Monday, February 12, 2018

Project 1

The Children of the Sun, Moon, and Earth
    The following collages are based on Plato's Speech of Aristophanes. In this speech, Plato describes the 3 genders that humans used to exists as. They were the Children of the Sun (two men), the Children of the Moon (man and woman, or androgynous), and Children of the Earth (two women). Because of having a constant soulmate, these early humans had no need for love and thus became very smart and strong individuals. This made the Greek gods feel threatened, and Zeus decided he would split them in half with this lighting bolts. In this way, these early humans are clearly chimeras. This speech is also known as the origin of love as it explains how humans were first taken away from their soulmate, and thus spend the rest of their lives trying to find this soulmate. 
    In each collage, I used the planet that the being was associated with as the body to represent its name. I explored a more literal translation with the use of the male and female limbs and heads to create the genders of each being. Because I wanted to give an homage to the Greek origins of this story, I included a picture of Mount Olympus in the background. The purple tint of the background was included in order to compliment the gold tone of the frame. The rock was included at the bottom to give the image a foreground that allowed the beings to have a place to stand and not be floating. The frame and scenic background was included to give the pieces a religious icon feel, as I thought it would be ironic to make these figures look like religious icons, when they were actually despised by the Greek gods. 
    Some of the techniques I used to create these pieces were as follows:
  • I used the polygonal lasso tool to cut out most pieces of this collage in order to get a crisper edge, especially for the body parts, as the background for the limbs was a grey tone that caused the quick selection tool to not select correctly the majority of the time. 
  • I used the rulers along the sides in order to try to get the placement of each figure very similar to the ones on the other collages. This was in order to help create more continuity between all 3 pieces. 
  • I used transformations and reflections, as well as simple copy and paste in order to get each limb to be the same size.
   Overall, these collages were incredible to work on. I initially had a lot of problems coming up with the design as it was really hard to find the images I needed to use for some earlier designs. I am happy with my final design though, but I am going to work on finding a replacement for the frame as it is too overwhelming to the composition. 





Monday, February 5, 2018

Post from Week 3 about Project 1 Progress

So far, I have been finding a few images to use for the collages that have to do with the male and female form, as well as the idea of the children of the sun, moon, and Earth.





I also started with a draft, but it needs a lot of work and I will continue to work on it with ideas of iconography in mind.

GIF Article Response

GIFS started in the late 1990’s with some artists focusing purely on sharing them with the web. However, in 2003, MySpace was created and the animated GIF took off as this new social website allowed them to be shared very quickly. This is when the GIF becomes a large part of the social media world. Other blogs that focused only on GIFS also popped up, but they only lasted around 5 years before “networked blogs like Tumblr^1” took over and allowed people to easily share, download, change, and reshare GIFS exponentially. Socially, this has allowed people to create reaction GIFS, revolutionize a generation with the creation of memes, and to share popular clips from movies and shows with each other very easily.
However, with this change to a very mainstream platforms, the GIF is at threat of being restricted. Platforms like Facebook and Tumblr have enforced size minimums and created ways for GIFS to be made into videos when uploaded. This has taken away some of the freedom that the GIF had. As a small file with many limitations, the idea of forcing the file to be larger and more detailed takes away the challenge of creating a good GIF under strict limitations. Because GIFS do “not belong to anyone^2”, they should not be forced to change. In the age we are coming into that questions how free the net truly is, changing a very influential file that has been a part of the web from the beginning seems like a slap in the face. I see no harm in simply leaving the file type alone and allowing content creators to be in change of what size they wish their file to be. These GIFS are a part of how society shares their emotions and expression through reaction GIFS and meme GIFS. Low tech GIFS are available to more people and are easier to create so taking away these options are going to have lasting impacts on how our social culture can react to itself. They represent freedom of choice and expression on the web that is already being threatened with lessened neutrality.

1. Johnson, Paddy. “A Brief History of Animated GIF Art, Part Two.” Artnet News, Artnet News, 22 Apr. 2015, news.artnet.com/art-world/a-brief-history-of-animated-gif-art-part-two-78532.
2. Sha . “The Digital Materiality of GIFS.” Newhive.com, newhive.com/shashashasha/digital-materiality-of-gifs.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Gefter Article Response

