Monday, 11 May 2009


If this blog is printed out then before you read it... read this.

Due to the nature of the blog its in chronological order starting with the most recent, so if you want to follow the progression of the project, its advised to start at the back of the portfolio and work your way forward. Its adviseable you read the blog online though, that way you can view all the movies and visit weblinks within the text, the blog it located at

Beginnings of topics are clearly headed in orange. Other Sheets are interspersed in the portfolio where relevant.

A CD with the final animations accompanies this Portfolio.


Tom Jensen

John cage - Final animation

This is the final piece. Again this blog doesn't support widescreen so the image is squished. You'll have to view the movie on the CD to see the final sequence in its proper format. To finish off I inverted a few frames to give a strobe effect to piece like the original fluxus movies.

tj -x-

John Cage - Merging the two pieces of footage

To merge the two pieces of footage I just keyed out the white of the distorted footage and then applied masks to areas that I didn't want to include.

As i said before the distorted images reminded me of distressed film, so I applied a sepia filter to the distorted footage. I then offset the footage by half a second with the original footage so that it gave the impression that the type was burning an image into the film.

Finally I inverted the distorted footage via hue. This turned the Sepia a blueish colour.

All that was left to do was apply inverted frames to the two pieces of footage to create a sort of strobe effect that can be seen on some of the original fluxus films.

tj -x-

Sunday, 10 May 2009

John cage - A series of random events

Something really weird but not altogether bad has just happened. I imported the john cage animation into premier and it seemed to be corrupted. To be honest I'm not sure whats happened, but i like it non the less! I'm thinking of keeping the animation in keeping with John cages philosophy of random events and cause and effect and try and use it somehow.

The first thing I did was to enlarge the distorted animation so that the messed up bit became more abstract.

Then I applied filters to soften the image. The final effect reminds me of film spools passing across the animation, creating a rough look to the animation, which has entirely been created digitally and more or less by accident.

Now all i had to do was apply it to the type animation. tj -x-

John cage - Creation Process

As stated before i've taken the Fluxus films opening title cards as my inspiration for the John cage animation. Then in started to place the modified type I'd made on the screen. I'm trying to achieve pacing phonetically, as you would say the quote, hopefully achieving a sort of poetic movement as the original quote is about poetry its self "I have nothing to say, and i'm saying it, that poetry". So the words with double syllables are on screen for longer, and the breaks in animation are where you would naturally take breaths.

The trial piece about, lays out the positioning and pace of the animation, but it lacked an impact, i wanted to emphasise certain words more so I played with scale.

Here I tried moving the word nothing across the screen, This took alittle adjustment across a few test pieces (below) but the final outcome works well.

The two tests below are examples of adjustments to pacing and positioning.

I felt ready to start to add sound in the next example. I used a soundtrack taken from the proms performance of 4'33 (show earlier in the blog). Although the piece is silence, you get a low hum through the monitor and the odd cough from people creating an ambiance to the piece.

I experimented with adding well placed coughs when the type flickered. Overall I didn't think this worked too well.

I needed some other audio stimulus to the piece, the ambient hum worked but i think the piece needed another layer. So I grabbed a sound effect of a ticking clock, slowed it right down (1/3 speed) and put that under the 4'33 track at -15db to create a more interesting audio landscape.

The above version I'm happy with. I now need to add some inverted frames to break up the white a bit and idea taken from the fluxus videos.So I'm moving onto adobe premier to do that.

tj -x-

John cage - Fluxus

I looked to a movement John cage was heavily involved with, Fluxus, for inspiration. They were a sort of anti art, neo dada movement (referring to themselves as neo dada towards the start of the movement).

I found some
old fluxus movies, and what really drew me in was the title cards, which can bee seen in the example below.

*the examples don't seem to want to embed, see the web page for details

Other examples can bee seen on the webpage, a good on is 07 George Maciunas - 10 Feet (1966).

I'll use this to structure my type around

tj -x-

John cage - intial idea

The original idea behind the John cage animation was inspired by Robert Rausenburgs white paintings, with a soundtrack to 4'33 - silence.

This proved to be uninspiring. I'll have to come up with something else.

tj -x-