For this class assignment, I watched this film with Kam Yit Ling! :D,
‘ Last Year at Marienbad (1961)‘
Chronological order of the movie: Very inconsistent and irregular.
Q: Do you think the way this film is told works best for your story (in regard to the Alter Ego Assignment 1) ? How would you re-tell the story?
Yit Ling – Flashbacks of the relationship between Emily and Alexy can be incorporated. Whereby Emily constantly shows affection to Alexy, would help in the story line of my film to build the history between them, so that the viewers can be more engaged in their relationship.
Yi Ling – Flashbacks of the relationship between my grandmother and I can be added into the film as we reminisce about my childhood. I think the characters in my film in this case ought to be realistic with the age when it comes to flashback. Like when the flashback scene comes on, a child version of me and a younger version of my grandmother ought to be there.
Q: What makes this narrative (Last Year at Marienbad) work?
– The story centrals around Frank’s point of view about the female protagonist. Hence, it entwines the past, present and future of their relationship together.
– Metaphorical interpretations of their hallucinations/ potential conscience brings about depth of the characters and their inner struggles.
Q: Does this non-linear narrative work for other films
-Sci-fi, Fantasy and Thriller films would go very well with this form of narrative, such as The Time Traveller’s Wife,
Alice Through the Looking Glass.
What we like about this film?
– The cinematography is amazing. Everything seems aligned perfectly.
-We liked how they connect one of the hallucination/past memory with the present scene with the same dialogue, but different scenario. For instance when Frank was counting in the room with the female protagonist as he try to incur memory out from her in the past, the scene changed into the ball room scene where the female protagonist’s husband was counting the cards.
-Flashing of the 1 second scene whereby the female protagonist is holding her shoe, when she is in fact in the bar tells us that she might have remembered something about the past she can’t recall.
– The multiple reflections of the female protagonist in the mirror can be interpreted as her different selves in the past, present and future.
– The triangle arrangement of her own reflection can symbolize loss and confusion of her current situation, as well as the past she don’t recall.
Doubts about this film we had:
– We do not understand the purpose of having the freeze moments, whereby only one person moves. The movements are focus and exaggerated.
– We do not understand why they kept repeating the dialogue over and over again in different scenes.
– Frank always used past tense to talk to the female protagonist, so we had this illusion that Frank can travel through time. However , if it is really the truth, why would Frank lose to the female protagonist’s husband in the gambling game? Is he a psychopath who is trying to enforce certain ideas onto the female protagonist, or is he trying to mold her into the memory he believes in??
Theme is not a one-word explanation like ‘Happiness’, as it doesn’t tell much about the film.
For instance, the movie that captured our hearts and made me into a sobbing mess in the theaters: Inside Out
The overall theme for the movie is :
‘Sadness is required to make Joy better’
Having a good theme would not only make emotional connections with your audience better, but also the message stays rooted in the audience’s mind after the movie.
A Theme = The Controlling Idea = The Message
The controlling idea is that everything (Dialogue + Scene +Props tie down to 1 idea.)
It is also essential that the Theme of the movie/film CANNOT have Conflicting Themes! For instance, Riley in the movie Inside Out cannot talk about politics in the film because it has 0 relevance to the theme of the film and that it will confuse the viewers. Thus it is important that when setting the theme for a film, we ought to revise the circle above to ensure that our themes and subthemes in the film are not conflicting.
Another example is used to figure out the theme of the local film during lesson:
Singapore Dreaming (and yes… the entire film is available on YouTube YES~)
The themes the class has contributed for this film is :
Limbo of common folks to be the elites
The pursuit of wealth + success (Paper Chase)
Gender Roles in Asian context (specifically Singapore)
Negativity is transmittable
The need for upward social mobility
Ego is what breaks relationships.
What are other ways for us to present our themes for films?
Through Characters, it embodies the theme.
Using Characters- Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Windows
Using characters, this film illustrates the urban relationship behind closed doors. The main character sees the real bitterness of his neighbors through his own window.
