Friday, October 29, 2010

This blog was created... (posted 9/20/10)

This blog was created for the purpose of showing my assignments from the Art 245 class I'm currently enrolled in.  As a professional Webmaster, I suppose I could have created a site using W3C compliant XHTML, CSS, Javascript. However, lately my time has become very limited and for once it feels nice just to let Blogger do it.

If time permits, I'll probably change the design to allow for a better Hubble Telescope image, or perhaps a completely different background image, or I'll tweak the HTML just for fun. Or perhaps I'll leave it as it is. Truthfully, I don't use blogs very much so this will be a learning experience for me as well.

On that note  (posted 11/24 but let's pretend it was posted in Sept.):

Despite many of its users' requests, Blogger does not give the option to sort posts in ascending/descending order. Toward the end of the semester, our teacher told us to change the post dates to change the order of these posts. I've searched the Blogger help files and this was the ONLY feasible way to do this (sad but true) and many users have requested this option.

Therefore, do not trust the automatically assigned post dates because they've all been changed. Instead, go by the posted date in the titles (I'm pretty sure they are correct).

First two assignments:

My first two assignments, and perhaps following assignments, are from a perspective of my life without God. Actually, my life is with God but my focus hasn't always been on Him and, therefore, these assignments might seem somewhat gloomy. They're already completed and will be posted as is. Depending on future assignments, I'll try to keep my focus more on God as I do them so that they don't appear so gloomy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Assignment: Another Blissful Day in America (posted 9/20/10)

 Unfortunately, the lab that has the better photo of this project on one of its hard drives was closed for lunch when I went there to upload it. So this is my "plan B" upload. Hopefully, I'll upload the "plan A" picture at an later time.

This project was our one and only hands-on project without the use of a computer. We had to use a sharp knife to cut out bits and pieces from magazines and books an paste it onto an original artwork. This kind of art is called "DADA Montage".

For you Star Wars fans, this piece takes the overall plot of the first 3 recent episodes and applies it to America. In short, America the republic is "evolving" into an empire. Click on the image to see the full size version.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Second Assignment: "Midlife Crisis" (posted 9/20/10)

Kind of a gloomy, doomy piece for me but that's how I've been feeling lately while going through my late 30s and early 40s.  But then again, please note the comment I stated under "This Blog Was Created" heading.

This first part of the Triptych is called "Past" (click on it for the larger image)

This second part of the Triptych is called "Present" (click on it for the larger image)


This third part of the Triptych is called "Future" (click on it for the larger image)


 This is all three parts put together of the Triptych called "Midlife Crisis" (click on it for the larger image)

Third Assignment: "Beyond the Crisis" (posted 9/25/10)

As promised in my blog's introduction post, I'm attempting be be less gloomy and doomy in this and future assignments. However, as instructed, this assignment is based off my last assignment, a triptych called "Midlife Crisis." Therefore, being more positive in this assignment was a challenge. What makes this animation less gloomy is the hope I find at the cross of Christ, as depicted in the end of the video. Also, to bring a little "ahhh" to the video, I started it off with an cute image of a baby which I appropriated from the Internet.

Basically, this piece (as well as the last assignment) represents a man who has been going through the horrible depression associated with the midlife crisis. In the last assignment, his faith and hope was not centered on God. However, in this assignment, his faith and hope in God is restored despite the depression.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The next two assignments (posted 11/1/10)

The following two assignments after the third one you see above were group projects. The first of the two was a class-wide collaboration of combining our videos into one large video. The project after that was adding sound to our portion of said video. I don't know what happened to the final piece or else I'd at least post a link. But hey, it's done.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Assignment (I lost count): Chindogu (posted 11/1/10)

Chindogu is the Japanese art of creating worthless inventions. This was another group project and it was kind of fun. You can find more information about Chindogu at

So here's the first part my group's Chindogu project entitled "Fart Catcher 5000"

The lady on the left is one of my team members. The dog belongs to the other team member.  The kids playing video games are my son (wearing the Fart Catcher) and my nephew.  This was a fun and funny project.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

FARTCATCHER 5000 (posted 11/9/10)

This is my group's infomercial for the "Fart Catcher 2000"
Wonder how many of these we're going to sell?

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Mandatory Exhibition Visitation report (posted 11/14/10)

To be honest, there were other exhibitions or film screenings that I wanted to go to, but they were unfortunately scheduled during one of my other classes, which also have mandatory attendance.  So, upon Joe DeLappe’s suggestion,  for my mandatory art exhibition critique, I visited the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to critique so I’ll critique my trip there.  

