When we were given the title of our project at the beginning of the second term I felt very excited about the idea but challenged on what to do, and how to approach it. There were two parts of this project. An individual one, in which we had to select an angle of looking at the city, and a collaborative one, in which we were to work with a group made up by one student from each course.
For my individual project I decided to look at the hidden city; in particular to explore the city through its sounds. I chose to do so because even though I have lived in Cardiff for about 7 years, I realized that I hadn’t really listen to it and I thought it would be interesting to see what I could find if I started.
I began by looking at other artists who have worked with sounds and cities. I found several online groups and individuals who explore sounds and cities (mentioned in other posts) and I was surprised to find that it is something that has been done for a long time . So I originally wanted to produce a sound map as the outcome for the project. I recorded sounds that (to me) relate and describe Cardiff: traffic, people, parks and local places such as the market, the Castle and the Millennium Stadium.
however, once the collaborative project was formed and the idea of sounds and maps was liked (very pleased that it was), I started looking for other ways of working with sounds.
My constellation option (Sound Art) has helped me a lot in developing my ideas. I have looked at sound artists whose theories and ideas have inspired me. For example, John Cage talks about silence being non-existent. Cage suggests that there is no such thing as silence. Sounds are always present but yet they don’t have to mean anything. Sounds are just sounds.
So, I have made my recordings visible.
The first few weeks were a little confusing because as a group I think we didn’t have the greatest connection, at times I wished I had better leadership skills because we could have done with the motivation . however once we started working on our strengths, weaknesses and discussing the ideas we had for our individual projects, we started coming with possible directions .
From the begining of our sessions we were told that the group members who weren’t present would’ve had to catch up or work on their own and it would not have affected us. This I think took some pressure off us.
As a group we noticed that buildings and architecture was a recurring subject and was something that we were looking at in our individual projects. So Luisa, Jasmin and I began working on the idea of a 3D pop up map with the sounds belonging to those places.
Luisa and I used the laser cutter to produce some buildings that she had previously drawn. The laser cutting day was very productive. We had a lot of help of Stephen Murray who showed us how to work with Illustrator which is the computer program used for the cutter. We then used the cut outs for the mock up map.
Since we wanted to work with pop up maps but none of us knew how to do them, Luisa and I met with Tom Martin to get some advise on pop ups and working with paper in general. Talking to Tom, we realized that we were working the wrong way around the map. he suggested that we started with plain buildings and also that our cut outs were not strong enough to support folding. Luisa worked on new plain buildings and adding the pop up element afterwards. In the mean time I had been making recordings of Cardiff, just to give an idea of what the finished piece could be. Other members of the team, Jasmin and Alex also added their skills to the presentation by stitching and painting.
Although we did not actually need to hand in a final piece, I think we all got excited by the things we were working on.
Though wen our sessions were not every week, I think the motivation was lost again within the group. Even though we had worked on a power point presentation we had not actually got together to plan a way of delivering it. I think this showed on the last day when we had to present our project.
Overall, I enjoyed working with the group. I had never worked with a team creatively so it was something very new to me. I think everyone’s ideas were heard and considered.
If I were to do something different it would be organizing things better and making them happen.