The purpose of this conceptual website is to showcase all the conceptual work and projects we've completed this far during our time at Freestyle Academy and to show what we've learned about all of these different programs. Most of the projects being showcased on this website were created in the Digital Media class, but all of the classes have collaborated together to allow us to create these various projects.
Throughout this website, you will see poems, photos, videos, experimental music, haikus and even parodies. These projects are all conceptual and in creating each project I was able to think deeper than the surface and begin thinking more metaphorically. I enjoyed this unit because we were able to think more outside of the box and everything was more abstract, rather than being very literal.
This year in English, we’ve written free verse poems, ekphrastic poems and spoken word poems.
For our free verse poems, we were each given a concept statement off of which to base our poem. My concept statement was, “I am exploring the feeling of hopefulness through the experience of accepting others who are different.”
Ekphrastic poems are poems that are a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to go to the SF MOMA for a day. For our inspiration for our poem, we were supposed to find a piece of art that made us feel strongly a certain way, either positive or negative emotions, and write a poem about how we felt about this piece of art.
For our spoken word poems, they could be about anything you wanted. I really struggled with the spoken word poem because although it could be about anything, I didn’t feel as though I could write about anything that wasn’t too personal that I was willing to share. Everything that popped into my head as a possible subject, was just something I’d rather not share, whether they be embarrassing memories or vulnerable emotions I’d felt in past situations.
When we went to the SF MOMA, this piece of art caught my eye and I decided to write a poem about how I felt looking at the piece and perhaps a little bit of how the artist felt as well.
So steady yet so nervous
Will this end a happy day?
Rough and Smooth
Dark and Light
Patterned and Plain
Boisterous and Quiet
The room waits with baited breath
As the glass is given
An opportunity presented
The contact zone confronted,
It’s finally okay to breath.
Free Verse Poem
For our Free Verse Poem assignment, we were supposed to write a poem based off of our concept statment. My concept statement was: I am exploring the feeling of hopefulness through the experience of accepting other who are different. After writing our poems in English, in our Digital Media class, we created a short video with images to help visually portray our poems.
Spoken Word Poem
The spoken word assignment was meant to be another way for us to explore poetry and to express ourselves through it. Spoken word varies from written poetry because the poet performs it live in front of an audience. This way, you get to see more of the raw emotions coming from the poet and how they meant for it to be interpreted based off of their body language and the tone of their voice. Personally, I really enjoy watching spoken word videos and seeing them perform their pieces because it’s a whole other side of poetry. It’s another way to interact with the audience and I feel more connected to their pieces when I hear them spoken. However, as much as I enjoy listening to spoken word poetry, I didn’t imagine how difficult it would be for me to actually produce one myself. I’m glad we did this because it allowed me to reflect on past memories and experiences in a different way and I was able to learn a lot about myself and my peers through this project.
Throughout the study of poetry, I think I found a fun but also effective way to express how I’m feeling personally or how I feel about various subjects in a bigger world setting. I think it’s become a more relaxing and creative way to show others how you feel about various things while also allowing them to interpret what it could mean and maybe in that process discovering something about themselves too. Reading and creating poetry has allowed me to reflect more on the unseen meaning in many different works of literature and relationally as well. That's what I've enjoyed most about the poetry unit, being able to learn more about others and at the same time more about myself. Before this unit, I believed poetry to be too allusive to comprehend for me but I'm really glad that I've discovered it in a new light.
The haiku video was so that we could create a video about the haiku that we wrote in English, I enjoyed the haiku production because this was my first time using Premiere Pro to create a video. I enjoyed learning more about the program and just creating the video in general. I tried my best to read my haiku with emotion to help get across my concept statement to the audience, which the haiku was based off of.
My haiku poem had the same concept statement as my free verse poem, which was: “I am exploring the feeling of hopefulness through the experience of accepting others who are different.” I did my best to think metaphorically and conceptually so that I could share my concept statement with the reader, but not portray it too literally.
The process of writing my haiku was a difficult one. I felt as though my concept statement could become cliche very quickly if I wasn't careful and I wanted to avoid that at all costs. Therefore, I focused more on getting up to that point of acceptance of everyone and how that played out and the turmoil and obstacles that prevent us from reaching out and accepting everyone.
This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce the haiku video.
This assignment was to find and take pictures of non-motorized vehicles that have wheels. It could have any amount of wheels needed to function. We were allowed to take pictures of any vehicle with wheels as long as it wasn’t motorized, which meant that we couldn’t take pictures of models of motorized vehicles (i.e models of trains, cars, etc.) either. The main focus of this assignment was to shoot the vehicle, specifically the wheels, at a very unusual angle. The wheel had to be of significance in the photo and had to be in the frame.
