Proposed Perception – Week 2

2 Aug


In the Week 2 reading, Susan Sontag writes, “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.” That’s just exactly it isn’t it? Focusing on a particular object, or theme, or subject will result in the appropriation of the photographed unto the photographer and viewers of the frame. She states, “Recently, photography has become almost as widely practised an amusement as sex and dancing…” Photography as a ‘social rite’ with no grandiose artistic intent is an interesting modern-day notion that needs further investigation of the social-media-feeding frames.

In the portion of the class where Dan proposed new information and new theories for us to ponder over, we took part in a small exercise where we viewed a Keynote presentation depicting examples of several aspects of the frame, including: colour, depth-of-field, and lighting. Although rather patent, it was a good introduction to the topics that we will be exploring this semester’s class.

Presented in his The Republic, Greek philosopher Plato illustrates the Allegory of the Cave – his unrestricted views on what I have come to enjoy analysing, Perception. He idealises that the ‘intelligible’ world is being masked by a domineering visible or ‘sensible’ world and that philosophers break through this illusion. With prisoners viewing shadowed puppetry and objects whilst hearing human speech, they ‘fill in’ the unknown cause and effect of the shadows based on perception. In the 21st century, this could be expanded to read: “…cause and effect of the shadows based on perception AND personal social, environmental, cultural, political and academic discourses.”

Basically, I will perceive a frame vasty (or rarely minutely) different to how any others perceive the same frame.

This brings to mind reader-centred analysis on literary texts, one of English theorists’ largest debates. Where lies the meaning and who has the control – the artist, or the recipient of art? It is a common debate that I believe, only has one true answer: the recipient of art. Why, you may ask? Because the artist is also always the recipient of their own art however the recipient of art is not always the artist. Was Plato’s Allegory of the Cave the first major exploration of perception being garnered exclusively and independently? As I was away from class on Thursday I did not make it to the screening of L’Avventura (translated “The Adventure”) however I am looking forward to finding a copy of this famous film in my own time and watching it. On the Frame is proving to be a very interesting class indeed!


Obligatory Blog Post – Week 1

2 Aug


On the Frame: yes! I have been eagerly awaiting this Media Two class all semester break. Stoked that I have Dan again as he’s ace; The Natural Confectionary Co.’s Sour Patch Watermelon flavour sweets are identically ace, in my opinion, as I eat them and salivate. What is a frame and what does the term ‘frame’ bring to mind – its history, its composition? For a frame in filmmaking, a film frame belongs to a set of frames – usually 1/24 – that construct the illusion of the moving image. Within visual arts culture the frame is, generally speaking, material (woods, metals) that ‘frames’ a still image – or moving image, or two-dimensional or three-dimensional artworks. In a gallery setting, the physical frame is the spearhead feature for focus and perspective. The artwork is often injected with life, held in an eternal frame, that’s stationary demeanour contrasts the vibrant – or non-vibrant – artwork.

As I was ill and missed the class excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria (N.G.V.), I chose to visit the N.G.V. on my day-off of study with my housemate Liam. It was fun,  gorgeous and awe-inspiring. We became separated in adoration for the artwork and I found myself entranced in a bubble of tasteful art-related analytical thoughts – whereby I was the sole inhabitant. I must add that writing this blog post to Courtney Barnett’s Kim’s Caravan is stimulating and invigorating. Forgetting the purpose of the visit to the gallery, Liam and I spent an hour wandering through the space at a leisurely house. Only when we decided that we were to get Noodle House for dinner were we content and left the N.G.V. and boarded the train from Flinders’ Street Station back to Reservoir.

For Project Brief 1, we have to take 50 shots, or frames, that explored aspects of the frame, cinematography or artists’ intentions in still images. With being sick the first week of semester, I was limited in my time available for this task. I spontaneously informed my housemates that I would love to shoot them for my work and we caught the train down to Flinder’s Street Station; our location: the Princes Bridge. Perfect location for my frames – with the Yarra River and Southbank in the background.

There were several inspirations for me for Project Brief 1 which confirmed my exploration of: sequential frames, taken rapidly at approximately two frames per second; spatial awareness and place, with all frames taking place on the same ‘focal-line’; depth of field; angle; indicated movement; and setting/location. I am looking forward to the finished product.

Christopher O’Rourke: A Portrait of Another

23 April


Christopher O’Rourke by Zachary Newbegin

For Project Brief 2, I chose to focus on my uncle Christopher O’Rourke. He was my godfather and passed away on the 18 March 1997 – nine months after my birth. Throughout the entirety of my life, I have been told all about him and have felt his presence with me. Reflecting on my finished work, I consider using Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’ as the most successful aspect of the piece. ‘Für Elise’ was Christopher’s favourite composition to play on piano and the shots of him at varying ages are complimented by the soft nature of the composition. I included Charlie Chaplin’s ‘A Night in the Show’ as it was also a favourite of Christopher’s. In consideration of how the other used ‘found footage’ works within the work, I chose to incorporate footage that illustrated my uncle’s interest in drag-queen culture and also his personal self-reflection on his journey throughout his illness. I did not want to use many visual transitions as I wanted a rather jagged look, used by a majority of cuts, to insinuate the rapid changing nature of his illness.

