Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Art & Tech "Monotony"

Just finished my Art and Tech constructed images project today. The critique went very well, and I was really happy with the way it turned out. My project itself was 100 individual photographs of people watching television, exposed for six frames each, in an infinite loop. The project was displayed on a small television set hooked up to a small DVD player, and the video played to the song, "This Dirt Makes That Mud" by Liars. My idea for the project was to create a feeling of monotony, repetition, and disconnection. Here's a shorter, internet-friendly version of the video (beware! 10 straight minutes might leave you feeling weird) and a re-cap of the critique:

How do I understand this work?: “The irony of watching TV. A continuation all about the screen, what is on the screen – we watch the screen ourselves, then we watch the screens that the others are watching on the television itself. Everyone watches TV – this is a glimpse about human consumption of media. We are the viewer, and we are the idea. We are a participating part of the piece.”
“It’s like being in a museum and looking at the people who are looking at the art, instead of looking at the art itself. It’s completely different experience.”
What’s the idea behind this work?: “The idea of TIME, pushed into a fast-paced slideshow. The amount of time we spend in front of a TV. The amount of time we spend looking at these photos. The amount of time it took to take all of the photos. How many lives of our generation has led up to this point – the way technology has raised us, and how we are comfortable looking at it. Our generation, the youth – us, and the disconnection we have with the rest of the world while we watch TV.”
“Physically, the project is noxious, hypnotizing, frantic – the speed keeps the viewer anxious to look for detail – if they miss something, they want to wait for the loop to hit that point again in order to collect the detail. The concept of time is visited, again, with the idea of anticipation and waiting.” “Watching, experiencing the project makes me sick – which leads to the idea of asking the viewer to be a part of it.”
What’s successful?: “The speed, being noxious, works very well – not allowing enough time to completely focus. It really puts the statement of how much of our lives are about TV on the line.”
“The colors are crisp and clear – look HDR-quality – in some of them, you can see the gleam of the TV. The quality of the pictures mostly gives the added detail of what exactly is on TV, which is interesting, and often distorted.”
How could it improve?: “The rhythm could be played with – try having the television stay in one place, and have the people move from left to right around the television. Maybe just use the light from the TV and no other sources of light. Maybe include a pattern of different generations, from child, to teen, to adult, to elder, and again. Maybe split the TV in half, or include two TVs, one with photos of TV sets and another with photos of faces lit, watching off-screen screens – flipping them in succession, batting back and forth. Maybe have an installation with an included remote control that is sealed up, or maybe a remote that has no batteries/will not work.”

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