Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Next project: your "Focus Group" piece. Before next class, you have to come up with a questionnaire that you will present to five people, to determine the "ideal" piece of digital art which that group of people would like. The questionnaire should have at least 10 questions, though you could develop more if you feel that would help focus things in an interesting way. The five people you survey should form some sort of "community" -- however you want to define it. They could be members of a family, students at a school, patrons of a particular supermarket, members of a church. The type of community you decide upon may inform the nature of the questions themselves. Just to be super-obvious, if you're surveying the members of a church, a question might be: "Do you prefer religious figures in your art?"
If you want to look at the surveys Komar and Melamid thought up for their "Most Wanted Painting" project as a jumping-off point, the surveys and painting can be found at this site:
By Monday, you should have your questionnaire, and your surveys should be completed. Monday will be a work period for working on executing your focus group artwork -- it will be due at the beginning of the final, Monday May 11, at 11:30.
Also, for those of you who had your posters picked, here are the dates you should slot in. It would be good to have these by next class.
Cody: May 21 at Moody's
Logan: May 22 at Bite
Sam: May 30 at Moody's
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Lastly -- don't forget to keep the "panopticon" project rolling. Keep passing along that file and adding your own web images.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Also, bring links or DVDs to class so that we can prepare the raw materials for the "found footage" project. If you want to check out some of the stuff I screened again (or view some of the thing in full that I only screened partially), here are some links:
Monday, March 30, 2009
1. Bring your print-ready poster file, PLUS $5 TO COVER THE COST OF PRINTING -- I'd like to have the posters printed out by the end of Wednesday's class.
2. Have a start to your "making art out of non-art" project. This will include an object of your choice, and a brief write-up of your strategy for turning that object into art.
As I said in class, since all of our projects so far have been focused in the commercial art zone -- bringing artfulness to commercial art -- this next project will be an attempt to travel in the other direction -- to take something that seems to not be art, and bring it into the zone of art. You don't have to use Warhol as a visual model, but think of how he took ordinary, everyday objects, and brought them into the realm of art. This wasn't limited to the soup cans and Brillo boxes -- it also functioned in the way he used crime scene and celebrity photos, and in the way he used film to capture or "notice" things that otherwise hadn't been noticed by art. He took things and moments that most people pass by, and made them stop and look at them in new ways. I'd like you to try and perform a similar trick (which is fundamentally a trick of re-framing) with some object or image that most people barely notice. What is something most people would not think of as "art," and how can you make art out of it?
You don't necessarily have to use digital means for this project. You could do something sculptural-- or heck, even something performative. You could use the object/image itself, or you could somehow translate or reproduce its qualities through some other means.
Part of this assignment is an exercise in "curation" -- how interesting your final project is will probably be related to how interesting a choice of object you make. Warhol in many ways was a successful curator -- it was less about creating objects, than choosing potent images that were slipping past in the stream of mass culture.
Bring the object you are intending to transform, AND A PROPOSAL FOR HOW YOU WILL MAKE THE THING INTO ART -- write up a paragraph or two explaining your strategy of "art-ification." If you want to include sketches, that would be fine, too. Make sure you're able to communicate the basic idea of your project.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
1. A response to a reading -- the critique of the Shepard Fairey critique (see questions at the bottom of this blog post).
2. An image for the Sierra Nevada Review cover (Logan has specs below, in the previous blog post -- thanks Logan). The text for the cover is: "The Sierra Nevada Review -- Volume 20 -- 2009" and you can see more covers here. We'll kick these covers out over the course of Monday's class.
3. Visual ideas and materials for you to start work on the Quartet Minus One posters. I'll post some visual references that Brian suggested sometime soonish. You can hear some of there music on this page.
Here's the link, and the questions, for the reading:
SuperTouch's editorial "The Medium is the Message: Shepard Fairey and the Art of Appropriation" -- be sure to read Fairey's short 1990 manifesto at the end of the article. By the beginning of class, please email me your response to the following questions:
1. Are you familiar with the phrase "The Medium if the Message"? How would you explain what it means (feel free to look it up -- it was originated by Marshall MacLuhan)? If the "medium" of Fairey's art is the street poster, the sticker, and the T-Shirt, how does that shape the message? Does the medium, in this case, expand or constrict the possibilities for Fairey's message?
2. The SuperTouch editorial states: "By taking precisely the elements of an image that speak of its historical meaning and original context and incorporating them into a new image, an artist creates a visual comparison, juxtaposing new and old. Such a contrasting is inherent in the act of referencing, and the intended result is for viewers to consider the relationship of the two images and hopefully spark a dialogue..." Do you think this is a sufficient artistic aim for any act of referencing, or is it possible to distinguish between "good" referencing and "bad" referencing? What would be your criteria?
3. Are the SuperTouch editorial's defenses of the Black Panther, Rupert Garcia, and MC5 appropriations convincing or not?
4. If Fairey's work cultivates an "intentional ambiguity," does that place a limit on the sort of things his art can be about? Where do you think his art could go from here?
5. What do you think of Fairey's 1990 manifesto? Does it make a convincing case for his "Obey" strategy?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Here's the article on Shepard Fairey for you to read & respond to:
Obey Plagiarist Shepard Fairey, by Mark Vallen
Please answer the following questions, and send them in an email to my school email account before Wednesday's class:
1. Vallen suggests Fairey has no demonstrable drawing ability, calling his art "machine art that any second-rate art student could produce." Is this an accurate appraisal of Fairey's style? Is it a relevant critique? Explain why or why not, in each case.
2. Vallen suggests that Lichtenstein's appropriation of comic strip imagery is valid, while Fairey's is not. What is the distinction he draws between the two artists? And do you think it's a valid distinction?
3. Vallen claims that the rationale behind Fairey's "Obey Giant" campaign -- to "stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings - because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious" -- is "pointless twaddle." Does he have a point, or is this in fact a decent rationale? Why?
4. Did Fairey have any sort of responsibility to recognize the skull image from the "defiant since 89" T-shirt as an SS Skull? Why?
5. Was the use of the Koloman Moser figure for the "Obey Propaganda" poster appropriate? Did Fairey make the image his own, or does it stand too much in the shadow of the original image?
6. Is Fairey's addition of an "Obey" logo to a Black Panther's beret an act of commentary, appropriation, or something else? What does the addition of the "Obey" logo do to transform the meaning of the original image?
7. What do you think Fairey's transformation of Rupert Garcia's "Down with the Whiteness" poster ultimately means?
8. Should Fairey have issued an apology to Rene Mederos, for the use of his poster image on a T-shirt?
9. Do you think that Fairey's use of Gary Grimshaw's winged panther image violates the spirit in which it was created for the "public domain?" Grimshaw says as much: "It is an icon that people can identify with and organize around, and thus must be free of copyright restrictions and onerous ownership. That is the spirit in which the image was created. The commercial exploitation of this image is not strictly criminal because of its public domain intent, but it reeks of the very mean spirit that the image was meant to oppose." Does Grimshaw have a point, or is Fairey completely in the clear in this case?
10. Towards his conclusion, Vallen states: "The expropriation and reuse of images in art has today reached soaring heights, but that relentless mining and distortion of history will turn out to be detrimental for art, leaving it hollowed-out and meaningless in the process. When I refer to "mining" in this case I mean the hasty examination and extraction of information from our collective past as performed by individuals who do not fully comprehend it. That is precisely what Fairey is guilty of, utilizing historic images simply because he "likes" them, and not because he has any grasp of their significance as objects of art or history." Is this a vlid critique of Fairey's art? What responsibility does the artist have to the history and social context of art the imagery he/she chooses to appropriate, if any?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
This is probably the best, though it's also the most complicated:
Here are two other techniques that are quicker, but less comprehensive:
For next class -- Monday -- be prepared to print out both your finished logo page, and your "envy" ad. Bring $4 to class to pay for the prints (it costs $2 per sheet). We'll look at them and critique them in Monday's class.
