Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Movie Posters

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Project Assignment: Spirit of the Times Movie Poster

As we have read: "An episteme is an accepted, dominant mode of acquiring and organizing knowledge in a given period of history. Understanding the work of signs is an important means to identifying the episteme or dominant world view of an era. Each period of history has a different episteme--that is, a different predominant way of ordering things or of organizing and representing knowledge about things." (POL 149)

Our text discusses films such as Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929), which "captured life on the streets of Russia as viewed through the eyes of this 'spinning top' [translation of the name Vertov] cinematographer," as well as examples of French Poetic Realism and Italian neorealism. These styles relied on different formal and aesthetic conventions to evoke the real. Each style of realism expressed a particular worldview that vies with other realisms and other worldviews in particular social contexts. (POL 147-149)
  • Find images of posters for at least three movies that you think carry an essence of the time in which they were made and post them on your blog. Present movie poster research in class on Monday, October 26. Be prepared to talk about how the posters' styles create expectations about the film it advertises.
  • During class on the 26th you will work in small groups to brainstorm an imaginary movie that you think embodies a dominant world view for our era. A good way to start is to make a list of things (events, trends, issues, technology, images etc.) that you think are representative of the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Then use these to fashion a film synopsis (samples abound on the web). Be democratic! These do not need to be long but should have basic information about plot, character, setting. Synopsis due on Wednesday, October 28.
  • Once you have a synopsis to work from, each one of you (individually) will design your own movie poster (11"x17") to advertise your group's proposed film. You may use collage, drawing, painting, photo, digital means or any combination. Think about how each element in your poster conveys something about your "film truth" and, by extension, the "truth" of our era. Movie posters due Monday, November 2.

For Monday 10/26: Discuss Cooley exhibition; movie poster research (on blog) & list of trends, important events, issues, etc. Group work session.

For Wednesday 10/28: Read POL pp. 151-180; movie synopsis due. Quiz on current reading only (no midterm). View "A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China."

For Monday 11/2: Movie Posters due, presentations & discussion. "On the Spot" Manifestos

Week 4b: Cooley Gallery Field Trip

Wednesday, October 21 at 2:30 we will meet at Reed College's Cooley Gallery to view The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body. This selection of Old Masters drawing from the collection of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento presents us with an opportunity to consider how image-making is shaped by and in turn shapes "knowledge" in different eras and different cultures. When you arrive, take some time to look through the drawings, thinking about our text's discussion of "realism."

Stephanie Snyder, director of the Cooley, will talk with us about the exhibition and about the role and art of curating. After our talk with Stephanie, I'll give more information about the next project assignment. Directions to the gallery (street map and bus line info) is in the resource list at left.

For Monday, write a blog post reflecting on the exhibition, specifically how changing conventions for depicting the human body through various eras up to the present reflect changing world views of the different historical periods. For additional work due Monday, see Movie Poster Assignment Post above.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Quote

This is the quote I couldn't quite remember when we talked in the gallery about the A3 series:

“It’s not that we mistake photographs for reality; we prefer them to reality. We cannot bear reality, but we bear images....”

David Levi Strauss, Between The Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture, 2003), p. 185.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Quote for our last discussion

In relation to our conversation in the Art Gym about the ownership of images and ideas of appropriation I came across this...

"According to Jean Baudrillard “the work of art is not threatened by its double.” Bootlegs and interpretations should consequently accelerate the circulation of ideas." - vvork.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Week 4: Man with a Movie Camera

For Monday, October 19, we are back to Practices of Looking. Read Chapter 4, pages 141-150. We will have a quiz, look at clips of some of the films discussed in the text and talk about the next project. You will also present your Image/Text Hunt exercises to the class, so make sure they are up on your blog looking pretty.

Notes about Using ArtStor

Some of you may have had trouble logging in to ArtStor from your home computer. We found out why. To use ArtStor, and some of the other databases the PSU Library provides access to, you must first log in and register your account on campus.  This means at a PSU computer in the library, one of the computer labs, or from your personal laptop that is connected to the campus wifi. The ArtStor service needs to verify the PSU IP address before it lets you in to the database. Once you have logged in from a PSU computer then you should be able to use that same log in at home with no problems. 

I'm sorry for any confusion. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week 3: Field Trip to Art Gym (MOCC trip cancelled)

Wednesday, 10/14, we will meet at 2:30 in the Art Gym to take a look and talk about Record Record, Pat's current exhibition of drawings, prints, photos and video.

The Art Gym is located on the Marylhurst University campus in the BP John Administrative Building. A campus map is available here. Most of you worked out car pooling on Monday. Marylhurst is served by the #35 Tri-Met bus. Driving directions are available here.

There is no assigned reading in Practice of Looking for Wednesday's class. Please read the handout on Robert Colescott and bring your thoughts about appropriation to the gallery on Wednesday afternoon. See you there!

Email Pat or Anna if you have any questions or problems with transportation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 3: Image/Text Hunt

On Monday, October 12, we will meet in class for our customary reading quiz and discussion on Practices of Looking, pages 62-89. Then we'll walk over to the Millar Library for a 3 p.m. resource tour (both online and physical) in Room 170 (across from the elevators) with the art librarian, Kristen Kern.

After the tour, you'll be asked to do the following Image/Text Hunt exercise:

step 1
Go to any section of the library and open up any book to any page. Point to a spot on the page and read the sentence. Some things to consider:
  • What is the sentence about?
  • What book is the sentence from? Does knowing the source give a deeper meaning or useful context to the words?
  • Does the sentence bring up any personal, cultural, political associations?
  • Does it make sense by itself or do you need the context of the surrounding paragraph to make sense of it?
If you found an interesting sentence on the first try great! If not, keep trying until you find a sentence that resonates in some manner. Copy the sentence word for word and make sure that your document the source: author, book, date, page number.

step 2
Use the library’s resources (online data banks, books, magazines, etc) to find three images to pair with your sentence. Each image should create an entirely new meaning. In effect, you are being asked to create three different stories using exactly the same text by concentrating on how images and words combine to shade our sense of meaning. Here are some ways to think about building various relationships between your text and found images:

  • Images can be a literal, visual depiction of the sentence (what you read is what you see).
  • Images can be combined with text to emphasize a particular message (the image brings a fuller, more complex meaning to the text).
  • Certain aspects of the text can be emphasized over others by choosing an image that reinforces only part of the text.
  • An unexpected, even contradictory, image can cause the text to be read in an entirely new context.

Step 3 Post your three text/image pairings on your blog, along with your thoughts about how and why the meaning changes with each different image.

Results will be reviewed in class on Monday, Oct. 19.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Are You Selling? Design a New Dollar Bill as a Sign of Our Times

Nations represent themselves through their currency design, using symbols, colors, textures, portraits of leaders, typefaces, decorative embellishments, mottos and phrases. Considering this particular sums up what you think represents current harmonies and/or tensions. Think about what we do or should value and take a stab at devising symbols that convey your sense of what we as a nation are about.

Take a look at a real dollar bill. Then make a list of at least 30 words that come to mind in a “stream-of-consciousness” sort of way. What are the events, issues, dynamics, concepts that strike you? Continue in the same stream-of-consciousness manner to collect associated images off the internet, from books, magazines, drawings, doodles, etc.

Using your list and archive , construct a “mind map” to graphically arrange relationships. Get visual with it by pairing the words of your list with images and symbols. Think about colors, fonts, graphic styles, etc., that will help you convey the idea you are working toward. Try to push beyond your first impulses and let the map grow as you work.

Working off your map, select the strongest combination of elements and sketch out a few potential designs. Consider scale relationships, use of photographs and symbols, use and style of text. Consider the “authority” of print versus the casual, homey, DIY quality the hand-drawn and hand-written. Consider how your color choices will contribute to the overall effect.

Your final design should be 6x11 inches and may be done digitally and printed or constructed by hand (collage, hand-drawn or a combination).

Mind maps due Monday Oct 5
Final due Oct 7