Extra, Extraaaaaa!

I enjoyed most of the activities that we did as it was something different then what I generally do. The best part was that I was able to get credit for it! Of course week 1 was cool when I found out about the website. This week’s post should tell you more in detail about that. My favorite 3 activities had to be spray painting, instagram, and the snapchat. Instagram was cool cause I was able to relate my day with everyone and see how alike or different we are.

Snapchat was a little bit more different. I had to go out of my way to send snaps to people to show them the things that I want. But the affect wasn’t for the week but what happened since then. I was able to see how many people continued using it or even kept me as a friend. I guess some people were more closed off and some people continued being friendly. Or maybe some just thought I was boring and some found me or my life interesting/funny to continue seeing snaps. I didn’t delete anyone but I’m sure a few deleted me. Their loss haha

The spray painting activity was really cool and probably my favorite. I never used spraypaint in my life before and I felt like a gangsta using it haha. It was a trial and error activity which took me multiple tries to get it somewhat right but overall I really enjoyed the experience and so did my sister who helped me and even did her name!

The activities I disliked were just 2. The ones were we had to use the online program to design our chairs and neighborhood. I was very bad with my drawings and they looked ugly. I was never a good drawer and I always hated to look at my creation. But other than those 2 activities, I really enjoyed the class and doing the “work” which didn’t even feel like work but more like fun.

Founder and Chief Editor

I think finding about this website was one of the biggest assets of my life. Well hopefully, I am highly into sports. Whether its basketball, baseball, football, and well even cricket or golf. I follow multiple folks on Twitter and always on top of the latest scoop within seconds. By enrolling in this class I was able to find this website where I can make my own website. My ideal goal would be to become a reporter for the Lakers.

I have a few conencts who are reporters and I’ve asked them for advice and all of them told me to start up a blog. Unfortunately, I was very illiterate in regards to how to start one up. Because of this art class, I was able to create my own website and even publish my blog. I’m hoping to write more blogs in the future and to gain some followers and publicity. Then I may get recognized by a higher end company say ESPN or CBS; Maybe even something local like the LA Times. And thus that could pave way for me to have a future.

Of course I’m not retarded and scared to take such a high risk without a backup plan. Thus, why I go to CSULB to get my degree in Business Econ. So if I do fail in creating my own website and not become the reporter that I dream or not make enough money, then I can fall back on Economics and make money. Sure it wouldn’t make me happy but I’ve realized there are other things that can make me happy. Such as traveling and being able to afford to buy things that I want, support my family, and have shelter over my head.

Since I created the website from scratch and wanted it to be attracted to people, I spent a lot of time in the lay out and designing the pages. Still needs more work but that will happen over time. I thought about waiting till after the end of the semester so that I could just use this website and not have to pay twice. However, time was of the essence as I had a really good article in my head that I wanted to write. So I just went for it.

 

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Final Week: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol- Glamour in Arts

Andy Warhol was a legendary artist who was also significant in the “pop art” movement, a genre of art iconic today. Andy was a highly business minded individual who mixed arts with advertising and the growing celebrity culture of mid nineties. Because of the way he was able to create art which paid really well and was received well by masses, art critics labelled his art as superficial with no real passion for the work. Regardless, Warhol thrived through his art, using different media to reach out including photography, film, and music.

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Andy did not merely create art as a profession; his life itself changed the way people viewed homosexuality. Where homosexuality was still a taboo in the time, Andy made no effort regarding his orientation. In fact, his studio, The Factory, was famous as a gathering of intellectuals, drag queens, and Bohemian street people.

Although Elvis Presley ruled the world in 1950s, his career had started to decline by 1963, the year when Andy Warhol created Double Presley. The art was created by silk screening multiple images on top of each other which captured Elvis in his signature hip-shaking moves. Double Elvis was a part of a long canvas of Elvis, which Andy later broke down into multiple paintings. 9 of which are recently held in museums. These canvases resemble a film strip where Elvis seems to be moving back and forth.

