You’re Not My Father, by Paul Slocum, [Requires Quicktime plugin] is composed of a sequence of recreations of a 10 second scene from the television show Full House, overlaid with sound loops from the scene’s original music. The crews who re-shot the scene were recruited through Internet message boards and Craigslist; each was paid $150. Instructions for shooting the scene and delivering the footage were issued to the crews. To-date, the project includes participants from Austin, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Denton, London, and San Francisco.
Although the commission money has been exhausted, Slocum is still accepting submissions. If you are interested in participating, read the PDF document on the website. Your footage will be added to the video sequence online and exhibited in future gallery exhibitions.
About the Process: In an email he wrote to Helen Thorington (January 11), Slocum describes the difficulties he had finding participants for the project:
Originally I was posting on Internet message boards for Full House, fan film making, and other related topics offering $80 for each completed video, hoping I could get about 18 videos. But nobody was taking the offer so I increased it to $150 and accepted that I had to reduce the number of videos. I ended up having the best results with Craigslist. You can’t post an ad to multiple cities, so I rotated the ad between different locations.
I gradually built a list of people willing to participate, which was complicated to maintain since people frequently expressed interest and later stopped responding to my emails. Most participants did not meet the deadlines I set. I received the first video in early November, and the last three in early January, less than a week before the launch date.
He then goes on to describe the formal challenges he faced:
Originally, I’d wanted the voicing of the dialogue to be so close to the original that it would maintain the hypnotic rhythm of the mockup loop I had created. I specified this in the documentation, but nobody could do it well enough, and the sound from the reshoots didn’t maintain the rhythm of the original concept. I was concerned that the piece wouldn’t work until I had the idea of overlaying the original audio onto the reshoot audio. This maintained the rhythm and emphasized the room reverb (and space) from the reshoots.
I found that the key to making the piece work out was subtle changes. Very slight timing changes made a big difference, equalization of audio, selection between two slightly different takes… Also some of the reshoots did not work aesthetically, but after a lot of experimenting I found that changes in color saturation of the clips could fix problems without changing much about the original authorship of the reshoot. I could bring out colors in dull clips, and control overly complex clips. I also discovered that the transition from under-saturated clips to over-saturated clips can be interesting.
You’re Not My Father is included in Slocum’s solo show “More House” which opens tonight at Dunn and Brown Contemporary, 5020 Tracy Street, Dallas, Texas.
You’re Not My Father is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for Networked_Music_Review. It was made possible with funding from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
Paul Slocum is a musician and new media artist living in Dallas. Computers and computer culture are often the medium and subject of his work. Some of his projects are “The Dot Matrix Synth”, an 80’s dot matrix printer with re-programmed firmware to transform it into a musical instrument, “The Century Callback Project”, a phone number that calls you back 8 times in a century, and “The Time-Lapse Homepage”, a video made with HTML. He is also half of the “Tree Wave” project that creates music and video with obsolete assembly-language-programmed computer and video game gear. Paul is the director and co-founder of “And/Or Gallery” in Dallas, a gallery that specializes in new media artwork. Some of Paul’s performances and exhibitions include Transitio MX in Mexico City, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Deitch Projects, and Eyebeam in New York, Le Confort Moderne in France, README 2005 in Denmark, and The Liverpool Biennial.