Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chimera Photomontages

 This first image, in true mythological fashion, is a blending of ideas as much as physical traits. This being is known as the Eegull, and is the physical representation of the merging of suburban life and nature. As time passes, we see suburban areas slowly reclaimed by nature. This is especially evident in the South, where brush is often highly invasive. The Eegull gives us a glimpse of this via the obvious visual metaphor between flight and action sports like skating. The background is comprised of images I’ve taken in my own neighborhood. The skating figure is also an image I’ve taken, and was masked and enlarged to be the focus of the composition. The wings are eagle wings pulled from the internet, and were masked and recolored to appear more similar. I chose two different species of eagle wing to create visual weight that subtly reinforced the movement of the figure.
 This second piece was designed to be the antithesis of the first. This is Ceeb, the physical representation of the amalgam of digitally transmitted information that pervades our daily lives. There is an underlying irony surrounding the way the Internet simultaneously relieves and provokes the frustration of youth culture in a small town or suburban area. Ceeb reveals this to us through the concept of a glitch, as its visually aggressive nature perfectly mirrors this youth culture frustration. The background is an image of clouds reflected through a puddle of water that I heavily color corrected using the Curves option. The figure is Luma Keyed to reveal a heavily warped grid underneath. This figure is then duplicated multiple times, with those duplicates being recolored and warped. I then stack the images and draw outlines where I see fit.
The third and final piece is known as the Warbird, and is intended to be a world building piece in the narrative I created with the first two pieces. The Warbird draws its name from the visual gag of its existence. It is a metaphor for the pervasiveness of industrial war, an agent of death, and a vital piece on the chessboard of a corrupt king. This image is the least complex of the three and the only one to be made solely of images collected from the Internet. With the background I inverted the colors on an image of clouds to create a more aggressive mood. To create the hatch in the birds stomach, I masked out a part of the stomach and reshaped it. I then used simple masking and resizing to create the illusion of depth in the bombs and motion in the Warbird.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Response to Philip Gefter's Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor

Alexander Adcock

Professor Asmuth


13 September 2017

A Response to Philip Gefters Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor

The objective of photography has always been the capturing of a natural moment. However, human nature leans towards the desire for perfection. Photos were often recreated or staged multiple times, with slight variation brought to each take. Over time, photography has progressed from wet and dark room practices to digital practices, bringing with it a litany of possibilities for perfecting photographs. The speed at which digital photography can be taken, and capacity for the quantity of photos that can be taken drastically affects the way candid photography and photojournalism can keep up with the spontaneity of a moment. Digital photography has also brought along an array of tools to edit and rework photography, allowing undesirable parts of an image to be changed. Coloring can even be changed to rewrite the mood of a photograph. These changes bring with them a possible solution to a feeling of untruthfulness that oftentimes lingered on these images, as is expressed in Philip Gefter’s essay, Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor.

                Gefter’s essay implies that the essential difference between wet and dark room photography and digital photography is the ability to edit or retouch photographs. Whereas in the past photographs were often staged to capture the essence of that moment, digital processes bring about the ability capture moments in seconds and then correct the imperfections after-the-fact. Before, many photographs were given multiple takes or even had posed actors who were hired for the shoot. Gefter debates whether or not these recreations hold the same meaning and cultural importance as the events they depict.  Gefter presents many notable examples, like Robert Doisneau’s “Le Baiser do l’Hotel de Ville” or the iconic image of Rosa Parks riding a city bus. In Doisneau’s image, the two lovers are actually paid actors and students from a nearby acting school. Despite the fact that this image is entirely staged, it serves as a symbol of romantic love in Paris. Even the famous image of civil rights leader Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat was not exactly as it seems, that image was taken over a year after the incident actually took place. Who could argue the weight and meaning that image holds, or the significance it held during the heaviest era of civil rights activism. The gradual transition into digital media shows us the truth in Gefter’s assumption, with digital processes significantly increasing the number of ways an image can be altered the need to capture the perfect image through staging in the moment is reduced. But along with this progression comes an unforeseen benefit, the ability to capture images in seconds. Digital photography allows us to take exponentially more photos in a fraction of the time it takes to capture an image on film, further reducing the need to stage images.

                In Philip Gefter’s essay, Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor, he discusses the importance of an image in context to the moments leading up to its creation.  He feels that staging an image doesn’t reduce the meaning or significance of an image, but rather creates a stronger, idealized metaphor about the subject matter. Contemporary digital photography has given photographers the tools to push that concept even farther, replacing outdated methods of photography and helping mankind step towards photographic perfection.

Photomontage Chimera Ideas

For my Photomontage project, I plan on compositing many images of a personal friend of mine, using various body parts and facial features to create new creatures and forms of a spectral quality. This project will focus largely on the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry.  

Week 1 Photomontages

New Media Art Response

New Media Art is an umbrella term used to describe artwork that focuses primarily on electronic medium and the transfer of information. Mark Tribe’s New Media Art describes it as “projects that make use of emerging media technologies and are concerned with the cultural, political, and aesthetic possibilities of these tools.” This means that as time passes and new technologies emerge the nature of this genre of art changes. Even though New Media Art serves as the next permutation, or even evolution of artistic expression, it holds strong roots in the traditional format. It draws on the ideals of the artistic movements that came before it.
                New Media Art can trace its ideals and principles back as far as the Dada movement, where post-war artists shifted the focus of their medium in response to what they considered to be the immoral practices of the rich. It even incorporates many of the artistic practices of the time. New Media art isn’t only restrained to video and graphic design, it can extend its reach into physical media like sculptural instillation and performance art. The twist to this that oftentimes defines it as New Media Art is the interaction between art and user, with the focus of the work being the way we interact with these new technologies and their impact on society.