Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This piece is my ode to digital ice cream media. 
The intent was to find 20 different you tube videos and display them running concurrently.
I thought it would be fun to pick a singular theme and go with it.
My favorite theme to work with is ice cream because
Ice cream is always happy.
So I found several different videos about ice cream that had a wide range in variety.
Some of the ice cream videos include:
A play dough ice cream commercial for kids.
A Japanese fetish anime cartoon.
A Family Guy episode with cranky Peter Griffin.
A sexy music video.
A cooking show, showing how to make ice cream .
A happy baby eating ice cream.
A real time motion lapse of ice cream melting.
A hershey's chocolate sundae commercial.
A Bert and Ernie clip.
I wanted a crazy display of all things ice cream related to literally assault the viewer experiencing it.
But I wanted it to be happy.

In reality I should have listened to the sound behind the videos.  I didn't do that, or even think about the sound.  When I put the whole thing together I completely forgot about sound and solely concentrated on the visual.  BIG MISTAKE!!!!
What really happens is a visual ice cream assault on the viewer, and when the sound is turned on the whole experience becomes a kind of totally scary one!!!!
The scary comes mainly from the first ice cream video, and Buckwheat Boyz ice cream and cake video.  The sound from the two alone kind of overbear all the other, happier videos.  The piece still works because of the chaos, it just works with a completely different tone, and way differently than I had originally expected it to.
Either way I learned a lot, and the assignment was tons of fun.  I would love to do the whole thing again, and I would still do it all with an ice cream theme!!!  :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Frustrated Finals

