Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Commitment TBD

Research, research, research. How I hate you, let me count the ways.
  1. You're obscure
  2. You're long-winded
  3. You're complicated
  4. You often say things that lead to other things that have nothing to do with the thing you originally said
  5. You're boring
  6. You've been done already and done better
I realise that it sounds like I'm complaining about a girl fiend, but you can break up with those. Leave 'em in a ditch somewhere and never call them again. But research is like a cold, it won't go away until it has finished having its way with you. It's never a productive subject for me, so that's how I feel about it. It's one of those things you need to get out of the way so you can have fun. Like washing the dishes so you can make food or doing the laundry so you can wear clothes or foreplay.

So when we were told about this group project I wasn't exactly enthusiastic. Most of the time when you read these briefs they don't actually tell you any thing. They spend a whole page, a lot of ink and some fancy dictionary/thesaurus work on telling you something you could sum up in a couple of lines. So after a boring and mostly pointless lecture ( [Russian Accent] can you Internet? No? I show you how to Internet [/Russian Accent] ), we finally got assigned groups and met the people we would be working with. The most noticeable members were Peter Beare (Graphics) and John Cooke (Ceramics). Other members included Julie Clark (Surface Patterns), Benjamin Hill (Games Design, ex-animation), Linda Johnston (Children's Book Illustration), Buffee (Games Design) and Andrew Plaskett (Animation).

So between us we had a pretty diverse team (ruined by those pesky Games Designers). We talked about a few different topics, including the docks, churches and an impressions about the town. After some discussion we arrived at some common themes and ideas - in the end we chose to expose the hidden/find hidden gems. So after selecting a theme, we all went away with a topic within our topic. Mine was about buildings and renovations, which was brought on by me ogling churches.

But what is "renovation"? Improving structures? Sure, but don't most, if not all structures go through improvements at some point? So narrowing that down, I decided to just look at buildings that had been rebuilt for a new purpose. Like how St. Walburge's church used to be near a leper colony (or it used to be a leper colony, most likely near it though). It was named after Saint Walburge who was renowned for healing miracles, so I think it's appropriate that this church was named after her. Especially considering the leper problem. But the history is only a part of my fascination with this place (being a strong use of words). It's also famous for having one of the tallest spires in Lancashire, as well as some beautiful architecture.

I guess on that note, my focus was less on hidden structures and more about architecture. I found a lot of churches and places. I looked at the church near the University Library. Would you believe that was a mass burial site for victims of the plague? I certainly didn't, so they certainly did a good job of hiding it. Some how, a church there is more than appropriate. There's also a church like building near St Walburge's church that seems to have been rebuilt into a bunch of flats or houses. That was certainly surprising the first time I walked past. It was like a group of houses that were disguised as a church. I think it took me 10 minutes to walk past it just because I wanted to make sure people actually lived there. Which probably justified the strange looks I got...

The other place I was interested in was the light house. I mean, I never realized it was an actual light house. There's a hairdressers underneath it... it's called the light house hairdressers! So one often wonders "why?", or "whatever, it's a hairdressers." So while it's very obvious, it's also well hidden, let's not forget that the docks used to be fully functioning. I really wanted to climb up to the top of the light house and take a look, but I couldn't. Safety hazards and all that, how boring. If they had told me the place was dirty and full of spiders, I wouldn't have went up anyway. I feared it would be like that anyway, but I was prepared to be brave enough to at least take a look. I'm not the type to suffer for art, so suffering for research is out of the question - yet, I was prepared for this. Oh well, at least I tried right?

I have a lot more videos than the ones I posted. I would post more but it takes ages for them to be uploaded, so when I composite the entire thing I'll post that...probably. I wondered what I could do that would be considered research, but I'm afraid that finding information is slim, or just not relevant. I'm much more of a practical person, so when the task switches from "find out this" to "do that like this" or something. I'll have more to write about, so while research isn't my strongest forte, I'm hoping my team is more competent about it than I am.


  1. Stop griping and get researching. The trick is to make it your own. Don't feel straight jacketed into repeating the past, make some new connections.

    I double dare you...


Remind me that I'm whining. Oh, and that I'm black.