Chapter 4 Response

What domains is video art now extending into?

Video art is extending beyond just documentations or capture and into the realm of animation, virtual reality, installation, and film elements.

Animation and virtual reality allow the artist to create worlds that don’t exist. This heightens the visual experience for the viewer because it is something that they can’t see elsewhere; it requires more of their thoughts to process it.

Installation allows the artist to connect with the viewer and give them a unique but regulated experience.  It takes the dimensions of the piece one step deeper and draws in the viewer, rather than allowing them to walk through uneffected.

Film is making a bigger splash in video art these days, many artists are no longer looking to solely recreate and document the world, but rather looking to enhance the visuals and make it look more like big budget production.  This is reflected in both the recording mechanisms used and the way they are edited and displayed.

• What kinds of issues are artists exploring in this “ extended video art medium”?

Virtual Separation: Artists have explored visual relationships between people through the use of video.  Manglano-Ovalle explored the separation between two people in very close vicinity to one another.  It defines class distinction and how attention plays a role in the separation between these two.

Using multiple screens also allows for representing different parts of a whole, such as in Aitken’s electric earth.  This piece explores life lived in the shadows through close up shots displayed on multiple screens. It gives the viewer a 360 like approach to someone’s life full of different things they might not ever see or think about.

• State some differences between video art at its inception in the 1960s and video art today.

Video art is becoming more cinematic and with that brings a disregard fort he unique characteristics of video.  In the 60s and 70s video art was used to capture immediacy in a relatively cheap way as opposed to film, which was expensive and didn’t capture the same essence of life that video did.  Now that this phase is passing and film like qualities are becoming more easily accessible for artists, the way that we think of ‘video art’ is looking a lot more like cinema.

• Why are some video artists motivated to work with appropriated films?  Or what issues does appropriated film enable artists to explore?

Some video artists are working with appropriated footage to create their art.  This gives a different dimension because the artist is challenged to take something that the viewer knows and recognizes and either make some critique of it, or make it looks like nothing like the original.

• What is Installation Art?

Installation Art is where artists use many methods to create an environment for the viewer to enter into in a literal sense.  It creates physical participation on the part of the viewer, rather than the passive response that is sometimes required by other works.  Installations can be multiple rooms or require the participants to do some sort of action, but either way it forces them to connect with the piece.  This is effective because it keeps people from merely walking by and glancing at the painting and walking on, it takes them in and makes them think about it, or at least participate.

• What is the meaning of Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase “ The medium is the message?”

The medium is the message deals with the way that something is displayed gives it more or less meaning.  This relates to video art because it can take on different effects or draw the viewer in more based on what steps are taken in creating the video.  Film feels different to the viewer than video does; it is more pulled together and gives a cinematic feel whereas video feels more documentative in nature.  This changes how the viewer perceives the piece, something that is film may come off as fiction, whereas a video might come off as real life due to its documentative qualities.  Installation also has a big effect on the medium as the message.  If there are additional factors used to draw in the reader they will perceive the message differently.  Viewing a video is one thing, but if things are flying at you or crawling on you during an exhibit your perception and take away from that will be very different even if the video hasn’t changed.


Cinepoem Idea

For my cinepoem I want to explore a depth of emotion consisting of fear, sorrow and ultimately love. I don’t want to be literal about any of these, and what I have in mind is definitely more visual than I can put into words. I want the feeling and color to be dark, but cut with scenes of light. It will focus on the emotional process, but not in order, rather the scattered format of our minds as human beings.  This piece wasn’t necessarily inspired by, nor do I want to focus or use this as an example, but the song Bloody Mary by Lady Gaga gives the sort of emotion I want to portray.  It is raw and sad, but powerful and rhythmic. I don’t want to use this score, but I would like to mimic some of the sounds in my own way.  I am planning to use a few different women in this piece because I want to focus on the female mind and it’s eccentricities. I don’t plan to use any spoken words, but mostly sounds and utterances that represent what I want to get across.

I’ve posted the link to the song on YouTube to give you a better idea of the mood.  I am particularly interested in the part from 2:33 to 3:12.

Visual Relationships Reflection

Our most recent assignment dealt with visual relationships and how to use advanced tools in final cut to achieve desired results.  For critique this time around we each viewed all of one person’s videos and gave specific comments about what worked well and what wasn’t as strong.

The first piece was a triptych, which featured images of a young woman walking through a forest of trees with side lighting and ambient noise.  I wanted to give this a sort of nostalgic/romantic feeling, but also like she’s does this everyday, it’s routine. I think that the imagery was well achieved, but myself and my critic agree that it would be nicer if there wasn’t as much camera shake especially on the beginning shots. The lighting works well because it was shot in early morning which allowed for maximum saturation of color.

The second piece was supposed to involve textual elements. I used the text as sort of a fade effect where it started as showing the video and ended up being words on video and then on black.  My critic thought this was my weakest image because the audio was distracting and the image wasn’t as compelling.  I think that if I were to shoot this again I would have a better idea about how to meld the text and the image because I think the way I moved the text is really cool, but needs to be further thought through.

The third piece involves layering and the manipulation of two images as they work together. I chose to create piece that used a soft wandering girl on teh bottom and replace the sky with a highly filtered image of car running by at night.  The lights sort of looked like shooting stars and gave it an other worldly glow.  My critic liked the juxtaposition of these two, but was unsure about the audio and how it corresponded to the piece. I think that if I were to go back and look at it I would take more time to make sure the audio didn’t sound like it wasn’t supposed to be there and more like it was purposeful.  I also was a little displeased with how the top portion was filtered and I would like to spend more time on getting it the correct amount of blur that I wanted.

The fourth piece was color manipulation. I choose to work with one of my old clips of water being filled into a glass and play with the 3 way color corrector and key framing.  This gave it a surreal quality, you couldn’t really tell what you were looking at anymore. I added this with the same audio it had before plus a few audio filters.  I think that by keeping the original audio and only tweaking it I can away with a stronger piece because the audio matched up completely.  My critic agreed on this point and also like how the colors moved from dark to light so that you couldn’t tell what it was a many points.

The last video was an obnoxious video using at least 5 or more filters.  I used a shot of traffic lights at night going from red to green to yellow. I blurred them and added a few more filters to alter the image, then put on kaleidoscope which gave the pretty designs.  I followed that with tile which divided it into parts and then to crystallize for the fragmented effect and strobe to make it flash.  I reversed and layer the audio to give this annoying high pitch sound mixed with foreign jumble.  I think the image that was created by these filters was effective because you couldn’t tell what it was, yet it was mesmerizing and annoying all at the same time.  I think, as well as my critic, that the audio really enhanced the overall feel of the video because it brought your mind out of the trance that was created by the video.


Overall I really liked working on this project, I think that video is giving me the opportunity to really explore multidimensional works and express themes that are harder to achieve on paper.