Artist Statement Ideas

Studio, Uncategorized

Artist Statement

Introduction:

My work aims to explore the idea of the group mind – an interconnected entity that spans different personalities, connecting them in common thought. I was inspired by the idea that a common though could connect certain identities, but what if those identities were controlled by the common thought. Unlike a hive mind, a group mind allows for separate identities within the form of the group, and I was interested in exploring how one could both been inseparable from a common identity, get forge their own within this space.

Inspiration:

JT Leroy – I have been inspired by the story of JT Leroy, and how his avatar was created by Laura Owens as an outlet for her own narrative, yet he had a distinct backstory, character and history from Owens’ own. I was very interested in the way that Owens employed another family member to act as Leroy in public, in order to give him a physical persona, yet she was still the force behind his mind. I am very interested in this separation between the avatars mind and body, and whether one may function without the other. In addition, Owens also used to dress up her sister as a punk, send her into punk venues to mix with members of the punk subculture, and then return and recount her adventures. In this way Owens lived through the avatar of her sister. I was very interested in how the experiences of one mind could be shared between two bodies, and the role of the avatar in day to day life, separate from science-fiction.

Jon Rafman – I have also been very inspired by the work of Jon Rafman, in particular his film ‘Mainsqueeze’. In this film he uses found footage to portray different internet subcultures, and mixes animation with live action, as well as ‘high’ and ‘low’ forms of images, creating an off-kilter visual style. I am interested in his varied use od image styles within one work, and would like in my own film to research using both still and filmed images, as well as original and found footage. With Rafman’s film there is the simple overarching concept of the ‘Portrayal of the Internet Subculture’, and this connects many very separate identities under the branch of the overall ‘online identity’. I am interested in the role of the internet as perhaps the world’s largest group mind, which wields unlimited power, knowing and understanding the countless personalities it influences.

Harmony Korine – The style of film I wanted to create was also based on the films of Harmony Korine, in particular ‘Gummo’. I am interested in the way Korine links disparate narratives through place, rather than situation, and how the personalities of the characters in the film are wholly derived from this. In my own work, I want to explore how identities can be connected through means such as place, and social situation, and how a group mind could evolve from the turbulence of such situations. In addition, I am also very interested in the surreal non-linear structure of the storytelling in the film, and how some characters are followed for many scenes, whereas others simply appear for a short sketch. I want to explore this almost broken sense of storytelling, intermixed with surreal and unexpected events in my own film.

Alejandro Jordonowsky – This interest in surrealist forms of cinema led me to Jordonowsky, in particular ‘The Holy Mountain’.

Description of the work:

Making Process:

Final Outcome:

Artist Inspiration – Jaakko Pallasvuo

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized

‘Mask’ (2017)

I am very interested in the films of Jaakko Pallasuvo, and the way he incorporates elements of found imagery with his own filming, to create dynamic and interesting works, wholly informed by the aesthetic turns of the 21st century. I am particularly interested in his film ‘Masks’ (2017), and how in this film he explores both a fictive critical discourse surrounding the view of his practice from the future, as well as debating the use of masks. He states, “Is it’s purpose to disguise, or to further embody, for crime, ritual or both.” Thus the mask is presented as a further embodiment of the subject – an avatar of which to act out one’s desires without the necessary complication of consequence due to recognisation. In addition, the fictional future discourse he has created about himself presents a very interesting position, as he creates a version of self from the point of history, an imagined life in which his art is meaningful and renowned in the world of future humans. I am interested in these strange narrative positions, and would like to explore themes like this within my own film.

In addition, I am also inspired by the aesthetic choices of Pallasuvo’s work, as he employs different moving textures and layers, in an almost animated Photoshop-styled look. I find these aesthetic choices connect well with his subject matter, and lead the audience to enter the realm of the internet-controlled reality which Pallasuvo has created. His use of split screen and layering is also incredibly interesting, as the layers build an almost physical, visceral entity from within the realm of the screen. In my own work, I would very much like to use editing techniques in sophisticated, yet ‘poor aesthetic’, like Pallasuvo, to recreate the visual language of the internet in a moving format.

