Gavin Ovsak

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Yesterday I attended a theatrical event at my old high school called "Tradjectories". It is a compilation of performances that range from monologues to skits to dance performances. I was very impressed by the unique storytelling aspects of each, especially one that was called "4D movie" or something. In it, there were 3 couples of very diverse background and personalities all coming together to see an experimental new type of movie. Something goes wrong and the movie characters escape the movie and the viewers go into the movie sometimes communicate through the screen with elaborate pre-taped responses. The most memorable part however was their fanastic use of forshadowing. Early on in the play the movie started with a standard "Movies don't ruin your lives, turn off your cellphones so you don't ruin the movie." or something like that. During the chaotic dimension traveling, one ditsy character often complains about having no cellphone service. In the end, the smart character has a genius moment in the tv and calls the ditsy character. The calling ruins the movie and everyone returns to their original places. I, and the rest of the audience, thought this was very clever and amusing.

Till next time...
- Gavin O

While exploring the vis-a-vis exhibit I came upon a separate thought than I wrote about the art piece.

I am a complete amateur when it comes to art critiques and I enjoyed the freedom of being alone with the art to explore what I really thought about the art I saw without worrying about what others were thinking about what I was thinking etc.. I think many would agree with me that art is largely a personal experience. While I stood staring at one piece of art on a wall near the video interview. It was a mix of wood and mirrors and painting and symbols along with some toys.

I was excited when I found that I was interpreting trend in the art and discovering interesting things like the encosed space on the right that was largely black and white, and the angle of the perspective that the paint and the disjointed pictures encouraged the viewer to look at the work from. However, everything that had been brewing in my head was lost as soon as I read the description about how this was a collaboration from war victims and it revealed the war themes in it along with the horrors of child pornography

I liked my version better though, but my view of the art was now forever tainted and try as I did, I couldn't return to my original thoughts. I moved on and I must have had the whole "magician theme" stuck in my subconscious but I was reminded of the common phrase that magician use, "A magician never reveals his secrets". This is of course because it ruins the illusion and the emotions that come with it. I thought that in many cases, artists should adopt a version of this creed and hide their own reality to let others come up with their own. I grew to appreciate and respect the other artists that I evaluated that either had only a simple title or no title at all.

Oops, this got really long didn't it..
- GaviN

This past week, I toured DC and met some incredible new friends who also won a Davidson Fellowship. They were chosen not just for a big accomplishment but also for doing a project that had the potential to positively impact society. While mine was a Technology Project, a few others were projects in Art, Music, and Literature. I got the opportunity to speak with a boy named John Michael who won the award for literature and I was impressed by his project. In his project, “Art as Empathy: A Study of the Syncretic Potential of Literature,” He theorized about the utility of literature and art in society. His idea was that art isn't just entertainment but that it serves a higher purpose. He said,"Although human beings want to communicate their fundamental experience, this “worldview” is too ineffable to express directly; art and literature articulate this on a visceral level. I proposes through art and literature, the expression of ideas can help tame the tendency to dehumanize others by helping us see their ideas the same way we see ours, inspiring empathy."

I thought this was pretty cool, and different, but yet it really reminds me of the narrative article which talked about the pervasiveness of story telling in our culture. I can't imagine what life would be like without narrative.

It's interesting to think about..
- Gavin

That last post was something I wrote up while I was in DC without internet. Here's my blog post for this week:

Just yesterday I was volunteering at a rehabilitation center in golden valley to help youth learn robotics and I saw a boy playing with a lego man holding it up to a wall and pretending that it tried to fly and yet tragically fell to a crash landing. Suddenly I heard in my subconscious the words to "I will go sailing no more" by Randy Newman from the scene in Toy Story when Buzz thinks he can fly and jumps only to have reality break his heart (and his arm). You can find it here if you don't remember: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAHpE_8IDOQ. I got a little teary remembering how I felt as I watched that for the first time as a kid and I was struck by how deeply some stories can affect you even if on the surface they seem generic and not realistic. I mean it was all a computer animation, technically. I came to the conclusion that the best art must effect a person that way. In a way that years later they can recall the feeling that it brought out just as vividly as on that first viewing.

Anyways, that was a highlight of my week. And homecoming. Gah I can't help getting emotional watching the clip again =(

- Gavin

I found the movie today pretty interesting. I was surprised by all the similarities that the cinematography had with modern film at such a distant time. I found it cool that their "record lots of stuff that happens during a normal day" approach created a sort of time capsule of information about the past. Lots of the things that they probably took for granted as normal looked very strange to me. I mean I don't know anywhere that has a busy trolley system in the middle of a crowded city anymore. They've all been replaced by buses. The fashions as well were pretty interesting to observe along with the well documented scene at the beginning of the old time movie theater with an orchestra waiting for the film projecter.

