introduction

The purpose of the Conceptual project was to answer the question "How can I use unconventional forms to express myself?" in poetry, music, art, and web production. It incorporated my own creative thinking in each assignment and made me exercise my mind to think outside of the box.

In English, we read several poems, learned poetic terms, and wrote many different forms of poetry. These forms of poetry included: an ekphrastic poem in response to a piece of art from the De Young's Museum, a spoken-word poem, and a poem using an abstract conceptual statement. As an Honors student, I had to also research the poet John Ashbery and analyze his poem "The Thrill of a Romance." In Design, we learned the basic foundations of art, photography, and digital media through Photoshop. Using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, we created a conceptual piece of art based on the same conceptual statement from English. In Web Audio, we created the following website using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Pro Tools to feature each of the components of the Conceptual Project. We created a Photo Haiku video using Adobe Flash CC, stylized poem photos using Adobe Photoshop CC, and audio poem performances using Pro Tools. Then, we created our own conceptual music and displayed the conceptual art from Design.

As you scroll through my website, you will be involved in the outcome of these small assignments. Through the Conceptual Unit, I learned to take risks artistically and stylistically to communicate a deeper meaning in my work. I learned to use different tools in technology to my advantage to strengthen my writing, design, and web skills. I hope these multimedia presentations I have created show the effort I put into this unit and demonstrate my understanding of content academically and technically.

poems
10 Line Poem
Ekphrastic Poem
Spoken Word Poem

 

In the Conceptual unit, we focused mainly on the production of poetry, such as ekphrasis, 10-line, and spoken word poetry.

Ekphrasis is a vivid description of a scene or a piece of art through poetry. The piece of art I selected to write about was Untitled (necklace), which entailed a lampworked borosilicate glass shards with a viridized surface, created by Giselle Courtney in 1988 that I found in the DeYoung's Museum on a Freestyle field trip. Because this necklace had several shards, it reminded me of the cliche "beauty is pain." However, I applied a twist on this commonly used phrase and emphasized society's unrealistic expectations to be achieve perfection. For the 10-line poem, we were assigned to create one about our conceptual statement in our Writer's Notebook, which is an on-going list of journals we write in throughout the year. I artistically talked about how people do not notice the pain around them to give deeper meaning to my concept statement: to explore the feeling of guilty through the experience of making music. Finally, the spoken word poetry was inspired by the competitive expectations society traps us in. We had to perform the piece in front of the class using gestures and a strong voice.

Overall, I strongly grew as a writer through the study of poetry and creating poetry production because it made me think outside the box and in a figurative sense. I tried to not give the meaning right away in my poetry and use several metaphors to express my emotions.

photo haiku

In English, we had to draw a feeling and an experience out of a bag and create a photo haiku. My concept statement was "exploring the feeling of guilt through the experience of playing music." The man in my photo haiku has "Deaf Society" written on his jacket and is holding up the sign language for telling people you are deaf, which implies he is deaf. In his surroundings, there are speakers, which is ironic because he cannot hear the music playing. This allows the reader to feel sympathetic towards this boy and reflect on their actions. I used a dark setting and font to complement the melancholy of the topic at hand. The poem reprimands the reader for not being insightful of the pain around them and being grateful for what they have.

In Adobe Flash CC 2015, we enhanced the photo by adding a title and music that started and ended the piece. This poem was inspired my deaf great-grandfather, whom I always felt guilty around because of his disability. I used dark and mysterious music to get the audience's attention through music loops I put together in Pro Tools. I added fades so that the music blended nicely with the image and did not come as a complete shock. Although the process of using Pro Tools and Adobe Flash was time-consuming at first, it became a quicker process once I got used to the software. I learned how to use frames and key frames on a timeline in Adobe Flash and how to make mono audio tracks with my own music in Pro Tools.

This is a picture of how I created my PhotoHaiku in Adobe Flash.

 

art

Conceptual Artist’s Statement


Click the image above to see my piece of art.

I am exploring the feeling of powerless through the experience of being bullied by the media.

