The Redo Loop

In one of our earlier lectures, we were asked to make out a couple of key words, to describe what digital art is to us. I hurriedly scribbled down without a second thought: Digital tools and Ctrl+Z.

Instinctively I thought about digital tools. Digital tools make digital art, at least that seemed like a logical starting point for defining it to me. If there wasn’t an electronic device involved in the making at any point, then one could not consider it digital art, right?

The undo button also known as Ctrl+Z in some systems, presents a new levels of complexities, in contrast to traditional art. While creating digital art, there is often an infinity of redo’s available. For instance while writing this very sentence, I can easily edit it, or remove it altogether, without there ever being a trace of its existence. Undoubtedly it is a very helpful and useful tool, and very cost effective. However what does this really mean for art? Imagine a singer who only can hit the right notes 10% of the time, given enough tries the singer can produce a masterful vocal performance, with the help of technology. Even though 90% of the time, the singer were singing out of tune. What does this mean for the audience and other singers? Does this only give someone who previously couldn’t express themselves in this way an opportunity, or does it change our expectations to what an artist is?

I like the way “traditional” art challenges us to handle mistakes by training and mastering a skill, and the way these mistakes gives our creations history and character. It forces us to concentrate and be skillful, as well as one constantly evaluate if the errors are too big, or if they can be fixed by adding another layer of paint, or by changing the direction of your artwork to your favor. Which in turn might result in a creation differing from what you at first was anticipating.

I reckon working with digital media in order to create art, or in creating anything for that matter, can be tiresome. If you strive for perfection (or just something that you feel is good enough to share, or put your name on), one might get stuck in a redo loop, where one constantly tries to do better. The cost of retrying is so low, that something else has to define if something is “good enough”. Finding myself in this spot, unable to hit that publish button, because I believe that I could still improve this blog post. Let’s say I was writing on paper, starting over, and re-editing would seem too costly and it would be easier to draw the line and say  “it’s good enough”.

This redo loop is probably one of the reasons I love to doodle and sketching, with a pen. No undo’s and constant progress, working with the errors you make, in order to make the best of it, while your thoughts wander off. Adding to the drawing, and dynamically explore where the drawing takes you, till you’re left with something.

Some of my doodles made while contemplating this post: Photo 04-02-2018, 21 33 12

To me imperfections in something handmade has some kind of charm, and it brings character to the work. However I still think digital art can hold the same type of qualities, whether it is some kind of clean and perfect Photoshop creation which leaves us in awe of its beauty, or some kind of homely pixel-art. The tools and mediums artists use in order to create and express has been in constant evolution. Entering the era of the computer and artificial intelligence we might become more picky of how we choose to define art. But as long as we strive to be creative, more art forms will emerge as technology progresses.

I also wanted to share some of the more interesting, simple and yet creative things I’ve seen this week:

One of the more relevant videos for our #NetNarr course in my opinion. Can such a poem be considered art?

I think theblode1337 said it best:
comment

What makes it art?

Is it the way it is read, the emotional music, the way it was edited, the few lines the creator(Sorrow TV) has written in order to conduct(in lack of a better term) the way the poem unfolds? Or the fact that the Google suggestions are a compilation of the most searched terms, and has a large number of co-writers who can relate to it?

– Johnkel

A week with memes

This week in data-lab class we learned about memes. Which was pretty interesting. Memes have become super huge, and is used all the time. It’s a way of communicating, and it has become an internet sensation that have spread across the world. So, what is a meme? It is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture – often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme. The meme can either be a picture or a GIF (moving picture) with text.

When we go online, either it’s Facebook, twitter or any other social media platform – memes pop up. I’ve always thought that memes are funny and entertaining, but Ive never created one myself. Our teacher, showed us how to do so. I did not think it was that easy. The teacher showed us some links, where you could create your own memes. And it was really simple too. I found a picture that I thought was funny, and just added anything I wanted in the text box.

