Experimental Collective

What do you get when you give a group of young people some iPads, a selection of objects and the freedom to make whatever they want?

A masterpiece, that’s what.

That’s pretty much what happened with the Museum Collective’s latest project. After watching some experimental films and discussing some of the artists who would be included in an upcoming exhibition, we were given the chance to make our own experimental pieces. Over the course of around 5 sessions, we explored a number of different techniques that are used in film making such as using projections and creating montages.

One of my favourite sessions was working with stop-motion animation. Working in pairs, we used the iPads and whatever we could find in the art room to have a go at making our own short movies. We only had about an hour and a half, but we all came up with very different ideas. The piece that Dan and I worked on involved using cookies and goggley eyes to tell a story. I hadn’t realised how long animation takes since each movement requires a new frame, but seeing all of the hard work come together was definitely worth it.

In another session, we used toys to create optical illusions. It was exciting as we were in the museum lab and had access to different parts of the collection including a range of masks and a replica skeleton. I was fascinated by the bugs because they were safely encased in plastic so I could see all of their detail. Usually, I’m running away from insects, but this time, not only was I holding them, but I was filming them too.

We used some toy lenses that created optical effects when you looked through them to give a different way of looking at things. They were really fun to play with but a little tricky to actually film through. It was a case of trial and error to see what worked, but it meant that we were really engaging with our creative side.

I hadn’t realised how easy it was to make experimental films. We were only using basic editing apps and iPads or phones, but the possibilities for what we could have made felt endless. In just a few short hours, each session we would discuss a technique before trying it out – it really was that simple. All it took was a bit of imagination and a willingness to try things out, and we created our own experimental pieces for the world to see.

Why don’t you give it a go and see what you can come up with?

Charlie, member of the Museum Collective