Wilkommen! My name is Alaina and I enjoy tea, reading literature, Graphic Design, and speaking German.
The process that I chose for the Workshop was to shut my phone off (and keep it off!) for 48 hours. This option seemed the most challenging to me for two reaons: one, my phone goes with me everywhere. I always have it on, I never shut it off, not even when I go to sleep (you know, just in case I miss one of those horribly important, 4am text messages, hah.). I never feel as though I couldn’t function without my phone, though. So I wanted to test that theory.
Making the decision to do this workshop over the winter recess had both pros and cons. Pro: I use my phone to set alarms for myself. I didn’t need alarms over the break. Con: My break meant catching up with friends and family, which was difficult to do without having a phone for two days.
My process for this workshop was simple enough. I just turned my phone off, kept it off for 48 hours, but I had it with me most of the times I needed to leave the house, in case of emergencies. My thoughts on initially doing this workshop were that not having a phone for 2 days was actually going to be pretty fantastic. The only thing I really enjoy using my phone for is texting and the internet. I was excited that I wasn’t going to have to take phone calls for the next two days. I hate talking on the phone. It just so happens that my initial impressions on how I was going to react through this project were pretty spot on. It was quite the relief to not have to be bothered with my phone all the time. If I needed to contact a friend, I could do so through Facebook. I alerted my family that if they absolutely needed to get a hold of me for any reason, they could do so through my boyfriend’s phone. I stressed the fact to contact me only if it was an emergency, though. There were no emergencies, so none of my family contacted me through those two days.
Again, I have to say that not having a phone was actually sort of a relief for those two days. My only obstacles that I encountered were being a little inconvenienced to get in touch with my friends to make plans to hang out, and the fact that I often use my phone for doing quick look-ups on things on the internet. It was bothersome to have to drag my laptop out, wait for it to turn on, go through all the start-ups, just to quickly look something up on the internet. I have to give my phone props for being a nifty little tool!
As soon as we took a look at Reas’ work in class, I became very interested in his work. I really enjoy the fact that he creates these programs or codes to create artwork. It makes me feel like both the left and right sides of the brain can both be considered the creative sides. Another part about creating this type of artwork that I really liked was the fact that the same program can be run over and over again and Reas can produce completely different results each time, therefore creating a whole different piece of art with a completely different meaning, context, and content.
What makes his pieces the most interesting for me, isn’t the fact that his process can be repeated multiple times, each with distinctly different results, but the fact that he creates his own, unique code for each image-making process. That says to me that not only are the artworks produced the “fine art,” but also the process of how they are made and the code that has created them. His process begs the question: What really is the art that he creates? Is it the end results - the prints that are created, or is it the code that was made to create them? Honestly, I think all three things (code, repeatedly running the program, or the process, and the ending prints) are actually all of the things that make up his work into ‘art.’
Personally, I also really enjoy art that is created in these unique ways. Letting a machine do the work to create the art sends an interesting message to me about what art can be.
The reading I’d like to make a response to are the articles that were posted on Jezebel. I’m really glad that while this is a Digital Media class, and that we’ll be working with programs that are capable of doing the things that these magazines do, that these articles were included for us to read. I think it’s important to note the kind of usage of these programs that goes on in the media all around us. Jezebel reminds us that we are constantly confronted with these images on a daily basis. We see them everywhere: magazines, commercials, billboards, etc.
One particular piece of the article I enjoyed reading was: “Those who argue that men and women are educated and aware of the limitations of the images they’re seeing are missing the bigger issue: there’s a huge difference between knowing something intellectually and understanding it emotionally.” Absolutely, one-hundred percent yes. People fail to see that these images that we get bombarded with are under the same principle as name-calling. If you call a person stupid, ugly, horrible, or any other negative word repeatedly, eventually they start to believe that they are those things. It doesn’t work any differently for these images in the media. Even though we know we aren’t really stupid or ugly, when people tell you enough times that you are, it becomes ingrained in your mind that maybe you really could be those things. Same idea applies here. If you continually show us images of what our bodies and appearances are supposed to be, and there is no possible way we can meet those standards (even though we know this), we start to believe that the fault lies in ourselves.
