Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gallery #2 Student Exhibition

This gallery was comprised exclusively of Student works from the University of Nevada, Reno. Kevin Chen, an experienced curator, was tasked with unifying similar concepts within the gallery space to facilitate a more fluid exhibition experience. This was no easy task but I believe it turned out very well and there were a number of interesting key pieces that stood out to myself. The gallery consisted of 3 main rooms. In the first room there were numerous paintings along with a projector of looping digital videos projecting into a cavernous area. Down the hallway there were various assorted paintings as well. One had a very interesting aesthetic to it and reminded me a bit of Andy Warhol's pop art styled appearance to his pieces. It had very bright colors and clean cut rhythms and patterns that really helped emphasize this style almost indicative of comic-book style art. Another project consisted of 3-4 paintings stacked on top of each other with images of people trying to escape them pressed up against the "inside" of the canvas. Another painting featured a girl in the water. The next room displayed a very interesting digital diptych as well. The final room exhibited a dinosaur made from cardboard segments with oil company brands patterned painted all over. This piece seemed one of the most literal and blunt of the projects displayed. I found it particularly effective with the size of the dinosaur however was not entirely convinced cardboard was the best medium of which to sell the piece in its entirety. For a piece so literal I believe constructing it out of object(s) with more reference to the oil industry or oil process would have elevated its impact. However, with that stated it was a spectacular and well-designed piece and worked very well as an end piece to the gallery.

Gallery #1 Solutions

This was a very interesting gallery and gallery experience. I found it invaluable as a participant in the gallery to be required to adhere to a deadline driven creative project with a setup and presentation process similar to a gallery. The gallery style itself was a very novel experience as well. The pop-up gallery provided an excellent opportunity to practice a temporary location-based exhibition space. The plurality of the projects I also believe offered a rich and diverse perspective on the variability of digital media art pieces. Patrick Zbella's project located on the fourth floor of the Joe was an immersive exploration of sound and image and presented a unique solution to the practice of digital media. Many of the exhibited pieces involved a form of interaction. Our own project, Utopia, also relied on user interaction. Other pieces were a bit more public as well as interactive. Skye Evans set up in Starbucks and proceeded to sing songs while simultaneously encouraging audience participation through playing keys of a keyboard where each note correlated with specific Starbucks sounds such as stereotypical 'white girl slangs'. Similarly, Wander, by Connor and Darius also required audience participation through the form of a game controller used to navigate a virtual landscape and explore various sound-emitting objects and areas within the game. Overall the various pieces throughout the Solutions exhibition seemed to embody the concept of digital media. The problems facing the medium are almost exclusively the medium itself. Electronics, programs, displays, etc.. each with more potential for problems than other classical mediums such as clay or paint. The Solutions gallery did an excellent job displaying how to navigate these problems in the modern day and age while evoking a sense of audience engagement that is not traditionally seen with other art forms.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lecture #2 Kevin Chen

This was a very interesting lecture. The artist began by discussing a brief history of his own art practices as a curator. Part of this discussion included various exhibitions on data visualization. One of the most captivating projects concerned data visualization particularly surrounding San Francisco where the use of a program color coded hairline data representations of traffic surrounding the San Francisco area. Chen mentioned how maps are an extraordinary way of showing information. Maps have the potential to summarize very crucial or niche information and display that information in concrete and easily referenced means. Another interesting variation of this project was the color coded data points referencing tourist/local/unknown photos. This was shown in multiple cities including San Francisco and New York as well. These were very interesting and very accurately showed hotspot locations for various groups. This method of color categorization was very impactful and provided an excellent means of viewing specific information as it pertained to a geographic location. This was very evident in the population data points for African American, Hispanic, White, and other races in showing inner city divides as well. Another project utilized movie cover boxes of subjects such as 9/11 and were burned to show the location of disasters within cities. Other projects similarly focused on different forms or aspects of maps including art pieces where the only visible parts were humans zoomed in dramatically from Google Earth. This produced a very interesting aesthetic effect and showed remarkable patterns of positioning in crowds. Another project involved an interactive object whereby users could locate personalized stories about specific locations.

Chen's own work reflected a certain fascination with the growth of humans and the corresponding development of 'megacities'. A number of works involved these megacities whose scale was emphasized by the minute size of the structures hand drawn by Kevin Chen. These drawings were further used in various other projects including one transforming the buildings into magnets and encouraging audience participation to construct their own megacities. Projects such as these emphasize the multiplicity of these megacities and the spontaneity of their development.

Lecture #1 Clicks and Pops

The board discussion started simple enough with statements from each artist as to their background and own experience in art concerning sound. The panel consisted of Louis Niebuhr, Jean-Paul Perrotte, Robert Morrison, and Tohm Judson and moderated by Brett Van Hoesen. The main focus of the discussion hinged upon each person's specific relation to the term "sound art". Robert Morrison posed an interesting history of his own experience with sound art and its manifestation in the 60s and 70s. His perspective I thought was particularly interesting because Morrison is traditionally involved in sculpting and drawing and had similar views of sound art in its relation to the physicality of sound and potential for sound art to evoke a sense of environment.

Jean-Paul Perrotte brought up a similar notion alongside this statement and highlighted the potentiality for sound are to evoke sensations and experiences that have previously been dominated by the visual-art field. He made specific reference to the typical persons sound repertoire similar to taste, where a sound is associated with a specific feeling or knowledge and this is inherently representational in nature. Tohm Judson and Louis Niebuhr discussed this specific representational quality in reference to sound vs noise vs music. There is a very fine line between all three that is specific to the individual and important in their individual distinctions. The manipulation of these auditory qualities enables the artist to create very dramatic 'sound-scapes'. Jean-Paul Perrotte noted at this point the technicalities to what is commonly termed 'music' and how it is usually comprised of some musical measure, even if that measure is greatly varying. Tohm Judson expressed dissent from this stating that in attempting to define itself 'sound art' needs to be distinct and different from what has been done in some way. He stated that in his personal practice he does not typically slave over conforming to meters so as to not create 'music' but to instead create 'sound art'. I personally believe that much like visual forms of art intentionality is a feature that can define a category. Much like Duchamp's Fountain art can be defined by intentionality due to it's vague, if not absent, defintion criteria.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Final project update 12-7-15

The project went extremely well including the implementation process. To aid the display of our project and ease of access we included a poster near the site location explaining the steps needed to view 'Utopia'. We are extremely proud of ourselves for completing such a momentous task utilizing very new software both in the field and to us as students as well. We encourage everyone to view the project as it will be available forever as a POI in Reno (point of interest) on the Layar app.

Project update 11-30-15

We have gone through and removed as much polygons as possible to enable the model to load very quickly. Because the object is point of view only this does not detract from the experience as it will only show directly facing the viewer as default by Layar. Most textures were created by hand specific for each object. We had originally considered utilizing ads for the 'utopian' future world but have decided the textures stating 'oil' would be very literal as is. The message should be the prolificity of oil drilling in the future givin its status as a finite resource and America and other nations' fixation on fossil fuels and a stubbornness to move to more renewable resources. Utopia this shows the set up of a dystopian future oil drill site located in the middle of downtown Reno. It is a jarring and juxtaposing AR experience and highlights the necessity to move on from fossil fuels less we are forced to drill everywhere to supply ourselves. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Project Update 11-23-15

We have begun a different stage of our project and have capitalized on the dystopian future where oil industry has taken over and we have begun drilling in every location possible including our intersection. We have a bunch of new objects including tanks, supports, and futuristic oil drills. We are working on texturing currently. These drills will show ideally on the phone in the foreground of the VR