Thursday, November 29, 2012

Invisible Threads are the Strongest Ties

Each day, we are surrounded by more and more connections, and the more we choose to notice them, the more numerous they seem to become.  After successfully completing my first semester at UNCSA, my eyes have been opened to this plethora of connections.  Just to discuss a few, I have created a web of the connections between four of my main classes: Digital Media for the Artist, Dance Perspectives, Technique, and Pas de Deux.  This web has illustrated for me how intertwined my arts and academic classes really are, and I now understand how much each depends on the other.

To begin, I’ll start with the connection between DMA and Technique.  Digital Media for the Artist has allowed me to increase my knowledge and skills of working with websites, as well as taught me the importance of using new media for professional purposes.  My Technique class is the basis of my dancing and has allowed my artistry to flourish while still maintaining my foundation.  Though each of these classes teaches different things, both are necessary to further my career.  I need technique so that I can physically “get myself out there,” in the same way that I need to know how to “get myself out there” through new media.

Second is the connection between DMA and my Dance Perspectives class.  In Dance Perspectives, each of the dance faculty have come and talked to us about their past, who they’ve trained with, where they have danced, favorite roles, etc... Ironically enough, both of these classes have benefitted me by learning about artists from the past and learning from their stories.  In DMA, we read about and learned from artists such as Laura Karpman, Matthew Herbert, JR, Lev Manovich, and others.  In Dance Perspectives, we’ve heard from Susan Jaffe, Warren Conover, Sean Sullivan, etc, and heard stories of their days at ABT, Limon, Harkness Ballet, etc... All of these stories have enriched my knowledge of who is training me and increases the depth and importance of what I can learn from them.

Speaking of training, this leads to the connections between Dance Perspectives and Technique.  Both of these classes help me grow as an artist through training as well as through knowledge of my trainers and their histories.  Not only does my technique class improve my training, but knowing where my teachers’ training is from and knowing how successful their careers were gives me even more faith in them and allows my technique to progress even further.

My technique class is also connected to my Pas de Deux class.  Pas de Deux, or step of two, is a class for us to learn how to dance with a partner and gives us the chance to become more comfortable with the feeling of dancing together.  Both of these classes are necessary for my growth as a dancer and as an artist.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to continue improving which would hinder me in the world of dance.

Keeping the world of dance in mind, this leads me to the connection between my Pas de Deux class and Dance Perspectives.  Though these classes are entirely different, they both have one underlying aspect in common: storytelling.  In Dance Perspectives we learn through hearing stories from our instructors, and in Pas class we learn through telling stories with our movements.

Last, but most definitely not least, is the connection between my Pas class and DMA.  This connection stood out to me the most because I expected it the least.  DMA focused on composing conversations by working together and discussing topics.  In a roundabout way, we have done the same in Pas class.  We have worked together to create conversations through our movements.  The man might offer his hand to the girl, asking her to dance with him, and the girl may answer by gently placing her hand in his, completing the first “sentence” of the combination.  So, whether it was through media or movement, both classes involved collaboration and conversation to create some form of composition.

Overall, I am proud to say I am beginning to see more and more connections between my classes.  I also know that the number of connections between my future academic classes and arts classes are bound to grow, creating an encompassing web that ties me to the rest of the art world.  As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Invisible threads are the strongest ties,” and I believe that their strength increases each time we choose to notice it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

In the Absence of Dance...

Last week I researched the history of dance in Islamic culture to find that there really is no history because there really is no dance.  It has been looked down upon by most Muslims with the exception of one group known as the Sufis, which view dance as a way of connecting with god.  However, there was also a brief point in time where Iran had their own national ballet.  It was very successful but was quickly disbanded after the fundamentalists took over.

