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June 13, 2008

just make what you like?

by sven at 2:22 pm

[from an email to some artist friends]

"Just make what you like!"

You'd think that's all there is and all there could be to making art... But actually, the more I think about it, that's not what I want to do!

While journaling today, I came up with this thought: I want to explore beyond "what I like," discovering original, unexpected material.

* * * * *

I'm an artist/filmmaker who's very oriented toward process. To an extent, I'm more interested in creating an interesting Process Plan than a perfect Product. When I design a process, I can't guarantee that I'll love what evolves -- but I trust that by the end something unexpected and intriguing will emerge.

You might not immediately know what I'm talking about.... Here's an example of one possible process:

Go on a walk through your neighborhood and write down all the nouns you see. Come home, select your favorite words from the list. Write a poem that makes use of those words. OK, now stand up and move around... Make five full-body gestures that embody the idea of the poem. Got that? OK, now string them together in a sequence (with segues) to make a dance. Next, keeping your dance in mind, take 15 minutes to write a short story that's inspired by the motions you went through. And finally: Make a quick stopmo film of that story using rough-hewn puppets, sets made from painted cardboard "flats," and pop-through animation.

A little crazy... But you can see how repeated transformations are going to lead you somewhere that you never expected to go. And each of the steps in this Process Design is simple enough that you could get through the whole thing in just a couple of days, if you really push.

Go through a process like that ten times, and you'll have a collection of crappy little films that are punctuated with moments of pure genius. NOW you're ready to sift out the gems and assemble something that you could really love!

* * * * *

...Anyway, that's what I'm chewing on today. :P

posted by sven | June 13, 2008 2:22 PM | categories: writing