Whenever you learn something new, you always start from the beginning. You start with the basics, the concepts. Concepts just so happen to be the focus of this website.
My website is a compilation of assignments and projects I have created over the course of this unit. I have learned basics in various applications, such as ProTools, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver. Through poems, an essay, and a conceptual art project, I have enhanced my ability to thick deeply and analyze the greater meanings behind stylistic choices. As a result, I am able to present to you the following compilation. Just a few of the final products include four different poems in different styles, an original work of conceptual art, and a piece of experimental music. It is my hope that everyone who explores my work will find at least something they enjoy.
Immediately below, is a reading of my expository essay. This essay gives an explanation of a specific passion of mine. My topic of choice: meditation. Meditation is a growing passion of mine that continues to become increasingly important not only in my daily life, but also in a long term spectrum. Through this essay, I hope to introduce meditation to those who don’t practice it and to provide a new perspective to those who already meditate.
Over the course of this unit, three poems have been assigned. They are as follows: a free verse based on a previously created haiku, a spoken word on any topic of my choice, and finally an ekphrastic (a poem in response to a work of art), based on a work of art exhibited at the SFMOMA. This is the origin of my poetry section. Once the poems were written, pondered, and revised, the next step came from the Digital Media classroom. The assignment was to embellish the poems. A picture that held meaning, music to set the tone, and a dictation of each individual poem all brought new depth to the written works. Using applications such as ProTools (for the audio), Photoshop (for the text/picture combination), and Dreamweaver (to bring it all together), the written works were giving new life.
Poetry is difficult; difficult to write, difficult to illustrate, and difficult to embellish. I struggled with each of my topics and every single word. How can express my greater meaning in these few words? My only hope is that I did. Is the mood truly conveyed through the music? I’m generally a pretty moody person, but that’s not what my audio was intended to convey. Did I do my poems justice in their readings? All I can do is give the my best attempt and hope. I have worked hard on each one and hope that everyone who views them can see that.
My haiku is based on the following statement: exploring the feeling of desperation through the experience of destruction. So naturally, the most desperate thing I could think was the need to continue a species. And what is something that destroys? Fire. You may be wondering, how on earth do those relate? Here it is; the seeds of a pine tree are sheltered inside of the tree’s pine cone. How are released from this cage you ask? Fire. Specifically wildfires. Through the destruction of much of the surrounding environment, evergreen trees are able to prosper and grow all the while creating new offspring. That is what my haiku is about.
Once my haiku was created and revised, I enhanced my work through my Digital Media class. Using ProTools, I recorded a performance of my poem, added music to set the mood. I then used Animate to add that audio onto my photo and text. The completed product is what is below.
Known and Neglected
Conceptual art; art that conveys a specific message through basic objects and images. Art that requires thought and attention and an open mind. It also happens to be an assignment from a certain design class. This assignment led me through the process of this style of art. Through brainstorming, to executing, and editing. In the end, I have been left with the final product you can see before you. But within each of the step to that final product, there were smaller actions that made all the difference. Brainstorming required my own ideas, but also the collective of ideas and opinions and polishes that came from my peers and teacher. Once my idea was refined and finalized, then came the execution. And let me just say that lighting, was not my friend for most of it. Neither was my little sister, who complained through each shot taken of the shadow of her hand. Finally, the editing. The making, or breaking, of my product. I am proud of what I have created. This came from me; my mind and my hard work (you may be thinking, what about everyone who helped? Just know that asking for help can be very hard for me). This piece, is what I have to show for my efforts.
My conceptual art piece is based on my poem “Neglectful Mind.” This poem describes how a shadow causes a desert to acknowledge something important that it ignores. The first stanza introduces how the shadow “[haunts] the barren landscape.” The shadow grows more prominent, until in the final stanza, the shadow finally forces the desert to face what is “known and neglected.” As I contemplated the metaphors and meanings of my poem, I focused on how the desert is a metaphor for the mind. A desert is a plain landscape that allows for little things to stand out, but also to be hidden. Someone’s mind can conjure up any thought, but it also can strongly oppose something. These ideas brought me to the concept of how we can become trapped within ourselves and our own thoughts. The shadow in my poem is actively calling something to the desert’s attention, which brought about the idea of how it is impossible to get yourself to not think of something (i.e. if you try to not think about something, you will undoubtedly think about it).
My piece is a mousetrap baited with a globe, with a shadow of a hand about to trigger the trap. The shadow of the hand is seen on a grey wall; the wall represents the grey matter of the brain while the shadow of the hand represents the conscious mind. The globe represents anything that can draw the mind’s focus, with the strongest usually derived from outside influences. With focus on the shadow, the globe is blurred. Just like how the globe is still easily identifiable and black and white, things that we get stuck on, or mentally trapped by, may be recognizable with time and focus but in the moment are not always seen clearly. Our attention gets glued to something and before we have a chance to properly evaluate it, we are left with consequences that have the potential to harm us in some way. Sometimes, we blatantly ignore what is right in front of us, even if we know of this potential harm.
Though I am generally a fairly neutral and calm person, I tend to be restless. I enjoy being outside; being stuck sitting at a desk from early morning to late at night leaves me constantly fidgety. I shift in my seat, knee bouncing, attention regularly diverted. But most of all, I will find my mind in any place other than where it is supposed to be. Through my experimental music piece, I have hoped to convey that constant change and restlessness. It isn’t supposed to sound perfectly put together and sections may feel out of place or not quite right, but this is exactly how it is intended to be. A feeling of unrest.
When I began composing my piece, “Unrest”, I had ambitions of using different effects, with any number of different sounds and instruments. As I worked to refine “Unrest,” I found that the best way to create a sense of focus amongst the fitful theme, was to have the entire piece played by a single instrument. As a result, the piece is an instrument focused on creating a restless composition. It is a focused attempt at unrest.