In the constant change or liquid modernity1, we the humans are attached and connected without the chance of being in the isolated state of free mind and spirit. Multichannel information flows through everyday waves leaving behind a broad spectrum of knowledge, which can’t be realistically digested by an average brain in such a short time. This euphoria leaves us in an unconscious way of forgetting how to be detached or simply put in the alone stage, which is a magnificent remedy for creation of own opinions and ideas. This problem affects anyone who is on a move in fast pace environments constantly connected via social networks, mobile phones and mainly Internet in general. My audience is broad perhaps hard to define in detail as I could consider myself a part of this audience as well therefore a bit of personality made me choose this subject. The goal or solution is to create a message that would start informing people about this very simple yet very hard skill of mind quarantine.
To do so I am processing a short
video mash with an experimental twist. This film-based media mash up titled “ The Sailor’ Story “will have a story behind which will be interpreted variously according to its receiver or the person watching it. I choose my medium as video because that is what I am most comfortable using. At the same time I am not going for easy escape but video is a medium with wide-open options for manipulation and as cinematographer that what interest me the most. The main reason in my interest in this subject of lack of solitudes is the self-realization of the problem dwelling on my personal level. To realize this issue, which took quite some
time, I found out that everyday life issues and hectic schedule, which redirected my passion interests on a total hold, have separated me from own ideologies. In my mashed video project I am hoping to prove that the received information on a daily basis is making us more vulnerable to obeying the paths created by others, and our own ideas are becoming more distant from realization. A theoretical class that I have taken in which theory of liquid modernity by Z.Bauman was discussed inspired this whole idea of distant loneliness. The acquisition of video as medium in a form of a mash up for this project came upon watching random videos from the Youtube.com website. Mashed up videos have been around for quite a time now and first experiments can be dated back 1960’s. There are many-interesting artist who have created art in this medium including Martha Colburn2 and recently a form of Visual Jockey has developed .
What I want my user to receive after watching the mashed up “Sailor’s Story” is a message of messages, a bit difficult to digest but at the same time something refreshing and inspiring. The message should contain lots of visuals not necessary connected to each other as subjects but rather a kind of images of constant movement that would become overwhelming but at the same time meaningful. My ideal scenario user is a transplant from Wisconsin who has been in New York for about year and a half working as a waitress in one of the so-called trendy bistros in Meatpacking district. She holds a degree in creative writing but has hard time finding her niche in this new fast pace environment. She resides in the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she lives in a tiny room with four other roommates spending most of her earned money on rent. The crowd that surrounds her is more or less creative types with the same dilemma of finding their dream career. They all came to the city of New York with one passion to get away from their small suburban towns and achieve their goal of becoming valuable in their dream passions. My user works the late night shift and after coming back from work she automatically connects via social networks to express herself after tough day at work dealing with arrogance and corporate suit types who treat her as a sex symbol rather than human. As months pass by she totally disconnects from her dreams and becomes glued to the routine of constant information consumption where it leads her to no exit point. One night after work she meets a stranger who used to be like her. They start a small friendship and talk on the phone occasionally. After few weeks he invites her to an
independent cinema show at IFC. She accepts the proposition and makes a hard choice of calling out from work knowingly that her budget is very tight and she needs the money urgently. They both attend the show where various short experimental visual media based pieces are shown. One in particular gets her attention. It is the “Sailor’s Story” where a mashed up video pieces tell a story of undefined world we live in. The kind of world in which consumption and materialism defeats love and passion. She returns home that night inspired but in total shock and disbelief realizing that her time in this fast pace communicative status has been keeping her away from her own creations. The same night she takes out a piece of paper and pen and begins to write, something she hasn’t done in a while. The computer is turned off, and her roommates are asleep, she becomes disconnected in her writing as the night falls deeper and deeper. All of a sudden she wakes up, she looks around and there are 12 written pages on her desk. She is tired realizing she spent her night on her small table but inside she feels passion and happiness. She accomplished something she hasn’t done in a long time. She became separated in her thoughts and achieved the stage of mind quarantine, which made her hungry to create again.
Why did I name my thesis project “ Sailor’s Story”? It is a title chosen based on a methodological aspiration. In the old days sailors coming back from their voyages were always at the center of attention within local crowd who was eager to hear their stories. Now their stories might not have always been true and perhaps were odd and exaggerated, but they were told with passion and commitment. So what does that has to do with my dilemma? Well I can express my video in a sense of a sailor’s story which speaking of the visuals shown might be outrageous or very
ambitious, that in reality things of such nature couldnâ€™t take place. This relates to the mass communication, current advertisement campaigns related to mega consumption and instant information flow.
In my first irritation I gathered a packet of videos that were somehow stored in my mind and broke them apart taking most interesting sequences. These sequences were isolated end edited in a form that would somehow make sense to me in a story plot, which undoubtedly had nothing to do with my final irritation. This was a simple test of images that were put together, although I mentioned the unrelated sequences I kind of realized that by looking at such mashed clip, the message could be taken as multi information that does relate to my dilemma.
The final outlook has to be more dysfunctional; meaning finding very rare clips perhaps the most uninteresting ones and combining them into a source of information with my message. This task will be difficult, as I will have to dig deep down into research and pull out these amazing to say forgotten clips. The second part of the process will be user testing which will be conducted via class and virtual space such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion to name a few. The final output which I hope will cause controversy and time to rethink daily consumption will be an experimental package that could be submitted to various gallery spaces and exhibitions. Recently walking on Second St. and Ave A in the East Village of Manhattan I discovered a large projection screen on a buildings wall. As I started walking through this path more regularly I observed that videos playing there are rare and meaningfulness to the current situation. Perhaps projecting my Sailor’s Story to an open source community would be something to consider as well. Looking to next semester hopefully more productive and optimistic, and overall not swallowed by too much information that turned me into a boring closed minded individual.
Works Cited 1. Bauman, Zygmunt. 44 Letters from the Liquid Modern World. Cambridge, UK. Polity Press, 2010 2. Martha Colburn. http://www.MarthaColburn.com