Thursday, December 12, 2013

Final Project: Second Life Creations

Here is are pictures of my comparison between me in meat space and avatar-darius:


And now here are pictures of my imaginary costume + My object I made using the build tool.  (My objects' name is Super Cannonman)

During this project, I am not going to lie, I really started to hate SecondLife.  However, after a while I was getting used to it and caught on rather quickly.  The object creating/ build tool was very similar to Blender so, I personally had a lot of fun with creating "Super Cannonman".

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Manovich Questions

1: If our society is spending more and more time in the digital world and becoming more comfortable with it, do we value our lives digitally less than, more than, or equally as much as our real-world lives?

2: On that note, being on social media websites and spending time digitally we create identities and reputations outside of our physical lives. How important is it to the average person in our society that interaction and identity exists in the digital world?

Final Writing Assignment Bibliography

  • Eyebeam, and moving Image Studio. "Darrin Martin" Eyebeam Front Page. Eyebeam, 2002. Web. 8 Dec 2013
  • Eyebeam. "Nova Jiang" Eyebeam Front Page. Eyebeam, 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
  • Jiang, Nova. "Landscape Abbreviated." Nova Jiang. Wave Hill Sunroom Project Space, July 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. 
  •  Martin, Darrin. "The State I'm In." The State I'm In. N.p., 2002. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

