I attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London this past term as an affiliate student. The completely structure-less system threw me off at first, but led me to explore more freely on my own, which brought me to experimentation, happy accidents and persistent problem-solving. I ended up with this video installation project, which I presented during the Fine Art Media seminar.
The project began during a frustrating period of feeling lost at the Slade, when I checked out the Mamiya C220 medium format camera just to play around and take pictures.
While playing with this camera, I became so fascinated with the mechanism of the camera and its viewfinder, which gives me a cinematic view of everything I point at. I began to video record the viewfinder itself using my digital camera.
Through some evolution, I arrived at building that wonky camera contraption that holds the analogue and my digital camera in place together. I walked around London with this, capturing scenes of the city, and I’d get so much attention from people. I got stopped multiple times with people asking me what in the world that is, or telling me it’s amazing, or asking to take a portrait of me with it, or even for a business card.
The more significant aspect of this work was the installation than the video itself. It took me weeks and many trials to eventually arrive at this state, and I think it communicates what I want it to.
For behind the scenes…
Behind the scenes:
I got a lot of attention carrying around this thing. People are first mesmerized by the Mamiya, and then they notice there’s another weird thing attached above. I was stopped many times by strangers asking me what it is or just going “ooohhh.” The coolest was the interaction with photographers. I got stopped by a couple of photographers asking if they could take a portrait of me with it. Then they e-mailed them to me. Here’s one of them.
Some sketches/notes I took as I developed this work-