Monday, February 21, 2011

high on art

This year, March Break is in the most awkward spot possible: this week is assessment week (I had my Photoshop assessment at 1:40 this afternoon), we start the next term next week--AND THEN we're free to go crazy in Cancún or Fort Lauderdale (PASSPORT), or go home, or do whatever.

This past weekend, I wrote nonstop: I had to finish two papers for Professional Practice (five hundred words each), to be passed in by nine this morning (I submitted them via email last night), and I had to write a five-hundred-word reflection paper for History, which I copied onto my blog for that class, so you can read it here (and see some of the photos) if you want to. Let's just say that I had way too much fun with the assignment--and on a school night, no less (I was up until midnight on Wednesday night shooting the photos, and I had to get up at seven-thirty--6:30 EST--for class at nine the next morning). But in a way that's a good thing: if you love what you do, sometimes you do end up staying up until all hours because you love it so much.

To celebrate the return of the Santiago el Grande, as well as the portraits of Lord and Lady Beaverbrook, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery hosted a Surreal Masquerade on Saturday night. I didn't go to the ball itself, but as part of festivities, WhiteFeather was going to present a short movie that she'd made called Fantasmagorie. Since I love her work, I had to see it.

Due to excitement, and being used to having to be out the door no later than half an hour before my classes start, I left at around seven-thirty--but I could've left as late as seven-forty-five. However, WhiteFeather's computer died an hour before the masque--and she didn't have a backup of the file. But she was able to have the file retrieved, and the show went on--about fifteen minutes after it was to start.

I was unbelievably excited and overwhelmed when I saw WhiteFeather come through the door of the gallery. I gave her a huge hug before she ran off to set up her movie--and I headed outside to stare at the window above the entrance (I didn't care if I looked a bit weird--as an artist myself, I'm used to it). After waiting a couple of minutes, the fun began. 

Fantasmagorie was perfect for the event: like the work of Dalí, it's surreal and you have to forget about trying to make sense of what you're seeing--just enjoy the show. I actually watched it three times: the first time the movie played, and then the second time with WhiteFeather (she had to make sure it looped properly--it did). After that I started to walk home--but I only got a couple of metres onto the Beaverbrook Trail before stopping dead in my tracks, turning around, and going back to the gallery for viewing number three. Finally, I was satisfied and ready to head home. As I wrote in a comment to one of her status updates on Facebook (saying that she's been invited by the B. to do another installation for them next year), "I should've known better than to try to decide for myself when I was ready to leave: that sort of decision can only really be made by the art in question. The viewer doesn't have a say in the matter. Another extremely good example: Adam MacDonald, who's a master at keeping me in front of an individual work a lot longer than I'm used to--in fact, as I walked back to the gallery, I muttered under my breath, "you are SO pulling an Adam MacDonald, WhiteFeather.""

WhiteFeather will post the video on her website in a little while, and I'll make sure to post the link here. Fantasmagorie was so mind-blowingly awesome and beautiful that I want to share it with everyone.

My Photoshop assessment went well: the only real concerns Drew had were 1. the fact that the HDR assignment from this past week (two HDR panoramas) didn't look really strong and "HDR-ish" (my word), and he didn't know whether they were HDR--he was cool with it once I explained that yes, they are HDR, and I put them together using a combination of PhotoMatix Pro (for the processing) and Photoshop (to put the panoramas together), and 2. I'm currently missing the noise reduction part of assignment five ("Noise, Chromatic Aberration, and Printing"). He didn't know whether he'd somehow missed it, or if I hadn't submitted it.

This coming weekend (starting on Thursday) is the House Weekend, which can only mean one thing: ASSASSINS!!!!! Okay, it also means other things: Thursday night is Virgin Drinks Night, for example. But when we played last year, I was eliminated before I could attack my target. This year, I want to actually "kill" my target--and do a better job at protecting myself. Come eight tonight, be afraid--be very afraid.

My HDR panorama of the college's basement.

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