Category Archives: Study

So Long Cathy

To satisfy my obsession and to deal with the flood of photo shots of junk on the streets of Sydney, I make another work to send in Video Art at CoFA for the loop project. It is about a year when I first one of the series in the workshop with Metro Screen, Anywhere Chairs and then Waif.

This time my subject is dead TVs and I push myself up a notch by doing it frame by frame like animation. It is finished a week in advance before the class viewing because the evening clashes with Marrickville Art Prize opening night. But it has not been shown the to class yet. So yes, you see it before it is official. Unfornately, the compression cannot cope wih a video that changes almost every frame like this one. However, you can see the better encoding version in Quicktime Movie. Be warned that the file is fairly large (11Mb) for a 30-second movie.

So Long Cathy from ApostrophePong on Vimeo.

I was wondering if you would be mesmerised by it when see in loop on a CRT television. I will let you know when I find the best place for a proper public viewing.

The Boys

The second week of Video Construction class we get to see The Boys, a dark Australian film which I had never heard of it until I moved here and saw a TV commercial of the DVD few years ago. The reason is we have a special guest speaker, Stephen Sewell, Screenwriter of the movie.

The movie was a success in art house cinemas in the 90’s. This psychological suspense conveys domestic violence which in depth of men’s views. In the an ordinary Australian suburban, it is the first day out-of-jail of Brett (David Wenham) and he has got everyone home, mother (Lynette Curran), girlfriend (Toni Collette), the two brothers. But the party of this dysfunctional family only lasts for a day when the tensions get escalated into a brutal crime that night by the boys. The best part of the film is how it is structured and executed to build up the emotion of the characters until the end.

Having a chat with the writer after the screening gives us some creative insights, especially how it was adapted from the stage play. But one thing that interests me the most is that the funding government bodies both State and Federal, unlike Hollywood, taxpayers pay for Australian films to be made, rejected the script and would not give the money because of these vicious characters. Fortunately, the stubbornness of these newly-graduated filmmakers made it through and it paid of. Otherwise, we would not see the light of the dark of this film.

Brief History of Sampling

Here is a bit we got to know about history of sound sampling in Sound Construction 1 class which I found more interesting than how-to-use-ProTool session.

In 1948 Pierre Schaeffer experimented with sounds with magnetic tape loop and created the very first musique concrète, Études aux Chemins de Fer. Then he collaborate with Pierre Henry and produced ‘Symphonie pour un Homme Seul’ in 1950.

Phillip Pavilion

1958, Edgard Varèse created a sound scape for multimedia presentation, Poème électronique, for Le Corbusier in Phillip Pavillion in Brussels World Fair. I can only imagine with the sound piece to go with the images here but in multi-channels triggered in many points. That was 50 years ago and the foundation of electronic music today.

COFA Week 1: Gettin to Know You

I forgot to mention something on my last post. I was little puzzled when my student number for the Master degree at COFA, 3230590, was almost lined up with the student number I had, 3207610589, for undergraduate study at Thammasat Univeristy in Bangkok. First two and the last four digits go together. It lets me think sometime the universe is a strange place.

The first week back to school is about fitting yourself in the place. Unlike undergraduate, most of my class is in the evening. That means I and other classmates will be walking around the campus more in the night and this winter is very cold.

Typically, this week is the introductions the courses, the course coordinators, the lecturers and, ultimately, the assignments. By the look, it is going to be a hard work:

  • Sound Construction 1; 60-90 seconds sound piece and final open sound project.
  • Video Construction1; a short narrative film and a documentary project.
  • Art After Postmodernism; some kind of reports each week to prove that we read the given articles and a presentation on nominated contemporary artist.
  • Video Art; Loop Project and Installation Project.

Time management is crucial here. I need to juggle these dense courses with my own art and photography projects and getting a new income. Looking forward to it.

Another Turning Point

I like to think that I am an adventurer who likes challenges. It is a big change and I have embrace it and make it works. The transition is on the way and I am settling into it.

First of all, I have got rid of the job at the restaurant. Three and a half year working at Pancakes on the Rocks was not only physically demanding but also, as a Supervisor, it was a mental test. When managing a shift, I had to look over every aspects in the Restaurant: allocating staff, checking repairs, dealing with complaints, balancing the cash register and the list goes on plus a handful of documentation to wrap up the day. It taught me a lot about leadership and it was actually fun at some degree. However, when I got back home from work, I found that I was too tired to get the productivity in photography, let alone do some networking and socialising. It was really hard to manage time and energy to get things done when your body is exhausted and your emotion in unstable.

So it is time to move on and I do not let the Restaurant as the excuse not to put myself together and progress. The Farewell Party the other night was absolutely fun. I say no more hospitality. Let’s see how it goes.

The other big change is I am back to school. Early last year, I was applying for a place in Master of Digital Media (MDM), College of Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales. I really did not have much hope to get in since it was a one of the most reputable art schools in Australia. Fortunately, they accepted my application. But I had to defer the offer to this year to sort the Proof of English Ability to show that I can communicate in the particular language properly and Australian Citizenship to obtain the Government loan, HECS-HELP. Along the way, my IELTS score was 7 overall, passed the threshold of 6.5, and I received that piece of paper from the Mayor of Marrickville. I was ready to rock ‘n’ roll in the Uni.

In this degree, we get to choose whether Computer Animation of Image. I do the later. On top of that, it accompanies with other three theory electives and two studio electives. According to the courses they offer, there are too many of very interesting classes to choose from, especially in School of Art History and Theory, so that it feels that you cannot do much in this one-and-a-half-year program. There are four classes enrolled this semester:

My ambitious plan is to blog about these courses as we go and try to get more of my photography out there. The future is still uncertain since I lost the main source of income. However, I will do my best to maintain my sanity here. You can help me by giving the feedbacks, questions or just a little note to keep me going on in this adventure. The new journey is going to a very fascinating one.