Thursday, January 28, 2010

photos from the studio

I thought I would post some shots showing the new progress in the studio :)

I installed the spherical forms that I have been making onto the wall of my studio (the pieces are made out of milk jugs, after the milk jugs were cut up and glued back together)...

Some people have commented that they look like pregnancy bellies...


Detail... you can see that the milk jugs are cut into small cellular-looking pieces:


Here are strands of larger milk jug pieces hanging in the adjoining studio:


The 4 x 6 images I printed out for the meeting with Chris Pullman... The images Hannah responded to are in the top two rows... now I have to decide which ones I think are compelling...
I also added a set of these images to my website under the working title "Everything Goes Somewhere" (too vague?)... Check them out: www.courtneymichalik.com

Friday, January 22, 2010

new video

Did: finishing up video/slideshow (2 hrs)
organizing studio, moving stuff into new second studio :) (2 hrs)
cutting plastic (6 hrs)
printing 4x6 images & meeting w/ chris pullman (2 hrs)
gluing plastic pieces & installing/hanging pieces (2 hrs)

Discovered:
video

I definitely realized that I am not happy with the slideshow/video that I made (I am trying to avoid the use of the word 'slideshow'...hah). But I think making it was still valuable. The feedback made me realize that the images might be moving too quickly, making the piece repetitive. Also, the video is definitely, and apparently, lower in quality than the images. The images tend to "pop" out when compared to the video. I love a lot of the qualities of the video, but I feel like the combination of the two is definitely missing something at this point... it just isn't working. If the video quality was higher, I would definitely jump on the chance to expand the video work. However, due to the time constraints of IP I am much more inclined to focus on still images alone. My next step in video work will be experimenting with cross dissolving images VERY slowly into each other.

Another helpful aspect of my video-creation was learning how interested I am in playing with sound. I am becoming much more interested in creating a score of tones and underwater breathing noises to accompany my projected images.

After meeting with Stephanie, I think one of my more immediate steps will be working on some of the physical pieces for installation. I am planning on creating a more complete installation in my second studio space :) images will be coming soon.

Do: I will continue to work on the sculptural pieces and play around with installing them. I am also going to try and experiment with the video and sound portions of my project.

Friday, January 15, 2010

sound?

Did: working on video/slideshow (4 hrs)
organizing plastic materials in my studio (2.5 hrs)
cutting plastic (3 hrs)
scheduling pool time at NCRB (1/2 hr)
distracting myself by researching grants, artist residencies, etc (3 + hrs)

Discovered: while working on the video/slideshow this week I realized that sound could play a really important role, especially if I want my audience to become immersed in an environment... I had thought about using sound before, but I think actually making the video has really influenced me. There were a lot of reactions to the sound of the bubbles from my breathing in the last video and I think I should explore ways to incorporate it. I think progress on the visual aspect of the piece is going well, but I am hoping that feedback during the crit on tuesday will help me out :)

Olivia also sent me this website, which I am excited to explore further:

http://www.messageinthewaves.com/


I also looked up Sigur Ros videos (they are an Icelandic band) after Erica mentioned them. I have loved them ever since I went to Iceland after my freshman year, but I haven't really watched their videos.... This one is particularly relevant to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yjurf5d6X0


Do: Finish up my video/slideshow for Tuesday & work on sound :D

Friday, January 8, 2010

back to school, back to school.

The last semester of my college career has begun! I am feeling positive about the direction my work will be taking this semester. After writing the first draft of my thesis and meeting in a group as a class, I have a good idea of what I need to work on immediately. I have been so focused on creating underwater photographs and figuring out the logistics of this project that I have put the actual presentation of the work on the back burner. I have a feeling that this semester is going to fly by and I need to start actively figuring out how I want to present this project to the public. I am interested in projecting the images... which will allow the images to be much larger than I would be able to do with prints (due to technical problems, cost & space...etc.). As the project has evolved I have also become much more interested in creating a sense of atmosphere in a gallery space... a place where people feel as if they are entering into my work.

For Jan. 19th, I will be showing classmates a projection in a small group critique. I realize that I need to figure out how to show a number of images without them appearing to be a slideshow. I am interested in incorporating some of the small video clips that I have taken... So I am goin
g to start organizing and compiling still images and video in imovie so that I can experiment to get the effect I want. I am hoping that I will be able to get a number of images to flow together into each other. I will also have to address sound and decide how much audio should play into the finished product. It may turn out that imovie won't be the best software to work with for this project, but I am going to use it as a starting point and explore other solutions if problems arise.

I spent my studio time yesterday editing pictures that I haven't given enough attention. I really responded to this image:


It is very different from other images that I have taken this year, but there is something about the way it glows in combination with the movement blur that intrigues me. Without knowing the context of my project I don't know how anyone would know what this is... I feel like the combination of images like this with sound and video could produce the kind of atmosphere that I have been thinking about. I want to create the surreal feeling of being in the water, or in a unfamiliar space with these images...


On another note, I looked at the work of Chris Jordan after my review panel recommended him. I don't know if they were aware of the fact that he just recently completed a project related to the Pacific garbage patch... He went to Midway Atoll where he photographed baby albatross chicks who are being fed plastic particles by their parents on accident. On his website he explains,

"These photographs of albatross chicks were made on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every yea
r tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, none of the plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the untouched stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent."

These photographs were taken from Chris Jordan's website: www.chrisjordan.com

You can view a TED talk of Jordan discussing his work HERE.

I also found images, videos, & writing (including Jordan's) about the garbage patch at this website: www.midwayjourney.com

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I heart Stephen Colbert.

Yesterday Stephen Colbert had Charles Moore (the man who discovered the Pacific garbage patch) on his show. Here is the link to the interview:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/260772/january-06-2010/charles-moore