     For my final projects I decided to choose four different communal group works to participate in.  This is a summary of each work and my thoughts on their conception and success.
     The first work I participated in was from the site, the Collected Visions project.  I picked a family photograph to submit to the site as well as a statement to follow the picture.  The piece is entitled Here Comes the Bride, and documents my personal "out of body" experience as I walked down the isle on my wedding day.  This day was supposed to be the biggest day of my life.  The day I had dreamed about since childhood.  Every moment in my life had led to this exact moment and somehow, the moment came and passed like a dream, a dream I can hardly remember.  
     Submitting the work came to be a problem since the sight seems to be under construction or work of some kind and submissions are not being taken.  The piece was still a lot of fun to do though and I am glad I worked on it even though it didn't become a piece of group art.
     So the next project I decided to take part in was the Johnny Cash project  This project was quite a lot of fun.  I made a piece of artwork on frame #625.  It took me a bit to get used to the controls, especially because I was working on a PC and not a MAC ( total MAC person)!!!  The piece turned out to be kind of abstract and even a bit pop in a way.  I worked with brush size, and mixing the white and dark in patterned way.  I still haven't heard whether or not my work was approved for the project but I did receive confirmation that the work had been successfully submitted.  Really cool to think that my piece is could be a part of ongoing work celebrating Johnny Cash and his life.
     Speaking of celebration this leads into the third work I decided to try to participate in, the Iraqi Memorial project  This project was the most personal for me.  I lost my father in 1994 and I went back and forth deciding whether or not to submit this idea I had.  Memorials are a serious thing and I was so afraid I shouldn't enter for fear that my idea would be stupid or disrespectful or just flat out rejected.  But this is a final so I decided to push myself and go in there and submit my idea anyways because at least it would be mine and a piece of me, and a piece of someone I had lost.  So my memorial idea is a celebratory idea as well as a fundraiser for those less fortunate.  I call the concept A Scoop to Remember.  The concept comes from the memories I have of my father, my family and myself sharing ice cream together.  Whenever I have ice cream I am nostalgic about the past and all of those simple happy times I shared with my father and ice cream.  I thought it would be fun to have a national memorial on National Ice Cream Day (held the third Sunday in July).  Families of loved ones lost in America could come together in remembrance and order a scoop of their loved ones favorite flavor at participating creameries.  Then all proceeds made from the scoops sold would go to help the families of innocent Iraqi civilians that have also been affected and devastated by the war over in Iraq.  The concept would be a gesture, a remembrance, and a memorialized fundraiser that would function to encourage the mission statement and guidelines that the memorial project suggests. 
     I put a great deal of thought into this particular project and kind of put my heart out there.  I ended up wishing that I hadn't.  I was under the impression that the project didn't have any restrictions and that all submissions as long as they followed the guidelines of the project were supposed to be welcomed no matter whether they were tangible or conceptual.  I made a mistake and only submitted my concept, and my concept was rejected.  I know that my idea was small but it was just an idea, a part of me.  One I spent a great deal of time formulating.  I needed to have spent more time actually creating and selling the concept visually by using the tools I have learned throughout the class to really make my concept sellable.  But the project and my idea was unsuccessful because my idea was rejected because it wasn't good enough.  I just hope I didn't offend anybody by putting my stupid idea out there, I guess I just didn't get it.  I wish I would have put more time into this project instead of working on all those other projects that in the end weren't workable projects anymore, but I didn't know that until after I had spent all the time making them.
     The last project I decided to participate in was the Learning to Love You More project  I decided to participate in #65, performing the phone call you wish you could have.  I wrote the piece and entitled it A Phone Call to the Mother I Have Never Met.  This piece is an outlined phone call of the conversation I have never had with my biological mother.  I was adopted and have always imagined what that phone call would be like.  I have never made that call, and I do not know her.  I imagined what it would be like to finally ask those questions out loud.  And so I asked them out loud.  I spoke about finally knowing where I come from, and knowing who I come from.  Would I be rejected, would she want to be my friend?  Was I loved so much that I was given up to have something better, a better life, a life that she knew she couldn't give me?  Was I hated?  Was I an embarrassment?  Was I given up because I was a horrible, terrible mistake?  Would she be happy to answer that call, or would she hang up?  I have never had enough nerve to ever find out, but I like to think that she loved me so much that she performed the most selfless act of her life and gave me up for something better.  I wonder if she ever thinks of me, or wonders who I am and who I have become?  Someday I might call her, and thank her and really ask her all of these questions that I've always had.
     When I went to submit the recording of the phone call, I found that the project was no longer taking submissions.  I felt a little disappointed because I think it would have been a good one.  I guess this was also an unsuccessful project.
     My final project ended up, on a whole being fairly unsuccessful.  I felt my heart was in the right place, and that conceptually I had put quite a lot into four of the six projects offered for our final.  Realistically, other than the Johnny Cash project, none of them really came to fruition or were participatory in any way.  Perhaps I should have focused on one and done that one really well.  Maybe I am too afraid of what being an artist really means.  It means working with mediums that are new and unfamiliar, working with people you don't know, and putting your soul out there for everyone to see and judge, whether they like you or not, whether they understand your work or not, and not caring because your work is yours and for yourself anyways.  This class has pushed me in so so many ways and I am really proud of what I have accomplished.  I learned so many new things and finished so many projects that I was scared of at first, but ended up being really proud of.  This class has changed me and though I know I am not meant to be an artist, I am proud of how far I have come.  I realize also that even though I tried four different projects for the final, I failed dismally in fulfilling the final project guidelines.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Music is a Question with no Answers

