Josh Lane’s Identity in Contradiction came in and swooped up the WRHC Award for open media. This is the second year Lane has won an award while being published in the pages of Scribendi. We sat down and discussed the process of submitting and the artistic work he produced.
How did you hear about us?
Last year as a freshman it was brought up in my first Honors class, and what I saw being published was work of a caliber I aspire to create myself.
What motivated you to submit to Scribendi this year?
I was fortunate enough to have my photograph win the WRHC award last year and seeing my work published and recognized is always an amazing feeling, so I decided to submit not one piece this year but five, and I am hugely grateful that Scribendi allows for such an opportunity.
What was your process in creating Identity in Contradiction for submission.
For Identity in Contradiction I began with a 24-hour data collection. Every hour on the hour, I would ask myself two questions, 1. Can I feel the weight of all the lives I am not living? and 2. Was this little bit of life lost?. I would answer with a number from 1 to 5, 1 being absolute no and 5 being absolute yes. My brother acted as the recorder of the information, also taking down where we were and what we were doing. In trying to understand the data I was left with, I began to draw graphs, diagrams, and various other ways of representing the data until I finally landed on the line that rises and falls in the way a wavelength might. This caught me as a visual representation that I could animate, and with the inspiration, I was drawing from Bon Iver’s 22, a Million album artwork and lyric videos, I knew I wanted both visual and auditory ways of incorporating the emotions as words while maintaining a level of cryptic representation. From there I created and animated lines in After Effects, brought them into Premiere to match them with video clips I recorded especially for this or that I took from my archives, and then with the help of my friend Douglas Brandt, I recorded him saying, singing, and at times shouting the layers of poems I’d written for the piece. I spent a long time messing with those layers of vocals to get the desired build and intensity and from there animated words to match the audio and synched the line animation and video clips to all work together.
Did you face any challenges while completing this piece?
Figuring out how to animate the line was technically challenging at first but I spent the most time working on the audio.
How does Identity reflect your work as a whole?
The meaning behind the piece is to question whether or not I am truly making the most of my life. What I came to better understand through making this piece is that it isn’t actually possible to live life to it’s fullest at every second of the day. There are times when I feel at 5’s and times when I feel at 1’s, but it is an eternal rise and fall. Life is about navigating the chaos, standing at the mountaintops and knowing there is a valley to come. The final piece is a reflection of the work that went into achieving that realization. It is a messy thing, finding a way to understand your own flaws. Chaos, at least internally, is often the cost of humility for me, and I feel that in coming to this particular realization, Identity in Contradiction is appropriately chaotic.
What did you enjoy the most about the creation process?
Working at the crossroads of multiple mediums, that was the most challenging and as such most enjoyable part of creating this piece. Also hearing my brother say “You deserve to be at 1’s all the time,” and working with Doug on the vocals.
Identity in Contradiction is currently gracing the Scribendi vimeo page.