Wednesday, October 31, 2012

self-assessment remix

Kristin Seymour
Project 2

            Part one of project two was a collaborative project with Colby’s Advanced Photo class. This project was called the “remix” project and was a reflection off of remixes in the music world. The task at hand was to exchange an image with our partner. We then were free to “remix” it as much as we wanted; however we wanted. My partner was Mimi and the image she gave me was on a negative slip. It was a naked girl with flowers over her breasts. The image I gave to her was an image I took this summer while shooting for a photography competition. I chose this image because I had been wanting to convert it to black and white and do something interesting with it. Since, the class she was in was a darkroom class that worked primarily in black and white, I knew she would remix it into something interesting.
            My process was very multi dimensional and multi formatted. I started by developing the image in the dark room. I decided to do this because of the nature of the raw image she gave me. It was a negative, and with my knowledge in the dark rom I just felt it was appropriate to develop it originally in this way.  In the dark room was when I realized that the girl in the photograph had a very large scar on her chest most likely from open-heart surgery. This simple feature changed the whole mood of the image from sensual and sexual too mysterious and slightly disturbing. I chose in this moment to no longer focus on the flowers but rather to accentuate the scar on the subject’s chest. I also wanted to make the image appear even more mysterious and dark by increasing the contrast. I accomplished this by using a darkroom technique called split filtering. This created the high contrast in the photo as well as keeping a high texture and tonal range on her skin. The background became a very deep black and the outlines of her body were intensified as well as the scar. This process made the scar pop out even more then in the original image. I then scanned in the image and worked on it in Photoshop. I did some minor editing in Photoshop to show the scar more and increase the detail and contrast.
            The idea of this unit is all about external output, so for this remix project, I tried different materials and methods of transfer. I first tested with matte medium onto canvas with pain beneath it and did not like it. Then I reverted back to my comfort zone with super sauce and transferred onto wood and Plexiglas. I finally tried placing decals onto a mirror. I liked this a lot but only at certain angles. So I finally decided to try matte medium transfer onto canvas one more time. I liked the result. I created the non-linear border by scraping away the matte medium. This made the image appear to be more antique and creepy. During this project I forced myself to learn other experimental processes like matte medium transfer and printing on decals. I only worked with super sauce last year so it was nice to expand my experimentation this class.
            I chose to print my original image on the nubby silk fabric. I then canvas wrapped it around canvas stretchers. This is the first time I have completed a canvas wrap and I am pleased as to how it turned out. I chose the nubby fabric because the photograph itself was very textural. It was a photo of a rusty chain and rusted metal beams under a boat. The nubby fabric added a similar texture to the texture seen in the image. In the end I rubbed my fingers over the image to pull out the knots in the fabric to make the texture even more apparent.
            As far as my work habits were, I spent less time overall then normal, but my normal time spent on a project exceeds 30 hours. I spent about 12 hours on this project. I have noticed in the past that I spend more time on my projects then my classmates and I have been trying to lessen my work time. I feel that sometimes I over work and over stress myself and no better work comes out of it. I am very pleased with my two finished products. I feel that my two works were well composed and well presented. Honestly, I was very disappointed in the level of presentation of my classmates and Colby’s class. Most all of the other works were not ready to hang. People did not bring their own materials and the artworks were not gallery material as we were told to have. A lot of the prints were not mounted and the other works were rough around the edges. I made sure my pieces were smooth around the edges, gallery ready and ready for hanging and I brought my own supplies (command strips).
            I believe the message that viewers will take from my remix piece is similar to the one I took the moment I saw the images enlarged on a projector. I think people at first will just see an almost naked girl with flowers on her breasts but soon as they approach the artwork closer, see the scar. They will then wonder about the scar and how this otherwise blemish free body obtained such a mark strait down her chest. I think that the image will not be seen as sexual but more so mysterious and a bit uncanny. For my original image I think viewers will first see it for what it simply is, a photograph. But I think they will see that this photo is semi three-dimensional. I think that the normal public is not so used to seeing canvas wrapped photographs and they will want to approach it closer to look. It is then that I hope they see the texture not only in the image itself but the literal texture within the fabric the image is printed on. I know my friends that I walk by with have told me they want to touch it but they know art is usually not meant to be touched, but I encourage them to feel it.  I want them to feel the physical texture of the piece.
            I feel that my most successful areas of this combined project were mainly the presentation of the two pieces, they were very finished and gallery ready. Also, I believe that I did well at stepping out of my comfort zone from last year. I worked only in super sauce last year and this year I avoided it mostly. I used new transfer materials as well as printing on fabric. I experimented with new materials and in the end I liked the results. I also crossed many different mediums in this project. I used digital photography, dark room processing, scanners, digital processing, alternative fabric printing, experimental transferring and canvas wrapping. I would honestly give myself an A plus because I feel I pushed myself in new directions but I also produced two artworks I am very pleased with.

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