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Andy Warhol was a man of adverts and media. One of his most cherished works is Campbell’s Soup Company where he mimics the monotony and repetition of mass production and industry. Although it seem like print, the painting is done by hand and the artist has taken care to produce exact replicas of an image. The front of the image however, has a slight variation. They are all of different flavour, 32 to be exact.

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Self Portrait done by Andy Warhol in 1966 is one of his highest priced works. Andy got into portraits into the latter part of his career, where he would reproduce images of highly famous and celebrated people like: Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe, etc. His portrait of himself was created in a style that became his signature later in a variety of contrasting and sometimes shaded pictures. This style was also one of the biggest sources of his fame. The “pope of Pop’s” portrait, through this style became as famous and well recognised as ones of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

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I think Andy Warhol was not only a great artist, he was also successful, few artists witness their own fame and such well reception in their own lives. His art was glamorous, as well as real. Despite his critics view that what he created was superficial, i think Andy had a way of bringing the core out of things. We also see him evolve throughout his career as he never stayed on the same medium or theme for long, and always had something bigger and better hid up his sleeve. The satire and crude humour in his works is one of the many things that led to his greatness.

 

 

Week 11: Smoking Kills

My thought of death freaks me out. Not just of me dying but of anyone that is close to me. It scares me how I’d never be able to interact with them again or get the warmth feeling of love or kindness from them. Thankfully I have not had to endure losing someone close to me thus far but I am very scared to go through such an experience. I don’t know what I would do and I am not ready to find out.

I wasn’t a fan of doing this type of activity. I was taught growing up that you shouldn’t play around with death. You shouldn’t use it as excuse to get out of work or school. For example, saying oh my cousin passed away so I can’t come into work even though nothing happened.

One of my biggest downsides is that I smoke hookah and I smoke a lot of it. I’m not proud of it but it seems to be an appropriate means to socialize and still be within my senses. The other option would be alcohol in which I’d lose my liver and lose my sense and have much more severe consequences. I smoke way too much hookah and I hope that someday I will be able to let go forever. I smoke it before I eat, after I eat, while with friends, while watching tv, while studying, and even at the beach! Thus these pictures demonstrate perfectly exactly how death would come to me. (And I shudder with fear as I write this.)

I initially was going to dress up nicely and take the picture but then I realized, I’m not a fan of dressing up. I would much prefer to be looking like a bumb and enjoying myself. That’s exactly how I would envision my passing along with how I’d like to be buried. Even on dates, after the first few, i stop trying to dress up and go out in more comfortable clothes.

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Week 11: Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz- Internet’s Robinhood

Aaron Swartz was a multitalented person who dabbled in area from programming, entrepreneurship, political activity, writing and internet hactivism. Although he died at a very early age Aaron Swartz has a lot of huge projects to his name which have defined internet today. Some of his biggest works include, RSS, Creative Commons, and Reddit, some of the most popular internet phenomenon. However, taking on the authorities and breaking the laws and privacy regulations landed Aaron in a lot of trouble. He was charged with data theft on multiple occasions which landed him into a lawsuit for $1 million and over three decades in prison. Unfortunately, the prosecution handling the case rejected a counter offer Aaron presented, was too much for the 26-year old to handle. He committed suicide and hanged himself in his room.

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Although Aaron did not dabble in the mainstream idea of art, he tried to change the way world views knowledge and information. Aaron believed that knowledge is not something an individual or organisation should own, instead it’s the property of the common people. Most of his life’s work revolved around getting the internet community access to information.

Watchdogs.net was one of the many set ups Aaron started to transfer power to the masses. The idea behind watchdogs was simple, it allowed people to aggregate and visual data on politicians, making the people in power more sensitive and accountable to their actions.

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Image Atlas was another creative and profound masterpieces Aaron came up with. The idea behind Image Atlas is fairly simple. The user searches a word and the website translates it to different languages. The translations are then searched on Google and the images displayed on the website with the respective language. The simple engine shed light on a very complicated idea: The cultural differences that language brings and the lack of neutrality in information were highlighted. Love would bring up a different theme of pictures than ishq, its Arabic translation.

