I'm a visual artist, web designer and art educator in Newfoundland, Canada.

Posts tagged “Digital Art” (page 1 of 2)

More iPad drawings

  • iPad drawing 8
  • iPad drawing 9
  • iPad drawing 10
iPad drawing 8

iPad drawing 8

iPad drawing 9

iPad drawing 9

iPad drawing 10

iPad drawing 10

A few more recent iPad drawings; I’ve been trying to draw a little every day. These start in Paper and then I take them into Photoshop. They’re mostly just me trying to get better at making stuff without thinking about it too much.

Three Times Round

  • Three Times Round installed at The Tangle
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
Three Times Round installed at The Tangle

Three Times Round installed at The Tangle

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

I made a new digital projection piece for The Tangle, an art event organized by a few friends in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. For Three Times Round, I revisited a series of panoramic photos I made in 2003 of an abandoned barn in the town I grew up in. The field where the barn stood is now a new subdivision. The text is about departing and returning; I have moved away from Newfoundland and back again three times.

Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, everything is the same.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you wonder if you ever left.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, the place feels different.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you see things differently.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you are not the same.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you can’t find it.

Drawing every day

  • iPad drawing 1
  • iPad drawing 2
  • iPad drawing 3
  • iPad drawing 5
  • iPad drawing 6
iPad drawing 1

iPad drawing 1

iPad drawing 2

iPad drawing 2

iPad drawing 3

iPad drawing 3

iPad drawing 5

iPad drawing 5

iPad drawing 6

iPad drawing 6

Got an iPad recently and I’ve been making a few drawings on it, mostly with the Paper app. I’ve never really liked drawing on the computer with a stylus or mouse, but the iPad feels much more natural. Being able to turn the tablet around in your hand like a sketchbook makes a huge difference.

Internet Walk

index of first lines at Reese Bullen Gallery

index of first lines at Reese Bullen Gallery

My digital print index of first lines is currently being shown in the art department faculty & staff show at Reese Bullen Gallery, Humboldt State University, in Arcata, CA. I’m currently teaching Web Media & Design here at Humboldt.

Here’s the artist statement you can see on the wall there:

I am interested in adapting digital photographic data into information systems usually associated with language and literature, such as an index of first lines.

Occasionally found in anthologies of poetry, an index of first lines lists poems alphabetically according to each first line, eschewing authorship, title and chronology. A reader might not always recall the title or author of a poem, but is likely to remember how it begins. I’ve always found indexes of first lines amusing as exercises in found poetry – reading the lines sequentially often results in a charmingly garbled, wandering diatribe, full of false starts.

index of first lines contains the first row of pixels from every image created with my first digital camera, from the day I bought it until the day it died. The lines of pixels are stratified in chronological order, with the earliest photo at the top. The resulting image contains 2048 × 5197 pixels (my camera produced images that were 2048 pixels wide, and there are 5197 photos).

Software tools such as Photoshop often impose a film-photography metaphor onto digital imaging. To get away from such metaphors, I use computer programming to manipulate digital image data in a way that is intrinsically digital. In this work, a PHP script was used to copy pixels from thousands of photos on my hard drive and compile them into this image.

index of first lines is a product not only of a digital camera, but of computer code. It is composed of a series of sequential images that are never perceived individually. Like an index of poems, its usefulness as a reference device depends on my memory. Taken out of context, it has a certain surreal quality.

While it’s impossible for me to identify individual photos, looking at this image does bring back memories. Thicker bands of colour indicate distinct sessions of photographing, when I snapped many photos with similar backgrounds. For instance, a certain band of white near the centre is the trace of the overcast sky on the afternoon I first visited Stonehenge. In this way, index of first lines is a cross-section of my memory, or at least my photographic habits. Examining it is an act of reading.

The faculty and staff show is open from September 13 – October 4, 2012.

Paint buckets and particle physics

“We don’t need more media ecologists raising their fists in boosterism or detraction, painting overly general pictures with broad brushes. We need more media entomologists and media archaeologists overturning rocks and logs to find and explain the tiny treasures that would otherwise go unseen. We need more media particle physicists and media nanotechnologists explaining the strange interactions of the tiniest examples of various media, videogames among them.”

— Ian Bogost, from How To Do Things With Videogames

“Today, as more artists are turning to new media, few are willing to undertake systematic, laboratory-like research into its elements and basic compositional, expressive, and generative strategies. […] Those few who are able to resist the immediate temptation to create an “interactive CD-ROM,” or make a feature-length “digital film,” and instead focus on determining the new-media equivalent of a shot, sentence, word, or even letter, are rewarded with amazing findings.”

— Lev Manovich, from The Language of New Media

This morning I finished Ian Bogost’s “How To Do Things With Videogames”, and this excerpt from his conclusion reminded me of Lev Manovich’s similar appeal to new media artists to do a little labwork. I am quite drawn to the idea of systematically exploring what distinguishes digital media from other media. I’ve tried to pursue this in projects such as index of first lines (which is currently being shown at Reese Bullen Gallery here in Arcata) and The Complete Works (after bpNichol).

In 2005 I coded a very basic raster image editor, pixelpad. I had just finished art school, and was thinking about what it meant to be a digital artist. For me, coding an image editor was an exercise in getting to know my materials, akin to a painter learning to mix his or her own colours. I can’t say that I was “rewarded with amazing findings,” but I definitely learned a lot, and it made me question some of my assumptions about what I was doing.

pixelpad was hacked together with JavaScript and PHP, and used HTML <div> elements for pixels. It was pretty easy to get started, and I quickly added a lot of small details like the thumbnail preview, a pixel grid that could be switched on and off, a resizeable canvas, and shortcut keys.

Coding the fill tool was pretty challenging, and I remember questioning whether I really understood how a “paint bucket” tool worked. The logic is something like “when the user clicks on a pixel, check whether each adjacent pixel is the same colour; then repeat as necessary, checking whether each pixel adjacent to the previous pixels (which have not already been checked) is the same color; when all adjacent pixels have been checked, fill all appropriate pixels with the current colour.” In 2005 I knew a lot less about coding than I do now, and I remember my browser freezing up dozens of times as I accidentally created infinite loops. I also had to figure out small details, such as whether diagonally adjacent pixels should be included. In the end, I got the fill tool working to my satisfaction. I never did get the “generate png” function to work properly.

A screenshot of pixelpad.

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