Digital processes, like Adobe Photoshop, are current examples of how photographs can be altered or edited very quickly after the photograph has already been taken. When reading this article from  Philip Gefter, some changes are implied that suggests how easy Photoshop has made it edit any small imperfections in a photo. Photographers from the early to mid 20th century, like Lewis Hine, had to actually retake photos that had small imperfections, like the subject having their zipper down. In today’s world, small details like this are fixed much quicker in the digital darkroom. Photoshop now allows photographers to simply fix any small oversights in the editing process, instead of having to completely retake the photo. When Gefter implies that Photoshop has created less work for photographers, he also seems to also imply that photographers may not need as keen of an eye for the small details in a photo as they can change it quickly digitally. However, this assumption is far from the truth because, while the photography session may now be less stressful, photographers are now almost required to have a complete understanding of Photoshop in order to be considered a professional. A current photographer has to now have a keen eye for edits made after the photograph was taken as people are very quick to attack a faulty edit. In this way, photographers may have more relaxed photography sessions, but will have to be even more observant during the editing process.
Other real changes come from the idea of being able to quickly discover photo edits and how aggressive people can be toward photographers that do edit their photos. Because people do naturally assume that photographs from reputable news providers are real, many can become very upset when a photograph is discovered to be falsely edited. Because there are now so many photographs being taken for the same events and being reported in many different news sites, it has become much easier to discover when a false or poorly done edit has been done. This has changed dramatically from the small scattering of photographers we had in the Civil War, for example. When this happens, that news site can face harsh backlash and again, we see how a real change in the amount of photographs present in the news world have caused photographers to be forced to be even more careful than before. While past photographs had to be careful about staging photos improperly and making them too obvious, current photographers have to be careful about how much they edit a photo and how well the edit is done as it is so easy to discover falsehoods in photos now.
Lastly, the last line of this piece from Gefter speaks volumes about photography in today’s culture. He calls it a “metaphor, where the truth is approximated in renderings of a more poetic or symbolic nature.” ^1 Because so much of today’s world is told by visual narratives and what catches peoples’ eyes the best, it seems that photographers are pressured to create the best photo they can. This often time means editing the photo and whether this be the saturation or exposure, or adjusting someone’s hair or teeth color, the visual culture we live in now is what is causing this to happen. This is a huge, real change that has occured and led to the rise of programs like Photoshop that allow these new “metaphors” to be made.

1. Gefter, Philip. “Essay: Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 July 2009, lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/essay-4/?_r=0.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ideas for Formal Photomontages

1. Using ideas of 3 genders in Platos speech of Aristophanes to depict the creatures that humans used to be. There was the children of the sun (both male), earth (both female), and moon (androgynous- one male and one female) and it could be interesting to make 3 separate posters depicting each one before and after Zeus split them apart due to them not pleasing the Gods due to them being to strong.

2. Depicting Hobbes's Leviathan which is basically the idea of having one poster be a normal idea of the Leviathan from the book of Job in the Bible, then the idea of Hobbes' Leviathan which is a combination of all the power of the church mixed with the power of a King as an absolute monarchy. The last poster could be the depiction of the government we have no in a sort of mix between the original monster and Hobbes' Leviathan.

3. Illustrating 3 of the beasts in Ovid's Metamorphoses as I do have the book. This one would require more work than the others because I have not read all of the stories in Ovid and these 3 posters could lack a central theme that ties them all together.

*My favorite idea is the first one because I have a lot of love and passion for Platos speech and did a lot of research into it for my Honors class last semester. 

Photomontages





New Media Art Response

New Media is a new type of art that includes any art done with new types of technology following the production of video art. Because of the use of new mediums for their art, artists that create New Media often differ greatly from artists of traditional medias, but not always. There are examples of New Media being both inclusive and exclusive of traditional art.

Beginning with the ways the New Media is exclusive of traditional art, as these difference seem to be more apparent on the surface, New Media typically involves much more collaboration between artists. For example, there are groups who create video games, which are a type of New Media that requires the use of multiple technological mediums, who employ experts in multiple fields in order to create an entire game. This creates a dichotomy from traditional artists who tended to prefer to work in more solitary fashions. While this exclusion may not always be true, as there are New Media artists who work solitarily and vice versa, collaboration just seems to be more prominent in New Media art than in traditional art. Another prominent exclusion is simply the medium of work and the consequences that come from using those mediums. Because New Media makes use of new and constantly updating technologies, older software often goes out of date and artwork can be lost because of this. Traditional art does not have this problem with updating as this art makes use of more hands-on mediums like oil paints.
Examples of how inclusive New Media art is to traditional art starts with the obvious parallels between the reuse and reinvention of past artists and ideas. An example seen in the article by Mark Tribe is the reinvention of painstaking process of using benday dots in comic paintings by Roy Lichtenstein to making art pixel by pixel by the artist eBoy. This shows how traditional art can be reinvented in similar ways, just using different technologies. A second example of how New Media is inclusive of traditional media is through the idea of the hacker. A hacker is just someone who “lives and breathes computers”^1 which in a way makes them just like a traditional artist who would live and breath paint or any other medium. Like how traditional art has created new types of artists in the past as it grew and evolved, New Media art has created the hacker. In this way, New Media is following past trends from traditional art, and is remaining inclusive. Lastly, both types of art include references to their current cultural climate. New Media simply creates its references in a new type of medium. While traditional artists may paint a satirical portrait of a problematic leader, New Media artists can create a web comic that also satires the leader in a different way. In this way, both art forms can help their artists speak directly to the audience about their feelings toward their cultures at the time.

1.
Tribe, Mark . “New Media Art.” New Media Art, Brown University Wiki, 16 Sept. 2012, web.archive.org/web/20150406154909/https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/New Media Art#NewMediaArt-Introduction.