Monday, June 16, 2014

A Wrapping Together

      So in consideration with my class from this last quarter, this will be my final post that is directly connected to it. Although I plan to further posting on my own behalf when I have the time. I'd first like to start off saying that this class was interesting to say the least and that I believe I will never take a class like it again in college. It made me think about my life, plans, goals, and journey. I wanted to in this last post try to connect all the things together that I feel is important.
      I for one think that we need to focus on trying to make our society better for future generations I'm not sure exactly what that would entail, but I think that it needs to be long lasting and beneficial to society in the long run not just in a capitalistic short term gain.

 This may not be the answer to that statement/question of "how can I improve my surroundings," but I do think that it is a step in the right direction. I think we need to be thinking about the future and how we can make it better. Like  I said this may not be 100% what we need, but I still appreciate the effort to try and think about our future as precious and worth preserving.
     Another thing that I think should be dealt with is the need for more human interaction on a personal and face-to-face level. Like I learned in this class the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts. We can create better things when we work together than when we choose to work alone. Collaboration breeds ingenuity and creativity. It also allows for a much more impressive and greater outcome, because there are things in this world that can only be achieved through the joint effort of many people. This is on a much smaller scale, but I think Coke has the right idea of trying to bring people together to create something bigger and more beautiful.

    Also, on another related note. I think this man beautifully conveys the idea of interpersonal relationships and how important they are. We need to stay connected with our surrounds in order that we can stay connected with ourselves and our lives. We need to use technology for it's good, but not fall into the pitfalls of all the bad that can come from it as well. We need to use it to better ourselves, but make sure that in the process we don't lose ourselves.


        There is so much more I could talk about. This world is filled with things to learn and think about and yet we will never have enough time to experience it all.  So much of our lives are wasted either doing pointless things of trying to find what is important in life. I hope that I am on the track for asking the right questions, looking in the right places and seeing what's important to my life as well as those around me. For now I like everyone else on this planet will struggle to understand it all and try to learn as much as I can from history and those around me. Hopefully on day I will be able to make my own generous contribution to society and create something great. Until then I search for myself. And so with that I bid you farewell and to lighten the mood I leave you with a video clip from a British show I love, The IT Crowd, that I think describes me well, and a video I find humorous based offa show called The Guild.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Generations Of Origami

 So, at my Health and Wellness meeting this Thursday a girl in my marketing committee taught our little group how to make anorigami bird. It was interesting to watch everyone trying to learn it and once they got it help those that were having issues with the various folding. I asked her if I could take some of her paper because I wanted to do an experiment with my room mates. I then proceed to try out the idea of passing on information through generations. So, it all started with me learning from the girl at Health and Wellness, next I took what I had learned and tried to teach one of my room mates (Cayla). She then tried to teach Tori who excelled at making the bird and even decided to add some extra details to the
wings. What's interesting though is that my last room mate (Terry) really does not like doing anything artsy or crafty, and Tori isn't always the best teacher so Terry never really finished hers and gave up kind of early. It was interesting to see everyone trying to teacheach other based off of learning from other people. For the most part I think it went well until Terry decided that she didn't want to finish her bird and gave up early.(The various pictures shows our different cranes and the different "generations" that are teaching/learning from one another,
and the last pictures shows all the cranes together).

I thought it was lots of fun and interesting to watch how everything turned out. So I decided to just do a very small generation teaching with origami frogs. The one on the left is the one I made from memory. (I haven't made them in years so it was interesting to see how I remembered the steps and also how I struggled with the steps). The following frogs are both Cayla and Tori, my two room mates who wanted to try and do more origami. For the most part these frogs turned out pretty well considering I barely remembered the steps and then they had to follow one another. 

             I decided to look into the history of origami because I really know almost nothing about it besides that it originated in Japan and that there is a tradition to make 1000 cranes to have a wish come true. So I did some research and this is what I found.

           Origami started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside of Japan in the mid-1900s. What is considered
"traditional origami" has been practiced since the Edo era (1603–1867). It has since then evolved into a modern art form. Although Japan is creditied as being the originators of origami there is evidence of an independent tradition of paper-folding in China, as well as in Germany, Italy and Spain among other places. Although the evidence is very limited because folded paper structures are rather delicate.

