Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"The Lawrence Difference" - A Social Commentary

     Commenting on society is a very risky thing because you are bound to offend some portion of the population; making a social critique on a community as small and tight-knit as Lawrence seems even more daunting. Although in incorporating social critiques one does not seek to offend or upset anyone, I believe there is strength in pointing out something that might have otherwise been invisible to even just one person. 

     Using Robert Frank's style of taking the everyday mundane and using it to comment on society, I tackled the large issue of "lack of diversity" at Lawrence University. In the sense that I am trying to portray it as, "diversity' can take on many different meanings. To one person my photographs can be about race, to another gender, and to another even randomness might come through. It is this fluidity of meaning that I was reaching for in this project. I want any Lawrence student or faculty member to see these photographs and ultimately see a part of themselves in the work. Many people on this campus believe that lack of diversity is no longer an issue. I believe that is not true. Whether you are part of the majority or part of the minority, you are part of a something larger than yourself and it is important to reflect on what those things might be. 

      The Lawrence "Difference", is an examination into the social fabrication of Lawrence University. 
Each photo I have chosen displays a public area of Lawrence University tailored to represent the reality of its student and faculty.

Lauren Semivan

     Lauren Semivan's work is wonderfully....confusing! One of my favorite things about her work is that if you were to simply come across it, in a setting with no context, you would have no idea what exactly it is that you are looking at. When disregarding the title of the pieces and the explanations she gave in class, one can look at her work and get lost in the many possibilities of what it is that they are seeing.
     At times I personally see a charcoal drawing, perfectly shaded and rigid in the areas needed. Other times I see a "still-life photography" style of art. Either way, whichever route I choose to take the artwork in my mind, it leads me astray every time and I find that occurrence fascinating. - Lauren Semivan
     One of the most interesting things about Lauren is how she lives outside of the world in a sense. Away from cities, away from modern technology she is able to come to peace in her work. Although I personally do not ever think I would be able to separate myself from the "mainstream" I think that the artwork that results from those who do can be very compelling. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

REBIRTH - Experimental Film

At the high speeds of electric communication, purely visual means of apprehending the world are no longer possible; they are just too slow to be relevant or effective.

     In McLuhan’s writing, he mentions the linearity of space and time as presented by many mediums in our time. In my experimental film, “Rebirth”, I created a world where time is fluid and space is irregular. In the general scope of the film we follow the ending cycle of a life but come across the start of another. The film explores a theoretical examination into the realms of purgatory, the notion of an “in-between” and ultimately the concept of life after death.
     I decided to begin my approach with sound. I used several programs to mix together a soundscape, which I thought encompassed a mood that I could then express visually in the film.
Workflow in FL Studio of "Rebirth" Soundscape
Four types of audio generators used in track
Still frame of subject against green screen
Original stills of subject and location (unedited)
  Once the audio was complete, I turned my attention to the visual aspects of the film and drafted a plot, storyboarded some ideas, contacted an actor and filmed the sequence. Since the genre is “experimental” I didn't rely on pre-production planning as much as I normally do. However, I did want my images to fit and coexist with one another. I wanted the scenes to help the viewer through the journey of the character; with each moment they see, a larger picture becomes vivid.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sandra L. Dyas

    Effortlessly beautiful; those are the words I would use to describe the work of Sandra L. Dyas. When looking at each of the photographs she displayed in the Wriston Gallery as well as those online, a constant theme that I see come through her photographs is a sense of being at the right place at the right time, with the right eye and the right equipment to capture it all. All of her photographs have a naturalistic feel to them and when listening to her speak in the lecture that is further emphasized. Sandra’s approach to finding subjects for her photographs seems so random and fluid. However, stylistically her photographs are obviously highly composed and structured.
One of the things that I found fascinated about Sandra was her age. She spoke about being a mother to her daughters and a grandmother to Caroline, her granddaughter/muse. It was interesting to me how she grew up in a world where technology was very different and although she had always been a photographer, the changing environment changed her way of creating art. She went from an artist who used actual film to one who works solely in the digital format. One would think that her pictures would look somewhat different as time passed, but they don’t. I still see Sandra every step of the way.
     In her earlier photographs, just as her recent ones, her composition is simple, stripped almost. The photographs, even though the years and variation of mediums, still feel personal. When speaking with Sandra she detailed how much she uses natural lighting and compositions that she simply comes across in a particular moment of time. She did mention she has a fascination with collages but that even those works of art are composed of photographs that were once simple. I think it’s amazing that her style transcends time and mediums. I personally think that as art becomes more easily customizable through use of technology, that it is harder to remain true to a stripped style; Sandra’s work does just that. She is able to bring forth a seemingly old photographical style into a modern realm and capture audiences’ young and old alike.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Who Am I?

I have always had reservations about calling myself an artist because I revere the title and hold it to a very high standard. I believe that many people have the ability to create art, but artist have the ability to change the world with their art; I find that to be a very powerful thing. My goal is to one day become an artist and use my art to reach people. Whether the change is great or small, a change in itself is massive in my eyes.
My art is a combination of multiple mediums. At its core, my art takes form of media, video to be specific is my passion. However, in conjunction with video I incorporate music that helps me audibly tell whatever story I am trying to tell visually. What I ultimately want to share with the world is the vision that I mentally see whenever I hear music. I want people to see as I have seen; I want them to feel as I have felt, to see and understand that everything is a connection. People and art, music and film, ultimately we are all one. My name is Steven Alexander and my world is my art. 

Below are some examples of the type of art that I have created or that I find inspiring:

(A music video that I created using the body movement of a fellow Lawrence student)

(My Pintrest account where I save images that I find inspiring, artful or interesting)

(A recent music video that embodies the type
of media I would love to be creating)

I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.