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Dancing in the Fields :: Martha Graham Dance

I’ve been spending the first part of my Summer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. We’re on a residency at Skidmore. I’ve had the privilege of working with phenomenal dancers from the company, and am also working with a team of over 30 students to produce a group blog.

For an overview of the project, visit the site : http://clytemnestraproject.com/about-the-project/

The video below was shot and edited in one day, and features original choreography from all the students.

Dancing in the Fields from Jaki Levy on Vimeo.

You can take a look at the photos here

Buddy Ebsen Hackett and The Defibulators

Buddy Ebsen Hackett is The Defibulators marketing “arm” for The Defibulators, a brooklyn based musical act. Who-ee! This is the first version of a promo video for The Defibulators‘ new album.

All songs by The Defibulators

Buddy Hackett introduces: The New Album by the Defibulators from Jaki Levy on Vimeo.

playful disclaimer: titles of songs appearing in this video may or may not actually be on the upcoming album

We produced and edited this version in 1 very fun night.
The fire in the fireplace was real and made the entire Brooklyn apartment very, very smokey.

Media Madness at The Kitchen

Darian Dauchan’s Media Madness directed by Margaret Perry premiered at The Kitchen’s Counter Culture series. The show features live video and pre-rendered video pieces and is a “multi-media” extravaganza.

media madness

You can read an in-depth interview with Darian in The Ithaca Times or check out this great interview in The Ithacan.

I’ve been working on the show as the video designer. It’s been quite rewarding working with Margaret and Darian. Right now, we’re using the following equipment for the video setup:

  • 2 TV’s
  • 1 projector
  • A Camera for the Live Feed
  • A Video Amplifier and an A/B Video Switcher
  • Surprisingly, Keynote is running it all.

In the next production, I’d like to incorporate more interactivity into the piece using either Isadora or Max/MSP Jitter so I can create custom titles during the live feed. For example, there is a scene for a press conference (picture above). I’d like to have graphics and lower thirds appear that say “LIVE,” to give it a sense that it’s a media circus in a fictional place by creating custom titles.

However, I’ve found the delay and pixelation in these software platforms to be problematic.

Death of Analog :: An Installation

For this installation 2 VCRs are networked, sending a custom made VHS tape from one VCR to another. As the VHS tape travels in the space between the VCRs, the VHS signal slowly degrades in quality.

Level I
The decomposing signal on the VHS tape mirrors the disappearance of analog technology from our culture.
Like audio cassette tapes and other analog technology, the VCR is on its way out. With the rise of DVRs (digital video recorders) DVDs, and other digital technologies, the VCR is now a quaint thing of the past. Taking the cue from Vinyl Records, VHS tapes are now acquiring a nostalgic status.

Level II
In the installation, the top left image represents the “realty” as it happens in front of us – the live feed is what our eyes see.
The bottom right is what our mind keeps of that. After filtering the “feed” coming in through our eyes, each mind keeps its own memory, which is in fact, a minute fragment of the data that the actual “live feed” contained. In a day from now, what you saw in the room will remain in your brain as a few scattered images with no detail – if any.

Throw it Close :: a Sustainable Project

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As part of our effort to examine our waste streams and develop sustainable practices, my graduate department did not throw away any coffee cups for an entire semester. We used a grey water system to rinse out the cups. This video shows part of the process.