Monday, January 28, 2013

Response to No Logo Reading

I honestly cannot imagine a life without logos. Our lives in the 21st century are so different then those of our great grandparents and even parents. We live in a world that forces us to view advertisements and company logos on a hour to hour minute to minute basis. Artists and "ad jammers" started the ad rebellion over 20 years ago and the level of advertisements have drastically increased since then. The article talks about bashing/jamming/altering a billboard. How many printed/painted billboards exist these days. In a lot of cities and highly trafficked areas, the billboards are now electronic. You cannot go up and draw a mustache, or stitches over a mouth if the screen is going to change five minutes later.

The article brings up many good points about how advertisements and companies give false perceptions of their products affects on the public. Tobacco and Alcohol ads are geared toward children. Yes that is a story I have heard over and over again. Camel used cartoons which clearly is appealing to young children. Think about today though. How many "adult" television shows are cartoons? Also what channels are they on. There are adult cartoons ranging from South Park to The Simpsons. These shows are clearly not for children. Furthermore, they play on the channels children watch. After ten at night Cartoon Network turns into adult swim and nickelodeon turns into nick at night. I remember being horrified when I walked into my sisters bed room at night and she was watching The Simpsons. Her explanation was that she knew she could watch channel 54 and that was on 54 so it was ok. Certain criteria and styles of art appeal to different groups of people and companies use this to their advantage. The article talks about hoe in poverty stricken and poor areas there was a higher frequency of tobacco and alcohol ads. What was on these ads was a false reality. There were images of people having fun drinking on yachts and a glorified existence with products tat are bad for you.

The article brings up another good point, that technology is so advanced these days that jammers can alter an ad and make it look completely real. Not only can they recreate the whole logo, they can reprint the whole ad over again with minor alterations that can change the whole meaning. It is no longer "somebody coming at it with a spray-paint can". Also, the prevalence of logos. The article talks about Nike and Starbucks specifically and the over use of their logos. Their brands are so set in stone and household known that it is obnoxious. If there is a swoosh anywhere no matter the size color or orientation, the normal person will recognize it. This reminds me of my family member Jee. She is from south Korea and married into my family. We were talking about how her culture celebrates christmas and if they had santa. She told us that the santa they know and recognize is the Coca-Cola santa and that santa is red and white due to Coke's huge branding and logo of santa.

The global community that is not christian or even santa believers all know the look of santa from a coke can. Also, Coca-Cola has changed the endangerment of Polar Bears ever since the marketing of the cute white bears on their products years ago. When a company spends so much time and money on branding, they are only setting themselves up for hackers. I created an ad myself years ago that was a spoof off coke. Many other people have also. Coke can be found on shirts, bags, lipstick and more. Ofcourse there is also spoofs much like the ones that article talked about with Absolut vodka or Tide or Kraft. People change the words up slightly but keep the font style and look of the logo the same. Certain logos are instantly recognizable. There are even apps now that test your ability to recognize the most common logos.

Many companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to create a logo that sticks and a brand that is recognizable. SMCM is working with a branding company now trying to improve our brand so more people want to come here. The name of the school is up for discussion as well as the logo used on many documents, clothing and accessories.

Our world and lives are immersed in corporations, logos, brands and advertisements. I do not think it will ever go away, it will only get worse. In turn the jammers, spoofs and knock offs will only get worse and more frequent. With the invention of TiVo people can fast forward through ads shows now have logos within their shows as well as advertisements the actors endorse. I say take this advertisement immersed life and just flow with it. History is always changing and repeating itself. Rebellions will always happen but in the end consumers will still buy the products and endorse the companies.


link to google sketch up models

use these to create a fake landscape then put the sunsets behind it

or use these already created ones to create a new renovated campus

animating it

Monday, January 21, 2013

Walter Benjamin section 2

Reproduction of work seems to be a hot topic recently in the art world, both the positive and negative affects. With the technological society we live in today, it is hard not to have art work reproduced. Museums may have no photo rules, but there is always someone hijacking the system. Also, museums will photograph popular works to place on their ads for the show. Although a photograph may not be a true "reproduction" it is a copy of the object in a sense. Section 2 mainly talks about the "reproduction" in a photography sense. Benjamin talks about how a reproduction can take away the authenticity of the art work, but he also talks about how a reproduction can "reactivate the object reproduced". I think it all depends on the artwork as well as the artist.

Benjamin says that "Even the most perfect reproduction of a work is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be." I agree with this completely. A reproduction in photo form of the Sol Lewitt chapel in Italy can be perceived as something completely different then the true thing. The images online of this chapel look like this: 
where as in reality when I saw it, this is how it looked: 
The photos I see when I search it are brighter and more saturated. The chapel looks fairly large and in an area with houses close. In reality the Chapel is so small that my whole class could probably fit in there but no more. It was in the middle of no where on the top of a mountain next to an abandoned warehouse. The pain was very faded and chipping. The point of the matter is that reproductions can be misleading and not give you the whole affect. Being in the moment and in the location gives the chapel a whole new meaning and emotion. It is the prime example of being unique due to its existence in place.
Benjamin in section 2 also talks about how photography specifically will show things the eye cannot see. Things that are accessible to the lens and not to the naked eye. After reading this I immediately thought of the last Supper by Davinci. I learned in Intro to Art History that Davinci used a technique to paint the last supper that has made the painting not last at all. It is so absolutely faded that it takes photographs and a lot of Photoshop enhancement to create the image we are used to seeing. Above is what we are used to. Below is the closest to real life that I could even find on the internet.

