Friday, September 26, 2008

Time Lapsing

Video Assignment

What did you find interesting and surprising from the time altered video assignment?

I am going to be honest here. I am extremely challenged by video. I spent about 3 hours capturing footage- which was not easy for me. I created mock tripods and stood at ridiculous angles and videotaped myself in conversations with people at work. I then spent pretty much all day Wednesday and most of Thursday and all of this morning struggling with editing. I will say that all is not lost and I have figured out how to scale, modify speed and length in Final Cut Pro. I am stull struggling with exporting my files. Additionally I stumbled upon editing levels. I am going to take some library books out this weekend and practice. I am sure that these are skills that I could do better in if I tried. I know that the goal of grad school is to focus on personal development- however - I see everyones work and am so jealous of their abilities. I was also surprised at my personal body language. I video taped many people talking to me and I flail my hands, role my eyes and smirk constantly!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am not very happy with this assignment. I am letting it stay in "collage" form, however, once I learn a little more about video editing I think that i can make this into something better.

Video Self- Portrait

What did you find interesting, surprising and unexpected in this video self -portrait?

I started thinking about my self-portrait following our class. Immediately after this class on Fridays, I have my Maya class. In that class we are creating amusement park rides- which promted me to think about games and toys. I had wanted to create a three dimensional toy- like version of my world, however, I was very much surprised with my lack of a skill set. Not only was I incompetent in terms of video- editing, but I was also in desperate need of help in filming. I enjoyed thinking about the locations of my life that I had previously shot in still photography and wondered about what the medium of video was adding. Why was I switching mediums? What did moving images communicate that my still images did not? I was somewhat surprised that I was able to communicate a certain still mood with my video. I am not happy with the results of my work. I need to learn how to work more comfortably in the medium. I found that doing this exercise after a 24 hour game jam, that I wanted to find elements that were beautiful but ultimately interactive spaces. I know how I would like to improve the end result. I would like to shift my collage of moving images to a narrative structure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things That Make Us Smart

In the Norman reading and/ or Human Computation video, what did you find interesting and non- obvious?

I was intrigued by the discussion of Roman/ Arabic numerical representation in the article by Donald Norman in Things That Make us Smart. It never occured to me that there was a time when people made a decision about which number system would be used. Additionally, I would not have suspected that the reasoning behind the ultimate decision was based on visual computation. Of course this makes complete sense- in real world situations you use a tool that will help you to achieve a result efficiently and with the greatest merit. The reading/ homework as a whole contemplated perception, representation and solutions. The choice of the kind of "language" that you use to communicate a mathematical problem in is a rudimentary element to the overall process. Although not distinctly related, I was reminded of a book called the Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, in which the history of the number and concept of zero was discussed. At the emergence of zero- people were scared to use it and actually denied it. I think that it is amazing. The idea that there is so much in the world that is unknown, or that we appeared from nothing is a groundbreaking concept. Until that point numerical representations began with the number one. This fact presented an innate hubris to the existence of man. Now that I am learning about arrays in python and I see how the method of recalling the first item in a list is to type zero, I am beginning to feel like the "anti- zero" delegation of humans. I understand it conceptually, however it's really confusing for me. I guess that it is a matter of perception and what method of representation is succinct and clear enough to produce the results that I want and in turn will impact more users (more than just myself).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thoughts on the Self Portrait

What from Ch.4 in " Making Comics" helped with your photo self portrait series?

Chapter 4 focused on landscapes, scenery and backgrounds. McCloud reviewed different technical methods for creating the scenery of a frame as well as the messages that are communicated by the choices that you make as an artist concerning perspective, choice of frame and composition. Although I did my reading after I did my self portraits, I feel that I did my reading, I feel that I unconsciously employed many of the techniques for my 8 photos of scenery/ environment. The environments that I chose for the most part are empty. I know that I shot my images this way to evoke a sense of mood as well as isolation that I feel living in the suburbs of the city as a graduate student. Very few of my environmental scenes are close- ups or details- but almost pamoramas of the area. I did not do this intentionally, but I do enjoy the fact that I wanted to give the viewer as much information as possible within the confines of the frame. My compositions are generally simple, usually symetrical and evenly toned. Now that I realize that I do this, I think that I am going to make an effor to shoot a little more obscurely/ abstractly. I want to think about compositiona little bit like Degas though about his paintings. If I used obtuse angles perhaps, I could achieve a more dramatic effect. So often it's easy to go for the 'snapshot' approach when taking photographs. I think that because of the accessibility of the medium, I neglect to challgenge my compositions and focus on the mood or the subject. This is not a bad thing necessarily, however, it's something that I need to be more conscious of going forward.

Photo Portrait: Environment

Photo Portrait: Self, Parts of Body