Ashwinstudio art blog


Converging Time Code

6th November, 2020

“…what many people do when they use a computer and go online today is not fantasy role-playing, but almost the exact opposite: the mundane slogging through the details and interpersonal negotiations of the ‘real’ world.” (McHugh, 2014)

Building on recent artworks, where I explored combining the real and digital world as basis for my practice, I have spent the past few days experimenting with code and scripts for the index page of the digital online artwork. This is an important part of the whole because the Internet has been essential to ho so many of us cope with the lockdown and isolation. Online conferencing tools such as, Zoom and Skype, have seen a boom in online meetups, virtual schooling, fitness and concerts. Additionally, the Internet has helped limit isolation and allowed shielded people to order shopping and even a virtual Doctors appointment. However, it has also made the world so much smaller, we can see, in almost real time, how the pandemic is effecting other parts of the world.

I want the script to reflect the random and disorientating effect on time that, like so many, I have felt from during the Covid 19 pandemic — the effect has been given a name: ‘Blursday’. Also, I want to convey how new and old memories all get mixed up and distorted as my brain is flooded with imagery from the so many forms of media and from so many parts of the world. Some events seem so surreal and others are shocking but most of all my emotions oscillate between joy, anger, frustration, relief, hope, sadness, regret, guilt and pride.

So far I have collated around 450 images, some downloaded or captured from media and others taken during my walks or from my safe haven — my garden. All of them cover different periods of the pandemic and how it has unfolded; from when the Coronavirus first appeared on the news, through the isolation of lockdown and then stay alert, and the relaxation of rules that followed. And on into Lockdown 2.

I managed to find a high resolution png of the Covid 19 virus from that is repeated across many scientific websites. I have used this as my button and created various colour variations to represent my emotions throughout this period. Furthermore, I decided to animate the buttons so that they randomly move across the screen, represents how randomly the virus attacks peoples bodies — some people suffer complete shutdown whilst others don’t know they have had it or are carrying it. At first, the animation was too fast, so I slowed it down to a speed that it is possible for a user to click a button but still not easy — this increases the random nature of what button is clicked.

My intention was that each button is a link to a slideshow page however, I have created a random array of slideshows for each button. In other words, when a visitor clicks a button the code random selects from five or six possible slideshows. Therefore, every visitor has a different experience.

Open digital Converging Time artwork

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© 2021 Ashley Baldwin-Smith

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