Initial Proposal I: identity and body (un)recognition

I intend to photograph myself using long exposure blurring, in masks and possibly costumes to talk about how I don’t connect to my own face and body. I am also considering building composite images out of several photographs layered together in photoshop. We’ll see how it goes as I continue to shoot and evaluate the photographs. The work will discuss my identity and self recognition, with particular attention to my dissociation from my body as being representative of my self and my identity.

I’ve been investigating various other photographers during my look into this work and their work with identity. One of them I brought in for Theory Tuesday (February 4th) – Justin Myer Staller’s work with individual plates in printmaking that combined to create one image. Although I don’t think I’ll be using that particular process for this project, I may use it in a future body of work that also deals with fragmented identity and body history.

Matt Molloy works with photo stacking and his approach to distortion via time lapse is something I’m considering working with, as well. Several photos are taken (30-100) from the same angle, while one subject in the photograph (me) moves. Then those images are stacked and a composite image is produced. I came across Molloy’s work while trying to recall the work of Idris Khan and his stacking of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s typologies. I have examples in my blog of all of these bodies of work.

https://sylladex.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/photoshop-image-stacking/
https://sylladex.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/reassembled/

I have tutorials posted there, as well. I’ve tried image stacking before and wasn’t able to get a look that I liked or really figure it out technically. I didn’t look up ways that other people were doing it before, so I’ve done that now so that I can work more solidly on a final composite image if I decide to go that route.

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Proposal : Final Project : Photography

This project will attempt to explore language, words, and images that we see every day around us but don’t notice. After much consideration, it is likely that this project will be about how we connect (or fail to connect) to each other in an ever-increasing urban world by documenting the words and images that people just can not keep inside of themselves and feel a strong urge to expunge into the world around them, primarily through various forms of non-traditional graffiti. This is not so much looking at the art of graffiti, but rather the way people communicate through writing and art in unexpected places – walls, bathroom stalls, stickers in public places, and similar means. It may also include other forms of communication – letters, shopping lists, personal and private memos, notes people write to themselves. The idea is not 100% fleshed out yet, but this is the direction that it has taken after a lot of twists and turns of process.

 

The art is being presented in a small format book, an intensely personal and private viewing experience that will cause the viewer to have to sit with the words and letters and experience them individually and consider the person who wrote the words or drew the pictures or stuck up the stickers they are seeing and perhaps the personal motivations behind those actions. This is a continuation into an exploration of thought that I have been having about the way we communicate (or don’t communicate) in our modern society and how we connect (or don’t connect) with other people.

 

The book I am using has 84 pages front and back, including the front and back buffer pages. It isn’t likely that I’m going to make 84 prints or that 84 prints would even be reasonable for a person to sit with for that long. Subtracting the front and back buffer pages, we have 80 pages, which is still too many and will likely leave the book far too bulky to even be attractive. What this means is that some of the pages will be glued together in some fashion. I am still researching adhesives that will be most appropriate for this venture. Hopefully I already have something that will be good to use. 80 divided by 2 is still 40 pages, which is still an extraordinary number of prints; by 3, it’s not an even number: 26.7 (rounded), divided by 4, we get 20: a much more reasonable number. It’s probable that I’ll be shooting for around 20 prints. Once I get there, I’ll be putting the little prints into the book to see how much it warps the book out and how it looks before I start any gluing or anything.

 

 

Materials Needed: (other than film, camera, and tripod obviously)

  • Repurposed pre-printed book (size of pages is approximately 4¼ ” x 2 ½”, with the cover being slightly larger) (already acquired)
  • Various types of paper for experimental printing (already acquired)
  • Adhesive for attaching prints to book pages (need to research appropriate adhesives)

Bernhard

Although I haven’t posted my finished work for Jack & Jill & Fool on the Hill (it’s forthcoming), I need to continue to move forward. My current work is a news headline in the style of Lucian Bernhard.

Via Wikipedia, I learned that Bernhard was a “German graphic designer…through the first half of the 20th century…”

He was influential in helping create the design style known as Plakatstil (Poster Style), which used reductive imagery and flat-color as well as Sachplakat (‘object poster’) which restricted the image to simply the object being advertised and the brand name. He was also known for his designs for Stiller shoes, Manoli cigarettes, and Priester matches.

