Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chimeras, Hybrids, and Monsters, Oh My!

Going into this project I tried to think of things that wouldn't ordinarily mix, such as man and animal, sea creatures and land creatures or in my case, tech and elements of nature. I was very interested in glitch art, and I have not explored much digital art before now so it seemed like a good place to start. The idea was to take elements of nature and mix with technology making them appear as if they were also glitching in and out of the composition. I focused on plants animals and people. The last composition involving people seemed to disrupt the final series because it was more difficult to think how to compose it and also gave the impression that I was making a statement on technology disconnecting humanity. The one involving animals however was fairly successful in my opinion because I used the tech aspect merely to set up the seen of a tiger using its striped to camouflage and stalk it's prey.

In making my compositions I also chose my subject because I knew finding appropriate material, such as computer glitches, would be easier than finding obscure pictures. Making the images involved quite a big of copying images on the composition and dragging them forward to make a repeated shape like nature itself was glitching. The most difficult aspect would probably be the tiger, getting each stripe and deleting to was difficult and involved quite a bit of close up selections. Also cropping out parts of the tigers in the background so they did not block that the black stripes had been replaced. Overall I'm mostly satisfied with how the composition came out and it was an interesting bit of experimentation.

Friday, February 9, 2018

.GIF Response

GIFs had a very humble beginning with text graphics for Site Under Construction and the small emote entitled Dancing Girl by Chuck Poynter. This small artform has since exploded all across mainstream media being used in average everyday conversation on Facebook, Tumblr, and in general text messaging. They've become a very intricate part of online interaction and communication. GIFs as an art form were revolutionary in their democratic nature because anyone with a computer could make them, download them, and warp them into something new. For Instance, Chuck Poynter was a retired man of arms in his 50’s and yet he managed to produce a collection of over 500 early GIFs in the span of one and a half years  due to how readily available the media was. GIFs changed the playing field opening new doors to new media art and design through computer technology. In the words of Sha “gifs are a dumb, limited file format, and in the end this is why they are important: they do not belong to anyone. because of their constraints they become a design material, to be played with, challenged, and explored. To try and domesticate them would be missing the point.” this the idea of why GIFs are so revolutionary in short, they are easily acquired, reused, and reformatted. They don't particularly produce revenue because of the open source quality about them and that's all the better. The ironic thing about this is that GIFs were not originally even meant for animation and just intended for small file use. Designers weren’t even very interested in gifs thinking it wasn't an effective method for digital art or file storing until people started incorporating animation into its uses. The GIF format had so much untapped potential in the beginning and now it’s difficult to find someone who doesn't know and love GIF formatting as a means of communication, art, and memeing.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Photomontage Update

         For my photomontage I at first focussed on things that may not normally go together such as nature and humans, or things that are typically seen as feminine and masculine put together. I think I've settled on the idea of using computer glitches technology and moving with biological forms. I will be taking things like the blue screen of death or static from the TV and incorporating foliage or human appendages. I think it will work well enough and I should be able to find enough resources online since it's tech based. That was an issue I had with the other ideas was that I couldn't find exactly what I wanted in terms of images to use so using a tech based theme should make it easier.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Philip Gefter Reading Response

            In Philip Gefter's essay he writes about historical accuracy in famous photography that is taken for granted as actual reality. Multiple well-known photographs such as "Home of the Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg, 1868" by Gardner or the famous picture of Rosa Parks taken in 1956 a year after her social rights movement were posed and were not spur of the moment photos like they would have you believe. Once you think on more of these photos it's apparent that many of them are staged in some way. Even before Photoshop and digital photography was available photographers staged photos to their liking. Photography couldn't be digitally altered but there was still artistic composition of different elements in each work giving them aesthetic values.
            Even before we had Photoshop or digital media arts we had basic film photography. Without the tech we have now photographers had to get down and dirty to get pictures in war scenes or of factory workers. They have always been tricking the eye to make the scene look natural enough like they had happened upon the soldiers body and the body happened to be positioned ever so gracefully. The thought that people may be desperate or dedicated enough to drag literal dead bodies into postion to get a good shot isn't the first thought many people have. Less squeamish photographers seemed to be all about using dead bodies as props to position to their liking. Nowadays people may not take so kindly to the process. In Gefter's own words '..just because a photograph reflects the world with perceptual accuracy doesn’t mean it is proof of what spontaneously transpires.'(1) Once the posing is pointed out it's hard not to notice and pinpoint just how every detail was made to look like actual reality. 
            In today's photography scene, photo-editing can be seen everywhere in media. In every tabloid magazine people have been touched up to look more like the ideal human body and like they absolutely love the product they are endorsing. The thighs are made smaller the muscles have been made to look firmer and in traditional photography models were also hired to act as young infatuated couples in France. It's interesting to think about that in 40 years we may even have heavily edited photos of historical figures in textbooks just like how we have posed photos of Rosa Parks.
            It's amazing what people will take for granted as fact if they see a well-timed photo in a newspaper or textbook. Another iconic photo, not mentioned in the article, is the photo of the nurse and soldier kissing in Times Square. It's seen often but more recently people talk about how this was not a couple in love but two strangers. The girl had no desire to be touched and was actually a dental assistant but get the picture at the right moment it's an amazing shot. Arts like still life in multiple medias are very interesting in that they don't have to be exact copies they just have to be believable for the viewers. A picture speaks a thousand words but maybe not all one thousand are trustworthy.

(1) Philip Gefter, Essay: Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor, The New York Times, 2009, p 1

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Photomontage Reflection

I have very minimum Photoshop experience and have been able to use it when I absolutely have to. The photomontage homework most definitely helped to solidify some of the functions and shortcuts with Photoshop in my mind. I have a couple ideas I did not get to use, or did not have the time or patience, so maybe I will save them for later. I'm interesting in using Photoshop to piece together images to make nature and biological forms blend together.

Practice Photomontages

New Media Art Comparison

New media art is interesting in that it's using technology and engineering to make new, interactive art pieces. People have begun using tech like robotics, digital drawing, and cinematography to make new media art. Seeing art being affected by society and the world’s current environment is always exciting but more traditionalist artists may think it could make their work become obsolete and boring. Just as cameras have made painted portraits rare in today’s culture, new media art could have a similar effect on the traditional arts.
New media has an advantage in that many pieces can be taken anywhere and distributed globally just through the web and traditional art sometimes does not translate as well through a photo on Instagram. It does pose a threat to traditionalists in the way that it's new and exciting but seeing old ways of producing art will always have a unique effect. Many artists, myself included, enjoy seeing old ways of painting and crafting from different cultures or exotic mediums and that could never be replaced by new media art.
New media still focuses on similar subjects such as injustice, society, current events, and appropriation. It includes past ideas or movements and builds from our artistic predecessors and opens a new door of opportunity and potential. Traditional arts can now be re-imagined in new forms. They are both art with a cause and a drive to have a bigger meaning. It could however, also be exclusive in the way that common everyday media will always be changing and advancing, we at one time used floppy disks, but now we have flash drives and iCloud systems.

New media’s lifespan could be very fleeting in some aspects such as its need to be preserved and emulated into different forms to be enjoyed by future generations.It opens up many opportunities as well as competition to try and be noticed against the millions of other digital artists surfacing. Some digital artists may not even draw  traditionally at all which is sad that they may never explore different mediums and try to gain mastery over different forms. It has made some aspects of art easier but still has its own tools that require different levels of mastery. There are many pros and cons to this medium and the progression is sure to be interesting.