Thursday, December 12, 2013


This program is one of the most tedious programs I have ever worked with. I was sooo unbelievably annoyed for most of the project but I settled down once I started getting into the swing of things. I thought it was awesome that we created a digital representation of ourselves in second life. It will be really interesting to see everyone else's avatars. I have always been obsessed with the element of Earth so I decided I would create a creature that would follow me around and be my friend. I chose the armor to reflect my interest in the video game world and to show hopefully where I could end up designing armor like that in the future!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Blas, Zach. "Facial Weaponization Suite | Zach Blas." Zach Blas. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

"Current People |" Eyebeam Front Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

Pohflepp, Sascha. "Growth Assembly." N.p., n.d. Web. Dec.-Jan. 2013.

Final Paper!!!!

This research essay began with an adventure through the inter-webs, exploring various websites that were completely new to me. The goal of this search being to find two artists who’s work particularly strikes an interest in me. There were no predetermination's as to what the I would be looking for, this was a pure exploration into new uncharted territory. After much voyaging and clicking, the fruits of my effort yielded two artists by the names of: Sascha Pohflepp and Zach Blas.
Sascha Pohflepp was born in 1978 in the wonderful country of Germany. Sascha is interested in science and technology and their myths and realities, how they are reflecting our hopes for transcendence and how they are shaping the reality of our world. He has worked with numerous artistic and scientific collaborators on projects ranging from the microcosm of synthetic biology to the macrocosm of space exploration. A great deal of Sascha’s work involve concepts and attempts at future technologies and ideas. Sascha Pohflepp holds an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art London and a degree in media art from The Berlin University of the Arts.(Eyebeam) All attempts to make contact with Sascha were met with no feedback.
Zach Blas is an artist, writer, curator, and researcher whose work engages technology, queerness, and politics. He is the creator of the art group Queer Technologies, which is an organization that produces products and situations for queer technological agency, interventions, and social formation. Queer Technologies aims toward Automating Perverse Possibilities. QT products include: transCoder (a queer programming anti-language), ENgenderingGenderChangers (a “solution” to Gender Adapters’ male/female binary), and Gay Bombs (a technical manual manifesto that outlines a “how to” of queer networked activism). QT items are often displayed and deployed at the Disingenuous Bar, an attack on Apple╩╝s Genius Bar that offers a heterotopic space for political support for “technical” problems. Queer Technologies are also shop-dropped in various consumer electronics stores, such as Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Target. All QT pieces are materialized through an industrial manufacturing process so that they may be disseminated widely. Zach is also a founding member of The Public School Durham,  a contributing editor for the online journal Version, and a PhD candidate in The Graduate Program in Literature, Information Science and Information Studies, Visual Studies at Duke University. Currently, Blas is a resident at Eyebeam in New York City. Zach holds a Master of Fine Art from the Design Media Arts of University of California Los Angeles, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, an Art and Technology Studies degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science of Film and Philosophy from Boston University.(Eyebeam) All attempts to contact were met with a lack of reciprocation. 

The artwork I chose from Sascha is a collaborative project he worked on called “Growth assembly”. “Growth Assembly” is a series of anatomical like drawings of plants from the future. The drawings represent the different plants that would be grown in order to make a pesticide sprayer from their respective parts. The idea behind the series plays into where our technology could eventually go in regards to our factories and the processes that relate to that. In this new future everything we make is actually grown from a plant and harvested within these huge factory like greenhouses. Farmers then would only need to buy the seeds for a product because it would be written into the genetic code of the plant. This concept is incredible controversial because it asks for scientists to rewrite the genetic code and create new organisms that become the new organic assembly line.(Growth Assembly

Zach Blas’s artwork has some layers to sift through before an overall understanding reveals itself. The artworks title is called “Facial Weaponization Suite”. Zach seems to get a great deal of his inspiration from a project called Queer Theory. Queer Theory’s goal is to explore the rising wide categorization of gender and sexuality. Focusing on a concept that identities are not fixed, they cannot be categorized and labeled, because identities consist of many varied components and that to categorize by a single characteristic is completely wrong. The “Facial Weaponization Suite” is a project that involves facial recognition software and a result from a study done about homosexual males facial structures. The result of the study showed that there were some biological facial structure components that were similar in all homosexual men. Zach detests these results and began this project in which he takes series of peoples faces, combines them in a program, then manipulates the result to form a mask that is undetectable by facial recognition software. An idea being to give people a face that isn’t categorized into something by facial recognition but it free to be what it wants to be. Zach has a mask which is called “Fag Face” but he also puts on workshops where masks are made from the peoples faces who participate within the workshop.(Facial Weaponization Suite

These artists are very intelligent people and have incredible ideas for the future and some for the present. Though the works cannot be compared on a subject level, both of the works can be compared from a conceptual level. These works are pushing for some incredibly deep and powerful change within our society, though they are on different aspects of that change, it is change none the less. Sascha’s work deals with changing the biological makeup of plants to manufacture products naturally without the use of factories. Zach’s work deals with the biological appearance of that of someone who is homosexual and changing that appearance through wearing a mask. Technically one could consider what Zach’s mask does as changing biological structures to make a person unrecognizable by facial recognition technologies. Each artists work touches on concepts within biology and changing what nature has intended. There is also a prominent social aspect to each work. Sascha’s relays to us a potential green future with less pollution and a natural solution to industrial issues, while Zach’s blunt attack at current social structures surrounding societies views of homosexuals makes displays a glimpse into a future that could be not as far off as most people would think. Both of these artists revolve around science and technology and the pace at which it is advancing. Though Sascha's piece's are drawn they are still able to provide a vivid and clear representation of the ideas of this future. With Zach's masks actually being tangible, three dimensional objects, that humans can wear and that are shown being effective against current facial recognition technologies, this gives Zach’s a well deserved push into what is currently happening in society on the issues Zach addresses.