You will not know how person feels or think on the inside, and the exterior image they show you may be just a façade to hide their true feelings and emotions.
Choice of music in this film also shows the theme of this film, which evokes fragility & loneliness exhibited by characters in this film.
Using Motifs – Saving Private Ryan
In the film, there is a scene where the colonel was directing his troop towards his map as to where Ryan can be found. In the midst of explaining, the compass in his hand was shaking. The soldiers looked at the colonel’s hand and gave him a warm smile before the proceeded to look for Ryan.
The motif in this film is the Compass.
The colonel was nervous about the search or was suffering from physical injury from the war, but still insisted to search for Ryan with his entire troop. In the process, there was this conflicting moral ambiguity he was battling. The shaking compass was a motif to show the moral compass of the colonel along with the troops.
Is it worth giving up the entire forest for a single tree?
Yit Ling, Clara and I (Group mates for Final project in Sem 1 <3) went to watch The Silence of the Lambs afterwards to try to apply what we have learnt during lesson, and sieve out the themes involves in this movie.
>Repression from misogynist in a “male job”
>Women can handle male dominated jobs as well
>Hard work pays off
> Good things goes to those who fight for it
Hence, a Theme is consistent throughout a movie and it sets the overarching story of the entire movie; the lesson learnt at the end of the movie.
Our group or as known as Ling Teh Kam-pany(Derived from our names), consists of Kam Yit Ling, Clara Teh Ke Wei and myself, Seng Yi Ling. And here, we present to you our very own movie trailer for our final 4D assignment of Year 1 Semester 1…
Movie Title: Yi(t) Ling Genre: Fantasy + Psychological Horror
3 Act Structure
Beginning (Act 1)
Yi Ling is a shy and quiet person. Once focused on a task, she is far from being distracted. Sadly, she is ostracized by her classmates as she seemed rude and had a stuck up attitude. Her classmates disliked and gave her a hard time. Until one day, her new classmate Queenie decided to befriend her.
To her dismay, Queenie sold Yi Ling out to fit in as she got ostracized by their classmates when she was seen hanging out with Yi Ling. She ganged up with her classmates and forced Yi ling into room rumored to be haunted for fun’s sake. When Yi Ling managed to open the door after much struggling, she was transported to another dimension where there were doors which led her to places as a ghost tailed her.
Middle (Act 2)
Encounters with the ghost tells Yi Ling that the ghost wants her to stay in this dimension and never go back. The spirit was motivated by loneliness which both characters shared and was enraged when Yi Ling refused to stay.
Ending (Act 3)
The ghost is in actual fact a manifestation as her alter ego. The other dimension filled with doors was a symbolism of change Yi Ling faced in her life. And the only way Yi Ling can get back to her world is by killing a part of her: Her Alter Ego.
We watched many horror movie trailers as a form of research and shared our experiences and views on past movies we’ve watched that could be of assistance to our movie trailer! 🙂
Crimson Peak (The Ghost was constantly present, but not shown blatantly.)
Black Swan (Killing of her Alter Ego)
The Babadook (Ghost was a manifestation of main character’s fears.)
The Boy ( Placement of background music.)
Placement of background music was very on point here – it had us 3 covering our ears and half shutting our eyes in fear to watch the trailer. The initial beginning of the trailer has a soft mellow piano tune when the female lead approaches the mansion, and the drastic change of music when they revealed The Boy to her sent shivers down our spine. The sudden change of music instantly let the viewers know what atmosphere the trailer aims to set: Simple life of the girl -> Horror of her lifetime.
Blair Witch Project (Handheld camera shots to show desperation and fear.)
Coraline (Travelling into another dimension, and use of different colour for different world)
In Coraline, the saturation of her world is low and colours are dull like the reality she lives in. In the other dimension, she enters a door where saturation is high and colours are vibrant and lively like the life she yearns to live in.
Blackout shots – Blackout transition shots are a recurring motif. It is used as a representation of time lapse. When used in our trailer, the following scene will be of another place and another time. In addition, length of transition creates suspense and indicate a tonal shift in the scene.
