Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Artist Talk Outline

-Start out with our reasoning for the fake wine bust and why we still offer free pizza, when we were partly making a statement about how people must be bribed or rewarded to attend art viewings. We can tell them that we offer them pizza as a thanks and appology for being part of our project.

-Next each one of us describes our own character such as their traits, goals, etc.
(Have 4 channel composite playing again in background as we speak.)

-After the character descriptions we can describe our opinions about what the Jones family and the movie represents.

-Next we can describe the meaning and reasoning behind the entire project including the community dinner performance, the performance/screening stunt, and the final artist talk.

-Conclude by asking if people have reactions or opinions they want to share of they have questions before playing the footage from the fake wine bust to end the artist talk.

Performance/Screening Review

The performance was successful! I think everyone involved including myself played their part well. Thanks Jill and Don, you both did great and played crucial aspects of the performance, making the illusion believable. Andrew did a good job introducing us, and the fiasco ran smoothly from there on. We attracted a large crowd, which was great, and they reacted as we hoped. Just when it seemed people were beginning to get bored with the video, Jill came in and acted upset, which caught some attention back. When Don came in and turned the light on, everyone in the room was surprised by the interruption. I think the majority of the audience truly believed they were in trouble up to the point that they read the letter. Overall, I think the screening/performance went better than planned, and everyone's roles were important to making it as successful as it was.

Monday, November 30, 2009


*Invitations have been delivered in the student mailboxes.
*There are posters put up in the school, and the rest of promotion will be done through word of mouth.

The food will be warmed around 11:30 or 11:45 and set up on the table. The projector will be ready to go between 11:30 and 11:45.
We will need:
*Table with table cloth and chairs
*Painting of Woman
*Turkey and Side Dishes
*Our wine glasses and plates
*Paper plates and cups
*Plastic forks and spoons
*Our costumes
*Projector and laptop
*Video Cameras

We will document this event with two cameras, one behind us and one in front.

I will consider this event a success if at least a hand full of people attend the screening, and their sense of reality is blurred with illusion.

I think success is a good word because the success is defined by the artists goals. For example, one person may not think something is a success because it does not please them, while on the other hand the artist sees it as a success because the goal was to create the unpleasurable. Since we are not dealing with money and numbers, if we can get the IDEA across to the audience I see it as a success.

I see the post screening as more of a lecture style presentation. First we could show the movie by itself. After it plays through once or twice we will talk about our ideas and motivations behind the video and performances. After we discuss our ideas we can show the footage of the event screening with the video, mixing the real with the posed or acted. At the end I think we should ask the audience to critique our work, ask questions and maybe tell about their reactions to the series of events.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Performance Review

I believe my performance was strong overall, because people seemed intrigued and also slightly disturbed by my presence and our group as a whole. Our appearance drew attention because it was far from the normal stereotype of what people expect, and it successfully interrupted the community dinner. Our silence, and blank expressions made people uneasy and confused, also making our subtle interactions with each other stronger. I think my scream was a very effective aspect of the performance. Everyone expected us to remain silent, since we did most of the performance, which made the scream unpredictable and startling to the students. I screamed during one of the loudest moments during the dinner, and caused the whole building to go silent for a few seconds. It was also very strong how the others from our group were startled by the scream, but ultimately knew what I wanted, and passed the plate, making it seem like a normal situation to our "family." Overall, I think my performance and the group's performance as a whole was very effective and made a stronger impact than I expected, which drew a lot of attention to our characters and scenario.

The only problem I had during the performance was trying to remain serious or keep a blank expression, especially after the scream and when certain people would try to talk to me. Other than that, I think the performance went smooth.

The audience, for the most part, seemed intrigued and interested about our concept. Some seemed disturbed or confused, which I believe to be a good thing. Everyone I talked to after the performance thought it was absurd and interesting, and wanted to know our reasoning behind the act. Overall, I believe we achieved our goal of advertising our film screening with the performance at the community dinner.

