Monday, December 15, 2008

[documentation]

For my first Intermedia II project, I decided to present an alphabetical list of my favorite things.

The idea came from wonderful jazz musician John Coltrane's My Favorite Things. Don't be fooled by the original song (from terrible The Sound Of Music), it is actually very good. Embedded is a video of the song, in case curiosity strikes you or you enjoy jazz tunes.



The original song lists the singer's favorite things, like whiskers on kittens and ribbons. However, Coltrane's version has no lyrics, so you could make your own list of favorite things. To relieve some stress, I thought about and wrote down my favorite things in a list. Enjoying that, I decided that the list was too scattered. So, I decided to alphabetize the list- but that was almost too orderly. Plain & without flow (the nature of alphabetized lists).

So then, while glancing through the list, I thought about certain words or phrases that related to the items in the list. Superheroes represent protection, strength, and purity~ so I wrote those things down too. This gave the list a lot more meaning & context. This new list gave me a lot of ideas for sketches & creative writing. If I'm in a rut, the list could help me create something that still held meaning to me.

To present this strange project, I created a revised list of my favorite things (since showing the true list would be too personal for me) and put it in a rolodex. This created a fun "archive" of my favorite things, along with small visual representations for certain items on the list. I felt it made the idea more presentable and articulated the duality of organization and chaos in the project. It was organized in the way that it was alphabetized and presented by a rolodex, an object usually found in offices or libraries. It was chaotic in the content and mere idea of a list of favorite things (something one might not need to make a list of in any particular occasion).

As time goes on, I will continue to add to this rolodex until it fills up with all sorts of favorite goodies.

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Project 2 : These Hands Of Mine

For my second project, I decided to take some photos of my hands with different backdrops of places that I frequent. It was meant to illustrate how my hands are an extension of me, and what that may say about my feelings and actions. On the pictures, the hands had different things written on them: love, fear, rebel, beginner, etc. The hands were posing, that is to say, it wasn't a candid photo. I put my hand out in most of the pictures, so that I could write on the back of or on my palms. It just seemed important because our hands are so important, they are how we interact with things around us. It is almost like our medium for reaching out to the rest of the planet. Perhaps that wasn't successfully executed in my part, but I enjoyed taking the photos and choosing what words would be on the hands. Overall, I was satisfied with the way it turned out.

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Project 3 : Today's Recipe Banana Muffins

My third project was a video, similar to one I had made in the past for a different intermedia class. I saw it as a chance to work on my technique, since I really enjoyed the previous video that prompted this project. It is very simple and there's nothing really fancy about it. I begin by eating all the separate ingredients to make banana muffins separately (banana, egg, salt, flour, sugar, etc.). Then, I shake my head and start to regurgitate a muffin. I shoot it in one shot, play the first part as is, then reverse the end to make it seem like there's a muffin coming out of my mouth.
The idea came from just thinking about food in general. Where does our food come from? What does it go through before getting to our plates?

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Project 4 : Obsession

The last project was actually kind of a trainwreck for me. But, we have to take losses sometimes, and I understand what there is to be learned from doing something that doesn't succeed. Although it is no excuse, I was very sick with the stomach flu the weekend before the project was due, so I couldn't film what I originally intended. I had to work with footage I already had from earlier this spring, footage that I had not meant to show anyone or do anything with really.

The result was a video about tradition and cultural identity. As a foreigner, I always felt comfortable and accepted being an "outsider." However, I recently went through the process of becoming a US citizen, rather than a legal resident. The only real rights you gain are the right to vote and the right to work for the government (in case you feel like getting a job at the post office or something). So, once I gained citizenship, I experienced a lost sense of cultural identity. Am I really an American now? All it took was passing a US History test that most Americans would fail, and waiting months and months for paperwork to be filed. I don't mean to sound unpatriotic, I was just confused about what I am and how I my status had changed drastically while I remained the same person I was before being a citizen.

Of course, none of this really came through in the video. The video has much different connotation and nobody really understood it. But, as I said, sometimes you have to bite the bullet, make a fool of yourself, and hope that you can learn something from it. I explored my feelings on cultural issues and where I might fit into them.

1 comment:

Joshua Frye said...

If I made a rolodex, trane would go in the b's AND c's. Under Coltrane and BAMF. Obviously.

But I really liked this piece and how personal it was even after being edited down to be less personal. There is so much emotion packed into this neat little format that really seems to show your process/head state. Like your synapses are firing all over, connecting to everything, but you keep it all organized. Is organization a personal trait or something you really try to impose on yourself?

I could see the concept getting pushed even further, answering more queries like, "things i disgust," "things that are odd," "things that make me sad," "things i find inappropriate," etc. I could see having a whole wall of rolodexes, almost as a testament to just how many thoughts and emotions and associations exist in one individual's mind.

I'm more of an aesthetically minded person, but I really appreciate that this piece is all about concept, and only ONE concept at that. Its very simple, but looks like it has hours of work in it. Kudos.