Color – Adjusting of color to establish different dimensions were used. In the real world, colors are more saturated and was brighter; whereas in the other dimension, saturation was kept to a minimum and brightness was decreased to emphasize on the stark differences in both worlds, so as to make it more spooky.
Background music and audio – Music were used to build up the anticipation and gives the audience the emotion they ought to be feeling a specific sections of the trailer. For instance, mellow piano music at the start to give a soothing feeling, and high pitched fast paced music at the climax when main character was being chased down.
Parallel Universe – At the scene (0:45) where the main character exit onto the parking lot, the composition has a mirror image reflection on the extreme left of the shot, to enhance the parallel universe feeling.
Staircase scene shows main character running up the stairs away from the Ghost, but she remains on the same level as the stairway in the other dimension is an infinite loop (0:58 – 1:09) .
Still Shot was used at the start of the trailer, where a serene feeling is given of the school environment. (0:09)
Fast Pan + POV at the scene where main character looks around perplexed at the new dimension she entered (0:49) .
Dolly In and Out scenes are present at the scene to show the ominous door (0:30) and the scene where zooming in on her expression to show that she is perplexed after opening the door to another location (0:48).
Mid-shot was used at the scene where main character is pleading the classmates to let her out. (0:40)
Handheld shot when the main character is running up the stairs. (1:01)
Low Angle Shot at the scene where 3 Classmates (Dawin, Jon, JiaQi – Thanks guys!) were gossiping about the main character. (0:22)
Trucking Shot was used when classmates (Thanks Queenie and Debbie!)were pushing the main character inside the haunted room. (0:35)
Close-up Shot was used when main character was wrenching at the door handle when she is locked in (0:41). And the part where the main character’s phone is ringing (1:25).
Canted angle shot are present when phone is dropped amidst the struggle when pushing the main character inside the haunted room (0:37), and the scene where the ghost is wrenching the door to be opened (1:14). This is to create drama and suspense.
Slow Pan is used at the transition scene where the main character looks into the mirror and the reflection looks back at her (1:39-1:42).
We tend to forget that the trailer is 2 mins and thus, eventually worry that our trailer does not convey our plot properly; but at the same time we don’t want our trailer to be a 2 min summary of the movie (given that it is a MOVIE trailer).
Finding an appropriate location which conveyed the intended feeling was not easy. Our main character’s setting is in a school environment and hence the school was used. But for the horror aspect we had to find narrow and dark areas within campus and that was difficult. Given that we even trespassed ongoing construction sites in school.
Suitable. background. music. was. really. hard. to. find.
Miss Ruyi mentioned that our logo and lobby music was not very appropriate for our Horror trailer, but our group felt that the logo was a good representation of our efforts as a group and the elevator music gave it a merry feeling. This will create the drop of emotions when the horror aspects of our trailer is revealed. 🙂
Feedbacks and Critiques
Bar chart results obtained from Ms Ruyi’s Google survey for our group were more towards the positive end of the spectrum. (thank you!)
Sound effect can be toned down to hear narration of the alter ego better in the end.
The starting music doesn’t match with the rest of the trailer , perhaps a non jazzy music that foreshadows the story?
Show that the alter ego and the main character are two compelling personalities/ people by including more interactive scenes between the 2. Perhaps by voice over of dialogue between 2 person or a struggle between the 2.
Yi Ling can act! (Yi Ling says thank you >~< )
There were different shots to show the mood of the character.
If u guys have any constructive criticism or comments that we’ve missed out, do leave a feedback down below! WE APPRECIATE IT ?
Initially I was pretty apprehensive to do group work for assignments as I am a rather ‘lone ranger’ kind of person, and having to do group work would mean that there is potential conflicts etc. But I was proven extremely wrong as I felt that our group worked really well together and even bonded closer as friends! 😀 I am very blessed to have worked with Clara and Yit Ling for this project, and I couldn’t have asked for better group mates~
Our first and hopefully not the last group photo as Ling Teh Kam-pany 😀
My approach to Project 2 was to breakdown the quotes into keywords, and then branch out from the keywords to get inspirations as to what my possible choice of subjects can be used to represent my quotes without being too literal! 🙂
The final words I have decided to use to represent the key words are usually what I belive in or what I prefer to. For instance, I love “babies”. HENCE, “babies” would mean “Happiness” to me.