From this research, I chose the theme of restraint to portray in my composition this week.  After going through some ideas, I decided that I wanted to film a dance with a partner that shows him restricting my movement, or holding me back from doing what i could.  However, my original idea fell through when my partner was unable to show up on Wednesday so I had to modify.  Instead of having my partner restrain me, I decided to pick a song that conveyed restraint or control.  After reading the lyrics from Regina Spektor’s song All The Rowboats, I knew it was the one.  The song itself has a very interesting sound and the lyrics have an underlying feeling of struggle and restraint (“all the rowboats keep trying to row away, row away.....they will stay there forever and a day...then there’s lock up, masterpieces serving maximum sentences...”).  I felt like these words somewhat paralleled with the way a dancer in Muslim culture might feel.  Here might be someone who might have incredible potential, but they will either never know it or will never fully reach it because they are held back by their cultural restraints.

I used some movement from my comp study to show restraint: hence the reaching out and pulling back, as if almost attaining something but never getting there.  Overall, I am happy with how my project turned out, and I hope you enjoy it as well!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Simple Thoughts...

To be honest, this unit didn’t really “hit home” like it could have.  I found no inspiring connections between my art and Islamic culture, nor did I find it particularly intriguing.  However, I was surprised to find out information about the dance that used to exist in Muslim countries.  For example, I was somewhat shocked to discover that Iran had a professional ballet company, but apart from learning interesting little facts such as that, I didn’t experience any sort of epiphany or realization of anything that I could translate into my own art studies.

Personally, I would not want to go to a school that based their courses solely on real-world issues and happenings.  However, I do believe it is essential to incorporate these factors into classes.  For example, my AP English 3 teacher required us to do short “Current Events” papers each week in which we would research something going on in the world that was relevant to what we were covering in class.  This way we could connect our studies to reality.  I had similar assignments in my AP Human Geography class as well.   My teacher, Mr. Ford, would require us to do what he called RPHs.  These RPHs (Research, Print out, and Highlight) also created connections between the real world and our course material by allowing us to look at how a certain subject might appear in the world today.  With that being said, incorporating real-world elements into classes is, in my opinion, a necessity, but I do not believe that organizing a course around real-world problems would be quite as beneficial to the students.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Virtual Buggy

This week we were given the chance to create the project we planned out in last week’s blog.  I chose to create a “virtual buggy,” or a webpage to hold all of my work done in my dance Comp 1 class.  This way, I can refer to it whenever I need, and it will be much easier to remember everything I make.  Luckily, I didn’t run into any troubles this week with my computer or my camera.

Looking back on how I managed my time, I am extremely satisfied with how I carried out my "work week."  I found plenty of time Tuesday evening to film my work, leaving myself even more time to piece together my webpage Wednesday and Thursday.  After pondering what would be more efficient, I chose to create a subpage under DMA on my Google portfolio.  This way it is also conveniently connected to my profile and other work as well.

Not only will this page allow me to keep all my Comp work in one place, but it will give me somewhere to post other dances as well.  In fact, I hope to upload some videos of the variations we have learned in my BL5 Variations class soon.  (I just have to find the music first.)  But apart from variations or movements, this page will give me somewhat of a professional advantage/benefit as well.  Keeping in mind the fact that auditions are a key part of a dancers' career, having a webpage of all my work would also be a great place to upload audition videos.  In a small way, it would be like "getting myself out there."  Like my teachers say in class, you never know who might be watching you.

I enjoyed being able to gather all of my work into one place, and I hope y’all enjoy what I created as well!

(Here's my website, and below is an example of some of my work that I loaded onto the webpage.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Personalizing New Media

Week 3:

With new media, artists in any practice can easily share their creations. Specifically for dancers, YouTube or even Facebook can be huge factors in "getting yourself out there." Online audition videos, audition photos, even short bios with some information on your dance experience can get you noticed or help you get a job. In fact, I have been told that having a dance photo as your profile picture on Facebook could land you a chance at an audition. Facebook is also incredibly convenient for making connections in the dance world.  YouTube and other video sites can also help further a dancers career just because it serves as a place to find recordings of former dancers. Even just watching these videos or watching how people train or the details they put into performances can help a dancer improve.