I would not make many changes to future events, besides trying harder to remain serious. Our performance was documented with stills, which I have not seen yet, but I believe stills were more appropriate than video since the actions were mundane for the most part. This did influence me to think of integrating performances into my other works.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Performance Proposal

The students of the Experimental Cinema class are organizing a performance that will compliment the screening of our movie. We plan on screening our film during lunch on December 2, 2009 at 12:00 PM. The event will be promoted with free food and drinks during film screening. There will be free food and FAKE wine, which we will serve, in costume, at the front of Myers while the movie plays. We want people to believe that we are serving real wine and are breaking the rules to draw a crowd. The reason for the free food and “wine,” is to attract a larger audience and show how most people must be forced, bribed or rewarded in order to attend art viewings, when ideally they should want to attend the event for the art alone. We will serve the fake wine to anyone who wants it until Jill Wissmiller enters the room to realize that we are breaking the rules. She will act angry and leave to get the head of security, Donald Kelly, to handle the problem. He will come into the room and take action as if the situation was real. We need Donald Kelly’s participation to make the illusion more believable, and leave a stronger impact on the audience. Our reason for this act is to show people that they should not have to be bribed to view art. Finally, we plan to present a lecture to the student body, describing our process and reasoning behind our actions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MEAT THE JONES'S Performance ideas

*2 candle sticks
*mu mu
*make up
*beer cans
*turkey and other sides (cream style corn and brusselsprouts)
*wine glasses
*same plates
*portrait hung w/ fishing line
* leaves

-Be at the school at 4 PM Monday

-We will be eating at the table in the middle of the community dinner buffet. We will not interact with each other or anyone else. When we are done eating we will leave and get out of costume and return to clean up when the dinner is over.

We are forcing our presence upon people at the community dinner to make them question if there is really such thing as a "normal" family. The ideal family often depicted by consumerists on television lead us to believe that those families are "normal," when in reality most families are far from that stereotype. We represent an absurd family who feels they must meet for a "normal" dinner, but actually none of the individuals want to be there. Also this performance is meant to be a preceding event to the screening Thursday December 3 at 8:00 PM.

We will sit in between the two buffet tables facing the guests of the community dinner. They will have to walk by us in order to get to the food. They will have to notice us, to confront us, and possibly interact with us, ultimately realizing that we will not speak to them or acknowledge them. In a sense, we are like an advertisement. Since this action is out of the ordinary for the community dinner, it will hopefully cause the people at the dinner to question and discuss what is going on/why it is going on. They will more than likely question the more obvious absurd things about us first-why we are dressed the way that we are, why there is a microwave at the table, etc. Hopefully these questions will lead them to discuss what these different costumes and our actions mean. Our act of eating on display will create a sort of small commotion; it will interrupt the normal routine of the people who come expecting a “normal” dinner. The dinner that we eat is symbolic for our piece, as it represents the idea of a “normal” family and all of the fronts that acting like what we are told is “normal” comes with. The performance comments upon the ideas of reasonable versus absurd. Where do these ideas come from? What officials/voices in society do we let determine our ideas of normalcy? For example, reality shows seem to be gaining popularity over sitcoms because they claim to show us what people are “really like.” They show us a side of “reality” that we cannot normally see, and this further influences our opinion of what is real and what is staged. Since our “family” will be on display and undoubtedly looked at, we will be commenting upon this idea of privacy and reality. What is real and what is staged? What does this mass marketed idea of a normal family mean, and what happens when that idea is exposed and deconstructed?

Entire Performance and Meaning

Meaning of Wine stunt/ entire performance

Comment on marketing using edgy tactics to appeal to teens. Television is loaded with imagery and symbols to create an image of the cutting edge, when in reality, they are simply selling false ideals. The realization that the wine bottle are filled with colored water will hopefully force the viewer to question the illusion of the television to which they invest their time. These images are not real, they are all illusions, the very idea of television is a marketing dream. All persons sitting still, captured by projected light plots, waiting patiently for the next stream of advertisements.

We would like the idea of FREE! FREE! FREE! Everything to be the main reason people show up to our screening. We will serve them half eaten, left over food, and Fake wine, destroying their illusions of their American ideal. We wish to show that within our consumerist economy, all that is truly bought and sold are false illusions of a family (or personal) ideal.

