Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lectures and Exhibition write up

Sarah Simpson   
ART 245 Prof. DeLappe
February 21, 2011
Lecture#1- Small Talk Big Ideas! Joseph DeLappe
The lecture given by Joseph DeLappe was very interesting. Professor DeLappe is an artist, educator and researcher within the department of Art at the University of Nevada. He is also in charge of the digital Media area within the art department. Professor DeLappe’s work, including new age media design, online gaming activities, electron mechanical installation and websites, has been shown throughout the United States and abroad. He has had the chance to work with many different people around the world. During the presentation he talked about his work dating back to 1983 and finished with his most recent projects to date.
Professor DeLappe’s presentation began with his experience with a computer mouse.  He attached a pencil to the mouse to trace the movement of the mouse while playing video games, working on campus, playing chess, etc. After experimenting with the computer mouse, he began to drill into the online video game realm by working on projects like work/play, quake/friends and his project called Dead-in-Iraq. Professor DeLappe also re-enacted all three nationally televised presidential debates between John Kerry and George Bush within an online game. One of the more interesting projects Professor DeLappe discussed was about his Gandhi experience in Second life. The presentation ended with his most recent project involving Hosni Mubarak for sale eBay post.
Joseph DeLappe’s lecture is changing the way art is viewed. Few would have thought that art could be so complex and meaningful. His projects are proving to be inspirational by drawing attention to aspects of art that many would have otherwise overlooked. Every project had its own meaning and purpose to the artist as well as the viewer. Much of society might not have considered DeLappe’s projects as art, but once the bigger picture is noticed, it is clear that all are immensely creative and original. To enter all the names of America’s military casualties into the recruiting game or recreating Gandhi within Second Life are two of the most incredible ideas in gaming and art. His reactions obtained from all his projects were the most interesting part. As in the recruitment game, DeLappe’s work mobilizes the masses and forces them to rethink what is happening around them. While some may criticize DeLappe, others realize the impact of his work; that it is not just a game; it is the reality of life. Similarly, DeLappe’s project on Gandhi was also very powerful and his giant handmade replicas of Gandhi have rightfully received the attention of people around the world.

Sarah Simpson   
ART 245 Prof. DeLappe
March 11, 2011

Lecture#2- Jeremy Stern: Placing Sound and Activity in the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery

            The lecture given by Jeremy Stern was very thought-provoking. He started by discussing some of his biggest influences when he was a child. He talked about Lucas Samaras and the mirrored room, Red Groom’s happenings, Sandy Skogland Fox work, Vito, and finally the comic store that he always went to when he was a kid. Some of the work completed by Stern began with his Half Baked comic series when he was in college and his drawing of New York parks. One of his creations that he described was his work using office supplies and his pushpin piece. Most of his work reflected his life and identity in some small way. For instance, his drawings including the map of the US, the mapped shovel, and the trimmed fat project were all personally related to him. His latest project was the most interesting. It reflected his experiences while living in Reno by combining music/sound with traditional art. His art work combined the sounds of driving around Reno with a map of the school. When you walked through the exhibit you heard each sound in a different quadrant. He also used a form of crowd sourcing to paint some of the walls black within the art building.

Sarah Simpson

Art exhibition: Leo Villareal- Animating light
    The Nevada Museum of Art was a great experience and all the work presented within this exhibit were wonderful. The architecture itself was fascinating. All the artist presented, including Leo Villareal, Ansel Adams, Jacob Hashimoto, and Timothy J. Clark were equally talented.
The first art installation encountered was called “Firmament”. This space was well constructed and very interesting. However, the patterns that the lighting created was a bit overwhelming. An interesting aspect about this work was that this piece of artwork made the viewer look up instead of on the walls. It also was interesting how there were relaxing chairs within the space but the lights contradicted it by making it chaotic. It felt as though the viewer was in the middle of a disco party or rave because of how the lights were moving.
The space created by Leo Villareal gave a sense of dizziness that bombarded the viewer at first; there were too many colorful lights all moving in structured patterns, in different directions, and within different pieces. They all seemed to be made of the same kind of lighting, either LED’s or incandescent light bulbs. Each piece had its own special custom made software system and electrical hardware. One of the plaques providing information on the artwork revealed that Leo Villareall’s light sculpture can be compared to a digital campfire. This campfire concept made a lot of sense; all the colors represented the various colors of fire. Another interesting aspect to this exhibit was the rhythmic movement within the piece and how it all seemed to be forming in a pattern. The movement within some of the exhibits were intense compared to other pieces that were slow and soothing. Two installations within the space really stood out: Sunburst and Diamond Sea. Both of these artworks are completely different but Sunburst had very powerful movements and a strong representation of the Sun. Diamond Sea was interesting for the simple fact that it gave the viewer a sense that you were actually apart of the artwork because of its mirrors. Diamond Sea also represented a map of the world. By placing mirrors within this space, it drew comparisons to the viewer as an integral part of the planet.

