Artist Statement for Senior Thesis Exhibition

April 16, 2009 at 4:54 pm (Art 466 Blog Post)

Last day of class! There has been so much going on over the past few weeks, and for anyone that has been following my blog, I thought you might want to read my final artist statement regarding my Senior Exhibition.

PRESERVE TO MAINTAIN

In life I have found that there are many things you come to pass that are antiquated. These certain belongings that have evolved are, to some extent, inadequate. One such item is the camera. Photography equipment from the 1960’s to the early 2000’s has been replaced by new digital technology. Film cameras are now mostly retired due to the process of developing and due to environments moving quickly toward a future where time is of the essence. Those who might wish to use the “older style” certainly must not only possess the patience for the laborious process of film development, but also must appreciate the nostalgia that is film photography.

Over the past few years, I have developed a fascination with the forgotten equipment exiled in old boxes, living their last days on dusty shelves. As I find them, I enjoy puzzling out how they operate, I think about the memories they created or even the events they captured at some point during their previous life. One thing is for certain: Although the photographs from these cameras will not last forever, the memories and the nostalgia have a much better chance at survival.

So, I started asking myself how to combine memories and cameras. How can they become static forms?

I started purchasing this equipment from garage sales and antique shops. I accumulated a large box of antique film cameras. Some date back to the 1950’s. The idea: create a personal connection out of actually collecting together these cameras I had found. What had these old things been witness to? What mysterious histories those others had recorded… certainly a myriad of different uses with the cameras. Who used them really? What was I going to do with all these cameras other than let them collect dust on another shelf or in another box? My first instinct after examining all the cameras inside and out was to cut them in half. This decision came about from the idea that most see a camera, load film into it, snap the shot and get the film developed. My fascination with the guts of the cameras started to be more prevalent when I would hold and experiment with the cameras. My curiosity turned into an aspiration to show a view of these cameras that would portray a range of developing technology overtime in an unexpected way. These cameras have been transformed into an altered artifact that will only last for a short, though indeterminate, period of time.

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April 13th, 2009

April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm (Art 466 Blog Post)

Wow! This semester has flown by. My Senior Thesis Exhibition opens tomorrow, I have a 5-6 minute presentation due at 4:30, and a 10 page paper due on the 23rd. Time flies. I will graduate on May 3rd, well as long as I pass all my classes! Anyway, I have spent the last two semesters working on my final project. As of 11:00 am today, the project is finished. I installed the pieces on the project table in the gallery today. The biggest weight on my shoulders has been lifted. Now all I can seem to think about is my presentation tomorrow. It is amazing what you learn from school and fellow students. I have learned how to be confident about my work, whether it is good or bad. I have taught myself how to own the things/pieces/work that I produce. My final project started as a physical history of the film camera… that proceeded to turn into cutting cameras in half as a way to show their “guts”. I toyed around with resin, which did not work the way I had intended. Now this project has five objects. Each objects has an outer side of plexi glass. The inner parts are comprised of a camera that has been cut in half and the rest of the volume is Know Gelatin. The gelatin is somewhat translucent. This way I was able to set the cameras inside of something that would keep them from moving. They will eventually mold which will make for a more interesting look. Regardless, I love the progress that I made and the experiements that I made.

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Digital Video_Final Video

April 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Video Projects)

This video is a final project for my video class at UTC. I used two cameras, a song from the actor’s band and imovie to complete the video. This idea was something that came about from wearing Nike’s and spending too much time on a farm with friends.

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March 24th, 2009

April 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm (Art 466 Blog Post)

Outside of school, I try to involve myself in events that happen around town. For instance, I volunteered to take pictures of an event that happened at the Hunter Museum of American Art in March. The event was Hunter Underground which was put on by the Avant Art Committee. This event was a silent auction with food provided my Events with Taste and music for the evening was provided by “Jaggered Edge”, a Rolling Stones cover band. The event seemed to be a great success. Sort of posting pictures of people that I have not asked permission from, here are some of the pictures from the event. These pictures are mostly of the setup and band.

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April 7th, 2009

April 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm (Art 466 Blog Post)

So, back to the drawing board. I spent the last week experimenting with new mediums to use to set the cameras. The idea of leaving the cameras in something as a way of preserving lends itself to thinking of a medium that can enclose the cameras in a way that can be picked up and handled. Those ideas took me to thinking about ice blocks. The original idea was that the cameras would be able to sit somewhere forever. Yet the idea of revealing the cameras over time seemed appropriate. So, I built a box filled it with water, left it to freeze for a day and then removed the box from the frozen block and watched it melt for 3 days. As time went on, the ice started to melt and the two sides of the camera slowly started to appear through the ice. Here is an image of the block.

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March 31st, 2009

April 7, 2009 at 5:42 pm (Art 466 Blog Post)

Over the few weeks, I have been experimenting with my handful of cameras. How to make them live. what to use to carry through the experience I would like to gain from this project. resin, ice, gelatin, which medium to use? My show opens on the 14th of April and I have hit more bumps in the road than I had anticipated. Life, right. Well for this post I have decided to show the images of the resin and the camera together. The resin turned out great in theory. The resin is clear like I wanted it to be. The problem is that the resin decided to crack in a million different places. However, these cracks are spontaneous and very interesting. The problem is that the cracks take away from the camera. So, if I wanted to focus on cracks, I would have succeeded. So, I am back to the drawing board. Here is an image of the camera set in resin, cracks and all.
dsc_8867

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Einstein’s Dreams

March 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm (Video Projects)

This video is a response to an excerpt from the book Einstein’s Dreams 25 JUNE 1905. I took that idea of walking down the street playing a violin to another level. The response was due to the idea of walking around with so many other things going on. The idea of time speeding up and time slowing down was also a huge influence to the video.

The second video is a response from chapter 11 MAY 1905.

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March 16th, 2008

March 19, 2009 at 12:05 am (Art 466 Blog Post)

So, after the cameras were cut and cleaned up- the multi step project begins. Each camera has been sized according to the position that it will live in each “mold” or “relic”. These sizes are tight fitting to the cameras. The idea is that there will not be too much free space around the cameras for the resin to live. They will live tight in the resin. I was trying for the resin to not overcome the idea of the cameras as relics, moments in time, and or a memory. These molds are made out of white board or mess-amine. These boards have a smooth surface that will allow for the resin to not take shape or texture of the mold. Each camera has been broken into three size categories. These categories seem to be the best fit for each camera. Once each mold is made, I will have to seal the edges, just to make sure that there will be no resin that leaks outside of the molds. The resin that is being used has a tendency to melt other products once the catalyst is adding as the heating agent which allows the resin to dry.
Each of these molds are finished. I have left a picture of one mold which will be used for the Golden Eye camera. The next post I have should be a a final product. Camera as object and camera as relic.

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Digital Video_Project 5

March 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm (Video Projects)

This video is a reproduction of a scene from Clerks 2. This scene is supposed to recreate an argument from a previously recorded video. However, I chose to recreate a scene that shows a battle in conversation, but not necessarily a screaming battle.

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March 2nd, 2009

March 3, 2009 at 6:04 am (Art 466 Blog Post)

Now, for the messy part. When cutting the cameras in half, pieces tend to fly off, fall off and completely disappear. So, I now have nine cameras cut in half, and 18 objects to fit back together, clean up around the edges and clean up. The plastic that is used in the cameras has a tendency to fray in all different directions. The plastic has also melted in a few places where the blade took longer to fully cut through the camera. As part of the tools I would need to complete this project, I decided that a Dremel tool would be a great investment. The first camera that I cut in half a few months ago was made mostly of plastic. The newer the camera, the more metal used. So the more recent cameras, like this pictured here took longer to cut, leaving all shorts of frayed and melted plastic. Since cutting the final cameras, I have been spending time sanding the edges of the cameras, finding missing pieces and cleaning the cameras. All of these steps are preparing me for the final stage of the project; the resin. Once I finish cleaning all the cameras, I will then decide how many final shapes that cameras will be molded into. These shapes will all be generally the same, the only thing that will change is the size. I have decided to go with two to three different sizes. I feel that this way, I will be able to add some depth to the project table that these objects will live on in the exhibition. So for now, I hope you enjoy the mess I am making. Hopefully next time you will see the beginning stages of the mold and the resin.

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