Friday, March 11, 2011

Systematic Destruction

Well, the term is over and my final project was publically viewed at Lawrence University today. Jinglie and I worked extremely hard for ten weeks to construct this music video. I truthfully think the ending result was beyond amazing. It was a joy to work with Jinglie, he really is stylish in everything he does. To Azati Williams and Corey Torres, the artists who helped create the song, I thank  you as well. This video was such a major collaboration assignment and I enjoyed every moment of it. The rendering on Final Cut Express was not always fun, but it was worth it.  

Strikes our nation making it,
Better? No. Far worse.
“Systematic Destruction” is the title the music video Jinglie and I showed for our final piece. The video begins with a poetry slam between myself and Azati Williams. During the poetry slam, we chose to keep the background black and have different words that were being spoken appear in the background. I think this aspect of the video was captivating, intriguing and creative. Once this part of the video was over, we entered into the actual music video section of the video. Throughout the video we showed various parts of Chicago along with different alleys and graffiti images. The video was very stylish, full of color, and still delivered the overall message. Check out the video on Youtube

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hype and Us

This week I researched an artist that related to my final project. Harold “Hype” Williams is a well known music video director today and has been for close to twenty years. He was born in Queens, New York in 1970. Hype attended an art and music high school and completed some of college. There is not much background information on Hype as a child. However, the work he has created through the years is absolutely incredible! His style and concept he places in all of his videos are intriguing to watch. As a student, I can only wish and hope to be as successful as Hype is today, seeing that I want to pursue the same profession.
In class, we presented a brief presentation about our artist we chose to research. I chose to show this video by Hype that stirred up some conversation among my peers. I chose this video because it related the most to the concept of out video. Gentrification is a serious issue, and so are the Blood Diamonds in Sierra Leone.  Check it out.

Hype is also known for directing singer/actor Aaliyah’s last video titled “Rock the Boat”. Shortly after the shoot was over her plane crashed as she was heading back to the states from an island on the Atlantic coast. Here is her last video before she passed, directed by Hype.

Another aspect that Hype did really well was market himself through artists’ videos. I think this is really clever. Here is a video where his name constantly is flashing through the production.

I can go on and on with videos by Hype. Research says that he has made 196 videos in counting and that is not including some of his most recent work, like “Turn off the Lights” by Kanye West ft. Rihanna and “Not Myself Tonight” by Christina Aguilera. He is truly a remarkable artist. I only wish our work will turn out just as successful.

On another note, I thought that Kristen was a great guest earlier this week. She was perfect for many of us to hear from, especially the seniors. I have had trouble trying to decide what my next steps would be once I graduated from Lawrence. It was great to get some insight from an alumni that is just getting her foot in the door. She gave great advice, and was just an overll cool person.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gentrification video

This week I did not look into any major artists. Instead, I focused more on my own project that will be premiering March 11, 2011 in the cinema at Lawrence University. Jinglie and I have had an entire week of editing, but for some reason I do not feel like we are far enough in this process. However, I am currently in Chicago getting some more shots for our video. All together we have about two more studio filming sessions with the green screen, and one day to do straight shots of different scenes. Jinglie really has this massive, stylish vision for our music video. I do as well, but I focus more on the content than the style. We both have a similar vision; we are just focusing on different aspects of it. I think our ideas are creative and inspiring. With both of our intellect combined, we will create a video that makes a statement and is still full of style.
On a different note, our product is complete and on sale at We are selling posters online for 9.95. Please go on to this website and check out the design we created on Photoshop. Here is what the poster looks like, with the exception of a few titles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Internet Exploding

So this week I read articles by Jorge Borges, Bill Viola, and Tim Berners-Lee. After reading their points of view of the Internet, I was not at all in shock. What I received from the readings was that the Internet would soon power our society. Were they wrong? Think about it. At Lawrence University, when the network is down for hours, students and faculty both are loosing their minds. Sad, but it is true.