Final Writing Assignment

Darrin Martin and Nova Jiang
Artists, Darrin Martin, and Nova Jiang are quite elaborate in their works with attempts to make an augmentative perception with how a viewer or participant will conceive a particular train of thoughts after engaging in the art because of their works that induce creative thought. In Nova Jiang’s Landscape Abbreviated, she creates a maze that encourages participation from viewers to engage with the robotic, changing maze. Darrin Martin, on the other hand, by use of contrasting materials in his installation, The State I’m In, it creates a psychological battle for any viewer that is being involved with the room of the piece. Both, Darrin Martin and Nova Jiang, encourage a large amount of psychological battle within their works and have plenty of similarities, however both are extremely different in other aspects in regards to functionality and participation. Unfortunately, I was not able to contact either of the artists which I chose to receive further detail about their works and their lives, however I have been able to research enough about each artist.
 Nova Jiang was born in 1985 in China and then she grew up in New Zealand. Later in her life she attended UCLA where she majored in The Department of Digital Media Arts and received her MFA in 2009 from that institution. Nova likes to create art that seeks to engage people with participation and open-ended involvement. Her primary concern in her art is creating a sense of “community” with the people who interact with her art. She attempts to bring people together based through thought processes and inspires curiosity in the hearts of those who engage in order to open their minds to the possibilities in their immediate surroundings. Many of her works that she has created throughout her life are based off of digitally implementing randomly generated algorithms and mathematics to create simulations for participants to engage in. In her most recent work, she has a camera that automatically takes pictures of whomever is within the picture-taking space, and then the software instantly generates a new, random comic book strip for the participants.
 In the piece, Landscape Abbreviated, by Nova Jiang, she created a kinetic maze that is made out of planters and rotating machines to give off an impression of it being a interactive garden. Quoting her artists’ statement for this work, “Landscape Abbreviated is a kinetic maze consisting of modular elements with rotating planters, which form a garden that is simultaneously a machine. I am interested in the way that simple interventions can make the experience of space dynamic and unpredictable. The planters are controlled by a software program that continuously generates new maze patterns based on mathematical rules; they rotate to form shifting pathways that encourage visitors to change direction and viewpoints as they move through the space. I envision this sculpture not as a classical labyrinth built to ensnare, but rather as an architectural abbreviation of grand ideas. In this way, the maze relates to literature, mathematical beauty, game play and the rigor of software programming, as much as it does to architecture and landscape. The planters contain live moss collected from the sides of buildings, cracks in the pavement, subway grates and other urban nooks and crannies in New York City’s landscape. Full of particles of broken glass, plastic and other detritus, they form a patchwork of unintentional archaeology.” (
 Darrin Martin, on the other hand, is an artist that uses video, sculpture, and installation as his primary motives for his works. He likes to measure how technology can be used to modify our perceptions of daily life. He studied video at Alfred University and received his BFA in 1992 at that institution. He also received his MFA in the year 2000 at the University of San Diego. Darrin Martin is an internationally known artist whom has participated in multiple video and art festivals world wide such as: The Modern Museum of Art, DIA Center for the Arts, Los Angeles Museum for Contemporary Arts, Pacific Film Archives, and The European Media Art Festival in Germany. Currently, Darrin Martin is now an assistant professor, teaching video and media arts at The University of California, Davis. Unlike, Nova Jiang’s works, Darrin Martin’s works are not necessarily participation based, however, his works to provoke a great deal of thought and perception in regards to questioning reality and certainty. Darrin’s works also focus on questioning a viewer’s psychological thought process when interacting with his art.
 Based upon Darrin Martin’s piece, The State I’m In, we can assume that Martin was using a technique that he has been known for, which is to push the psychological perception and the limits of any viewers sanity. The artists’ statement that Darrin has posted with this piece is, “Installation used in video Monograph in Stereo, wood and foam bedding. A room is half covered in egg crate foam material and half bare. A singular window breaks the bare side’s scarcity and wood paneling covers the floor. In the room’s center, a rectangular foam and wood structure sits interrupted by its own concavity.” ( Based off of the sheer contrast between both sides of this room installation, we can create a hypothesis that Darrin Martin wanted to either give off the impression of creating a “Right side of the brain, compared to the left side of the brain” feel. Or we can hypothesize that Darrin Martin would have made this installation piece to provoke a viewers thoughts in comparing their everyday lives, which in this case would be the half of the room that looks “normal”, to questioning whether or not they are actually living in a modern society with no thoughts and maybe encouraging viewers to change their lifestyle to something with more complexity, which in this case would be the egg crated, concave, crazy half of the room.
Contrasting both artists can be done in multiple different ways. For starters, Nova Jiang attempts to involve viewers and encourages them to participate with her works. Her works not only implement algorithmic properties, and digitally mechanized objects to structure her installations or pieces, but they create a sense of community amongst those who are involved. Darrin Martin, on the other hand, does not implement the use of participants during his exhibitions, and does not necessarily involve viewers to interact. His installations are more thought provoking than involvement, and compared to Nova Jiang, he likes to have people just simply view his art without interaction to be able to sit and start to concoct a meaning and hypothesis. In terms of comparing both pieces I chose from both artists, they both create a sense of complexity and simplicity. In regards to that, they both induce a “Right side of the brain compared to the left side of the brain” effect from their works. While Darrin Martin’s piece is literally contrasted right down the middle with his installation, much can be said about the deeper meaning of this piece. The plain side of the room in Darrin’s installation could be seen as the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is where we process thoughts that are to be considered logical, analytical, and mathematical. Based off the symmetry, and simplicity of the “normal” side of the room, we can say that this is the logical, straight forward and mathematical side of the room. The right side of the brain is where intuition, creativity, and holistic thoughts are created. Considering the other half of the room is crazy, different colors, different shapes, and different textures than the “normal” side of the room, we can assume that this is embracing the right side of the brain. In terms of Nova Jiang’s project, part of her piece is constructed through machines, and is entirely based off of algorithms and randomly generated mathematical responses in order to create a constantly active maze. In this sense, that entails the very definition of the thoughts in the left side of the brain, which is mathematical and logical. However, in a different way of looking at Landscape Abbreviated, we notice that her project includes planters, particles of various objects, and collected moss to give off a garden look. This part can easily be embraced as the creative right side of the brain functioning.
 Referring to our Participative Systems reading, this quote can be referenced easily in Nova Jiang’s set of works, “Interaction: “acting upon each other.” Interaction might occur between people, between people and machines, between machines, or between artwork and audience. However, examples of humans and machines or humans and artworks truly acting upon each other are relatively rare.” The reading also mentions the interaction of people pressing buttons or triggers to interact with a machine or program even in reference to art. As a whole this entails greatly with digital media, however referencing Nova Jiang’s works, this is spot on. Nova Jiang allows audiences to work hands-on with her work and interact with it, as well as they have the ability to be able to press buttons, pull triggers, or visually and physically interact with the piece.

Project #7: Make Great Art

I had a lot of fun doing this project! The use of photoshop to manipulate some of my original images and then being able to piece them together frame by frame was actually kind of exciting for me. I cropped out the eyes of my sunglasses and replaced them with various different pictures of space, which is vaguely supposed to represent my interest in learning about astronomy in a sense. I also filtered a picture of Tahoe for the background to flash between black and white, to a colorized image. I used Tahoe specifically because Tahoe is a reachable destination for myself and it is comparatively as beautiful as space! As for the image of my face... I only have a mustache once or twice every year for a limited amount of time, so I wanted to make good use of it in my art!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


The overall creativity of the advanced students for this project was phenomenal! Even though I went to the exhibit early, before it actually started, I was still able to observe the works and talk to some of the people in there about what was being displayed in the hallway. The use of old records, as it seems, could be limitless for art. The amounts of pieces there that not only looked interesting and were able to be interacted with was so fun and exciting. The moment you walk up the stairway and seeing the broken record pieces hanging from strings right in your face, to seeing the Christmas tree of broken records as well made the experience not only interesting, but also provoked a lot of thought for me. It was really interesting to see the different thought processes of students, with a project like this, from our same University, and seeing how much creativity each student has. It gave me hope for my future here at the University and what I will be able to achieve and create with the semesters to come. My favorite piece in the hallway, however, was the records that had been smashed into pieces by the mousetrap, which was in the corner of the hallway. I am not entirely sure why, but I sat and stared at that piece for quite a bit of time trying to grasp if there was supposed to be a larger meaning for it, or if it was simply just the destruction of records via mousetrap. I still haven’t found an answer to it, but I found the piece very thought-provoking and that made it stand out the most to me.

Phyllis Schaeffer Lecture

Phyllis Schaeffer Lecture Phyllis Schaeffer was a very inspirational artist and speaker for me because she was able to show me how subjective to change a person’s style of art can be throughout their lifetime. She began her lecture introducing herself and followed that with just little facts about her life. She is originally from the east coast and then eventually moved down to California. Each of her locations of living was a huge aspect in terms of her artistic style based on her influences. Phyllis began her artistic lifestyle by painting a lot of surrealist pieces that provoke a lot of thought. The use of landscape and outside surroundings are usually her primary motivation and influence for her work, no matter where her living locations were. For a while she lived in Oakland and still partially painted surrealist works over there but more influenced by the landscape than her early works. Later she moved down to Berkley and taught art in the bay area there. She received her MFA in Berkley, which they were adamant to give to her because of her strange artistic style. Later in her life she was invited to teach art history at TMCC in Tahoe, and on a whim, moved there to start a new lifestyle. She eventually realized how much she loved the Tahoe and mountain landscapes, and started from there to work on her current style of art. She usually goes out to different spots throughout that area, and pins down her canvas in the middle of the wilderness and then paints as much as she can to represent the exact landscape that is in front of her. After that, she takes her pieces home and works on them and tweaks them to give off her style and abstractness to each of her works. My favorite piece of hers that she presented during her lecture was “Echo Lake”, which, as ordinary as it sounds, is her style of painting the landscape of Echo Lake. I thoroughly enjoyed her lecture and thought she was a very inspirational woman and have immediately taken an interest to her works of art.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Digital Divide Reading Questions

1. Bishop mentions that a digital film can be copied infinitely on the internet, as opposed to an analog film, which is why analog films maintain their "uniqueness". Why is it that art on the internet, which can be copied over and over again, is debatably less valuable than art that cannot be duplicated. 2. She mentions that an artist exhibited more than 4000 postcards of Niagara Falls on the internet, and that it is impossible for any one person to individually embrace each picture and that the average viewer just skims the surface of each image. At what point does digital art or images online stop being valuable because our generation is so used to skimming over the surface of an image as we browse?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

3-D Sculpture with Blender

I enjoyed tackling this project a lot because it was different than every other software we've used so far. Interacting with Blender and messing around with shapes and colors and objects was actually a lot of fun to me! In terms of creating the object itself, I used a lot of items in that represent important aspects throughout my life. The overall shape of the object is supposed to represent a very simplistic model of a video game joystick, because video games have had a pretty big impact on me throughout my life. I used a soccer ball as the ball of the joystick to represent how important soccer has been to me throughout my life. I used a pencil as the wand part of the joystick to represent how big of an impact school and education has been to me. The A and B buttons are nickels to represent the impact of having a job has had on my life within my resent years. Finally, the colors red and blue I used as the body of the joystick, simply because red and blue are my favorite colors!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Presentation Links

For my presentation, I will be referring to the artists: Nova Jiang, and Darrin Martin. For the artist Darrin Martin, I'll be using these links: For the artist Nova Jiang, I'll be using these links:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Project 5: Interventionist Media

In this project I created a satirical piece in regards to the Xbox homepage. I wanted to expose the large ordeal that everyone was so furious with Microsoft's policies with the Xbox One in my piece, and I attempted to make Microsoft look greedy as well as unprofessional with this website as much as I could. In regards to revealing their prior policies before Microsoft changed them, in my piece, I implemented some criticism that the Xbox fanbase had scolded Microsoft for, such as: "Disappointing" and "I'm switching over to PS4".

