Omer Fast’s 5000 Feet Is the Best is a 30-minute work that encourages its audience to engage in thinking and discussion around U.S surveillance and warfare. Fast produced the work in 2010, however, the issues and themes the work addresses are still a topic of discussion in today’s society.
Upon watching this work in class, we were asked to respond to the work by responding to two prompts.
- What did you see?
- When attempting to answer this question, I found it very difficult to separate my feelings and interpretation from the content of the video. However, it forced me to recall small details (i.e camera angles, sound, around the narratives shared in the work.
- Why did you see those things?
- Being prompted to think about why I saw particular details in the work compelled me to think about the ways in which my brain has trained by the media and popular culture to perceive and receive images in a particular way (i.e. aerial views perceived as military drones).
Looking at works first for their formal qualities and then thinking about the why behind those details, starts a deeper process of analyzation. Not only did I think about the ways in which I felt or perceived the work, but It also forced me to begin thinking about the artist’s intent and calculated decisions in producing the work. It was a helpful strategy that I intend on using in my own processes as artist/student/educator.