Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Journey of a Duck Response

                The visual effect that struck me the most was the use of landscape and spacing in the “Journey of the Duck,” video.  The way in which the film was shot gave subtle yet effective visual cues to the ducks location with regards to campus. This allowed for the viewers to enjoy the film as a journey, but also to focus on other aspects of the video, such as the song and pacing. If the visual cues were less subtle I feel as if the duck would have not been the focus of the video, therein detracting from the purpose of the video.
                The actual distance covered in the video is relatively small. It would take a boat less than 10 min to traverse the route taken by the duck, however due to the way the duck was shot with regards to its environment, the distance the duck was travelling seemed almost endless. I am very impressed with how space was handled in the video and I believe that handling of space elevated this video to another level.  I believe that the way that the sense of space was accomplished was by using the zoom and situating the duck off center. By not zooming too much, the duck appeared smaller in reference to its surrounding environment. Perhaps the most effective method was not centering the duck in every scene. By allowing the duck to remain at the bottom of the frame the duck was dwarfed by the background environment. The dwarfing effect would not have been as intense, in my opinion, if the duck was centered on the screen.
                I think that the simplest aspects of the “Duck Journey” video were by far the most effective. The random cuts, and even the music were outdone by the subtle and informative visual cues and editing choices. I thought this video was a great example of movies/videos being effective visual media because I think that visual communication predominated in the video.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mid Term Discussion

The first half of the semester has been very beneficial. I did not know what to expect coming into the course. Time is an interesting topic because it is hard to define and means so many things to so many people. I had so many different thoughts about what the class could be like and what the topic of time would cover. I was very happy when in class we began discussing time and we came to so many conclusions about what time could be. I couldn’t think of a concrete definition of time, and it made me feel good knowing that basically everybody else in the world had the same issue I did.
Before starting this class I also was unsure about how time could be expressed through art. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to conceptualize something that I couldn’t clearly define, and something so elusive like time.  Luckily through class discussions and the viewing of many different artists and artworks, I begun to not only see how one can express time through artistic medium but I really began to appreciate art itself on a higher level I think.
Now I realize that my last sentence may sound a bit cheesy but I really think that it is true. I came into this class with not much prior knowledge about looking at art and creating meaningful artworks. Previously art was just something I looked at on a French fieldtrip, or something that I found attached to the walls of academic buildings. But after trying to conceptualize time and define time in my mind and through words, and failing at that, art and one of the purposes of creating art really began to make sense to me. Art allowed others to conceptualize time in a way that made sense to me. It wasn’t words that allowed me to begin to understand time but it was visual media that really got me thinking about time in different ways.  I think that this “realization” was one of the most beneficial aspects of the first half of the semester. I can see now why this class is an intro level class, the basic knowledge and the basic ability to look at art and appreciate why art is around, is crucial to those studying art. I wish that I had taken this class prior to taking Into to Drawing. While I took a lot out of that class, I feel as if I would have taken a whole lot more out of it knowing what I know now.
Aside from my very deep realization, this course thus far has also had other benefits. I enjoy our look into different artistic media. I think it is very beneficial and very interesting to look at the many different ways that artists can represent time. I think that the flip books are a great example. I never would have thought about flip books as an art form, first of all. Second of all, flip books seem to be a great media for representing time and commenting on time. This is something that I never would have thought of, but was something that I was exposed to. Comic books are a similar example. The reading on comic books was so interesting and really made me think about a media that I was familiar with. The dissecting of the techniques used in comic books, especially in relation to time, was a great learning experience. Comic books are a media that I never would really associate with time, but after the reading I now see just how great they can be at conveying time, and altering the readers perception of time.
            Overall this course thus far has been a great exposure to art, and how to interpret, read, and make art. It really has been successful at exposing me to the idea of time and the ways in which artist have and continue to go about dealing with this difficult and meaningful subject matter. I look forward to the rest of the semester, and what I will learn.