Project 3 Proposal and Artist Research

For this final project, I have decided to depict the digital age and my concept of self by utilizing 3D printing. I believe that digital media has completely changed the way we see ourselves and others in the world. It amazes me how deeply we are connected through things like the internet and social media. However, it has also had some adverse effects. For example, anybody can create an identity that doesn’t necessarily match up with real life. Also, I think that people have grown to prefer these new forms of communication, whether it be social media or texting, it has consumed our mind in a way.

My project aims to visually depict this concept into three parts. It will have my 3D printed hand, covered in wires, computer chips, buttons, and different metals. Then, I will 3D print a small toy brain, which the hand will be holding. This is representative of how humans and technology have become so close, and how it has become a part of us. Everyday our mind is constantly obsessing over all the different things something as common as an iPhone can offer us. All this rapid and constant change can have an effect on our mind in a social environment, as well as our identity formation within such a technologically based society.

 

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I chose to research Joshua Harker. He is one of the most well-known artists in the field of 3D sculpting, and really laid the foundation for many who followed him. He began with art such as designing toys, sculpting, and eventually became the CEO of a boutique design firm. However, he didn’t stop there. After some advancements in technology and a vision beyond his time, he was able to create a name for himself. With the help of social media, he used a Kickstarter to fund his “Crania Anatomica” project. This really put his work on an international stage and he continues to produce amazing work such as “Tangled” and has caught the attention of other famous artists. A quote of his that stuck out to me was, ““My art is about pushing the limits of form & dimensions to share my visions… an exploration into what can be made & how to accomplish it in effort to tell a story or create an experience.” This is partially what motivated my project and I look forward to making something that is more experimental and experiential.

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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.

Citations:

 

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 WordPress.com, 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.

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Walter Benjamin

In this reading, Walter Benjamin discusses the changes that art has had in the social aspects of our culture. He begins by saying works of art have been copied for centuries. Benjamin describes this as a mechanical reproduction, which includes various art forms such a as lithography, woodcutting, photography and film.

However, as these innovations became so prevalent, Benjamin argued that the ability to mass produce different works of art lead to the imperfection of these replications. In other words, the “Aura” and uniqueness were lost along the way. To him, there is a distinct difference between a painting and film. Although both are considered art forms, the latter is much more transcendent.

Benjamin uses the example of a mountainous landscape, where the shadows represent the aura of the mountains. Someone could take a picture, but it would not capture the same essence. He uses this point to highlight the concept of human sense perception and describe the changes that have occurred, from relying on ritual and authenticity to create a cult value to the shift towards exhibition value. He uses film as an example to discuss the spectator aspect of modern art. The value and distribution of works of arts have gone from private to public, allowing more people to see art, but also distorting what it truly means and the reasoning behind an artistic decision or idea.

The podcast gave an interesting perspective on the concept of time. It is unusual in the sense that the same amount of time can seem shorter or longer depending on what you are doing. In other terms, time is relative. Recent innovator Cesar Kuriyama has created an app called “One Second Everyday” This new form of digital art allows the user to record one second of everyday, eventually creating a unique collage-like movie.

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Diego’s Superman Gif

 

 

 

 

Past work:

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Readings:

Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator who started out with a law degree, but eventually developed a philosophical and revolutionary method of educating people throughout the Great Depression and onwards throughout the 20th century. He believed it was essential to change the way student and teachers interacted. Freire thought the relationship should be based more off of dialogue rather than representing a figure of oppression and the oppressed, similar to his tough upbringing as a poor child.

The overall intention is to initiate a transformation by having community meetings and stray away from lecturing and telling, and go towards discussing and thinking critically. He goes on to describe the process in a transcribed interview in which he relates institutions to oppression and middle class as the oppressed.

In the Christine Paul reading, the combination of art and technology is discussed, especially in the sense that during recent years, the world of digital art has exploded with the advancement of various technologies.

However, Nancy Burson seemed to catch my eye. She utilized early forms of digital imaging to layer the faces of various famous celebrities into one. This technique was called composite imagery. It reminds me of the early stages of photoshopping and perceptions of beauty using digital art.

A Hard Day’s Night

By:Diego Galindo

The holiday season is right around the corner, and Loyola’s English department was thrilled to host an annual feast in the Center for Humanities. Mark Osteen, an English professor at Loyola, invited students from his England Swings: Literature, Film, and Culture in the 1960’s course to be apart of the special night. This year’s theme was The Beatles’ A Hard Days Night, one of the band’s well known album and film hybrids. The sound of rock-and-roll began to fill the halls as students and professors gathered around the stage.

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Hug Lounge-Center for Humanities

The Humanities building had been transformed into the Cavern Club, a historical rock-and-roll venue where many famous musicians had played. Dr.Osteen joined fellow band members, which were comprised of students and staff, to cover a setlist of the Beatles greatest hits, as if they were back in England during the 1960’s.

