As I ordered thes panels, I wanted it to move from most chaotic to least chaotic. I combined more and more images in the panels as I moved from left to right. I created these triptychs using scans from magazines and U.S. patent books. I wanted to create the message of how all of our innovations have bogged us down; we can’t even keep up with ourselves anymore. The most difficult part in creating this project was choosing the effects in Photoshop to use– it was overwhelming. Overlaying certain effects over others to attain a specific look was difficult and took a lot of experimentation, but it was successful in the end. My images seem a little random and unrelated, so I wish that I had put more time into choosing which images to scan and include.
My animation includes a very simple narrative, which I though was successful and interesting. I wanted to make a storyline out of the chaos of the panel that I chose in order to make the animation more interesting. Using Adobe Photoshop, I animated my images frame-by-frame. Morphing and distorting many of the individual images was very difficult and time-consuming, but it was worth it.
Triptych Animation Soundtrack
I layered the group-chosen chalk sound underneath my other sounds. I recorded myself playing the “Sports Center” theme on the alto saxophone and bouncing a basketball on the tile in my kitchen. I found recordings of basketball shoes squeaking on the gym floor to go along with the sports theme of my own recordings.
Miranda July Animation
Using finger puppets, I wanted to portray the main events in Miranda July’s story “Lam Kien.” I was inspired to use finger puppets after looking in my closet in my old room at my parents’ house and seeing a bag of old Barbie clothes. I was difficult to keep the doll clothes on my finger while taking a picture with my other hand, but I was successful most of the time. Taking the extra time to tediously arrange the background in some of the shots paid off and created the look of the indoor scenes that I was going for. Using Adobe Premiere was a learning experience, but I figured out many of the basic very quickly. I chose to recreate the story “Lam Kien” because I could recreate many of the details and I found this story entertaining; Miranda July seems to connect so well with the little boy because she seems to possess a simplicity that many adults lose.
Miranda July Soundtrack
I chose this track to accompany my animation because I felt that it would match the fun tone of Miranda July’s story “Lam Kien.” The track comes from iMovie’s list of sounds. I wanted upbeat audio to accompany my video so that the brightness of the colors, costumes and subject matter would be enhanced.
Chance Operations Video
I recorded 20 minutes of video from my parking spot before my marching band rehearsal. I used this footage then to make random edits in Adobe Premiere. To devise my randomized system of editing, I assigned specific edits to cards in solitaire: the first card designated how many seconds the clip would be, the second card designated which effect folder I clicked on, the third card designated which effect within the previous folder would be applied and the fourth card designated the sequential placement in relationship to the rest of the clips. So for example, the very first clip seen was edited as follows: the first card I drew was a King which designated the length as 13 seconds, the second card I drew for it was 5 which pointed me to the fifth folder in the video effects, which is “distort,” the third card I drew was a three which pointed me to the “magnify” effect within the “distort” folder and the fourth card I drew was an Ace, which designated the clip’s placement as first in the entire sequence. If on the fourth card I drew a repeat, I would draw again so that I could assign each card a placement. The shooting and editing of this video were not lengthy or difficult, but I put a lot of focus and effort on devising my randomizing system.
My YouTube Mixer page can be found here.
I created this YouTube Mixer using 5 found videos straight from YouTube and 4 of my own videos that I had previously shot and edited for other assignments. Using Adobe DreamWeaver and an html template from another mixer page, I arranged my videos in the grid. The most difficult part of this project was finding which found clips to include. I have used DreamWeaver previously and finding the code to the corresponding code and embedding the correct video was fairly easy. My editing skills in DreamWeaver were the biggest success in this project, but creating new clips for my own videos was unsuccessful. I feel that if I had made new clips that the overall result of the mixing of the audio especially would have been more interesting.
Individual Utopia 3D Model
I decided to create a sports stadium for the Utopia because I feel that sports will still be part of our popular entertainment in the future. Growing up playing lots of sports and going to a few professional sporting events makes it hard to imagine a world without spectator sports in the future. I chose to paint the model blue because of its location as an ocean-front property. I mixed the blue paint with the black and white to create different hues of blue to work with. I paint the inside purple because that is my favorite color. The most difficult part of creating this model was learning to use the Maya software, but I did learn a lot.
Collaborative Work Building the Utopia
For the housing buildings, my group chose to create more buildings that stretched vertically so that we could fit more people into the limited space. I chose to paint them dark grey so that the bright colors unique to each of the three tall buildings could stand out. The difficult part was painting each of the windows on all three of these buildings, it was very time consuming, but it turned out well. Creating the buildings in Maya was much easier after having experience with the program while creating my individual model.
I chose to compare and contrast the works of Helga Griffiths and Kaho Abe.
Helga Griffiths: Brainscape
Kaho Abe: Haptic Music Gloves
Digital artists, Helga Griffiths and Kaho Abe, both create art heavy in technology and science. Griffiths created “Brainscape,” a video of a flight-like animation over a glacial human brain, which Griffiths based on tomographic scans of her own brain (Giffiths, web). Abe’s project, “Haptic Music Gloves” is comprised of gloves with conductive pads sewn into the palms that make music when pressed against each other (Abe, web).
These two artists have produced works based in technology, but they take on different genres. Griffiths’ “Brainscape” specifically showcases her genre of video art. This video was created based on the images of Griffiths’ brain taken by Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Griffiths, web). She converged scientific research with her skills in digital media to create this video. Griffiths explores the relationship between herself and the physical world. Griffiths describes this work as an “immersive multi-sense installation” (Griffiths, interview). The video explores the terrain of the brain’s landscape as the camera moves over the land in a flight-like pattern.
