Sam Spencer

Skylark is a layered video and sound collage that attempts to encapsulate the accelerated impressions of memory under contemporary circumstances of disjointed connectivity.

Responding to the new, instantaneous methods of digital existence that shape our experiences of time, Mallory Baker transforms the classic American jazz standard “Skylark” into a modern pop song using only digital sampling and original vocals. Baker explores the fragmented nature of modern stardom. Performers and audiences now influence each other simultaneously; mediated and edited by screens. The role of the performer that may have sung “Skylark” for the past 100 years has now changed. The music video component of Skylark was directed, shot, and edited by Sam C. Spencer using a SHARP mini DV camera popularized during the mid to late 1990s. The mini DV camcorder, with smaller than ever tapes and quality that could compete with digital, was used for home video to photojournalism. Soon after its creation, non-linear and digital editing processes became more accessible. Skylark was imagined during the isolation of Covid-19 and filmed spring of 2021. Shot in three parts, it documents both loneliness and the return of physical spontaneity as in-person social activity becomes possible again in the United States. The 360 video layered underneath the 2-Dimensional music video references the endless visual and sonic experiences possible within one moment that are heightened by new digital and virtual reality technologies. The 360 video documents the first time Baker and Spencer were able to welcome a group of people into their current home after a year of living there. Skylark was created by the blurred lines between audience and performer, the fractured attention of the individual and shared experience that connect many.

Sam Spencer
I am a designer and student living in Chicago. I work in graphic design, photography, videography, printing, and exhibition design.

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Thank you to our Capstone volunteers, including students Leslie Ramirez, Chris Keramidas, Caroline Schlegel, and faculty member Laura Rossi García. Special thanks to 2020–21 Capstone faculty Shiro Akiyoshi, Nathan Matteson, and Heather Snyder Quinn.

College of Computing and Digital Media
School of Design
243 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago IL 60604

Graphic Design Capstone Showcase 2020 and 2021
Advisors: Shiro Akiyoshi, Nathan  Matteson, and Heather Snyder Quinn