In spirituality, the mirror symbolizes not only how we currently appear, but reflects the consequences of our actions or one’s soul revealing their dark side. For example, in the past many people believed that vampires did not have a reflection because of their evil souls. Another example is the Bloody Mary ritual, which brings out a haunting spirit through a mirror. On the other hand, the Barbie doll epitomizes a fantasy world and a stereotypical ideal for young women. This iconic toy has caused controversy because of her unhealthy and unrealistic proportions. In the composition of my photograph, I portrayed main two subjects, a Barbie doll and a mirror, using the Rule of Thirds. As the Barbie doll looks into the mirror, you can see a focused reflection of the doll. Most would expect a mirror’s reflection to be symmetrical; nonetheless, I broke the symmetry by shooting the image at a lower angle from the side. This viewpoint was intended because I wanted to exaggerate the Barbie doll’s small structure in comparison to the mirror. I kept a plain background and well-lighted room to keep the viewer focused on the main subject as well and reduce “noise.’

In Adobe Photoshop, I applied a vignette to crop tightly around the subject and increase the image’s impact. Because of the low, yellow lighting in my room, I had to add a single adjustment layer to fix the temperature and exposure of the image. Then, I used the pen tool to select the hair of the Barbie doll reflection and saved this selection. Finally, I added a filter called Rough Pastels onto the Barbie doll hair selection. I learned that Photoshop has countless filters, adjustment layers, and selection tools in order to get an accurate edit. Although the pen tool was hard to use at first, I mastered it after some practice selections and learned how to feather the selection to avoid cut-out, sharp edges. Using these Photoshop skills, I was able to exemplify my concept statement from English into a single photo.

When the doll looks into the mirror, she constantly self-evaluates herself. The spiritual mirror brings out the Barbie doll’s flaws and brings out the negative critic inside of her. She places her head on the mirror, wondering if this is who she truly is; although she looks beautiful from the outside, she does not feel beautiful inside. Her reflection is powerless to the unrealistic image she has brought upon herself. I used the filter, Rough Pastels, in her hair to subtly represent how she is becoming a total mess and is imitating someone who she is not. Changing her appearance will not change what is inside of her. One’s image should connect with one’s personality. Similar to the esoteric Barbie doll in the photo, many girls around the world are being indirectly “bullied” by the media and accustomed to society’s uniform standards. The media is invariably lowering self-esteems. They pressure women to maintain a rigid appearance, becoming someone they are not. An interpreter of the piece may feel an emotional response, hoping that the doll nurtures her unique qualities and realizes her appearance does not define her.

This is the proposal I created in Design to show how I developed my concept statement from English into an image. I have sketches on the right, which showed how I came to conclusion of having a Barbie doll and a mirror to show deep meaning.

music

 

This pop-rock song I created was inspired the mainstream music that every teenager listens to at some point, despite the hardships and stress of high school. This piece has an uplifting, optimistic tone to brighten up anyone's day and give them a beat to dance to as well. The most common responses to this music piece have been repeated head-noddings and foot-tappings synchronous to the tempo. Although producing music on Pro Tools took lots of trial and error, the learning process was overall exciting because of the product. Some sounds I chose to include were the Wave Synth Arp to give a more techno vibe to the song along with a Pop Electric Combo with a tempo of 105. To complement these sounds, I added pop drums and a continuous pop slap bass panned to the left side of the headphones. A Disco Rock also played throughout the piece. I experimented with several virtual instruments such as the Mini-Grand, Structure Free, Boom, Vacuum, and Xpand, which were plug-ins that came with Pro Tools, to enhance my music. Nonetheless, I ended up using Boom in which I created my own pattern for a specific drum set, which corresponded with keys on the mini keyboard that was provided for us in class. To do this, I had to create a new mono Instrument Track in Ticks on Pro Tools and attach the Boom plug-in under Instruments in the Inserts A-E slot. After the instrument came up, I changed the factory default to rnBeast. On the piano, I played a simple beat and recorded it to add to my music. I used these particular instruments because they blended well together and had a similar tempo. They also added to the pop-rock, techno vibe I was trying to achieve in the piece. At the beginning and end of the piece, I used the stylistic technique of an electro, robot-like voice counting down "1, 2, 3..." to get the listener excited for the piece and I ended with a more rapid "1, 2, 3" for a dramatic ending. For each number being said, I panned it in a different headphone ear.