Author Archives: lilah dougherty

Conference Project Final : Mapping my Freelance Network in Media Production

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.44.40 AM For my conference, I created a visual representation of my own network in freelance film production. I traced the outlines of Brooklyn and Manhattan to show where these films/commericals were produced, and I aligned them in chronological order (going clockwise), starting with Pillsbury, which I worked on in 2011. All of my personal contacts are on this map, organized by the jobs on which I met them. Every contact has a different color, and there is a line for everytime I worked with them. So, for example, Paula Cohen has seven lines, but Rachel Taylor only has two. Dave Clark has three lines but because I’m not very close with him, I made his line thinner. I only worked with Donna Imbarato twice, but I became very close with her so I made her lines hot pink so as to be noticed. Ultimately, this is a map of the invisible because it’s a map of where I stand in my work environment . I haven’t made much of anything, so my network is everything. I act as a flaneur (or maybe as a stalker) by keeping up with these people on linkedin and facebook. They don’t know the extent to which I watch them. But what often happens is that they change companies, or start new businesses on their own, and that’s when I reach out. I’ll ask if they remember me from ____ ______ and ________, and I’ll ask if they could use someone with my skillset to help them get started on their new endeavor.   Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.56.36 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.51.59 AM

Conference Project Drat # 1 : Mapping Freelance Media Production

I started working in film when I was sixteen, and became really obsessed with keeping track of my ‘network,’ aka the contacts I’ve acquired through my working in freelance. I’ve done this in order to jump on it if these contacts start businesses/projects of their own (which they often do) so that I can reach out to them immediately — usually they need the help of someone with my skill set. So I strive to capitalize. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.00.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.00.28 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.00.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.02.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.02.25 PM In a way, this path has been a dérive. Because I still sit fairly low on the totem pole in the world of media production, it’s been easy for me to observe those who stand above me. And because I work freelance, I’ve crossed paths with all of them many times, in differing situations (different commercials, short films, PSAs, etc…). I’ve sort of stalked them via social media (linkedin, facebook, instagram..) and whenever I run into them I don’t hesitate to ask what gigs loom in their futures. I’ve kept track of all of this information over the years, so for my conference I plan to map this network. I will probably map 20-50 people. I’ll include information such as where they’re from (usually NY and LA, but a few hail from the midwest), what they studied (or didn’t study) in school (not film, in most cases), what sort of gigs they set out to work (usually indies / short films), where they are now (mostly doing commercials (duh)), and what their goals are / whether or not they’ve achieved them. Most people who work in freelance film hope to start their own production companies – and many of them have done so. I think this is important information to include. My map will probably be a series of intersecting circles. The intersections will signify a crossing of paths — so, for example, ADVIL will be a circle, as will Under Armour, Venus Razors, and various short films. I’ll also be sure to signify the production companies that bring the freelance workers together. In my circles, SMUGGLER and INTERROGATE tend to dominate. These circles will lie over a map of the US. The paths the freelance workers have taken to arrive in NYC will lead to the circles, which will then intersect.    

Revolutionaries : Post Mortem

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.00.21 PM  Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.00.02 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.59.55 PM   Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.00.10 PM The revolution was controversial. ‘Twas only natural. 3/4 of the revolutionaries worked on a very cool thing that we set out to create on day 1 of the assignment. A flag. We ended up creating 3 flags, hovering over the ground at various angles. This was our move because a flag is, first and foremost, an emblem that re-contextualizes a topographical space — placing it placing it within the bounds of a nation or ‘platform’ that lies within a mapped system. Landscape itself is subject to interpretation. It’s a notion that embedded in national history as manifest destiny. Land belongs to this American lifestyle. And this was our land, so the flag was the end result of our revolution. We set out to go beyond what a flag does. A flag is merely an isolated, unavailable, emblematic totem, and we brought three flags into a realm of physical accessibility. Aesthetically, the motion of the flags in sequence provokes an sense of simultaneous construction and destruction of that mapping system placing the flags in conversation with the pre-existing ecosystem that the alien flag is placed in. The white material refers to surrender. Our revolution was ironic, in this sense. We surrendered, so to speak, our pre-conceived notions of territory and ownership.

