MPR Initial thoughts

Just had a look through the MPR and wrote down a few points I picked up on the first reading.I’m sure this will develop over time and I will go back and re read it at some point but for the moment I have noted these:

  1. As the project aims to compare the Renaissance to the 21st century, it would be a good idea to bring the aesthetics of the works from that period of time into what I’m doing. The aesthetics of Renaissance art is also very recognisable to people and hopefully would establish a connection to the original references at first glance.

    “I like Digital Renaissance as the creative springboard. But I think the comparison with the original renaissance and the digital renaissance could (or should) be more evident in the final work”

    “no doubt that the visual language of the renaissance is something that most people will immediately connect with and understand” 

  2. The idea of the QR code seemed to be a good element in my experiments, its adds an extra dimension to otherwise static works and pushes the viewer to interact with it in order to experience the whole idea. I also like the idea of creating hidden meaning that the viewers have to find themselves.

    “I like your experiments with the QR codes where you removed half of the image and created a QR code from it. Not only because of the juxtaposition of real and digital (which is an interesting idea) but also because QR codes (although I like the graphic itself) never really make me curious to find out what is hidden behind…. unless like in your example one part of the image reveals the atmosphere and creates an incitation to go further”

    “yep the QR codes is a great idea – the visible meaning of the picture becomes the hidden meaning you need to dig for..”

    One problem which I can going to have to think about is how the incorporate them into works whilst keeping the Renaissance style

    “I liked the QR codes but had problems fitting them into the overall idea about digital renaissance – I just think the overall
    concept is so great that it should be more evident to the viewer”

    3. I quite like the idea of exploring the self and the body, something which ties into the ideas I was thinking about back at the start of the MA, I will need to think more into this before writing anything.

    “the Renaissance is such a huge subject – I wonder if a way of narrowing this is to look at ‘the self’ and maybe this is via portraits or the body as has been suggested already – the idea of the self – or the ‘privatised self’ is a strong result from the Renaissance and how is this challeneged now, or is it promoted even more?”

    “’privatised self’ may have a link to QR codes”

    Full conversation below

so we start with Justin – we will give 5 minutes to read or watch again the presentation – Justin please paste the link in here for the archive

[11/06/2012 13:56:03] Jonathan Kearney: and after 5 minutes I will tell you to start the discussion

[11/06/2012 13:56:29] justinlogue89: ok here is the link – https://justinlogue.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/mid-point-review/

[11/06/2012 13:57:37] justinlogue89: forgive my poor grammar, punctuation, spelling etc not too good at writing

[11/06/2012 14:02:44] Jonathan Kearney: ok so 5 minutes gone – we can then have a discussion for the next 15-20 miunutes

[11/06/2012 14:03:04] justinlogue89: so i dont speak at all here?

[11/06/2012 14:03:07] Katrine Granholm: Do we just start?

[11/06/2012 14:03:13] Jonathan Kearney: remember no adressing Justin directly – just talk about his work not talk to him

[11/06/2012 14:03:27] Jonathan Kearney: Justin – yes you are silent for the next 15 minutes 😉

[11/06/2012 14:03:34] Jonathan Kearney: Katrine – yes!

[11/06/2012 14:03:37] Katrine Granholm: I really love the title of his project. I think it is very well thought out and he make some very interesting points.

[11/06/2012 14:03:45] sneja_d: I like the idea of comparing Renaissance to today’s society. Many historians argue whether it was the beginning of the modern world.

[11/06/2012 14:04:00] Kiers: I like the idea of subtracting the colour / image parts to play with the meaning of the picture – its interesting that the renaissance pics had the faces removed, but hte clothes remained, but the football pics was the reverse

[11/06/2012 14:04:22] Katrine Granholm: I like Digital Renaissance as the creative springboard. But I think the comparison with the original renaissance and the digital renaissance could (or should) be more evident in the final work

[11/06/2012 14:04:28] Eduardo Silva: I like the fact that sometimes we need to go back to the passed to understand the futures, it makes a lot of sence

[11/06/2012 14:04:31] Kiers: There is alot of status meaning in medieval clothing

[11/06/2012 14:04:42] Katrine Granholm: One idea could be to think about renaissance portraits and their relationship to avatar and Facebook profile pictures.