You can see the thought process in the following attached image of my 2D Sketchbook! ^-^
My objective in this assignment
In the following works, my unanimous goal is to make the quotes as non literal as I can by inserting dark humor, playing around with scale and involve the use of Dadaism to make the final pieces as surreal as I can. At the same time reinterpreting the quotes in my own perspective and exploring my choice of subjects.
Quote 1) “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Happiness -> babies , things that make babies happy
Darkest of times -> evil Hitler baby , poison
Turn on the light -> Sun
Principles of elements and design: Lines, Repetition and Symmetrical Balance.
LINES from the sun rays in the background creates a radiating effect from the center of the image, to create a form of radial symmetry.
REPETITION of the items (bottles, spoons, cows etc.) in a spread out manner, using the rays of sun as guideline creates a sense of SYMMETRICAL BALANCE as the Baby Hitler acts as the central axis of this symmetry.
My Interpretation: Baby Hitler’s death could have been easily staged earlier to prevent a chaos, by poisoning (hence the poison sign on the spoons) the things baby Hitler would have loved. Such as adding alcohol to his milk, feeding poison to him in his baby food. Hence, Hitler’s death is a form of happiness to his victims.
Quote 2) “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”
Can’t be together-> distance and separation
Heart -> warmth in cold , maternal love, child
Stay there forever-> longing
Principles of elements and design:Scale, Repetition and Lines.
REPETITION of Jewish boy’s head in varying SCALE. There is slight use of implied lines created by the direction at which Hitler’s salute is directing our eyes to : Boy’s head.
My interpretation: This quote can be used in the situation where the Jewish mother is going to be executed while her son is being sent off to the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The use of the Jewish boy’s head in the background is to represent that, although he is held captive in the camp, his mind and spirit is elsewhere and not brainwashed by Hitler’s idealogy .
Quote 3) “Hold Ma Poodle!”
Poodle-> fluffy ->Sheeps
Since this quote had lesser keywords, I got feelings emulated in this quote instead, which is Agression.
Principles of elements and design: Scale, Repetition and Balance.
REPETITION of sheep with Mein Kampf books on their faces. SCALE of hand and Hitler’s face is much larger than the sheep. ASSYMETRICAL BALANCE is attempted as I tried to balance the visual weight of Hitler’s head on the right with the hand and Jewish Sheep on the left.
My interpretation: Mein Kampf is an autobiography by the National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler, in which he outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. And I pasted the book all over the sheeps’ face as I wanted to imply that the innocent sheep in the meadow were being brainwashed by Hitler’s ideologies. The sheep in the foreground is the only one without the Mein Kampf book as a face, instead it has a Kippah (Jewish cap), a representation that the innocent sheep is a Jew.
The hand is about to grab the Jewish sheep to be fed into Hitler’s mouth, a metaphor for the sheep that is about to be killed by Hitler, or brainwashed to be like the rest of the sheep. The aggression of the quote is carried out into action in this image.
Quote 4) “Come with me where dreams are born, and time is never planned.”
Born-> Giving Birth -> Beginning of time -> Dinosaur
Never planned->Unexpectedness -> Impromptu birth?
Principles of elements and design: Scale, Repetition and Balance.
SCALE of Doctors against the Dinosaur. ASSYMETRICAL BALANCE is attempted as I tried to balance the visual weight of Dinosaur on the right with the doctors and clock on the left.
My interpretation: The dinosaur ( beginning of time = to imply birth of Hitler was a long time ago) gave birth to baby Hitler, not knowing that it also gave birth to “Time” unexpectedly. “Time” is the antagonist from the mini web series: Don’t hug me I’m scared, on YouTube. Hence, implying that the birth of Hitler long time ago was the unexpected birth of an antagonist.
