February 23, 2012

Body Image Exhibition in the Fishbowl Gallery

Review by Carolyn Osorio , Theory, Criticism and History of Art Undergraduate Student (2013)

Curran Banach, Chelsea, Film 
Body image, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s, is a subjective picture of one's own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others. Many of the artists currently displayed in the BODY IMAGE exhibit at the Fishbowl Gallery took the concept of body image and applied it to a person’s sense of self. This broader approach gives a wider range of artistic expression towards the concept of the self as a whole. While a sense of self and body image are two very different psychological focuses, they can often be interrelated. Body image deals directly with a person’s perception of their own physical body and their conclusions toward that body. The handouts and pamphlets of information scattering the tabletops of the Fishbowl gallery are noble and helpful insights into the world of body image for anyone interested in learning more.

Several artists focused in more thoroughly on body image specifically. Charlie Cole’s Ballerina shows the physical strain on the human body in the search to attain excellence. Most notable is Sharee Miller’s Statue of Obesity depicting a very voluptuous Statue of Liberty surrounded by fast food containers and holding high a (presumably extra-large diet) soda in place of her famous torch. This digital print addresses the changing body image structures of our society. The United States has obesity rates on the rise in all fifty states and a growing confliction amongst people’s ‘ideal’ body. Perceptions of the ideal body grow thinner everyday with the marketing of size 0 dresses and Victoria Secret models. Our perceptions of health and the body are drastically altering. Exhibitions like BODY IMAGE are a creative way to address our current perceptions on body image and weight.
Exhibition View

Exhibition Photos by Lauren Smith

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

February 17, 2012

Peer Book Report: Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide 3rd Edition

Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, By Chris Gore

Putting yourself out there is a hard step to take as a student or beginning professional. When it comes to presenting a film or animation at a festival, the larger audience may become quite overwhelming. Contrasting the typical, cut and dry career advice book, Chris gore manages to add a touch of humor to his survival guide. This book is designed to shape up any filmmaker or animator who may want to submit their film in a festival and how to go about the process. Gore even includes a list of different festivals, making it easy for any genre of film to find a suitable one. He includes strategies, such as:

  • How to apply to a festival
  • Components that make up a good film
  • Writing a powerful synopsis
  • Marketing techniques
  • How to follow through after the festival

On a side note, the book contains a whimsical layout as well as pictures, making it super easy to read. Even for those who are not looking to be involved with the filmmaking process can benefit from the marketing tips that Gore includes.

 To see other books in our library, see our collection at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/prattcareer.

February 1, 2012

Mickalene Thomas' Graduate New Forms Class Exhibit in the East One Gallery

Review by Leigh Hurwitz, History of Art and Design/ Library Sciences Graduate Student (2012)

Johnny Tragedy, "Cremation of Care Part 2"
vinyl, wood, silkscreen ink, plastic

In Mickalene Thomas' Graduate New Forms class exhibit, currently up in East One Gallery, it is not just the forms that are new.  Though pursued through different media, each piece in this show strives after a new way of looking.  Textual and geometric, crinkly and smooth, sequential and singular – all of these works cut closely into our notions of the experience of vision.  This show exposes the differences between such related concepts as looking, seeing, and viewing – as well as the opposition between doing these things and having them done to you.

A random sampling of the artists represented in the show gives us a foundation for this exploration.  In Leah Matthew's "Night Lights" series, omniscient circles enveloped in chaos stare hotly at passersby.  Kelly McCafferty's "Bingo" assembles a new lens with which to view leisure and comfort, constructed of a fluorescent afghan, bingo cards, and plastic liters of soda.  A series of videos is projected on one wall, all a manifestation of the role that each of us plays in this visual loop of subject and object, perspective and myopia, forward and back.

Tania Yenidjeian, "Untitled"
Meat/blood on paper
Every artist in this exhibit contributes to a cohesive attempt at untangling these universal states of being.  Although there isn't room here to adequately pay respect to all of them, it would behoove the members of the Pratt community to come witness and be witnessed, to fully comprehend the jerking floor of perception underneath our feet and wavering around us.