[11/06/2012 14:04:44] sneja_d: When I hear the word of Renaissance, immediately the following comes to my mind:the ‘liberation’ of the body,the artist’s position/ recognitation (he signs his works), art designed to celebrate and impress come to my mind. This may be combined with today’s situation of the body cult in advertising

[11/06/2012 14:05:28] ben james (jotta): i do as well. i think it’s a great idea. i worked with a photgrapher at the Royal College a few months back and we were discussing Vermeer and how the changes painters such as him were trying to document at the time – a period of massive discovery – and the parallels to now. but unlike justin – we just spoke about it but didn’t actually do anything!

[11/06/2012 14:06:10] Eduardo Silva: I think the Glasgow experiment is very interesting, substracting the calours to cupute the power of the image

[11/06/2012 14:06:18] Kiers: I suppose its important to remember that the whole world isnt europe – the renaissance is something that is important to us, but in asia there are different cultural events just as important in global cultural history

[11/06/2012 14:06:34] sneja_d: I like your experiments with the QR codes where you removed half of the image and created a QR code from it. Not only because of the juxtaposition of real and digital (which is an interesting idea) but also because QR codes (although I like the graphic itself) never really make me curious to find out what is hidden behind…. unless like in your example one part of the image reveals the atmosphere and creates an incitation to go further

[11/06/2012 14:07:01] Katrine Granholm: The renaissance pictures that Justin modified in the beginning and the quote from Jerry Brotton also reminded me of this amazing (and quite amusing project by artist Nina Katchadourian http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/photography/sa-flemish.php

[11/06/2012 14:07:10] Eduardo Silva: colours can somtime distract from the meaning of the image, as on the very begigning of the experiments.

[11/06/2012 14:07:23] Kiers: yep the QR codes is a great idea – the visible meaning of the picture becomes the hidden meaning you need to dig for..

[11/06/2012 14:07:33] sneja_d: I also like your idea of flipping the real and the digital, the digital manifested in the finished artwork and the original image existing somewhere within the internet is interesting.

[11/06/2012 14:08:12] ben james (jotta): on pure aesthetics – i love the last gradient image

[11/06/2012 14:08:13] Eduardo Silva: It would be very interesting just to be able to roll over the QR code and get a bit of information about it?

[11/06/2012 14:08:20] Jonathan Kearney: (interestign side point on QR codes – one student last year found that you can actually add images to the QR code itself and it will still work – I can’t remember the percentage but it was something like 15% – so as long as 85% of the QR code was still there it could still be scanned)

[11/06/2012 14:08:23] Kiers: me too – nice gradient

[11/06/2012 14:08:28] Katrine Granholm: I liked the QR codes but had problems fitting them into the overall idea about digital renaissance – I just think the overall concept is so great that it should be more evident to the viewer

[11/06/2012 14:08:45] sneja_d: interesting Jonathan! [11/06/2012 14:08:57] Katrine Granholm: you can change 30% of a qr code – I’ve used it for several ads

[11/06/2012 14:09:29] sneja_d: and what was the feedback?

[11/06/2012 14:09:33] sneja_d: with image? Sorry we may focus on the MPR

[11/06/2012 14:10:00] Jonathan Kearney: thanks Katrine – I was being cautious with only 15% 😉

[11/06/2012 14:11:06] Katrine Granholm: I recently did an ad for a housing comapany where the visual was a empty piece of land and when you placed the phone on it you could se a house on the land

[11/06/2012 14:11:17] Katrine Granholm: It worked well

[11/06/2012 14:11:22] Jonathan Kearney: remember if you have any links to other projects/artists/galleries/books etc put them here as well – Justin can look through these later

[11/06/2012 14:11:52] Katrine Granholm: I still would like to recommend the book Digital Folklore for Justin if you havent gotten hold of it already

[11/06/2012 14:12:03] Katrine Granholm: and Clay Shirky’s talk regarding the 5 great media revolutions seems very relevant. I can’t remember if this was the one that Jonathan posted some time ago. http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html
There’s more about this in his book Here comes everybody.