Beatles posters filled the walls and many students were even dressed in costumes as they sang along with the band. From, “Twist and Shout” to “Come Together”, the audience danced the night away. However, the real question was who was going to win the dance contest.

After several songs, Chase Hutchinson, a senior at Loyola, won first place and was awarded a festive gift bag filled with prizes. Hutchinson shared his thoughts on the evening. He stated,”Tonight was like a blast from the past. It was a good turn out and I can’t believe that I actually won. I thought it was a really good way to end the class because of how relevant the theme was, and the live music was awesome.”

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Chase Hutchinson shows off his dance moves.

One of the lead vocalists, Ellie Shirocky, was also excited for her performance in front of fellow classmates. She described her passion for singing and said, “I’ve been singing since I was seven, but tonight was way different.  Watching everyone dance and get excited about what we were doing was the best part.”

After the show was over, attendees moved onto the feast. Students and faculty gathered in the Refectory to enjoy England-themed entrées and a varied assortment of holiday treats. Although dinner was coming to a close, the night was not over yet. Their knowledge of the Beatles was tested through an exciting game of Beatles trivia, although Dr. Osteen always seemed to be the first to answer.

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Students playing trivia.

The English department was able to bring what this class was learning to life in a fun and festive way. There was a smile on everyone’s face, and even as the night ended, people were still laughing and taking pictures to remember the noteworthy night.

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For more information on Loyola English Department, click here.

Caribbean Student Union Hosts Michael Benitez

Loyola’s Caribbean Student Union held a lecture last night featuring Michael Benitez, a scholar who is traveling the nation, discussing social justice, activism, and educating the minds of college students across America. The event was held in the Loyola-Notre Dame Library Auditorium, and as Benitez approached the podium, the room full of students became silent.

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ALANA Services organized this lecture, and proves to be one of Loyola’s many student organizations that help encourage social awareness and cultural appreciation. Benitez addresses these topics directly by talking about what it means to be Caribbean and Latino, and how society can have an impact on a social identity.

Benitez used personal experiences and various cultural contexts to explain his thoughts on social issues. He told a story where someone had asked him where he was from. Benitez simply responded by saying he grew up in Washington Heights, and also lived in Pennsylvania for a while. However, apparently that was not enough.

“Where are you really from?” the person asked again. Looking back on the interaction, he said, “It doesn’t take much more for me to feel that I don’t belong. Latinos are asked this same question, yet they have been here for generations and for some, all they know is American culture.” He expressed the significance of unity and distinctiveness, and wanted to get the opinions and thoughts on perceptions of latinos from the audience.

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Responses ranged from dancing and spicy food, to immigration, various stereotypes, and even eurocentrism. Benitez gave the students a crash course in hispanic history, and was able to bring in modern examples to explain the evolution of such a dynamic culture. This high-energy and engaging discussion kept students interested throughout the lecture.

After the event, Paul Rodriguez, a senior at Loyola University was asked about what he thought of the session. He said, “I learned how Caribbean hispanics can be black, white, or anything in between. I consider myself a white-hispanic, so it is something personal for me, and I can relate to what he was saying.”

As the presentation ended, Benitez said his closing remarks and even took pictures with attendees, who were looking forward to the next visit.

For more information, check out his wesbite.

Shuttle Service

Shuttle Service Slow to Start Up This Semester

By:Diego Galindo

Although Loyola University of Maryland has an alluring essence, sometimes students need a break from walking across the scenic campus, especially during the colder fall and winter months. The shuttle system proves to be one of the more convenient ways to travel, but recent changes have caused some students to prefer otherwise. From long wait times to a limited number of shuttles, the reliability of this transportation service has recently come into question.

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Four years ago at every shuttle stop, there was a digital clock that gave students an estimated time of arrival in minutes. Nowadays, new administration has changed policies and hired a multitude of new staff members. Students now have access to an app called Double Map that shows where the shuttle is through GPS mapping.

Michael Dayao, a senior at Loyola University, gave his thoughts on the new system. He expressed his disapproval by stating, “Theres no regulated time, its just comes on a circular route. When I finally catch one it gets me where I need to go, but thats if and when they come.” Double map has even shown multiple shuttles on the same side of the campus next to the same bus stop.

I find myself walking from one side of campus to the other and not seeing a single shuttle. I decided to interview one of the drivers, in order to gain some insight on the organization of the transportation system. Warren is a shuttle driver at Loyola and has been working at the university for two years. When asked about the timing of the service, he said, “Normally if we have a full staff, every shuttle should be at least ten minutes apart. We have a full staff in the morning, but sometimes we are about two drivers short during the night.”

This could be one of the reasons why despite the advancement in technology, this shuttle service is still having some trouble with efficiency. Students deserve to enjoy a ride without being kept waiting all the time, and I am hopeful that in the near future the organization will do an even better job than they are now.

To find out more information on the shuttle service, click here.