National Gallery

28 12 2007

Just went to the National Gallery and I am so happy. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen these painting up close and I am completely overwhelmed.

It was gorgeous.

I have seen these paintings in books, on the net, on postcards and ‘what is art presentations’ but never for real and I was completely floored. It was beautiful.

jw_degas.jpg (Degas, Combing the Hair, 1896)

These images do not do it justice. There is an incredible power when one experiences a painting first hand. The color is unbelievable. When I first saw the Van Gogh, I was shocked. I had seen this painting a million times and I’d always wondered why so many found it beautiful. But when you see the yellow he used, it was crazy. I had never seen it that way. The prints I had seen where always dark and muted. This was a luminous yellow. I had never seen a yellow like that. And the texture. No picture can show the kind of texture on the paintings. How the movement of the brush adds to the light. The center of these sunflowers he did impasto, mimicking the softness. Unbelievable.

sunflowersvangogh.jpg (Van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888)

And one of the most interesting things about the gallery is that the collection particularly filled with people was the 1700s-1900s. Upon viewing all the paintings, one is given a breath of where the movement is going. It is the movement away from representation towards experience. It is an inward movement. The artists in the mid 1200s to 1500s where obsessed with detail…with capturing what we see. Then, Da Vinci happened…and it was no longer about how we see, but how it is that we experience what we see. How the eye changes what it sees, depending on what one experiences. The light, the shadow, the depth change. And we experience something quite profound.

davincithevirgin.jpg (The Virgin of the Rocks, 1491-1508)

The image is informed by something from within, and as a viewer, one connects to it beyond the eye. This painting was unbelievable. The light seemed to emanate from the skin of the subjects.

And these paintings are humongous. This was around 4×6 feet. It is as though you are enveloped by it.

cezanne_bathers.jpg (Cezanne, Bathers,1894-1905)

One little boy, probably not even five, ran up to this Cezanne and stared at it for a full five seconds, mouth agape, in total awe. Then he looked back at his parents who were fumbling with the stroller of his baby sister…and he had this expression of “Is anyone seeing what I’m seeing?” He kept on looking back at his parents who were too busy attending to his sister…until finally, he ran back to them. And I thought, imagine the ability to recognize beauty. It is inborn. Part of our DNA. It is something that we all know before we even think about why we know.

picasso.jpg (Pablo Picasso, Child with a Dove,1901)

And it was as though, everything I learned in school was erased. You want to learn art, just go and see it. And keep walking until something grabs you beyond the chatter of your mind and makes you quiet. And you know you are moved. And you know you are changed. Beyond knowing why you know.

I am totally moved. I can only hope to achieve even just an ounce of what these masters have achieved. The ability to channel every experience they felt unto something physical. I am beyond words.


1W13-4 MADA Assessment Presentation 1

5 12 2007

Collisions: A Visual Discourse on Negotiations of Power

I. Key Concepts :

A. Bill Viola

biilviola1.jpg Humanism

eisenstein.gif Sound

B. Michel Foucault

alchemist.jpg Power

C. Jackson Pollock

pollock1.jpg Interactivity

II. Sketches and Story Boards

install-studies-11.jpg Sketches


III. Video Experimentation

rules2.jpg Experiment 1: Collaborative Exchange

katrinbw01.jpg Experiment 2: B/W Individual Study

hands01.jpg Experiment 3: Color Individual Study

exp02-02.jpg Experiment 4: Collaborative Exchange 2


1W13-3 Experiment # 4: Collaborative Exchange of Work 2

5 12 2007

Using the color study I made, we created the 2nd Collaborative experiment. Upon doing the first experiment, we found that it is best to focus on one idea per movement, and this idea could have two interpretations. For example, the idea of interference could be interpreted in his way or mine. This way, instead of jumping from one idea to another, we can go deeper into the essence of one until it transforms/evolves the work into something else.

1W13-2 Experiment # 3: Individual Study of Color Movement

4 12 2007

With the first experiment, I realized that one of the weaknesses of my work was that I didn’t go into the capabilities of color and its movement in the creation of meaning. Color became a happenstance thing, and not an element of communication. This is something I wanted to improve upon through this experiment.

I wanted to capture subtle color changes with the work, and to use a very simple idea, such as a hand, in the communication of an idea. Here, two hands begin to play, and then merge, and then one disappears. This is in relation to the idea about relationships in the collaborative work.

1W13-1 Experiment # 2: Individual Study of Sound and Black and White

3 12 2007

Through this experiment, I explored the idea of disruption in lieu of my collision collaboration with Moshe Ladanga. With it, I also began experimenting with sound; forming meaning through the combination of seemingly disparate things.

For the image, I learned that it is best to find a strong simple idea, and then to delve into the different elements (combining several techniques like photography, animation and final cut). But the trick is really keeping it simple. At first, I got quite lost knowing that I could do so many things with it, but then I realized that if I just choose one evocative image and then dive into that, I get to explore. Here, I was able to find the transformation of black on white (black image, white background) to the opposite (white image, black background). I found it during the process of transforming the different elements in the work. I am quite happy with the results, especially because I didn’t know how the film was going to end. Sometimes, this is better because you find new ways of expressing yourself. Like some ‘aha’ moment. I think I have that problem of going into a film knowing its end (my background in filmmaking). This process is teaching me the opposite…start with a good beginning (strong, simple, specific) then dive in as deep as you can.

Regarding the sound, much of my inspiration came from the Sound Workshop we had with Matthais Kispert last week. He stressed how instrinsic the connection is between sound and image. He mentioned that he has experimented with starting with sound then adding image and vice versa. According to him, when the image leads, one has greater freedom in forming meaning. He suggested using natural sound, and playing with it…connecting the image with something different in order to form something greater. This is what I did with this experiment.

Aside from putting music (which is a first for me) through manipulating some apple loops, I experimented with train and machine sounds to evoke the disruption I explored in the image.

1W12-3 Storyboards for Experimentation and Further Work

2 12 2007


These are the storyboards I made for the individual work, both the black and white and the colored experimentation. I wanted to communicate a simple idea, and to use a few elements in the creation of the work. Bill Viola also mentions the power of the image and the camera in expressing consciousness:

“camera breaks from the eye

camera as nose

camera as ear

camera as hand

camera as insect

camera as consciousness.

camera as microscope

camera as telescope”

-Note, 1980 (1994:52)

Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House



With this idea, I wanted to express this idea of consciousness on the image. Here are further developments of my storyboards for the coming experiments. I will be using a combination of compositing and possibly animation.




1W12-2 Preliminary Installation Sketch

2 12 2007


Mosh came up with the idea of the third image, a sort of merged image. If we can achieve the interactivity, this is probably where it’ll play out. The audience will be causing disruptions/evolutions of the two films.

The idea was also inspired by the immersive environment that Bill Viola has in his work. In a way, we want to achieve this same multi-sensory experience.


Here is another sketch of the work.


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