The Farthest Corner

Are you taking me seriously yet

Author: Steven (page 1 of 3)

ARTS1311 Reading #4

1. How is Warhol able to turn in “off” and based upon the article does he not care about the work?

Andy seems to have a very interesting perspective on himself, his life, and his work. I think it’s incredibly unfair to say that he doesn’t care about his work. Regardless of the way he thinks about things, he says himself that he enjoys creating his work and repeatedly speaks about the works he’d like to make about the things that interest him (in some manner or another). If anything, it seems like Andy just seems to avoid thinking too hard or skeptically about anything. He doesn’t overthink his work or projects, he just kind of goes with whatever comes to him. He describes his perspective on work as “having nothing to lose.” I don’t think he means that his work or what he gets from it is empty or without value, but rather that he doesn’t have anything to lose from simply creating. He doesn’t over think his reputation or the meaning behind a piece of art or how everyone will regard it and what hit scene will want to worship it. He just makes what he finds interesting.

2. Why is the article relevant to the last project?

Because sometimes, it’s better to just get started with the work than to sit back and try to think it all out ahead of time.  When you’re taking 100 different images and trying to find something good, the only way you’re going to succeed is to jump straight in without fear of failure. The worst failure would be not making anything at all.

Personal Reflection

1. Do you become self-conscious of your ideas?

I do. Like many people, I’m pretty critical of myself and my thoughts, and I tend to question how good my idea sounds in my head vs how good it will look on paper. But at the same time, I don’t just sabotage my ideas. I really question them and try to pull something productive out of that. The real concern is just spending too much time in the idea phase and never really moving on to the trial and error phase.

2. What do you think of the nothing-to-lose attitude? What are it’s pros and cons?

I think it’s an important philosophy to keep in mind, especially with where we are at now as college students. There should never be a fear of creating right now, because now is the time in our lives where nothing we make is going to define us, our reputations, or our careers. It’s just not. Now is the time to experiment, practice, and get our hands dirty with out wasting time worrying about whether or not an idea is good or bad. Ultimately, the best way to figure out if it’s a good or bad idea is to just try it out. When you do that, even if it’s bad, you still get experience and perspective out of that. It’s not a meaningless ordeal.

At the same time, I think it’s important to still take your endeavors seriously. We can’t treat our projects like little league competitions where everyone gets a participation trophy anyways. Have a little investment in what you make. Be invested enough to know what you’re doing and why, but not so much that you paralyze yourself and lose out on the opportunity to learn from mistakes.

ARTS1311 Reading #3

Readings:

1. Based upon the readings the word design comes with many definitions. Across all the readings what are some examples of these differences?

The only article that specifically discussed the meaning of the word “design” was Flusser’s article, About the Word Design. The other articles seemed to focus more on the word gets used in different contexts and what the concept is to different groups.

Flusser’s article explores not only the etymology of “design” and related words like “art”, “technology”, and “machine”, but also explores how we can to differentiate these terms and how the nature of our relationship with each has evolved over time. Today, Flusser argues that “design” is a term which bridges the two sides, “technology” and “art”, which have remained separated for so long. Rand’s article, “Politics of Design,” discusses what “design” means in the context of business and politics. More accurately, Rand focuses on what design is and can be in contexts in which the design is being used to serve some purpose other than art.

2. How does misunderstanding or rather multiple definitions of a singular word effect how we perceive design? Be sure to reference the four articles.

It’s all about context. In the context of Flusser’s article, one would be inclined to think of the etymology of the term and started wondering how our “designs” deceive or manipulate and who or what they do this to. Following his example, a lever “deceives” gravity and allows a person to move something with greater ease and convenience that might not be able to move otherwise. In another example, User Interface in a program “deceives” the user into thinking that computers are smart and easily directed, when in fact they’ve simply made use of a tool that translates their command into machine code that the computer can understand. Computers are actually very stupid because they can only do exactly what they are instructed to do and, even then, only when they are instructed to do so in a language comprised only of 0s and 1s.

In the context of businesses, a designer is not seen as an individual who is masterful in creating plans that can trick or deceive people and things. They’re often seen as a service for which an executive or client can be provided an endless amount of solutions, allowing them to pick and choose and enforce their personal tastes without any actual understanding of the process.

