Artist Research and Reading

Artist Research

Two contemporary artists I chose to further research were Filip Sterckx and Antoon Verbeeck. Together they have created a digital art catalog known as Skullmapping based in Germany. The group utilizes three dimensional projecting, video mapping, virtual reality, and holograms to tell compelling and unique stories.

Sterckx began developing the idea about a decade ago, when projection mapping was relatively new. This really gave the world a whole new perspective on 3D art. Below is an example of his early work, where he projected very life-like videos in a way which allowed them to be cohesive, yet separate in their nature. It is titled, “Peepshow” and was displayed at the Ithaka arts festival.

He attended the LUCA School of Arts where he got his Masters in Animation Film. This lead to his help in the creation of various music videos. Sterckx also was known for projecting on sculptures he made to create a sense of motion, as seen in “My Orca”, not to mention his numerous works in commercial and short films. A common theme I noticed throughout his art was the sense of implied motion, created by the projector, and actual motion, which is created by the person working within the piece. There is an example below.

Once Sterckx teamed up with Antoon Verbeeck, Skullmapping really began to take off. Verbeeck started as an oil painter, finding ways to incorporate deeper meanings, such as his various philosophies, into his projects. For example, the concept of the, “Lonely Subject” allows him to paint realistic images, but with a background lacking in substance. His ability to separate subjects can make it more prominent and therefore easier to symbolize or convey an idea regarding the piece. adonkey

As a team, they were able to create projections that at first glance seem to resemble optical illusions. However, as the art progresses, the viewer can begin to follow the story line and make up a meaning for themselves, or trying to figure out what the duo was trying to dictate. Their versatility allows them to reach a wider audience. Their experience in mapping, storytelling, painting, 3D, and holograms is shown around the world via exhibits and also online through sites like Vimeo. Their work is inspiring to me because they take so many different concepts or art and combine them in a modern sense to create something visually intriguing.

After reviewing New Media: Guerilla Culture to Gadget Art, I found the segment about television interesting. The author describes the new media as being controlled by corporations, which can end up turning political. He then goes onto describe how T.V. has become a culture in itself, constantly being commercialized. I definitely notice this in my daily life. It always seems as if the same news programs are always the most popular. For example Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and CBS are just a few publicly known companies that are constantly trusted and looked upon for information. However, in reality people funding those corporations tend to have a say in things, and therefore can have an effect on societies perceptions. John A. Walker described it as “Top to bottom” distribution of information, meaning that people in power control mass media.



Artist Research & Proposal

Artist Research: Bill Viola

Bill Viola’s is one of the world’s most renowned digital artists. He was born in 1951 in Queens, New York and primarily specializes in video. His innovative style has led to revolutionizing the way the world sees digital art. Viola is able to utilize advancements in video technology and editing in order to create an entire experience that includes sound, video, and emotion through a sense of ambiguous and unusual imagery. His works are displayed across the globe in museums, and are also available online due to his popularity among the contemporary culture.

On his official website this process is described as, “The inner language of subjective thoughts and collective memories, his videos communicate to a wide audience, allowing viewers to experience the work directly, and in their own personal way.” This is inspiring to me as an amateur digital artist because all of his works instill a sense of wonder. They are all visually captivating, mainly due to the slow motion that Viola uses. The concepts he portrays in his video creations are not always clear and simple, so analyzing them can be like a puzzle, leaving things up for interpretation.

In one of his works titled, The Raft, there is a group of people who are being engulfed in water. As the video progresses, the water becomes more intense and the people are being tossed around. You can even hear the sound of waves crashing until suddenly the water comes to a stop. Everybody on the raft is devastated and seems to be grieving. The slow motion in this instance really allows the viewer to see each and everyone one of the subjects negative reactions, which contrasts with the beginning of the video when the group was calm and still.

This is similar to my project because it involves slow motion and shows two extremes after a sudden, yet drastic change. My concept is a white ball of paper getting lit on fire, until it burns and turns black. It mirrors Viola’s piece by having the fire represent the water, and the white ball of paper being the people on the raft before the water came, while the burnt piece is the group after the water had stopped. Observing Viola’s work can lead to a better understanding of not only slow motion, but also storytelling through a strong use of imagery that is edited in a somewhat unconventional manner. Something I might do differently would be to have the videos run for a shorter period of time. Although his videos can put you in a trance, I think our culture today is focused more on immediacy and convenience, so having a 30 second or minute long video may be more ideal.

Viola was trying to convey the power of change and its relation to natural world, in the form of water and human emotion. Although the idea of a raft is to protect us from water, in this case it proves to be powerless against the furious nature of water. Therefore, sometimes things are just out of your control, and as a result we see the nature of a human experience quickly go from serene to distraught. For every action there is a reaction, and in this case Viola wanted to show us how things can change in an instant, but if the experience is negative, it can feel much longer.



Project 1:

Time Distortion Proposal

My idea involves the use of slow motion and a looping time-based work in the form of a video. I plan to use a large piece of white paper, and crumple it up into a ball. Then, I intend to set it on fire and watch as it burns to ashes. The concepts I am trying to convey includes creation and destruction, and how everything from the change in between, to the initial and final transformations can portray a sense of beauty.

The fire is also representative of our life cycle as human beings. We are created and then live our lives in a transcendent nature as we fill ourselves with passion and wonder. The fire burns similar to how our soul, heart, and mind drive our most inner hopes and dreams. However, in the end, everyone has their time, but life goes on, similar to how the loop keeps playing back.

The mediums I will be including are an iPhone camera, slow motion technology, and Photoshop. Eventually, once the project is done I intend to post them online to, and possibly share the material via social media sites such as Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram. The process will involve the lighting of the paper ball and recording it through the slow motion video tool. Once this is complete, I can edit it on Photoshop to have it on a loop. I also plan to edit the coloring of the video, and show people a different perspective of fire. In addition, I wanted to flip the video upside down, which goes against the general nature of fire because it is burning downwards and ignoring the laws of physics.