Sunday, March 31, 2013

Acconci Reading

"The model for a new public space is pop music. Music is time and not space; music has no place, so it doesn’t have to keep its place, it fills the air and doesn’t take up space. Its mode of existence is to be in the middle of things; you can do other things while you’re in the middle of it. You’re not in front of it, and you don’t go around it, or through it; the music goes through you, and stays inside you." -- Vito Acconci
This passage from Acconci's reading affected me the most.  I felt that what Acconci was trying to express was that our modern society, in a way, needs pop music.  In many areas, urbanization has spread and in almost all of these urban areas, public space has become more pervasive and almost inescapable in day-to-day life.  In a way, pop music and social networks are similar, yet they require different levels of effort.  For those who live in these areas, pop music is a non-threatening and simple medium for public space.  Like Acconci stated, another reason why music isn't as pervasive as physical public space is that you do not have to be fully cognitively committed to music; you can listen to music while physically or cognitively committed to other activities such as homework or exercise.  The relationship between the song and the individual goes one way, through the ears and "inside you"; you do not need to converse or interact directly with the song to get satisfaction.

In public spaces (for example, like a shopping mall), you may hear a popular song playing over an intercom, coming through someone's headphones, or you may be listening to the song yourself.  Pop music is interesting in a way because it normalizes and unifies our society, if only for a brief moment.  For example, take Adele's "Rolling In The Deep".  Any two individuals from across the country may not have hardly anything in common, and yet they both more than likely know a few lines from the song's lyrics or at least the song's main melody.  Along with individuals with opposing qualities, music can also bring together people who share the same tastes as well, with subcultures such punk and rap enthusiasts.  Overall, I agree with Acconci's views.  Almost every person knows that pop music unifies people across the globe but not many have thought of pop music enough to begin to theorize it as public space.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Travis Price

By Travis Price
     Travis Price is an Australian vector-based illustrator. A good portion of his work is put onto tees, in magazines, and is used as logos. Price grew up in Victoria, Australia. He recognizes the influence of graffiti art and the skateboarding lifestyle in his own art: he began sketching in his free time while taking public transportation, where seeing intricate and beautiful graffiti is commonplace. Along with his commercial work, Price also has developed a kid's clothing line, Mister Mista, as well as a collaborative art group, Triiike.
"Pop Vectorism" by Travis Price
     What drew me to Travis' work was his versatility. I skimmed his portfolio and there is a huge variety of style and technique. In an interview by vector tuts+, Travis states that his main tools he uses are "ideas, journals, and Illustrator". His subject matter is also ever-changing, which reflects the nature of his career as an illustrator and his willingness to be flexible to fit his clients' needs. One work in particular, "Pop Vectorism", was quite interesting in that it looked like a painting but was made completely with vectors, a feather effect, and brush texture overlays.

"Dead Astronauts" by Travis Price

     Price's work ethic, along with his variety of artistic style and technique is commendable, and has allowed him to go very far in the commercial art business. He has worked with Nike, Computer Arts Projects Magazine, Globe and Blindside Skateboards, and many more companies. His vector art is instantly likable, his characters are instantly recognizable, and his portfolio leaves an easily memorable feel.

Monday, February 18, 2013


A collection of friends, the famous, and those who are never forgotten.

Georg Nees

     Georg Nees was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926.  He began programming computers in the late 1950s, and was interested in particular how computer programs and algorithms could create art.  Nees wrote programs that would be used by a flat-bed pen plotter that could take the algorithms and draw out his ideas.  He was one of three artists (known collectively as the 3Ns) --Nees, Frieder Nake, and A. Michael Noll -- to start programming art using a computer, and all 3Ns debuted their works in three small art shows in 1965.  Nees was the first of the three, thus he became the first person to publicly exhibit his digital art in an art show.  
"Schotter" by Georg Nees

     In one of Nees' works, "Schotter", visually expresses order and sequence gradually being broken down into chaos and disarray.  To explain it shortly, Nees created this work by telling the program how many rows and columns there are, how many squares go into each row, and how severe the squares in each row are randomly angled.

"Sculpture" by Georg Nees

     In another work, "Sculpture”, Nees created the first computer-programmed sculpture.  He was able to program the sequence and run it through a Stochastic Script Machine.  In his program, Nees outlined the dimensions of each rectangle and it's placement in the sculpture, as well as the overall dimensions of the sculpture itself.

     I believe that Nees' art is interesting because he took the idea of creativity and limited it to the bounds of computer science, where randomness is actually pseudorandom and where objects must be precisely placed.  Initially, his art, along with most other digital art, was not seen as such because he did not draw his work directly by hand.  However, as the definition of art began to expand as modern artists became increasingly innovative.  Without his contributions, the definition of art would not be the same as it is today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Celebrity Mashup

Nicolas Cage and Adrien Brody

To create this glorious celebrity mashup, a combination of Photoshop tools were used. I used the spot healing brush tool, the healing brush tool, and the blur tool to smooth out Nic's skin. To add Nic's third eye, I used the patch tool on both sides eyes. I also lightened up the jaw with the dodge tool to add Adrien's mouth and used the burn tool around Adrien's eyebrows to add depth. I changed Nic's third eye color with the color replacement tool and finally added Adrien's hair using Free-Transform. Voila!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Photoshop Image Adjustments


This is an old family photo showing me (in the pink!), my older sister, and three of my younger cousins. The water and the bright sun added tons of overexposure and hid some details, so I adjusted these using levels and the shadows/highlights window. I also brightened the photo up and used the Replace Color tool on some of the water to get a cool blue effect behind the focus.

