my digiart

April 11, 2010

Artists 9

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 8:23 pm

Halcyon Hours

The Halcyon Hours is a piece of art work that opens with an interactive animation of a cottage and the rising sun. As the viewer drags the bar below the animation, the sun rises and sets. This is accompanied by the changing hue in the sky. In addition to this opening animation, the viewer can click on six different times of the day that show animations of a woman’s activities during those six hours. These activities span from rolling around in bed at 7am in the morning to smoking a cigarette on the couch at 10pm at night. As you watch the different hours, you can choose to move forwards or backwards in time. Each animation also has some fantastical quality to it, such as bubbles that form a heart and rising smoke that is mimicked by a growing paint pattern on the wall.

            The first thing that strikes me about this work is the detail involved in viewing and obviously creating it. In one of the first animations it shows the women reading the morning newspaper and nothing moves except for the tiny picture on the newspaper, which tells the story it is depicting. Other attention to detail includes the movement of individual hair as the train passes the woman on the platform and the way the grass blades move so subtly in a painting the women views. The other aspect that interests me is the idea of fantasy. For example, when the woman is viewing the painting the painting begins to escape the frame. Perhaps this work is a commentary on how this woman and possibly artist perceives the world.

Matthew Mahon

            Matthew Mahon is an editorial photographer who was raised in New Jersey. At one point in his life, he actually joined the Crips, a Los Angeles street gang, but changed his ways after a nearly fatal motorcycle crash. After this event Mahon started focusing more on his photography. He’s worked for Time, ESPN, and the New York Times magazines. He is known for his edgy style and his work often times includes portraiture, with a kind of detached sense between the portrait and the background. Mahon now lives in Austin, Texas.

            I think Mahon’s website is very interesting. When entering the website, it is immediately interactive. It consists of many images on the screen, and in order to really see an image more closely you have to click on the image. This adds an interesting aspect of choice for viewer in what you want to see or are interested in. His portraits are very interesting. Each person (varying in age, background) is represented in what seems to be “their” typical environment, and yet seem somewhat detached from that environment. Mahon also tends to throw in anomalies, like the portrait of the dog, with a background of concrete and a blue sky.

   is an advertisement of for a DC that came out in 2007, except there is no link for the CD on the website. It is a serene image of unlighted candles, and the first thing that happens is that words show up saying “light candles and listen”. Then, little lights move around mimicking the type of music that will supposedly be on this CD. To the right, small print says that the music instrument is built from wine glasses, watercolor, and piano. This further sets up the serene relaxing mood of the piece.

            I think this is really interesting. I can’t tell if it is actually a sampling of a real CD or if it is just a work of art commenting on mood and how you can set up the mood for the viewer. Not only do we already associate this type of slow, nature-sounding music with relaxation, but the works provides a visual representation of this with the moving particles. Furthermore, direct words basically tell us to relax by lighting the candles, and then the musical instrument is described as built from wine glasses, watercolor, and piano. These all have relaxing feelings associated with them. This work tells us how we should feel and uses many of the viewer’s senses. The whole idea of representing music visually is also an interesting concept.

April 6, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 8:54 pm

April 4, 2010

Artists 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 7:08 pm

Bill Viola

Bill Viola was born on January 25th, 1951 and is an American contemporary artist. Viola grew up in New York and attended Syracuse University, receiving his BFA in 1973. As a video artist, Viola experiments a lot with the sense of perception and how this leads to self-discovery. He is world renowned and is basically the reason video art become such a big part of contemporary art today. His works deal with themes in life like death, love, and emotion, a reflection of his beliefs in mystical traditions.

I think Viola’s work is definitely mystical and very eerie. While researching him, I came across a memory of his where he nearly drowned as a child, and he describes it as a wonderful memory where time stood still and he felt free. A lot of his work seems to be based off of this experience. Examples of this include Dissolution, which portrays two faces viewed upward from under water and Acension, which portrays a person falling down into what looks like water. I also notice very strong compositional elements in his work, like symmetry, obvious circular form, or a panel diptych type construction where two faces of the same person are shown.

Paul Pfeiffer

Paul Pfeiffer is an American video artist who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1966. He received his BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco art institute and his MFA from Hunter College in New York. He now lives and works in New York. In his art, Pfeiffer also deals with humans and self-identity, with his earlier works often dealing with his own identity as a homosexual. Pfeiffer often employs found imagery in his works. More lately, Pfeiffer has switched the focus of his work more to the identity of celebrities in Hollywood and the way the world is connected through watching these celebrities.

I think there is a real sense of humor and ridiculousness to Pfeiffer’s work. I am specifically talking about his work where he shows himself (I think) as a child and compares himself to Millhouse from the Simpsons (a complete dork)…and there is actually a strong resemblance. He then also uses that same image of himself or whoever the kid is as a comparison to a picture of himself today. Pfeiffer’s images of famous basketball players are also interesting. They really capture the moment (like a slam dunk) and then shows the reaction of the crowd…which is diverse.

