Monday, October 27, 2008

first transmission: half way through my second to last semester of my eighth year of higher education.

i just returned from a weekend shoot in san diego, and boy howdy am i exhausted. i flew out on friday night after spending the day with the class i TA for on angel island, which is a beautiful chunk of land in the bay that you can only get to by ferry. historically it's been a site for various military installations as well as an immigration (ahem, detainment) center for chinese immigrants to the west coast. oh and like half of it burned down two weeks ago. i wandered around with ian mcdonald, one of my professors, and my fellow TAs josh, vera, and kit. the highlight of the fieldtrip was when we found a really gross beach that was all rocks and no sand and weird rebar and trash everywhere, and spent an hour or so chucking things in the water to see/hear the splash. yes, we are the future of contemporary art. nah, it was a pretty fun day, and unusually sunny and warm for san francisco. seeing the skyline approaching from the returning ferry was amazing.

the san diego shoot was really stressful because it was the most technically ambitious project i've ever done. i would just like to say that mr. matthew geiger was indispensible to me this weekend, as a preflight martini buddy, driver, assistant, moral supporter, and just all-around best adventure partner ever. without him i wouldn't even have been able to do this. i haven't looked at the footage yet (i got about four hours worth) but i am a little nervous about it because it's not like i can afford to go back there and redo the damn thing. it's very hard for me to do documentary work (in fact i straight up avoided it for the majority of my artistic career), because i feel very strongly about not exploiting my subjects. i will give up a shot that is artistically strong if i feel like it would be obtained unfairly. this makes filming people, especially in their homes, kind of difficult. i still have two taped interviews and a few phone interviews left to gather for this project, so it's not like this material is the only content i have to work with on this piece, but i really want one of the interviews in particular to work out. it's pretty goddamn important to me that i respect my subjects, and tell their stories well. in some ways i am just their messenger, even though in the end it is my lens and my voice through which their words will be mediated.

in addition, i am currently working on a found footage collage film using the reality tv show "the hills" as source material, a video installation using skype recordings, and a performance based around instant messenger. all of these are giving me ulcers. i am in the very beginning stages of them all and they all need to be done in approximately 2.5-3 weeks. luckily the navy film (which sent me to san dog this past weekend) doesn't need to be finished until december.

in other words, i should be editing right now. i should never, in fact, be doing anything but editing ever again (except working my two jobs or planning student union meetings or going to class, i suppose). i actually went to trader joe's and bought a supply of just-add-hot-water meals (sooooooooooodi-YUM) so i wont have to bother myself with any sort of cooking (not that i ever bothered that much before, but every little bit counts). there are so many lectures and film screenings and shit to do at school, and i barely have time for any of it. for example: i saw marilyn minter talk, and that was awesome, but i missed steve kurtz, mary kelley, chris ofili, and martha rosler. balls.

on that note i should probably (you guessed it) go edit. i will leave you with a media and concept blitz, as a means of letting you know what's on my radar. i watch about 7-8 films a week (not all feature length), have read a shitload of books this semester (my ipod broke) and am always working shit out in my head. also: i'm going to take photos of shows i go to (i go to an opening every tuesday), shows i am in, and suchlike, and put them on here, so you don't have to look at boring words with no pictures. i feel like i should show some of the work that my peers and i are busting ass making, as well as contextual evidence of my life here. i feel pretty immersed in art school at this point- it will be very, very weird next fall when i don't go back. by then i'll be in portland, hopefully with a job or two or three and a puppy and a house with my partner. and some film festivals under my belt.

i'm choosing to remain optimistic about the future.

watching: planet of the apes, the omega man (heston fest!), soliders of conscience, the art star and the sudanese twins, surfwise, the self made man, a selection of experimental films from a korean film festival called EXIS, and i have started but unfortunately not finished the fog of war.

reading: mike davis' "ecology of fear: los angeles and the imagination of disaster", and "the source: the untold story of father yod, yahowa13 and the source family"

considering: technology and intimacy, anonymity and confession, empathetic devil's advocacy, pop culture and desire, the intersections of speculative fiction, creative nonfiction, and documentary.


Anonymous said...

Dude, art IS hard. I'm so glad you're doing this blog. It's a great way to hear what you're up to and it's also kind of comforting to know we're sort of in the same boat in the second to last semester of grad school aaaaaah. We're almost done!! Sounds like you're keeping way more busy than I am but what's new.

Jesper said...

hey hannah!
i just subscribed the hell out of your blog. it's always exciting to get to follow what interesting people you know on the other side of the world are up to.
i love your idea for that 'the hills' project. it can only turn out amazing. i'm so looking forward to seeing it (if it gets on the interweb or some kind of reachable-for-me place).
it's so cool that you are moving to portland. it's posibly my favourite city. i'll come visit you there some time.


ps: father yod rules! i love the music. is that book interesting?