I interviewed a pretty interesting girl this week. Her name was Quynh Ong (gotta love the name right?!) and I just randomly picked her because she looked like someone approachable. After I explained to the soft-spoken Quynh that I needed someone to interview while trying to not sound creepy, she politely accepted and I proceeded with a few starter questions.
Quynh is a freshman student majoring in film here at CSULB. She has a few hobbies but she mentioned hiking in random spots around LA. That was very fascinating to me because I spend much of my own time exploring hiking spots around my own town and surrounding areas. When asked about her musical interests, Quynh said she mostly listened to alternative rock which, fortunately was very similar to what I listened to. In explaining to her what my musical interests are, we found out that we both played a guitar for about the same number of years. I always love meeting other musicians so this was welcomed news.
Eventually the conversation drifted back to the gallery shows at hand and I asked Quynh what she thought of the gallery we were interviewing near (this was one that I had not particularly cared for). Quynh told me that she actually really enjoyed the gallery which consisted of what looked like old clothes tattered, dirtied, and stuck to a canvas and then spray painted. She said the work brought up feelings of nostalgia in her and when looking at the pieces with that in mind, I began to understand it a bit more. I thank her for that.
This week was by far my favorite round of art shows at CSULB. I connected with the group of art work and the artists in a much deeper way this week. I was fascinated by each of the exhibits that I saw and the more I spent on each, the more meaning I found.
One artist in particular who stood out to me was Maccabee Shelley. Maccabee was originally from Los Angeles but moved to San Francisco where he really started as an artist at around the age of 20. Something that really inspired me about Maccabee was that he had started on art later in life than most and how he developed his style and perfected his craft through hard work and dedication.
When asked why he choose glass as a medium, he explained that glass was a very powerful material in his eyes. Historically it was a very sought-after and valued item, but in modern times glass has essentially become waste after we’re done drinking from it. The material was just so close to us all that it inspired him. In addition to cultural placement, glass is fascinating as a material. Maccabee explained that it gave him the ability express himself so precisely due to its versatility. Glass could be made into any shape, size, or texture he desired. It could be smooth, sharp, fragile, strong and everything in between. He also talked about how interesting it was that such a fragile material has such durability in respect to time. Glass lasts through the ages but is so easily shattered.
I found common ground with Maccabee on his infatuation with glass. I had always been very interested in plastic for much of the same reason that he chose glass. Plasticity has always been something I looked to emulate in my music in order to better express what I wished. this works in the same way glass has been utilized in his art.
Sooooo this week in Art 110, we had a great project i really enjoyed ! For this activity, me and three friends from class got a reason to go to Redondo Beach for a while and plaster cast our body parts in the sand. When first getting to the Redondo Beach Pier, we had the best time trying to find each other and some of us (Diaz & Michelle) didn’t quite get their parking situation sorted out right away.
However, we eventually all met up and had our parking sorted out. After a quick stop at the pier’s gelato shop, we were off to pick a spot. We found a spot that didn’t have to many people around because lets face it, its nicer having a beach to yourself! The weather was lovely with a nice overcast sky keeping the beach cool and shady as we dug our holes. Each of us spent some time picking out what hand gestures to make in our moldings (although they all came out basically looking the same). After each mold was made we went through the easy process of mixing the mold…..although we made it difficult by having no measuring container, or mixing stick. Finally after some quick thinking and repeatedly adjusting our mix, we were done and it was time to wait. We spent our time on the beach telling jokes, funny stories and planning out our fun activities for the rest of the day. When the time came for each of us to dig out our molds, we each took the time for the photo-op and enjoyed our new creations. I spent the rest of the day with Diaz taking hikes through Palos Verdes. Overall, real good day.
I really enjoyed this kick starter video. I loved the project the creators of the video were undertaking. I am a frequent video game player and pretty much all the games I play are based in sword combat. I enjoyed how well this video was made to appeal to my needs and really make me feel like the project was worth my while. The information was honest and accurate while still seeming competent and beneficial to the video gaming world.
This week while at the art galleries, there were 3 artist’s works on display. The stand-out artist for me however, was Jesse Lubben with his gallery titled Photosomatic. This gallery presented photos of photos that had already been photoshopped, cut, re-photographed, and positioned to create mine-bending pieces that defied logical structure. I found Jesse’s work to be very interesting do to its interesting arrangements and structures. I found myself spending tons of time in this gallery just having fun being confused by the different curves and folds in each picture.
I found one picture in particular that I loved the color pattern of. There were dark purples and lighter brown formed into a folded diamond-type shape. I was first intrigued by this picture because I could not clearly figure out what the purple color was made of. I could see it was a stretched picture of something but I was unsure what. I eventually assumed it was simply some type of quarts crystal that the artist had photographed.
It was only after talking to the artist that I saw the picture used was a close-up of tree bark that had been modified to appear purple. I Also asked the artist about what he had photographed in the pictures he had used. He explained that most of the shots were made up of shots taken in nature on local hiking trails or on his trip to china he had taken earlier this year. I asked Jesse what had inspired him to make this series. He said he had been heavily inspired by the writings of Loren Eiseley who was an anthropologist who approached the telling of people’s histories and societies form a strongly geographical perspective. The fusion of geography and society showed clearly in the work between the pictures showing nature shots presented next to views of modern china.
Jesse also touched on the subject of contradiction. I mentioned to him that I loved standing in front of each picture trying to “figure out” the process used to create each. He said that he did that intentionally. He cited contradictions as a powerful tool to keep viewers interested in a piece of work. Since the brain is naturally a problem solver, when presented with something that doesn’t make sense, a person will spend time trying to figure it out.
This week in art 110, I had the opportunity to meet a new classmate named Marlyn Castillo. Marlyn is a sophomore student from Los Angeles who is majoring in social work here at CSULZB. After mentioning her major, I asked Marlyn about why she chose social work as a major. She told me it was a passion of hers because where she comes from, child abuse is too common and she would like to help some children who are stuck in that situation. I felt a connection here with Marlyn because I decided to become a psychology major for much of the same reason.
Marlyn currently works at a store selling shoes. She says she enjoys her work. When asked about how she spent her free time, Marlyn said she didn’t have any hobbies in particular, but she used to play soccer very regularly in high school and in a team outside of school. When the subject of family was mentioned, Marlyn told me she had a close family life and that she had 3 sisters. I shared my own list of siblings and we found we both felt we came from large and close families.
When asked about the art we had been viewing at the galleries that day, Marlyn talked about her favortie artist from that week, Christopher Vavrek. The art featured in the gallery was an elaborate arrangement of out-dated technologies all combined into strange sculptures and presented in creative ways. Marlyn said entering the gallery for her was like walking into a computer-based horror movie, which I could only agree with. Overall, she said the gallery had been her favorite she had seen since class had started.
This week, I got a chance to look inside little windows of the lives of my classmates. Most of these people, I have never even met before. This was an odd and challenging experience. I didn’t know what to expect going into this project. My classmates seemed like such a mix of diverse people who could potentially each be more different than their appearances already made them out to be. For my own pictures to post, i wanted them to represent me accurately to those who would see (as if someone would actually go though the effort of linking my photos together in any way). Ultimately the pictures just each told a small piece of my day. Even though each told a small bit about me, I found that my pictures could not have possibly told enough about me to give anyone an accurate portrayal of who I am.
As I looked over the photos of my classmates however, I found that the pictures did still offer value in looking into the life of another. I looked over the little glimpses of my fellow students’ profiles and found that there was definitely a connecting factor between them. We all looked like we could just be friends. Among the diversity that was shown in the pictures, a sense of belonging was extended to all the pictures. They all seemed to belong in the list BECAUSE they were all so different. It seemed to reflect the hectic life of a college student. One moment you see a selfie of the outfit for the day, followed by a shot of friends, a bit of school work, and another of a delicious lunch. The pictures showed a glimpse into the world of our generation and community. Always on the move, always changing, and wildly diverse.
To summarize the experience, seeing the hashtag for our project put things in perspective more than anything. I saw my life as a small set of tiles on a much bigger picture. I have my own interest and likes, but, as different as i am, I still can fit comfortably into the community of peers I am in while adding to its beauty.
This week in Art 110, I interviewed fellow classmate/soulbrother Anthony Diaz (or as he’s more commonly known, simply “Diaz”). Diaz was an interesting interview for me because I happen to already know a great deal about him. For this interview however, I tried to go deeper in depth with diaz and find out things I did not know. To begin, Diaz told about his current major at CSULB. Anthony is currently a computer science major. From a young age, Diaz had been interested in computers. Now finally learning more about programming, he is fascinated and challenged by his courses. However, Diaz’ true passion (much like my own) lies in playing music.
