Thursday, December 3, 2009

Due 12/10

Final Portfolio:

Playable portion of your DVD should include:
All 3 of your films
Synopsis for each of your 3 films
1 Artist statement
Contact Info

DVD-Rom portion of your DVD should include:
Artist Statement
Film Synopses and Stills for each film

B. Digital Portfolio
Place on the server a folder labeled yourlastname_portfolio. This folder should include:
1.a folder for each of your projects compressed files -- the .m2v and .ac3 files for each project -- clearly labeled.
2. high res digital stills for each project

C. Get your work out
visit and create an account -- enter festivals!!!!

Due 12/8

A. Advertising for your artist talk
B. Thank you notes to all that helped
C. Have your artist talk organized and ready -- run through in class
D. Game plan for food/drinks etc.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Due 12/3

Write a critical self and group review of your 12/2 performance/screening -- post to your blog

Prepare a media folder of the documentation of your work:
Photos from community performance
Video/Photos of your "stunt"

Prepare an outline for your artist talk 12/9 -- post to your blog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Due 12/1 -- Screening Preparation

Final Screening Format exported as an .h264 mov file and placed on the server. Make sure the film will play back smoothly.

Secure all permissions
Confirm Donald Kelly
Myers has been reserved 12/2 from 8a.m. - 1:30

When/How will your invitations be delivered?
What other strategies are in development regarding marketing/promotion.
Posters and invitations should be up/out.

What time will you be set-up?
Detail what your set-up involves.
List all props and materials needed.

How will you document the event?

Fill in the blank/s
I will consider this event a success if _________ ____ __ __ ______ ______

Is success the right word?
How do you as an artist deem a work successful?
money? numbers? ideas? what?

How can you create a conversation with your audience -- feedback -- critique -- future collaboration?
Give me an outline/description of your next step -- following the "stunt" screening.

11/24 In Class

Write a review of your performance.

Discuss your individual performance and the performance of the group.

Where there any problems or positives that you did not expect or could be remedied for the future or further exploited?

Discuss feedback given by your audience.

Should any changes be made to future planned events in response to the performance?

How did you document the performance? Was the documentation adequate/appropriate for the performance?

Have you thought of any further strategies regarding documentation for future events.

How could you present this performance to a larger audience?

List any possible alternative venues.

Do you plan to integrate performance methods into your artistic practice in the future.

Thanksgiving Hours

The following are the Rust Hall access hours for Thanksgiving Holiday: the College will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 25th at Noon through Friday, Nov. 27 at 8am and open Friday and throughout the weekend at regular access hours (24 hours except Saturday night).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Due 11/24

1. Be prepared and ready for your performance by 4:45 -- this means you should be seated and ready by 4:45
2. Prepare a statement for the Administration regarding your December 2nd performance. Describe the importance and meaning of the event -- under 500 words.
3. Create the invitation for your event.
4. Begin brainstorming the final artist presentation -- screening the film and describing both process and content -- highlight the collaborative aspects and the multiple formats.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Due 11/19

1. Complete mock-up of the invitation -- have it printed out.
How will the invitations be presented?
Are you only publicizing with the invitations or will there posters etc.?
2. List of all props for Monday performance
3. Describe the "logistics" of the performance
when will you be here to set-up/tear down?
how will you enter and exit the space?
4. Describe the performance itself? What will you actually be doing? How will you be doing it?
5. Describe the "meaning" of the performance.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Due 11/17

A. Complete your edit -- export as an h.264 file
B. Come together as a group and devise an installation plan -- bring drawings, experiments and test composites

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Due 11/12

1. Assembly edit due
2. Work on synopsis and publicity materials for the Nov 23rd screening

Due 11/10

1. Digitized footage
2. Copy Scratch Disc/ Project Folder to the server for all to use
3. You will each create your own edit
4. Assembly edit due 11/12

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Due 11/3

A. Complete Storyboard.
B. All pre-production complete -- props, costumes and supplies all secured
C. Rehearse -- bring in notes regarding

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Performance artists

Joseph Beuys
Vito Acconci
Marina Abramovic
Joey Arias
Matthew Barney
Chris Burden
John Cage
Tony Conrad
Toni Dove
Karen Finley
Gary Hill
Leslie Hill and Helen Paris
Kim Jones
Joan Jonas
guillermo gomez pena
Paul McCarthy
Bruce Nauman
Tony Oursler
Martha Rosler
Carolee Schneemann
Basil Twist
Doug Skinner and Michael Smith
Annie Sprinkle
Survival Research Laboratories

due 10/29

When Writing Character… Keep in mind this:

Psychology: the study of the human mind

1. How does your character think?
2. How does your character think he/she thinks?
3. What does your character want?
4. What does your character think he/she wants?
5. What does your character believe?
6. What does your character think he/she believes?
7. What is your character’s truth? Mythology?
8. What is your character’s real truth? Real Mythology?
9. What does your character need?
10. What does your character think he/she needs?
11. What actions does your character undertake?
12. Why does your character think he/she does what he/she does?

What the audience needs:
• Understanding: What events past, present and future push your
character into action
• Emotion: How your character feels
• Urgency: How important this is for your character
• Sympathy: Why your character does what he/she does
• Specificity: Detail making your character’s motivation clear
• Originality: Something we’ve either not seen before or have seen
before but is being presented in a different way.
• Mystery: Building the puzzle about what your character will learn
about him/herself one piece at a time
• Flaw: A problem to help humanize your character in our eyes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Due 10/27

a. revise your vertical project. have a complete/final edit exported as a .h264 movie file -- place on the server and post to your blog with an assignment write-up.

b. get together as a group and develop a project. you should have a complete outline posted to your blog.

Due 10/22

Complete all production for your vertical project. Bring your materials to class for review.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Due 10/15

Revise Project Concepts -- post revisions to your blog

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Due 10/13

A. Make revisions to your DVD -- menus, statements, etc. etc.

B. Post a fully developed concept for your "vertical" project. You must have scanned storyboards and location photos.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Due 10/8

A. Screen Meshes in the Afternoon a second time. Post a response that deals with the "vision" of the film -- or theme -- or narrative -- or point of view -- etc. etc. etc. -- Focus on content v. technique -- or is it impossible to separate?

B. Read -- Poetry and the Film: A symposium
Post your responses to the reading.

C. Complete your DVD -- have it burned and ready for review @ 1pm.
Be sure to include on the dvd-rom portion of your disc:
artists statement
video synopsis
production still/s

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Due 10/6

A. Final Edit of your project

B. Prepare for your project:

Artist Stmt/Bio(100words)

give your piece a Title

Video Synopsis (50 words)

Still 4” x 6”, TIF, 300 dpi

C. Watch

Maya Deren's

Meshes in the Afternoon

At Land

Post a short review on your blog

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Due 9/29

Shoot Shoot Shoot
Bring in all your materials and be prepared to edit in class.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

due 9/24

miniature project must be fully developed

you should be able to walk the class through your project verbally and visually.

post all supporting materials to your blog

Thursday, September 17, 2009

due 9/22

Continue development of your miniature project idea.

Bring in items for show-n-tell. To help illustrate your idea. This could be anything from physical objects to drawings to storyboards to tests -- etc. etc. etc.

Think of this time as pre-production testing and development.

Be prepared to discuss the reading in relationship to your idea. ex... how has your project concept grown out of the reading.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Due 9/17

A. Revise -- one frame at a time
minimum revisions due:
add an intro, exit and titles to your piece

B. Read -- the miniature pdf -- emailed and on server
highlight phrases/thoughts/ideas you were struck by when reading.
post 3 possible ideas from your highlights

Thursday, September 10, 2009

due 9/15

Bring your complete "one frame at a time" video. Place on the server in the folder labeled one_frame.

Post your video to your blog -- vimeo is suggested -- do not forget your assignment write-up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Due 8/10

You must have all raw materials created for your frame project.
Bring materials to work with in class.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Due 8/8

Your project ideal should be finalized and fully developed. You have this weekend for pre-production and testing. All materials for production should be ready by tuesday. Bring materials to work with in class for our iStopMotion tutorial.

Artists to Watch

Watch them all!