Personal Reflection:

1. How do you suppose you could better prepare yourself as a maker of aesthetic objects/ideas?

By exposing yourself to a greater variation in aesthetic styles, in many different forms, and taking the time to learn the why and how that made them possible or desirable. Don’t simply stick to what you find preferably and familiar. Get out and experience some strange new things. Approach the new and unfamiliar with a healthy dose of curiosity.

2. What are things you currently do to practice your creative muscle?

I explore different things and try to figure out what makes them great. Why they click with people and why they don’t. I engage in discussions about different forms of media and different kinds of people who enjoy them.

But, unfortunately, I don’t take the time to do as much hands on trial and error work as I should. There’s no replacement for first-hand experience, experiments, and failures. I observe from the outside, and rather actively, but I know that it’s not enough.

ARTS1311 Reading #2

Readings

1. Based upon the reading how are priorities set for specific projects? Or in other words, what is it that determines the guidelines for given projects?

The only answer I can possibly think of is the context *for* the project. Or, in other words, the “concrete situation” that the project is about or born out of. To determine the priorities or guidelines for any given project, you must first know what the purpose of the project is and who it is for, and then use that information to decide how the project could, or should, go about achieving that goal.

For example, think of Superflex’s biogas project in Africa. The project aimed to provide a productive solution to an African family’s needs, but to also initiate conversation from communities in different ways. The understanding was that people would see the biogas and interpret them in different ways, but the goal was to ensure that these perspective started a meaningful discussion about the project. To this end, the biogas had to be functional, eye-catching, and unique in form so as to invite curiosity and judgment.

2. How does the artist/ designer approach decision making differently or do they?  

In many ways, I think artists and designers approach decision making in similar ways. Both must ask themselves how to achieve their intended goals and must discern if their methodology is appropriate or effective. If a designer wants to create a User Interface that allows users to accomplish a task on a computer, they must come up with solutions as to how to accomplish that goal, and then they must discern if these solutions are appropriate or effective. Similarly, if an artist wants to create a painting that evokes specific emotions from its audience, they must discern a method as to how to accomplish that goal, and then they must decide if these methods are appropriate or effective. There’s a lot both the artist and designer have in common here.

But I think it’s important to recognize that what motivates the artist and designer throughout their decision making can be extremely different. Whereas an artist is more likely seek methods that are unique and unconventional in the hopes of yielding intriguing results for their audiences, the designer is more likely to value methods that at least feel intuitive or familiar with the goal of providing engaging and comfortable results for their users. At the end of the day, the product of the artist may be open to interpretation and elusive to the audience while still being successful, but the designer’s product must find a way to make a direct and identifiable connection with its user (although there is no requirement for the user to fully understand how this connection is made, only that it is).

Personal Reflection

1. How do you make decisions? Are they based upon anything substantial? Why or why not?

 I make decisions based upon what my goals are. What am I trying to accomplish? Who for? To what end? With what time, resources, and energy? It might seem like random rambling, but the answers to these questions are the basic necessities needed to move forward with any degree of reasonable certainty.

If ever I’m at a loss, I always find it’s easiest to start back at the basics. It doesn’t matter how complicated the goal might seem or how contrived the context might appear. Stepping back to observe the basic elements of the circumstance is nearly always a sure-fire way to perceive the big picture and find a path towards the end goal.

2. How do you know when something is “good” or working?

Not to be redundant, but: When it’s achieving its goal, you know it’s working. How well this “something” achieves its goal is how I determine its level of quality.

As a game development major, I find it easiest to lean on my prefered medium for an example: Let’s say you have a video game where the goal is to feel relaxed and happy. What makes a person feel relaxed or what makes them happy obviously varies incredibly from each individual to another, so much so that the goal might seem impossibly overwhelming. But an easy way to start is to begin with the basics. If you an individual to feel relaxed, what should you make certain to or, even better, what should you not do? Well, you should make the goal of the game easy to understand and simple to execute on. You should not bombard them with information or choices. You should make the controls as intuitive and simple as possible. You should not create difficulty barriers that require skills which can only be achieved through practice. You should ensure that the game encourages moments of “flow,” or in other words that game is challenging enough to require a degree of focus, but not challenging enough to punish or discourage the player. It is a delicate balance.

