Protest Posters - Part 1

I wanted to make posters about the idea of being a terrorist or criminal, using two different situations: migrants and refugees fleeing violence and/or wanting a better life for themselves, and the imprisonment of teenage Palestinian stone throwers.  I'm not sure where to go from a design perspective.  Even after watching the tutorials, I feel like these design concepts are hard to recreate with my Photoshop skill set, but I've used varying font sizes and placement and played around with focus.  The first three Palestinian stone thrower posters looked too much like PSAs so I made another one using a grid to highlight the prevalance and massiveness of the imprisonment problem. 

Sara VanDerBeek: Pieced Quilts, Wrapped Forms

Sara VanDerBeek’s exhibit, “Pieced Quilts, Wrapped Forms” at Metro Pictures in Chelsea, is an interpretation of the geometric patterns and shapes that dominate certain creative traditions historically considered part of the woman’s domain, such as American quilting, Pre-Colombian textiles and ceramics, and modernist textiles and weaving.

VanDerBeek’s work often deals with shifting class and social struggles, memory and identity, and the way our minds organize these aspects of life. For this exhibit, she made simple primary form sculptures. These were then photographed, layered and printed.  The tones are either monochrome or historically feminine colors, like pastel and fuschia.

Her digital c-prints, with names like Roman Stripe IV, Eternal Triangle, Dusk, Japanese Fan, Labyrinth, Lightning Strike 1, and Camino Real, play with simple, usually singular, bold lines, both straight and fluid.  The colors of the layered prints sometimes fade into each other so the form is barely visible.  In Roman Stripe IV, the lines repeat themselves and resemble an American quilt.

Each of her pieces are seemingly balanced, and repetitious, but on closer inspection, they are not perfectly symmetrical. They remind me of a 1950s housewife trying to hold it all together. The slight imbalance of each composition adds tension and energy to the piece.  Whereas in traditional quilt making, the balanced repetition can make the piece dull.

Similarly, VanDerBeek uses lack of contrast in almost ironic way.  It is the lack of contrast that creates tension, because it's unexpected. 

 

 

 

 

No Self Selfie

The most repulsive and unattractive substance I can think of is mud.  It smells.  It's suffocating.  It doesn't run through your fingers like it's drier self, dirt.  When I'm too focused on how I appear to others...am I attractive, pleasing, do people like me?  I will think of myself as mud.  

I didn't use any blending modes.  I made selections using the quick select tool and subtracting and adding space.  

History of Graphic Design:  It's interesting to see, in a concrete way, how societal norms and movements and tangible inventions influence our visual culture. 

 

This advertising image represents the Victorian ideal woman: beautiful and motherly.  Her priorities are her children.  Her bedding and curtains are ornate, as is the type.  The metal type would often break, and that was the impetus for the invention of the wood block printing press.  Early woodcut press prints had uniform text sizes and styles (fonts.)    

This advertising image represents the Victorian ideal woman: beautiful and motherly.  Her priorities are her children.  Her bedding and curtains are ornate, as is the type. 

The metal type would often break, and that was the impetus for the invention of the wood block printing press.  Early woodcut press prints had uniform text sizes and styles (fonts.)  

 

Belle Epoque poster with negative space.  The form is simple.  The background embellishments resemble something from the natural world and their shape creates energy.  It's similar to a japanese wood block print in it's simplicity.  

Belle Epoque poster with negative space.  The form is simple.  The background embellishments resemble something from the natural world and their shape creates energy.  It's similar to a japanese wood block print in it's simplicity.  

An Art Nouveau image: Design in this era was created in attempt to be the antithesis of manufacturing, slums, poverty, and mass production.  Designers sought to bring in shapes and motifs from the natural world.  Everything was fluid yet flat.  There are replica motifs from other parts of the British empire.  

An Art Nouveau image: Design in this era was created in attempt to be the antithesis of manufacturing, slums, poverty, and mass production.  Designers sought to bring in shapes and motifs from the natural world.  Everything was fluid yet flat.  There are replica motifs from other parts of the British empire.  

Sleepless Trees

When I first moved to New York, I lived in a 4th floor walk-up facing 89th Street.  At night, the glaring streetlight sought my face no matter which way I turned.  During the day, the sun burst through my south-facing windows, turning my bedroom into an atrium. There was no relief.  

Fifteen years later, walking home along Eastern Parkway, I noticed the tree leaves lit by streetlights. Beautiful illuminated solitary branches under dark canopies. But their beauty highlighted by an artificial light. I wondered when they slept.

I adjusted the curve, contrast, levels, and sharpness of each image.  The shadows were deepened to isolate each branch from the canopy.

Virtual Reality and Glitch Art

VR

Clouds Over Sidra is an 8-minute VR film chronicling the daily life of a 12 year-old Syrian refugee living in Z'atari Camp in Jordan.  The film is directed by Gabo Arora and Chris Milk. The film was featured at an installation on the UN Plaza called "We the Peoples Hub." In addition to viewing the film, participants could step into a portal, designed by artist Amar Bakshi, where they could converse with someone in an identical in Z'atari camp. Also participating in the event was a collective called BeAnotherLab who has created a device/set-up involving mirrors, VR goggles, and a series of actions that trick the minds of two participants into believing they are in each other's bodies.  It's called The Machine to Be Another. 

I wasn't so impressed by the film in itself.  The place and story are important but the older woman's voiceover is distracting and distancing.  And while it gives us an overview of the camp, the p.o.v. lacks intimacy and feels voyeuristic rather than intertwined.  I think combining the film, Portals, and The Machine to Be Another into one system would be a fantastic way to encourage empathy and interconnectivity.  And get that installation out of the UN and onto the streets of NYC!  Or better yet, the streets of American communities with strong anti-immigration beliefs.  Then give the participants a course of action and ways they can connect with politicians.  

Glitch Art

In Daniel Temkin's essay, Glitch & Human/Computer Interaction, he emphasizes that glitch artists are not trying to break the system, but introducing - and documenting - a sort of controlled entropy that can exist within the system.  In this way, he argues, it becomes a conversation, a collaboration, between human and the machine. To control, or domesticate the glitch, would be the equivalent of creating a Photoshop filter, according to Rosa Menkman. 

I'm not sure about the cultural or technical reasons for not controlling the glitch, but so much of the language in this essay made me think of the desire to anthropomorphize. 

Clement Valla's iconoclashes series is a good example of algorithmic glitch art: http://clementvalla.com/work/iconoclashes/