Monday, August 30, 2010
Overall I found these exercises to be kind of enjoyable or learning experiences even if they weren't text book related. It made me realize how much I actually subconsciously desire my childhood or at least a lot of the experiences from it to continue on into my adult life. In many ways I wish the two weren't so separate. I understand the importance of responsibility, being mature, etc but does it mean that I can't have fun like I used to? Some of the ways I have fun as an adult are different (coming along with being a responsible adult) but every once in awhile I like to do things that may seem like such a childish activity but I feel I need to connect to that part of me still. It's the part of me that makes me curious and want to figure things out without being scared of possibly failing or being judged. It makes me forget about time limits and everything being so final. It lets me get second chances and sometimes even thirds. It motivates me in ways that staring at a screen and being told what to so all day can't. It reminds me that if I mess up I just do it again until I learn how to do it and that in many ways I'll keep learning. It always gave me something to keep looking forward to and to realize that now that I'm an "adult" that my life isn't over and I haven't even begun to experience joy that can be found. Having processed all of this I don't know how close I am to a research topic but I do know that I enjoy everyday objects being utilized in endless ways and looking at things from a child's perspective or at least the adventure of trying to return to a way a kid sees things.
For this part we had to "play" in a scholastic, creative since with at least one other person. Jessie Kotis and I decided to get together and make paper puppet parts (out of construction paper) which we then "frankensteined" into something out of a science fiction B movie. It was really a lot of fun drawing these different animal and human parts to be put together to make interesting compositions. We had even more fun just seeing what we could come up with and comparing each other's monsters. It was a really fun exercise straight outta preschool but refreshing to get into brainstorming mode about character designs. Also it made me wonder why we subconsciously picked certain parts and how they ended up in certain compositions even though it was all just for fun.
For this part we had to find ready made objects and play with them until like a child would to see what we could create. I decided to follow Jill's advice and go to the Overstock Outlet store and snoop around there. What I came back with was a box full of little sewing packs. I have always loved sewing related items since I was a kid and still like sewing today. I also love the craft aesthetic that comes with anything sewn. I started taking out the packs of thread from the packs and along with the needles pieced them together to form some sort of circular object. I decided to see what visually it could be turned into. Some of the ideas turned it into a parachute on the back of a stock car, a pin hat, and a jellyfish. I realized that I like it when some household object is combined with others in a certain way to create something else visually; it completely changes the use and meaning of the original object. It becomes an illusion which is the ultimate goal of any artist.
Since we're exploring a lot of our childhood on this project, some images that often come to mind are me riding with my cousins (during the summer) up to the corner market to get some sort of candy and a Yoo-Hoo and going back to their house to play outside. I also think of the annual trip to Panama City, FL (a 7 hour drive) and me sitting in the back with (you guessed it) candy and a Yoo-Hoo and later a Gameboy Color to keep me occupied. I also think of in the fall when at after school daycare we'd play outside on this hill, Hide-&-Seek until it got dark. I think I love these moments because they we're tied closely to the seasons and they involved me doing traveling or exploring (at least the first two). With these images it seemed like I had all of the time in the world and nothing to care about except getting tagged or getting a game over. It was a time when I wasn't scared of anything and the people I was with always seemed happy and picture perfect. For me this memories mark a period of innocence and happiness that stemmed from simultaneously from the familiar and the unknown. The familiar was always the location and the unknown was anything in my head. I think I often find myself fascinated and thinking about (as cliche as it is) an innocence lost and trying to still find some wonder in adulthood that was so carefree as a child. Everyone had a certain understanding of each other (a bright and cheery one) and the worst you could do was hit someone at recess (but they were fine by the end of it) and you continued on like nothing happened. As we get older, we seem to do horrible things to each other that are hard to forget and it seems like anyone could be around the corner lying in wait. I'm interested in ways to find this fantasy again and not feel so jaded without just trying a blind eye to caution and danger. I think just falling in love with discovery all over and quit pretending like everything is final, decided, and ending.