The World Wide Web is so much more advanced today; it can link so many different themes in one passage, like a blog. I sit here and think about the different social networking spaces that are available to the world, and how hypertext and HTML have both contributed to the Internet exploding the way it has. For the purpose of my final project, we have to come up with a product and sell it. Jinglie, my partner, and I have decided to create posters and T-Shirts and sell them at a launch party. In order for any of this to be successful, we desperately need the Internet. The web is this cycle that our society tends to rely on. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ray and Mary Jane Jacob

Ray Johnson and Mary Jane Jacob both struck me as impressive artists in the 20th and 21st century. In my previous blogs I have explained how I can appreciate experimental art, however some pieces I can not connect with on a personal level. With Johnson and Jacob's work, I can relate to many of their pieces, which makes their work more enjoyable for me.

After watching, "How to Draw a Bunny", a documentary about Ray Johnson, I took a trip with my class to Depere, Wisconsin to visit a "Ray Johnson Art Gallery" in a man's bathroom. Bizarre? Yes, it seemed that way to me as well. However, after taking the trip I was excited about Ray Johnson all over again. I enjoyed Johnson's collages that he formed through silhouettes of different artists and ordinary people. He was extremely talented, but some of his work, I couldn't understand. I am starting to be more understanding to art that I do not understand, but some art still is just way out there.

Mary Jane Jacob is that artist I have been looking foward to reading and hearing from all term. Jacob came to Lawrence University to speak about different collaborations she has done and her experiences as a whole in the art industry. I particulary found her work with the Charleston area to be really touching. Basically, she collaborates with different artists and they express different emotions that are still present post Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. She spoke about a plantation home that still has its space in that town, yet other homes are being torn down. This related first hand with my project. The issues of gentrification in Chicago has its similarities to some of Jacob's work, which made it more interesting to listen to.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life Is Art

Allan Kaprow is an interesting character that I learned about this past week. Last week, I briefly discussed the fluxus movement and what it meant to be a fluxus artist. I have not come across many fluxus artists in my studies here at Lawrence, but I can say I enjoy it. It is something different, and outside of “the box”. Some people may wonder how could I possibly enjoy Kaprow’s work and not like Bueys from last week. Honestly, there is something about Kaprow’s work that is intriguing in a way, involving his audience in his pieces. Bueys was just simply disgusting. I understand that his work was relating to his emotional pain from being imprisoned and involved in WWII, which possibly is why I cannot relate to it. One piece I didn’t like of Kaprow’s was the housewives licking the jam off of the car. I personally think it’s entertaining and captivating, but I am a firm believer in things being sanitary as well. Art can be beautiful and magnificent without being gross.
Kaprow is a performance artist in a different way. When you think of performance art, one would think of some sort of action being done by the artist, like in my piece. In my final project, Jingle and I are piecing together a poetry performance piece with a music video. In both of those pieces, we have artists performing for the audience. In Kaprow’s pieces, the audience is the art itself. I find that to be intriguing, but I think it can only be done once. If another artist was to try to duplicate Kaprow, I wouldn’t consider it art.  

Here is an example of some spoken word poetry, and the type of performance art we will deliver through video.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Beuys Art

Joseph Beuys is complicated. There is not one word that can really describe him as a person, or his work. The idea of Fluxus is basically any and everything in life is art. As an artist, I can appreciate other artists and their works, but the idea of Fluxus is hard to accept as true art. Perhaps I look at life like I am human first, and an artist second. The very things that humans take for granted in everyday  life is what some consider to be art. I can appreciate this idea, at the same time I firmly disagree with it.

What is art to one person can be complete garbage to another. Take for instance my project; Many people can agree with me that a music video and poetry are both pieces of art. The type of music that I recorded for this project is Hip-Hop. Some people truly admire the music and really enjoy it, while others can not stand the very sound of it. Similar to Beuys, although some do not enjoy Hip-Hop, they can not deny that it is a form of art. Outside of this, there is not much of a connection between my piece and Beuys's style of art.

Beuys has my respect as an artist, but I dislike his work. One piece I just could not wrap my head around is the "Dead Hare" piece. I did not see any point at all in this piece, and it was rather disgusting. Here is a picture.