Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Coming home (Video for MUS 409)

Lecture- Digital Media Arts

I watched the lecture led by Cory Arcangel called Digital Media Arts. He talked about his work which included appropriation of video games and music being modified for art. One of his works, titled 8 Bit Construction Set, was a record of music created with the Atari and Commodore consoles and includes scratch tones and loops. It was essentially created to be a battle record. Another work by Arcangel called Super Mario Clouds, is a game cartridge hack of the Super Mario Bros. game for the NES. It removes all of the game's graphics, just leaving behind the sky and clouds, and essentially scrolling forever. This is considered to be one of his most famous works. The last work that Arcangel discussed was his work titled Super Slow Tetris. It is nor a hack, but rather a modification of the Tetris video game made to run at an incredibly slow speed.
Being a huge fan of video games I appreciate his work. It also made me think about video games that have been modified and hacked to be made into its own game, such as the Pokemon ROM hacks that are available online. Many games in this series have been hacked to be made into versions that do not exist, such as Pokemon ShinyGold or Moemon.

Talk- Digital Media Artist

I watched the lecture "Digital Media Artist" by Mary Flanagan on Youtube. The talk was about art and the emerging technologies that tie in to traditional art to make digital media. Digital media is seen as a fairly new field, and can be hard to pinpoint, as digital art can be created with man different programs and with different techniques. She also went on to talk about performative art and video art and brought up Nam Jun Paik. She also talked about interactive art and how video games are also incredibly related to digital media.
She also began to talk about her own digital work. I went ahead and did some research outside of the video and found a few interesting works. One of them called [domestic], is a modification of the video game Unreal Tournament and creates a sort of home life environment. It explores memory and also has a bit of a claustrophobic feel. She also added text onto the environment that triggers different memories, one of them being a house fire.
Another work I found interesting of her is the work [xyz], and is an interactive piece in which viewers are able to make poetry utilizing a 2D side scroller game. It has an X and a Y axis that have different words and phrases that can be used.
Digital media has transformed art, making it more interactive and accessible to the general public. Flanagan has also helped make this happen with her works being rather interactive, and anyone can play them.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Art Exhibition- Sound Art

I attended the art exhibition Sound Art: New Only in Name that was held in the gallery in the Jot Travis Building. This exhibition showed several works by artists that utilized sound as a medium. The idea of sound art is a seemingly new genre that has become more recognized within the last decade and challenges the “normal,” standard idea that art is only visual, such as through sculpture or painting.
           One of the works that I saw that stuck out to me was the work entitled Structures in Microtonal Harmony, created by Jean-Paul Perrotte and Robert Morrison in 2015. It was made with six bronze bowls being randomly struck by pins to create different sounds. Viewers were also allowed to interact with this work by hitting the bowls with mallets. I really enjoyed this piece as the noises made from the bowls being struck by the pins varied and interested me. I also had the excitement of anticipating which bowl would be struck and when. Another piece that was appealing to me was Salt Marsh Suite made in 2014 by Carol Burch Brown and Tohm Judson. This audio piece also included video and was created over a 5-year period filming and recording the salt marshes and the wildlife living there. The audio and video channels were layered, giving the piece a transformed, distorted feel. The installation of the piece was well done- the video was projected on thin sheets hanging from the ceiling and the audio came from different speakers in the gallery. I felt surrounded by the piece as if I was there.

            Being an artist that is more visual, I was able to appreciate the audio works even though I wasn’t as familiar with the medium. I also appreciate art that is less “conventional” in nature- such as performance art or installations.

Art Exhibition- Endangered

I attended the art exhibition for Emily Arthur called Endangered. Her work dealt with the endangered parts of nature such as environments and animals. Most of her work included paintings of endangered plants and animals over a background of pale watercolor paint. Many of the plants and animals depicted were in the style of diagrams such as one would find in a biology book. The sort of harsh, matter-of-fact depictions of the plants and animals over the more delicate, natural background gave a stark contrast in the pieces overall. A few of the pieces really stuck out to me; the piece entitled Songbirds (with Small Butterfly) was created in 2015 and was a screen print on paper. It depicted several rows of diagrams of undetermined, endangered species of birds, and in the center of the piece was a blue butterfly. This was printed over a background of orange and blue watercolor paint. What really made an impression on me was the way the birds were shown- they appeared to be deceased as they were laying down with their legs curled into the body. Another piece that was significant was White Deer in Flight Pattern made in 2014. It was another screen print on paper depicting a deer in the center printed in light blue, and a row of four deer alongside the top of the paper. In the background were dark shades of blue and red with what appeared to be different types of flora. I appreciated the stark contrasts of darker colors as opposed to lighter, more delicate colors used in the backgrounds of her work. This gave the piece a more serious, somber feel. Overall I enjoyed this exhibition and I felt it was successful in trying to show the impact that humans’ actions have on the environment and other inhabitants living in it.

Final Work- "Grid"

On December 7th we had out final exhibition for this class.
Well, this is the final result of my light sculpture. There were many problems with trying to piece this together as I had no prior experience with lights or Arduino. I managed to get it to light up but the code wasn't registering, not giving me the desired colors. I wish I was able accomplish so much more with this but seeing as it was my first time I felt like I bit off more than I was able to chew. I would like to explore more with lighting and be able to learn more about this medium.