Jason Bernagozzi- A Mentor With an Exclusive Reach
This Article Mentions & Promotes Signal Culture, an independent Experimental Arts Residency Program geared towards helping Experimental Artists grow. You can find more
When we all grow up in the world, we generally get advice from a Mentor. This can be a Parent, Teacher, Author, anybody in between. It can even be a peer who wishes to grow with the world around them. Mentors are a necessary trait of the human spirit. Unfortunately, it seems like it isn't as forcefully inclined as it should. Of course we still (technically) have mentors, but are those mentors leaders? In my world-view (take that notion as you will) it seems like most mentors are followers of another mentor. Note that I didn't use the term inspired (I use that phrase a lot because it is worth repeating). What one instructor says is what another one follows, and then when they have the ability to teach themselves, you might as well be a walking instruction manual.
This shouldn't be the case as individuality is the basis for mentorship. In a better world, mentors should be there to help their pupils naturally grow themselves (instead of instructing them like a boss). But one glance around and you'll notice that this honestly isn't the case. Our world thrives in Obedience and Mindless Hard-Work, a fact that is quite depressing when you think about it.
But let's step into the realm that most of these readers are accustomed to. The Experimental Arts Scene can be seen as a savior to this mindless hard-work mentality our culture is so used to. Sure it might not be perfect, but the Art itself makes you think about the possibilities you might not have thought of before. Some people might laugh this off, but that is a problem with their pre-conceived ideas of what an Art-Form should be (brought on by a world that only cares about mindless hard-work & obedience). So naturally the mentor I talk about today helps people become the interesting personalities we should thrive to become. His name is Jason Bernagozzi, and he is somebody to watch out for.
Now before I go on, a little history into the world of Jason Bernagozzi. He is best known for creating Signal-Culture, which was inspired by The Experimental Television Center. Now, what is the Experimental Television Center? Well, it doesn't exist anymore (unfortunately). But the impact of this can be seen throughout the Experimental Arts Stratosphere (especially with Jason and other Artists who grew up in the New York Region). The Experimental Television Center was known for playing around with Non-Filmed Television Equipment (like Editing Software, Transitional Tools, ETC.) and creating brand new images from it. It was also very well-known for bringing Artists from across the world and creating and allowing them to showcase their work.
As I stated before, the Experimental Television Center fell apart. But the spirit of it still lives in Signal Culture. This place is still known for showcasing new talent. It's beyond impressive to hear about the amount of time and dedication it takes to make Signal Culture viable. But just like the Experimental Television Center, this place also exists to help the individual Artists grow. The Residency Program is exactly how it sounds. An Artist comes and stays for 2 Weeks (sometimes it's shorter). Through this, they are interviewed and examined to see what kind of intuitive knowledge they can learn. Meanwhile, the Artists who are part of the showcase use Signal Cultures tools to Experiment even further. There are very few places in the world that are as open to Experimental Artists as Signal Culture, and it's certainly worth checking out.
But having a public place is only the beginning of what somebody must do in order to be so knowledgeable about the Craft. Luckily Jason is just as much an Artist himself as he is a Curator. So let us take a look into the personalized work of Jason Bernagozzi. You can view all of this work over at http://www.seeinginvideo.com.
The First Video we will look at is called Emergence. If you go to the website, Jason perfectly explains the purpose of the video. To quote the website, (Emergence is a video that explores the tension between violence and intimacy at a small town pro wrestling match in Johnson City, NY. As the wrestlers engage in their dramatic struggle for dominance, the frame difference processing analyzes and exposes the intricate details of their movements, expressions, and interactions. Paired with the song "Crying" by Roy Orbison, the artist frames the archetype of the pro wrestling match as a tension between consensual physicality and the performance of masculinity).
As incredible as that Paragraph was, it doesn't give away what makes this Video so
Another Older Video you should all check out is Form: Data: Form #9. If the title confuses you, allow me to explain that this Video more confusing. This Video also has an explanation, but unlike Emergence, I won't spoil his explanation here (a link to his page can be found here). But honestly, it's probably best to watch the video before you read any sort of explanation. So down below is the Video. I urge you all to think about your own opinion before moving on.