Lastly, Benjamin was touching on some benefits of the reproduction of artwork.  He stated that the reproduction, "it reactivates the object reproduced". I thought of Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q when he said reactivation of an old art work. The Mona Lisa is thought to be one of the most famous painting in the history of man kind. When people think of high art and famous paintings they think of The Mona Lisa. Maybe the Mona Lisa was never dieing in popularity and maybe she never needed to be "reactivated" but by the postcard reproduction and Duchamp's smart ass remarks on the post card, the artwork was re-invented and reactivated.

I can ramble on as long as anyone else can about how a reproduction and a photograph of artwork, does no justice for the original. That going and seeing the original within its location and seeing the texture and size of it, is so different then a reproduction is. But... in the end all the images I just shows you were reproductions, and without these reproductions no one would see the points I was trying to make. Also, without the photographs and reproductions of the originals, how would we learn about art? How would we know how amazing something is without seeing a version of it? How would the general public (those who cannot afford to fly to paris to the louvre or to the MOMA) see the great artworks of the world?

Overall I believe Benjamin's article was very dense and wordy. I would have been a more relaxed writer and made the reading more pleasurable but he did get some good points across. I also enjoyed the  quote before the prelude by PAul Valery. My favorite line of that quote was "and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art." This is so unbelievably true in todays society. With technology changing every second, we have to reconsider what is art and how to view artwork. There is an explosion of free to the public artworks as well as highly valued works that are reproduced over and over again. Artists are still to this day challenging the notion of what is art, as they should be. Back in the day when photography became widely used and introduced to the art world, people were skeptical and unwilling to call it "art" yet now it is possibly the most prevalent art in our society. "New media" is no longer new, it is just digital media and with all the technology surrounding us, we are unable to tell what is next. Benjamin does a good job touching on different aspects of our world and how art is looked at and analyzed and the theories and worries about reproduction, values, the public eyes, and progressive views. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Link to my Portfolio

Here is my latest work as well as past work I am proud of.

A New Culture of Learning Response

     What I really liked about the beginning of this book is how it related my two topics of study at SMCM while also addressing a growing thought/issue among intellectuals as well as the American education system. Brown and Thomas use the main term and idea of "The New Culture of Learning" as their umbrella term and focal point of the first few pages of the text. The new culture of learning refers to how the education system and the modes of learning have changed due to the ever changing world we live in. Technology is the driving resource(s) in todays society. It is rare for a student to wonder about a topic and choose to go to the local library and search through the stacks for a book on the topic. In our new technology driven world, that child/person will be on the Wiki site or on google typing the topic in within five seconds of their first thought. 

     The authors make many relevant points, that I could not help but think of my own experiences and what I have learned in other classes. Thompson and Brown talked about how play, questioning and imagining are at the heart of learning. This is especially true in children. Childhood is when we are sponges, porous and hungry for new knowledge. I remember as a child always asking my parents "Why" or "How". I always wanted to know how things worked or why they were as they were. I to this day remember some of my questions and the answers I received in return. The questions I asked and the knowledge I acquired still to this day amazes me. I may only be 20 but I feel that I know a little about far more things then my peers. These days, I am at college and unable to just turn to my dad and ask "Why". This is when I thank Steve Jobs and the World Wide Web for my IPhone with Safari. Now when I wonder about something, I can google it with an immediate answer in seconds. Speaking of Steve Jobs, Sam's story in the book reminded me of how time, place and resources can lead you down a path that another person three years older or thirty miles away may never be able to achieve. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are huge household names. Yes they were geniuses and changed how we look at our world today but just like Sam from the story, they were given resources that allowed them to become what they were. Sam has a computer program that allows him to code games. Bill gates and Steve jobs grew up at the exact time that the technology for computers was coming about. 

     This brings me to my next point, the reading stated: "technology is constantly creating and responding to change". Think about all the games children play, so how do we combine these hobbies with learning? Magically then appear educational games. My 9 year old sister asks for math blaster and other games on her iPad that are geared toward education. Weren't games created as an outlet and a way to get away from the world and a way to de-stress?  Lastly, the reading talked about how the whole education/learning system has been restructured, and how classrooms and teachers may no longer be necessary in some eyes. I thought about Monisory schools when I read this. I learned briefly about this type of school while in an Educational Psychology class last semester. These schools allow for children to choose what they learn, it is less of a top down learning system and more run on a child's curiosity. This also reminds me of something Billy has said before many classes I have taken with him. He tells us not to look at it as a top down teaching model. Where he is "all knowing" and we know nothing. Rather, it is to be looked at as he knows more, because of his experience but due to the time and programs, we are all learning at the same time and will always feed off one another. 

     What I really liked and thought was successful in this book was how it began. We only were instructed to read the first chapter, but the way in which it was written was very captivating and lead me to thoughts and curiosities. They also talk about themselves in first person and I like books written in that style because I feel it is more personal. It was also written in a very blunt way. They are not hiding behind a cloud. They say what they want how they want and I enjoy that. I also enjoyed the inclusion of a story. Sam's story that was used as a supporting example was very useful. I did not like how the story about sam ended. It ended very bluntly and did not resolve the story with a clear answer. Overall I liked the section I got to read and I do actually wish to read further.