Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Someone drown that noise, please (the 'ticks').  They're going to be ringing till Monday.

For privacy purposes I won't be posting photos that I've taken in my expeditions through Milledgeville for my people project, but I will just post these 2 because I like them and especially the one above serves as a good model for how most of them look.  Actually, I'll post another.  Here's a familiar face to us Mayfair folk. :)

Anyway, haha.  The progress I have made over the past few days has been wonderful but I'm getting nervous.  I still have a good distance to go.  And then there's actually putting it up and installing it...I may be frantically texting people looking for help in a few days.  I am stoked though and am trying my hardest to make this a fun but effective show.  If all goes like it is in my head (and it inevitably won't, but not always in a bad way) then it should be, I think, a good exhibition. But, there are a lot of variables and crunch time hasn't Quite hit because I'm not installing until the weekend.  That's when we'll really see what's gonna happen.

This is the other photo I mentioned previously.  I just think it's a fun picture.  I have no idea if it will make it into the show, haha.  It probably won't.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mural and Amoxicillin

So this is me slightly stressed over the fact that I have one week to complete all the work necessary for my senior exhibition and I am sick.  I've been sick for the past 2 days and am all drugged up.  I thought that I was going to be able to get a lot of work done over the break for my project but that didn't happen quite to the extent I'd planned.  I was going to take more photos on Friday but the fact that I felt like my head was going to explode sort of halted all production.

I went to New Orleans on a mission trip with Wesley (the GC campus ministry) and was given the chance to paint a mural in one of the rooms so I took it.  It was a growing experience actually because I was the one that really headed up the 3 person production team that worked on it and we were able to finish it in 2 days working on it for a few hours each day.

The verse is from somewhere in Amos
It was a cool experience to see the skills I have been learning at school be able to be used somewhere other than just on my school projects and, a bit more personal, to furthering the kingdom of God.  The room in which the mural was painted works as a sort of community/worship room.  The lady who heads up all of the teams was real excited about it and several teams will see it in their time of communion.

I've also gotten several more of the prints done for my project.  They're taking just a little longer than I'd thought but it's okay still.  There's a nice twist I decided to do in New Orleans that won't take hardly any time at all but could make message I'm trying to say much stronger without being overwhelming.  I probably won't post anymore about it or my actual exhibition stuff on my blog though because it's too much to type. You'll just have to go to my exhibition and see for yourself!

Also it is important to note that all the "white" you see on these photos will actually be absent of any ink at all and it's going to be on a transparency. So it would be completely transparent.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Senior Project Part...something

An artist
Oh much to explain since my last post (other than the one I Just posted about John Fajuke)...I just kind of left you guys hanging.  Alright, first things first.  New senior project idea.  I have crunched a lot of Baldwin County census numbers and digested the data and have come up with some (I think) interesting statistics that can be represented in a number of ways.  The 2 things I focused on were these; population and income per household.  I was unaware of how thorough census data was but I quickly found out that they are on the ball with things.  Sure, their website is a little tacky and they are not the fastest at distributing all the information but the level of depth makes up for it. Let me explain what I mean. So there are countries, right?  And in this particular country there so happens to be states.  I know I know, we are getting complicated but you just wait.  Within these states there are things called counties.  The way the census bureau goes further is they break up the counties into subsections called (not cities) but tracts.  In Baldwin county there are 9 tracts.  Each tract is split up into block groups, which are basically just that--small neighborhoods or groups of blocks in a particular area.  THEN, some data is broken up into blocks.  So the way we would communicate this is by saying (and this is a fact) that, "The census offers data for population of Baldwin county all the way to a block level, but they only offer information about the 'average income per household' on a block group level" of course meaning that we could look at one particular block in Milledgeville and see the population of that group of houses but not the average income of them, we would have to back up to a block group where they do offer that data.

Invigorating right?? Hardly. But it is important info to know for my project.  I looked at the population of each tract which I could in turn divide it by the total population of the county to get a percentage that signifies how much of Baldwin county (which consists of only Milledgeville) that tract represents.  Why all this is important: If "tract 9702" represents 11% of Milledgeville's population, then I am going to physically go to that area and take 11 portraits of people that live there.  This way I will have an accurate visual representation of Milledgeville's population.  If tract 9705 represents 9% of Milledgeville, which happens to be the tract that contains basically all college students, then I am going to go to the college and take photos of 9 college students. Okay. I think you get the idea.

