Oh God, The Aftermath is a generative video experience I created as a final class project using Max/MSP/Jitter. The Max patch (Max project file) overlays 4 separate video files into a dynamic video presentation that is ever evolving and indefinite in length. The videos are divided into their red, green, and blue channels by a random control that also filters their individual opacity levels, resulting in a unique playback experience with each use.
The above 3 minute clips are a random sample of 10 recordings I made to showcase the varying experience created each time the video is run. For those experienced in Max, you can download a screen shot of the patch here, showing how the piece functions.
Due to the bleak nature of the overlapping video clips—The piece includes video of man-made effects on nature, military bomb testing footage, and clips from a documentary on the Chernobyl fallout—and ominous soundtrack, I named the finished experience after the album by Norma Jean and novel of the same name by detailsofthewar. The final video experience, in my opinion, shares many thematic similarities with both.
The project, however, is intended as a tool as well, with the capability to play any videos (2–4 at a time) with the ability to edit the playback/overlapping functions and create any number of thematic, random video experiences.
This project was my first experience with video and the Max software. Special thanks to artist Owen Lloyd for answering my emails, so I knew I was on the right track with the patch functionality.
Two fantastic videos on the history of movie title design from Art of the Title. The first, A Brief History of Title Design, a montage of the most unique title sequences in film history, was released back in March 2011. The second (my favorite) is fresh and covers the title design career of Saul Bass, most of which is unsurprisingly covered in the first video. I love how the audio syncs up with Bass’ titles in this one.
Art of the Title is a leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world that, according to the site, “honor[s] the artists who design excellent title sequences. We discuss and display their work with a desire to foster more of it, via stills and video links, interviews, creator notes, and user comments.” Check it out. There are plenty of great videos.A Brief History of Title Design The Title Design of Saul Bass
I completed the following essay in December 2010, shortly after the theatrical release of Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, and decided to post it for two reasons. The first of which is that I was really happy with the way this paper turned out and wanted to preserve it. The second is the fact that, even a year later and amidst all of the controversy that came to light after the release of this film, I’m still mesmerized by Thierry Guetta, A.K.A. “Mr. Brainwash.” A lot of people think that, and still believe, this guy was just a puppet for the film—a fact I didn’t really pursue in my paper—but he’s still out there working and selling a lot of work. In fact, he just opened his third solo exhibition earlier this month at the Opera Gallery in London, and there were plenty of protesters. Enjoy:
How MBW copied the success patterns of art’s biggest stars to become the newest art icon
“A question that many young artists ask is, ‘How are artist’s discovered?’ But the fact is, artists discover their own audiences and peers” (Grant 61).
Who is Mr. Brainwash? The french-born, Los Angeles-based figure Thierry Guetta has been called naïve, a copycat, and even a hoax. But an artist? His pieces, reminiscent of familiar Pop art images infused with street art themes, took the art world by storm and quickly became a hot item at the market–with pieces selling for as much as $300,000–regardless of any real credibility. Beginning as (or at least attempting to be) a documentary filmmaker working closely with street artists around the world made him fall in love with the movement. Over time, and with some self-inflated encouragement from art star Banksy, he dubbed himself Mr. Brainwash (or MBW for short) and became intent on making his pseudonym famous. His debut, 2008’s Life is Beautiful, was a massive undertaking that undoubtedly made him a star.
Through sheer determination, plus the right connections and a lot of ingenuity, Mr. Brainwash was able to explode into the world of not only street art, but mainstream gallery art, with little to no experience or name recognition. At first, his sheer star power led some critics to coin him the next Andy Warhol. Following Life is Beautiful MBW was commissioned to create the cover for Madonna’s greatest hits collection, along with the art for accompanying DVDs and singles, and in 2010 was the subject of the Sundance hit documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. But MBW’s portrayal in the documentary kept a majority of the art world away from his second show, Icons: Part One. Just as fast as MBW became a star, many critics began to recognize his “talent” for nothing more than successful exploitation. Jonathan Levine, owner of a New York gallery and graffiti scene insider, has called MBW’s work “all completely derivative of Shepard [Fairey] and Banksy” (Jackson and Schuker). As MBW’s career unfolds it is becoming clear that the unfavorable comparison to these two artists, as well as his early recognition as Warhol-esque, has to do with artistic talent and everything to do with artistic admiration.
This essay will explore the phenomenon and air of success Guetta was able to create around himself by blatantly copying the success patterns of other artists; namely Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Andy Warhol; who epitomize the niche mold of postmodern celebrity artists “who perform beyond their own art” (Celis). Or, in the case of MBW, beyond one’s own artistic capabilities.