Jody Lawson - Invertibrate Amalgamation Project 1/2
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Jody Lawson






Invertebrate Amalgamation Project






I'm going to start this post by saying how I don't usually use my health issues to sell my work. That being said, I believe they have relevance in this context, and will help to give a better understanding of my intentions. First, let me give you a bit of back story.


Several of my previous projects involved the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. An A-level Film project saw a comparison between James Whale's 1931 classic film adaptation and Anakin Skywalker's transformation into the Darth Vader in the 2005 prequel; 'Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith'. This, among other things, compared Anakin's gradual mechanisation to Frankenstein's creature being composed of varyingly sourced parts. In addition, the project highlighted a theme of a person's creation being the tool of thier own demise; in Vader's case, he is the creature and Darth Sidious is his creator.


Moving on a couple of years, my Film Production Degree gave me the opportunity to return to the Frankenstien discourse. An experimental film, itself amalgamated from 8mm Film versions of James Whale's 'Frankenstein' (1931) and 'Bride of Frankenstein' (1935) became 'Frankenstein's Recurring Nightmare'.


The two 8mm films were themselves chopped up and reordered to produce an abomination which depicted a series of assumably regrettable events in the eyes of Dr. Frankenstein. With physical scars scratched into the film reel, and accumulating in digitaly added flashes of characters from other films, (including Re-animator, the Matrix and others) on top of a snippet of soundtrack from Edward Scissorhands, this project enhanced the idea of combining biological or chemical components (i.e. film) with digital and mechanical components.


At this point I shall relate to some of my health issues. On 24th June 2013, I recieved brain surgery to remove a 4cm tumour. The brain tumour in this case was an Acoustic Neuroma, which , after the ten hours of surgery had left me lacking my right vestibular nerve, relying on one side of my brain for balance and leaving me 100% deaf in my right ear. I won't go into detail of the subsequent fatigue and concentration issues, but (after long and long) I am finally due to have a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (Baha) drilled into the side of my head. For those who have had no experience of Baha's I'll just let that sink in, Feel free to follow the link to find out more.


Whether it's 'Star Wars' (Darth Vader), 'Spider-man' (Dr. Octopus) 'Wild Wild West' (General 'Bloodbath' McGrath) characters with mechanical attachments are often seen as the bad guy. In some ways that is due to the 'abnormal' aspect af perception similarly if a charactor has a hunchback or other percieved deformity they can be more easily categorised as a "monster". It is also partly due to an established confict between man and machine, an area in which 'Star Wars III' does well, as well as seen in films like 'The Matrix', 'The Terminator', 'Robocop', 'The Lawnmower Man', 'I, Robot' and many others. Both of these examples depict a 'fear of the unknown' an idea which H. P. Lovecraft stated was a great emotion to be used in creating a story.


There are various tangents I could delve into, such as the representation of disabled people in film, technology in film, and the use of stereotypes to quickly represent already established back stories. I may return to these points in the future, however, my current goal, led by my own partial mechanisation, if you like, is the Frankenstein inspired photography project, which this blog is supposed to be about.



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