Dissertation PDP

in approaching the thought process for what I wanted to write about I enticed what truely made me think, and although too much honestly makes me think. what I wanted to learn more about, explore and write about was heroes. heroes interest me in many ways, all types all shapes all sizes. and in that was the seed for my dissertation.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would approach writing about heroes, I had already invested in a book by Joseph campbell titled the hero with a thousand faces, prior to engaging in discussions about my dissertation so on a personal level I was already engaged. in researching one particular image reached out to me and that was Washington crossing the Delaware by emmanuel lutze (this painting really captured my interest because it portrayed Washington so out of himself but so embedded in his accomplishment. and it made me wonder how much of art reflected this thinking. and as I researched further I found that many artworks really spoke to me, such as art form antonio pio saraccino and mauro peruccetti. I have discovered art that I can utilise and relay back into my own practice.

I struggled a lot with how to formulate my argument, I really found that although heroes were so prevalent in art I was not without a mountain of research.

In formulating my dissertation proposal I explored a variety of ways to approach the topic and found myself truly spreading the topic very thinly over a variety of subject matters some of these were reflected in the titles I was considering, I really wanted to make Joseph Campbell’s book the hero with a thousand faces so prominent in my work, but it needed to be expanded beyond that, and it was for me looking back especially diluting and thinning out the subject matter. being initially ill suffering from severe migraines through extenuating circumstances I was presented with more time, this did help me to think about the topics I wanted to explore, however it also delayed where my peers would be as they had already begun writing chapter one, so I was set behind them and found it very difficult to relate to there progress.

In speaking to my dissertation tutor about my proposal she was concerned that although the topic seemed interesting and unique and also that it was such as personal one for me, it lacked underpinning contextually to use her exact phrasing. I found through extensive conversation we eventually used masculinity as a way to bind all of these heroic pieces of art together, so I was given some research and book to look at.

I will admit it is upsetting to me on  level that the heroic topic is so focussed on men, because it is a non gender specific trend in my eyes, and I think towards the end of writing my a lot some of that thinking leaked out onto what I was writing about.

though I did find the actual method of research rather enjoyable,  think the idea of reading an entire book front to back intimidated me, but that was not how I approached this, I highlighted key chapters and points and did it that way, this for was providing me with a lot of research and also using e-books searching for key words phrases and quotes enabled me to source and gather a lot of information quickly.

I did find that being behind hindered my research efforts however, it was a conscious effort to put the research down and start writing and in doing that I feel the research isn’t fully formed or at least the writing isn’t all it could have bee.

I enjoyed establishing my dissertation as a chronology of sequenced events, writing in this way made jumping through time enjoyable and made the key areas of what I was looking at all the more relatable and easy to see. I have discovered some incredible new art and some very interesting facts about art I have already seen.

I don’t think I have given this topic full justice, but that isn’t entirely surprising to me, essay writing to an art student who isn’t particularly practiced in the matter can find this process abit intimidating and it was.I think that having to approach this again viewing each chapter as its own mini essay is a great way to round off each piece of research and that way when gluing everything together in the conclusion I have a great formulaic way of tackling each point which I found hard to do this time. in writing my conclusion I had to leave it ill dead last evaen after writing my introduction do just coming so far in the research I found that I needed to rediscover what I had written

this was enjoyable for me though as I really do enjoy the topic.

in all I am not wholly satisfied but I am not entirely shocked by what I have produced, I hope I have satisfied the criteria enough that it can help me pass my degree and I am realising that this type of writing is probably going to become an inevitability in many career paths. I found it comforting to know that my lecturers even today still have to write such essays. I can identify that I cannot focus for long periods of time on writing due to my headaches and in fact I suffered form an infected eye on the final week of the deadline which made writing very strenuous, luckily I had some software that read the words out to me without looking directly at my screen. I feel this can be enjoyable, a lot more enjoyable than I initially thought, especially if that topic is engaging to me on  a personal level and that has helped me along massively, not having a topic forced upon me has contributed massively to the breadth of research I did and I am hoping that really shows in my writing.


