Like my previous “testing session” with Anthony Aziz, I spent some time with one of my dearest friends, Molly Merkler, and took her though the series of prototypes I have developed over the semester. Her background is in performance art and painting, so I thought she would have some interesting ideas on the work I’ve done so far.
After viewing each piece and talking with me about her reactions to the work, it was clear that she responded most positively to my youTube prototype. She felt that of all of them, it was the most clear and developed thematically. She appreciated how the piece slowly degrades with time, very similar to that of memory, and she felt that this process could have occurred from me watching the video over and over throughout the years. She did feel that knowing about my process in making the video, deterred from the overall power of the piece. Personally, she would rather experience the product and not the process.
She did offer me a very interesting suggestion in further development of works like this. If there were specific moments within the video that I remember really clearly, I should make sure that those split seconds are in perfect focus. This would then create brief moments of clarity within the piece as it deteriorates continuously. I feel this method could be applied to some of the other works as well, and I will keep it in mind as I continue prototyping.
The other work that she was really drawn to was my piece dancing in front of the interactive projections. She felt that this work has a lot of potential, however there is something not quite fully investigated within the work. She encouraged me to not be afraid to be boring. By this she meant, to take my time and not feel like I need to cram everything into one little package. She felt there was a lot of rich material in the piece, the fast vs slow cuts, the home videos, the technology, but perhaps its enough ideas for two separate pieces. She really wanted to see more of the home videos, and wondered if the “live performer” distracted from that. It left her feeling that the home video/technology element was not yet fully utilized.
Below is the recording of our conversation, along with my transcribed notes of the audio: