Thursday, May 5, 2011

Barbara London Lecture Review

I attended Barbara London's lecture on April 28th when she came to UNR to be a guest curator for the student show. She currently works as the Video and Media curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In her lecture she talked about many artists I have heard of before, both through Digital Media classes and art I've been interested in outside of school. A few names that really stood out were Nam June Paik, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson and Captain Beefheart. She also discussed her most recent work, "Looking at Music 3.0." She went in detail about Paik's work with TV's how he essentially created the first music video. She said that Paik's work was really a commentary on information presented to us on the TV and how we process and interact with it. Her exhibit, "Looking at Music 3.0" dives into the appropriation in music during the 80's and 90's and music's influence on visual arts, mainly in the NYC area. I really liked her lecture because of how she tied in music with digital art. I'm a huge fan of all sorts of music and the culture associated with it in many different time periods and it was very interesting to hear her take on it and see how she represented it.

Final Hotwheels Mini Golf

For my mini golf hole I chose to make a Hot wheels theme in order to incorporate a loop.  I ran into some problems with pepakura printing two sides for everything, but I eventually figured it out and made the shape of my loop, jumps and hole in 3D. I also wanted to create more than just a hole by itself so I made buildings in pepakura in order to give the hole a city theme to relate to the cars in Hotwheels. The hole is playable and both myself and Denver have made it in the hole in 2 strokes, though there has yet to be a hole in one. I added some more decoration to go with the theme by putting Hotwheels logos everywhere, putting actually Hotwheels cars on the streets and adding checkered flags to go with the race theme to indicate the start and finish of the hole. Overall I had a good time using the pepakura even though it was frustrating at times. It is a very cool program that I can see myself using in the future for 3D modeling because of how easy it is to create a template from the computer to the paper. I'm really proud of how well it came out and especially happy that myself and someone else made the marble in the hole. If it were bigger and at a real mini golf course I think the hole would be a hit!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Not knowing what to expect from this video I was pleasantly surprised and found most of the points made very interesting and true. As someone that uses technology on a day to day basis, I know firsthand how much easier it has made my life and so many others. I can't even imagine how we used to get ahold of each other without cell phones and I didn't even own one until I was 20, which seems pretty rare these days. The part about multitasking really touched close to home. We don't even consider it multitasking anymore, but just about all of us at least check the time on our phones while doing just about everything else. I don't have a smartphone, but when I do eventually upgrade, I'm sure the allure of checking email and the internet at my fingertips will make it that much harder to get things done.

The section on South Korea's addiction to technology was very interesting and almost sickens me. I think that since I'm older than most people in my classes and wasn't raised with much more than a TV with a "bunny ear" antennae, I am a little more skeptical of all the technology and can appreciate simplicity and realize when it is being taken to far. The gaming relationships section also reminded me of the documentary on WOW we watched in class and how out of touch those people are with reality. I for one could never take it to that point, I don't even like video games, and personally think that people that into games and gaming relationships need to get help, even if it is not showing any effects of harming them or people around them. Overall I thought it was a very interesting video and it gave a good overview of where we are currently with technology and the places it might take us in the future, both good and bad.

Lecture Review : Joan Narthrup on Leo Villeoreal at the Nevada Museum of Art

Art seeing the Leo Villareal's exhibition of Animating Light at the Nevada Museum of Art the previous week, I was really interested in Villareal's work as it was unlike anything I had seen before. I saw when I was there that Joan Narthrup was giving a lecture about Villareal so I figured it would be a great chance to learn more about him and his work.

She did a very good job as she sped through his life and what he did before his work with lights. One interesting thing that she pointed out which I had not noticed the week before was that each of the works were presented in chronological order. After the lecture I went through the exhibit again and it was very interesting to see how much more complicated the pieces had gotten the more he learned about working with the lights and code and gave me even more respect for the work that went into it.

Narthrup also addressed the how the rumor that I'd heard from Elliot about Villareal coming up with the idea of flashing lights after getting lost at Burning Man. It turns out that he was not aimlessly wandering through the desert hallucinating on who knows what like I had thought, but instead he just got lost in the crowds and was unable to find his van amidst the sea of people. Though I have never been to Burning Man I have a lot of friends who have and through their patchy recollections, I can imagine how hard it might be to find your site no matter what mental condition you may be in. The lecture was very informative and gave me more insight into an artist that I had become very interested in and I would recommend it to anyone, especially those interested in Digital Media.

Exhibition Review: Leo Villareal - Animating Light

I attended Leo Villareal's exhibition of Animating Light with Elliott at the Nevada Museum of Art. When Elliott told me that a friend of his that worked there told him that Villareal first had the idea to make the light sculptures after he got lost in the desert at Burning Man I couldn't stop laughing and knew I had to go see the show. Knowing only that the show involved lights, I was excited to see how he used them and was very impressed as soon as I walked into the museum. His piece entitled Star blinked and pulsated over my head almost instantly and I could see how his work was a direct influence of his experience at Burning Man.

Of all his different pieces at the show, my favorite was Diamond Sea. The way the lights moved across the grid and the interplay of them with reflections off the mirror made it hard for me to take my eyes off it. With the mirror involved, it made the me and the other people looking at it a part of the piece while the lights did their own thing.

 My first experience with programming anything was in my CS281 class this semester and I realized how much work the coding of Villareal's work must have taken him. Every different piece uses different code and they all work so well, both together in the exhibit and as individual works. Its really amazing that something which started out as a functional idea can turn into such an original and beautiful collection of work and still hold its own at a place like Burning Man where it was originally conceived.