Friday, November 19, 2010

Artist Lecture #1 - Mark Tribe

Mark Tribe is a digital media artist who has had many exhibitions over the years.  He talked about a theory that while human beings are Homo sapiens, they are also Homo performans.  His idea is that people are self performing animals, and that we as a species perform in everyday life (such as an audience staying quiet and applauding at the right moment.)  He said that in this way, we will reveal ourselves to ourselves.  The first one of his projects that he talked about was called Carpark.  This was a performance art as well as a sort of social experiment. He and two other artists collaborated to create this performance, in which he organized all the cars in a university parking lot to park in different sections based on their color.  The performance was a media spectacle, and it showed the power of a performance as art.
Tribe also talked about protest as a public performance of politics.  he had a project called the Dystopia Files, which was a compilation of footage from protests and the police actions against the protestors.  The video was projected from inside a room onto a frosted glass door.  The video could only partly be seen, and the footage was backwards.  Once the door was opened, a motion sensor was activated and the lights would go on as the projector turned off.  Inside the rooms, there were cabinets with the names of different protest groups written on the outside of each drawer.  All of these drawers were locked.
There were a few other projects that Tribe talked about, and each had their own uniqueness about them.  I enjoyed each of his projects because they were so innovative, and were unlike traditional art forms.  His works were very creative and inspiring, and I enjoyed encountering them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artist Lecture #2 - Mary Flanagan

I watched an artist lecture given my Mary Flanagan on Youtube. Unfortunately I could not attend one of the other lectures because I have a Thursday night class.  The lecture was introduced by Mark Tribe, who I had a chance to see when he was at UNR.  Flanagan started out talking about the works that she likes and that inspire her, and that make digital media the art form that it is. 
She talked about how digital art is an everyday art.  Digital art is in the world everywhere and many things that we see every day we don’t specifically pinpoint it as digital art, or any art in general.
One project she talked about was an installation called “Giver of Names”, which was essentially a room with a computer pedestal, and you put any object on the pedestal and the computer would give the object a name.  This work was created by David Workby, and Flanagan used this work and other works she described to build up to create an understanding to the audience of what digital media actually consists of.
Flanagan used to work in the software industry, but she wanted to get out of all the high tech industry part of technology and see what regular everyday people were doing with this new technology.  One of her early works was with her grandmother, who was in the hospital.  She wanted to portray an older woman through her work because she hadn’t seen much artwork with the subject as an old, powerful woman.
She talked about one project called “Rootings” which is a series of several different arcade games.  It is shown live on her website 24 hours a day.  Basically what it is are sets of games that show personal memories of time and memories.  One of them is stories about “nightmare at night”.  You would just shoot the narrative out as you’re playing at different asteroids.  If you shoot the narratives too fast, you miss the whole story or the ‘nightmares.’  Another one of the arcade games is about a letter from her grandmother that talked about how there was nothing left that she could do but shop.  In the game you have to collect different pieces until you can piece together her grandmother’s whole letter.  This interactive project brings together elements of storytelling and game play.
She also discussed a hardware mapping project called “Virtual PC” in which the system would open up window upon window of anything the particular person has ever done on their own personal computer.  This work would bring about a personal response because it is everything that the individual has done on their computer, and it is unique to each person.  She was talking about one friend of hers that tried it out and immediately closed his computer because a nostalgic snippet of an e-mail popped up on his computer screen.
Mary Flanagan is an interactive digital artist whose work shows a personal view of herself and of the participant interacting with her projects.  Her interactive works are meant to be fun and/or interesting, and shows the audience or participant into her personal life and into their own personal life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exhibition Critique - Second Life Gallery

