Nice Interview with Julia Pott

This is pretty much just a link post so that I remember this for the future.

Lately, I’ve been on a big Casiotone for the Painfully Alone kick. Maybe it’s because they are no more and I wish I had been able to see them live once but alas. Anyway, I’ve been listening to a bunch of songs that I have less familiarity with like “White Corrolla” and, wouldn’t you know, there’s a music video of it and it’s pretty great. I looked up the artist and apparently she’s a pretty freshly minted freelance animator and there was an interview done with her for Premsela which is actually quite nice so I’m embedding it here so I don’t forget about it for when I may be feeling disheartened about aesthetic practice.

What I really like about it is, well, that I can identify with her as a relatively new college graduate trying to find my way so the distance between myself and her is not as far as it is between myself and most other multimedia professionals. Also, her attitude and advice is pretty spot on. You cannot expect perfection all the time or else you’ll lose it. And the work you produce must be the work that you must produce for yourself or else it’ll be rubbish. The passion is in that which you make because of a rising force inside of you that needs explosive release not that which you make with the goal in mind of being this or that.

In a way an attitude such as this is the key to everything from movement to relationships. Maybe I’m just making this connection because I’ve been reading a book on the Alexander Technique but it really does seem to be the case. People really get caught up in a hyper-awareness of everything they’re trying to do because the goal in mind is applying this huge pressure for success and all this adds up to dismal failure and disappointment. We need to lose the tension of mandatory success in all cases. In this book I’m reading, the author is talking about this as it pertains to movement. That is, for instance, the problem from walking without tension to playing the piano is a hyperconsciousness of our physical bodies. Our body knows what to do already but because of our anxiety, we hijack the controls but this hijacking does not improve performance but reduces it because conscious control of the body never works as efficiently or correctly as the unconscious use of the body. So, to put it simply, the goal in something like baseball is not to focus on how to contort the arm to hit the home run or on the necessity of hitting the home run but to focus of where the ball is going. This same thing happens over and over again as we move to social relationships for instance. The desire and needfulness of the one for the other produces maladaptive practices that drive the other away. This extreme consciousness that leads the one to overanalyzing everything and contriving a way to perfect control is, in fact, the problem itself. The relationships that don’t go heavy and where no party acts like the other is mortally essential tend to be the ones that succeed. Similarly, in business when you want the job so bad and try so hard, this hyperawareness once again sabatoges you. So, forget the goal, forget success, and focus on what you’re doing right now but don’t put any pressure on it. Act like failure is an option and you will succeed far more often.

Technical Note on Compressing Files for a Target Size

This is just a technical note for later so that I don’t get confused about the math the next time I need to compress a video file for a specific target size.

1MB = 8192Kbits

Use this conversion to determine the bitrate of a file. For instance, if your max file size is 500MB and you want to upload a video that’s 4:24 then do the following.

500MB = 4096000Kbits


15515.15-192 (for audio) = 15323.15Kbits/sec

The highest bitrate allowed for video in this case for your limited file size would be about 15300Kbits/sec.

Okay, I’m pretty sure this is accurate.


In the Middle of a Long Hiatus

I shall make this my art blog though I do not yet know exactly what that means. I consider myself a video artist and electronic musician but have not made anything recently. I consider¬† myself on a hiatus right now while I work on my research on being but, I wonder, is that project too neurotic and ridiculous. Should I give it up and make something sooner before, perhaps, it is too late? I do not know yet. I do feel urges to do it sometimes, strikes of inspiration and the occasional idea. It seems that right now my appearance to many is as something other than an artist. Perhaps they are right but I hope not. It is true that much of the work I have produced up till now (with the exclusion of music) has been crap. It’s been worthless. Perhaps a somewhat interesting idea but the execution has not worked. I nevertheless submitted my final project to a few film festivals to see if I get lucky but I expect nothing and will be sure of its denial once February is over. This is my, perhaps, stereotypically state: frustrated and not respected.

My goal is not to produce random pieces of crap.

I felt like while I was in school I would hobble together something from the limited technical instruction given with the incomplete theoretical prompts and, of course, all these prompts to produce never produced anything much of value in me, at least when it came to video or film. They were useful exercises in skills but ultimately of no interest except for a meaningless laugh. I am not sure how to structure my engagement right now. My other project is structured as a building up of my being from the ground up so that I can execute my artistic praxis better in the future. At the same time I am worried that all this time off will soften me so I am not sure. What I do know is that I need to engage in a process of determining what my meaning is as an artist. I have identified certain themes of interest in video and music but I cannot allow the disembodied idea dominate either or I shall produce nothing but structural nonsense of interest to one except myself.

The question is not simply one of making but of context. In fact, what is the point of video production when all that is consumed is broadcast television, amateur youtube videos, and the film industry. What room is there left for alternate practices? The gallery scene seems insufficient entirely. In fact, the entire project of attempting to produce for oneself notoriety seems futile at this point so I shall not engage in it. No, I think I understand why I must make music and why I must make videos and it is for no better reason than a compulsion to understand and experiment. It is the same compulsion that is driving my neurotic researching of all the basics of living and which drives my desire to read more and more theory when I get to it. My entire life is nothing if not a collection of compulsions that I have trouble controlling. The same repetition with a different object has happened whether that object is a person, a philosophy, a disease, or what have you. Compulsions accumulate and disperse once their sustainability is impossible only to perhaps build up again. Psychic pressure builds up so perhaps these expressions, being expressions, are simply necessary releases from me. After all, I have felt somewhat crushed into myself lately and deprived from my lack of creation and engagement with art. Maybe I need to accommodate a modest return to my production but the thing is that I feel blind, naked, and confused about the idea of doing just like that.

Perhaps this is but another reflection of my compulsions. I am in the doldrums of living right now for I do not want to do anything until I feel I have researched it, and one thing at a time only. Consequently I feel like it is better if I make nothing until I have researched the theory I think relevant to the topic at hand. I want to return to film and video theory and to performance theory before attempting to contrive myself as an artist in those areas but perhaps this is mistaken. I’m beginning to believe it is but it is impossible to make enough time for everything, or so it seems.

For now maybe I’ll reserve a day for artistic practice of the musical sort. Perhaps. I shall battery up my toy instruments and set up my synths and begin. My problem is a sense of feeling overwhelmed with everything. I want to exist in a future where I have figured out all my problems and am satisfied and sustainably existing. Impossible fantasy. We shall see how close reality comes to this.