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Around 2006, Aaron had another successful venture of sharing expensive knowledge with the public. He downloaded the complete collection of Library of Congress’s bibliography and posted it on Open Library. This brought all the books the Congress Library contained into the reach of the common man for free. A loophope in the system assured that the library or the government couldn’t persecute Aaron as the documents were not copyright protected in the US.

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I think Aaron Swartz was an inspiring and innovative young man who accomplished the greatest feat an artist can, he changed the way people looked at access and information. It takes a lot of creativity and perseverance to convince people that knowledge is their right which should not be hid behind high charges. I think Aaron was a great artist who worked to dissolve online boundaries and class system. Most of his initiatives are still up and running as well as majorly popular in the online world. Although the cruel justice system forced the artist to take his own life, his art lives on.

Random Ransome!

This activity was very intriguing to me. It gave me the freedom for me not to be myself and do things that I wouldn’t generally do. Thus far this has been my favorite activity. It came around the perfect time as I happened to be traveling.

Earlier in the week before my trip, I went to dinner at Red Lobster. I told the waitress that it was my birthday, even though it was not. After we had finished eating, the waitress and her co-workers came with a small brownie and ice cream and wished me a happy birthday. I’ve never done a “fake” birthday celebration in my life and the thought had always ceased my mind to do so for some free food. Sure it can be classified as stealing but I would disagree.

Next on my trip to NY, I snuck into first class and sat there as long as I could. Eventually, one of the flight attendants realized and asked me back to my seat. It was a little embarasing but was totally worth it. I used to do that a lot as a kid but of course much shame wasn’t there at that time.

The whole reason why I went to NY was to surprise my grandparents. I always wanted t do that growing up as they don’t live here in the states. And since they were traveling to NY, my favorite city in the whole world I might add, it felt like it was the perfect opportune time to do so. We got into NY fairly late and rather then waking them up at 2 am we decided to get the room next to them. We surprised them in the morning and the look/expressions on their faces were priceless.

Then ironically my grandfather was craving Red Lobster so we ended up there again. Instead of telling the waitress is was my birthday, I brought my selfie stick and started taking multiple selfies with the family as others kept looking on.

Lastly, on my flight back I got stuck in Chicago due to a thunderstorm. It was a very scary but very cool experience. I was on the plane and it started shaking left to right. The airplane even lost its electricity. Outside I could see it pouring hard and lightning going off every 6-7 seconds consistently for hours. We then got deplaned and I was in search for a place to stay the night. Initially the airlines wasn’t paying for my hotel and I just through a tantrum then they offered a discount. ANd I still didn’t agree and threatened to sue them and take it to levels beyond corporate. After a long while they agreed to give me a suit in the Hilton hotel that was inside the airport.

Of course some of the things that I did were uncapturable but I’ve added some pictures from my trip for your viewing.

 

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Week 10: Vanessa Blaylock

In A Perfect World- Vanessa Blaylock

Vanessa Blaylock is a new generation artist whose art is not bound by paper or any physical presence at all. This young artist is multi talented having tried out her hand in choreography as well as activist online art.  Blaylock’s art mostly revolves around identity and self. Instead of tethering a person to their birth name and details, she sees people to be who they choose to be. Avatars in online games and realms are the most flexible about capturing what a person aspires to be and are Blaylock’s area of expertise.

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The beauty of Vanessa’s art is that it exists solely in virtual reality in the set on one Role playing game or another. She choreographs performances in majestic online realms where other avatars are invited to be themselves and display themselves as works of art in the way they are created and operate.

Virtual Rebellion is one of the activities Vanessa Blaylock put together for her fans and followers. Users from around the world, who supported the cause but couldn’t physically make to the Rebellion Walk from Canterbury to Concord, were able to participate. They logged on their Virtual Reality Avatars and walked on virtual treadmills on the same time and pace as the protesters who were physically present.

