Archive for the ‘Thesis’ Category

moodline logo

So, the assignment (the first given in my design class) was to document something—anything—for 24 hours, and present that item or object or what-have-you in some format—any format. As you can see, this was a very open project. My solution to this project came out as Moodline, an internet application/web site. Check it out yourself by clicking on the logo image above.

-rgm

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Alex Bag in a scene from Fall '95

I was assigned to watch the film, Untitled Fall ’95 by artist, Alex Bag, for my thesis class. Following the viewing, we were to write a brief review/critique of the video and post it. Here is a brief summary of the film and some other biographical information regarding Alex Bag: via Wikipedia.

As many other viewers of this film have stated, Bag’s Fall ’95 is rather difficult to watch. This difficulty is due primarily to two reasons: her painfully stereotyped rendition of a typical college art student, and the—seemingly long—jarring clips interspersed between scenes where Bag addresses the viewer.

As the film progresses, Bag progresses semesterly through art school at The School of Visual Arts, and becomes increasingly more “artsy.” By the end of the film, she has taken up coffee and smoking, wearing thick-black rimmed glasses, sporting a short-cropped, dyed-black, hair cut, and wearing a nose ring and punk-ish studded collar—all at once.

In between the 8 segments where Bag talks to the camera/viewer, are few-minute clips of what seem to be Bag’s art-film projects from the semester she is in at that point in the film. These clips are surreal commentaries on popular culture of the 90’s, such as in the very first clip that takes the form of a late night phone-sex-line television advertisement in order  to talk about the objectification of women by men. Many of the clips attempt to be humorous, however, tend to come across as annoying or rote, as Bag often repeats similar lines and/or does not change the camera-view often. Also, when the scene calls for voice acting for characterizations, Bag’s voices come across as shrill and strained—not the easiest to listen to.

Overall, Alex Bag’s Untitled Fall ’95 provides a somewhat interesting opinion on the over-consumed-by-pop-culture world that a young artist has to find out how to deal with through comedy and tongue-in-cheek sarcasm for those who choose to sit through all 57 minutes of it.

-rgm

So one of the latest assignments in my graphic design class was to find at least two texts and three images and basically write briefly about how they inspire you/ why you are interested in them. As I find various articles/web sites/images that somehow affect me, I will post about them here in this blog.

For starters, cloud computing. For those of you who don’t know, cloud computing is basically server side computing, as opposed to local computing.

Cloud computing occurs when one accesses a program–say, an email program such as Gmail–over the internet. The actual program being accessed is stored on a server as opposed to your hard drive. This setup allows for many users to access the same program from wherever they have internet access. Ok, so maybe this doesn’t sound like big news, however, with mobile internet technology and faster networks, cloud computing is going to be the way of the future, or so BusinessWeek states. In a few years–maybe sooner–we are going to be able to say goodbye to a lot of programs that we take for granted on our hard drives such as word processors, presentation programs, spreadsheet programs, music programs, etc… The faster the networks get, the larger the programs we can store server-side. Other than freeing up hard drive space, cloud computing will allow the use of small mobile internet devices to access these large programs since they do not need the large drive space or processing capability to run them.

This new device/software revolution will have a huge impact on design. As already seen in the iPhone “App” business, designers will be needed more and more to be able to create slick applications for mobile devices to access server-side information. With faster connection speeds, the market for apps will grow enormously and competition will be fierce. Money will favor those apps with logically flowing visual design.

-rgm

Designer, Tobias Battenberg, projected huge Akzidenz Grotesk letterforms on urban surfaces such as underneath an overpass, on chain-link fences, and concrete pillars.

The juxtaposition of the ghostly, white, see-through, crisp letterforms to the gritty urban textures is very visually pleasing. Plus, I will just go ahead and say that Akzidenz is probably my favorite typeface–it has a crispness and cleanliness that I think outshines even Helvetica; it has everything to do with tail of the capitol ‘R’ and the terminals of the numerals.

Projecting typography on various surfaces can be a very cool experiment that I would love to try.

The Graffiti Research Lab of Manhattan takes this idea one step further and adds an interactive component to it: projector/laser graffiti. It allows the user to create a graphic element basically anywhere, on a huge scale, allowing for a massive audience.

This idea of creating or projecting something for all to see without much choice definitely appeals to me. I like the idea of challenging people–for better or worse–and creating spectacle. This use of spectacle in this fashion was first written about in Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, along with the use of détournement–using spectacle to break through disillusionment caused by the ever-present spectacle of mass media and marketing. Détournement is something I would definitely like to employ when it comes to my thesis work.

-rgm