Final Paper Assignment

Sarah Simpson
Art 245
Final Paper

Art is defined as the creation of beautiful or significant things; it is making something out of nothing; it is someones expression; it is lived and witnessed throughout the world (Google Define). Within the world of digital media, artists all possess innovative talents. These new and exciting technological approaches to art differ vastly from one another but are equally fascinating. The book called, Art in the Electronic Age, by Margot Lovejoy talks extensively about the increased potential of the interactive art possibilities and the use of technologies. With the Internet, CD-ROM’s, as well as the potential for artists to create their own software and hardware, the possibilities are endless (Lovejoy, 282). New software and hardware programs are allowing the artist to receive feedback from a person’s actions, voice, input, as well as touch and gestures (Lovejoy, 199). Artists can now create a space where a participant can obtain an infinite number of responses from a particular piece of interactive art.  

Throughout the book, Lovejoy also talks about how these interactions can result in loss of control and how an artist’s intention can become diluted. With little control the audience can change and alter the meaning and desired outcomes of the artwork (Lovejoy, 199). In this revealing and art-rich period, questions arise about the role of the artist’s and the function of art. Although new technology art has many dangers, it has provided endless possibilities and great new artwork that reflects the 20th century at large. Some good examples of this kind of artwork include: Ken Rinaldo’s “Autopoiesis”, and David Rokeby's “The Giver of Names”

The first interactive installation example is by Ken Rinaldo called “Autopoiesis”.  This particular piece interacts with groups of participants within a gallery space. Within this space, Rinaldo introduces the concept of self-making or self-interaction (Wikipedia).  The gallery space was commissioned in 2000 and consists of fifteen robotic sound sculptures. These machine-like sculptures interact to the presence of visitors as well as each other. Rinaldo’s machines learn and understand each other’s presence, and communicate with each other through a computer network and audible telephone tones. Rinaldo expanded on the idea of the machines interacting with humans by adding a self-realizing component where the individual mechanical limbs work and seemingly communicate with each other. Rinaldo’s limbs do this by communicating with each other through a hard-wired network. The computer system ultimately creates a musical language for the group of machine limbs (Rinaldo). Not only do the set of fifteen limbs communicate verbally, they also physically communicate by bending towards one another. Furthermore, they are capable of organizing waves and other interesting group movements. By adding individual computer controls onto each machine, they seem as if they are real creatures. When left alone the machines still talk to one another as if they were alive. Another interesting aspect to this project is that the limbs can also operate individually. The “randomizers” within each machine allow them to continually change and automatically remake themselves. They also allow the machines to form a group consciousness, where what is said by one, effects what is said by the others. The randomizers are also used to give the viewer a sense of emotional state, where the machines use higher tones to portray fear and lower tones with relaxation and play (Rinaldo). As visitors walk up to the machines they will bend to greet them. Infrared sensors alert them of participant’s presence and more sensors on the tip keep them from hitting a viewer, or one another. The piece can become quite chaotic and at times overwhelming. This piece of work reflects Lovejoy’s idea of the new technology and the dangers relating to the work. This installation was done so well that Rinaldo’s computer system gives him complete control over the machines while still allowing the viewer to experience free will and endless possibilities.