I also liked rewatching the Threes and Sevens video. While many people looked at it from a pessimistic perspective feeling that it represented a trend that was unfortunate, I felt differently. I remember that the first time I saw it I felt quite proud. It was as if the video signaled to me that all of humanity and science's countless years spent deciphering nature's properties and uncovering the roots of all of it's phenomena had been successful. It is comforting to know that there is order in the world and that you're not just living in an irrational mess that can't be understood.

This week I've had a fun time researching my experimental artist: Bruno Aveillan. I am astounded by the work and effort that is put into each one of his clips, and I feel like laughing each time his clips are over. One to let out the amazement I have in watching them, and two because they are so complete as works of art that they could apply to many different situations but in the end he ties them to a product as a commercial. I laugh also as if in triumph because I feel almost as if he has discovered a loophole in the fight between being creative and making money.

Later after watching a few videos I had another thought that this type of art, a supremely artistic television commercial, was only possible in a society that values art highly like France. I was disappointed because this means that unless America sorts out it's priorities to value artistic purchases, artists in america will suffer and an alternative beautiful future will never be realized.

Don't look at his work yet, it's highly addictive and you might spend hours watching all of it like I did. Wait till I present him!

- Gavin

This past weekend in Ohio was so hectic I forgot about the journal assignment! check my blog www.workbygavin.com/blog for the details =D

I'm been busy applying for colleges recently and I've found that while the entire process is extremely tedious, I really like the opportunity in my essay to let my voice shine through. In analyzing my self-analysis it has led to some really good soul searching over what my core motivation in life is. Maybe this college app thing doesn't have to be the soul crushing experience I thought it would, and could actually be a healthy reflection. Looking back every once in a while is probably a healthy habit too.

- Gavin

Okay, so. It's Halloween! If you dont celebrate it because you're not a kid, you're just lame. If you didn't get a chance to see Sears.com def go look! They zombified everything! http://www.sears.com/shc/s/dap_10153_12605_DAP_Zombie?origin=zeta I also hear that at the U they are playing Zombies vs Humans! Aaaa I wish I could be there for it.. =( I'm not trick or treating this year but I'm givign out candy and watching scary movies. I watched the Sixth Sense yesterday and today I'm watching Paranormal Activity 2 tonight!

I'm pretty excited. Even if it's really bad I'll have fun laughing at it.

- Gavin Ov$ak

Well I hope my presentation on Bruno Aveillan didn't go too long last class =D. Here's the link to the crazy passionate ad for chocolate ice cream bars: Magnum 5 Senses

I really like his work, and I easily spent 2 hours on youtube watching all of his stuff. I hope that now that I've liked his page on facebook I will be updated when new stuff comes out. I wish more of his stuff was shown here in the US, but I kind of feel like we wouldn't be able to handle it. I can recognize his work pretty well now so if I see an amazing ad during the superbowl next year I'll celebrate =D

I really liked the awesome montages everyone made. Theres something cool about making something mundane extremely awesome. It's like if you have the right attitude and vision your life can never be boring.

I am pretty excited for the final project but I wish it would be more than 5 minutes. That seems pretty restricting as far as a narrative goes. We'll likely be doing all the acting ourselves from the sound of things so that should be fun.

Thanksgiving break was a great opportunity for rejuvination. There's nothing like a bunch of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing all covered in gravy to relax you and fill you up. Chilling with relatives was fun and no one got into any ridiculous arguments this year which was a nice change!

We've got to find a time as a group to get together soon to tape. I hope the weather stays above freezing again tomorrow! Sigh.

- Gavin

Well, Saturday's taping went well. Our location and props were great and I think our lines went pretty well. We'll see how editing goes. I hope we dont have to refilm anything..

On a side note, our family just got a new christmas tree which is a big deal because we had the last tree since before I was born. I like the new one though, and we were able to get it 30% off because only the display one was left =D

To symbolize how I want this class to continue even though the final date is near, I've decided to post this blog post right after midnight.

I've always been interested in blogging as a lifestyle and never really been satisfied with the "micro-blogging" of Twitter and Facebook. This journaling experiment has given me some insight into the experience and I rather like it. This whole class has been a fun experiment for me, given that it is so different from the CSE classes that I normally take, but I think it's been a good experiment. A different kind of experiment than I'm used to I guess, not one with controlled variables and double-blind analysis, but of open-ended results and peer-review.

I'm sad to see it end and I look forward to Thursday's viewing day. Just like the Blizzard of '10 pushed our class one day longer, I am posting this late in an attempt to make Sunday just a little longer.

Ta Ta For Now...

~Gavin O

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