Kara Walker had some interesting things to say about race that caught my attention. She says that a lot of times in film, the lives of the back characters wouldn’t be shown in the same way as the white characters. The black characters lives would be in the margarine of the story compared to the rest of the story. She also says that she found some satisfaction that the museum taking her work actually took her work because the majority of viewers would be surprised seeing work from a Black girl. This statement was powerful to me because art is a place where people can express themselves and open up on the hinge that make is unique for everyone else. But in Kara’s situation, she would still be judged on her art in a certain way because she is a black person. I enjoyed the presentation style of this video. It was filmed in a large room with a big crowd of people, which feels weird now because of covid and everything. But it felt like I was in the crowded spectating Kara. Large crowds seem so strange to me now, and it’s a bit scary that I feel that way now. I enjoyed looking at her art. On the surface the drawings seemed somewhat simple, but the meaning is so important compared to just the physical art. This is an example office importation the meaning is behind art, and that ie ehag makes it art because it comes from the heart and it’s something that the maker is passionate about.
The black and white really old aesthetic of this video provided a very different viewing experience because it felt a lot further from a talk or presentation in the same way as the other events I’ve been a part of so far. This was definitely trying to out the viewer in the correct frame of mind for the content. He talks about being forced to specialize in a specific form ofstudy in college. He apparently chose to be an actor at first but William failed at that. He then tried to be a filmmaker and also failed at that. I find it really inspiring when successful people are able to confidently talk about their failures. Because everything obviously worked out in the long run, so being able to assess past shortcomings and know where you went wrong is really satisfying. William says that after failing he became someone who draws, but his drawing won’t into films and painting in the opposite way from what he was told when he first started school. All of these specialties blended together to make art as a unit and I find that to be beautiful. It is also a prime example of the importance of just trying to find your last on your own, and to never let other people’s opinions limit your creativity. All art is inspired by other art, which is beautiful to me because art can be so many different things like film, paintings, video games etc. Also, drawing with charcoal is really cool to me for some reason and I never thought About that until now.
Mediation is something I’ve Never considered doing until watching this video. Part of my interest now definitely had to do with David Lynch because I naturally want to trust what he says because I like him as a person. David Lynch talks about how anyone can meditate, and it can fill a whole that someone has in themselves. He says that you just “sit back and watch things get better and better” it sounds like a very calm and soothing way to handle stress. I also think it’s funny that David first heard about meditation from the Beatles. Not only that, but he says that he also thought mediation was a waste of time until he actually tried it and he was then able to understand its importance. This is a bit of a side note, but this was also one of the few times I’ve actually listened to David Lynch talk about something not film related. I’m sure mediation helps with the craft of filmmaking, but this talk is solely focused on something not firstly related to film. David also described meditation as a why to go in and find your happiness. This also makes me interested enough to give it a try because I have been feeling unhappy more that usual as of lately. Regarding the presentation style, I really enjoyed it because the camera was just on David and Susie’s faces, so it felt like a more intimate conversation about something that is very important for someone’s mental health. It was overall I well rounded experience
Listening to Benjamin Lowder speak about ancient Egypt was really interesting. He used a lot of PowerPoint presentation type stuff but he wasn’t very reliant on the PowerPoint because he was only using it to show pictures, while he talked for awhile about just projects here. Benjamin Lowder talked a lot about geodesic domes, as well as some art projects he did around Carbondale. He talked a lot about southern illinois’ connection with agent Egypt, which is something I have very vague knowledge about. I always knew that illinois has a section in the south called “little Egypt” but I didn’t realize that we were a part of it. Then again, our mascot is an Egyptian dog so maybe I should have thought more about it. I always hear that Cairo, illinois wasn’t a very good place. And that town it always what I associated illinois’ rgyptian connections with. Obviously, that was ignorant for me to think that way. Bejamin Lowder explained why appreciatingillinois heritage is important because it is so unique compared to other states. We are basically in the middle of nowhere and we have a cool connection to another part of the world, and that should be celebrated. Benjamin’s Egyptian inspired art allows people the opportunity for people to learn about illinois connection with Egypt in the same way that I did from listening to Benjamin Lowder speak. This event was more educational for me than I originally thought it would be. I was very entertained the whole time and I learned a lot of new information.
Michele Leigh and Lora Mjolsness shared a few interesting and unique animated films during their presentation. The main topic of their lecture was the importance of learning about and respecting the work of female filmmakers from the Soviet Union and Russia.
They showed some very old animated short films that felt like a completely new genre to me. They basically felt like I was watching really old Disney cartoons, except they were made in Russia. The kind of animation felt nostalgic because it felt as if it were from the early sound period, but the 2D animation was really eye catching to me because I have barely watched any animated films of this kind, let alone from Russia and the Soviet Union.
I don’t remember if it was Michele or Lora who said this, but there was one thing that was my strongest take away from this lecture. They stressed the importance of remembering the female directors of this time period, and how they need to be acknowledged in the history of cinema. However, they can’t just be acknowledged as being in the same conversation as male directors from this period because that is disrespectful, and ignoring the gender of these important women is just as disrespectful as not talking about them at all.
These women need to be remembered for exactly who they are because there were not a lot of women doing what they were doing back then. And that they need to be remembered in their own conversation, outside of male directors because of their significant contributions that had nothing to do with men.
Listening to Keith Knight speak has been the most moving event I have been a part of so far this semester. Keith didn’t just speak about his Hulu series, “Woke” he also spoke a lot about racial injustice in America, and talked about it in a way I have never experienced before.
Keith is a very experienced and talented cartoonist who has been making comics for quite a long time. I don’t remember how long he has been making them, but he talked about having a massive book of all his comics and dropping it onto the table at the end of his pitch for “Woke”, which I thought was a badass way to conclude a pitch and set yourself apart from other people in the heads of the producers.
He shared a lot of his comics with us that displayed the massive problem of racial injustice in our country. He had countless examples that could all be applicable to the way that some people think in our country today. It was shocking to me how all of what he showed us is still applicable in today’s society, when a lot of the comics were made multiple years ago.
To me it really shows how little progress has been made, and how we have a lot further to go to reach racial equality in the United States.
Keith also shared that the main char5acter is based off of himself, and that some of the moments in the show were actually things that Keith experienced in his own life such as when he was putting up flyers for his band and the cops violently harassed him.
Listening to Jay Needham speak on Zoom was an incredibly interesting experience. I love when I get to hear about what work professors do outside of the classes they teach, because I know that those works are probably what the professor is most passionate about, because they chose to work on them in their free time.
Jay’s “Radio Piano” project was something that stood out to me the most during his presentation. Putting old radios around all the seats in the audience was a method of performance that I never would have thought to use like how Jay used it. I would think that the more contemporary strategy would be just placing more surround sound speakers around the auditorium. However, Jay’s strategy allowed for a more immersive experience, along with a different and older aesthetic because the radios being used were older than even a boombox would be right now.
Jay Needham displayed his work by showing us photos and playing audio tracks to provide us with a similar experience to what the audience would feel during the actual performance. Jay seemed really good about creating a unique experience for the audience member because of the unique body of work that he produces. As we listened to the “Radio Piano” track, the piano would sometimes play normal notes that would provide a soothing experience. And other times we would hear very jarring sounds coming from the speakers that didn’t even sound like they were coming from a piano.
I wish I could’ve been physically in the audience for this performance because it almost feels like an out of body experience with he radio speakers right next to the seats.