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Digital Self-Portaits Workshop 1.0: Who am I?

| June 10, 2011 | 16 Comments
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Welcome video artist educators! We’re so excited to be going through this creative exploration with you. Hopefully, this course will allow you to explore and express yourselves using video as a platform. The sky is the limit.

Today, we’ve discussed ways to think about self-portraits and what constitutes auto-biography. Hopefully, we have kept the conversation open but not overwhelmingly limitless.

Now, it is essential to begin to digest and unpack the information we covered today and begin to frame it around you. What do you want to tell about yourself? Are you going deep into the past? Is this a concept that is not bounded by time? How will you tell your story? What media will you use? Will you be opening old shoe boxes that contain photos from your childhood? Will you go out in the world and film? Will you surf the internet for found videos and images?

Remember, we will be keeping these videos to under 5 minutes.

Ok, enough talk, let’s put down our thoughts. Please write your ideas in the comments section of this post.

Matt and Kristin

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Category: Arts, Teacher Trainings, Teacher Trainings for Arts

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About the Author ()

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.
  • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/2b119948-93ee-11e0-bb64-000bcdcb2996 2b119948-93ee-11e0-bb64-000bcdcb2996

    The videos demenstrated wer rather bleak or concentrated on their art. I would be very different. A commercial for my biotech academy or science club. I would be informational and light hearted.

  • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/2b119948-93ee-11e0-bb64-000bcdcb2996 2b119948-93ee-11e0-bb64-000bcdcb2996

    The videos demenstrated wer rather bleak or concentrated on their art. I would be very different. A commercial for my biotech academy or science club. I would be informational and light hearted.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15602071858218412104 rdcurry

    I am looking for a way to connect my curriculum, US History, to the 8th graders I teach. I see for them to tell me their family history and why their families came to America can be related to the Age of Exploration and to later immigration to the US.Most of my students are first or second generation immigrants.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15602071858218412104 rdcurry

    I am looking for a way to connect my curriculum, US History, to the 8th graders I teach. I see for them to tell me their family history and why their families came to America can be related to the Age of Exploration and to later immigration to the US.Most of my students are first or second generation immigrants.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11960486526298235930 Leslie Keir

    Who am I? Who is anyone? In my view, a combination of innate core qualities and the sum of your experiences: nature+nurture. I am often doodling my way through meetings for a variety of reasons including the sad fact that doodling is one of the only ways I have to get in my drawing time! Recently I've been doodling in a mandala format: a dot [the core] surrounded by a circle divided into 8 segments [big number in buddhism and ayurveda]. This will be the organizational structure of my digi-portrait; referencing the definition of the self I subscribe to: a core [dot] enveloped by a ring divided into 8 segments/categories of my identity, followed by more rings/experience that one accumulates throughout life.This form has an implied non-linear structure which I like. Its important to me that the portrait have a strong visual component: its so easy for language to dominate film/video. I think this shortchanges the medium. I plan on having the construction of the mandala: a stop action drawing of the mandala it as the plot develops as a central theme to return to and structure to hang the concept of the project on. The mandala is a form of guided meditation and reflection: good metaphors for this project as well. This is a bare bones description of the primary thematic structure for this project: I want to add/collect visual information to support a narrative, and this is an area I want to build skill in as a part of this class.Generally speaking, I often overplan, and I will try so hard to Keep It Simple.Cheers,Leslie Keir

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11960486526298235930 Leslie Keir

    Who am I? Who is anyone? In my view, a combination of innate core qualities and the sum of your experiences: nature+nurture. I am often doodling my way through meetings for a variety of reasons including the sad fact that doodling is one of the only ways I have to get in my drawing time! Recently I've been doodling in a mandala format: a dot [the core] surrounded by a circle divided into 8 segments [big number in buddhism and ayurveda]. This will be the organizational structure of my digi-portrait; referencing the definition of the self I subscribe to: a core [dot] enveloped by a ring divided into 8 segments/categories of my identity, followed by more rings/experience that one accumulates throughout life.This form has an implied non-linear structure which I like. Its important to me that the portrait have a strong visual component: its so easy for language to dominate film/video. I think this shortchanges the medium. I plan on having the construction of the mandala: a stop action drawing of the mandala it as the plot develops as a central theme to return to and structure to hang the concept of the project on. The mandala is a form of guided meditation and reflection: good metaphors for this project as well. This is a bare bones description of the primary thematic structure for this project: I want to add/collect visual information to support a narrative, and this is an area I want to build skill in as a part of this class.Generally speaking, I often overplan, and I will try so hard to Keep It Simple.Cheers,Leslie Keir

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13094811179172204760 Michael

    Thanks to KQED and Matt for hosting this process. It is much appreciated!Though it's not a self-portrait, I was thinking of doing more of a reflection or focus:"Blessing" what is it? What does it look like? How is it real?I was thinking of using calligraphy, some Bob Dylan, voice over, pictures, etc. Michael Doherty

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13094811179172204760 Michael

    Thanks to KQED and Matt for hosting this process. It is much appreciated!Though it's not a self-portrait, I was thinking of doing more of a reflection or focus:"Blessing" what is it? What does it look like? How is it real?I was thinking of using calligraphy, some Bob Dylan, voice over, pictures, etc. Michael Doherty

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15602071858218412104 rdcurry

    I am a composite of genetics and my life experiences. As I go through this and look at ways o apply the lessons learned to my students, I will certainly find ways to do so. For instance, from the SFMOMA experience, I see ways of having my students find some media, whether collage or a diorama or a digital forum like glogster to post a display of things which represent who they are. Going from there, as they do US history biographies as part of their curriculum, they can project what they think represents the subject (from research and/or conjecture) and do a similar display of things representing that person.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15602071858218412104 rdcurry

    I am a composite of genetics and my life experiences. As I go through this and look at ways o apply the lessons learned to my students, I will certainly find ways to do so. For instance, from the SFMOMA experience, I see ways of having my students find some media, whether collage or a diorama or a digital forum like glogster to post a display of things which represent who they are. Going from there, as they do US history biographies as part of their curriculum, they can project what they think represents the subject (from research and/or conjecture) and do a similar display of things representing that person.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11308165215739542487 SanJoRita

    Friday June 10 ideas that came to me for self-portrait…• words into poems, or found poetry from my environments• found footage to express my visual-technology weaknesses, but turn them into strengths• music, need to think about this; not dominating the aural field but as background to whatever I want to be saying

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11308165215739542487 SanJoRita

    Friday June 10 ideas that came to me for self-portrait…• words into poems, or found poetry from my environments• found footage to express my visual-technology weaknesses, but turn them into strengths• music, need to think about this; not dominating the aural field but as background to whatever I want to be saying

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05589712885749541522 pangloss

    I'm sorry I missed the Zeum trip. I would like to learn a bit about animation using video or still photos that students could do fairly easily.For my own portrait, I consider anything that I do in art is autobiographical/autoportrait. The problem is deciding on what to use!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05589712885749541522 pangloss

    I'm sorry I missed the Zeum trip. I would like to learn a bit about animation using video or still photos that students could do fairly easily.For my own portrait, I consider anything that I do in art is autobiographical/autoportrait. The problem is deciding on what to use!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04615399428165773259 Jodi

    I’d like this video to be a visual and audio metaphor for the essence of spirit which is my self; an “essay” on the spiritual being which drives physical expression. I will be using memories of the past as well as present life experiences as source material for visual images and narrative content. Most of my photos and possessions are in boxes, deep in storage at the moment, so I will be creating visuals (i.e. drawing, constructing), to represent memories and/or events that are key to understanding who I am, and then recording these on video – stop action animation, or …?? – I’m sure the process will evolve. Structural components will include original photos and video footage, recorded narration, audio clips of a non-verbal nature, music, and perhaps video/audio downloaded off the internet. I am highly visual/kinesthetic/auditory, so I’m not anticipating a lot of text display in my presentation. I know I have this tendency to take life and self too seriously, so I’m really going to make an effort to have some fun with this and throw in some humor (thank you Robert Arneson!) – I’m looking to make this a “feel good” video with depth – is that possible?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04615399428165773259 Jodi

    I’d like this video to be a visual and audio metaphor for the essence of spirit which is my self; an “essay” on the spiritual being which drives physical expression. I will be using memories of the past as well as present life experiences as source material for visual images and narrative content. Most of my photos and possessions are in boxes, deep in storage at the moment, so I will be creating visuals (i.e. drawing, constructing), to represent memories and/or events that are key to understanding who I am, and then recording these on video – stop action animation, or …?? – I’m sure the process will evolve. Structural components will include original photos and video footage, recorded narration, audio clips of a non-verbal nature, music, and perhaps video/audio downloaded off the internet. I am highly visual/kinesthetic/auditory, so I’m not anticipating a lot of text display in my presentation. I know I have this tendency to take life and self too seriously, so I’m really going to make an effort to have some fun with this and throw in some humor (thank you Robert Arneson!) – I’m looking to make this a “feel good” video with depth – is that possible?