Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Still Motion

Photograph from Still Motion

Motion has been depicted in various ways in art, mostly through blur and photography.  This study intends to explore motion through digital photography and the associated technologies available by merging images and therefore creating motion in Photoshop.  
Motion has always been of interest to me and I wanted to share that interest with others in a more memorable way than film or blur photography.  I did this by merging images in Photoshop and juxtapositioning them with stills in my study entitled Still Motion.  I feel the full bleed for the Photoshopped images was effective when paired with the cropped stills in the final book copy, although when continuing this project, I intend to take pictures at a wider angle so there can be a more uniform bleed.   
The way the cover turned out in the preview looks a lot better than I ever could have imagined it without giving the entire idea away, largely in part due to the intense motion on the cover. I do believe that Blurb and Booksmart were so incredibly easy to use, which made this project really awesome, because it allowed for easy editing, easy viewing, and easy ordering (because it was already compatible)
This work even has some aspect of relational aesthetics.  When photographing my subjects, I asked them to do something they like to do that involves motion.  A few of them heard about it and offered more suggestions of things they would want to do.  In a sense, my subjects created the setting as well as the motion.  I merely captured it for the world to see.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Screen Relations

Bourriard's idea that the technology of today effects artists who don't use it.  It causes art to be created in a much shorter amount of time as has been stressed quite often in class.  I think this is entirely true.  I almost wanted to do my video in a low quality film because it would have given it that "old timey" feel that I ended up really wanting, but didn't think the video effects could get right.  Looking back on my approach, using all real props and settings of my grandmother's in the video, What Wouldn't Have Been, was incredibly effective.  When this mixed with the sound that I collaborated with my soundscape artists on it became even better.  Part of me wants to go back and create it in real film, but another part of me realizes the nice soundtrack I have couldn't possibly go with a film version of this movie and it is almost Bourriard's ideas of screen relations screaming at me.  The video just wouldn't be the same without the soundtrack, a soundtrack I know that I couldn't have come up with on my own.
(Due to technical difficulties, youtube video will be posted later.  The technical difficulties are apparently trying to get the point across that you should come to the Warch Campus Center Cinema (2nd floor) at 7pm tonight March 5, 2012 in order to view this video and those of my fellow classmates on the big screen)

Edit: As you can all probably tell my video has uploaded to YouTube

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carsten Höller

Carsten Höller is a very intriguing German artist who focuses on creating an experimental setting for his exhibit goers to put themselves into.  His most famous works are slides constructed as a means of transportation throughout the floors of the exhibit.  Höller believes that slides make almost everyone happy and yet allow for that loss of control, of putting yourself in an experiment.  One of his slides series, Left/Right ’10 consisted of two mirrored slides, one going left and one going right, where the viewer had to decide.  It was about the different feeling of the slide.
Exhibit goers often have to sign a waiver that does indicate there might be some serious consequences to his work.  Once series, Light Wall, is a wall full of lights going on an off at a frequency of 7.8 hertz, that will more likely than not cause problems for an epileptic.
Another reoccurring theme is various of depictions fly-agaric mushrooms.  Known for producing hallucinations, these mushrooms are depicted in many different ways throughout different series.

Höller really wants the viewer to have the sense of losing control and discovering something about themselves due to his artwork, which in reality is a relational concept which might scare the viewer but also will produce interesting results should the viewer go through with the experiment.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nick Olson: A Vision for the Future


Nick Olson practices wet plate collodion, an involved photography process, which is very hands on and requires time, deliberate action, as well as knowledge of the effects of the current environment on the process of development.  As he puts it, he “went down to the basics”, which seemed an interesting way to go in order to really understand his method of photography.  He chose to shun modern processes of life in order to really get the hang of being deliberate.  He used the word deliberate to describe his series on portraiture, which was about deliberate people who were conscious about their existence and why they were living in the way they did.  If one were to look at this from a non-art perspective, it wouldn’t really make sense, especially with little knowledge about the wet plate process.  It seems through looking at his art and methods of creation, that he wants the world to go back to an earlier time, where we took consideration into the things we made and also put time into it.  His depiction of “Detritus in Detroit” as he described it, was a very entertaining piece for me and seems to have a place in the 21st century because it shows modernity in not quite so modern of a sense.  Almost as if modernity couldn’t stand up to the face paced world it was in and needed to be taken back to a deliberate era.  It is almost a lesson waiting to be learned in some areas, one that I think people should take to heart, even if they don’t go as far as Nick did to get back to basics.  Maybe even something as simple as creating a home made birthday card would get people to realize that we shouldn’t give ourselves up to modernity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video Concept and Treatment

