For my final, I wanted to build on the concepts that we learned when doing the Multiple Self Portrait Project. I had the most fun doing that project all semester and wanted to come up with a way to elaborate on that. I decided on continuing with that concept but also combining each of the “selves” with cinemagraphs. So with each version of myself that I take a photo of, they will each have a corresponding action.
Hour one: Planning
I knew that I wanted to change things up from my previous multiple self portrait, so I tried to come up with spaces that there are many actions that one could do.
During this brainstorming process, I came up with several locations and several things that one could do at each of them.
Hour two: Gathering props
One of the locations that I wanted to go to for pictures was Chatham Manor. I thought it would be fun to show a scene of people having a picnic together. Ultimately, I decided on bringing snacks, playing cards, a book, some sunscreen, and some different sweaters and shirt combinations for all of the versions of me to do while on this “Picnic”.
Hour Three: Going to Chatham
One Friday afternoon, it was super pretty outside so I gathered all of the props and my friend Becca and we headed over to Chatham to have ourselves a “picnic”. I had Becca take the photos for me so that I could reposition myself as needed. We topped off the afternoon with a trip to Carl’s, a Friday afternoon essential.Hour Four: Uploading and sorting through photos
With each position that I took photos in, I had Becca use Burst mode so that it would capture the movement taking place. They were somewhat hard to see with the sunlight outside, so I was able to sit down and look at them more easily on my computer when I came home.
Hour Five: Moving photos to a folder on the USB and beginning Photoshop
After moving all of the photos from my phone to my computer and then ultimately onto my USB, I was able to go to the lab and start working on the actual photoshop portion of the project. Aligning each of the layers took an extremely long time, but then the masking was able to begin! This one was a bit more tricky since it was sunny out, I had to be more mindful of the shadows that each image was casting. I masked the first “me”, which is the one sitting and reading.
Hour Six + Seven: Organization and more planning
After masking the first photo, I then got disoriented and had to walk through the best way to go about the remainder of the project. After 30 mins or so, Jason and I decided that frontloading the project and being exceptionally organized with naming and importing the files would be most helpful. The tentative plan is for each animation to be approximately 12 frames. The remaining photos for that action are sorted into a separate folder so that they can be easily located if I end up needing them after all.
Hour Eight + Nine: Gif making
Before importing all of the photos into photoshop, I wanted to make sure that each of the photos that I had selected worked well together as a gif and were looping. In order to do this, I made GIFs out of each. Each GIF was made with 12 frames of animation.
Hours Ten – Eighteeen: Masking, and more masking
During this time, I went through all 60 frames and masked each action. I then moved all of the first frames of each to the first frame of the timeline and continued that process for the remaining eleven. I rearranged some of the layers so that they would sit properly when viewing the final project.
After playing around with it a bit more, I didn’t like the way the unpacking of snacks looked and took that person out. I also cropped the image to help make it a bit more focused. While the masking isn’t perfect, it turned out pretty okay!
Hour Nineteen: Edits
After posting the GIF to my blog I didn’t like the way some of the masking looked, so I was able to snag one of the Surface Pros in the HCC and use that + a stylus to tweak some of the things in the photo.
Chris Milk got his start working as a photographer and making music videos. However, his work has since drastically progressed beyond that. Milk has since dabbled in virtual reality media, and virtual reality media production, even creating his own company ‘Here be Dragons’. Throughout his career, he has helped direct music videos for many artists, including some of my favorites such as Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Gnarles Barkley.
Many of his pieces are interactive for viewers, such as ‘The Exquisite Forest’, or one of my favorites ‘The Wilderness Downtown’. On his platform of dragons.org, people are able to showcase their virtual reality work. This was super fun to explore because so many of the artists have such different takes on the work that no experience was the same, yet they were all fairly immersive when watching.
March Brambilla is a visual and installation artist who is exceptionally well-known for his use of 3D technology in video art. Some of his work is so large that it utilizes up to 54 screens at a time just to display it, his simulation of the Apollo launch in 2015 is an example of this. One of his pieces, “Civilization” is absolutely wild. Here he pieces together clips from movies in a collage-like way, and it continuously moves in an upward motion to take the viewer to new “locations” everytime. His other piece in the series is “Creation” which takes on a similar concept but instead of moving vertically, the piece moves in a helix type motion. Another piece of his Materialization/De-Materialization, is a series of ripples that’s made out of Star Trek characters. These people are done in stop motion loops, which gives it such a cool visual effect.
Brambilla has been approached by artists such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and even Beyonce’s people to which he turned them all down. He is a firm believer in creating things with meaning as a means of communication.
Pippilotti Rist is a Sweedish-born artist with a focus on audio and video installations. Rist tries to integrate public and private space in hopes of trying to create a space that people can escape to. So many of her video installations are done on a big scale projected onto either walls or ceilings, so that people can come sit or lay down and watch in an all immersive environment.
Many of her works are focused on gender and women, but she hopes that her work can be impactful for all people regardless of gender. Some of her work includes video sculptures, which were my personal favorite. Here the incorporation of video is sometimes more subtle than one would expect. An example of this is her sculpture ‘Receiver’ from 2003.
Nam June Paik is a Koren-born artist who has been named one of the 25 most influential artists of the 20th century. He’s also been referred to as the “father of video art” for his work with video sculptures, television productions, and began using video cameras for his work as early as 1965. His work has been encompassing so many different forms of media and technology over the years, with his work growing and changing as society has as well.
Each of these works are similar in that they’re encompassing some form of television or video, but it’s so fun to see how his work has grown and changed as technological advancements have been made! The Untitled (robot) for example has been done multiple times throughout his career and each time, the parts composing the robot have changed as our technology has evolved.
Evan Roth is an American artist based out of Paris who frequently does internet hacking to allow for his audience to experience moments that take place in public spaces, online or things that have occurred in pop culture. He was created a video for Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn Go Hard” video, has a background in architecture, and made it so that whenever you googled his name ‘bad ass mother fucker’ was the top search result.
All of his works are so interesting because they allow for a sneak peek into someone’s life, especially their time on the internet or how they interact with technology. With the dancing on mobile phones piece, Roth used LED lighting so that only the motions were visible and not the content on the screen itself. It was interesting to see the different strokes that people used to select apps, as well as whether or not the screen was damaged, etc. I also loves the internet cache self portrait because we think of our time and our searches on the internet as very temporary even though all of that information is stored elsewhere. Having all of that data compiled and presented in one location drastically changes the way that people interact with it.
Christian Marclay is a visual artist who works with sound, film and photography and the juxtaposition between all of them. Frequently, he will take musical objects and transform them into a tangible, visual element. His exploration of sound began in 1979 when experimenting with turntables, and has since progressed to create really intricate pieces one of his most notable being ‘The Clock’. Here, Marclay created a 24 hour, looping video that plays in real time so whatever time is being displayed in the video is the same time that would be displayed on your watch. Much of his work builds on previous practices, his Cyanotypes for example comes from cassette tapes that were used frequently in the 80s and is based off of a process that was popular in the 1840s. This integration of work leads to new, and exciting modern pieces.