November 28, 2007

Response to Jon's video

I found this video to be somewhat underdeveloped...things could have been worked on here. The absence of an audio compliment was one of the large issues that I noticed. The flow of the animation was a bit jumpy, and probably could have been fine-tuned a bit. The topic of racism is obviously a pretty large issue to tackle. I think it worked to Jon's advantage to de-personalize the subjects involved in his narrative so that it would be easier to place them in the context of the video. However, it's hard to consider the horrors and dark history of racism in this country or in any other without bringing some emotion and feeling into it. So, I guess the subject matter was a little much for the end result.

November 26, 2007

Critique for Alan

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Response to Amanda's Project III

I found the illustrations throughout this video to be very pleasing. They were stylized enough to the point that low frame rates, and choppy cuts could be forgiven. I completely understand the difficulty of making elaborately constructed scenes appear to move seamlessly without perhaps another 2 months of work at our disposal. I was a bit critical of the audio choices throughout the video, but that is mainly because I didn't realize they were actually created by Amanda. Knowing this, I think the music was fairly fitting. It melded quite well with the atmosphere she created. The narration was also pretty effective. However, as she mentioned, the subtitles presented a bit of an issue. Being that they were red and the lettering was thin, I found it hard to follow them. I felt as if they could have been eliminated entirely from the narrative. As a form of translation, the poem could have been written in English just before the credits. In this way, the viewer could have enjoyed the video without the issue of attempting to interpret not only the subtitles, but how they pertained to the scene. Instead, the translation could have been presented to the viewer at the end, giving him/her a more leisurely option to mull things over at their own pace. As for the narrative, I think I got the idea without reading through the blog description. A little more could have been done (playing with time?) to signify a greater difference between the pre-apocalyptic scenes and the post-apocalyptic ones. This might have allowed my imagination to catch up and allow the progression to flow more freely. Just a thought. The idea of utopia was a tricky one for me, but I likewise explored ideas of alternate kinds of situations presenting a chance for happiness (in this case, an apocalypse presenting a chance for rebirth, a fresh start, something of that sort?) Interesting ideas.

proposal for 4th project

Ok. So I sparked this idea driving back from a weekend in northern Minnesota. This trip requires me to pass through an eastern chunk of North Dakota. I grew up with only a river seperating me from this desolate state. Having interacted with its minimalist beauty (big sky, lack of discernable landscape features otherwise common throughout the United States) I have a history of love/hatred with it. Anyway, while driving, this "what if" thing struck me. It went something like: What if North Dakota seceded from the union at an undetermined time, and subsequently declared itself (through a kind of inverted social revolution) the next fascist state, intent on raising militant oppression throughout the land? My conclusion was that this would have nothing to do with the people.

Something about North Dakota, in the way the land interacts so hopelessly with any structure placed upon it, seems heavily oppressive as it is. In this sense, people are eliminated from my imagined new North Dakota. The most fitting way I could think to explore this idea was to write a small narrative involving two "combat journalists" (one of whom will be myself) getting into the fray (which, in this sense, involves a lot of power lines and granaries) and compiling footage from the heat of battle. I will then use this "footage" to compliment an installation that will involve the journals of the team, some photographs of the action, maps of North Dakota with outlines and military intelligence, and perhaps a journalism award I intend to fabricate, to commend the two journalists' life-threatening efforts.

Audio will also be a large part of the installation. I intend to interview a number of people on their thoughts pertaining to the secession and rise of fascism in North Dakota. These will be conducted over the phone, which I hope will give a journalistic/documentary quality to them. These interviews will be playing over the entire set-up. Other audio ideas are also springing up, but so far they are not developed enough to mention. SO, there be my proposal. If things go according to plan, this should be a lot of fun.

Critique for Alan's Project

This clip was very artistic. All the sounds, titles, and effects were integrated perfectly. It was really easy to follow and it was concise. For example, you can figure out the message without having to read the preview. Having titles before the sequences was a good idea because it helped prepare the viewer for what was coming up. The story flowed well because the transitions were good. I don’t think that I can suggest doing anything to improve it because it seems flawless in all aspects. The story contained humor and the character was integral, yet simple. The fact that the man was smiling after does set a mood and that helps to drive the message. The only thing that I can question would be do you really find your utopia in not being hit by a train? With that in mind though, I think you got that message across pretty well.

November 21, 2007

Old Man and Train (Alan)

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Utopian Perspective...

