Tag: europe

What is Fine Art Experimental Media?

The Fine Art Experimental Media program is a three year program which delves into the intersections between new technologies and contemporary art. While you will learn various programs that could prepare you for other professions, the goal of the program is to foster creative individuals who can solve problems and create new and innovative works of art relating to space, interactivity, time, and digital media. The following courses compose the first two years of study in the program, before a final year in the BA which is focused primarily on studio work, conceptual development through critical writing, and an exhibition module.

Courses during the first two years.

Animation Techniques for Interactivity, 2D 3D and Time-Based Digital Applications, Drawing Techniques and Processes, Computer Interface Design Principles, New Technologies in Interactive Media, Interactive Media Design and Prototyping, Interactive Media Web Authoring, Contextual & Cultural Referencing, Audio-Visual Techniques, Professional Practice, Digital Video Post Production & Editing, Sound Production and Editing, Idea Generation and Development, Website Creation and Management, Critical Study, Project Design; Implementation and Evaluation.

Courses for Final BA Year.

Reflective Case Study, Visual Production, Final Exhibition.

So what’s the difference betwen Commercial Art, and Fine Art?

If you are unfamiliar with these courses and concepts, and how they relate to contemporary art making, then you should look at some prominent artists working in the field to gain a better understanding of what types of projects generally encompass this field of study.  While there have been many debates about what generally constitutes commercial work, and what is Fine Art the statement can be made that commercial work is generally created for a client, and while someone hired to make a commercial certainly has their own creative vision their end goal is to showcase a company or business. The FAEM program is not focused on creating work for companies, clients or businesses. It’s a Fine Art program.

What Software and Computer Languages which will be studied?

Aftereffects, Premiere, Flash, VVVV, Pure Data, Reaper, Unity, Resolume, 3dsMax, HTML, Javascript, C Sharp, and you will also be using controllers such as Arduino which need to be programmed as well as Kinect. On top of that there is a focus on writing and critical theory, animation, and drawing techniques with new media.

Examples of Experimental Media.

Projection mapping has been around for about 50 years, the goal is to turn almost any surface into a dynamic video display. Software such as Aftereffects, Resolume, and Quartz are used to warp and mask the projected image to make it fit perfectly on irregularly shaped screens. The following video is a good example of what the limits of the medium are, and how the aesthetic of the medium can be used.

THE AETHER PROJECT from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

 

Pedro Reyes is a sculptor who works with guns which have been disassembled and then he creates large mechanized instruments from them.  In this piece we can see that he revisioned these objects which were once deadly and turned them into something which creates sound. Thereby intersecting the boundaries between sound art, kinetic sculpture, and collage.

Jodi.org 1993

Jodi.org took the approach that a website could itself, and that the internet could be seen as a medium much like paint or charcoal. The project was created by two European artists whose goal was to take apart the typical language of the internet, and replace it with an interpretation of data. The site displays remixed versions of found images and html scripts in a way similar to how the dadaists cut up poetry. The project displayed principles inherit in a lot of New Media art which is the fact that it took advantage of emerging technolgies as a vehicle to create new art. For this reason, today when we have different new technologies to play with, they are often the focus of how to create new works of art and devices are often hacked or reconfigured to fit the needs of the artist. The idea that these objects can exist purely as data is one which is common, and often exploited.

jodi_org

 

Artists also employ a strong element of interactivity into these works as well as we can see in the work of Muti Randolph who created a giant interactive sculpture which would respond and interact with the movements of those who were walking through it. It is common for these artists to employ the use of arduino (a single board controller which  intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible) as well as more familiar items such as Kinect which allows a computer to track someone’s movements and track them.

But artists using New Media is not something only synonymous with the digital age. One can  look at the work by Swiss Sculptor Jean Tinguley who is best known for his self destructing sculptures.  Many times an emphasis is put on temporary work and the genre blends aspects of performance as well as traditional artistic practices such as sculpture or painting.

 

Because of the fact that often times the work created was temporary, often the pieces would be videotaped as documentation of the work itself. At the same time the advent of video technology lead to artists also using and exploiting the medium to create works of art. Nam Jun Paik is one of the most well known examples of an artist to explore the incorporation of video into his work. Paik blended elements of sculpture, happenings, video footage, and sound into his installations.

