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Time - Parsons First Year Course

Time is a course that is offered as part of Parsons First Year. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the idea of time as a designed concept and one that they can leverage to develop a more nuanced understanding of their work and how it is engaged by an audience.  Time is change, everything changes, so time could be treated like clay – a material to be manipulated. Project areas in the syllabus include Perceived Time, Still to Moving, Linear Time, and Open Works.

My section of this course was titled Composition and in it, I worked with students throughout the semester on methods of understanding rhythm, pacing, manipulation of elements, reconfiguring temporal sequence, to gain insight into the many ways that time can be manipulated.

Project - Time Archive Grids

Time Archive started with a simple request for students to document 36 different interpretations of time. After an introduction to InDesign, they assembled their images into the square units of an 8 x 8 grid. The project required decisions about placement, cropping, color, rhythm, rotation, sequence, and content.

What began as an exercise in observation and collection quickly became a conversation about gestalt principles of visual organization, about the ways that subtle placement or jarring juxtaposition can lead a viewer, the way that stories can emerge sometimes with and often without your consent. The way that one students grid begins to speak to another, the possibilities of scale when all of the grids are seen together.

Project: Slow Change

This project moves students from static imagery into temporal sequences by asking them to unpack the notion of Beginning Middle End and to create three images that come together to create that arc. The images are presented with extremely slow dissolves and sounds edited from a session of sound recording where we played with some tried and true foley techniques with vegetables and fruits that we called “produce abuse.”

produce abuse

Beyond some of the technical challenges of assembling these elements, this was surprisingly complicated process and students were often surprised by which “films” had compelling or even comprehensible beginnings middles and ends.  The project provokes conversations about time, attention, the in between space that exists when two images collide or overlap, the power of sound to guide, manipulate or confound your reading of an image or series of images.

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