Date of Submission
Kenji Fujita, Kristen Lucas
The attempt to build my work around a specific idea was stifling. When I stopped overanalyzing and I began to create from the images in my mind, I was able to express myself more fluidly and cohesively. With this method I created work that I believe to be both sensitive and dynamic.
To arrive at this point I had to overcome two great weaknesses in my art: the inability to create a visceral and vivid experience, and to close the inevitable schism between myself and the finished work. Initially I concentrated on form, movement, and texture which may have appeared aesthetically pleasing but the result was neither compelling nor moving. My bond to this work was always impermanent, rupturing once the process of creation ended.
Throughout this past year I attempted to create emotionally provocative work that I was tied to. To accomplish this I took on an entirely new medium, Video.
I did video and eventually performance because it terrifies me. Video is a permanent documentation of a reality. Because I appear in the films an indelible relationship is created between myself and my art. It is impossible to hide from the camera. It captures and displays every emotion and movement. I have absolutely no acting skill. What the videos present are My genuine reactions. For the first time I feel a sincere responsibility for each finished piece and the impact that piece has on my work. I feel the films are engaging and entertaining while at the same time they reach the viewer on a visceral level, with true aesthetic value.
I ultimately achieved most of my objectives. However, along the way I ran into several major problems, one of which did not manifest itself until the end. As I was creating from mental images and impulse I had very few preconceptions of the final pieces. This lead to difficulties separating out the ineffective from the effective, presenting the intrinsic meaning of the work, and most importantly understanding how each video would influence the viewer. As the work came together I was witnessing each piece for the first time, I moved from the role of artist to spectator, and was not prepared for the end result. Nor was I prepared for vulnerability and exposure I felt when witnessed my work being viewed by others.
From observing viewers’ interaction it became clear that there are two components in video art — the video itself and how the video is presented. In retrospect, the TV monitors and their videos should have been more carefully arranged. At the time I did not realize the great importance of the physical dynamic between the individual pieces. It is obvious now that arrangement and positioning is essential to draw attention and create a purposeful attraction to each successive video. A strong relationship between each work creates a surrounding experience and tone.
I feel I succeeded in creating an emotionally charged project that communicated a unified and interesting experience. It is clear to me the work that I made this past year has created a new and exciting momentum for my future art.
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Birnbaum, Emma S., "Untitled" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 209.
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