Diaz is a multi-instrumentalist music fanatic and writes most of the material for our psychedelic rock band. Although a bass player in the band, Diaz is a skilled guitarist and is teaching himself 3 new instruments (piano, drums, cello). In addition to being a musician, Diaz is an avid music listener; often listening to obscure and experimental genres as well as popular music from all musical areas and times.
When asked about a major influence on his early musical development, Diaz (after a long and pensive pause) offered the answer of Daft Punk. From a young age, Diaz was mostly exposed to a mostly classic rock music selection. He explained that hearing a type of music made electronically was a huge revelation to him that allowed him to open up his mind to how many different ways there were to make music. The concept of making music became more free-formed from this point.
After sparking my interest in his influences, I asked Diaz what he was currently listening to. He came back with one of his current favorite artists. The first was a band called Absolutely Free. As the name would imply, the band is an almost free-form musical group drawing inspiration from psycedelic, drone, pop, and hip-hop genres. When asked about why he liked the band Diaz talked about how the band can take a simple concept or riff and masterfully built upon and layer it to make it sound completely different in context.
Another passion of diaz’ away from music is his love of art. Diaz’ drawing style is mainly psychedelic pencil sketches taking different basic shapes and objects and layering them into complex drawings that often play on optical illusions. Personally I find his art to be like looking at a beautiful puzzle. Diaz has been drawing since early in high school. He explained that his beginning motivation to draw came from a lack of focus during classes which carried into college. He does not regret it however considering that he has found drawing to be a satisfying creative outlet and very therapeutic.
This week on a trip to the art gallery, I was drawn in by the work of a particular artist named Nichole Speciale. Her work was intriguing in design and execution. The work I focused on was a piece named (Stereo)(If You Wish to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch). The piece was made on a plain white canvas using stereo wire to make two swirling circle designs fusing together in the center. From the canvas there was a single wire coming out of the piece and into a speaker.
I found this particular piece interesting because of its fascinating medium. I had never seen speaker wire used in a piece of art before. Using the wire gave the piece a very striking golden shine that attracted the eye. Another interesting feature of the artwork was the intricate weaving done between the two main circular designs of the piece. From a distance, the fused area of the circles looks very oddly textured in a way that few (if any) other mediums could have captured.
To further the intricacy of the piece, there was also an attached speaker coming from the bottom of the canvas. From this speaker, there was a quiet drone. The drone was very calming to the point of almost being trance inducing as one analyzes the piece. This feature of the piece was actually my favorite. I loved the mixing of visual and audio mediums in the piece to achieve one central piece.
As to what the piece actually represented, I am unfortunately still at a loss. Although this piece sparked my imagination and drew me in, I did not pull out a clear meaning behind it. I could tell however that the piece was well-thought out and innovative.
For my classmate interview, I chose a member of the class who I already knew, but had not gotten to know very much in depth. After having interviewed Amir, I did not regret this choice. To begin, Amir is a junior at CSULB but lives in Downey. He is an only child but maintains a close relationship with a cousin who he referred to as being “like a brother.”
Amir is currently majoring in computer science, but unfortunately doesn’t like it most of the time. Although well-aware of the benefits of a degree in computer science, Amir has his issues with the choice. His feelings were ones I could personally relate to since I have my doubts about my major as well.
As the interview continued, we found that we share the same problem with our majors: we both live for music. Amir is not only a gifted science student, but a passionate and talented pianist. As we shifted to the subject, I could see Amir’s eyes light up as he spoke at length about his music. Having been a student of music for many years, Amir learned to play guitar and piano, but more recently has begun focusing solely on piano. Using software from his computer, Amir uses a keyboard to create elaborate electronic and hip-hop influenced music. He explained that this is how he uses much of his free time from school and friends. When asked about his influences, Amir proceeded to list a varied collection of artists ranging from modern EDM DJs, and hip-hop artists to classic and modern jazz influences. It was easy to see that Amir has a passion for music, much like myself, and I felt his pain in not being able to fully devote himself to it because of our other obligations.
Overall, I enjoyed getting to know more about Amir and we remain good friends.