Tag Archives: concept art

August Update

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The sun is rapidly setting on August and the light in New Mexico has shifted. Time to take inventory of my late-summer work.

I’ve been reading heaps of television and new media theory, continuing investigation into remix culture, appropriation, cultural structure and  theories of memory while also honing my video production skills. It seems I’ve been reading more this semester than any previous, which is saying something, as I’m always a prolific reader. My first research paper for the semester is centered on remix and the role of artist as cultural DJ (will share it soon).

I’ve also been developing a more final, conceptual outline of why my thesis contains three distinct elements that alternately access a related core. It’s connected to notions of television experience as a virtual mosaic, to Minkowski’s graph of space-time and to Lev Manovich’s three-screen theory. Too much to go into in this update, but it’s rapidly taking shape.

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Still from “Elevator (Finding a Way out of Here, I Hope)”

My studio work has been centered on developing videos, including massive back-end sampling, altering, generating and “painting” with moving media. So I Asked… and Elevator (Finding a Way Out of Here, I Hope) were developed during July and completed in August.

Many hours go into the scouting, capping and video remix process. Over the course of July and August I completed an obscene amount of tele-viewing time, scouring all 122 episodes of The Rockford Files, re-watching 78 episodes of Adam-12, 129 episodes of Emergency!, 7 episodes of Columbo, 4 episodes of Knight Rider, 22 episodes of The Greatest American Hero and 59 episodes of Simon & Simon. I say “obscene” simply because of the dismissive attitude television-viewing tends to invite. That’s a lot of TV (not even counting the episodes that were repeatedly scoured, broken down and disassembled).

Sound crazy? Research is always a little borderline, anyway. At least borderline obsessive for me. The television deluge served to reveal a bigger image of televisual structure, the function of television as mosaic (and as an extension of oral tradition) and as compositional flow. After a while, you see segments as painted moments in a longer, cyclical turn. This is very useful to the way I’m working with the painting and video.

Still from "So I Asked..."

Still from “So I Asked…”

The videos include layers of manipulated stills, altered footage, digital painting and sound that’s been sampled, mixed, remixed and composed using Audacity. I combined remixed television sound footage with my own sampled audio taken with a Zoom Microtrack recorder.

I’ve also generated hundreds of new screen caps and I’ve just started work on the second 38″ x 50″ painting.

I also experimented with contrasting present-day Google Street Views with show clips and discovered they lead in the wrong visual-physical direction for my 2015 thesis project, but are still fascinating on an urban archaeological level. During my research, I also found devoted fan bases, like the folks at the Official Dwight Schultz Fansite (A-Team Filming Locations), who do footwork to combine video stills with Google Street Views (and actual street shots the fans carve out on their own time), not unlike my experiments earlier this semester. However, their work is a collaborative effort, making use of crowd-sourced skills and knowledge–a compelling turn, and a confirmation that the iceberg revealed by my contrast experiment is meant for another project.

The overall concept behind the fansite research, however, is highly relevant to my thesis– a reminder that fictionalized, pop cultural narratives happened in real space. And here, the landscape becomes a site of activation, a catalyst for decade-spanning personal, regional and cultural interactions. Fans work with space-place memories, track down the actual locations, build new associations with the urban-archaeological discovery (and again, new memories and experiences), then share them as part of a collaborative digital space.

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Still from “Elevator…”

My mentor is also finalized–with thanks to Peter Rostovsky. I’ll be working with Kevin McCoy this Fall (of the collaborative duo, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy).

And here is a preview of the new painting, in its early-early phase.

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So I Asked… (Elevator)

Videos include sound (lots of subtle layers, too, so turn up the volume if you can!)

So I asked…

Elevator (Finding a Way Out of Here, I Hope)
– Combines “stop animation” style stills with moving action.

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Please note–Elevator is not functioning inline, so please visit my website to view the video. 

Peter Rostovsky suggested I consider new ways of dimensionalizing the television experience (which I applied to consideration of the dimensional nature of real and constructed space; in this case, the California landscape as mediated by now-historical television).

I collapsed, condensed, mutated, fabricated and re-contextualized images that were formerly stills. Suddenly things were moving, deepening and expanding my dimensional palette. Elements were disintegrating, breathing, dancing–full of renewed agency. My landscapes were alive–and they weren’t just looping!

I treat the video work the way I handle the creation of digital images (and painting). I develop and respond, investigate and rebound.

