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Forum Index > Representations of Water > Cameras and Water [lo-fi technology]

johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
having had my head down, I've just come back to this blog now. I saw a post from Katherine Jones about go pros...
I have just completed a workshop for a Falmouth University conference about environment technology and the arts. We spent two days looking 'beneath' the hydrohabitats around Falmouth, both in sea kayaks and while sea swimming. The workshop was entitled Hydrohack.
Rather than use expensive (ie exclusive) and cutting edge kit, we chose to use redundant technology - 10yr old cameras that would otherwise be landfill, low cost sound recorders and homemade contact mics. More 'stay am' than 'go pro'.
The films we made are about how difficult it is to read the depths - of water, of contested ownership, of changing environment. They tell a story with equipment that is part of the process of change - ie collapsonomic (to borrow a phrase from Vinay Gupta).

you can see a swimming film made with a camera in a jamjar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6tptZ1VC88
and here a short film on collapsing equipment here https://vimeo.com/104799924

John




Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
Hi John

Very interested in all this
Like the 'stay am'/ collapse approach

NOVA are part of the Bristol case-study, and something we did recently experimented with a fair amount of 'old'/hacked technology (but mixed with a fair amount of cheap 'pro' as well...)
See
http://vimeo.com/104352418
and
www.Unmapping.net

Would be good to discuss in depth - somewhere downstream...

cheers

Antony



ALIVENESS MACHINES [NOVA] from novadada on Vimeo.

Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
Hi Antony, what's the 'stay am' / collapse approach?

Hi John, I really like this video. Some of the later footage has a nice jerky time-lapse quality. What is the camera that you are using? It says it's in a pickle jar. Do you have a photo of it? How is it connected to your body? 




What is Ruth McCullough doing here? Is this an analogue camera? How is is encased/mounted on the boat. And how is she achieving the red effect?

GeoHack - Sea Kayaking Video Collapse from Ruth McCullough on Vimeo.

johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
Thanks Anthony, Tom
Tom, stay am is the opposite of 'go pro'. Rather than investing more in forms of technology that are unquestioningly about growth, expansion, new production.. the latest, the most expensive (which I refer to as yang technologies after the growing phase of tai chi), this is about the redundant, reused, collapsing - Ying Technologies. We are increasingly living in times of multiple descents. Can we understand how to thrive (artistically, economically, ecologically...) in yin times?

just uploaded another of these that I made in the Baltic...

baltic swim from John Hartley on Vimeo.



Ruth McCullogh was taking part in a workshop 'GeoHack' that I was running. We did some 'research' in kayaks and while sea swimming. She was good enough to upload this film in the hectic process of putting things together. Our output from the two days is also available here: thinglink.com/scene/561914213300174848

The red colour you mention is because I was replaying the film on an old laptop that is in the process of slowly falling apart. sometimes things look very stripy, sometimes patchy, sometimes fine. More yin tech! This was a screen capture that was also edited by one of the other participants Jackie.

Would be nice to take these approaches further and share them more with the group.


johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
just got round to watching this film Anthony
Like it very much. There's a form of post-humanist thinking at work here isn't there? Senses are expanded, augmented by non-human devices. An artist cyborg of sorts (as Haraway would put it).

especially like the closing shot from depths to surface and above. Reminds me of Andrej Zdravic's work
Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
Hi
Thanks John
I really like your introducing the yin-yang concept to these tech-involvements.

Would like to write at length about some of this...but can't right now
Briefly to say that perhaps there's maybe more of a 'dissolving of the human' in this work (NOVA's Aliveness Machines) than a post-human/cyborg/prosthetic intention?

I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Samuel Beckett's mistress, something like:
" He lived like he was out in a tempest without his skin"

So, in what ways might we enhance experiences of dissolving into the world?
and embody or embrace awarenesses of vitalities that 'normally' we are insensitive to? (or less sensitive?)

There's a little bit of background to our film here:
http://sabrinadreaming.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/aliveness-machines-shadows-and.html

...but this is morphing all the time

I'll be back here soon 

Antony

PS - you're the second person in a fortnight to mention Zdravic to me !


Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
Thanks John and Antony, this is really interesting thread. Thanks also for the Zdravic reference. 

I'd be interested in having a go at doing something like this in mid Wales and then sharing the outcome on here. John, what would you suggest as a starting point?

Tom


johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
hydrohack 101:

1. spend a few quid on mini dv cams. If it costs more than a tenner you're doing it wrong.

2. waterproof: pickle jars are good - with a clear bottom. Plastic is safer if you're holding it in water yourself.
Alternatively clip lock sandwich boxes come in different sizes. Small as possible to fit your camera. I've also used other discarded packaging.
If you waterproof with something made of opaque/translucent material, it will need a hole cutting and 'lens' fitting in the side somewhere. Use bathroom silicone gel to fix this in place. Foam rubber is useful to stop the camera rattling around inside.

3. Mount: Camera can be handheld, fitted to stick - a la Zdravic-, or tied to a swimmer as I've done. I used webbing and ribbons to hold them in place while swimming.

Similar approaches works for sound recorders and IMUs (in old smart phones).

Give it a go, and if you want to build this into a public event, I'd be up for seeking out some funding and coming along. What do you think?
John
Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
Thanks John, I'm going to give it a go. I'll report back on here and then let's talk more about further possibilities.
Tom
Antony Lyons 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 138
Personally I think a workshop along these lines would be useful, fun and thought-provoking.
Would be good to keep the discussion rolling

It may even be possible to dovetail with citizen-science DIY pollution detectors?

Also, there is a hackspace in Bristol
http://bristol.hackspace.org.uk

...and I was told recently by someone (who Katherine knows) about a hackspace-type community in Aber.

A
Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
Sounds great!
Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
I got a camera!
johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
Those are good links Anthony. I've never visited that space, although I know people they work with no doubt.  I was in Aberystwyth for 'Future Climate Dialogues' in 2013. Great event.

Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
I shared a short film at 'Future Climate Dialogues' in 2013.
Michael Buser 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 48
Did i read this post correctly that you can get digital cameras for less than £10?
Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
I've picked one up for free from my Film Department. They have a number of old ones kicking around that aren't used anymore. I'm guessing you could get something online for a few quid...
johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
Absolutely! There will always be glossy, impressive bits of kit that are released onto the market as an embodiment of must-have progress. But if you're willing to play in a different part of the wave of technology, you don't need to sign up to blockbuster price tags. To quote James Wallbank, we are suffering from a deficit in imagination, not a deficit in equipment.
Alternatively, wait around a few years and this year's miracle tech will be flooding ebay as giveaway unusable junk.
We know different though

John

Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
I've got one camera, I'm going to try and get some more from the Film Department here. I'm thinking of doing something in the week ending 22nd March 2015 in Borth and Talybont. Shooting and editing in the week and then screening at the weekend as part of a series of sharings at our local launch event. John, you mentioned looking for funding to run something. How might this work? 
johntonta 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 76
Interesting and possibly something that would be worth working towards! I think any funding would follow from the participants. General public or academic/research participants might offer different opportunities... Who had you in mind for the participants and 'audience'?
John
Tom Payne 4 years ago
ActivityRank: 928
We're going to do a digital mapping project in Borth and Tal y bont. This will involve projecting a large online map onto a big screen at venues in each place and then running lots of different workshops which involve many individuals and community groups gathering water data from the local area. This would include oral history. video, audio, photography, poetry, story-telling, performance etc. These will then be posted on the map with the aim of building up a cultural snapshot of the area.  We are hoping to engage with as many groups as possible and then on World Water Day (Sunday 22nd March) we are going to launch our local Hydrocitizenship project and invite people to get involved in the next phase of our project. I thought that the process you described would be a great way of getting people into the water and exploring these places from the sea and the rivers. 

The participants could be an existing community group. Eg. surfers in Borth. In which case we might approach them directly. Or we could make a general invitation to participate and see who shows interest. How many people would normally take part and what costs are involved? 
Tom

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