Now that all of you are back, I want you to think about the impact of that short. More specifically, I want you to look at the Visual Element that goes into this poetic piece. For one, the Kaliescopic Element of the Film already garners interest. Looking away from such a fascinating Visual Style is difficult. But behind all of that Glamor lies the true meaning of the film. The depth from all of these lines shows that our world is nothing more than a 2-Dimension Plane painted in a fake 3 Dimensional Form. Obviously, this isn't a literal explanation (the world clearly has 3 Dimensions of Sight). But from a Metaphorical Vision, the planet likes to pretend it's more complicated than it really is. But once you break down the pieces and really look at existence, you see that life is nothing more than a Chaotic Mess. Form: Data: Form: No. 9 shares a segment with a famous Beatles Song titled Revolution No. 9. And while most Pop Listeners aren't fans of the song, it certainly has a fanbase among the Experimental Scene. What the Beatles got wrong though was the title, as the name "Awakening No. 9" would have been more appropriate. Unfortunately, that title isn't as catchy to sell people on.
But why I say Awakening is because there is nothing Revolutionary about the ideas presented in these two pieces. It's a Truth that this species has chosen to ignore throughout its history. But what is that idea in the clearest way? Well, think about the Number 9. What happens right after nine is shown on a primary number chart? Well, we go into the Double Digits territory. More Specifically we go into the Number 10, which (from a Visual Aspect, not Mathematical) is the Number 1 with a 0 next to it. From a Metaphorical Perspective, we can say that the first number represents the person (or living presence) and his growth. While the second number is a Binary-Like Diary of what that person has gone through. And it's no Surprise that a 0 has a very similar shape to a Circle, as we are becoming a more Well-Rounded Person as we grow. Now if we are looking towards Numbers as Metaphorical statements of Understanding our World, then the Number 9 can be the Last-Step of Seeing The Truth.
It's the Confusing Cliff before we reach the top of the mountain. Because of this, we can become delusional & mistrust the world around us. But without this confusing cliff, we can't see the broader picture that will help us triumph our goal. John Lennon saw this Numerical sense of Growth when he wrote that Famous song. And Jason Bernagozzi saw the Metaphorical Depth that the Number 9 could represent as well. Now I want you all to watch this Film with my interpretation in mind. Hopefully, you can gain a better appreciation for this type of work.
The Last Video I want to focus on is called CityStream. Just to note that this is an Art-Piece that is meant to be played in a Museum, so it's quite different from every other Video in this Article (as well as Most Experimental Videos). So I want you all to Imagine that you are sitting in this Art Museum, examining these Videos as Paintings. It will be a lot easier to see the hidden depth if you put yourself in these shoes.
Now let's examine the Video together. One of the main factors of this is the dual perspective this Video showcases. The Main Term used in this video is a Multi-Video Channel Installation. But if you haven't noticed, we can only see Two Screens. Why is this? Well, there is a real explanation to this. The first obvious answer is because we have two eyes. Two Screens represent how we see the World, and in term, what we don't see. Since it is difficult for (most) people to focus on multiple objects at once, we often see a blur motion while not focusing on anything. If you ever stared off into space while having your eyes open, you completely understand this phenomenon. So just from the concept alone, this Installation can appeal to anybody who uses their mind. But that isn't the only qualities this Video showcases.
I already mentioned the blurred perspective, and while that metaphor can represent what we tend to see when we don't focus, it can also represent a whole lot more. One of my interpretations is how the Blurred Perspective can express the mixture between Artistry and Realism (and how one can influence the other). The Multi-Layered Screens only reinforce the idea of a Melting Pot that showcases a deeper meaning.
It is also great to note that this Film was shot in Syracuse, New York. You can make a case that this Film can be an Artistic Statement of the City itself. Unfortunately, I have no idea, since I have never been to Syracuse myself. But even if you've never been to Syracuse, you know of a College-Town that is somewhat similar. For me, that town is obviously Boulder, Colorado. And this Film reminds me of walking through an almost Paradise like town where Art & Individuality is just as crucial as something more Universal like Water or Air. For those who can't live in these College Towns, watching this short Film is a perfect representation of what we might feel when we think of such places. Sure, Boulder & Syracuse aren't (probably) any better than Denver or NYC. But that thought of a peaceful & artful escape is Universal towards the Human Spirit, and it is vital to recognize.