In China, traditional funerals include burning folded paper, most often representations of gold nuggets (yuanbao). It is not known when this practice started, but it seems to have become popular The paper folding has typically been of objects like dishes, hats or boats rather than animals or flowers.
during the Sung Dynasty (905–1125 CE).

The earliest evidence of paper-folding in Europe is a picture of a small paper boat in Tractatus de sphaera mundi from 1490. There is also evidence of a cut and folded paper box from 1440. It is probable that paper-folding in the west originated with the Moors much earlier, it is not known if it was independently discovered or knowledge of origami came along the silk route.

In Japan, the earliest unambiguous reference to a paper model is in a short poem by Ihara Saikaku in 1680 which describes paper butterflies in a dream. Origami butterflies were used during the celebration of Shinto weddings to represent the bride and groom, so paper-folding had already
become a significant aspect of Japanese ceremony by the Heian period (794–1185) of Japanese history, enough that the reference in this poem would be recognized. Samurai warriors would exchange gifts adorned with noshi, a sort of good luck token made of folded strips of paper.

 There is a lot more that goes into origami such as techniques and tools but this time I decided to focus on more of the history of origami it self and possibility that is showed up in other countries as well. Somethings show up around the world multiple times in various areas because there is something important and significant about them.

If anyone is interested here is a video of how to make an origami crane. Try it out, teach others, and have fun!

P.S. I'm also currently working on two other projects, one is a group project that is going to focus on stop motion and will deal with the subject of history, visual culture, generations, and world making. I also am doing a personal project where I am learning about the history of the things that I take for granted as being purely "me". I think it will be interesting to find out what goes into making me who I am.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Connecting People, Images, And Ideas Around The World

So, in class awhile back (this post comes before a lot of my other posts but I was having issues getting the pictures off my phone, I don't have a smart phone) we did this thing called "The Civilization Game", in which we were given some pebbles and then had to make something. Afterwards we had to leave our creation and then allow two other people to come up and alter/add to what was originally created. We also had to leave a note to the next generation telling them what is important about what we originally built. Here is the completed game with the different descriptions.

Luckily for my little sculpture people added to and help build it into a more complex and intricate thing. The people that visited my table were not barbarians destroying what had already been laid down as a foundation, but rather learning from the past generation and planning for the future generation. It was nice to see that people could work together and learn/progress.

This working together to produce something intricate and beautiful really relates to this video that was created a long time ago by a man named Matt Harding. In this video Matt travels around the world to 42 different countries, locals, and cultures to dance with the people or animals/nature that reside there. He then connects all the videos together very carefully with well timed cuts and synchronization with music, to create this beautiful video that focuses on how humans are very different in their customs, but all innately the same (eg. we all like to dance). He worked with thousands of people including those that helped film and edit and most importantly those that he dance in solidarity with. We all want to be part of something great. If not all of these people had come and helped/danced with him then there would be nothing to show, only in collaboration and with group effort could this be made into existence.

In a similar vein, this video about being a lost generation is really inspiring. I love the way it was made and think that it has a very potent message. What's also interesting is that even though this was a commercial made for the USA, the inspiration for the poem and theme came from an Argentinian political campaign in 2006. It just shows you how easily things can connect and affect other things. People around the world with no history or knowledge of each other can build off one another to create and make things, enhancing our world and culture.

Forming Connections

     So in class the other day my professor was talking about stop motion as well as other types of collaborative projects between people that takes a lot of effort to complete.  And he showed us a video called Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel. If you haven't seen it before here it is:


 All of this talk and discussion (plus the video) reminded me of one of the 1st videos I saw on youtube years ago. A video that I have always liked and thought how it would have taken forever to have made. The video's description reads as: "An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict."


What's interesting about this video is that I enjoy it but I don't fully know everything that happens within it. It's kind of a shame because I could then perhaps appreciate the video even more. My professor was saying that everything is connected and that even in the Peter Gabriel music video there was reference to people and things from history like Giuseppe Arcimboldo, an Italian painter best known for creating portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, etc.

