I decided to pursue some of my ideas relating to the US elections. However, after exploring my ideas further, I realised that my final idea wasn’t appropriate, or what I wanted to create. Below are some websites that helped inform those ideas:

    Understanding the US elections:
    (From the American Perspective)

    USA Today

    (From the English Perspective)

    Guardian
    BBC
    Telegraph

    Who is a presidential candidate?

    NY Times – Presidential Candidates

    Big names within the election:

    Rubio, Cruz, Trump for the Republicans.
    Sanders and Clinton for the Democrats.

    Conspiracies:

    Throughout the campaigns, there have been many conspiracy theories, some obviously untrue and others fairly interesting. Here is a list below on some of the ones I have come across:

    Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer
    Zodiac Facebook
    Clinton Hologram
    Trump only there to help Clinton win?

    One of my ideas for this project was to create a poster to compare and contrast the modern world with historical moments. This would be one poster, where 2016 elements are more prominent but with an overlay of historical moments. For instance, how there are some things that Donald Trump has said that resonated with what Adolf Hitler said in the past. However, I feel this idea is a bit too strong and I honestly don’t know enough about American politics to voice an opinion this loud. Below are some links that have fed this train of thought:

    Theory of Political Leadership That Trump Shares With Hitler
    Trump White Supremacist
    Carolina teacher compares Trump and Hitler speeches

    The guardian have compiled a list of video footage that John Oliver has created that strongly voice his negative opinions about Trump: John Oliver – Donald Trump Drumpf.


    Climate Change

    Once I had explored the US elections and decided not to pursue my ideas for it, I found an idea that I’m much more passionate about. This idea was around Climate Change, this had entered my mind as it’s something I have been researching for my dissertation. I feel this is an important issue we face today that will be disastrous for our future if we don’t change the way we live.

    Some brilliant and very interesting documentaries I have watched to inform myself about this terrifying issue are the following:

    An Inconvenient Truth – 2006

    The 11th Hour – 2007

    Before the Flood – 2016

    After creating a few ideas behind this information in my sketchbook, I looked at Polar bears to inspire my character designs for this project.

    I also had a look at some websites which highlight artists who have used ice as a medium, to gain inspiration for my final design (which will be made of ice):

    Ice Sculptors UK
    Ice sculptures left to thaw in the sun to highlight climate change
    Melting Masterpieces: Impressive Works of Art Made from Snow and Ice
    Artist Sean Yoro Braves Arctic Waters To Create Ice Mural With The North Face

    I also looked at a few things to offset my carbon footprint as all of the research I had gathered became quite overwhelming and very unsettling.
    Before the flood – act



     

    Processes

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    All of the websites and videos below helped me with learning how to create my final piece. I found that creating a cast first would be better than sculpting directly onto ice (and much more practical for various reasons – namely that it wouldn’t melt straight away). I also found an interesting way to freeze an object fast (in just 3 seconds) which would be quite an interesting way to present my final piece – that way I wouldn’t have to wait 3-4 hours for my final piece to set. There were a lot of loads of hints and tips to help me on my journey, for example I found what mould kits I would need to use, what materials are food safe (for ice – if I wished to use it to place in a drink) to cast a mould for (Fimo clay) and to buy your own sculpting tools to help create details on your sculpture.

    Making a 2D image 3D

    2D to 3D image conversion
    How to use 2D to 3D app to convert images into 3D models

    Sculpting

    Discover the beauty of sculpting
    How to Sculpt

    Ice sculpting

    How Do You Sculpt Ice?

    Fimo sculpting

    Sculpting with Polymer Clay

    Make casts & moulds

    Step-by-Step Videos & Galleries

    Ice mould

    Food Safe Mold Making Techniques
    Making Molds with Silicone Putty
    Polymer Clay Mold
    25 Unique Ice Cube Trays
    Tetris Ice Cubes
    How to Make an Ice Sculpture Mold



     

    Practitioners

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    Néle Azevedo


    Azevedo’s fantastic ice sculptures are probably my biggest inspiration for this project, as she has used her little figures to portray climate change (an article can be found on this here) in a highly effective and brilliant way. This is what I one day hope to achieve with my work.

    Eszter Sziksz

    “Life is the biggest miracle of all – but is restricted to a short time span” – Eszter Sziksz. I love how Eszter Sziksz uses ice to decompose her visual message so she can compile her images together and show them as a cycle. Her process of working and printing on ice allows her to step above the everyday physical and chronological limitations of life.
     
    Peony Yip (The White Deer)

    Peony Yip’s fantastic illustrations are truly an inspiration. Her fantastic drawings of people entwined with animals could be an interesting way to illustrate my idea for a double image, by using overlays. This artist would have been great for my first idea for the US elections, to have one image and an image that relates to a historical reference.
     
    Sean Yoro

    I love Yoro’s work, of incredibly beautiful people with thoughtful and inspiring placements. I especially am inspired by his piece that was created on an iceberg, I find this to be very moving and catches your attention immediately. I really like the idea of placement with his work, this is something I will need to consider further with future projects.

    Simon Beck


    Beck’s incredible print designs on the snow are highly creative and imaginative. I am also incredibly intrigued as to how he doesn’t leave his footprints in the snow. It’s like a much colder version of creating crop circles. I also love how he used different textures to create interesting and new designs for his art. Below is a video on some of his work:

    Fred & Friends


    I thought looking up interesting ideas for ice cube’s would be an informative and inspiring to create my own ice cube. This was really fun to see how this company uses puns and other amusing imagery to create their moulds for ice cubes. This was highly inspirational and I would love to develop my own moulds like these.



     

    Documentation of working process

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    This shows my process from sculpting my Fimo clay into my polar bear, to setting the clay to ensure it wont loose it’s shape when the mould is placed over it. It also shows how I combined the two parts to create my mould and how I placed it over my mini sculpture and how it sets. It was really quick to set and I regret the shape I let it set into as it was very wobbly in the freezer – I should have made it flat so that it could stand on it’s own in the freezer.


    Above shows my final piece in it’s ice form. I am so pleased with the result and now i’ve done this I am eager to try it again but on a much larger scale (when I can afford to).
     


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