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ITP Classes (old posts, page 6)

Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away

Danh Vo (pronounced yon voh) is a Vietnamese born conceptual artist (1975). His work explores cultural and personal themes relating to national imperialism and his family’s forced migration. His artwork seems meaningless at first, but after further reflection one can see the meaning attached to that which Vo is presenting.

Vo’s family fled Vietnam in 1979 in a homemade boat. While at sea they were picked up by a Danish boat leading to their eventual relocation to Denmark [1]. Although he doesn’t remember this time of his life the events surrounding his family of origin’s migration deeply shape Vo’s artistic work.

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Paper Car

Tomorrow we are going to visit a school to share our work. Our goal was to make a paper toy kit to share with the students. We need to bring one fully assembled and one ready to be assembled by the children.

After much thought, I made this paper car:

/images/itp/paper_engineering/week3/car1.jpg

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Data Investigation

Milestone #1: Data Investigation

My first step is to investigate my data options for this project. As discussed in my plan, I am considering Google Streetview data and LiDAR data. The Streetview data is my first choice but I realized that that data might be different from what I expect or have weird complications that make it difficult or impossible to do what I have in mind. I wanted to consider alternatives, and there's a lot that interests me about LiDAR data. Of course that data might be impossible to work with too. In any case, I needed to find out these things right away while it is still easy to change course on this project.

The summary of Google Streetview data is that it is easy to work with and close to what I expected. They provide a convenient API that is properly documented. Unfortunately, the depth data discussed in this blog post does not come from the API, and that information is compressed in a format I have not yet parsed. The author of that post does provide C++ code for doing so; I am optimistic that I will be able to translate that to Python and/or integrate their process into my code.

LiDAR data is also well documented but extremely complex. I've worked with complex data before and am confident I can manage this if I put in the time. My objection is that taking the project in that direction would take a good portion of the class. I would have less time to learn about the topics I want to be learning about.

Additionally, I feel the challenges I would face with the Google Streetview data is resonating with me in a way that the LiDAR data challenges are not.

My conclusion is that I will use the Google Streetview data for this project. Sometime after the semester is over I might spend more time with the LiDAR data and get some experience working with it. It would be a great choice for a future project.

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Laura Owens at the Whitney

Laura Owens is a contemporary American painter. Sometimes criticized for being overly cheerful[2], her large and colorful paintings combining multiple techniques do seem whimsical at first but upon closer reflection communicate a deeper thoughtfulness and emotion.

One of Owen’s works that struck me as particularly intriguing is her untitled piece derived from old newspaper plates she found under the shingle siding of her home[1,3]. The piece looks like a collage that started with the front page of a Sunday newspaper, and was actually made with Adobe Photoshop along with oil paint and screen printing. Owens made several similar pieces and one of them was on display at the Whitney.

/images/itp/history_of_contemporary_art/laura_owens.jpg

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Plan

Dream

My conceptual motivation for this project is to create visually compelling animations using large amounts of spatial data.

Data by itself is formless. Our present technology community collects vast amounts of data. Some of that data is a record of the physical space we humans live in. My dream is to access that data and reimagine it in a way that maintains the integrity of the data and inspires viewers to appreciate the beauty of the originating physical space.

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Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting

Carolee Schneemann is a provocative and influential artist whose work challenged the art establishment and our society’s perception of art. Her career has spanned many decades and her artwork took on many forms, and throughout all of it she fought against sexism and bias against female artists.

Schneemann was the first woman from her family to attend college, getting a scholarship to study art at Bard College. At school she would pose nude for paintings by other students, but when she painted self-portraits the paintings would be stolen by male students. Eventually, she was expelled from the school for “moral turpitude.” This was not fully explained to her but she attributed it to the paintings she had been making of herself.

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First Pop-up

In our first class we learned about basic paper engineering and pop-ups. Our assignment was to make a paper bug using a template. Here is the result:

/images/itp/paper_engineering/week1/bug.jpg

I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut the paper. All of the paper is attached using one-sided artist tape except for the bug's arms, which are attached with two-sided tape. I found the bone folder to be very useful for making good folds.

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