Friday, December 16, 2011

Lecture 2: Wafaa Bilal

October 27 2011 Wafaa Bilal presented a lecture of his work at UNR. His art work was the performance type, where as the artist performs to an audience. His work "Shoot an Iraqi" was one of his most famous works. He placed himself in a gallery space and made a program to have a computer control a paint ball gun in turn the computer would be connected to the internet allowing any visitor to his web site get direct access to his computer paint ball shooter. He then place himself behind a protective glass or use a shield to protect himself as he presented himself as the target. The audience who would log on to the site would be given the chance to fire paint balls at Mr. Bilal or not. He chose this method because of the current situation in the Iraq war. His motivation was pushed forward because of an interview that was given to a female airplane bomber captain. The main question that got Wafaa's attention was did she feel a bit of remorse for bombing an Iraqi stronghold. Her answer was that she had faith in her commanding officer's order and did not question it. This form of detachment of humanity, and the death of his father and brother along with the bombing of his hometown is what inspired to create "Shoot an Iraqi." This work showed how cruel human beings have become thanks to their detachment with their current government system. So many people tried to fire at Wafaa that his server crashed, but he was given help to fix the server and block people who were flooding the site. All of Texas had to be block because of the over flowing response to this website. When players found they can move the paint ball gun this showed another form of cruelty. Players fired on his reading lamp, wether or not this was intentionally done to make this man suffer, it shows that the players get even so board of shooting a person, that they would destroy his possessions in the process. It seemed like this was the American Mentality and we were completly lost of our humanity. A Marine shows up to see Wafaa, he proceeded to give him a knew lamp because he saw the destruction of the old one on line. A Marine who was trained for war, knew how to show compassion. Later on other people would show Wafaa kindness by logging on to the site and get people to join in clicking an arrow button and spam the page so that others wouldn't be given the chance to fire on Wafaa. This work was more like an experiment on America's humanity, to see if it had any compassion left. For a third party observer this was a huge wake up call on the troubles that are effecting america. It isn't the laziness of american political activity, but the complete ignorance of that political activity that can cause such tragically inhumane acts. This work also shows the complete opposite of what was just said, American people who do pay attention and those who do stand up and do something. It's a shame that more american's choose to stay ignorant than those who would do the right thing for all humanity not just for their own well being. Wafaa Bilal shows more works similar to this where he takes an online vote for who to be Water boarded, Wafaa or a Dog. Wafaa lost and was water boarded. His intent was never to actually water board the doge but that didn't seem to matter for the people at PETA. HE wanted to be water boarded to feel what it was like. His description was that it wasn't simulated drowning it was drowning. Never the less this piece was used to illustrate the people's view on the Iraqi people, and show proof the ignorant hatred for a fellow human being based on where he is from and what has been told about the Iraqi people.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lecture 1: The View Without

Lecture 1: October 6, 2011 Lecture of “The View with Out” by Morgan McAuslan, and Jack Daws. Morgan McAuslan was the first to speak at the lecture Thursday night. His art works was using useless thrown away materials and make them useful in his art work. He’d gather materials from garbage can and collect them in his house hold. Morgan’s friends and family were concerned because this was turning into a bizarre collecting obsession. His art work however was more organized and well planned out. One of his pieces was an old wind mill from his home town reconstructed with paper. The detail was a lack of a better word was perfect and without touching the piece there would be no distinction between the two. Every Piece of the windmill was remade in to paper from the fan to the tiniest of screws. His other piece, “Burn Board”, was something out of a brilliant childlike mind. It had a reminiscent form one of the machine’s Pee Wee Herman had that would simply make him breakfast. It looked like it was made to do something productive but in a complicated matter, however in the end the piece resembled Wind Chimes without wind. Using his obsession with junk he created a windless wind chime. Jack Daws was next for the lecture; his demeanor spoke to the audience that he like to push the boundaries of what was appropriate art work and not really show that he cared. While it showed that he “crossed the line” on social issues his efforts weren’t meant to show a form of malice, but to see if it can be done. Such piece was a bleached form of the American Flag. This piece was derived of all color and shown to its basic shape without symbolic colors. This piece was considered a defacing of the American flag, but he did this again with the English flag. These pieces have shown the beauty of the form of these flags, and to show an understanding to the audience what a flag is without its color is. Another Piece was his Penny made of 18 karat Gold; Mr. Daws wanted to make something so unnoticed and make it valuable. He took this penny and put it in to the public’s circulation and waited to see if anyone noticed. When he got it back from a person in the east coast, he wanted to put it in his art show and just leave it on the floor tails’ side up with no artist commentary. What he wanted to see if people would pick it up or notice something that’s just unnoticeable. His work was showed more of human experimentation and it was a very interesting concept.

