Digital Imaging Final Project
Prof. Claudia Esslinger
(met·a·phor: a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.)
We began our exploration of time arts by listening. Then we gathered and structured and edited sounds. Next we investigated visual movement and meaning. This time, our project will be prompted by text, but will evolve between text, image and sound. You will develop visual and aural metaphors for your concepts.
One mode will influence the other, putting aside the original to take another distancing step. This piece will be two to three minutes long. You are encouraged to juxtapose a text to images and or sounds that are not literally illustrating them.
1. PICK A TEXT
The content can grow out of ideas you started to develop earlier in the semester in the magic realism assignment or in your other classes. It could evolve from your artist's statement or your own writing. It should have its roots in something you already know something about or can easily research. You might choose a poem, myth, operatic story or fragment of an essay that amplifies or refers to your topic as the starting point. Be careful not to choose something that is too cheesy or preachy….these are not subtle enough to let the video and audio work their magic! The text is a BASIS for your piece, but it doesn’t all need to be in the piece.
The next step can be either images or sounds first or both together:
2 or 3. MAKE/FIND/EDIT IMAGES
Make and record images that resonate with and amplify the text but do not literally illustrate it. Find interesting locations, objects and images, significant actions. The images should be metaphors for the elements in the text. (You should not act it out directly like a play with performers although you can use the human body or an action as a symbol/metaphor.) Try using close ups, or movement to abstract the content a bit. Your images should give it an unexpected twist or context. Keep in mind quality and creative ways of filming including camera angles, home made filters and the like. Record these images and bring into the editing program.
3 or 2. MAKE/FIND/EDIT SOUNDS
After finding your text develop sounds that relate to the it. Do not use dialog Gather these sounds through field recordings, foley sounds, playing on keyboards or other instruments, playing with friends who are musical, manipulating the sounds in a sound editing program such as Audition (or Audacity, Garageband, etc) Edit with a shape of time in mind…is your text linear, mountainous, climactic in nature? Make your sound have that shape. Use the sound to make your video more interesting.
4. ADD TEXT IF NECESSARY
If your piece would benefit from some oral or written elements of the original text you can add it…All of the text need not be used… in fact you will use only parts of it as the final piece will be about 3 minutes long. The more you referred to the text through images the less you will use the text now so you don’t repeat the point too often. You should use the text as creatively as you have been using sound and image (cut/ repeat/ reverse, etc)
You may need to shorten sound or visuals or text. You may need to change the shape of time…do so.
Here are some ideas and cautions:
Take into account the zeitgeist (spirit of the age) and think about the art audiences in a contemporary gallery (not just at Kenyon). Would your text be relevant to them and the time in which you live? If you choose something from another era, then the other era becomes part of your piece and you have to make it connect to today and who you are. Like the postmodern architects we studied a bit about, you could do this through: parody, pastiche, appropriation, etc. If you don't deconstruct an anachronistic text, then it can become overly sentimental. Text that is very strong emotionally can be difficult to use, especially if you are too close to the feelings yourself. On the other hand, picking text you don’t care about doesn’t work either.
Realize that non-traditional things can become text...it could be a government document outlining the causes of AIDS or the ingredients on a cereal box. Your images will make it clever, not by illustrating it but by playing again with pastiche, parody, etc.
You can chose a text that can have more than one meaning, or the images could multiply the meaning. Think about the synergistic power of image and text. By putting the images you are thinking of with your text are you making the two elements together mean more than each one individually? Or are you simply repeating one element with the other? You could use the “point” of the story as a way of showing motion: eg. The myth of Sisyphus trying to roll something up hill could be the basis for movement. The myth of Golem could be about creating and destroying.
There should be a reason why it is the right text/topic for YOU and not someone else. If someone you love is sick, then it might make sense for you to use those facts. If you eat cereal morning noon and night then you might do a piece on the economics of corn or additives ...so maybe the ingredients are for you. If you are a Spanish major or have an Italian mother, maybe another language could be part of your piece that parodies international relations.
Leave the viewer some room to interpret the piece, don’t do all the work for them and solve all the questions they might have. On the other hand, if you are too obscure, you might leave the viewer with nothing to relate to, nothing to hold onto (this is a danger of some abstraction).
This is not a dramatic narrative illustrated, a commercial for a political party nor a Hallmark card video full of sentimentality. It should be edgy, fresh, challenging and compelling….
Artist's and Poets Collaborations Spring 2016
Olivia Cucinotta and James Wojtal
Margot Wagner and Tyler Raso
Lucy Adams and Regan Neviska
Morgan MacDonnell and Tommy Staines
Margot Maley and Matt Mandel
Eric Sutton III and Matt Mandel
Sarah Sklar and Jack James
Mary Sawyer and Hope Giometti
Julia Plottel and Bailey Blaker
Toloue Kabiri and Benjamin Gross
Atlanta Japp and Noah Weinman
Shannon Hart and Sarah Modlin
Collaborations with Music Composition Students:
Ben Ros,video, Sean Edleman, audio collaboration
Richard Wylde, video, Will Seaton, audio collaboration
Jack McKenzie, video, Sam Ebert, audio collaboration
Student Examples Narratives /Final projects
(some of these were done for upper level classes but are good examples of using text)
Shoshana Shapiro-Baruch The Yellow wallpaper
Ayesha Ahktar, Modesty (final/text/documentary)
Andrew Smith (text/sink)
Larissa Paez Lopez Synergy (text)
Katie Crowell (text/ final)
Katie Crowell Necessary Attachments
Katie Crowell Inside External download>
Danya French reinterpreting text
Gavin Smyth narrative
Stefan Desanto (text/final)
Yi Dai (final with text)
Eric McEver (narrative/inside out)
Eric McEver (narrative/ink on paper)
Ethan Scott (narrative/ polaroid)
Alexis Arnold (narrative/german)
Ville Lampi (forget what you felt here/final)
Ville Lampi- Lexicon
Ville Lampi The places we wanted to go
Dain Williams (stop motion bob)
Gavin Smyth narrative
Zack Weaver one minute of madness
Eli Rosen ( lexicon, using text, Stamp)
Personal/ Diaristic (Kip Fulbeck, Elizabeth Subrin, Vanalynne Greene, Martha Rosler, Adrian Piper, Sadie Benning, Ursula Hodel, Scott Rankin, Dan Reeves, Ilene Segalove, John Smith, Ardel Lister,Francis Almedarez
Fictional: Jennet Thomas, Eija_liisa Atilha, Matthew Barney, Shirin Neshat, Guy Ben-Ner, Miranda July, Guy Maddin, Chris Marker,Ceila Condit, Joan Jonas, Georges Melies, William Kentridge, Doug Hall, Teresa Hubbard/ Adexr Birchler, Pipolotti Rist
Factual (at least partly) : Martha Rosler, Adrian Piper, Walid Ra’ad, Jem Cohen, Mindy Faber, Bill Viola
Poetic/ Abstract: Bill Viola, Leslie Thornton, Ken Fiengold, Seoung Cho, Bill Seaman,
Saskia Olde Wolbers, Phil Hastings, Guli Silberstein