Saturday, September 19, 2009
Jeremijenko is an artist, a scientist and an engineer who explores the relationship between technology and the natural world, especially in A-Trees. Her works have us question technology and the impact humans have made on the environment. A-Trees gives us a digital representation of an artificial tree that is impacted by its environment with the help of the real-time carbon-dioxide meter. Therefore, we can see the fate of the tree and thus, think about the fate of real trees. "The work's title alludes to artificial life, commonly known as "a-life." If A-trees grow and die in response to their environment, are they in fact alive? Jeremijenko cleverly bridges the real and the virtual, both as a technical feat and as a conceptual gesture, encouraging us to question our understanding of life, and how we might work not only to recreate it digitally, but also to preserve it" (https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/Natalie+Jeremijenko).
I thought the project was successful in comparing the artificial and natural growth of trees and the importance of the environment's impact on the tree's life. It is a new way to think about technology to bring awareness to everyone. In onetrees.org, Jeremijenko has even distributed CDs with the software to grow a synthetic tree on your computer desktop as part of her OneTrees Project.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
In The Reflecting Pool, the camera is completely static as we watch the movement from the man and the pool. An article from Experimental Cinema states that "all movement and change in an otherwise still scene is confined to the reflections on the surface of a pool in the woods. Suspended in time, a man hovers in a frozen, midair leap over the water, as subtle techniques of still-framing and multiple keying join disparate layers of time into a single coherent image. Viola writes that 'the piece concerns the emergence of the individual into the natural world -- a kind of baptism.''
In the video, sound is very apparent from airplanes and the movement of water which adds to the natural elements that is very important in his works. The lighting of the video is also mostly natural light reflected from the sun onto the scene. However, I found it interesting in that the video portrays different times of the day with darker and lighter depictions even if the video is around 7 minutes long. Therefore, with the use of technology, the sense of time is shown at a quicker pace than the slower movement of the subject we see. This and the frozen images with simultaneous moving images are correlated with the natural setting which makes the video almost surreal. I also found this video to be very meditative, which reflects on Viola's themes of human consciousness, perception, and experiences (www.billviola.com) in many of his videos. The video also seems like a journey for the man in that he is in deep contemplation as his reflection moves in the pool. Viola states that it is like a baptism, in that the man is naked and clean coming out of the pool at the end and then he goes back to where he originally came from. Jessica Boch in a critical essay states that, "this film made you think about the process of human thought. How everything doesn't need to physically be shown to know they are there."
I found that many of Viola's videos start off very slow-paced and so it takes a lot of patience to watch. However, when you are least expecting anything to happen, suddenly there is a subtle shift in images and movement which was one of the most exciting aspects about the video. Also, Viola's approach in portraying moving images was more unexpected to me as a viewer and so it fits into the idea of new media in that he uses technology to explore the human condition and how we think about what is portrayed in front of us (https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/New+Media+Art+-+Introduction). If you watch The Quintet of the Astonished, paying attention to the subtle changes in the actor's expression is important in noticing what the actor's are trying to portray in slow motion. By putting the video in slow motion, Viola is successful in allowing the viewer to think more about what they're watching and what it means to them.
Bill Viola talks about his exhibition in Venice.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I took a Photoshop workshop for a week a few summers ago so I hope I'll remember some of the techniques. I'm excited to learn more about digital artists and I hope to become more comfortable with the techniques.