         I totally understood what he meant when he talked about creating connections everywhere, because even though I didn't fully remember/know Arcimboldo's name I had seen his pictures many times before. Once just recently in my monster drawing class as an example of hybrids, and the other in my psych classes because of  cognitive brain disorder called prosopagnosia, or "face blindness"--where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while other aspects of visual processing and intellectual functioning remain intact. These people cannot recognize that there is a face "hidden" within the fruit arrangements of Arcimboldo's paintings, they literally cannot see the face, something that is innate within the normal functioning brains of the average person.

It's also interesting to see how other artists will reference each other and unless you know the artists being referenced then you won't understand the connection. Here is a digital painting by a German artist and film maker called Till Nowak, in which he makes a tribute to both H.R Geiger (the man that created the Xenomorph species) and Giuseppe Arcimbaldo. A blending of two very different artists to create something new.

Nowark remarked in an interview by Area  "I am on a continuous search for ideas which bring existing and known aspects of our world together in a new, twisted and weird combination. The challenge is to find new, but simple ideas. For Salad, I combined the old technique of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's vegetable portraits from the 16th century with the creations of H.R. Giger, at the same time, combining the style of an oil painting with modern digital art and turning around the relation between vegetation and flesh. So it contains at least three separate levels and if you want to go further, you can also read some social message in it, concerning our society as the wolf in sheep's clothing… but this kind of message is usually not where I start when I develop something"

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Human Canvas

So, I don't have a tattoo, but I have always admired really well done tattoos and their artists. I have slightly considered getting a tattoo, but I would only get one done by an amazing artist. I would pay through the nose for something really good because it's my actual body that is the canvas and I will carry around that art work for the rest of my life.  Needless to say I don't have one but I'm not inherently opposed to getting a tattoo.

In this post I would like to focus one one artisit in particular that I find amazing, Jeff Gouge. Seeing what he is able to do makes me actually really want a tattoo. I'll mostly be showing some really large full or half body tattoos. I would never want something that big but I majorly appreciate the art work and that some people have the guts to have that large of a tattoo on them. I really enjoy is style and technique of placing a tattoo correctly on a body. He knows how to draw a tattoo that will curve and fit onto the body perfectly because he understand how the body contours and thinks this out while he works on the drawing.

So, here is just a small showing of his art work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and can appreciate his level of skill.

As a closing note, one of the art professors at my school that I have now had two classes with is currently showing an exhibit called Perseverance at the Japanese American National Museum in LA focusing on Japanese full body tattoos. Those tattoos are also extremely well done. Here is the website if any one is interested in checking it out.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Ghent Altarpiece, Or more Like Ghent Masterpiece

So, in my visual culture art class our professor told us to find good art and old art. We needed to inform ourselves on the standard of the world. So I went out into the internet and through old art notes from old classes and I came upon the 15th century artist Jan Van Eyck and the 16th century artist Hieronymus Bosch. Both of these artists have amazing talent, and are able to create exquisite detail in their paintings.

The 1st two top paintings are from the same piece by Jan Van Eyck., called the Ghent Altar Piece, 1432. This altar piece, which is also a polyptych because of it's multiple panels of action, was used in a church  for mass. It's total size would have been around 12 feet high and 15 feet across when opened. The picture to the right is the exterior of the altarpiece while the picture underneath is the interior. It folds out like a pamphlet of a three piece poster board used for science projects and presentations.

At the very bottom of this post is another alter piece by Hieronymus Bosch called, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1504. This altarpiece is a triptych because it only consists of three panels of action. This painting could also have been located in a church, although it  is hypothesized that perhaps a noble had it in his home as his personal collection. This triptych doesn't follow exactly the same type of narrative that was commonly found in church altar pieces and that's why it's come to be seen as some one's personal piece of art. Bosch had a very unique style that made him very popular with people of the time. He also was very good at drawing demons and fanciful scenes.

