Self-Portrait

For my self-portrait photo, I decided to do something a little different than what I expected everyone to do. My life up to this point has revolved around that concept, and I wanted it to carry throughout this project. I imagined that most people would only take the time to take their self-portrait picture from a straight on view. I wanted to catch myself in the act of doing something I would normally do during the day. I took my picture at a time when I was looking out my bedroom window. I decided to cover the bottom portion of my face because that represents how I live my life most days. I like to think of myself as undercover, and most people barely know it is me when they walk by. It may sound dark and twisted, but usually I have so many people looking for me that I like to have control over whether or not I choose to interact with them.

Some of the symbols that make up this picture are the direct opposite of the meaning behind the original picture as stated in the paragraph above.  For example, I chose symbols and images such as the apple, smile and city skyline. To me, each of these images has separate meanings.

The moon, apple and skyline are directly related to one another, which is why I chose to place them on the glasses. Most of my work over the past 4 years that has gotten me to where I am now was done at night. I frequently go entire weeks seeing the sunrise each day.

The apple, which is the symbol for the company Apple as we all know, means much more to me than that. It is a symbol of how my brain works throughout the day and how I relate everything I see in the real world to something that I can accomplish on my computer though art.

One part of the image that contradicts the most with the original meaning of the image is the skyline. To me, living in the city is something I have always wanted to do. Although I like to disappear sometimes while walking around school and go un-noticed, the city is somewhere where I want to shine and be seen, which is what the small flash of light represent. The movie reel is a representation of how I view my life sometimes. I like to look at my life as though I was someone watching it. I believe this has a connection to the skyline, which is why it appears to be going into it at the end of the film.

The other part of this image that I would say contradicts the most is the smile. Again, while I like to disappear sometimes, I am generally a happy person as most people who know me would tell you. I try to keep positive energy flowing throughout all aspects of my life.

This leads me into the more comical portions of this image. For example, Homer Simpson to me represents everything that I want to be at times when I am not working. I am a professional couch dweller when the time is right.

Another symbol that represents a comical part of my personality is the X on my head. It is meant to show that sometimes I can become a scatterbrain and it happens sometimes almost to the point where it is funny to me.

The last two images I incorporated into this image are the palm tree, which is meant to show that I am absolutely not meant for the cold in any way. I crave heat and often when I don’t get it, my mood severely changed. 

Spectatorship and Power Relationships

For my first advertisement with one person, I chose to pursue a path a little different than finding an advertisement that portrayed a model of some sort by himself or herself in an image. I chose to take an advertisement from the popular television show 24.

In this image, there are a number of factors that play into whether or not the subject of the image is aware that he is being photographed. This particular advertisement utilizes a screenshot taken from the actual filming of the show. So in a way, it is the actor’s job to make it seem like he is not being filmed, and is in fact staying in character for the show. Aside from the obvious signs that he is not making any eye contact with the camera, his body language suggests that he is trying to ignore it all together. While this image of the actor is taken from filming, it is also being used to create the advertisement. So in a way, the subject of this ad is being photographed twice. He is the dominant power figure in the ad even though there are other subjects such as the sunset and the tree. The focus of the ad is on the right side of the image and displays not only the character pictured, but the information needed to understand what the ad is all about.

For my second ad, I again chose an entirely different image than what would be expected as an advertisement with two people. In this ad, there appears one man in the actual lens of the camera. However, to his left there is the shadowy silhouette of a female. The shot is set up in a way so that the actual female figure does not appear in the image, but her shadow is still able to interact with the man who is being photographed.

In this image, both characters are aware that they are being photographed because of the simple fact that this is a staged photo shoot. However, the subjects are instructed to interact with each other rather than the camera lens.

The dominant figure in this image, in my opinion, is the female because of the fact that she is holding a weapon and seems to be holding the man hostage. This is ironic considering the fact that the female does not actually appear in the shot.

For the man, this photo set up is easier for him to execute because while he is aware he is being photographed, he does not have to worry entirely about where he is in the shot. Rather, he can try to act somewhat natural. On the other hand, the female who is causing the shadow to appear on the background has to be aware not only of the fact that she is being photographed, but also how her shadow is placed within the frame, and how that shadow is interacting the male who appears in the shot. I think that this ad is a very interesting way of looking at this particular subject, and hopefully it is as out of the box as I portray it to be.

