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Following two weeks of building spaces, drilling, screwing, painting, scraping, screaming… the Sequenced MA Digital Media Arts students have finished setting up our Final Exhibition, with a Private View to look forward tomorrow as the show gets ready to start. It’s a real digital adventure playground and well done to everyone!

My animation is set up as a projection onto the back of my old doll’s house, in turn set in a life-size doll’s house for visitors to enter or watch each other through the window, looking through the doll’s house… It’s an innocent voyeuristic, romantic and fun experience. The animation itself is about an abandoned automaton of the future, in a world too hot now for humans, who have left to seek another planet to des… love. Awakened by a freak happening, LilBotti embarks on her own mission for hope. The film is accompanied by music discovered via Creative Commons, thanks to: ‘Silent Motions’ by morgantj and ‘Pumped’ by Rocco W Couldn’t have wished for a better soundtrack.

Looking forward to the show!

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So… it’s finished. Not giving too much away here, just some initial rough stages for an idea of what’s to come…

Hours and days of schizo Flashing satisfaction have culminated in a finished piece… Really? Wow, who knew? Forward planning actually works.

Music maestro and some frames for these frames and I’m ready to go.


My final show project is an animation with references to and inspiration from my dissertation on the future home and a love of comics, film and books – yes, that’s print. I love working in digital and I will always love the real beauty, tactile joy and real-life animation that comes with a good book, for me, for my daughter.

Working in Flash… “Don’t do it!” they said. “It’s a lot of work.” “It’s hard.” Flash is a schizo medium and I just love the highs and lows, the sense of achievement and the results. Fun. Yes, Flash.Image

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.37.21 Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.38.07 Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.39.28 Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.39.43 Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.39.51 Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 21.40.06Everyone presented their Beyond The Screen projects on Tuesday and today – what an amazing array of works, all different, all clearly with lots of work, effort and love put in, and all with exciting, fun, weird and wonderful elements. Well done MADMA guys!

So it’s the night before the presentation of my Beyond The Screen Project and of course I get the hiccoughs! iMac to Macbook to PC… Hic! Projection not only too big for project, too big for the wall! Hic! Giant projector back in the box… Hic! Will use the original uni one… Animation won’t play on Macbook… Hic! Plays on PC, phew! Game play button flashes but there’s little other life… Why won’t that work? Hic! Ah, so that’s what that tiny thing is for! Everything works, just not all together! Hic! It’s not in my nature to be all sorted in advance, where’s the fun in that? More satisfaction like this. Like a lovely glass of wine, but the effects of a whole bottle. And breathe…

Bought big projector to project uni project on big head, but big head not big enough… big mistake? Nope, watching big movies on the big wall, just like the big screen.

Great sound resource Easy to use, lots of noises and sounds, all ready to share and use.

Ocean V Motorway

Ocean V Motorway

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 22.16.56









MADMA: Beyond the Screen

The idea for this project is to avoid the usual platform of the screen completely and the keyboard and mouse in their usual roles… and produce an installation where interaction is a key element.

“Beyond the Screen will provide a context in which students can experiment with approaches and technologies for creating digital installation art works that relate virtual and sensorial experiences to physical or visceral experiences.”

Development process diary:


My initial ideas are centred around books, an area I love and work in, and they become: A World of Imagination, an installation where reading children’s books and the imagination are the focus. The parent/carer and child activate a variety of visuals, from words and phrases to images,  projected above the readers’ heads as though the mind has been opened, allowing the imagination to escape, to be brought to life and actually be seen. The idea is to encourage reading – reading with children at bedtime, any time, with parent or carer, to inspire a love of reading, realise the capabilities of the imagination…

The imagery will come from the books, from the illustrations and text, maybe with light ‘imaginative’ atmospheric movie background for effect; I like the idea of using Painting with Light.

“October 20: What can I project it on to so it appears ‘in the air’? Thin fabric sheets, translucent material? How can I create a curved, maybe dome-like cover for the projection material so is like being in a bubble? An opaque umbrella or tent? What will I use as motion sensors and activators?”

Picking one of, say, three books will activate music, and turning the pages will activate the images from the illustrations, and vocal reactions, reading or laughing, will activate the words from the book, creating an overall mood and live imagination for all to see.

“October 30: Is this the way I want to go? I really like the idea but my heart is not in it, not my area when it comes to producing a work… and I know that my imagination envisages something far grander than I can produce at this time. Eyes bigger than tummy?”


I close the book on the first idea when I find myself inspired to do something more up my street in terms of actual creating processes, yet completely different, to work in new but achievable areas…

“November 11: This idea is inspired by a seminar with sound artist Joseph Young.”

The past month’s time thinking, uni sessions and research etc have helped with ideas, and also fragments of ideas for the final show, and I have taken in a lot of information regarding various possibilities of how to present this work.

“November 12: My new work is called… GOOD SOUND, BAD SOUND. Excited.”

I enjoy working with the senses and games and challenges, as well as humour and comic-strip-style art, and I choose to incorporate all these areas in my project. This idea is based around a game of sound and vision and the mind. It’s a test of senses; it’s fun. Or not. Maybe it will be frustrating. It’s a challenge. The player’s enjoyment or exasperation will be fun for the viewer, me! Bit like watching a game show on the telly when I was little. It’s a knockout. Potentially…

“November 16: I like the idea that the player will have fun or maybe feel a little mad trying to work out the sound’s source.”

The game: The player is presented with a sound and has to guess what it is. An animation offers two possible but very different answers.

The ‘beyond the screen’ element: The player faces a white object, a ‘blank canvas’, onto which a projection is shown and which also reflects and represents the player’s senses, reflecting their head, vision, hearing and mind. A sound plays as the animations are projected onto the blank object that now comes to life, almost as if the player’s mind has begun to tick… visualising what the sound could be. The aim of the game is to guess which animation is the correct source of the sound.

The interactive element: This is a game, making it inherently interactive. It doesn’t work without interaction. I choose elements I enjoy when designing the game. The game is a sensory challenge: a psychological activity: watching a projected animation, listening to the accompanying sound. This also represents their senses of sight and hearing along with the workings of their mind. The interaction continues with the player activating the game and then selecting their answers, the correct sources of the sounds, using a wireless game button.

“November 20: Drawing pencil sketches for more ideas. Looking at different ways of producing ideas.”

The test: The animated film is projected onto a large white head figure: it plays two descriptions, side by side, of the one sound playing. The player decides which description is the sound’s real origin – answer A or B, left or right. The player chooses A or B. Once chosen, GOOD or BAD will indicate a correct or incorrect answer. The player then activates the next piece of film.

The sounds: For the audio element of my project, which is key to the piece, I am using sound files accompanying the animations I am creating. I am using free sound libraries to listen to various noises and sounds to come up with examples to use in my challenges.

“November 26: Such normal and crazy sounds, so many of just one subject, with some simply one word names, like donkey, and others with elaborate titles, such as ‘a Donkey on a pasture at the park of the Museum Serralves in Porto. The Donkey is chewing grass, recorded from ca 1 meter distance. Children playing in the background, also a man working in the nearby garden with a trimming machine.’ My neighbours may wonder what’s going on…”

Considerations: To play the film and audio and also the interactive element of my project, I originally plan to use Processing – I do have a go at some Processing tutorials, particularly the Simple Motion Detection example – but I want to use Flash. This is something I started to enjoy in the first year, and I want continue using my stickman comic style. (Following a year out I need to start from scratch and relearn Flash.) I spend some time trying to get my head around and following various examples and tutorials in Processing and motion sensor and detection, but this is not an area in which I choose to venture; at this time anyway.


Rather than find and use real film examples, I really want to create my own Flash animation movies in my stickman comic style; it’s a simple but effective style I enjoy working with and I plan to continue with it in future works and projects.

“December 16: Have finished one film! It’s in my usual stick style. I like it. Tomorrow I will add audio. Tomorrow I will learn how!”

Sounds: I am still collecting sounds to use that could represent two completely different sources eg motorway versus ocean – these sound very similar and are perfect for this work. The audio element is key to this piece. I am using sound for the very first time, and have found tutorials and sound resources online to be very useful. I searched for appropriate sounds for the game in free sound libraries, listening to various noises and sounds for examples to use in the games’ challenges. With each subject, eg the ocean or motorway, I then went through many versions of sound files listed under those headings until I found the best examples to use in the game.

“December 17: Make some noise! I have learned how to add sound to Flash! Added audio to the first film.”

Flash animation: I am creating my own animated films to go with the sounds: animated cartoons offering a choice from two possible sound sources, only one is the correct answer. With the help of some great Flash tutorials, I am teaching myself as I go along – things like animating a simple image, how to use onion skin, make motion tweens, graphic images and movies clips, how to use layers, how to import sound, create buttons etc. This is very rewarding and prospects for future projects are exciting as I am coming up with more ideas. I am really enjoying this, and isn’t this just the best reason to do anything?

“January 18: Maybe I will be the host of Good Sound, Bad Sound, and present the game and how to play to the player. There will be no gold lamé. Over-excited…”

Is there a future for this project?

Finding more sounds and creating more animations… Something to develop… I love Glitch Art! What fun! This is a taste of, along with other new areas that I may work with, how things can be created, developed, inspired… Keep thinking!

“January 24: Amazing session on After Effects with a brilliant teacher, Angie Taylor – if only we’d had more of her and this kind of session before! I would definitely be working in AE for my project, but with a week to go it may not be wise to start again. Though I am really tempted!”

I am thinking though of using typographical animations for the other parts of this game, like subliminal messages. Psychologically and design-wise for the game this could be a lot of fun.

“February 4: It’s nearly time to present… Good project, bad project? The answer rings clear for me. I have enjoyed the work. It’s been sound! And the idea has legs. But that’s another project…”

“The spectacle is a social relation between people that is mediated by an accumulation of images that serve to alienate us from a genuinely lived life”

Martin Jenkins (Foreword, 2009 edition, Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord)

A year out, one wild birth and one beautiful baby girl, and a term on… Image.

From my biggest personal achievement and joy ever as a mamma I’ve returned to the final stages of my MA. More snips n clips to come of digital and general arty culture stuff that stands out, for one good reason… or not! Plus more thoughts, moments and ideas regarding the course itself.