Theme Ideation

For my thematic artwork, I believe that my expressionistic self portrait is a great gateway to discovering what I am and what makes me me. For that reason I’d like to continue working and bettering my self portrait because I believe it encompasses several mediums and multiple themes. I reread the outline and some possible themes I’ve come up with are “Life goes on despite hardship”, “You can’t run from the past”, and “Life is what you make of it”. However it could also be seen as a bit of a Coming of Age story as well, following the young character mark who is attempting to discover himself.

I think that these themes also apply to myself, and they are where a lot of personal feelings and beliefs I have come from. I don’t want to go into the details but I think that I can create a semi reflective piece of artwork that represents some of my fears and uncertainties I have about life itself.

 

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Expressionistic Self Portrait

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I grew up playing a lot of story oriented video games with my brother and I’ve always been enthusiastic about making video games because they really are a combination of tons of awesome mediums and it provides a different avenue to tell a story, particularly in a way that invokes pride in the user. So for my self portrait I wanted to make a video game that sort of represents my interests later on in life and tell the stories of people I’ve met or made up or a combination of both and try to represent the impact they have had on me and how they helped shape me as a person.

The basic gist of the game is that the player, whom I arbitrarily named Mark, is hitchhiking across the southwestern U.S. in present day times. The player gets to decide who Mark decides to hitchhike with and they can learn a thing or two about the person through dialogue if the player chooses. Over the course of marks Journey, it is likely he will meet several unique characters all with their own plans and conflicts that may or may not hinder Mark in his journey, all the while the player is learning about why mark decided to go hitchhiking in the first place.

Realistic Self portrait

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I have never really drawn before, save for doodles in notebooks that are absolutely terrifying.  So because I have never drawn in my life, I had a lot of learning to do if I wanted to actually make a self portrait that had any resemblance to me whatsoever. I started by looking at some online tutorials but they were either to advanced or didn’t really provide realistic drawings. However I did learn some helpful tips and tricks like dividing the paper into 16th’s. The most challenging thing is the patience it requires but if you don’t mind a little bit of messiness in your art then you’ll move along just fine, It took me about 2 hours to draw this from start to finish and I had to teach myself what to do on the spot which was also challenging. Overall I am satisfied with my end result as I think it does resemble me pretty well, despite the lack of depth in the face.

 

Self Portrait Artists

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

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Somewhere on the campus of the Royal Technical University of Dresden, Ernst Kirchner met Fritz Bleyl. These young 20 somethings would sit and discuss the things that they valued and believed in, ranging from the political climate at the turn of the 20th century to how fashion was just an artificial concept. This duo complimented each other so well that well after they had graduated from the university with degrees in architecture, they decided to form a sort of Art Club, alongside two other fellow architects. The group needed a name and the group knew the name needed to be symbolic but it couldn’t tell the viewer what it was. The group needed to represent something. “Die Bruck”, or “The Bridge” is what they choose. This Art club featured a small studio where Ernst and Fritz decided to embody their ideals, embracing nudity and making art that wasn’t entirely realistic but there was figure and forms and people within. Oil was the preferred paint as it gave a sort of smear and contrasted the forms in a unique fashion. This trend of artwork became known as expressionism. Many of the group’s painting featured expressionist nudity and it was very radical at the time, and what I find interesting is that even 100 years ago people still had the same thoughts and problems which makes me think about how we are told society progresses, but what evidence is there that we do?
Moving on, Ernst committed his life full time to Die Bruck, making paintings and being radical and the sort. That is until World War I. Ernst volunteered his service in the army and was assigned to artillery driving, but soon suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with drug dependency and alcoholism. He was discharged and returned to Die Bruck, and began painting again producing “self portrait as a soldier”. The piece is brutally simple In my opinion and doesn’t try to show anything deep as much as it tries to show raw emotion, something I think is prevalent in a lot of his works.  

 

Eloy Morales

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So if you are like me the things you find impressive are impressive because you either; know how hard they are to do, Can’t do them and know very few people who can, recognize the amount of time and commitment it would take to do and find that amount of time insane, or a combination of the three. For me Eloy Morales hits the mark on each of my criteria. Painting realistically is hard, I can’t do it and the people I know who can are few and far between. And his technique. His technique is insane. He covers massive walls with these portraits painting them literally square inch by square inch, which makes sense because the larger the image the more attention to detail he can offer. The picture doesn’t really do the painting justice, as these mural-esque paintings are massive. So for me I think he represents a lot of time and commitment which are things I value but also struggle with.

ArcGIS, Curatorial, and landscape reflection

Casper mountainAndrew Skovgard , Casper Mountain 11/17, Computer Generated Imagery 

Reflection

This project was an arduous learning process and it is unfortunately incomplete, but for the things I did accomplish I am glad. Originally I was inspired by an earlier project I had worked on in which I used heightmap data from NOAA and the video game engine Unity To develop a simulation of wildfires. The downsides of the project was that the landmass represented was incredible small in relative terms to real world size, and that there wasn’t a computer available to me that was strong enough to handle the processing demand. I tackled this project with the end goal of producing a super high resolution image that could be very accurately 3D printed, however there were more hurdles than I originally anticipated. I had to use a new source of heightmap data, rather than NOAA’s database, as it was shut down in 2016. After I found an alternative source, the mesh creation process went surprisingly smoothly, and I was able to create a super high resolution mesh (10,000×10,000×500 voxels) and export it to a 3d modeling software for the final step before printing, adding a foundation. It was at this step that you can see the model in place where I inevitably failed to create a 3d reconstruction of the model. The image was to large to be handled by the software of choice, and the second option took a great deal of work to allow the mesh to be handled by the computer. Sadly I was incapable of getting the modeling software to add a flat foundation to the mesh before printing and I was left with this image to show.

