I like story telling and using pictures for them. I am working on a various stories which I hope to put out now I have some more time on my hands and less stress. I make these scenes and stories using Second Life, which takes a lot of time to put together. A friend of mine says that it is probably faster to draw it myself and I guess he would be right, but somehow I like to do it the hard way.
I like to show you some of them and tell something about them in the way of story telling that hopefully inspires you or even entertains you.
I ran into the song “Somebody I used to know” on you tube by Gotye featuring Kimbra. It inspired this picture of Dreary and Krisp. I wanted to capture the mood of the video and especially the puzzle feel of the painting. This painting is a crucial feature in the movie.
The song is a profound short story and is an nice example of how you can tell a story in under four minutes by using music, a few lines of text and imagery. The video is made by Natasha Pincus and it is in my opinion it a great piece of art.
Here is the lowdown. You first see the lead singer Gotye singing about how their relation(between him and the person Kimbra represents) started off and then ended and that she suddenly broke off all contact after they split up despite she saying that they would remain friends. The movie starts quite intriguing by showing Gotye’s… foot.
He then sings his side of the story.
Gotye’s painting appears and he becomes part of the painting. The lines making up a puzzle like structure that engulfs him.
There is a dramatic pause in which the camera backs off to show the two singers standing at opposites of the screen while the music switches kind of pauses to in giving you a kind of jazzy music. Now the painting extends to include Kimbra who is at the other side of the picture. Notice also how they have totally different color schemes to denote their differences.
Then Kimbra sing a few lines -just a few lines- that makes clear why she acts in the way he describes. She explains how being with him – even as friends – reminds her of all the bad things that they had together and his wrong doings.The crucial moment in the movie is at then end of the pause when Kimbra turns to Gotye and sings the first of her lines. She does something very distinctive. She loosens her shoulders, which communicates two things: it breaks the pattern and it is a movement people make to signify that they are ready for a fight. Then she moves towards him as if to confront him.
In the final scene, the painting is removed from Kimbra.. showing that she is free.
Nathasha Pincus is the director of the video.
If you wanted to find out the one person behind the video, you will probably never find him or her. The reason is that such a project is a combination of having the right people at the right place at the right time. It is like a jigsaw puzzle in which all the right pieces come together to create this video. In my opinion that crucial person is either Nathasha Pincus or Gotye himself(remember that the painting is made by his father).
My Picture of Dreary and Krisp was to capture the mood of this video and I want to show the distance by the gun and the connection by the hands, like that one from the painting:
This picture I used for another post previously and it actually shows Merit. I wanted to have beach scene and I happened to have a few zombie statues there so I just rearranged them. I wanted to have a beach scene with a sun in it. There had to be something happening.. as a kind of story.
A picture I made using Osgrid, Secondlife and real life pictures. The set is made in OSgrid. The animals are from OSgrid. The statues to the right have been made by Laughton Mc.Cry using sculptris. The fish are from the public domain and the advertisement is from the Library of Congress. The avatar and the spot lights are from second life. For my next step I want to be able to merge pictures from various sources into an overall picture. That way I won’t be depended on one source.
Without is a movie made by me using images from the movie The Colony in an attempt to make a (slightly) different storyline. It uses the song that is partly played at the end of the movie, when the titles are shown.
The idea is to experimenting in a way Lawrence Weiner does.. using text and words to add information, but at the same time leave enough freedom for the viewer to fill in the blanks.
The idea is to tell story, but leave room for filling in your own ideas. A movie offers the opportunity to use sound, music, moving imagery.. add text to change some of what you see.
Because the colony is in essence a story about a world in the grip of an eternal winter and the way the handful survivors deal with this I removed I changed the images to show that.
What remains is a story of three men on a quest to find a tower that controls the weather and to discover what happened or maybe.. to use it.. It is up to you..
Yesterday I conducted a small experiment with one of my family members. I quoted the above line that Magritte put on his painting: Ceci n’est pas une pipe and asked what it was about… the answer is: about a pipe. I bet that if I say this line to a random group of strangers that most will say the same.. Hold that thought for I will get back to this later.
Let’s quote Magritte: “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe”, I’d have been lying!”
Would he have been lying?
