The Proposal BY nikita kafetzis

The New Normal Series

For the second and final assessment task for project portfolio 02, creative studio students like myself had to submit and come up with a proposal for the DANT (Digital Arts Northern Territory) website. Students had either three options when it came to start creating for the project which were either a mural for the water tower, sculpture for the library breezeway or photographic projections for the amphitheatre. For my proposal submission, I decided to choose the amphitheatre and create my own projections.

Image of the amphitheatre space

For the amphitheatre projections, instead of incorporating photographical images, I decided to take videos instead to bring the projections more alive like and tell more of a story through those videos side by side displayed on the amphitheatre walls. The theme I focused my videos on were around quarantine and what the new normal looks and feels like currently in today’s society undergoing the pandemic. For the videos, I used my close friend as a model in which she acted out ways which reinforce this idea of ‘isolation’ and how that can be interpreted through different perspectives of surrounding environments. I decided to make the videos tell more of a story through using things that are related to quarantine, such as a mask in which the model in my video has on throughout the video series, in which she is absolutely alone in each different setting forming this sense of eeriness and almost melancholic look being presented to the audience. The videos take place in three different settings being home in bed, the bathroom in which the model puts on the mask before leaving to venture outside to a completely isolated beach setting, where my model walks amongst the coastline in isolation.

Image of model Crystal Cardona, awakening to the new normal

One of the artists who inspired my work for this project was photographer Robert Doisneau. Doisneau was a French photographer and an earlier pioneer of photojournalism along with his interest in street photography. Through his photography mainly having a black and white approach, Doisneau captures a vision of human frailty and a series of life events happening yet presenting this idea of quietness through the usage of black and white photography spawning feelings of nostalgia and what was once a living memory almost forgotten. Through his multiple works, he has managed to connect and capture the idea of human life linked with his storytelling abilities portrayed in black and white photographs. This approach was an inspiration for my own projections which my videos are taken in black and white which links back to Doisneau’s practice and primary medium.

Photographs taken by Robert Doisneau that inspired my works

For the documentation of my processes, I began taking a series of multiple videos and photographs in black and white in each different setting of the locations in my projections. I had the model in the videos and photographs re-enact different actions such as sleeping and awakening up to what is considered ‘the new normal’ and walking through different settings and environments, which offered interesting textures to engage with the audience and build up the sense of atmosphere. Originally while working with my videos, I had two videos telling the story playing at once, where the model would be filmed waking up accompanied by another video of the model acting out another action. I later found that this was causing a bit of distraction for the viewers’ attention span, as two videos playing at once would result in loss of concentration from things being too happening all in one time frame, and almost oversharing for a simple short video. From this, I decided that the model would instead act out actions in one video, and the other video contain a texture which would form a cohesive connection between the two of the videos, so when the videos would play, it would have an easier followed video aside it to assist in the story but in a more simplistic and straight forward way for the purpose of absorbing the story’s intentions.

Below are some experimentations / documentations of photography that i did as test trials to find and grasp onto a visual story that would suit well for a video projection regarding the theme of quarantine.

The final video portrays ‘the new normal’ through different settings and different actions being undertaken, along with a texture accompanying the videos as they progress from start to finish, capturing the idea of what it means to be in complete loneliness and experiencing the negative state the world is currently at in short 24 second videos shot in black and white.


Photos by Nikita Kafetzis