Welcome to my Conceptual Website! Our very first project as juniors in Freestyle was to challenge our creativity while discovering our personal aesthetic through the Conceptual unit. This website showcases all of the work I have been doing in order to improve my skills in the various applications we have been learning to use. Some of this work includes the poetry unit, such as my photo haiku, ekphrastic, free verse, and spoken word poems, which we wrote in english and then brought to our elective classes to finish the production. Each project is created in all three of our classes, using different techniques which we learn in either english, design, or our elective class. Because I am in digital media, we made videos for most of our poems, and worked on some experimental music. In addition, some photography is showcased which we developed in design class using photoshop. Overall, the combined efforts of all my freestyle classes have led to this website with the work which I am extremely passionate about. Enjoy!
In English class, we wrote four different poems with different goals. The first poem we wrote was the ekphrastic poem, which aimed to respond vividly to a piece of artwork. The second one was our Free Verse poem, which was inspired by our conceptual statements. Mine is as stated: “I am exploring the feeling of resentment through making music”. Next, we wrote a longer spoken word poem, which is meant to be performed with energy and a smooth flow. It was about anything we desired, that meant something to us. The last poem we wrote was a haiku, based off the same conceptual statement as the free verse poem. After writing each poem, we ended up taking our free verse and haiku poems into digital media to further develop them into videos.
An “ekphrastic” poem is one that is written in response to any piece of artwork. For this poem specifically, we went to the MOMA to find a piece of artwork that caught our eye; One that we could respond to in a metaphorical way. “The Dancers in a City #2” by Joan Brown is a canvas painting of a woman and a seemingly invisible man dancing in a colorful city setting. I decided to write my poem with this piece in mind because something about the decision to paint the man in solely black paint intrigued me. My poem quickly became a story of love and loss, where the invisible man became a memory of the man he used to be. I titled it “Residents of the Heart” to express that when loved ones leave life on Earth, they always stay within the heart. This poem was surprisingly easy for me to write, which made me realize that art and poetry have such strong ties, because every aspect of art is made to tell a story.
“The Dancers in a City #2”
Enamel paint and fabric on canvas
Residents of the Heart by Mia Polcyn
A moment of relief where
hands intertwine so perfectly imperfect,
a match made by angels.
Safety in existence,
peace in reality,
A gesture so pure leaves the heart at ease.
Memories of how he used to hold you,
the place in your heart left untouched by food for the soul
left vacant for something irreplaceable
She can’t help but to embrace the air as it was her own,
Carving invisible comfort from the warmth of the night
a silent remembrance for the hearts who’ve been lost,
But why must we pretend things are the same?
A dwelling of the past,
unhealthy for healing souls
Cherish the good and move on with the rest
The serenity of night still belongs to her heart,
And whomever she chooses to share
the soft patch of warmth
that forever lingers by her side.
Free Verse Poem
My free verse poem is called Unwilling Lungs. To clarify, a free verse poem authorizes the freedom of formatting the text in any way without a strict guide for how many lines are in each stanza. For this assignment, we were also required to use our conceptual statement which we received earlier in the unit: I am exploring the feeling of resentment through making music. Because I had also used this statement for the basis of my haiku, I wanted the message to be different for this project. The part about “making music” made me think of birds, and how each one has a unique sound. I took this idea and paired it with a bird unable to sing, hence the resentment, to create the free verse poem I have now. After writing the poem and recording a voiceover, I used Premiere Pro to produce a video with images and music that fit the theme I was trying to communicate. In addition, I added text overlays to emphasize specific words or phrases that would captivate the viewer. I really enjoyed the creative freedom we got to work with in this project. I truly tested my ability to write my poem in a way that would communicate a certain theme to the audience, even if it took a while to understand.
Spoken Word Poem
For my spoken word poem, I wanted to write about something that makes me who I am today. A huge future goal of mine is to inspire others, and I felt that writing about my experiences and how I learned from them would have huge potential to do just that. This event in my life has really taught be to be open to other people’s stories, before judging them for their impulsive actions. Whenever I tell people about my past, I want them to realize that they story of my brother is a huge part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me. I wanted to make sure that this poem communicated my light-hearted take on life, which is why I added humor to the beginning. This video was a strenuous task, but I feel that the use of imagery through text movement helps pull attention from viewers. I spent a good amount of hours on Premiere Pro, playing around with words and how they move. My finished project is one that I am very proud of, and it paints a quick painting of my mindset on life.
A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem that consists of three lines, with the first and last lines having 5 syllables, and the middle line with 7. For our haiku assignment in english, we were each given a conceptual statement that would determine the inspiration for our three verses. My conceptual statement is as stated: I am exploring the feeling of resentment through making music. I decided to take this statement and use it to describe a fictional situation where a piano is jealous of a guitar being used for a certain piece by their artist. Then, to further enhance the experience of this haiku, we were expected to add a picture in the background to communicate our message metaphorically.
I further explored this assignment in digital media, where I used music loops to make my own soundtrack that would play at the beginning and end of our haiku video. Using Premiere Pro, I put together the video seen below, using a recorded voiceover of my haiku, the image I took, and the music soundtrack I put together in Pro Tools. This project was very eye-opening for me, as it was my first time putting together original music. I felt super proud to complete as I completed this video because each aspect of it is my creation.
This is a screenshot of my haiku video production in Premiere Pro.
For our transport photo, we were required to take a photo of an non motorized mode of transportation. I chose to take a picture of a wheelchair, as I feel that it is an overlooked mode of transportation that is a huge necessity in the lives of many.
Transport Photo Production
For my first project in Design, I chose to photograph a wheelchair as my non-motorized mode of transportation. Usually, we don’t pay attention to how these wheelchairs work or move, as we are constantly looking from above. Because we never truly see wheelchairs from a viewpoint that emphasizes its strength, I chose to photograph this object from the ground, peering through both wheels to examine the structure. I took these photos during golden hour, as I feel that this time of day provides the most satisfyingly warm color scheme and sharp shadows. The shadows further create contrast, which is important to bring depth into the image. I shot this photo with backlighting, so I could purposefully position the edge of the wheel in front of the sun, still allowing some rays to find their way through the wheels to create lens flares that are a nice touch to an image. I happened to be in a parking lot as the sun began to set, which was preferable as it provided a clean yet golden background. Because I chose to go to a park in order to take these photos, there were trees in the background that acted as a funnel for the sunlight. Also, it gave my photo a nice bokeh effect of greens and yellows with the low aperture I used. I was originally shooting on a tennis court, but as the sun set I noticed that the parking lot was still fairly lighted with a beautiful gold tint. It was not what I originally planned but the product was one I really enjoyed. In order to add depth and make it clear that the object was a wheelchair, I shot through one side of the wheels and chose to have the back set of wheels become my focal point. I believe that the use of depth in my photo pulls the viewer in, and prompts them to immediately look at the part of the photo where the sun hits the wheel.
In order to enhance my photo even more, I used Photoshop to adjust the colors and mood that I envisioned for the photo. I chose to play around with the temperature and hue until I achieved the warmth that I was looking for. Also, I used the quick selection tool to single out parts of my background that I wanted to desaturate in order to make the wheel stand out rather than the greens in the back. Because I shot in a parking lot under trees, there were a few random objects–sticks, leaves, etc.– that I wanted to get rid of. I used the healing tool to cover up parts of the photo that were distracting, in order to give the photo a very sharp and clean appearance. Through editing in Photoshop, I learned how to properly make accurate selections with the tools that would give me the best outcome. In addition, I furthered my knowledge of adjustment layers and how they may be used in order to add hue and saturation to an image. Altogether, the use of Photoshop’s tools and my camera settings, I was able to produce a composition that uses advanced elements of understanding and editing techniques that will assist me in my further experimentation with photography and Photoshop. I also learned that while and image may not turn out exactly how I envisioned, the product may be better than I could’ve hoped.
I am exploring the feeling of resentment through the experience of making music.
For my conceptual photo, I decided to photograph a mask illuminated by red light in front of a highway of passing cars at night. I shot at night with an external flash and red bike light. I shot at a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of cars.
The mask is meant to represent resentment, and how it encompasses anger and greed by attempting to embody something it is not. I chose to flash a red light on the mask in order to exemplify anger, as the color red is often associated with anger and jealousy. The specs of dirt show how far one is willing to go to achieve what they desire. I chose to use passing cars in the background because of the movement of light represents music; dancing and movement is commonly linked to music. The chain fence behind the mask acts as a divider between resentment and making music, and how a resentful person usually separates themselves from being successful when they try to put on a mask rather than being original.
To assist the production of this photo, I used photoshop to make my image seem more comfortable and safe, by filling empty space and using more appealing color scheme to make an image more visually interesting to the viewer. I used the clone tool to fill the empty space with a more dense patch of lights. In addition, I used a gradient map of orange and blue to make the lights more neon, which gave the photo a more retro look. From this project I learned that photoshop can help to complete a composition to feel more safe and pleasing in color.
Our first project in digital media was to make a parody of any song we desired. I chose “All by Myself” by Eric Carmen. In order to have our voices evident in the music instead of the original voice, we used Pro Tools to isolate the music and get rid of the vocals. Then, we recorded a voiceover with our own original lyrics. I was inspired by the somber sound of the original song, so I wrote a parody titled “I Hate My Life”.
For our experimental music project, we were required to use Pro Tools in order to put together beats to create a sample of music relating to a theme. While I was putting together my music, I started off with a note that sounded eerie and creepy. I decided to go off this feeling to make the rest of my music a creepier and exciting feeling. I used a lot of bass to create a faster tempo with a dubstep feel. Because I wanted the music to be interesting, I added a shift in feeling when I used an ethnic sounding tune. I didn’t expect it to turn out well, but in the end I really liked the way it sounded. Overall, this project taught me a lot about making music, and I discovered that while it takes a lot of work, the outcome can be amazing.