Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Text Journal Entry #1 (Travis)

This is the first entry of a journal that I have been keeping of our general process of documenting Alex's work and also for a project that many of us are working on; a documentary about Alex, his history, his art and poetry, and his process, concepts and ideas. I will frequently add successive journal entries (I have several already) in due time. I feel like some of these definitely need to be shared and need to be a part of this blog. I hope that they add to the overall project while sparking ideas/discussions.
Entry from 12.13.2007 - Thursday

First day shooting for the doc on Alex. We filmed his performance at Gallery 110 in Provo, UT. An awesome place. An old seminary building turned into an art gallery/performance space/venue... I shot with a cheap 3 ccd camera. Torben used the Comm. Dept.’s DVX100A. Cade [Thalman] was separately recording audio on his laptop computer with some sort of mic. He assured us that it sounded great...I believe him. We will sync it to the video later on, which is a pretty simple and straight forward process. Editing this thing is going to be so much to do.

It was our first dive into filming, really trying to explore filming his performances. A trial so to speak. We might end up using something from this trial. Either way it is on the road to the destination. Having a camera in my hand makes me feel different. Vulnerable. Not vulnerable as a person, that is to say...not self-conscious, but it makes me feel like I’ve got to be careful. I’m responsible for capturing certain moments that will never happen again. Did I do that? Holding a camera is such a new thing for me. A video camera. Shooting stills is different. You have all the time in the world with one of those. I’m not saying I’m necessarily good at shooting stills. I’m just saying you have more time to make choices. With a video camera you’ve always got to be on the edge. Every second you are capturing things. Every millisecond. Everything you film is there and will be there. You’ve got to notice everything and react to it and capture it. Is the camera really just an extension of the eye and the memory? I think it kind of is...but it is definitely something else too. It is not a part of my body. I don’t feel like deleting or recording over anything. If there is anything valuable or usable in there it came into being along with and because of the stuff that we won’t use in the end. It is all part of this process of creating a documentary about the process of creating, focusing on Alex’s creations.

My friend Joey told me that focusing on what he calls ‘the creative process’ is plain boring, but what else is there? Doesn’t it all inform, isn’t it all the process of creating things? I think so. The ‘process’ is usually viewed as...‘ok, here we are, painting/drawing...whatever’, but I think that the process extends into every single thought and every single moment. I will make errors. I will make more errors than I will make successes...??? Those errors are what interest me. What differentiates an error from not an error? How will we put all of these errors together? What is the process of making errors going to look like? What are we going to come up with in the end? A better question might be “how are we going to document our process?”.

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