Artist of Week 9: Joseph DeLappe

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Joseph Delappe is currently a professor of the Department of Art at University of Nevada, Reno.  He graduated from City College of San Francisco with an Associates in Art.  From there, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from San Jose State University in 1986, then earned a Master of Art in Computers and Art and Design in 1988 and a Master of Fine Arts in Pictorial Arts in 1990, all from the CADRE Institute of San Jose University  He currently works with electronic and technological media, and particularly with virtual world settings, to send messages to people.

Most of his works have had to with virtual worlds and had to do with technology.  One of his most famous projects was called Dead in Iraq, which he did in 2006.  In this project, he signed up to be a player in a game called “America’s Army”, and he would read off names of actual fallen soldiers from Iraq.  The other players would hear this and want rip him a new one.  Most of them were enraged and thought it was weird why he would do this when they were just trying to have some fun.  He tried to take the fun out of war games like “America’s Army”, and tried to make it serious and cause awareness.

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Another famous work he did was a big cardboard structure called Liberty Weeps.  It’s not very clear up close, but from a distance, you can tell that the Statue of Liberty has her face in her hands and is crying.  Similar to the Dead in Iraq project, he is trying to send a message about war and bringing the issue into the light.  He portrays Lady Liberty crying because of the condition the United States is in currently and how it is not the way she would have wanted it.  After seeing it, I think DeLappe is trying to tell us Americans that we should be ashamed of ourselves for disappointing her and that we should change.

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At first, I was kind of confused with what DeLappe was doing with his projects, but after seeing the different pictures my classmates were posting and how they described his projects, I got a better understanding and thought what he was doing was cool and interesting.  In our world, we have a lot of problems that people try to do something about, sometimes with very dangerous tactics.  I think that although Joseph DeLappe may have angered some people, what he did was not over the top and was pretty powerful.

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Artist of Week 8: Eva and Franco Mattes

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

Eva and Franco Mattes are a duo of Italian artists both born in Italy in 1976.  Although none of them received an art education, they have been successful in art.  They met in Madrid in 1994 and have been together ever since.  They operate under the pseudonym 0100101110101101.org.  They are considered as part of the second wave of the Internet artists, and are famous for their subversion of public media.

They were known as internet pranksters and thieves by stealing others work and ideas for their own entertainment.  A lot of their work is controversial in their originality.  What they usually do is take an already established piece of work or idea, and modify it a bit and give it their own little twist to it.  At first glance, what they do seems like what trolls do and I thought it was pretty funny.  After looking at the discussion and doing some research, it seems like they are really creative, even though most of the things they use were not originally their art or ideas.

Some of their works really caught my eye, such as “It’s Always six o’clock.”  It was interesting how they thought of taking some well-known and familiar cartoon characters and just placed them in different ways and made art.

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Another interesting thing they did was convincing the people of Vienna that Nike had purchased the historic city of Karlsplatz.  It was a complete joke but people believed it and it was a public spectacle.  There was a video of it on Slack and a lot of the people had priceless reactions, while some people thought it was pretty cool.

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Eva and Franco Mattes do a lot of stuff that has to do with “fantasy” and “reality”, which is something that we think about a lot.  We often want to put a twist on some things that are “real”, and make it a little better.  We often use filters on Instagram, or use social media to make our life seem more “fantasized” than it actually is.

Week 8 Activity: Museum Visit

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For this week’s activity, our assignment was to visit any art museum, and pick two works of art at the museum and compare and contrast them.  I decided to visit the Long Beach Museum of Art, since it’s around the Long Beach area so it’s close and convenient.  In the museum, there were a lot interesting pieces of art.  Here are the two I chose.

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The one on the left is called Exploding Wall and the one on the right is called Too Many Names.  These two pieces of art are similar in that they are both really complicated and cover a big part of the walls they occupy.  They are both very detailed.

However, there is a lot more meticulous art in the Exploding Wall painting and there is also a lot more different colors in it.  In Too Many Names, it looks more like scribble scrabble than art.  It looks like a bunch of people wrote their names in it.