MEMES

This is how my meme came out. In this meme you see standup comedian Dave Chapelle sprinkling crack-cocaine on a piece of bread, with the caption “When you need inspo for the blog post”. Which means that it’s easy to run out of ideas on what to write on the blog, and therefor you need drugs to find your inspiration. This is definitely something I will tinker more with on my spare time.

This week we also got to meet professor Leonardo Flores, from the University of Puerto Rico. He gave us a interesting presentation about 3rd generation e-lit (electronic literature) and how this generation have evolved over the last 20 years. 1st and 2th generation e-lit are from the 90’s up to the early 2000’s. And how all these new programs are taking over, and replacing old programs like Java. He also talked allot about twitter, or to be more specific – twitter account. Twitter accounts that are robots, but still have thousands of views. I don’t remember everything he said, because some of it was hard to catch.

In the netnarr class we talked about digital evolution and artistic production. One person we talked about was Charles “Chuck” Csuri an artist and pioneer in the field of digital and recognized as the father of digital art and computer animation by the Smithsonian Magazine. In 1964 he decided to turn the computer into something more creative, then what it was used in this time of age – An artist’s tool. He started making animation, the first animated figure he made was a hummingbird. The teacher showed us a movie of this hummingbird coming to life. It took 30,000 whole individual pictures to make this movie of this hummingbird coming together. This was really fascinating, because it had me thinking about how long it took to make a animated movie, take Snow White and the seven dwarfs for instance. Snow White is from 1937, and the movie is 1 h 28m long. You had to draw all these characters and landscapes by hand, and make it come to life by help of these drawings. Artist’s in the animated arena, has really come a long way in how these beautiful figures/drawings can come to life on the big screen.

-Victoria

 

 

Entry One

Welcome to my suuuuuper late first entry of my future blog. Here i am going to rant about different stuff that i care about. Mainly class projects that we are doing, games, memes, and other stuff i would personally share with others with the same interests.

I guess an introduction is due as well. My name is Dusan, I am 24 years old from a small town called Flekkefjord but have been living the last 4 years in Bergen. I am currently trying to balance work and my Informational Science Bachelor degree. So this particular course is a steppingstone towards my degree and a fun way to explore a new subject.

I mainly choose this subject because it intrigues me based on the things i have read and hear about it. Using social media such as twitter and even a blog as a part of said subject is going to be interesting, mostly because i really am not fan of either platforms. But at the end of the day one should always challenge oneself to try new things, and i am somewhat looking forward to try this out!

As mentioned my hobbies somewhat coo-relate to what we have in the course of this subject. Games, memes, gif’s and electronic culture in general. Gaming in particular has been a dire hobby of mine since i was about 8 years old and first caught a glimpse of a PlayStation 1. Since then i have been playing on all sorts of consoles but later on converted to my very own PC and have never looked back since. A huge part of my childhood and loads of cherished moments were “wasted” in front of a TV playing video games, but like other things in like i actually don’t regret doing it. As far as digital art goes i really enjoy surfing mindlessly on the internet, finding the work of others trying to fit the randomness of things into the everyday life though videos, gifs and memes. My personal favorite will always be the dark humor section, just brings out the best from the worst.

Long story short, i enjoy the internet for its wholesomeness and hope to discover and learn more about its culture throughout this course!

I also have a twitter @DusanBiga, where i might or might not(probably the ladder) post something else besides our school projects!

 

My own neat little box

This week we were lucky enough to be guests to the lecture of Leonardo Flores who showed us a multitude of different ways that electronic literature has evolved over the years—and the subsequent categories of generations that we can place the different pieces of work within. The lecture prompted me to think a bit outside the preconceived box that I’ve personally put electronic literature within. For our exam last semester, I created a piece of electronic literature in Inklewriter (which is still in its beta form) and, at the time and admittedly up until this lecture with Leonardo Flores, I kept my idea of electronic literature in a neat little box of my own.

This unfortunately resulted in me thinking and viewing electronic literature in a single way, which upon further evaluation goes against a large picture of what this subject is all about—the fact that electronic literature has the extremely unique opportunity of being a piece of literature that transcends traditional means of absorption. I feel bad for catching myself in the act of limiting my own view of exactly what electronic literature is supposed to be, and realizing that I narrowed its definition down to a certain idea or being.

That’s why I’m even more excited now to try and figure out a way to make a piece of electronic literature this time around that is the opposite of what I created the past semester. I’ll try to steer as far away as I can from a “traditional” hypertext interactive fiction and make something that stands as far away from that category as possible—I’m thinking of maybe creating a generative poem, or a piece of digital art similar to ‘Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky’  ( http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/ezzat__like_stars_in_a_clear_night_sky/index.html ) which happened to be one of my favorite electronic literature pieces last semester.

Going forward in our lectures, I’m looking forward to what we will be discussing and considering in the subjects of ‘digital art’ and ‘video games’—and to a certain degree I am very curious to see how many people in our class is starting to make plans for creating a piece of video game for their exam. We only had one person in our class last semester who wanted to try out for making a video game and he happened to have a very interesting concept for what he imagined that he could create.

I would love to be able to make a website that encourages the user/reader to explore and choose their own path through the piece to uncover the “secrets” within it. On second thought, that’s vaguely similar to what I created in Inklewriter—at least on the face of it. Although the way I would go about creating this one would stand out from my previous work. Maybe that’s it though, what if I made two different mediums that both built on the idea of having the reader explore and discover bits and pieces of story that they eventually could bring together to form the bigger picture of the overarching story. This is starting to look like something. I could even present both of the individual works next to each other, side by side, as an example of how one idea could be worked out and presented on two completely different ways.

I will have to ask Mia for some guidance on this however. There hapens to be a lot of different ideas and suggestions on how to move forward with this that I could possibly gather from the different volumes of electronic literature collections—I think I’ll be using both ‘Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky’ and ‘Queerskins’ ( http://www.queerskins.com/ ) as my base for how I want this piece to look and function. Also, shoutout to ‘Queerskins’ for those who haven’t read it yet. The way it deals with its presentation and layout is amazing.

Visual Art: the concept of Realism

Welcome back to my 2nd Blog Post.

This week, the blogpost went completely over my head, but I will make a better effort this week to complete two blogs by Sunday, starting with this one. Hopefully I won`t make a mistake like this in the weeks to come.

As I thought about what I wanted to write about for last week, there was a hard choice to make, but I finally settled on something we talked about last Tuesday – visual art, the development within the new forms of image reproduction and digital art.

In Tuesday`s lecture, I was introduced to many different digital artists and caught a glimpse of some of their work, this triggered a sense of astonishment over their work. The center of my curiosity is around an artist named Patricia Piccinini – within the frame of synthetic realism, Piccinini is a visual artist. It was first after viewing some of her work that I could fully understand the term: synthetic realism.

Synthetic realism is the perfect term to describe some of Piccinini`s most shocking art I would say, this term expresses a new creation with a sense of visceral realism. As Piccinini herself describes in the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XKSpWxR5tA

In the video above, Piccinini gives a fascinating insight to how the metaphor of the creature in her work The Long Awaited from 2008 gives a deeper feeling of emotional experience, of something real. There is something grotesque about her sculptures, but if one can exist within the art – the object becomes fully realize and I can imagine the creates in a lived form. I can`t say that I`ve been lucky enough to witness her exhibition in real life but watching them through a video will do for now. The digital revolution sparked a lot of new ways of creating art, and the concept of realistic representation is constantly under scrutiny, Piccinini`s way of creating art that is fully realized within the artwork and the visceral realism spurred me to focus on her this week.

I leave you with an appropriate GIF I made this week:

23zfiz.gif

See you in a couple of days,

Joachim