It was really strange how this trip to the Art Museum worked out.  This past Saturday, my wife and I went to an extra credit group meeting for our AM 145 class. It just so happened that everyone in the group wanted to go to the Art Museum because today was “free day”. So we followed them to the Art Museum (wasn’t sure where it was at) and brought a pen a paper with me.

We all decided to start on the third floor to see “the birds.”  It was a gallery of mostly oil paintings of different kinds of birds. I thought this room to be completely boring, except for the museum’s idea of allowing guests to dial a number on our cell phones to hear the birds we’re looking at. Still, it was overall pretty boring. 

Down the hallway, I found a few pieces of slightly more exciting work.  Much of the works I found in the Scenic painting rooms were better than the birds because I like nature scenery. Unfortunately, they also were mostly oil paintings. Farther down the hall was a little section about Israel. I liked this section because I like Israel and the Jews. Most of these pieces were video and photographic works. I was most intrigued, although I’m not really sure why, by the video piece called “Black Moon, Dead Sea” by Sharon Glazberg. It caught my attention and I enjoyed the part where the young lady rolled watermelons down the street toward the Black Sea. 

By this time my wife and I parted from our AM 145 class and ventured up to the 4th floor.  I liked that this floor was mostly outdoors on the rooftop; however, I had hoped to see a little more than what was there.  Other than the building’s architecture, I would say my favorite piece on the top floor was a large black thing made out of metal and vinyl mesh that I could walk into.  What was amusing is that I really didn’t know what I was looking at until realizing that the inner piece reminded me of a cervix. Then I realized that I was standing inside a vagina.  I’m not sure if this was the artist’s intention but it was still funny to me. (My wife was kind of hoping I wouldn’t include this part in this critique). Moving on…

Down on the second floor is where I found most of the pieces I liked.  One room I found interesting featured art made by math. I believe the artist’s name is Hoffman. Not far from that room, in the hallway, was a painting of the superhero, Flash. The piece was called “Flash in Naples” by Jean-Michael Basquiat.  Honestly, the only reason I liked this piece is because the Flash was my favorite comic book hero as a kid.

A little farther down the hall on the second floor was probably my most favorite piece in the entire Museum of Art, other than the building’s architecture if I can count that. It is the piece called “Two Girls” by Jon Ahearn.  It actually caught me off guard. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going and when I turned around, these two black girls appeared to be jumping at me from out of the wall.  This artwork was made by acrylic on plaster and it looked very life-like. I almost wanted to say "excuse me for almost bumping into you."

Well, eventually my wife and I grew tired and hungry and we decided to check out the first floor on the way out.  Turns out the first floor is nothing more than an overpriced restaurant (or so we assumed), restrooms, and the exit door to the parking lot. On the front door we noticed that the normal price for us to be there was $10 per person; actually $8 because we’re students. To be painfully honest, we wouldn’t if we could, spend half that to get in. However, for the sake of our kids, we might wait for next month’s “free day”.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

YouTube mixer: "in time" (posted 11/18/10)

Did you ever have one of those semesters where you were tempted to snap at all of your teacher and say "NO, I refuse to do any more. YOU do it."  Well, at this point in the semester I find myself asking "is this teacher ever going to stop giving us projects? And why won't this semester ever end?"  HOWEVER, this project ended up being more fun than I realized it would be and I ended up putting more into it than I thought I would. 

I wasn't sure if I should name this "Life goes on" or something with the word "Time" in it. These are random YouTube videos found by doing a keyword search for "Time Lapse" (I like time lapse videos). At first, I wasn't really sure where I was going with all the videos I collected until looking at the rotting bowl of fruit and sprouting seeds (lower right). Then I viewed life in the city and moving clouds, all in fast-paced time lapsed motion.  Together these selected videos depict life and death in fast motion, hopefully giving some sense that life is short, but even after death, time still goes on.  Although I may change the title later, for now I'm calling it "In Time".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lecture 1: Cory Arcangel (posted 11/20/10)

Because all of the lectures required for this class were scheduled at times I had class or had to work, the teacher permitted me to watch online lectures. One such lecture was by the artist Cory Arcangel, guest lecturer at Columbia University's Digital Media Center on December 16, 2004. After watching the opening preface to his lecture, I became concerned that my eyes would grow heavy from boredom. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing more than opening lecture jitters and Cory started to grab my attention as time progressed.

His early works included a mixture of boring and interesting stuff. I found the boring stuff, such as "The Sound of 303" and "8Bit construction Set" causing me to ask "why". I suppose the only answer would be "because he can." However, I found interesting how Quicktime can be used to for "RAM fishing" (collecting data left over in a computer's RAM). I also laughed at how he programmed a computer to open a CD tray when a user wanted to check his or her email as a prank.