[11/06/2012 14:12:29] Eduardo Silva: I find very interesting the use of the gradients and how colours can influence what artists create, I have actually done a lot of research and experiments on how colours can influence ideas

[11/06/2012 14:12:41] Katrine Granholm: also the Nina Katchadourian link is great 😉

[11/06/2012 14:13:49] Katrine Granholm: Oh and some great GIF inspiration http://iwdrm.tumblr.com/

[11/06/2012 14:14:07] Jonathan Kearney: so someone earlier mentioned about a world perspective not just focusing on Europe – but do you think Justin is doing that with reading around the idea of Global Renaissance?

[11/06/2012 14:14:28] Jonathan Kearney: and is that enough? do his experiments have a global feel yet – or should they?

[11/06/2012 14:15:05] Katrine Granholm: that depends on what a global feel is

[11/06/2012 14:15:08] Kiers: I mentioned that because of the idea that everything began with one event – a cultural big-bang – but in different parts of the world it was happening at different times

[11/06/2012 14:15:17] ben james (jotta): but if the project is about the european centric renaissance period does the project need to focus outside of that?

[11/06/2012 14:15:52] ben james (jotta): is it referencing a specific time and place – and is there anything wrong with that?

[11/06/2012 14:16:23] Katrine Granholm: I agree with James

[11/06/2012 14:16:29] Eduardo Silva: It woul be interesting to to do the same experiment with videos from the passed to see what it would look like

[11/06/2012 14:16:30] Katrine Granholm: sorry ben 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:16:36] Kiers: no doubt that the visual language of the renaissance is something that most people will immediately connect with and understand

[11/06/2012 14:17:03] sneja_d: Maybe global can be related to standards … standards or klischees

[11/06/2012 14:17:20] Katrine Granholm: Or to put the themes of the renaissance in a comtemporary context

[11/06/2012 14:17:46] Katrine Granholm: that’s why I suggested thinking about portraits vs. avatars

[11/06/2012 14:17:55] Jonathan Kearney: contemporary context – if the comparrison is with the recent internet revolution – then it is global – even though only 30% of the world have used the internet – it is spreading fast

[11/06/2012 14:18:09] Katrine Granholm: true

[11/06/2012 14:18:12] Kiers: i really like that idea Kathrine

[11/06/2012 14:18:25] Katrine Granholm: 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:18:25] sneja_d: yes interestin katrine¨

[11/06/2012 14:18:34] Kiers: comparing avatars and portraits – one created by an artist, the other by a computer or by yourself

[11/06/2012 14:19:00] Katrine Granholm: I’m sure there are many themes in renaissance paintings that would be great to look at also

[11/06/2012 14:19:13] Eduardo Silva: I like that Kiers, it wold also be good to see some movement and sound?

[11/06/2012 14:19:49] sneja_d: what about bodies in advertising I mentioned before … ?

[11/06/2012 14:20:09] Kiers: yes, actually for some reason I was thinking there would be a strong influence of the interactive in this research

[11/06/2012 14:20:11] Jonathan Kearney: ok 3 minutes left – time goes quickly!! – any other thoughts or even questions you want to leave for future discussion?

[11/06/2012 14:20:20] ben james (jotta): justin – rangers or celtic!

[11/06/2012 14:20:22] ben james (jotta): 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:20:24] Kiers: haha

[11/06/2012 14:20:32] Kiers: whoever plays in white..