As for my e-portfolio, I had fun playing around with the colors and fonts as well as the layout and overall look of my website.  Luckily, the only issue I ran into was indecisiveness.  I had a hard time choosing which font I liked best.  There were so many to choose from.  However, I had no trouble choosing a theme.  I personally have a love for the outdoors, specifically flowers, so I knew the cherry blossom theme was for me.  (No, flowers aren’t exactly the quote-unquote “most professional” theme I could have chosen, but I think that I needed to show my personality as well as my professionalism.  Therefore, I chose to portray myself through the flowers.)

My blog, however, was a bit of a challenge.  No matter how I searched for the William Kentridge video I wanted, I could not find it.  Nor could I find the embed code for the video so I could paste it into my blog.  So I simply chose to revise that post and took the video off completely since it was merely extraneous information.  Other than that, I really liked the overall look of my blog (colors, layout, theme, compositions, etc) so I left that untouched.

Week 4: 

One of the most important and most vital processes of a dancers career is the audition process.  For this, dancers need to have the knowledge of how to make a clean, professional grade audition video.  It is for this reason that I would most like to learn more about how to make one.  

Another important aspect of being a dancer is knowing how you move and knowing what types of movement you feel most comfortable with.  Keeping this in mind, I will be creating either a website or a new page on my portfolio in which I compile video segments of new movements we create each week in my Comp class.  This “movement portfolio” will allow me to keep track of everything I create so that I can refer back to them literally with a simple click of a button.  It will also give me a place to upload fully choreographed dances, etc, as time goes along.  I could even upload variations from my BL5 Variations class, allowing me easy access to them for auditions, etc.  Timing this project will depend heavily on my rehearsal schedule but I plan on trying to film what movements I currently have on Monday or after my later rehearsals Tuesday.  This way I can have the rest of the week to create my website/portfolio page and fix any minor details that might need work.  Other than my indecisiveness, I don’t plan on running into many problems, but if I do encounter any, it will most likely be finding decent studio space to film.  I already know that I need to be neatly dressed and presentable in my videos, as well as clean and clear with my dancing so that the choreography shows up well on the recording.  I hope to learn more on how to piece these videos into a website/portfolio page as well as more on what angles or lighting helps “show off” my movements the best.  Next week will be an interesting feat but I’m positive it will turn out well in the end!  Wish me luck!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Art of Altogetherness

In the words of Christo, the work of art is not each piece involved, or the process by which it is created, but “the work of art is altogetherness.”  He really embraces the idea of art being a product of the whole. It is not one piece, or color, or stroke that makes a piece of art; it is the combination of all these elements. It is a piece of art in it's entirety that is beautiful (thank you Alex Anna for wording it this way).  In 1973, Christo and Jean-Claude conjured up the idea to build a fence that would travel across the landscape for over 24 miles.  Made out of plain while panels that moved with the wind, “The Running Fence” outlined the invisible contours of the landscape.  It's incredible how breathtakingly beautiful something as simple as a white fence can be. It really did move and breathe with the contours of the land as if it was alive: “born along a hillside, breathing [with] the land, and dying without a trace” (thank you again Alex).  Another amazing portrayal of altogetherness was the In B Flat website.  Yes, each piece was interesting and pretty in its own way, but as videos were combined, and the pieces began to fit together, the music/creation as a whole was incredibly beautiful.  I was extremely impressed.  Enough to say that out of all the artworks we have looked at so far, this one has been my favorite.  Overall, this discussion of combining old and new media has led me to realize how connected old and new media are and will be.  It's very true that we make new media because of old media. This even ties back into what we've talked about in previous weeks about how almost all media is "recycled." We might "borrow" or take inspiration from some form of old media and turn it into new media, but once that new media becomes old, we might take something from it and make it new again: creating a cycle that never ends.

This week, I actually created what I planned out in last weeks blog.  I wanted to somehow portray the theme of boundary dissolution by combining my own traditional media (dance, specifically ballet) with some form of new media.  So from here I decided that I wanted to try dissolving the boundary between visual art (painting) and dance.  In simpler terms, I was the paintbrush and my movements were the brushstrokes.  I chose to use blue paint to represent ballet and yellow paint to represent contemporary so that there was a more visible distinction between the two genres of dance.  From here, I went on to film some simple steps (mostly just playing with the paint that was dripping from my toes) in black and white.  However, I was able to use a feature on my camera that allowed me to retain one color in the picture (first blue, and then later, yellow).  This way, the viewer only sees the color and picture being created altogether rather than focusing on the movement.

In the end, I achieved what I wanted to.  The colors mixed together to form green, depicting the dissolution of the boundary between ballet and contemporary (hence the black and white + green picture at the end of the video).  I’m very happy with how it turned out and luckily didn’t have any major technical difficulties this time.  I hope you enjoy!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Many Colors of Dance...

This week we were asked whether we thought we could combine new-media with traditional media and still achieve aesthetically pleasing results.  Well, my answer is yes.  This idea of combining new and old media isn’t something that has just recently been discovered.  People have been combining these things for years, the process is simply more apparent in today’s society because of the use of technology such as the internet.  Some artists today have captured this combination idea quite brilliantly.  I was personally intrigued by JR's photography, but Laura Randall and Hector Parra really impressed me with their clever opera based on the theoretical idea of another dimension.

For my own media project, I want to use the theme of boundary-dissolution.  We used this theme a couple weeks ago but were required to work with sound.  This time I want to use myself and my movement to show the dissolution of the boundary between painting and dance.  I will be the paint brush, my movement will be the brush strokes, and the floor will be my canvas.  This idea came to me after watching one of William Kentridge’s videos in which he filmed himself smearing paint over a canvas.  However, he played it in reverse, turning it into a completely different piece of art.  This got me thinking of my own camera and the features it has, such as the ability to take out all colors but one.  From there, my train of thought moved to the many ways in which I could use color to “mix up” my current idea, and I came up with the notion to use the colors to represent the genres of dance that I am studying (blue being ballet and yellow being contemporary dance).  Using this feature on my camera, I could then go on to film myself dancing on a canvas, painting with my feet, becoming the “paintbrush” rather than just a dancer.  I also thought of how I could carry over the theme of boundary-dissolution into my dancing and discovered that I could show the dissolution between ballet and contemporary.  Even if one is classical (or blue) and one is modern (or yellow), they’re still a way of expressing emotion through movement (green).  Although a dancer might focus on one “color” more than another, in the end, it’s still movement (blue + yellow = green).

So next week I will actually be creating this composition rather than just simply planning it.  Because I believe that traditional media and new media can be combined and still be pleasing to the eye, I will be striving to do so in my project as well.  If anyone has suggestions or would like to talk about how I could improve my project or even make it easier to accomplish, I’m open to anything.  I’ll also be gathering supplies (a decent sized canvas, blue and yellow paint, and old used pointe shoes) as well as more inspiration if any comes my way.  I have a video here that shows where my original idea evolved from as well as a closer look at what I’ll be attempting to accomplish.

After I film my painting from a few different angles, I’m going to piece it together with some more effects such as slow motion or reverse (we’ll see what I decide to play around with) and experiment with different music overlaid on top.  Hopefully I’ll get it done in a timely manner and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I will!

(BTW, feel free to check out my new Google Profile at!!)

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Does Facebook Mean to You?

With the new age of technology that we are surrounded by, many of our connections are made online.  Social networking sites like Facebook allow us to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world at anytime.  However, these social sites are used in many different ways.  There are those who use Facebook rarely, and there are those who are always engrossed in something, whether it is posting on someone's wall or uploading pictures. I personally just use my Facebook for things like DMA, keeping in touch with friends I've met at summer ballet intensives, or keeping up with my closest friends from back home.  Other than that, it simply serves as something to do when I want to waste time.

Now, most people know about “friending” people on Facebook, but as the network has grown, so have the numbers of friends.  I myself have over 700 friends, but do I know every single one of them?  No.  So yes, I agree with Robin Dunbar and his belief that a max of 150 friends is very reasonable; however, I don’t think it’s ideal. In everyday life, we may keep in touch with 10-20 close friends, and might personally know 150, but we also have innumerable acquaintances that we interact with. This being said, 150 is reasonable, but having more is acceptable too.  As a member of Facebook, I sometimes find myself feeling obligated to “friend” somebody simply because I met them once or because we have X-number of mutual friends.  In cases like these, it is possible to have more friends, but after a while you can have too many.

On the topic of relationships, things can get even more complicated. From personal experience, online relationships can be extremely different from offline ones.  Facebook serves as a safety net. It is much easier to talk on Facebook, or text, than it is in person at times, simply because Facebook allows time for second thoughts, or revisions to what we want to say.  With this said, being “proficient” in an online conversation does not mean you will be “proficient” in an offline one.  In my opinion, people spend so much time nowadays chatting or IM-ing people that it is affecting their real social skills.  So with that thought in mind, is Facebook really a good thing anymore?  Or is it simply there for the connections it gives us?

So for my project this week, I created a Prezi.  This website is one of the coolest I’ve ever worked with.  It’s a place that can create zooming power point presentations, and it is also a public site meaning that any work done on the site can be shared, borrowed, reused, etc...  (Definitely a place for cultivating creativity!)  I chose to depict the theme of connectivity through Facebook because of the many ways it can be used.  The presentation practically speaks for itself.  Overall, it turned out great (even though I ran into technical troubles and had to recreate it twice).  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

When Boundaries Dissolve...

Donna Haraway wrote that “we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.”  In these past few days I've realized how true this is, and I think it's kinda cool. If you think about how dependent we are on technology it can be somewhat overwhelming at first. Eyeglasses, pencils, cell phones, computers, radios, air conditioning, lights....the list goes on and on! Name one business man that is not attached to some type of electronic that tells him what's happening here and now. New media, whether we like it or not, is at the core of boundary-dissolution.  In fact, new media can also act as a catalyst in this dissolving process.

However, privacy and copyright laws have trouble staying up to speed with changes in new media.  Personal privacy has not completely become a thing of the past, but the lack of privacy on the internet in this day and age is appalling. People have the ability to post practically anything on websites. It’s almost becoming expected for privacy to be overlooked.  I do think there's still some hope though.  With social media sites such as Facebook or Google+, people can choose their privacy settings, therefore this privacy issue can be a decision. I think that most people simply overlook the settings because they want to go ahead and get to the fun stuff (uploading pics, chatting, etc). So in saying this, I think that privacy in this new media age is possible and really does matter, but it will be a conscious choice, rather than a common expectation.

Anyway you look at it, when boundaries disappear or shift, they are not gone forever.  New ones are bound to take their place (pardon the pun) simply because that is how order is kept.  If boundaries were to dissolve completely, what would we be left with besides a jumbled mess of misunderstandings?

Being required to work in sound this week was something of a challenge for me.  I’m not usually one to willingly mix and remix songs in my free time, and finding two that worked together was quite difficult.  I cannot count the number of songs I layered in attempt to find something that worked with pitch and tempo.  I even went as far as to try mixing the Imperial March from Star Wars with Come Together by the Beatles.  (And if you’re wondering, no, it didn’t work.  At all.)  I knew I wanted to try to mix songs that were polar opposites, so I started with numerous piano melodies by Michele McLaughlin only to find that none of the upbeat songs I had would match up.  After multiple fails, I finally decided to try layering Vivaldi’s The Storm with an upbeat song I had from a drill team camp.  To my surprise, it fit perfectly with only a few alterations to the beginning.  It was my ideal translation of a cyborg through music - the classical music representing us as humans and the upbeat music representing the technology that consumes us.

Overall, it turned out better than I expected, and I must say that I am proud of my newfound amateur DJ skills.  I might even decide to play around with music mixing more in the future.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

"Is Art Off Limits?"

No one can truly stifle art, but I do think that creativity is being hindered in today's world. In the past, creativity was greatly encouraged, but nowadays the arts struggle to gain support in some places in the world. However, where it is allowed to flourish, creativity is able to expand in ways beyond our wildest dreams and much of this is made possible through the free sharing of media.  I don’t see this form of sharing as stealing either.  It seems to me as though artists have merely complained about their work being “stolen” for the cash benefits they receive.  In RiP! A Remix Manifesto, Girl Talk made a very clear point when he said that it has become more about the money than the simple enjoyment of making music/art.  Wealth is no longer “in the products of the mind” but in the hands of the copyrighters.  These laws have been entirely manipulated for profit, and it is in turn hindering our ability to create and discover as artists.  

Now, I can understand groups such as the Balanchine Trust, which preserves and upholds the choreography put forth by George Balanchine in the twentieth century.  In order to perform and/or film Balanchine choreography, one must first gain permission from the Trust.  This, to me, seems reasonable, given the fact that his work is being preserved and not withheld.  Unlike the restrictions of copyright laws, the protection of Balanchine’s work still serves as an outlet for inspiration and creativity.  People can freely see and experience his works and create new movements based on his creations, but there will never be an exact replica.

With so many advances in technology, the amount of software sharing has skyrocketed.  Though some may see this as alarming, I see it as no surprise.  For ages, people have found ways of creating “labor saving devices.”  We are a progressive human race that is always striving for efficiency, and the sharing of media simply enhances that ability.  After reading through Jonathan Lethum’s article and watching RiP!, I have come to believe that rather than slowing down this growing process, we should embrace this new “copyleft” culture that has come up and charge full speed into the next era of artistic creativity.

For this week's project, I chose to “remediate” a dance on fluidity.  A girl had filmed this dance, and I chose to take her concept and translate it into a still photo.  Working with her original composition rather than something I had created on my own was different but still fun to do.  It gave me the opportunity to expound upon her original idea and recreate it into my own piece of art, while still portraying fluidity.

I wasn’t quite sure how to go about capturing a video in a single still shot at first.  I began to list things that could be considered “fluid.”  The list in my head started to grow from expected things such as water to more uncommon sights such as fabric.  While I thought about these options, I decided to take my camera and walk around campus.  It turns out the Franklin Institute wasn’t joking when they said that walking can “clear your head” and help you think better.  As I walked around, I found the images I needed to portray my version of fluidity.  The first was a giant leaf outside the commons.  The curves of the leaf mimicked the way a waterfall might flow over a ledge, and the veins within the leaf simply added to this similarity.  After snapping a few shots of the plant, I kept walking around to see if I found anything else that might parallel the girl’s dance.  I found a small shallow stream where I found a more “cliche” picture of fluidity.  This stream fit the girl’s concept almost more closely than the leaf.  She had talked about feeling as though she was underwater when she danced, and this snapshot was almost a perfect visual of how it might be to move underwater.  After finding the pictures I needed, I debated molding them into a collage, but after thorough contemplation, I decided they were powerful enough on their own.

Overall, I think this week's assignment was a success, and I learned a lot more than I expected to.  I hadn’t realized that the battle with copyright was such an intense one, but after reading through the conceptual material and learning other people’s viewpoints on the issue, I am ready to discover even more in the weeks to come.

Friday, August 31, 2012

What Inspires You?

