18 February 2010

Project 1: Discussion

1) Navigating the site would be similar to traveling through the setting of the film because it is playful and uses elements of the film in the layout.

2) The character I chose to work with the most is Latrine. Though she is not visually present on the site initially (besides the heart with her name carved in it) you can see a visual of her by click on the heart mentioned. The character has a haggard appearance and is often a comedic relief in this comedy film. She is over the top, more of an observer throughout with a few moments of action, and somewhat desperate in a playful way... something that hopefully is somewhat present in the layout.

3) The world has a period look to it though in incorporates some modern elements to it. The fashion in decor and personal style in the film is not completely accurate to the times but just enough so, that one is able to understand the setting and the characters being portrayed.

4) Things in the movie move at a moderate speed. The story has a beginning, middle, and end. There are moments of slowness and speed that are not without some form of mockery or jest. For my site, I would like to incorporate the feeling of moments and characters being documented and kept in a kind of virtual scrapbook.

5) The index page created is playful mixing cartoon hand-style drawings with photographic elements. It is done in a collage/scrapbook style and is mildly chaotic because there is no initial sense of direction tells you to go to 'this' object first. There is limited use of text and is very visual in appearance, hopefully, bringing a light-hearted feel to the site, much like the loose lightheartedness in the movie.

6) Most of the buttons present on the index page are character representations. These character representations when clicked play audio voice clips or target animation.

7) It is hard to tell who specifically I used as a stylistic influence. I used collage in the piece layering objects on top of one another. Hannah Hoch is one artist who worked a lot with collage work and though this is a collage piece it uses a mix of drawing and photography and by no means garner the same emotional and visual style/feeling of her work.

8) Motion on the page is present on the buttons and the actions presented once a few of the buttons are clicked.

9) I wanted this index page to relate quite a bit to the characters of the movie and some of the experiences that are presented to them throughout the film.

10 February 2010

Adv. Web For Designers: Reading Two Discussion

1) Moore's Law:
Moore's law is not so much about visual design as it is about the physical design and makeup of the electronic powerhouse that is computers and other such devices. Moore predicted that the number of transistors on integrated circuits would double every two years. Thus allowing devices to be faster, smaller, and more efficient.


And it only gets better from here.

2) Fitts' Law:
Fitts' Law states that the time it takes to get from on point to another is determined by the distance from the starting position to the target and the size of the target. It is not so different from the basic principles of design and it seems almost elementary. Things that are larger tend to garner more initial attention than something that is relatively small in size. Larger objects tend to have a much louder voice than something that is small so it is fairly easy to see how this rule applies.

3) Hick's Law:
Hick's Laws states that the amount of time it takes for someone to make a decision is based on the number of choices given to them. Hick's says that people don't consider a group of possible choices one at a time, rather, they subdivide the choices into categories, thereby eliminating half of the choices given to them with each step of their decision making process. Hick's Law claims that a person will make faster decisions from a menu containing ten items versus two menus containing five items. However, when it comes down to me, the more choices I'm presented the more overwhelmed I become but if it were out of sheer laziness, so I wouldn't have to go through the whole thing, I would probably just pick something out of a big list rather than inspect the elements one by one.

4) The Magical Number Seven:
This says that the human mind is best able to remember things in chunks of seven, give or take two. It is why, phone numbers, social security numbers, and license plates are broken up the way they are. So we can visually recognize the characters in easy to remember chunks.

5) Tesler's Law:
Tesler's Law says that there is an inherent amount of complexity in everything and that complexity can only be broken down or simplified so much. For example, to go to a website you must either click a hyperlink to get there, enter the url into the proper field of your browser or do a search for it on a search engine. But in order to do any of these you must have given elements that allow you to get to the site in question. To get to a site via a hyperlink there has to be a functional hyperlink present that points directly to the site and you must have an input device such as a mouse to click it. To get to a site via your browser you must type the url into the proper field and in order to do this, you must know the url of the site. To get to a site via a search engine you have to know things that are related to the site, such as the name or things that might apply to it so that you can find it amongst the many other different sites that are available on the web. If any of these elements are missing in whichever method you choose to get to the site, you would not be able to do it.

