What is CHET?
CHET is a performing art piece involving an experimental visual effects film, found objects, and a Cellist that will exhibit in May 2017! "Chet" is short for Chester Zielke, my Grandpa.
So, what is the film about?
CHET is an experimental and non-linear depiction of a violin's process from maker to musician. This installation aims to challenge people to examine why they value certain memories.
Whether it's a nostalgic item, a fond memory of the senses, a person, or a culture's tradition, people naturally attach to memories; it gives meaning to our life! A problem occurs when we are incapable of realizing their effect on our decision making and letting these ideas go.
Why is CHET being made?
My Grandpa played the violin, and his father-in-law rebuilt violins; a dialogue between a violinist and a violin maker fascinates me. Their profession focuses on a single object, both develop a work of art and have complete dependence on one another.
I slowly came to realize that my interest in this dialogue is a misunderstanding between my Grandpa and my memories. He is undoubtedly a role model in my life, but truthfully, I never met 'him.' Instead, my first memories I recall in life are about his death. The idea of my Grandpa is a construct through my family's interpretation. I love this man; he is my family! But I must realize, I will never truthfully remember him. My memory of him progressively changes into whatever I believe is 'accurate.' It's similar to looking at a broken violin and 'knowing' how it sounds.
It has taken a tremendous amount of self-discipline to relive one of my deepest fears caused from my childhood memories - the concept of death. However, I remain confident this installation helps reveal that everyone convinces their own identity's dependence on an idea and we need to be aware of how this affects our mentality!
How is the money being used?
This show helps me focus and understand film installations from beginning to end. The knowledge I gain from this experience is invaluable and will help start my career in performance installations. In the chance I receive additional funding, the money will go directly into promoting this exhibition into other gallery spaces.
What space are we talking about?
After scouting out Savannah and the several beautiful galleries the city offers, I am ecstatic to say WELMONT, an event venue located in the Starland District of Savannah! WELMONT is a renovated auto-body shop; yes, it is amazing. Aside from sharing a love for history, their mission advocates for the arts in Savannah while keeping it true to the city. I believe this venue is a great fit for this exhibition because the space is highly adaptable and they offer a wide range of knowledge to help bring this installation to life. I am excited about this newly formed connection with WELMONT for CHET, but also look forward to future exhibitions!
Tell me about the music score.
Mitzi Okou is a fellow SCAD student getting a degree in Graphic Design and Mobile/Interactive Design. She came to Savannah after two years of studying classical cello at the Boston Conservatory to perfect her lifelong passion.
We are having a wonderful time coming up with ideas, and I am honored to say she is going to be performing a LIVE improvisation along with a score we record before the show.
The images below show Mitzi playing in WELMONT testing how the instrument sounds. There are no words to articulate the experience hidden from these pictures - a modest and mature voice resonating.
What kind of specs are we talking about for the equipment?
I think top of the line technology is great; I am a visual effects artist after all. But, not for this. I want people to feel like this is a home video found in a basement. An installation about nostalgia and discovering lost memories would not be the same without a family 16mm film projector. I would like to create a metaphor by transferring my digital visual effects to good old film to exhibit how an idea, even a false memory, can affect an individual's identity in a tangible matter.
Film is a meaningful and experiential addition to CHET. A projector is a machine with just enough familiarity that will drive a person's curiosity through sound and fascination with how the mechanics work.
Sounds pretty complicated and costly, but actually, digital projectors are EXPENSIVE to rent for a high-quality display. The cost for renting the minimal quality and system to run the installation for the duration of the show almost costs the same as buying a functional film projector and having a company transfer my digital work to film! The technology is a bit aged, but fortunately, the people that keep film alive, make a budget manageable for like-minded people.
The people I need to thank everyday.
At its heart, CHET is about finding identity, but demonstrating this in a way that connects to everyone. This project has taken several years of reading, thinking, and working. I would not be where I am without the support of my family, friends, and school.
My family for their willingness to step back into a difficult time period of their life and help grow this idea. For instance, one fond and goofy memory: sculpting my Grandpa while on FaceTime with my Grandma. "No! No! his lips are awful! They have to be like this!" (while puckering!) Let's be realistic; Grandma's are experts at everything!
My friends, for their patience and talent in helping me with this project. Without your expertise, problem-solving, and wisdom, I would be lost in a visual effects world and self-journey.
SCAD has offered me great opportunities, facilities, and the works, but what stands out is my experience in Lacoste; one of the school's campuses in France. This offered me a unique atmosphere influencing my work to balance passion with a hopeful profession. My professors also provide knowledge in both a technical and experimental structure, which to the degree they push me, is rare within education!
I will also thank every single backer because, with you, this project can develop into an exhibition taking a vision into a tangible form. Be a part of the journey!
Let's talk about the rewards!
$10 My digital journal of writing, photography, and mood boards that inspired this project!
$25 access to a private blog keeping you up to date leading up to the show + PDF bundle of my Violin Studies! Please allow me to There is a lot of work left to be done, and you will get my visual effects tips and tricks along the way. Please check your messages starting March 22nd for the link and password. (I will post an update to the campaign as a reminder)
$50 Digital Copy of Mitzi's recording + Signed Fine Art Print of a Violin Study + previous rewards (available for 50)
$50 Fine art print of my Blueprint Study:
$125 Original "Fading Memory" charcoal 24x18" drawing + Mitzi's Recording + rewards one & two (available for 25)
$250 Original Large Scale "Fading Memory" Charcoal 53x36" drawing + limited edition fine art print of the Violin Blue Print + rewards one & two (available for ten)
$500 Schedule a Skype session to discuss the installation or a two-hour workshop in visual effects, life drawing, animation, or digital painting! The software we both have is the only limitation, and we will communicate before making sure I am well versed in the topic of interest + rewards one & two (available for two)
$2,000 One of a kind "Blueprint" 48x36" oil based ink and pencil on paper. The violin seen below is a family gift that my Great Grandfather rebuilt, and my Grandfather played - It's hard to see this drawing go, but worth it to see the installation take shape in its place + rewards one & two (work in progress photograph below)
$3,500 Like my work so far and want to support in a big way? Receive a large abstract painting that has already been exhibited in a solo exhibition to help support the installation! This show would never be the same without my previous work, and there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing my artwork sustain itself! + rewards one & two (available for two)
echo | 49x96" | oil based house paint + conte on canvas
collections I | 48x96" | charcoal + oil paint + oil based house paint on canvas
Come find me on social media! I am always on the look-out for new friends!
Risks and challenges
Keeping up to date with my schedule is crucial to exhibit in May! There's a lot of work to do, but along with my determination, WELMONT offers a broad range of knowledge including installation, lighting, sound, and understanding how crowd's move in spaces similar to mine. I am also fortunate to have an incredibly supportive group of peers and professors that have seen this project from the beginning, continue to help me bring it to life, and look forward to its success! Another risk is using older technology. Let's be honest. The two options I have is restoring a film projector that I've found in my Grandma's basement or purchasing from a film projector vendor. I am researching the risks and possible malfunctions of both. Regardless, this is a challenge I want to be prepared for and know exactly how to react. I will give this installation everything I've got and push myself further every day, but I cannot do it without your help!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)