Monthly Archives: November 2009

Local Event: Prospectives.09

UNR is hosting what sound like a very exciting three-day festival of digital artworks, starting this Thursday, Nov. 12. Events include a symposium, an exhibit at the Sheppard gallery, a projection at the Fleischmann Planetarium, and performances at the Nevada Museum of Art.

As the blurb has it:

Prospectives.09 is an international festival showcasing the work of graduate and Phd candidates working across a diverse spectrum of digital arts practice. The festival showcases the work of 37 artists and performers from throughout the United States and internationally (including artists from Australia, United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Chile, Sweden and Portugal).

The main link is here:

And even if you can’t make any of the local events, they’re hosting some net art as well, which you can experience from the comfort of whatever seat you happen to be sitting in right now. The direct link for that is:

Double Your Youtube Pleasure

Evidently this has been around for a while, but I just recently came across the Youtube Doubler, created by the artist Brian Kane. He’s also behind HDADD. The doubler lets you display two youtube videos simultaneously, side-by-side. So you can go in for a bit of tandem juxtaposition. Here are the first three mashups I came up with (I could’ve embedded them, but they’d all play simultaneously, so instead I took some screenshots to give a taste for what’s on the other side of the links):

I’m Captain Chipmunk!

Abbey Lincoln Doesn’t Fit in a Rolodex

Solid Potato Facial Exercises

Pictures at a Junior Portfolio Review: Fall 09

A partial list of topics broached:

The environmental impact of an artist’s paper trail
The power of shoes as a stereotyping tool
The reluctance to go full shaman
The pathos of sleeping on a couch
Artful trespassing
The will to be alive vs. “the desert”
The communal essence of bowls
Daydreaming about riding a mountain bike while in class
Sarcasm as a defense against the vicissitudes of life

Here are some links to more photos/video of the Review. I’ll add to the list if more becomes available:

SNC/FA Facebook Photos
Marco Ciafarone’s photos
Lani Pollack’s video of her piece (while Hale does his spiel in the background)

Late Ghosts

This would’ve been perfect for a Halloween post, but ectoplasm doesn’t have an expiration date, so November will have to do.

As I mentioned in a previous post about Russell’s show at St. Mary’s Art Center, the venue has quite a few ghost stories attached to it. Jenna took pictures of a few hauntings the night of the reception, which just recently came to my notice. I have a feeling she was more Paranormal Instigator than Paranormal Investigator, but then, I’m kinda jaded.

Learn more!

Hi friends—since we are in the middle of advising week, here is a description of the two Art History electives I am offering in the Spring. Email me if you have more questions!

ARTH 302, Survey of Modern Art (MW, 4-5:15)

This is a visual history class that covers 20th century art, which includes Impressionism, Surrealism, Cubism, and well-known artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Jackson Pollack, and Andy Warhol. It is a great way to learn about 20th century history and become more culturally literate. Students will take three tests, write two short (5-6 page) papers, and read approx. 40 pages per week.

ARTH 480, Special Topics: American Modernism (TTh, 1-2:15)

This seminar focuses on a small group of American Artists in New York City in the 1920’s, ‘30’s, and early ‘40’s. We will discuss the rise of early Photography (Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams) the beginnings of Abstraction (Kandinsky, Duchamp, O’Keeffe), the crucial Armory Show of 1913, and the concept of the Avant-garde in America. As a focused seminar, we’ll read writing from the time period by these artists and their critics as well as texts written by modern scholars about their artwork. Students will take three tests, write two short (5-6 page) papers, and read approx. 60 pages per week. This class is not suggested for Freshmen.

Love, Erika

R.I.P Nest…

(Student blogger first post woohoo!)

Some of you may have wandered by the creek recently to see that the nest is gone! Russell was first to report that the nest had disappeared early last week and the word from some ceramics students is that they saw IVGID trucks behind the art building monday afternoon. Obviously IVGID does not approve of organized wood piles because there are many other random piles of wood in the area that were not removed. The nest lived there for about a year before its disappearance. The nests intended purpose was to provide a space for people to meditate, achieve clarity and take a break from mental disruptions or possibly feel what needed to be felt or forgotten about. I am definitely disappointed that the nest was removed mostly because I do not understand a good reason to do so, but am happy I recently used it again for another New Genres project in which I collaborated with Kristin and her dancer Terryn to do a performance piece.

