Thursday, February 23, 2012

Powerhouse Installation Idea

For the powerhouse installation I wanted to develop an idea we have been throwing around in class by using Isadora and a midi keyboard to let users actually play images. The images that I have been playing with creating in Isadora are more sensual and take place in a domestic space. Each key on the keyboard will be linked to one of the images I created or a color, but I would plug the keyboard into speakers so you could actually hear the notes being played.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Introduction to the Holy Days

For this piece, "An Introduction to the Holy Days" I started and ended relatively with the same ideas, modified only slightly because I decided to add and take away things that I ended up thinking were superflous. I also ended up toning down my concept significantly because there were many things I wanted to include that were too hard or not appropriate to weave into the piece at the time. The piece does come from a personal place that I feel does not quite do what I want it to when it is universalized, although aesthetically it turned out better than I had planned.

Pagan holidays are some the only ones I can really justify celebrating to myself, not only because they were the original holidays (replaced by Western tradition when Christians and other colonizing cultures) but because of what they are each celebratory of makes so much sense to me, to put it simply. I have nothing to do with the agricultural aspect of the symbols in this calendar, and nor do any of my ancestors (that I know of), but  I can still learn from them because they celebrate the phases in life that are generally accepted and not acknowledged as cyclical. Each individual holy day and its isolated significance is not what I want people to glean from this piece, but the life and death cycle that is constant, beautiful, and normal. 

I am pleased with the way the project turned out in some ways, but in some ways I am kind of disappointed. I really like how the piece turned out aesthetically (some parts are a little dark but that is okay with me, and the backgrounds of some parts didn't scan very well, but...), the colors and movements are nice, but I feel as though that contributes to why I feel that it is more of a "fluffy" piece, which is never really okay with me. Perhaps if I had time to do music for it I would be able to illicit more of the response that I had hoped for, which is that of acceptance or coming to terms with the life cycle and recognizing its permanence and inevitability.

I would like to exhibit this piece in a way that people would watch it by themselves rather than in a big group. I feel as though it would be most effective in a phone both style kiosk on a street corner with a dark curtain you have to put your head under to see the film. I think people are more likely to understand or recognize what this piece is about if they come to it by themselves rather than in a group.

here it is on Vimeo:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Assignment Write Up, Feb 9

My one frame at a time project is moving along much slower than I thought. I know what I need to do at this point, I just have a lot of work ahead of me and I know that. I have all of my frames printed on contact sheets and have about 20% of them painted, but I haven't tried scanning them in yet. That will probably take forever. Of course I will have it done by Tuesday, it will just be a pain in the ass. I am also still wishy/washy on the scoring. I don't know if I will have time or if it will add anything to the piece. I will feel it out though.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One Frame Project. 50%

I am about halfway done with my one frame at a time project at this point. I have uploaded all of my photos of the dance that I choreographed (about 450 images) to the server so they can be viewed in bridge. All I have left to do now is to print and paint the images and scan them back into the computer (or whatever the easiest way to do that is, I need to talk to Jill today to see what would be best). I was also thinking about scoring the project, but that will depend on if I think the finished product would benefit from music. The painting and scanning process will take a long time, but I will work on it Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday until it is done. I have no idea how many hours it will take, but I am guessing at least twenty.

Conceptually, I reverted back to my original idea when creating the project. The dance is a personification of the holy days of the pagan year (see bottom). Each phase in the dance will reflect the color that I will paint the cloth. The dance comes full circle at the end, representing the meaning of a year that not only celebrates change, but induces it.

winter solstice-she turns
imbolc-she is reborn
spring equinox-she grows
beltane-she loves
summer solstice-she shines
lammas-she labors
autumn equinox-she knows
samhain-she dies

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Frame at a Time

For my one frame at a time project, I am going go with an altered version of my first idea. I am going to still use my dance idea (with slightly different subject matter when I choreograph the dance) by setting up a web camera to capture still poses of a dance that will capture still poses of a dance that employs lots of movement. I will use (symbolic) props that will seem to appear out of nowhere to play with the audiences' sense of space. Some of the still frame footage will be cut with realtime video footage to explore the limits of persistence of vision. When I played with the frame by frame program in the lab the other day, I used a piece of tissue paper crumbled in different positions to simulate the movement in the dance of the cloth. I liked how even though I changed the positions of the tissue drastically with each movement, they flowed neatly into each other without much notice. That is how I picture the dance will be performed. 

