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 LO4 - PROBLEM SOLVING

ethical problem consideration

Ethical considerations play a crucial role in any project or endeavour, including research, decision-making, and creative processes. It is essential to recognise and address potential ethical implications to ensure fairness, integrity, and respect for all participants involved. When it comes to subconscious biases, I believe it is imperative to critically examine our own biases and prejudices that may unconsciously influence our thoughts, actions, and decisions. 

By acknowledging and understanding our inherent biases, we can strive to mitigate their impact and make more objective, fair, and inclusive choices. This requires self-reflection, open-mindedness, and a willingness to challenge our assumptions and preconceived notions. Ethical considerations and addressing subconscious biases are integral in creating an environment that promotes equity, diversity, and ethical practices.

 

Subconscious biases refer to implicit or unconscious prejudices and stereotypes that influence our perceptions and behaviours without our conscious awareness. These biases are deeply ingrained within us, shaped by societal norms, cultural influences, and personal experiences. They can affect how we perceive and interact with others, impacting our decision-making processes. 

Recognising subconscious biases is crucial as they can lead to unfair treatment, discrimination, and exclusion. By actively examining our biases and promoting awareness, we can work towards minimising their influence on our judgments and actions. This involves fostering inclusivity, embracing diversity, and seeking alternative perspectives to make more informed and equitable decisions. 
Addressing subconscious biases is a continuous process that requires ongoing self-reflection, education, and a commitment to creating a more just and unbiased society.

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During the experimentation of one of my primary research experiments, I maintained a heightened sense of ethical responsibility. When I requested my peers to participate in the Harvard Implicit Bias test, I made sure to prioritise the anonymity of their responses. Drawing from my personal experience with the test, I realised that the results may not always align with someone's expectations or desires. It was crucial to me that individuals did not feel judged based on their outcomes.

During my Gillian Wearing primary research experiment, it was essential for me to be mindful of the ethical implications concerning Pav's potential utilisation of his own biases towards his students and colleagues. 


Luckily, I was fortunate enough that everyone involved was fully supportive and approached the experiment in a lighthearted manner. The entire experience proved to be thrilling and engaging, without any contentiousness.

While gathering primary research for my word-cloud map, I maintained a crucial perspective of ensuring that individuals were not subjected to judgment or made to feel judged based on their responses.

conceptual problem consideration 

I encountered a significant conceptual challenge during my creative process, primarily revolving around the difficulty of selecting a clear direction to pursue. I found myself overwhelmed by the myriad of ideas swirling in my mind, yet none of them seemed to possess the strength necessary for me to commit to a specific concept. This sense of indecisiveness proved to be incredibly frustrating, as I yearned for a cohesive and powerful artistic direction, but struggled to know how to resolve this as it was my first time really experiencing this during the Foundation Diploma. 

To address this dilemma, I actively sought guidance from my teachers, peers, and friends. Recognising the importance of creating a final piece that could truly resonate with the audience (as this is a strong motivator for me when creating art), I sought their advice and insights. Paradoxically, this pursuit of resonance with the viewers added to my internal turmoil, causing additional, and perhaps unnecessary, stress regarding the final direction I should ultimately choose.

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After completing my own experiment inspired by Gillian Wearing, I began to gain a clearer understanding of the direction I wished to pursue. The experiment not only visually highlighted the theme of subconscious biases, but it also deeply engaged all those who participated. It was a combination of humility and intrigue that compelled everyone, myself included, to eagerly await Pav's interpretation of their responses. As mentioned earlier, the "lightbulb" moment for me was witnessing and experiencing the profound connection it created, along with the warmth, playfulness, and humor that enveloped it. 

 

The experiment struck a perfect balance, being thought-provoking, clever, and above all, lighthearted. An unspoken human connection permeated throughout this endeavor, marking a significant developmental milestone for me.

 

Recognising the desire to recreate this sense of connection within my exhibition installation, I faced the challenge of conceptual transformation. I realised that duplicating the exact experiment with the visiting audience might not be possible, prompting me to explore alternative ways of preserving the human element while reshaping the appearance.

technical problem consideration 

My primary technical hurdle throughout the project revolved around time management. It presented a challenging combination of prolonged conceptual blockage at the project's outset, taking on the additional responsibility of curating the Art Foundry magazine, and unexpectedly embracing a final concept that demanded acquiring new skills in multiple new techniques, programmes, and software. 

