Archive | November, 2011

Chroma Tweet by Aleksandar Maćašev

30 Nov

I had the opportunity to see  Aleksandar Maćašev’s project called Chroma Tweet. The artist tweets a hexadecimal color (web safe color) daily describing his mood for that day. The tweets are simple: just the code for the color and a picture of the color. The project has been going on since 2009 and through the DUMBO Arts Festival and ArtBridge Maćašev has been able to display his Chroma Tweets. Viewing it linearly, I saw trends of muted colors, bright colors, warm or cool colors and then some random pairings depending on the days. Viewing the tweets linearly changed the perception of Maćašev’s emotions and almost formed a weird connection to the artist. I wanted to know what happened that day he decided to tweet a muted brown color, or for several days of bright colors, why was he so cheerful?

But is how I view color universal? Does everyone see yellow as a happy color?

When seeing the art, I was with family that didn’t know what hexadecimal colors were. To me, I work with them daily so it didn’t even occur to me that people didn’t know what they were. How ignorant of me.

How do I use my gadgets?

26 Nov

When a friend of mine purchases a new piece of technology, I get genuinely excited for them, and also jealous that I don’t own it. Playing with their newly acquired gadget, I immediately want to know how to use it, the greatest features, and why I should buy it.

When both of you have the same gadget, there’s usually a “teach me what you know” impromptu lesson that occurs. Just the other day, my friend upgraded his iPhone and explained how Siri was the perfect girl and I showed him some of the new iOS features. We toyed with our gadgets for about 15 minutes, both learning more about them and their wide range of usability.

No one wants to read the manual. We are impatient beings that want to know how to use something immediately. Learning from someone who explains it easily or shows you how to use the feature is more effective and fun than reading a manual. We learn a lot from friends and co-workers. And if you don’t, well maybe you’re around the wrong people.

There should be an app for this user experience training. Product manuals are not always easily explained, and if you can’t operate your technology, than it’s almost useless.

I love the Blues

24 Nov

I had the opportunity of seeing some of the “best blues in NYC” according to the doorman. My dad and I went to Terra Blues somewhere in New York, and it made me appreciate the blues even more.

My dad introduced me to blues awhile ago and at first I wasn’t really into it. And then I saw some local musicians playing the blues at the local bar where my parents lived, and the emotion behind it. Seeing the blues live is definitely more exciting than listening to an album, and the blues in NYC was very well done. The band members seemed to just follow the lead singer and roll with it. Truly talented musicians, playing at a club until 3:30 am.

Experience vs. Education

23 Nov

Experience is an interesting thing. It takes years to gain, it can be accumulated almost anywhere, and sometimes it even replaces education. But why such emphasis on experience? Isn’t it the same thing as education in a sense? It’s the education of life. And for those who have not lived, then they have very little experience.

Does the type of experience a person gains make them more or less valuable? If someone observes how a rural community gathers food and water, how will that experience relate to their professional life? Versus someone who goes to seminars relating to their career field, or listening to an expert give a lecture.

Either way, experience involves the “experiencer” to be active and to do something. Whether it be observing, reading, listening, they much have an active state of mind to further their knowledge base.

Life experience also helps shape a person’s professional resume. For example, my father is a well traveled man and understands that certain regions are more marketable for certain products than other regions. Working in the motorcycle industry for over a decade, he knows what those consumers want. So when a new product comes into the market, he’s somewhat of an expert on where this new product should and shouldn’t be marketed. He didn’t read this in a book, he lived life, worked hard, and gained some valuable knowledge along the way.

Consumers Consuming Commodities

19 Nov

I’ve noticed lately I go through purging periods where I need to clear out my closet and cabinets because things are becoming cluttered and the feeling of cleansing helps me feel as if I’m straightening out my life somehow.

However, this purging is also responded by a paralleled spending period where I refill or restock items and buy new items I think I need, when really I have plenty of material items.

This consistent cycle of purging and accumulating is the circle of consumerism. I have plenty, and when I’m bored with what I have I get rid of it. Once I’m rid of a few items I have more room to accumulate more. Thus, I–a consumer–continue the wasteful cycle of purging and buying. Will it ever end?

Lately I’ve come to notice I have too many things. Too many things I don’t really need. I have approximately 8 pairs of pants, probably 30 shirts, 8 tank tops, countless pairs of underwear and socks, 15 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of shorts, and 4 jackets. My cosmetic selection is also grossly obnoxious with 3 bronzers, 2 mascaras, 15 eye shadows, and 3 different face washes. Why do I have so much crap?

My parents recently went to Europe, and they were refreshed with the fact that people dressed well, yet didn’t seem to have 8 pairs of pants and 50 different shirts to choose from. What they did own was well made and stylish.

So my goal for the next year or so, is to dress how I want to dress, and not accumulate any more clothes with money. If anything, I should start selling the clothes I don’t wear often. This whole Americanized picture of how we should consume enormous quantities of every commodity available is not healthy. I’ll do my part by stopping right now. No more new clothes for a year. I’ll let you know how this goes.

The subjectivity of art

15 Nov

Art is subjective. Isn’t that awesome? In a way, that means no one is wrong in what they create. Art is a creative form of expression that has expanded and evolved because people weren’t afraid to try something new and different; to push boundaries with what art could be.

Looking at art with “non-creatives” is always an eye opener. They notice something that I didn’t and often point out the most obvious details, which I miss because I’m engulfed in the art world and sometimes know too much about art to just appreciate it for what it is.

Art’s subjectivity is awesome because anyone can look at art and enjoy it. The viewer doesn’t have to be educated, speak English, or know anything about previous art movements to enjoy art and experience what the artist is trying to convey.

I recently went to some small art galleries in Minneapolis, and my sister’s boyfriend/future fiance noticed that we all have our own opinions on art, yet we all enjoy it. And he says to me, “Kez, that what’s so great about art. Anyone can have their own opinion on it and no one has to agree because no one is really correct.”

The level of engagement with art is something I can’t really grasp. If it’s an amazing piece that I read about in an art history book, I’m probably going to spend more time with it than if it’s an abstract painting that I don’t understand and has a three page artist statement at a gallery with poor lighting and little space to move. I had a fine art teacher who always told the class that to really appreciate the work, you have to spend time with it. He explained that most of the time he never had enough time when viewing artwork because he could spend hours with one piece. I never understood this, but maybe my intellect and intelligence is not at his caliber.

Whether  an intense, deep viewer of artwork (spending lots of time with the work, contemplating every detail) or a more shallow onlooker (flow through a gallery and only spend time with the ones of interest) it doesn’t matter. Art is a universal language that can be appreciated by everyone. Supporting art and keeping galleries open is what we all need to do to keep art alive.