Sascha uses a series of drawings to present a concept that may actually develop into reality based on the current advancing pace of our technology. Zach makes use of workshops and a video to effectively push his idea and make a statement. Sascha is purely concept driven, there are no scientific examples provided of plants that have been genetically altered to prove such an idea within real world has been attempted or successful. Zach Blas approaches his issue with actual objects, proving that it is already possible to make these masks and put them to use. Zach is also wearing a mask while presenting his idea within the video. He addresses our privacy and sexuality and brings into light the extent of how the government is watching us and how they are using facial technologies to do it as well as the discrimination that follows someone for being homosexual.
Manovich talks about new media and old media and what those each entail, where they come from, etc. Zach falls into the category of new media while Sascha falls into the category of old media. Sascha uses drawings to convey this futuristic concept that easily transcends what most old media was about but the concept is put onto an old media medium and thus fits into that category. Zach on the other hands makes extensive use of video technologies as well as computer technologies to make and present his work. This use of computer and video technologies cause Zach to fall directly into the new media category.

This was the first time I had been asked to research current artists and compare and contrast them. The task was daunting at first but once I sifted through the artists and found some interesting topics it was actually extremely entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed scouring the internet looking for information on these current artists and I gobbled up any new info I came across. I was extremely nervous about contacting the artists because it was also the first time I had ever been asked to do that. As you learn about the different stages and types of art, artists began to look like celebrities in a way and that seemed to deter me from ever trying to contact an artist to ask them questions. It then occurred to me that artists are normal people and aren’t these extraterrestrial beings that I would never be able to contact in my life. This project caused me to break down some barriers and open some new doors that I know will have some outstanding effects in my life. 

Manovich questions

1. Manovich states the time has been captured into two dimensional space when a movie is filmed and that time becomes manipulatable when the movie is downloaded onto someones computer. If we have mapped time into a two dimensional space, how far off do you think we are from being able to map ourselves into the digital frontier?

2. How interactive do you believe the new media will become? What will these new interactions look like?


This project took a tad bit of brainstorming to figure out but it finally happened. One of my closest friends and I have constantly been told that we were the male and female equivalents to each other and that has always struck me as something kind of interesting. So in this piece I filmed us blowing out of our lips and then alternated the frames so they would play over each other. Finding a good speed in which both animations seemed to play simultaneously over each other was tedious but I finally found one and I think it works very well. I basically tried to achieve something where we seemed to be the same person. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Digital Media Write up #2

Phyllis Shauffer 
I went into this art lecture not knowing what to expect. This was a completely new experience and I was excited. I walked into the room and sat in one of the back rows while I observed the type of people who were also attending this lecture. That kept me entertained till the actual artist showed up. I remember thinking “She doesn’t look like an  artist” which was weird because artists don’t look any different from anyone else. I also had never seen a piece of her work prior to the lecture which I thought worked because everything I would see would be completely new to me. 
She opened up her lecture with background on where she was from and then just jumped right into where she pulls her inspirations from and what she tries to do in her artwork. Phyllis jumped around a lot within her presentation, she would show us some art of hers, what she was thinking at the time and where she got her inspirations, then she would began to tell us her life’s progression through schools and living. She got into a pattern almost where she would show us a painting explain its inspirations and meanings and style then drop back to how she progressed through life up unto the point of that painting then she would show us another piece and begin the cycle all over again. 

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her talk about her life and adventures and thought processes because it was a new experience for me to listen to an artist talk about his/her work in front of an audience. People also asked her questions which she had to stop and think about even though it was about herself and her work, so it was intriguing to see that an artist is just a normal person, they aren’t magic or insane, just normal human beings being themselves and using what they can to express themselves. 

Digital Media Art write up #1

Bring your own Beamer was an event put on by one of the advanced digital media classes at the University of Nevada, Reno. I was under the impression a lot of what the event would be focused on would revolve around digital art and projectors. The event was held within a classroom, in a good portion of the hallway surrounding the classroom, and within a small gallery space that was across the hall from the classroom. Since the only way to get to the classroom was by walking through the hall, naturally I encountered the hallway projects first which were not what I was expecting.
Lining the hallway, on both sides, were projects that were not digital but very much in physical and were not what I was expecting. I immediately began accessing the works of art as to what they could mean or what their purpose was. All of the sculptures were made using the same material as a base: Records. I then begin to notice the phonograph looking objects placed on certain projects and I figured out what the overall theme was. The idea behind them all was sound and using some sort of interactive element to achieve this sound through unconventional means. My favorite was one sculpture that resembled an arena with the floor made out of shards from different records. Sitting next the the area where three Beyblades (ripcord powered tops) with needle points attached to the bottoms of them. Thus when you let them loose within the arena and they would spin over the record pieces making all sorts of different noise. This fascinated me because it took something that was a child's toy and turned it into an interactive art project that produced sound.
I actually ended up jumping the gun on the time of the event and was an hour early so I adventured through the pieces and talked to the students while they were setting up.