Rather than watching programming or marketing ploys on the television screens, we will be watching ourselves existing on the screen. People should look deeper into their motivations behind investing so much of themselves into a consumer illusion. We must look into ourselves. There is nothing for us upon this screen, only the flickering of dim specters, which propagate our ideals for us. We must take agency upon on our own minds, we must combat the circulation of a system which dictates what it is that we desire. We can’t live these false dreams. Let’s breath in the sun, Exhale the moon.

If your mind could be projected upon the television screen, what would appear? Would you bathe in the shimmering light of enlightened hearts, or drift helplessly upstream through a river of “have” and “have not’s”. To which have you been placed?

Watch TV, it is easy. spoon feed what is right and what Is wrong, what you need and what you don’t. Lay there awaiting the dawn of the next Sun sale, 20.00 dollars off! NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE! There’s no motivation, needn’t be any.

Installlation Ideas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meat the Jones's Write-Up

The collaborative movie came out successful, I believe we worked well as a group and all agreed on our goals. The shooting of this movie went good, we were a little disorganized, but I think we pulled it together. We worked through all of our problems and got everything shot in one LONG day. We got a ton of good footage, which made the editing process a lot easier. A few things got left out but, I dont think the film suffered from it. Overall, our film MEAT the Jones's came out strong, and I'm not too sure how ready the world is for our family FIASCO!!!

**ALSO Thanks for the kick ass turkey JILL!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Storyline for Andrew's part
----superhero Andrew walks in on Wesley in the bathroom
----akward moment of the two staring at each other
----Andrew moves slowly grabbing the roll of toilet paper never taking his eyes off Wesley
----As soon as he grabs the toilet paper, Andrew runs out of the bathroom and up the stairs
----He enters the attic, which is full of many lamps all turned on
----He jumps around, flips and flexes like a superhero (montage)
----He then sits down calmly, unrolls the toilet paper perfectly and begins to add more toilet paper spitballs to his artpiece
----The telephone drops down from the ceiling right in front of him and he answers it
Dinner Storyboard

Tony Oursler

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

character development

1. How does your character think? Very basic and instinctual, but at times irrational
2. How does your character think he/she thinks? Normal
3. What does your character want? Not to be seen as a beast
4. What does your character think he/she wants? To be civilized and successful
5. What does your character believe? Fitting in and conforming will make him a better person
6. What does your character think he/she believes? That wearing a suit and catching a fish will make him civilized and successful
7. What is your character’s truth? Mythology? Thinks that catching fish(food) will make him a successful respected person which means everything to him
8. What is your character’s real truth? Real Mythology?Is really an instinctual beast with irrational tendencies
9. What does your character need? To be accepted by others
10. What does your character think he/she needs? Thinks he must conform and present himself as a clean civilized upper class person
11. What actions does your character undertake? Fishing in the bathroom
12. Why does your character think he/she does what he/she does? thinks catching a fish and wearing a suit will make him fit in with society and become successful

Past he was a beast, who was unaccepted by society
Present he is trying to change that
Future of fitting in and being successful in society pushes him

His emotions are hopeful, confused, feels inferior

This change is very important and urgent to the character because he does not want be seen as the outsider/other anymore or he will go crazy

The character tries to make this change to be accepted by others and be part of the group

His appearance as a beast and the fact that he is wearing a suit makes it obvious that he wants to be seen as civilized. He is fishing in a bathroom which shows his confusion about society. He is a beast and thinks more instinctual, so he believes he will be praised for catching the fish. He thinks of the fish as food or currency, which is how he plans to gain success.

Mainly I think the different combinations of symbolism shown through his appearance and actions will make him original. The way the issue of trying to fit in with the crowd is represented seems different. The way I think a beast would act in attempt to be seen by others as civilized.

