Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ann Arbor Film Festival

Besides going on this adventure alone, getting lost, and running out of change for parking; I highly enjoyed the experience of going to downtown Ann Arbor.  I loved the atmosphere and thought it was infested with art.  The film festival was great, although I knew no one there.  However, I did see Gerry Fialka. 
The first thing I went to see was Phil Solomon’s American Falls.  There were three large screens that were projecting his work.  Before reading about it, or catching what the title was, I watched it to see if I could figure what it was about.  I thought the piece was really interesting with bits and pictures of history, deformed and blotchy. The integration of images and words was great.  It made me think of politics and how “hazy” independence, rights, and equality are, today.  The way the images looked and how the sound was intense at times made me think of corruption or how history and what the country fought for has been tossed into the “muck.”
I also went through the exhibition where you had to take a mirror in with you and look at it at eye level, as you walked through it.  It made me feel as if I was walking through this different environment with images projected on the ceiling, which were now reflecting at my feet.  It was a creative way to play with perception and our idea of space.
After, I went to the Michigan Theater and listened to Craig Baldwin’s speech.  His vision is collage-based and he focused a lot on using found footage, making it your own.  He looked at film as a form of rebellion, creating your own identity through film.  He loves video and thinks using real film to create work is still relative to creativity, and it is how he wishes to continue his work. He mentions the birth of film from the Kuleshov effect and Eisenstein montage (time of Soviet Union), which is something I have learned in my cinema class this semester, so to me it was relevant. Baldwin stressed how music, Avan Garde, Dada, and culture has influenced him, as well as, filmmakers.
Overall, I thought it was great to see something new because I have never heard of the Ann Arbor Film Festival before.  I would like to go again next year.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gerry Fialka- speaker/workshop

I thought that the discussions and thought processes presented by our speaker last week was very interesting and uplifting.  It made me feel that my opinions, judgments, and thoughts are just as great and accurate as anyone's.  This is because he is accurate in saying we have all formed into this norm or idea of accepting something for what it is.  There is room for other "theories" and ideas, and ways of completing our everyday tasks.  There are creative ways to explore life and get involved in thinking out of the box. 

Often I was confused by the topics we were covering; however, it was fun to be spontaneous and talk about topics that are not always thought about at school, work, and home.  I agree that is important to combine work and home because you should love what you do.  You should always be critically thinking and observing things around you, connecting your home life and work life.  However, I feel that my work life and home life are so different at the moment that I do not like combining the two.  Emotions and stress, to me, are often brought home from work and school.  Instead, I want my ideas and thought processes to follow me.

I felt that when he asked questions and told us to give one word answers, that my answers were always thought-provoking.  I am unsure this is because I am creative, or because I like coming up with answers that provoke others.  I like to trick or impress people with ideas because often ideas are difficult to come across when we have to think quickly.  I feel it's sometimes easier to think of something when you have less pressure.  For example, thinking of a video topic may seem difficult when you are given certain guidelines and are under pressure to meet the standards.

Fialka made it clear that thinking for yourself is very important and that not even teachers, scientists, or government knows the answers to everything, yet has an "explanation" for everything.  Listening to Fialka's comments and points of view almost upset me because to become an art teacher I have to follow strict courses and procedures.  Yet, he stressed that everything we see and do isn't always the correct thing to do, but is accepted as a norm.