Having made 4 solid moving contraptions, I then wanted to see how a user could interact with them while capturing it on film. Should the user be shown in it? Should it be more about the objects and the movement of the objects?
I filmed two tests, one with the user in shot and one out and i definitely think the user needs ot be in. After all, this project is about the relationship we as humans have with our medical technology so evidently a human needs to be featured.
The film tests are still not hitting the abstract style that I was hoping for. The user must feature more heavily in it and it they should be more in contact with the contraptions. It needs to represent a sense of intimacy between user and device.
One thing i do like about the films is the continuity and the camera movement, i like how seamless the transition is and this is something i want to keep, i just have to add other elements too now for the film to really reach its full potential.
After making the last film trial, I really wanted to find a style of film and plan the final film properly. One thing i needed to work on was the editing of the film.
I really like the idea of a looping video, a video that plays on repeat seamlessly and transitions into each shot seamlessly.
I had this idea of making a circular table to put all the props round and either standing in the middle with a tripod that spins with the actor on the outside, or the actor on the inside spinning round, using the props while i track them round the table.
However, making a huge circular table and a rig to track the actor seemed like a huge task, so i began playing with some editing styles instead.
In this first trial, I took a pan of the room and started editing the film to stop at my bue t shirt, and transition into my t shirt. This worked really well, so I started sketching out a similar scene…
In this trial, I got my flatmate to sit in front of a white background so that i could pan from one side to the other, and edit the film so it goes back into itself. This worked really well! It has this illusion of constantly panning 360 degrees when really its just looping back in on itself.
It would now be a good idea to trial this method with objects / interaction with objects and see how that could play out…
Not quite as successful, maybe it’s now a question of being persistent with object to object film editing or background to background (like the previous video)
After (semi) finishing the conveyor belt and added mechanisms, I wanted to have a go at getting someone to interact with the contraption and filming the process. My aim before I had made the film reads as follows (from the last blog post)…
‘I would like the film to show how the individuals intake effects how much fibre they plug in, how much fibre they therefore intake and consequently, how much fibre they plug in for their next bowl. This should hopefully project the idea of a closed-loop system where the user and the mechanism work in tandem, constantly informing the other.‘
The video works as a trial but ends at that. In order to make a successful film i must plan out exactly what I want to film as this was quite a slap-dash way of filming with my brohter.
On that note, I did really want the user to be someone who this whole project might affect. My brother, being a type 1 diabetic, seemed the perfect person. He reacted well to the mechanism, he took a liking to it and we discussed the implications of this abstract piece of technology. Breaking halfway through to check his blood sugar levels and cursing the interruption, he liked where the project was going.
However, i’m not keen on where this project is at the moment. My goal really is to create a film that really speaks to people who can understand these themes of labour, intensity and closed loop systems. In order to do that, I need to plan this film properly, with help from those who can help best.
I have reached out to those who I had interviewed in the first weeks of writing my context report. I sent them this description and the film and politely asked for their feedback…
After making the conveyor belt, I began to add the individual mechanisms. Here is the process…
Although having taken much longer than expected, I’ve come away with a fully functioning fibre control mechanism.
I would really like my final film to convey the relationship that individuals have with their diabetes technology; the labour that goes in to using the technology, and the relentlessness of the job at hand. I would like the film to be on a loop to represent how the technology interacts with the body…
Similar to the ‘bread machine’ animation i made, where when the person eats, the speed of the machine slows / speeds up where less / more bread is eaten, affecting the speed of the person’s heart rate, I would like the film to show how the individuals intake effects how much fibre they plug in, how much fibre they therefore intake and consequently, how much fibre they plug in for their next bowl. This should hopefully project the idea of a closed-loop system where the user and the mechanism work in tandem, constantly informing the other.
This was the original chain that I had made to go round the cogs and act as the belt but unfortunately because of the dowels being different widths, it was taking too much time to sand the dowles down / glue the chains on to the dowels for it to become coherent so I had to think of another way to make the belt.
