Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bust Up + Student Collaborative Videos

The collaborative videos, based on a literary source, created by Lawrence University Intermediate Digital Processes and Electronic Composition students considered the intersection of visual and aural. Students worked for several weeks of Winter Term 2012 under the direction of filmmaker Cathy Cook,  composer Professor Asha Srinivasan, and visual artists Professors Shimon & Lindemann who provided critique and feedback as cuts of each video were vetted. A formal screening with a Q&A session on Monday, March 5, 2012 at Lawrence's Warch Campus Center Cinema provided the ultimate venue with most videos also posted on student YouTube chanels. The project was sponsored by Lawrence's Department of Art & Art History and the Fine Arts Colloquium.

Still from "Apple(s)" by Mari Ayala
Apple(s) by Mari Ayala  (2012, 3:11, HD video, color) with soundscape by Jesse Simonsen 
Apple(s) by Mari Ayala  (2012, 3:11, HD video, color) with soundscape by Tashfique Mirza
The symbol of the apple contemplated from temptation to decay.

Still from "What Wouldn't Have Been"
by Jessica Meismer

What Wouldn't Have Been by Jessica Meismer (2012, 3:08, HD video, color) with soundscape by Peter Mohr & Zach Joseph. Inspired by a letter received over 80 years ago that could have changed everything.

Still from "Sweet Snow"
by Rachele Krivichi
Microdystopia by Rachele Krivichi (2012, 2:54, HD video, color) with soundscape by Connor Vliet. Winter anxiety and the feeling of cold.
Microdystopia by Rachele Krivichi (2012, 2:54, HD video, color) with soundscape by Kari Spiegelhalter. Winter anxiety and anguish. 

Still from "I Am Who Am"
by Ali Scattergood
 I am who am by Ali Scattergood (2012,3:11, HD video, B&W) in collaboration with Rebecca Salzer with a soundscape by Adam Readinger
I am who am by Ali Scattergood (2012, 2:56, HD video, B&W) in collaboration with Rebecca Salzer with a soundscape by Alexander Babbit
Dance performance exploring the relationship between essence and life force.

Still from "Handwritten"
by Sara Sheldon-Rosson
Handwritten by Sara Sheldon-Rosson (2012, 3:12, HD video, color) with soundscape by Alyssa Herman. The tactile quality of a handwritten letter surviving through the generations versus ephemeral text messages.

Still from "New Salem" by Paul Smirl
New Salem by Paul Smirl (2012, 2:25, HD video, color) with a soundscape by J.J. Anshus + Marcello Grieco. Rebellious and brash, a young Abraham Lincoln takes on the pain of modern times.

Still from "Bust Up by Cathy Cook featuring Holly Brown
Bust Up by Cathy Cook (1989, 7:00, 16mm, B&W) with music by John Lees. Teatime will never be the same! This tickling thriller about an afternoon tea features Holly Brown, who spontaneously transforms into several female personas that startle and entertain her surprised guest. Brown's characters are obsessed with formalities of etiquette, pedigree, and hospitality while spoofing sex roles and stereotypes.

Journey Form & the Encounter

Appleton, Wisconsin Food Desert Map as depicted on
When we heard that the USDA identified a neighborhood near our campus as a Food Desert, we designed a "journey form" project to check into it as we read Nicolas Bourriaud's 1998 book, Relational Aesthetics. The USDA website revealed their mission to identify and help urban or rural areas without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food define a food desert. In these zones, fast food restaurants and convenience stores provide the only food option, which ultimately contribute to a poor diet leading to higher levels of obesity and diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. We gave five students (Maria Ayala, Rachele Krivichi, Jessica Meismer, Sara Sheldon-Rosson, Paul Smirl) a crisp $10 and asked them to use it to purchase the healthiest food they could find on foot within the Appleton food desert. The students documented their journey and encounters with photographs and videos then gave the food they bought away or shared it with friends and strangers.
$33.29 from Blurb
Together we compiled a book titled One Hour and Ten Bucks in a Food Desert available online from Students also posted 30-second experimental videos on YouTube. Mari Aylala's "Oh, Melet!", "Rachele Krivichi's "Division to Badger Street", Jessica Meismer's "$10 in a Food Desert", Sara Sheldon-Rosson's "Dinner in the Desert" and Paul Smirl's "Food Desert Shopping" communicate five perspectives on their individual experience in the food desert one mild day in January. Mari gleefully tripped upon a gourmet food market with mostly organic ingredients to make an omelet. Rachele heard a retail associate say, "We don't really have anything healthy here" yet found dates, Mango juice, and a banana among the hallucinogenic food posters that pulsated along her path. Jessica found a peanut butter granola pita sandwich, a banana, fruit smoothie, and a salad and got change back for her $10. Sara ended up at a convenience store that charged sales tax on items that normally wouldn't be taxed at a grocery store perhaps because they fall in the gray-area of "prepared food." Still, it's tough to consider canned Green Giant cut green beans and Del Monte sliced peaches prepared. Paul found his path strewn with Americana kitsch and trash but ended up with a loaf of wheat bread and noodles from an Asian food store. A feast, perhaps, for some.