6) The Poka-Yoke Principle:
This principle is fairly easy to understand. It was developed to dummy proof electronic devices. For instance, you cannot plug a USB plug into the outlet for a network cable because it wouldn't fit there.

7) Direct Manipulation:
Direct manipulation is physically changing an object, such as stretching a shape in photoshop with your mouse rather than using the height and width fields to change the size that way.

8) Indirect Manipulation:
Indirect manipulation would be changing the x and y axis of a given object in the proper fields in photoshop, rather than using the mouse to move to object around the canvas.

9) Feedback:
Feedback tells you that something has happened. Background changes when clicking a button is an example of feedback.

10) Feedforward:
Feedforward warns us in advance that something is going to happen. For instance, the power button on our computer tells us that if we click it, then the computer will come on.

05 November 2009

More Direction - The Red Shoes

Using a mixture of hand drawn images, abstract forms, and writing I would like to convey the feeling of being trapped... a feeling of spinning and dancing forever in "darkness." I would like to convey the feeling of endlessness to a point through repetition of the words "what pretty dancing shoes," throughout and through the choice of imagery shown.

20 October 2009

ART4619C - Assignment #4

Story Chosen:
                                                  - The Red Shoes (Link Click It!)

The Red Shoes, is about a poor orphaned girl named Karen who was taken in by an old rich woman. One day Karen spies the queen’s daughter in a pair of beautiful red shoes and she envies the princess for having them. The image of the shoes and the princess says in her mind and when Karen is old enough to be brought into the church she has a chance to buy a new pair of shoes. At the store, she sees a pair of shiny red shoes and it attracts her attention and she loves them to excess, so much that they are all she can think about. An old soldier tells her what pretty dancing shoes she has and she begins to dance a few steps but the shoes take possession of her body and she begins to dance uncontrollably, her feet always moving. She took off the shoes and was able to get some rest but was enticed to go to a ball where she again put on the shoes. The same thing happened at the ball and she became frightened and tried to take off the shoes but they would not leave her feet. She asked an executioner to cut off her feet, and he did and the shoes and her feet danced away…

- What interests you about this text in particular?
I find this text intriguing not because it teaches the lesson of envy and obsession of physical/material objects, but because of the dark nature of the story. How Karen's feet are obliged to dance forever and ever until they are finally cut off by the executioner, and still, her feet dance away from her and in front of her.

- What interests you about this text in particular in relationship to its potential as a new media form, in relationship to its potential as a Flash file?
What interests me about this text in relationship to its potential as a new media form is the story, especially the feet and the red shoes.

- What are some initial thoughts, or early ideas on how you plan to realize this story in Flash?
At the very end of the story Karen is sorry for her ways and her soul was taken up into the heavens but I would like to either omit that part or add it as a second option for an ending to the story. I would like the feet dancing so that you can't get away from them.

28 September 2009

ART4619C - Assignment #3

James Rosenquist
Nomad (1963)
Oil on canvas, plastic, and wood

James Rosenquist was an influential artist in the pop art movement around the 1960’s. Many of his pieces, including the piece above, deal with popular culture and the consumption of consumer objects. Ironically, Rosenquist worked formerly as a billboard painter and in that way was familiar with the world of advertising, with which he was definitely making a commentary of in his work. In his piece, Nomad, Rosenquist combines both painting and sculpture to create a massive art piece that is hard to get away from. On one side of the piece is a flimsy plastic that is somewhat funnel like, covered in paint drips. Under the funnel is the word “New” with bits of paint dripping from it, like the paint had come down from the plastic above. On the panels are images layered over each other of ballet dancers, a light bulb, pasta, picnic tables, and a brand of laundry detergent. While it is not immediately apparent these objects all hold some underlying trait that ties them together. What is this trait? What do ballet dancers and picnic tables have to do with one another? It can be said that the legs of the ballet dancers and the legs of the picnic table hold similar shapes, but that would really only be a part of it. Rosenquist, through the use of layering images on and next to each other, is creating a commentary on mass production and an over communicated society that is constantly being bombarded through the use of media objects.