One thing that's also pretty cool about them is that they were using a technique of painting that we still don't fully know how to replicate. It has become a lost art, which is sad because it was a very sturdy technique that has lasted thee passage of time pretty well.

Their style consisted of painting on extremely dry panels of wood that were glued together. They first would put down a layer of shiny almost varnish like material that would be the back layer of the painting This was done so that when light passed through the painting it would it the back of the painting and be reflected back at the view creating a luminous effect, almost as if the painting was glowing from within. After that they would begin painting on the panels of wood with a mix of flax seed oil and pigments. They would put these varnish-like paints on in layers. therefore the painting was created through layering of paints. We understand the process that goes into creating one of these paintings yet we have been unable to recreate these style of paintings.

Is such a sad thing to see an amazing style of painting be lost in time. It's as if we have lost some  of ourselves with the loss of this technique. I hope the beauty and talent of these painters is also appreciated by those who have seen this post. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recipe History

So over the weekend I did a lot of baking and cooking. I ended up making two batches of chocolate chip cookies and a batch of sugar cookies. I also made a meatloaf. I work hard in all of the things I make so that they will always be worthy of others enjoyment. As you can see in the pictures, I put a lot of effort into decorating my sugar cookies (even if it is just a temporary thing and will be eaten). I want in those moments before someone eats my cookies to appreciate the time and effort that went into baking them. Because then that reflects back onto me and how I approach things in general in life.

I initially wanted to make a summer jello instead of the sugar cookies, but I had forgotten to get the recipe from my mother. After this realization, I remembered how in one of my art classes we had talked about the evolution of culture and how generations build onto previous generations. This relates to my baking and inability to bake being all based upon having a recipe, a recipe which originally came from my mother who in turn received it from another person.

Recipes definitely have a history. They originate some time in the past and get passed down through the generations. Often times a person will slightly alter a recipe, adding  notes here and there on the side. My mother has done this to the recipes that she has collected over time and now has passed the originally recipes with her added notes onto me.

In this regard she is adding to and refining the recipe. She is not destroying or starting the recipe over from scratch. This is just like how in society we want to try to add to our culture and not just randomly, but in a controlled effort, trying to improve the groundwork that has already been laid.  If my mother had decided to destroy those recipes then we would no longer have any way of making them and they would be lost from our family/culture (which would be a shame because some are quite delicious). This analogy applies to how we should not just go around uprooting past accomplishments just because we can, or just because we think they are bad. Because then we are just losing some of our own history that will never be found again. Instead we should try to add to our current world, just as my mother adds notes to her recipes to improve them (without destroying the original copy).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Holy Madness Batman, We're Surrounded By Monsters!

So I have some updates of things that I have been working on. The first is an updated version of the 1st tentacle monster that I posted here. This picture doesn't fully do it justice, but I was having major issues trying to get a good photo of it. I may add some more dramatic shading to it, but this is pretty much the finished form.

The next thing that I have been working on is my plan t monster drawing. We had to make a monster out of a stick and other found materials. Then we had to make some concept sketches from that initial structure and then based off of those concept sketches we made a complete drawing of the creature. After having critique I received some suggestions to make it slightly better, so I still have some compositional elements I have to add to make it even better. But, here is my drawing.

 There is a story to this little guy. He is first off a pet about the size of a Golden Retriever. His name is "Rex" (it says so on his collar, but it may be too small to see). He is male, because only males have the wing-like formations on their backs to try and attract females. And the way these things "sniff" each other out is by feeling/sending one another using the structures on their foreheads. I do still have things to add to this drawing and perhaps I will show the final final drawing, but this is how he stands as of right now. If you want you can try and compare his similarities and dissimilarities to the stick structure I posted previously (although that picture doesn't full showcase his whole body).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tread Carefully, For You Walk In My Heart

         It's interesting how people can just walk into your life and then just as easily walk out, although their exiting usually involves some removal of your being from your heart. Or in the very slightest some foot prints have been left where they used to reside in your heart. I've just recently had a friend tell me they don't want to talk any more and would rather go down a different life path. It was really hard to hear because I really cared about this person deeply. I never thought it would come to this and quite honestly I'm not prepared for it. I just wanted things to go back to the way they were, or at least stay the same. It's weird how people change and drift apart, but it's even worse when they actively tell you they don't cherish your companionship anymore as much as you do theirs. And, then you just end up feeling like a loser and/or fool. Things like this never come at a "good time," but this is particularly a bad one. I am currently experiencing a  really busy quarter that's kind of stressful that I need to focus on and this is slightly getting in my way. Even tonight I can't seem to fall asleep, so instead I decided to post this blog entry.

