Art Event #7
The Art Of Flight
When I started watching the documentary “The art of flight” I did not expect to be able to use it as an art event. But after watching it, it became obvious that the videography used in this documentary is worthy of discussion. I have always been interested in snowboarding but have never been to any of the high profile locations of the world. Alaska, Canada, and Chile were a few of the more majestic places they went. Some of the footage from the helicopter was shot from a wide angle fish eye style lens which kept the entire shot in focus. I enjoy snowboarding and action sports. In fact, my goal as a graphic designer is to get into the flashy design scene of action sports. Any time documentaries or videos that are sponsored by Red Bull and other high profile companies, I usually tune in. In this movie, the videography was so memorizing that it almost detracted from the riders themselves. I often caught myself looking at the clarity of the scenery instead of the performances by the riders. Also the logo, although simple, was smooth and clean which works well for a flashy production like this one.
Art Event #6
Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery
The Images of Nature Gallery in La Jolla was a very interesting experience. Tom Mangelsen is a photographer who works almost exclusively with nature as his subjects. His photography has been published in many wildlife publications such as national geographic and others. I have seen photography that has a high attention to detail but Mangelsen’s prints in the gallery were so lifelike and real that I thought I could almost pet some of the animals or feel the ocean spray of crashing waves. Although I have never been that interested in photography as an art, I do appreciate a good quality photo. Being a graphic designer who is constantly in search of good stock photography, I have a huge amount of respect for the talent shown by great photographers.
Art Event #5
Exit Through the Gift Shop
In the documentary “Exit through the gift shop” is a stunning example of the value and attention that should be placed on America’s spike in popularity of global street art. This Academy award nominated film divulges into the life and artworks of a few of the world’s most famous street artists. Shepard Fairey, Invader, and Mr. Brainwash are a few of the sub plots to the movie that ultimately is in search of world famous street artist, Banksy. After watching this documentary, I have a more in depth understanding of the key players in the street art movement. It also has inspired me to do a report on Shepard Fairey for another VSAR class. The one flaw can also be the biggest upside is some of the anonymity of the artists. It is a shame that they cannot get the personal recognition of the extremely elaborate art work but at the same time their famous alter ego revels in the credit and fame. Since the fabric of street art has a blurry line as to legality, it has shown me that true passion shows no boundries and artists have and will continue to express themselves to the world, from the Smithsonian to the Los Angeles alleyway walls.
Art Event #4
I think we can all agree on the creepiness embedded throughout the whole documentary “Consuming Kids” Without going grossly into detail, It takes a certain type of person to go to some of the extremes such as some of the examples given, just to “market to the children”. I understand that they are just trying to get every marketing edge they can but it get to a point where morals and ethics become a deciding factor. The real question is, do we as a society, accept the harsh truths behind corporate marketing strategies? Do we understand and acknowledge that what some of these people are doing is arguably borderline pedophilia. But since they are doing it in the name of market research, they don’t feel like any rules, physically or morally, are being broken. I personally think it is bullshit. There IS and line and they have crossed it. Within this same thought, the mental and social ideas that are being promoted here are absolutely over the top. In response to a toy advertisement, one interviewee stated that “Anti-social behavior in pursuit of a product is a good thing”. So let me get this straight. Growing up, we will promote this sense of no creativity and antisocial behavior then as these kids become adolescents, society then shuns the antisocial ones who have just basically been following the status quo. That’s a terrible message.
Secondly and on the other hand, the fact that corporate companies are literally trying to aim marketing campaigns at kids seems genius and outrageous at the same time. Morally and ethically I want to believe that it is an outrage and I feel like there should be some laws regulating certain marketing strategies. Then from a corporate point of view, if you can reel in the kid, not only will you have a young family member with a voice in family decision making as well as a life-long consumer of your product. Just looking at this through a profit and loss lens, its brilliant. But, there are a lot of ideas out there that seem smart but do not take into account the social and cultural acceptability.