Last week in digital media we were asked what inspires us - what is it that fuels our passion.  Being a dancer, it was difficult to place my finger on exactly what it is that inspires me.  So many things affect my dancing: friends, nature, family.  Even the weather might inspire me one day.  But what is the most prominent driving force behind it all?  It didn’t dawn on me until sometime last Wednesday or Thursday that much of my life is inspired by music.  However, music was merely a topic, and I needed a theme.  For the past couple weeks I’ve been extremely homesick, so every time I came into my room I would turn on Pandora and listen to piano music to calm me down.  It seemed to be one of the few things that could easily cheer me up.  At last the idea hit me: the power behind the music would be my theme.  What better way to create an image of something or bring up/subdue an emotion than with music?

So there I was with my theme at hand: the power of music.  What an awesome and wonderful inspiration to portray.  My mind started playing with the idea of comparing two songs and illustrating the emotions that they both evoked in contrasting ways.  However, I was then faced with the choice of modern versus classical music.  Through my DMA Facebook group, I was presented with some eye-opening insight to this dilemma.  I learned that “classical music was as modern as anything once and [that] there is nothing new about human emotion.”  How much truer can it get?  Thanks to my friend, I decided to go with something in between.  Knowing that I wanted to draw, the idea then grew into a plan to use an instrumental piano song I had created on garage band a few years ago as my “inspiration” for my artwork.  This song had power and beauty and made me feel joyful each time I listened to it.  From here, I went on to choose my subject: a horse, a symbol of power as well as beauty.  However, I was unsure of how to portray the joy of the song.  I even went as far as to ask my parents for their thoughts on the picture.  Luckily, my mother suggested conveying the emotion through the background or the landscape.  I absolutely loved this idea and took hold of it with both hands.

I finally began to create this artwork but not without first using my trusty friend Google to find a horse I could model my own drawing after.  Once I had found a picture I liked well enough to use, I set up my camera and opened my sketch book, ready to draw.  Now deciding how and where to start drawing was somewhat challenging.  I didn’t want the horse to seem too big or awkwardly proportioned, but after a few minutes of pondering, I started with the shoulders, and slowly but surely worked my way through the neck, head, body, legs, finishing it off with the mane and tail.  Proud of what I had done so far, I then moved on to the background of my drawing.  There were so many joyful landscapes I could experiment with: flowery fields, calming forests, and (my personal favorite) majestic mountains.  So, because of my love for the mountains, I chose to draw two with the sun shining between them, representing the joyous emotion that bursts forth from the song.  I filmed the page as I drew with the hope of creating a video I could show while the song played.  After finishing my last shading, I was ready to put my video together.

Now came the hard part.  Little did I know it would be the most frustrating aspect of the project as well.  After waiting for my videos to upload from my camera to my laptop, I began to meticulously crop them and piece them together in iMovie.  Once I was happy with their sequence, I began to look for directions on speeding up the tempo of the video clips.  I searched and searched through the iMovie help guide and even on the Apple website itself until I came across some disappointing information.  Apparently I needed iMovie ’09 and I was currently working with ’08.  So I began to look for ways to either download the newer version or even a way to upgrade what I had.  After an hour or more of reading and exploring the Apple site, I discovered that I would have to update my entire software system in order to have what I needed.  Devastated, as well as exhausted, I chose to get some rest and ask for help in the morning.  The next day I went straight to my DMA class where I was able to successfully reload my videos onto the iMacs and adjust the speed of my videos the way I had originally intended.  At last, I placed the song over my video and let out a giant sigh of relief knowing that my project had at last come together and that I had nothing more to stress over.  I then quickly created a Google account and uploaded my video to YouTube, excited to see how others would react to my artwork.

It has been really wonderful to see the work come together as a whole.  I really enjoyed being able to express myself through something other than dance.  The way the power and beauty of the song paralleled with the power and beauty of the picture really made this project enjoyable for me.  Even though I probably could have managed my time more effectively, I had fun.  To say the least, this week turned out to be a success, and I am looking forward to seeing what next week’s project brings.