Second Mentor Meeting

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The first incarnation of the “iconic” tree and the marching firemen. We followed the evolution of the tree and my little cast of firemen as they moved through multiple stills.

Had my second official in-person mentor meeting on Friday, though Leslie and I have also been conducting frequent discussions via email which have been tremendously helpful. The fact that most of the work is currently digital allows for productive virtual encounters, so we’ve covered a lot of conceptual ground even without face time, though I have not shared it all here. Expect detailed coverage of our virtual crits in my semester summary. 

The Friday mentor meeting went very well–lots of new analysis, ideas and potential. We see the first half of the semester as largely digital while the second half will be focused more on experimentation with physical output, including projection. I may also capture another flurry of new screen caps to blend into the mix and I will be focusing on several specific mini projects while continuing my frequent output.

We analyzed the appearance of a strong vertical “pillar” which haunts a number of the Cascade stills, pinning its Modernist origin and ties to my understanding of human-impacted landscape. It seems structurally and conceptually important, like the figures and vehicles in their own altered space, and warrants further investigation. The figures themselves, as Leslie pointed out, have taken on new roles, performing new, almost comedic, activities in these fractured spaces. They’ve become a cast of characters in a deliciously shattered narrative.

The veil present in a number of pieces suggests Cubist space, skewing perspective while simultaneously allowing (and directing) access to deeper points in space. Leslie found the veil effective and important, suggesting I play with it more extensively in future stills.

Scale is incredibly important and the pieces with scale variation within the virtual space behaved most effectively. Pieces with rigorous structure and mystery stood out. Pieces that were not as “superstar” sometimes behaved better as digital images, or as part of an animated sequence. Other times, they simply needed a contrast boost.

We did close readings of two or three stills that seemed fully resolved in a way that others were not (including the still below), analyzing why they felt complete and whether or not completeness was even a requirement. If it was not, what, then, could the never-ending unfinished be communicating?

Overall, Leslie is incredibly insightful, asks fruitful (and stimulating) questions and passes no negative judgment on the transition from traditional to new media.

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One of the stills we felt was resolved and warranted close analysis.

A few tasks for the second half of the semester:

  • Produce several additional calculated animation strings to be projected on the wall, then project them. Consider the way video (and cast light) enters our physical, personal and social space in a way that flat paper does not. Do some pieces perform better as projections or digital iterations and do some perform best as output objects?
  • Work on the painted shape interpretations discussed in first crit once I have canvas.
  • Use existing batch of stills until the mid-term, then add a flurry of new stills to the mix.
  • Try more output on paper, both larger and smaller. See where the breaking point is. How much surface manipulation is too much, driving the piece too far from the digital?
  • Try an archive experiment. Group all of the existing stills into typologies. Figure out what the types are (more painterly, more literal, etc.), then build them into gallery-archives to see the many images in new ways. What emerges when things are grouped? What is different? Which aspects need to get left behind for progress?
  • Do some detail zoom-ins of selected moments from existing stills.

2514_5The above still was one which behaved better as a digital, or transitional frame in an animation, but was too flattened when output on paper. Some of the stills are meant to occupy in-between spaces.

 

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