Sunday, December 13, 2015

Kevin Chen Artist Talk

Kevin Chen was a very interesting artist that spoke in the Wells Fargo Auditorium on campus.  His main focus of art was generally based around cartography, maps, and population.  In addition to being an artist, he also talked about works that he has helped with being a curator.
One main quote that he mentioned a couple times during his talk about his own work was, "Its not the size, it's the scale."  He practically lived by the meaning of that quote, and that was entirely represented by his work.  A lot of his work was depending on the study of population growth, and where and how rapidly our population will grow to.
One of his works was a time counter of population growth.
He had a few global color scale maps of population density.
His main works that he showed us was his very small fictional city scapes, which were about the size of a penny in height.  His miniature city-scapes included various architectural styles worldwide.  In some of his exhibitions displaying his work, there were magnifying glasses to help the viewers see his cityscapes.  These tiny cityscapes were produced on paper and mounted on aluminum sheets.

Art 451: Video of final game being played in exhibition

Before the exhibition we finished our game.  We had troubles trying to get the trees to change color, so we stayed with the environment that we already had finished.  In addition to that, we created many more sounds, and also added more objects for each of those sounds as well.  During the exhibition, I decided to film one of the visitors playing the game, unfortunately you cannot see the full effect of the room because of our dimming the lights to enhance the projection.  Nonetheless, here it is: 

Art 451: 2 Object Creations

We created two more objects that emit very unique sounds in our game environment.  Here is the first one:
This is a ghost-like tree that has wiggly and moving branches.
Here is the next object we made:  
This object is a rectangular prism shape that has a translucent appearance, but also has a soundwave-like aesthetic on each face of the prism.

Art 451: Object creation

Here is one of the objects we have created to emit these sounds.
This object changes forms rapidly and is very angular.  It creates its own very unique sound.

Art 451: Game Progress

After focusing on structuring the environment of the game, we started collaborating with each other specifically on how are game is going to be designed and function.  Finally we came to the conclusion that our game will be a free-roaming environment with slightly color changing grass.  Considering it's a sound-exploration game, we had to think of just how we were going to utilize sound in the environment we had already constructed.  We came to the decision that we were going to add various objects that look different from each other, and the closer you get to each of these individual objects, they will emit loud and strange sounds.  The sounds the objects emit, will get quieter the further you travel from it, and louder the closer you travel toward it.

Art 451: Progress

We've started focusing a lot more on structuring the environment of the game for the time being.  Here is a photo representing a small portion of the area.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Art 451: Controller and Start Screen

This week Connor and I worked on adding more detail in our environment for the game as well as adding a few more sounds.  We are currently working on a start screen, and we got a ps3 controller to function properly with our game as well.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Art 451: Exhibition Location Ideas

We talked to Larry Dailey to reserve a space in the "Google Room" inside of the journalism building.  This space should be occupied with no problems on December 7th for a few hours.  Here is a picture of the inside of the Google Room for a quick idea of where our exhibition will be. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Art 451: Character Development

This week Connor and I split our work for the most part.  On Connor's blog you can see the progress that he worked on a 3D generated environment built in unity.  While I worked mostly on building a character in maya.  This is the "sound robot" that I built in maya, and this character is absolutely not the final or official character that we will be building.

Art 451: Sound Research, and character ideas.

For this week Connor and I were trying to decide how we were going to be coming up with the sounds to be utilized in our sound exploration game, and how its going to be implemented.  We thew around ideas as to whether or not we would be recording all of our own sounds, or using free sounds that could be grabbed from online, and we came to the conclusion that it would be much more authentic if we utilized our own recordings only to make a more organic game.
This week as well, we were trying to come up with a main character idea.  Here is a sketch I made for the potential main character:

Art 451: Progress

For this week we spent a little more time working with that same unity 2D side scroller. The code that you saw in the previous post helped generate a sidescrolling platform with a moving foreground and background of different speeds, as well as a random object generator, in this case the object is the table seen in this video.

Art 451: Progress

This week we officially started playing with unity a bit and trying to learn how to code and learn how to use it better.  For the sake of learning, we started playing around with a 2D tutorial from Lynda, which was pretty helpful.  Here is some of the code we've been working with this week: 

Art 451: Research

We are still researching how we want to approach making this game, and have looked at other games for good examples.  In order to make a sound exploration game it has become apparent to us that we will need to record a lot of different sounds, as well as make something as aesthetically pleasing as the sound is.  One of the games we looked into is called SimTunes.
There's also a few games we looked at that allow the player to create any beat that they would like and make a decent sounding song out of it, and it was always randomly used in any given way. 

