Friday, January 4, 2013

Web Video is the Great Attractor

Sometimes I wish this weren't true, but it is: Video is hypnotic.
It's even more powerful than "I'll tell you a story..."
"Let me show you something..." and people will drive into oncoming traffic to have a look.

Video works like that on people and, as I read in every source about search engines, search engines are fascinated by video, too. So the promise of video helps get people to look at your art and keeps them looking once they start.

(I'd be making these videos for the pleasure of the backstage pass aspect and for the honor of being a society's aesthetic memory. But I'm glad it's good for artists, too.)

In the next series of posts, I'll be talking about The Art Effect, the different aspects of experiencing art, and how studio visits serve some of those ends.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Artforum video section, q.v.

ArtForum's video page.
They've got a little bit of everything and lately a lot of Robert Hughes, carving his old fashioned pronouncements in stone (almost always right, but the address is dated.)
I've been listening to a lot of artists talk about their own work and my favorites are always the simple stuff. When they say they like red and yellow together or their early work was mostly to tick off their teacher at SAIC or they could copy anything but didn't know what to do with it. (Marilyn Minter, this last, in a lecture at the Hammer.)

Maybe they'll throw in a little ArtSpeak or a Walter Pater allusion, but generally short words and sincere statements about likes and problems, that's what hooks me.
So when I'm directing a studio visit video, I try to steer them that way. If they insist you can't understand their work without taking a position on indexicality, oh all right.

And the artist interviews on Artforum's video page have those revelations.
Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The light touch

Documentarians debate observing versus directing.
It's a massively muti-variant equation that I have to solve while I'm one of the shifting values plugged into the calculation.
"Let's see, if I don't ask her to repeat that, I'm not sure I got good sound. But if I interrupt, she might lose this confessional mood. The L is going to come by in a moment and in fifteen minutes the sun will be off her studio window." Meanwhile, I want her to feel safe revealing these things about her childhood and her piquant relationship with her father.

We're collaborating and it's my job to make it easy for them to tell their story.
In fact, my weakness is that I like everybody to be happy and that doesn't always make the best, truest documentary art. So, I'm finally learning to let people take the risks they're willing to take in opening up. But that's hard. Maybe they need to have a safeword for the pain of exposure.

Maybe I should only work with sociopaths and not worry. I bet they have good budgets.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Susan Aurinko at work.

When a sophisticate with a camera comes back from Paris or Varanasi, you know it's going to be interesting. I think Susan sees beauty everywhere and knows how to share it. We've been collaborating on a short about her, though only a little of it is actually in her Chicago studio. The rest is from the streets and train tracks of Chicago, the shop windows of Paris, the ghats and streets of India, and bedrooms (her recently vacated hotels beds around the world.) After we finish this Studio (and everywhere else) Visit Video, we're doing stills and video for her Lens Flair scarves, printed with some of her most dramatic images. I'll keep you posted.