     The extreme animals performance began with Jacob Ciocci reviewing some of his favorite moments of 2010 on youtube, in order to better understand the essence of 2010.  Some of his favorite 2010 youtube moments include videos from the noieemsshow, Lady Gaga, Eminem, crying Justin Bieber fan, and Sun Chips.  Then Jacob introduced the beach ball earth, the green hand, the death skull, Taz, and the other member of the Extreme Animals, David Wightman.  Jacob described the era of 2010 as, "an era of confusion and new intensity."
     The first song and video montage called, Question of the Ages, played for about ten minutes.  The montage included several moments of television shows from the 70's and 80's.  The second song and montage was longer and was called, Fortress of Amplitude.  The song and montage had three parts and dealt with the process of deciding to do something, doing it, and then evaluating what you've done.  David played and sang along with the melancholic and techno sounds of the song while images of dry ice, desert, vampire orchestra, wind dolls and driving dog appeared in the background...over and over and over.  The whole montage was a bit unsuccessful, and a bit too long, in my opinion.  The point was seemingly two puzzled statements:  there is only one rule, there are no rules.
     I enjoyed most of the music and videos done by extreme animals.  The interaction between the group and Extreme Animals was amusing, but also really uncomfortable and awkward.  I feel the whole show would have been so much more professional and interesting had the focus been solely on their work and there message which seemed to be philosophical questions like: who are we, why are we here, and what are we doing?
     The end of the show included two shorter five minute songs and video montages that were pretty humorous and amusing, followed by an incredibly awkward project created by Jacob and involving Justin Bieber.
     I had two questions during the performance, that I never asked.  1.  What's with the costumes and how do they enhance your show?  2.  What is the meaning of the green hand?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Paho Mann | Projects

Paho Mann Projects: "North Gateway Transfer Station Public Art Project" (link to view his work)
     The Paho Mann lecture last night was packed!!  It all began with a short introduction, followed by a small examination and reveal of some of Paho's work given by Paho himself.  He began by showing slides of his medicine cabinet and junk drawer art, an intriguing project where Paho took pictures of medicine cabinets and junk drawers of friends, family and strangers throughout the states.  Paho described the project as an examination of individual human consumption, a voyeuristic collection of people's unconscious collection.  Paho described the pieces as a tension between sameness and difference.  Paho concluded that he was most surprised that the work ended up revealing to him, how similar consumption habits of all of his participants were, no matter geographic or economic in differences.
     Paho then showed his Circle K work.  Paho built upon his junk drawer work to examine the individualization of old Circle K buildings.  Paho described the project, as the other, almost like an experiment in exploration and comparison.   I found his systematic research to be borderline brilliant.  Paho merged old maps and phone books with new search engines to methodically map out old Circle K stores, new stores, empty stores and stores that are now new businesses.  I found the work to be less interesting than the process.  Paho described each piece as an examination of our environment moving towards homogenization.
     Paho's next work, and perhaps the most personal was the individual taxonomy and photograph of everything in his apartment, the totality being more than 4,000 pictures and items.  Paho described this part of his work as being an incredibly enlightening experience.  Paho described rather personally that taking inventory of his life in this sense, deeply revealed to him his own consumption habits in a way he never dreamed of understanding. He described this work as ever changing him in the thought process of his own consumption.  This work also began an interaction with computer data, filters, and society.  Paho made a database online of his work, so anyone could come and interact with it by sorting the items in his house by color, size, price, room, item...etc, in order to begin a kind of dialogue about cultural consumption.
     The last part of the lecture and show revealed the culmination of all of his work in his latest project.  Paho took six days at a recycling plant and took 1000's of pictures of recycled junk, put the pictures into another database and allowed the audience to interact with the junk by using different filters to separate it.  His work really reveals a growing interest in recognizing consumption and a growing need for recycling in the community.  I found the most interesting pieces to be the ones with grid overlays of plastic in different colors one over the other and repeated.  Paho and his work made for an incredibly intriguing lecture.
     I found Paho Mann's work to be brilliant and his methodology to be borderline OCD and genius at the same time.  I did have a chance to ask him a question.  I asked him if during the project of his collection of personal items in his home, if there was anything he didn't take a picture of, or anything he thought about throwing out, or not taking a picture for whatever personal reason.  He did respond that personal family photos and artwork in his home, were left out of the project.  I then made a quick personal inventory of my belongings in my head, and asked myself the same question.  The project really made me think about my own consumption habits and being more thoughtful about how and what I really need to buy.   Very, very interesting work, I am so glad that I went to the lecture!!!!      

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mark Tribe: Performance, Mediation and The Public Sphere

     Mark Tribe began his lecture with the notion that as human beings, we all practice a kind of unconscious self performance in order to reveal ourselves for ourselves.  This concept of self performance allowed Mark Tribe to questions different possibilities that show themselves in understanding performance within the public sphere.  Mark's lecture discussed his own journey and exploration of the dimensions of the social sphere:  performance, language, space, and visual.  His exploration and questions formed into different public and performance artwork.
     Mark's first piece showed the Carpark project in 1994, at Southwestern in San Diego, CA.  The project was a social experiment done in a day, where all of the cars in a parking lot were separated into color when the cars came in.  The project had been shown in the media news stations and broadcast over the evening news.  Not all participants were willing to follow the guidelines of the project (meaning not all that parked that day, participated in the project).  Visually the project was kind of interesting, seeing hundreds of cars parked by color.  The idea was also interesting, that most people who participated in the project, did so willingly just to go along with the idea.
     The next project Mark introduced in the lecture was the Rhizome project from 1996.  A website Mark described as a discursive place where people could share their ideas.  Back in the 90's the project was innovative, a kind of beginning of social networking and the arts.
     The next project discussed was very interesting conceptually and historically.  The project began with the questions about mediation and how performances are changed by mediation and time.  Mark restaged famous protest speeches of the past and reenacted them with actors, in the same public space that they were in long ago.  Coretta Scott King speech, Cesar Chaves speech, Stokely Carmichael, Paul Potter, Howard Zinn, Angela Davis, these are all famous people that protested long ago, that Tribe had redone to better try and understand nature by re fabricating history.  Mark described the project as a kind of historical vertigo that became eerily relevant for today, and yet not relevant all at the same time.  Mark also discussed different ways he exhibitioned the project and how actually being there as an audience was different than witnessing the concept in an exhibition or installation of the project elsewhere.  He described different installations as an illusion of space, and continued the illusion of space idea by introducing his next project the Dystopia files.
     The Dystopia Files in 2010 showed different protests focusing on protesters and media and police.  The project in some installations was shown on an empty wall with a door that opened into a room of locked file cabinets that held archives of different protests.  The project is about observing different reactions to the project while it is being shown.  Mark described the project as an exposure and exlusion.  He discussed the installations as a kind of weird inverted camera obscura participation experiment that selectively reveals and conceals.  The concept was very interesting, but the installation seemed a bit confusing.
     Mark Tribe has some incredibly interesting concepts, questions, and ideas.  I found his work interesting but a bit unfulfilled.  I wanted him to talk more about outcomes and personal growth within each concept and project.  The themes of his work are left unanswered and undone somehow.  I found myself wondering throughout the lecture...why?  I wanted all of his work to link together somehow and for me it just didn't seem to.  It will be interesting to see if he can take his work to a new level and combine it all together into something more.

Friday, November 19, 2010


   (images taken from

    David Rokeby and Marina Zurkow are two contemporary, multi media artists that work with interactive video installations in the world today.  My intentions are to analyze, interpret, compare and contrast David Rokeby's Watched and Measured, and Marina Zurkow's Pussy Weevil.  I will begin by analyzing each work individually and then compare the two works in relation to each other and in relation to the Digital Currents text.
     In 2000, David Rokeby was awarded the first BAFTA award for interactive art from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, for his surveillance installation, Watched and Measured (  Today, Watched and Measured is a permanent installation in the Welcome Wing at the London Science Museum in the UK.  A really great web page to view and experience the Watched and Measured installation is:     
                  (images taken from

     Watched and Measured is an installation of video surveillance systems that selectively surveils different individuals walking into the science museum.  The digitally processed real time images taken from the surveillance cameras are then projected onto three larger screens that can be observed and exhibited in a different part of the museum (  Rokeby designed the software in the piece to be selectively interested in different kinds of things about the human body moving through time and space(  The installation decides to investigate someone walking.  It then may decide to zoom in on it's person of interest, the piece watches it's subject and then reflects the subject, sometimes in a distorted way, onto three larger screens that can be watched by individuals in another part of the museum.  The piece sometimes offers single words seemingly measuring the person it has surveiled.  In an interview with Rokeby he described the piece as a "work that presents a series of people looking at being looked at, watching and being measured" (
    Rokeby designed the work to explore ethical questions about surveillance systems:  do they invade our privacy?  Do they help protect us?  The piece seems to be a kind of challenge celebrating technology and questioning it all at the same time.  The piece brings about different feelings and emotions in the people experiencing it.  The piece is disturbing, paranoid, voyeuristic, sexy, fetish ed, curious, seductive, safe, scared, distorted, raw, real and because of it's interactive nature the viewer experiencing it can feel all of these things about the piece, all at the same time or none of them at all.  The piece reveals the curiosity and pleasure that human beings have in privately and secretly watching others, while at the same time revealing the paranoid horror that they might have also have been watched.  Human beings cannot help but feel the paradox of the piece after they have experienced it, and that is the true genius of much of Rokeby's work.
     David Rokeby is an interactive sound and video installation artist based in Ontario, Canada (  Rokeby has been creating interactive installations since 1982 and has been a pioneer and inventor for digital interactive artwork in the world today (  Some of Rokeby's most famous work's are still being developed like: Very Nervous System, and The Giver of Names (  Rokeby and his work is noted in Chapter five of the Digital Currents text and will be more closely examined during the comparative and conclusory segments of the analysis.