Final Essay Project for Digital Media

Paul Stufkosky Art 245 Digital Media Professor Joseph DeLappe Video Games and Expressive Art, they don’t seem like the ideal bed fellows, given the chance they make something beautiful. When seeing these two artists my thoughts were simple, in that, I wasn’t expecting much when it came to video game art. Now I can comfortably say that the Video Game Art world is a vast open sandbox filled with possibilities. In the world of Video Game Art, artists Justin B. Evans and Paul Steen stand out in the gaming art world. Justin Evans is a graduated from Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2006 with a Bachelors of Fine Art and has been noted by his senior thesis, “Indifferent the Duck and the Sprite Sculptures.” Paul Steen an artist with various degrees the most recent was his degree in journalism from Gothenburg University. One of Paul’s works “Art Assault” was noted by Hrag Vartanian the editor of Hyperallergic, “Best Game Ever.”( Both artists are known for trying to bring the real world and the video game world together in a more humorous and memorial fashion. How the two differ is how their work comes out and what subjects they choose to work on. The First Subject is Justin B. Evans’ “Senior Thesis.” This piece is a sculpture made for the Corcoran College of Art + Design thesis project. A self-proclaimed child of the 1980s, Justin was a video game enthusiast. Pixels were everywhere in his child hood and is what still influences his art work today. The sculptures comprised of Justin’s own original sprites “Indifferent the Duck,” to appropriated sprites “Super Mario” and “Mega Man.” Justin meets his audience half-way with familiarization. To bring people in to his art work, Justin uses the well-known video game characters to help his audience familiarize with their surroundings, and then little by little Justin adds more game characters from lesser known games and finally his own characters, with an audience Justin had to bring the pixels to life.
Justin wanted to bring the sprite world to the real world as they were, almost as if the design leapt right out of the television set in to the real world. Normally people would believe the design would take a real life representational form, but this artist felt that his work should show a sense of off world look. The look he wanted was an impossible one, to make pixels outside the video screen. Since the Pixel was a small square on the television screen he needed something to represent that pixel, some that was tangible, and was able to be held in the palm of his hand. Justin also had to take in the fact that the pixel was a two dimensional figure, he needed to make it three dimensional but still keep the piece flat. Taking the fact a pixel is a square; Justin chose the 3D version of that square, a cube, keeping it a three dimensional figure but still flat. The Sculpture is made from wooden cubes ranging in size of ¾’’on all three axis’s to 1’’x1’’x1”. These cubes are then fitted together accordingly by glue then painted with acrylic paint. This procedure seemed the at most difficult because Justin had to know which cube were to be put together and what shade to be colored and these cubes had to be put in a specific place in order to outline a shape of an appendage. This is where scaling the Model from pixel to sculpture became most important. Each shade of color of the cube represented a large portion of the sculpture, in the end there is a lot of geometric math is involved. These sculptures are a prime example of a mosaic sculpture mixture. The entire sculpture is painted to show the backside of the characters, to show an evolution of 2D to 3D. It is as if the sculptures were a missing link from relief art to sculpture art evolution. The continual evolution of the digital world wasn’t just by physical means, Paul Steen shows how that the three dimensional world effects the digital. Paul Steen, a man from Switzerland and modern artist, uses the actions of the physical world and puts them in the computer world. His work shows a point of human existence and dumbs it down to an entertaining digital media outlet. “Art Assault” is a first person shooting game where the objective is to fight over current art gallery level by killing the opposing team. Each avatar is labeled from a list of 150 current famous artists from “”. This piece is interactive and downloadable and gives the player a chance to kill his most favorite artist. The levels are current art galleries that the game has been shown in, showing a number of art works already in the gallery in the game. As Justin B. Evans wanted to bring the digital people to the organic people, Paul Steen does the opposite bringing the outside world in to the virtual world. To do that, Paul gets the basic land geometry of the gallery and scales down in to the virtual world. Certain galleries such as the P.S. 1 Art Gallery in New York, was digitally remade and reconstructed art piece that this game was currently shown. All the changes and altercations make it a virtual reality. Paul continues to do this with other galleries all over the world: Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin Locust, Miami Saatchi, and London. These galleries are now the newest level editions to the game.
His idea to piece shows a personal feel toward the art world. It shows that Paul sees the art world to be a competitive world. Art is used to express one self, but when one wishes to show that expression people are force to confront fellow artists as a competition for attention. Every artist doesn’t get to show their work in a well-known gallery while other people’s work does, so it becomes a battle for a place on the wall, much like a video game when it tallies a score and compares it to other scores seeking for the best player. Paul inadvertently portrays or purposely portrays a surface of the best artist; his work wasn’t just representational it’s now political. This is on speculation and not what holds true to what the artist Paul Steen believes, but when making a satire of real life situations is to draw attention a real life situations that are deeper than we perceive. The other side can be considered to be just a satire in itself. This piece can mean that you can jump on a computer and have fun. This lighter side makes it easier for the audience see the gallery in the digital world and its works presented to the player while he or she tries to stay alive. It’s similar to video game advertising; where advertisers would product place their logos on virtual items or walls. Paul does the exact same thing only with artists being represented by their art work. This idea is a tough to maintain because advertising companies can go by a simple logo or catch phrase or both. The art represents not just who it’s from but what expression who it’s trying to portray. Since there is only one original piece and isn’t mass produced the artwork is less known and so is the artist. When working on these projects the artists always use what they know and where their passion is from. Having their mind set they both set out to find new ways to manipulate and reform what is in front of them to make to original pieces of work. When it comes to their work Paul and Justin try to bring the two separate worlds together. In doing so they create an evolutionary step of the Gaming Art world, both works bring in their audience but still keeping a form of realism detachment. The realism detachment of their work shows that the artists want to bring in the audience with surprise, wonder, and astonishment. The Humor in some of these pieces can be viewed as light hearted much like the “Indifferent the Duck and the Sprite Sculptures” to where it can bring a charming and up lifting, whereas Paul’s “Art Assault” and “New Life” is placed in more a darker tone and surreal sense. In Short Paul Steen is a more of a realistic artist bringing in realism to a fantasy world, whereas Justin B. Evans takes the fantasy world and brings it into reality. The two artists struggle bringing life to the video games, they wanted to bridge that gap of virtual and physical, and in so doing both artists took completely opposite paths to achieve the same goal. Source Page: “Game Art: Paul Steen’s “Art Assault” (2010)” GameScenes, Mathias Jansson. Web. 9/22/2010. “Game Art: Justin B. Evans' "Indifferent Duck and the Sprite Sculptures" (2006)” GameScenes, Matteo Bittanti. 11/23/2011. “Paul Steen Art Assault.” Paul Steen. 12/1/2011. “Senior Thesis” Justin B Evans. 12/1/2011