Marketing/Promo and Sound
Coming up to the grad show there was a lot of organising that needed doing. As designated head of promo I felt there was a fair bit that we could do to raise money and have an amazing grad show where it would essentially be the last time I would probably see most of the people on csm. But I also wanted to learn about the sound desk to also began to with I worked on the sound team for a bit.
I tried to organise things but no one was very cooperative to do organise anything before Easter so decided to take things into my own hands. First of all I contacted various venues such as Urban Taphouse, 10 feet tall for an after party as time was going quite quickly and if we wanted a nice place to have an after party or just to have a few drinks afterwards then we really needed to book things soon. This also gave us a problem on our money situation. Some of the teams attitudes was that we get our loan on the 20th of April and that everyone should give money then. My thinking was that that was going to be too late and that we would need to book/reserve somewhere as soon as possible. In the end I managed to book Zero Degrees who told me that I could pay a deposit 2 weeks before the party.
The deal with Zero Degrees was that we could have the room for free and also play music for free, we would just need to order food. This could be a buffet. This was the next predicament – how to raise money/convince people that a buffet would be a good idea. A few people came up with some ideas of busking and having cake sales but no one acted upon these ideas. I checked out running a cake sale but instead I was denied this request by the university because health and safety issues with food
To have enough food for everyone at zero degrees we would need to raise £400. I calculated that if all 3rd years and staff came and paid £10 each with leeway for extras such as excsm, current CSM in the years below and friends paying £5 then we would just about make it. By this point it was only until we got back form after the Easter break I was able to talk about this with the year.
During the break I spoke to David McSparron, who is head of film and documenting the event, about a name for the show and said to him that I’ve designed a website using weebly – the platform we both used to make our websites PPD – so we were both very familiar with using it. He saw how much I’d been doing over the break and started helping straight away. David made a form for people to fill in so that we could start to see what the acts were, what equipment they were going to need and a 60-100 write up + image so that we could start filling in the basics on the website. Eventually after receiving all the acts a couple of weeks before the show, David and I collectively filled in the website.
I also told him that I made some artwork for the event as I felt we needed something just put onto the site. From here we tried to get people to pitch ideas for grad show names. A lot of the names weren’t particularly suitable but we felt that because people were suddenly putting some effort into the show that we would take this to our advantage.
We then finally had a meeting as a promo team after Easter with our lecturer. A discussion on the name came up where we realized it wasn’t actually very appropriate for a name for the show and felt it didn’t really represent us as a year. We finally got the name Deleuzians of Grandeur from this meeting with our lecturer and everyone was designated a job. These jobs were logo design, t-shirt design, poster and brochure designs, getting money off people for the after party, asking people to get their 60-100 word write up to us, asking a csm student to dj at the after party, Facebook events for after party and grad show.
In the end, sadly, most of these jobs were either not done or half done to not a great standard so I ended up doing much of it myself. Joel managed to design a logo but I was then left with a half done photoshop file of a poster that I finished then designed the back of the programme to get printed. I liked the idea of the brochure being a an A3 poster at the same time so I designed it so that it could fold out with the poster on one side and all the acts on the other. I decided to place the logo he designed on top on the painting I made for the website. With help from David McSparron we eventually got posters and brochures printed with days to spare but we were very pleased with out come on these The T-shirt weren’t ordered or sorted out until a couple of days before the event so will arrive after.
In the end, with help from David as I felt I was nagging everyone for money, I managed to get the £400 I needed for zero degrees.
Even though I felt that I was left to organise everything on my own I think I did everything I could to make the grad show and after party as good as I could. A lot of the excuses I was given by members of the promo and marketing team weren’t acceptable as we all have our work to do but it felt like I was doing twice as much as I should have been doing. Sometimes spending more time on organising and nagging people for write-ups and money. David and I essentially had to take the grad show into our own hands. I tried to invite as many people as I could to the grad show and after party and was promoting it quite a lot over Facebook. I felt it was important to get the 1st and 2nd years to come to the show as I always found it interesting to see what the 3rd years were up to for the past 3 years I’ve been here. Unfortunately not many came but it was really nice to see a lot of ex-csm students there.
Even though I found that I was spending more time organising the gradshow than my work but I still managed to get both done. On the day of the show I felt that I had accomplished something really great especially in time we had to get it all sorted. I think I learnt a lot from the experience – not to rely on people, to be more authorative and also the experience on actually organising an show and event. This was a good experience for me as I want to be able to run events and installation work in the future so having the experience now, I now know what to expect next time.
I think what kept me going, especially with my own work as it got a bit depressing at times, was David. We both felt that its out gradshow too and that we didn’t want to it to be awful so we put all our energy into our own work as well as organizing an event.
Through out the show, whilst my installation was running, I made sure merchandise table was always good. I didn’t get to do much of the sound stuff that I wanted to do but I think I had my hands quite full with all the marketing and promo stuff and if I’m honest I was pretty shattered with it all.
‘Abandoned Symphonies’ Installation
Through out the semester I think that my weaknesses have been my technical competence with equipment. I felt that I didn’t have all the technical support that I think I should have been given, given that I was faced with the challenge of use the sound array system and spending the majority of my time trying to 1) figure out what I can/could do with the sound array and 2) figure out how it works without the technical support. Saying that, I felt that with my experimentations of using the binaural recordings and the experience I had mixing the sound for the film I made for production, I knew exactly what I wanted when I was in the room setting up the installation – A shared experience of the sound that was used instead of the very personal experience I was trying to make in ‘The Stables Lament’ film.
I was very nervous though, because I felt that I was slightly unprepared because of this technical difficulty and personal reasons and I started to panic on the day as the automation of the sound wasn’t finished in time with the video as I decided to extend the video at the beginning so that all screens were black and then one by one they turned on. – as it wasn’t in a gallery space some people may not understand this even though it is very common thing to see in video installations so when people weren’t leaving I didn’t know if people just wanted to stay, if they didn’t know the performance had ended or if people felt a bit lost and didn’t understand it.
This was a very conscious decision as I felt that people would understand that this meant it was the end of the installation even though it repeated over and over again. I was also very anxious about the volume of the music, especially of the vocal’s, as I didn’t want them to overpower the field recordings. When I was finalizing the automation and the levels of the sounds there were only 3 of us in the room and the door was shut but then when everyone came in from the foyer you could hear all the talking from outside and I suddenly thought that the volume was not loud enough. But I found that this made people become more aware of their surroundings – really listening to the sound and also their spatial awareness of the people around them.
Having not displayed or performed the installation before I didn’t really know how the audience were going to interact with the installation. This made me very anxious. This is why I chose to only have a few people in at a time. In the end the decision was taken to bring in half the audience then people could just come in and out as they pleased. The reason why I wanted only a few people in at a time was so that it would not get crowded within the installation itself. But it turned out that having more than just 5 people in the room made the installation work quite well and I think it probably would have worked better that only having 5 people at a time.
Amazingly the audience seem to interact with the installation how I intended which for me made the whole thing a success. I had spent so long thinking about and theorizing about what I wanted the audience to take away from the videos and the installation itself. – I think the amount of time I spent on I was necessary as it was decisions about projector placement, screen arrangement and sound placement that would determine how the audience was interact.
I specifically placed the screens and the projectors where they were so that people could walk through them and create shadows onto the screens. I loved that people would come up to me and say I felt bad walking through the projectors or I wasn’t sure whether to walk here or there. This is because I really wanted people to think about the space, their movements and actions, like you would when you investigate a new place.
I was also very nervous because it was the first time I decided to change my name and have the artist name Teddy Hunter. The week leading up to the show I changed quite a lot of my names on music, film stuff and my 3rd year project things. I wasn’t sure of the reaction people would have. So far the reception has been quite nice. I like the fact you aren’t sure if Teddy Hunter is male or female which to me I think it important being in a very male environment for 3 years. But I not very secretive about my real name, the pseudonym makes me feel like a have a bit more creative freedom.
Within the installation space itself I felt that the simplicity of the setup allowed it the freedom to work with anything you put in it. The idea was to make a new space with another space and the fact that it allowed for a pub feel for David’s film where we discussed that it would be nice to project the pub walls onto the other screens and that brings tables and chairs in for people to sit and relax. I also loved that it was used as more of a communal/cinema type thing. People could sit on the floor and watch or just listen.
Overall I think conceptually it worked quite well but I did feel that every time I explained it to someone I would come up with a new way to phrase the idea that my have changed the concept slightly. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing though as I think this territory in art, sound and installation still needs exploring which is why I think it is ok for it to change slightly. I think that it is a good thing that installations such as these may be subject to change conceptually because of what is currently going on in the world.
I think what shocked me the most was what people were saying about the installation and the amount of support I had before and after the show. It was really nice to have past, present and future students being genuinely interested in what I was doing. Even people who I didn’t think particularly cared about what I was doing said some really nice and positive stuff to me. A few people said that it really calmed them before they went on stage for their set.
I never really saw myself as doing something that could be a successful installation as I find that installation is very hard field to work in. But I think that is what pushes me. I had always felt that I had taken on more than I could with this installation – and with the binaural film for that matter, but I wanted to do something different that just release an ep I wanted to push the boundaries and I also wanted to push my limit.
I’m not sure what I would do differently because this whole semester has been on big risky experiment and for me I don’t think the experiment is over. Because the installation was very site specific based I think that if I wanted to put up the installation in another space it might a good idea to experiment more with the layout of the installation – although I think it works quite well as it is now – space in, say, another gallery area may not be able to cater for the space needed to preform the piece. I also think that it would be a good idea to try and make the installation work without using the sound array system as it wouldn’t be possible to permanently use it within this installation idea. I think that a way around this would be to make an individual sound track for each video and see if it would work where the vocals fade left and right for each screen and see if it makes the same kind of movement around the space.
Going on to study a postgrad in Art, Space and Nature I felt that I have learnt a lot this semester in what I am and am not capable of. This has given me a lot more confidence to work as a sound artist and I also feel that it has given me more confidence in the work I am creating and being less shy in what I am doing. I feel that I have come quite far this semester with the experiments and event organising I have been doing that will help me a lot in the future.