Project 1

30 09 2009
first version w/o changes

first version w/o changes

FINAL-with changes made to lungs and cig(darkened around mouth)

FINAL-with changes made to lungs and cig(darkened around mouth)





Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

21 09 2009

The digital artists that I choose to focus on this week are Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, a husband and wife team based in Brooklyn, New York. These artists work primarily with film, interactive media, performance, and installation. The project that is featured on https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/Jennifer+and+Kevin+McCoy is that of Horror Chase, a 2002 remake of a chase sence from  the classic cult/horror film Evil Dead II, which interestingly enough is essentially a remake of the first Evil Dead. Film on 16mm film then digitized, the couple shot the scene on a 1,000 square foot set. Once digitized, the film is run through a software which randomly plays back the footage in interevals of forward and reverse, making the subject seem like he is either running away or towards the thing that is chasing him. The scene is played back the same way twice. The couple traveled from new media festival to festival with this project in a suitcase, which had an embedded screen inside which showed the scene (or could have projected it on a wall).

Screen captions from Horror Chase, 2002

Evil.Dead.2

From what I can tell, this project is addressing the notion of movement, and perhaps at the same time is

commenting on the horror genre. Whats interesting is that during this chase scene, the person being chased with at time chase the attacker. This is something that one does not typically see in a horror film. As Jennifer points out in the wiki article, their algorithm for fast forwarding and reversing the film “[hangs] up the

narrative,” which is a interesting notion.   What confuses me though is that the couple decided to re-make the scene. Considering other works that they have done (Starsky and Hutch reediting work in which they used the actual footage), i’m unsure as to why they choose to make their own version. I’m not sure if this has a different meaning then if they had used the origanal film footage and ran that through their algorithm, but I personally think that had they used the original footage it would have been more interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_McCoy_(artist)





Michel Gondry

16 09 2009
From the tracking shot of Lyon, France

From the tracking shot of Lyon, France

From 'Star Guitar'

From 'Star Guitar'

For my second artist entry i choose to investigate Michel Gondry.

What I find interesting about the silent film class that i’m in is how influential the work of the Lumière Brothers is. After viewing the track shot film through Lyons(screen shot above), I recalled a music video I had seen last semester by the native French film and video director Michel Gondry. The music video “Star Guitar” by the band the Chemical Brothers is filmed in a similar manner to the tracking shot of “Lyons”. Interestingly enough, the scenery in the video is DV (digital video) footage taken by Gondry on vacation in France from Nimes to Valence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Guitar). The camera remains stationary on a moving train as scenery passes by in sync with the techno music playing in the background. As the music becomes more complex, so does the scenery(essentially each element in the scenery belongs to an element of the song).The angle of that the stationary camera is also similar to that of the Lyons film, giving the viewer the feeling of actually riding the train. Another similarity is that beyond the moving scenery there is no significant action going on. The action is just that—the movement of the scenery, which has a very hypnotic affect. The video was shot ten times in one day in order to get different light gradients. Gondry planned this music video out on graph paper before actually editing the footage, as seen here:

The final product:

I think that the meaning behind his work is nothing more then just paying attention to the movement of the scenery with the synchronization of the techno beat. I suppose in a way he is trying to show how music can be a visual art form. What I find interesting though is that at first glance, this video is not that exciting or elaborate, but as the music picks up the visuals become more interesting and intricate with the transitions from bridges and water to a street side walk, etc. It’s refreshing to see a music video that is modest with its visual subject yet still satisfies the eye, versus the elaborate, fast editing, spectacle music videos one might see on Mtv (if they even show music videos any more..).





10 Original Pictures

12 09 2009




First post-Mark Napier

2 09 2009
example from Shredder 1.0

example from Shredder 1.0

The digital artist I chose to focus on in this first post is Mark Napier. A painter and self taught programer, Napier creates programs that distort and convolute the text and images found on a website by using algorithms, which ultimately create a work of art. Exsisting since 1998, amung these programs is “Shredder 1.0.” With Shredder 1.0 (seen above), the user simply provides the URL link to Shredder, and the program does the rest of the work. A webpage is essentially a blank sheet of paper, which takes in HTML code and spits out what you see on the screen. What Shredder 1.0 does is takes the HTML code, jumbles it together by using Perl Script Code that Napier developed himself, and produces an artistic collage of code, text, color, and images. Shredder 1.0 is a free program, as is Napier’s Landfill and Feed project sites. This program can be found at: http://www.potatoland.org/shredder/shredder.html

At this point in time, the interenet is so widely assesable and used so frequently that many people just take for grantit what they see on the web page. I believe that one issue that Napier is trying to address with this form of art creation is the notion that many people people do not realize how complicated an actual page on the internet can be. Many pages are not just simply put together then published on the internet. The computer has to reorganize complex code and then publish the result of the code. What this program does is show what were to happen if a computer simply did not organize HTML code into its intended structure, which ultimately shows the chaos behind the curtain of webpage.

I find this method of creating art to be very interesting, in that his programs take something that is a structured and well organized and essentially turns it into very abstract, chaotic art. However, the one immediate problem that I find is that it is not easy to take the artwork that you just created and turn it into a jpeg. Infact, you cannot do this on the web site itself. You would have to take a screen shot of the window, then save it as a jpeg. This is difficult too, in that the abstract image that is created is quite large, and unless you have a large monitor you will not be able to screenshot the entire image. Despite this flaw, the fact that this program is free is a testament to what art should be(at least to some people): FREE. It’s very interactive, and the end result of simply inserting a URL link into the “location” box is quite satifying. Whats interesting too is that you can put in the same link into the location box and Shredder 1.0 will never reproduce the same abstract image twice. Shredder 1.0 gives people the tools to create unique art, while at the same time providing the user with a completely new perspective on what the internet looks like from the inside out.

https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/Mark+Napier