Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eden and Boden: Comptrast

Introduction As an art student, you are shown the basic tools that are available to be used to create. One is then instructed and guided toward finding a concept. Once our skill is mastered and a concept refined, we face hurdles along our path to create meaningful art. One of the hurdles is problem solving, figuring it out, making it work, we have the idea and we have the tools but how do we combine the two to create the image that is in our minds? It goes without saying that as an artist you must be creative, but you must also be an engineer. It is imperative that an artist thinks outside their realm of comfort in order to give some works of art their needed mixed media counterparts. “As computer-assisted technologies emerge in our rapidly changing digital landscape, we educators stand at a critical place. Our field of ceramics has always been process-based and equipment-heavy. In many studio art departments, the ceramics area has begun to expand and merge with larger spheres of design and contemporary art. Given this already-full plate for art educators who work in ceramics, what are our obligations for adding new technologies into our curriculum? Will these tools become another option for creating meaningful art and well-designed objects? Will these technologies prove truly useful and be equitably available to all students? How and where will they fit into the current model of ceramic education? How do we weigh and balance the value of hand skills in this new mix?” (Holly Hanessian) Ceramics are one of the oldest surviving forms of proof that ancient civilizations existed and ceramic art is proof that man has had the desire to create from the time man himself was created. The use of earth combined with fire was used to create enduring pieces that would survive the downfall of societies and the upheaval of humanity. Pottery and ceramic sculpture are so enduring that they are being taught thousands of years later and with each passing year, teachers and students are pushing the boundaries of the knowledge of clay and the ability of the medium. “Because technology is continually advancing, we question, how far we can go? What will the future of industry, commerce and even art be like? New technology brings new advancements with a multitude of opportunities and ideas, but we question if there will be a point where the human footprint will be lost, or if we will return to traditional methods for creating and communicating due to our communal nature. Ostensibly, the future holds a hybridization of all the above; as technology grows, humans evolve, and societal networks change, art is expressed in new powerful ways. The idea of a “Post-Digital Age” is upon us, and many art historians believe therein lies the future of art. Although the fundamentals of ceramics are rooted in traditional use, concepts and designs have evolved to keep up with a continually advancing aesthetic. Technology has not only transcended the process in which ceramics can be made and modified, but it has also transcended the way artists conceptualize their artwork.” – ( The merge of an ancient art form with an almost futuristic digital era is such an intriguing concept to me, not only as a student but as an artist. I would like to explore artists who utilize an educational base in ceramics and enhance their work with the use of digital technologies. If clay was powerful all those years ago, think about the influence it will have when artists combine it with digital machinery. The Artists The artists that were chosen for comparison are Michael Eden and Brian Boldon. Michael Eden is a sculptor who is based in the UK, Mr. Eden’s original forms were thrown clay pottery that was functional and shows a deep tie of the clay to the earth from which it was made. “We make slip-decorated earthenware, searching for bold, simple, thrown forms with a harmony of shape, natural colour and restrained decoration. Alongside our functional, domestic ware and lively serving dishes, we make an increasing proportion of larger, individual wood-fired pieces.” – Victoria and Michael Eden. The older works are typical of a potter/ceramicist, and in my opinion, are boring…so it is what Mr. Eden has been doing recently that has caught my attention. Recently, Mr. Eden has been using a digital technology to imagine, create, and build sculptures that tie together his vast knowledge of ceramic pottery and 3D imaging. “Eden, one of the early explorers of 3D printing’s potential for artwork, often marries traditional craft skills and digital technology, referencing Wedgwood ceramics in his pieces and working with unfired ceramic materials. He’s currently a research fellow at the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD), where he conducts research on digital forming, including 3D printing.”– ( Michael Eden states “Over time, working with clay, repetition throwing and the making of functional pots develop a finely tuned sensibility. A tacit knowledge is gained where touch is as important as sight in the subtle investigation of form. The energy of a curve and the softness of a rim can be both seen and felt. The result of the making process is often more than a simple object, it can have semiotic meaning, and its presence can extend beyond its physical form. The space around the object is inhabited and shared with the viewer. The relationship is real, yet it is based on the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown. The object is not alone; its physical presence is accompanied by implied or explicit significance. The ceramic container is a familiar, everyday object, primarily designed and made to be used. Yet, within the form there is a paradox. When used, it is an object containing another object, when empty it contains a void. The investigation of the ceramic container will explore the relationship of the virtual and the actual using primary geometric forms and mathematical models as vehicle.” Thus the evolution of Mr. Eden’s work is summed, and seems only natural as a progressive move for an artist. The work of art that I will compare is titled “The Wedgewoodn’t Tureen” which is a vessel made using CAD (computer aided design) and a rapid fire process. The vessel is a beautiful and unconventional piece that shows a delicacy in the typical chunkiness to clay works. Without the use of the digital technology, creating a vessel with so much negative space would create quite a headache and prove to be volatile while in the kiln. Every inch revealing a negative space that is cut out of a clay piece creates a less stable finish. The choice of vessel is another natural progression for Mr. Eden: “The ceramic container is a form that I have both functionally and aesthetically engaged with for over 20 years. The pots I made were designed to drink tea from, to serve food from and to play an accepted role in domestic life. Alongside the mechanics of the container I have become increasingly occupied with the way in which we perceive the relationship between the container and its surrounding space. Over recent years I have pared down my use of decoration and decorative techniques and developed a body of work where the form has an integral surface treatment. I have used the placing of colored areas to create illusory distortions of the form in order to explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior of the object. I have taken my work out of a purely ceramic context by engaging with the work of contemporary artists and recent art movements.” The Wedgwoodn't Tureen, Rapid Manufactured with a lemon coloured non-fired ceramic coating. Brian Boldon is an artist who received his B.S in Art from the University of Wisconsin and his M.F.A in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design School of Ceramics. Mr. Boldon’s background in ceramic education proves useful in his most recent gallery of work. Lately, Brian Boldon has been utilizing the clay as a sort of canvas or backdrop if you will, for the delicate and intricate photo-reproduction onto the ceramic base. Using digital ceramic decals on earthenware, Mr. Bolden can reproduce precise photo-images on a surface that was once before limited to paints and glazes. “Boldon has developed new technologies for digital printing on ceramics and glass, integrating digital media with traditional ceramic studio art practices.” – ( the marriage of digital imaging with ceramics allows for the tactile beauty of the clay to enhance the futuristic images reproduced upon itself. With “Two Fold”, Boldon uses earthenware bases shaped like paper “cootie catchers” and a digital image of a person filling a balloon with their own breath. The combination of rigidity and expansion tantalize the viewer into the thought of the balloon being so inflated it will burst. The bold royal blue with the crisp white earthenware are aesthetically enticing, all the while keeping the viewer’s eye along to follow the progression of inflation and deflation. Brian Boldon – “My work explores body philosophy, particularly the potential for rethinking embodiment in the age of New Media. I am interested in our evolving experience with digital media and our expanded sense of embodiment stimulated by virtual space or Data Space. Embodiment perhaps has less to do with our visual understanding of the “real” through perception, representation, and symbolism, and more to do with an internal understanding experienced through the tactile body. As a point of inquiry and action, my work uncovers the primacy our pre-visual kinetic body.” TWO FOLD 2011 DIMENSION. 22in. h x 34in w x 4.5in. d MATERIALS. Digital ceramic decals, earthenware. Concave folded forms intersect with convex imagery of inflating balloons. Powered by human breath the act of inflation serves to obscure identity. How are the two art works similar? How do the two art works differ? Both artists have a root in ceramic knowledge, and both artists utilize clay and sculpture in their works of art. In Bodon’s piece, the artist is visually telling a story, the viewer is left questioning why the face is obscured and why the balloon is left neither entirely inflated nor deflated. Why is there an absence of recognition and identity? The same questions could be asked about Mr. Eden’s piece. Why is the vessel neither whole or hallow? Why is there an absence of touch, of identity, of a time and place etched into the work? There is a use of blank space in both works, and the knowledge of aesthetics is shown on both works with the color choices. Both works are engaging to the viewer and allow the patron to ask questions. Clay links the artworks, but digital technologies help to entangle and divide the pieces. In Mr. Bodon’s “Two Fold” an image is transferred digitally onto a surface that helps to communicate, however with Eden’s “Wedgewoodn’t Tureen” the knowledge of a clay body/entity is used and deconstructed by digital technology. Mr. Eden uses CAD to construct and deconstruct entire vessels while Mr. Bodon uses digital imagery to enhance the work. How do the artist’s and their field relate to the reading? Walter Benjamin discusses in his writing, the reproduction of an artwork, and the way the said piece will lose some presence because of the lack of time and place. Considering that clay is probably the oldest art medium, the reproduction of sculpted pieces was not a plausible feat. “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence. This includes the changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership. The traces of the first can be revealed only by chemical or physical analyses which it is impossible to perform on a reproduction; changes of ownership are subject to a tradition which must be traced from the situation of the original.” – Walter Benjamin So if we have rewritten history, and developed a way to mass produce an artwork, can the true beauty be in its reproduction? I think so. Bodon and Eden have created techniques that are easily reproducible, they’ve worked smarter…not harder…and each reproduction will tell its own story Conclusion When I first started my art education at UNR, I had a minute idea of the possibilities given to artists. I was restricted to oil paints and clay. In my thoughts, each medium was separate, isolated, and in its own way, could become obsolete. I was aware that technology was becoming the newest tool for an artist but I did not understand how I could implement it into my education in the ceramic arts. Researching Bodon and Eden has shown me that simple clay roots can sprout into a huge tree, branching into different mediums, all coming together to create a worldly, sophisticated and conceptually intriguing being. Because of timing, I was not able to get a response from either artist; however, I will follow up with them to find how I can entangle myself in the marriage of technology and clay. Word Count: Approximately 2,200 Sites Referenced Works Cited Benjamin, Walter (1936) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Source: UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; Transcribed: by Andy Blunden 1998; proofed and corrected Feb. 2005.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Shallows Homage Film