Self Portrait Draft #2: A Map of Communication

Crit was really useful for me because I had no confidence in my map before I presented it to the class. I had actually planned on starting from scratch. So I’m thankful that the feedback I received was so encouraging. My map still revolves around the same idea: mapping my communication via power plays, presentness/alertness, thoughtfulness and receptiveness. But I had to abandon the surface of the original map upon developing a more in-depth sign system. In crit, I was told that the figure representing “me” was too distant/closed off. I decided to incorporate myself into the actual map. Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 8.15.55 PM   My new map makes better use of colors and shapes. My face is represented on the right side of the map, and the people/platforms I communicate with are represented by the wave on the right side of the map. On the right side of the map, the blue bars represent control, the red triangles represent consciousness, and the gold circle represents curiousness. As the blue bars grow in length, I lose control. Simultaneously, the red triangles increase in number (representing my increasing level of consciousness/self awareness once I begin to lose control), and the gold circle in the corner decreases in size (representing my loss of curiosity, which occurs when I realize I am no longer in control and therefore undergo an energy transferral, wherein I feel less interested in whomever I am communicating with, and I focus more on protecting myself.) My “communication waves” are depicted via the white, gray, and black hemispheres on the thin lines drawn between my lips and the wave on the left. The white leads to the most inessential conversation type I partake in. This type of conversation happens most frequently, but tends to be the least momentous. This is represented by the small size, and large number of the medallions in the lightest shade of blue on the wave. These conversations are depicted by the colors gold and blue. Gold consistently represents curiousness and blue consistently represents control. Red is left out here, because these conversations require little to no consciousness/self awareness on my part. The gray leads to the most essential conversation type on my map, the conversations I have with my support system/people I care for deeply/people who serve a real purpose in my life. All three colors are depicted here. Gold for curiousness, blue for control, and red for consciousness. The black leads to the most confusing conversation type on my map, the conversations I have with those who withhold their support of me. These conversations are seldom but very momentous. I am sort of curious, very self aware, and completely out of control. Therefore, the colors depicted are gold, for curiousness, and red for consciousness.

Psychogeography : Revolutionary

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.39.27 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.38.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.38.43 PM The revolutionaries are considering the notion that’s imbedded in national history as “manifest destiny,” that is that land belongs to us to live is American lifestyle. We are interested in recontextualizing the landscape – beyond ownership, the assumption of the meaning of the land.  Because we are revolutionaries, we have been considering ways to direct pedestrians “off the beaten path” and onto the dirt/grass area that leads to our allotted territory. We have several ideas. —- Our first is to play with the role of the flag in “the revolution.” It’d be easy to create a flag; an isolated, unavailable, emblematic totem and bringing it into a realm of physical accessibility. But we’d like to do something unique with this pathetic emblem, in order to play with the idea of mapping topography. Ex: the placement of the flag on the moon. The most rudimentary gesture that represents the most revolutionary happening in human history. We’d like to target this cognitive dissonance. —- Our second idea is to invite pedestrians to “take a new path” that leads to our allotted land. We’d like to grab their attention via alluding to historical happenings through interactive QR code scanning. —-Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 3.59.01 PM

