Wednesday, January 28, 2015

      Digital Processes Project No. 3 - Photo Album & Book

      For this third project, where we shot 100 so photographs of items representing everyday American life and chose 20 to edit and present, I focused primarily on bringing life to what would ordinarily be considered mundane and also add color to rather drab scenes. I used a Nikon D80 Camera to take these photographs and edited the selected photographs through Photoshop, mainly altering the amount of exposure, saturation, and focus in certain areas. While I certainly believe that the media-sharing social network Flickr is an effective way of sharing one’s visual art to wider audiences and preserving your files on the internet, I also think it can add the risk of over-exposure and limit the amount the success one finds with their work because complete strangers can look at it and replicate the same effect.
      In other words, over-exposure through social media outlets such as this can depreciate the value of the artwork because it can shared throughout the web multiple times and be altered in so many ways that depreciates its uniqueness. Then again, one can always be caution about what he or she puts on the web to be sure that whatever value can be placed on his or her work does not fall at more rapid rate. One could also equate this depreciation to most of the subjects of my photographs displayed, majority of them affected and weathered over time by over-exposure of the physical type. As Martin McLuhan briefly states in Medium Is the Massage, "Our official culture is striving to force the new to do the work of the old" (McLuhan 94). These digital photographs could be alleviating the subjects in some ways, but are really documenting them as the way they are, while highlighting some of their more prominent features that either come their age or distract from it. Perhaps these photographs are helping in some to keep their subjects under a more relevant lens.
      For my Blurb photo book, I tried to achieve a humorous design rather than a visual one to help make the content of the book more engaging. Whether that will be case is unknown because humor can only go so many ways for certain people. The black background helps keep the book layout simple, accessible for people to read, and easier to concentrate on the photographs centered on each respective page. The marker felt font provides the book it humorous appeal with it bold and childish design and hopefully further lends to its overall sarcasm. I add exaggerated and cartoonish representation of myself in the "About the Author" section and the back of the book to again add to the non-seriousness of the book as a whole. As an end result, the design of book, as well as the title, begs the question whether or not this is a photo book or just a gag.

Link to My Flickr Photo Album:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Artist Reflection of Jason S. Yi

Earlier this month, visiting artist Jason Yi from Milwaukee, Wisconsin came to Lawrence University to do a new, cooperatively made public project at the Wriston Art Center and held an exhibition of some of his work at the Wriston Art Gallery. In my sculpture class, he had us work with zip-ties at the Wriston Art Center to create the new public work for him, and I was not particularly keen on it because it seemed he was giving little direction as to what to do with it. Yi also held a lecture at the Wriston Auditorium, detailing the origins and inspiration of his art career. Yi’s primary medium for his work are zip-ties, small plastic binds normally used for general maintenance. Yi incorporates the zip-ties to make what he calls in his official statement on his website a “…subversion…of natural landscapes…enough to…dissociate reality and perception.”
As Yi revealed in his lecture, he is very much interested in defying one’s presumption of physical impossibility, with such works as chairs held up at a precarious angle with only zip-ties and spaces large enough to enter that look like they will apart at any time. Yi credits much of his ambition and success to his father, who was a painter and landscape artist, and their interaction together made Yi fascinated with the idea of altering perception. I personally found Yi’s story to be interesting, but not all that revealing. He never really explained what truly drove him to be an artist or why he really does it. Much of what he spoke about mainly revolved around his successes, but never really reached out to aspiring artist about what art should be or the importance of art.

Yi was very long-winded about his parents and some of his works, and did a plug-in for his new art show back in Milwaukee, but he never really explained the purpose of zip-ties or for what reason he uses them, how they can be palatable as any other art medium. I was however, somewhat impressed by his gallery work, especially the mountain of chairs tightly bound in zip-ties. That being said, I felt that he cheated himself a bit by wrapping the chairs in plastic wrap because it defeats the whole purpose of using zip-ties in the first place.
I assumed he was trying to impress upon us the palatability of zip-ties, but it seems he doesn’t take full advantage of them there. It is interesting to see young artists come with different backgrounds and reasons as to why they entered the art field, but I would at least prefer one who is not so busy patting themselves behind the back and one who actually offers advice to those interested in pursuing an art-related career.