The Lecture started getting more interesting when Cory displayed his Video Game projects. I found "Super Slow Tetris" to be humourous and interesting as a game I could probably beat. I enjoyed learning that games can be hacked, such as in "Super Mario Clouds", although that piece also had me wondering why. I only wish he had gone more into detail about how to hack games because there are a few games I would love to hack. His Web site didn't seem to provide any information about hacking, although he stated that he shows users how to.

Beyond the Video Game realm, Cory showed us other art projects. I especially liked "Beach Boys vs. Ghetto Boys" and how it contrasted the two eras and genres. I also liked what Cory did with "Nintendo iPod," turning regular and popular songs into Nintendo-sounding music while displaying a virtual iPod. "Pizza Party" left me someone confused as to what he was doing and why, although I once worked for Dominoe's Pizza and found it somewhat interesting.

Overall, Cory Arcangel is a talented artist. On his Web site, he answers an FAQ stating that he doesn't mind if someone "steals" his work and modifies it again. It could be argued that he's really not an artist since all he does is "steals" other people's work and reprograms them. He even refers to himself as "lazy." However, if what he does with the stolen work triggers some kind of emotional response, why not call it art?

Link to Lecture

Link to Cory Arcangel Web site

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lecture 2: Mary Flanagan (posted 12/3/10)

For my second lecture, I watched a YouTube presentation by artist Mary Flanagan, guest speaking at Columbia University ( I really don’t like watching lectures on YouTube but would rather be present in the flesh. However, because most approved lectures this semester occurred during my other classes or work, Joe Delappe was kind enough to allow me to use this YouTube lecture instead (Thanks Joe!).

Mark Tribe introduces Mary Flanagan as a “researcher in experimental cultural practices” instead of an artist and Mary agrees. She is also the Webmaster and creator for “Adventures of Josie True” (, which is a fun and free online game and tutor for girls age 9-11 in the subject of math and science.

Mary titled her lecture “Artistic Processes and Art Work”. In her introduction she stated that she’s very interested in Web and network art. One point she brings out is that many aspiring artists tend to be a little disgruntled by digital art because the tools used are either too difficult to learn or are always changing (which I’ve also found to be true).

During her lecture, Mary used a PowerPoint slideshow to show examples of art work that she or other artists created and she did a great job using the PowerPoint presentation to make her point.  She transitioned nicely from one slide to the next. Unfortunately, the camera used in the YouTube video but never turned to the screen until seven minutes into her lecture, and even then the viewer could only see the bottom left of the screen. I know that the camera was capable of focusing on the screen because 26 minutes into her speech, it would focus very briefly on the entire screen.

In all honesty, if Mary wasn’t a great public speaker, or if I was blind, this YouTube video lecture would have caused me to fall asleep. And although she was a great public speaker, I would have retained more of what she spoke about had the camera turned to the screen more often. The good news is that I decided to do a Google search for Mary Flanagan and found her Web site: Had I discovered her and her works weeks sooner, I would have chosen her for my final paper.

I wish I could have been at her lecture in person because some of the works sounded very interesting. I would have liked seeing the art work that combines pieces of HTML files. In her lecture she says at one time she was a computer scientist. I did find her piece titled “Search” on her Web site Below is a picture of this piece. If you click on it you will be taken to its Web page. Most of her work seems to deal with one or more aspect of computer science, usually involving text.

Overall, even though this presentation was not a failed lecture to the people present; it was a failed YouTube lecture. It was not a failed YouTube lecture because of Mary Flanagan, the speaker. It was a failed lecture because the person behind the camera did not turn the camera to the screen showing her PowerPoint presentation. It’s a good thing I found her Web site instead.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Heiko Daxl and Kit Webster - Final Writing Assignment (posted 9/29)

For my final writing assignment, and last week's Power Point presentation, I've chosen two artists to compare and contrast: Heiko Daxl and Kit Webster. 

Heiko Daxl
I was dreading this written assignment because I couldn’t dig up enough information on Heiko Daxl, one of the two artists I chose. I found plenty on the other artist, Kit Webster and incorporated that into last week’s PowerPoint presentation. Then, out of blue, Mr. Daxl emailed me an invitation to an annual artist festival, called Pixxelpoint, which he and his wife, Ingeborg Fülepp, are curators for.  Although I won’t be able to make the event because it’s on the other side of our planet, the event’s site gave me plenty of information about Heiko Daxl. Below in red is the text from the Pixxelpoint site with my comments in normal black font.

