Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Potential of Wonder

Landsape and New Horizons. Kind of a flowery title of our 3rd project for my Intro to Photography and Video class. The operative word here is "wonder" and yesterday afternoon was perhaps one of the most energizing lecture/studios that I've ever had. Our project in to createa 1 to 2 minute video on the subject of landscape keeping in mind the ideas about "what makes it art" that we've learned so far. It's basically an exploration into our relationship with landscape or space or frame of reference (or what have you) through the medium of video ie: moving photography.
One way to do that is to break down the language of making video: emphasizing the concepts of shooting ie, pan, zoom, pull focus etc. The idea of montage comes into play here too. A sequential series of images can only be done when you have "time" as part of your medium (i guess they can be done in other mediums . . . but like a Greek frieze, it elicits associations like "that could be a video" because video and TV are ubiquitous . . . we understand the language of  moving images very intimately).
Mark Lewis is one of the artists that we examined closely and who's work I feel has really opened up the possibilities of video to me. "Algonquin Park" can be compared to a painting by Mark Rothko. It is deliberately slow, minimal, full of ambiguity because the artist wants us to cut through the white noise of our everyday life (as evidenced by a question by the prof "How many of you stopped watching half-way through"). I think this type of approach speaks directly to me not only because I'm a painter, but I also have a bone to pick with contemporary pop-culture: its glitz, ADD, shallowness, consume, go go go etc. I believe in finding "those pockets of stillness" that makes us feel like human beings.
Okay okay, a little on the transcendental side of things, but there's nothing wrong with a little meditation ;)
Mark Lewis
Mark Rothko, No. 14, 1960

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One night with video

First foray into video . . . having problems with the sound on my computer . . . but I'll make sound effects if I have too lol

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I like records!

Records are fun! Perusing through the stacks of records is great cuz you see albums by bands that you may have forgotten about or ones you've always meant to check out but never have. I bought a copy of "Bug" by Dinosaur Jr. (for a reasonable price mind you) because it was one of my favourite albums! I'd listen to the album on my older brother's stereo cuz I had the fancy new compact disc player (with dual casette deck yeah!). I didn't buy much vinyl cuz I would have to beg my brother to take a break from his existential malaise (whilst listening to Morrissey . . . oh those white middle class suburban blues!) so I could borrow his stereo long enough to tape a record to casette . . . and of course it would skip so i'd have to redo it. Last year I bought a made-to-look vintage record player with casette deck, cd player, radio (!), and auxiliary line out (to say an ipod or computer) and have since started to slowly build up a collection! (much thanks to the Magoochie for the Al Green loaners <3) The thing I forgot about is that you have to change the record over every 20 minutes or so instead of having the itunes playlist go for hours . . . potentially days! But it makes me think of a time when I would actively listen to albums . . . just sitting/lying/chillin'/illin' and engaging with the music. I only do that now to a limited degree whilst painting or in transit to work or the university or whatever.

My other purchase! Can you believe it? Used! Who would resell this gem? Heathens . . . that's who!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Interior_Motion, Multiple exposure

Exterior_Motion, Multiple exposure

Night_Motion, Single exposure

In this series of self-portraits, I wanted to capture a sense of time and space. With photography, its relatively easy to capture slivers of time (1/25 of a second etc.) but while I was exploring the idea of the multiple exposure, I stumbled onto the act of capturing motion. I looked at the work of Marey and Janieta Eyre for inspiration and was intrigued by combining multiple exposures into one frame to create something previously unseen (kind of like how I paint . . . intuitive and responding to the work as it unfolds, only more controlled because the parameters are set-up for "planned accidents"). I didn't just want a sequence of a motion (like in a skateboard magazine) but something that created an impossible time/space. The motion is a repetitive motion: the same act repeated and rephotographed (as opposed to one sequence of multiple shutter snaps like Marey).
The Interior scene was the baseline but even then there is some fudging of the motion (or emphasis if you will) because the act of juggling the brush caused my hand to blur. So I slowed it down for the sake of the shoot. The idea of performance comes into play here but it kind of hard to avoid when you set up a scene (and consider what to wear, what to include in the shot etc). I also erased some pieces of the various exposures to create and impossible (or at the very least improbable) figure. This simultaneity of space added to the ambiguousness of the scene.
The Exterior scene on the beach took the baseline idea further by adding a "second me" (with hoodie = my evil twin lol). What is created is an impossible scene of me repeatedly throwing stones into the ocean with an added dimension: the two me's begin to interact even though I wasn't physically present in two places at once (I don't have the technology yet :) made obvious by the change of clothing and the inclusion of shadows casts on the beach.
The Night scene took the baseline idea except backwards: it's one shot with an emphasized action (pause to allow more of the light to reflect into the shutter) that's repeated (taking steps). It is more akin to Marey but it differs because it is a performance . . . the false act of walking slow enough and pausing for the camera and not capturing/studying a "real" action.
I think the result of this project is a good segue to video art for next week :D

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Night shooting

Some fun with a slow shutter speed, wicked boss camera, and night-timey goodness.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


After some input from my prof regarding my self-portrait project, my direction is taking me into the idea of capturing motion. I'm still going to use the multiple image but play with that idea of capturing sections of time demonstrated through my motions. So the one of three "shots" that may be successful is one of me skipping stone on the beach. I'm not super hot on the composition . . . i could probably crop out the trees on the end, maybe shoot on a brighter day, include some splashes? What does work in this image is are the moments caught during my motion (but interestingly, I like the twist that it's not a continuous sequence of one motion, it's one captured frame of a repetitive motion at roughly same point in the action). I also enjoy the play of the layering of the figure . . . creating an ambiguous space (which is something I deal with in my painting :).
I've got two more weeks to finish the 3 shots that I'll need for my project. That'll give me enough time to a) possibly find a battery charger for my gf's super awesome camera b) reshoot a night scene thinking about which repetitive motion I'd like to capture c) possibly reshooting the beach-throwing-rocks shot with the above in mind c) shoot an interior motion shot (inspiration from Janieta Eyre, see below. . . minus stripey tights!) and d) put it all together in Photoshop!

Janieta Eyre

Janieta Eyre