The object I chose to photograph was a scooter, specifically getting a shot while the scooter was in mid-air. I chose a scooter because I really wanted to get an action shot with it in the air looking up at it slightly because I thought it’d make for a really unique perspective, since most aren’t lying on the ground when people are on their scooters doing tricks. I took the shot from the ground angling the camera up slightly to make the scooter seem larger than it really is. I took the shot on a tiled floor, which ended up giving me really good leading lines and the tiles were reflected on the bottom of the scooter which is something else I wasn’t expecting but really liked. Therefore, the background was a residential neighborhood, which I wish wasn’t as prominent as to keep the focus on the main subject of the photo, which was the scooter and the wheels. In terms of lighting, I shot with Av so I could get the shallowest depth of field possible and with an ISO of 200, since we were outside and was shooting around dusk as it was getting darker and more overcast.
In doing this assignment, I was able to learn more about selections, layers and inverting selections in Photoshop Adobe. I chose to make a selection of the two wheels because I wanted to make sure they were the most significant part of the photo because that was the whole purpose of the assignment. After feathering and saving the selection, I inverted it so that everything except the wheels were selected. I then added a layer that made that inverted selection black and white, to put further emphasis on the wheels and make sure they’re the first thing your eye is drawn to. One thing I learned in doing this was that since it was already a somewhat darker picture, making most of it black and white only made it darker so something I could’ve done to counter that was add a layer of hue and saturation and see if I could’ve made it lighter.
I am exploring the feeling of hopefulness through the experience of accepting others who are different.
For my conceptual photo, I took a picture of a door with the blinds closed and the keys in the lock, slightly opened to visually portray my concept statement. Lighting was also very important to my photo because I wanted the light to shine directly onto the door to represent the feeling of hopefulness. I also shot my photo from the ground looking up because since the door opening and the key represents each individual and what opinions and viewpoints they introduce into our lives, it can all be somewhat daunting and slightly overwhelming. I wanted to also add to the mystery of the photo with the angle because with each relationship formed, we are exposed to something new and since it’s a mystery, it can often be full of anticipation and often times that leads to feeling somewhat overwhelmed with what could be or what is going to be. Since behind each relationship (aka the door) there’s a mystery as to what it’ll bring, I made sure the background was dark and added to that sense of mystery.
The door slightly open represents the action of being open to others and their opinions and accepting them. In order for the door to be open, it needs to be unlocked so I had a key in the lock to represent an individual that is opening us up to new perspectives and ideas. I also made sure that I had a lot of other keys on the key ring to show that there are many different people with various lifestyles, views and opinions and each of them allow us to learn something new about the world and different cultures and maybe even about ourselves. Therefore, behind each door is a mystery and there is the unknown because each relationship we have with someone will contribute something new to us, whether it be something good or bad. So I wanted to make sure that it was really dark in the small area where the door was slightly open because I wanted to help contribute more to the mystery of what each “key” (aka person) brings.
In Photoshop, I used what I knew about selections, layers, the blemish tool and vignettes to enhance my conceptual photo. First in Photoshop, I added a vignette to make the edges darker and made sure they were feathered so that they’d seamlessly fade into my photo and enhance the sense of mystery of what was behind the door to the image. I then made a selection of the background of the slight crack where the door was open and used a hue/saturation layer to make it dark so you couldn’t tell what was inside so it’d add to the mystery. Then I used the blemish tool to get rid of some of the marks and scuffs on the door so that it’d look nicer and add to the idea of hopefulness by giving it a nicer appearance.
The parody assignment was to take a song that you liked and then rewrite the lyrics and replace the lyrics with your own, making it a new song. So to begin, we all chose a song that we wanted to rewrite. We opened the song in Pro Tools where we then went and erased all of the vocals, leaving only the instrumentals and the occasional backup singer. We then went and recorded ourselves or someone else singing the new lyrics we had written for the song. We then put that over the instrumentals and made sure the vocals and background music were all aligned. Thus having created our very own parody.
For my piece of experimental music, I was inspired by the feeling of curiosity. The meaning of the music is to allow the listener to reflect on perhaps some nostaligic memories or to just think about something that's been on their mind or just to see where the music takes them. I didn't have a specific goal in mind when creating this music. I wanted it to be special and uinque for each individual in terms of what they take away from it.
In terms of creating the music, I first used Boom to create a drum track to create a beat for the rest of my tracks to mesh together with. Then I used the Structure Free plug-in to create two more tracks to go along with the beat. I made the main portion of the song and then repeated the combination a few tmes to give the song more length and more of a rhythm.
Creating this experimental music was harder than I had imagined it was going to be due to the fact that I no longer play an instrument. Therefore, when it came to keys and different notes and what sounded good together and what didn't, it took a lot of trying different things and switching things around to make it all work.
This is a screenshot of Pro Tools which I used to produce my experimental music.