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Still from "The Creators of Shopping Worlds" by Harun Farocki (2001) Still from "Global Groove" by Nam June Paik (1973) Still from "Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People" by Kenneth Tin Kin Hung (2007) Still from "Measures of Distance" by Mona Hatoum (1988)
Digital Video Concepts, Aesthetics, and Form

[Project Narrative] [Instructional Narrative]

Project Narrative

This project explores conceptual aspects of digital video production and introduces students to ideas that have relevance to the history of experimental film and video art.  The project was initially developed for a hybrid studio & art history course I created when I taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and design titled TB307: Survey of Experimental Film and Video.  The project is intended as an introduction to concepts and strategies that can be further explored in their art historical context throughout the semester.  This project serves as a way to dive into production with only a brief introductory overview of technical aspects of digital video capture and editing.  I encourage students to explore digital video production using the listed ideas as a point of departure, and encourage in them the same sense of experimentation found in the early pioneers of experimental film and in early video art. 


The Portapak would seem to have been invented specifically for use by artists. Just when pure formalism had run its course; just when it became politically embarrassing to make objects, but ludicrous to make nothing; just when many artists were doing performance works but had nowhere to perform, or felt the need to keep a record of their performances; just when it began to seem silly to ask the […] question, ‘If you build a sculpture in the desert where no one can see it, does it exist?’; just when it became clear that TV communicates more information to more people than large walls do; just when we understood that in order to define space it is necessary to encompass time; just when many established ideas in other disciplines were being questioned and new models were proposed — just then the Portapak became available.


-Hermine Freed (1976)



The assignment prompt given to students is open ended, listing the concepts and strategies, and the students are given little else to begin the project. 


 


Here is the project description:


Digital Video Concepts, Aesthetics, and Form


Create three videos each no longer than 3 minutes in length experimenting with concepts selected from the following list:


•Combine found sound with image (each from separate sources)

•Combine animation with live action

•Use text as a symbol or as an abstract compositional element

•Experiment with image processing and abstraction

•Create a video collage

•Experiment with the concept of linear time

•Perform an action for the camera

•Create a work using appropriated footage

•Experiment with resolution

•Experiment with repetition


The list of concepts and strategies offers many avenues into the work of film and video pioneers; for example the use of appropriated footage and the ideas of the Situationists, or performance and its relationship to modes of documentation in both experimental film and video, or the ways early video artists built and shared new image processing tools.  These concepts and working strategies open up many doors into the work of past artists, and open discussions of their relevance today.


Instructional Narrative

Create three videos each no longer than 3 minutes in length experimenting with concepts selected from the following list:


•Combine found sound with image (each from separate sources)

•Combine animation with live action

•Use text as a symbol or as an abstract compositional element

•Experiment with image processing and abstraction

•Create a video collage

•Experiment with the concept of linear time

•Perform an action for the camera

•Create a work using appropriated footage

•Experiment with resolution

•Experiment with repetition


Contributor(s): Brandon Bauer

Updated date: 04/25/2015 - 15:28

Software: after effects, avid, final cut, garage band, premiere

Hardware: audio recorder, camera, video camera