A Scientific Approach

So I work in the Learning Zone at Central Saint Martins, which accommodates a staggeringly disproportionate amount of student printing, especially so towards deadlines.

Frustrations run high as the pressure mounts. When a student has spend the last 4 or 5 hours staring at a monitor often making minute changes to their work, and then when the send it to print and it doesn’t reproduce on paper how it showed up on screen nor how they were expecting, they can be understandingly devastated.

Beyond the basic logistical issues people come up against – which printer to send to, accidentally setting double sided or mono when it should have been colour, there is a lack of appreciation into the work that must go in to a successful print.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there is a fault shared by the majority in their approach to printing. One should not simply think of all the work as done in the software, and then printing simply as a case of hitting the button and being done – a thoughtful, considered and approach that can adapt will necessarily produce a better print, that looks closer to how you wanted it to look.

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You must learn about colour, and ink, and colour spaces.

 

 

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A Prairie Home Companion has been on seemingly forever. I first came across it when it used to be played on Radio 4 at odd times, usually late into the night (perhaps it’s still on).

His voice, that of Garrison Keillor is hypnotic, soothing, and iconic.

What’s wonderful about it is how lasting it has been, created and hosted by the same man since 1974, no doubt thanks to it’s formula; inoffensive yet compelling cockamamie tid bits within a reliable and quickly familiar setting – that is Lake Wobegon. Any mention of the show conjures instantly the words in that familiar deep voice “the news from Lake Wobegon”.

What I take most from this though is that it’s okay to just keep on producing seemingly stodgy content, especially on the radio. It has it’s place. It can be noble work.

Not everything has to be cynical or bold or ruthless. Sometimes, you can just make familiar.

I went to the Central Saint Martins Degree Show, and all it managed to do was solidify my exhaustion with art. 

Perhaps unfairly, but a lot of this exhaustion turned frustration was focused at one particular guy, dressed all in white with a green painted face and red around his eyes. He was singing. Well, he was trying to. 

He was jumping on the I can’t actually fulfill the technical requirements of the medium, but I’m going to throw my energy at it and you’re going to have to watch it and take it seriously because art. 

Fuck. That. 

His antics were that of a rock star, just without the fans, talent, or support of his audience.

Punks couldn’t sing, for the most part, but they stood for something. This guy didn’t do either. 

I have the same criticisms of several of the video pieces – poor sound, no grading, sloppy cuts – lacking of basic technical ability. Again, you can make a successful film or video piece without following the commercial film framework and/or breaking the rules of any particular set of conventions, but God Damn It , have a reason to. Don’t just have shit sound because you didn’t think about it, or you don’t know how to do it well. If you can’t fulfill or find collaborators who can fulfill the technical requirements which underpin the kind of work you want to make in your film, fucking choose another medium. Don’t make a shit film or video piece and rest easy on the stable base that this is art. 

Picasso could paint traditionally competent figurative works, but chose to make an artistic departure. He wasn’t just too lazy to learn how to paint properly and though ah well, fuck it.