For this assignment we were asked to list games that we would play as kids; as follows:
-Hide-&-Seek (always too fast for them)
-Barbie's Horse (not much of a doll person)
-Donkey Kong series 1-3 for the SNES (I always knew where all the hidden bonuses were)
-Mario Kart for the N64 (always knew where all of the secret tracks to get ahead in the game were)
-Oregon Trail for the Windows '95 (I always died of dysentery)
-Pokemon Yellow for the Gameboy Color (I still have it and play it from time to time)
-The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64
-pretending I was a mermaid in the pool was always a great past time in the summer
-Legos (I still play with them)
-building pillow forts in the living room between the couches and chairs
-sidewalk chalk and riding our bikes on the newly drawn "roads"
-anytime I went over someone's house and they had a creek in their yard that was automatically designated as a swamp that needed to be explored
-anytime my parents got a new, huge appliance, the box became a house painted with markers
-Fortune Teller, school yard style - includes: paper flaps with numbers and colors to spell out who you're future husband was and what house you'd live in
Games I remember hating:
-Some Hasbro electronic game that required you to place oddly shaped pieces into their matching slots before the timer ran out
-Monopoly (this game took like 3 days to play)
-"House" or any form of with plastic kitchen ware included
-Dodge ball when it was girls v. boys and most of the girls would just stand there and be afraid of the ball instead of trying to dodge it
I could try to remember many more but that could be pages long. I noticed that I really liked games that didn't involve me having to rely on others to win but rather for them to lose. I also played a lot of games that I could play by myself for extended periods of time mostly because I was an only child. Things that did require more than one person were ones that could be played at recess like Fortune Teller and Hide-&-Seek. Other things I like often were Summer time activities played in my backyard like things involving the pool or exploring a ditch. Mostly everything else was electronic based and I just fell in love with video games. I think its because they provided so much exploring for me without having to go anywhere and with other people. I could be alone in my room but explore entire galaxies without anyone having to know. I could complete them on my own time and most of the ones I played, I didn't need anyone else to do so. All of this makes me sound extremely anti-social but I really wasn't, just extremely shy and felt better left alone. I noticed from the few games I hated it was mostly due to them being time based (it just made me too nervous) or they made me rely on other kids. I think I in some ways was a lot more mature than many of my peers which unfortunately made me uncomfortable when I was forced to be around others. It made me sometimes think I was better than people which I had to learn the hard way that I wasn't. But I simultaneously didn't want to stand out when playing or known to be good at something because I was shy, and being noticed was not good for me then.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So we were told to post by next class basically what's going to be stewing and fumbling in our brains for the semester as we make projects using After Effects. Since I hadn't a clue where to begin I thought of doing some "word storming" by writing down 50 words that came to mind when I thought of themes in movies that I like or think about. Here they are:
belonging, searching, struggle, escapism, adoration, intelligent, thriller, murder, coup d'etat, loss, Romanticism, quirk, dialogue, conversation, growth, decay, mystery, educate, wisdom, tragic, tormented, era, legend, past, future, hope, desperation, phantasmagoric, tangible, soul , reality, chaos, sympathetic, expressive, graphic, unstable, eloquent, sublime, transcendent, desolate, isolation, sincere, sophisticated, experience, humane, self-sacrifice, usual, lighthearted, menacing, somber.
Next I decided to take this list and right 50 words that come to mind as opposites to me. Here they are respectively:
insecure, complacent, surrender, trapped, dislike, ignorant, RomCom, doctor, peace, whole, Existentialism, boring, stare, distant, stupidity, reborn, solved, brainwash, material, hilarious, included, present, fact, amnesia, stagnant, logical, confident, blind, spiritual, brain, innocence, orderly, merciless, dull, subtle, strong, accent, society, city, richness, togetherness, sarcastic, stumble, novice, cruel, selfish, grace, heavy, child, bright.
I felt good about it since I put so much thought into it but then while taking a step back that it really do nothing in terms of the class. Yeah I made a long list but it got me no closer to thinking about After Effects and what I would do with it. So I decided just to get on vimeo.com for awhile and look at videos made with After Effects for myself. What better way to think about your projects than to look at what you're capable of making with the program itself? It made me realize I was just not giving myself something concrete like examples to work with. I also started writing down other words that I think about when watching these videos:
textures, found objects, minimalism, smoke, dreamscape, particles, grainy, focus, glow, music video, picture stills, mixed media, chalk, ink, cutout pictures, ripped magazines.
This hasn't lead me to necessarily a theme or concept for the year but rather techniques to utilize in movies. I really enjoy videos when the objects or materials depicted are visual metaphors for the message the piece is trying to relay. This video http://vimeo.com/6736261
is simply about an apartment complex in Berlin being built in a parody of a Tetris game where the units fall in four block formations with the game music in the background. Its sort of a parody of Socialist building that was cheap and uniformly in design with no variation.