Appropriation in Popular Culture

For my appropriation post, I chose to use an iconic image of Muhammad Ali moments after he had knocked out then boxing champion Sonny Liston.

The original picture, taken by Neil Leifer, has become one of the most inspirational and iconic images of all-time. It was chosen as the cover of the Sports Illustrated special issue, “The Century’s Greatest Sports Photos”.

In order to know the importance and meaning behind the original photo, one must first learn a little about Ali and the background of the fight. At the time of the first Liston-Ali fight on February 25, 1964, Sonny Liston was the world heavyweight champion, having beaten Floyd Patterson by a first round knockout in September 1962. That knockout plus his impressive overall record made Sonny Liston appear unbeatable. Ali, a notorious loudmouth, often took his trash talking to somewhat spiritual levels through the use of poetry and clever rhyming schemes. He often proclaimed, “I’m the greatest!” and “I shook up the world!”

Leading up to the fight, there was a lot of talk going on between the two fighters. Previous to the match this photo was taken at, the two fighters had already met before in a previous match, had been won by Liston. As the second fight drew near, public awareness was at an all time high along with Muhammad Ali’s popularity.  Ali knocked out Liston in the first round and promptly hovered above his opponent yelling taunts rather than returning to his own corner. This image has a lot of meaning, and is a showcase for Ali’s dominance, perseverance and confidence. A lot of people were drawn to him as a person, making him one of the most famous athletes and people of all time.

This image has been appropriated by Adidas in order to make a successful brand advertisement. Although only part of the image exists, it is common knowledge, which pieces of the original are missing from the Adidas ad. The image has also been appropriated in two different ways.

The first use of appropriation is the physical use of Neil Leifer’s original image. This second use is the meaning that is behind the original image. As previously stated, Ali’s victory meant a lot more than winning a boxing match to a lot of people all over the world.

The meaning of the new Adidas advertisement is exactly what the company states is their new slogan, “Impossible is nothing.” In many ways, Adidas simply ripped of everything that Muhammad Ali stood for as a person in order to make a buck. However, Adidas is known today as a company, which respects its values. Muhammad Ali himself supports the ad campaign and his signature appears on each ad.

I have attached images of both the original photo and the Adidas advertisement.

Icons in Society

MICKEY MOUSE – The Icon

“An iconic image is an image that refers to something outside of its individual components something or someone that has a great symbolic meaning for many people. “

For my iconic image, I chose a picture of the popular cartoon character Mickey Mouse. Mickey was one of the first cartoons made popular nationally by Walt Disney. He has become a popular image that has lasted the test of time.  We are now in a time when not only have the kids of today grown up on Mickey Mouse, but so have the adults. With the expansion of Walt Disney Co. internationally over the past 20 years, Mickey’s prowess as an international icon has only grown stronger.

Mickey Mouse conveys numerous universal concepts, emotions and meaning. He can be associated with multiple aspects of life. For a lot of people, when they look at Mickey, they may remember a family vacation they took when they were younger. Some might remember watching popular movies such as Fantasia as a kid.

Disney does a remarkable job of relating Mickey to not only their household products, but also their vacation destinations. Mickey is the Brad Pitt of the Disney family. It is literally impossible to go into a Disney store or theme park without seeing something associated with Mickey. Disney produces everything from signage around their popular theme parks, to TV shows and clothing for all ages that showcase the mouse.

Mickey has a very special meaning to me for multiple reasons. Not only did I basically grow up around Disney world, but I have read a lot into the life and time of Walt Disney as a person, and how his story is told simultaneously with the character Mickey Mouse. In my high school yearbook, my parents dedicated a page to me that had a quote written on it, which stated, “Remember, it all started with a mouse.” That quote means a lot to me and it is something that I have always thought about throughout my entire life.

Today, I have had the privilege of designing apparel for Disney and being able to use images of Mickey on the products that I design. Also, my family has recently decided to relocate their household to within 1 mile of Disney World Orlando because that particular area of the country means so much to them. So when people ask me whether or not Mickey does a good job of persuading consumers, I know from first hand experience that almost anything with him on it is guaranteed to sell in one way or another. 

