“I pity those whose end mirrors mine.
And I pity myself.”
Shia LaBeouf, #INTRODUCTIONS
The title alone “#INTRODUCTIONS” imposes a social media signature on to an etiquette ritual. It’s advancing the invitation to a global audience and the connected world of potential creative collaborators. The offer is to interpret, manipulate, re-contextualize and diffuse their offer in different capacities.
Over and over
The longest of the three pieces I made from the #INTRODUCTIONS footage. This one places more priority on the audio treatment to determine the aesthetics. For the postproduction process on this, I started a new line for each new layer in which LaBeouf chanted “ohm.” In the audio mix I affected varied layers and created new spaces for the sound to move through and live in. With that in mind, I repeated that concept with the compositing, have a new layer of Shia LaBeouf grow into the other before it. The backgrounds, blending and foregrounds follow are in part audio reactive, the visual treatment follows the concept of the space created for the new layer of the sound. All of this was derived from the theory of “om” being comic or mystical sound connected to a form of divinity. Also the ‘Ohm’ in relation to its electrical function as the resistive points in a conductor. And finally as Ohm, but the symbol “Ω” as in Omega, related to the book of revelations use of ‘Alpha and Omega’ which ambiguously implies Christ, God, a beginning and an end.
sRGB differentiates from RGB by the consistent application of gamma. The ’s’ in ‘sRGB’ stands for ‘standard.’ with that in mind, the piece repeats “Red, Green, Blue” rhythmically throughout as a menaced frame imposed over the other varied existential crisis LaBeouf expresses. In a whimsical interpretation of technology negating identity through its standardization. Or in direct relation to the subject of the essay that that Walter Benjamin quote is pulled from. The mechanization or culture consumption creates a uniform in which narrative is diffused.
The theme in all of these pieces are the fragmentation, reinterpretation and reconstruction. Over and Over is not only the noisiest piece of the trio. Over and over refers not only the line repeated by LaBeouf but to the editing methods, both for the audio and the video. Shifting frames out of sequences and then repeating the stanzas rhythmically. The same with the audio, different layers of the sound are repeated synchronously with the frames of video that are repeated in these stanzas. The re-order sequences are chosen for their ‘plosive’ moments of LaBeouf’s performance. The breaks, excluding the “over and over and over” line, were selected moments of ‘relief’ or ‘exhales’ before or after the ‘plosive’ pieces. The result is a loud contrast of the tension reconstructed with the relief, abstracting or denying the release and clarity of the plosive moment.
Using Shia LaBeouf.
LaBouef’s fame is again at the centre of this project, as it is in most of his ‘Labeouf, Rönkkö and Turner’ collaborations to date. #INTRODUCTIONS utilizes LaBeouf’s fame, but so his talent as a performer to bring these 36 Central Saint Martin’s vignettes. The footage features a nuanced performance from LaBeouf in helping bring some strong ideas to life. Ranging from poignant to banal to impassioned pleas to what could be interpreted as a higher power. A segregated montage of self-loathing, self-loving, abstract, insecure, obtuse stories with or without context. The now infamous “just do it” clip itself demonstrated LaBeouf’s commitment to a moment, the full clip features him intensely pacing and encouraging viewers to follow their dreams. Predictably, some started producing one dimensional comedic schlock, compositing LaBeouf into movie scenes, ads, other ‘meme’ videos and (my favourite) a late night informercial title screens for acting classes, but that is of course not the only offer being made with this footage.
#INTRODUCTIONS is an offer to be inspired and share something uniquely yours made with something uniquely theirs.
I embedded the videos on my site, with individual posts. As well as posted the three videos to Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook. This is the data measuring the reach of these videos.