Week 9 Artist Conversation: Michael Rollins

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ARTIST: Michael Rollins

Located in the gatov-west AND gatov-east galleries this week was an exhibit by Michael Rollins, titled “New Digs”. The works being displayed in these galleries caught my attention because of the unique use of bright colors. They can almost be described as mesmerizing, in a sense. Michael Rollins is currently progressing along in attaining a degree for Master of Fine Arts, and this particular art exhibit is helping fulfill some of the requirements for that program. Rollins made a statement that his work tends to lead back to “visual pleasure” and “visual disruptions”. I find that this is an accurate depiction of emotions that tend to be invoked upon viewing his work. The blend of colors are visually pleasing to the eye, but the distorting blend is a sort of “disruption” in the art work. The blend and use of colors does not seem to follow a uniform structure, and this is reflected due to Rollins’s embodiment of freedom and directness in the work that he creates. The art work that he presented would fall under the category of “instinctive painting”. For me, this style of art appeals to my free spirited mind set. The work seen here is symbolic of Rollins’s personality, and it is interesting to know that art can be constructed from instinct and specific tastes/sensibilities. Upon listening to Michael Rollins speak about the specific influences on each art work, I discovered that the colors are indeed representative. Rollins says that the colors are representative of ties to the world we live in, as well as Rollins’s own personal tastes. He describes the process of making this art to be more or less “throwing paint” and then working from there. For example, the red color is representative of flesh/bodily color.

The art work itself is very interesting to behold. However, I would have really loved to see how Mr. Rollins creates one of these art pieces. I believe that the though process behind this and the actual making of these paintings would be something quite captivating to behold.

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Week 9 Classmate Conversation

Daniela Hernandez:

One of the classmates I interviewed today was Daniela Hernandez: My first impressions of her was that she seemed very warm/friendly and somewhat talkative… I must say that I found these to be very desirable qualities. As a result, I found Daniela to be very interesting and easy to talk to. Daniela lives in Long Beach and does not live with her parents (I believe that she said that she is dorming?) Daniela is currently in her first year at CSULB like myself, and is majoring in journalism. It is very apparent that Daniela is confident in herself and is not hesitant in pursuing her passion. She seems to have her future planned out: After studying journalism, Daniela is planning to work in public relations for a fashion company, since it suits her interests very well. We eventually starting talking about our families, and I found out that Daniela has two older sisters- one of whom has moved to Santa Monica. I also have a growing distance from my own sister, so it was nice that Daniela was able to have empathy for me. Daniela spends most of her free time shopping or working out at the gym. She seems quite busy, however- she has a job at a restaurant located in the Long Beach Museum of Art as  a hostess. We also talked briefly about academics: it turns out that she was studious her high school years and had plenty of AP credit to help put herself into sophomore standing before everyone else. I asked Daniela about the craziest thing she has ever done: apparently, she has gone under her parents’ radar and made a trip to Wisconsin. She plans to pull the wool over her parents’ eyes again the next time she gets an urge to visit Wisconsin. It is also noted that she has a very pretty smile- I very much enjoyed interviewing/talking with Daniela this week.

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Week 9 Activity

ARCHITECTURE & URBAN PLANNING:

For the week 9 activity there are three tasks: make a cognitive map, adopt a building, and redesign CSULB.

Cognitive Map of CSULB:
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Adopt-a-building:

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For this activity, I decided to draw my attention towards the CBA building on the CSULB campus. I’ve only had one class from this building so far (POSC 100), even though I am a business pre-accounting major. Since I am most likely to spend much of my CSULB academic life here in the future, I thought that it would be nice to know a thing or two about the actual place. Although it is not the newest-looking building on campus, (Hall of Science will have to take that accolade) i find the architecture of this building to be definitely the most unique in comparison to the rest of the CSULB infrastructure. It exhibits sharp corners and looks like a black rubik’s cube. The windows are tinted on the outside so that the people outside cannot peek in so easily. Another thing to note about this building is that it does indeed have its own computer lab. This is a privilege to have since the other department buildings are somewhat lacking decent technology that is accessible for students. However, I am not going to appreciate it that much since I already experienced the computer labs in the engineering buildings.

3. Redesign CSULB

I find that everyone loves to complain about the parking situation at CSULB. I’m guilty of this also, so I thought that a redesign of CSULB would first and foremost have to accommodate the large student body here- after all, we are largely a commuter school. My proposal would be to eliminate the fields south of the CSULB Pyramid in order to make room for a parking super structure. The new parking structure will have at least 40 levels and I think this is appropriate enough with high speed elevators or something of the sort. I would also implement retractable spikes (those spikes in the road where you can drive over them BUT WILL destroy your tires if you reverse into them- or drive towards them from the opposite direction) inside the parking structure because there are literally students that I encounter who don’t understand that the parking structure doesn’t have a two-way street. Also, excessive speed in the parking structure should result in revoking your parking permit.

The location is ideal for the business majors, of course. I look out for our most important students as usual.

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Week 8 Activity: Remix Culture

Now on to your Activity for the week: try some remix! Remix anything you like. Words. Images. Audio. Video. Your remix doesn’t have to be electronic, you could also remix tapestry, sculpture, performance, or other physical or ephemeral media. Try whatever you like, and then document and discuss your activity in your blog post.

First Impressions: My only exposure to the word “remix” and the world of remix culture is very limited to just remixed songs. And personally, I find most remixed songs to be an abomination as they often change a song that was meant to sound good in the first place into something that does not appeal to the masses as readily. Such as the “screamo” versions of many popular songs. Ick. How awful. It would be nice to remix audio/video but I do not have such prowess in those areas. So I’ll bring your attention to an image I “remixed” with my own touches and effort.

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The image above started out life as a REAL picture. Floating around somewhere in google images.

In case if you are wondering about my legitimacy: Yes, I made this image myself on CS3: photoshop. And it took forever. It was a project I started a while ago for my multimedia class. The CS3 program had brushes and a number of colors, so there was no reason why one shouldn’t attempt to draw with it. Our instructor gave us a degree of mercy and let us “trace” over an image. This seems easier than it actually is: I had to choose colors (impossible to completely match the original photo) and shade areas in such a way that I didn’t waste a million years working on this and still retain the great details of the photo. You also had to make multiple layers so that it is easier to work on certain parts of the picture and use elements of overlapping layers to make your job a lot easier. That way, you won’t draw over any small details you previously added. Plenty of zooming in and out to do in order to fill in small details. Plus, the brush tool is kinda stupid and has a mind of its own. You can find the original image of this depicted mid-engined plug-in electric hybrid 918 Spyder somewhere on google images, so that is why it can be perceived as a “remix” of the original work. I put my own touches into it and it looks great in my opinion. I have the original cs3 file on me, so it is great knowing how much effort I put into this particular work. Click on the image and see the detail for yourself.

Week 8 Conversations: Artist + Classmate

Artist: Nolan Reiter

“Nolan Reiter’s BFA show features a series of silkscreened posters highlighting his most recent work.”

