South Tucson Video

This is a short video I worked on a few months ago with Creatista, funded by Primavera Foundation.

I was one of 2 cameramen on the project, shooting with my Panasonic AF100. The other camera was a Red Scarlet. (Can you tell which shots are which?)
It's great to see it all come together when I only work on the production end and am not involved with post-production. It almost feels like magic. Anyway, it was a fun thing to be involved with and I'm glad I was part of it.

a little glitchsnippet

Recent experiments with Resolume Arena and a QuNeo have yielded this sort of thing, which I quite like and am therefore sharing with you, intrepid viewer.

Video source material is footage I shot of boopers and other audio gear used by Mark Hosler of Negativland. Sound created by me, with Audiomulch.

Cast: steev hise

Tags: video art, negativland, live cinema, glitch, experimental, noise, resolume, queneo, audiomulch and gear

Negativland 2013 Trailer 4-minute cut

A brief teaser clip showing some highlights from recent Negativland shows. see negativland.com for more information.

Cast: steev hise

Tags: negativland, music, sampling, collage, experimental, audio art, video art and live cinema

Society of the Twerking Spectacle

Via facebook I recently became aware of another dumb controversy regarding another "misbehaving" celebrity. Apparently Miley Cyrus mentioned Sinead O'Connor as an inspiration, and Sinead blew up with an open letter on her blog lecturing Cyrus about nakedness and women allowing themselves to be exploited, and then 2nd-tier pop star and media gadfly Amanda Palmer got in the act and posted an open letter back to Sinead.

Here's what I think. First of all, I've seen Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" video that started the whole debate and it seems a really sad, tragic, vulnerable song. Cyrus is either super messed up and struggling, or really really good at pretending to be.. and then to muddle that up further with the bizarre mixed (sex/violence) visual messages of the video is just a trainwreck.

But second of all, should we really care about this Catfight of the Famous? It seems to be the epitome of the Society of the Spectacle that we're all sitting around avidly reading the patronizing letters these rich pop stars are writing to each other about how wide or how level their playing fields are. The basic feminist and anti-consumerist message is great, but i'll already be passing that worldview to my children and i don't need any millionaire musicians to teach me how.(btw I'm purposely not linking to anything I'm talking about above, because that would just feed the click-hungry spectacle machine that I'm talking about.) Read more>>>

You Can Help My Next Film Get Made

For the last year or so, I've been becoming a sort of crowdfunding (and specifically Kickstarter) expert, consulting and making videos for clients who are trying to raise funds for various projects.  If you've followed me during that time you've probably seen me stumping for dollars for these various projects - a microbrewery, an organic chicken-raising collective, a couple days of carless streets in Tucson... all these things became realities thanks in part to the platform called Kickstarter, and thanks in part to my know-how in using it and social media.

Now I'm using that platform to raise funding for a project that I'm actually involved in myself: a documentary that I'm directing about homelessness, and specifically about the challenges of being homeless in Tucson, Arizona.  Check out the Kickstarter video by pressing play below:


My collaborators and I are experienced filmmakers; for years we've all been involved in enough low-budget or no-budget projects to know that it costs a certain minimum amount of money to do a film properly, in such a way that people will notice it, and watch it and respect it and recommend it to others.  This minimum amount is usually much higher than people not in the business expect, but much lower than the numbers thrown around in Hollywood circles.  You can make films cheaply, but you do need something, and the professionals who work on even low-budget films need to eat, and pay rent, and maintain their equipment. Read more>>>

Some Relevant Quotes

"Most parents are so exhausted by parenting that they tend to turn away from social resposibility, and toward convenience. That's just what Madison Avenue wants. Get the juice box. Get the SUV. Get the mollifying toy. I'm not suggesting that we do things perfectly. We don't. But we're trying in the ways we can."
- Steve Almond, interview in Rad Dad

schoolkids

"...for some reason, there seems to be a sort of denigration of parenthood. When you tell some people that you're gonna have a kid, they say things along the lines of, 'See you in eighteen years' or 'Well, you won't be sleeping any time soon.' My favorite one is 'Things are really going to change.' Well, of course they're going to fucking change. That's the whole point! You don't want life to be a static experience. Change is the idea. That's why we're here."
- Ian MacKaye, interview in Rad Dad

Marcos kids' book

"... most parents simply want to get through the day however they can. Amid the inconvenience of children, they don't want the further inconvenience of having to consider themselves moral actors."  - Steve Almond, inteview in Rad Dad

Reverse Ouija

kitt peak - 17A few minutes ago, as my first cup of coffee still hadn't fully worked it's neurochemical magic, I found myself wishing my father could be around to see all the big changes happening in my life lately, and I wondered if there was a special blog or twitter-like social network i could post to that dead people can read.

