Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indexishmality

The Mudd Gallery at a past exhibition


Sorry Mary Ann Doane, but I don't take you seriously at all. I really don't believe that I am an idiot for not understanding the concept of indexicality. First of all, it isn't even a word, according to dictionary.com. Neither is indexical for that matter. I had to resort to looking up the word "index," of which I was given the definition, "a sequential arrangement of material." I am not sure what this means in the context of Doane's article, because I could not decipher a word of it. I understand the need to use imaginary words, because sometimes there just simply aren't words that exist to express a concept. However, Doane does not really give a clear definition for this word and many others, therefore leaving us in a Clockwork Orange-type confusion over her text. Here is an example of a paragraph that needs a team of Rosetta Stone translators to get the point across:

"We tend to think of a medium as a material or technical means of 
aesthetic expression that harbors both constraints and possibilites, 
the second arguably emerging as a consequence of the first."

Translation: I don't know, but I do think she should team up with Ted Nelson because she shares his ire about the limitations of traditional mediums.

That being said, I am proud to say that our exhibition, "Watching," is almost ready for viewing tonight at 6:30 in the Mudd Gallery. I have learned that everything you see in a gallery is most likely the result of hundreds of drafts, and dozens of steps, edits, do-overs, and tweaks. Nothing that goes up on a wall got there after one attempt. It is this arduous process that makes the final product ready to view. I enjoyed watching the class as they perfected their projects, and I hope that tonight's audience appreciates all the hard work that we put in. I learned yesterday that more than half of the people who are featured in my photographs cannot attend the exhibition due to a Wind Ensemble rehearsal, which was disappointing. However, I guess this is one of the aspects of being an artist that we have to learn about, as well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Putting It Together

  
Cover in MagCloud just minutes before finalizing...


Hopefully I will be able to sleep again soon. (Last night I dreamt about my MagCloud layout...no joke). When I went back and revisited my original idea I finally felt like I created what I intended to create with this project: a view of a world in which no one feels like they're safe from the ever watchful eye of Facebook. I included more people's "statuses," and incorporated more tangible objects with Facebook mantras attached or written on them to create the feeling of being constantly "tracked" in the real world.

In the beginning, I viewed this project as a collage of photos that would be slapped onto a wall and would therefore be read in a continuous manner. The thought of arranging them into a book-like sequence never really occured to me. Arranging images in a book, using juxtapositions and page turns as catalysts for surprise and emotion, can be a better method for telling a story (well duh, it's a book) and creating a mood (in this case, an anxious one). Robert Frank used this method to convey a view of a "hypocritical" America in his book, The Americans. He did this by juxtaposing images of extreme wealth with extreme poverty. He would not have been able to do this if it weren't for the large number of images that he captured. By taking many images he had the option to create a narrative out of his photos rather than just lumping them all together.

His book reads as one photograph for every two pages to create a stark contrast between the page being viewed and the page that follows it. To avoid redundancy, it does not simply show wealthy, poor, wealthy, poor, etc., but layers images of desparity to create an even greater contrast once the page turns to an image of wealth and vise versa. I tried to arrange my book using his "building up" technique instead of just providing contrast between each page. However, due to MagCloud restrictions, I was not able to format the book to be one photograph per two pages, which is a more professional/dramatic option. The book is two photographs per two pages, and the front and cover are included in the set, not as pieces separate from the set. In a year MagCloud will probably have way more variety with their organizing options...