More paper mechanisms
More complex mechanisms created… and working on getting a web server set up to be able to send a signal to a local microcontroller.
Inspiration for mechanical project
A fond memory from my childhood, it would be cool if I could make an ensemble of mechanical creatures or robots that were grouped, and then either have them all operate from one camshaft and motor or to have each with its own motor. Then I could make them addressable from the internet, so you could play with these physical puppets online.
First project for Interactive Studio
I was thinking about making a book that used an eink screen somehow. Where the pages would have a window and the screen would change.
I was also thinking about making some mechanical paper objects, or simple pop up books. I would like to make a low tech mechanical magical piece, and I’ve purchased these books to get started:
Magic – Marco Tempest and The Electric Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla
The subject of this project is Nikola Tesla, one of the fathers of modern technology. Marco Tempest uses a pop up book, props and projection mapping to not only tell the story of Tesla and his inventions, but to also put us as viewers into the shoes of the average person of the time, looking at the wonders of electricity for the first time with awe and wonder. Without some kind of magical presentation, this talk would have been a mundane history lesson. By using technologies that seem magical, the presentation elicits similar feelings that Victorian era people would have felt when viewing electricity for the first time. It is an important connection for the audience to understand what a big deal the topic was at the time. In this case, the use of seemingly hidden technology is essential to convey the subject matter.
Links for Experimental Photo
The Color Project – FINALLY
This project gave me so much trouble. I had the initial idea of taking photos of the same place at different times of day, and then was going to take four self portraits as each of the four elements in different attire and in different environments. After a costume disaster and running out of time, I seemed to hit a creative block. It felt like every color based idea I could come up with was already being used by someone else in class and I gave up and decided to just hand in landscape photos representing the four elements. The photos weren’t terrible, but they were a little boring and when I went into class for the second to last time and saw the work that others had done, I knew that wouldn’t be good enough. I was at a loss.
Sitting with Marina for an entire class I panicked and tried to think of something, ANYTHING that I could shoot. I looked at Marina and thought – superheroes. I guess she just makes me think of them. But it was at that point that Super Casual was born.
I picked four super heroes whose costumes had easily recognizable color schemes. I chose four people I knew who would be willing to wear specific clothing and let me pose them for a while and that was pretty much how it went.
I absolutely love these photos and I want to come up with some girl/women versions. It was really hard to pick the superheroes because many of them use the same colors for their costumes (Think Superman and Captain America). I hope to have a whole series of these, hopefully I can work on more over the summer.
Color, Light, and Form – or my attempt at minimalism
I always think of elaborate scenes when picturing concepts for photos. Always. When thinking about a concept for my final project, I wanted to tackle a concept that has been kicking around in my head for awhile. I pictured a woman seated at an exquisite dining table in a lavish dining room that was cold and empty. She was eating but deathly thin, the gilded picture frames on the walls were empty. An image of a woman being consumed by her desire to consume. She had nothing in her life but her longing for belongings.
I don’t even know of a place like that to take a picture, especially not in the very specific shade of blue I see in my head. I can’t afford to build a set, nor do I have the space for one, and a miniature would look miniature. Dollhouse furniture is usually shabbily made or very expensive and I don’t have the time to make my own.
I decided to try to downsize my idea, and thought I could use my guestroom to show the private life of a shut in who needs to buy things on the internet, but whose walls and life are equally bare.
The image that I produced was close to what I had pictured, but when I brought it into class for critique it was helpfully pointed out to me that it’s not innately clear that the man, Rob, is shopping for items. He looks like some kind of cardboard hoarder who is also maybe an internet predator. I thought for a while about what I could do to make the message more clear. Maybe adding actual products would help? Or adding more light to the room might make him look less stalker-ish?
I wasn’t really happy with any of these ideas, and overall I couldn’t think of other images to follow with this theme that wouldn’t be attacking certain groups of people or being too literal. I had to come up with another concept.
For a while I was at a loss, and I kept coming up with ideas that wouldn’t really work out much better than the first one. I wanted to make a “support photo cloud” similar to the way tag clouds work on the internet. I would take portraits of the people in my life who have helped to support me in my college career, and would then print out their portraits with sizes relating to how much support I felt like they provided. This could also be offensive to some who might think that they offered more support than I displayed them as giving. Also, scheduling with people is always a problem as most of the people in my life are very busy.
I eventually began trying to scale back, thinking of things that would be simple to execute since I was rapidly running out of time. I thought of doing more miniature scenes, but again, my funds are low and building different sets takes time. I looked back at some of my previous photos that were successful and thought of my prints that were submitted to the Sunwood Competition. The two prints that I made from the Wang Center were fairly successful, minimal, and beautiful. I began looking for photographers who photographed in minimalist styles.
I first thought of Lewis Baltz, since our teacher introduced us to his work in class:
He was trying to make statements about the landscape and the effect that rapid urbanization had on it, among other things, but I found that even without the conceptual subtext the images were just pure aesthetic. I looked for more. I found Janice Mehlman.
These were so close to my interest that I could hardly believe that I found her and hadn’t seen her work before. Her work really reminded me of my Wang Center prints, and encouraged me to look for even more.I found Franco Fontana who was looking for incredible color and geometry in landscapes.
Gorgeous use of color and just…. I love these. I wanted to try to incorporate all of these things, looking at color, light and form. So I went out and I shot.
They’re not as dimensional or complex as the images that I’ve referenced, but I attribute that partially to Long Island’s lack of interesting architecture/landscaping, and more to my own lack of time. By the time I got this project underway, I had very little time to explore and really look for interesting forms. I plan on continuing this exploration in the future though, as I really enjoyed looking for interesting and graphic compositions in the mundane.