Lying at opposite ends of the spectrum of human understanding, science and art seem too far apart to converge, but Griffiths’ video makes it looks natural and seamless. After undergoing a series of high resolution tomographic scans of her brain, she transferred the data into a virtual, 3D model. She then added the glacial texture using a 3-D animation software from her own photos of a glacier in Patagonia. With the data completed, it then took several weeks just to render it into a high definition video (Griffiths, interview).
This synergy of science and art in the video enhances the brain’s balance between thought and feeling. In her artist statement for “Brainscape,” Griffiths writes, “The brain is not only a thinking organ; it is also a repository of information: pictures, sounds and smells as well as personal and maybe even collective memories.”(Giffiths, Web). Just as the human brain works between triggering emotions and controlling organs, Griffiths portrays the fragility of the viewer within their own mind as they soar over the glacial representation of the human brain. Griffiths states, “The constant change that is taking place inside the glacier, the pushing and cracking, and I tried to bring into relationship the human memory and the memory of the glacier” (Giffiths, interview).
The accompanying soundtrack to “Brainscape” was created by Johannes Sistermann and it works to “heighten the sense of searching and exploration” (Griffiths, Web). The video’s sound puts the viewer into a state of anticipation as they sit in the darkness as they move with the camera to float over the valleys and hills of the brain. As the higher strings provide some tension like in a horror movie, the lower-octave strings provide a constant thrum that mesmerizes the viewer.
Griffiths’ glacial texture on the representation of the brain conveys a message of frailty within the human mind. Memories, emotions and body controls can all slip away from the map of the brain. This information we have built up is not concrete within us; it can melt away. The frailty of the human mind is also enhanced by the transparency of the image of the brain; it is not solid, not concrete and it looks like it can easily be broken.
Similar to Griffiths’ use of science and technology in her project “Brainscape,” Kaho Abe also uses these outside influences in her art, especially in her project “Haptic Music Gloves.” Using conductive pads sewn into multiple pairs of gloves, Abe sets up an interactive space for participants. Unlike the single-channel nature of Griffiths’ video, in which viewers simply watch the video, Abe’s gloves give the audience an opportunity to make music and interact with each other. As she describes the genre itself, the “Haptic Music Gloves” lies within the realm of “Interactive installations or interactive playful experiences” (Abe, web).
At each of the five stations in Abe’s exhibition, an MP3 plays a certain sound and it is connected to the special gloves she made as well as headphones. As participants touch their gloves against others, they mix the unique audios of their stations and they can listen simultaneously to what they are creating musically (Abe, web). Abe describes her love of technology as a “blind love” because it “can provide crucial links to our social groups” (Abe, interview).
Unlike Griffiths’ finished video, Abe’s gloves provide an open-ended piece of work that defines its interactivity. Interactive art involves the production of “an area of activity for the receivers, whose interactive actions bring to life an artwork-event” (Kluszczynski). Abe’s interactive genre in this project utilizes the “strategy of instrument” by providing a type of ready-made with which user can perform with (Klyszczynski). These gloves create an audio event through the users’ interactions, which provide a unique perspective on the most common form of greeting and interaction– the handshake.
The gloves project increases our interactivity with one another in the ever-important environment of the first impression. The first handshake sets the basis for many relationships and Abe’s gloves enhances the connections that people develop with one another after their initial meeting. In her artist statement, Abe writes, “[Music] transcends language barriers, creating opportunities for people to communicate even if they do not understand each other’s spoken words”(Abe, web). Abe knows what it feels like to not understand, which is why the transcendence of language barriers is important to her. “It was nice to explore the potential of communication through music and touch – things that are part of a universal language” (Abe, interview). The use of music rather than words focuses the interaction of the users’ initial connection rather than the personas that people portray during first impressions.
Abe’s design between the MP#s, headphones, gloves and conductive pads offers a simple strategy than that of Griffiths’ video based on advanced brain images and an independently produced musical score. The simplicity of Abe’s design also enhances her commentary on initial human interactions– a handshake can make or break a human relationship. Through “lots of experimentation and a few broken cheap MP3 players,” Abe fused her electronics skills with her love of fashion (Abe, interview).
In addition to the similarities they draw in their skills in technology, both artists use music to enhance their piece’s message. The use of music enhances the connection it draws to the viewers. Uniquely, these two digital artists deal in different genres to convey their works’ messages. With the use of technology and each artist’s knowledge of science, Griffiths and Abe both create works within the realm of human connection and experience. Drawing from these works, the viewers can focus on the frailty of their mind in “Brainscape” or on the interaction of the handshake in “Haptic Music Gloves.” Working more with biological science, Griffiths creates an experience that explores the human connection with our own bodies and nature while Abe works more with electronic science to explore the human connection between one another.
- Griffiths, Helga. Helga Griffiths. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. <http://www.helgagriffiths.de>.
- “Helga Griffiths: Brainscape.” KRXI FOX 11 Reno. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Web. 14 Dec. 2014. <http://events.foxreno.com/Helga_Griffiths_Brainscape/303637570.html#.VI-MeIe8kgM>.
- Abe, Kaho. Kaho Abe. Web. 12 Dec. 2014. <http://kahoabe.net/?portfolio=haptic-music-glove>.
- Kluszczynski, Ryszard W. “Strategies of Interactive Art.” Journal of Aesthetics & Culture 2 (2010). Print.
- Email interview with Kaho Abe.
- Email interview with Helga Giffiths.