Block 5, Week 9 — Research Discussion — Xavi and Sarah S

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

For this week’s group tutorial, Xavi and Sara S are doing their research presentation.


To start, a post on his blog — playfulness in cruelty through technology.

His research paper is about how satire sets up scenes of sacrifice to bring to light the darkest pleasures of humankind

Can you get the intended response from the spectator? This assumes you can “push their buttons” as it were. A lot of assumption?

Here’s a snippet of the discussion.


I’m inviting to the audience to engage in twisted, dark and playful situtations


Can you define twisted, dark and playful? After all, some people may not think that your twisted is their twisted!


An example


I don’t find that example “twisted”…. more “amusing” (I have a sick sense of humor)


…there a danger if you see things in such binary terms, like good and evil? — ‘playful’, ’twisted’ etc. would suggest something more nuanced and ambiguous rather than the clear cut a defined

And now, some of Xavi’s recent work — a dream that turns into a nightmare. It looks like the devil is giving a rock concert, and the visual aesthetic reminds me of the video for Pink Floyd’s The Wall (the perspective and desaturation) — even though its set in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

This will be a VR work. The “dreamer” can shoot — as first-person — the heads. This is hell and not purgatory? No chance of redemption? So why shot the heads. Perhaps some form of redemption will be worked into it.

Sarah S

The title of her research paper was Lifelogging and the Personal Archive: Exploring Memory through the Everyday.

Some images.

Documentation of the pavement around the block she is living in. And the marks of the chewing gum on said pavement. Clearly a chewing gum problem in her part of the world… she was next to a university, so apparently lots if anxious students chew gum.

Lifelogging does not necessarily mean that the collected data will eventually be made visible. This difference is made very clear by Bell, when he distinguishes between lifelogging and lifeblogging.

She’s not really interested in the mundane as such… more about the process of going through the daily — which includes the ups and downs in itself — hence an image (recording) of where she parks her car every day.

As part of her process, she records and marks manually. Why not use a GPS to track things? Her answer:

i wanted to create a process/ritual where i am directly involved, where i have to think about where i ve been actively, rather than having them logged in for me - playing with memory

A quote from her research paper:

Forgetting is not only central to our human experience, it is important for many other living beings, perhaps for life in general.

Forgetting, rather than remembering, as a focus.


A really interesting pair of presentations. It will be interesting to see what each of them does for the final show.

Next week

Finishing off the research presentations with Katerina and Russel.

And that means next week is also the end of block 5. The penultimate. Only one more to go. It only seems like a month or so ago I started this MA. Time is passing too quickly! A quick count and its only four more months until the final show. So, allow one moth for production, and that effectively means I have to have my resolved body of work wrapped up over the next three months.

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