Thursday, October 29, 2015

For project 6, I decided to explore the sounds made while playing video games. I decided to use recordings of myself playing the musical video game "Rhythm Heaven". In this game, you play several rhythm themed mini-games in which you have to keep a beat or follow a rhythmic pattern by tapping the screen in time. I recorded several tracks of only the tapping sound  I made while playing different mini-games. Each recording was surprisingly orderly and cohesive. I then decided to overlay all of the tracks I had recorded, turning what were once cohesive rhythmic lines into a cacophony of hammer-like sounds. Beneath it all is the jingle played after beating a mini-game with a perfect or near perfect score. I hope that I was able to convey my intent to both examine the disconnect between the player's experience and what is happening in the game and poke fun at the music and rhythm video game genre.

Box art for the game I played

This is one example of the types of mini-games I was playing:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

For project 3, I decided do something different from my usual work and themes. While being a gamer is a significant influence in my artwork, this project was meant to focus on another aspect of my identity, namely my being an unnoticed, quiet observer of my environment. I suppose this could be considered what McLuhan thinks to be an antisocial action. I often pay close attention to the details of my surroundings that no one else really notices. To showcase this, I took photos of something few really closely examine or think about: the contents of garbage cans and recycling bins.

This project presented me with many challenges, from taking clear, non-grainy photos with the camera on my phone to figuring out the best way to edit photos of garbage in Photoshop. By contrast, Flickr was a fairly easy tool to use in presenting my photos after I figured out its mechanics. In the end, I was fairly satisfied with my images, though of course changes and improvements could always be made. I'm still a novice when it comes to taking "artistic" photographs and using Photoshop, but perhaps I will be able to better execute my ideas in the future once I improve my skills.

A link to my images:

Of all of the images I took, I felt this one was the most successful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I found Ed Vessel's field of research to be very interesting, though I had a hard time understanding and internalizing its significance. It's interesting to know what parts of the brain are active and connected when a person is "moved" by a piece of art and has an aesthetic experience. However, other than the information about the brain, the conclusions drawn from the experiments seem obvious. Individuals can share preferences and appreciation for the same image or types of images while simultaneously harboring vastly different opinions about others. These differences of opinion are due to each individual's unique analysis of the meaning of a piece, which is colored by his or her life experiences.  This seems to be at least part of what Ed Vessel is asserting, which for me really just reaffirms what both artists and viewers of art already implicitly understand about how we subjectively perceive images. As Marshall McLuhan said, "We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future." Our past experiences determine and influence what we experience in the present and future. Since no two individuals share the same past, differences in preference driven by semantic content of images should come as no surprise.