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Vanessa Blaylock also held a candle light vigil from the Red Star Bar to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow when Nadezhda went on a hunger strike. This of course, took place in the virtual realm once more. The hunger strike originated in retaliation to violation of human rights at a penal establishment in Moscow, Russia. I think it is very important to see that although the vigil had little to no impact on the Russian Government, it allowed a bunch of concerned people to demonstrate despite the strict laws and legislation of Russia. Nadezhda ended her strike the next morning when the authorities agreed that the conditions were in fact violation of human rights and promised improvement.

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For Vanessa Blaylock and her followers, virtual reality is liberating and empowering. Where in the real life people are restricted by distance, means and social restrains, no such thing exists in virtual reality. The vigil and protest they participated in goes to show that being able to cross continents without messing up your schedule goes a long way in letting people be who they are.

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I have very mixed feelings about Vanessa Blaylock’s work. I do find Avatars empowering in the way that allow people to exist out of their physical boundaries and let them access their true self. A homosexual or a drag queen who’s ashamed of their identity due to social stigmas have the opportunity to live online as they want and escape the labels they’ve been slapped with. However, i think this art form is extremely detached from reality. It leads people to believe they are successful, making a difference, when they infact have avoided real life challenges and are not struggling at all. I do believe that this is a very creative initiative and with the speed at which online realms are growing, online protest and events will grow to be a strong influence.

Week 9: Eva and Franco

Stolen Originality- Eva and Franco Mattes

Eva + Franco Mattes The Pigs of Todat are the Hams of Tomorrow Plymouth, January 2010

Eva + Franco Mattes
The Pigs of Todat are the Hams of Tomorrow
Plymouth, January 2010

Eva and Franco Mattes are artist belonging to Italy but are based in New York. Their line of work is extremely creative and dangerous as the notorious couple seldom completes an artwork without any theft involved. With a presence on the web as 0100101110101101.ORG, the Mattes play with reality via media subversion.

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One of the most popular and controversial of the Mattes’ work is Stolen Pieces. From 1995 to 1997 they visited the most popular museums in the world and stole bits and pieces of famous artwork. These pieces were later used to create their own masterpiece. In an interview to Art Pulse Magazine, Eva and Franco explained “In the contemporary condition of information overload, the raw surplus of images, ideas and texts has become so great that the selection of material to plagiarize will inevitably be as much “creative” as the construction of those images, ideas and texts in the first place”. “Stolen Pieces” contained bits from the works of Andy Warhol, Kandinsky, Duchamp, Beuys, Rauschenberg, Warhol and Koons. The piece was revealed to the public in 2010.

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Nikeplatz was another very successful work done by the Mattes which verged on being a prank. The duo set up in Vienna and started a fake Nike campaign complete with a website and cutting-edge technology equipped container. The campaign was about Nike erecting a huge swoosh logo in a main square changing its name from Karlsplatz to Nikeplatz. The fake marketing campaign received a huge reaction from the citizens. The sporting goods giant was enraged by the scandal and sued the Mattes- but they came out scot-free.

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One of the darker creations of the Mattes was Darko Maver. They conjured up a fictional artist from thin air and publicised him enough to give him cult status and recognition. The imaginary Serbian artist created gory sculptures depicting heinous murders and of Balkan wars. The aim behind creating Darko Maver was simple, while the public and media eats up and raves about artistic depictions of violence in the world, little to no attention is paid to the real violence conducted systematically.

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Continuing their legacy of privacy invasion and theft, Franco and Eva launched The Others. It was an extensive slideshow with over ten thousand pictures stolen from personal computers. The pictures, often embarrassing and private, were meant to show the faulty security of peer to peer interactions online. One of the women, Debra(in the image above), featured in the slide show narrated her experience of getting surprised by seeing herself on screen in a very pregnant photo:” I realized that anyone’s life nowadays can be part of an artwork, willingly or unwillingly.”

