Thursday, December 9, 2010

Final Writing

KNIFEANDFORK vs. Kit Webster
As I started to look around for artists to do this comparison on I found the collaborative art group KNIFEANDFORK. I am not sure if it was the name that got me or the pictures of their work, but I had to take a look. Then on the other side of things I found Kit Webster. No he didn't have a flashy name and his pictures were somewhat interesting. On the contrary, when I looked into his work the names of some of his pieces were flashy and they had great example videos that had also caught my eye. Right from the beginning they had simple similarities and differences so I knew I was on to something.
KNIFEANDFORK is a collaborative website, but it is not public. They were founded by Brian House, a Creative Technologist based in New York, and Sue Huang, an art lecturer at Cal Poly and UCLA living in Los Angeles. These two artists on opposite sides of the country came together to form the collaboration of KNIFEANDFORK. They have a few choice people who add to their work and work in collaboration with them.
Their style has a very interesting feel to it. They are almost always interactive with their target audience, and they focus most of their projects on games. These games are not limited to a specific genre either. It is mostly sports and video games that they focus on. The important thing about all of that is they are using this activities and tying it into an art piece, art exhibit, or the activity is the piece itself. For example in their piece "Trying the Hand of God" they had a reenacting performance piece of this bad shot/bad call from the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Essentially the player that went for the shot faked like he head butted the shot in but he hit it close fisted with his hand, and the ref didn't call it. They let the audience members of this piece play in the fake soccer game reenactment as the player that scored the bad winning goal. Another great example is "Emptiness is Form (Golf and Donuts)." Essentially the audience attending the showcase at the museum play in a museum-wide mini golf game, while viewing art that has to do with holes.

The main piece I am going to talk about is called Moca Grand Prix. This project is a very innovative way of getting people to subconsciously and perhaps unintentionally look at the actual art in the gallery showcase. They start out by welcoming the audience not into the museum, but a separate location entirely. This room has anywhere from three to eight screens set up depending on where they are showcasing at. When the unsuspecting patron sits down in front of the steering wheel and pedals the game activates as if you just dropped a quarter into the machine. On the screen appears an 1980's style racing game, the music, the cheesy intro graphics, and the whole nine yards. People in the driver seats usually wait for other people to join in the race. When there are enough players to play, the racecars come online. Now these are just your simple average RC cars racing through the MOCA museum showcase, but the cars have cameras on them. "Using mounted cameras, each Wi-Fi-enabled car is driven remotely through a video game interface that shows the car’s point of view." Now while these people are having a good time and laughing, they are racing past art in the gallery. They might not even realize that it is happening.

KNIFEANDFORK have a completely different way of how they have people look at art. They get as many art viewers as they can to help participate to make these projects a big success. They are also showing an art form in how to not always look at art in the same way. They are making a strong statement on what should be done when looking at art. What a great statement that is to make.

Now here comes the transition. From KNIFEANDFORK to Kit Webster. When Kit started to make a career path for himself he decided to go down a different path as opposed to where he is now. Read this quote from Kit. " Originally beginning in music and sound art, I began to discover the immense amount of possibilities available with new media programming interfaces such as vvvv. Now I am creating installations that utilize software and hardware to create immersive experiences within gallery spaces each time building upon the last." That is inspiring to someone like me because you really need to find what makes you happy in the career you want to do for the rest of your life. Kit is simply doing what he loves in a very cool way.

Kit Webster has a very interesting style of art. The genres are; sound art, digital, animation, and video art. These thing form together to make something very unique. For example I will tell you a little something about Kit's "Cone of Contemplation." This creation is an art piece that is designed to go in the very dead center of a concerts floor area. The cone interacts with the sound of the music coming from the certain band playing. It is almost an interactive piece to the point that the band is making it do different thing. It is a great piece of art and music outside of a museum. His next fascinating piece is called "Textavision." It is an outdoor on-building projection project that is interactive with anyone with text messaging capabilities. When people are walking by this house they see beautiful colors, shapes, and images all over the exterior of the house, and music is playing outside. Next to the house is a sign that gives a number to text message any word or symbol you would like. When that message gets sent the entire house gets covered with that symbol or pictures of whatever the word text had to do with. To top it all off there is music playing that match the mood of the color and texture of the house.

However the main project that I looked at is called "Enigmatica." as Kit Webster states, " Enigmatica acts as an experimental platform for exploring new concepts in combining light, sound and space to create multi-dimensional synthetic digital sculptures." 

I couldn't have said it better myself. Enigmatica is made up of ten L.E.D. (Light Emitting Diode) squares in specific order from largest to smallest. The audience comes in and stares directly at this piece as it starts playing its' own soundtrack (that Kit made himself). It is like looking at an optical illusion that is taking place right before your eyes. Enigmatica is designed to disorient the approximant size of the room it is in and approximately what is moving and what is not moving. Also to top it all off Kit made the very soundtrack you hear during the Enigmatica experience. These squares also react to the music in a different way just like the cone. It is a new way to listen to music visually and with your entire body.

