I was approached by some Fine Art students to film and document their performance piece called ‘Alienation’. It was a twenty four our project which meant them being locked up in the Lanchaster Gallery for that period of time working in a production line and mass production style. They had to produce one perfect poster that they have previously designed every hour. There was seven of them, six working in the production line and one being a boss who gave them punishments, and once she had decided if their work was up to scratch she gave them one of their twenty four comfort items every hour should they be entitled to it. The purpose of the piece as described by the project leader was “To challenge and be critical of the work place, of autocratic managing styles by taking on a generalised idea of a production line to help look at work output and sleep deprivation.”
Working with Fine Art students was quite engaging as before the actual event we had brief discussions on what they wanted to do with the footage once it was all finished with. They told us they wanted to try and get the videos into galleries and exhibitions, which set the standard quite high for what the filming material that I would be producing.
When arriving at the Lanchaster Gallery at 3pm, I was taking over from two other Media Production students who were involved in the filming. We had shifts that we all agreed to complete to make sure that the observing cameras in the corners of the room didn’t run out of battery or get full memory cards, the same as the edirols that were dotted around the place.
I was really excited and got stuck in as soon as I arrived. I took stills of the workers and tried to film as much as I could. It was very strange to have people all in a line in front of us that couldn’t communicate with us in any way, shape or form or they would be jeopardising one of their items they would be entitled to.
I took the opportunity to try some long exposure shots to show the manic movement of the workers when it’s their turn in the production line in comparison to the static workers.
Filming a live event is something which I have never one before and has definitely improved my skill set. I had to respond to things that happened such as punishments but also interesting things that happened on the workers breaks. For example, they all shared their items as one of them had a canvas and black paint but nothing to paint with, so he used one of someones carrots as a paint brush.
I worked for twenty hours in total, this being the first ten hours in a diary. Not too much happened, everything was very repetitive but the procedure was very interesting and it was fascinating to see how different the workers reacted to certain situations with their sleep deprivation.