Pallasuvo’s use of being of sound is also incredibly interesting, as he uses the voices of internet generated speakers to occupy his dialogue, creating an almost post-human response to the use of speech, as speech is taken over by the machine. I have experimented with this use of sound previously within my work, and found it very interesting, however it did not quite work for that film. I would like to experiment with different forms of voice, in order for the voice to be performed by another entity, completely separate, and thus an avatar for the reality of the character’s opinions.

Artist Inspiration – Ryan Trecartin

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized

‘Center Jenny’ (2013)

 

I find Ryan Trecartin’s work endlessly interesting, challenging and disturbing, as he questions the ‘self’ of today, as we become more and more implicated in the realms of the internet. In Trecartin’s ‘Center Jenny’, he creates a manic array of unbelievable characters who have seemingly abstract dialogue which stands alone, even though the characters appear to be having a natural dialogue. He uses fast cuts to travel from character to character, outlining their different actions, which appear foreign and erratic, yet completely relevant to today’s offbeat language of slang, quick replies and bold statements without repercussion. I am particularly interested in the aesthetic of ‘Centre Jenny’, as the characters appear familiar, yet outlandish in their speech and actions, despite the fact that the viewer can relate in some way to the characters, as they use popular slang, and wear modern clothing. They are a version of ourselves to come, if the internet take a full hold on the realms of humanity.

In addition, I am interested in the way that Trecartin uses the idea of the avatar. In ‘Center Jenny’, it becomes apparent that Jenny is multiple characters. Jenny is spread across the bodies of the different characters, but occupies a single personality, the personality of the being evolved from the ethics and images of the internet. I am very interested in this idea combining the internet and the avatar, and would like to explore this further in my own film. In addition, I am interested in the way that the avatar at first appears as a non-entity as the characters appear completely different, however it becomes apparent they are one and the same.

Artist Inspiration – Jon Rafman

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized

‘Mainsqueeze’ (2014)

I am very inspired by the work of Jon Rafman, especially the way that he uses found footage to illustrate the different tribes, fetishisms and personalities displayed on the internet. His endless and notorious deep web research allows him to find many different characters on the internet, each with distinctly different internet social groups, and therefore favourite ways of displaying and creating imagery. In his film, ‘Mainsqueeze’, he explores the different social tribes of the internet, and their distinct bodily or sexual fetishisms through seemingly unrelated found footage videos, such as a lobster crushing fetish video, an anime porn film and a video of man crushing a watermelon with his thighs. These strange clips pervade the mind of the viewer, and are at once known and unknown, as we have all seen the shocking and the abject online, whether it be through choice or accident. I am deeply inspired by the use of found footage to display different personalities online, and would like to explore this further, by using found footage in my own film.

I am also inspired by the way that Rafman uses dialogue in the film. All the dialogue is found, and either comes from tumblr blog posts online, or from literature. As such his film, truly speaks with multiple voices, voices of classical literature and voices of the common internet, yet no area of speech is obviously from either category. The language of the internet becomes the poetry of today – love is expressed through a tweet. I am interested in this use of found dialogue, as it speaks with multiple voices, creating a film that is occupied by multiple personalities.

 

‘Kool-Aid Man in Second Life’ (2009)

 

I am also interested in the work ‘Kool-Aid Man in Second Life’, as Rafman employs the virtual avatar of the Kool-Aid Man in order to act out his wishes and fantasies online. Kool-Aid Man can be seen in outer space, in the sea and in an airship, as Rafman is allowed to make choices for his avatar, and live out his wished reality, through the online reality of another. This use of a digital avatar, over which you believe to have ultimate control very interesting, and would like to explore this further in my work.