Blog . Being a Student in Sculpture and Expanded Media
I am a sophomore sculpture student and that means that I am in SEM. That stands for Sculpture and Expanded Media, which I am very excited about because of the mediums I enjoy using in my work. My work consists mostly of digital work, video, video installations, sculptures that go along with the digital, and sometimes I’ll make a sculpture and not incorporate digital elements. My work revolves around emotions I am feeling and not quite understanding along with topics that are important to me. I have been using my art as therapeutic methods to better understand myself, my emotions, and to be able to relax/let things go. My most current work is a video for my Time-Based Strategies class (this is required for all Sculpture majors) and it was about this feeling I get it when time seems to slow down. I start to feel uncomfortable and eventually am so lost in my own head I temporarily forget where I am. The thoughts in my head would start to overlay and I would feel like I was in slow motion. This would happen at night when I was staring at something or walking for a long time across grass, a parking lot, or snow.
For the midterm assignment I decided to try making my video a manifestation of that feeling. I keep a journal I write in every time I have a feeling I don’t understand, so I went back and read through all of the entries from when I felt that way. I created a game plan with things I wanted to incorporate, colors I wanted to use, and I decided to make it look like white noise by getting a camera that doesn’t take great film at night. I checked out the camera from the JMC checkout and carried it with me so I could take film after I had the feeling or was reminded of the feeling. Once I had collected everything, I started on the video editing.
I normally work in After Effects so this time I decided to take a chance and use Premier. I imported all of my footage and started placing it in the Timeline along with overlaying video on top of other video. I unlinked the audio from the video by right clicking on the audio clip and selecting the “Unlink” option. I picked which clips I wanted to set the “Hue” and “Color” blending modes by clicking on the video clip and a window will show up in the top left corner. Click on the word “Opacity” and the “Blending Mode” option will drop down which is where you can select “Hue and “Color”. I cut parts out I didn’t need, which can be done with the razor tool (in the tool bar next to the Timeline). I slowed all of my video down since that was an important part of my piece. I did that by right clicking on the video clips and selected the “Speed/Duration” option, which opens a small window giving you the option to speed up or slow down your video by either moving the number up/down or typing in the number you want manually. You also have the option to reverse a video and/or audio and change the pitch. For the audio, I knew I wanted a lot of white noise, footsteps, my breathing, and repetition from water. I checked out a sound recorder from the JMC checkout and recorded the audio I wanted over the course of a few hours, and then I imported it into Premier. Once I imported it, I dragged it into the timeline and started to cut and change the speed/duration the same way I did with my video.
Once my video was completed I saved my file, then clicked “File” then “Export”. A window will pop up for you and that’s where I changed the settings to these: “Format”- QuickTime, “Preset”- HD 1080i 29.97 H.264, AAC 48 kHz, “Video Codec”- Apple ProRes 422 (LT), I also selected “Use Maximum Render Quality” and “Use Frame Blending,” which are at the very bottom of the window. Then I selected “Export” and waited for it to finish.
My video is finished and it went over well with my class. Talking to all of them about my piece and answering their questions has helped me to understand that feeling even more. The form of anxiety I get, and though I am still not sure why it happens, is more clear. The piece is called Ambivalent, which is defined as “Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone”. It’s hard to explain in words so feel free to watch my video!