Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity: The Musical

This work is meant to be viewed in it’s two parts (unless you are an expert on relativity in which case you can skip the lecture)

The first part is a lecture on motion and a basic explanation of the Special Theory of Relativity:

The second part is the work itself:

Einstein tells a story about his Special Theory of Relativity and in the process covers the subject of love as well. In the course of the ten minute movie he sings his way through the solution of a physics problem involving a pair of star-crossed lovers. This conceptual work focuses on the translation of theory from observation to presentation. It tackles a well known, difficult subject in a way that is fun and entertaining. The objective with this work was not to simplify the material but to make it more accessible.


2nd Annual Artshift awards

Last year artshiftsanjose.com gave away $4000 to a deserving artist and gallery.  This year our hope is to match that to a local artist an curator, but we need input from the community…

See the notice below and respond by July 30 to editor@artshiftsanjose.com please include links to the individual(s) and a brief paragraph describing their worthines.

celebrates two years of online news and critique
by announcing our

SECOND ANNUAL ARTSHIFT AWARDS IN THE VISUAL ARTS Presented through the assistance of our fiscal sponsor, Arts Council Silicon Valley

WHEN? Nominations will be accepted May 1–July 30, 2009, for outstanding achievement by an artist and/or a curator in Silicon Valley in the 2008–2009 year  (July 1, 2008–June 31, 2009).

WHO OR WHAT TO NOMINATE?  This year we are focusing explicitly on two aspects of our art scene that are so essential to the vibrant visual art community we celebrate. Nominations may be for an ARTIST or ARTIST TEAM, and /or a CURATOR whose work has appeared in Silicon Valley* during the past  year.  This is a chance for the community to tell us who and what has impressed you.  *ARTSHIFT’s definition of Silicon Valley includes our entire coverage area, from Palo Alto in the north to Santa Cruz in the south.

WHO CAN NOMINATE? Anyone, anywhere, may submit one or more nominations that fit the above specifications, using the attached form.  Submissions will be accepted in hard copy or online.

WHAT IS THE AWARD?  Awards will be at least $2,000 in each category.

WHO MAKES THE SELECTION?  The nominations for Achievement by an Artist will be screened by a three-person committee of the ARTSHIFT San José Board and Writers, joined by San Jose artist Tony May. The nominations for Achievement by a Curator will be screened by a three-person committee of the ARTSHIFT Board and Writers, joined by San Jose ICA curator Susan O’Malley.

The ARTSHIFT AWARDS will be presented in Fall of 2009.
Date and site of the awards to be announced.

editor@artshiftsanjose.com                ARTSHIFT San Jose
924 S. 8th Street
San Jose, CA 95112

It is important that you submit visuals to substantiate this nomination.  Please ask your nominee for a digital folder of a minimum of six 5×7″, 72 jpg images of their art (for artists) or exhibition work (that you cite for a curator) to accompany this nomination.  Our jury sees a lot; nevertheless, they may not be familiar with your nominee.




Please describe, in a short paragraph, the person you wish to nominate.

Please describe, in a short paragraph, the impact or importance of your nominee and why you believe they merit special recognition as a curator or visual artist in Silicon Valley.

Your name and contact information:

Submissions:     editor@artshiftsanjose.com    or ARTSHIFT San Jose
924 S. 8th Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Contemporary Video is Contemporary Storytelling

101a and video

I realized late into the semester that what we ended up doing with YouTube, Mashups, Swedes and Machinima was much more about engaging a contemporary storytelling medium and making a deposit in the cultural repository that will, if it survives, tell our stories to the future.

Someday it will be possible to index the text of video, when this happens there will be an explosion of angst and self serving drivel released upon the world through the archives of youtube. I hope this DOES get indexed as part of the record of the time.  In the ranting and the stupidity though will be the feelings, passions, hatreds and insecurities of a generation that has discovered the power and communicative ability of the internet.  This is the first generation to be able to do this, and the first to be able to have this lasting voice that can impact the rest of the world.

So our casual rantings will tell one story, our vlogs will show how insecure we are but will let our emotions and our minds and our culture peek through the veil, in our own words and amid the haters, detractors and distractors.

As a class we experienced this.  We felt the gaze of our peers and exposed ourselves to the world, we became more comfortable in front of the camera and began to express ourselves.  We formed a nascent community around our productions, and we started to understand the role this work plays in culture and expression.

Somewhere in there we shot a minutes worth of video. Here is where we began to see the over the shoulder archaeology. We laughed and we admired the creativity of our peers.  It was wonderful to see everyone perform well and to see such a variety of types of work.

full playlist here:


The Mashup video took on other peoples stories and began to work with editing.  We learned how to grab video from online sources and actually talked about intellectual property and ownership. For many of us it was the first time we edited video and it was a lot of work.  There were delicate balancing acts regarding how to get what we wanted out of the story, pacing and ownership.  Our first stories were about ourselves but our second ones were about the culture and world around us.  We actively engaged the video through the borrowing of other materials. We attempted to engage this in a scholarly way and give credit, though sometimes our newness became a stumbling block.

full playlist here:


With our Swedes we learned how to use the camera and brought our friends and families into our work.  There is a richness to the over the shoulder information that is encapsulated in many of these works, our lives are part of this work as are our passions and tastes.  This work talks about what we care about but takes it further and adds us to the story.  The swede made us think about what we were saying and how we said it.  We had to be critical of each other and listen when others offered criticism.

full playlist:


Finally the Machinima gives us a universe where we have complete control but also no control.  It lets us comment about the games we play and the games our peers play.  It sharpens our storytelling abilities and makes us think about what we are saying. I was astonished at the range of tools used by students and the overall quality of the final pieces.  I think on demo day the first six people to present had all found different ways to create their machinima.  This project was of course a beast, and everyone who made it through deserves the hardiest congratulations.

full playlist:


In the end all of our work was about mashup, mashup of culture, our lives and the medium. We found that by telling our stories we often told much larger stories.

In the end the class was one of the most fulfilling I have ever had the pleasure of teaching, everyone worked hard to master the skills and we helped each other.