December 13, 2007

Final project

For my final project I attempted to make a short animation with handmade drawings. I was inspired by recent animation work I had seen to challenge myself with a new style of work. This project feels unfinished to me and is something I would like to continue working on. The final product seems more like a small episode that could be part of a larger collection. In ways that’s how I want it to read, as a narrative created out of a small, unscripted dialogue that one picks up almost as though they overheard it in passing. Ideally I would have liked for it to be projected in some public space, like a bus stop. This project might have been a little too ambitious. The final project came out somewhat successfully, but there were many technical aspects about producing animation work that I wish I would have known more about. In the end it seems like this project was more of a way for me to experiment with a different way of viewing images.

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December 12, 2007

Artist Talk #2

Last Wednesday I attended the lecture given by Lowery Stokes Sims at the Weisman Art Museum. The main subject of her talk was artwork that engaged environmental themes and promoted environmental consciousness. She showed the work of a variety of artists who use the environment in different ways through their art. Some of the work Sims showed, such as that of Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Smithson, is an example of a more literal use of the environment in art. Both directly engage the environment by physically altering the land. Much of the art that she presented was very experimental, ranging from constructed living units, to excavated city sites, to Antarctic expeditions.
In discussing these different artists and their work Sims showed the role artists are playing in raising awareness of environmental issues. Sims suggested that because artists have a mostly unrestricted and unregulated status in society they often play a very important role in activist movements. One interesting question she raised was whether or not the impact of environmentally conscious artwork will have a greater effect on the public than scientific research alone.
The talk was very interesting and I was glad to be able to hear Sims speak in person. The topic of discussion was very relevant and I wish we could have gotten into it a bit more thoroughly.

December 5, 2007

artist presentation: Peter Sarkisian

Today I will be presenting Peter Sarkisian. He is a contemporary video artist whose main work consists of instillations. His video work combines sculptural elements of the direct object with projected images. His work has been displayed in many galleries and museums around the country. The goal of his artwork is to expand the way video is used by creating constructed events in the present moment. He attempts to eliminate the fundamental characteristics of video such as the frame. He shows a lot of interest in getting the viewer invovled as a participant by activating the space with which they occupy and altering their environment. Sorry I couldn't find any videos of his video work for everyone to see.

November 26, 2007

project 3/4

This project is a continuation of my project 3 proposal. I am working on some different techniques to make a short animation with hand drawings. I am attempting to put a media that I am familiar with into an unfamiliar form. My hope for this project is that it will be as long as ten minutes, however due to time and technical constraints (inability to draw thousands and thousands of pictures) I will probably shorten this time duration to a more reasonable 3-5 minutes. This would play like a small episode contained in itself, it depicts a moment in a certain specific time and place. It isn’t so much a story, but it does involve a dialogue, and is presented in a narrative form that involves characters in a setting. The animation is based around a recorded conversation in which two voices talk about their experience with the bike culture surrounding Minneapolis. They talk specifically about personal experiences with biking, what feelings arise from these experiences and what that means on a larger scale. The characters are voices taken from a real conversation, a moment of real time, in which these voices by presenting their own cultural analysis within the dialogue are meant to spur and inspire the analysis of those viewing the animation. The topics of technology, self-awareness and modernity are discussed here in this fleeting moment, and in ways are a reflection of this specific time and space in which they are presented. In the animation I am representing these people (myself and a friend) as two animals; the setting is a café. This animation will be done in a sketchy style, which will be somewhat whimsical, like a children’s book illustration. Mostly the scenes consist of the two characters talking to one another, with one or both in the frame. As they talk their ideas may materialize as drifting images around them, which will flow with the conversation. This is something that I would present on screen, there are other options but as of now this seems like the best option. I am also considering some kind of public instillation, however because it has such a short running time that might not really workout. However, having this projected onto public spaces such as bus stations does seem interesting and something I might consider further. The audience for this animation is quite wide and not really defined. I have not decided on color for this project because it seems like an especially daunting task when making these drawings. What I really would like technically is to have more knowledge about how to make sure these drawings correlate to the sounds I have recorded. Knowing more about how to use Photoshop to help with some of the small details of this project would be helpful in getting the results that I am visualizing when making the drawings as well.

November 14, 2007

Visiting Artist: Michael Krueger

I went to see Michael Krueger speak the Thursday before last, in Regis. Krueger showed works ranging over a variety of mediums, including, photography, printmaking and drawing. He showed us a sort of time line of the progression of his art; most of the more recent pieces were done using printmaking techniques. In his work he showed an interest in the mixing of contradictory ideas and the recombination of past with present. For instance some of his photographic work depicted the re-animation of inanimate objects such as cups, and pieces of fruit with different facial expressions. This he described as his fascination with the blurring of the “natural? world with “our? world. In some of his drawn pieces he took images of historical figures out of context by placing them next to modern objects, creating a framework for the reconsideration of history from a contemporary perspective. Out of the work that Krueger showed some of the pieces I enjoyed the most were the recent prints he has been working on. These are influenced by his own past, in producing them he works in collaboration with his past self, as he would put it. To compose these he took images from old high school notebooks where he doodled or wrote and recombined these previous life images with new imagery that relates to this past identity. A lot of Krueger’s work deals with history, even these are used to show history through identity. I got a first hand look at some of these prints a few days before this presentation when he spoke to my printmaking class. His process of re-creating the past down to very minute details such as a tear or a fold in the paper, but also manipulating that past, is really intriguing to me. Overall I think he was producing some really beautiful, content rich images, and if nothing else he seemed like a very interesting person.