 This isn't quite the exact message that I'm going for, but the gist of it is, and it's just a rather beautiful evocative song (which is ironic because I also just heard this song today).  Songs like this definitely can get me emotional.

I'm just in a rather melancholy mood mixed with just a dash of anger. I hope it will pass soonish and I can continue to move on in my life unperturbed.  But, currently this event is rather fresh in my mind occupying way too much time and space. The only good thing about these types of events is that they usually inspire me to be creative and draw etc. (Always try to find the silver lining).

On a cheerier note, in a day or two I shall have some more artsy phartsy things to post about. I try to stay positive so that I don't get weighted down by things of the world.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rawr! *Says The Mythical Fire Kitty*

So yesterday involved some creativity for me. My room mates and I do this thing where we draw on our class schedules and then post them up on the wall so that everyone can see everyone else's schedule. Well, this is what I decided to draw on my schedule this quarter. It's a mythical fire kitty. It is sad though, because 3 of my other room mates have become extremely lazy and have quite posting their schedules and drawing on them. Only my actual room mate and I do it still. Which is kind of saddening for me because I love to see what other people choose to draw on their schedules. I don't care if it's "good" or "bad" I just like seeing people's mind processes and ideas.

Then later that day I finished creating a monster out of found organic materials and hot glue. Next I'm going to draw some concept sketches with it and eventually create a full blow drawing of some sort. Here is a nice picture from the front of it with it's mouth open. I must say I got stabbed multiple times from it's "teeth" which are made from the back bone of a palm frond. But, in person it does look rather cool.

I also did a sketch of a dragon, but I don't have a picture of that one on me. As you can tell, I enjoy drawing creatures and monsters and the like. It's exciting for me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reality And The World

So in my art class we talked a lot about reality and what exactly it is, and how do we know that we are experiencing reality and not just a dream. This is a question that has plagued man for probably as long as he has been a sentient being with consciousness. How do we know that the reality that we experience is "true" reality and not some sort of illusion or something created in our head alone? Well, as can be expected I immediately thought of The Matrix movie and how it deals with reality. This scene from the movie expresses quite succinctly how we can never truly be sure what "reality" is and that it is purely based upon the synapses in our brain and our experiences.

Morpheus Explains to Neo that what we believe to be true may not always be in fact true. Our brain is easily able to accept this fake reality as if it is the truth. In reverse the movie Sunshine of the Spotless Mind postulates the idea that our minds can forget aspects of reality through our memories. But are we truly still the same human if we do not have all of our experiences intact?  This central quote of the movie begins to paradoxically support the idea that it is good to be free of painful memories, but by the end of the scene (and the movie) that is proved false.

 This movie demonstrates that our reality can be changed through the destruction of memories. Through our lives we create our selves and the culture of ourselves yet when this destruction occurs of our self it affects our entire being as well as our reality and in fact just sets us backwards having to start again from scratch, yet ironic usually ending up in the same situation again. When we become so obsessed with the idea of power and destruction we end up attacking the very things that helped us evolve.  This scene from Star Trek: Into Darkness really captures the fascination that humans have with destruction and savagery.

 Khan is used as a weapon to help create "a stronger" Star fleet, yet because he is so full of savagery and destruction he ends up destroying the very thing that he was hired to protect and help flourish.  Violence and destruction of this scale ended up just setting them all backwards having to restart over again. This can be seen as a warning to humans right now about the consequences of barbarism as world breaking.

