Sticky Notes™ played on December 2 (2008) at the Zero Film Festival, LA (2:30 pst). More info here (Zero Film Festival pdf).
My little talk:
“One of my favorite approaches to teaching digital media is to use the sticky note (or the Post-It Note® if you want to narrow it down to the original 3M product). I use sticky notes because the form is extremely accessible and modular, it suggests a formal and structural simplicity, and it invites a statement of essence and immediacy – – sticky notes do not pretend to be epic.
I use sticky notes to put a small, unassuming frame around visual improvisations (doodling) and if there is text, it’s often short, commonplace and fragmented. These frames are no-tech frames, in contrast to other contemporary hi-tech small frames (like the iPhone™), but they are still frames, capable of exerting limitations on content and design. These small frames can later be re-arranged or combined into larger units, which may have narrative shape, as storyboards do, or they may simply exist as a structured or unstructured collection of elements, and viewed as some sort of visual database.
I view my film Sticky Notes™ as an essay on the dynamic between two forms of cultural expression – – the NARRATIVE and the DATABASE. The film began its life as a set of about 90 short, aphoristic statements in the form of a fantasy “To Do List”. I’d been collecting material for a “To Do List” film for quite a while, including voice-overs and short film fragments for this project, as well as material I shot a year ago in Italy, and a bunch of my drawings (some of them on sticky notes) that were placeholders for scenes I wouldn’t be able to shoot until I had more resources. I also shot SkyRon™ reciting the entire list while in Italy, as placeholder material for the voice-overs I had yet to record. (SkyRon™ is the Digital Media Idiot of Our Age, and his identity is concealed behind mask and dreadlocks–ed).
Last March I started to edit everything together, and I felt the need to provide somehow a larger narrative shape for this succession of mini-narratives. As composer, I was working with digital manipulation of primarily vocal material, and these experiments provide the through-line of the audio track. My interest in live video jamming software generated a lot of visual material, which, like the audio track, represented digital re-processing of existing footage. This was all a good start, but still not enough to unify the film beyond being simply a catalog of visual effects with voice-overs, interspersed with placeholder drawings and placeholder readings by SkyRon™. Everything fell in place when I realized SkyRon™’s character, could be seen as the author of the little placeholder drawings. The verbal list would make more cinematic sense if it were transformed into visual sticky notes, and SkyRon™ would play the scribe of those notes. The to-do-list became Sticky Notes™.
So, here’s the result – – a digital film fitting roughly into the art/experimental genre, lasting about 28 minutes.” (Author shows film, apologizes sheepishly for everything, then weeps and drinks heavily.)