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My second Emerging Processes in Video Art assignment was to create a year-long video, under the constraint “it only works when it’s broken.” My concept discusses that it’s someone’s birthday every day of the year; making birthdays feel less special and unique, and more like a ‘day-to-day life’ experience. In other words, a birthday only ‘works’ or feels special when it’s yours alone, or broken apart from the larger whole of birthdays.

I further explored my constraint by using youTube as a source for the videos. Initially, I intended use openFrameworks to pull from the youTube API, but there was an unfortunate 3-week delay in the delivery of my API key. This forced me to collect the videos myself, using a Firefox plugin to download them.
Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 3.39.38 PM

Because I wasn’t able to create an openFrameworks algorithm to collect the videos, I decided to create a set of rules for myself that I would follow while manually downloading them. I used the same search command for each day (“january 1 birthday”) and downloaded the first video I clicked on from the first page of results. I worked in date order from January to December. The only time I strayed from this method was if the first video I clicked on was not the correct date or did not contain any actual footage from a birthday celebration or dedication. This manual method greatly enhanced the content of my project, because I was able to choose/curate exciting moments in the videos by viewing them one by one.

I wanted this project to be a thorough representation of the life of birthdays on youTube, and by accessing them manually, I was able to include as much variety as possible. In a way, the process of searching for and downloading 366 (leap day included) videos added a lot of conceptual meaning to my project. I was able to take notes about videos, and experienced moments from each day before assembling them into a larger whole. I started thinking about voyeurism, and how most or all of the birthday videos I was witnessing were not meant for me to view. To me, the act of posting private moments in a public space is an interesting system, but a broken one. Watching my project feels very voyeuristic unless you experience it as a whole, so my project only ‘works’ as part of this broken system.

The final video includes a 10-second clip every day, starting at January 1st and running through December 31st. I programmed the video using openFrameworks so the user could jump through time using the keyboard. Lettered keys take you to a specific month, the left & right arrow keys let you browse the days of that month. The video will run in an endless loop unless the viewer desires to view a specific date.

Q – January
W – February
E – March
R – April
A – May
S – June
D – July
F – August
Z – September
X – October
C – November
V – December

The font used in the counter is “Camcorder” by BJRN JHNSSN.

Some of my favorite stills from the final and source videos below.
Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 5.16.34 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 2.14.07 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 2.10.05 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.40.09 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.39.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.38.31 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.36.07 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.35.29 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.35.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.34.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.32.25 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.31.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.30.35 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.29.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.27.54 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.25.03 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.24.15 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.23.10 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.22.29 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.21.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.20.20 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.19.27 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.19.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.18.31 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.17.56 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.17.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.16.31 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.15.53 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.14.46 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.13.50 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.12.17 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.11.33 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 9.09.53 PM

source videos
January
1
2 (1963)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15 (5:24)
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26 (ellen degeneres face masking)
27 (guinea pig)
28
29
30
31 (good morning pakistan)

February
1
2 (1984)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15 (miley cirus)
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28 (dog)
29

March
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19 (justin bieber just turned 19, a lot of bday tributes)
20
21
22 (asking if anyone wants to google hangout)
23
24 (bridge)
25 (first few seconds)
26 (local news)
27
28 (gaga)
29
30 (triplets)
31 (general hospital)

April
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 (1992)
10
11
12
13
14
15 (kim il sung)
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23 (1987)
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

May
1
2 (the rock)
3 (sims)
4 (flash mob)
5
6
7 (1987)
8
9
10
11 (105 y/o)
12 (donna karan?)
13
14
15
16 (dog)
17
18
19 (marilyn monroe singing to jfk)
20
21
22
23 (boy with cancer)
24
25 (100 y/o)
26
27
28 (kfc in the hospital)
29
30 (pig)
31

June
1 (marilyn monroe)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28 (1948)
29
30

July
1
2 (1967)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11 (106 y/o)
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20 (dog)
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

August
1
2 (pandas) (twins)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15 (UFO?)
16
17
18
19
20
21 (1965)
22
23 (Pearl Jam)
24
25 (accordion in a windstorm)
26
27
28 (sweetest old folks on the planet)
29 (MJ tribute feat Shirley Temple?)
30 (84 y/o)
31

September
1
2
3 (0:23)
4
5 (kid crying)
6 (8 y/o DIY video)
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14 (1963 / hobo themed party)
15
16 (#OWS)
17
18
19 (80 y/o)
20
21
22
23
24 (90 y/o)
25
26
27 (mislabeled camera date)
28
29
30

October
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 (john lennon tribute)
10
11
12
13
14
15
16 (posthumous tribute for a girl named jessica, evil dead movie ad popped up)
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30 (1966)
31

November
1
2
3
4
5
6 (posthumous celebration)
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18 (1986)
19
20
21
22
23 (gorilla)
24 (1989)
25 (10:44)
26
27
28
29 (1985)
30

December
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 (jim morrison’s grave)
9
10
11
12
13
14 (gr8 camera angle)
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28 (cats)
29
30 (1957)
31

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Ann and I collaborated on this audio tour, which was recorded by tying a uni-directional microphone to about 14 balloons.

Directions:
1. Download the audio files.
2. Use map or coordinates to find the location.
3. Listen.

one
two
three

 

documentation photos

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ITP


IAC building

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The Sea by Gustave Courbet

video

We agreed that a pristine landscape was one that was untouched by humans, and showed the raw beauty and strength of nature. The ocean is a particularly raw subject matter as humans can come so close to its strength and beauty– admire it, interact with it, even be killed by it (though the ocean is not safe from being destroyed by the human species). While searching for paintings at the Met, we realized that even the paintings we agreed upon represented “pristine” untouched nature have already been marked by human presence, the artist making the painting.  Either through his imagination, recollection of a place the artist had been or in plein air, the painting is a physical symbol of human presence.

Borrowing from the tradition of plein air painting, we chose the painting “The Sea”, by Gustave Courbet, and performed an intervening action, by attempting to recreate the painting through plein air sculpting.  By manipulating the earth to create our sculpture representation of the painting, we were not only borrowing the landscape to influence our intervention, we were using it for materials. After completing the sculpture, we packed up our tools and removed them from the location, much like the painter may have.

making of timelapse video

behind the scenes photos
 

 

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SQIRLS was a fun thing Amelia thought up and I “art directed.” It’s something we wanted to make to officially announce to ourselves that we had started this duo. Here’s how it happened:

So she did. It now has almost 90,000 views after being featured on Gothamist, Vulture,  Buzzfeed, Jezebel, Huffington Post NY & Comedy, The Atlantic WIRE, TIME Newsfeed,  Tosh.0’s blog, PAPERMAG, AMNY, Glamour and more. GIRLS and Slate and The Guardian Guide tweeted it, which felt pretty cool.

My favorite part was gchatting Amelia “this is so weird” and “what the hell is going on” over and over again.

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onesecondvideos.com

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Other fantastic entities:

   

 

 

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