Almost There

In just a few days I'll be off on the whirlwind adventure that is sure to be the New Media Trip. I've been alternating between nervous and excited for the past week or so: nervous because I've never done anything like this before, and excited because I've never done anything like this before.

This summer I've been a terrible blogger, but a pretty good new media student. I was fortunate enough to go to parts of ZeroOne, which majorly boosted my confidence. As I've mentioned, I have a pretty crappy high art background, and a lot of the descriptions flew right over my head, so I decided it'd be a good idea to give myself a bit more exposure before diving headfirst into the New Media World. I dragged two of my friends to "Live Cinema Nights" where artists mixed and created video art live. The first piece was everything I had been dreading about video art. The artists took footage from what looked like movies shown at Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in fact one of my friends recognized a clip from "Puma Man" ) and Indian soap operas, and occasionally matted in modern faces from some kind of interview, and looped them together in a haphazard fashion with a soundtrack of grating noises. This might have been interesting for a shorter piece, or one with more direction, but this went on for about half an hour too long. Bleah.

The next show didn't look particularly promising either. It was called "Aquavision" and seemed to consist of a guy dunking his head in a tank of water. Joy of all Joys, I know.

But, somehow it was completely fascinating. Part of that could be due to the enthusiasm of the artist. He ran up to the front of the room, stripped down to a speedo and told everyone to buy drinks and join him in nakedness. Nobody I could see took him up on the latter, but it didn't get him down. He ran up behind a curtain and um, dunked his face into a tub of water, which was projected onto the wall. I found myself entranced by how his hair floated or what weird crinkly shapes his nose made smushed up against the glass. He was clearly having fun exploring his environment and we had fun watching it. The piece had a suprising number of levels for a guy smushing his face against glass underwater. It went from the inane to the hypnotic to the frentic and back again to the absurd. It was marvelous. And not at all what I expected, thank goodness.

The other piece that night was beautiful, too. An artist used a small, top mounted camera, some text, images, and a flashlight to create what looked like sophisticated digital animation. It took me until about halfway through the piece to realize she was putting this together live three feet away from me. I really want to know how she created the effects she did with just a page of text and a flashlight. I may need to play with this.

And fortunately, I'm going to have the chance to. I doubt I'll be literally immersing myself in a vat of anything for the sake of art, but who knows? Holy crap, this will be sweet.

In other news...


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