December 13, 2007

artist presentation: Ilana Yahav

I did my artist presentation on Ilana Yahav, an Israeli artist who is best known for her videos and performances using sand on a glass table. I chose to do my presentation about her because it related to my final project and I definitely found sand to be a very unique medium in that it can show light and movement in ways that other media can not. I also thought her work was interesting because of almost over-the-top happy and lighthearted aesthetic it has, being that she cames from a country full of violence and blood-shed. Because of this, I feel she uses her art as a message a hope, which is always a good use for art in my opinion. For more information on Ilana and her art, she has a website at

December 12, 2007

Final Project- SAND TREE

For my final project, I wanted to make a connection between different kinds of video, specifically live action video and stop motion animation. I chose to use sand and a light box as a medium because sand can do things that no other medium can do. It shows light in a very unique very, because the density of the sand allows different amounts of light to shine through. It also can be moved, sculpted, blown, etc. in ways that other media such as paper, clay, ink, plastic could never be used. I chose to do a story about a tree because I felt that the earth-like qualities of sand would accent the poetic tone I was going for. I also felt that to accomplish this aesthetic, I couldn't use the garage band's sound loops, so I made my music using garage band's digital keyboard instead. I definitely encountered several problems along the way; mainly because sand was a completely foreign medium to me when I started the project. I also had problems keeping the camera steady during the stop motion, because the camera had shoot pictures parallel to both the light box and the ground. I learned a lot about using sand as a medium during the process, and enjoyed using a medium that was completely foreign to me.

November 28, 2007

project 4 proposal

For project 4, I want to make another stop motion animation. For materials, I have a light box, color correction light filters, and sand. I think sand will be an excellent medium for a stop animation video, because it can be moved around and so easily, and also sand art on a light box has a very unique aesthetic. The plot will revolve around the the life of a tree. Throughout the animation the tree will grow, wither, be destroyed, and re-grow several times in different ways. I want to show how the tree changes throughout its life, and no matter what happens to it, it always grows back eventually.

November 21, 2007

An Evening with John and Jane

For my project, I wanted to show life, energy, and emotion through the use of color. I started with a completely white set, and used spray paint to add color to the setting. Through the use of color and music, I wanted to add various moods, energies, emotions, and life to an otherwise dull setting. The characters in the animation could be a married couple or are in some sort of a relationship, and the video shows what could be a typical evening in their lives.

November 5, 2007

project 3 proposal

For project 3, I want to examine the relationship between color, life, and emotion/mood. For my tools, I want to use two plastic dolls that can be set a into various positions, and make them come alive. For the background of the video, a drawing of a clock will be made, and the hands of the clock in the background will be turning backward and forward throughout the animation of the video, to show the passage of time. The colors of both the background and the dolls in the foreground will be changed throughout the animation, to show the relationship between color and life. The dolls are a pale gray color right now, and I want to use spray paint to have them changing colors throughout the animation. I also want the background to start off in the animation as very pale, gray, and lifeless, and have it change to all kinds of different colors throughout the animation. The changing of colors intends to give the impression of various changing moods and tones. My inspiration/muse for a lot of the things I do is music. Because of this, there are 3 songs/music videos in particular that I would to loosely base my project on:

October 29, 2007

We are the Champions

For the DYI video project, I immediately knew I wanted to do a satire video. After some thought, I decided I wanted to make a satire of the black and white 1950’s educational video, simply because I think they are ridiculous and funny. They often were used as propaganda to push certain opinions and beliefs onto the audience, so I wanted to further examine some of the persuasive techniques they use in the videos, and emphasize and exaggerate said techniques in my video. My original idea for a “how to? topic was “how to wage war?, but I later decided to change it to “how identify a Korean?. Now that I look at the finished project, I think the video is also a part of a broader “how to? topic, of something like “how to be ignorant?. I also knew from the beginning I wanted to give the video a particular undertone of ridiculousness, which I did by adding music clips and sound effects. I did encounter a few problems in the making of the video. I would have liked to re-shoot a couple scenes, but simply didn’t have to time. For example, there was one scene in which enough leeway wasn’t given before the scene, so it was cut into a couple seconds late.

October 25, 2007

Visiting Artist: Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee is a contemporary Korean photographer who focuses her work on various subcultures and demographics.
She has done various projects over the past 10 years, each of which takes months of preparation. When she is preparing for a project, she takes a particular group of people, and studies the way they walk, talk, dress, interact, etc.. After extensive preparation, she goes to where she can find this particular group of people and more or less becomes one of them. She then takes photographs of herself within the group. Examples of some of her projects include the punk project, hip hop project, hispanic project, lesbian project, drag queen project, senior project, ohio (hillbilly) project, korean schoolgirl project, tourist project, skater project, and exotic dancer project. I found it very interesting how in-depth her preparations for these projects are; for example, she went to the tanning salon 3 times a week for several months to prepare for the hip hop/african american project. href=""> is a site to see some of her work. I definitely found her work to be extremely interesting. Usually, a person believe he or she has no choice in what social group they fall into. Nikki S. Lee's work raises interesting questions about if we are able to a certain extent to choose our social group, rather than have our social group choose us. Her work also gets the viewer to think about different of definitions of the word "identity", and how identity ties into the people we associate with.

October 8, 2007

Project 2 proposal

Although I haven’t completely decided what my video project is to be about, my proposed topic for the project is a spoof on the old black and white educational/informational videos shown in the 1950’s. They were made for young people, usually students as they were often shown in school settings, and they were often made to reinforce 1950’s conservative values. I looked a few of these videos up on “Youtube?. A couple of examples of topics for said videos were how to have a good party and what to do on a date(; I felt like the purpose for making these videos was to discourage the participation of certain taboo activities in a euphemistic way, because it wasn’t considered proper to openly discuss these subjects. Instead of making an educational video about the risks of drugs and alcohol, they made a video on how one is suppose to throw a party; and instead of making an educational video on the risks of sex, they made a video of what two people are supposed to do on a date.
For my video, my idea is to make a satire video about “how to go to war?. I am doing this because I think there is a correlation between the hidden agenda of the 1950’s videos, and the hidden agenda of the current war, in the way they both use the extreme use of euphemisms to discuss serious topics. I plan on heavily exaggerating the use of euphemisms in order to emphasize my point and give it a comedic effect. I also plan on mimicking/mocking the mannerisms from these videos, such as the music, the style of the times as far as hair and clothing, verbal language, and body language. I’m going to try to make the video as humorous as I can, because I think using humor can be a great, sometimes unexpected way to get a message across to an audience. The intended audience of the original 1950’s videos was young people with intent to hide the truth through the use of euphemisms, and my video’s intended audience will be young people of today with intent to do the opposite through the exaggerated use (or misuse) of similarly executed euphemisms. I want the video to be loosely scripted; I think it might be a good thing to somewhat play it by ear as I go along, because I might get ideas on the spot that I may not have gotten otherwise.

October 1, 2007

Twilight Cemetery

Use headphones!

For my sound project, I started by recording a short musical piece at home and altered it using audacity. I listened to the altered musical piece and it reminded me very much of back when I was a kid when I used to have sleepovers at my aunt's house, and my aunt and I would stay up late watching old episodes of the T.V. show "The Twilight Zone". So I decided to construct my project around this short music piece, and make my project sort of "Twilight-Zone-esque". The location I chose for the recording was the Hillside Cemetery on Stinson blvd., because it matched to theme of my project and the tone of the music. I basically just walked through the paths in the cemetery to hear what sounds I could find. I would hear sounds like a few wind chimes that I found hanging from a tree, geese honking, crickets and other bugs chirping, and the wind blowing. For effects, I used a lot of spatialization, a lot of fading in and out, altering the speed, and the "wah wah" effect for the music. Overall the process of putting the audacity project together came pretty naturally, because all components of the "story" it tells made sense to me.

September 20, 2007

Visiting artist: Edgar Heap of Birds

Edgar Heap of Birds is a contemporary Native American artist, who often visits and speaks to universities across the country about his art. I found his art to be a link between the history of the Native American people, and the contemporary world; in other words, he has a way of making our society aware of the history of what happened to the Native Americans. For this reason, most of his art is public art, in order to spread his message to the general American population.
He works with a variety of media, but one medium that seems very prominent in his work is simple text on aluminum signs. One of his more well known works was "Building Minnesota", in which forty aluminum signs were lined up down the bank of the Mississippi River, with words in bright red lettering honoring the names of forty Native Americans who were executed by order of Abraham Lincoln. I found his works very frequently intend to honor the dead. His work is also very controversial, both among white people and traditional Native Americans. For example, one of his works called "Mission Gifts" was 30 signs placed on city buses in California, with text in red lettering reading "Syphilis, Small Pox, Scarlet Fever, Forced Baptisms, Mission Gifts-Ending Native Lives". Another controversial aspect of his work that I found interesting was that in order to get the support from traditional Native American Leaders, he must follow strict rules of what his art can and cannot be. For instance, his work must not involve anything related to traditional Native American ceremonies, because it would be blasphemy to profit from his own cultural ceremonies.
Overall, I really enjoyed learning about Edgar Heap of Birds' art, because I find it so different from everyday modern art. He has a unique ability to modernize traditional Native American Art, and spread his message to the public. His art also definitely has a way of getting a white audience to see history through a different perspective.

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