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:

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