Project 4 – Website

December 12, 2008

When I began this website I had every intention of making it about why I lov america so much; which i do. however, as I got started amassing more and more elements it began to take shape, and became something more about how much i love the internet and counterculture instead.

Directions –

My website is a little different because I didn’t use the Metro server, however its easy to access.

url: plaza.ufl.edu/smontero

click on the “art1531 site” folder, then click on the “index.html” link. This will take you to the homepage. Keep your speakers on, this site is best viewed with noise.

Response to Chapter 3 – Christiane Paul

December 12, 2008

Chapter 3 is all about the themes of digital art. While I think its tough to pin down the themes of an entire media, I do find it interesting that so much work was concentrated on these themes especially in the beginning of the media’s promenence. Paul outlines “artificial life,” “artificial intelligence and intelligent agents,” “telepresence, telematics and telerobotics,” as well as “body and identity” as well as themes of gaming and activism.

What I find to be one of the most interesting aspects of early digitial art especially is its reliance on the developments of science and vice versa. Most of the examples in this chapter are talking about projects at universities or private labs. MIT is mentioned who knows how many times because they are the ones aiding the development of this cutting edge technology. I find it very telling that artists are the ones to pick up on those technologies and take an interest before any other groups. It is equally as important to remember that developments have been made first by artists then perfected or explained by science.

Another element that I find really interesting and forward is the demand of much digital art to interact directly with viewers. Traditional media can be quite passive, but I think the demands of digitial art fit in very well with our need for stimulation. Digital art can come in many shapes, sizes and scales, but a lot of times what is shared is a game-like feel. There are spontaneous elements to these projects, gamelike interfaces or directions. They require interaction from either participants in the room or from elsewhere via the net. An even greater feat is the success of the participation. Getting viewers to interact with sculpture or performance is incredibly difficult, often times they are embarassed or worried about making a mistake. However, when it comes to interacting with a machine, people volunteer and have little or no reservations about causing damage or embarassing themselves.

The only other observation I wanted to make about the digital art in this book was by and large how absolutely ugly it all is. I suppose its the development of the technology. I’m not particularly interested in the changes in graphics or pixel resolution or memory which all effects the way these images look, but I find it interesting even considering all of that, even the colors in these works are bright, garrish, and inhuman looking. Is that the point? I wouldn’t doubt that while making these works their creators wanted to distance them as much as possible from a natural palette, but still, it is all so ugly.

Final Project – Video Art

December 5, 2008

Response to Chapter 2

October 24, 2008

Chapter 2 of Christiane Paul’s book Digital Art asks us to think about the question of what the difference is between using digital technologies as a tool versus a medium. I think the examples and spectrum of work Paul shows the reader in the chapter illustrates the amazing flexibility of digital art. Not only can one work from an idea through a process in the digital world, one may also start with the digital and end up in the idea. The key element of the digital is customizability. Both when using digital media as a tool and a medium, artists are allowed the greatest amount of customization out of any art form. Using digital processes as a tool to develop an idea is based on dynamism. An artist’s idea is constructed, or maybe even just brainstormed. From there, that artist must decide what kind of dynamic impact, what realization that idea should take. The digital world provides unparalleled flexibility and symbolism. In Paul, dataspace is described as being purely symbolic. An artist is given free reign in the digital world to match up their formal elements with their content. Personally, I am less interested in digital art as a “medium” than as a symbol. That my just be a by-product of my being a printmaker and especially one who is interested in the history of print and the development of the art as a trade. Using digital media as a specific modus operandi is less easy for me to understand or appreciate. However, I can totally appreciate what artists like Marcus Novak talk about when they describe cyberspace as “liquid architecture” the ability of the digital media to be molded, shaped and distorted into projections, time based works, interactive installations and however many thousands of other iterations is really exciting and I can see how artists would be drawn into the digital world and be able to seek inspiration from the endless unknown possibilities.

Check out my Slide Show!

October 17, 2008

Project #2: Abject Self Portrait

October 17, 2008

Abject Self Portrait Slideshow

For this project I decided to focus on my surroundings. The 2100 Block of Larimer Street.

My influences here are the work of photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, I ended up with somewhat of a typology of my block, as well as William Eggleston, whom we all can thank for color photography.

Poster Project

October 3, 2008

The idea behind “Explore Your New America” is one of caution to consumers. I believe most Americans are aware of the effect garbage has on our environment, all of our expedible products have to go somewhere. In this case, piles of cars have become part of the landscape. My goal with this poster is only to make more people aware of the consequences of our desire for the newest model, and remind Americans that there is nothing “greener” than using what you already have instead of manufacturing another.

Assignment #4 – Analyze an Ad

September 12, 2008

Cinderella from Year of a Million DreamsCinderella from Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams Campaign, photograph by Anne Leibovitz.

What makes an ad successful?

