Significant points of the 21st century opening decade:

The 2000s are almost one huge nostalgic run to me which seemed to take forever, though have been over for 6 years now. It’s important to me because it was right at the start of the 2000s where I became self aware in age and mind, and it’s around the 2008/9 area where events don’t seem to feel nostalgic to me after that point. These are the main events that took place over that period of time:

2000 — The world celebrates the turn of the millenium | The Pyrenean Ibex goes extinct | The dot-com bubble bursts | Vladimir Putin is elected president of Russia | Euro 2000 is hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands | Concorde crashes in France, killing 113 | Personal home computers break the 1GHz barrier | Sydney hosts the Olympic Games  

2001 — Wikipedia is launched | George Bush is sworn in as the 43rd President of the USA | Space station Mir is deorbited | The world’s first space tourist | A devastating terrorist attack leaves 3,000 dead in America | Apple launches the iPod  

2002 — The Euro enters circulation | Apple introduces the iMac G4 | The world’s first cyborg | The dwarf planet Quaoar is discovered | The deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia  

2003 — Space Shuttle Columbia disaster | The invasion of Iraq | The Human Genome Project is completed | Record heatwaves kill tens of thousands in Europe | MySpace is launched | China launches its first manned space mission  

2004 — The emergence of Web 2.0 | Graphene is isolated | The first recorded hurricane in the South Atlantic | George W. Bush is re-elected | Athens hosts the Olympic Games | Train bombings in Madrid kill nearly 200 people | Hubble Ultra Deep Field | Mars Exploration Rovers | The first privately funded human spaceflight | Facebook is launched | World’s first 1 gigabyte SD card | London’s skyline gets a new landmark | Asia gets a new tallest building | Indian Ocean earthquake leaves a quarter of a million dead  

2005 — Huygens probe reveals images of Titan’s surface | YouTube is launched | The Deep Impact probe collides its impactor with comet 9P/Tempel | USB flash drives replace floppy disks | Suicide bombers in London kill 56 people, injure 700 others | Hurricane Katrina floods New Orleans | Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany  

2006 — Crude oil production is reaching a plateau | Twitter is launched | Pluto is demoted to “dwarf planet” status | North Korea conducts its first nuclear test | The West African black rhino is declared extinct | Saddam Hussein is executed  

2007 — Global economic downturn | Nicolas Sarkozy is elected President of the French Republic | Brown succeeds Blair as Prime Minister of Great Britain | Apple debuts the iPhone | Multiple suicide bombings kill 796 people in Kahtaniya, northern Iraq | Arctic sea ice hits a record low | Amazon releases the Kindle | Google Street View is launched | Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in Pakistan  

2008 — Dmitry Medvedev is elected president of Russia | Cyclone Nargis devastates Burma | Oil prices hit a record high | The Internet continues to boom | Scientists extract images directly from the brain | Breakthrough in facial CGI | Beijing hosts the Olympic games

 2009 — Barack Obama is sworn in as 44th president of the USA | Major breakthrough in cancer research | The mouse genome is fully sequenced | Scientists engineer new plastics without the use of fossil fuels | Water is discovered on the Moon | Kepler searches for Earth-like planets | Discovery of the first exoplanet that could hold liquid water | Mercury is 98% mapped | Mind control headsets enter the video games market | 3D scanning enters the consumer market | The tallest man-made structure in history is completed | Africa’s population reaches one billion

The next step is to find/construct objects or matter that reflect some of the most significant moments to me ready to photograph and study.

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Richard Avedon and what I’d like out of my photographs:

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Richard Avedon was an American fashion and portrait photographer, whose work helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century” – New York Times.

Although a widely known and ‘go-to’ artist in relation to any for of portrait photography, I still can’t help but fell the need to label his effective elements, and how they would work well with my own work. Firstly, the almost idillic, ‘painted’ nature of his more popular portraits are have every element in their nature of what I’m striving for. Ideally my final piece would be perfectly meticulous, renaissance type painting of my modern subject matter, but Avedon’s photography is the best thing next to it in a different medium. The beauty that encrypted into his photographs are also what I’m after, portraying people who on first inspection seem flawless because of the nature of the image, but on closer inspection imperfections craftily hidden seem to seep through. However, this is not entirely tied in with my own work, due to the fact that the objects I’m trying to photograph are supposed to be obviously out of place, and strange in the medium they’re taken. I’m looking for a jarring juxtaposition rather than a subtle one.

Classic Still Life Aesthetic

Throughout my research and because my topic is so broad, I’ve had almost too many possible ideas for final pieces. However, I feel as if taking a series of still life images, with objects concerning themes of nostalgia could be a a humorous yet effective idea.

My old Foundation Diploma tutor, Paul Kilsby takes contemporary still life images, with things like birds, plants, insects and mainly objects and organisms relating to nature. There is a certain sublime sense in his images that I want to capture, where despite some images not being particularly colourful or happy, their beauty never fails to strike me:

I feel that after some more market research, I’ll be able to create/collect some objects which are good enough to photograph in the still life sense.

 

Nostalgia Survey Research

 

To deepen my knowledge into what nostalgia means to people, I made a survey using SurveyMonkey. I tried to ask questions which were both broad and yet give someone the freedom to talk personally about their experiences as well, to achieve the most effective results. These questions were:

  • What is the first word(s) that come to mind with the word ‘nostalgia’?

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  • Do you consider nostalgia a good feeling?

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Most people said that nostalgia is widely a positive feeling, which surprised me as I would have selected ‘No’ myself. I feel nostalgia is neither a good or bad feeling, which is what makes it so obscure and special of an emotion. I purposely only gave a blunt ‘Yes or No’ for  this question to force people to be direct, as they were more of the results I’m looking for. I can’t base a final piece off of vague results, I need a solid idea and statistic to work with. That being said I did receive a particular interesting piece of feedback from this answerer:

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They perceived nostalgia in quite a negative light rather than the sort ‘in between’ I suspect a lot of people were feeling. And I’d have to agree with their answers here to a degree myself, though mine would have more positivity mixed in.

  • What sorts of emotions does nostalgia evoke?

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Most people seemed to relate nostalgia to warmth and happiness of the past, which ws as to be expected. However, there were a few people who saw nostalgia as regret, or remorse meaning something bad that sticks in their memory may have happened at some point. I personally feel that regret sort of defeats the point of nostalgia, as nostalgia usually creates a specific vivid scene that you revisit, without any regret. This made me realise that maybe some people were not 100% sure on what nostalgia was, as I did have a few people message me asking what nostalgia actually meant. This was interesting in its own way though, as I could begin to see what other people may consider nostalgic rather than my own perceptions.

  • Which senses evoke the most nostalgic feelings?

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This was mostly quite mixed, leaving not a lot of conclusive information to talk about. However touch taste did seem to lag behind more often than not. I think this is because of how specific a taste or touch would have to be (especially touch, with the endless surfaces that inhabit the earth). It all comes down to what sticks in the mind the longest and most significantly.

  • How often do you get feelings of nostalgia? Is it quite a prominent emotion in your life, or something that you feel/think about rarely?

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Nearly everyone labelled themselves as not thinking about nostalgia very much, and only something that rarely crosses their mind. I found this to be very surprising as nostalgia is pretty much a part of my daily life. I think about it a lot, and almost crave for it at times.

  • Lastly what you consider your most nostalgic image/feeling/thought?

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With this question I was prepared to get a very big mixture of results, and I did. However, there were common underlying themes which almost told me something about where or when the person was brought up. For example, I noticed a lot of people who presumably grew in the country talked about a certain field, meadow or a certain scene/place etc. that they used to go to. And people who maybe had a more urban upbringing tended to say something about an old toy, object or member of family. One thing where they all did link however was in the concept of being carefree. Almost everyone of these had nothing to do with work or struggles, and the occasional sad ones were more or less always to do with maybe a deceased family member or pet. In conclusion I feel that I gathered pretty much what I was expecting, with a few interesting results that I can work with thrown in as well. However what does seem a little off is the varied answers on the ‘senses’ question, but the quite similar answers on most of the other questions. This tells me that there are clearly flaws in this method of information gathering, as at the end of the day I can never understand entirely what someone else feels nostalgic. This is why I think it is the most powerful emotion.

Edit: I also put the question of ‘How old are you?’ in a while after, but not a great deal amount of people gave this information, even after me adding it. I do however know the general demographic, and I have also also shared it with a range of ages, so I will have some older results as well.

 

 

 

What is nostalgic to you?

Researching into my topic of nostalgia, I thought the best way to construct a piece that would be more eye catching universally, would be to gather various points of nostalgia. Although this only a small amount at the moment, and hardly enough to draw a conclusive medium, it’s clear that most people are more evoked my vague ideas, and not a very specific thing. For example, Daniela talked of coastal/waterside areas conjuring this nostalgic feeling. I think this vague idea reinforces the fact that these people I’ve asked are more or less the same age as me so the earliest nostalgic feelings that come to them are most likely when they were very young. This tells me that I need to ask people in older age groups the same thing to see if I have any differing answers.

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Mad Mapper/Cinema 4D Induction

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For my self directed project, I had vague ideas of projection mapping a video to do with nostalgia glitch art. Mad Mapper is the main program used for projection mapping, as is surprisingly easy to navigate. The program gives you your area of which you can work in, which you can change quite freely to whatever shape you like, followed by of course your projection. Because we had only a few people in this induction, Matt was able to show us some more creative/developmental processes on Cinema 4D, and briefly touching upon After Effects. There is a lot components that make a successful projection map, which does make it seem complicated, and given the fact that I only have about 3 and a half weeks left to make my final piece it may be slightly ambitious to develop a fully fleshed video with all of these elements. Nonetheless I will be experimenting with these programs to see what kind of results I can achieve, which will hopefully allow me to understand what it is I really want to have as a finished product.

Treatment

Title

Bramley Baths – Stay and Play

Audience

Young children and parents

Duration

2 – 5 minutes

Overview

In this short video we will introduce Bramley Baths and what activities they run for children and families during the week and during the holidays. We will show the variety of activities, conduct interviews with parents and how it helps the community and benefits the children. Our main goal is to make it fun and exiting, we want to show the children having fun and we want to know why they like it. It will include a variety of shots, most of these will be very active for example jumping, running, swimming and dancing. The aim of this promotional video is to influence the viewer, we want them to watch it and think ‘wow that looks really fun’. It will be energetic, exiting and informative, as we will conduct interviews with the leaders of the activities. The video itself will probably be around 3 minutes, we don’t want it to be too short as we wont get all the information we need but we also don’t want it to be too long so the viewers don’t lose interest.