David Rokeby's “The Giver of Names”, commissioned in 1998, is another piece which focuses on the interaction of humans in an electronic environment (Wikipedia). Like Rinaldo’s, “Autopoiesis”, it is an electronic art installation which interacts with participants. With this particular artificial intelligence simulation, the audience is asked to interact with a small video projection, a pedestal, and a large amount of assorted objects on the floor of the gallery space (Rokeby). The participant is given directions to place any combination of the objects on the pedestal. As they place their chosen objects on the pedestal it then triggers the computer program to generate a series of sentence’s based on the objects’ shapes, colors, texture and proximity to the other objects. As the computer system tries to make sense of the objects, they are transitioned into even more abstract objects (Rokeby). The sentence is then transmitted onto the computer screen and read aloud. Within the space that Rokeby created he also creates an entirely new layer of interaction called self-interaction. There are enough combinations of objects and words generated by the computer to give the participant the impression that it is up to them to create the sentences. The artist’s intent was to change the viewer’s preconceptions of the objects and enable them to draw separate conclusions. He intended to draw the assumption between perception and language and show the way language inhibits our ability to see. Since the computer system tied with this exhibit has never experienced the world as we know it, it produces its own assumptions of the objects. Although the participant is given the illusion that they are in control, the artist has limited the computers vocabulary to 100,000 words and the constraint of making grammatical sense, thus limiting the possibilities of the sentences created (Rokeby). This interactive installation reflects Lovejoy’s idea of how the artist’s intent is not always fulfilled. As Rokeby is looking for open-mindedness in the audience’s interpretation, he also has an overall meaning of his work (Lovejoy, 282). By making the constraints so large, his participants ultimately do have free will to make assumptions and may not interrupt his gallery space as he indented. While this particular piece of work could be deemed risky because of its use of technology and the freedom the viewer has, it still provides control, meaning, and a unique experience that art has yet to define.

The artists previously mentioned all used various methods to create successful interactive installations that provide the illusion of endless possibilities. Within these artworks, the viewer is intended to create their own interruptions even thought this method of art is controversial. Although they both were risky projects to endure, both artists proved to be successful. Both installations vary in many different ways but they also possess many similarities. Ken Rinaldo’s “Autopoiesis” meaning “self-making”, summarizes both projects; Rinaldo’s work highlights key concepts within Rokeby’s installation of the “Giver of Names”, while elaborating on the element of mechanical self-realization, whereas Rokeby introduces and focuses more on self-interaction (Rinaldos). Within both works each artist gives the viewer the sense of control and provides a gallery space where they have to interact to get results. They both use new technology art installation and computer generated software systems.

There are differences too, however. Unlike the “Giver of Names”, “Autopoiesis” has less of an overall meaning or a specific intent. Rinaldo’s work is primarily constructed because of his fascination between living and evolving technological material and his intent for this project is just that (Rinaldo). Although Rinaldo’s Autopoiesis is very controlled, it’s less controllable because of the fact that it heavily relies on the participants input. While the “Giver of Names” needs a participant to operate, once it obtains its interactive viewer, it has more control because of its given constraints described above. Also we should take into account that the “Giver of Names” was created much earlier in time than “Autopoiesis”. The computer system is much more limited in its interaction and therefore is far less intelligent.  Another difference between these two projects is the type of interactions they make. Although both interactions engaged a variety of the viewer’s senses, the “Giver of Names” has a more physical interaction. The participant has to physically place items on the pedestal, whereas the “Autopoiesis” is more verbal because of the communicative exchange between the participant and the machine.

Interactive installations are a unique new form of art, presenting audiences with a new way to both see and experience an artist’s ideas as well as a new way to visualize and interact with technology. Throughout the book, Lovejoy discusses this new type of art. Rokeby and Rinaldo are just two of the many fascinating artist using technology in their work. Both these artists engaged the audience by creating a new outlook for the world of art. They both take risks when creating such art. Some intent may be lost within the experience but by creating endless possibilities within their artwork they should come to expect such an outcome. Giving the audience the opportunity to interact with machines, electric devices and tools that are used daily, these artists allowed the audience to engage these machines in a new way, one which reminds the audience of the constant connection between humankind and technology.

Works Cited

Lovejoy, M. (2004). Digital Currents: art in the electronic age.

Rinaldo, K. (2000). Autopoiesis: Artificial life robotic sculpture installation . Retrieved from

Rinaldo, K. (2000). Emergent Systems. Retrieved from

Rokeby, D. (2004). The Giver of Names Project. Retrieved from

Rokeby, D. (n.d.). The Giver of Names . Retrieved from 2010:

Wikipedia. (2010). David Rokbey. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2011). Ken Rinaldo. Retrieved from


The two crowdsourcing projects I decided to participate in were SwarmSketch, and the One Million Masterpiece.  

