Exercises in image
This research engages with interpretation and communication, through video and multimedia, to express a personal point of view. The challenge that has driven this project is to share an idea or a sensation without using oral or written language. The research question that underpins this inquiry asks: is it possible to communicate multiple visual interpretations of a story when an audience and a designer are thinking in different languages? This project mainly engages with visual rather than written or spoken texts. The origins of this research are based on personal experience. When I first arrived in New Zealand, I was held back by my lack of vocabulary and the differences between this culture and the very different education I grew up with. Editing pictures, videos and music seemed like the only way for me to explain my ideas when I first started designing in the context of a foreign language. This research project is based on the concept of a French book: Exercices de Style (Queneau, 1947), in which the author devises ninety-nine versions of the same story to demonstrate the subjectivity of rhetoric. My interpretation of the book aims to experiment with the possibilities and the understanding of visual communication. To answer this inquiry, I am using video as a narrative medium of broadcasting. The final design exhibited, is an audiovisual adaptation of Exercices de Style (Queneau, 1947), and takes shape in three subjective visions (inspired from each exercise developed in the experimentation) of one everyday event, using exclusively post-production tools. The project methodology takes a hermeneutical approach as it interprets a literary text using creative practice and analysis of audience understanding. The structure of this project is based on the hermeneutical circle suggested by Gadamer (1900-2002). The hermeneutical circle is distributed into four interdependent phases: the interpretation of a text, the creative process, the audience’s understanding, and the empirical analysis. It ultimately results in three systematic methods of communication informing and then used in the practice framework. The first one is an exploration of cinematic codes through editing language in order to modify the audience’s perception. Afterwards, intertextual references take over and recreate the narration. This process is achieved by primary visually quoting the inspirational parts of the experimentation. Finally, intertextual references are developed into an artistic and cultural appropriation. The design strategy uses globalised popular symbols as a visual dialogue. In regards to the practice process, I opted to use video as the predominant medium to express my interpretations. In my estimation, audiovisual material is the most effective and interactive way to direct the audience’s attention to the project concept. The empirical design takes shape in virtual collages of general globalised references and personal filming. Sound support emphasises the visual message broadcasted by each interpretation.