(image taken from

Pussy Weevil was created in 2003 by Marina Zurkow with help from Julian Bleecker.  Pussy Weevil is an interactive installation piece consisting of a flat screen monitor that is embedded into a wall or pedestal.  The piece contains ultrasonic proximity sensors, microcontrollers and Macromedia Flash animations and ActionScript (   A really great demonstration of how Pussy Weevil works is on Marina Zurkow's webpage: Weevil is an interactive piece, a 2D animated character who reacts to the viewer's proximity depending on the viewer's distance from the actual installation.  Pussy Weevil has three different reaction zones:  close, near, and far away and Pussy Weevil reacts to the distance of the viewer in a number of different animated ways.  Pussy Weevil displays many different reactions to the viewer.  Sometimes he acts scared, and may hide from the viewer.  Sometimes he ignores the viewer.  Sometimes he mutates, splits, spits, grunts, or even sleeps.  Zurkow describes Pussy Weevil as a, "sorrowful genetic experiment that has as much sense as a dull, reactive house pet" (
     Marina Zurkow created Pussy Weevil during the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  Pussy Weevil is a parody of George Bush, and Zurkow describes the piece as Pussy Weevil, or how I learned to love the war (  Zurkow wanted the piece to be a kind of avatar of George Bush and of her own frustrations about that time in U.S. history.  During the time, the piece became innovative in questioning how digital characters can be affected by spacial interactions (  Now in 2010 we live in a world of digital pets, virtual reality gaming and social networking, the interactivity between the viewer and the Pussy Weevil installation came at a time when all of these digital possibilities were being conceptualized, created and tested.  It is the questioning of these concepts of interactivity that make the piece important for the time it was created.  
     Marina Zurkow is a multi media artist who works with character animations and creates narratives about humans and their relationships to plants, animals and weather (  Zurkow's work can be seen world wide, in different installations, on MTV, even on clothing for other designers.  She has recently been working with animations that are programed to simulate differently every playing instant.  Her work is part pop art, part whimsy, and part activist.  She always has a way of making a statement, in an understated, mesmerizing kind of way.  Zurkow is mentioned in chapter six of Digital Currents, and will be discussed more during the comparatory part of the essay.       
     Watched and Measured and Pussy Weevil have many similarities and differences.  Historically, they were both conceived in the early 2000's, originating both by multimedia artists that both specialize in interactive, digital works, much of the time.  Both works are interactive and well known throughout much of the world.  Zurkow and Rokeby are similar in that they are both pioneers for digital artwork.  They question the boundaries of computers, and what computers can do, what computers can think or in fact what computers can make us think about ourselves and about the world around us.  Zurkow and Rokeby have shown together during the Database Imaginary exhibition in 2005 at the Blackwood Gallery:
They have also exhibited together during the Artificial Stupidity/ Artificial Intelligence  project in August of 2002 (    
     Pussy Weevil, and Watched and Measured have many apparent differences.   They use different technological apparatus, format, style and size.  They are completely different aesthetically, conceptually and thematically in most ways.  Pussy Weevil is a piece that reacts to the viewer.  It's tone is both curious and desperate, and in many ways sad, although for the viewer, the intent causes humorous emotion and questions of how the piece works more importantly than why the piece is.  Watched and Measured is a far more complex work conceptually and technologically.  The piece resonates in a deeper part of the viewers mind and soul.  The piece questions the issue of surveillance, and privacy but at the same time raises the viewers voyeuristic instincts and curiosity, that most all human beings could not help but have, especially in this day and age where almost all media is somehow mixed with the mingling presence of "reality TV or reality networking".  Watched and Measured is real, it is actually happening and the viewer becomes a part of it, whether they want to or not.  Pussy Weevil is a kind of flirtation with interaction while Watched and Measured is a forced interaction. In experiencing Pussy Weevil the art reacts to the viewer, where as in experiencing Watched and Measured the viewer reacts to the art.
     In the text, Digital Currents, the computer is described as a dynamic interactive partner that responds to the viewer, and vise versa (chpt 5).  This changeable relationship between the viewer and art is described as a new kind of relationship that is no longer linear, but that has now become environmentally interactive.  This interactivity comes in the art world from artists like Marina Zurkow and David Rokeby, and from their works like Pussy Weevil and Watched and Measured.  Art used to be something to look at.  Now art is something to experience.  The text describes in Chapter five, the way that digital information has turned art into reality and not just imitation.   Digital Media has made art, in many ways not only more accessible but more of a production.  Sound, image, interactivity, these things deeply entwine the viewer, the artist and the work.  Participation and understanding of Digital works have forever changed the insight of the piece, and the insight of the viewer.  The function of art has changed along with the meaning, that is now something different depending on the level of interactivity and the level of interest and understanding that the viewer has to the artwork.  Artists like Rokeby and Zurkow, have pioneered not only new kinds of art, but also the concept of giving up control over their work, in order to adapt the art world and culture to the concept of the work having control over the viewer.  The meaning of the work is all about the exchange of control between the work and the viewer.  This adaptation is discussed throughout chapters five and six of the Digital Currents text.  The point of the text, and the point of learning about the history of art, is that making art is all about pushing the boundary of what we all believe art is to be.  Art is ever changing and learning about the past helps us to understand how we process art of today and conceive about art of tomorrow.
     In writing this essay, I had no idea who or what artwork I wanted to research and write about.  I took about a week and went through every artist in the text and blog links.  It was absolutely exciting to learn and view so many works out there that I wouldn't have known about before.  I found Marina Zurkow in my notes from class I only had her name with a star by it.  In googling her I discovered that I had starred her name on the day the teacher had shown her works in class.  My favorite works that I discovered of hers was her Slurb, Weights and Measures and Elixir series.  I also absolutely loved, loved, loved her Karaoke Ice project.  But when I discovered Pussy Weevil, there was something intriguing about him that I felt I could evaluate soundly in an analytical essay paper.  I new I simply had to have her work as one of the artists to discuss.  The other artist I wasn't sure about.  I didn't know whether I wanted to discuss David Rokeby or Stelarc.  It was Rokeby's beautiful Long Wave and Cloud installations that made me dive more deeply into his work.  The moment I read about Watched and Measured, I new I had found my other piece.  I feel the artwork and the artist's have a nice correlation to one another, and I am appreciative for this project that has heightened my awareness of  the art world and the world around me.  I feel more interested in art now than ever before and am greatly appreciative for the digital media class, and assignments given throughout the course.   I feel I am somehow better now for all of these new things that I have learned.

              (all four images taken from images of Marina Zurkow
                and David Rokeby's art images pictures include image from
                Slurb, Elixir, Long  Wave and Cloud installations.)

Bibliography Quicksites: