Saturday, November 19, 2011

Final Project

The Fight

Although I am slightly exhausted at this point in the term, I am still happy with my final video. I called it "The Fight." I got the idea when I had a fight with my boyfriend, Josh, about smoking cigarettes, but it goes much deeper than this petty little argument that we commonly have. I realized that often times when I get into arguments with my friends it is much easier to text them or call them or send them a Facebook message than it is to confront them face to face. I really wanted this video to show our decreasing ability to confront each other directly due to these other, digital forms of communication that are available to us.

Struggling to not make it too heavy-handed, like with the last project, I tried to create a mood with:

1. The placement of the actors (Me and Josh) to create a feeling of distance even though we are close together.
2. The strobe light to create a feeling of anxiety.
3. One single, continuous shot.
4. Overlapping two takes to create more depth in the shot.
5. A silent "soundtrack." I really struggled with this one. I tried a bunch of different noises but in the end the silence just said more than any song or noise could have.

I had fun with this project, I hope you enjoy it. Also, mad props go to David Lynch, who uses the strobe light effect in the finale episode of Twin Peaks. He's the man.

Final Project Description

A short video demonstrating a decreasing ability to communicate directly with each other in the digital age.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The right to "copy"

For this project I decided to create a nostalgic video about National Parks in America using found footage of the National Parks. I wanted to critique the way in which people abuse the parks, such as Yellowstone, which now comes with a built-in grocery store, but I wanted to do it in a way that wasn't too obvious. I decided to use the color palette of the videos that I found to create an unnatural, slightly nostalgic view of the parks. I also used juxtapositions and overlapped images with the keyer and luma keyer tools to create scenes that to me felt very unnatural...two waterfalls running at once, one of them backwards, a butterfly flying through the desert, a setting sun in an underground cavern. I also used found sound (a "Romanze for Viola and Piano" by Vaughan Williams, a clip of a guy saying "mountains" over and over again, and rain sounds) and editing to help create nostalgia and a feeling of uneasiness.

I decided to interpret the copyright laws and fair use factors by making sure that the new feeling of my video was a very different feeling than the original video. By mixing different shots together you can create a whole new composition and tone, and this is what I tried to accomplish. In the article by Negativland they talk about how folk music is all based off of sampling and reworking already existing melodies, so, that's what I tried to do...make a new song out of old tunes. I felt like this was the best way to avoid any kind of copyright infringement. When it comes down to it, I really just think you have to be tasteful when sampling others' work, and your final product has to be as artful or more artful than the original work to be taken seriously.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ryan Trecartin: I TOTALLY understand you!

Still from video A Family Finds Entertainment (2007)

In the past I have researched artists that I really respected and enjoyed: Anne Hamilton, Christian Marclay, Brian Eno. But none of these artists even come close to the kind of appreciation and sheer awe I have gained from researching the work of Ryan Trecartin. Who IS this person? I would not be surprised if somebody told me that he landed on earth in a spacecraft. Since researching him my self-esteem and artistic motivation have both been flushed down the toilet. Although I completely respect and idolize him, I also envy him in a way, for possessing such a beautiful and brilliant vision.

His art speaks to and critiques my generation: the kids who can't remember a life without computers. He presents a cynical view on the hilarity of the internet-culture-playground that we have grown up with. He realizes that living our cyber-lives has serious consequences on our actual lives and relationships. He is not the first person to have realized this, definitely, but he throws this message at us in a way that is so subtle we might think we are watching just another Tim and Eric concoction, or a reality TV show on acid. Through his use of fast-paced editing, avant-garde sets, unintelligible narratives, and colorful costumes, he gives us a daunting view of what might become of us if we don't take the logic of the internet out of our real lives. His characters seem like they are desperately searching for meaningful relationships while all the time battling with severe ADD. They are some of the most truthful creations I have seen in a very long time. I enjoyed researching his work because it so closely resembles the message I was trying to create with my Facebook Project. Check out his work on the link attached to his name above.