For this project, I began by taking pictures of my skin. I tried to take pictures of parts of the body that were not easily distinguishable. I did not want the viewer to be able to easily identify the part of the body.
Monday, January 23, 2017
I began this project by collecting items around the house I live in on campus. I started to collect items that mimicked (or were) taxidermy animals, horns, hooves, furs, and antlers. I collected items that reminded me of roughness, hunting or sex dungeons. The items I used were generally shades of brown, orange, red, and gold. For over three days, I added items to this scene and rearrange them in the corner of the basement. On the third day I filmed. While in the basement I discovered a Magnum Organ which I used to create the audio of the video.
While arranging the clips of the movie I was interested in the role as the viewer. While watching I noticed I felt more intrusive or present as a viewer while watching myself perform on the organ and dance around the scene rather than when watching the video of my reflection in the mirror, or of the still life shots. Although the mirror scenes seemed more intimate, I did not feel as present as a viewer. Whereas during the scenes of me playing the organ and dancing I noticed my gaze. McLuhan talks about the effect of medium and that the medium is more important than the message itself. In this video, the use of the camera only versus the use of the mirror as an additional medium the camera curates for different gazes. Maybe because the images of myself that I typically consume are reflections--in mirrors, in puddles, on snapchat, so that is why I don't feel myself watching during the mirror clips. The medium curates for the gaze.
McLuhan also discusses that "our electrically-configured world has forced us to move from the habit of data classification to the mode of pattern recognition...instant communication insures that all factors of the environment and of experience coexist in a state of active interplay." This is relevant to my video because all factors of the process are at constant interplay, especially in the process. I built the scene by collecting items. The scene seems like the most precious part of the project for me. I think this is because of the medium and its physical presence.
Monday, January 9, 2017
My work aims to access all of the senses through the visual. Through the use of specific textures, colors, and line quality I explore my own experiences while attempting to reenact those experiences that others can relate to. I want the reader to feel a visceral response to the seemingly tactile style of my work.
When selecting a theme for a piece, I usually return to memories I have really embodied because they feel honest. Once I have a theme, I choose the materials that best express the idea. For some reason very specific but mundane memories from the everyday can stick the most. To create the images in my work, I draw directly from these experiences. For example, the floral and linen textures of the bedspread in Wet Dream were pulled directly from the memory of the pattern of my bedspread in the dream.
The piece Jerry’s Super Market reflects the overwhelming sensory experience of being in a supermarket. I attempt to replicate the almost nauseating experience of intense colors, patterns, textures, and smells within the maze of products. From prior work, I used the textures from photographs of grocery aisles combined with drawn images to ensure that specific textures of water bottles, cardboard boxes, and hot sauce containers would instantly grab the viewer’s senses.
Recently, I have been interested in exploring narrative forms. In The Medium is the Massage, McLahun writes,
“The alphabet is a construct of fragmented bits and parts which have no semantic meaning in themselves, and which must be strung together in a line, bead-like, and in a prescribed order. Its use fostered and encouraged the habit of perceiving all environment in visual and spatial terms-particularly in terms of a space and of a time that are uniform,
The line, the continuum”(44). Relating this to my own work, I am interested in how traditional book forms create narrative as compared to non-traditional forms. While Wet Dreams follows a traditional book format, Jerry’s SuperMarket has no linear order. There is not a timeline in which the audience consumes information in a specific order, but instead explores the interior of the supermarket on their own time and order. However, Wet Dreams is not presented as a traditional book format on this blog. Images of the scanned pages present themselves in chronological order in blocked sections. This demonstrates narrative reflects the “technology of the alphabet”. I think the format of the piece affects the experience of the viewer. McLuhan explains as “the fragmenting of activities, our habit of thinking in bits and parts--”specialism”--reflected the step-by-step linear departmentalizing process” (45). McLuhan also discusses the interaction between the audience and the medium with traditional book form and how the printed and portable book “added much to the new cult of individualism” and allowed men can read in isolation and privacy (50).