Comm 265 Design Query

Art vs. Design

As an artist, I do think that there is a difference between art and design. To me, the major difference lies in the emotion that is behind a lot of art. For a lot of people who practice it, art is a self-expressionist emotional escape for them. They simply turn to art when they do not want to think about anything else in the world. The simple fact that they are doing the artwork is provides enough meaning to them. Design however is integrated into any kind of art no matter what it is. When you look at the technical term “design,” there are elements of it that would by most standards make any piece of art a design.

Where I think design differs is in the professional application of it. I know a lot of people in the world who design and follow a strict set of codes and guidelines in order to do design properly. In the same way design is incorporated in art, art is also a technical part of design. One can basically argue in either direction.

In my description, yes I did use both the words self-expressionist and meaning. I do not think that either term is exclusive to either art or design. I guess it just depends on what you want to get out of whichever you are practicing.

I am fairly confident that I could hang a picture in my room that I created, considering that I already have close to 20 pictures, t-shirts, mouse pads, wallpapers on my phone and computer, etc. etc.

I don’t hire anybody. I am the one that people hire. Yes, they worry a lot about getting their money’s worth.

I have definitely come to find beauty in things that I never thought had it. I am a big fan of collecting things and going back to them after a year or two to see if that particular object’s meaning or aesthetic appeal has changed to me.

Final Project

For our final project, Alec, Ursula and myself had a little bit of trouble getting going at first. At first, we sat in class the first day we were allowed to work on our project and tries to think about the things that we had learned over the course of the entire semester. To be honest, we did a little bit of eavesdropping on the groups around us, and we had heard that there were at least 3 that were planning on doing board games. We wanted to focus on doing something that was different and would hold more value in relation to the rest of the class. After a while, we also decided that we wanted to do something that could be saved for years to come. We felt as though if we produced a project that would last for years, and we did a good enough job, it could possibly be used as a learning tool for future classes.

We met for our next meeting with the idea that we were going to do a group project, but it was going to be much more comprehensive than what we expected most of the other groups to do. Then, we had the idea to do some sort of puzzle. We started researching different puzzle designs, but couldn’t really figure out how we could relate it to the material that we were supposed to be covering.

Then, we had our final idea which was to create a crossword puzzle. After coming up with this idea, we started to go through the list of vocab words that we had covered throughout the entire semester. We decided to pick out the ones that were most important to us, and held the most weight in our class discussions.

After constructing the puzzle and figuring out how it would work from word to word, we constructed the actual puzzle through the use of computer design software. Then we used the same software to put together the clues. After coming up with all of this, we took the puzzle to the printers.

Because of our original desire to have this puzzle last more than one year and possibly be used as a learning tool for years to come, we decided to laminate the puzzle so it could be erased and used more than once. After it was printed, the puzzle along with the clues were mounted on cardboard for added support when writing on it. We feel that the project as a whole was successful. We can also see this project being used in class as a sort of game to help future classes study for the midterm or other assignments.

http://unickerson.wordpress.com/

http://agiovino.wordpress.com/

 

Multivariate Display

For this post, my topic was to explore the difference in statistics, stadiums and other facts between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. I constructed a display made up of 5 different types of graphs. The different types of graphs included an organizational chart, explanation graphic, table of facts, line graph and a horizontal bar graph. For each of these individual displays, including the stadium seating chart, I hand drew into the computer using Adobe Illustrator.

The reason I chose this particular topic because all over college campuses, especially this one, the debate over which sports team is better than other looms. At Roger Williams, that argument often includes these two teams. I usually have to hear about it every day because most of my friends are form New Jersey, and when it comes Sunday the arguments and taunting begin to pour in. I think that when these arguments take place, most people have a hard time being able to visualize some of the statistics in charts such as the ones I have constructed. Simple bar and line graphs show a tremendous difference in certain statistics.

I’d also like to add that according to this graph, the New England Patriots will always win the argument, and my friends from New Jersey simply do not know what they are talking about. I will most certainly be emailing this visual to all of them.

Pats vs Jets