There are the differences right in front of my eyes with these two artists. One group, NIFEANDFORK care about the visual of the art not just the accomplishment, and they use physical hands on interaction with their work. The Second person Kit Webster is using music to express his art to the world. He wants people to feel the music through his art work. He has created both the performance and the music itself, were as sometimes KNIFEANDFORK will put on a set of performance art for the showcase that isn't theirs.

As far as what is similar goes a lot farther in depth than I originally thought it would go. On the one hand you have KNIFEANDFORK they want people to experience the art they are showcasing differently, and Kit wants people to experience his music differently than they have before. Both artists want their audiences to experience their art in the way that the creators intended them to be. They also both have a knack for  disorienting the museum space. Whether it is down a dark hallway or in the Moca museum space Kit Webster and KNIFANDFORK will continue with what they know and love.

In closing each one of the artist has a special meaning that they can put together and express through their performance or even digital sound art. It is up to you to find the true meaning around these things. I also want to thank you for taking the time to read all of this and for the great semester!! I hope that you have a wonderful break and I hope to see more of you next semester.

Informational links and Artist links:
Rhizome art viewing web site:
Vimeo video hosting site:
Kit Websters actual Web site:

Lecture Reviews

Matteo Bittanti           

I was really excited to go see Matteo Bittanti because I had heard of him before, and had been a fan of Game Scenes for a while. Matteo is a man that takes the same pass time (video games) that I have and turns it into his passion and career in life! He is a creator and finder of video game art from all over the world!
Matteo Bittanti originally from Milan, Italy starts off his lecture by saying he has one goal in life, and that is too “procrastinate professionally.” If you ask me that is one of the greatest statements I have ever heard!

Matteo takes elements from videogames and creates them into art. He doesn’t just take from video games, he also places art into video games. Something really funny that Bittanti talked about was how during the Obama campaign, Obama was trying to reach the younger crowds (video gamers), to go out and vote. To accomplish this Obama’s people placed campaign ads in popular video games. Bittani, being the quick thinker that he is, creates spoof images of Obama ads in other video games. Needless to say Obama’s campaign team wasn’t too happy about it.

Bittanti takes video game art in Game Scenes to open our eyes to the world of games around us, and inspire everyone’s stereotype of a lazy video game player to become artists themselves. He is trying to show the world that there is a lot more to video games than what meets the eye. For example he showed us this game video that he made for his friend that killed himself by jumping off of a building. He created it to try to get a point of view of what his friend was thinking before he jumped. That project in itself was very profound as a piece of art, but all created with a video game.
So kids the moral of the story is get off your asses set the book down and play a video game because you never know what will come out of it.

Check out Matteo Bittanti’s site at:
And check out Game Scenes at:


Paho Mann

Well to start off Paho Mann was the first artist lecture I had ever been too, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Mann has lived out most of his life in New Mexico, and that is where his art took off. He has gotten fine arts degrees from fine colleges like the University of New Mexico and Arizona State University. As of now he is working in a university located in Dallas, Texas.
Mann has a very special classification of work. It is photographic classification and realization. With more of his recent projects he wants to inform his audience about the consumption problem that the world, but mostly, the United States has in our daily lives.
To accomplish this he started off with taking pictures of medicine cabinets. He wanted to try and find out facts about the person depending on what he photographed in their medicine cabinet. What he came to discover was that most medicine cabinets don’t have very interesting secretive items in them. So after thinking it over he decided to do the same kind of project, but this time instead of medicine cabinets he would photograph junk drawers. No matter where you are you can always tell the kind and or type of person just by looking and studying their junk drawer. At least that is what Mann claimed while describing his project. After all of his classification pictures of drawers and cabinets he came to the conclusion that most of these were similar, as in they had similar items in them, rather than different.
The next brilliant thing he started to classify was every item he owns. He photographed every single item he owned, down to the change in his pocket, and categorized them by size, material, color, shape, etc…. He then took it a step farther and placed them into a live internet database were people could interact with his art and project by selecting what category they wanted to see.

Then to top off his presentation he talked about his most proud accomplishment. The city of Phoenix, Arizona actually gave him a grant to bring together the same techniques from his other projects to classify and categorize the trash that came into the city dump. He accomplished this in a project called “Sort.” It is now part of an ever growing live internet database to educate people about waste and consumption.
Thank you Paho Mann for exceeding my expectations of this artist lecture.

Check out his website at:

Exhibition Review

Ben Hoffman The Cartesian Medium Ben Hoffman, an artist from the great state of Nevada is being featured here in our very own Nevada Museum of Art. He is showcasing a digital mathematic display of beauty as well as brilliance. For those of you that think to yourselves math? How can math be involved in this beautiful art? The fact is the math is very much a part of these creations. It is so much of this work in fact that it is what makes the art itself.

