My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Art Assignment 30: Boundaries

For this assignment, I began to think of my iPhone as the boundary between my art and all of you. Most of what I have done for The Art Assignment I have photographed or filmed using my iPhone. It acts as my camera and I count on it to take care of details like focus and aperture, which I would manually have to manipulate on a traditional camera.

So then I began to question cameras as a boundary and ask myself what is one thing that I can use to manipulate it, (the iPhone as a boundary.) The answer was water. My phone isn’t waterproof and I didn’t want to use a waterproof case for this assignment as I feel that’s been done already. Instead, I wanted to use items such as water, glasses, windows and food colouring to change the way my phone records. I recorded these new boundaries and you can view them below.

Boundary Red – This was my first attempt. I find it beautiful but a bit claustrophobic. The water launches directly into the view of the audience. I’m glad I kept the audio as you can hear how the water and the drops of red food colouring change the iPhone’s ability to record sound. I’m especially impressed when the microphone occasionally picks up the “plink” of the food colouring hitting the settled water. By the end of this piece, the red colour has swirled and settled and it reminds me of a long hallway with misty figures in the distance.

Boundary Blue – For this piece I used a glass with a crack in it, (I checked to make sure it wouldn’t leak first!) I poured the water and blue food colouring more quickly and was impressed with the circular movement this achieved. Also, because I placed the crack in the glass directly across the camera’s viewfinder, the phone couldn’t actually focus fully. For me, this piece created the feeling of descending into dark blue seas. Some of the swirls of blue could even be strange sea creatures in the distance.

Boundary Green – This one might be my favourite attempt because of all the layers I employed. Since I was shooting into my front garden from my dining room, the window screen is the first boundary. I considered removing it but I like the texture it added. Then I added a drinking glass. I loved how much the curve of the glass bent the street in the background. Then I added the water and watching the wavering disk of water crawl to the top of the glass was mesmerizing. Finally I added drops of green food colouring. As it swirled and darkened, I thought about how I was layering green over a view already heavy in green; one natural green saturated with a human-created green dye.

Boundary Opaque – Here I used the cracked glass again and the same background as in Boundary Green. The view through the glass was less clear because of the unusual shape of the glass and the crack in the side. Once I added the water and drops of red, green and blue food colouring, it was obvious that this boundary was going to be the most opaque. As the colours mixed, they reminded me of a lava lamp. However, once everything was blended it came out somewhere between purple and black. If you watch and listen closely, at the end of the video, two women chat as jog by my house. The women appear on the right of the screen and then disappear as the glass obscures them, their voices drifting out of nowhere. Then you can see them briefly on the left of the screen as they jog away. This wasn’t planned but I liked the effect so I kept it.



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