After looking at my concepts and final images, I decide to rearrange the sequence of my quotes. After looking through my final pieces, I felt that the images kind of convey a sequential story of the Hitler I portrayed.
Sequence is as followed.
Birth of Hitler > Rise of Nazism and mass murder/ conversion of Jews> Jews kept in concentration camps > How Hitler’s act of terror could have been prevented by an early death.
I followed an Instagram account which posted a variety of creations by surrealistic artists, which gave me ideas on the choice of subjects and how I might want to compile the images together.
Instagram account where I drew my surrealism inspiration and ideas from.
I was truly enamored by Eugenia Loli ‘s compositions as she is very creative and imaginative in how she placed her subject matters and objects. Her compositions spurred me to be more imaginative and look at everyday objects differently.
Inner struggles through Project 2:
I had a hard time finding images I sought for which are in high quality 300dpi. The use of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator was a huge headache for me when I first started as I had to learn from trial and error on how to configure the programs. The frequency of bitmap and tonal contrast was difficult to grasp as well as I was not sure how my design will look like upon silk screening. Sadly, in the end the design on my tote bag was not very well produced as I expected it to.:(
I really disliked how much water was wasted in the process of silk screen washing 🙁
Presentation Day Comments!
Ms. Joy’s comment/feedback:
I cant remember 100% of what Ms. Joy said, but the gist of the good things she said about my Project 2 was that she liked how I used the elements and principles of design in my work to direct the viewer’s attention to areas I wanted to focus on, and the use of dark humor with the reoccurring motif of Hitler in my various warm and fuzzy quotes were well played.
Whereas things to improve on is that the 2nd composition was a rather confusing as the visual weight of the hand and Hitler’s head are very similar, hence it was rather confusing if the hand was grabbing Hitler or the Jewish sheep as, Hitler’s facial expression looked scared. Joy also suggested that maybe averting the gaze of Hitler could assist in my composition to make Hitler look less afraid of the hand. 🙂
Regarding my silkscreened tote bag, we both agreed that the silkscreen pay off was not that good and that perhaps in the future I can have more opportunity to silkscreen again, and perhaps exposing my screen for a longer time will result in a better print! 😀
Thank you Ms. Joy and my lovely classmates for your feedback and comments!! To be honest, my favorite part for presentation day is getting the post-it notes from my classmates, and obtaining feedback. For some unknown reason it makes me feel very excited! ^0^
Nonetheless, I had a really great experience with this project as I managed to use the principals of elements and design to create the design I wanted and then having to print them onto a tote bag! Having my design to be printed onto a product gave me a sense of achievement and a more tangible feeling of being a real designer.
Before I dive into the project, some research and reference artists required to get my creative factory to start its engine~ But as of now, I am pretty uncertain about this project because it is rather abstract and lots of limitless imagination is required which I am rather worried about. ( Sounds familiar to my Project 1 woes…) And because I am a technology caveman, I predict that I going to have a hard time using the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. :'( Wish me luck~!
Surrealism is a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind by using irrational juxtaposition of images.
To my understanding, surrealism is to create meaningful images that are illogically possible in reality.
Dada was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. The beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of WWI. And the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist and colonist interests, which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war.
Many Dadaists believed that the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of bourgeois capitalist society had led people into war. Hence they expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression by embracing chaos and irrationality. Dada was not art: it was “anti-art”. Dada represented the opposite of everything which traditional art stood for.
Based on my own understanding, Dadaism is ‘Anti-art’. It’s purpose is to reject any logical and reasonable thinking, going against whatever traditional art stood for. It seemed like a mass rebellion against traditional art. Fighting Art with Anti-art.
Russian Constructivists had the intention to reinvent art and reconstruct art from level 0. Constructivism was primarily an art and architectural movement. It rejected the idea of art for arts’ sake and the traditional bourgeois class of society to which previous art had been catered. Practicality with beauty was the main thrust behind the constructivists.
Instead it favored art as a practice directed towards social change or that would serve a social purpose and be practical in its nature. Developing after World War I, the movement sought to push people to rebuild society in a Utopian model rather than the one that had led to the war. Art, music, architecture etc. were influenced by constructivism.
Based on my observation, I realize that Russian Constructivism has minimal colors in its artworks. Variety is added by using basic element of design such as contrast of color and lines.
Chinese Political Pop art by Wang Guang Yi’s Great Criticism Series instantly came to my mind when I searched for ‘Russian Constructivism’.
Artwork by Wang Guang Yi
As you can see, there are some forms of similarity such as red is the dominant color, and use of lines draws the viewer’s attention to an area of focus.
At first glance into her works, . I assumed she was a modern artist initially as Hoch’s work seemed timeless and is applicable to the present times.
Hannah Hoch was an important member of the Berlin Dada movement and a pioneer in collage and was one of the originators of Photomontage. She also consciously promoted the idea of women working creatively more generally in society. She explicitly addressed in her pioneering artwork in the form of photomontage the issue of gender and the figure of woman in modern society
Surrealism and Dadaism seems to be heavily involved in her works. The effect of her work is initially one of visual confusion, and yet a kind of nonsense-narrative begins to develop. To me, she is like Picasso who used magazine cutouts to create collages instead of paint!
John Heartfield was a pioneer of modern photomontage. Working in Germany and Czechoslovakia between the two world wars, he developed a unique method of appropriating and reusing photographs to powerful political effect. The process of cutting and pasting together elements to form a brilliant cohesive image became the foundation of Heartfield art.
To compose his works, he chose recognizable press photographs of politicians or events from the mainstream illustrated press. He then disassembled and rearranged these images to radically alter their meaning.
Heartfield’s strongest work used variations of scale and stark juxtapositions to activate his already gruesome photo-fragments. The result could have a frightening visual impact.
I felt that Heartfield’s work are rather heartfelt as his ‘Anti-Nazi’ and ‘Anti-politics’ works held significant meaning behind the photomontage of satirical humor.
For today’s lesson, we learnt about framing the moving image!
Q: So why is a moving camera important?
Our class discussed and gave several answers!
A moving camera allows the viewers to see the actor’s facial expression & movement, it tells us where to look.
It gives a sense of flow, space and continuity.
It helps audiences to absorb information: Natural state of movement instead of stiff and flat framed images.
Gives different perspective to/ of a subject: Gives dimension and it is less boring.
The camera has character! Slow panning shows cinematic environment, up and down angle gives dramatic effect.
3 Things that move: Object, Camera and Audience POV.
Camera movement is very important, it makes things more exciting
Why do Cameras pan?
It gives the geographical location of the character.
Introduces landscape of that place.
Expresses meaning non literally/literally.
Slow pan: Gives off a serene feeling
Fast pan: Dynamic shot
Whip pan: Dramatic feeling
Exists in shots simulating the male gaze (where they scan a hot girl up and down)
Gives a sense of authority. Like in the movie, Grand Budapest, where the doorman and the manager were conversing from a higher ground and level ground, to show the status of the characters.
Gives opinion and critique of the situation.
Allows the viewer to see in the perspective of the character from behind, or follows the by moving alongside the character.
So when do you use panning or tracking shot to follow a character?
Panning is more 2D and flat, whereas tracking shots are more dynamic by following the character.
Handheld Shots are often used in Horror and Thriller genre movies.
Handheld camera shot is a video production technique in which a camera is held in the camera operator’s hands . The shots are shaky, as though we are running to escape together with the character in his POV.
Example of movies with handheld shots are The Blair Witch Project ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=girSv9UH_V8)and ‘The Celebration’ . ‘The Celebration’ goes against traditional Hollywood movie shooting process and the shots are all handheld shots and are in natural state. It gives a documentary-like feeling and seem less fictional.
Dolly in and out shots: Zooming in and out of the shot.
Crane Shot: Using a Jimmy Jib camera to shoot the process, the shots are airy and floating, like giving a bird’s eye view in the sky.
Here is a video of the type of shots to get a better idea of the shots used in movies!:
A video that I think consist of a variety of shots is a music video, Growl by EXO! (fan girl shrieks)
The Music video is entirely conducted using Tracking shots, so there must be no room for error; otherwise the whole video has to be retaken. I believe the camera for this music video is taken using a handheld camera as the shots taken are very dynamic and moves all about the place. However, the shots are very stable instead of shaky and unstable like hand held cameras, so I believe a stabilizer was attached to the cameraman to allow smooth shots when he was shooting the video.
It also consist of Panning shots ( at 2:48 minute mark), Dolly in and out shots (at 2:37 & 3:23 minute mark)
At first glance into the research of Automatic drawing, it is fairly similar to Mark Making. But let me dive deeper into the research to confirm my hypothesis. Lets go!
What is Automatism?
Automatic Drawing (1924)
Ink on paper
(23.5 × 20.6 cm).
“Automatism” most often refers to a technique of subconscious drawing in which the artist allows his unconscious mind to take control. It is the primary method of surrealism.
Automatism is a sort of accelerated or intensified gestural movements. Unexpected and unpredicted images can be made to appear, while avoiding conscious control over the image.
Automatic techniques not only involves doodling or marking marks on paper.
Some other automatic techniques include:
Grattage is a surrealist painting technique that involves laying a canvas prepared with a layer of oil paint over a textured object and then scraping the paint off to create an interesting and unexpected surface
Max Ernst Forest and Dove 1927 Oil on canvas support: 1003 x 813 mm frame: 1200 x 1012 x 66 mm
Frottage is a surrealist and ‘automatic’ method of creative production that involves creating a rubbing of a textured surface using a pencil or other drawing material
Roger Clark Miller
Fumage is a technique in which an image is created by painting with smoke from a lighted candle into a ground of wet paint.
Fumage, gouache, and color pencil work, by Antonio Muñiz
Oil, sand and glue on canvas
551 x 380 mm
Sand painting is the art of pouring colored sands, and powdered pigments from minerals or crystals, or pigments from other natural or synthetic sources onto a surface to make a fixed, or unfixed sand painting.
Star, Winged Being, Fish 1955
Froissage is a method of collage in which the lines made by crumpling up a piece of paper are used to create a drawing.
Torn paper collage etc.
Paper collage is a technique of an art production where the artwork is created using an assemblage of different forms and shapes using paper.
When did Automatism begin?
Popularized during the 20th century by Surrealist artists, they sought to unleash the creative force of the unconscious in art.
The Surrealists embraced automatic drawing as way to incorporate the subconscious into their artwork, and to free themselves from artistic conventions, social norms and everyday thinking.
Automatic drawing and painting was seen as the only way then to escape from cultural, intellectual and historical constraints and unlock the basic creativity supposedly lodged deep within the artist’s personality. This technique, Surrealists felt, was a way in to access meaning and information that were unavailable through tradition and the conscious mind.
Impact Automatism had ?
Apart from Surrealism, other movements/ group in which Automatism has played a role includes: Dadaism ( In the early 20th Century), the gestural style of Action Painting and a late-1940s Canadian artist group known as Les Automatistes.
Probably the most famous painters associated with automatic art are Salvador Dali (1904-89) and Jackson Pollock (1912-56). Since the 1930s, Automatism has become a part of the technical repertoire of both modern and postmodern art.
What I admire about automatic drawing is that it is an immediate way to start creating art. It can be done when one feels completely uninspired or faced with a mental block due to lack of ideas. Automatism is a great way to free your creativity. It lifts you out of your logical brain’s desire to make something that’s “good” or “accurate”, unleashing your subconscious mind and breaking free from societal constraints!
Hence, to conclude the research. I feel that Automatic drawing incorporates mark making. Automatic drawing is the idea, and mark making is the technique to carry it out.
The above link is a brief video on how mark making can be done. The ways of mark making are free and limitless!
