Thursday, March 18, 2010

Duet

The performance is over, but this project is not. The actual result was a little too glitchy for my liking, so I'm pushing to have this on my senior composition recital to work out the kinks. The basic problem was in the glasses: those damned things have been giving me trouble from the start. The feedback increased way too fast because the patch I built was getting signals from the glasses at the wrong times. BLAH.

However, my goal was accomplished. I gave people an experience they'd never had. Now if I can execute it perfectly, it might even provoke some thought as well. But at least I made some magic.

To sum up what I did throughout this course:

a) I downloaded and cut down clips from "A Girl's Guide to 21st Century Sex," a British mini-series. I removed only the shots taken from inside the vagina and ame up with exactly 3 minutes of footage. Here's the show:

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b) I worked with John Mayrose to put together this Max patch:

the counter is for the performers (Chris Dorn and Elyse Lucas). In the top left are the "start" and "end" buttons. The inputs can be seen in a row on the top and the green boxes below those are the sensors that recognized signal from the 1/4" cable and the contact mics.

c) I put together the domestic scene with plates, glasses, silverware, tablecloth and meatloaf all included. Chris, Elyse and I had a few rehearsals (without too much glitch) before finally putting on the show last night:


I wrote in the course evaluations for the course that it represents everything I thought I would be getting when I signed on for four years of a liberal arts education. Freedom of expression, inspiration, and expert guidance. Thank you John and Julie for giving me an experience I've never had.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life Down Under

Librarians and collectors are the most important people for the arts. At the very moment things are happening, it is impossible to sift through the endless piles of music and photographs and paintings and general artistic output. Every day more crap (I'm using this term in the most positive way) gets dumped into the 'cultural atmosphere.' It can feel like white noise...pollution. How can you even come close to getting a grasp on the world's artistic output in as little s a day, much less a year or decade.

That's why we have people like James Danky. They collect things so we can sift through them later. Or other people can sift through them for us. But all of this sifting, none-the-less, is made possible by people who take that initial interest and deem something "worthy of collecting."

I think "best of" lists are pretty funny. Especially one's about the year we just came through. Basically, the only artistic output the writers of such lists have to go off of is the most advertised. Whether a particular item has been blogged about the most, or been sold in the most stores, the most popular items of the year always get dubbed the best of, regardless of their actual artistic merit.

Later on, though, things get "rediscovered" and artists that weren't so popular during their prime are shot up to the pedestal. It's way hip.

It's hip to know the most popular artists of our time but it's hipper to know the unpopular artists from before our time. Funny. I'm not sure which is more obnoxious.