BODY ELECTRIC

As I said previously, after my discussion with John, I had a brief moment of inspiration/excitement (during which I created the grid of parts in my studio), which quickly led to paralysis and lack of motivation.

Instead of working on stuff for seminar, I continued cleaning out some ancient computer folders, a project I have been working on since the summer. I came across a poem I had saved years ago, I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman. I re-read the poem and was struck with renewed inspiration. The poem is beautiful and speaks of the power of the human body, and celebrates the differences between male and female forms.

I intend to make two companion films. For the first of these, I am going to film a variety of almost-nude bodies, performing basic movements. I am using both men and women. The end result will be a film of abstracted human shapes, planes of skin and muscle, essentially a study of the human body. I have not yet decided if these bodies will be shown at a recognizable distance (an entire torso, for example), or cropped in such a way that they appear to be reminiscent of bodies. Perhaps I will use a mix of both.

One thing I struggle with — many of the models I am using have tattoos. Ideally I would like these bodies to be sort of archetypes of male and female, and I feel that the tattoos will infringe upon this ideal. I fear the ink will interfere with the body. I’d really like some input on this, on whether people feel this is something I should be concerned with. My hope is that, if I use hyper-zoomed-in shots, the tattoos will seem like abstracted colors, and not be representational. I could also just film the portions of the models that are not tattoo-ed. Either way, I plan to take an abundance of footage of each model, so that I can decide later what my approach will be.

The other film will be in the same vein, only focus on the beauty of actual machines. Letterpresses, sewing machines, and other such things which have visible and exposed mechanics.

For the films’ audio, I plan to use dialog of a reading of Whitman’s poem. Also, dialog of either excerpts from the book Machine Beauty (quoted in a previous blog post) or various machine manuals. Have not yet decided which dialog will correspond with which film.

I have scheduled to begin filming the weekend of the 19th. In the meantime, I have a lot of planning to do.

I feel like there was more I was going to write, but my mind is suddenly blank… if I remember what I wanted to say, I will post again.

Feedback is greatly welcomed. I would like to have some conversations about this, so that I may refine my thoughts and perhaps realize things I did not realize before, as usually happens with crits.

11/09/2010 | Lindsey | Comments

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