[11/06/2012 14:20:35] justinlogue89: Celtic forever and always! 😎

[11/06/2012 14:20:36] Kiers: (less photoshop)

[11/06/2012 14:21:11] sneja_d: This makes me think of the Emirates 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:21:24] ben james (jotta): 🙂 jelly and ice cream

[11/06/2012 14:21:42] Katrine Granholm: As I said before Digital Renaissance is an amzing springboard – and there are so many ways to go with it

[11/06/2012 14:21:59] justinlogue89: Hahah Ben 😉

[11/06/2012 14:22:16] Katrine Granholm: so it’s important that the point doesn’t get lost 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:23:06] Jonathan Kearney: the Renaissance is such a huge subject – I wonder if a way of narrowing this is to look at ‘the self’ and maybe this is via portraits or the body as has been suggested already – the idea of the self – or the ‘privatised self’ is a strong result from the Renaissance and how is this challeneged now, or is it promoted even more?

[11/06/2012 14:23:57] Katrine Granholm: I like it

[11/06/2012 14:24:30] sneja_d: yes …’privatised self’ may have a link to QR codes

[11/06/2012 14:24:51] Kiers: how were the renaissance concepts of value expressed through the body image vs how we expres these values now

[11/06/2012 14:25:41] Kiers: the hidden meanings of a renaissance / modern image hidden in a QR code

[11/06/2012 14:25:43] Eduardo Silva: Thats a great way to see it Kiers, I think it would help the conparison

[11/06/2012 14:25:46] sneja_d: the subject was identified on paintings (often commissioned) …

[11/06/2012 14:25:50] Jonathan Kearney: maybe I’m unrealistic but I hope that the tools we have now actaully open up more collaborative and community opportunities and less priority to the self

[11/06/2012 14:26:06] sneja_d: ok ok

[11/06/2012 14:26:08] sneja_d: 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:26:23] Jonathan Kearney: anyway – lots of good comments, thanks everyone

[11/06/2012 14:26:25] Kiers: perhaps communities controlled by corporations..

[11/06/2012 14:26:43] Kiers: eek 😉

[11/06/2012 14:27:01] Jonathan Kearney: Justin you should copy and paste this bit later and respond to it all on your blog

[11/06/2012 14:27:13] ben james (jotta): the periods are both self-propogating. the spread of the ideas within the movements are a core part of the movements themselves

[11/06/2012 14:27:19] justinlogue89: yeap will do 🙂

[11/06/2012 14:27:25] ben james (jotta): (going back to the gloabl vs european thing)

[11/06/2012 14:27:45] Jonathan Kearney: it will probably feel like a tsunami of thoughts and opinions at first but all of you take your time looking through the comments and it will be very useful

[11/06/2012 14:28:01] sneja_d: yes I am sure

[11/06/2012 14:28:21] Kiers: alot of the ideas arent obvious tho – e.g an increase in the use of blue reflects how much more advanced technology was becoming at the time..

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Mid Point Review

My project entitled “Digital Renaissance” aims to explore ideas and themes which I have developed through comparisons of contemporary society to that of the Renaissance period spanning from the 14th-17th centuries. At this important developmental stage in human history many fields such as art, travel, science and politics were revolutionised in various ways and the characteristics of this time period have become the foundations of my project.

Innovations in the above fields, along with many others, coincide with the rapid progression of digital technologies enabling people to learn, share and develop have brought me to the conclusion that we are currently experiencing a time period as vital to human history as the Renaissance with several similarities.

My intentions are to explore these comparisons in my art practice, reflecting on issues from the past with a contemporary twist. One quote that has inspired me through this thinking process is by Jerry Brotton, he states that in several works of Renaissance art they were:

Dressing the contemporary world up with clothes from the past as a way of understanding the present.

Through research and development stages which I have names Phase 1 and 2, I have explored and attempted to refine my ideas which I have began to experiment with. I intend to begin a Phase 3 which I will begin after the MPR to review and narrow down my ideas which at this point i feel are too widespread and vast.