Here, an example of his work for Manoli (in 1910-11):

And here, an example of his work for Stiller shoes (in 1908):

Wikipedia lists several typfaces that will be invaluable to me in the process of emulating Bernhard’s work.

Typeface will be executed in illustrator, while imagery will be arranged in photoshop. Ideally, I’d like to be able to vector the primary image that I choose to use in the poster in illustrator, as Bernhard’s style lends well to that, but we’ll see how it goes. My skills in Illustrator are sorely lacking.

The piece must contain a headline from a newspaper (current event) and then, of course, imagery to match, but all must be rendered in Bernhard’s style.

I believe the headline I am going to use is one from the Denver Post from a few weeks ago: Gun debate locked and loaded. Witty headline writer is at it again. I really enjoy the punnery in the headline and it lends well to a single graphical image.

More examples of Bernhard’s work:


1913


A World War I German propaganda poster urging the sale of war bonds in the Plakastil style pioneered by Lucian Bernhard.


Lucian Bernhard, Priester Matches, 1909 by kitchener.lord on Flickr

The Priester Match poster is a watershed document of modern graphic design, or rather, proto-Modern design. Its composition is so stark and its colors so startling that it captures the viewer’s eye in an instant. Before 1906, when the poster first appeared on the streets of Berlin, persuasive simplicity was a rare thing in most advertising: posters, especially, tended to be wordy and ornate. No one had yet heard of its young creator, who, thanks to this poster, was to influence the genre of advertising known as the Sachplakat, or object poster.

Hail Bernhard the Magnificent

To be continued.

Will Blucifer’s 5th birthday be last at DIA?

Nuggets: Waiting for Superman

Booked up

Gun Debate Locked, Loaded

Mars Rover Drills Deep

Climbing price of fuel won’t shift into reverse soon

Northeast digs out after blizzard

Love your heart

Treating Addiction

Proposal : Final Project : Photography

“We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!”

Planning to stage and photograph specific scenes adapted from the film The Social Network. These still scenes will attempt to convey pieces of the story from the film without dialogue or motion. Attention to form, composition, lighting will be critical to conveying these scenes in this way. Some liberty may be taken for meaning but attention to detail of the layout of scene films will also be important. Some location scouting may be required, but most of the photos can likely be taken in one or two locations that I already have in mind.

This particular display will attempt to remove people as much as possible and focus on scenes and the emotions and objects required to convey ideas rather than having people, facial expressions, etc. The challenge here is to display emotion, story and idea from objects and lighting.

Scene setup and objects included as well as lighting may be modified from their original presentation to better convey meaning and emotion. I am also considering toning the prints in a yellow tone to match the yellow overtones of the film, but I need to run some trials on a few prints to be sure if I’m going to be able to do that.

Scenes currently being considered: (in progress)

Materials needed: (other than film, camera, tripod obviously) (in progress)

  • dry erase marker
  • envelope
  • black pen
  • whiteboard
  • legal pad
  • can of mt. dew

Display format: ideally, since this is a piece on The Social Network, the movie about Facebook, I believe one of the best display methods would be to scan the prints in and put them in a Facebook photo album, then project them during class time. Physical prints can be presented for further consideration during critique if necessary.

Proposal : Subjective Reality Prison Installation

Subjective Reality Prison

Planning a site-specific installation piece constructed from the following materials:
Balsa Wood
Card Stock Paper
Tissue Paper
Magazine images (appropriation)
Marker (black)
various adhesives
straight pins

Attached: Fig. 1-7 **not attached digitally** **another figure may be attached of color sketches of the design**

The piece will be installed in the art building on the window ledge of the middle landing of the staircase just as you come in the entrance on the Tivoli side of the building – across from room 174. As you ascend the stairs, there is a large window balcony. See Fig. 1 for a visual representation of the location.

This piece will be placed upon the ledge against he window. Since the piece will be in the form of a cage, the entrapment or protection of this cage against the large outside world seen through the window beyond will provide stark visual contrast, as well as the large open space versus the small size of the finished piece. Please reference Fig. 5 to see how the piece will fit onto the brick shelf of the window ledge perfectly.

