Thursday, 11 November 2010

Glossop/Wittgenstein Project

Towards the end of the second term, Interactive Arts will be taking a trip to Glossop to fly kites that we will already have made and also put on performances in a local pub, all derived from the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who worked at a kite flying centre in Glossop. For my first personal project I have decided to create a film and performance based on Wittgenstein's philosophies and using my own interest in stage puppets which is something I already wanted to explore.
This will hopefully become quite a large project, as eventually I would like to become an art director in films so I am looking at this project from that angle to create a lot of atmosphere and eeriness. The puppets will only be my starting point and will really act as props to the entire project. To start the project, I took a book on Wittgenstein from the library I work at that explains his ideas in simple terms. From the talk we were given by Michael Howard in university I knew that I wanted to explore Wittgenstein's ideas of the mystical more than anything else. It initially took quite a while to decipher any meaning from his sayings but I eventually found some quotes from Wittgenstein's book 'Tractatus' that helped steer my project. The first was:
"6.522 There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical."
"6.44 It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists."
I interpreted the second quote to mean that the very fact that things are in the world is an amazing thing and we should look more closely at what is here. I then got the idea to have my 'puppet show' focus on the ordinary versus the extraordinary.
For example, my first prototype is to make a horse puppet which in the film would have wings shadows on it and change from the mystical flying Pegasus to an ordinary running horse. I first made a paper version and then a clay model. From this I made plaster casts and am now in the process of making casts from these moulds using papier mache, wax, latex, sugar glass and will upload photographs when they have been assembled. I am making many versions to see which has the best sturdiness and mobility when in puppet form.
I will also be thinking of other segments to feature in the film such as the simple growing of a plant versus the sprouting of a beanstalk, the birth of a baby versus the creation of a monster etc. Because this will be rather a large project and I tend to want to move onto trying other forms of art after a while I will incorporate animation, painting and drawing in the project as part of the film and also as side projects for myself.
Running alongside the film I also want to have a puppet performance of the birth of a bird. Originally, I wanted it to be a Phoenix but now my idea is simple to have a large bird puppet that will slowly hatch and against the film it will hopefully mystical and slightly creepy on it's own.

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