Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cool Video

Cy Kuckenbaker's composite of Five hours of planes landing at San Diego International Airport. Inspired by this composite by Ho-Yeol Ryu.

Final Project

After countless revisions, this project has changed from its original purpose. I wanted to combine text and image spatially, but what space would I portray? What text would I write? As I looked around for inspiration, my own thoughts began to dance around in the space before me. Having recently read Goethe's Faust, the story is still fresh in my mind. So, here I have brief snippets of thought, frozen in time, suspended in space. The fleeting nature of each snippet suggests the transience of thought.

Interactive App prototype

Here's something I made in another class!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Poster Project

This is a poster for my history of graphic design class, along with my statement in full:

In the 1930s, the Nazis began a campaign to solidify their image as pillars of racial purity and military might, incorporating classical styles of realism and reinforcing the virtues of homeland pride. Artistic expression that did not reflect these Nazi values were labeled “degenerate”, meaning they were considered by to be intrinsically abnormal and substandard. Modern art, such as expressionism, cubism, dada, and surrealism fell under this definition. Artists and curators who were partial to anything deemed degenerate were relieved of their jobs and positions and replaced by members from the Reich Culture Chamber. The offending art works were often confiscated, and in 1937 a collection of such confiscated “degenerate” art were shown in Die Ausstellung “Entartete Kunst” (The Degenerate Art Exhibition). The cover of the exhibition catalog features a full bleed photograph of The New Man, an expressionist sculpture by Otto Freundlich, and is the subject of my poster.

I tried to imagine visiting this exhibit from the perspective of a modern artist. No doubt the utter dismissal of decades of progressive work hurts deeply, but the show is drawing in much more attention than the nearby Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung (Great German art exhibition), which only features officially approved art. In it, the classical sculptures and paintings by artists like Arno Breker and Adolf Wissel were largely ignored despite being heralded as the antithesis of degenerate art. The modern artist might begin to feel that this was proof that the two collections should be reversed, that surely this lack of popularity meant that the so-called “degenerate art” was more thought provoking, more inviting, more worthy of attention than the stiff old styles at the Great German art exhibition. If so, criticism ought to be levied at the appropriate collection, thus: my Reverse Degenerate Art Exhibition Cover.

In place of Freundlich’s expressionist sculpture, my poster features Arno Breker’s Die Partei (The Party), a statue representing the Nazi Party, which, along with another statue representing The Army, stood at the entrance to the Reich Chancellery. The original cover featured a mix of typography, from a neutral roman “ENTARTETE” (Degenerate) to an expressively scribbled “KUNST” (Art) placed in quotation marks, and finally an “Ausstellungsführer” (Exhibition Guide) set in Fraktur. The apparent effect was to emphasis each word differently, but modern designers tend to be more unified in their typography, so in my cover “ENTASRTETE”, “AUSSTELLUNGSFÜHRER”, and the price tag are all formally related via type, alignment, color, and balance. While the original “KUNST” was scribbled in as a mockery of expressionist art, my “KUNST” is set in Tannenberg, a special type of blackletter commonly called Schaftstiefelgrotesk (Jackboot Grotesque) associated with Nazi nationalism. In all truthfulness, I have always thought blackletter type is rather curious and have long been interested in medieval and ancient typography, which is one of the reasons I chose this particular project to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Nikon D80, My Camera

This is a Nikon D80. My dad bought one a few months before it's replacement, the D90, was announced. Since he works in the graphics business, having a DSLR is essential for taking pictures of products and finished installations.

Since the D80's release, newer and better cameras have been introduced, nearly all of them more worthwhile than this camera. It's options are limited, it doesn't shoot video unlike it's D90 successor, and there seems to always be slight blurriness around edges.

Maybe it's an issue with the lens, a Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm1:3.5-5.6G ED. It's a versatile lens, no doubt, but sometimes I wonder if it's been causing all the focusing problems that keep appearing.

Catfish (spoiler free)

Much has been speculated about the film Catfish, causing no small order of controversy. Purported to be a documentary about an ordinary guy who gets caught up in extraordinary events, the authenticity of of this film is immediately called into question. How much of this documentary is real? How much is the fabricated narrative of the film makers? If the entire movie is fiction, can it still be called a documentary? In the movie, after a shocking revelation that leaves our protagonist doubting authenticity, he goes on to seek out the truth of the matter. I think it's only fair that the critics who doubt the veracity of this documentary to follow Nev's example and check out how deep the rabbit hole goes. Maybe they can even make a movie out of it.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Portraiture need not be straight headshots, in any age. As a symbol of a particular person, a straight headshot certainly gets the job done, but as many artists and photographers have found, it is not the only method. A person can be represented in a myriad of ways, from the possessions they have, to the things they do, to more abstract notions like how they feel or what they desire. In the Digital Age, these symbols increased dramatically; for every real world object or action there seems to be a digital equivalent. Our workspaces change, our ways of working change.

In my series of Desktop, I present portraits of six anonymous individuals with nothing more than the desktop environment on their screens. The monitor acts as a frame. In one of these portraits, the person included the conversation I had with them requesting a screenshot, which was not what I quite intended but becomes a kind of “photo bomb” as it might be called in a traditional portrait.