Time Lapse of Cyclovia Tucson, April 28 2013

Shot with a GoPro Hero3 positioned at the intersection of Glenn and Mountain, facing north, for about 4 hours, shooting 1 frame per second.

Cast: steev hise

Tags: cyclovia, living streets alliance, bikes, bicycles, open streets, timelapse and car-free

On Paul Miller's Year Offline

 
A couple of days ago was Paul Miller's first day back on the Internet after being off it for one whole year.  Miller is a tech writer and senior editor at a hip web site called The Verge (which I'd only just barely heard of and purports to cover "the intersection of tech, science, arts, and culture.").  A year ago he was fed up and decided to quit, and quit the internet, but his boss said don't quit your job too, just go offline, and write for us about what it's like being offline.

The other day he wrote a piece summing it all up.  It's pretty interesting, though not, IMHO, fascinating. There's a difference. But if you find the idea interesting, I'd recommend reading the article, and also, if you're a meta type, or a film/media type, watching at least the first 5 minutes of the 15-minute mini-doc about his experience (at the top of the page).

Here's why:  The article goes into the real interesting depths of what he thinks he learned and gained and lost. That's the real content.  But, the video says less about that and more about The Verge, and about the current state of the craft of lifestyle web minidocs, and hipster-nerddom fashion, and video marketing. From the shot of his coffee table with the stack of stuff so perfectly placed (including "Eloquent Javascript", and a copy of "Infinite Jest" (of course) on his bookshelf in the background) to the artfully colorgraded cutaways of him punching away at his keyboard in the hip cubeland at his office, the video is really more of a commercial for The Verge, and for the stunt that Miller pulled, rather than a real substantive look at the ideas and results of the stunt.  It's moody, it's full of beautiful landscape shots out car windows, and weirdly wonderful blurry closeup beauty shots of him, even though he's kind of an average-looking, pudgy dorkboy hipster that would normally not be worth taking photos of.  It's backed with that weird moody jangly soundtrack music that everybody seems into using these days that sort of says "this is kinda vaguely sad but means basically nothing" and sounds vaguely like Sigur Ros (and maybe it is, there's no credit for the music anywhere I could find). So, because it's not really giving much content, you can get the formal lesson I'm talking about from just watching the first 5 minutes or so.  However, again, the text is much more informative about the topic - staying off the internet.

Now here are some of my thoughts about Miller's actual article and year offline:

  • A lot things he writes about I am totally on board with. Most importantly, he realized that a lot of his problems or flaws in his personality or life were not caused by him being on the Internet. He didn't fix them just by going offline. He was and is still a depressed, kind of unsatisfied, restless 20-something, adrift in the modern world.
  • Still, I would argue that some of his problems ARE indirectly and partially a result of the Internet - not so much him being on it, but the whole society being on it. These things stack up and are compounded by the whole culture, so just taking himself off it doesn't fix it.
  • And yet, there's a lot of good things in the Internet, especially about connectedness, that he observes and that I agree with.
  • All in all, I take the stunt and his writing to have one central lesson: You don't fix things by radical and sudden cold-turkey removals of one narrow aspect of your life. Moderation in all things, as some Greek philosophers once said. If you think you need to totally quit the Internet, you probably don't. If you think you don't need to quit the Internet, you probably need to at least reduce your use of it to some degree. And you probably have other things to work on too.
  • Miller's only 27! So young.  When the web began, he was about 7 years old. He likely doesn't remember a time when there was no Internet. I put to you that that is one of the most important things to think about regarding his stunt - he didn't "have a real life", because he had never had one (To some extent - though I agree with him that the Internet IS part of our real lives, and our life starts getting "unreal" when we forcibly remove ourselves from it, but that's only because we're part of a whole society that's on it, as I said above.  I think that what we really mean when we say "unreal" is that we feel our life has lost its balance - which gets back to moderation). On the other hand, if you're about my age, you'd lived til you were about the age he is now before the Internet began to completely take over all of life. When I was 27, there was no Google, people were just barely starting to buy stuff online, almost nobody had a blog and nobody called them blogs, there was no "social networking" other than the primitive bulletin boards and IRC chat rooms that a few geeks used. We'd lived somewhat full, interesting lives without ever "checking in" or "tweeting" or "yelping" or snapping any Instagrams. EVER.(and yet, also, we were still fucked up people, for other reasons.)
  • Depression and the ennui of modern life and the problem of the many ways in which you can fail at being a decent and good human is much deeper than the specifics of which alienating technology is running our lives. People wrote disturbed diatribes about the pernicious effects of television 50 years ago. It's all part of a general, steady trend that's much bigger than "the Internet".

Well, that's about it. I gotta get off my blog and go run some errands in "the real world". Read more>>>

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