Also -- this assignment won't be due until a week from today, but you should get a head start on it -- don't wait until tuesday and scramble to put it together at the last minute. As a prelude to our poster project, everyone is going to do an in-class presentation on a poster artist or a poster movement. Feel free to present images in powerpoint, or as an image slideshow. Everyone will have 10 minutes to present and take questions. In addition to the presentation, you'll need to email me a minimum three page paper (double-spaced), which will serve as an outline of your presentation. That's three written pages -- not one written page and two pages of pasted-in images. If you want to include images as supplements to the three page paper, feel free. Include a fourth page that lays out your bibliography (I want you to use at least four separate sources). If you can get your hands on some actual books to bring to class to show around, please do. There are a few poster art books in Prim Library
In your presentation and paper, give a description of the artist/movement, and what the social context for the work was. Who was the audience for the posters? What sorts of messages were they trying to convey? Who paid for the posters to be made (if relevant -- some posters, like the May '68 posters, were not commissioned)? What made the posters interesting or unique? What made them stand out? In addition to giving some biographical and social context, pick out several images that interest you, and critique them in some detail. What sorts of formal decisions make the posters "work" (or fail to work, if you think they're bad posters?) Talk about the use of images, the use of composition, the use of color. Talk about how text and fonts are used in the posters.
Here are the poster artist assignments, assigned to each student:
Théophile Steinlen -- Victoria
Alphonse Mucha (and Art Nouveau) -- Heather
May 1968 Posters (look up 1968 Paris Uprising, 1968 Street Posters) -- Logan
Polish movie posters (esp. Jan Lenica) -- Nick
Soviet Movie Posters (esp. The Stenberg Brothers) -- Thomas
Rene Mederos (and Cuban poster artists of the 1960s) -- Drew
Gary Grimshaw (psychedelic 60s posters) -- Jenn
Victor Moscoco (psychedelic) -- Chelsea
Rupert Garcia (chicano movement posters) -- Sam
The Beautiful Angle Poster Project -- Cody
Shigeo Fukuda -- Matt
The above image is by Bay Area Chicana artist Ester Hernandez
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
1. Your finalized logo. On an 8.5"x11" Illustrator document, place one large version of the logo, and two small versions of the logo (no larger than 1" across). The large versions and one of the small versions should be in full color, and the second small version should be a black and white version (obviously, if your logo is only in Black and White, you only need the one small version). You can lay out the page in landscape format if that gives you more space to make the large version bigger.
2. A good start on your next project, the magazine ad selling something you envy. The Berger article made the argument that envy is a powerful engine for advertising; for this project, I want you to identify something you personally envy, and craft a magazine ad selling that thing. You can think of it as an ad with a very targeted demographic: yourself. It doesn't necessarily have to be an object that you envy -- it could be something less tangible, like a lifestyle, a talent, a social position. Just identify something you're envious of, and think of an ad that would make you envy it more.
The ad could have a photo (or photos), or it could use illustrations (or it could be a combination of illo and photo) -- and it MUST have some text to it as well. The text could be a sort of tagline, or something more developed. Go to a magazine stand and look over the ads if you need ideas for the sort of text and text layout you want to use. I want you to integrate text and images using illustrator as a tool. If you are shooting photos for this project, please have them shot before next class, so that you can being putting the ad together in class. Whatever your approach will be, I want a fairly worked-out sketch of your ad at the beginning of Wednesday's class.
The last element of this project: I want your presence to be felt in the ad. That doesn't mean that you need to have a picture of yourself directly in the ad (though you can do that, if you want) -- there could be a figure who is a symbolic stand-in for your feeling of envy. Or perhaps your presence is implied, but stands outside of the page itself. But I want this ad to be very personal to yourself.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
So -- next class we'll be completing the logo presentations. We'll also discuss the article I handed out -- the chapter from "Ways of Seeing." And you need to bring a magazine ad to class, to discuss in conjunction with the article (see #6 below).
Before Monday, email me a response paper to the handout. I want you to answer the following questions:
1. On p.131, Berger writes: “Within publicity, choices are offered between this cream and that cream, that car and this car, but publicity as a system makes a single proposal. It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.” Do you think that’s accurate, or do you think publicity, as a system, offers other proposals as well? List two or three more proposals the system of publicity makes.
2. Berger talks of how images from Fine Art have been used to generate an air of “prestige” in advertising. Is this still the case, or is that approach now outmoded in advertising? What, if anything, has replaced Fine Art as a generator of “prestige” in publicity?