Self-Portrait: Mapping Communication

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.15.08 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.14.54 PM For my self portrait, I mapped my favorite part of my life: communicating. Over-communication is sort of a safe space for me. I’ve always been an over-thinker and speaker, solely because the mere act of speaking is comfortable for me. When I am communicating with different people/platforms/parties, I tend to manipulate my speech patterns in a way that allows me to closely monitor my counterpart’s receptivity. If I notice that they are bored or frustrated by my articulation, or if they fail to grant me “approval” or “validation,” I resort to extremes. The blue/green layering in the background represents communication waves, but it also represents the layers within my style of communication. You’ll notice that some of the medallions (the reddish bulbs floating to the top) have not made it very far up. These represent the people/platforms that I only communicate to gather information from. There are two types of information ‘retrieval’ in my life. One is sort of like gathering points in a video game. It’s sort of shallow and manipulative — sort of sleazy. It is represented in the bluer layers. The other type is heavy. I’m still searching for information, but in a different way. I’m searching for the answers to the bigger questions. I’m searching for validation from trustworthy sources. I hardly ever grant myself points when I engage in it, for it is the type of communication that dominates my existence. I feel like I was born to communicate in this way. This is represented in the greener layers. Often, I let the medallions that should stay in the blue layers rise up to the green layers. They are not usually itching to make this jump, either — it’s something I tend to enable without their permission. The medallions in the gray space represent the people who I WANT to cross the black and white line, but are not capable of playing that role in my life. The black and white dividing line represents my brain seeing the situation in ‘black and white.’ Once the medallions have passed this line, it’s nearly impossible for me to allow them to cross back over. Once I see them occupying this space, I practice the (second) type of communication with them — all the time, whether or not they want to engage. When I don’t get the ‘points’ I set out to retrieve from the medallions occupying the blue layers, I compensate by over-communicating with the medallions in the green layers. I am represented by the Klimt portrait in the bottom right. The mask represents my delusional sense of self, which I seek to protect (via overcommunication.) The layers around ‘me’ represent my personality traits that I try to communicate most, and the floral medallions around these layers represent my ‘armor’ from the notion that patterns of speech do not have the power to save me.

Comment: Ornamentation, People and Play

Art can extend the cooperative qualities of nature into social life. All that we know about life is that it is an organized movement – It is chaos and complexity. The aesthetic begins by organizing the powers of matter and elaborating them in a way that responds to their complexity. Humans aren’t the only creators of ornament “The tremendously consistent purge of empty ornamental elements of form is in reality classism’s pyrrhic victory. it is tabula rasa for what is to come. for an art of the future.” -Isidore Isou at its best, ornament demonstrates a pact with the universe. Ornament art extends and distends the line as it is discovered in the social practice of qualitative engagement with matter. ornament is the aesthetic key to morn’s monism. the signature of a being that is univocal, and the reminder that history has diverged from coherence in flux. Jorn’s problem with Le Corbusier is that while he also drew inspiration from nature, he understands nature in apollonian terms, paring away at complexity- nature’s own ornamentation of itself – to get at an eternal geometrical essence.  people vs symbol voice of the people at the expense of the symbol Art is playful, play is social. Play may take nature as its object, but not as a means to an end: play is not consciously directed to any goal but is a delight, an identification with things themselves.  This is why play develops best in community.
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Comment: Jean-Paul Sartre and the Dérive

Sartre’s example of a intuition is telling “remove the prohibition to circulate in the streets after curfew, and what meaning can there be fore me to have the freedom… to take a walk at night?” Sartre goes out for a walk in the beautiful city during curfew street might look beautiful to him, or it might not, but this is just the street as an object of contemplation. the street he wants to walk is an object of his freedom his freedom selects it The dérive is the experimental mapping of a situation the trace of the probabilities of realizing a desire. there is still the police to contend with, and delinquent lettersets and their friends would occasionally end up in jail for the night. But the derive is no more than a no man’s land between consciousness and facticity for itself and in itself freedom and constraint Room to discuss, maybe.  
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Comment: Extreme Aesthetics

