Pinder and Solondz met on Thursday, discussed individual ideas, reached consensus on three myths. Each myth results from the collision of individual interests, subject’s visual presence, and signified/conceptual ambiguity.
Prayer comes from a recent interest in hobbies and pastimes, actions whose moral/ethical/economic value are based on commitment and temporal continuity. Prayer, in its institutionalized form, occurs according to predetermined set of actions over a regular schedule. Analysis of the body’s actions during the action and questioning of action’s actual value will be pursued.
Approach on the subject is very open-ended as of now. Research at a public library is logical, focus should be on determining actions that constitute prayer. Religious comparison is not a goal. Since the body in pursuit of abstraction is subject, one must find relations in which bodily representation comes with specific guidelines and subjection to the abstract. Media of prayer may yield rich fruit.
Another entry into valued and wasted time is in the act of making miniatures, collecting miniatures, and focusing on miniatures. Miniature fountains are a ripe example, seeing as that a little self regulating device can soothe stress, delay aging, and cause urination. Fountains originally served a very practical purpose—to supply water for drinking and other functions of daily life. The fountain’s role has metamorphosed over time; it has since become a conduit for play, memory, hope, and now, peace. The observer’s experience of the fountain is often influenced and shaped by the stated intention of the object. In the case of a miniature fountain, its currency lies in being able to relax and calm the observer. However, this value is inextricably linked to the fountain’s particular meaning in time and culture.
In terms of approach, we would use video and/or film to create a meditative piece on the act of creating a miniature fountain and on the perceived value of spending time in its company.
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Our third topic explores city re-branding and the mythologies these cities attempt to create and erase in the process of assigning new taglines. So often, these pithy phrases (sometimes crafted by faraway agencies) are meant to essentialize a city, providing a fundamental clue to the place’s character and perhaps more importantly, attracting tourists and new denizens. The slogan stands as a signifier for what the city hopes to be (Where Dreams Soar) or in some cases, it represents a relative ambiguity around a city’s identity (Get In On It). Last week, the national press picked up a story about the politicking that mired the selection of new slogans for two Nevada cities, Reno and Sparks. The proposed slogan for Reno—“A Little West of Center”—was meant to bring in a younger, edgier crowd but was quickly shot down by the city’s 71-year-old mayor. The debate spurred slogan creators to muse on the purpose of their work:
“A good slogan should elicit an emotional response. Unfortunately, a bad slogan does the same thing,” said Pete Ernaut of R&R Partners in Reno, the Nevada firm that developed the naughty but wildly successful “What happens here, stays here” slogan for Las Vegas. Good slogans are like capturing “lightning in a bottle,” some said.
Using video and potentially film, we could follow a story of one city going through this process of re-branding, exploring questions like: What is the process for creating a slogan? How does a city’s true identity intersect with the slogan chosen? In what ways are actual residents involved in re-branding their own city? Do slogans actually have any demonstrated value?