Date of Submission

Spring 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Film and Electronic Arts; Music

Project Advisor 1

Ben Coonley

Project Advisor 2

Matthew Sargent

Abstract/Artist's Statement


Cariahbel Azemar

Both life and the mind are cyclical in nature. Through the mediums of live action, 3d and 2d animation, and found footage filtered through original music, Neuroplasticity is an attempt to momentarily arrest this cycle and document an arc.

This film took on several evolutions before it became the piece it is today. Being more musically inclined than I am filmically, I’ve known since my first year that I wanted my senior project to utilize those interests of mine. This piece was originally going to be a musical narrative about a fictional character, but when I couldn’t find the right story I decided to focus on myself as a character. Most of the films I’ve created during my time at Bard have been centered on myself, so I decided to try that angle again, and Neuroplasticity was born.

This piece was inspired by both Janelle Monae’s “emotion picture” Dirty Computer and Sue Friedrich’s Sink or Swim. When I first listened to the Dirty Computer album, I wasn’t too impressed by any of the songs, but as soon as I watched the “emotion picture” visual album, I became infatuated with the pieces. I used that information to inform my project. Since all of my songs are tied to very specific personal situations, I think tying them all together in a visual album makes them more universal. My shoulder pains, car troubles, and broken heart may not be universal, but the visual of pain is. Merging the two mediums allowed me to keep my songs very specific but also accessible to others. Sue Friedrich’s Sink or Swim was an eye opener for me. It really gave me a benchmark for what I was looking to create in a diary film. It showed me that I could narrate and also create a sequence of visuals that don’t necessarily fit into a complete narrative. It just worked.

Each of these songs is the result of a difficult time I went through first semester. I use writing music to cope with tough times, and that span of time had no shortage of difficulties. This piece really helped me sort through all the different emotions I was experiencing, and from it I learned that life is just a cycle of ups-and-downs. Things will always get bad, but they will always get better. The mind is plastic.

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On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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