Cody Garcia mours the loss of and contemplates the disappearance of the Nest…

Before and after…

Nevada Temptation

The first issue of the Silverland Almanac has a short essay called Art: West, by Jennifer Bethke. Here’s a brief quote:

As Europeans began arriving in North America, they encountered a place that seemed to them empty and untouched, and as such entirely devoid of history. In the 1700 and 1800s, this condition was an ongoing source of anxiety, as America tried to establish a sense of culture and nationhood. But when it came to the West, this misconception that the land was virgin, unwritten, and totally without historical associations, was often turned into a liberating, positive value: the West appeared to be the proverbial blank slate, onto which all sorts of desires could be written.

Becca was taken by this essay, and it was a short jump from the blank slate hungry for written desires, to the historical romance novels set in the West. On the covers, those transcribed desires vault the written word and go directly for the oilpaint eyeball splash, slapping torrid torsos and heaving cleavages directly onto the purple mountains majesty.

It’s funny but not altogether inappropriate that Becca, a Vermont transplant, is finally coming to terms with the wide expansive Nevada skies through thriftstore reconnaissance. She’s screwed several romance novels to the walls, secured either like taxidermy or windowshopper eyecandy behind plates of plexiglass, in the stairwell at David Hall. She had to point out to me that she paired the books together in such a way that the landscapes are continuous between the paired books. This doesn’t seem to have been a plan — the books have different cover artists — it’s more likely that those backgrounds share a kind of shorthand lingua franca, whose syllables are composed of waterfalls, treelines, and lakeshores, as inevitable in their appearance as snow on Mount Rose.

I like the idea that, if you were patient enough in your thriftstore excavations, you could probably form one endlessly continuous landscape, bridging dozens of books in a 360-degree panorama, a circular terrain populated by a crowd of couples, each so focused in their particular ecstacy, they remain oblivious to the half-naked pioneer damsels and renegade Indians just a few paces to their left.

Becca’s written a bit about the romance novels on her blog.

ETEK L.A. Trip, 2009: Day 3

On day three, Big Machine Design was the first studio. You can actually see footage of their studio in their reel (except in real life, there are fewer flying robots cluttering the air). They’ve specialized in making the openings for TV shows for a while, though they’ve also branched out into commercial work, and game-related media. They’ve been more interested in commercials lately, just because there’s a bit more leeway for storytelling there. While TV show intros traditionally do the work of setting the stage for what’s to come, the industry has been whittling them down to 15 seconds and shorter. By comparison, the 30 seconds of an ad seem luxurious.

In the bottom pic is Watson, their current “mascot,” who was a little too happy to see us.

After that, we visited Spectral Motion, which creates practical effects for films and commercials. They were up for an academy award last year, for their work on Hellboy 2. You can see, in the second pic below, the incredible attention to detail that goes into their work — they’re perfectionists down to the wrinkles, the pores, the follicles. It’s great to see the effectiveness of “old school” techniques derived from puppetry, sculpture, and general sleight-of-hand applied to high-tech special effects, where the predominance of CGI can often leave the fantastical feeling disappointingly weightless.

Then we hit Zoic Studios, which specializes in effects for TV. Our guide, Brooke, explained the various specialties that the major special effects houses are known for. Rhythm & Hues is know for character animation and animated animals, Digital Domain is known for atmosphere and weather, and Zoic is known for spaceships and explosions. “You know, we’ve blown up so much stuff on Battlestar Galactica…”

They recently hired Syd Dutton (who we got to say “hi” to as we passed in the hallway), who’s something of a legend in special effects circles. He has a long history of making matte paintings for film and TV — the below still from the Buck Rogers TV show is an example of his work from the 80s.

The last stop of the day was 48 Windows, a sound studio run by Eric Garcia. He ran us through a breakdown of a mix he just finished for a Mucinex commercial. Eric was very open about the twisty route his career has taken, and the sorts of creative values he’s kept in sight in his professional life. He got into sound first as a musician, with the 80s band “The Nobodys.” When I got to the hotel, I actually dug up a couple of their videos on youtube — and they’re pretty terrific videos, especially the one for “No Guarantees.” In the second video, you can get a better look at Eric in his punk/new wave days, playing guitar within the walls of the Sagrada Familia.