In the end I am glad that I did it, as I did learn a lot about the programs I needed to use and this project allowed a lot of my former skills to shine ranging from programming to 3D modeling. I am happy with the outcome and I enjoyed guiding myself to the spot that I am at. My least favorite parts of this project was when I was being corralled into places and having to sit through and follow along or listen to things that didn’t necessarily pertain to me. Maybe they where meant for me and I’m an awful and terrible listener but I really do hate it when I am required to sit and do nothing. I appreciate face to face things a lot more than just talking to the whole group, and I get that it’s easy to see a common mistake that is present within an entire group and the mentality of efficiency  here is to talk to everyone about how to fix it, but everyone could of made the same mistake for different reasons and the solution that you give might not be helpful to all the students.

 

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Andrew Skovgard, Borders 11/17, ArcGIS

Curatorial Statement

Landscapes evolve, landscapes change. The images of Casper Mountain and Borders represent our present landscape but geology tells us that the world has had many different faces, so to speak, many different surfaces. This tells us that landscapes evolve, and that landscapes change. Now if the very ground that we walk upon changes, and that same ground which harbors all known life, and if life came from the ground, then it is only within the nature of life to change and evolve. Jumping to the last 2,000 year we are able to see the evolution of a radically different landscape in the physical world, the political world, in practically every single space where idea exist the landscape around them has changed and with humans there is a particular pattern that you can see. When new technology is invented, the philosophical world changes first. It is in the realm of philosophy that ideas and thoughts and beliefs give way to more ideas and thoughts and beliefs and soon individuals begin conceptualizing the future. Once an idea is mature enough and well thought out it is adopted by the practical world. It is in this world which ideas are adopted and let go from the present society, and designing and refining occur. Soon after a practical idea is adopted it is followed by an artistic revolution. The creative minds of the world see a change and can pull out the metaphysical properties of this change, and the culture surrounding these artist changes as well. A prime example is the locomotive. When the train was invented and refined, society took idea and first found all the practical uses for it and applied it to them, while simultaneous letting go of horse and buggy transportation across large distances. There was a massive change of culture in what we now call the Victorian era and the locomotive was an integral part of that era’s culture.

I see a similar revolution occurring. It seems that we are soon moving into a new age as technology and art and the whole world evolves. People are conceptualizing the future at an incredibly fast pace and our standards for practicality and design, although fierce, are developing at the same speed as conceptualization. Even now, we are seeing artists exploring new mediums in which to send their message and allowing us to broaden our imagination to new limits.

 

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Flight Game

 

Peer Reflectionview

Theres that great feeling, when you see something and it brings you back to a time or an experience that was just complete and utter joy, a sort of false nostalgia. A psuedo-memory relapse where only feelings come and no mental images. This is what The Jon Dunkerly’s product accomplished for me. Seeing his rendition of Mario made me go back and it just felt good seeing the old mushroom monsters and pixelated turtles and dying over and over again. It was like reliving the first moments of playing a video game or reading a book and just losing yourself in the realm of fantasy and being there experiencing it with likeminded individuals created an unforgettable experience for me. For me it wasn’t about seeing the product, but seeing what the product represents to its creator and sharing that feeling with him.

Layering And juxtaposition

My Juxtaposition Artists are Gabriel Moreno (Top Left), John Stezaker (Right), and Minjae Lee (bottom Left). The foundation of juxtaposition is using contrasting principles, things that ebb and flow together to create a sort of surrealistic piece. Gabriel Moreno achieves this through his gradient of red and yellow on various parts of the man in the image, Stezaker uses two photographs, One as a base, something the viewer is familiar with, and the next as the contrast, but he expertly chooses his photographs so when you see them and actually look you see that there is a connection between the two photos. Lastly Minjae lee takes the most abstract approach out of the three, combining a realistic face with flowing, sharp shapes and mostly different shades of purple.

As for layering, I choose Helen Musselwhite (Top left), Tristram Mason (Right), and Louise Jenkins (Bottom Left). All three of these artists used layering to create a sense of depth, Musselwhite and Jenkins did quite literally, while Mason added photos to create depth. This isn’t the only defining characteristic of layering however. Layering simply includes the use of several different objects that overlap or overlay each other.

Layering and Juxtaposition are naturally prevalent in maps and cartography. Where abstract principles have to be included in naturally occurring landscapes in order for them to make sense, for example J.R.R. Tolkien’s sketches of middle earth make more sense than a topographic map of anywhere. But neither is perfect.

While the topographic map contains useful data it is hard to wrap your head around it and it is not pleasant to look at. The Tolkien map is the opposite, containing nothing but vague location data relative to other places. It is when these two come together that get a tool of visual communication that many people can understand. And the way we do this is through the postmodern principles above, Layering and juxtaposition.