Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Final Project - Framing a Morning

My Final Project, Framing a Morning, is a spinoff of my first video project this term combined with the use of photography in the the fourth project. In a style similar to stop-motion I travel throughout my morning routine using music to move along the narrative. I attempted to have photo transitions match up with certain parts of the beat, a task that proved to be both tricky and rewarding while editing. While creating this project I kept the words of Marshall McLuhan in mind. He's quoted saying: "Our time presents a unique opportunity for learning by means of humor - a perceptive or incisive joke can be more meaningful than platitudes lying between two covers." The truth in these words are immeasurable! Making learning enjoyable and stimulating is one of the most beautiful things when done successfully, a great example of that being Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. In my project I did my best to have a light hearted feel with the music and the occasional funny picture to make the process of learning about my morning routine, a stimulating and exciting one.

You can find the video through the link above

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ed Vessel - The Importance of Art in Education

Ed Vessel is part of the New York University ArtLab. This lab places a focuses on understanding how people derive pleasure and inspiration from art forms and how this may relate to learning, motivation, and well being. The consumption of information public school deems important and the overall process of learning is one that is ever evolving in an attempt to make it more stimulating and enjoyable for the student. Marshall McLuhan and Ed Vessel are in agreement when citing the importance of art in learning: "We have now become aware of the possibility of arranging the entire human environment as a work of art, as a teaching machine designed to maximize perception and to make everyday learning a process of discovery (McLuhan, 67)." These very words inspire the work we see Ed Vessel doing at NYU today. It is to our advantage as humans to make education and learning both appealing and exhilarating. For too long has learning been tied to 'boring'. "Learning, the educational process, has long been associated only with the glum (McLuhan, 10)."  There is a lot to benefit from when education is stimulating, we must tip our hat to McLuhan for acknowledging this, and to Ed Vessel for actively pursuing it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Something Is Happening

I thought the gallery showing, Something is Happening, was a great success! I thought the turn out from non-classmembers was strong. As for the art, I thought that many of the books looked fantastic in their final publication. Blurb certainly is an exceptional resource both for its quality and value. I thought the gallery space was perfect for the showing. With 2 photos per person there was a picture throughout the wall but each had their own space to allow the viewer to analyze. Having the books to turn to after observing the selected photos was nice.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Friedrich Nietzsche - Understanding One of The Least Understood Philosophers

It has often been said that, despite being one of the most well-known, Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most misunderstood philosophers. In my research I looked to get a better understanding of some of Nietzsche's stances, including his claim in Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage that "God is dead". Unpacking this sweeping claim I came across many different positions and understandings of what exactly Nietzsche meant. Some wrote him off as a nihilist (rejection of all religious or moral principles, and the belief that life is meaningless), and while it was a concept Nietzsche entertained, it was ultimately wide of the mark. While Nietzsche undoubtedly had a distaste for the current state of religion, he did not have a belief that life was meaningless. In fact, he even orchestrated an ideology on how individuals can live a world with morals yet without a belief in the otherworldly. This concept is called an Ubermensch (closely translated: overman). I struggled to wrap my head around this idea entirely but I can say for certain that man who is an Ubermensch is a man that will "remain faithful to earth and don’t believe those who speak to you of otherworldy hopes." Ultimately Nietzsche's message and how it relates to McLuhan and Art is the belief that religion among other things is outdated and holds society down rather than pushing them forward

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

1-Minute Sound Bite

"We hear sounds from everywhere, without ever having to focus (McLuhan, 111)." This is a quote I kept in mind in creating my 1 minute sound bite. In my project I was directly attempting to capture a story or narrative just through the sounds it produces. Furthermore I wanted to give the listener a sense that it was a sound experience that occurred while walking outside or sitting next to the window rather than something you listen when you put your headphones in. The car screeching, the fire burning, and the overall tone of the other instruments used hopefully evokes a dark feeling. That little is acheived I beleive but it will be interesting to see in my responses whether people felt it was more than creepy sounds and an actual attempt to tell a narrative. I enjoyed this project in its freedom. With photography and film you are limited to the things that surround oneself. With the enourmous library of different sounds on GarageBand, the individual really had the freedom to take this project in whatever direction they pleased. Please listen to my clip attached below! Special thanks to Brandon Vamarasi!!

Heads or Tails - Patrick O'Mahoney & Brandon Vamarasi

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jonathon Gruber - A Reflection on His Process

Being introduced to Filmmaker Jonathon Gruber was a memorable experience. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the screening of his latest film, Miriam Beerman: A Painter's Journey, due to afternoon football practice however his attendance to class the following day provided an excellent opportunity to pick the brain of this well renowned filmmaker. I was particularly intrigued by his declaration of having many fluid and in the works ideas that he is working on. As a creator of film, I'm sure his brain is constantly jogging with new ideas and different directions to take. And he simply pursues them. I feel many workforces in the modern era requires people to always finish what they started and do everything possible to avoid distraction within the process. This is not a constraint amongst artists of all mediums and it must be a liberating feeling to have such freedom. As a person whose mind is always jumping around all over the place I could see myself particularly enjoying this aspect of the filmmaking field. Reflecting back to that day I can recall a half dozen times where Gruber would go off on a tangent and describe a particular work thats been on his mind. He'd share that he's been working on some of his ideas, collecting film and interviews, for well over a decade and that he was simply waiting for the right chance (lots of factors: interest, funding, etc.) to launch it into production. This may seem to some as an unorganized method or work process but it clearly works for Gruber and I could also see it working for me.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Photo Album: Capturing Practice and Campus

I struggled with this assignment. I enjoy taking photos and think I have a keen eye for what looks pleasing and what doesn't, however I found myself lacking inspiration for venues to shoot photos. Back home (Chicago) a photographer is required to do very little to find moments worth capturing on camera. Whether it be through the diversity of people and activities that makes for great interactive shots or the pure aesthetics of both the skyline and Lake Michigan, there are many opportunities for the street photographer to take stimulating shots. Here however I found myself trying to make photos look interesting which resulted in forcing it too much. I then decided it would be best to record images from my practice as that would at least carry some action. Taking photos of football practice turned out to give me lots of trouble when it came to editing. With our new turf field, most of the shots consisted on a solid mono color green background. This forced me into editing pictures in their entirety rather than specific areas. Editing one portion of the image would result in a different shade of green that would really throw off the entire dynamic of the photo in a unsalvageable way. The next day I found more success in capturing natural images around campus. In particular I enjoyed the image of the paper mills from behind the Viking Room. Editing out the background to black and white and keeping the nature in full color (via the lasso tool) was a very rewarding experience. This was a nice change of pace in contrast to the struggles I faced editing our football field.

It was enjoyable to make a fairly standard photo have a deeper meaning through editing.

Link To Flickr Page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/136833366@N03/shares/XC0z21

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Morning Motion

In today's society it seems like everyone is in a rush. Gone are the times where people wait and see what happens; we need to make things happen. Which is why getting up and going in the morning (however hard) is important. In my film I looked to capture the rush of the morning with the twist of being put in slow motion to embody the sluggish feeling but also illustrate that there is no time to waste and that one's morning routine needs to be executed quickly. Gone are the days where we can afford to wait and see. To put this in perspective, one would only need to look and George  Washington's words, back when he was the sitting president. "We haven't heard from Benj. Franklin in Paris this year. We should right him a letter (Pg. 63)" Nowadays such time isn't even afforded for college students much less the President and his right hand man. This film looks to share the rush to get going put forth on society by new technology.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Don't Always Listen


My name is Patrick O'Mahoney and, given my ability to draw and paint, one might be suspect of my continued interest in the art courses Lawrence has to offer. Every new school year or term brings forth a common 'small talk' conversation that every student utilizes when talking to that person who you had a class with last term but whose name you can't quite remember: "So... what classes are you taking this term?" It is a conversation every student has dozens of times and, for me, takes a familiar path no matter the individual person.

'Yeah, I'm taking a couple Government courses, since that's my major, and an art class called: New Media in Art.'

*Smile of bewilderment comes across peer's face* "You're taking another art class! *laughs* Why? I remember your self portrait from last year and no offense but you're not next Van Gogh by any means my friend."

And they're right. I mean hell just look at it: 
Look at how big my hand is! Not pretty. Anyways, back to my point, I tell my suspicious peer that "this class will be different. This class suits my capabilities." The new media and technology will bring out the creativity that I, and most individuals have, that is usually subdued to not having steady hands or the patience to create with paint and paper. I believe way too many people struggle with the curriculum in public schooling art courses that focus on drawing and crafting. Too many people, myself included, have been told by teachers or adults that 'we're just not that artistic and that's okay. But its bullshit! It is cliche but all subjects and activities are an 'art' if you will. People just need to be shown what field of art suits them. While I'm not suggesting we need to enroll the 2nd graders of America in Graphic Design courses we do need to encourage continuous attempts with different mediums to help people find they're creative, artistic niche rather than telling them to neglect art and focus on other subjects because at a young age they made a crappy Mother's Day card in their class.
In the 7th grade I received a failing grade in my art class with a percentage score of 58%. An inability to create at a high level and, at the time, an untreated  case of ADHD meant that I quickly got on the bad side of my teacher. Did I act immaturely in that class? You bet. Did I strive to do my best all the time? No. But part of the reason for my behavior was that I had always been told, and had it reinforced by my teacher, that I was not the artistic type. Out of fear of similar results to the worst grade I had ever received, I didn't take a single art class during my four years of high school. It wasn't until my sophomore year here at Lawrence, with the protection of the S/U option, where I said, 'You know what, this course description interests me and I don't care how my art compares to others or what others think of it, I'm taking this class dammit. And it was a blast! Sure as noted above I didn't do all that well but it challenged me and opened doors where I may find greater success. Which brings me to my enrollment in this course: New Media in Art. For years I have been reading sports blogs and envisioning my own pieces without a platform to learn the intricacies and aesthetics that are required to create a presentable site. I have always believed in my writing ability and knowledge of sports; this should be a great opportunity to put it to the test. I have always wanted to start a blog about my favorite soccer team based in London, where my dad grew up, named Arsenal. I hope for it be both rich in sports literature while equally pleasing on the eyes. Here's a picture of me outside the the Emirates Stadium at age 12!

Till next time.


P.S. my mother's (and my favorite artist's) photography website -- By Marcia Mahoney