Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Project 3: Experimental Video Triptychs

The three clips of the triptychs from the left to the right:

      My triptychs video is an appreciation of water. Water is one of the main element for a life to begin. I placed a tiny river in the middle part as the emphasis of my theme. However, I made a mistake that I tried to record the river video too fast. When I did the editing to lower the speed, it lacked enough frames so it didn't play very fluently. The two side videos both contain various animal clips, which I tried to express the strong connections between water and lives. This may be hardly noticeable, but all the clips I picked had water appeared somewhere inside them. It was shown either visually or aurally. Furthermore, since water comes from nature, I kept all the sounds of the video for showing my appreciation. I wanted the audience to be able to feel the natural beauty from my video.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reading Assignment 2: Society of the Spectacle

The contemporary culture and society in America are mainly under the control of capitalism. For me, capitalism is overemphasizing the use of money in these recent years. Money, and amount of products an individual has owned, now becomes a measurement to judge his/her life quality and achievement. Living in the system of capitalism also tells us that more money gains more power to control the “spectacles”.
Guy Debord, one of the famous participants in the Situationists movement, believed that everyday life is connected with spectacles. As capitalism has became a part of our society so far, this system is taking over the spectacles (mass media,  advertisements, entertainment… etc.), furthermore, limiting people’s creativity of art to their everyday life. To fight against the modern capitalism, the Situationists applied a technique called détournement. Personally, I think détournement is a very effective way to transmit the message to the audience. My thought is similar with Zack Malitz’s explanation about why détournement works well in his article, Détournement or Culture Jamming. Because people are sensitive with the familiar things around them, changing and mocking a cultural image can more easily bring up public attention and trigger audience to think about the related issue.
Another method I want to talk about is Identity Correction. Its goal is to force the target to face its problem by embarrassing it. This is also a powerful way; however, it can cause some unexpected side effect. A perfect example is the Yes Men and their impersonation to Dow Chemical. They successfully humiliated the company; yet they might hurt the victims’ families again even though they did not show any related clips in their documentary film.
The action of Situationists helps us to rethink any issue existing in our modern society, and it encourages everyone to participate. But people should be award of possible negative consequences when practicing with the Situationists movement. Certainly, the Yes Man did a great job on embarrassing Dow Chemical, but I wouldn’t think the people that had suffered from the disaster enjoyed or appreciated what they did.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project 2: Performing for the Camera

      My video is related to the concepts of unnecessary and abundance. I think many people pay too much attention on material life. We often buy plenty of stuff that might be unnecessary or we already have the similar one, like shoes, purses, clothes...etc. I'm not saying we should live with as less material as possible. But when a person has over ten bags and he/she still tries to buy more, or keeps purchasing the latest model of a smartphone then replace the old one even thought it still works perfectly well...these are the problems I wants to talk about in my video.