Delis Fest

I wanted to make something that involved a presentation without turning into a performance.

I’ve always been told that my sense of humor is my best weapon. To stand in front of a 100 people (number of people that is expected to attend) feels, to me, like a menace. I can hardly speak to my 11 classmates without making 3 jokes in a row so I needed something better.

I could stand there and dance “El Meneito” or I could make a statement about mass media. I decided to do what I should do: show my work. But how? Just play my videos one after another seemed ridiculous. After some rides in the train (the second best place to come up with ideas. The first is the shower), I remembered that thing that Nayland tells us: “Things are already connected because you made them”. Ta-Da! I was the link. I had to speak and link the videos together by a narrative that will be, as everything I do, a joke about my self.

I hope it will work. My classmates laughed. Some of them, anyway.

Changing My Tune

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 12.44.52 PMI have two examples about a piece that I changed my mind of. Both are paintings that are part of the art History, with capital H: La Gioconda, and Guernica. I have always admire both paintings, and my change of opinion has nothing to do about first liking it and then not, or vice versa. My change of mind has to do with what I imagine the painting to be, and then the real painting.

When I graduate from high school, my mom, my sister and I went to Europe for the first time. London was cold, even for summer. And Paris was too hot.

My family is very organized when we travel. We always have to do first things first, and that meant go to the Louvre and see the Gioconda!

When we arrived it was impossible to get to the painting. I couldn’t believe how small it was, since I never thought to check the size of the piece. Not only the painting was small, but there was so many people that it was impossible to see it. After a couple of minutes and pushing in the most touristic/enthusiastic way, I could get closer to the painting, just to find it to be protected by a glass that every time a flash was flashed, would bounce right into my eyes making La Gioconda, once again, unreachable. I didn’t get a chance to spend time with the piece, and I really regret it. My change of opinion, in this matter, has to do with my great expectation of coming up close to such an important painting, and not feeling what I thought I would, because of the circumstances.

A similar experience happened with the Guernica. When I arrived to the Museo Reina Sofia, I had to go and see the painting. I was there, in front of the 3.5 x 7.8 meters painting. I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was big, but I didn’t know it was that big! I sat down and just looked at it and let my self feel overwhelmed by such a gigantic expression. I’ve felt like this two other times: 1. when a really huge light hits my eyes and I feel I’m drowning; and 2. when I was shooting a plane and when it turned, the wind that came out of the turbine, almost dropped us from our shooting positions. Lucky me, a group of kinder garden kids was just arriving to look at the piece, and I had the best explanation ever. My expectations of this painting where not only fulfill but overcome.

Now that I’ve written this down, I know that this doesn’t constitute a change of opinion about a piece because of it’s own nature. My change of opinion is based in how museums have chose to show two very important art pieces. Also, it has to do with the circumstance of being a tourist and all its implications.

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Juana Romero Interviews Patricia Silva: Rehearse/Resite

Video

An interview with Patricia Silva about her thesis show, Rehearse/Resite.

An Obsession is an obsession is an obsession

Im obsessed with Arnold Genthe’s photographs of San Francisco’s Chinatown from the 1890‘s.

His photographies live in a book titled Old Chinatown that was edited in 1909 by Moffat, Yard and Company in New York. The first time I saw the book, was on my Ipad on Kindle. I thought it to be a very conservative book. Since in Kindle you can change the background of the book, I chose it to be yellowish, not only because it would be easier to read, but because I felt it was the proper color to look at a book of the early 1990’s. Passing through the pages, or better, scrolling through the pages, I felt the need to touch the paper, to smell the book and see the magnificent cover in person.

I went to the ICP library and looked for it in the catalogue. I got the call number: TR820.5.U6 .G45 1913, and went to look for it in the shelf that the map pointed to. After a while of looking for the book, and not finding it, I had to ask Liz Sales. She looked for it and told me that it was a rare book. -Yes!, I said to my self. She brought it and gave it to me with a ritualistic air that told me that I had to handle it with care. It was in a blue box that when I opened made my favorite sound, velcro sound. And there it was. A little jewel. The cover, as I thought, was beautiful. A fabricImage quality and smell I will not forget. I opened it and touched the beautiful paper that feels old and elegant. I really haven’t read the book. William Irving’s text isn’t my curiosity so I kept passing a page after the other until I started seeing Genthe’s photographs.

The quality of the book gives it a presence impossible to describe. Because of books like this is worth to go to libraries. Even if you are not into chinatown or Genthe, this is a MUST SEE book I recommend to anyone.

I will bring you down baby, I will bring you down to Chinatown

Genthe’s Photographs of San Francisco’s Old Chinatown “I will bring you down baby, I will bring you down to Chinatown.”

-Robert De Niro. Meet The Parents. 2010

Almost every big city in the world has a Chinese neighborhood known as Chinatown. When I was little I came to New York and I remember that my mother took us to a restaurant in Chinatown. I didn’t understand why my mother was taking us to one of the most dangerous places in the world. Years later I found out that the real Chinatown, which I always associated with violence, was actually in San Francisco.

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THE ESSENTIAL TOOL

Imagetool 
/to͞ol/

Noun
A device or implement, esp. one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.

This is what I found on Google for the definition of tool. I’ve been trying to come up with my perfect tool for a couple of days now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to find another definition for the word tool. I checked the Merriam-Webster dictionary website and there it was!  The fourth definition for the word tool is: 4. plural : natural ability <has all the tools to be a great pitcher>. I am not into baseball and I can hardly throw a ball, but I can definitely use this definition in order to talk about my tools.

My tools are not held in my hand, nor are they an aid to complete a task (both use the word “tool”, taken from the Merriam-Webster website). My tools are attached to my body and are used every day of my life to the extent that they annoy me. We all have them, and it depends how we use them and how much attention we pay to them. In other words, I would not be able do anything without my senses, and more importantly without my sight or my hearing. Yes, it’s lame, but let me convince you that without this I wouldn’t be able to do any work (Apart from the fact that without them, I would be blind and deaf.).

I come from a cinematography background where I have to be aware of my surroundings; I can’t shoot a scene without knowing what that scene will look like. Most of the shots I’ve done in my life for any short film or commercial, have been designed from what I’ve experienced from my sight and hearing in the world. We walk on the streets and we see things that could perfectly be part of a movie, but we don’t see the value or the quality of these scenes. Through my educated eyes and ears, I am able to borrow new ways to show something.

While I walk on the streets I hear and I see. I can choose what I see while I’m listening to it and there is where I get my ideas from. Most of the time we choose to look at what we are hearing, its a reaction, but if we decide to let that sound accompany a different image, its possible to find new meanings. I guess I could say my tool is the game I play every day with my eyes and my ears in order to find new meanings.

I can’t go anywhere without my eyes and my ears, not only beacuse they are attached, but because they are my tools to live and make my work.