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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Project Update 11-16-15

Texturing is going well, we are hoping to get more detailed results later but these are the beginnings. The look is very gray so far but we are looking to ad more advertisements and add variation to many of the surface. Then we will export the file altogether as a .obj to be converted in the layar converter with an embedded texture map as well

Monday, November 9, 2015

Project Update 11-9-15

Working on preliminary modeling of intersection. Have the basics down with some embellishments added. Next steps will be texturing specific parts on the base objects with ads that hint at the utopia just before the fall of society. 

Project Update 11-2-15

Technical Rider
Art 451 Problems in Digital Media
Fall 2015

YOUR NAME(S): Zachary Cordisco and Mason Furr


MEDIUM: Mobile Augmented Reality

Our project is a site specific piece that will involve the manipulation of the site through augmented reality. The goal is to render the corner of fourth and sierra, when facing the silver legacy, of downtown Reno. We are choosing to model a society that is balancing on hope and fear. We would like to depict a civilization just before the apocalypse happens.

The work will be location specific. The corner of fourth and Sierra facing towards the Silver legacy will be our subject matter. 

In order to view our work, the user will need to have a smartphone with gps and to have downloaded the app called “Layar”.

Monday, October 26, 2015

10-26-15 Project Update

We have narrowed down an intersection we would like to duplicate on the Layar platform for a superimposed AR experience. The intersection is the iconic reno intersection of 4th and Sierra. The viewers will have to stand at an exact spot to view the superimposed reality and we have marked a spot where the viewer will be able to see most of the buildings and advertisements. We have a 3d model working now, however it is specific to the GPS coordinates of the inputted geo location. In order to test it we will have to import the 3d models and then make trips to the geo location to observe what modifications we will have to make.

10-19-15 Project Update

Moving on from our 2D AR experience development we have undergone a rigorous setup of web-based addresses so as to upload a temporary example file to be used in Layar's geolocation settings. The geo-location settings provided a good middle ground for us due to the inability to scan a location and superimpose an AR experience. If we were to stay with the image scanning option it would limit the angle of view for the participants too much and any modifications in reality to the source image would not allow participants to properly scan the image.

In order to utilize the Layar geolocations settings we must pinpoint the exact GPS coordinates and upload them in the web database. The instructions we followed for the setup of the web-server were extremely rigorous and involved hundreds of input sections before input of the .obj file converted to .L3D (layar file) along with proportions and positioning of the model. The web database is necessary for all the input sections and is specific to Layar which needs to explicitly pull the information from the web file location to superimpose the AR onto the mobile device.

After many frustrating days we were able to resolve the issue with the files and used a creepy model found online as a placeholder with GPS coordinates set to the Art 451 classroom. The only issue we have noted is the inability for the program to resolve visual proximity cues from the mobile device and compensate for viewing angle from the mobile device camera (i.e. the model does not grow when approached or shrink when distancing). Another issue right now is the model stays (from every angle) at a front facing view. We have compensated for this however by expressly marking a GPS spot from which the participant will view the geolocation.

10-12-15 Project Update

Using Layar we have been able to create relatively simple augmented reality experiences that involve scanning original images and then accessing a database to pull content needed to superimpose the image. These two examples we chose to illustrate the wide range of capabilities with just this simple development. Additionally we have also discussed the use of transparent videos to add more movement to the AR experience.

10-5-15 Project Update

Per suggestion I have taken a look into various Augmented Reality platforms. The winner right now seems to be the free downloadable app Layar, however there are other multitudes of possibilities including working with Google Cardboard and Unity.

Zachary Cordisco and myself have decided to team up as we are both interested in utilizing this technology to advance our topics. I hope to be able to superimpose advertisement modifications for app users while Zach intends to focus on a post-apocalyptic rendition of a location in Reno. As of right now we have decided to attack this new software together to parse through the information and bounce ideas off of eachother.

We have found tutorials aiding our initial steps into Layar

currently we have both created accounts and have started exploration of the possibilities of Layar. One thing that is troubling both of us however is the ability to move freely around an environment with models staying at the same point in AR so it would be possible to walk toward a model and have it expand on ones mobile device. We have also signed up to be developers to access more advanced features in layar to input our own model data.

9-28-15 Project Update

Construction, for this update, was as much of a focus as the conceptual underpinnings of the project. By suggestion, I looked up Billboard Liberation Front and a number of other artists dealing with the similar topic of public art intervention and interaction with the public via the art.

Interventions such as these, while illegal, have an important and characteristic conceptual drive with an iconic sense of humor as well. There is a message behind each piece such as obesity, alcoholism, politics, or even more transient topics such as materialism and popular culture.

Another notable piece is 1:100 by Glowlab, where 1 foot of interior space represented 100 feet in the city of New York. This posed an interesting concept for a potential piece involving the city of Reno.


Every corner was represented by pieces utilizing artifacts taken from that specific location such as dirt or plastic bags.

In 'The End' Steve Lambert displayed ads featuring the words 'The End' to humorously comment on the never ending nature of ads in public squares. The pervasiveness of advertising is a serious topic to be addressed, and one that I can use conceptually in my own piece.

Combining these different projects with my previous project concerning advertising in my new direction I would like to take advantage of the massive amounts of advertising we have here locally in Reno and put my own positive spin on things. 

Using the 3d tour software, I plan to take 360 panoramic photos of iconic advertising spots in Reno and then, using a combination of 2d and 3d software, will insert my own advertisements in place of the previous advertisements.

I have already identified some iconic spots

9-21-15 Project Update

Most of the parts have come in now necessary for the creation of the circuit for the light box. The PIR sensor requires several different output pins which was not originally accepted for in my design but nevertheless I seem to have figured it out.

