Friday, December 09, 2005

I managed to do something, although it wasn't any where near what I had set out to do in the beginning. My ideas about dissolving a chunk of rock salt as a record of time and memento morii did not come to fruition. I was plagued with hassles of not being able to find the materials I wanted in due time.

Let's talk about what I was able to achieve. When I started to edit the video I was really disappointed to find out that I had lots and lots of nasty background noise in the shots. I was really frustrated with this as I had purposely gotten up in the middle of the night to put together a set and shot most of my tape. I had to construct the audio artificially. I was pretty ok with this eventually because it would allow me to do what I wanted: really isolate the phenomena of time.

My shots were pretty interesting. I did find that I was really struggling with the fact that I wanted this to be a minimalist piece. I kept thinking of Warhol's Empire and looking at the minimalist phenomenist (is that a word?) work of Olafur Eliasson. I found it very hard to sit with the long shots and leave them be. In the end I think I have done too much complex shot mixing to really explore this idea of a minimalist film. I do think that I created a piece that has some visual interest but I missed the true minimalist aesthetic. It is very hard to do minimalist work in this media, the time base makes me very anxious. I believe it is far, far harder to make a minimalist video versus a minimalist painting.

Anxiety. I didn't realize the power of this anxiety when I started. Since I ran in to issues with my salt metaphor, I abandoned that and thought I would be making a meditative work. I envisioned a dark space with little reference and a rhythmic drop. A film that focused on the phenomena. The phenomena and lack of reference raised my anticipation, the length of the shots raised my blood pressure. I showed the film with the timecode specifically hidden so that my audience would have to pay close attention. Thus my film became very physiologically challenging.

Susan referred to this latest video's strategy as using a spectacular media to witness a non-spectacle. I am of two minds about this comment. I fully understand her viewpoint. Nothing happened in the mundane sense in my film, yet it was projected on the 'big' screen while thirty people sat analyzing it. My ambivalence though comes from the idea that something did happen: time passed, people got very uncomfortable, the anticipation was palpable in the room (Cat called me a Sadist, heehee), the phenomena that I am so interested in really shook them ( or annoyed them). So in this way I disagree. Phenomena are spectacular to me, time constantly makes me anxious, I take drugs to help me deal... Perhaps non-events are very good subjects to use a subject matter.

Chris made the point that the anxiety was heightened by the captive nature of the classroom audience. I agree but, I think it would be very interesting to try to work it into an installation that achieve the captive nature that worked so well on Wednesday.

Julia Bradshaw made the point that she thought I could go more minimal. I think she is correct.

Thank you for a great semester, Profesora.

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