An excellent example of a game that accomplishes this is a game called Flower, in which the player controls a gust of wind that floats around natural landscapes to trigger the blooming of budding flowers in the area. The developers focused on a single emotion they wanted to evoke in players: Joy. To that end, anything that does not directly contribute to a sense of joy was not included in the game. As result, there is no menu screen, there are no high scores, there is no information displayed on the screen, there is no game over, and so forth. All of these things obviously don’t directly contribute in creating a universal sense of joy. The end product was a game that could be controlled by tilting the joy stick, or even the controller itself, and required the of only one button… Which was any button. Any button pressed on the controller caused the player’s gust of wind to accelerate. There is no need for memorization of certain button combinations. The designers focused on creating beautiful plains of grass, with bright blue skies. They focused on sound, which gave players a sense of speed as their wind blew through the grass and tree branches. They created a calm, engaging soundtrack that would add new notes as they triggered new flowers to bloom, each flower offering a single petal that gave the player’s wind shape and form. Tracks were created with the budding flowers for the player to breeze past, but in a manner which encourages the player to tackle the level in any way they please. There is no “right” or “wrong” path.

The developer behind this game, That Game Company, has become renowned in the industry for creating beautiful, focused experiences that any type of player can enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing games for decades, years, months, or if this is your first time trying one. The experiences they deliver are simple, specialized, and unique, accessible to anyone willing to try them.

3. How do you rework projects to make them work?

If a project needs to be reworked, the first step is always to take a step back and ask why: What about this doesn’t work? It doesn’t need to be terribly specific, just start off thinking in the broad sense. If your project is supposed to make someone feel happy, but fails to do that, then the question is, “What emotion does this project evoke?” Sadness? Anger? Confusion?

You need to discern the reason your project needs to be reworked in the first place. Without this basic step, you’ve got nothing to go on.

Once that has been done, the next step is to figure out what about the project is causing that. It could be something as simple as color choice or the shapes used, or it could be something more complicated like the materials involved or some symbolism that is being evoked.

Basically, you must reverse-engineer what you have. Work backwards from where you are to figure out what went wrong at what point.  Only then can you isolate what features need to be changed, replaced, or completely removed in order to get your project from what it shouldn’t be to what it should be. Sometimes, this might require starting from square one, but more often than not it boils down to specific choices made along the path of development.

ARTS1311 Reading #1

Readings

1. What is the purpose of a designer, do they always work for a stakeholder?

The purpose of a designer is to give a functional form to an idea which resolves a need, or want, while also providing a positive experience that can be enjoyed by the intended user.
“Always” is a pretty strong word that I’m hesitant to agree with, but I do think that, in the vast majority of cases, the designer should be working with the employer, user, and end-purpose in mind.

2. Is the artist always a self-expressive narcissist?

It’s a strongly worded question that initially comes off a bit negative but, regardless, it’s still an important question worth consideration.
Ultimately, I think the answer is an emphatic yes. And I don’t think it’s at all a bad thing. To create a piece of work, no matter what the material or circumstance, requires the artist’s confidence that their vision is worth creating, and no matter what the quality or importance of the output is, there can be no denying that the product is an expression of the self. How and why something is formed by an individual might be similar to another, but the two individuals’ creations will still be unique simply because they were brought about by different people. I think how the artist embraces that uniqueness of their work, and the degree to which they believe in and foster it, will always come to define the quality of their output.

3. Can the designer/artist exist?

Not to take the question too literally, but I find it hard to accept the notion that there even could be any possibility that the designer, or artist, does not exist. Despite that, I think I still understand the nature of the question, although I could be completely off. Rather than considering whether or not the designer or artist can exist, I think that we should instead focus on the relationship between them and the product of their efforts.
Designers and artist are the channel through which a concept is brought to form. Regardless of the concept’s origin, the perspectives, values, preferences, and priorities of the designer/artist are influenced, even defined, by their context, circumstances, and culture. There’s no denying that a designer or artist deserves proper credit for the output of their effort and vision, but there is value in understanding that influencing factors that made the vision for their product possible.