With the activation of the light the LED plate has 6 embedded ultra bright LEDs which comes at a cost of 4 massive C-cell batteries. Their size is cumbersome however I managed to find a container for them and have secured them with a rubber band temporarily. I also have started investigating the prospects laser cutting offers me for creating a professional and clean-looking light box.

this is a rough diagram of the laser-cut needed for the light box. I have not currently decided on a material however. I would like the sign to be reminiscent of earlier aluminum exterior signs, however I am also partial to masonite or other composite MDF materials (thickness would vary but would need approx 1/4" material).

9-14-15 Project Update

The idea for this project started with the initial idea expanding upon a previous project concerning LED 'graffiti'. However, after some research I have decided to focus more on the showmanship evident in pieces such as Capitalism by Steve Lambert. My intention is to create a series of signs to display the main conceptual focus for my piece. The variety of possible phrases and designs requires further research especially if the messages displayed are meant to be "rewarding" in some way to the audience. Another excellent point raised in class discussion was the topic of interaction and simplicity as in Capitalism by Steve Lambert requiring the audience participants to vote by pressing a button for interaction. Simplicity is another topic to be addressed as in the projection of the 'Sky' sign pointing up at the actual sky. Nick and myself had discussed both after the class and agreed that before the message can be decided upon it would be best to sort out the design of the pieces individually.

Another factor that will be important to consider is the location of the piece. Nick and myself both want to interact with a public and unassuming audience. For this reason we believe it may compliment both of our projects to be able to work together, especially considering his project deals primarily with audio and mine with visual, yet we are both attempting to tackle similar hardware together. I intend my piece to be an active and distracting agent facilitating the derailment of the average person's daily life and hope to pose thought-provoking statements or questions on my motion-activated sign to make people think about topics rarely addressed. These topics may concern current popular assumptions about the definitions of vast encompassing terms such as love, art, values, morality, humanity, etc...

Displayed below are two circuit diagrams I was considering for the backlit illumination of the signs. The second diagram seems more plausible currently.

9-7-15 Project Update

Work with the light box is going well, I have ordered multiple transistors both PNP and NPN and resistors to complete the first circuit for the model. In the mean time I have focused, as suggested, more on content itself and what i would like to say with the piece and not exclusively the technical aspects.

I have thought about numerous variation but much like Steve Lambert's work, I would like whatever is stated on the sign to be provocative and more than just itself at face value. Ideally I would like the phrase to make passing individuals question fundamental aspects of society and especially those aspects that are often in practice without much question initially. These may be phrases such as "What is morality?" "What is truth?" and perhaps even a critique on the art world itself with phrases such as "What is Art?" All of these phrases I believe have great potential combined with the startling aspect of a motion-detected light.

The appearance of the message in the night to passing individuals may have a curious effect on them. The aspect of motion activation would make the message seem intrinsically personalized as it was initiated by the individual's motion itself.

For now I plan on considering all of these concepts as 'punchy one-liners' while also working on the circuit.

8-30 Project and Venue Proposal


The proposition for my project comes from the Graffiti Research Lab and their project LED Throwies. From my last project in Art 350 expanding the LED Throwie concept to recreate a digital checkpoint system aiding in the deconstruction of established pedestrian routes in Reno, NV. The concept of renavigating urban environments stems from the French concept of the Flâneur and text from Walter Benjamin. 

With this project I hope to bolster this idea and create more permanent installation pieces with motion-activated lights to emphasize the conceptual ramifications of chance and curiosity. I would really like to sell the concept of the pieces and create every bit of information needed for the pieces to appear like a legitimate piece of technology so as to critique the notion of graffiti creation and make the installation process appear more legitimate. The details involved in this project stem from influences such as Steve Lambert’s Anti Advertising Agency and the conviction of the details involved with the project. 

It is my hopes through this project to engage with an unassuming audience and derail people’s normal pedestrian routes through sheer happenstance. The project’s success is not measured by the number of people discovering a new path through their engagement, but instead the piece’s very existence as a statement against current city layouts and the potential for art as inspiration for curiosity in turn motivating actions.

The intricacies of the installation process might involve

-logo and website for light-sensor checkpoint pieces

-installation with appearance of business (construction apparel, official car, etc.)

            Construction look/official documents in light of defacement?

-metal/custom fitting cases with permanent installation (with logo)

Technology and securing will most likely involve

-IR transmitter and receiver

-breadboard/custom housing with inlaid circuitry

-other electrical fittings

-fitting via screws through housing/snapping/glue

-securing to various surfaces through housing (concrete screws, industrial glue)


For a collective presentation/venue I would not be against a set venue, however my piece necessitates the deconstruction of pedestrian routes making it site-specific. The piece is not a means of way-finding but precisely the opposite – it serves as a tool to provoke a sense of wanderlust so untypical in modern urban environments. This stated, if the collective venue is surrounded by a sort of urban environment with clearly defined preferred routes by pedestrians, then my piece could work outside the venue. 

I believe collectively our class should tackle a larger concept of audience connection that engages with the public in ways that many previous projects have not. Being an artist means you are actively engaged with the community and are creating pieces that hopefully connect to an audience. I think that branching out from the archetypical gallery exhibition setting would be a good step for those looking to pursue art in the future where they will be required to engage publically. I think it would be a good challenge different from simply creating a piece by and for oneself and displaying it for only a select few (often members of the very same class) to critique. 

Concerning these parameters, it would be interesting to find a gallery setting that can serve a variety of needs, Currently I am considering the Holland Project due to its semi-urban surrounding and the ability for gallery expansion outside of the building.