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December 16, 2007

Who is a citizen?

Instead of attending a visiting artist's presentation, I went to the Weisman Art Museum to look at the featured exhibit. This month the theme of the exhibit was "Who is a citizen? What is citizenship?"
This exhibit explores themes about the individual and civic life in thirty paintings, photographs, and prints drawn from the Weisan's permanent collection. Ranging from Lewis Hine's 1905 photographic portraits of immigrants at Ellis Island to Twin Cities photographer Joseph Allan's contemporary portraits of American Indians, these pieces open up ideas about who belongs to a nation or community. Also, they reflect a citizen's rights and how they can exercise them.
There are three respective sections in the exhibit:
Who is a citizen?
-Presents work that questions the exclusion or asserts the inclusion of those who have been overlooked.
Civic life in the city
-Artists show how people share public space, making them members of a community, regardless of legal status of citizenship.
The artist as a citizen
-Where artists are advocates for their own rights and they speak out on social/political issues.

Artists have been engaged in depicting citizens since the days of ancient Greece, when the concept of a citizen as a member of society with rights of self-governance first developed. These concepts of citizenship have changed over time, differing with location.

Examples of artists and their pieces displayed:
-Lewis Hines (1847-1940) uses gelatin silver prints in 'Italian Family Looking For Lost Luggage,' showing Italian immigrants with distraught looks on their faces as they are on a pier surrounded by many bags.
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-Joseph Allan (born in 1964) uses color type-C photographic print in 'Phillip Chaltas (Rosebud Lakota/Navajo),' showing a young man sitting on his workbench at Jiffy Lube, looking upset.

-Robert Gwathmey (1903-1988) uses oil on canvas in 'Nobody Around Here Calls Me A Citizen,' showing a dejected African-American man with a symbolic number 2 next to him, connoting the inequality of segregation and the impact of racism in liming civil rights and rights of citizenship.
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December 14, 2007

Project 3 Re-edit

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In this new version, I have added sound effects, a song clip ('It's Getting Better' by The Beatles), and a drum-roll soundtrack that I produced using Garageband. I thought that the drum-roll seemed fitting seeing as how alot of the imagery of the clip showed slaying using guns/militar-type violence. Also, I added simple sound-effects such as footsteps, crackling flames, and straining voices. I wanted the audience to feel a bit more involved with the video so now they can experience both a graphic scene, while listening to its audio counterpart. Also, I sped up some of the scenes in order to give the clip a more flowing rhythm.

December 12, 2007

Check out the NEWS!

https://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill/download.php?file=6896.mov

Project 4

For this project, I worked collaboratively with Jenna. Our clip was based on the fictional "cootie" bug and it's effect on children in America. We used a newscast theme to introduce and close the clip and the cootie bug was shown using stop-motion animation. The music clips used were a generic news theme and a jazz song composed by a friend. For the animation process, we used both a white-board/drawing and paper cutouts. Our antics throughout the clip made the video into an extremist parody of the news. Originally, we had many varied ideas, but we could not decide on the content for those stories. In this project however, we improvised on set with our lines. Also, being in a studio we were able to use a still/projected picture as our backdrop.

About My (Jenna's) Final Project

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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 27, 2007

Critique for Jon

Critique for Jon...

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November 26, 2007

Project 3

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To me a perfect world would be one without animosity, but total peace. Being a non-white immigrant, I have experienced racism firsthand. In this day and age, though most people are careful to be politically correct and just, there still exists an inherent racism. I am not one to criticize the white community because they are not the only ones who have shown racist tendencies. I believe it is up to each and every person in a community to accept the fact that life is a mix of culture. From this day on, we will only become more diverse so we might as well accept each other’s differences. My focus in this project is to show a perfect world by using drawn characters
I show confusion and chaos in my animation. For example, I show different people criticizing each other and committing acts of violence upon each other. Locations change as different groups of people are shown. It is like a historic piece documenting different conflicts from the past leading up to present day. Finally, there is an explosive ending where the serious tone of the piece immediately changes to one of happiness where all the characters are shown getting along as one.
Throughout the project, I used a whiteboard and different colored markers. The reason I did not include sounds is because I felt that my piece did not require it; it is graphic enough on its own and the visuals will convey my message. I incorporated violent imagery because I believe that people should be aware of history. We, as citizens have to be tolerant and respectful for the rights and views of others. This is what a perfect world is to me.

Project 4 proposal

For this project, I plan on working collaboratively with Jenna to make a video. It will involve music and drawing. Our concept is dealing with the bodily changes from a youth to a teenager. Often times it’s labeled the ‘sex talk’ in the media and it is mostly uncomfortable and funny. In the video we plan on involving ourselves as well as made up characters by using a green screen. The idea is for the piece to be humorous and to keep viewers interested. How often do you see a cartoon giving the ‘sex talk’ instead of parents or elders? There will most likely be background sounds to complement the actions on screen. Also, we will probably use voice-overs for the characters. Green screen will be a new task because we have never incorporated it in previous projects. As of right now, I do not know how the story will form or what the characters will look like. They could take on an animal form.
Each aspect of the project will be worked on at separate times. Sounds recording will be done on one day. Also, we might include stop motion animation to show titles before different scenes to help prep viewers for what is ahead. Then filming and green screen will have its own separate time. For the final edit, we will use final cut pro.
Because of the freedom of this project, there are many ways to show the concept. We could do the random story approach (which will be similar to making a TV show) or have a narrator to lead the viewers along. There could be a narrator’s voice speaking in omniscience or a narrator that is a character within the clip (like a protagonist)

Critique for Amanda's Project

The drawing was done extremely well. All the visuals were seamless as if it were done all on the computer. The sounds too were clear and they set an eerie tone throughout the story. I like that the story was original and was almost like a kid’s story, but at the same time it dealt with loss and the death. The Russian was hard to follow and although there were subtitles, it was difficult to make out what was being said. After reading the preview though, it seemed that you were not able to fix that due to technical problems. If I had not read the preview, I would not have understood the story. It was new to me and somewhat hard to follow. However it made sense after I did some reading. I believe the target audience would be adults because of the fact that most kids would not be able to comprehend life after an apocalypse. I do not know though how the movie conveyed an idea of utopia, but that’s probably because I would not call it my utopia. I cannot relate to it like the creator can. I think that the transitions should have been better. For example, when the scene centers about the girl, I had no idea she was in the egg. I though it was some random scene.

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.

Critique for Donny's Project

The clip started off with some humor. The idea of utopia here is the material wealth I think, but after the first sequence I was lost. This clip probably could have used more sound because it seemed empty. Also, the question about watching TV was irrelevant to me and I did not understand it. The story could also use a narrative (like a voice or titles before the scenes) to help guide the viewer along. Transitions would have helped bring the story together.

November 5, 2007

Project III

To me a perfect world would be one without animosity, but total peace. Being a non-white immigrant, I have experienced racism firsthand. In this day and age, though most people are careful to be politically correct and just, there still exists an inherent racism. I am not one to criticize the white community because they are not the only ones who have shown racist tendencies. I believe it is up to each and every person in a community to accept the fact that life is a mix of culture. From this day on, we will only become more diverse so we might as well accept each other’s differences.

My focus in this project is to show a perfect world by using either drawn characters or photograph cutouts for visuals. I had an idea where I would make colored figures of people and then make them interact with each other. I will probably sample sounds and/or record them myself. I will probably integrate different languages.

I want to show confusion and chaos in my animation. For example, I want to show different people criticizing each other and committing acts of violence upon each other. Locations will probably change as different groups of people are shown. It will be almost like a historic piece documenting different conflicts from the past leading up to present day. Finally, I want there to be an explosive ending where the serious tone of the piece immediately changes to one of happiness where all the characters are shown getting along as one.