Mark making can be loose and gestural, or structured and controlled. Zen-like doodles, expressive and emotive paint throwing techniques and simply rubbing a stick/ comb/ toilet brush (??) through some acrylic paint are just some of the many creative ways mark making can be done!
But in Project 1 “My line is emo”; my project restricts me to have a black and white outcome in the end, as well as avoiding illustrating emotions literally or creating anything representational… Come on now brain, time for my creative juices to start flowing through my Factory of Creations~
When has mark making been introduced?
According to the trustworthy search engine: Google, it seems like there is no exact date as to when mark making was officially introduced. It just happened! So in my assumptions, I suppose mark making began when mankind discovered art! Because making patterns or tracing your fingers with a medium that shows a physical and permanent mark, is after all a pictorial attempt at mark making isn’t it?
Where and when has mark making been used?
Mark making has been used frequently as an expressive leisure form of art work, art therapy as well as a form of expression and development for children during early childhood.
According to the book ‘Navigating Art Therapy: A Therapist’s Companion’ by Chris Wood, mark making has served as a form of therapy for the physical, spiritual and mental health for humans.
“Indigenous mark-making has been associated, since prehistoric times, with understanding the connections between interior and exterior. Spiritual and religious rituals have also used mark making in aspects concerning health, healing and the sustaining of life.”
-Page 16, Navigating Art Therapy: A Therapist’s Companion by Chris Wood
Who has done Mark Making?
Mark making has been done by everyone in one way or another, regardless of an accidental or intended attempts.
For instance, when you accidentally knocked your colored beverage onto your homework, and despite the momentary hysteria, you’re like, “Wow, this is a rather gorgeous splatter I have created by accident!” (true story).
Some artists who has taken mark making into the next level, and are very good at it are:
Julie Mehretu, who makes large-scale, gestural paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint
Kabul 2013 Graphite and acrylic on linen 96 x 144 in. (243.8 x 365.8 cm)
Mehretu’s work conveys a layering and compression of time, space and place and a collapse of art historical references, from the dynamism of the Italian Futurists and the geometric abstraction of Malevich to the enveloping scale of Abstract Expressionist color field painting.
In her highly worked canvases, Mehretu creates new narratives using abstracted images of cities, histories, wars and geographies with a frenetic mark making that for the artist becomes a way of signifying social agency as well suggesting an unravelling of a personal biography.
Yves Klein was a showman and one of his most famous events was the imprinting of paper with naked models smeared with blue paint, as he directed their performance to music. Grande Anthropophagie bleue Hommage à Tennessee Williams, 1960
(Large blue anthropophagy, Homage to Tennessee Williams) Grande bataille [Great battle]
Pure pigment and synthetic resin
on paper marouflaged to canvas -276 x 418 cm
The Grande Anthropophagie bleue. Hommage a Tennessee Williams is an accurate reflection of the fragility and suffering. In reference to the final scene of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer, adapted for the screen by Joseph Mankiewics in 1959, the work is an expression of great violence by the chaos and force of its marks
Klein presented his work in forms that were recognized as art but would then take away the expected content of that form (paintings without pictures, a book without words, a musical composition without in fact composition) leaving only a shell. He wanted his subjects to be represented by their imprint: the image of their absence.
Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter, and the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement in the art world. His dripping technique (where he danced around the canvas in a trance like state) turned painting into a performance where the canvas bore witness to the act of painting and the resulting work represented an event (of painting) rather than an object.Pollock also incorporates the use of different unconventional mediums. Instead of using the traditional paint brush, he would add depth to his images using knives, trowels, sticks and even his own foot prints as part of the artwork, as he works while standing IN his monumental artwork. In that it had a direct relation to the artist’s emotions, expression, and mood, and showcased their feeling behind the pieces they designed. Thus, achieving different patterns and forms in midst of his expressive mark making.
Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)
Enamel on canvas
105 x 207 in. (266.7 x 525.8 cm)
With that, I conclude my first round of research into mark making.