Friday, February 2, 2018

New Aesthetic Response

I don’t know how I feel about Bruce. Bruce wasn’t saying things that made a lot of sense or that didn’t offend my adoration for the New Media aesthetics for most of this article. In short, I feel like Bruce is just mad about the use of technology to create art. He’s a guy in a stuffy suit with tiny glasses who wrote this on his silver MacBook Air and occasionally asked Siri how to spell things like “metaphysics,” just to be sure he didn’t look dumb when this was thrown on the editor’s desk. Or maybe not, because apparently AI is an outdated wet dream now worthy only of sci-fi fame.

Despite his tweed, Bruce did well in explaining the New Aesthetics in a way that summarized my understanding of them, as well. The crowdsourcing, tech-fueled and paranoid phenomenon that is the New Aesthetic is exactly all of those things, and little more. It’s built for amateurs, a straight path that allows non-creatives with skills in tech or science to become relevant to the art world. It’s built to allow the incorporation of unnatural means of production as norms when it comes to creative forms and expression. Creatives don’t need to paint or take photos to be deemed worthy of exhibition. They can all be Duchamp and live blissfully with the same kind of absurdity and disharmony that Surrealists and Dadaists enjoyed.

According to Bruce, “the New Aesthetic is trying to hack the modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one.” He worries about the anthropomorphizing of computers and the ignorance of the fact that these sorts of technologies were built to reflect and support the human part of the aesthetics equation. The metaphysics of aesthetic are nowhere near comprehensible to machines. Because artists and those who are not necessarily artists want to and do rely on machines to create, aesthetic doesn’t truly exist as far as Bruce is concerned, because he seems to fear that the machines are making everything for us. I’d argue otherwise.

This kind of freedom is what I love about the New Aesthetic, and about New Media: it’s possible to do anything, create anything, in any number of ways and without the restrictions of modernity or contemporary appeal that might otherwise limit that creative exploration. This is both with and without the use of machines, although in our digital age, to find a work described as part of the New Aesthetic without one would be quite the task. You take everything but the clouds out of a Super Mario cartridge, or design your own digital sprays in an online MMO, and that’s it. You enjoy a work for what it is. It’s something to look at and appreciate. The demand for art to be something, to have a function, is inherently disappointing and one that I can’t agree with. Art doesn’t need to serve anyone. It certainly can, because of course art can change the world. But it doesn’t have to.

We live in such an interesting time that is so incredibly complex. It’s a time of such massive coloration in its variety and importance, and to say the New Aesthetic isn’t worth its salt because it hasn’t actually built itself yet is uninspired. Why does the New Aesthetic have to be different from the modern one? Sure, Bruce, it’s a hack—but it’s a hack because we’re trying to figure it out, understand how it works, and exploit the hell out of it. You said it yourself, “they want something of their own to happen”—well here it is. It’s the New Aesthetic.
And we can do whatever we want with it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Project 1 Ideas

1. Lace collar [Elizabethan/tudor style]Image result for queen elizabeth 1533 1603

Image result for petit trianon

Image result for high neck lace collar

2. Ruby's Horned Helm - "Glam"

Image result for papercraft horns

3. Quiver (& Arrows)

Related image

Monday, January 29, 2018



I've done the lineart/vector for my CNC decal idea and discovered that my art style is very attuned to using the pen tool, which I feel I successfully taught myself how to use in about 30 minutes and two separate vector attempts. I'm going to be asking around as to which would be more successful. This is going to go on the front of my computer which is why it's so small. The 12x12 sheet of vinyl seems like it'll be a little wasted, but maybe I can keep and repurpose it later?

I came up with two versions of the decal, with the white being 1) the color of the vinyl and 2) what doesn't get cut out so as to give the decal depth. This image is a tracing of my woof elf ranger, Zandr, whom I also made the focus of several pieces in last semester's studio class.

I think I prefer the first option, but we'll see what happens.

I also made a second one in case the first won't work well for whatever reason.


My scribbles made for good entertainment once the paper was under the machine. The consistent linework (read: the same line overlapping itself again and again) kept the pen in the machine in the same alignment and didn't require it to lift or move outside of the vector. It was mesmerizing. I didn't want to have my phone in my hand but I envied the smoothness of every curve and wish I had a video.

