I uploaded another one of my videos to youtube so that I could show it in class tomorrow. I’m taking over half the lecture from Ruth, to tell the students a bit about archaeology and new media, since that’s the way that most of them will experience archaeology, outside of television.
It’s not my best editing job (it’s from Fall ’06), but it will have to do for now. Remind me to take a better microphone to Turkey next year.
I’m reusing my 2007 SAA slides, even though they are woefully outdated. (Banksy? Who cares about him anymore?)
Douglass Bailey gave a great brown bag lecture at Berkeley on Wednesday titled, Neolithic architecture and 1960s art: ground, surface, dissection, and allocentric frames of reference. He was throwing around ideas about a new book he is writing that explores modern art (specifically “land art”) as a way to frame our thinking about archaeology. Indeed, Heizer’s Double Negative looks very much like a trench at first glance, but where trenches generally make me happy (just try to keep me out of any one that I see), Double Negative is actually wounding to contemplate, even on the computer, hundreds of miles away. It could be the scale, or the sheer needlessness of it, I’m not sure. Heizer succeeded, obviously.
Anyway, Bailey’s talk was interesting and provoked a lot of discussion at the end, about negatives and pit houses. As a graduate student, it’s always educational to see how exactly invited speakers respond to questions and criticism–I’ve seen some people very nearly flip out, get really emotional and just refuse to answer any more questions, some people give fairly deadpan answers, but Bailey (and, actually Alison Wylie did this as well) would take notes, and took the time to talk/think through the question with the person who asked the question. It is a nice style, and it seemed to turn the lecture more into a working group than a jury of your peers, something that could actually give good feedback instead of people trying to look smart by stumping you with difficult questions.
I’m getting better at public speaking, but am still nervous when it comes to talking about my ideas in front of my own department. Give me a conference or a classroom any day!
This is the first movie I did (that wasn’t a joint project), back in Spring of 2006, in conjunction with a project about the glass debitage of Ishi that is held in the Hearst Museum. I’d really like to publish the paper someday, but it needs substantial work.
It’s sorta long (13 mins), so I certainly don’t expect anyone to check out the full thing, but any feedback is welcome. I probably won’t edit this one anymore because the drive that had all of my scratch files died, alas.
Maybe someday I won’t be terrified when I put my video work up on the internet, but it won’t be any time soon.
While I was diligently eating saltines and drinking water this morning I happened to catch a newish PBS documentary called e2: the economics of being environmentally conscious. The subject at hand was wind power, and the show provided strong economic arguments for locally-produced power through small, family-owned wind farms that allowed people to stay on the land in this ever-urbanizing country. I was immediately taken with the gorgeous cinematography–slightly desaturated landscapes with beautiful positioning of the interviewees. This doc used the “talking heads” schema, but made the people part of the landscape instead of interviewing them inside offices and such. I still wince whenever I see the academic/expert inside their book-lined office, but I suppose it’s appropriate but highly unimaginative. There was a voice-over by Morgan Freeman and the whole presentation was impossibly slick, moving away from the shaky hand-cams and poorly lit shots that usually characterize the kind of documentaries you’d expect out of this kind of politically-motivated film-making. Two things came to mind–that I’d just about die to make my films look like this, and that the documentary looked more like an extended commercial than anything else.
I looked up the company that made the film (http://www.kontentreal.com/) and, unsurprisingly, both of the producers mentioned have backgrounds in marketing. This made sense with the scheme of the show–selling green power to the public. I did appreciate that they eschewed the fake dichotomies that these kind of documentaries (and a lot of news reporting, for that matter) employ to try to appear fair or to create tension. (Is global warming real? We dug up one guy that says no, let’s interview him!) They obviously seem passionate about this subject and everything ends well for everyone involved, with Morgan Freeman’s godly voice providing the correct conclusions for us all.
As a quick sidenote, I just finished Eric Janszen’s report in Harpers about the bubble economy and the rapidly accelerating cycles of boom and bust and he predicts that green energy is the next boom. Welcome news, and Kontentreal is helping to make it happen. I’d love to see their investment portfolios.
I suppose I am just bitter though, as I do not have access to the HDR cameras with cinematic lenses, and Brad Pitt does not narrate my scrappy little archaeology films. Their artistry is obviously not 100% financial in origin, but it seems to help. It’s just frustrating when I notice that another of their films, Ausangate, made it into the Archaeology Channel Film & Video Festival. Is there any room for an archaeologist making her own films on no budget?
I took these photos from the Catalhoyuk Photo Database, built and maintained by Jason Quinlan, and remixed them with Comic Life to illustrate a point in a small project that I will finish soon, hopefully.
Meanwhile: Is art on the internet considered public by its very nature? Is all art public? Has it always been?