Monday, December 10, 2007

Battleship Mario

The odessa step sequence from Battleship Potemkin redone in mario paint

Sunday, December 9, 2007


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Statement of Intent

Videotronics, is the synthesis of a number of different project ideas all sourcing from the same library of visual material but discarded after changing goals. I was initially inspired by Gene Youngblood’s book Expanded Cinema, I grew fascinated with his now dated theories, particularly his idea of the “videosphere”, a prediction that television and home-video will become an analogous extension of man’s central nervous system. That television is the “third eye” of humanity, a grand surveyor of all human kind. Also I was inspired by Youngblood’s views of “synaesthetic cinema”, an attempt in filmmaking to express human consciousness with harmonic opposites.
The initial idea behind this project was to use Youngblood’s concepts, to create a display of child memory and consciousness, using his theories of relational-conceptualization. I had intended to approach synaesthetic cinema as an aesthetic language of forced conditioning, ostensibly an update in traditional associational form. That idea later evolved into an approach of using a palette of found VHS tapes to address the “third eye” view of television as a reflection of all that is.
In editing, the current direction of Videotronics revealed itself. I felt that my previous ideas were not easily communicable to the audience and I had no intention to privatize the meanings. So instead, I drew from my previous concepts and decided to create a piece where the lack of coherence and thesis becomes a theme in itself.
After narrowing down what footage to use I searched for themes and symbols and edited together as such. Using clips of television static between each edit, I created the illusion of channel surfing. The use of channel surfing captures my intentions of a rapid sweeping view of the state of the world, particularly media culture. Using a cut and paste approach, I verbally reconstructed much of the footage, and looked for humorous and absurd juxtapositions, to create a tangible yet scattered semi-narrative flow.
Most clips originated from VHS tapes purchased at thrift stores, I tried to select tapes that looked worn from use and aged. The majority of the rest of the footage had been taped off cable television and transferred through multiple generations of used VHS tapes. The final edit was fine tuned in final cut pro, though the initial assembly had been put together in a linear VCR to VCR fashion.
I feel that the visual merits of VHS are primarily attributed to nostalgic connections. Using such an aesthetic, I hoped to incite a personal response from the viewer, knowing that anyone who grew up with a VCR would have his or her own set of memories to tag onto my film. The worn copy is in a way an example of synesthesia, an involuntary response of memory invoked by an unrelated stimulus.