Direction, production, photography, motion design, post-production: Peter Thiedeke
Performance: Joshua Thomson
Agency: Guerrilla Digital
Client: Bleached Arts Ltd
This research is an investigation within the field of advertising photography as new media and deals with its convergence with other mediums through the meta-medium of computation. New media objects, including digital photography, can be materially deconstructed and converge with other digitised media. In scholarly literature they are characterised as being: numerically represented, modular, automated, variable and transcoded (Manovich, 2001). New media works can be re-mixed and used across many software applications and media platforms.
My research demonstrates the malleable nature of advertising photography and how it can emerge as a spatially and temporally distinctive ‘species’ of new media. Advertising photography hasn’t been conceptualised in this way, despite the widespread discussion of the digital image. This work does so through iterative transformations from print and screen based still images into a multiplicity of forms, including the moving and interactive image, by using digital vector based design elements to create analogue light sources which are projection mapped to the human form and sequentially captured in three dimensions.
Applied as the visual identity for the Bleach* Festival 2016 there were: 30 000 printed catalogues; more than 100 000 outdoor print media insertions; 2 021 000 people were reached through television; 37 312 visits were recorded to the Bleach* Festival website; 1 184 942 Facebook impressions and 3 533 Instagram follows were recorded from 469 351 unique users.
Social Media Insertions
Print Media Insertions
In a formal sense, this work considers photography in terms of the spatial and temporal dimensions afforded it by new media and how it is significantly expanded where the spatial practices of computer-based compositing and the temporal aspects of montage converge. The terminology for describing the characteristics of digital photography as hybrids of new media can be amplified to include the dynamic, non-linear, moving, interactive, informational and rhythmic. Conceptually, it re-considers the digital aesthetic from the level of human experience, where the image, psyche and flesh coincide, and puts the human form and the visceral act of performance at the heart of the work.
Manovich (2001) declares compositing as “the key operation of postmodern or computer-based authorship” (p. 142). He specifies that a new media composition subordinates time to space and can be understood as a set of independent objects that, once on a timeline can change over time, with the temporal unit of the moving image’s frame being subordinate to the spatial unit of the object. He proposes that, in contrast to the sequential mode of temporal or traditional cinematic montage, a logic should be established for spatial montage as it relates to new media with specific conditions. “The juxtaposition of elements should follow a particular system, and these juxtapositions should play a key role in how the work establishes its meaning, and its emotional and aesthetic effects” (p.158). He contends that these forms of spatial representation function as a record of memory at the cultural layer and, specific to new media design, “can also be seen as an aesthetics appropriate to the user experience of multitasking and multiple windows of GUI” (p.325).
Soraya Murray (2008) expresses the need to develop a model of experience of new media informed artworks that not only considers the impact of electronic and digital technologies upon their aesthetic production, but of human experience at large where “art becomes a mutual exchange or negotiation” (p. 39). Citing Manovich’s five properties of new media she argues that particular attention must be granted to cognitive frameworks (p. 42) without assigning particular material qualities. Although she acknowledges new media art’s departure from traditional art, she emphasises that cybernated aesthetics needn’t necessarily manifest in the form of digital or electronic artefacts alone and that data may take on an embodied rather than a disembodied experience (Murray, 2008).
"The idea that the form of the artwork casts an overwhelming shadow over what that artwork can mean is a technologically determinist stance that underestimates the artist’s voice, and also fails to understand those technologies as integrated within society" (Murray, 2008, p. 48).
Manovich, L. (2001). The language of new media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Manovich, L. (2013). Software Takes Command (1 ed.). New York: Bloomsbury.
Murray, S. (2008). Cybernated Aesthetics: Lee Bul and the Body Transfigured. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, 30(2), 38-50. doi:10.1162/pajj.2008.30.2.38
(fullscreen at full HD with headphones is recommended)