Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Intricacies of Web Design

   Before this assignment, I knew almost absolutely nothing about web design.  Apart from the brief experiences I had had in class hammering away at my mouse attempting to link a badly-drawn icon to an even more badly-designed piece of HTML code some may recognize as my "home page," I had never even considered web design as an art.  It is, however.  Extensively.
   For this assignment, I was asked to research a singular web designer, and comment upon his or her work.  However, after searching the great recesses of the digital void for works and artists to comment upon and learn from (eventually stumbling upon a site - -)  I quickly learned that web designers mostly work in teams, most likely due to the incredibly large amount of original material it demands--images from photographers, coding from computer programmers, video from videographers, graphic designs from graphic designers, and a host of personnel that may not even be responsible for the creation of the site as they are for hosting it, or providing the server and computer power to keep it online.  To create a truly original and artistically creative website seems to be an exhaustive task.
   I am now sure there are hundreds of thousands of brilliant websites, but due to proximity and a definite theoretical parallel to an assignment I am pondering for ART214, chose to explore this site in the greatest depth, and thusly their creators:

Website -

Design firm -

   The site itself is the home page of an extensive art festival held in the Azores Islands.  An interesting enough fact, but this is not why I chose it--the entire site, and all of its information, is one page.  One, singular home page.  Rather than using links to link the user to different facets of information and data, the creators chose to use a flowchart-esque system that the user navigates throughout visually, as a journey, rather than digitally.  The resulting presentation is quite pleasing and informative, to say the least.  It achieves simplicity and theoretical mastery simultaneously--and has certainly triggered ideas that will aid me in the creation of my own.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Musical Transcription - Contemporary Jazz

   This project, created in Adobe Illustrator, is a visual, real-time translation of a musical piece by the contemporary band 3 Leg Torso.  The black and white color scheme is meant to echo musical notation, while the warped complexity is meant to portray a sense of complicated unity that stems from the seemingly-improvised musical progressions that change in tone throughout the piece.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Georg Nees: Artist Profile

  For my artist profile, I decided to research further the inspiration, methods, and works of the computer program artist Georg Nees.  Initially, I found his work aesthetically pleasing without even knowing of its digital origins, and unbiased by the knowledge of its artistic process.  In particular, I am referring to his work "Untitled (Gravel Stones)" which he created using a randomly-generating computer program and digitally-controlled "pen" to visually represent these random generations.

  I found this work's process particularly interesting; as it reminded me of the random "Zen" philosophy-inspired works of John Cage.  Although Cage's medium was less visually-portrayed than musical, the idea of controlled chaos, the carefully pruned random, I found to be quite similar.  It also very interestingly successfully and seamlessly ties together the worlds of computer programming and art in ways that I have never seen before; yet this piece was completed in the late 1960s.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Artist Proflie: Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain"

For my artist post, I wanted to pursue an artist that operated in the duration of the Dada movement, in particular the category of appropriation; due to its ties to image-appropriation in digital media creation.  I wanted to explore this relationship, and thought perhaps it would assist me in inspiration for my first digital media project, which will involve an extensive amount of digital appropriation of photographs.

Duchamp was a member of the New York Dadaist movement in the late 1950s, operating within a larger, international movement, although European and American Dada movements differed slightly, especially in terms of subject matter and artistic goals.  European Dada was a direct response to the horrors of WWI, and was thusly much graver, whereas the New York movement was less "serious."


Duchamp's artistic legacy is extensive and spans many artistic phases, but I wish to concentrate on his contribution and exploration in Dada, specifically his well-known and famous work, "Fountain," ca. 1917.  In this work, Duchamp appropriates a latrine toilet, places it on a wall, and declares it art.  However, this seemingly simple work actually helps illustrate the meaning of art: an idea and meaning applied to an object, rather than the object itself.  Placed into a exhibitory context, this latrine becomes a piece of art, with an alternate meaning, and an alternate idea behind it.  I wish to pursue a similar exploration, the expression of an idea through the morphed meaning of appropriated objects and images, through my first digital project.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Digital Technology Log

24-hour technology log:

0000 - 0100 - 1 hr computer, 4 txt msgs, 1 hr music
0100 - 0200 - 1 hr computer, 1 hr music
0200 - 0300 - 1 hr computer, 1 hr music
0300 - 0400 - 2 txt msgs, 30 min comp.
0400 - 0500 - sleep
0500 - 0600 - sleep
0600 - 0700 - sleep
0700 - 0800 - sleep
0800 - 0900 - sleep
0900 - 1000 - alarm clock, 1 txt msg
1000 - 1100 - 2 emails, 30 min computer use, 3 txt msgs
1100 - 1200 - 1 hr computer use, 2 emails
1200 - 1300 - 1 hr computer use, 1 hr music, 4 txt msgs 
1300 - 1400 - 3 txt msgs, 1 hr music, 3 emails
1400 - 1500 - 1 hr computer use
1500 - 1600 - 1 hr computer use
1600 - 1700 - 1 hr music, 3 txt msgs
1700 - 1800 - 30 min music, 2 txt msgs
1800 - 1900 - sleep
1900 - 2000 - sleep
2000 - 2100 - 1 hr computer use, 4 emails, 3 txt msgs, 30 min music 
2100 - 2200 - 1 hr computer use, 1 hr music, 2 txt msgs
2200 - 2300 - 1 hr computer use, 1 hr music, 4 txt msgs
2300 - 0000 - 1 hr computer use, 1 hr music, 2 txt msgs