I will need the frame by frame program and a web camera, as well as cloth and props of my own, to create this project. I can probably capture what I need in one or two days in a studio, but I plan on doing a lot of editing, so maybe two weeks?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Frame at a Time

My first project idea would involve using a digital camera to capture a dance that I would help choreograph and would be played out by a friend of mine who is a dancer. It would be done in a dark studio with one backlight. I would use the camera at a fast shutter speed to capture a dance in which the dancer would use technicolor fabrics and lots of jumps and movement to depict a story based on the pagan sun holidays that happen represent the process of death and rebirth that happens each year. Some parts of the piece would transition smoothly and in some I would remove frames in some areas that I want to be more jarring. The lighting of the piece would be minimal; the dominant colors would be the fabrics that are used. Over the projected image (or under, if that would work), I want to lay a plate of glass in which I would use bright colored syrups (probably dyed corn syrup or something) that would drip from the top of the glass in real time (I would study the speed it drips so I could match it to the rhythm of the dance). The idea behind the dripping syrup would be to use something happening in real time to describe a story that is a describes a year in time.

My second project idea would involve making about 10 thaumatropes with staggered positions of different images. Each of the strings of the thaumatropes would be wrapped around small cylinders of wood on each side (maybe not use wood?). When the strings are stretched across two tables and the cylinders are rolled at the same time, the moving images would create a story that would describe the planets and their relation to the earth symbolically. To get all of the images to roll at the same time, I would lay something flat on the top of the tables that could make them all flip at the same speed. Each wood cylinder would have its own cradle on the table to keep them from rolling off. Each image would be hand drawn and painted.

My third project idea I do not have a story for yet (that would depend on the room I decide to photograph) but it would involve photographing a room with lots of windows and natural light about every five minutes (in black and white). The camera would not be fixed- I would slightly move the camera around the room to depict movement of characters. All of the characters and most of the objects in the room would be hand painted. Each character would switch colors after each frame for aesthetic reasons. The picture would start with a small amount of paint at first and near the end the entire image would be covered in color.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Screening Response

European Avant-Garde – “Dada, Cubism, Futurism” 
Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter, Germany, 1921)
Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling, Sweden, 1922)
Ballet Mecanique (Fernand Leger, France, 1924)
Entr’acte (Rene Clair, France, 1924)
Retour a la Raison (Man Ray, France, 1926)

This is the first set of films I watched for class. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to watch this set by Tuesday and the other set by today or vice versa. I'm just going to go with responding to these for now, with the second set and reading next week!

I have always been interested in Dada, Cubism, and Futurism historically (as in what was going on at the time when these movement emerged) but have never watched any films from these respective movements, so seeing all of this for the first time was pretty exiting. I feel like during Rhythmus 21 and Symphonie Diagonale, I was trying to ascribe symbolic meaning to everything I was watching and for a while I was frustrated that I simply couldn't. Then I re-watched them and watched the rest of them keeping the background knowledge I had of these movements in the back of my mind, but trying to understand them in a different way. That is when I really started to enjoy them and was able to think about them on a more critical level (because the didn't have to mean anything, the just did...if that makes sense?)

In all of the films, I liked the grainy film quality and the unpredictability and distraction the scratches on the film added. Some focused on movement and light, but in pieces such as Ballet Mechanique and Retour a la Raison, these things added to a nauseous rhythm that was really powerful.