Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rating of Projects

"The Rough Theater"

The “Rough Theater” is relevant to our work in 6x1. This is a short semester, so we have to move quickly to get our projects ready. This means a constant exercise in “creativity through constraints.” Compromises and mistakes are inevitable, but those things make our works more personal and fulfilling. I’m taking a class this session in short French cinema. In one of our readings, film historian Conn Holohan emphasizes the importance of constraints and minimization. The ambiguous and imperfect qualities of short films generate a “world unseen” and in that realm emerges the author. The dirt and grit of our works is more personal than meticulously constructed art.

The indie scene is moving to 4k resolution and high dynamic range. It’s impossible for me to try and keep up with the ever-changing standards. I can’t afford new cameras or strong enough computer cards. Spending time and money on tech would lead to creative stagnation. There are already enough tools in the toolbox that I need to discover through experimentation.  It’s better for me to embrace an “imperfect” aesthetic in my films. I can explore alternative avenues of artistic expression to improve myself as an artist.

Crowdsourcing Readings

When you have such a large collaboration like crowdsourcing projects, you end up with a unique form of art. It becomes this type of congealed, unidentifiable mode of expression that spotlights no one, but resonates with everyone. Take the Johnny Cash tribute for example. In order to make it work, everyone had parameters they had to work within. But they were free to sketch whatever they chose. The participants can look at the final product and feel a sense of pride, and also a sense of sodality.
The main perk of crowdsourcing is the influx of creative ideas. You’ll encounter many concepts that one person couldn’t come up with on their own. However, the caveat is that the saturation of input diminishes authorship. But crowdsourcing is all about collective expression.

I’m a narcissist, so I won’t be doing a lot of crowdsourcing on my own initiative. But it would be stupid of me to ignore the potential benefit crowdsourcing could have on my works.

Film Manipulation

This project has introduced me to alternative means of film production. Compared to digital, film is a more hands-on experience. Scratching, bleaching, and painting have a more satisfying feel than letting Photoshop do all the work for you. When watching the final reels, the unintentional moments were my favorite. I feel as though I went a little too heavy on the bleach at certain sections of our reel. The brushstrokes and smears create imperfect but beautiful imagery. It’s subversive and it’s interesting. Working in the blackbox was a new experience because I’ve never developed film before. It was tough having only the red light to see the rayograms. This project has reinforced my interest in working with film.

Acoustic Ecology

    I think I have a grasp on acoustic ecology but I’m not quite sure. The sound of a river can be drowned out by noise pollution from a city. What I’m having a hard time understanding is if it’s our auditory reception that’s inhibited by noise pollution, or is it the noise pollution that’s restricting the sound waves from reaching our ears.
    Passionate Foley artists probably have a deep understanding of acoustic ecology. Their goal is to provide complex sound design to films. They reproduce and record sounds through unconventional means. Example: The blaster from Star Wars is from striking a wire fence.
    Sound is so interesting because it’s intangible yet so integral to our everyday lives. It’s not obvious to us until it’s absent. There are a slew of Youtube videos featuring acoustic ecology, which means it’s a point of fascination for many other people.

Media Fast

Synesthesia and Cymatics

It’s hard to envision what goes on during synesthesia. It’s like looking into another world. The overlapping of sight and sound generate a 6th sensual experience. I understand why it’s a popular focus in art. I’m not sure how I would attempt to mediate such an experience to a viewer. Possibly through juxtaposition of colors with waves, to emulate sound. When reading, I thought about LSD experiences portrayed in films: montage of colors and alien-like sounds. But I’m not quite sure that those sequences are reliable examples of synesthesia, let alone acid trips.

The process of cymatics gives visual form to sounds, to see the unseeable. It connects to synesthesia, visualizing an auditory sensation. Before reading about Cymatics, I remember watching a video of vapor smoke forming shapes on loudspeakers.  What excites me about this is the wide range of possible methods. Vibrations react differently to certain surfaces and materials. I could use solids, liquids, or gasses to react to the vibrations. The surface area can be shaped to change reaction points.