Video Study of Color and Texture, by Michael Abraham

Here is a link to my video on youtube, as well my written statement. thanks

– michael

Video Study of Color and Texture, By Michael Abraham Orfus
Conducted between 10:24 pm on December 1st, and 1:12 pm on December 3, 2009

We experience color and texture all the time. Are senses are constantly bombarded by an array of tactile and visual information, however our conscious experience represents only a small slice of sensory possibilities (take for example different types of light or radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum outside of direct human perception; infrared, ultraviolet, etc). Due to the sheer volume of what we can still perceive, we cannot give most of this information our direct attention, and it goes unnoticed . . . what I propose is that we do absorb a considerable amount of these stimuli and their effects on a sub-conscious level, and that the feelings and sensations associated with these encounters are imprinted in our sub-conscious memory. As a result, even the most minute or passing tactile or visual experience has the potential to trigger a feeling, sensation, or even evoke an emotional response based on ones own past experiences of similar phenomenon and the events surrounding them. My film aims to provide the raw materials (color and texture) to stimulate the subconscious memory/experience in the individual viewer. The film also records a selection of my own visual and tactile experiences from 10:24 pm on Tuesday December 1st to 1:12 pm on Thursday December 3rd; a period of approximately 39 hours. The information is mediated through the camera, which when used freely can reveal to us what we can’t see on our own.

Produced with a combination of stop motion and frame by frame digital photography, the film is composed of approximately 865 individually shot digital photos, shown at 1/10th of a second each; hours of visual information are condensed into in just over 2 minutes. Shot with a Canon Powershot SD780 IS Digital Elph, the subject is a selection of my everyday, or chance visual and tactile encounters mixed with more deliberate, generalized imagery intended to produce an emotional or cerebral response in the viewer. My notes record and list all materials in the order they appear, as well as by the time the photographs were taken.

I have always been interest in the psychological effects of color – the idea that certain warm or cool colors or shades are associated with specific emotional or psychological states. My only conscious film influence is Stan Brakhage (1933 – 2003), who I was introduced to in this class. I love the abstract quality of his films and seeing his work has somehow affected the way I want my films to look. Mostly I am interested in his idea of revealing the universal in the particular. I sort of relate it to my interest in the way the camera can mediate our experience of the world and also reveal aspects of nature that we cannot directly perceive with our own eyes.

Challenges  / Successes:
The biggest challenge probably was taking the number of photographs needed to achieve the desired effect. As mentioned, the film is composed of 865 individual frames, which is maybe 1/4th of what I shot attempting to capture the correct compositions. At first deciding what to shoot and what not to was somewhat challenging, but as i got more involved in the process this became more intuitive. For documentary purposes I wanted the film to have a level of real-time continuity so I decided to shoot it straight through, in order, and with for lack of a better term, a sense of urgency. Needless to say the production consumed me completely for several days. Due to time constraints and the necessity to work on other assignments, I did not get to experiment with an audio track to supplement the visual aspect of the film. This may have helped to create an atmosphere of free association for the viewer. I do feel however, that the piece has a strong enough visual element to work in silence, and in the end I don’t think the lack of audio hurts the film, which is based primarily on retinal evocations of subconscious sensory-memories and their psychological and emotional associations.

1 thought on “Video Study of Color and Texture, by Michael Abraham

  1. Hi Mike, I agree with your statement about not incorporating an audio element. Having to focus entirely on visually seeing the piece (in this case, the film), really tunes us into seeing a lot more detail. If you incorporated audio, it might have been too overwhelming for the viewer. Aside, I am curious as to know if you arranged the textures/colours in any particular order or went about doing it arbitrarily? The list that you passed around in class looked like it didn’t follow any particular order.

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