ECA – Final Portfolio Work

For our final portfolio piece, we were required to re-attempt or add to a previous project we had done this semester. I chose to improve my ‘Transdiciplinary Portrait’, which was a basic animation done on Photoshop. In order to use ‘the artist as a subject’, I previously drew expressions onto a base cartoon drawing of myself. The face animation moved according to what expressions I made the most on each day – reflecting how people would have seen me. I was focusing on the concept of whether self-portraits are ‘real’ representations of people or not – to which I argued that they are to a certain extent. My self portrait was an attempt to animate how I was perceived by others for a moment in time, therefore it was ‘real’. I thought this could be a lot more visually attractive if done on a different platform – film.

I decided to use an art-form I was more comfortable with and film myself making the expressions I had made in the past. Each time, I wore a different coloured and styled wig to match the mood of the expressions being made. I also changed my outfits to match and edited the lighting to reflect the overall feeling I was trying to achieve for each day. Examples of this, are the first day (‘tired’),where I made the lighting dreamy and slightly bleached to gain a ‘sleepy’ feel, and the fifth day (‘cheerful’), where I make the lighting bright and happy. In order to stay true to my original project, I put the expressions in the same order and attempted to make the same faces I drew. Originally, I had wanted to slightly animate my hand and shoulders but couldn’t as it would take far too much time. I used the advantage I had but missed out on last time to move around more (although I often tried to have my right hand propped up on my face like in the original).

I edited the video together on Adobe Premiere and placed them side by side, looping around 4 to 6 times each. It was successful and regardless of my acting ability, it looks neat and artistic. I drew inspiration from animator Mike Inel who has done beautiful narrative work with absence of dialogue, and director Michel Gondry who has done a lot of artistic film work including that of split-screens. I’m proud of my work and I believe it is an appropriate self-portrait, as it shows that people are complex – with all sorts of expressions to make. There’s more than what meets the eye, but regardless of people’s internal feelings, how you are viewed on the outside is still a real representation.

MNC: Regularity

It’s interesting to think that what makes social media successful is it’s regularity. It’s the users constantly checking, updating and playing with websites, that make them what they are. It seems awfully obvious when you put it that way, but it’s something that we probably don’t think about often. WordPress blogs like these can’t function unless people are constantly updating with new information. Professional YouTubers make their money from uploading with new videos regularly. Facebook relies on people posting statuses and videos and commenting and liking things. If people stopped using Tumblr, it would cease to exist. This is all kind of scary. Ultimately we – Internet consumers – control the regularity, therefore, we control the existence of the World Wide Web. … Whoa.

MNC: Memes – Ideas spreading cultrally

Do you ever hear something from a video and start repeating it because it’s funny but eventually you find out that the thing you heard was actually quoting another thing so in the end you were quoting a quote and that’s sort of like quote-ception ?

because that totally happened to me.

Double Rainbow original   vs   Demyx Time quoting ‘Double Rainbow’

MNC: E.T and consumerism

I find it incredibly amusing how rubbish the video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial from 1982 was. There were millions of copies left over and no one wanted to see or be reminded of it ever again. So what did Atari do? They buried them all in a desert in New Mexico.

Despite discussing this hilariously entertaining fact, I did actually learn some legitimately useful information this week. For example, two fifths of the world are connected to the world wide web. The 300 richest people in the world have the same amount of money collectively as the rest of the world put together – those with Internet and without. Those of us within the 2/5 Internet-using bracket are essentially destroying the world with out consumerism. Needing new computers and devices that use the world wide web means using up resources, destroying the environment and utilising slave-labour to create our products. It almost makes you feel guilty for buying a new iPhone every 2 years.

ECA: Art Spaces for Women

It’s been a slow and agonising journey for women to be recognised over the past century. There have been many ideas, protests, events and movements run by women for women in order to be seen and appreciated to the same extent as men. I’m going to be talking about one form of history in specific – art.

As most of us know, women haven’t always had the same rights as men (we still don’t), and the privilege to exhibiting artwork was no different. Of course, there were those who wanted to take a stand against this, so in many different ways tried to gain what they deserved as artists – display space.

Around the 1960’s, there were various protests around art spaces, with the aim of women (and other under-appreciated cultures) being recognised and presented as proper artists. One example of this was a gender-bias protest at the Whitney Museum in the USA, to which the amount of female nominees for a particular cause was 5%. Afterwards, it raised to 20% – so clearly, the protesters were doing something right.

This however, wasn’t good enough. There were many groups of active ladies that were sick of waiting around for their art to be presented in already-existing spaces. So they created their own. Various locations around America were set up to specifically tailor to the female artist’s needs, such as the Feminist Studio Workshop of 1973.

An influence of the time worth mentioning, is the famous Guerrilla Girls – who are still at work today. Shocking the masses with their gorilla masks and vibrant campaigns, these impressive ladies (although not always successful) had a plethora of fun and interesting feminist propoganda. 

Naked1989

As quoted from the Guerrilla Girls website: “One Sunday morning we conducted a ‘weenie count’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, comparing the number of nude males to nude females in the artworks on display. The results were very ‘revealing.’” They pose the question of whether this situation has improved since. It is certainly an interesting thing to think about and if we can take anything from this blog post, I hope it’s the consideration of just how well represented female artists are.

An incredibly interesting (and my personal favourite) specialist gallery space of the time, is known as ‘Womanhouse’. In 1971, 25 students from California Institute of the Arts took to a house in Hollywood and transformed it into a creative environment centred around the everyday life of women. Viewed by thousands of people and receiving mixed reviews, each room in the house contained something different, branching from live ‘maintenance’ performance in the living room, to a ‘menstruation bathroom’ full of bloodied sanitary products. Lest we forget the ‘eggs to breasts’ on the walls of the kitchen and the (brilliantly rhymed) ‘womb room’ covered in crochet works.

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 8.28.53 pm Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 8.29.15 pm

Hopefully, we can say that the situation for women presenting art has improved since the 60’s and 70’s. However we can’t deny that a lot of the change is thanks to ladies like the Guirrilla Girls and those from the Feminist Studio Workshop – who never took no for an answer and did something about the situation.

References:

Arlene Goldbard, ‘When (Art) Worlds Collide: Institutionalizing the Alternatives’, 2002, ‘Alternative Art New York’, University of Minnesota press.
http://www.guerrillagirls.com/
http://womanhouse.refugia.net/
Exploring Creative Arts lecture, week 7 (2014)

MNC: Networked Video reflection

For our Networked Video assignment, our group decided on a horror genre ‘choose your own adventure’ film. The story follows 5 friends who get together to watch horror movies. One by one, they are all murdered, and in the end we discover who the murderer is. The viewer has the choice to choose the order of events and try to find the ‘true’ ending. Essentially every option will end in death and provide the option to play again, except for Jenny’s ending, which has a link to an extra behind the scenes video.

We worked well together to come up with ideas and film the project. We filmed with two cameras (mine and Melodie’s) – which miraculously were the same model of JVC camcorder. We only had to meet up once to get it done, and the footage came out really good. When it came to editing, some of us had technical issues and problems – which resulted in myself and a few others doing the majority of work, but in the end it was all finished on time. I used Adobe Premiere Pro CC to put together the films, and the annotating editing option on YouTube to create the hyperlink buttons. I really enjoyed this project and learned a lot from it.

screen-shot-2014-05-02-at-11-09-09-am1

MNC: Networked Video

Our ‘choose your own adventure’ film.