October 24, 2007

How To Make A How To Video

I think it's great that people today are so open about sharing their thoughts and ideas through media and so I wanted to contribute to that. Hopefully, I will be able to teach someone out there how to make their own DIY video. My purpose is to expose how people today use all the tools accessible to them to do whatever comes to mind to both aid and entertain people. In my video, I follow around my friend Grant while he makes his own how to video; therefore showing different steps in the movie-making process. Nowadays, because of the access to varied technology, it's easy for anyone to pick up a camera and shoot and then upload to the internet for mass distribution.
My video is made without flashy effects. I went for the amateur approach, the kind that is expressed through my directions.








October 10, 2007

Prosumerism

I thought the topic was really interesting because of how any number of youths can relate to it. The fact that so many people around the world have myspace and youtube accounts and the media that they sort through on a daily basis and apply to their pages just shows how subliminal advertising has become. It is like as if technology is using us to create a demand both in ourselves as well as others.
"The prosumer model extracts the value of your work in real time, so that you are actually consuming your own labor." This line really drives the point home and I probably wouldn't have realized how free access to online blogs could make us promoters.
I had no clue about how all those mentioned bands (especially the arctic monkeys) sold themselves on myspace before releasing their albums. It's somewhat unfortunate for them that consumers might just go by what they read on blogs, etc.

Project II topic

I'm interested in covering 'how to make a how to video.' I think it's great that people today are so open about sharing their thoughts and ideas through media and so I wanted to contribute to that. I will probably take a humorous turn on my topic because of how obvious and sarcastic the subject will be. I might be able to teach someone out there how to make their own DIY video, but that's doubtful. My purpose is to expose how people today use all the tools accessible to them to do whatever comes to mind to both aid and entertain people.

October 8, 2007

Project 1 feedback

The feedback I received from the class made me realize that I was missing a big part of my dorm studio project; the human interaction. I spent so much time on the music that I left out the crude elements such as talking/laughing over the recording. I should have had my neighbors in the room to give listeners a true feeling of that primary audience. Overall though, I thought my project was successful.

September 24, 2007

Dorm Room Studio

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September 23, 2007

Artist Response

Lowery Stokes Sims started off her discussion with the mention of the movie 'Crash' because of the apparent theme of race that fit well with what she had to say. She showed us several examples of artwork that were influenced by different cultures and in most cases the confusion of culture. One image in particular showed a Japanese girl with her face painted black. It was as if she had changed her race.
Sims mentioned the stereotype of 'driving while black' where white cops would pull over black people that drove nice cars just because of their disbelief of that person's status. Sims also brought up an interesting point; whiteness being a counterpart of blackness. The word 'counterpart' does not have to have an opposite effect but it can also possess a connotation of unity. She went on to say "whiteness is as much a mask as blackness can be (because whiteness is also a marker of race)." Personally, I agreed with everything she said and I feel that everyone should have this kind of enlightened thinking.

Apart from issues of race, Sims also addressed feminism and categorizing gender. Sims gave us a series of facts that categorize men:
-They die 8 years sooner.
-They have to expose their breasts in public.
-They are more likely to be homeless than any other group.
-They aren't allowed to express their emotions.
-Parts of their sex organs have to be amputated at birth.
-Who are they?
She brought these up because they give a false mold that tell men what to do. It's an example of why feminism exists and I think it's a humorous way of showing the public how they should not expect things of certain people.

September 12, 2007

how i use technology daily

Technology has affected our lives in a mostly positive way.
First off, I use my computer to send and receive info in emails, to get addresses and phone numbers, to chat with friends and family, to edit/post photos, download/post/listen to music, post/watch/copy/edit video. Secondly, I use it to write papers and do research. Also, I use it to get directions to places i've never been and to check the temperature so know what to wear.
My cellphone is pretty handy because apart from making/receiving calls, i can use it to take pics/video when i don't have my camera on me. Also, it's easy to record sound on as well.
Next comes my ipod, which i use to store/listen to music, and store/view photos/video. I have also been know to store documents on it (like the bill of rights) so i am able to memorize them before tests without lugging around my gov. textbook.