Heiko Daxl a German media artist and exhibition curator and his wife and partner Ingeborg Fülepp, a Croatian artist, university teacher, curator and film editorand, are renowned video and media artists who are at home in Berlin and Zagreb and who are recognized in both cities. Since 1990 they have worked together as an artistic couple under the name "mediainmotion" and "dafü®" within film, video art, visual music, digital art, graphics, photo, installation and Mixed Media. Both established in Zagreb starting from 1993 and still during the war in Croatia the exhibition series Media Scape with international media art at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb (until 1999) and since 2005 in the Galerija Rigo and Muzej Lapidarium in Novigrad (Cittánova) in the Croatian region of Istria. In the year 2006 this manifestation was extended in co-operation with Noam Braslavsky under the title Strictly Berlin in the Galerie der Künste (GdK) in Berlin.

This introduction to Heiko Daxl (as well as his wife, Ingeborg Fulepp) can be easily verified their Web sites and  However, to separate Daxl from his wife for the sake of this report and last week’s presentation, I referred mostly to

Besides their own artistic oeuvre, their teaching activity and their cooperation at the studio for electroacoustic music of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (1995–2002) they have worked in the context of concerts and theatre performances also with contemporary composers such as Georg Katzer, Wolfgang Rihm, Hans Joachim Hespos, Frano Parac, Gerhard Staebler, Mona Mur, Jorge Reyes, Steve Roach, Suso Saiz, Kunsu Shin, Amnon Wolman, Bert Wrede, Dror Feiler, Masami Akita (Merzbow), Zbigniew Karkowski, Elliott Sharp, Tobias P.M. Schneid, Valerio Pizzorno, Igor Kuljerić and Mario Verandi and the ensembles Ensemble Modern, Neue Vokalsolisten, Ensemble Belcanto, Zeitkratzer, Ensemble Varianti, Ensemble 13.

I know they are artists and I know that Daxl is a teacher. But I did not know he “worked in the context of concerts and theatre performances” or with famous composers.

The numerous works they have created bear witness to their joy of experimenting, always moving on the borderline to the unknown. Employing new technologies, they investigate different, so far unknown optic and acoustic phenomena. The observer's senses, his hearing, his sight and his touch, are always consciously engaged, irritating his perception. Daxl and Fülepp show new ways in the artistic exploration of the technical possibilities of creating sounds and abstract images which force the observer to an integrated reception. They seek to make the recipient think about the reality which is imparted to him in an artificial and technical way.

I sent Daxl an email asking “What motivates you to produce great works like these?   What message are you hoping to portray to us?” Although, in the past, he usually responded to my emails I have yet to receive a response to this one, unless I count this invitation to the Pixxelpoint Festival.  Fortunately, this portion of the Pixxelpoint site does a great job answering my question. This is what I was seeking for my presentation.

They have had work commissioned by Budge-Palais (Hamburg), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Donaueschingen Festival for Contemporary classical music), Bayerische Staatsoper München, Lehmbruck-Museum Duisburg, Photokina Köln, Toshiba Tokyo, Magyar Televízió Budapest, Südwestrundfunk Stuttgart, Music Biennale Zagreb, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz Berlin) Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Goethe-Institut, INFERMENTAL, Budapest.

The information that I was able to retrieve from Daxl’s site, which I used in last week’s Power Point presentation, was his basic bio and the icing on the cake, which is his artwork:

“Born in Oldenburg, Germany; lives and works in Berlin and Zagreb.”

“Studied architecture at the Technical University, Berlin; media science and art history in Braunschweig, Zürich, and Osnabrück.”

“Has M.A. in communication aesthetics.”

In my presentation, I also made the following observation citing our textbook:

“Although Daxl specializes in various forms of digital art, he seems to prefer video art.  Margot Lovejoy’s “Digital Currents” describes video art as “live feedback in seeing moving images…” (p. 94).  This is what Daxl does quite well.”

Now for the Icing on the Cake


Kit Webster

It was also difficult to find sufficient personal information on Kit Webster, although he was kind enough to email me anything I wasn’t clear on.  Also, like Daxl, I sent him the same email asking “What motivates you to produce great works like these?   What message are you hoping to portray to us?” and, he has yet to respond. Therefore, regarding his bibliographical information, I can give you all I have which was used in last week’s presentation.  Fortunately, because it’s much easier to find Kit Webster’s artwork, I will show more of his work this in this assignment.

The information that I was able to retrieve from Webster, which I used in last week’s Power Point presentation:

Kit Webster informed me through Facebook that he was born in Melbourne, Australia

On his Vimeo account he states “I am a new media installation artist and composer from Melbourne, Australia.”

He has a BFA from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

In my presentation, I also made the following observation citing our textbook:

Kit Webster refers to himself as an “installation artist”.  Margot Lovejoy’s book “Digital Currents” agrees as it defines installation art as video projections... in unexpected places  (p. 138).
The Icing on the Cake


Comparisons and Contrasts from Power Point Presentation:
In last week’s reports I was required to choose two pieces of art from both artists then compare and contrast them. I chose these pieces:


In comparing the works, I noted the following:

Both artists are extremely gifted in their use of color.  These pieces use very well blended, yet contrasting, colors.

Both artists display great skills with the computer and other forms of technology.

It doesn’t take much analyzing to see that these pieces of art were done with pride from their creators.

In contrasting the works, I noted the following:

Daxl tends to use abstract and disorderly patterns in his designs.

Webster uses orderly patterns and, for the most part uses a lot of repeating simple geometric shapes.

In retrospect, although I probably would have still chosen Kit Webster for last week’s presentation and this report, I wish I had chosen a different second artist other than Heiko Daxl.  Although this extremely bottom-heavy class didn’t give us enough time to find artists we can be passionate about or find adequate information on, I will say (even though I’m not supposed to) that I loved their works and I loved their use of colors.


Email correspondence from both artists

“Digital Currents” by Margot Lovejoy

My Power Point Presentation presented in class on 11/22

Monday, October 4, 2010

Final Projects (posted 12/4)


For my final projects, I selected three projects from out teacher's list of online "crowdsourcing" art projects. We were only required to select two projects but I have not yet seen my contribution to the Johnny Cash Project go live yet. So I've decided to contribute to a third "crownsourcing" project, just in case.

Crowdsourcing is one of those terms I understand but have a hard time putting into words. So I referred to the ever-so-trustworthy Wikipedia for a definition: "...the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call."  Kind of a wordy definition but I think you'll get a better idea of crowdsourcing after looking at my final projects.

Final Project 1: The Johnny Cash Project  (

This one was a lot of fun, well that is until being logged out of their site unknowingly before trying to submit my work. On the third or fourth try, it finally occurred to me that perhaps the site doesn't like Mozilla Firefox. This image below is a snapshot of what I did in Internet Explorer and I even received a "successful submission" message!

In this project, the end user gets to color (although really only in grayscale) frames of a Johnny Cash music video. It records your strokes so that other visitors can see how you created the masterpiece. After "successful submission" your work is then incorporated (hopefully) with everyone else's work found here:

I have yet to see mine posted, but if you find it please let me know.

Final Project 2:  Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake (

This project was also a lot of fun because it involved my son being a typical 8-year-old boy at an arcade in Walmart.  I'm real glad I at least had my cell phone to record this video. My only regret with this project is that the original video had to be converted to WMV so that it can be shorten in Windows Movie Maker, and then reconverted to MOV for upload. I had to take out other cute parts so that the video's length would be the correct size. But still, I enjoyed this project and its final outcome.

This is the original video recorded from my cell phone (3gp format):

This is a snapshot of my contribution to the global remake project:

My video contribution can be played at

In a nutshell this project, Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake, is a global montage of video clips that closely resemble the same elements of Vertov’s 1929 film "Man With A Movie Camera". The contributer's video is then ran next to the original video clip.

More information can be found at

Final Project 3:  Learning to Love You More (

This is the project I chose to replace the Johnny Cash project in case of technical difficulties. If the teacher still accepts my first project regardless, then consider this an extra bonus.

Learning to Love You More is a Web site where users can choose from a list of assignments a task to complete. I had difficulty chosing which assignment to do but eventually narrowed it down to "take a photo of the sun". However, after posting the Final Project 2 assignment above, it occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity to show the entire video from that project. You won't find my project on the Learning to Love You More site because they've stopped taking submissions a long time ago.

It could be assumed that is a quick and easy assignment since I already have the video on my cell phone. However, it should be noted that when my cell phone takes video, it breaks it up into smaller chuncks of 3gp format clips. So I had to convert all smaller chuncks into WMV format so that Windows Movie Maker can work with them. Then I had to combine and export them into one large video. I decided not to reconvert this one because the more conversions I do, the grainer it gets (and cell phone videos tend to already be grainy).

I chose "Assignment #3 - Make a documentary video about a small child" and based on the other submissions, mine is pretty much what was expected. In keeping with the assignment's criteria, I've also in captions, titles, and credits.  This is a keeper for decades to come.


This completes my Art 245 final projects (and I believe this blog).  At first I dreaded these projects but overall they ended up being a lot of fun.