Within SwarmSketch, I drew many different lines every day for a week. By drawing lines I contributed to the creation of Moussa Koussa and the 2nd Amendment. Although everyone should know what the 2nd amendment is, Moussa Koussa is less familiar. Moussa Koussa is a
Libyan political figure and diplomat who served in the Libyan government as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He served from March 2009 until the 2011 Libyan civil war when he resigned his position from the Gaddafi regime on 30 March 2011. I had a lot of fun with both of these drawing. I liked the fact that you were able to vote on each line. This allowed me to become meticulously engaged in the drawings detail- something that I would have not noticed otherwise. The drawings that were created from this crowdsourcing site are presented below.
The One Million Masterpiece is such a fun crowdsourcing site. I created three different “master pieces” on this site and uploaded them to my profile. I had difficulty learning how to use the tools to create a piece, but once I got the hang of things, it was really quite fun. The first piece I created was a picture of a landscape: trees, flowers and the sky. I wanted to create something by using circles, therefore, besides the flower stems, everything is created from circular motions. The next piece I created was an Easter basket that reflected the theme of the season. The third piece I created on this site is by far my favorite. I drew two martini glasses; they are relaxed, fun and colorful. The one thing I love about this site is that it creates a video of the creation of your artwork. I watched other people’s videos and found several amazing pieces of work. Below are my videos created on The One Million Masterpiece website.
Click on the Link to view my videos:

Crowd-Sourcing Project

Crowd Sourcing project:
If I were to make a crowdsourcing project I would focus the idea around scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is an expensive and time consuming project. It involves being able to have enough space, materials, and money to finance the projects. Although the idea of creating a scrapbook may sound simple, it actual take a great deal of creativeness, thought and design. Besides the pictures you need to create the scrapbook and you also need a great design. Being a full time student and having a demanding job, it is hard to find the time to get the pictures I want to scrapbook, come up with a design or layout, then finally build the scrapbook; not to mention the mess it can be and the time it takes to clean up and put things away. I know other people feel the same way.  
So for my crowdsourcing project I would create a space where people could contribute to page layout designs for different geographical locations and different events. All the contributors would collaborate to create one- to as many designs as they want and upload them to the Internet.  As each layout gets completed by the group of individuals that helped create the page, it would get placed into an online scrapbook. When the scrapbook is deemed complete, the viewer would be looking at pages created by people all over the world and each of the pictures for that specific event, like Easter Sunday, for example. Essentially the contributors would be adding ribbon, boarders, pictures, cutouts, etc. By allowing everyone to take part in the creation of this layout it will allow the world to have its own scrapbook with unique pictures and memories. This project would also allow the participant to use other peoples design by simply printing the design or recreating it with their own materials. If the participant chooses to print the design (for free), it not only eliminates most of the costs of scrapbooking, but also cuts back on the time because the design is being made by millions of people around the world instead of just one. Essentially this can be done to create invitations, collages, slideshows, and other projects as people see fit.
Another unique experience is the ability to create projects that can be completed for private groups. Say, after a wedding the bride wants a scrapbook so family and friends can log on to the website and contribute to the wedding scrapbook. By allowing a private collaboration view, the end result would just be pictures of that persons wedding or event rather than anyone in the world. Another example of this crowdsourcing project includes the celebration of Easter Sunday. Here, everyone could log on to the website and begin to create a page layout that represents their experience on Easter Sunday. The website would rotate through many different locations and events while placing them in their own scrapbook for viewing and for everyone to use. Here is what the home page would look like:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chapter 5 Questions

1.      What are some of the major problems in computer graphics according to Lovejoy? Do you believe with today’s technology and computer programs that we can truly represent reality or is it too complex for our technology?
2.      The latest generations of computers and software have made music and sound extremely easy to record, create, produce and edit. Using sound in the art world has changed the way art is constructed and formed. Do you believe that sound would have had the same effect on traditional art as it does with work constructed today?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

YouTube Video Mixer!

Here is my Link to the YouTube Video Mixer-

This project was by far my favorite. I have so fun finding all the videos and being able to select a topic I care about. Trying to find the right video’s with good sound and pictures was harder than I expected.  I enjoyed being able to work with Dreamweaver and the code of creating websites. The YouTube Video mixer I created was about the ocean. I wanted to create a space were the view felt they were actually at the ocean. I placed the large video in the center to portray my message of how important the oceans are and how we need to take care of everything inside and around them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Video Art- Recreation of FILE by Cheryl Donegan

My interpretation of this film was based on the idea of consumer spending and buying habits and how their habits are affecting other aspects of their lives such as family. Within this video recreation I wanted the viewer to feel a sense of dizziness and confusion about the overall message. The chaos within the video is a representation of the lifestyle that consumers lead. Instead of a person being grounded and consuming their real life, they live through materialistic products and put a greater emphasis on unnecessary purchases. The video is showing the affects that modernization is creating on the natural world.  Our generation is the sum of our current achievement; we have built more than all previous generations together, but somehow we do not register on the same scale. The images and movements within the film portray a sense of “junkspace” creating randomness without a true balance.  The music playing throughout the film compliments the underlying theme of disorientation.
Link to original video: