Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wisconsin Darkness & Picturesque

Wisconsin Death Trip: Continued


On March 9, 2013 our Digital Processes Class in collaboration with some Lawrence University Faculty members put together a multimedia performance in which our short films were projected simultaneously into two screens as improvised music accompanied the films. 

The part that I enjoyed the most is that the artist-filmmakers got the opportunity to interact with the audience and perform in relation to some of the films. 

Although we do not have record of the whole performance as of right now, 
here is a YouTube video taken by one of our professors of my film and performance at the event.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wisconsin Death Trip

Adam's Death Rib: Eve's Trip to Genesis

A response to Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip.

Michael Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip in my opinion, goes beyond ideas about death. The pictures are put together to follow a narrative, a message that goes beyond representing Wisconsin daily life. I focused a lot on the representation and construction of gender in this book. I was not surprised when I found pictures of men at bars, working, doing daily activities, and women at home, siting, holding babies, etc. It is a representation of what life was like in Wisconsin on the 70's.

What I found interesting is the lack of pictures of "active" women. The women are sitting next to men when they are in the outside, as if only being able to be captured as long as they are accompanied by men. The one picture where a woman is outside she has snakes on her shoulder as she is laughing in front of an upside-down bench giving the idea of chaos, representing the woman as crazy to a certain extent.

Before I continue explaining my response to this book, I would like to present my video titled:

Adam's Death Rib: Eve's Trip to Genesis

     Here is the link to You Tube

I wanted to (re)present gender constructions as non-traditional as possible. I create this piece observing what elements we consider representational of a gender, yet using such element in connection to other elements to have a loss of understanding about what representation is being made. The woman in this video is represented in different ways juxtaposed with images of a man who seems to be represented in a way but towards the end we know that there is more beyond what is presented.

The title makes reference to Adam and Eve in the Genesis since nothing is more traditionally conservative in our society than religious texts, just as our ideas of gender binaries, and the construction of what makes a man, a man, and a woman, a woman. To me, male characteristics in Wisconsin Death Trip were stressed by differentiating the pictures of men with the pictures of women. In other words, men are men because they are not women.

And as a reaction to that, I observe that:  if we still think that Adam's "Rib" is what made Eve, then we should think that such bone does not exist or is "Dead" for Adam and as a result, for men, because what made Eve is 'that' which we lack.
I suggest that we reconsider our ideas about what make us, us. Do "men" wear lipstick? Do "men" cry? Are "women" pretty only when they smile or laugh? Should they look at the camera/viewer when "she" is supposed to be the object of the film?

Evan Baden

Photography is the Message: Evan Baden the Messenger

A response to Baden's work

I am inspired by Baden's work yet leaving room for criticism. His use of the available media is fascinating, and his understanding of the technological world is definitely present in his work.

Here is the link to his works.

                                                                  Photo in Illuminati by Evan Baden

In his project Illuminati, one of his earliest works, is the most fascinating project to me because of his use of lighted and dark spaces. A juxtaposition that contributes to his message about the social and isolating aspects of the media.

Another element that I appreciate is the fact that in Illuminati, he does not categorize the use of media as a positive or negative aspect of our society, or at least the viewer can create his or her own opinions about the subject.

His work reminds me pretty much of the idea of the "Anti-social" observed by McLuhan in his work "The medium is the massage." In the picture above specifically there is a sense of physical isolation but a virtual social interaction with a somewhat metaphysical world that can be shared with other individuals or with oneself. Although I would disagree with the idea that media cannot produce a social "physical" space where people interact with other people in the non-virtual world (to avoid saying the 'real' world), I would recognize that Evan Baden does a wonderful job presenting an "anti-social" element of a medium that is some times considered as globally social.

(I know I focused on one of his projects, I am still thinking over what to make of his later projects, Technically Intimate, and Under the Influence. But I think that will require more research from my part).