Artists such as Eduardo Kac pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be a biological entity with the creation of his glowing rabbit. This is still a developing field referred to as Transgenetic Art.  By extracting a protein found in a certain type of jellyfish, he infused this protein into the DNA of a rabbit and created this living sculpture which would glow when blue light was shined upon it.

glowing_rabbit

The creation of this transgenetic art caused the rabbit to be held inside a lab because of fears that it would try to reproduce if it escaped.  Subsequently there was a campaign to Free Alba (The name of the rabbit) which created some public debate about the morality of the project. This debate, according to Kac, also became part of the artwork itself and made it a living public sculpture.

Bas Jan Ader

 

As you can see, the materials and concepts present in a variety of pieces can vary greatly, however they are all rooted firmly in the history of art and thinking which developed during the 20th century. This timeline can give you a glimpse into the wide variety of influences both art, philosophy, and technological advancements had with one another. [ Click to Enlarge ]

 

20th_Century_Timeline_Art

 

It is important to note that the Fine Art Experimental Media program is not one which is directly geared towards the creation of commercial work, but rather immersive installations which fit into a Fine Art context.  This piece by Bill Viola incorporates a variety of media and techniques, including sculpture, video, and sound.

Viola is primarily known for innovative work working with Videos which encompass entire rooms which exhibit an overpowering quality to them. His subjects tend to revolve around issues regarding life, death, and consciousness.

In this sound installation in a forest by Janet Cardif she transforms a natural enviroment into a performance space.

In this piece by Stelarc, we can see that the body itself can be a living sculpture which can be manipulated and used to incorporate elements of technology, dance, performance, robotics, 3d modeling and sculpture.

As you can hopefully see by now, the thrust of the program is not on making car commercials, or animations. All of the programs you learn will simply be used as tools in the creation of art. If you are still uncertain the best possible way to decide your pathway would be to attend either the HND final show, or the BA final show, the visiting artist lecture series, or any of the other events which the program puts on.

 

 

Painting Intensive: Part 6

This part’s artist is Chuck Close

Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits.

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This section of the painting intensive deals with blending acrylics and creating form. We will be using the dry brush blending technique which can be seen in the video below as well as have an introduction to glazing. You will be working from a still life of objects which have been painted white and lit in front of you.

Once again you will be drawing light sketches based upon the contours of the objects placed in front of you as well as the large value shapes. From there you will be using mainly white, and a grey mixture which I will teach you how to mix using your three primaries. These paintings should look rather dull, but full of form.

Once we have created our form paintings we will explore some very simple glazing with acrylics. Please note that glazing depends on many factors which are largely determined through trial and error. However, the main objective in creating a believable glaze will be to minimize the streakiness of the color as much as possible.

Painting Intensive: Part 7

This part’s artist is David Hockney

David Hockney, OM, CH, RA, is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London.

During this part we will be focusing on creating a portrait painting done in acrylics with disregard to what is commonly referred to as “local color”.

Local Color

Painters often refer to something known as Local Color. So what is it exactly? Well, there is a very simple explanation. Local Color refers to the color of an object if it is unhindered by shadows and highlights. Still don’t get it? Basically it is what the actual color of an object is. Take for instance a Tomato, now most people would agree that tomatoes are red, however that’s just part of the story and the way that our eye perceives colors. In reality if we really examine a tomato we will see all sorts of different tones and highlights. Take a look at the image below and you will notice the myriad of colors which are created just by one tomato. There’s pinks, violets, browns, and reds. Simply put, when painting any object we must consider all the colors and many times it isn’t intuitive to see the light violet colors because of our preconceived ideas about the local color of the object, which is red.

local color

When it comes to painting it is very important to be aware of what the local color of the object is, however it is also vital that we delve further into the more nuanced colors that appear as well. This is even more important when we have multiple objects of different colors placed closely together. The light bouncing off of one surface can create a reflection and influence the surrounding areas. Therefore, if we look at the top of the tomato we can begin to see that the green vine above it is effecting the colors of the shadows as well. For this reason it is very common for painting instructors to say that students need to start examining what colors make up the shadows in the objects they paint. There’s a whole rainbow of color hiding in the shadows. This was most evident in the Impressionists’ works as they would commonly use blues, and even reds in their shadows.