The character is depressed and tired of being the outsider, he dresses up and tries to catch a fish to be accepted, which makes him hopeful. He doesn't catch a fish and grows more and more frustrated as time goes on while is fishing. He begins to drink a lot of beer to ease his mind because he is so frustrated and confused. This shows that he is about to lose hope. He gets a phone call, which could be his chance to fit in, but has become so drunk he can no longer play the role of being civilized.

The character's flaw is that he tries to hard to be something he is not, and tries too hard to impress others. He is confused about how to fit in so his actions would not even really help him achieve his goal.

Performance Artists that caught my attention
Marina Abramovic
Tony Conrad
Karen Finley
Paul McCarthy
Tony Oursler
Carolee Schneemann
Annie Sprinkle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Merry-Go-Round from Wesley Catlett on Vimeo.

Ideas for Group Project

Each of us act in the film as a different character.

Each character would be a monster or at least very beast like.

Each character has a separate introduction in the film where each are doing different random things such as putting together toy models, fishing, etc. This will be similar to the character introductions in Gone in 60 Seconds, and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Each character will get a phone call that interrupts their random activity. They answer the phone and say alright ill be there.

After the introduction of each character, all the beast meet up and do something very common such as bowling.

They all hang out and drink getting along, getting drunker and drunker, until one gets completely out of line and gets on the other beasts nerves.

All the beasts kill the obnoxious beast.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Poetic Film Write Up

I think the final version of my poetic film, Merry-Go-Round came out quite well. The filming went smoothly, but I had a little trouble using the wheelchair for tracking shots. The tracking shots didn't come out as smooth as I expected, but I dont think the jumpiness of the cuts, takes away from the piece too much. The editing of this was a challenge, becuase I had to try and line up the compositions of the consequetive shots as good as possible to simulate one continuous shot. The shots with the same character in the frame multiple times, were also challenging but I think they worked out pretty successfully. I added sound to the final piece, which I think adds another element to the work. Overall, I took the advice from the critique of my rough edit, to make a final piece that I am quite pleased with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vertical Project Ideas revised

I did not change a whole lot from before besides taking out the white eyes, and beast like persona. I want all the personas to look exactly the same to reinforce the idea of defying space and time with this video. I also took out the part where the mirror changes into a flower and the person spins. Instead, I want it to act as a loop, starting and ending with the same shot. I think this will reinforce the idea that the person is stuck, or cant help but keep going in circles in his/her mind.

--Start with long shot of person alone in a room, staring at their self in a mirror
--Close up of the mirror shows an image of the person
--The camera zooms into the mirror, going through it and coming out in the mirror world
--Once in the mirror world the camera pans past the head while turning to look into the mirror
--Now the mirror holds an image of the person but the person appears very blurred and unrecognizable
--The camera pans away until another persona of the same person is revealed crawling on the floor reaching for the person holding the mirror
--In the middle of the reaching action it will flash to the same person outside reaching to open the door of the house.
--As soon as the door starts to open it flashes back to the person reaching for the person holding the mirror and falling flat on the floor.
--At the time of the collision it flashes to the door slamming shut outside
--The camera then shows the person walking through the doorway of the room where the person was holding the mirror
--The camera then pans away or zooms out again until coming out of the mirror the first person is holding in the room
--It flashes over to the person (who was reaching) dead on the floor. The other persona of the person coming in the door of the room
--A long shot is shown, revealing all three personas in the same room together until the two disappear, by popping back to the first shot again

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vertical/Poetic Video Ideas

I was really inspired by Maya Deren and her use of the camera to show the same figure in different places at the same time. I will use this technique to represent different personas of a character and his/her perceptions of these personas. I want to defy time and space with this piece to emphasize the idea that the viewer is witnessing the character's thought process and feelings. I plan to use doors, windows, and mirrors as recurring symbols. These objects reinforce the idea of perception and act as passageways into the different personas.

--Start with person alone in a room, staring at their self in a mirror
--The mirror shows an image of the person but with white eyes
--The camera zooms into the mirror, going through it and coming out in the world of the white-eyed persona, which is the same room
--The camera pans past the head of the white-eyed persona while turning to look into the mirror
--Now the mirror holds an image of the person but the person appears very beastlike and is outside
--The camera pans away from the mirror and the white-eyed persona until a normal looking persona is shown crawling on the floor reaching toward the white-eyed persona. The white-eyed persona does not even acknowledge it.
--In the middle of the reaching action it will flash to the normal persona outside reaching to open the door.
--As soon as the door starts to open it flashes back to the normal persona reaching for the white-eyed persona and falling flat on the floor. The white-eyed person still does not react.
--At the time of the collision it flashes to the door slamming shut outside and the camera pans over and back toward the beastlike persona staring into the sky
--The camera then pans away from the beastlike persona, until coming back out of the mirror of the beginning shot with the person in the room alone staring into the mirror
--The mirror then turns into a flower and the person begins to spin in circles
--It flashes over to the normal person dead on the floor, and the beastlike persona is staring from the doorway
--Cuts back to person spinning. Person now stops spinning and opens eyes staring at the beastlike persona, revealing the white eyes

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deren response II

Deren seems to be concerned with the abstract logic of the subconscious mind, and the blur between dreams and reality. She shows how the subconscious can turn a simple issue into a big problem and affect reality. For example, in the stair scene, the task of climbing the stairs and chasing the figure become very extensive and laborous. These are often seen from the first person perspective to add to the ambiguity and confusion between dreams and reality. I believe the content and technique are unable to be separated in Deren's films because they rely on each other equally to create the poetic quality.

Poetry and The Film response

This reading is very confusing but had some interesting points. I agree with Miller's idea of the film being the closest man made aesthetic device to the structure of a dream. I agree because it deals with the illusion of time and space, and the combinations of images. If comparing poetic films to dreams, I would say they are quite similar. They are not always concerned with logicality or a common structure. I agree with Deren's comparison of poetic films with dream sequences from commercial films. Most of the narratives in commercial film's rely on actions and logic to receive logical interpretations, but when they must represent something more abstract, they rely more on emotions and meanings implied through linked images. This abstract representation receives abstract interpretations which are usually different for many viewers. To me, that makes it more poetic since it is not so concrete and allows the imagination and feelings to come into play.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Maya Deren Response

I really enjoyed the camera work and the dreamlike quality of Maya Deren's work. The camera is tilted in interesting ways in conjunction with the actresses movements to create strange perspectives and perceptions of space. It is also interesting how she only showed fragments of the character by tight cropped shots which build up to a total reveal. I think it is a very strong technique, when she cuts to different locations in the middle of actions such as walking through the house, or when she is chasing something. She also makes objects and tasks seem endless through her cuts. Overall, I found Maya Deren's work very compelling and influential.
Artist Statement/Bio

As a video artist, I am interested in the roles people choose to, or are forced to play in modern society. I am also interested in the duality of human nature, specifically the instinctual side of the conscience versus the more social side. I see the more social conscience as a mask that is forced onto people by those with money and power in modern society. I want to remove this mask. I want people to stop being content with hiding their true selves. I want people to be individuals not a mass of masked machines.

Video Synopsis

Numbing Numbers
This is an examination of the social masks or roles forced onto people in society. Those in control are content with the mask because it benefits them. The working class do not benefit from this mask, they are used like replaceable machines, maintained as cheaply as possible to get the job done.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Miniature Assignment Write Up

The shooting of this project went well, I am really beginning to enjoy the meditative qualities of stop motion, and also the beautiful images it creates compared to video. The blur effect helps illustrate the idea of examination we read about for the miniature, and it also goes along with my mask concept well. I believe the addition of the second video, representing the rich and powerful, helps to my idea across that the other video represents the working class. I believe projecting both of these videos simultaneously will create multiple juxtapositions and interesting contrasts. This project also serves well as an experiment for my senior project, which will involve a lot of stop motion and pixilation. Overall, I am very satisfied with the aesthetic qualities of this project and I believe it is a strong piece that gets my idea across pretty successfully.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My final idea consists of a character in the distance with a mask on. The character will be blurred in the distance concealing detail. The character will be pixilating toward the camera. The legs will remain still while the upper body and head will be shaking to illustrate being trapped in the mask. The closer the subject gets to the camera the more in focus the shot is and the more detail is shown. Once the face covered by the mask fills the screen, it will slowly begin to move to the right in the frame. While slowly moving right, the character will remove the mask and reveal the face. There be blood draining like tears out of the eyes. The blood will slowly fade away exposing the natural face and the camera will zoom all the way into the eye of the character as the end.

