Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Critique 3. Consciousness Wrapped in Flesh

I've spent much time with the 21 square feet photographs since we last spoke. I have 3 sets of 21 square feet. 3 bodies. 3 portraits. I have put  a set into a 7x3 foot Photoshop file and made a giant print. As cool as it was to make a print that big, when I put it up on the wall it felt lifeless to me. Back to 12x12 inch squares, pinned in formations to make wholes. Lots of color correcting, then un-color correcting. Printing, comparing.

I had a studio visit with Byron Kim. We talked about skin and his piece "Synecdoche."

Thursday I will have a studio visit with Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg. I have been looking at their work, especially "Bloody Fruit Bowls."

Last week I made a video in that vein.

In relation to the concept of The Flesh Suitcase, I've been thinking about the range of experience living in a body entails, especially extreme experience like a near-death sensation of leaving one's body. Perhaps it is experiences such as these that cause an awareness of sub specie aeternitatis, Latin for "under the aspect of eternity." Thomas Nagel wrote about this in his essay "The Absurd":

          Yet humans have the special capacity to step back and survey themselves,
          and the lives to which they are committed...Without developing the illusion 
          that they are able to escape from their highly specific and idiosyncratic position,
          they can view it sub specie aeternitatis - and the view is at once sobering and 
          comical...If sub specie aeternitatis there is no reason to believe that anything
          matters, then that does not matter either, and we can approach our absurd lives 
          with irony instead of heroism or despair.

To me its a philosopher's way of saying don't worry about the small stuff, because it's all small stuff. 

I am considering The Flesh Suitcase photograph prints as an exploration of body/matter, and the video as exploration of soul/mind. With happy absurdity throughout.

Addendum - other things of interest.
Shinichi Maruyama captures dancers in long exposure.

Clarisse Hahn using documentary film to focus on the body as a political weapon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Take your ego out and throw it on the floor.

After last Digital Culture class I realized that I am doing a piss poor job of keeping this blog up to date with my process and progress. Perhaps it's because of my aversion to blogging.

I am continuing to photograph subjects for the 21 sq ft photo grids that I am now thinking of as portraits. Each one an opened flesh suitcase. Last week I shot someone in the studio at CCAD; today I traveled to Granville and was able to photograph a woman who is 9 months pregnant. While editing the photos this evening I began experimenting with getting closer.

I have not been using a macro lens, as I want to steer clear of the scientific and keep these images metaphysical. I will be making the next grid as a single 7x3 ft print, without text (I had previously been hiding idioms and puns about skin and flesh within the images).

I also continue to forge ahead with the ultrashort videos. It's been slow going and I've shot a ton of footage that I probably won't use. Having been trained in 16mm film, I think I've lost myself in the abundance of limitless video. I am considering imposing time limits and shot lists on myself to see if I can reign this video in. Here is an unedited experiment in humor for "makes my flesh crawl."