Week 7 Activity: Ephermal Art

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For this week’s activity, we were told to play around with Snapchat.  When I saw that we were going to play around with snapchat this week, I was excited because I like snapchat and I think it’s a cool and fun way to express your life.  This week, I continued using it and here some of the things I saw.

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I also noticed there were Geofilters and you can also see things from other parts of the world such as Wimbledon.

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Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, things posted on Snapchat do not last forever and gives a more in-the-now feel.  I can understand why Snapchat is becoming more and more popular because it’s a fun and convenient to use.

Artist of Week 7: Janet Cardiff

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Janet Cardiff was born on March 15, 1957, and is a Canadian artist who works mainly with sound and sound installations.  She usually uses a form called audio walks, which she works in collaboration with her husband and partner George Bures Miller.  Janet Cardiff first gained international recognition in the art world for her art walks in 1995.  Cardiff and Miller currently live and work in Berlin.

An audio walk provides a previous recorded spoken commentary, usually through a handheld device, and usually to a visitor attraction to a train station or museum.  On Slack, we saw a video called “Alter Bahnof Video Walk”, which is one of Cardiff’s works in which a person walks in a train station holding a smartphone and listening to her voice as she gives him/her instructions.  I was really fascinated how beautiful it was.  Some of her most famous works include The Whispering Room, Her Long Black Hair, and Words Drawn in Water.

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In the video on Slack, it showed a train station in the present and the past on a smartphone.  She gives a bunch of insight and tells the person to look, listen, and walk to different areas.  You can sense the past and the present, and also the history and the things that have happened in the exact places where you stand.
In my opinion, Janet Cardiff is the most fascinating artist of the week we have had the whole summer.  She goes into deep details about things that aren’t happening at the present moment, and that makes it even more fascinating.  Her work is definitely something new and different from other artists.  I think that I would enjoy taking one of her walks in person.

Week 6 Activity: Architecture and Urban Planning

This week, our activity was to be an architect in a way.  The activity asked us to walk around a neighborhood of your choice, take some pictures, and draw a map the way it is.  I chose the neighborhood I live, so I walked around the block and took some pictures first.

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When I came back home, I drew a map of how it looked like.

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As you can see, there are a lot of houses but there is a big park in the top left corner.  Then I changed it a bit and it turned out to look like this.

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I tried to get rid of some of the houses and make more grassy fields, so I got rid of the houses in the middle and made a big grassy field there.  Now, instead of just having one park, there can be another park used for recreation sports for kids, or a school could be planted there too.

Artist of Week 6: Nikki S. Lee

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Nikki S. Lee was born in 1970 in South Korea, and is a photographer and filmmaker who was formerly based in New York, but is now living and working in Korea.  She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Chung-Ang University in South Korea in 1993.  Then she moved to New York in 1994 to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.  She eventually earned her Masters of Arts degree in photography at New York University.

Some of Lee’s most famous works were called The Projects, which she started doing while still in school, which shows her in various photographs, in which she dresses and poses as various ethnic and social groups, such as Latinos, hip-hop musicians, senior citizens, punks, etc.  She does this to immerse herself into every aspect of American sub-culture and she creates another identity of herself.  She used a simple point-and-shoot camera, and she would ask the selected group or a passerby to record her.  She did not mean for her pictures to look beautiful or anything, but rather to investigate notions of identity.  Lee also said that she the project was for one of her graduation requirements.

I feel like Nikki S. Lee wanted to show how we are used to only having one identity and that being many different identities is looked down upon.  She showed that you can be many different, such as the The Hip Hop Project, The Hispanic Project, etc.  She tries to show the beauty in all these different backgrounds and identities, and I think she does a great job in doing so.

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Before this week, I had never seen or heard about this kind of art.  But after seeing Nikki S. Lee’s art, I realized that this is one of the most powerful types of art I have ever seen.  We are often judged by our identity, and that we cannot have other identities because it is not socially acceptable.  Nikki S. Lee showed that you can do just that, and it is beautiful.