To end this Article off, I just want to talk about how Persistent Jason Bernagozzi is in the Experimental Arts Scene. For those who have (unfortunately) seen, I haven't been working on this blog for quite a while. A lot of this is out of my reach, but that isn't really the point. Why I bring this up though is because as much as I want to be a leading voice for independent artists, it just isn't viable in the grand scheme of things. This isn't a statement on me giving up on the Blog, but it is a statement on the realities that I and many other Artists have to go through.
So if you have been interested in the Experimental Arts Scene & want a consistent base of influence, no other person I can think of does a better job than Jason Bernagozzi. The Truth of the matter is that this group is very niche and press for the Arts has such a bad reputation in the first place. But Jason exposes every Artist in the best possible light. Being an Experimental Artist himself, he realizes what makes him stand out from the endless crowd of adults who play it too safe (even if they have the choice to take a risk). He also realizes that he isn't alone in this matter and that he must make this unique world-view stride forward.
On top of everything we already established earlier, we can clearly see that Jason Truly cares about the wants and needs of this community. Without him, the Experimental Arts Comunity would lose a huge service. So I urge all of you to follow him on Facebook, Vimeo & Everything in between.
The World is an Every-Changing One with Multiple Obstacles that can hinder our Ability To Grow. But Jason Bernagozzi is proof that you can change the way you grow if you keep an open mind.
It was an honor to represent this incredible artist. I must admit this Article took almost 3 Months To Finish Up. I sincerely apologize to Jason & Everybody Else I've kept waiting for such a long time. However, this is a good time to let everybody know what I've been going through in the past 2 Months (and everything else that will be going on in the future).
In the Beginning of August, I realized I had to get a legitimate day job due to the higher costs in living I recently went through. Before I was able to make money just from Screenwriting Alone (which was why I was able to do so many Articles at the time). But one of my biggest problems as a Screenwriter is that I am very unpopular with a good majority of the traditional film community. I believe in Writing Visual Experiences that a Film Producer can sense. Most Screenwriters focus on Storytelling & Character Growth, and it's almost sac-religious to say that you don't focus on these aspects.
Because of this, I have to really go out of my way to make sure my scripts get read from a Producer with an Open-Mind. When I wrote all of those Articles back in June & July, I literally had no time to find these Producers. Now that I have a Day-Job on top of this, my career as a Screenwriter was going to disappear. I couldn't let that happen, which is why the Blog had to be put on hold.
This brings us to what the Blog has to bring in the future. I will come back & write Articles on the Blog, but these won't be interviews. In the Past, I Interviewed a bunch of Artists & asked them certain questions. Now I honestly don't have the ability to do these Interviews. They take up a lot of time & ask a lot from me & the people I interview. So instead (if I have the time) I'll just ask any Artist if I can just write about their work. And if they decline, I'll find a Public Domain Avant-Garde Film from the past & write about that. I'll also talk about what I know best, Experience-Driven Filmmaking & Screenwriting. As well as other topics I'm into, including how I use Video-Game Design to Create Experience Driven Films. As well as Explaining what I despise in Hollywood Filmmaking, and how I try to fix it.
I do have two more people to write Articles about. David King & Mark Klink have been just as patient as Jason Bernagozzi, and I am so grateful. These two will end the Blog in October while the new blog setup will begin in November.
So I know this News isn't the best, but I seriously owe you all an Explanation. I apologize for keeping people in the dark, but I felt like it was the best way to handle the situation at the time. I now know that was the wrong decision & I am so sorry.
That is why if you were a fan of the old format, I strongly urge everybody to follow Signal Culture & Jason Bernagozzi. He is the best person for the job & he deserves all of your efforts. Thanks so much everybody & continue to support Visionary Talent wherever you see it.