The above was a letter my Grandma, Isabel, received from Sister Joanna in Metamora Illinois, who received it from another Sister in Joliet, accepting Isabel to a convent for school, with a scholarship.  This is something Isabel saved for 80 years until her death.  It prompts the question, what would have happened if she had gone.  She could have gone, and returned, missing the opportunity to meet my Grandfather, married someone else entirely.  She could have gone and stayed, either way, my grandfather would have either been lonely or found someone else.
I want to focus on what was great about her life, her family, and her home, and what it might have been like had she become a nun. 
To do that, I have decided on a few places I would like to film.  I am going to be using a small room in one of the houses on the quad in order to depict a small dimly lit room that might exist in a convent, and possibly the Bjorklunden Chapel, or another church in order to film a possible “life altering moment scene”. 
Then I want to get images from my family, possibly film if there is any available/arrives in time and use that as an avenue for a walk down memory lane scene.  This would include traveling to a farm.
I want to keep it slightly surreal, as it would be a memory/what if moment, and I’ll need to focus on effects that would best depict that, especially depending on if I don’t get any video and have to preform with just pictures.  With this information my collaborators have already chosen some types of sound they would like to use.  Their ideas include "ambient sound, dream-like, slow/laid back feel, a varying frequency focusing on the mid-range, sound to complement the video and not stand out from it, and emotional"  These of course are mostly ideas and will better emerge when they are able to do more of it.
The working title is: The Letter that Could Have Changed Everything

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

InDesign Book Bio

Jessica Meismer-Russian Studies Major, 2012. I like apples (not really, I'm going to change this, but please post yours!!!)

Experience it for Yourself

Relational Aesthetics in the context of relational art is a very different concept from what a non-art student perceives as art.  When first given this project, I’ll be the first to admit I thought the concept was very non conventional and I didn’t really understand the point.  I think that is exactly the point.  As a non-art student, I didn’t really realize there was such a thing as relational art, or art where the audience participates, and a lot of that is taking away the stigma of “you can look, but you can’t touch”, of Mom putting my art up on the refrigerator to display, the creation of art that can’t be interacted with.  It took actually doing preformative photography as Iversen describes it in "Auto-maticity: Ruscha and Performative Photography" in order for me to finally get it.  Once out on assignment, I gained a much better understanding of Nicholas Bourriaud’s definition of relational aesthetics in his book Relational Aesthetics (1998). 
Relational art as Bourriaud defines it, is “A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.” (p113)  and relational aesthetics “Aesthetic theory consisting in judging artworks on the basis of the inter-human relations which they represent, produce or prompt.” (p112).  I would never have understood the pressures of the food desert if it weren’t for this assignment and I don’t think I ever really will unless I’m fully put into that situation, but for now I have gained a much better understanding of it.  That is the whole point of relational art, is that you have to experience it, which is why this whole process of documenting it seems a little odd to me.  I have created a video, which you can see in my previous post, but also a page layout for InDesign, as well as adding some of my photographs to my Flickr.  These will only serve as a phenomenal documentation for me of my journey out into the food desert, which in my opinion was an eye-opening journey.  It started with the chore of walking somewhere, anywhere (within the food desert of course), next came the looking and being aware of your surroundings for anything that might help you out, the despair of not really finding anything, and then it ended with having to walk back.  I wanted to document the journey, because it’s where I did most of my thinking.  The journey influenced the way I saw the food desert, which was mostly a lot of closed fast food places, office buildings, and places for rent, literally a desert in terms of resources available.  I was thinking of how obnoxious it was to be out in the cold, and how my head hurt and how I just wanted to go home and sleep, and worrying about price, and panicking when my first total came to $13 and some odd sense, and having to explain it to the cashier. 
You can’t get the point of this assignment, or what I was thinking, or my idea  of the food desert by looking at my pictures, or anyone’s pictures for that matter.  The only way you can do it is if you go out into the food desert (here’s the USDA’s map) with $10 and the objective of finding nutritious food, as much of it as you can find, then doing something with it so it doesn’t go to waste.  Accoring to Bourriard’s definitions, you probably won’t be able to fully understand the concept until you do. 
So all I ask, before you look at my pictures, or my video, if you haven’t already seen it, is that you take the $10 you were going to spend on food anyways, and go into the food desert, on foot.  Go experience the performance I tried and failed to completely capture (because it's a preformance that only happens once) for yourself, then look at my pictures.  Maybe then it will become clearer.  Comments and Discussion (even if it’s not with me) are highly encouraged.

Page 1 of my Indesign Layout in PDF form