Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Behind the Cardboard

How do you get someone to not only tell you one of their biggest secrets but agree to let you show it to the whole world?  The answer to that question is very carefully.  This was the idea behind my project, Behind the Cardboard.  Last term I had a project where I photographed people playing “nerdy” games but was very careful not to show there face because the people did not want to be associated with these games.  It was this juxtaposition of loving to play the game but at the same time being embarrassed by it that I wanted to explore in this project.  However, because the people were embarrassed by the fact that they play Magic most people I talked to about sitting for the project flat out refused.  The six who you see in the set here are the only people I could get to agree to do it.  It took a week of discussion but I was able to persuade them in the end.  Finally, I decided to use a simple one light set up for this shoot, because I always use a huge light set up for my projects, so I wanted to mix it up this time.

Stevie 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

McDermott & McGough

Not only is that art of McDermott & McGough a simulation but so was their lives for a long time.  They very much took the words of Baudrillard very seriously.  From the early 80’s to 1995 all parts of their lives were a simulation of a bygone era.  During this time there work focused mainly on the creation of period photographic pieces.  They would use an old form of photography but also have their subject dressed in period clothing and posed as they would have been from that period.  And beyond there work, they lived their lives as a period piece.  They would dress as turn of the century “men about town” and even converted there house to be completely turn of the century.

However, in 1995 they stopped living in this manner, and that is when there work became very interesting.  They continued in the same manner that they had before only now their work also took on new implications.  Once they stopped living in the past they let the present begin to influence their images.  While still period pieces they let used them as a mirror against the modern world to show just what little progress we have really made.

Cigarette Break, 1958
McDermott & McGough

Monday, April 29, 2013

Simulation, Reality does it really matter?

To say that I was lost for this part of the project is an understatement.  Figuring out a video to make from the images and ideas I had already was not easy, nor was filming.  In fact, I filmed and refilmed multiple times and was never truly happy with the outcome.  I also found my idea changing quite a bit.  When I started the idea I had was to really show the original idea that I had, which was to just walk around and find the extraordinary in the everyday world around us.  So originally the video was of me walking the route I took when I was taking the pictures, with me focusing on the subjects on the pictures.  However, I felt that this did not come out well at all so I completely changed my idea.  One of the things that I realized as I was going over my material was that things looked very different because the images were shot with a 20mm lens whereas the video was shot with a 50mm one.  So I decided that in my video I should really highlight the differences between the two.  So then the video became a back and forth between the images and the clips of the subjects from the video I took.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Can We Really Change Our Future

What struck me most from Bill Viola’s convocation lecture was in the beginning when he talked about how blessed we as young people are to be born into a world that is falling apart so we can try to fix it.  This really struck me as interesting because of many conversations that I have had with my own parents on this exact topic.  It was an interesting take on something that many in my generation see as our doom.  When talking with my parents about this topic what both interests them, and scares them, is how forlorn my generation is about their future.  Individuals from my generation look at the future and see nothing there.  The environment is being destroyed, every day the news tells us that we are one step closer to one war or another, there is constantly more violence, and the economy is just terrifying.  So for us who are just entering into the world for real it is not something we really look forward to.  That is why Bill’s idea really stuck out to me.  He wants us to look at the world and all that is going wrong with it and not see our impending doom, but see a way to prevent that doom that is staring us right in the face.  While this seems like such a simple thing to do, it is in fact an incredible undertaking for us to make, me especially.  It requires us to overcome the fear of what may happen and look onto what can happen instead, and for someone like me who for so long wanted to enter into a profession that profits from the short coming of our own government, it is quite a jump to make.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What is Real

When going over the pages of Simulations for this project the idea that really stuck out was that of hyper-reality.  I was thinking about this one night on the way back from the Bar’s when the idea hit me that even the real world around us can be quite surreal.  Therefore in this project I wanted to try and pull that surreality out and put it on display.  I did this by walking around town looking for things that just seem like they should not exist in the way they do.  Then from there I took these images and over saturated the colors in order to make it seem that much more hyper-real.  I really enjoyed this project and think that I was able to make my vision a reality.

Sonja Thomsen

I had extremely mixed feelings about Sonja Thomsen work.  I found a lot of her ideas to be very interesting but her execution of them to be lacking.  Many times I found myself extremely intrigued with an idea or theory that she was presenting but then I saw the actual piece I was let down.  As well, the exhibit that was show here at Lawrence I also had very mixed feelings about.  As usual I found her idea to be extremely interesting but execution somewhat lacking.  The biggest issue I had with it was the images themselves.  I loved the presentation of the images and the way the whole gallery worked but I thought that work its self was lacking.  I felt that the images where quite bland.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

What is Crazy

For this project I wanted to look at the ideas of insanity and violence that are prevalent throughout the book Wisconsin Death Trip.  Many of the newspaper articles that Michael Lesy uses in the book have that theme running through out them.  There is a lot about people going crazy and committing murders or strange seemingly random acts of violence.  So from the book I got a feeling of insanity.  So I wanted my movie to evoke the mind of a crazy person.  From that jumping off point I came up with a few idea of things that I thought would be weird and crazy and would promote this feeling.  From there I had the idea of making each of the “episodes” happen out of order, so that the viewer got the feeling that the person was not able to process what is going on correctly.  In general I loved this project because I felt that it gave me a lot of freedom creatively and allowed me to really develop this vision I had for the project, which is something that I feel I have not been able to do the rest of the term.  Finally, I would like to apologize for not having a youtube video of my project.  One of my models did not want it on the internet since the movie had images of her naked, as well due to the nudity it violated youtube’s terms of service.