Art Event #3
We live in public
After watching “We live in public” I can’t help but to think about other famous artists and performers who had a lifetime of provocative, controversial and entertaining acts or works of art who then died poor and unknown. Then years later are recognized for those ideas being revolutionary and crucial to the development of said field. I think Josh Harris will be put in the same category as these people when he is long gone. The ideas Harris had were so off the wall that even he was wary of where they potentially could take him. He then soon realized that his life would forever revolve around these ideas and they would have influence on thousands of people as well as every aspect of his own life. The funny part is how far on the futuristic right track he was. When he first created psudo.com, an online place that mixed mediums such as chatting and video, he unleashed the idea that everything could and would be public. No secretes. This idea is in full swing now with thriving relatively recent advent of social media. Facebook and Twitter rule the internet and amazingly enough, Josh Harris’ notion of a world where everything is public is becoming more and more the everyday norm. People love nothing more than to post a story or picture on Facebook. Social media acts as a digital campfire around which people listen and tell stories constantly. In a digital world where nothing is private, is having said privacy even a concern anymore? I think the shift is leaning toward no. People love to be in the spotlight and social media and the internet give them a stage to do just that. It is like having a never ending fifteen minutes of fame where people can step out of the light whenever they want but will never be invisible.
Art Event #2
The greatest movie ever sold
The greatest movie ever sold has officially ruined my movie watching experience. I now I find myself paying much more attention to the media aspects of the movie than the plot lines themselves. This documentary solidified that as well. But in the end the fact still remains that the media does have a ton of control over all aspects of Hollywood. I was shocked to see exactly how much control that actually was. For example when the marketing agency basically said they had the authority to completely change the script in order to better the product placement. As directors it would seem to be difficult to not let the branding get so out of control that you potentially lose control of the entire movie. I think the documentary did a good job of depicting what it would be like if all of the authority went into the contracts of the brands and products scattered throughout the movie. It would become a very slippery slope. The documentary referenced that slope as one toe in the water, then up to your ankle, then to your waist, and then you are swimming. I thought that analogy was a perfect way to describe it. My question from here is can a feature film still me successful without branding. And if so could that ruin the reputation of the director? And lastly, are the Marketer and the Director’s relationship as pivotal as the Director is with the Producer or the actors? It seems like a good relationship between those two people or companies could make or break a Hollywood film. In my opinion, that relationship is crucial to the success of films these days. In an era where products and advertising rule, success is determined on who you know and how well you know them. And that who is the branding guy.
Art Event #1
Hip-Hop – Beyond Beats and Rhymes
The documentary “hip-hop – beyond beats and rhymes” gave me a whole new perspective on the hip hop community and what it represents in 2 very different ways. First of it made me think about what actually is being sung about. The obscene ruthless reoccurring themes in today’s popular hip hop songs seem to promote the notion of “manhood in a box” as described in the film. The roots behind this box go all the way down to respect. In a nation that supports a culture of violence many famous and aspiring artists feel they must present themselves as being in a position that deserves respect using a violent condescending lyrics. This made me think about the kind of hip-hop that I listen to. I personally, as a white male who lives in a safe rural neighborhood, enjoy rap and hip-hop. But I do not like the mainstream songs that obviously are solely out to make a buck. I enjoy the lesser known artists who actually say something in their songs. There is a clear message or a story in every lyric. Whereas the overplayed radio hit has no message and has no meaning to me. If the trend started to shift and the hits started to be creatively written songs with positive messages, would media and society accept that into the mainstream light such as Billboard, Clear Channel, MTV or VH1? I would think no. Like the film stated, “Young rappers want to make music with a positive message but the industry will not accept you into a record deal.” The sad truth is that rap and hip-hop will always be stuck inside that box. Secondly, Is the attitude of the black listeners, in particular, women. I was shocked to see the women practically supporting the messages of male masculinity and dominance over women. I guess it ties back into the first point about presenting yourself in a position that deserves respect. When one women was asked what she thought about some particularly degrading lyrics towards women she replied with “well, I know he isn’t talking about me” then the interviewer stated “If George Bush addressed black people as niggas in one of his speeches then would he be talking to you” I thought this was an excellent point and my question now is how much race plays a card in what is conceived as threatening. On one hand black insults are thrown around almost subconsciously in the black community but if a white person says it, instantly it becomes an insult. This age old question I think is the meat of all the controversy. In my opinion, no matter how you slice it, race is a factor and will always be a factor in the hip-hop community.