Because of the large, expansive space of this area, the installation will be unobtrusive, but those who notice it will be struck by how small it is in this large space and the desolate feeling of such a small object in such an expansive space. A bright red focal point within the cage will catch the eye of curious viewers and draw them in. Upon approaching to view the piece to view it more closely, viewers will begin to notice the complexity of this seemingly simple piece.

While we’re on the subject of contrast – the large space versus the small space, I’d like to talk about the subject matter of the piece. It is a cage meant to represent, as the title suggests, a prison. This restrictive enclosure projects a feeling of being trapped in a small, almost claustrophobic, desperate space with the expansive backdrop of the sky and trees behind it, a white, expansive, empty wall stretching out in front of it.

Further deconstructing the idea of the prison and contrast, we also can explore the meaning of “safety,” understanding that often, prisons, especially those of “subjective reality” are created to protect us, often by ourselves, sometimes without our even knowing it.  So beyond the window representing a freedom outside of the cage, it represents an overwhelming world or reality beyond the safety of the cage – the white wall in front of it further emphasizes this – that blank slate that is a welcome open place for some people to paint their own reality is a stark, frightening place with too many choices for the person whose reality requires routine and structure. It’s a tiny thing in an open space, further pushing that idea of feeling overwhelmed by the world that I personally experience. There’s an unfortunate tendency of those who suffer emotionally to find a safe zone and lock themselves in it, even if it is a destructive cage that ties them to something that is terrifying and miserable. As terrifying and awful as it is to suffer, it’s sometimes the only thing we know – healing and change are hard and frightening and sometimes it is a hard hole to climb out of. The prison is safe when the world is overwhelming, even if it hurts, confines, suffocates and traps.

The area does more than contrast the piece, however. There is a repeating module in the piece of rectangular space – the cage bars repeat over and over again in a rhythmic pattern. This pattern continues into the installation site in several locations (see figures 4-7). Figure 4 pans back from the close up on the installation site and begins to show a repeating of this motif in the structure of the window installation. Further than that, figures 5-7 show the stair railing that continues this motif as the viewer ascends or descends the stairs, bringing their physical presence into the piece.

Figure 5 can be viewed one of two ways, depending on which way the viewer has approached the piece. If they are ascending the stairs, they may notice the repeating bars, mentally bringing them into a space to begin to view the piece as they round the corner. If the viewer is descending the stairs, however, figure 5 clearly shows that the viewer is confronted with the safety railing – the repeated motif of bars protecting them from walking off the edge of the stairway has actually brought them into the piece, although whether they feel reassured or trapped will depend on the personal experience of the viewer. These safety bars, after seeing something that visually depicts a prison, may lead a person to feel more imprisoned and trapped than safe and secure. That body outline on the floor there may increase that trapped feeling or sense of dread.

Figure 6 shows that after passing the piece (if ascending the stairs) or before viewing the piece (if descending), the viewer is guided along by the a horizontal hand rail guiding them through the stairway (and through the installation) from one set of bars (the upper or lower stair rail) to the next. This path leads the viewer into the cage and then out again, possibly leading them to question the reality they’ve passed through – willingly or unwillingly – from one place to the next.

The back panel of the cage depicts a figure tied up and hidden in the woods. This piece, as with all of the magazine images, is an appropriated work by another artist.  This particular panel is comprised of two pieces: “Vampire: Metamorphosis” (2007) and “Servant of the Moon” (2004), both by Mike Sutfin. The first piece was not large enough, so I supplemented it with additional work by the same artist to maintain the same feel. The red of the kimono was a strong focal point in the original piece and continues to be one in my piece. It draws the viewer in, trapping them in a way that might not be completely comfortable. This encourages thought and further exploration of the emotions experienced upon viewing the piece.

The bottom panel is made up of binary code – 1’s and 0’s representing digital or constructed reality. This is a place where many of us escape regularly, whether we realize it or not, whether it be through a projected reality created by someone else or a reality that is constructed by our psyche to better cope with the complex stressors of the world. This could be as simple as watching a movie, playing a video game, reading a book or surfing the internet, or could go as far as extreme psychosis in which a person does not experience reality in the “normal” sense – such as people with schizophrenia, depersonalization or derealization disorders.

The top of the cage is, at first, seemly a solid black space. Upon closer inspection, which most viewers will not experience, there is a face of a woman hidden within a surface that looks like leather. This brings forth a message that thins are not always as they seem at first, and encourages the viewer to look harder at things before dismissing them as simple. It reminds the viewer that we all experience the world around us – reality – differently. While one person sees a black expanse, another person sees a leather texture and yet another person sees a woman’s face – these are all accurate realities, but they are also all subjective realities – they are each our own realities and the viewer is reminded that he must communicate with others to come to a common understanding of reality rather than assuming that we all experience things the same way. Further, it is a reminder to stretch the boundaries of our individual realities and confinements (this image is outside the cage) and share this experience with others, that they may share the creative vision, joys, sorrows and reality that we each live in.

Underneath this panel, seemingly trapped inside the cage, is a winged humanoid form flying over a vast landscape. This is another reason why a stairwell is an incredibly appropriate place to install this work – those approaching from below will catch this, while someone viewing it at eye level might miss it. The stairway location allows the viewer to get a good view of the three primary panels in the piece. Viewing this panel, the image is an overhead view, shown the way we would see if we were looking down upon the winged figure. This is reality subverted – we should see the figure’s underside. Further pushing the boundaries of a accepted reality, the figure appears as though it is free and flying over a vast landscape – in this constructed reality, however, the figure is confined within the cage. The figure is armed, perhaps ready to fight – this leads the viewer to question what they should consider fighting: reality, confinement, restrictive thinking, restrictive environments, closed-minded perception, panic, pain, suffering, the digital or constructed reality depicted by the binary code on the floor of the cage, the person who trapped the figure in the woods, the line between constructed reality and perceived or natural reality – these are just a few of the concepts that a viewer might instinctively react against upon seeing this piece.

Proposal For Duel Monsters-based Trading Cards.

Proposal For Duel Monsters-based Trading Cards.
Project 6

Planning a TCG (trading card game) based on (Yu-gi-oh!) Duel Monsters rules, format, style, etc. Cards will consist of Monster, Trap and Magic cards as used in the Duel Monsters TCG and play with cards will follow standard rules for Duel Monsters TCG.
Cards will be based on another fandom and will act as parody cards. Images will be appropriated from various internet sources, scans of game parphenilia and possibly photographs. Edits will be made to keep images as consistent as possible in content once transferred to individual cards to keep a sense of unity throughout the deck as a whole.
Potential Fandoms under consideration for use in “parody” TCG:

  • Legend of Zelda (LoZ)
  • Mario
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Metal Gear Solid

Leaning heavily toward Legend of Zelda as it is more readily accessible to larger audiences who may only be prephrially aware of gaming (or the particular game). Mario feels too gamey or almost TOO parody to me.

Materials will include photoshop, appropriated imagery and once completed, printed cards. These will most likely be on a glossy photo paper with a designed back that unifies them. May use the Duel Monsters back or may make a unique back that sets them apart as “their own game”. (Triforce symbols in the case of a LoZ deck)

Techniques expected to be employed: Appropriation, photoshop techniques (cut, crop, rotate, skew, lasso, auto-levels, burn, dodge, and possibly others), adding text and inserting image into frame of card(s). For the physical cards, printing, cutting, and pasting will be required, as well as coming up with a method of displaying and probably documentation post-installation that would include photographing the display.
Display method – I’m not sure about exactly how I want to do this yet, but some ideas include potentially mounting the cards as though there were a game in progress or just arranging them in that manner. The cards could also, alternatively be shown packaged or it could be completely interactive installation that would allow people to pick up and handle the cards and look at them. This feels the most natural since it’s a deck (or several decks?) of cards.

Final format/size is to be dependent on display choice, but final card size will most likely be 3×5 inches or roughly thereabouts.

 

References:
Yu-Gi-Oh! (Duel Monsters): http://yugioh.wikia.com/
(Shonen Jump Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, Kazuki Takahashi, 1996. Nas/TV Tokyo 2001. Distributer: Konami)
Legend of Zelda: http://www.zeldadungeon.net, http://www.zeldawiki.org, http://www.zeldadungeon.net
(Legend of Zelda. Nintendo, 1986-2001.)
Assassin’s Creed: http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/
(Assassin’s Creed. Montreal: Ubisoft, 2007-2011.)