Andrew McWilliams

First Week at Jaaga

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I'm one full week in to my residency at Jaaga, so what have I been doing?

Buying components for Jaaga
Buying components for Jaaga

First off, introductions! I gave a short informal presentation of my work to the Jaaga crew, and began preparing and editing video for a public presentation in week 2.

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Presentation Style

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I did my first day of the Jaaga residency today!

And at about 7pm I gave a short, hastily-prepared informal presentation of my work and background until now. It's something all resident artists have to do when they start. Its not really something I've done much before, and I wasn't 100% on how to do it.

The people watching were mainly other participants at Jaaga so I asked for feedback immediately afterwards - knowing I may have to give the same presentation again soon, and more publicly this time. I'm glad I asked now as the feedback was very useful.

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Beginning the Jaaga Fellowship

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I'll be starting my Jaaga fellowship soon, and as I sit here soaking up the sumptuous rays of the Porto Alegre (Brazil) cityscape visible from my hotel balcony, I can't help but think how little I know of what I'm going to be doing there. I know the guys I'll be working with (some of them), and I know what kind of community awaits me, and that's all I need to know. They are a nice bunch, and I'll be with friends, and the rest isn't so important. Until we start doing it!

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Brian Eno, Role Models and Direction

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I often lament the lack of career role models in my life that I really look up to. It's broadly due to a historical pig-headed lonership and lack of communal immersion, and also sparse and bias-driven field research which I am currently regretting and rectifying.

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The Hype Cycle

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This is a really great diagram that I first saw at the vvvv node10 event in Frankfurt. It was made to represent the hype around new technologies, but I think it might be applicable more broadly. In any case it's a useful reference point:

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Working with 3D Space

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Walking in Frankfurt a couple of days ago I conceived an idea for a new installation. It consisted of projecting video over a collection of large box-like surfaces arranged in a darkened room. I was happy with the general design of the space in my head, and when I got back to my hotel I wanted to sketch the image onto paper.

I drew a few lines, but then I was stuck. I can sketch just fine, but something was missing, from the image in my mind. I realised that my brain had performed a common trick - to conceive an object in terms of it's salient features, and to obscure or avoid the 'less important' ones. Ofcourse, for an artist, this is not good.

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Technology and Luck

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I've had a terrible run of luck recently. Before two different shows, I've suddenly had a piece of hardware die on me.

The first one was a few weeks ago, my projector just wouldn't switch on. And I couldn't use any old projector as a replacement, it had to be a short throw with decent contrast ratio. Next, just two days ago, my laptop refused to login - this time just a few hours before the show was due to start. In both cases I had to cancel the show.

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