Interactive Design Gallery 1

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On April 10, Alfred University hosted an architecture based gallery by the name of “Abject Architect: Landscape Survey 1”, created by the architect, Lea McCormick Griggs. Architecture was the primary form of art utilized here, with a few photographs of tables also being shown. The term “abject”, meaning without pride or dignity, sends the message that the architect intends to show off her work for the sake of what it can do for other people for it’s own sake rather than what it was meant to be for the artist behind it.

One piece that caught my attention, named A Mountain “that Cannot Not Exist”, did so by providing a sort of gradient using solid squares of a size which, one would not normally use to give a sense of disintegration of shape. Additionally, a mound of unrefined earth is placed at the bottom of it, in a way giving it a sense of ascension, saying that earth starts off at a point, but there is a limit to how much can be done with it in its natural state. However, with refinement, it can travel upward, but lose parts of itself on the way up, with the mountain “ceasing to exist” more the higher it rises. The difference between the earthy brown of the mound and the milky-white, heavenly color of the squares almost gives a sense of the piece being “purified”, and “too good for the lower level” in its heavenly ascension.

The color white is a recurring color in McCormick’s work in this gallery, and it has different meanings in each craft. This speaks to me in the form of Twin Stem Vase, where in lieu of a theme of ascension, the size of the vases gives a sense of innocence and petiteness. This can help to realize that color itself can have an effect on the size and weight, and of how it is grasped. It can be inferred that the objective of these vases is to be shrunk down, and combined with the shape and dimensions of the vase, this can ring quite true.

Upon visiting this gallery, I feel it can greatly assist me in my construction of 3D models, both in programs such as Maya, and in physical manifestations. The increased sense of depth coming from aspects such as atmosphere and shadows are something that cannot be easily replicated by viewing it on a screen. The sheer size and magnitude of a piece alone determines whether or not it can overwhelm the viewer, or be analyzed from an overhead perspective. If I were to project an image, or just make one on my own, what matters is not only the size of the content, but how it responds in relation to the content around it. This is known as balance, and balance is a key aspect of creating art; it determines how things in a scene or webpage clash or compliment, and can help me in terms of design elements in webpages I create in the future.

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Self Critique Spring 2017

Looking back, this semester has been full of learning experiences across the board. The skills required for rigging have proved incredibly beneficial to my progress as an animator. Initially, paint weights took me a considerable amount of time due to having to always find every nook and cranny that had been highlighted unintentionally, but with further progress, I have been developing an eye for it. My first rig had a few issues with hierarchy, but now I know the differences between parenting and orienting, and the functions of each. I owe most of my progress to my new laptop and mouse, which allowed Maya to move faster and allow my mind to try to keep up more effectively. As for animations, using different rigs other than the Norman one I had grown accustomed to taught me that no one rig can be perfect for everyone, but the goal is to have one that works best. This is what I aspire to achieve in my current projects, as well as future projects, with simplicity and efficiency being top priorities. Each rig presents its own challenges and as an animator I am learning how to tackle each one and have it work to my advantage. I felt like I performed better on the Norman rig in lieu on the Morpheus rig, however,  I know that my level of mastery of Morpheus has a significant effect on my viewpoint.

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Art History Gallery 2

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On Sunday, April 2, 2017, Alfred University held a gallery in the town of Alfred, showcasing a vast arrangement of new works by a company by the name of “Re Made”. The purpose of the “Re Made” company is to provide high quality plungers to people around the world in order to help them better get in touch with humans’ natural roots in the wilderness, and prove the usefulness of the plunger in everyday life. To “Re Made” the plunger is not only a utensil, but a work of art that humans can use to their advantage.

The theme of using plungers as the medium and focus is an attempt to show the usefulness of it, as well as how much we take for granted the tools we normally would not notice. The company’s intended usage of the plunger is to bring back a rustic, contemporary nature in human life that is steadily being disposed of with advances in technology today. The subject of what art can be made from a plunger, as well as what defines it as art comes into question. This is accomplished through the many messages that the plungers send in each piece.

In one particular piece, the plunger is carried over the back of a log with a denim vest resembling a human body. The plunger is carried as if it were a weapon, or as if it were essential enough to be carried with the same level of importance as a knapsack. Furthermore, the humanlike body figure is facing an American flag, signifying the practicality of these metaphorical “plunger soldiers” in America. Patriotism is often associated with traditional values, with the hardworking laborer being one of them, carrying strength and resourcefulness to better America.