The most problematic part of working on this piece was to be tasteful to my deceased uncle however still encapsulate his inappropriately comedic nature and playful essence. This leads to my discussion on my learning discoveries through producing this piece. Working on Project Brief 2, in addition to Project Brief 1, I have garnered knowledge on the different creative possibilities of producing a ‘portrait’ of either myself or somebody else. When somebody thinks of ‘Media’ they automatically draw conclusions of filming and footage. My work, however, was difficult to incorporate footage due to the subject of the portrait I was producing being deceased. I chose to include several old photographs of my uncle however through editing, make it appear as though the photos have been filmed. I found that through editing, I was able to portray visual movement that I would not be able to include of my uncle due to his passing being too long ago to locate genuine footage. In reflection of what I have learnt relevant to my development as a media practitioner, I learnt that I can work around copyright by incorporating public domain videos and audio.

Media One Practical 4: Introduction to Camera Operation

9 April


In this week’s practical Media One class, we screened all of our self-portrait videos. I was pleased to watch everyone else’s as they were all informative, well-made and different. Before I went into the practical, I was asked by a classmate whether or not I was ‘nervous’ to screen my self-portrait. No, I wasn’t. I created my first Media One assessment piece which centred around the idea of my ‘self’; I was content. After the screening of 032015, I talked about the positives and negatives of my portrait and also some underlying themes I pervaded.

After the screening, the focus in the practical was on learning to operate film cameras. We went out in groups of three and were asked to create a ‘handshake’ three-shot scene. My group, naturally, took this as an opportunity to create an intense drug-dealing film. Enjoy.

Media One Lectorial 4: Editing

24 March


Week 4. Trying to get my head around that. This week’s focus in Media One revolves around editing in film and media. The reading – Scott McCloud’s ‘Blood in the Gutter’ from Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art – augmented the focus on editing and focused on the conceptual ideas at “the core of the edit”. I really enjoyed the reading as its ideas on meaning lying “between the panels” was complimented by Liam Ward’s presentation on the similar ideas on film and television. He spoke of an edit “breaking down the components” creating meaning and unintentional breaking of components should not be disregarded entirely. The notion that editing completely changes meaning is both correct and interesting. The six different types of panel-to-panel cuts in comics written by Scott can be brought over to Liam’s meaning-making through editing views on film and media.

Media One Practical 3: Introduction to Editing

19 March


Following on from project brief 1, Media One’s third practical class began with getting into groups and giving peer feedback on our self-portraits. Using a four-hat media version of Edward de Bono’s famous theory on parallel thinking “Six Thinking Hats”, we gave initial responses, what worked well, what didn’t work well and suggestions for improvement. Sharing my self-portrait, I was not nervous because I was very interested to receive feedback and determine what I could improve. With the feedback given by my peers, I decided (with their guidance) that my self-portrait could be described in one word: selective. It was well-received in capturing part of my essence and my writing was applauded; however, I was given feedback that it did not encapsulate me entirely. Which is what I knew would be the case before I even started the project brief. A wholeness cannot be represented through two videos, four photos, two sounds and 50 words of text. Looking back on my self-portrait after the feedback session, however, I can see that I was too succinct in my depictions: that is, I chose to focus on parts of myself and ignore others. In project brief 2 I will definitely try to pervade a broader sense of my being and really try to depict who I really am.

To finish off the practical class, we were given a short editing task where we had to focus on one set theme for our videos. My first created film in Media One, entitled simply ‘Movement’, has been posted on my blog previously and deals with movement (obviously) as my primary theme.

Media One Lectorial 3: Guest Speakers

17 March


In Media One’s third lectorial, three guest speakers presented: Anne Lennox, Kyla Brettle and Paul Ritchard. The lectorial’s focus was on media as a ‘public practice’ through engagement with the world and others. The presentations were informative, interesting and pedagogical. I will comment on the three presentations separately.

Anne Lennox

Anne’s primary focus during her speech revolved around copyright in medias including film, television prose, the internet and music. Copyright in the context of international patenting, moral rights and infringements to copyright were also discussed.

Kyla Brettle

Kyla’s delivery of her presentation on travelling, opportunities and international media was phenomenal. She spoke of her own life experiences in travelling to Kabul and making hard-hitting documentaries. Kyla’s primary message was to put ourselves ‘out-there’ as media practitioners, accept offers we would not normally consider inclusive of our comfort zone and do whatever it takes to succeed.

Paul Ritchard

Paul initially introduced us to the ‘film-tv blog’ on the Media Factory website which is a broader blog in terms of film, television and new media at RMIT. He spoke of serendipity and ‘happy accidents’ in terms of filmmaking and media making.

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