I think Eva and Franco Mattes are very creative artists. Their definition of originality rings true, especially as art has existed for thousands of years. Manipulation of old ideas and creations in a way that something completely unseen is born is simply original. We exist in a time where Media has taken over our perceptions and our sense of reality, by shocking people into realising their secrets and truths aren’t as safe as they are made to believe is definitely a commendable job. I think the duo is activist artist, trying to better the world in their own crazy way.

Week: Doodle doodle jump!

This week’s activity was really interesting! My girl was too busy this week so I wasn’t able to do the activity with her unfortunately. Instead I teamed up with my sister and we did our little doodle. My sister is 12 but is very creative and into art. More than I am, she’s been assisting me on a lot of my activities thus far. She’s jealous that I get to do this for school and get credit for it!

We both sat down and I put a paper in front of us on a hard piece of cardboard. I put my hand then her hand and then my hand then her hand. We closed our eyes and just let the pencil do its work. We started to laugh initially and she kept stating that it felt so weird with our eyes closed. What we consistently noticed was that we kept going in a circle in a counter clock wise direction. We’d move up or down on the paper but for the most part we’d continue going in a circle.

We didn’t discuss our feedback till the end so after a few minutes when the lead of the pencil snapped, we decided to switch the coordination of our hands. She put her first then I put mine then hers and then mine. My thought process was just to see a difference in the outcome but for the most part it ended up being the same. Continuous circle that we kept going on and on with.

Finally, after a few minutes the lead broke again and we stopped. Looking at it, it just seemed like a big blob that looked similar to hairball. It also reminded me of how our universe could e perceived with all the darkness with some light in the middle. It also reminds me of how an atom or energy form that we perceive to look like.

 

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Week 8: Maria Abramovic

Maria Abramovic is a performance artist who has enchanted her audience across three decades in a wide variety of artworks and performance. Originally from Serbia, Abramovic is now based in New York. Despite from being from a military background, Abramovic’s work is anything but tamed. Her creations vary from sound pieces to photographs to live performances.

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Some of the most appreciated work done by Abramovic was done in collaboration with the West Germna artist: Ulay. Their collaboration started in the late 1970s where they explored the intricacies of ego and self. Coming from two very rich and different cultures they decided to form a merged being which came to be known as “The Other”. By surrendering their identities and secrets to each other they formed a bond of complete trust and created an identity which surpassed their individuality.

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The strongest piece by the artistic duo in my opinion is Breathing In/Breathing Out. They joined their mouths in a way that they could only recycle the oxygen in their exhaled breaths. This performance showed how life can be transferred, shared and even destroyed by people. In a matter of 17 minutes both the artists fainted from excessive Carbon Diocxide in their lungs.

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Rhythm 0 is another very impressive work by Maria Abramovic. It took place in 1974 where the artist placed 72 objects on a table which could cause pleasure or inflict pain. Then she handed over power to visitors who could use those objects on her body as they pleased. While at first the actions of the visitors were friendly, they soon turned violent as people stripped her naked, carried her around and pierced her skin with sharp objects. Abramovic notices that once the performance was over, no one who hurt her dared to stay back as they couldn’t bear to see her as a person. The performance shed light on how people dehumanify victims of their victims.

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Also in 1974, the artist performed Rhythm 2. The act was split in two halves. For the first half Abramovic took a pill prescribed for catatonia. But because the artist was perfectly healthy, the pill caused an overreaction where her muscles and body flailed out of control while her mild was a silent spectator. After the effects of the drug wore off, the artist took a pill for depressed and aggressive patients which left her mind in a complete haze, rendering her unable to remember anything that happened.

I think Maria Abramovic as an artist, is determined to push the limits and boundaries of what we perceive as art. In several of her creations we see that she’s eager to expose her spirituality and is willing to take what physical harm comes her way. All of her pieces are supremely creative and impactful. I think she’s a wonderfully strong artist doing a great job in redefining the way we look at life and ego. The range and diversity of her work is refreshing as she delves in photography to performances to installations. She’s really one of a kind.