Another one in particular features a set of ten plungers, five in each row, arranged side by side. Each plunger is of equivalent size and with equal spacing in between, however, the tips of the handles on them are of different colors with different patterns. It can be seen as a way of saying that with each imprint left on the handle of a plunger, it gives the plunger a sense of individuality due to each usage of it, yet at the same time, they all provide the same balance and comforting usefulness despite this.

In a time where a program or code can result in the solution to most problems in lieu of physical labor or strength exertion, the plunger is a sort of a middle ground. The plunger is universal; everyone has a need for one, and what we do with each one is an expression of how we can effect our surroundings while not calling ourselves primitive. The plunger is meant in this showcase to be a symbol of something humans can always go back to for comfort, akin to a sofa or spoon; its simplicity becomes a welcome breath of relief. Re Made successfully shows how the plunger truly serves its purpose as a link to a simple, yet at the same time engaging, way of life.

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Portfolio Site Draft

https://xd.adobe.com/view/4673d109-89c8-4f80-960f-e4b194f9f749

 

The prototype for my portfolio website. It doubles as both a web view and a mobile view.

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Old Fashioned Exercise Equipment Draft

https://xd.adobe.com/view/9a7e53cd-d2c7-49c8-8da8-60d83437ac38/

https://xd.adobe.com/view/6e5dfece-3f26-4375-959d-495d9752d749/

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Gorilla Cabinet Rig

 

For this prompt, I randomly picked an animal and object to merge together. My result was a “monkey cabinet” hybrid, however, I took a spin on the concept and made it more of a general ape. This ape in particular has the arms of a gorilla and the tail of a monkey. The arms are capable of turning and grabbing onto the tails, which represent doorknobs, and pulling them open to reveal the insides. Regrettably, I was unable to have the doors open, but that is something to look forward to for another day. For my first rigging project, I felt proud of myself, as I went above and beyond on the number of joints and paint weights, with 58 joints to be exact. My goal from this point is to successfully rig a character or object, and have it move akin to the default rigs I have worked with in class. Rigging is very much an essential skill in the 3D industry, and I aspire to utilize it to the utmost ability that I can muster.

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Art History 2 Exhibition

 

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, the Alfred University campus hosted an event featuring a documentary on Eva Hesse, a German artist whose works from the 1960s are held in high regard, even to this day. The documentary covered her younger years, her interactions with other artists of her time, and the span of her career throughout the 1960s in places such as New York City, where she spent most of her adulthood.

The documentary intended to showcase the history of Hesse, and how her post-minimalist art reflected her emotions throughout the years. Hesse endured painful struggles throughout most of her life, from fleeing Nazi Germany, losing her mother to suicide at a young age, all the way to the brain tumor that led to her untimely death. Her work was can be described as a “strong silence”, with repeating patterns signifying reiteration of a point, yet not being loud as evidenced by the lack of strong, eye catching colors. It gave this feeling of being beat up by the world, just hanging there almost as if it was to represent a crucifixion. This reflects Hesse herself, seeing how she was not the most exuberant person in social settings, being too emotionally damaged and shrewd by her family history, feeling exhausted of all the suffering she endured. She was unable to conform to intentionally crowd-pleasing and outspoken forms of art at the time. Instead, she quietly conveyed what it felt to be small and helpless, with very somber emotions being expressed. Straying away from pop art, she kept things small and simple in her artwork, and her own lifestyle reflects this. The way she uniformly fit with the concept of post-minimalism was her voice to the world.

Hesse was a significant figure in her time period, not only due to the quality of art that she produced, but because the mind behind the art was the mind of a woman. Her work was seen to be on a “man’s level”, but despite her skill, she was denied by many galleries. Eventually, her efforts came to fruition, and her work became more prominently featured in galleries that typically showcased work crafted by males. Resonating with feminist ideals, she yearned to make her creations speak volumes, not only of herself, but of women as a whole. However, her notable quote, “Excellence has no sex”, denotes pure feminism, but makes it clear that art can be great when produced by women simply because it can be done just as well as any human being. This circumstance was unheard of beforehand, and became a notable factor in the second wave of feminism in the 1960s. Her colleagues even revered her, complimenting that the thought process behind everything she produced was beyond anyone else’s, and due to her history, could never have existed otherwise. In a time of turbulence and shifting moods among social groups, Hesse became an example of the potential of artists and the potential of women, and brought change to life.

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