Tuesday, March 15, 2016

As a final thought on Baudrillard and his ideas, I present to you my final work of the term. Initially my ideas for a final project on simulation was based on making a pre-synconronized sound film more contemporary by adding sound I found fitting. I ditched this idea because I felt as though I could do something more relevant to my life at the end of a term, and because I didnt want to sit in a basement editing during the unnaturally warm days of march. The piece is hard to watch; it leaves one confused as to what it is that was watched, and why exactly anyone would take the time to make it. I attempted to give a sense of some impossible reality in a familiar space - moments that jump from day to night, winter to spring. This, in a sense, is how memories of recent times take shape. Like a simulation, its fleeting, brief and flawed. With that, see how the memories from late winter term at Lawrence took form. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2f8SKfnTWg thanks!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Few Thoughts on our Final Project: To wrap up the term, I will be working heavily with sound design to create 'synced sound' to one of the most famous "silent era" films, "Trip to the Moon". First I plan on re-editing it, to trim excessively long clips to quicken the pace of the piece altogether. Then I will add sound effects to give atmosphere to the already dreamy scenery of the film. Finally, I will record with a few different voice actors to give audiovisual life to the otherwise silent wizard people (?). I hope to close the gap between old and new by adding contemporary references, jokes and language to create a comical juxtaposition between sound and sight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Few Thoughts on Robert Pollard

Robert Pollard began “started by voices” in 1981 in Dayton Ohio with band mates that are too numerous and fleeting to mention. He was a 4th grade elementary school teacher during the day, the profession he used to finance his musical inclinations. He is described as being an extremely prolific songwriter; accredited with 23 albums and having written about 2000 songs, he was named the 78th greatest songwriter of all time by Paste Magazine. Through an eleven year haze of narcotics, booze and hallucinogenic (mis?) adventures, Pollard finally found himself in the indie-rock lime light in 1994 when Matador records signed him. His ambitions and dreams suddenly seemed to have become a reality, something Baudrillard has (not surprisingly) put some thought into: “Go and organize a fake holdup. Be sure to check that your weapons are harmless, and take the most trustworthy hostage, so that no life is in danger (otherwise you risk committing an offence). Demand ransom, and arrange it so that the operation creates the greatest commotion possible – in brief, stay close to the “truth”, so as to test the reaction of the apparatus to a perfect simulation. But you wont succeed: the web of artificial signs will be inextricably mixed up with real elements (a police officer will really shoot on sight; a bank customer will faint and die of a heart attack; they will really turn the phony ransom over to you) – in brief, you unwittingly find yourself immediately in the real, one of whose function is precisely to devour every attempt at simulation, to reduce everything to some reality – that’s exactly how the established order is. “ (Simulations, Baudrillard, 39). In more ways than one, Pollard was going through the actions (simulations) of an indie rocker for the entirety of 14 years (with little to no personal or financial gain) just as one would if they were simulating a bank robbery, as Baudrillard examined. How much of Robert Pollards early narrative was simulation (of being an indie-rocker), and at what point did it cross over into the real - into the celebrity limelight? How does substance abuse play into this; from the lucid reality of an LSD induced delusion to the wholly sedative nature of alcoholism, how much can we be sure of in this reality by itself, let alone a reality inundated by mind altering substances? And finally, to what degree are we all testing reality with simulations that manifest themselves as endeavors and attempts in our daily lives?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Guide: Jailhouse Wine

The next installment of the "Jailhouse" series once again follows Tyler, as he shares his recipe for 'hooch', or 'toilet wine'. Baudrillard says it is "extremely naive to look for ethnology among the whites, or in some Third World - it is here, everywhere, in the metropolis, among the whites, in a world completely catalogued...". We seem to think that only the most profound differences between cultures around the world are worth noting - but the more subtle, close to home details are worth noticing, too, Baudrillard seems to say. What better an example than learning about the tricks the incarcerated use to come close to the perks of being out of jail? Though living within what Baudrillard would almost definitely consider a 'First World Country', the confinement and restriction of freedoms of those serving time leads to new and ingenious (if not a little gross) methods of achieving 'freedom'. Most of these techniques seem alien to most, if not all, of those who have never done time. I found it fitting that the video would end with the profoundly felt air of homoerraticism, because even boys can get lonely sometimes. (On that note, why has there never been a gay sex scene set in prison that hasn't been represented as gang rape / violent sexual assault in any film, ever? ((more on that later)). This, paired with clips of the various internetting ventures we pursued that night, gives an unprecedented view into the lives of aging alcoholic townies.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jennifer Angus' work in building ornate textures using species of insects creates a skin crawling, yet beautiful, mosaic that holds detail whether seen from an inch away, or witnessed from against the opposite wall. It seems to reflect the cyclical essence of nature; patterns inside larger patterns. As a whole, the insects obviously form a larger work, but the beauty of the insects themselves - their wing structure, abdomen formation & limb fragility especially - are something to gaze at as well. Angus' work gives new meaning to 'sacred geometry', using once living creatures to create a mosaic that (in my mind) stands as a metaphor for the mathematical truths found in nature ie: the fibonacci sequence. It reminds me of certain patterns one can observe at any level of existence; venules of the human circulatory system feed into bigger veins much the same way tributaries feed into bigger rivers. Similar patterns can be seen on the 'veins' of leaves. Such reoccurring patterns make me feel reaffirmed in this life; to belong to something bigger - grander than myself. Obviously, though, Angus' work is only a simulation of said truths, but a well composed one at that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Guide to 'Cooking' a Jailhouse Pizza

Baudrillard described the "successive phases of the image" as being: -a reflection of a basic reality -masking and perverting a basic reality -masking the absence of a basic reality -bearing no relation to any reality The piece stands as a reflection of the basic reality of a friend's - Tyler Wolff - time spent in jail. Despite being a reflection of that time, it simultaneously masks and perverts the basic reality of that time by removing it from the physical space, time and tone of the jail experience. Tyler's time in jail marked anything but a happy time in his life, therefore masking and perverting its basic reality. As jovial as the tone of the piece is, it is a reflection of a reality that was anything but that. Along that thought, the piece masks the absence of a basic reality by feigning the experience of being in jail. The pieces topic relates completely to time spent in jail, but at no point does jail as a reality enter the picture. Finally, because the idea of jail is both present and non-existent all at the same time, it bears no relation to any reality at all. It in itself is a reality, created out of shoddy filming and quick editing, but which cannot exist in any form but that. It interests me how images can exist in all of these forms at the same time. On that note, look forward to learning about jailhouse wine from Tyler in our next piece; "How To: Jailhouse Wine".