Stephen Vitiello

Stephen Vitiello is an American electronic musician and sound artist. More specifically, his work includes sound installations, drawings, and photographs. He uses atmospheric sounds to compose landscapes, and has composed music both for exhibitions and independent films. He describes his work as wanting sound alone to set the atmosphere and color of a room.

Vitiello’s work is very interesting to me because it does not necessarily have a physical visual element like a lot of other art. It made me think of people who see certain keys of music in certain colors, and it made me wonder if he perhaps perceives music in the same way. When I listened to his sound bites, I was kind of surprised by how simplistic they were (not in a bad way). I would describe them as mostly mimicking sounds from nature using a lot of percussion instruments. Website for sound clips:


March 24, 2010

Self Portrait

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 1:29 pm

March 23, 2010

Artists 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 10:32 pm

Jeff Baij

Jeff Baij is a graphic designer. He works with videos, sound bits, and animations. There is a lot of color in his work and many geometric forms. There is also a lot of movement and humor in his work. He plays with the idea of art being anything, as when he includes a piece he worked on that is really simple and labels it as something bad he is bound to make when he is working on art. He also includes a lot of personal experiences, like showing an x-ray of his broken arm and the “shitty gallery food” which interesting has ketchup artistically squeezed on top of everything.

I think Baij’s work is very different from anyone’s we’ve seen before. Not only is it vivid in graphic imaging, but it’s hilarious. He actually has a project called “I’m a Graphic Designer, Who the Fuck are you?” Furthermore, he picks some of the most random and hilarious topics for works, from explosions the “landing sparkle” of the nose of an airplane…and yet he captures these things perfectly. Some of his work also has an almost purely sterile graphic design element, like his blood vomit project. It is so computer generated that it almost gains a textural quality.

Matthew Ritchie

Matthew Ritchie is an installation artist born in London in 1964 and now lives and works in New York. He Received a BFA from Camberwell School of Art in London and also attended Boston University. Ritchie works with paintings, sculpture, wall drawings, light boxes, and projections dealing with different subjects like science, history, and physics to convey ideas about information. His work kind of comes together like an encyclopedia, offering much knowledge about the world.

I read about Matthew Ritchie first before I looked at his work, and so I was pretty surprised by what I saw. I expected his work to be much more concretely representational of the subject, since his theme is knowledge and information, but the images were much more confusing and intriguing. There is definitely an element of drawing in his works, hinting at the planning that went in behind it. In his work “after lives” for example, there are many images that look computer generated, but then black lines that look like they are almost drawn on. The work is also very structural and alludes to ideas about DNA and the scientific aspect of human existence.

John Michael Boling

John Michael Boling uses found digital imagery to create art. He changes up old images and videos found online, including elements of pop art, conceptual art, and music videos. Boling is a collaborative artist with Javier Morales. In one project, Boling and Morales edit old eighties footage to combine music video and a sense of nostalgia.

I think it is a very interesting to include nostalgia in art. I feel like that allows many people from different generations to relate to it. On a less serious note, there is one work that made me laugh really hard. It is an image of kids running around in a courtyard, probably from the 90’s or in a different country, and a Honda robot is running with them. I don’t know why, but it’s hilarious.  

March 14, 2010

Artists 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 1:24 pm

Robin Rhodes

Robin Rhodes was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1976. He studied at the Technikon Witwaterstrand and the South African School of Film, Television, and Dramatic art in Johannesburg. Rhode creates performances from everyday objects he draws mostly in charcoal, chalk, and paint. More recently he also works digitally with photography and animation. A lot of Rhodes’ work goes back to South Africa, where he focuses on issues of poverty and inequality in places like the streets of Johannesburg. Besides performing, his work can be seen in public places like the walls of buildings. Rhodes is now based in Berlin, Germany.

Being South African, I was really curious ot see Rhodes’ work. It wasn’t what I expected at all. Usually artists from Cape Town present Shanty towns in colorful ways incorporating cardboard and other materials onto canvas with paint. Rhodes’ work was completely different though. His work had a much more sterile feel than I expected. I think part of this is that he uses very little or subtle color and a lot of black and white imagery. I think his video frames are very interesting. He incorporates simple imagery and south african dance-like moves reflective of his background. It reminded me of the street performances in Cape Town. Anyway,..pretty interesting

Duane Michals

Duane Michals is an American photographer born in 1932 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He attended both the University of Denver and the Parsons school of design. His work incorporates both photographic images and text working usually outside of a studio. He uses his work to examine emotion and philosophy. Michals has done many interesting things in his life, including photographing the Olympic Games of 1968 for the Mexican government covering the filming of The Great Gatsby for Vogue.

Duane Michals also includes a lot of black and white photography in his work. I think this has a sort of depressing impact on the viewer. No subjects in his work show happy expressions and many times they’re backs are turned to the viewer or they are doing some sort of self-reflection. Then there are other pieces where the photograph is black and white but there are spurts of color. I really enjoyed the Primevera photo where a black and white figure has colorful flowers coming out of his mouth.

Alec Soth

Alec Soth was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1969 and is a photographer. All of his photographs hint at folklore and the history of people in America. Examples include images of people doing interesting everyday things in the country and images of soldiers. He has also published two books, Sleeping by the Mississippi and Niagara. A lot of his photography is based in the North Western area of the United States.

            I really enjoy his work because it is aesthetically pleasing and I really get a sense of the story behind each photo. The image of the soldier making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches seems like such a junxtoposition because hes about to eat a pb&j sandwich (which is such a  common thing) while he is putting his life in danger on the job. I also enjoy that although his images all have a sort of historical folklore context, his subjects vary greatly. I also enjoy the photo of an old man eating icecream and smoking a cigar.

March 5, 2010

Artists 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 11:36 am

Anne Massoni

Anne Massoni received her master’s in photography from Ohio University and is currently the photography professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey. Her works deal with the idea of memory, whether true or fictional, and the relationship between revealing and keeping secrets within this context. This includes exploring her relationships with family and friends.

Massoni’s fairytale princess skirt series is interesting. When I saw the title I thought the focus would be the skirts, but really it was more about how her friends fit into the characters they portrayed with a common theme of the skirt. Her revealing and holding a secret work also interested me. She has a series of photos of friends/people dressed in all black with expressions and hand positions that represent holding and telling a secret. It is interesting how related the two actually are, and how alike the two expressions look.

Jordan Tate

Jordan Tate was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1981 and now lives in Berlin, Germany. He received his master’s in fine art from Indiana University in 2007. Tate is a conceptual intstallation artist and photographer. He is also  widely known for publishing his Contemporary Dictionary of Sexual Euphemisms. Tate works with both serious subject matter, like the systematic changing of the New York Times and more playful subject matter like various sexual euphamisms and the illustrations of them.

I think the Contemporary Dictionary of Sexual Euphemisms is great. Not only does it challenge what is acceptable in our society, but it is an actual published book that is informational and has actual literal and figurative definitions of these euphemisms. I also enjoy how Tate works with digital media with a focus on the media. For example in his blur project, he takes completely blurry photos of images, which creates a real sense of displacement and uncertainty. In other works like Losless, he works with pigmentation, rearranging the pigments completely to form new images or in other works creating almost surface textures on images.

Belinda Haikes

Belinda Haikes is an artist who works in various media, including media arts, drawing, printmaking, animation, and video. She is also trained in printmaking. Haikes comments on culture and the place of the individual and their identity in today’s technological world. She currently lives in Richmond and is currently a PhD candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In the “20 friends I wish I had” work, Haikes has 20 white silouettes of people in history she wish she knew. I really enjoy this work because it speaks to the progression of time and the fact that to some extent, you don’t really get to choose your friends because you can’t predict who you will meet every day. Not only that, but there are links to their “facebook pages”, which is an interest comment on how we become intimate with eachother today. I also enjoy Haikes’ “I love mark making” project because she secretly draws people without them knowing, which is hilarious.

February 23, 2010

Japan Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 3:33 pm

February 10, 2010

Artists 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 9:45 pm

John Baldessari

John Baldessari was born on June 7th, 1961 in National City, California. He got his graduate degree in the fine arts and his masters in fine art from San Diego State University in California. He also attended the Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes in Los Angeles. His major works consist of canvas paintings which points out irony in contemporary art theory. In his paintings, he often juxtaposes visible text and images. For example, in one work he juxtaposes an image of a glass and the words “a glass is a glass”. Baldessari also uses a lot of pointing to draw attention to certain areas of a composition or to simply incorporate pointing.

When looking at some of the images of his work on Google, I like the pieces that incorporate text. For example, he has one work where he has a picture of a pencil that had been lying on the dashboard of his car for a long time and talks about how it bothers him, and then a picture of the pencil when he sharpened it and the text reads “I think that this has something to do with art”. I really enjoy this piece because it shows self-analyzing and I can relate to similar experiences where something mundane bothers me, and yet you just leave it. As far as his works where he blotches out faces or objects with bright solid colors, it has good aesthetic qualities and an almost Andy Warhol feel, but I miss the substance of irony in his other pieces (or maybe I just don’t understand these pieces fully).

john baldessari pic

Vito Acconci

                Vito Acconci was born on January 24th, 1940 in Bronx, New York. Acconci is an architect, a landscape architect, and an installation artist. He attended the College of the Holy Cross where he received his BA in literature and the University of Iowa where he received his masters in fine arts. Acconci is both a poet and a video and performance artist. Themes in his work include confrontation and situationism. Some people see a narcissistic view in his work as well, as he portrays or performs himself frequently as subject. In one work (Seedbed), Acconci is hidden underneath a ramp where he talks into a speaker vocalizing his fantasies about visitors walking above him.