Wall painted animation

Catch Air

Julian Opie

Not really frame by frame... but very interesting -- Matt McCormick

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One Frame at a Time

Post 3 concepts for a video created one frame at a time.
Discuss techniques/look/feel/ and content for each.

a collection of pre-20th century optical toys

Artists that came up:

Submedia -- advertising in subway tunnels based on a zoetrope

an introduction to the first decade of motion pictures and the developments which helped shape cinema as we know it today

What is persistence of vision?

frame rate/ fps - Frames per second. The number of individual still pictures that pass by every second to create a moving image.
explain the difference between high frame rate and a low frame rate.

Vimeo Test

Video Export for the web - desktop

Video Posting

File | Export

Movie to QuickTime Movie




Compression Type = MPEG-4 Video

Quality = Best

Size = 320X240

check preserve aspect ratio using letterbox if require

check deinterlace source video

Check Prepare for Internet Streaming


Thursday, August 27, 2009

by any means necessary

Due 9/1
Bring it!
When you're hot you're hot!
If you're not you're not!

have movies rendered as .mov files
do not forget to post an assignment write-up for this project
Useful tech tutorials
Working with image sequences

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Additional Screenings

European Avant-Garde – “Dada, Cubism, Futurism”
Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter, Germany, 1921)
Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling, Sweden, 1922)
Ballet Mecanique (Fernand Leger, France, 1924)
Entr’acte (Rene Clair, France, 1924)
Retour a la Raison (Man Ray, France, 1926)

Screenings/Readings - 8/25

Anemic Cinema (Marcel Duchamp, 1926) 8min
Emak Bakia Cinepoem (Man Ray, 1926) 14min
Vormittagsspuk (Hans Richter, 1927) 7min
all may be found on

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940)
“The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)
*You will need to read this more than once*

write about what Benjamin says about the aura:

what is its value? is its withering away good or bad? neither or both?

how can today’s films (focus on one) be understood in terms of Benjamin’s ideas about the aura and mechanical reproduction?

what role does their “readymade” status play in this?

Post above to your blog.


situation of film/video to other arts
oriented to the “art world” rather than commercial cinema

individual/artisanal mode of production

although often rejecting notions of “artistic genius”

non- (or anti-) narrative form

related to other art movements (surrealism, futurism, dada,
minimalism, performance, etc.) and cultural issues (gay subculture; identity politics)

military term for advance troops;

Leninist term (vanguard) for leaders of revolution sense that this art practice is in “advance,” overturning older (bourgeois, mainstream) forms

pushes art to its formal limits; to its negation or destruction; to non-art and the end of modernism but doing so through art practice and issues questions art and art practice

less concerned with revolutionary progress (as is avantgarde)

formal experiments: tests and questions the formal limits of art
the “purity” or “autonomy” of art and art’s separation from other issues (politics, identity)

a term somewhat b/t avant-garde & experimental
“spatial” term

connected to subcultures: beats; queers; things situated “below” mainstream culture
Juan Antonio Suarez: “1960s underground as political postmodernism”

modernism to postmodernism
modernism and postmodernism are not opposites

nor are avant-garde, experimental, and underground
neither are they completely “sequential”

dialectical relationship: “sublation”

there is some postmodernism in modernism and modernism remains in postmodernism

Fall 2009 Syllabus

DM 475 Experimental Cinema
Fall 2009

Jill L. Wissmiller -- gmail is best
Office Hours: T, W, TH 3:45-4:45

Course Description

This class is designed to assist students in the development of alternative means of presentation for media. Topics include camera experimentation, the position of the viewer, and the material and form of the screen. Additionally, students will analyze selected works to enlighten their understanding of the history of non-traditional forms in video and film.

Course Outline

This course is broken up into evolving topical segments of approximately two weeks each. Online reading and film screenings outside of class will accompany these segments.

Assignments and Requirements

In Class Discussion, Critique, and Exercises
You will be expected to do original analyses of your work and that of others – your peers and recognized professionals and to complete in class exercises illustrating the techniques presented. Extra time outside of class will be needed to master the skills and complete the exercises presented in class.


You will be required to keep a blog for this course that includes thumbnails, storyboards, assignment write-ups and final documentation for each assignment. You should also use these spaces for idea development exercises and reading /screening responses. Rolling Due Dates.

Assignment write-ups

Each assignment will be critiqued in class. Each assignment is to be accompanied by a separate Assignment Write-up describing your process - the idea, both the conceptual and technical challenges you were dealing with, your approach, your frustrations, what you learned, as well as reference to any of the weekly readings and or screenings. These write-ups should be succinct, no more than 500 words.

Learning Accommodations

In compliance with MCA policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that you may require as a student with a disability. Request for academic accommodations need to be made during the first week of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made.

Health and Safety Precautions

As more and more work, education and recreation involves computers, everyone needs to be aware of the hazard of Repetitive Strain Injury to the hands and arms resulting from the use of computer keyboards and mice. This can be a serious and very painful condition that is far easier to prevent than to cure once contracted, and can occur even in young physically fit individuals. Paul Marxhausen – visit his site below

All students are required to follow the standards detailed in the "EPA Material Handling Protocols

Evaluation and Grading

Grading will be based on:
Creativity, aesthetic and conceptual development
Technical execution
Participation in critique and class discussions
Assignment write-ups

Assignments are due at 12pm on their scheduled dates. If you are to miss a scheduled due date, work must be handed in prior to absence. Points will be deducted for failure to participate in critique. Late assignments will not be accepted. Lost files are not an excuse for a late assignment. Loss of data, files, or other associated items needed for any assignment or project will require that you recreate your work, with no exceptions. You are solely responsible for the security of your files. Your files are not 100% secure on the server or computer desktop. You should have multiple copies on multiple sources at all times. No files are safe unless backed up to 3 locations.

Attendance Policy

Punctual, consistent attendance and serious participation in class is required for receiving credit. If there are five absences during the semester, credit will not be granted. If you have three absences, your grade will be lowered by one letter grade. Three late arrivals/early departures = 1 absence. *Reminder* equipment reservations/check-outs are made during class. If you miss a reservation day/check-out you will have to take what you can get.

Readings and Resources

There are no required textbooks for this course. All readings will be made available online or handed out in class. All films to be screened outside of class will be available through:
Videos and More 3125 Poplar Ave (901) 323-3251
Black Lodge Video 831 S. Cooper (901) 272-7744

difficulty of material
I’m not asking you to “love” this work

I want you to be critical of it (which is not the same as being

to attempt to understand what it is trying to do -- to respect that

this work is generally not for “enjoyment,” as is commercial film (or even “independent” film) -- where enjoyment is the main way to extract money from a paying customer

often un-enjoyable -- confrontational -- “boring”

Materials and Supplies

1 Spindle (25) DVD-R’s (copymax, compusa, bestbuy, etc.)
Jewel cases for DVD’s

1 external firewire 800 hardrive must run @ 7200 rpm.

School Department and Class Policies

No Food or Drinks in Lab. $50.00 fine if you are found in violation.

Your Lab Privileges will be revoked if you do not use headphones in the lab. Please email if you encounter problems during open lab time etc. In fact, please email if you have any problems of any kind during open lab time such as software or printer problems etc. The faster problems are brought to my attention the faster I can get them fixed.

Keep the Lab Clean. Dispose of all trash -- Paper scraps, old media etc.

Leave your workstation in an orderly fashion. Chair should be pushed in. Your monitor, keyboard and mouse should be placed in their proper positions.

All work should be backed up to an external device. Materials left on MCA workstations are NOT secure.


All lectures in Callicott at 7.00 pm unless otherwise noted
You are required to attend 50% of these lectures and post a short review to your blog. If you are in more than one of my classes you may cross post your response -- you only need to write one response and post to each of your class blogs.

Thursday, September 17
Janet Koplos
Art critic, editor
"The WORK of Art"

Tuesday, October 13
Julia Walker
Art historian, contemporary architecture
"Sustainable Chic: The Style of Building Green"

Thursday, October 22
Meda and Veda Rives
Hand made paper, prints, installation

Tuesday, October 27, 12.00 noon
Bill Stewart
Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers (artists’ books, zines)

Tuesday, November 3
Bill Plympton
Animator, film-maker