Our SISE module culminated in a group project that gave us a chance to expand on the techniques we had experimented with on our individual projects and work together as a group.
For our group project we ended up using the Avon Mouth road bridge as our subject. This is a substantial piece of architecture and is obscure as it’s placed in the centre of a housing estate. I thought it would be interesting to portray this as a sense of place and get a feel for what it would be like to live around such a structure. I took inspiration for the sound from Bill Fontana’s San Francisco bridge sound portrait and we were also introduced to Paul Wenham-Clarke who documented the London community living under ‘The West way’ which is a flyover in London under the A40.
We initially wanted produce a piece that used the sounds of the bridge contrasted against the peacefulness of a home to convey to an audience what it might be like to live in such an area. During the image gathering and tutorials this message was lost a little and we started to focus more on the people who used the bridge, showing them images and sounds that they would never normally come in contact with although they might be regular users of it.
When we presented our rough draft to our buddy group it was clear that while the edit served the brief the theme was still mixed, they felt there were too many images and the sound was forced and rhythmic so was unnatural. In the final edit we introduced more of the natural sound that we had captured and more video that tried to convey what it is like to live in the area.
The majority of feedback we got from the final showing was positive, most of the audience seemed aware of what we were trying to achieve and they seemed genuinely interested in the subject. We had some feedback that we could still have done more to link the community and the bridge together as it seemed like separate areas which meant the message was a bit lost.
Overall I was pleased with the finished product but felt that a lot of the great material that myself, David and Louise captured didn’t make it to the final cut. The excuse we gave was that there were problems with the transfer of footage but in reality it was down to half the members of the group not getting involved throughout the process. The fact that some of us had to take on a lot of the work meant that we became somewhat unenthusiastic in the project by the end. The process as a whole has made me look at image and sound gathering for my future work in a different more unconventional way; it has also enabled me to learn who I can rely on when it comes to creating a team for my future modules.