Robert Rauschenberg
Booster (1967)
Lithograph and serigraph

Rauschenberg was an artist who was involved in both the abstract expressionist and pop art movement. His piece, Booster, is a self-portrait. According to author, Jonathan Fineberg, “Booster filtered through the distance of technological language – the x-ray, the astronomer’s chart of celestial movement for the year 1967, and the magazine images of drills with arrows diagramming their movement.” The piece along with all of the imagery mentioned contains an image of an empty chair, which may suggest a certain amount of emptiness. Along with being a self portrait, Booster, like most, if not all of Rauschenberg’s work is a reaction against the distance of mass culture… and how personal things can be made impersonal by an over communicated society.

21 September 2009

ART4619C - Assignment #2

With abstract formal systems in film, images are usually arranged to compare and/or contrast color, shape, rhythm, and size. According to the article on abstract formal systems, as viewers, when we are confronting a film that exhibits abstract forms, we do not look for casually linked events that make up a narrative, nor do we look for propositional claims that may add up to an argument, which cannot necessarily be said for associational formal systems. Also with abstract formal systems, the motifs used in a film will not necessarily fit into substantive categories. For example, the face of a clock may be put next to an image of a wheel for the simple reason that they are both similar in shape, rather than the fact that they exhibit a mechanical nature. Abstract films are also often organized in what we may call “theme and variations.” The term, while it typically applies to music (And is defined as a melody or other type of motif is introduced and then followed with a series of different versions of the same melody that often have extreme differences in key and rhythm so that the original melody is hard to recognize), can work in a very similar fashion when abstract films are involved. For instance, the beginning of the film may show us in a fairly simple way the kinds of relationships the film will use as its basic material and then in other segments, it will go on to present similar types of relationships but with changes, great or small. Images and possibly sounds are arranged in a way to takes them out of their original context, they are abstracted and the meaning we garner from the film is likely to be more subjective as the filmmaker is not likely set out to create for example, a political art piece. In contrast, associational formal systems use the meshing and visual contrasting of images together to create something that has very possible political and/or moral outlook on life, thereby imposing a set of ideas onto the viewer for the duration of the film.

14 September 2009

ART4619C - Assignment #1

Part I:
First and foremost, I will be discussing the work of fiction, The Garden of Forking Paths by: Jorge Luis Borges. Like most of his other works, The Garden of Forking Paths deals with a theme of books, time, and circles. The story begins as such:

"In his A History of the World War (page 212), Captain Liddell Hart reports that a planned offensive by thirteen British divisions, supported by fourteen hundred artillery pieces, against the German line at Serre-Montauban, scheduled for July 24, 1916, had to be postponed until the morning of the 29th."

Throughout most of the work Borges uses long descriptive sentences that have something resembling a historical ring to them, as if the unnamed man is scribbling in a journal, denoting moments of history as well as moments in his history. The use of words and the structure of the words and sentences creates a visual sound and picture of time. The story is warped in that we do not know if the account of the man telling it is true but that is the case for most literature. What we can tell from the story though is that the man is a spy who set out on a mission to kill a man. The irony in the story is that spy is a descendent of Ts’ui Pen, the author, the maker of The Garden of Forking Paths which was to be the book of all books, infinite… and the man who found out its secret (that the book is a labyrinth) is the man the spy must kill.

Part II:
Ballet Mécanique is a film directed by: Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy. It is an abstract film that uses a circular theme of progression… it is in itself a labyrinth much like The Garden of Forking Paths. We first begin with a woman on a swing, her face, her expression, her movement draws us into the picture. We can relate to her because in a sense, she is like us, she is us. Then the picture is disrupted by objects hats, bottles, and even faces that have been distorted, taken out of the context in which we are so used to seeing them portrayed in. Layers upon layers of objects are spread out on the screen disrupting our perception of reality. The pictures flash in front of us like a rhythmic dance, slow at times and then powerful and even agitated like the cogs in a clock winding endlessly at light speed until we expect it to break. Images are constantly flashed in front of our eyes and repeated in patterns. The patterns themselves, are somewhat sporadic, we don’t know what will come next, the hat and bottles, a woman’s smile, or played out motion of a woman walking up the steps… never getting to her point of destination, just stuck there in time and space. These same images flash before us for what seems like an eternity, the material vs. the flesh… but the flesh is not what it should be it is abstracted. Then the film concludes where it began, with the woman, but instead of feeling anything for her or the scene, everything seems amazingly eerie. She seems mechanical and cold because she has been abstracted just like the rest of the images throughout the film.