There are two main ideas which have become integral to my project that grew out of research into the Renaissance, the first being a decrease in the superiority of the church and a rise in individualism or humanism as it was known. Unlike the Middle Ages where the authority of the Church was over powering, the Renaissance began to generate a new mindset, where research and study both for personal development and for specific causes became popular along with the invention of the printing press. The printing press became an important tool in spreading knowledge to everyday people in the Renaissance world, providing these books became tools in the rise of personal development and the search for knowledge which would contribute to the successes of the Renaissance. With the rise of Humanism and the printing press, people began to break away from the accepted mould of everyday life typical of the Middle Ages.

The second idea I have called Global Renaissance after a chapter heading in Jeremy Brottons book which was one of the first and most important books I have used in my research. During my reading of this book the idea of the Renaissance solely taking place within Italy is dismissed and evidence is provided to show that the characteristics of the Renaissance were wide spread and inter continental. Issues such as as travel and discovery, politics and multi culturalism are discussed that show both scientific advancement and artistic creations were a product of the distribution of knowledge between different cultures and peoples. The influence of one culture upon another at this time was profound and contributed greatly to advancements made in the Renaissance despite the inevitable conflict and subsequent wars that are present in any age of humanity.

From the initial research I began to formulate contemporary comparisons:

  • The rise of individualism that is witnessed in the Renaissance has a contemporary counterpart in the acceptance of other cultures and social viewpoints in an increasingly diverse and tolerant world through education and understanding. In a similar vein to the people of the Renaissance breaking free of the moulds and social restriction that bound them, oppressed cultures or social groups are increasingly finding their voice on the world stage.
  • As technology and social media develop, the world becomes “smaller” as more and more people acquire affordable technology that gives them the platform to interact. This idea of Globalisation both in the technological sense and through political means shows the increasing interactivity of coutnries and cultures working together on a global scale on issues that affect us. In the same way to the different cultures of the Renaissance coming together to share and develop, the same could be said for the global community in the 21st century.
  • The third comparison is to state that the Internet functions as the 21st century’s answer to the printing press, this for me, is a crucial element when discussing the two comparisons above. Just like the printing press provided people with the ability to share and learn, the Internet also does this with added interaction, discussion and collaboration allowing people from different parts of the world to communicate at the click of a button. The individual and social awareness the Internet provides makes it an unprecedented development in the course of history.

For my experiements I have been focussing on working methods and results as opposed to content at this stage in the MA. Below i have included a few groups of experiments I have undertaken in the past months. Creating and experimenting with images in photoshop has been central in my experimental process, seeing as I work with photoshop on a daily basis I find it quite good to move from a sometimes restrictive design process into a more open and free platform to experiment with the ideas I like.

From discussing the importance of the Internet previously, I like to use the Internet as a source to find material to work with. An important factor from my dissertation which I have continued to adopt in the MA is the idea of appropriation, the recontextualisation of object and images are present in many aspects of the visual arts and I enjoy adopting this working method.

Experiment 1 / Renaissance paintings in photoshop

These experiments were very early on in the project however capture some of the working methods I have continued to use in later experiments. Going back to early research ideas I began playing around with Renaissance paintings, cutting and repeating elements to add colour and a overall ‘digital’ feel to the images. In the end, these attempts were only created from a passing feeling to create something from Renaissance paintings although at this stage I see their importance and their significance as early experiments in photoshop.

Second Life Wanderings / Glitches

In this series of experiments I have been influenced in how virtual worlds compare to reality. From looking at Eva and Franco Mattes’ work within the virtual world Second Life, as well as other research on articles and other artists work, I created my own avatar and wandered through Second Life exploring the landscapes and its features as well as my own avatar. The outcome of this extended into photoshop where I cut up digital images I have collected on these journeys and mixed them with other digital images of myself, real life environments and existing artworks, in this case Monet.

Photoshop Experiment / Glasgow rivalries 

These images stem from my research into social issues that I have been looking at in relation to Glasgow. These works continue the idea of cutting elements out of images which I previously did in the earlier Renaissance images, artist that have influenced me for work like this are Angus Fairhurst and Richard Prince. Unlike the Renaissance images these aim to subtract the colour from the original images. In the context of Glasgow, the green, white and gold and the red, white and blue are important factors not just in terms of football but also in cultural identities within the city and symbolises and old rivalry between the Catholic and Protestant communities as well as being the colours of the two main football teams, Celtic and Rangers. My idea was to subtract the colour in an attempt to diffuse the power of the image, however by subtracting the strips I want to highlight the significance of it, removing the element in order to highlight it. Colour plays an important role within cultural identities ranging from the colour of persons skin to the colour found in the flags that represents them, growing up in Glasgow I can understand the meaning behind the colours and the importance that goes along with it and feel that this is a relevant subject to continue to work on.

Photoshop Experiment / Global Conflicts

This experiment further developed my use of photoshop techniques onto appropriated images. For these particular set of photographs I aimed to explore the role of cultural identity on a global platform by examining the events that are taking place is Israel and Palestine. In terms of treating these images and adding meaning to them I again chose to distort and diffuse elements of the image in order to highlight them, in the case I chose to make the Israeli soldiers blurred and somewhat out of focus as a statement about how the actions taken by the Israeli army towards the Palestinians goes unpunished and unrecognised, out of focus so to speak in the eyes of the international community.

QR codes

My experiments with the QR codes were ideas based on including interactivity to otherwise static images, urging the viewer to engage with the work as opposed to simply looking at it. I was influenced by the report in the world ADD LINK  project where interacticity using smart phones and the QR was essential to the overall concept. I quite liked the idea of going down the same route as this so decided to use one of the earlier images of the Palestine-Israeli conflict to experiment with. I removed half of the image and created a QR code from it, inserted this back into the image which would force the viewer to interact with the work to view the whole image. I then thought about how the QR code could be brought into the physical world so I began to create a self portrait out of pen and paper, using an image of myself to create the code and essentially just copying it onto paper. Here I was interested in the idea of flipping the real and the digital, the digital manifested in the finished artwork and the original image existing somewhere within the internet.

Gradients

These images below were created off the back of the edited photographs based on Glasgow and thinking about colour. From starting to think more about the importance of colour and being influenced by artists like Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman, I began to create colourful backdrops that I would quite like to continue building on to create some collage works. I also feel I have been influenced by colour field painters like Rothko and tried to achieve the idea of being suspended in digital space. These experiments are the latest ones I have carried out and I would quite like to take these further.

Other Experiments

I have been toying with the idea of making animated gifs for sometime but havn’t created any due to lack of concepts. I created some templates for the sizes of them which can be found here:

I have also looked at video and sound, the first being a glitch video I made looking into colour and shape. The second was trying to record silence in the environment of a room, as the video progresses the noise grows louder emphasiing the silence. These can be found here:

Aspect to develop:

  • I would like to define a more focussed set of concepts to continue to work with
  • Experiment more with sound and video

Artist presentation

Bert Monroy

The digital painting aspect is the key reason why I like Bert Monroy, I watched a short documentary about him (I think it was on Lynda.com) where he discusses his work, I don’t think the compositions he creates are all that great however the working methods he adopts are what interests me.

Glenn Brown

Glenn Browns paintings are created through the use of appropriation of other artists work, both subject and styles. The youtube video explains more about his work, the man talking is John Myatt who was caught forging paintings so he is giving us his “professional” opinions.

Camile Utterback

What I like about these works is the interactive aspects to it, viewers change the projection through the use of sensors.

http://camilleutterback.com/projects/untitled-6/

http://camilleutterback.com/projects/untitled-5/