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360MC Lecture/Workshop 14/10/10

Lecture – 14/10/10

In this first lecture with Nick he talked about Lars Von Trier’s ‘The Perfect Human’ and the ‘5 obsturctions’ pieces by Jorgen Leth.  We watched through the videos and talked about what obstructions Von Trier put on Leth’s films which tested his former teacher’s filmaking style and methods.  To be honest, i wasn’t that much impressed with the pieces as i thought they seemed to be quite pretentious. Whether this was due to me not looking at the films in a more analytical view is perhaps where this critical view comes from. 

I was interested to hear what obsturctions were placed on Leth’s 5 videos such as Obstruction 1 only being allowed to have 12 frames before a cut and being filmed in Cuba.  Obstruction 4 perhaps posed the most challenging out of the pieces as Leth was only allowed to work in the medium of cartoon animation which he isn’t the biggest fan of! 

These pieces were shown to us to inspire and challenge us for our first theme of Power and the artefact which we would create based around this theme.  The obstructions put in place were to only be allowed frames/shots lasting 0.5 seconds for around a minute or just over.  With this in mind we were then shown a couple of stop motion videos which each had a unique take on the theme of power.  My personal favourite was Jan Svankmejer’s ‘Meat Love’ (1989) which explores relationships right through from beginning to eventual death, with the weirdly intoxicating use of two pieces of meat. 

I immediately contemplated using stop motion as the medium with which i would undertake this challenging task.  This is because the frames can only last for 0.5 seconds each so producing a stop motion piece would (in my mind) be the best option to take.

  I still needed to decide upon an aspect of Power which i would base my artefact around and the workshop after this lecture would be a good time to decide upon this.

Also in this lecture, Nick talked about some interesting aspects of power and in particular ‘The Panopticon’ by Jeremy Bentham who talked about ‘the perfect prison’ and the psychological effect that the Panopticon tower – which is right in the middle of the prison and in full view of all of the prisoners had upon the inmates.  They always had the feeling of being watched and so were always on edge with what they did.  This can be related to the TV show of 10 years (and no more hopefully!) called ‘Big Brother’, which had mass effects upon the housemates who were constantly being watched within a house.

Big Brother logo

(Picture courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/tvandradioblog/2007/aug/13/isanyonestillwatchingbigb)


In this session we talked about how words can have very powerful meanings and we each had to say 5 words which we consider to be power.  For my words i could only immediately think of 2.  These were:

1.  Truth

This has always been a powerful thing to me as it can be taken as a two way thing.  We either can be truthful or not (to put it very bluntly!)  Without going too deeply into this word, i think that we can sometimes choose to not tell the truth-perhaps to save from hurting sometimes feelings or to protect ourselves.

2.  Family

This is the most important aspect of my life as having had problems in the past, family can never judge or disown you however much you fuck up (which i have done quite a lot!) and the unconditional love which family comes with is the most powerful overall.

Afterwards we talked about what ideas we had regarding our Power artefacts and to be honest i had no idea at this point what my idea was!  We have until a week this thursday (21st) to show our pieces so i better get my skates on!

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