This is another, older photo of my sister and cousin. I altered the levels a bit to remove the strong green effect over the photo. I also adjusted some shadows in the shadows/highlights window, so more details would show through. It's remarkable how much hidden information a photo carries in the shadows, especially in older photos such as these. I also had a little fun by intensifying the red hues on Mr. Magneto's helmet and Miss Viking's sweet wheels.

Technology Log (Attempt At Avoiding Technology)

Saturday, January 26th 2013

10:15 - Received a call
10:20 - Checked Blackboard on laptop
10:30 - Checked e-mail 
11:30 - Went to brunch and swiped OneCard
12:15 - Went to Daily Grind with friends, purchased food with OneCard
12:20 to 12:30 - Texted on phone
12:20 - Went to Library, used computer to check e-mail and submit my radio show time schedule
12:45 - Opened QA door with OneCard, put food in refrigerator
12:50 - Went upstairs to friend's room and watched a movie on her laptop
2:40 - Used OneCard to enter Monty's Mac Lab
2:40 - Used iMac to work on collage
3:30 to 3:45 - Texted on phone
3:45 - Left Monty, used OneCard to Enter QA
3:50 to 4:35 - Made a call and checked Facebook simultaneously
5:00 - Went to dinner, swiped OneCard
6:00 - Went back to QA, used OneCard
6:15 - Used my phone to look at music chords to play my instrument
7:00 - Went upstairs to friends' room, played videogames
8:00 to 9:30 - Did some homework using an e-book on my laptop
9:30 to 10:30 - Watched a few episodes of my favorite show on my laptop
10:30 to 11:00 - Checked Facebook
11:00 - Set alarm for tomorrow
11:00 to 11:45 - Received a call

As you can see, technology is unavoidable, especially on a campus where having a OneCard is a necessity, and when all of your classes require for you to use a computer. To avoid checking my phone constantly, I put a piece of tape over the front and wrote "don't check!". Without that reminder, I probably would have checked it dozens of times. However, I did not go so far as to ignore my friends when they reached out to me by text or by calling me. I also caved into Facebook twice that day as well.

Kazuki Takamatsu

"Alone" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2010

Contemporary artist Kazuki Takamatsu creates breathtaking forms by employing both modern graphic design and traditional painting. Glowing in a pitch-black abyss, Takamatsu's figures are mysterious and ethereal as they interact with the environment, other people, and objects around them. They are almost always surrounded by a hazy fog, however, they are not still. They are arranged in dynamic poses which seem like a freeze-framed moment in time. The process behind each piece is arduous, to say in the slightest. Takamatsu uses Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) to create and arrange his figures on a plane, then carefully hand paints the work using gouache (watercolors and white opaque pigments) and acrylic.

"Defense Instinct" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2009

In an interview with Hi-Fructose Magazine, Takamatsu says that he attempts to "describe each character as well-known and average". However, I feel that his characters go beyond humdrum and can be largely symbolic. Despite lacking facial features (some are even veiled or wear masks), the figures convey emotion through the way they interact and are posed. For example, the maternal figure in "Defense Instinct" has a gas-mask on, which hides her facial expression, yet she looks down upon the child and grips him tightly to her chest, which conveys a feeling of intimacy and protective steadfastness.

"Exploitation" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2011 

The combination of CGI and painting should not be seen as 'cheating', as the compositions and placing of each detail is all Takamatsu's. However, when browsing through Takamatsu's work, the most pivotal question I kept asking myself was 'Why?' Why does Takamatsu take the time to paint each of the figures when he could print out his CGI work? Perhaps he finds significance in paint medium, or simply chooses to demonstrate his skill in tricking the eye. Overall, I find Takamatsu's work to be quite innovative and impressive. He addresses raw human emotion and feeling through his cutting-edge technique.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scanner Art and Composition



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

"What Will People Think?", Annu Palakunnathu Matthew 1999

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew's photography-based art focuses on race and gender relations and is largely influenced by her own personal background. She was born in Britain and lives in the United States. Her Indian background has influenced much of her work, as shown in her Bollywood satire posters which depict dramatic scenes of star-crossed lovers and imminent nuclear doom:

"Bomb", Annu Palakunnathu Matthew 1999

These works are a type of "critical commentary on the societal expectations" (source) that Matthew faced as an Indian woman. Bollywood, which is known for its blatant depictions of sexism and classicism, is stripped down to its raw core, as seen in "What Will People Think?" and "Bomb". I feel that it is highly successful because it draws attention to the main problems that Matthew feels are at hand with the Bollywood movie industry.

In other works, Matthew attempts to go back to her time growing up in India and depict how it has changed since then. Her series, "Memories of India" are a series of photos taken from Matthew's own family and friends, and shows small but memorable scenes:

"Tree" Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

"Rickshaw" Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Overall, I feel that the use of black and white adds a sense of nostalgia to these scenes. Her work gives a valuable personal insight to her time in India, and the way that many of these photos are taken gives an intimate, individual point of view.