Stimulus

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The video installation was installed for the 2010 Artists and Models event for Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY.  It consists of a one channel video projection on a large wall and four speakers to hear four separate tracks of the same video projected. The idea is to fragment the cinematic experience by separating the video’s diegetic sound and experiencing the different sounds in the shot/frame individually. Therefore, the viewer’s experience of the video will differ depending on which speaker he/she listens to.  The speakers are located in the room with the table, the picnic basket and a podium. The scene is shot as one ten minute take without any cuts.

 

Rembrandt

The visual style is inspired by the chiaroscuro paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt.  The composition of the scene is based on “The night watch” by Rembrandt.  In “The Night Watch” the frame is full of actions and sounds. There is the drumming in the right corner, a rifle shot, men talking, and a little girl running through.

In the installation the composition is of four parts within the frame that will have their particular sound.  In the foreground to the left are two people sitting having a discussion, in the right background there are two clowns setting up a blanket and having a picnic.

A man is walking diagonally across the frame talking to himself, and finally a little girl will be playing with a large red ball and wonders across the whole frame.

 

 

The Stimulus Theme

I am interpreting the word stimulus as trigger. The narrative in the scene will forward the concept of stimulus as trigger by developing four different memory or emotion triggering mechanisms.

The two people having a discussion in the foreground will be a woman talking to a friend about her father, who was a jazz musician, and the time she would spend with him. This triggers in her friend the memory of when she was a young woman and the times she would go to the many jazz clubs in Buffalo like the Colored Musicians Club. The friend remembers seeing the woman’s father playing in a club.

In the background right, the two clowns having a picnic are taking food out of the bag and every item of food they remove triggers a reaction from both of them of only vocal sounds.

The man walking up and down the frame is waiting for a phone call for a job interview. This triggers him to talk to himself about losing his job and how difficult it is for him and his family and how important it is to get this job.

The little girl is bouncing a large red ball around the scene. If the ball goes into the other characters’ space they react to it and throw it back to her. The clowns finally play with the ball.

At the end another character walks into frame and plays the trumpet. Everyone stops and listens.

 

This is the video that was played with all four sounds playing at once.  In the installation the audience heard the part of the scene strongest depending on which speaker they would be closest to.

 

 

Stimulus – Installation video from vincenzo mistretta on Vimeo.

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