Concrete Design — Arises out of its own means and laws, without these having to be derived or borrowed from natural phenomena. This term is important. It lends itself to the idea of social conditioning, which pushes beyond the idea of naturalness. What is art without social engagement? What is a city without social engagement? Do cities arise out of concrete design? What are its own means? How does it have it’s own laws? But also, what is natural? Jorn says that man’s nature is just to cultivate and nourish his urges. The image of nature is merely a distorted image of capitalist society. “There is nothing so unnatural for a man as what the bourgeoisie call naturalness.” Important quote from page 47: “The whole environment created by us, from the spoon to the city, had to be brought into harmony with social conditions, which implied shaping those conditions too.” Max Bill believed in guarding against the danger of going by appearances, and instead, focusing on combining contemporary powers to form “one harmonious balance.” This balance was known as the good form. Bill’s declaration that “art is an order, a prototype of harmony” couldn’t have been further from Jorn’s understanding of Bauhaus artists. Naturally, Jorn revised and expanded upon his own writings on form, wherein he made the claim: “culture no longer takes place in a situation, because we can only speak of a situation when there is an event, and an act only becomes an event at the moment it is able to trigger sensation.” the rationalists seek an absolute symmetry between form, structure, and function, while evolution occurs precisely through an increasing dissymmetry among these 3 elements. Evolution of form is driven by dreams, longings, imaginary aims, the desire for sensation. Connecting back — reframing is sensational. Reframing attempts to shift the narrative in an image, and in our age, communication shifting toward imagery is carrying communication in our society. Modifying an environment shifts the narrative, causing changes in the way people feel when they interact with it. Art is experimental social practice which transforms nature into second nature, but without reducing nature to essence/order Aesthetic has the capacity to become a part of people’s habits of life. The aesthetic is a cultivating factor, forming and transforming habits of life.  Art banishes stagnancy. With art, we grow.

Conference Project Post #1: Reframing Space/Reclaiming Place

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 4.19.00 PM Reclaiming Place/Reframing Space – Conference Project This class has encouraged me to rethink the way i think and work in Heimbold. I will always stand up for Heimbold, but lately I have been more critical. Going beyond the water issue, and the fact that the structure is sliding apart.. I think that the SEATING must change. Reclining is important to me. Atmosphere is crucial for my contentedness, contentedness is crucial for my work-mode, and my work-mode is directly related to the chair I sit in. Whenever I enter Heimbold, almost always, I am bummed out by the fact that there is nowhere to sit, comfortably. The red and yellow chairs have got to go. So I am going to reframe the seating in Heimbold. I like the idea of using cardboard because I think that earth tones are what Heimbold needs most. This project is a way to reclaim space in a virtual world.


My box project was funny. When I thought about what makes me happy, I said dressing up. I love clothes. I love everything about a dressing room littered with textiles. So I wanted to create a dressing room. On gimp  – my idea to create a dressing room didn’t go as planned. It looked like an odd, pixelated, rotated room with bad lighting. So I dug a little bit deeper and pictured my ideal showcase of textiles. I decided to create an EXTREMELY simplified Turkish Bazaar. I love Bazaars because they appeal to one part of my personality, the more feminine, romantic, and ornate side of me. Heimbold’s sterility appeals to the other side of me. So today I dressed like my friend, Arlen/ Not because she is feminine (I really do look like an intergalactic 80s rapper…) But because she is shockingly ornate in every way. She is also an artist and I felt the need to get into character. I am way more sterile and simplified than Arlen. I appreciate minimalism. She rejects it completely. She dressed like me (think culturally appropriating witch) because the world she is doing is more technical (editing videos). So today, In Arlen’s clothes, I created a box. I took a white cube that I found in SoulCycle’s dumpster and built propellers to place on top of it. I took all of the tapestries and scarves in my house and cut off the bottom of each one – then I draped it on top of the wooden propellers so it alludes to a rotating textile rack. A rack coated in persian rugs and wraps and cloaks. Then I created a VERY simple color-coded collage and pasted it to the box. Each panel represents a different color I have red, blue, gold and black. Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 3.44.54 PM Lastly, I installed it. I chose the elevator. I don’t know anyone who uses the elevator besides me (it’s my favorite room in Heimbold), but the box looks playful does an extreme job of juxtaposing the cold, chrome elevator. I wanted to add warmth and comfort through color, patterns and materials. Then I installed it in a contained atmosphere where it could be the center of attention, even though it sort of looks like it’s cowering in the corner. I felt sort of embarrassed in the elevator when two professors asked why it was in the way. Naturally, I denied affiliation.

