Archive for the 'video' Category
Casey Reas just opened a show at the Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown LA last night. It is interesting to see how his generative work has recently shifted from the purely algorithmic —using rules and numbers as a base to create form from scratch— to a deconstructive commentary on media that utilizes content units —like digital photographs and video streams— as a source of [not quite] raw data that generates his quasi abstract forms over an extended period of time. One of his pieces, the one I photographed for this article, retrieves the main photograph from the cover page of the New York Times every day, and uses it as is as a topological stripe that stretches across the digital frame over and over again, weaving a familiar, yet unrecognizable tapestry across the big television screen that Casey chose as his canvas. Well done.
After a very busy month filming all over California for a secret VR project with Skybound and Samsung, I just began the month of August filming all weekend for another two Wevr productions that I supervised as Creative Director. One of them is a VR short film called Hard World For Small Things, directed by Janicza Bravo, and the other one is a VR music video for the song Crown by Run the Jewels, directed by Peter Martin.
On location for Hard World
On location for Hard World
Killer Mike performing on set
El-P performing on set
I just finished my first music video. I shot it last Summer in West LA for the band Coastline Apparition with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Black Magic Pocket camera. I color graded and cut it in DaVinci Resolve and finished it in Adobe After Effects.
The piece features Swedish model Chloe Cole trying to find a future in a place that has a lot to offer but wont give anything away. This seemed to be a perfectly appropriate subject matter to frame the song with a visual narrative, and it gave Chloe a canvas to perform a fictional character that was close enough to her real self.
This weekend my friend Daksh Sahni invited me to shoot my first spherical video for Virtual Reality using a camera ball with ten gopros attached to it. The idea was to capture his friend Yana Clark performing with her mirror suit at dusk by the ocean.
The suit reflected beams of light from the sun in every direction while Yana explored the rocky shore alone. It was a beautiful sight.
This is the first time I get to experience the weird nature of 360 degree video. You see, when you’re doing this, you’re basically capturing every direction at the same time; front, left right, top, back and bottom, the 360 camera rig sees it all, so no film crew can be around the scene while the camera is rolling. Everybody that is not in the scene has to find a hiding place and disappear.
Coincidentally, Yana is the great granddaughter of Lygia Clark, who did some early work in VR art. Lygia’s most relavant work in connection to VR is her mirrored spectacles from 1967: (see attached image and an excerpt from Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica: A Legacy of Interactivity and Participationfor a Telematic Future, an essay by Simone Osthoff):
Curiously, Ivan Sutherland’s pioneering work with virtual reality, developed around the same time, was based on the introduction of the related concept of head-mounted displays. The visual and cultural parallels between these and other investigations in art and science are as significant as they are unexplored. As Myron Krueger has pointed out, “Many aspects of virtual reality including full-body participation, the idea of a shared telecommunication space, multi-sensory feedback, third-person participation, unencumbered approaches, and the data glove, all came from the arts, not from the technical community”
Clark’s experiences tend to merge the body’s interior and exterior spaces, stressing the direct connection between the body’s physical and psychological dimensions. The pure optical emphasis of her geometric abstract paintings from the 1950s are transformed by Nostalgia of the Body into sensory explorations of texture, weight, scale, temperature, sound and movement. These sensations are the basis of a non-verbal language employed both in processes of self-discovery and collective explorations among a group of participants. There is a significant conceptual link between these collective explorations and the characteristic of telecommunications art Roy Ascott calls “distributed authorship.” Clark’s collective creations became her main focus during the period she lived in Paris
Clark is commemorated as a pioneer, first of interactive art and then of participatory performance—themes that are everywhere these days. But without a better sense of the thorny drama of her biography, it’s easy to forget, today, in a world of social media and flash mobs, Google Glass and Oculus Rift, that the dissolution of “art into life” was a truly radical art theme of the ’60s and ’70s, one of the ways which fine art and the counterculture merged into one gumbo in the churning cauldron of a decade of political cataclysms.
I just obtained my own Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera from Black Magic Design. What a beauty. In spite of all it’s limitations, and how difficult it might seem to achieve The Perfect Shot with it, I have been completely seduced by the detail and depth of RAW video, and what it does in combination with hardcore professional optics.
In addition to this, I learned that Black Magic Design offers a free version of DaVinci Resolve, their state of the art color correction software. This has kept me awake more than a few nights lately, and I suspect it will continue to do so.
I can’t help but find it fascinating that extremely sophisticated digital technologies like RAW video and high end color correction software have already become available to the average consumer. This is nothing new; in the past ten years it’s happened all around us in all aspects of industry, but I still stand in awe every time a new digital milestone has been reached. Coming from a background in film, and having personally struggled with digital post production technologies through the nineties, I sometimes find it hard to believe that I can sit in a coffee shop and run software like DaVinci Resolve in my little laptop while I enjoy my espresso.
I will be uploading Black Magic Experiments to my flickr feed on a regular basis.
Max and I recently finished this video for the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. The video illustrates Chris Caplice’s talk on Scenario Planning, a brainstorming technique that helps prepare for abrupt changes in the future.
We use Boxing and Judo to compare between different planning techniques. Boxing represents the traditional approach, based on precise predictions of specific events, and Judo represents Scenario Planning, where it is more important to outline a number of potential futures and prepare for them. This way, specific events become less relevant as the effects they might produce. It makes sense, because lots of different events may cause the same effect over a given system. Preparing for this effect is a lot better strategy than the nearly impossible task of trying to predict each one of these events.