20 February 2010

Housekeeping

First, as my old Video Art professor would say, some housekeeping: tomorrow I leave for Albuquerque. As such, my Twitter page will be my only means of making updates. I'm going by train, and that's for three reasons:
1. The FAA is run by lemurs who take turns driving nails into each other's heads.
2. Said nails are apparently made of gold, hence the absurd ticket prices and fees.
3. It takes as long, and costs at least the same as driving (if not less on both counts).
In any case, I'll have a lot of free time. Thankfully, I've got my unabridged audiobooks of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Fountainhead to pass the time, along with my PSP. I've got Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, and I'm going to try my damnedest to get some enjoyment out of it this time.

After a little soul-searching, I decided to renew my pro account over at Flickr. At first, I was apprehensive for three reasons:
1. I'm not really making that many photographs right now.
2. I'm broke.
3. I was spending more and more time on DeviantART.

Now, however, I'm still going to be spending most of my free-time on DeviantART, but since I'm not going to renew my premium membership (unless substantiated third-party "permission issue" reports are given the same validity and treatment as DMCA reports), that resolve did give me a little financial leeway (enough for 24 months instead of 12). In short, I'm going to support Flickr because they know how to run their site and listen to their users.

Also, I found out that a non-pro account with Flickr is a little more restrictive than I'd thought; instead of just limiting the number of sets you can display and photos/videos you can upload within a month, they also limit your photostream to your 200 most recent photos. That was a real shocker to me; in fact, there was an honest moment of panic that over 400 of my pictures had been lost. Luckily, they are stored, and by pruning a few of my more recent images, the older ones take their place.

Flickr was sort of my first love before Becca-chan persuaded me to join DeviantART. My Nikon s50c came with 3 months of FlickrPRO, and I was hooked for the next two years. It's a good and strong community, if spread a little thin, and I really love how in touch the site's creators are with their users. I've harped about this before, I know, but I still consider the way they handled introducing video uploads to be an act of pure genius. It's just clear they put a lot of thought into it before going public, and were very receptive to feedback both before and after launch.

That's another reason I reinstated my FlickrPRO account; I want to help get the Video community more recognition. Although it's a nice video community, I feel like no one's really given it a chance and people are very slow to warm up to it. Most videos are lucky if they get more than 100 views, and I don't think I've ever seen a video with views counting over 1,000. So, I want to do what I can by uploading a few more videos (I posted my Pattern 158 animation there first before posting it and the rest of the trilogy here) to my photostream. I haven't decided what they'll be just yet. I'm just fascinated by the 90-second time limit; I take it as a challenge. It makes me think of how, in my video art classes at UNM, we'd have assignments with one, three, or five-minute time limits, and yet despite repeated emphases on length, someone would always have a ten or even thirty-minute "magnum opus" on the due date. Sure, we would still watch it and maybe even give a fair critique at the end, but it was obvious that, despite any praise or comment, what most of us really wanted to say was "Really? You couldn't keep THIS under 5 minutes? Are you THAT in love with yourself?" In our defense, it wasn't out of complete impatience; one of my really good friends always delivered these technical and artistic masterworks that were, by contrast, criminally short, like 10 or 15 seconds (including titles and credits). I swear, one time at least five of us simultaneously let out variations of "damn it" when one of his pieces ended. I can appreciate that a project can start as a small idea and then grow over time into something bigger, but when that happens, you're really supposed to put that project on the backburner or produce it in parallel to a new, but shorter, project.

Anyway, that's the news for now. I've got a few more journal entries waiting in the wings that I'll post once I get back around next Sunday.
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