Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lawton Hall: Entropy at its Finest

Lawton Hall's story was almost as inspiring as his work -- the way he sort of fell into a rhythm of doing work, both professionally and in his spare time, and the way he described leaving school and going into the non-academic world.

Lawton's trajectory post-college was interesting to me because of how things just sort of came together for him; how often times it seems like one thing led to an unexpected other, like in the case of the slides and the Wilwaukee gallery space. The way Lawton described Lawrence made it sound like a vehicle for the his understanding of how to work and a source for a network of people -- but the art came from a larger series of events.

The collaboration at the Wormfarm institute, resulting in the video above featuring Holy Sheboygan, as well as several other songs, is a perfect example of how the chaotic forces that brought Lawton and the band together resulted in something beautiful; something that doesn't seem like it could have happened by a chance meeting. However, this is ultimately how all are is created -- at least, how all collaborative art is created. Music might be a better example of this phenomenon than other art forms, since playing in a band is so collaborative by nature, but the artistic process always involves other people, whether they are collaborators or guiding forces, and it seems like a miracle every time these people are brought together.

It never lasts, of course -- not the people, not the collaboration, not even the product. But the fact that it happened at all is a testament to entropy.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Walk

This might be different in tone from some of my other short films -- it's simpler, and there are fewer objects attempting to draw your attention; you are on the walk just like the individual whose perspective you're offered in viewing "A Walk."

"There is no place that is not haunted by many different spirits hidden there in silence, spirits one can invoke or not," (De Certau, 108). Both narratives provide access to the perspective of one of these spirits, and they are simple -- they border on ineffectual, however, their juxtaposition creates an effect that is ultimately beyond the simple, quantifiable combination of the two works.

"Only the restrooms offer an escape from the closed system," (De Certau, 111). These brief snapshots into a life, or lives, do not offer escape, they offer enhancement only. The terror of the real, of being anything other than oneself must be challenged, and "A Walk" offers that challenge, in a perfect simulation of the real -- the indeterminate lives of others, the animation that encompasses us all, the speech and motion patterns that may not be are own but are certainly shared among us.

"A Walk" is not real -- the footage is old, passed, and the story is even older. The idea that one would actually be able to live "A Walk" is ridiculous; however, it is necessarily possible that one would be able to consider the lives of those involved in "A Walk" and, possibly, forget their own.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Brush 2015

Brush highlights the nuances of mundane acts -- in this case, brushing teeth and zipping a zipper -- romanticizing them, describing their sensuality. While not everyone has an aquamarine toothbrush, not everyone has a black jacket, not everyone lets their toothpaste take as much control as the actor in this video did, the character is an everyperson of sorts. They are an individual, to be sure, but their relatability is whole. Everyone knows what it's like to brush the teeth, to zip the zipper.

"Just as in literature one differentiates 'styles' or ways writing, one can distinguish 'ways of operating -- ways of walking, reading, producing, speaking, etc."  What ways of operating are associated with this video? Is there an assumption about the identity of the viewer? What are your modes of operating? Undoubtedly different than those of the individual featured in Brush, but, arguably, just as mundane -- just as sensual, just as romantic, just as boring.

Marx wrote about "commodity fetishism" -- Brush is an attempt to escape from commodities, but not fetishism: Brush is about mundanity fetishism, "common" fetishism, everyday fetishism. Feel your teeth. They have n e r v e s.

"... Once the images broadcast by television and the time spent in front of the TV set have been analyzed, it remains to be asked what the consumer makes of these images and during these hours," (Not my italics). What did you make of these images? And, separately, what is your analysis of them?

Perhaps the emphasis is too extreme for some audiences. It is necessary to remember, if this thought crosses the viewer's mind, that the italics in Brush are mine, but the content is yours.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Project 1, Revisited

My last blog post was very misleading -- I'm sorry.

I'm working on a short film about brushing teeth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Project 1 -- Mundane

For a long time, some people (not many, though) have been trying to remind people to think about what they're doing, all the time, even when the thing they're doing is boring or they want to think about something else, or whatever. If you're into what's real, it makes a lot of sense to think about what's you're doing; but not everyone is into real life, necessarily. 

That's one reason stories, books, video, video games, etc. exist.

This project will focus on the mundane in video games, especially games like Grand Theft Auto, where you're supposed to escape from boring real life. Second Life was made for a reason -- but I think it's worth ignoring that reason. Does Second Life exist in Second Life?

Maybe I'll film things that happen for real and compare them to footage in video games. 

Maybe (Probably?) Video Games won't have any real presence in the final product.

Maybe it'll just be me falling into bed over and over.