Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
When my parents told me we were taking a family trip to Iceland last summer, I knew it was an incredible opportunity to make a documentary for my senior project. I had always been interested in how to represent landscape within film, and how to do that experimentally. I was also interested in how to advance the “family travelogue film.” The results of my footage from this trip were sub-par. However, I ended up with a few incredible, usable shots. These were the shots of the blue lagoon, in which I put my camera down on a rock not to make it obvious that I was filming, and captured the essence of my entire senior project without even knowing it.
I spent the first semester rummaging through mostly hand held, shaky footage, and slowly realized that they were not going to make a successful project, for nothing stood up to “THE SHOT.” Luckily, I had the opportunity to travel again, this time going to Mexico. I have always traveled, and have always been very aware of the effect that traveling has on the human mind, body, and soul. I realized after watching the Lagoon footage over and over that these people are sacrifices to the space around them. When you travel, you are moving through space and time faster than you humanly should be able to. Once you arrive, you are stuck. We take these moments, in the car or in the plane, as moments to sit back, relax, and dismiss the space around us. I represent this in the sequence of car shots in my film, where everything passing the window is different, but the space feels the same because we are within the vehicle. The moving vehicle is a purgatory of travel and aim. People don't care to watch the world passing by around us, no matter how beautiful, due to the mundanity of the travel space. Once we as travelers arrive at our destination, our goal, we then become part of the landscape, surrendered to what is going on around us. We walk, watch, absorb, reflect, and that is our only purpose. When space is your purpose, what do you do?
I titled this piece SIN OBJETIVO. Though appropriately in spanish relating to the Mexico part of my film, the translation of this phrase is what is important. SIN OBJETIVO, Without aim, without objective, without a lense. Though I was in these alien spaces with a camera, with a literal lens, I am observing, not filming. I am using my camera and the shots I create to allow something to happen within them. The dichotomy of Mexico and Iceland, though challenging to pair, allowed me to create two alien spaces, that function as one. I am the alienated, and you are the alienated. Though the feeling is other worldly, there is some kind of nostalgia that comes with recording and watching people. After showing an earlier cut of my film to a student from China, they said it reminded them of home and brought them an overwhelming nostalgic feeling. Humans are different, countries are different, cultures are different. But what is different about us, we walk around, we observe, we exist. Humans are the same everywhere, however, the surroundings and landscapes that rule us are different.
(LINK TO PROJECT ON YOUTUBE, WATCH IF U WANT)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Cohen, Carly Faith, "SIN OBJETIVO (Without aim, Without a Lens)" (2016). Senior Projects Spring 2016. 231.