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Located in the Gatov East was an art exhibit that featured silk screened art. These works belonged to Nolan Reiter, who is a BFA printmaking major. Nolan has spent many years on this particular passion, utilizing his five college years (at Cal State Long Beach) as well. I felt that I was most drawn to this exhibit for this particular week because of the graphic design and the bright colors that were used. I have to say that I am not familiar with the process of making silk screen posters: I did end up looking it up myself for a more in depth analysis, and it is definitely a pain-staking process: “..A screen is made of a piece of mesh stretched over a frame. A stencil is formed by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear on the substrate..” Anyways, the silk posters had a greater significance than to look aesthetically pleasing. Each piece gave the viewer a particular piece of information that should make them pause for a while and then leave seeing the world in a different view. My favorite piece is shown above. The title is: “4.5 miles”. Conveniently, Nolan left a small excerpt near each of his pieces so that we, the art 110 students, would not be so clueless as we stumbled around the gallery. My first initial impression was total confusion. I saw that the other silk screen posters had a figure or something that commanded more attention. This particular piece just had a bright hue of yellow, but I thought that it got my attention the fastest. It was just an oil canister. What is the big deal about that? The title is the biggest hint towards what this particular piece illustrates. The number in the title is the average distance that the inhabitants of rural Africa/Asia travel in order to gain access to clean, drinkable water. It was also noted that it weights around 45 pounds. This definitely changed my perspective on my life and life in remote countries. I just couldn’t imagine having to walk one mile for water, let alone 4.5 miles. Not only that, they have to make a return trip with a 45 pound canister? 45 pounds might not seem a lot to carry around for a fit person. However, carrying 45 pounds over a distance of 4.5 miles is a different story. I’m a runner and an “ex” judoka, and I can definitely understand the fatigue and frustration that I would experience if I had to make such a trip. I will definitely cherish my comfortable life in the good ol’ USA.

Classmate interview: Khoa Do

I interviewed Khoa Do about two weeks back, and I’m particularly glad I did so. I’m always sure to greet him when I run into him at our art 110 Thursdays, and we share laughs even though we finished this classmate interview portion some time ago.

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Khoa is a fellow Viet (he actually holds the same name as my brother) and is actually from there. I find this to be interesting to me since I learn the most about my own culture from other Viets. One thing to note about Khoa is that he is very talkative. I find this to be an admirable quality as Khoa knows how to humor people and easily connects with everyone. We share a number of other things in common: we are in our first years at Cal state long beach and we commute to school. I also found out that Khoa is somewhat fond of cars like myself. As for his major, he is currently undeclared. He is conflicted between the many paths he can take in order to fulfill his dreams of becoming a success. For now, he is looking into communications or health services. I strongly believe that either one would suit him well, based on what I quickly learned about him. Let’s hope that he finds his true passion in either one of these and gets himself to a bright future. Khoa enrolled in this art 110 class for one of the same reasons I had: he wanted to view and appreciate good art. As for Khoa’s interests, he is an avid gamer, spending the bulk of his time on League of Legends. He had no shame in telling me that he plays ALL DAY. Other than gaming, Khoa enjoys sleeping (he’ll need plenty of it with that gaming habit), soccer, or football. He also has a fine taste in music, his favorite artists being Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. We share the same favorite television show: The walking dead. Khoa was fun to talk to and I look forward to interacting with him in the future.

Week 7 Activity: LANDSCAPE WITH A CORPSE

In your Art110 Landscapes with a Corpse activity inspired by Kaoru, you imagine your departure, and create a photographic self-portrait.

Here is what my brilliance conjured up:

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Here is what I think of this activity:

I feel that people are trying to make their “death scene” pictures too dramatic. Yes, yes, it is supposed to have an “artistic” sense to it. But I feel that such an element poisons the whole idea in regards to the portrayal of the nature of human death: it’s supposed to be unexpected.

Only in the most bizarre circumstances will you die a dramatic death. Nobody knows the exact moment of death, and by that time you won’t give a crap about your body position. Take my picture, for example.

No, the background is not some serene forest with leaves all over the place. It’s my office. If I were to die, then there would be a 90% probability that I would die in my office: I’m that serious about my school work, people. It’s my home, basically.

There is no lame filter BS on my picture either: it looks dark and gritty. I find that it feels authentic in a way: crime scene pictures seem very similar in nature to this.

Now let’s say that I was murdered: a murderer would attempt to hide my body under the drawers (in dismay at having killed someone as awesome as I am) in an episode of unquenchable guilt. But they would discover that my head is too big and they would just leave my body as is. Hence, this picture is an brilliant depiction, which is artistic-Picasso level thinking.