3. On p.140, Berger writes "Publicity makes all history mythical." What does he mean by that, and how does it apply the the Pepsi commercial, spanning the various youth movements, we watched a few classes ago?
4. Following Berger's definition of "glamour," what makes "glamour" different from qualities such as wealth, beauty, and talent?
5. On p.149, Berger writes: "Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy." What does he mean by this, and do you agree or disagree? Why?
6. Berger writes that the "absent, unfocused look of so many glamour images" is due to the fact that the models "look out over the looks of envy which sustain them." Find a magazine ad in which you can identify that look, and bring it to class. Be prepared to answer the question: what, exactly, is the viewer supposed to be envying in this ad? Is it an envy you share? And how would it be possible for you to possess, in practical terms, that thing which you envy?
Monday, February 2, 2009
Exaggerated graphic is what I would call this because eating a dorito is like having a magical chip which can do anything.
Plus is very funny
This is an ad campaign that we are all familiar with. Master Card has used a number of the 12 different ad tactics in there priceless campaign. Predominantly they are using an on going characters and celebrities approach. In essence Master Card has transcended there first ad in the priceless campaign and now little articulation is necessary for user product association. I enjoy the simple clean imagery and soft tone to the ads.
this advertisement from New Zealand is a PARODY/ BORROWED FORMAT. The use of colloquial syntax and words relates to the intended market.Bugger me.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I had to ad this one also. Brings me right back! ha
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
For next class, please read the article:
There Are 12 Kinds of Ads in the World, by Seth Stevenson (click open the slideshow on the linked page).
And before next class, please post to the blog an ad (it could be print or video), and write which of the 12 ad types you think it is, giving supporting examples for your classification.
Monday, January 26, 2009
1. A graphic of (or a link to) a logo that you think is well-designed. Be prepared to answer the question: why do you think this logo is a good design? (We didn't get to this in class today, so we'll catch up with it on Wednesday).
2. A start to your logo assignment. It would probably be good to have a sheet of sketches for several logo ideas. I will want to see 15 prospective variations of your logo design, broken down as follows:
a) Five logos that are purely font-based (you can, and probably should, tweak with the font letterforms, but the logo itself should be formed only out of text)
b) Five logos that also incorporate some sort of abstract shape that somehow supports the "tone" of the business (for example, the Nike "swoosh," which is an abstract shape, but which connotes speed, energy, etc)
c) Five logos that incorporate some sort of pictographic "icon" -- a simplified version of something representational (for example, the way the NBA logo has a silhouette of a basketball player)
Here are some resources that might be helpful:
Using blend shapes to make a vector flower petal
3D in Illustrator:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
1. Have your choice for the logo you're going to design. As I said, it could be a logo for a business of your own or for a business of a friend's, it could be a logo for yourself, or you could choose to make a logo for a fictional business -- but you have to choose what this fictional business fictionally does. For instance, a logo for an ecotourism company will probably look very different from a logo for a sports car manufacturer.
2. Bring a graphic of (or a link to) a logo that you think is well-designed. Be prepared to answer the question: why do you think this logo is a good design?
3. After having read the three articles posted below, type out and print a page of answers to the following questions:
In response to the Obama 'O' logo article: Why were the designers so concerned about having standards and consistency around the reproductions of the logo? What would the dangers have been if the logo seemed too "branded" or "slick"? Make a list of the specific qualities or emotions you think the logo evokes (or intends to evoke), and pair each quality with a design element (for example, one emotion it intends to evoke is "patriotism," and it does this by incorporating the colors red, white, and blue).
In response to the Pepsi articles: Do you agree with the designer that the new logo "brings humanity back" to the Pepsi? What do you think he means by that? What design choices were made to make the logo seem more "adventurous" and "youthful"? Do you think the design succeeds in those categories? What are the emotional qualities of the new font choice? Why is changing a logo so costly?
Here are the articles:
The 'O' in Obama
What went into the Updated Pepsi Logo
Thoughts about Pepsi
That last post is on a site, logodesignlove, that has some terrific resources, for example:
Links to free vector files for logos
A list of logo design resources