Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekly Post December 3

Is it really December already?

What I did: 

This week went well because I was able to gather more content for my project.  Going home for Thanksgiving was great because it allowed me to take a complete break from doing any physical work for my project.  Even still, the project was constantly on my mind. 

This week I spent a 2 hours writing my second reflection.  It was very helpful in backtracking and going through my thoughts during the interview.  The second interview was very interesting- I felt much more at ease and I think Jay did too.  He referred to our interview as a “therapy session”, which I thought was funny.  And then when he was talking about moving forward and how he has to stop letting the small things upset him, he said, “Wow, now this really does feel like a psychological session!”

Here is the list of questions I prepared for the second interview:

I spent an additional 3 hours reviewing the recording of the interview, making a timesheet, and picking out important parts of our interview.   I also spent another 4 hours on a collaborative project with Jay that I will talk about more later on in the post.  In addition, I spent some time experimenting with taking some of the quotes from the interview and creating pieces with expressive typography.  Here is an example of one piece:

Because Jay is so open to helping out my project, I thought it would be interesting to collaborate with him on a project.  During the interview I gave Jay a disposable camera and asked him to document his day.  He was very excited about the new assignment, and even wrote captions about each picture.  On Wednesday I met with Jay to pick up the camera and get the photos developed in print and digital form.  The actual prints came out OK, but the digital versions on a CD came out GREAT.  Here are some examples of Jay’s photos:

Because of the restraints of disposable cameras, Jay had to deal with various factors, including not being able to control the exposure rate or change the settings.  Because of various lighting constraints, I felt the photos looked much more crisp in black & white.  Black and white also allows the viewer to concentrate on certain parts of the composition as well.

In addition, Jay provided captions for all of his pictures:

I scanned in his written captions and inverted the black handwriting to white.  I then placed the handwriting onto the image, which created a very new feel.  I feel that combining image with his words creates a moving effect:

I love Jay’s tone of voice in these captions.  He is sarcastic and funny, yet personal.  Love his phrases: “My Stately Home” and “My Gated Community.”   

I want to continue with working on combining his captions with the photos.  I would like to combine all of the photos/captions and then edit down the ones I think are the best to show for December Review.

Today, SOS just sent me a woman’s contact information.  She went through the SOS program and overcame homelessness.  I am going to e-mail/call her in the next few days.  I think it would be interesting to communicate with someone who has overcome the obstacles of homelessness. 

What I learned/encountered/achieved:

I learned that I am slowly inching away from the multi-media storytelling approach.  I now have all of this content (photographs, collaborative projects, sound pieces) that I could potentially present in a new form.  Maybe a website?  Maybe an installation?  Maybe a book?  But this is okay.  I don’t have to limit my thoughts to just a multi-media story and I can be open to all opportunities.

I also have been taking notice (especially when doing the collaborative project with Jay) how people truly love creating art, even if they don’t consider themselves artists.  People love to make things, and to look at what they have made, even my friends who are non-art majors.  Jay was so excited about the project and has been e-mailing me back and forth about the pictures I sent him.  He also gave feedback about the black/white photos I put together.

What’s Next:

I am going to continue reaching out to various people, including this contact I received from SOS.  Collecting/collaborating/learning about people’s stories and communicating such stories to the public is very interesting and something I want to continue exploring.

This weekend will be dedicated to planning out my presentation for December Review.  I have to sit down and sort through all of the information and content I have collected/made over the past 3 months and figure out how I can communicate my process and project objectives.


  1. So technically you're about 3 steps away from me whether we're at home or at the studio, but I had to comment immediately - these pictures in black and white with his comments and the relationship with Jay that you're building - incredible! You're really getting somewhere with this, Meg! I love it, keep going

  2. I'm with Kate... as I said in small group, you are "cursed" with wonderful options in all directions! I think ultimately you will need to find a range of solutions for this material -- it would thrive in gallery installation form, in the digital realm, as a form of advocacy...
    As you work you will figure out which aspect you want to approach first. But I suspect the other realms will happen eventually!
    Great work Meg, keep going!

  3. oops, forgot to sign it, but I assume you know that the last post was from Hannah....

  4. Meg,
    The black and white photos with Jay's handwritten captions are very, very compelling -- visually, conceptually, emotionally. I agree with Hannah-- you are gathering and shaping materials that could take numerous forms. As prints these are powerful. But I can also see how Jay's images, captions, and voice could be incorporated into a powerful multimedia story for the web or installation.