Sticker Project: Nespresso to the People!

The evolution of my sticker project was sort of wild. When I first decided to do a nespresso campaign i really hadn’t worked anything else out, except I knew I wanted to utilize humor because I am no artist, and the thought of producing something without an ironic undertone felt odd and frightening. So my first draft looked something like this: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 9.30.31 AM And I really didn’t like the way it looked. Moreover, I no one understood the point. Way too vague. Granted, the making of this piece did teach me how to use photoshop. Before this I had never even opened the program on my desktop. Other than that, the making of this piece didn’t sate me. I really just couldn’t figure out what else to do, so I mentally abandoned the campaign (which is typical of my personality.) I started messing around with Plan Bs, and became sort of interested in creating a campaign about the path after liberal arts school – it would have been an anxiety inducing campaign about moving to one of the 5 boroughs after college. I created a few lackluster stickers about gentrification – mostly inspired by Spike Lee’s speech about gentrification: “We been here” but the message was also alluding to the story I followed this summer while living in Brooklyn about gentrification in Brooklyn. one looked like this: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.50.20 PM What I liked about this campaign was that it didn’t isolate me. It wouldn’t have highlighted something that I was doing right / that others were doing wrong. I too will probably end up in Brooklyn. Simply put, I like thinking critically and there was something appealing about posting a thought provoking sticker that leaves room for debate. The Nespresso campaign wasn’t thought provoking nor did it allow me to think critically. All that I could draw from it was a sense of irony, and I could not figure out how to portray that. —- So I met with Angela shortly after I began exploring other options, and she encouraged me to go forth with the Nespresso campaign. I just needed to rethink the situation, rather than abandoning it altogether. She helped me harness a certain sense of irony that had been in front of me the whole time. I “curated” a series of images that inspired me to go down a new path: Russian Constructivist artwork. Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.22.38 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.54.15 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.22.14 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.22.02 PM So i rediscovered the lab from the second day of class. I took a photo of my friend Brian’s hand clutching a water bottle cap with my iPhone Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.02.00 AM And then my first draft ended up looking like this: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.02.17 AM During Critique, I was told to complete a series of things. I tried all of them, and stuck with most of them. 1) I was told to change the color of the hand. I tried, but I swear it looked awful and so i made the decision to change it back. 2) I was told to use a picture of the Tea Haus rather than Westlands. ——–I totally respected this idea, and tried to oblige, it’s just that Westland’s shape was particularly perfect for this frame and the Tea Haus didn’t measure up, even when I tried to include the trees in the background. 3) I was encouraged to change the color of the words, because they detracted from the drama of the pod, and I was told to change the Russian Constructivist words to a more relevant tag-line. So I tried: Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.08.45 AM And I got a little bit stuck here, which is why printing/distributing took so damn long for me. I couldn’t get the yellow in “Say yes take action” to match the bottom layer perfectly. And I felt like the whole piece looked sort of flat, and I needed to add a third dimension. So thats when i settled on my final piece: Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 11.57.16 AM I added a glow behind the pod, alluding to an altar painting which is really funny to me, but also I feel like it adds dimension. I took the sun from a Van Gogh painting because it was sort of 3D and I liked the way it looked as an altar-style halo. Additionally, I deleted “Say yes take action,” which wasn’t the easiest decision but I feel comfortable with it. I changed the text slightly, but I actually think it improved the image dramatically. —- So now I am done and installed and surprisingly satisfied.