Today has been trying for my project at best.
At best I just want to throw it all out of the window and chase pattern making to wherever it leads. I can’t seem to shake it out of my head at the moment and I’m going to have to put it down to my dissertation. No doubt I’ve scribbled down some things that look good on page corners, but I’m going to have to divorce my fascination at the moment. Right now. Anything time from here. Ici. Maintenant.
One deep breath later I can fortunately see the benefit of my tutorial today, even if it didn’t hear the things I wanted to.
1. Stop researching, start contextualising
At least I can stop carrying heavy books to and from the library for the time being.
2. Pick one location and run with it
This was especially tough to grapple with given my acute awareness regarding my indecision as to where exactly in the world my posters would be placed. In London? Maidstone? Chatham? The whole of the UK? I had already come to some consensus that aiming to be generic would be an extremely bad idea, given that I would make something I liked the look of and communicated nothing of the slightest to anybody else. Yet before I had my tutorial, I was also at the point of deducing that after I had the mystery of where I would be placing my work, the who would also reveal itself soon after. My last idea failed because I could not define where I wanted it to be seen (therefore by whom), so I have let the location do my deciding for me.
There is a large empty shop next to the place I work and it is situated next to two very busy bus stops in the town centre. During the week, school children catching buses for at least 4 different routes wait around the area in large groups and pay little to no attention to the amount they block the pavement for any passing shoppers. At most times of the day, there are at least 3 people waiting for a bus inside the stop itself and more when . These people are mostly those leaving work in the evening and early morning, with a steady flow of the older generations using the public transport all day long. As pictured, there is a regular medium to heavy flow of pedestrians passing the shop front in addition to those who choose to lean against the shop windows and wait in the modest shelter provided by the larger building protrusion above. It is here where young people congregate when the schools finish for the day and where tired workers huddle from the rain and wind, with a coffee from over the road.
With all of this general and more specific information in mind, it seems I am to design some posters that would appeal to the people who use this space the most. A challenge given that it seems to be a space in flux on at least 2 levels! But I an now say at least that my environment has been chosen and my audience in sight.
3. Consider the nature of the space I am working with
The implications of a shop window in the current economic climate have already been blowing my mind. I think it calls for a diagram, because for once I cannot talk my way through this. Click for detailed view:
I seem to reach a couple of at-odds conclusions:
Political humour or comment would have to be understood by the younger end of my audience. I’m not saying that 14-21 year olds don’t watch the news, just that they would not be inclined to have a conversation about it with their friends when standing in front of it with their friends and mobile phones providing an infinitely more attractive option.
There is conflict between space as an extension of the bus stop and as the grounds for a provocation of debate about current issues. While it is not impossible that a person waiting around the space might be interested in this topic, the fact that they are waiting for a bus becomes somewhat diminished by the possibility of an intellectual (and emotional?) interaction with the work. The reason why they are in the space might not have to do with the content of the message. Using their reasons for being there I might be able to tap into the angle of the debate to start with.
4. Start messing around with cut outs
I’m going to give myself one solid day to start drawing, painting, photoshopping, collaging onto a photograph of the shop frontage and see what comes out. I know I’m torn between agitating something political and smoothing over the surface of an eyesore with something that will appeal to people, but I’ll never know what has legs until I make it walk. I think my ideas will fall into one of two extremes: very political or totally unconnected to the shop being empty and why it is so. I’d like to have at least 5 decent ones one paper, so I can nail my colours to a mast. Hopefully with some action, I’ll break my stalemate!
5. Rewrite my proposal
Having refocused my environment and audience I feel more confident at making another rewrite of my project proposal. Hopefully I can use my first as a springboard and not waste the time spent on the original! If not finished, I’d like to have that done in good standard draft by tomorrow night.
Not at all a short list, but still an achievable one. I think. Hopefully…