 

Personal Reflection

1. What is your personal view of the difference between the designer and the artist?

I think the two are much more similar than the average person might believe, but I certainly acknowledge that there are differences between the two.
Unlike an artist, the designer must always keep in mind that what they are creating will primarily be for the use of others. Creating a product that communicates itself clearly to the intended user is always a part of the goal.
In addition, the designer is significantly more likely to be working for, with, or in the service of others. The ability to respect, understand, and thrive off of that is something that all designers should foster within themselves.
Finally, because much of their work is likely to take place long before there can be any meaningful, tangible output, the designer is obligated to identify and analyze potential problems far ahead of time, and to provide effective solutions that can be appropriately defended in the face of the scrutiny of others.

2. Which are you, why?

I identify as more of a designer than an artist. I find great purpose in the process of translating an idea, which accomplishes some goal or use, into reality in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling for the user. When I think of the ways in which an issue can be resolved, or in which a desire can be met, I am immediately focused on the how and, more importantly, the why. Not just any fix is acceptable. I am more likely to appreciate the execution of an idea than the idea itself.

Photographic Solutions

  1. What really attracted me to this picture was the contrast between the warmth of the paper sculpture contrasted against the pitch black background. I got a lot of pictures that displayed strong contrast because of the nature of the assignment, but I liked how the “white” here was much warmer than the vast majority of these other pictures.
    For me, this picture embodies a strong sense of positive and negative emotions. I can think of a number of narrative concepts on this picture, but throughout all of them the white “pillars” (or cylinders, however you’d like to refer to them) represent a sense of hope, while the darkness in the back feels threatening and somewhat impending, like the threat could become more real at any given moment.

 

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Visual Dictionary

Elements of Art:

1.) Line: quality (thick, thin, broken), implied line, actual line, linear networks: cross-contours, psychic line.

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Student: Summer Mecham

2.) Shape: is a flattened enclosed area. The boundary of a shape can be created by enclosing an area with a continuous line or implied line, filling an area with solid color/ texture, broken color texture

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Student: Summer Mecham

3.) Texture: physical, visual (illusion), invented texture

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Student: Summer Mecham

4.) Value: Contrast, value distribution (proportion of lights and darks).

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Student: Abdullah Alsaif

5.) Color: Color has: HUE< SATURATION< VALUE plus WHITE = TINT plus GRAY = TONE plus BLACK = SHADE

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SONY DSC

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Student: Abdullah Alsaif

6.) Plane: 3-d form that has length and width but with minimal thickness.

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Student: Abdullah Alsaif

7.) Volume: refers to enclosed area of 3-d space

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Student: Luna 

 

8.) Mass: solid 3-d form

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Student: Luna

9.) Space: area within or around an area of substance: positive/negative, compression/expansion, activated, entering.

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Student: Luna

10.) Light: can enhance or obscure, affect emotions, entice us to enter, create mystery, can even be the sculptural medium

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Student: Tristan Procell

11.) Time/motion: actual and implied are two aspects of time.

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Student: Tristan Procell


Principles of Design

1.) Unity/variety: similarity, oneness, togetherness, cohesion

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Student: Tristan Procell

2.) Balance:
Symmetry/approximate symmetry: visual or actual equilibrium of two halves of a composition mirroring each other in size/shape and placement of elements of art.
Asymmetry: creates equilibrium among visual elements that do not mirror each other on either side of axis. (Depending, design can be quite dynamic or chaotic
Radial symmetry: equilibrium achieved by elements emanating from a point, usually the center of a composition

Example 1: Example 2:

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Student: Steven Valero

3.) Scale: Comparative size of an element of art or object in relation to other objects and expectations about what is normal. (Ex: human scale)
Proportion: Relationship of the size of parts to each other and to the whole artifact or image

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Student: Steven Valero

4.) Rhythm: Sense of movement – regular, irregular, pattern, or grid

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Student: Steven Valero

5.) Emphasis: Arrangements of elements of art to make some areas the primary focus of a viewers’ attention

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Student: Steven Valero

Line

How to upload a video

NOTE: Click on each image to expand it fully.

Step 1: Go to your blog page.

Step 2: Create a new post. It doesn’t have to be a “media” post.

Step 3: Click the “Add Media” button

Step 4: At the top of the window that pops up, you’ll notice a tab that says “Upload Files” right next to “Media Library”. Once you click on that, you’ll be asked to drag and drop the files of your choice. Alternatively, you can press “Select Files” like I did and navigate to the media file you want to download. Here, I chose a small video clip of me looking at the new Nintendo Switch at PAX South.