The pixilation toward the camera and the shot coming into focus, emphasize the idea of exploration or examination of the true self. The shaking of the upper body and the stillness of the legs is a metaphor for the duality of human nature. This will also illustrate the idea of being forced into or trapped in this mask. The blood draining out of the eyes, when the mask is removed, is meant to symbolize the affect the mask had on the character's true essence. The blood fading away illustrates healing. Eyes are often seen as the gateway to the soul, so the zoom deep into the eye is meant to be the exposure of the essence, or true self. To me the mask is a symbol of the roles we are forced to play. The process of stop motion lends itself well to the idea of roles, since each frame is directed and forced. I am trying to expose this mask so people can remove it and be individuals.

Thoughts and Goals

Masks define our roles in the big movie playing over and over again called society. The directors of this movie are those with money and power and they wreak all the benefits when the movie sells. To them we are not individuals but characters created in their minds to play the roles in their big movie. These roles are forced upon us so much to the point that we beleive them, accept them, and are content with them ourselves. The directors do not know us and do not care to know about us. We are like their machines that must be upkept just enough to get the job done. Upkept as cheaply as possible so we can keep doing their shit work. We are masked and objectified. No identity or essence, we are just replaceable tools. Repeating

I want to remove the mask
I want people to stop being content with hiding their true selves
I want people to be individuals not machines or masked actors/actresses

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New idea improved

I plan on combining my new idea with elements of 1 and 2 of my older ideas. I will have a person confined or dissatisfied with their situation, and they will escape reality through their mask. The character puts the mask on and the world changes. The character grows bigger or moves closer to the camera revealing the objects the mask is comprised of. The character soon grows tired of the mask and wants to return to normal. When the character tries to remove the mask, more masks are behind the first mask and each one removed creates a harsher environment until eventually the character decomposes to nothing leaving only a mask on the floor.

New Idea

My new idea, after being critiqued, will involve a character putting on a mask and getting bigger to emphasize the idea that people objectify themselves when they wear social masks. The background will be a time lapse of the sun going down in an open landscape. The character will be normal sized and there will be enough detail at this size to get an idea of the characters traits. When the character puts the mask on it will still get bigger but the only detail added is in the mask. The mask will be comprised of small things people do as a social mask. The background will blur and desaturate when the mask is on, emphasizing the details in the mask. I still must think about the clothing the character wears, and what details the mask will be comprised of, or if i even want to use a literal mask.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Artist Lecture Review 1

Janet Koplos started her lecture with a long series of videos. Each video started with a still shot of a wooden sculpture then someone comes into the frame and kicks it down. Each sculpture was handmade by the artist then destroyed by the artist making the pieces temporary and non imperial. The artist said if everyone's art lasted forever their would be no room to live. She spoke about how a lot of art is not impressive because of the skill it took to produce it, but instead impressive because of the long process and time it took to make it. One artist's process was collecting large amounts of pollen and displaying it many different ways. One can only imagine how long it takes to collect that much pollen, so it is the artist's time involved that gives the art value. These long processes invoke a meditative or dreamlike mindstate to the artist making the art more instinctual. Overall, it was a strong but long lecture.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

3 ideas

1. Make many small objects come out of the same, but bigger object.

2. Make a confined person create their dream or goals in a drawing or miniature, then they shrink down and escape through their imaginary way out.

3. A person is creating their own miniature empire, creating small countries and imagining conquering them. After he gets ingulfed in his imagination, reality fades and he is in his miniature, covered in blood, surrounded by dead bodies, eventually he is killed by his own invention.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Assignment Write Up

The final shooting of this project went quite well. I think the much more gradual process of applying the make up and shooting turned out a lot more aesthetically pleasing and also makes it more like a video than an image sequence. I did not use traditional 3 point lighting because I liked the shadows casted on the face, it seemed to make the cake icing more intense. Overall, the final version of this stop motion is much stronger and hopefully gets across my concept of the social mask.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Frame By Frame Ideas

1. Pixillation mixed with aspects of the Stereoscope. I will use either the same person or two different people, one being the inner conscience and the other the outer. The two images will have the same background but the two people or personas will be layered on top of one another, creating one figure to represent the duality of human nature. The figure will slide toward and away from the camera in a circular motion using pixillation. The figure will be sliding instead of moving itself, as a symbol that humans have little control of their conscience. The circular motion will represent the idea that this power battle of consciences is a constant cycle.

2. Stop motion of face with pieces of a mask slowly covering the features of the face. Also could be a female with makeup slowly caking onto her face. Once the face is completely covered the mask changes back and forth to several other masks which eventually hide the ears, eyes, mouth and finally the shape of face completely. By the end it will be completely indistinguishable that there is even a face in the mask. This would be a metaphor for the way peoples' roles in society change them to the point that they lose their own essence as a person becoming merely a construct of society.

3. Phenakistoscope of two figures fighting to control the other. These figures will be revolving on the outside edge rotating around a serpent eating itself surrounded by masks and money signs. The design of the Phenakistoscope lends itself easily to concepts of cycles and repetition

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Film Write Up

My film, Growing Backwards, references the Avant Garde films we viewed last week, such as Man Ray's and Rene Clair's. I used many of the same techniques as the Avant Garde films such as repetition of shots, strange camera angles, manipulation of time such as slow motion and sped up shots, stop motion and image sequences. I also made my film more abstract with a non linear time span instead of traditional narrative. I really enjoy this style of making video and believe it has many opportunities to create new images instead of cliche imagery. I made the video black and white because it references the old films appearance, and it also helps unify the shots. A lot of the shots are very chaotic and I believe color would have been too distracting from the image. Overall, this style of video has really influenced my work and I really enjoyed doing it. Shooting and editing went well, without many problems. I am still deciding whether my video needs sound or not.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Entr’acte (Rene Clair, France, 1924)

Entr’acte caught my attention the most out of the five films. I think the film worked well alone, without sound. I found it really interesting how it played with time in a non linear way in parts, which takes away from the aura. The scientific and artistic aspects of the mechanical device is shown with the slow motion scenes. There are also a lot of tricks done with the camera creating unrealistic events, along with strange angles contrasting normal perspectives of real life. Repetition is used once again to reference the mechanical reproduction. I found this film more interesting than the others because it had a wide variety of shots and subject matter and an unpredictable nature.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I understood the aura to be the presence of time and space in which the film took place, when it was actually seen through the lens. The aura is what makes film unique because it captures the not only the visual appearance, but the moods caused by hardships during a moment in history. A film's aura is much different than that of a painting because, unlike a film which can be mass produced, a painting cannot be reproduced and therefore has one authentic concrete object that is the painting itself.

I think it is both good and bad that the aura in films are withering away. I think its bad because current history and our modern way of life is not properly documented to represent our generation. A lot of films are highly manipulated with fake props to simulate some other time period losing the aura of present time. At the same time, I believe the withering away is good because it seems to leave more room for creativity and manipulating environments and scenarios to get across ideas. The withering of the aura could be a metaphor for the dependency on roles and the machine in our day and age.

With Emak Bakia, Man Ray seems to try to lose the aura by using many locations and generalized scenery to take away the authenticity of the actual time and space during the filming. He is also minimizing the aura by reinforcing the idea of mechanical reproduction through the objects he films, many being objects that are mass produced, or the machines that make the objects. He is also embracing the mechanical aspects of the camera such as slow motion and sped up shots, and stop motion to make everyday objects move. He is playing with the fact that the camera is a mechanical device and should be treated as such instead trying to make it seem like the viewers perspective. Man Ray also uses repetition of many manipulated shots to further emphasize mechanical reproduction.