Following the research of watching motivational videos by influential speakers, such as Les Brown and Eric Thomas, and listening to and reading the theories on ‘power’ by Michel Foucault, I wanted the piece to be centred around society’s expectation of a ‘live, work, die’ mentality and the significant pressure the system places on individuals to join this ideology.
After being taken on a trip to London to either continue researching or film our Power artefact, I decided to film the vast majority of the footage there. As the piece deals with dominant discourse and power, the setting of London was appropriate as it evokes the connotations of power of the government, the monarchy and business – all of which play a part in the system of society. The backdrop of a busy, densely populated and packed city, with everyone going about their daily business in an almost dreamlike state added to the argument of following the masses and not being an individual. The shot of Millennium Bridge and the point of view shot following everyone over shows the sense of, once again, following the masses along an unwavering and man-made structure. Perhaps reading into it even further, a bridge is constructed for the purpose to keep us all on a set path until we reach the other side, which can be an incredibly profound piece of symbolism if chosen to be deconstructed to its extreme. There are many shots within the piece which highlight the same kind of meaning; such as a ship coursing down the river – the feeling of a constant and repetition in the flow which mirrors our lives when controlled by dominant discourse and the system we are bound to across the generations.
However, what did not work were the choice of shots to try to show examples of people who were being individuals, such as the strange, quirky or musically orientated street performers. As a viewer, it almost felt as if it was just a collection of random shots that were taken spontaneously with not much bearing or relevance on the theme of power and the message trying to be established. The message was to try to show the juxtaposition of the conforming, serious business side of society against the individual, light-hearted and carefree side, however, I do not think that this message came across very effectively.
The final sequence of the piece was also very personal to me and so this could greatly narrow where the artefact sits in the media world, as it immediately made it centred about one person. The idea was to have the piece be broad enough to speak to as many people as possible, as we are all controlled by dominant discourse at some point in our lives, but I think that this was lessened considerably with the inclusion of the sequence involving myself at the end. Also, some of the script and voice over may have been a bit blunt and lacked subtlety in terms of the imagery and argument that was being crafted. Although I usually gravitate more towards visual storytelling and symbolism than rather having it spoon-fed to the audience, I decided to change the approach this time around and I am not sure it was as effective as it perhaps could have been.
In conclusion, the power artefact still achieved what it set out to do; highlight the system we live in with a ‘live, work, die’ mentality and emphasise the dominant discourse and indoctrination we are forced to adhere to. There were perhaps just a lot more effective ways and subtleties that could have been employed in order to make a more solid, well-rounded artefact.