3.) Make a detailed comment on a blog post (which should be effective by end of class or near) containing our final short film over The Shallows. Include three things-

1. - Your favorite transition/editing trick in the film.

My favorite editing trick is around the 3:40 part of the video, when the clocks are over-layed on top of the other, the idea that time is controlling your entire being really seems to set in. I also really liked how the whole film has different types of digital media from film, to documentaries to cartoon. I also liked the feeling given by (around the six minute mark) where inventions are shown and sped up, you are given the feeling of how quickly technology became an extra appendage in today's society.

2. - What most struck you visually as loyal to the book/chapter.

I think that the video truly followed the string of time. The entire piece showed the concern with humanity and time and how it dictates how, why, and where we do things.The most visually loyal to the reading would be the beginning of the film where human mind development is shown. The growth of our minds from understanding minute concepts to things that we can't even see was very accurately shown.

3. - The separation between reading the chapter and "watching" it.

The reading did not seem as foreboding until I see it in film. The power of technology and the ability for it to be used as good or bad seemed to be shown more in the film. The reading gave you more time to sit and marinate on the words, and to form different visuals to illustrate his sentences. The film does not allow as much time to let the message sink in. I liked both though and I wish they could be shown together somehow.

11/19/12 Manovich

A- Manovich's reading seems to follow along a vein similar to last week's reading "The Shallows" in that time and digitization are combined but are inevitably seen with discriminating eyes. If the production of "digital" images is our reality, has the concept of time been changes with technology? Can we use this technology to capture a moment in time, then reproduce it over and over without loosing the validity and essence of the object being captured?

B-Manovich discusses the loss of information when an image/data file is copied and reproduced which compromises the original. If digitization of images/files has become the main source of public viewing, will there ever be a way to reproduce an image/file without compromising the original? Technology is not leaving us, it is only expanding and become engrained in our everyday lives, are we going to lose the power of art if it is compromised when shared?

In Rounds with the Ghiggles

In Rounds with Giggles
In Rounds with the Ghiggles