To begin this assignment, watch this video:
And read this article:
In The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s, author Robyn Farrell says:
“Representing the first generation that grew up with television, the artists included in this program were keenly aware of a viewer’s social and psychological experience while watching TV. Their collective works encompass the interests of this “TV generation,” and at the same time, the post-war, post-pop proclivities of a changing art landscape that ranged from minimal representation and captured action, to technophilic inquiry and appropriation. Together these videos represent artistic efforts that rechanneled a medium and its vapid promise of normative reality or neutral viewing.”
You are part of the first fully digital-native generation, who grew up with richly formed YouTube content and Social Media personas. As you watch the assigned videos, consider the context of the artists, including what media may have been available while they were making their work. Pay special attention to how those forms may be critiqued or changed by the artists’ work. Most of these artists are both critiquing a genre and pushing the medium’s boundaries while still trying to convey real, earnest information and experience.
After reading, watching and discussing the assigned materials, you will make a “How To” video. Using the assigned videos, along with contemporary YouTube, TikTok and other Social Media Videos as inspiration, make a creative and experimental “How To” Video.
As members of the first fully digital-native generation, you are uniquely positioned to make this kind of work! Your “How To” video can engage somehow with your current status as a person stuck at home, waiting out a shelter-in-place order and should answer the question “What do we need to know “how to” do right now?”
Your video can be a parody, it can be science fiction, it can be very simple, but it should be critical of the form.
How is Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen critical?
Strategies you might use to be critical of the form:
Taking a common type of instructional video and subverting it by
Inverting the process
Carrying it out to an extreme in length or effect
Layer it with other meanings using semiotics like Rosler
Delving into abstraction
Remember that the idea of and instructional video can be broad and unexpected!
Think about what might be the “Quarantine Version” of these potential forms and subject matters: A YouTube “unboxing” video or make-up tutorial, an Instagram influencer’s travel video, instructional videos on washing things, making masks, rearranging your home work space, scheduling your day, etc.
Do we need spiritual guidance? Perhaps you want to create a persona from the future, or the past, or to give us practical or emotional advice?
What would YOUR quarantine version of Semiotics of The Kitchen look like? What would it mean to insert yourself into these forms?
Whatever you decide, take inspiration from the videos we have watched! Be creative and take inspiration from your real daily life!
All forms, including animation and found footage are possible for this video. You may use cell phone and computer cam footage, scanned images, quicktime screen recordings, and found images from any source etc.
The soundtrack may not be a single song, though you may use songs throughout as background. You may also use sound effects, found recordings, or your own voice over, or interviews recorded via Quicktime or on your phone, etc.
Titles: You must have a title (name) for your video. The titles should contain the video name, your name as director and any others appearing. Credit any found media or audio, etc. You can decide how your credits look and whether they are at the beginning or end, etc.
Write 100-250 words explaining why you are using the method you chose and what your subject matter will be. Describe how your idea relates to or was inspired by one of the videos we watched.
Make a list of all of the media/shots you think you will need and describe how you plan to make or find them (e.g.: found clips of cats, interview with grandmother, recorded voice over, creaking door sound effect.)
Make a timeline describing when you will complete each part of this project.
Post your proposal on your Miro board
Read/Watch materials and think/sketch about the ways each video offers social and cultural critiques.
Get peer review (from small groups) and instructor feedback on proposal.
Include any tech workshops needed. (e.g. Lighting, Audio)
Rough Cut critique in small groups if needed.
Share and Critique.
FURTHER SUPPORT INFORMATION
Online / Video Resources:
Watch the following videos:
Dressing Up, Susan Mogul, 1973, 7:27 min, (watch both excerpts)
Selected Works, William Wegman, 1972, 8:47 min
I Am Making Art, John Baldessari, 1972, 2:08 min
Art Thoughtz, Jayson Musson, 2010-2012
How to Escape a Black Hole, Julia Oldham, 2016, 8min
Some student work: