Binary Solo

“Grow” (Final Project Animation)
Thursday June 17th 2010, 12:24 pm
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"Grow" by Hilary Galbreaith

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Thursday June 10th 2010, 6:19 am
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Concert Poster
Monday June 07th 2010, 4:52 am
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Poster design for my imaginary band, “L’enfant Terrible.”

By Hilary Galbreaith

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Class Vacation to Egypt!
Thursday June 03rd 2010, 4:03 pm
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Matt Blakely and I on a pyramid in Egypt!

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Jenny Holzer
Monday May 24th 2010, 8:58 am
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Jenny Holzer projects short, biting texts on city buildings, transforming normal pieces of landscape into canvases for artworks.  The texts, which mimic the use of billboards and LED screens in advertising, usually convey a political message, ranging from feminist issues to speaking out against war, oppression, and violence. Holzer used to write her own texts, but since 1993 has been using texts written by others.

I really like Jenny Holzer’s work. I am especially fascinated by the way that light projection plays over everything in its path, making the viewer into part of the installation of the piece.  I also like the way that Holzer manages to create public art pieces that are capable of reaching a large audience who would not normally be exposed to art. In that way, her political message can reach a larger audience and have an actual effect.

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Thursday May 20th 2010, 2:56 pm
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Matt Siber
Tuesday May 18th 2010, 1:46 pm
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Matt Siber’s work addresses the way public text and advertising functions as a mode of communication and power in our society. Siber is a digital photographer who often uses photo editing software in order to draw attention to specific aspects of everyday life in his photographs that tend to be overlooked. In The Untitled Project, Siber presents images of city life with all of the text and signage edited out. Next to the images, the text is printed on a blank white paper. By abstracting the text from the scene it was in, Siber draws the viewer’s attention to the pervasive nature of advertising and textual communication in their lives. In (Untitled) Lists, Siber presents three posters listing brand names common products that have been isolated and stripped of their customary fonts, colors and packaging. By divorcing the brand names from their referents, Siber asks the viewer to consider these words (often taken for granted) in themselves, and the effect that such ubiquitous advertising has on his or her life.

I really like Siber’s work. I don’t often think about how pervasive textual communication is in our society. One may think one is walking down a silent street alone, but in actuality one is constantly being talked to and commanded to “Stop,” “Buy this product,” “Yield,” “Be hipper/thinner/prettier/younger/more fashionable.” Because these commands are so ubiquitous in our everyday life they tend to fade into the background and blend with the landscape, although we still respond to them on a sub-conscious level. By divorcing the texts from the landscapes in which they had previously resided, Siber presents us both with the uncomfortable image of a truly silent (text-free) landscape and allows us to realize how pervasive textual communication is, allowing us to consider in turn what kind of power relations are invested in public texts and what the effects of that may be.

Something else that I found very interesting in Siber’s work is the fact that, although he is clearly technically skilled in photography and the elements of design and composition, the actual compositional elements of his work are not what make his work art. His pieces are first and foremost conceptual statements about the nature and power of public textual forms of communication. One does not consider the actual composition and color choices of his works as much as the statement about text itself that they are making; the textual aspects become secondary background noise to the conceptual statement. However, in an ironic nod to the very modes of textual advertising that Siber draws attention to, it is the technical aspects of Siber’s pieces that allow his message to translate with such clarity and power; Siber therefore uses the same modes and manner of commercial advertising and public signage (photography, photoshop, typography, posters, color and design theory) in order to take a critical stance toward the modes of textual communication, showing that the same slick tricks that allow constant advertising and commands to fade into the background landscape can also be used to expose the hidden power relations in the texts.

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Ian Whitmore
Tuesday May 18th 2010, 1:43 pm
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Ian Whitmore is a photographer whose works focus on concepts of spatial constructions and conformity to address issues of alienation and identity in a mass-manufactured post-industrial capitalist society. Whitmore’s work “Channels” consists of photographs of televisions in people’s homes, showing the way in which pride of place is given to television sets in each private home. The photos in “Channels” don’t dress up the homes or compositions, but rather reveal the bland and somewhat pathetic nature of the the T.V sets situated within the contexts of each person’s life and space. T.V has become so pervasive in our culture that we take for granted the fact that we can be constantly entertained and fed information by another source at the push of a button. “Channels” also investigates our culture’s obsession with voyeurism and our need to be connected to a constant stream of information.

I find Whitmore’s “Channels” project interesting. Television has become such a ubiquitous part of our lives that we hardly even notice the implications of being constantly passively entertained by a fictional, dramatized account of other people’s lives. By placing the T.V sets within the context of the very humdrum rooms of their owners, one sees recognizes the status given to television and the banality of that status in comparison to actual living.

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Jon Gitelson
Tuesday May 18th 2010, 1:35 pm
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Jon Gitelson’s work consists of giant posters, videos, installations, art books, and photographs. Gitelson is fascinated with everyplace things and the ordinary details of people’s lives. He takes inspiration from found objects (dropped to-do lists, etc), TV plots, and the clothes his girlfriend hides from him so he won’t wear them anymore and translates them into giant posters and artists books, therefore rendering the minutiae of everyday life larger-than-life (both literally, as evidenced by the posters, and figuratively as art, traditionally thought of as being above everyday common things).

I find Gitelson’s work fascinating. By taking everyday experiences and turning them into valid subjects of art, he asks the viewer to also view his or her own experiences as art. He does it all with a little twist of irony, however, creating over the top comical situations (i.e in his Dream Job piece, featuring too-good-to-be-true job descriptions in the classifieds, or If I Had A Girlfriend, which lists all of the great things he would do for his girlfriend and ends by giving out his phone number). Gitelson’s pieces are all presented with a sense of tongue-in-cheek, finding meaning in the apparently meaningless comical and absurd minutiae of everyday experience. The use of mediums not traditionally considered art forms but rather merely trivial forms of entertainment (ginat posters, books, videos on the internet) itself echoes the message of Gitelson’s works.

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Digital Approaches to Fine Art Are…
Monday May 17th 2010, 3:55 pm
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Art whose final product uses photo editing software (photoshop, etc.), web design, digital film, video games, and/or digital photography as its primary medium is an obvious digital approach to fine art. However, anything using photoshop, digital photography, scanning, source material from the internet, etc. contains a digital component. Even traditional art mediums such as painting, drawing and sculpture therefore often employ digital approaches in the process of their construction, even if digital approaches are not evident in their final execution. I used to think that digital art was an easy way to make things look cool for people who were too lazy to paint (I have since changed my mind about this), but I hadn’t considered the fact that in the process of doing sketches for paintings I often used digital photos or source material from the internet to get ideas. The fact that that is even possible has fundamentally changed the way in which artists working in traditional mediums think about and do their work, because it simply was not an option for Van Gogh or Michelangelo.

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