Monday, June 8, 2015

Elements (Final Project)

“Elements” has been a long time coming. Collaborating with Htee has been something that we have always wanted to do. One of my favorite things about this project is that it shows just how different my style is compared to Htee’s. I am a person who mainly focuses on video making while Htee specializes in photography. Stylistically we also differ because I love ambiguity, abstraction, darkness and strong contrast while Htee loves just about the opposite.

Throughout the project I learned many things that I did not know before. I learned the importance of make up, both physically applied or virtually applied, the versatility of fabric, the contours of the face and new methods of photo editing. As the photographer of all the photos I was able to put my directing knowledge to use on Htee as my model as well as my methods of photo editing and video editing.

Even though we come from such different backgrounds and have such different tastes we were able to work together to create something that we both love and both feel is a reflection of us. When I look at Htee’s photographs I see my work and myself in them just as much as I do when I look at my own. Deciding to create our individual edits came as a result of noticing how different our aesthetics were and how those differences were more of a reason to work together and learn from one another.

Below you will see both of our individual edits and a silent video that brings the photographs to life with movement.  This project is our own interpretation of some of natures elements.

Element 1 - Steven Alexander
Element 2 - Steven Alexander
Element 3 - Steven Alexander
Element 4 - Steven Alexander
Element 1 - Htee Tmoo

Element 2 - Htee Tmoo

Element 3 - Htee Tmoo

Element 4 - Htee Tmoo

Monday, May 4, 2015

Carolee Schneemann

Carolee Schneemann was a very interesting woman to study because of how strange she and her work was. As I researched her I was immediately drawn to the very thing that her works try to dispel. I was drawn in by the vulgarity, the strangeness, the sexuality and the rawness of the pieces. However, upon further analyzing the works, I came realize how they use societal conventions to make a broader statement about who we are as a society. In her works like “Meat Joy” and “Fuses”, the subjects and the aesthetic immediately point to a pornographic culture. However, when you look beyond the naked bodies and the sexuality of the piece, you get down to the essence of what Carolee Schneemann explores, which is human connection. All her life she has explored the relationship between man and woman and has fought the patriarchal system that has kept her from achieving true equality and freedom. In these works she achieves that freedom by removing male dominance and simply having the existence of people, together.
Carolee has been labeled a feminist pioneer artist because she had fought to put women at the forefront of something they have historically been removed from. I think that Carolee is much more than that label. I think that she is a revolutionary artist who pushes limits and boundaries with her subjects and her chosen mediums. I think our society as a whole was and continues to be uncomfortable with the rawness and the explicit nature of sex, sexuality and gender and it is because of artists like Carolee Schneemann that we can see a world beyond that we currently have today.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lawton Hall

Meeting and observing Lawton Hall was an interesting experience because I felt connected to him even though he was a complete stranger. Knowing that he was an alumni was one thing but hearing his experience after Lawrence was what cemented my association with him. As a graduating senior, one of the things that seems the most daunting is the unplanned nature of life after Lawrence. Ever since I was a child I have been in a system that was planned and created for me. College was part of that system but life after college is up to me. Hearing Lawton’s experience on how his experience in Appleton started his career was refreshing and eye opening.
One of the things that spoke out to me most was the existence of artist residencies. The ability to work for your shelter but also have the time to work on your craft was really engaging. I will admit that the possibility of an artist residency spoke to me and I have begun to research the topic further. Lawton Hall’s visit was refreshing because he was an artist that was admittedly still figuring things out even as he presented his successes to us. I truly believe that he has the talent to do whatever it is that he wants. Having him admit he himself does not know every one of his next moves made it feel much more ok for me to embrace the unknowingness that I have been turning towards for the past couple months. Mystery is exciting.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Stansbury Theater Seating Chart (Image Source:

Theater: The space itself
Theatre: The art in that space

“In particular if one takes the map in its current geographical form, we can see that in the course of the period marked by the birth of modern scientific discourse, the map has slowly disengaged itself from the itineraries that were the condition its possibility. “ The Practice of Everyday Life (pg. 120)

As a Theatre Major with emphasis on Production, Design and Directing, I have worked on shows since I was a freshman. I went from the simple jobs like painting the nuts and bolts of a door to ultimately directing and designing large productions. During this past fall term I completed my capstone that combined my two passions of film and theatre together in one coherent project. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The Staged Adaption, was born.
For this project, I wanted to show footage of this show in a way that detailed how a vast empty space can ultimately become a place where entire stories and journeys are told. When you walk into an empty Stansbury Theater you see seating for an audience and you see an elevated empty space. That's it. There is nothing interesting or special about the space other than its constant underlying potential. When my show opened, my co-creator Kayleigh Kitzman and I took our audience on a journey that unfolded on that very stage. We showed the progression of two characters lives and the world that surrounded them. What was once an empty meaningless space forever changed due to the events and moments that it housed.

I matched this project with the quote above about the changing nature of places and how a space can be disconnected from what it has or could ultimately become. Stansbury, like the map in the quote, goes through constant discourse and changes to encompass the world that it is going to present to an audience at a particular time. Stansburys existence has changed for me because, even though it has gone back to its “mundane empty space” mode, it is ready to house another potential world. Stansbury Theater was the place where I took on the hardest project I've ever done in my life and where I learned the most about my work and myself.