October 20, 2008

Images as words

Language and learning and development of words.
The two videos were lovely.
The first video had strong elements of drama: The character, knowing what was in the urn, surprised me when she pulled out a worm. I felt a sense of discovery when she did this. There was a communal gasp in our classroom when she stretched the worm-our class expressed concern for its safety.

The end of the second video, when the child looks directly into the camera and the video-frames were slowed down, was incredibly powerful. I felt extremely voyeuristic, and knowingly seen by her, at that moment. I liked the location of the film too; the background appeared to be a stairwell or hallway, a place of transition. I heard her words as “onff,? a combination/blending of “on? and “off? as she was trying, unsuccessfully, to put the lens cap on the camera (meaning “put the cap on? and “turn the camera off?).

The multi-layered digital collages were fun and playful on one hand, and disturbing on the other. The characters in the apocalyptic environment seemed to be oblivious of the forthcoming ominous pink cloud-it couldn’t be good to breath even though it is pink. They also seemed unaware that some of their companions were wearing bear heads or conversely, the bear heads seemed unaware that their companions had human heads. They co-existed nicely; even with their differences-perhaps the surface of mars is actually friendly and tolerant of life.

Technically, I like the play of resolution. Typically, artists try to use high-quality images as a part of their palette of resources. Cheryl purposefully degraded the found images to claim them as her own, just as she takes 1950’s-like illustration of children and claims then as her own, just a child now-a-days can play with a prefabricated doll and create her own life story for the doll even though the manufacturer has the marketing tools prescribe the dolls name, what she wears, what time period she lives in. Children take that doll and create their own world. I think Cheryl has tapped into a way to push out the stereotypical definition, making room to create a strangely familiar world occupied with her own personally defined deja vu characters.