To end on a happier note, here is an example of world making through contemporary culture. Even if it is just an April fools joke, this Google video/app demonstrates how a digitally created world could be integrated into our current reality, promoting adventure as well as cooperation. They made a spoof video based on the idea that the world of Pokemon could be integrated into our world through the technology of smart phones. In order to become the best Pokemon master one would have to travel and explore the world capturing the various Pokemon. They are creating a symbiotic relationship between a digital world and our "real" world. Although who knows if this actually is the "real" world?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A couple WIP Projects

So, this past week has been a week of starting new projects and working to make them better. I'm going to focus on two new developments. The first is a monster drawing that I'm currently still working on for a monster drawing class I'm taking. I still need to finish coloring, shading, and adding a background to the image. Here are two pictures of my monster. Still needs some work =]

Then in a completely different art vein, I have started working on a spoken word piece.It still needs some intense editing, but here is the beginning rough draft. It's meant to be read aloud/performed (and I even have the atmosphere picked out as well), but reading it online will still get the point across. As a quick summary, it's about experiencing blues dancing, something I have come to love.

"Thighs pulsing. Hips swaying. Eyes closed. 

The rhythmic beating of the bass courses through tense bodies. Bodies so infused with hormones, that they leak out of every pore. Pheromones drift lazily around, unaware of their aphordisiatic affect. The need for closeness becomes stronger, wild clasping of partners chaotic, a dance between two mirages into a dance of singularity. The image does not last. There is a break, distance created, yet contact always maintained through the hands. Inertia and movement creates tension in outstretched arms, until the two snap back together like wild magnets.

Now chest to chest, head to head, hearts racing, pounding, exhilaration and fear course through adrenaline drunk veins. The pace increases, breathing becomes heavy while sweat rivulets down lithe spinning bodies. Everyone is unaware of the other couples gyrating around them. Each pair encapsulated in their own music propelled reality. The climax crescendos passionately, thrilling senses, dilating pupils.

The beat begins to slow. Feet move in unison, bodies sway sensually. Thoughts begin to intrude, worry, fear, inadequacy, dislike, attraction. Slowly the two organic machines come to a stop. They step away distancing themselves from intimacy. The trance inducing bass re-starts. Another partner is sought. People always seeking more, more love, more passion, more life. They dance for freedom, they dance for purpose, they just dance.

Thighs pulsing. Hips swaying. Eyes closed..."

I hope the mood I'm trying to portray comes across accurately. I have come to really appreciate the art of dance and spoken word, and I hope that I can fuse the two together nicely. As a parting word, here is a video featuring different styles of dance from A-Z.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Video Love And Making An Art

I love videos. Music videos, TV videos, internet videos. I love to watch things, especially YouTube videos. So, you will probably see a lot of posts involving some sort of a video. It will be a common occurrence. I may just do posts with lists of various YouTube videos I enjoy. Some may have connections and others just be completely random. Many of the things I like seem related to art in some way shape or form, and they all some how pertain to my own world I'm living out.

Since finding inspiration for art is something that I too struggle with, I would like to leave you all with this clever video. Enjoy, expect many more featured videos in the future, and goodnight.

From Santa Barbara To Sacramento With A Little Of Colorado

So, today is the day after Deltopia in Santa Barbara and even though I do not participate in the raucous revelries of my fellow classmates, I have heard about all the crazy things that happened. It's amazing how the mob mentality can spread so quickly and cause so much destruction and violence, especially when alcohol and drugs are involved. All of this out of control partying has made me miss my own home town of Sacramento. It never gets this out of hand there and there is always more to do (in my opinion). I will now continue the bragging of my home city with a 3 minute time lapse video by Justin Majeczky showcasing the beauty and liveliness of the Sacramento area. Sacramento Timelapse, stitches together more than 20,000 still photographs taken throughout the region over an 18-month period. Enjoy.

On another note (yet still connected to the idea of drugs and alcohol) Colorado has just recently made it legal to buy recreational pot. Driving while high is still considered driving under the influence and therefore people can receive a DUI. As a response to this, Colorado has created a campaign featuring three commercials that comment on the fact that driving while high is still illegal. Here are those videos, they are expected to air starting Monday.