So there I am, approaching strangers asking to take their photos.  Today I took about 55 people's photos: all 55 live in the Milledgeville projects/ghettos and are actually quite dangerous areas to be in.  In fact, one of the areas I was in is where we had a deliver driver get beat up when I worked at Papa John's.  Besides the fact that I called the Baldwin county sheriff to get cops to patrol the areas I was working in a little more closely, I had little protection accept for one thing, and I thing one big thing; the ability to respect people. Do not act scared.  Do not act as though you are better or snobby.  And this sounds maybe cocky? Don't act weak.  All that builds in, I think, to understanding where you are and respecting the other person as a human being.  Show genuine gratitude and humility when they oblige and let you take there pictures (it is a weird thing to do after all).  Lessons I learned.  I was able to talk to white and black people alike.  Oh, and that is the Most important thing and is a good portion of what this project is about: they live in projects, they sit outside and people watch because they do not have fancy electronics or do not enjoy reading, and they are no less of a person than I am.

The owner of a restaurant
Which leads into my 3rd and final data set which I personally generated.  After taking every single persons photo I explained briefly "Everyone has an identity. For example, I am a brother. I am a son, an uncle. When I worked at Papa John's I was a manager so I could identify myself as that--a manager. I am a Christian." I proceeded to ask them what one thing they'd like to be identified as.  I coupled this, particularly with kids, with "What do you aspire to be when you grow up?" or, for adults, "Where do you work/If you could have any job, what would it be?" Want to see a small list of answers that I can list off the top of my head? Good. :)

"I am...
a businessman
an entrepreneur
a father
a princess
a mother
Dora (yes, the explorer)
the carwash guy
an uncle
a football player
a chef
a mechanic
an engineer
a construction worker
an artist
a grandmother
a basketball player
an architect
a minister."

I did not lead them to say any one of those, and that is not all of them either.  I even met a cabinet maker (the guy in the video above):
A cabinet painter
Why do I consider those things identifiers even if they just aspire to be whatever it is? (Self-fulfilling prophecy)

If we break through the socially constructed, mostly racial barrier then we will see that our college, which is all most of us college people see, is only a portion and inevitably we will meet the individuals who are just as much a part of Milledgeville's infrastructure, and ultimately through association as important to Georgia College, as anyone else. South and West of Dairy Queen are other people's whole world. No, literally.  Some of those people have not left the immediate vicinity of the county, much less the state or country.  I am not asking people to go there and try and make friends and such.  That would be dumb and dangerous.  What I want people to recognize is that everyone in Milledgeville first off exist, and second off contributes (and deserves the ability to contribute) socially, culturally, economically, and politically.

A businessman

A father

A playmate--They didn't quite get what I was explaining because they
were about to leave and were in a rush

Finally, to get back on track with my project, I am going to manipulate the photos in an interesting way and print them on transparency paper.  Imagine this (below) but where the white is transparent.  In the video I showed him this example image (printed on a transparency) so he could see what the photos will look like after they have been manipulated.

That is what each of them will eventually look like and they will be exhibited in an interesting way.  I have a lot of editing to do but I will be working on them at night times that I am in New Orleans so I should have time.  I only have about 45 portraits left to take of people and those 45 are not in the sketch areas of town!

The last picture I took of the day as I was leaving the Milledgeville's "Public Housing"


Our good friend John Fajuke decided he wants to audition for America's Got Talent and sent a facebook message to me and 2 other guys who are guitarist asking if we'd help him out; me with recording/audio and the other guys to play behind him.  This is awesome for a couple reasons, but the main one to me is that I think people are beginning to recognize me as being good with media things and that makes me happy.  I'm beginning to think that because it is becoming a frequent thing for people to contact me for their photo/video/web design needs and are (or at least seem to be) satisfied with my work. Crazy.

Unfortunately one of the guitarists could not meet at the same time as the rest of us so it was just John and Andrew. I am trying to teach myself to think in terms of light (which I am finding is essential for photography and videography--different, I might add, from drawing for instance where yes correctly shading and working with strokes and contours are important but we are taught to think first and fore-mostly about shape, composition, materials, etc. but in photography point your camera and Bam, everything is there and proportionate. Light is what can make or break your photo or video).  So I started looking for accent lights and turned off the fluorescent lights because they are terrible then I opened some blinds.  And even after all that I still edited the lighting a bit in Adobe Premiere before uploading it to Vimeo.  Overall though, I am pleased.  I want to film more.  It's fun.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


More audio stuff. But a live performance of it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It...It just happened.

Click the picture to go to my "website."

I am a practicum for an art class this semester which focuses on web design. I actually feel like I have been a decent help to the professor too which is really rewarding for me. Well, for whatever reason I decided to put together something for myself tonight. It is a simple design, like a wall of photos but I like it. I feel like I dislike learning from teachers who have stopped creating work themselves and designing their own stuff so perhaps this is my way of warding off hypocrisy.

Anyway, I still have to put descriptions on the pictures and all but as of now I am content considering I put it all together since midnight...I have a way of making money off art brewing in my head and I just need something to show people that I can at least do something. "Just check out my website!" I can say, haha.