Using fabric instead, I began to sew pockets on to a long strip of semi-flexible thick fabric. It took a long time as I had to sew 69 pockets with a 1.5cm gap, two times for both straps but I think it would have taken much longer to make the wooden chain.
It was also quite a long process putting the whole thing together as the cogs that I had originally made were not the right size for this new belt. After making a new set of cogs, I realised the width between the cogs needed to be wider and more rounded to be more forgiving to the rigid belt. Luckily the final cogs work really well (4th time lucky).
The final thing!
Now it’s a case of adding the other mechanisms that will sit on top if the conveyor belt and produce the bowl of chia pudding or whether it’s worth just moving on to the next contraption?
After making the fibre system, I really wanted to put it to use. I had aimed to make a short video that displayed how the machine works with someone using it effectively. I wanted to make the cuts quite short and sharp so I put it to this quite fast and upbeat tune. It ended up being quite an abstract video instead of a ‘how to’ type of video but I actually really like how it turned out. The mechanism itself (the fibre system) doesn’t actually look / work that well but I think the way i’ve edited it does it a bit more justice.
You see the user eating lots of different things. This brings her fibre intake to 21g out of the NRV of 30g. The hearts represent her intake by filling up as she eats. When she goes to plug in to the black device how much fibre she has eaten (21g/30g), you see small circles appear, these represent 1g of fibre. So then she is missing just 9g of fibre, which she plugs into the fibre machine which releases chia seeds into her bowl. She adds milk and coco powder to taste then mixes using the machine. When she eats the 9g of fibre, her intake is complete; the hearts are fulfilled, there’s 30g of fibre, job done.
As a way to show how the fibre system works, i do quite like this style of editing though i’m not sure whether the game style suits it so much. The playful side of it really counts towards what i’m trying to convey. Whether the actual system does this or not i’m not convinced.
I do really want to retrieve the puppet / animatronics side of things, there’s certainly not enough emphasis placed on this at the moment and over the next 4 weeks this is something I really want to crack.
After making the first ‘fibre system’ that comprised of a 30g fibre recording contraption, and separate rotating bowl that you would put missing grams of fibre into, to release chia seeds that are full of fibre and additional flavourings that would make up the rest of the 30 grams, I wanted to take the machine to the next level by making a fully functioning conveyor belts that would feed the bowl down a series of mechanisms.
By the end of this, I should hopefully be left with a system that makes up for one’s fibre intake by producing a high in fibre bowl of chia pudding. This system, in a roundabout way, reacts to your body’s needs while making fibre intake a fun and interactive. It will allow the user to feel confident in their need for nutrients while making it an enjoyable experience.
Although seemingly completely unrelated to the experiences a diabetic faces on a day to day basis, I do see carb counting in a similar light to how I see fibre counting for example. It is a mundane task and for a non diabetic, pretty useless. But, with an experience-based contraption like this, hopefully by bringing what goes on inside the body to life, we can begin to see the unpaid and unrewarded ‘micro work’ that diabetics must deal with as a means to exploration in a fun and imaginative way.
I absolutely loved the project review, not only was it nice to look back through my own work and see what direction my own project is taking, but it was also amazing to see everyone elses work; to see the diversity in projects and the extent of contexts that ‘design’ spans. I thought everyone’s projects were so well put together and It was fascinating listening to what people are working on at the moment in such an uncertain and isolating period of time.
I was quite nervous to present my work as I wasn’t sure whether I would be ‘up to standard’ with everyone elses work but when I did present, I just thought it was nice to be able to talk about my work to fresh eyes and ears; it made me rethink what my work actually is and how I can go about explaining it. I also really enjoyed putting the presentation together as I could gather all of my work from the past few months and identify the route it had taken.
The feedback I received was really helpful. it was nothing crazy, it was mainly just to keep on making these ‘machines’ / ‘systems’ and to include more of my body in it (something on the lines of using the systems to eat with).