You see Ben has always been interested in math, but he has also been interested in the beauty of the world around him. Ben began to work with both of these worlds in mathematic parallels and math visualizations. When the final art creation is produced from this combination it is called “the Cartesian Medium.” Ben created or “coined” this term himself.
It is amazing to me the process that happens when Ben creates these works. When he sees something he likes he draws it and at the same time starts to sketch down math equations. These math equations create an outcome that place a point on a graph. They also tell the color, position, shape, details, so on and so forth. These pictures a made not by a paint brush or a camera, but from mathematic equations overlaid one by one. It is taking binary code to an entirely different level.
When you see these images you think to yourself is Ben Hoffman more of an artist or more of a mathematician? In a perfect world I say it is a great combination of both. While looking at these works I saw many things; trees, grass, pinecones, etc… though there was one thing that drew my attention to it immediately! As soon as I entered there stood this tall feather. It seemed to be the center piece of the entire showcase. As I looked at the feather and studied it deeply I couldn’t help but think of the equations that went into creating it. Simply mind boggling!
This exhibit is a must see! I plan to go a few more times. Very interesting stuff even for a guy like me who isn’t too interested in mathematic equations. Thank you Ben Hoffman for your contribution to the art world. Keep up the good work and way to represent Nevada!

Check out Ben Hoffman's web site at:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Final Projects

The Johnny Cash Project
Below is a paragraph quoted from the creator of the Johnny Cash Project. This was a great project to bring artists from all over the world to work on this collaborative work of art while simultaneously honoring the great Johnny Cash. It was tedious however, you had to complete the drawing in one sitting or the entire image would be lost. This was especially challenging for someone as A.D.D. as I am. I used the things I learned in this class to really get a deeper concept of this project. First I sat down and watched the music video over and over again. I really focused on what scenes meant the most to me. After deciding i kept searching until the clips I wanted came up. I started to think about the complexity of programing that goes into making and designing a programmed database online. The task is truly art in itself. It was great to rise above my own art and be part of something bigger with these two projects I chose to do. The Johnny Cash Project was not only a great project, but entertaining at the same time. Directly below this paragraph are the two drawings I did for the Johnny Cash Project.

Click the link to get a closer look at my work. Sign In: AndrewArdans Password: jcash123
When you go to the link you can watch the process of how I drew each of these.

"The Johnny Cash Project is a global collective art project. Working with a single image as a template, and using a custom drawing tool, you’ll create a unique and personal portrait of Johnny. Your work will then be combined with art from participants around the world, and integrated into a collective whole: a music video for "Ain’t No Grave", rising from a sea of one-of-a-kind portraits."

Click this link to see the Johnny Cash Project.

Man With A Movie Camera

This was a great opportunity to be a part of this "Global Remake!" Just like I mentioned before it was amazing to collaborate with people all over the world. Because of this site my work is now part of a video clip database that is viewable by anyone in the world! It is a very interesting feeling as an artist to know that people can look at your work anytime anywhere. The internet is an amazing tool. That is what made this project so interesting, It is taking old black and white film and converting it digitally online while corroboratively remaking each seen. The project is like a symphony with many different parts all coming together to re create this movie. I wanted to make the video clips look as close to the original as I could get them. To do that I had to add certain effects and other techniques. It still came out a little different, but i like to look at is as my style for the project. Below this paragraph are pictures with links to the video segments that I reshot. Click on them to view it side by side with the original footage from Man With A Movie Camera. Then below that will be a short background quote from the website.

"Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake is a participatory video shot by people around the world who are invited to record images interpreting the original script of Vertov’s Man With A Movie Camera and upload them to this site. Software developed specifically for this project archives, sequences and streams the submissions as a film. Anyone can upload footage. When the work streams your contribution becomes part of a worldwide montage, in Vertov’s terms the “decoding of life as it is”."

Click the link below to view the Man With A Movie Camera website.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Youtube Mixer

This is my Youtube mixer project. When I was a kid I had a CD that had music with mixed speeches from JFK within it. That was the inspiration for this project. It so happens that the first speech I found was about nuclear weapons, so that is what the mixer is about. Top Row:(left to right) JFK speech, emergency broadcast for nuclear war, piano music, train rail noises, nuclear explosions. Bottom Row:(left to right) rain drops, free way driving noise, soft background melody, ambient street and public noises, thunder and lightning.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Assignment 3 - Triptych Animation

I had fun with this project as well! Animating the triptych helps the images link together better. I wanted it to look like the pictures are being developed as they go by and the final frame is the final portrait of the photographers work. I hope that made sense!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Assignment 2 - Triptych

I loved this project because Photoshop has always been a passion/hobby of mine. Each one of these pictures has its' own fun theme and kind of a meaning to them. When you read the pictures together it says "Did you know I can see you through my lens" It sounds really creepy like I'm a stalker or something, but I can assure you I am not! I wanted to relate this project to photography so that is exactly what I did.

Assignment 1- DADA

This was my first time doing something like this outside of Photoshop! It was quite a process and very frustrating at times, but I kind of came up with the theme as I went along. The father demon and the mother angel are teaching their child how to fish for souls. On the fathers' side there are some fresh souls already caught. There are many other small things that have meaning in this picture, but I won't waste your time explaining.