Web of Transport- Task 4- CCI

After Cov sounds, our first group project outside of uni was even more challenging than the first, not only did we have to collaborate and work with our peers in our class, but we had also been given partners in Bucharest, Romania. My group was given the theme of ‘Web of Transport’. This was still site specific but this time in two areas- Coventry for my group and Bucharest for the other group. We contacted our partners as soon as we were set this brief, we also sent a follow up email after we had done some initial brainstorming and researching. Our initial ideas included:

  • Safety rules and regulations eg. helmets on bikes, speed limits, smoking on transport
  • Roads – dirt lanes
  • timetables and maps
  • emergency service response times/ accidents and road safety
  • rush hour – do they have a specific time that is really busy on the roads in Bucharest

We decided to start our research and get the project going it would be a good idea to visit Coventry’s transport museum, however when we go there we realised that this wasn’t much use to our project. The museum was interesting however it was more about the history of transport and not what it is like now, which was the part that we are interested in. Although this wasn’t useful to us it was handy to start here and definitely got us thinking, this also confirmed what we weren’t interested in portraying.

Unfortunately it took our partners a long time to get in contact with us and when they did their response was disappointing. With one of our partners we got the impression that she was also interested in rush hour as well as an architectural response to the task as she thought the architecture in Bucharest was really interesting and something that we would want to see. We replied with our ideas and ways we could link up and provide a good comparison, making it clear that we had collaborated. Unfortunately once again the response time was not good, and when we finally did get a response we found out that both our partners had prior engagements, which to them were more important. Both gave us the impression that they would be pulling out of the task and not taking part or submitting anything. At this point we had just under a week to complete the task on time, of course we replied wanting to keep our link going, however knowing that our partners weren’t particularly reliable in replying on time or creating the work we decided to go ahead with our own project, hoping we would get a response. We wanted to make it with the hope that they would create work and it would fit in with ours, so we decided to go with the idea of rush hour, as well as this we wanted to document as many different kinds of transport within this including: buses, trains, taxis and walking. Within this idea we knew that something at night would fit in well, and we wanted to experiment with light trails and long exposure photography, we chose this idea as it represents the movement well. Although rush hour is predominantly in the evening around 5-7 we also wanted to capture some stuff in the day time as well, sticking to this theme of rush hour we decided that the lunchtime hour would work best and fit in well. Within our final piece we made a film documenting the rush hour in Coventry, I think this gives the students of Bucharest and other people that haven’t been to Coventry a good idea of what life in Coventry is like. In this video we included ambient sound instead of using any different music, I think this works really well and definitely makes the audience feel a connection with the place.

We are still waiting to see our partners work, if there is any. It’s a shame that they haven’t been as involved in our project as we would have liked. I think we have still done well are were patient to try and get their input, however as the deadline was drawing closer we felt like we had to get something done. I think by making the connection of rush hour we at least learnt what they are interested in, and even we can’t learn anything from them, at least they can from us. This project was all about learning and collaborating with international partners, while I feel they didn’t keep their end of the bargain I like to think that we kept ours.

I really enjoyed doing this task and think that we have bonded a lot more as a group and definitely work to each others strengths now. When we first started having our group tasks I was a bit worried that the work would be split unevenly and just didn’t think it would work. However I have been proven wrong and our group definitely works well together. I have also learnt about the way other people work and strengthened my own practise by having a new understanding of research techniques and other skills such as moving image. Before I would never really think about video or have any interest in it, however since working with my group I have noticed that I am thinking more about this and am keen to try it in my own work. I have also been learning how to use Premier Pro more, this will definitely benefit me and it gives me another way to present my work. We have managed to split the tasks well and come together to create a good final piece of work.