3 Adjectives: tangible, macabre, silent
3 Verbs: laugh, draw, spy
3 Nouns: clothing, cereal, board games
3 Groups of People: Feminists, Athletes, Poets
"What kind of experience is [silent] where one can [draw], and contains/produces [clothing] for [Athletes]?”
List of Ideas:
1. A machine that captures the movement of an athlete and draws a sketch of clothing based on the movement.
2. A drawing contest - an athlete is on display in a box and people draw clothing based on the dimensions of the person.
3. A machine where an athlete exercises and draws at the same time. The combined motions makes the machine go and it produces clothing.
4. A fashion designer making clothing.
5. Turning drawing materials into clothes: i.e. a shirt made out of graphite.
6. A person making a sketch.
None of my ideas particularly surprised me. My sentence was fairly straightforward, so I just started thinking of how I would turn that sentence into a reality. I didn’t really relate it to myself in any way, so no, none of my ideas resonated with me either. The most challenging thing about thinking this way is how limited and constricted I was to come up with ideas. There were other ideas I had thought about, but didn’t quite fit within the confines of the sentence. I think the easiest part about this Workshop was the simple, obvious ideas (like the one about a fashion designer simply making a sketch and creating the clothing). Funnily enough, those ideas didn’t come to me until after I had thought about the more elaborate ones, like the machines making the clothing. I was surprised at how difficult it was to try to come up with 100 ideas on the one subject, though. Especially with a sentence that was pretty practical, I for sure thought I would be able to rattle off ideas like no tomorrow. It caught me off guard to get stuck at only 6 ideas.
WORKSHOP II: HUMAN PHOTOSHOP
I found this to be a very interesting and intricate workshop. I did my collage and instructions side-by-side, which took me a lot longer to do than I thought it would. I was unaware that we didn’t have to use all the images in the image packet, so the person that received my almost 50 instructions probably hates me.
The top picture is my own collage, followed by the recreation by a classmate. As you can see, the collages are almost similar. There are a few odd misplacements here and there, and I realize now that the instructions that I wrote out (that I thought were in-depth enough) needed to be clarified a bit more. If you read, some of the instructions really are quite in-depth. I think in the back of my mind I was assuring myself that the parts I didn’t clarify well enough were already clear. I guess what is clear to me might not be to someone else. Especially someone who isn’t able to look at the end product.
If anything, this workshop has taught me that there’s no such thing as too much clarity. Also, to never be afraid to ask for clarification, especially if this is a job or a school assignment.
Lastly, the third collage picture is my own attempt at recreating someone else’s collage. I knew it wasn’t asked to be included in the post, but I thought it was neat to see how different the two collages were.
WORKSHOP I: THINGS I CAN DO
My experience with Workshop I was a little different than most. I did not get the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas with everyone in the classroom, but I did do the exercise at home and have someone to compare “Things I Can Do” with. The top picture is my own list and in the bottom picture I’ve included my boyfriend’s list to show the comparisons I was able to make. For myself, the items that were most desirable to learn more about included the things that I had either never heard of or simply wanted to learn more about. For example, I know what Steam is (a program where you can download games and play them), but I have never physically used the program before. Where on the other hand, I have no idea what TS3 is and would like to inquire a bit more about it. Unfortunately, none of the items on the list were exactly surprising to me. Most items I either knew how to do, or at least knew that they were able to be done. Lastly, some of the items I found to be weird or funny included those that were obvious. Those who own and operate a phone know how to work the basics of it. Making a call, sending a text, recording a video - they all seemed humorous to me to include them in a list of what I know how to do technologically.
EDIT: I’ve included another uploaded picture of my items that people have starred/taken an interest in.