Step 5: Once you’ve selected your file, you’ll automatically be taken back to the “Media Library” tab. Once here, the file you uploaded should already be selected for you. If not, click on it once, then click the “Insert into Post” button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Step 6: Finally, publish your blog post! When you view your post, the video will come out at as a hyperlink like the one below. When you click on it, the video will be downloaded onto the computer you’re viewing the blog post from and can be played in Windows Media Player, or whatever else your system uses to view videos.

NOTE: The only catch here is that the video can’t be over 50MB. If your video is too big, you can always upload it to another video sharing site like youtube and then copy a link to that video and paste it in your blog post.  If you don’t know how to upload to youtube, click here for an article that explains the steps.

 

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ARTS1311_100 Solutions

The object I chose is a small theater mask that my wife got on one of her childhood visits to South Korea. My motivation for selecting it is pretty straight forward: I thought it was eye catching. Coming up with different ideas of how to incorporate it into various contexts was challenging, but the following images were the ones that stood out the most to me. I tried to draw a contrast between the mask’s stark colors, it’s smooth texture, and its artificial appearance with the setting around it. I tried to make use of the mask’s holes, the side strings, and the small nail hook to utilize the objects form in ways other than simply laying it down in a certain position, but it was difficult to resist the temptation of doing ridiculously basic things like making my dog momentarily wear it during one of his naps.

 

Box link to 100 solutions folder.

Blog Post #11 – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game with a couple of rare characteristics. First, it’s a game that is successful both financially and critically. Second, the project was headed by a swedish film director. Third, it is a game that integrates interactivity into the core of what makes it great and beautiful in a way few other games have ever managed to accomplish.

brothers-a-tale-of-two-sons-download
Brothers is a game about two brothers: Naiee, the youngest, and Naia, the eldest. Their story begins with Naiee mourning the loss of his mother, who drowned at sea. Naia calls his brother, Naiee, to come home for their father whom is being visited by the village doctor. The brothers are told their father will succumb to his illness and die unless they can retrieve some water from the Tree of Life. And so the two set out on their journey, leaving their village far behind as they travel through hills, mountains, a valley of dead giants, a ghost town filled with the frozen corpses of its previous occupants, and more.
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The people in this world speak a fictional language, forcing the player to intuit the brother’s story through action and visual prompts alone. The game’s development team takes the saying, “Action speaks louder than words,” a step farther with their control scheme, which forces the player to control both brothers simultaneously. The left side of the controller (i.e., the left analog stick and triggers) controls one brother, while the right side (i.e., the right analog stick and right triggers) control the other. In doing so, the player begins to understand the challenge of team work the two brother’s face through sheer input alone. As the game progresses, the player begins more and more accustomed to this odd control scheme, eventually managing both brothers with ease as they face various puzzles and dangers that require team work to prevail against.
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During their journey the eldest brother, Naia, is seduced by a mysterious girl the two have saved from ritual sacrifice by a mob. At first, the players are rewarded by receiving the girl’s help to overcome obstacles they might have otherwise been stumped by. This partnership takes a dark turn when the girl seduces Naia and leads the two brothers to a dark cave, where she transforms and reveals herself to be a giant, monstrous spider in disguise. Naiee and Naia ultimately defeat the beast, but not before the spider is able to mortally wound Naia.

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When the two finally reach the Tree of Life, Naia insists that Naiee climbs the tree to collect the water while he sits down to rest, exhausted from his wounds and the long journey. Tragically, when Naiee climbs back down he finds he is unable to awaken his elder brother to drink and receive the healing powers of the water… Naia had finally succumbed to his injuries. Striken with grief, Naiee buries him before the Tree of Life and begins his journey back home once again. When he finally reaches home, his father’s illness is quickly cured by the water, leaving the player with a scene of a father and son mourning the loss of half their family.
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Having played the game with each brother requiring one half of the controller, the player immediately feels the loss of Naia, as they now only have one side to use and only one brother to overcome obstacles with. Much like Naiee, the player is given opportunity to feel like they are missing a part of themselves in a way so few other games are able to accomplish. Each scene is made more powerful and intimate with the lack of narration or text filled boxes, allowing the game to fully capture the player’s attention.

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