During this process of bound and re-bound, certain characters entered the elastic-space as freshly refined icons. I was intrigued by their presence and obsessively pursued their emerging “selfhood.” It made me think of how, in the beginning, I only wanted the bare landscape in my digital desert. I had originally dumped precision details, but vehicles, individuals and even interior spaces crept into the mix. As Tony Apesos pointed out, I’m repopulating the gradually-emptied landscape phenomena, which has been losing specific objects and people since the 16th century. It’s curious, potentially frightening (and exhilarating).

The inclusion of people as part of the video cadence also flirted with narrative, which, as many of you know, has always been intentionally elusive or denied. Here I emphasized the almost-narrative by allowing moments to rhythmically rebound, but keeping with my larger concepts, the resolution of story is always denied.

I’ve been reading a ton of television theory and I’ve discovered fascinating ways of digging into the idea of mosaic and montage, implied space and the passage of time. Each video is intentionally meta-referential. Certain clips, moments and colors are allowed to cycle, forming choruses that seem familiar, yet always shift. Just past the bridge (thinking in musical terms here), a set of layered clips are allowed to temporarily emerge, only to fall away without returning.

The sound is a carefully composed layered blend of recordings I did on a Zoom Microtrack, combined with television audio and ambient noise.

I feel like an alchemical-archaeologist.

Investigations in Video

I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks doing intense research and sourcing materials, output formats and software for the studio work. I’ve also done a lot of screen captures and video clipping, prepping a new arsenal of raw material for the semester.

Some of what I’ve been working with are moving edits and clips, recontextualized via splicing, editing, formatting and blending. This is a rough idea of the tip of the iceberg:

I can’t wait to see where (and how) it transforms!

I’m also experimenting with time, color and surface quality in the clips:

Expect a TON of new iterations and excavations as I really dig in to the mutli-part components to this project. I’m treating the rough, raw video as painterly expressions…

Seeds for Spring – In Progress Art Works

There is a pile of unfinished work that will be a jumping off point in January. There are many pieces, but I’m sharing a few here, so you can see where they begin (and later how they get resolved).

Descriptions are below each image.

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I’m excited about these guys. They are cut collage shapes, ready for mounting and manipulation, created using a combination of printmaking techniques, including monotype, serigraphy and lithography.

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This is a rabbit skin glue collage of pieces cut from lithographs and woodcuts. This is a technique my mentor taught me, which creates a secure, high-bonded collage capable of being sanded, painted and physically manipulate without tearing off. It’s mounted on a birch panel.

I’ll be trying more of this technique, while also using a digital fresco technique that I worked heavily with another artist.

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A new screen I made to do more rock-shape “stamping.” I thought I’d show how I sometimes develop more than one shape on the same screen, though they don’t necessarily form a complete image on their own. I’m always considering the relational conversation of layered moments.
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A pile of works that show underlayers. They look so bare!

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More underlayers awaiting new elements. I was trying an almost gaudy decorative paper, just for the hell of it.

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More of the cut collage shapes, ready for mounting and manipulation, created using a combination of printmaking techniques, including monotype, serigraphy and lithography.

The Cascade and The Archive

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A Buchloch Anomic Archive Emergency

The Cascade project has become more than a daily project. I suspected as much from the beginning. I felt excited about working on it, it continually activated new ideas and discussions and happily mutated between phases.

What started out as a phase of distorted screen caps, traditional media interpretations of the caps, and integrated, manipulated print-style layered digital pieces is becoming its own series, its own broader archive.

I want even more than the original 33 images in Phase I.  I’m continually snapping new caps to flesh out a much larger manipulation base. I’ll be continually interpreting aspects of each snap as drawings, then re-integrating captures, drawings and digital manipulation into “Phase III” works.

From the pool of Phase III pieces, I am selecting certain works to output onto good quality, full-size BFK sheets (at least 22 x 30, potentially larger). These output pieces will get manipulated with direct paint, serigraphy, woodcut and other marks, as well as collage and possible digital overlays. These will gain “objecthood” in the real world, while the actual Cascade project itself remains delightfully virtual, immersible from any direction: a hypertext choose your own adventure!

Reading Charles Merewether’s The Archive (Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art) has triggered some Postmodern humor, as well as plenty of new possibilities for the project as a whole.

Ancient Mechanisms – Almost Done

Here is a longer scroll that’s almost finished. It still needs some experimentation with the void spaces. This semester I’ve been working toward creating a void, rather than leaving negative space within the paper. This requires very faint printing techniques, like thin, white, transparent inks, or underpainting that is then painted over, a la Diebenkorn. 

Some of the very faint neutral tones are washing out in the photos–another reason it’s good to see work in person. 😉

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Here are some earlier shots of the same scroll, as it progressed through different stages:

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