Archive for October, 2009

Five points of interest on chapter 3 “The Fair”, from the book Seven Days in the World by Sarah Thornton:

  1. Art collectors seem to not care about the art, merely the price tag.
  2. The art-collection culture seems entirely too far removed from the culture of artists and art making.
  3. Uber-rich art collectors raise the market value of particular artists’ work, thereby making that artist a “hot” commodity. This, seems (to me at least) to hurt the overall art economy—not help it—as it devalues the work of other artists, who essentially become business competitors. These other artists, who are the majority, then find it harder to sell their work. Therefore, the art economy is determined by, and rests upon the sole shoulders of rich people and families who seem more interested in making a financial investment as opposed to an artistic one.
  4. Art as a business seems to be counter intuitive to the idea of art as a social vehicle.
  5. Philippe Segalot is a jerk.



I always thought that after I finished my undergrad, I would be whisked off the magical land of Graduate School and life would be good. At the time, I was younger, and had basically no concept of money or time. Nowadays, I would just be happy finishing my undergrad degree and landing a semi-solid job working in the design field. With the way the economy is now, I would be very okay with even a part-time job in design, and then another part-timer somewhere else—hell, getting a waiting job at a restaurant is even hard for young people right out of college. That being said, it would almost make more sense to head off to grad school and forget the worries and bothers that the real world has to offer.

I am lucky, as once I graduate I will have no loans to pay off. Thank you Mom and Dad, that was awesome of you guys. One more reason that grad school should look appealing. But here’s the rub: graphic designers do not necessarily need a master’s degree; or so I’ve thought and been told. What’s more important is having a solid portfolio or body of work, communication skills, and experience at a well-known firm. Therefore, my plans for the future include moving to the Pacific-Northwest, getting a job, experience, some money, a marketable portfolio, and only then, after a few years, if I am getting bored and want to spice up my design life, only then will I really think about graduate school as an important option.

As far as right now, I am interested in interactivity—both social and digital (or digitally social). Also, I would be more interested in a Master’s of Science, as opposed to an MFA. If I really had to pick particular grad school programs that seem feasible, my list would look like such:

  1. The NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
  2. Carnegie Mellon Interaction Design Program
  3. Interactive Design at VCU / Design at Virginia Tech
  4. Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology
  5. Human-Computer Interaction Design at the Indiana School of Informatics
  6. Interaction Design at the University of Kansas

Another option I might consider is going the route of the MBA instead of MS or MFA. The MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts seems to be a rather interesting program. Well, for now, this is all just speculation.


This past Friday, October 23rd, I took the NJ Transit to Grand Central, and from there, the subway up to 86th Street and walked a few blocs up to 91st Street and 5th Avenue—the Cooper Hewitt. On the 16th, the museum opened up it’s newest exhibit, taking up the entirety of the first floor, Design USA. I am aware that the class assignment for my Thesis class was to visit a gallery or gallery space and write on it, however, I was greatly looking forward to seeing and experiencing the Design USA exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, and yes, I do consider design, when in the context of the literal word, “design,” as art. If it was not art, then it would not be called “design,” per say. Continue Reading »

It was 9:15 PM, on Wednesday, September 30th, and I was with senior thesis student, Allie Bajew, at her studio in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. The assignment was to interview each other as artists and students, while referencing each other’s past works. We went about this by looking over each other’s pieces first, and then getting into the interviewing. Here is the resulting dialogue (with physical actions displayed in italics):

Rohan Mitra: So, uh… should we start?

Allie Bajew: Um, sure.

RM: Alright. So, do you know what you’re interested in? Or do you have a specific purpose or direction that you are going in with your work?

AB: Well, I have certain things that I like and I just try focusing on those themes. A constant theme are bunnies and ghosts.


RM: Haha, yeah, I can tell.

AB: Heh, yeah, I use a lot of children’s illustrations.

RM: Uh huh. Do you try and use children’s illustrations to show something dark or something more… lighthearted? It seems more lighthearted than dark.

AB: I use ghosts and stuff like that, but they’re not scary.

RM: Nothing comes out as overtly gothic. There is a lot of texture, or rather, a play between texture and flatness. For instance, there’s texture here, but the ghosts are still flat. And even the houses here—they have these faces that are really flat. It seems like a lot of your stuff has that going on.

AB: The thing is that, I almost never use backgrounds. It’s usually just a figure and then open space, and the collages help me with that since its like, instant background.

Continue Reading »

Frederico Diaz’s “Adhesion” Exhibit consisted of four large sculptures, a number of paneled pieces, and a series of I-Mac monitors, as well as one very large lcd-screen, playing videos. All of the works explore the relationship between art and science, specifically, science in the context of nature.

Three of the four sculptures caught my eye first, as they are the closest to the gallery doorway, rather large—3 feet or so wide as well as tall, leap off the wall, and are completely chrome. All four sculptures depicted some sort of liquid, dripping form, turned solid. The fourth sculpture, black as opposed to chrome, formed a column of sorts in the middle of the gallery space. The sculptures did enforce the idea of a literal visualization of nature, and were extremely well crafted, however, I felt as if I had seen similar sculptures before.

The panels, the highlight of the show, are placed around the room, save for the wall with the sculptures. Two of the panels take on very large, stretched, octagonal shapes, whereas the rest are more akin to vertical rectangles. All of them, except for one of the “octagons,” are made up of a deep purplish-black material with white linear markings on it. The left octagonal piece is white with blackish markings on it—the inverse of the other octagonal piece to the right of it. The purplish-black (or white) material is actually a thermosensitive paint/paste, and the white (or black) lines formed are from heat sensors built into circuits placed underneath the paint. The white lines change in width, opacity, and intensity as both the programmed temperature as well as the atmospheric temperature change. These slow, but detailed changes in these linear, tree-like structures easily capture the viewer’s attention and interest, as well as force him/her to visually understand the intricacies of a taken-for-granted natural phenomena.

The monitors, placed off in their own secluded corner of the space, all played the same video, entitled Sakura. The film is a vaux-company’s promotional video in which technology runs the company and humans are the subjects. The film failed to grasp my immediate attention, as it moved at a rather slow pace, and I was extremely captivated by the panel pieces. However, the film did provide a nice ambient soundtrack of the future, complete with downtempo lounge music and robotic bleeps and bloops.

I feel like the video is more powerful if you watch it on your computer rather than in the gallery space. Here it is a la YouTube: