Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I wonder

I took the poem by Claes Oldenburg, "I am for an art...", and created my own art maifesto. I twisted it a bit and made it into a poem about what I want from the art I have created and will create in the future.

My Creations:

I want to create art that doesn't know it's art.

I want to create art that moves people that means something.
I want to create art that means nothing, that has no deep meaning.
I want to create art that people hate, that frustrates people.
I want to create art that makes people think.
I want to create art that makes people cry and feel.
I want to create art that no one understands.
I want to create art that entertains and serves as an escape.
I want to create art that has a point.
I want to create art that my children will be able to understand, to play with, to have fun with.
I want to create art for myself, for friends, for family, for strangers, for animals, for no one.
I want to create art that will be in the grandest theaters across the country.
I want to create art that will be in the one dollar theaters in small towns.
I want to create art that will be successful.
I want to create art that will fail.
I want to create art that brings hope, that makes people believe.
I want to create art that is controversial.
I want to create art that combines all forms of art.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Two Videos from Tokyoplastic:

Drum Machine - First one I ever saw (drumming starts about 2 mins in but the intro is cool)

Music Box - My personal favorite

Today I rediscovered two artists who I first remember seeing when I was sixteen at the Virgin Mobile Music Festival in Maryland. Their work came up on the screen between bands about halfway through the day. The two artists, Sam Lanyon Jones and Drew Cope collaborate together to make short films and other graphic work including commercials and prints. These two were raised by Amish foster parents and were horr
ified of television and computers until they discovered Internet porn. After leaving home and traveling they reunited in 2002 to found Tokyoplastic. Tokyoplastic was originally a 15 second claymation nano-series but is now a worldwide recognized website if you follow the Internet underground.

They’re work has come out of their underground laboratory in London, England and are recognized as vector scientists. They have won numerous awards and worked with companies including from Microsoft, Dreamworks SKG, Guy Ritchie, Toyota, etc. In 2006, their first short film called “The Drum Machine” was created. Shortly thereafter they created two more films called “Music Box” and “Opera Guy”. A while after that “The Little Fella”, a groundbreaking short video was created. These two continue to expand their company and website and push forward the boundaries of flash animation and visuals on the Internet. Toykoplastic has expanded into the market by creating Japanese inspired Geisha character, which is used in "Drum Machine” and is the icon of their work. These figures sold out immediately so they decided to make more based off of other characters in their work including Opera Guy, Awia, and Koguma.

When I first saw “Drum Machine” at Virgin Festival I was amazed and intrigued by it. They were able to meld music and animation together in a new way I had never seen before. I assumed (wrongly) that it was Japanese because of the Geisha characters. I asked around who had created the short video and my best friend told me that it was a group named Tokyoplastic. I looked them up and even their website tricked because some parts are in Japanese and the Japanese influence continues throughout the site. It’s extremely hard to navigate the first time you visit but after a while you learn how to find what you want. Every part of the site is interactive and it’s a form of audio-visual art I would have never thought of. Every film or short piece they do is extremely original, surreal, and creative and immediately captures my attention. A good amount of the work comes off as strange and unusual and sometimes dark and creepy but even the creepy things are fascinating. The level of craftsmanship with the animation is unparalleled and loving created. I love telling new people about them because I want to gauge their reactions whether they be negative or positive. These two vector scientists have created a whole new realm of flash video and animation yet they have no intention of making themselves well known. You really have to search to find them when you see their work in a commercial or one of their short films that’s not from their main site.

Here is there site for anyone who's interested in more of their work: Tokyoplastic

Things that go bump in the night

I gathered these four pieces together because they all deal with nightmares. Two nights ago I had my first nightmare since I was a child. I had a number of them in a row, each time went back to sleep I was in a new one. Now usually I don’t sleep because I’m an insomniac and when I do I only get four to five hours tops before my body wakes itself up. On Monday I was getting about six to seven hours of sleep, which is a very rare occasion. And I find it intriguing that the night I get a somewhat normal amount of sleep I also have three terrifying nightmares. One of these felt very much like a nightmare I would have had as a child, filled with abstract and bright monsters chasing after me. This one was over fairly quickly and I shrugged it off as more of a strange dream then a nightmare although it did thoroughly creep me out. My second nightmare was much more realistic and tapped into my fear of heights. I was standing on a crane for some reason with the wind blowing. I tried to make it back to the body of the crane but I fell and instead of dying I hit water but it was an ocean and it was a rough one at that. I couldn’t stay afloat and started drowning, waking up right before I died. The third nightmare I had was the most vivid and horrifying to me. I won’t go into to much detail but it dealt with robbers and people breaking into my house. I was terrified and was trying to get to my family. After a while I woke up from this nightmare covered in sweat. I looked around to find my roommate so I could make sure I was awake. But when I looked around my roommate was nowhere to be found and I see a masked figure standing in my doorway with a gun. Then I woke up again, for real and found everything in order. I didn’t go back to sleep for a while and the next night I was a bit afraid to fall asleep because of this streak of nightmares.

These paintings all deal with the realm of dreams and more specifically nightmares. The first and most famous of these is The Nightmare (1781) by Henry Fuseli. The sleeping woman lays in anguish as the nightmare plagues her sleep and comes to view in the background of the painting. The horse and incubus are two very common symbols associated with nightmares and look on as she lies in this prime pose to have such dreams. Fuseli uses chiaroscuro to create a very strong contrast between the lights and darks in the painting and the coloring is very rich and vivid. All of the other nightmare paintings draw from this one. They aren’t as realistic but they portray similar emotions. The painting of the same name by John Fitzgerald pays homage to Fuseli, changing a few details but remaining true to the painting. His is much bluer and actually plays out the nightmare in the background instead of implying it. But the woman lies in the same pose and she’s surrounded by her nightmare in the same way. Robert Lee’s Twisted face reminds me of the way I feel during the nightmare. The eyes are wide with fear, the mouth screams a silent scream all while being distorted and turned upside down. This nightmare painting has more of a surreal interpretation then the previous two and leaves almost everything to the imagination. Even so, Lee still pin points the fear of the dreamer and makes it the forefront of his work. The last nightmare work I chose is Joshua Hoffine’s Nightmare, a photograph that I think we can all relate to. A small child clutches desperately to her teddy bear as giant monstrous hands reach out from under the bed. She stays hunched toward the back of the bed hoping the hands won’t notice her and be content with the blocks on the floor. I love the play with shadows in this piece, especially the little girl’s and under the bed. The shadow under the bed is pitch black and then completely light, no transition between the two. The blocks make me curious, I’m not exactly sure what their purpose is. Maybe they were knocked over by the hands or maybe the little girl just didn’t clean them up before she got into bed. The fact that all the lights are on makes me think she’s probably afraid of the day and maybe that’s why only the hands of the monster are exposed and not the rest of it. All of these nightmare pieces grasp onto the same emotions of fear, horror, and the unknown. Combining these things can lead to a number of images and ideas just as dreams can.