Despite these obstacles, I managed to bring everything together in the end. By remaining mindful of the limitations and time-consuming aspects associated with these new directions, I was able to achieve what I had set out to do. 

However, I must admit that I potentially experienced more stress than necessary, possibly because this diploma has been an incredibly significant milestone for me personally, not only because I have been away from mainstream education for 12 years due to my own disabilities but also because it marks in first experience in testing my capabilities to successfully complete an entire course. My time management probably wasn't helped by the fact that during this experience I have realised that I am someone who tends to thrive under stress, leading me to question if some of the time-related stress was a little self-imposed. 

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Throughout the course of my project, I encountered technical hurdles that demanded problem-solving. The nature of my end concept, including producing Art Foundry and developing this Wix website for examination, compelled me to acquire an entirely new set of digital skills. Transitioning from a Photoshop novice, I invested significant effort in acquiring decent proficiency not only in Photoshop but also in Illustrator, InDesign, and Wix. Undeniably, these challenges were often frustrating, as there were no quick fixes available, and I had to commit myself to learning the intricacies of these software programmes.

However, upon reflection, these technical obstacles proved to be valuable opportunities for growth. They compelled me to learn a vast array of skills within a relatively short period. These newfound abilities will undoubtedly remain valuable assets, stay with me throughout my artistic journey and enhance my future art projects.

In conclusion, while the technical problems I faced were undoubtedly exasperating, they ultimately presented a brilliant opportunity for personal and professional development. Acquiring a range of valuable digital skills in such a condensed timeframe has not only equipped me to navigate this project successfully (hopefully) but has also enriched my artistic toolkit for future endeavours.

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While engrossed in my Rothko-inspired background, I did a test run for my installation. During the half term, while catching up on my workload and completing the canvas, I projected my unfinished portrait onto the canvas. This allowed me to make crucial decisions regarding the colour palette and arrangement of colours concerning the projection. I experimented with various portraits, white backgrounds, projecting a photograph of the canvas with the portrait, and different opacities. Through this process, I realised the need to lighten the lower part of the canvas as the teal shade proved too dark to harmonise with the projection. 


Additionally, I realised that while I had animated the portrait with water ripples as planned, I felt it lacked the desired "wow factor."

During my previous exhibition, where I hosted a 'Pity Party' featuring balloons decorated with swear words, I received invaluable feedback from one of my tutors. 

Her words resonated deeply with me and encapsulated my artistic aspirations. However, as I assessed my installation for my Final Major Project, I sensed that something was missing. It was then that I recognised the absence of this crucial feedback, which served as confirmation of style for me. 

I deeply admire and connect with the art that tackles challenging subjects while maintaining a sense of survival humour and kindness—qualities that help us navigate life today. Realising that my exhibition needed a further artistic

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 touch, I conceived the idea of animating the face to occasionally and gradually wink.


I hope that this additional animation will entice the audience further, infusing the installation with the human elements and personalities that are essential to our subconscious minds. Drawing inspiration from a video I experienced firsthand in Chicago last year, just outside the Art Institute, I aim to recreate the engaging, relaxing, connecting, and fascinating emotions that I felt.

The final technical challenge I encountered revolved around painting the canvas. Given my limited knowledge of painting and my instinctive perfectionism, I decided against using brush strokes. Additionally, I wanted the canvas to possess a textured quality, which led me to choose the method of mono-printing for the background. The main dilemma I faced with this task was the physical demand it imposed. I was fully aware that it would be a substantial undertaking, but I saw no alternative other than to dive in and do what was necessary.

Manually printing the layers proved to be physically demanding, especially considering the size and weight of the canvas, which held great significance to me (particularly as this was the first canvas I'd ever painted). I utilised various tools to press the canvas onto the mono-printing plates and could also pack the back of the canvas, enabling me to print on top. However, the printing on-top method required a considerable amount of strength, so I reserved it for the finer details.

Fortunately, I received invaluable support from our printing technician, Sally, who assisted me throughout the process. Her encouragement

and willingness to take over the physical

aspects of mono-printing when I needed rest

kept me motivated. With Sally's assistance, especially mentally, and my own perseverance, I

successfully completed the canvas despite the challenges posed by my disabilities.

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