The digital world never sleeps, and after seeing this visual representation of my average day schedule, apparently I rarely do too.  Needless to say, I would probably be much less sleep-deprived if I lived in a log cabin.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Three-Dimensional Scans

For this series of scans, I wanted to experiment with a wide variety of objects; to push the boundaries of the scanner and use it as a photographer would frame an image, but also in the traditional sense of scanning a two-dimensional object, which I have disappointingly little experience with.  As a result, these scans form a sort of displaced examination of the objects I happened to have in my bag at the time.  They are all quite personal to me, and have some sort of meaning in one way or another, but the question would be, is this still portrayed through this bland, naked examination of these objects, against a stark white background?  Will the viewer realize the personality in each item, or is that stripped by the complete lack of visually contextual background?  This is a question I would like to think about in the upcoming collage project. 

For this last image, I wanted to explore and push the boundaries of the scanner, and think of it as a giant camera, to create an inverted, three-dimensional image that uses negative space to draw the viewer's eye around the work.  It is a collage of some sorts I suppose, although it consists of objects in my possession alone, and therefore would not be acceptable to submit as my collage project's final product.  However, perhaps it is a new idea for me to continue exploring?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pixel Art: Image #1 (non-animated)

For my first attempt at a pixel drawing, I was originally completely stuck as to what direction I wanted to proceed in.  I ended up favoring a type of image based more upon the idea and a collision of artistic genres than a purely illustrative work, and an expression of my personal interests immediately became an inspiration.  I have a deep interest in musical composition, and while brainstorming a subject for my pixel drawing, I noticed that the extremely small, pixelated resolution of the blank photoshop document I was looking at on my monitor was not unlike a simple digital, graphic-based step-sequencer used in basic music production.

I Googled step-sequencer images, and I quickly found a free, online step-sequencer that I could use to patch together my pixel image, and use as a "musical translator" of sorts; effectively transforming musical expression into graphic expression.  The sequencer can be found at this link: and is very useful for experiencing the work in its full potential; i.e. hearing, as well as seeing the work.

Thusly, for my pixel art, I have created a visual representation of a musical phrase.  It is a simple, interactive piece that I feel encourages viewer interaction--I am hoping the viewer will use his or her computer to travel to the sequencer website, and using my work as a template, simply graphically transcribing my notes onto their own browser; allowing them to hear as well as see the work.  Perhaps this may even ignite an artistic conversation of sorts, as they build their own musical melody, and transcribe it in the same fashion, allowing others to share their creation graphically as well as musically.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Untitled (i'm feeling lucky #4)

Untitled (i'm feeling lucky #4)

This project is a direct response to the contemporary artistic discussion regarding the notion of globalism and the increasingly virtual world in which we live.  It is a response most directly to Bishop, and her attitude towards art as being elevated, or separate from society.  In this work, I paralleled this method of artistic creation by forcing the viewer to have access to a particular form of modern technology--or the work is simply inaccessible to them.  This division of "selective viewing" makes a poignant statement towards the increasingly virtual society in which we live, and the way how this very society, as well as this work, forces the individual to adapt, in the form of technology.  The process I used also responds to John Cage's affinity towards the Zen method of incorporating chance within his work.  Each of these 26 symbols are a type of "code alphabet", that links the viewer, or participator, to a web page that starts with a letter within the traditional alphabet.  Using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" and "Autofill" features on the search engine Google, I typed in the letter of the alphabet I desired, and selected the 4th option down, regardless of personal bias.  The work thusly becomes less of the destination the code leads the viewer, but the actual effort and technological affinity required to even fully understand the work.

Monday, April 2, 2012

3' 44'' (Step Back)

My work, entitled 3' 44'' (Step Back), is heavily inspired by the ideas and compositions of John Cage, an experimental music visionary. In creating this work, I carefully focused upon and responded to Cage's idea of chance as a variable in the composition of music, by layering two separate sound recordings over one another, allowing no bias or control over the alignment, tempo, dynamics, harmony, etc. In doing this, I gave up acoustic control as the artist, leaving the most important decisions of musical composition almost completely up to fate. The only element of control I claimed over the finished piece was the length of the composition itself, which I strictly regimented to exactly 3 minutes and 44 seconds, a symbolically-driven reference to Cage's famous "silent" piece, 4' 33'', once again in spite of any acoustically-concious decision-making. I was inspired to this name by yet another idea of Cage's, the idea that there is no such thing as complete silence, and music can mean more than the term as it is commonly used. Music is all around us, as reflected by the profound moment of realization I had while undertaking this project; that sometimes the most beautiful music is the most subtle. Even on the unsightly (and unsoundly) D.C. Metro, was music to be found.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Modern Piece (#3)

Sit down next to someone you have never met.

Ignore them.

Type a text message to someone you already know.

Stand up and walk away.

Peace Piece (#2)

Watch a tree drenched in sunlight.
Close your eyes and see the stars.

Love Piece (#1)

Realize and gather your fears.
Bundle and tie them up

Become strong.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Appropriation Project

untitled (the world is dust)

materials used:
1 white backdrop
1 little brother
1 bag of sand
1 pitcher