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One Shot: Market Fresh

The challenge: “Create a short, one shot, no edit, no post production (color correction/effects) video.”

This short video was filmed at the Ithaca Famers’ Market in the early morning of a beautiful autumn day.
What you see is straight from the camera without any editing for color, stabilization, or time. The artist statement is as follows:

We find ourselves surrounded by an unpredictable yet highly connected environments. Pervasive as the ideology may be in philosophical discourse, there remains novelty in the truism that all that is nature is connected and all that is connected is nature.  In this work, I wish to engage this notion while at the mercy of the very environment which we connect with.

Being aware of these connections and being present within society can make a large difference while exploring the ways in which we are – as one – connected and intertwined. The ways in which one can explore this may be uncomfortable. It may require being quiet, listening, or otherwise being presently aware. Finding the inspiration to feel connected and thus be connected is an awareness that is innate to us all but does not necessarily come easy.

In this video, the sights, sounds, interactions, encounters, and interruptions appear, in person, disjointed. However, when framed and viewed through a lens, the connections become ever present as each facet of the environment becomes intertwined. It is this spontaneous moment of genuine, connected nature that I find grace within my work.

 

With that said, I absolutely loved the challenge that such a film presents! From the undesired, but present image shakes to the unintentional interactions with those around us at the market, such a piece clearly is at the mercy to the unpredictable environment.

Future films will, more than likely, benefit from a greater ability to control the environment, actors, and equipment – but, for what it is worth, the innocence of the moments captured within this short video speak loudly in a voice entirely of its own kind. As I mention in my statement, this voice has a subtle tone of grace and innocence with overtones of exploration and curiosity.

For that, I am extremely pleased with the outcome of a project I approached with so little certainty but so much optimism!

Hope you enjoy!

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Slowness and the Still

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Revisiting Leighton’s Art and the Moving Image for a third time -necessary by all means due to the sheer density of the fantastic work – I have come to discover great value in the last section of the introduction: “Slowness/The Still.”

My interest in the works of the works of video artists such as Thierry Kuntzel, Michael Snow, and David Claerbout fall well into this category. Their experimental techniques for video production introduced “the still” as a powerful embodiment of all that can be achieved from a fixed perspective.

Such a technique creates “an ambiguous stillness, a ‘dynamic stasis’ (as media theorist Thomas Y. Levin characterises it), more commonly associated with photography than with film” (Leighton, 39). In many respects, this technique appears tame compared to the more experimental works of those familiarizing themselves with the medium. One might even see such a lack of interaction as regression to the comforts of traditional photography techniques. In actuality, this is far from the case.

Leighton continues: “These works are static images, yet at the same time they are moving; they create a heightened awareness of time’s passing. In slowing down, halting the image or simply showing it as it is, slowness perhaps becomes a new and vital artistic strategy, one that brings about renewed attention to an ‘archaeology’ of time” (ibid).  In her rhetoric it becomes clear that the masterful effect of such films is that they convey the ceaseless passage of time. Your senses are manipulated as you view the image as simply that – an image – yet are caught off guard by the slight movements and interplay of motion. This is especially true for Claerbout’s Ruurlo, Bocurloscheweg (1910) and Kuntzel’s Venices. 

The technique of fixed perspective to create slowness is not one to be so quickly overlooked. The dialogue  Leighton commences in her writing is absolutely brilliant and has allowed me the chance to foster a new appreciation for the works of video artists wishing to achieve a slow or even still effect in their films.


Photo credit: http://www.gms.be/files/images/ar/12/56/claerbout_ruurlo_01.jpg

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David Snyder

The five-gallon bucket. A metaphor for “from” in relation to words, concepts, and images – Snyder explores the way in which such a container can carry the content, if not burden, of a message.

Snyder is a not-so-surprisingly verbose speaker who engages the audience powerfully with the content of his own message: that art is the result of value. Without value in the message, how else can art be defined?  Snyder seeks to answer this by “emptying the bucket” and create oppositions of content and derived meaning.

His work, Night Conversations with None Other (2011), depicted above, perfectly embodies this notion of destabilizing content and value assumptions. The visual disarray of edits from a cabin on fire to the lot which contains the cabin, overlaid by a narrative not unlike a life coach’s cassette tape plays into the ambiguity of messages and values within the offsetting work.

Going through his thirty videos on his Vimeo account, one starts to understand a fuller picture of the man behind the works. Snyder does not seek to entertain or even provide comfort to the viewer. He instead looks to catch the viewer off guard. What ever expectations you might hold as the viewer, quickly they unravel and unravel until you are left with disarray – attempting to extract meaning from the work. What goes unspoken, however, is that this meaning one searches for is not necessarily in the work, but of  the work. One must ask why Snyder performs as he does – once this question is validated and answered, some truth may be understood.

Admittedly, for this viewer, I have yet to fully answer the question and understand fully the genius that is David Snyder.

 

Photo Credit: Pradeep U.N.

In the News: Microsoft Firenze|BXT 2012

As the excitement of the Microsoft Firenze|BXT competition comes to gradual close, I am surprised to see the competition lives on in myriad ways including the competition event video (above featuring yours truly starting around the 1:27 minute mark), a fantastic write up in the Cornell Business Journal regarding my team’s participation in the event, and even news of Bing’s development team creating an enthralling new user experience that incorporates social media in ways not unlike my team’s concept!

Looking forward to trying out the new Bing.com and  keeping in touch with all of the updates on the competition rolling out of Redmond on the official Microsoft Firenze|BXT Facebook page.

Be sure to check out my write-up on the competition here:  My Experiences at Microsoft Firenze|BXT 2012

2030: VIVIFI

2036: VIVIFI

Pronounced “vivify,” this video was created in a weekend for my Introduction to Digital Media course at Cornell University in Fall 2011.

The project required students to create a new reality within which they exist. I wanted to turn the camera on myself and explore what it might be like to go through my morning routine with a little assistance from technology.

Although rough around the edges, this is my first time using Adobe After Effects – a program I cannot wait to learn in depth, particularly after creating this video.

This video was shot entirely on a Canon 5D MarkII with MagicLantern and a Rhode Pro mic.
Editing – Adobe Premiere CS5
Graphics – Adobe Photoshop Pro CS5
Effects – Adobe After Effects CS5

Feel free to leave any feedback and I hope you enjoy one of my earliest digital video works from college!

Map Art

Drawing Project: Urbanization

Map Art

For my second Intro to Drawing project at Cornell University, I was assigned to create a map based on an imaginary location and advance that concept to the greatest extent possible. The result is the following animation:

 

I wanted to capture the transformation and development of an unestablished location from land formation and colonization thru modern civilization. The drawing process closely mimicked the way in which such a location may actually be developed.

 

Using a tripod-mounted camera and light setup, I photographed the multi-staged drawing process and created a stop-motion animation with a linear, chronological progression.In post production, numerous sound effects were added in order to further reinforce  urbanization’s far-reaching effects on natural surroundings.

The next step for this piece is to take the concept even further with an interactive element. My intention is to create an interactive piece in which the level of urbanization represented in the video is directly proportional to the volume level of ambient sound in the piece’s surroundings. Furthermore, a language will be established that translates human sounds into generated sounds within the work. For instance, clapping will translate into the sound of drilling and hammering – not unlike that common on a construction site. Another instance is that footsteps and general murmurs will produce the sound of traffic.

A mixture of Jitter MaxMSP 5 and Adobe Flash should provide the tools needed to create such an interactive piece.

As always, comments and criticisms are more than welcome and I appreciate your interest in my work.