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reading #4: Tactical Media

#1: Tactical media is partially seizing the opportunity which is temporarily available to you and using the media as a source to create an antithesis of the source, a media that leaves little to no trace, and only leaves the viewer primarily with a memory. However, Tactical Media is only effective if it emphasizes how viewers experience and engage with it. We watched a video where an artist cleans the wall to make graffiti that spreads across an long tunnel, and we also watched a video consisting of individuals who used a printing press to create their own newspaper with false, but relieving information. That being said, how far does an artist have to go to make his work effective for the viewer using tactical media? Does it have to be seen by multiple eyes in order for a message to be sent? #2: In the article, it is stated that tactical media is something that is performed "on the fly" and is only completed if a viewer responds to it. Is tactical media required to be something that is performed on whim, or can it be something that has to be thought of over a period of time? Also, from a viewer standpoint, does any sort of viewer interaction fulfill the media, or does it need to strike an particular emotion for the viewer to understand what is trying to be advertised?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Project 4: Video Reenactment

Original Video by William Wegman: My Video: The Original video's goal was to make a parody out of normal deodorant advertisements by overusing the product until it makes the viewer feel uncomfortable. Although the original video was rather short, I still wanted to take the video and try to make it my own. I sprayed Old Spice deodorant on my pits/body excessively, making myself smell like a 13 year old male trying to cover up his body odor, and cut and looped segments of the original audio in order to make my video reenactment.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reading #3: Video Art Questions

1) Can film and photography be expressed and critiqued with the same love as other art forms, and is film as valuable as other media in terms of expressing oneself? 2) Early video artists pursued this media as a quest for political freedom and a means of finding ones' identity. Can we still find this passion and expression from video artists today in our culture?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Questions:

1) Benjamin states that the uniqueness is equally confronted by the aura of how something is viewed. While the aura of something will change once it has been reproduced, does a piece of art still maintain its uniqueness once it has been reproduced? 2) Artistic value is an greatly argumentative subject. That being said, based on the idea of maintaining uniqueness once it has been reproduced, do paintings and photographs have the same value? Or is the aura being captured from the naked eye, onto a painting or photograph diminishing in value? How do the two medias differ in value after reproduction?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Animation with Audio

I had failed to make any changes to the initial video, such as making the "Blam" disappear after it explodes, and making the clock and compass rotate the entire time, due to my supposed lack of saving the after effects file, however, with the time I had I was able to add audio to the existing file. I attempted to accentuate the "color explosion" with a subtle explosion noise. In addition to that, I added a clicking noise to the rotation of the binary in the background, and I also added a fire-crackling noise once the fire appears.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Digital Media Animation:

Here is my Digital Media Animation project. At first I didn't know how to tackle this project, I had no idea what parts of my project I wanted to animate and how I wanted to animate it. However, after messing around with things for a little, I eventually just stopped thinking about it and just kind of went with it until everything fit together. I wanted to enable the viewer to understand all of the ideas and colorful thoughts someone could have while also expressing the emotional frustration of everyday life at the same time.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Basic Animation Discussion Questions:

1.  After reading the article, and watching the Please Say Something short film, I noticed that all voices used are synthetic sounds.  After he mentioned that he used flat shading and never had used light sources to enhance basic shading, he said with the story being told through "verbal dialogue" he found shading unnecessary.  If he had implemented shading in the short film, would it have enhanced the film, or was the lack of realistic shadows intended to keep the simplicity of the objects?

2.  Referring to when he said "I always feel that any filter that appears to easily add a lot of beauty to an image or 3D model should be avoided", I agree with him that having a beautiful base model over a beautiful filter would be more effective, but if there was a case to use a filter that would easily enhance a frame, would it be a poor decision to consistently use the same filter throughout the piece?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project 1: Collaborative Digital Diptych Montage

 by Darius Mandegary
 by Zach Cordisco

Introspection is a term used to look inside of ones' self.  The way we approached the project was with the idea of actually going inside ones' self and what that would look like.  This proved to be extremely difficult to portray due to the nature of the project and we couldn't produce results that either of us enjoyed.  So we set off on another idea: the idea of bringing what is inside, out.  Looking inside ones' self becomes a lot easier when everything on the inside is out on the table.  With this, we wanted to use things that aren't normally expressed on the outside.  Underlying conflicts and ideas are constantly at war within a persons mind and we wanted to bring that turmoil out.  This was our idea and we ran with it.  This also allowed both of us enough creative freedom to produce two distinct works with the same 25 images.