Art 451: Concept

Both Connor and myself wanted to design a game utilizing unity as more of a sound exploration game.  We threw around ideas as to whether or not we wanted it to be 2d or 3d, and we decided to dabble with making a 3D game.  Aesthetically we still haven't come up with any ideas, but we are still getting used to coding in unity for now.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Artist Talk: Teching Hsieh

Teching Hsieh

            Teching Hsieh is a performance artist known for his one-year works that take an extreme amount of dedication and perseverance to complete.  During his artist talk he mentioned, “One year is just a small dent compared to the whole lifetime.”  This quote by him essentially becomes the justification for his works as a whole. 
            For starters, his work, “Cage”, was the most intriguing piece that has been completed by him in my opinion.  During the duration of his talk, I could not imagine having to sit in a cage for an entire year deliberately without being an actual prisoner.  This makes me wonder whether or not he is consciously “othering” him from actual prisoners which is another reason why this piece stood out to me the most.  He had little to no human contact for the duration of this piece, and he scratched a tally mark for every single day that passed until he reached one year. 

            The second piece that stood out to me was his “Outdoor Piece”.  Going back to the statement made earlier, I am still wondering whether or not he intended to other himself from homeless people.  He deliberately lived outdoors in the city for an entire year without stepping inside once.  During his talk he mentioned that he did not trust or the homeless people that he encountered and thus never tried to associate with them.  I found this ironic considering his was actually homeless, on his very own accord for the sake of art, and had no intentions of having any sort of relations with any actual homeless people. 

Artist Exhibition: Pink Elephants on Parade

Pink Elephants on Parade Review
            The exhibition created by Nick van Woert, Pink Elephants on Parade; located in Church of Fine Arts made use of the concept of how humans interact and make use of various resources because it is a compelling subject that grabs the viewers’ eye.  Throughout the exhibition there are eight sculptures and installations that have been placed at various parts of the room.  At first glance, there appeared to be no correlating theme between any of the pieces in the gallery, however after proper scrutiny I could conclude the theme between the pieces was about resources, and the human interaction with the resources.
            As you walk into the gallery, there is a sculpture that immediately greets your eyes at the door.  From the backside which faces the viewer as the viewer walks into the gallery, it just looks like a messy black splatter, which intrigued me to figure out what the rest of the sculpture looked like around the side.  After finding a different view, this piece appears to represent an unhealthy shift of power between man and nature.  It seems as though the character in this sculpture is Poseidon, “Greek god of the sea”, that is covered in oil and is struggling to escape from this oil entrapment.  Now the shift in power is that the artist is trying to tell the viewers that not even a god can escape the disastrous effects of human consumption of resources such as oil.  I believe this piece could even be a reference to the most recent oil disaster that occurred that, four years later, is still having an effect and killing wildlife within the Mexican Gulf. 
            After moving further into the gallery, on the immediate right hand side of the room there seemed to be some sort of throne-like sculpture that was made out of various resources trapped in glass.  In relation to the first piece involving oil and Poseidon, this sculpture appears to be taking on this idea that humans are in charge to a new level.  This idea that if this sculpture is in fact representing a throne, this entails that the person imagined to be sitting on the throne is literally sitting atop of various resources.  A throne, in other words, implies a monarchy or some sort of representation of power.  That being said, have a throne made out of those various resources implies that the person that sits on this throne is representing the power humans have over using these resources. 
            While there is the use of resource consumption, this also implies the gravity of human development and industrial technology.  There is a piece that is created out of stainless steel that lies on the ground as is in the middle of the gallery space.  It looks as though this piece was created to represent the use of resources that has brought us so far as to create automobiles and other forms of heavy machinery, which as it exists, consumes resources to function as well.  In this case, this looks to be an exhaust skeleton or frame that represents a car.  That being said, a car use a notorious piece of machinery that is one of the main reasons as to why we produce and consume so much oil.  Which, of course, makes a connection to that very first sculpture referencing an oil spill, which was due to our high demand for the consumption of oil. 
            The only piece that was actually hung up on the wall was a piece that was set in two separate but identical parts.  This is one of the few pieces in the gallery that actually has a name, America Pine Bark.  The dimensions of the frame are 84x58 inches and 3 inches thick.  Inside of the frame of this piece, there is bark from a tree seamlessly placed within to create a flat surface.  What I personally could not wrap my head around with this piece, was the idea of knowing that trees are round, and therefore bark is also rounded, but how could the artist possibly have flattened out the bark in such a way that made it seem like it was stuck on a flat canvas.  Let alone, the fact that the bark seems to be just one big, unhindered piece that was placed there.  There seems to be no such cracks or any marks or any visual signs whatsoever that implies that he simply patched a piece up with stray pieces of bark.  Now in addition to that though, this piece took a while for me to make a connection with the rest of the work viewed in the gallery.  There was no oil representation, no metal, no human-like interaction that appeared to be involved, simply all I saw was flattened bark in a frame on the wall.  However, I began to realize that in the most literal sense possible, trees are in fact a resource.  In this particular case, a tree was used as a resource to create art in a gallery to be viewed.  Although, I do not think that this was the idea of representation that Nick van Woert had in mind when creating this piece, but I feel that it cleverly does symbolize and connect with the rest of the gallery.
            In terms of how the gallery works were presented throughout, I believed some of the pieces to be presented effectively, however, other pieces I believed were presented very poorly.  I thought it was great for that very first piece to be placed right near the doorway because that gives the viewer an immediate sense of what is going on.  I also thought the American Pine Bark was installed very effectively as well.  However, there were a few pieces in the gallery that it seemed like there was not much thought in terms of how or where they wanted to place them.  Although, Nick van Woerts’ work was definitely effective regardless of placement and presentation, because it forced me, as a viewer, to think about each individual piece, and want to see more in the future.

Artist Talk: Joel Swanson

Joel Swanson is an artist that primarily practices with digital media, sculptures, and interactive design projects.  His main focus throughout his work was implementing linguistic and literary theory.  His work practices the linguistic materials and thematics of various parts of written language.  However, some works are better than others, and although I respect his attempts at practicing one continuous theme throughout his work, I find a lot of his work to be somewhat bland.
His piece, "Lady Gaga's Twitter Feed, Translated into Morse Code", is an exceptional use of digital media and quite an interesting idea comparing and contrasting two completely different styles of communication.  While Twitter is referencing our use of modern day communication, he correlates it with morse which has been around for many years.  However, in my opinion, once you look past the surface meaning of the comparing new communications versus old communications, I find this work to lack any real meaning.  A lot of his work is extremely heavy handed towards his obvious theme toward language, and there's no way around it.  Maybe that's the beauty of his work that some people might love and desire, however, considering most all of his work only has a surface level meaning, I don't necessarily find it intriguing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ART 350 Final Project

This project is a response to technology and our society’s reliance and attentiveness towards it. I created a 3D model and placed it in front of a TV that has Google street view on the screen.  I then used a camera to take pictures of the model being placed in front of the TV in order to create a stop motion video.  Finally, I have the video being projected by a pocket projector device while the actual 3D model is seen in front of the projected image.  This process is a very heavy handed and redundant response toward technology use within our society.

In addition to that, in terms of context, I painted the car model red because that is intended to be an “attention grabber” while driving through some of the most popular streets in the world as a portrayal of how technology captures our eyes everywhere we go. These streets, for reference, are: The Las Vegas Strip, Abbey Road in London, Hollywood Boulevard in LA, La Rambla in Barcelona, 7th Street/ Times Square in NY, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The shift of focus between the car model and the background images is a nauseating attempt at portraying our shift of attention with technology.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Vignette Project

This is a stop motion video featuring a 3D modeled car as the main subject, while the video involves pictures of midtown Reno, Lake Tahoe, and partially Seattle.  Each location is pulled up off of google street view, and each frame of the stop motion video is from the google street view progressing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chromakey Video Project

Here is a video I made for the chromakey project involving a green screen, a donald duck plush toy, and I used a stock beach video for the background.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Art 350s First Project

     For my first project in Art 350s, I have created a kinetic sculpture.  This piece is largely influenced by the extremely constructive artist Zimoun and his kinetic works.  More specifically, Zimouns' piece with DC motors that whip around wire with cotton balls attached at the end, inside of various boxes.  Not only is Zimouns' work visually appealing, but he heavily utilizes the sounds created by his kinetic sculptures as a main premise.  Also, within my piece, I tried to reference Heideggers' idea behind enframing and the use of technology.  While Heidegger references that people in our society are too far advanced with technology, there is no more escaping technology as a whole.  Also referencing the idea that technology is made and supposed to have some sort of purpose, rather than technology being a self-destructive or futile life.
     With my own kinetic sculpture, I've tried to touch up on all of the previous statements by Zimoun and Heidegger.  In explaining how it works, this aluminum circular frame, which has a cardboard base, holds a dc motor in the middle with a piece of wire attached to it.  The motor is wired to an arduino board that is coded to tell the motor what patterns to spin at.  The motor is shifted very slightly from the center so that the wire is only long enough to scrape one side of the circular aluminum frame.  The use of the wire spinning around with a DC motor and hitting the side of the frame, thus creating sound is where my influence from Zimoun rose from.  The frame itself, containing the dc motor and arduino board within is the literal reference to Heideggers' idea on "enframing".  The more specific part of my piece, however, is where the noise is created, much like Zimoun.  While the overall aesthetic of the piece looks a whole lot like a clock might look, the arduino is coded to have the wire and small chain spin around for about 9 revolutions before it stops.  In addition to that, according to the statistics of iPhones sold in the year 2014, just about nine iPhone devices, more or less, were sold every second worldwide.