Antonio Pio Saracino – The Guardians of New York


Very few times I look at a piece of design and say “I wish i made that” This is one of those times. Antonio Pio Saracino studio created “the guardians” to celebrate the year of italian culture in New York city. Saracino designed a marble Michaelangelos David and a steel super hero to feature opposite each other in a square in New York.

The 2 pieces are enablers of some very key values of mine. A celebration of achievement and potential of humans. and a cross coordination of material display and techniques new and old.

the use of negative space in the pieces never make you feel like they are blocking out your world just inhabiting it in the same fluid way we do.







Constellation: Reflective Journal PDP

In choosing the Fab bits tones and pixels constellation module, I was hoping to explore technologies applications for artists and alike. I have always felt a great synergy with technology and digital media so this option seemed like a natural choice. I was also hoping to work with Arduino as that was a relatively new concept to me, entering this new course.

The sessions and lectures focused on how technology formulates interactive art and other applications with these digital means.We learned the difference between digital and analogue, we explored how to programme an ardunio, played with sonic art and how to utilise script writing programmes such as MAX to create slideshows.

In our first session with Paul Granjon we looked at AC and DC , AC meaning alternating current and DC meaning digital current. We were taught how AC is an electric charge that changes and reverses periodically, typically used in plug points etc. and DC is where the electricity flows in a single direction at a time.

We then explored how to wire up an LED using a breadboard and an arduino. Though the arduino isn’t required to make the LED light up, what the ardunio would do is allow us to programme different sequences by which the LEDS could light up.

We were shown how to write the correct scripts and the typical naming conventions for how to write it.

I found this entry way into ardunio very enticing though rather complex on some points, I feel like theres a lot to memorise in order to correctly script something.

In Alex Kontogeorgokopoulos’ lectures we looked at Max MSP, utilising Photo Booth on mac, we took 10 photos of ourselves in which we then used Max to create a slideshow and alter the sequencing and time delays of the photos displayed. this way of cycling images was rather intuitive once we got to grips with it however there were many hoops to jump through to get to the end result.


I do struggle to understand why any one would create a slideshow in this manor when one can just do it in a dedicated app like iPhoto or even a video editing package. it was an interesting way to utilise a script by plugging pieces together however.

The sessions where I really came into my own were Olivia Kotsifas. I had a minimal grasp on 3D software packages such as Rhino so doing some exploration in that really helped.

I was already using the software on a basic level in my own practice for my subject modules. Learning things like how to “cap” a mesh and snap poly lines together better really made a massive difference, I really took what I learned from OLivia and managed to produce a really cohesive model that I eventually 3D printed to great success. 3D printing was of my own undertaking however, and not part of constellation, I feel like not getting to do this in my constellation was a bit of a disappointing as I felt like being guided may have allowed me to learn quicker and better.


Utilising the laser cutter was what we also looked at, we were given the option to produce christmas decorations out of acrylic using coral draw a CAD programme. having already used a laser cutter several times in the past this was more familiar to me. I did help others produce there decorations utilising Adobe illustrator and coral draw together. It felt comfortable to use both programmes in tandem to create what I felt worked best for the piece.


I utilised the laser cutter in several ways in my own practice from helping the other students create there decorations. I created an etched piece on clear acrylic by which I raster cut an illustration onto a square and just to test out the lasers versatility I rubbed acrylic ink over the top, to my surprise the ink captured the individual depth and the gradients in where the laser had cut in various areas. I secondly looked at how I could combine both rhino and the laser cutter, For this I managed to export some dimensions and line files over to illustrator and then coral draw this allowed me to laser cut pieces that were scaled accuratly to the piece I 3D printed from rhino.


All in all I found the constellation sessions interesting though a bit sporadic. We jumped from session to session and they were all very different subject areas. it was nice to explore arduino and programmes like Max, I do feel that more time on rhino would have been nice as I felt I really gained useful knowledge from the sessions.