The final product was huge and BLUE. I'm tempted to color it in when I have the time.

Next week we're making a decal? Like a sticker? I LOVE STICKERS;;;


I was fascinated with the CNC machine, and less concerned with Benjamin's arguments about the undervaluing of art and reproducing it. My interests lie more closely in the kinds of things that this kind of technology--among others--is capable of producing. One machine having the capacity to both cut and draw with computer commands makes the possibilities for production endless.

The biggest obstacle for our original practice with the CNC was using Illustrator. I haven't had the opportunity to play with it much, so my design was incredibly simple and repetitive; just a bunch of overlapping swirls that look something like the back of a kid's coloring book. It was still an interesting piece though, and I love art because I can always make the argument that it holds some kind of significance. The blessing of the bullshitting artist.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Walter Benjamin Response

Art has thrived as a means of communication and a source of discussion about the human condition for millenniums, and the success of art is partly due to the nature of its creators. Humans possess the ability to see the same world through billions of different lenses, which lends itself to creativity in the way that it permits those lenses to be physically realized as art. The uniqueness of an individual piece allows it to exist with its own realm, because of the implications poured into it by its painter or sculptor as well as the social or historical (etc.) culture in which it was created.

I would describe this line of thought as traditionalist, meaning that it is concerned with the way in which art has historically been created and valued. Consistency in technique and adherence to standard was once a more prominent indicator of an artist’s ability; however, in today’s modern and especially technical age, artists and other innovators have turned this traditionalist thinking on its head. Art is no longer limited to the brush or pen, and it does not remain trapped under the oppressive hand of patron preference. People create art now for art’s sake, and in ways that were originally inconceivable as means of producing it.

One of Walter Benjamin’s primary concerns about this new stage of art lies in the reproduction of artwork, for us through such processes as printmaking and CNC. While these processes are decidedly new and tied very closely to the time in which they began to grow popular, he suggests that reproducing artwork is not a modern technique through a brief overview of some of the earliest processes of artistic reproduction, including the photograph.

Where I believe that Benjamin and I disagree is on the authenticity and value of the original piece after it has been mechanically reproduced. Benjamin believes that as an original is reproduced, its inherent value and position as the powerful original is diminished (1). My understanding of this point is that, essentially, continued exposure to a work of art via reproductions of the original will dull the power and perceived importance of the original. For example, travelling to see the Mona Lisa for the first time while its on display, according to Benjamin, would be less of an experience because of the frequency with which the image is displayed in other mediums and places.

I would assert that there always exists a kind of inherent power to an original piece, no matter the common nature of its reproductions. Details that exist in the original work may not be well or at all replicated in a copy, and it is impossible to appreciate the intention of the artist when viewing the visage of a copy. Additionally, I believe that the opposite of Benjamin’s fears is a more likely occurrence, especially in the current time where mechanical reproduction is now one of the many standard and accepted kinds of art creation. People are impressed with originals because of the influx of copies, because original works of art represent a top-tier standard that was worthwhile and attractive enough to warrant the desire to be replicated.

(1)    p.3, “The situations into which the product of mechanical reproduction can be brought may not touch the actual work of art, yet the quality of its presence is always depreciated.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hello, world!

This is the inaugural post for this blog--the third I've made for digital art classes here at UWF.

This semester I'm looking forward to learning about 3D modeling and techniques for model production. I feel that these processes will be beneficial to enhancing my understanding and grasp of digital techniques, and allow me to become a more valuable candidate for an art-related position once I've graduated and am preparing to enter the work force. Most of my personal interests in art are closer to its connections with literature, but the reality is that The Man wants what he wants, and I'm hoping that I can still find similar satisfaction in the 3D realm. I think that's the appeal of New Media art to me-- that you can do whatever you want with it and still be considered profitable.

I have a little bit of experience with CAD from high school, but I'm sure those programs are out of date by now so it'll be interesting to see what has changed. For now, I'm rolling with whatever is laid before me, and hoping I can keep up to speed.