Tuesday, March 11, 2008


A few people have asked me why the camera is pointed at me and does not show the person I am talking to. I made this decision for the following reasons.

1.I am interested in what the listening part of a conversation looks like. Most of the time we only see those who are talking. In these conversations I tried to do a lot of listening so that I could see what it looked like. I also like to see myself because I do not get to do this very often. All art is about the maker. This is something that those who make must admit if they wish to maintain integrity.

2. I film with my Macbook which shows the subject on the screen as he/she is filmed. This most often makes the subject uncomfortable (a strategy I did not wish to use in this project). I often use the strategies of destabilization and discomfort but this was not the time.

3. The desire that is created by not being able to see "the whole picture" also interests me. Photography and video/film take everything out of context. The world is not rectangular. I am more interested in what is not represented than what is represented. What am I not seeing? What has been left out intentionally or by accident? How does this change what has been depicted?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Conversation Three: Colin Beattie (1-2)

Conversation Piece by gary wiseman

A few days ago I asked Gary to take the conversation we'd recorded together off of the internet. This was in no way an expression of dissatisfaction with Gary's project, or with what we'd produced together. I loved the way we'd managed to record the fragile sense of new friendship growing in between our divergent ideas. I loved the tiny bundles of light drifting along the wall behind Gary while he listened. As excruciating as it was to hear my own stuffy-nosed voice rambling from one subject to the next, I also saw in this piece the chance to be brave in showing our spontaneous thoughts without any further mediation.

Naturally, our conversation drifted from ourselves to several of our dearest friends. My relationship with one of my dearest friends was, in fact, one of the things I most wanted to talk to Gary about. In the comfort and excitement of a fresh conversation, I see now Gary and I may have forgotten that we were, in fact, producing a somewhat public document. While I am comfortable with everything I said, I realize now we both may have said more about some of our friends than they would like the world at large to know. It is in their interest that I decided to ask Gary to remove our conversation. Even though we ourselves might choose to be cavalier about our pasts, and our secrets, we must let our friends make the same choice for themselves.

I see here a great lesson to be learned. As we grew comfortable, we grew more candid, and several details drifted into our afternoon that were a bit too specific for the ravenous curiosity mechanisms that prowl the internet. To remove only the details from our conversation would have been such a monumental editing task for Gary that we must, instead, withdraw the recording from public eyes. In doing so, I am sad to see such an interesting document sealed away. It is a loss, at the very least, for both Gary and I. Perhaps, although we must lose this material, we have both learned a bit more about finding a delicate balance between our private and our public voices.

Colin Beattie

Conversation Two: Gordon Barnes (1-3)

Conversation Piece by Gary Wiseman

Gordon and I had our conversation at The Acorn in N.W. Portland. He ate a chocolate chip cookie. I ate pie.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Conversation One: Jim and Mary Wiseman

Conversation Piece
by Gary Wiseman

Conversation One: Jim and Mary Wiseman

This is the first installment of the five part Reed Arts Week (RAW) Conversation Piece project. The first conversation is with my mom and dad, Jim and Mary Wiseman. We met at Mall 205 in deep South East Portland near Home Depot. My parents suggested this location because most of the shops are out of business. It was a strange encounter yet somehow it felt comfortable. I grew up near there. It was like going home (almost).

This video starts with a song and a black screen. There is nothing wrong with your computer. The video starts at the end of the song. Enjoy!