For my first exhibition critique, I decided to venture into Second Life and search through the many galleries that are exhibited through an art class at California State University.  The first few minutes were a little tough, trying to maneuver my avatar around the space and figuring out how to effectively use my avatar to see the virtual world.  Eventually I got situated and was able to successfully walk my character around the space and explore the virtual world around me.
I walked my avatar through many of the different galleries in the virtual CSULB, which was a very different experience from a typical art gallery.  As I walked, the music changed from place to place, and some galleries you could only access through a portal door while others you could walk your avatar to from a starting point.  My favorite gallery that I came across was an underwater exhibit that was created by Ali Smith.  She is a painter, and decided to display her paintings through the virtual medium of Second Life.  Her paintings were displayed in transparent bubble-like spheres underwater, and most of her work was abstract.  Some of her work was completely chaotic, while other paintings were caricatures of dogs.  Toward the back of her exhibit were photographs of her with her dogs and of her actually creating the paintings. When you clicked on one of these photographs, you could get a short bio about Ali and her artwork.
This experience was like nothing I had ever seen before, because I had never been a part of immersing myself into a virtual world.  From my tour through Second Life, I found so many different interesting things that I found myself losing track of time and completely finding myself attentive to only the Second Life world.  I think the coolest aspect of this was that there are endless possibilities to what one can to with a gallery in Second Life.  For instance, Ali’s showcase was underwater in giant domes, and you had to really search it out before you could find it.
Of the many galleries I stumbled upon, I chose Ali’s because it seemed the most interesting to me.  However, it wasn’t so much her artwork that appealed to me, but the setting that her artwork was displayed in.  She used the virtual space well to portray her paintings, and any exhibit-goers would definitely feel a sense of connection to her pieces and to the exhibit itself as well.

FInal Project

Part 1: Iraqi Memorial

(click picture to follow web link)

For the first part of our final projects, I decided to submit a proposal to The website is made up of artist's proposals for different types of ways to commemorate the fallen soldiers and/or civillians of the Iraq war. My proposal was to create a virtual memorial site in Second Life. I came up with this concept as I was exploring the many different locations within the virtial world, Second Life.  I think the idea is a great addition to the already numerous proposals submitted by artists all over the world.

Part 2: Learning to Love You More

On the Learning to Love You More website, there are several different assignments listed for one to complete. The idea is to do the assignment and document it to go up on their website.

Assignment #10 - Make a flier of your day

In this assignment, we were to create a flyer about our day, print out a bunch of the fliers, then post the fliers around our neighborhood.

Assignment # 11 - Photograph a scar and write about it

The matching scars on my shins are a product of a less-than-intelligent snowboarding accident.  It had been a pretty nice day in Reno, being that it was early January.  My friend Alex and I decided to head up to Boreal to do a few runs, since night boarding was about to start.  We both liked Boreal a lot because it was cheap, and the runs, while very short, were also a lot of fun.  We got there and decided to try to hit a few of the baby jumps, just to see if we could do it.  Neither of us were really too experienced, but we had a lot of fun attempting, and then crashing.  The one trick we always wanted to try was the box.  It was a very small box, and we’d seen many people going across it, but for some reason it seemed very intimidating.  We decided to take a shot and just go for it.  Alex went first, made it all the way across the box, and landed flawlessly at the other end.  It didn’t seem too impressive, there really wasn’t much too it.  Next, it was my turn.  I approached the box at a medium speed, and then hopped up onto it.  That’s when things started to go wrong.  I lost my balance and started falling forward.  My board came off the box and my legs cut into the edge, still scaling the box from the momentum of my speed.  I reached the end, and fell face first into a pile of snow.  I reached for my shins, clutching the bloody mess that was the gaping holes in my legs.  I have never tried to master another box.

Assignment # 55 - Photograph a significant outfit

“The outfit I wore the first time I was kicked out of a casino for gambling. I already had $250 of winnings in my pockets”
Part 3: Collected Visions
For this project, we had to create photo essays either using photos provided on the Collected Visions website, or photos of our own.
Some people are simply born well mannered. They will do what their mother tells them, listen to their teachers, and always say please and thank you. These, we call the good-eggs. What kind of egg will you be?

Youtube Remix

(click picture to watch project)

For this project, we collected any videos we wanted on Youtube to play in a sequence all together. For my project, I knew I wanted the sound to somehow go together, and I wanted a centerpiece to be the main focus of the video. I think the dogs looking around at all the noise going on around them was a contrast to the noise-maiking heads that surrounded them. Since I enjoy Youtube, I enjoying taking part in this project, it was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chindogu - The Anti Blah-Blah-Blah

The Chindogu is described as an ingenious invention that actually has no practical use what-so-ever. Our invention is the Anti-Blah-Blah, which is an apparatus that allows no sound to be heard when attached to a child (or noisy adult.) The advertisment and the invention were both created for our art 245 project, the Anti-Blah-Blah-Blah is not for sale.