It is interesting to know that Magritte uses a name for something that he both uses to describe his painting with, which is not a pipe (according to himself), and his pipe in the material world, which is. Or is it? He then says.. you can’t not stuff my pipe.. Meaning you can not stuff the pipe in the painting.. while you could stuff the one in the real world.But the funny thing is.. he did..stuff his pipe and he can… he just has to paint himself stuffing the pipe. And what can not been done with picture can be done with text…as he did.. We just write: Rene Magritte stuffed his pipe… and he did. The wonderful world or text and pictures opens up.
Now I had the tremendous arrogance to make a picture that is a response to the above painting, which is both a play and a sort of criticism on his picture. Lemme show it:
I reduced the principle even further..but I think this one works best.. below there are more options.
A pipe is in a certain way a thought construct and when I write down the word and use the similar style of painting and your associative thought of it.. you will see before you a pipe, perhaps even the pipe Magritte painted. And when I ask you about the properties of that pipe you will tell me that you can use it to smoke tobacco and you have to stuff it and old people smoke pipe.. and so on.
Actually.. now that I have show you the above picture.. I might go a step further…
By now you still associate this picture with Magritte’s picture.. and you still see his pipe, because the word invokes the image or thought.. and all associations that go with it.
I kept the words on the same location although I made a few pictures that put the words in the center.. this in place makes the association stronger.
Let’s reduce the complexity even further..
You will probably agree with me that the last two pictures will not make any sense if it did not have the Magritte’s to associate with it. Which is the fascinating thing about thoughts and imagery. The image can be used to toy with an idea as can words. Imagery and words can be used to replace or change what we see. The use of words and imagery can have a strong impact that can be manipulated to tell a story.
Take as example Newspeak(From the wikipedia)
“Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit free thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, peace, etc.”
“The aim of Newspeak is to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple concepts (pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink) that reinforce the total dominance of the State. Newspeak root words serve as both nouns and verbs, further reducing the total number of words; for example, “think” is both noun and verb, so the word thought is not required and can be abolished. The party also intends that Newspeak be spoken in staccato rhythms with syllables that are easy to pronounce. This will make speech more automatic and unconscious and reduce the likelihood of thought.”
This concept is thus to further control by reducing complexity. The funny thing that it might go both ways. Reducing shades of meaning will make people wonder what actually is meant by a statement.. Hence thought returns because the language is not complex enough to denote all possible meanings and people are left to wander what they ought to do. In other words. Newspeak, this tool to reduce thoughts, will defeat itself.
The above picture has no meaning without context.. which is provided by this picture:
And Magritte’s painting has no meaning without context either and only works because it became famous. The painting itself has become a though construct that gives meaning and context that would not have worked before it existed.
It is funny that this picture can lead to the following pattern:
Now let’s see this concept at work..
So what is going on here?
Well this is a picture of Clementine missing. There is no Clementine…
There is Clementine.
And now she is gone.. but no worry.. Clementine never existed as she was merely an computer generated image.
Let’s shuffle the images around for fun.
Shuffling the images around can change the story especially when you do not know what happened before and after. But there is a certain pattern in the above pictures: the top row shows the given order.. the camera closes in…
The next row shuffles it about.. as do the next. I leave this for some other post a bit as this goes into another direction.
Lets play around with words and pictures…..
When I showed this landscape(it is made in OSGrid) and said the name was summer.. the immediate reaction was: this is not summer.. it is winter. The thing is that I know something that you do not know yet… it is actually summer because in my tale it snows in summer.. Now I could also say.. the town is called Summer, but in this case that was not the reason. This is a simple play around with words to capture interest.
This is a further extension of the idea and this one is true in the sense of Magritte. I removed all the text because in that way you can either add your own or just think about the picture. In thinking along with Magritte: it is not an umbrella because it is a picture of an umbrella. But the umbrella in the picture lacks the one thing we have an umbrella for: it can not stop the rain and if an umbrella does not stop the rain is it still an umbrella or rahter.. even as a depiction of an umbrella it fails.
Originally I tried to capture in the text that the girl in the picture was trying to invoke the umbrella through an act of belief. If you just belief hard enough the umbrella appears and protects against the rain.. but alas her faith in the umbrella was not strong enough and the umbrella never became strong enough to stop the rain.
I like the odd strange things to work into pictures and text and play around with them…