Link to Jason S. Yi's Official Website:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

(Disclaimer: If possible, please adjust the quality of this video to 720p for the full experience)

            For my experimental film, titled “Too Early To Rise,” I try, in relation to Marshall McLuhan’s reading on the humanity’s relationship to “space” and “time” in his short book The Medium Is the Massage, to divulge the idea of the constraints of time and well-being made onto one by that same person’s self.
            According to McLuhan, for human nature today in correspondence to current technology, “…guilt is not…privately assigned to some individual, but is…shared by everybody…” (McLuhan & Fiore 61), and this quote as was phrased challenged me to identify the one facet of life with which every person shares guilt: time. And what other technology to project time in such a glaring fashion that a clock.
            We fear we will not be able to do everything we would like to do with the little presumed time we have on earth, thus we ultimately define our livelihood by the ticking of our individual doomsday clocks. In response to this fear, we attempt to achieve so many things in so little time that we eventually begin to overbear and make ourselves weary. This film is a personal testament to that situation, as I have often myself awake on early hours in order to fit more into my schedule in an attempt to be more ambitious, only to exhaust myself and sub-standardize my quality of life.

            Once the introductory title sequence cuts, we finally see the first few seconds of the film, where it is evident from the transition from the moon sky to the numbers of early morning alarm clock looming over the protagonist’s face that time has become a creeping and largely influential factor, even bigger than the universe itself.  The young man cares about nothing more than getting an early start on the day, it is apparent that this habit is taking a serious toll on his psyche and self-confidence. He has made himself more of an aimless creature than a strictly habitual one, a transformation visualized by his opening of the curtain, where he is welcomed by blinding light. He has caged himself with his misinformed and self-damaging decisions.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hey everyone, this is Michael Hubbard, sophomore and eventual studio art major here. All lot of you may be wondering who I am, where I come from, and what kind of artist I strive to be. Well, I am the only child of two architects from Chicago and I come from a family of visually-atuned people. For example, my dad primarily works in architectural design, where he draws and lays out visual plans for buildings both on paper and in computer programs. My grandfather worked in interior painting since the age of sixteen, when he emigrated from Germany to this country, and then he began a interior painting business of his own in the mid-50s until his early retirement in the early 70s. He still paints out of habit and personal enjoyment.

My artistic interests began the first grade, where I would draws things like dinosaurs and fantastical creatures, and from then on, that interest expanded to illustration of the human body, an intense passion for film, and an ambition to combine my love for film and graphic art and pursue a future with it. I spent the past five or so years taking art classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and high school, going to movie theatre matinee showings whenever possible I thought were worth my time (some of those movies were what further fueled my interest in film-making), and participating at my high school film club and newspaper (where I wrote film critiques and drew cartoons). I have had my artwork showcased at my high school several times and was eventually awarded for my work on my graduation day. Today, at Lawrence University, I am active in the film production club, I shoot photographs and draw cartoons for the school newspaper, and I am a practicing studio assistant for my academic advisor.

As an artist and aspiring film-maker, I want to do two things: tell stories through images more than words and evoke feelings that are not often exploited. I want to steer away from making my subjects glamorous and seek to create raw, human emotions through tight composition and movement that is both grounded and exaggerated, all of which fosters an appreciation for primordial sensibilities.

Below are some artworks I did in the past, back when I was taking figure-drawing classes at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago during school breaks. Mind you, these were done back in my high school years, between 2011 and 2012:

This is a graphite and eraser portrait of a clothed woman posing in harsh light.

This is a painting of a man's head looking beyond. Unfortunately, some of paint blotches dribbling over the subject's nose, but at least, in my opinion, it lends some raw authenticity to the portrait as a whole. This almost sold for $600 to a faculty member in my high school at the closing end of my senior year, but later communications fell apart after a possible agreement was made, and the portrait is still in my possession. 

This is an unfinished drawing of Muhammad Ali. At the time, when I was working on this, I had an extremely difficult and opinionated instructor who did not take kindly to me for unmentionable and absurd reasons.