An ad must make its viewer want what is being displayed. For this example, Disney has a one-up on the competition because what it has to offer is a fantasy. By portraying real people as fantasy characters we are better able to transport ourselves into their position.

How does the ad utilize formal elements to convey meaning?

The photography of Anne Leibovitz has been found in major publications for the last thirty years, mostly in the realm of portrait photography. For this image of Cinderella for Disney, Leibovitz is using several elements to draw and keep the eye within the photograph. The shot is framed using the rule of thirds, and has an overall diagonal composition as the staircase of the leads away from the foreground and back to the castle at the top of the frame. Additionally, Leibovitz leaves only two bright spots in the picture, the lights emanating from the castle and the reflection off of Cinderella’s dress. This photograph, like the others in its same series, all do a successful job at slowing down the motion of the actors. These ads display an innermost desire, to see ourselves as Princesses and Heroes, a fantasy which no one wants to end.

How is color used?

In the Cinderella ad color is both subdued and hyper realized. The classic blue of the gown is digitally enhanced to display its peak luster, while the background of the photo is grayed out and subdued to help control the focus of the viewer on the main action of the ad, the flight of Cinderella and the promise of her lost slipper, standing illuminated on a step.

How does the information flow?

The information in this ad is limited but precise, which is why it works so well. While Leibovitz has the benefit of a strong visual model in the Disney original, which is known so well to Americans, this also can work against her. Because so many of us has such a personal relationship with the Disney movies of our childhood, one misstep or misrepresentation can resonate very negatively with viewers. That being said, this ad is about as pared down as you can get. Very limited text allows your imagination to take over, the one line, Where every Cinderella story comes true leaves the viewer to their own devices, presenting them with an image to jumpstart their own interpretation of the fantasy.

How are you visually led through the image?

This photograph is constructed so the viewer’s eye is bounced back continually along the staircase, meeting in turn the castle, the lost shoe, and finally its owner, then your eye is zipped back up the diagonal to see the elements in reverse. This visual repetition and continuum allows for the viewer to take the time to experience all the elements of the picture and get sucked in to their own dreams.

To see More of the Dreams series, they are posted here: http://missgeeky.com/2008/01/29/annie-leibovitzs-disney-dream-portrait-series/

Assignment #2 – Reading Response

September 12, 2008

The question is, How does digital art (new media) relate to, or impact different aspects of our western culture?

In Chapter 1 of Digital Art Christiane Paul brings her readers up to date with a very brief overview of the place of digital media in today’s world, discussing the recent appearance of digital media arts on the world scene, and its cultural impact. I see digital media as being an element of culture that is being influenced by a general trend toward our reliance on technology. Stuck together in a perpetual bout of one-upmanship, technology is permeating and redefining the makeup of western culture, demanding a faster, more precise way of living. Digital media is responding to this trend so quickly it is, in turn, creating other aspects of the change. Western culture is one of continuing evolution and consumption; we will buy the same song over and over so long as it is remixed again and again. Sampling has allowed for greater creative flexibility without any fear of a degradation of the work after each variation and rebirth. Digital media allows for more players, the owner of the work is the last person who touched it, this new interpretation of authenticity and authority show itself to be worlds away from traditional ideas of authorship. Just as Prometheus gave man fire; the digital age as given Man a voice, clearly heard across the scope of our culture. No longer is art defined by select patrons, today digital media allows for the untrained, dark horse to have equal exposure to the public.

The playful nature of digital art I think fits very well with the direction and speed of our western culture. The immediacy of digital art allows creative individuals to experiment with very little effort, financial reprise or devotion of time. Innovations are made simply by the fact the volume of work being created is so increased. I doubt if Nancy Burson ever envisioned her morphing technology to become a crime fighting tool, much less a popular effect in Michael Jackson videos. Still, in the short time digital images have been available to us, we as consumers have been so inundated that we are already jaded by them. We are all so aware of the ease of image manipulation westerners now function with a “heightened awareness of the questionable nature of the authenticity of images.” (Paul, 36) The multiplicity of styles and creations in the realm of digital art has allowed our culture to grow and be more flexible as well. The information age has shifted the balance of power in a way that is not wholly unlike the invention of the Gutenberg’s press and the proliferation of the printed page, information and art are now available on a scale never seen before, digital media allowed that to happen.

Assignment #1 – Crap all over it.

September 5, 2008

I didn’t anticipate having as much trouble with this assignment as I eventually did. I think I tried about a million avenues to get to something, between spending too much time tinkering with programs I didn’t know, and driving myself a little nuts trying to come up with a theme of some kind, all I ended up doing was exhausting my (already admittedly little) interest in this assignment. In the end I used sketchup and google earth to visualize my feelings about this project. I feel like taking a crap all over it.

Creative Commons License
Crap All Over It by SMonterosso is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at smonterosso.wordpress.org.