                Acconci’s work obviously elicits a strong response from his audience because his work is so completely confrontational and perhaps even promiscuous. I have mixed feelings about his work. I think it is very effective since Acconci’s goal is probably to elicit a response, but maybe it borderlines on pornographic. This of course brings in the whole issue of whether or not porn can be art, and the point that art may not always be a comfortable experience for the viewer.

Accondi pic

Nina Sobell and Emily Hartzell

                Nina Sobell and Emily Hartzell collaborate to create art with technology. They both work in visual multimedia and are part of the contemporary art movement. Their works explore the boundary between physical space and cyber space. Their work stems from Nina’s earlier video installations from the 1970’s. Their main project is ParkBench. This project was inspired by the idea to create a safe area of congregation in the disconnected world of cyberspace.  They also have many videos on the internet of performance pieces.

                The ParkBench project is really interesting. The website is not only aesthetically beautiful, but it is easy to watch each video by simply clicking on the little square. Once a square is clicked, a series of slideshows sort of tell a story, and the speed of viewing can be adjusted, which adds another interesting component to this work of art. Some of the slideshows were cleared than others, and there was a wide range of subject matter. It was interesting that a lot of times it seemed somewhat mundane, but the ParkBench idea brings cohesion to the seemingly unrelated series of slide shows.

sobell and hartzell pic

February 1, 2010

Artists 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — ebotha @ 2:46 pm

Jenny Holzer

                Jenny Holzer was born in Ohio and is an American conceptual artist. At first she was an abstract artist and worked with painting and printmaking. She now mostly works with the use of ideas and words in public spheres. She writes texts with LED signs, on benches, on street signs, and even on stickers and posters. She also works with texts that other people write, not just her own. These can include texts from classic literature or different current documents. A theme throughout Holzer’s work is enlightening the public on current themes such as war, feminism, oppression, violence, and death.

                The first thing that surprised me about her work is the sheer size of some of her compositions. On some of the buildings it appears to maybe be painted on, while on others it seems like a projection onto the walls of the building. Although the text on the buildings is very impressive, I almost like the text on daily items like band-aids and t-shirts because this is perhaps a greater reminder for people since they deal with these objects on a day to day basis. I really enjoy her golf ball project because it presents a series of different quotes that are seemingly unrelated.

Jenny Holzer image

Cory Arcangel

                Cory Arcangel was born in 1978 who now lives and works as a digital artist in Brooklyn, New York. His work deals with the relationship between media and our culture. He is most famous for his videogame projects like Super Mario Clouds. He found BEIGE, which is a group of digital artists who recycle video games and other obsolete digital media to create works of art that comment on our relationship to technology. It is the idea of creativity and recycling code/aesthetics.  Arcangel is also a musician and performer.

                I think digital recycling is such an interesting idea, especially since usually digital media like computer games aren’t usually thought of as having aesthetic qualities. It was funny because I was watching a presentation given by Arcangel online and he said that he likes to “steal aesthetics from certain software like computer games”.  He also calls himself a “computer nerd” haha. (can you tell I enjoyed it?) Anyway, I really like his Super Mario Clouds. It’s so simple and has bright colors and clouds that have personalities and almost face like qualities. Even though the image is so simple, there is a lot of underlying commentary on who really “owns” digital media and how it affects our lives.

cory arcangel image

Pipilotti Rist

                Pipilotti Rist (or Elisabeth Charlotte Rist) was born in 1962 in Switzerland and is a well-known video artist. She now lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland and Los Angeles. Rist is part of the feminist movement, and was educated at the Institute of Applied Arts in Vienna and the Schule fuer Gestaltung in Switzerland. Her short videos of usually a few minutes use color and music and have a general sense of happiness and simplicity. She uses nudity, fuzziness, lines from songs by groups like the Beatles, and sensual scenes to promote feminism and sexual freedom.

                I really appreciate Rist’s work because she encourages women to celebrate their bodies and discover their sexual freedom, and perhaps even encourages men to accept this role of women.  In “I’m not the girl who misses much”, Rist dances in a black dress and nude breasts singing the first line of the song “Happiness is a Warm Gun” by the Beatles. The video also has fuzzy qualities. This clip is impressive because it completely goes against what society expects of women and doesn’t present the woman’s body as something to be exploited.

Pipilotti Rist image

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