Within my video, I have provided a situation where happiness (which i find to be the root of any "utopia") is made apparent through a somewhat atypical situation. While this is not meant to be dissected in any deeper manner, feel free to do so. Using a train and an old man who finds peace in an apple was merely a playful attempt to juxtapose a sort of chaos or tension with the simplicity and singularity that happiness entails. I kept things fairly minimal in this video, and used audio samples as a form of emphasis rather than a constant presence. I believe this was effective, and provided a sort of audible outline of the story. Apologies for the missing title in the middle...(Chapter 4.) Things became rather hectic toward the end, and it was forgotten in the mix. Tragic, really. Overall, as I explored somewhat in the last video project, I find charcoal sketches as a form of animation to hold a nice aesthetic value. Also, the constructive element which it provides (where images leave "trails" or shadows) is something which I would like to continue to play with.

November 19, 2007

I had forgotten to post a project proposal.....until now.

SO, here is my proposal after a couple weeks of progress. I am working on a short narrative that makes use of sketch-based animation (once again.) This time I am attempting to put more of a focus on timing and a more seamless integration of audio. I am also playing with different modes of stop motion to set a mood. For instance, I hope to merge smooth animation (higher frame rates) with a "one image fades into the next" approach, which will be used to give a sense of broken time or slow motion. The narrative, in contrast with other projects I've done thus far, is less conceptually heavy and a bit more playful.

November 12, 2007

Lisa Lapinski

Listening to Lisa Lapinski present her work was an interesting experience. My expectations as to what to expect from a presentation were shaken. This was an excursion into a wildly creative, somewhat chaotically organized depiction of an artist’s inspiration.
It was certainly hard to draw direct connections to specific experiences she mentioned and their apparent existence in her work. Rather, it is probably more accurate to say that there was never a moment when a piece of her work was about one concept or one story. She drew from multiple references across a wide range of ideas and sources. For instance, I found it interesting that she explained her current piece as somehow related to Hitler and Wittgenstein, but also drew influence from another artist who recently stopped producing art. The stories she told all seemed significant enough to hold meaning within her work, it was just a matter of seeing it realized in the pieces.
Lisa Lapinski also mentioned the Shakers in relation to a sculpture she had constructed. I found this source of information to be fairly intriguing, with potential to be almost ethnographic in nature. However, she claimed as a conclusion that the piece actually had relatively nothing to do with the Shakers. I found this confusing, yet could see how in contrast with the other artists she mentioned, this was probably true.
The segments of the presentation I enjoyed most were the written pieces she shared with us. These consisted of a reaction piece to another artist’s work (which she claimed may as well have been about her work) and an e-mail exchange with a curator. Both were intense and captivating. They offered a glimpse into the kind of creativity and unique interpretation that she holds. More than anything else, these two written pieces helped me understand a bit more exactly where Lisa draws her ideas from.
I also enjoyed seeing her drawings and student work, although she did not spend much time elaborating upon them. I thought it would be interesting to hear a little more on some of those pieces, such as maybe an explanation (or any ideas, really) on how the massive amounts of wallpaper played a role “conceptually? (even though this word draws out the issues of function mentioned in the e-mail to the curator who wanted to know something similar . . . )
As an overall reaction, I was a bit thrown by her atypical, scattered approach to presenting her work. Looking back, I believe I was actually also confused in the same way by most of her work. However, this is by no means a negative thing. It’s somewhat refreshing to have no idea what’s going on, and have the creator of the work add to this sensation by offering a background.

October 29, 2007


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October 8, 2007

Thoughts on Project 1

After hearing all the projects including my own, I thought a lot of issues came to the surface regarding the difficulties and finer points of digital audio. There were many troubles that a lot of us were faced with or introduced to. However, this does not cast the project as a whole in a negative light. It just underlines the importance of experimenting and working through the transation of an idea into an audio form... although there were also some issues that fell outside of that realm such as difficulty with equipment rental and ambiguity of presentation specifics. BUT, all in all, I enjoyed hearing all the other pieces and felt as if my work was a success as well. Onward to video....

October 3, 2007

everything will build

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September 12, 2007


Throughout a typical day, I find certain "technological" devices to be quite useful to the point of necessity. For instance, I have come to rely on my cellphone...usually just to keep the time, but also to stay in touch with friends/make ends meet. Also, if I lost the use of my computer in daily life, it would be like losing an arm. It is my constant tool, providing me not only with internet access and email, but also with a music library I would be devastated without, software capable of audio recording/editing, software capable of video editing, entertainment in the form of games and movies, etc. (basically the majority of things I do with my time.)