November 5, 2007

Project #3 proposal

When I first thought about this project my mind drifted immediately to this animation I had recently seen, which I posted below. There is something about the style that has really inspired my thoughts and I can'r get it out of my head. What I would like to make for this assignment would be an animation using my own drawings. I have wanted to attempt this for a while now. I want it to have a very simple look to it, maybe just using colored pencils. Though I might experiment with that also. I want to use interview style recordings of friends speaking, and shape the animation around those recordings. In the end it would be a sort of compilation of my visual interpretation of each short narrative. There are a few things I still need to workout in my head, but I am thinking of incorporating the idea of dreams into this animation. Maybe toying with the idea of dreams creating this sort of subconscious cultural discourse of their own. I would like to interview people about their dreams and base the animation around the imagery that comes from them. Its sort of a rough outline, but that’s where my thoughts are headed.

October 31, 2007

Julia Pott animation

October 29, 2007

Deconstructing Subjectivity

For this video I tried to emphasize the DIY aspect by incorporating a lot of my own low-budget, craft like effects into the mix. I was also playing with the mixing of different mediums. I liked the idea of taking this at-home-craft aspect with which the viewer uses to build an abstract idea that isn’t actually available to them in that tangible way. This project involved a lot of trial and error for me. I haven’t worked with video as an art media before this class, and so my first thoughts for this project were perhaps a little too ambitious. My visions for this video changed a multitude of times, the general idea and/or concept stayed the same throughout the process, but finding ways to visually represent my ideas was challenging. At first I was very nervous about my subject matter, it could be easily misinterpreted and it is a very broad topic of discussion. I don’t think I really got a chance to get as in depth with this subject as I would have liked, the video only scratched the surface. I hope that there is a general sense of the concepts I was leaning towards. The time it took to produce this movie was also a surprise. I had a lot of computer troubles that shortened my time to work on other aspects of the movie such as the audio portion, which is still not where I would like it to be. I consider this project an experiment with myself.

October 8, 2007

Project #2 proposal

The DIY culture is about being self sufficient, and demystifying skills that we are taught are unattainable, that become commodities in and of themselves, owned and regulated by a select group of people. Putting this idea of instructing into the context of an art piece takes this idea of DIY to a new level putting it in a more abstract and less useful context. The initial idea for my project is to make an “instructional? video that shows people how to make their own televisions. What I want to address here is our reliance on television as a way to vicariously live through experiences that aren’t ours. The audience for this piece is very broad, and not meant for any specific demographic. It should affect everyone in different ways. What I want the viewer to find is a way to interact with the world and the tactile and visible things around them. This is meant to be empowering by offering an alternative to passive existence and suggesting initiative be taken to act on their own desires and interests, to be creators rather than consumers.
There are two films that stuck out in my mind when I was imagining my project, Amélie and The Science of Sleep. These two stuck out specifically because they exhibited artful qualities in the way they were filmed, certain aspects made them more like creative projects than many other motion pictures I’ve seen. Another video that inspired my thoughts for this project was the music video for the Joanna Newsom song “Sprout and The Bean?. There is something in the handmade and underlying crafty qualities of all of these films that really attracts and inspires my desire to make. What I really appreciate about The Science of Sleep is the experimentation with methods that are very accessible. Most of the effects are done with simple methods that could be recreated by a relatively inexperienced film make. It involves a lot of stop motion techniques and use of cardboard props.
The idea for my film is that you can make your own film with a simple frame, because you can make even the simplest things amusing by just focusing in with your frame. I imagine this being sort of simple, I suppose the contradictory aspect of this film is that in order to hear my message you must watch me on a screen, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the message and in fact its contradictory nature emphasizes the point at hand. That is to say, it should inspire the viewer maybe even to stop watching and leave before its finished.

October 1, 2007

Questioning Agency

This stretch of Franklin Avenue is one that I frequent quite a lot. For me it is the connecting strip between two worlds. However, what I have found in the times that I have traveled through this area is that the places in-between are far more interesting then one might expect. In ways this stretch of street tells a narrative on its own just by being, and when heard in succession the individual stories grow to create an incongruous mix of many backgrounds and themes. These are things at first I did not recognize, but bicycling has a funny way of forcing you to open up and be a part of the surrounding scene.
I organized these sounds into a narrative, taking bits and pieces from my travels and mixing theme to form some semblance of a journey, complete with stops at different areas. This technique mimics the path I would normally follow complete with all the usual and unusual noises heard along the way. This process was a lot like piecing a puzzle together, mostly just picking and choosing a few seconds here and there and blending the sounds. I used mostly fading and amplifying techniques to make it seem realistic and as well to emphasize the significant noises. The process of sound mapping and sound editing is unfamiliar territory for me. I think on a technical level I may not be very skilled and that was a challenge, this process, however, of opening up to knew ways of experiencing the world was very enjoyable and enlightening.

September 12, 2007

city streets/workplace noise