Monday, April 27, 2015

My Response to Lawton Hall - Michael Hubbard

(Please note before reading this that I continue to struggle with what I want to do with my life with a degree in fines arts, especially in the world we now live in, and that part of that struggle constitutes a good portion of my feelings in post.)

This was a week where I had to remind myself the subjectivity of art and how there is now apparently little to no basis of objectivity with it in a world of increasingly loose contemporary art. Please bear with me if I come off as a bit condescending, because I am not, but rather using witticism to make light of my thoughts about our visitor as well as my tired mind. Also, this is just my honest opinion, and I am not going to pretend to like something just to be "polite." And honestly, I felt a bit discouraged the day Lawton Hall came to visit, and I honestly did not expect that to happen. I am not blaming Hall for my discouragement, but instead the whole experience in general that he happened to be apart of. When Lawton entered the room, I remember one of the first things John said was that Mr. Hall is one of the few graduates to quickly enter the art world and "survive," or something along those lines. Of course, John may have simply said that out of humor, based on the world's current attitude toward art students in a time where STEM education has taken ahold of mainstream academia, and I may sound like I am about to overanalyze a simple joke, but that statement had me both intrigued and worried nonetheless and continued to linger in my mind to this day, along with the long list of fears I continue to have about the present and future. Apparently one of the themes that Lawton is pursuing is "nostalgia" or trying to return to form of something lost or in the past, and I definitely think he captures something old and tired.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Project No. 2 - "The Slow Cascade"

It would have been easy to imagine that I would do another short film for our latest project, and that is because I personally find film to be the most expressive medium that vividly captures those ultimate artistic intents that are harder to replicate with any other medium, whether it be still photography, music, painting, drawing, or live performance art. So is the case with my latest short film, "The Slow Cascade," again starring Ben Meunier, who thankfully agreed to be on board again with my usual antics, although how many other number of times he would be willing to do it after this is unknown. "The Slow Cascade" takes advantage of the prompt of considering and using space by using time to push that space to evoke a particular emotion, that being of looming fear and dread, although that may not be apparent at first. Things appear calm at first, but also immediately, through the slowing of time, the eery music, and provocative images of rushing water, an empty bench, and a creeping goose, one can only assume that something terrible yet unexplained has occurred and one can only guess what may have happened. The main character appears to be meditating at first, but could he be pre-meditatively considering doing some terrible deed or simply reminiscing having done it already? Clearly that person is actually at that place he is thinking about at that very moment, so what significance does it hold to him? For the short amount of time it runs, this film has no clear narrative and instead asks questions about what happened, considering what the images, the alteration of the film's speed, and music communicate to the viewers. Certeau says that stories "...organize the play of changing relationships between places and spaces," a place being where "...objects...are...reducible to...being there..." and a space being where "...operations..." are being made." Ben's character is in one place behaving how one might consider inactive while there is are things going on around him that he is clearly not paying any attention to, but on the other hand he is thinking about another place where something happened that he probably took part in. The bridge between place and space is made here because he is simply in one place and thinking about another location where some operation was in order.

"The Slow Cascade"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Project No. 1 - "Nighttime Reader"

Working the topic of mundane rituals, I wanted to explore reading before going to bed and how the process of that can affect our internal hardwiring for both the good and the bad. I chose the medium of film because that is where I work best and make the most out of my more elaborate ideas. The film is titled “Nighttime Reader” is simply about a young man reading before retiring to bed. However, there is a twist toward the end that I included to give the film a more interesting narrative edge aside the ambient music, crisp color contrast, and various camera angles. With this film, I also wanted to visually emphasize how there is a simple beauty to what we consider "mundane" through the slow and steady pace of the film as the calming, reflective music plays in the background. Michel de Certeau says in his book The Practice of Everyday Life that, "The 'insignificant detail' inserted into the framework supports [the story] makes the commonplace produce other effects" (de Certeau 89). By inserting the surprise of a supernatural presence, I believe I gave the film further reason as to why carries its grainy, subdued pastiche. That particular aesthetic hopefully adds to the feeling of discomfort despite its comfortable setting with audience having already learned the eery ending of this film.