Friday, May 3, 2013

Brian Kreuger Lecture

Brian Kreuger discusses in his mfa lecture, which he called 'the Unknowability Center,' how his childhood and his stint as a slot machine maker influenced his later art.  The fist thing he talked about was his ideas on the concept of a frame.  He said that frames determine the boundaries for everything, and determines what is allowed in and what remains outside.  The goal of his art, he said, is to always be outside the frame.  He wanted to push the boundaries in every way that he could.  One way he accomplished this, he said, was by having most of the art in his show made by other people.  He came up with most of the concept for each piece and did some work on them himself, but trusted his friends and colleagues with contributing a lot to the show.  An example is his dedication piece to his brother, who killed himself by drinking antifreeze.  Kreuger filled a refrigerator box up with antifreeze and commissioned one of his colleagues to finish it.  The end result turned out to be drapes hanging from the ceiling and descending into the antifreeze.  Kreuger, who didn't have control over the end product, said it came to symbolize his brother still existing in this world in one form or another.  Another important aspect of his art was the use of what he called the veil.  He talked about how beautiful things can remain hidden behind a veil, using the middle eastern hijab as an example.  This idea was very present in his show, as the majority of his work was obscured in some way.  For example, his boxing match behind a semi transparent curtain.  He fought another person behind a veil while only their silhouettes were visible.  He explained it as rage transposed to art, and the visual of bodies in motion is the centerpiece, but it just seemed like an ordinary, uninspired sparring match.  Other than that, it was interesting to see how and why someone would intentionally hide their art.  It's a unique part of Brian's art that sets him apart from others like him.


1. Why did you choose to leave much of your work in the hands of others even though it's your show?

2. Did you choose to put your work behind a veil of obstruction before or after you finished it, specifically the painting?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cardboard Costume Progress

I'm trying to make ripto from the old Spyro the dragon games.  My first idea was to do a big daddy from Bioshock, but I switched to Ripto because he seemed more manageable.  So far, I only have the scepter and the necklace done.  Not sure if I'll have enough time to paint the purple cloak/hood, but the general shape of everything will be there.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Joseph Delappe Lecture

Joseph Delappe's work seeks to integrate integrate real life scenarios and ideas into virtual environments, and vice versa.  His projects using the game 'America's Army' showcase these principles.  America's Army is a game developed by the US Army that is intended to be both a straightforward game and a recruiting tool.  One of Delappe's projects, called 'Dead In Iraq,' involved joining a multiplayer server within the game and, instead of playing with the other people, typing information of servicemen killed in the Iraq war using the in game chat.  Delappe, a strong opposer of the Iraq war, meant for this to balance between being a memorial and a protest piece.  He feels that the American people are disconnected from the war in the middle east, so entering the personal information of dead soldiers inside a government made shooter game is a way to remember their sacrifice and also get people to think about the implications of the war.  Delappe's America's Army projects, along with many of his other works, are very politically oriented; their primary purpose is to make people think.  This is evident in his Iraqi Memorial website. invites anybody to submit a proposal for a memorial to Iraqi civilians killed in the war.  Revisiting the memorial and protest ideas, this project could encourage people to research the civilian death toll and other unfortunate consequences of the war while at the same time think of ways to make sure the dead are remembered.  Another aspect of Delappe's work other than memorial and protest pieces are reenactments.  The example he talked about was a reenactment of Gandhi's famous salt march within Second Life.   He rigged a treadmill as the controller, so when he would walk on the treadmill, the Second Life would walk the same distance in real time.  To make it a true reenactment, he walked the same distance as Gandhi in the same time, the only difference being that the Second Life Gandhi did all the moving.  He interacted with other people in Second Life and invited them to join his march, and by the conclusion, there was a big, populous protest party within Second Life to promote peace, just like the real Gandhi.  Delappe's art exists not only to impress, but also to inspire and engage the audience to question and become more involved in the world around them.


1. Do you think the message behind your more political work, specifically the America's Army series, has been understood by a majority of it's viewers?

2. Do you intend for your work to inspire change within society, or simply to make people think.

CADRE Show Review

The exhibition I went to was the CADRE show at Lake Tahoe Community College.  The first thing you see when walking through the door was a tub of cubes decorated as blocks from the game Minecraft.  It's clear that people are meant to build things using the blocks as you would in the actual game.  While being the literal centerpiece of the show, the Minecraft blocks also summed up the theme of the show.  Most of the works featured were centered around video games, and had a creative and playful tone to them.  Two of the more eye catching pieces in the room were what looked like old arcade style game stations.  Each station featured multiple games, single and multiplayer, many with different gameplay mechanics and unique art styles.  One game was based around drawings made by a small toddler.  Another piece featured a browser game where touching or clicking a place on a screen spawned in a solid black block.  Anyone can contribute from any internet browser, so multiple people could work together to make certain shapes, or try to mess up the other's work.  One of the more interesting and thought provoking works at the show was a project where cell phones were placed in the desert near the Mexican border.  These phones pointed the way to stockpiles of clean water in order to help people illegally crossing into America.  It is clear to see why this would get people talking and create controversy.  Someone with strong opinions opposing illegal immigrants might see this project as
anti American or some sort of betrayal, while someone with different opinions might see the phones as a way to help another person, human to human.  Although this work isn't a game, it is still an innovative and alternative use of a technology that everyone is familiar with.  This project is a good example of how art and technology can really make a difference in someone's life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Game: The Girl

In my game you play as a young girl walking through her house looking for her parents after there is an explosion nearby.  I originally intended for the game to be centered around a US drone strike on a civilian pakistani house, but I instead left it vague as to who or what caused the explosion so the player can come up with his own ideas.  The foreign words on the wall (Urdu, popular language in Pakistan) should give hints as to what part of the world this is in.  Other than the girl, the only other people are the silhouettes of the dead people.  I wanted them, and the text that accompanies them, to represent the terrorists who bomb populated areas and kill civilians, whether that be suicide bombers or the CIA and their drone strikes.  I meant for the text to imply that they don't see the victims of their bombs as much more than statistics or people who got in the way.  Also, by putting them in multiple scenes, I wanted to give the sense that they're always watching and always instilling fear in people.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SecondLife Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

My contribution to the making of this video was finding the locations and acting as the camera person.  Alli made the Forrest avatar, from the face to the clothes and accessories, and Chris did the Jenny avatar/bulldozer driver.