A Workshop on Making Deviled Eggs

Singularity

#PostModem (2014)


When we reach singularity and saturate the cosmos with more than human consciousness, will we still procrastinate in the shower, listen to songs on repeat, zone out of conversations and get lost in our own mind space?


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Life is Cutting-Edge


24 Hours of Happy (2013)


This interactive video of Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' from Despicable Me 2 is being touted as “the world’s first 24-hour music video". I recommend playing around with the full-version of the song on the website that features a clock. It has many well-known actors dancing through the streets at different times of the day.

While you are at it, also watch the new interactive version of Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone'. The video allows you to flip through 16 television channels (they plan to add more), featuring everything from cooking shows to newsrooms, with well-known actors lip-syncing the song. It has over an hour of content, if you watch every video. But, if you stick to toggling the channels as intended, no two viewings of the song are the same. In a way, it is speaks to a real phenomenon. Dylan's 48-year old song is still everywhere, and plays at least once a day on some radio station or TV channel somewhere in the world. There are not many songs that are as enduring and ubiquitous, or remaining entrenched in pop-culture as Like a Rolling Stone.

I am a huge fan of interactive content, be it children's pop-up books, animated graphic novels, video games, flash videos, or web design… so it's exciting to see more artists experimenting with it in music videos. There's nothing more absorbing in the storytelling world, than when you get to play a role in the narration.

http://24hoursofhappy.com/
http://video.bobdylan.com/desktop.html

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Sense and Sensibility

gondry

The Work of Director Michel Gondry (2003)


Some of Art is about making us either experience or overlook the contradictory nature of human imagination; that it is boundless, but boundless within its limits. For instance, when a blind person imagines color or a deaf person imagines melody, their mind’s eye fails to capture what their senses have not experienced; likewise, sighted and hearing people fail to find the vocabulary needed to describe color and melody to them. Our imagination is ostensibly limited when it comes to translating our literal world for those who don’t perceive it the same way as us. But, when we attempt to overcome this limitation by transforming the literal to nonliteral, we consciously enter creative space. We are persuaded by the boundlessness of imagination, and the possibility that the blind and the deaf can appreciate color and melody!

I think of all art forms the same way as I do our many senses. Each art form has singular, non-replicable qualities, same as each of our senses. And when we appreciate an art form using other art forms, we do so the same way that a blind person appreciates color using his other capacities. Consider a realistic painting of a sculpture. Even at its realistic best, it is still a painting, and not a sculpture. Its textures and temperatures have been replaced by something alien; the three-dimensional cold marble stone is now a flat oil on canvas. But, the sculpture as the painting adds a new dimension to its existence, that can only be appreciated when we contemplate why a realistic painting of a sculpture was made to begin with!

Of all art forms, I think of cinema as the one with superpowers. Because, it comes closest to sincerely reproducing other art forms, while making it near impossible for other art forms to reproduce it! For instance, when one watches a recording of a stage drama, a musical performance, or a dance recital, there is little information lost between watching the actual event and the recording on screen. When one scans each page in a book, and plays them on screen page by page, they are able to access its content just as in a book. The only things lost in these experiences are the intrinsic qualities, like the ambience of the theatre, the experience of dressing up for the event, the smell of the book, and the foibles peculiar to the medium such as dog-earing pages, or holding the chapter’s end page while reading!

But, most of our obsession and creative challenge with cinema is not with reproducing another art form, but overcoming reproduction, and taking advantage of the unique qualities of the medium that make it different from the other art forms. Every art form has special qualities that cannot be replicated into another medium. Those qualities are best perceived in the interpretative space, where the narrative is either fragile and does not provide the basis for the piece; or where it moves away from the recognizable world. Cinema is the only art form where one can truly reside in both the traditional and the interpretative narrative spaces at once; and the world can be both recognizable and alien. It is truly free of being realistic, and even when it depicts reality, it is not dependent on the chronological order of the story or the relative values of duration. One can travel any length of time and distance as quickly or as slowly as they choose! One can reproduce the world of their subconscious, their dreams, their thought processes, not truthfully, but sincerely; like Michel Gondry.

His work is on a different register, but it still feels familiar; like he means to express actual functioning of thought, or use his illusory world to explain the real world. He manipulates reality and shows us something visceral using a cinematic vocabulary that cannot be translated. But, it speaks to us personally and reverberates through our sensations, so that everything about this world that makes up our reality is on a new trajectory. In his world, people can inhabit many time-spaces at once, they can choose their own speed of movement, get lost in their imagination, liberate what is repressed, fall through different rabbit holes to new worlds and new scenes, and mingle the known with the unknown. It is oneiric, mimetic, self-evident and revelatory all at once. His work is inspired by dreams and music, it is made of rhythmic images, and celebrates the spectacular power of fragments and cinematic continuity.

Canudo thought of cinema as "a painting and a sculpture developing in time, as in music and poetry, which realize themselves by transforming air into rhythm for the duration of their execution". That’s what I think of Gondry’s music videos.
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