Archive for February, 2008

frame grabbers

February 25, 2008

in the intro class we are spending the next three weeks building short, basic animations. one option for students is stop-motion. even though stop-motion is a very basic technique, it continues to be used by artists in innovative and poetic ways. there are tons of examples on you tube like this one. i also thought this one was particularly brilliant when i saw it.i like stop motion for students making their first animation because it provides a method for understanding how to create the passage of time using 2d images. there is a great resource for stop motion here.

of course students can also animate with the usual suspects like illustrator, photoshop and flash. one of my faves using basic flash techniques is the work of heavy industries. animation, like most digital media, can be overwhelming simply because of all the possible choices. a recent issue of artkrush focuses on how contemporary artists are using animation. this issue reveals both the conceptual nature of animation in contemporary art practices, but also the variety of approaches. one of these is options takes advantage of the ubiquitous nature of animation in contemporary digital culture by turning animated moments into readymades. for example, take a look at this great project that uses video games.

frame thief

we also have dario solman here at the gallery of contemporary art!


Krzysztof Wodiczko

February 13, 2008


this is one of my favorite artists. in the intro class we are sharing artists that influence our work this week. earlier i asked my students to consider the “place of their images” in the world. often this world is branded by the visual culture created on a massive scale by multicultural corporations. but visual culture is vast and is increasingly made up of “public secrets” that lie just below the top layer of public signification we experience everyday. wodiczko is one of the artists who during the last twenty years has tactically placed his images in public to raise questions about what is hidden, implied, ambigous, etc.



web scraping

February 11, 2008

i saw this project this morning and thought is was the bomb. more info is on rhizome.


no logo

February 6, 2008


i was unable to get no logo this week. the reason i wanted us to see it was to foster a critical discussion about the role of corporate branding in visual culture, especially the public domain or commons. please consider the role of your images in a new branded world.


motivation for making digital images

February 6, 2008

for source material check out the new york public library digital image archive here. an interesting project was posted on rhizome yesterday here. i also like this site-Digital Librarian: a librarian’s choice of the best of the Web. really cool…
if its nasa images that you want, then you can find them here. there are so many interesting tools that an artist can use to create digital images. today’s artist needs to be apprised of the current ubiquitous nature of digital technology. i.e.- we need to move out of the art world and engage everyday technologies with our work. re-tool, re-mix, re-purpose, re-invent, mash it up folks and let’s see what you got…
here is an interesting project that i found on networked performance. its certainly but is also a digital image project. which raises another issue about your digital images-why do you make them? who are they for? where do they live?


there is also a fantastic looking call for entries here.

war photographer and the art of bearing witness

February 4, 2008

today in the intro course we are looking at the first of three films we will see this semester, war photographer. i show this film not only because it is powerful and inspiring, but especially because it raises the notion of bearing witness to the world around us. “witnessing” can be understood as a specific form of artistic practice that often exists on the margins of the mainstream art world, but that occasionally takes center stage when it is well done. one of the best examples is alfredo jaar. site santa fe recently held a fantastic exhibition of work on the disappeared in latin america. one of my faves is this show is oscar munoz whose videos are astounding for their simplicity and power. when watching war photographer, notice that natchwey is not using digital images, they are analogue. i think it is worth considering the possibilities of digital media as a significant tool in the art of witnessing. yet examples of digital witnessing are hard to find, and with good reason. some current debates revolve around notions of “truth” and “authenticity” in the relationship of digital media to the world. it should be noted, and anyone who has had some good art history courses should know this- that almost every form of technological development in the arts has been met with resistance when it comes to its ability to portray “truth.” painting, photography, film/video-they have all have to earn their spots as producers of knowledge. currently i think it is network technology that has the most promise to not only tell us “truths” about our world, but also to shift our various cultural assumptions about what “truth” is. so-without continuing on into derrida, baudrillard, zizek and others, i think .net artists have done some of the best work so far. for example take a look at the rrf projects or the recent turbulence commission superfund 365. importantly, war photographer is a tough film to watch-and maybe that reveals something crucial about why we choose to bear witness or not.