Students @ Work with Nicola Scandiffio

Nicola Scandiffio, a freshman Architecture student at Pratt, sat down to interview with Peer counselor, Becky Pierson, to discuss his film company, interests, and how it affects his time, path, and lifestyle. During the interview he was asked the following questions:

1. What is your job outside of Pratt?

2. How does your job apply to your interests and career goals?

3. How do you manage your school work and your job simultaneously?

4. What have you learned from your job about industry and having a career that will help you to dive into the real world when you graduate from Pratt?5. What would be your advice to students seeking outside jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities?

Jump into the following article to understand the lives of a few ambitious students and get advice on balancing your job and your schoolwork from the "CEO" behind it all!

Junior year of High School Nicola Scandiffio started a film company called Think Inspiration Media, now nicknamed TIM. The company has evolved and grown in scale and productions. They’ve earned a few thousand dollars and the challenges they’re taking on are growing by the week. Hayden Hoyl, freshman film major, works along side Nicola in the dueling tasks of running a film company and tackling the demanding curriculum Pratt is known for. They’ve shot commercials and music videos. Nicola describes his job tasks as endless. He works as a director, creates media, does camera work, lighting, and often interprets creative thought. “We do whatever is thrown at us,” replies Scandiffio. Dakota Pailes-Friedman, freshman animation major, was recruited to help with their video animation, upping their par and quality even more. Recently the company has evolved into handling more than film. The music videos they shoot are, of course, for the artist of the songs, but, their work for the artist doesn’t end there. Lately, they’ve been creating a “digital presence” for these artists. They create online “characters” and presence, allowing them to be on social networking sites, youtube, private websites, and more. They are “self made and self paid.” “We try to do things other people our age don’t even attempt to do,” said Nicola when describing what his company strives for. They take pride in their work and look forward to the leaps and strides they can make in the next four years and hopefully beyond.

For Nicola, film making is a hobby and a passion. If it’s the career path he claims only time will tell. When asked to pick architecture or film he can’t choose. He believes that he has the best opportunities at Pratt because he has the chance to study and engross himself in architecture but still have the chance to find his passion and continue his hobby with students that also have ambitious goals like himself. When asked his dream job he replied, “Two jobs. Architecture by day and free lance film by night.” He claims it “seems silly to choose.” 

Time management and balancing schedule, work, life and hobbies are common topics around campus. Nicola believes that TIM and his school work can never be perfectly in balance. He admits that they both sacrifice each other. He recalled the saying, “ Sleep, fun, work. Pick two.” In some ways this is true but all are important and necessary. On the weekend a normal Sunday starts with film at 9 AM. They shoot till 6 PM and then Scandiffio goes straight to the architecture studio, usually till 4 AM. They often shoot after class during the week as well. It’s all a balance. Nicola often realizes that sometimes you have to step back and know that even though there is a scene to be shot, the studios of Higgins Hall beacon his name. He claims he has always believed that a grade is just a number. It’s about quality and portfolio. He goes on to say, “I’m building two portfolios, which one will win, I don’t know, but I hope they tie for first.”

As far as being prepared for the “real world” Nicola has learned that you get exactly what you put into anything. Life and success is about passion, not numbers, grades, and scores. Committment is what one needs to be successful. He always plans to reach goals that are slightly out of reach. “I always tell Hayden when we’re planning a video, assume we can do anything,” Scandiffio explains. If a helicopter would make the video portray exactly what they want then they plan it with a helicopter. The first question should never be “How do we get the helicopter?” “We don’t have excuses, we just go for it. After working our butts off all day, then comes the reward."

When giving advice to other students seeking these opportunities Scandiffio states, “Don’t assume you don’t have time or can’t do it. In Architecture they say you won’t have enough time for life itself, but really that is just a lie. If you use your time efficiently then anything is possible. There are 24 hours in a day, don’t spend half of it sleeping and half of it doing one thing.” His advice is to cut up your schedule and make yourself busy. He advises to “take risks and do more, always.” Make sure to stay determined and remember that complaining won’t get you anywhere. Be excited about your work and put your whole self in to it and that’s when you get results.