I started my final by brainstorming and planning for an hour about what exactly I wanted my project to be. I decided to create a commentary on sexist micro-aggressions by appropriating and recontextualizing them with various sound.
Next, I spent four hours searching for audio clips on Youtube that contained sexist statements. This took a long time for many reasons: Youtube reads “sexist” as a misspelling of “sexiest,” it was hard to find clips of audio that had strong meaning without a video accompanying, and it was hard to find statements with no music in the background.
Then I spent two hours using Garageband to compile these audio clips into a somewhat chronological order and making sure the audio transitioned smoothly.
Next I spent a couple of hours recording the sound for the other half of the audio. This involved me learning how to play and then playing my friend’s violin.
My last hour was spent finalizing the editing to make sure that everything sounded the way I wanted it to.
Sabine Gruffat is a North Carolina-based digital artist who works with filmmaking and digital media. She uses these platforms to create commentary on colonialism, familial structure, and social roles.
Brave New World, 2015
In the Shadow of Your Diamond Castle, 2006
And So Sings our Mechanical Bride, 2005
Gruffat is one of my favorite artists we have studied so far. I like how intentional all of the details she includes are. The first piece, Brave New World, appropriates footage of Amazonian land originally taken by Henry Ford’s crew. I like her choice of using monochrome because this flattens the image and gives the viewer a sense of how colonialism causes us to view the world. I also really like And So Sings our Mechanical Bride because it does a similar thing, taking old footage and recontextualizing it so that it creates a commentary on the industrialism which it was originally intended to reinforce.
For my final project, I want to try working with digital sound as my medium. I want to create a commentary on the effects of sex-based micro-aggressions and how we as individuals are affected by and take part in that process.
The rough concept would be a track composed of a series of audio clips of people saying seemingly harmless things like “she runs fast for a girl” or “how do I look in this dress?” With every phrase, a new element of sound will be introduced. At first these sounds will be harmonic, but over time will become conflicting and discordant. This mass of sound will build into a climax and then fall into silence for an extended period of time, after which the track will loop.
The added sounds would have a composition similar to that of Happiness by Jónsi & Alex:
Born in Milan, Marco Brambilla is a digital artist who works from New York with appropriated and repurposed imagery. Much of his work is in the form of video collage. (“Biography”) According to Brambilla, most of his work deals with “transition, our culture’s constant acceleration, and emotional connection and disconnection through technology” (Karlin).
I think Brambilla’s art is interesting. Evolution is visually intriguing, but I don’t connect with it on a conceptual level very well. That could just be because I don’t care for war movies or epics that much. I like Pulse because it provides a haunting commentary on age, but I wish white men were used less for the average representation of a standard person. Power is very cool. I like that it captures both Kanye’s image and a much broader critique of decadence and power.
“Biography.” Marco Brambilla. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
Karlin, Susan. “Marco Brambilla’s Global Adventure.” Fast Company. Mansueto Ventures, LLC, 1 July 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
Born in London in 1983, Jodie Mack is an artist who works with experimental animation to explore the relationship between classic cinema and collage. She also uses classic icons and logos to allude to themes of mass production and art.
The first piece is interesting to me because I really like how the movements of different types of paper seem to flow without having any clear connections. The second film, The Future is Bright, is really poignant. The way that the focus of the camera initially picks up a surge of light on each piece of paper keeps the piece beautiful instead of boring. Also, the music is haunting and interesting when juxtaposed with the happy colors. Point de Gaze is fun to watch. It almost resembles television static, especially because there is no sound accompanying it. Throughout the film, the changes in color seem to mimic different genres. For example, the green would be sci-fi, the fast-moving colors would be action, and the black would be noir.
Oliver Laric was born in Austria in 1981 at the tender age of 0. He currently works from Berlin. His work capitalizes on the artistic potential of transcriptive technology to challenge the boundaries between art and replication as well as between the past and the present.
Beethoven, Lincoln 3D Scans
Particle Zoom, Frieze Stock Footage
David Barbarino, Moving Pixel Portraits
I think Laric’s work is really interesting. The first series, consisting of 3D scans of iconic sculptures, inquires whether digital adaptation is negative or positive. This is closely tied with appropriation, but the work completely changes form when turned into a spinning gif. The second series of stock footage is so visually appealing. I wonder whether the material the flecks are suspended in is rubber or glass or something else. Finally, the moving picture portraits caught my eye because depending on the size of my window, I sometimes couldn’t tell that the images WERE portraits. This was interesting to me because it raises awareness of some of the aspects of using webpages as canvases.
Pipilotti Rist was born in Switzerland in 1962. Her artistic focus is video instillations because she can use this medium to incorporate a wide variety of things, including music, pictures, and poetry. Her artistic goal is to “contribute to evolution” and challenge viewers to work towards an enlightened world view. (pipilottirist.net)
Mutaflor, 1996 (Video installation)
Closet Circuit, 2000
Tyngdkraft, var min van, (Gravity Be My Friend), 2007
Overall, I respond well to Rist’s work. I really enjoy the first piece because it puts a lighthearted and modern video clip in the context of a heavy, imposing sense of monarchy and control. The second piece, Closet Circuit, is funny to me because we really don’t think about looking from that angle when we use the bathroom. I think it’d have been funny if THAT one had been titled Gravity Be My Friend. The actual Gravity Be My Friend piece is beautiful but I’m not sure if I entirely understand it. I hope we discuss it in class.
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