Conversation: Editing of baby, dog, and Dog 2 (Online Version)
Viewer: In the online version of baby, dog, and Dog 2, a videographer with a GoPro in hand appears frequently. He bluntly scans the other performer. I can’t tell if you had any tactics, but the videographer’s actions are on a very fine line between a performance and a re-enactment of inappropriately scanning another person’s body. It reminds the audiences of a man scanning a powerless woman and the potential issues that action could indicate. But, before anyone can really think more deeply into that matter, the scenes change. If the scene of the cameras filming the performer lying down were slightly longer, the issue could have been more explicit. But the scene changes and it relieves the audiences from overthinking the actions behind it. So I’m curious whether the timing of the scene transitioning was intended.
Editor: The timing in which the scene changed did not intend to avoid any issues in that matter. The transition was more focused on the direction that appeared on the black screen (such as “lay the baby”) and the movements in which the performers carried out. Following the directions, the title Take #1, Take #2, Scene #1, Scene #2 appears. I was thinking of usage of film slates, to give emphasis that the camera was repeatedly “filming” the performers. But then again, the movements the performers show can be interpreted in different ways. The performer who re-enacts a baby’s movement can look like a baby lying down or a grown-up lying dead, just like how the performer who takes the role of a videographer can seem inappropriately scanning a female body. It’s entirely up to the audience to simply watch the movements as it is, or interpret the narratives behind the movement, or come up with an ethical issue. You mentioned the movements fall on a fine line between a performance and an ethical issue. Do you think showing the scene just 10 seconds longer would have made the audience think that the scene was about “a male scanning a female’s body”?
Viewer: Just even 3~5 seconds longer would have done the job. There is really no way of knowing for sure, but the specific body parts that were focused in the clips and the timing in which it was shown factored into the idea. It makes me wonder about the questions that artists have to deal with regarding ethical issues. For instance, when audiences see a problematic image, they ask and judge the artist’s intentions and positions, just like how I did to you. But even with all the editing or displaying explicit/implicit intention in the video, the art form itself will always be present in front of the audience. Some art form invoke social controversies, some could be a pornography disguised into art or it could even be an actual criminal act pretending to be a form of art. But, art becomes a “crime” when an image is completely dominated by strong keywords and the power games played within. On the other hand, images that can deny words, images that are not affected by social construct, these images can stand alone without interpretations. Social or moral construct here is entirely irrelevant. Good images are attractive and powerful as it is, the intentions of the artist or the interpretations of the audiences are irrelevant. Perhaps whether an artwork carries a political message or inappropriate intentions is not important in the world of images. Trying to entirely explain an image with words or the inevitable deception that occurs in such process proves that image and the perception of human works differently. In the world of image, some people may be frightened, while others may be in a state of euphoria. Suppose audiences focus too much on the ethical issues an artwork carries. It will only make it more impossible to talk about other perspectives of the artwork. If an artwork were to be judged only by social construct, it will not be considered as art anyway. It’s either a fraud or a felony. Therefore, I don’t care about the intention of the artist. There is no need to question it, nor reveal it. If majority of people only have a conversation about the “issue” that connects to the work, there is not much to add to that. Good images will never give victory to such conversations. There is no reason to prison images by the logic of language. I think this is a very important point when we talk about the power of image in art.
Editor: Thinking about the power of images, it’s a little ridiculous for the audiences to request an artist to explain their intentions verbally. Once an art is exposed to the public, it is no longer within the artist’s control. There is little an artist’s words can explain about the art work. Sensual works can generate curiosity and take the audiences into a long (but intuitive) journey. The process of editing images can add, manipulate, or delete the influence of images. Editing can neither be based on the editor’s personal taste nor a simple hard-skill to create structured work. It is distinguishable whether a scene is there for the sake of the editor’s desire or whether it is there to construct the structure of the work. The artist could film multiple images with a certain intention, but to turn these footages into a work requires a different way of seeing and mode of working. How can you delay identification so that the words do not entirely define the images that follow? Is it necessary to combine different images into one broad issue? Charming artworks does not require a description, and the unknown should remain unknown.
Editor: Shinhoo Yhi
Video Editor of baby, dog, and Dog (Online Version): Yi-ho Yan
Video Editor of yellow-furr-fox: Shinhoo Yhi
Editor in conversation: Yi-ho Yan
Viewer in conversation: Woojin Jeon
Translation: Sungwon Baek, Shinhoo Yhi
Layout Design: Seunghyun Kim
Release Date: 25 June, 2021