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

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