Photobook | ‘Instagram: Taste, Class & Performativity’
Over the last few weeks, and as the final year of my degree draws to a close! It has been an incredibly stressful, challenging and nauseating time for me. Becuase of this, I was forced to focus almost whole-heartedly on creating, curating, organising and producing my photobook as to ensure it is ready for the submission. Over the course of this semester, I have learned an awful lot about printing processes, what goes wrong, how books are made and produced but also, that ultimately, printing and physically producing something takes a lot of time, patience, perseverance and concentration. Subsequently, I have had little to no opportunity to write blogs over the last few weeks.
And so, after many painstakingly long weeks of travelling back and forth from Frenchay Campus to Bower, I was finally able to get my book cover printed and bound! Initially, I faced some issues with my test prints… some prints came out and they were misaligned (this was a critical issue, as the whole premise of my production is based around these visuals aligning and matching up as to draw attention to the shared similarities amongst images. Because I had faced these initial issues with my test prints, I had decided to print each book section separately as to ensure that I have maximum control and flexibility over the situation if anything went wrong! This inevitably extended my production time considerably; especially when one takes into account the hour journey it takes in 1 direction to get to Bower from Frenchay and then the lengthy queuing and printing processes! Although my decision to print sections separately, extended my production-time considerably, it did give me greater control over the production process (For example, if a section came our wrong, I would only have to reprint that section rather than send the whole print job again, thus also minimising material waste) Additionally, due to this time of the year is busy for everyone, and due to the fact that I have a combination of materials within my production (Folex and Acetate) there were some instances where there was a confusion between myself and the print center with which pages needed to be printed under each material; thus some prints came out wrong and had to be re-printed.
Nevertheless, I have managed to overcome such issues and I have now finally managed to get my photo book printed! Above are the images showcasing its front cover, landing page, mid-section and back cover. Words cannot explain or describe the amount of reliefe I am feeling now that that is all done! It was such as stressful process, to the point where I ended up waking up in a cold sweat becuase I had a dream that I bound my book back to front! Traumatising!
I am completely extastic and so satisfied with the way in which the photobook turned out! I feel that the combination of Folex, Acetate and Shinny Silk cover work great together by creating a really aesthetic, haptic and professional quality appearance and feel for the book! I was intially aiming to get the book bound with a hard, thick, cardboard cover, although I was concerned around how this would look; and whether this would give my book a oddly mismatched or conflicting aesthetic. However, in the end I had decided that it was best to just go with a thiner card that creates a professional and high-quality finish whilst also offering some stability to the overall structure of the book. I wanted to go for an almost editorial, catologue type, aesthetic; similar to that of a car or brand catelogue;
In which case, I feel works and fits really well with the overall, slick, commericalised and instagram style and tone in which am I getting at! Hopefully, over the rest of my degree and up-until the date of our degree show on May, I will be able to get another copy produced also, although, this may be challenging due to the fact that there are long, tenuous ques at the print centre as everyone is at the stage now were hand-in’s are drawing thick and fast.
By ticking off and completing the physical production of my photobook, I am now able to think more clearly and consisely about producing and putting together the accompanying video clips for the second part of my submission. I had decided that I wanted to produce 2 videos, 1 – scrolling and 2 – Layer morph. These video pieces will function to make visible and draw attention to the ways in whcih we encounter, visualise and intereact with the data we share online.
Fresh out of the print centre, I began the process of creating the scroll video. I had opened up the working file from my assets hand-in as a templet, although, as all of my images were produced and ready, naturally I wanted to include more and produce a longer clip. When creating a scrolling video on Premier, you are required to create the canvas in which you want to scroll down through and then alter its movement in the ‘Effects Control’ window. I managed to get all of my images onto a single canvas but due to the nature of this production and the sheer mass of the file; it turned into a large format file or (.PSB) and thus was too large to be opened up straight into Premier so after seeking advice from my technical instructor and lots of compressing, flattening, fiddling and cropping we were able to get the file open in Premier although in 4 separate images instead of 1. From that I then began the process of animating the long JPG file by changing values in under the effect controls tab through use of keyframes.
However, we then faced issues with creating an authentic and consistent as I was unable to create a consistent flow and I was unable to align and iron out all of the joins and bumps. So in considering that the submission is due in less than a week. We had decided that it would just be best to go back to the basics when creating this video. Thus I will save each image to my phone, upload them directly to Instagram and then just screen record that from my Laptop. This allowed me to create a super authentic, realistic and professional video that seemed more appropriate to my project brief as well as providing me with the opportunity to create a more considered and quality approach to my production. After deciding upon this, I went forward and created an Instagram account for this project! Thus I am critiquing popular culture and performativity through a social media performance myself! So, inadvertently, as I faced some issues throughout the editing process when using premier, this led me to shift my approach slightly, this has worked greatly in my favour; As I am now able to create a more thoughtful and considered critique of data and performativity on social media through the use of performing on social media!
Critiquing Performativity | @TasteClassPerfomativity
Instagram account – https://www.instagram.com/tasteclassperformativity/
Video Submission | #TasteClassPerformativity – Scroll [1 of 2]
Video Submission | #TasteClassPerformativity – Layer Morph [2 of 2]