It is the goal of this lesson to get beyond local color and we are going to make sure that there’s no chance it will seep into this exercise. You will be painting a portrait without the use of local color. It is up to you to use your skills in seeing the value (darkness) of a color and by doing so you can still create a believable space which is totally divorced from your preconceived notions about what the local color of the object is. For the first part of the assignment you will copy the painting below and this will give you a feel for how Color as Value works. I’ve included the drawing, as well as the original image (gridded out), and a picture of my palette so you can get a clear look at what these colors look like. Once you are finished with the first painting you will find an image of your choosing and will have to complete a second painting. In your second painting you will once again be looking beyond local color. Really push how intense you can make your colors, and you’ll also start to notice that the temperature (basically how warm or cool a color looks) also influences the way we perceive reality.

1. Source Image from which the painting will be made. Feel free to change the unit of measurement if you wish. One box could easily equal an inch or whatever fits the size of the canvas you are working on.

2. After gridding out your painting surface you will sketch in the big value shapes present in the photo.

3. You will then paint in the value shapes using the value of the color to create an illusion of depth. Disregard what you know about color intensity and local color. Be bold.

4. Remember that your palette should be a representation of all the colors you will use.


5. If possible take a photo of your painting and change it to black and white. This will be an indicator of how good your eye is. The painting should stand up as a black and white image as well as a color one. This is an extremely important aspect of painting. Seeing color as value.

Upon finishing this copy you will be creating another painting on your own in the same manner. Remember to choose an image that has a wide range of values from light to dark.

Painting Intensive: Part 9

This Part’s artist is Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516)

Hieronymus Bosch was an Early Netherlandish painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Now we’ve finally arrived at what is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the oldest and most respected artist mediums. Oil paint. The medium itself has taken on an almost mythic quality with many students frequently being scared of using it as it isn’t exactly cheap, and this fear can cause many students to tighten up and produce awkward paintings (sometimes awkward paintings are kind of nice too but anyway) . For this reason we are not going into any new imagery yet with oil paint. We’re just going to start playing around with it as a new medium and use it in conjunction with some of the older paintings which we produced.

For the first exercise we will be looking back on some of our value scales as well as our form paintings we made with acrylics, and we will be using oil paint to glaze on top of these paintings. I’ll have some of my own glaze medium which I’ve mixed that you can try out, but just as with acrylic glazing our goal is to make our glazes as clear and seamless as possible with the smallest amount of streaks.

Once we are finished with experimenting with glazing on our older paintings and exercises we will be repainting our acrylic portraits. Not on top of the old portraits, but creating a new painting in oils based upon our old portrait done in acrylics.

Painting Intensive: Part 10

This Part’s artist focuses on the work of Chardin (1699 – 1779)

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities.

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This part consists of two steps. One which will be done in acrylics, and the second in oils. A still life will be set up in front of you to paint. First we will be creating underpaintings in acrylics with Burnt Umber. Once our underpainting is established we will continue in acrlylics working on our highlights with burnt umber and white. Once this is dry we will proceed to oil paints which we will use to glaze our underpaintings. Once our glaze has been applied we will then continue to add highlights and deeper shadows as well as color with more opaque colors. This method is a bastardization of the “7 layer Flemish Method” which is often taught. However since we don’t have the time to wait three days in between each of the layers the bulk of the underpainting will be made in acrylics and then finished with oils. In the gallery below you can see the steps which are common to 7 Layer Flemish method of painting and how it would progress if you used only oil paints.

Underpaintings are commonly done in oils with a mixture of burnt umber or burnt sienna and paint thinner. One the underpainting is established oils will be used in both an opaque as well as a transparent manner to finish the painting further.

You can see in these two paintings the difference between creating a still life underpainting, and the finished piece.

And here we can see the finished piece.

Painting Intensive: Part 11

The artist for today should be looked at before class as today we will be going on a trip to do some painting outside.

George Inness (May 1, 1825 – August 3, 1894) was an influential American landscape painter. His work was influenced, in turn, by that of the old masters, the Hudson River school, the Barbizon school, and, finally, by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose spiritualism found vivid expression in the work of Inness’ maturity. Often called “the father of American landscape painting”

Today we will be meeting at the school at 9 like normal. From here we will each grab our easels and then walk to Hlavni Nadrazi where we will be taking a train to Cernosice (a 20 minute train ride from Prague. 61Kc round trip) to paint outdoors. Be prepared to paint! Feel free to use the medium, or a combination of any mediums which you are comfortable with. I’ll be meeting with each of you individually throughout the day, and we will be having lunch in Cernosice. This class does not have two parts, but the entire class will be devoted to painting outdoors.