Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Print 3D

Traditionally printmaking exists in 2D world, surrounded by drawing, painting, collage, and even digital media. But the digital side has been rapidly changing over the last few years, and 3D digital printers have made their mark.

As a person who has always worked with their hands, I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Don't get me wrong. I'm by no means a modern-day Luddite, and I have incorporated many technologies into my studio practice at Pele. Not to mention that, strictly speaking, the presses I use were once considered the latest and greatest in the way of technology. There is a constant push/pull between my need to create by hand and my desire to incorporate newer digital tools. Most people who have worked with me have heard me talk about the importance of the "evidence of hand" in art. I believe there is such a thing as too perfect, and it's in the small imperfections where beauty often lies. Taking a phrase from the late t-shirt design shop Imperfect Articles, "perfectly imperfect" is a thing.

All of this said, technology provides an amazing complement to the handmade. And while 3D printing isn't exactly new, there have been huge strides in the last couple of years in expanding its scope, affordability, and reach. Following the Maker Movement reveals a seemingly endless string of ideas and innovations that I find fascinating. Some standouts include incorporating hydrographic film with 3D printed objects, designing intricate 3D shapes and designs using edible chocolate instead of plastic, and even creating 3D printed custom prosthetics for animals.

Seeing ideas like these gets the wheels spinning in my head. Who knows...someday we might just add a 3D printer to the Pele bag of tricks.

Derby prosthetic legs

Hydrographic film

3D printed chocolate

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Art of Video Games

I've played video games most of my life. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. But they are always there, and they have become a major part of our modern culture as a whole. When I play video games, I can't help but to be drawn to the visuals. In 2012, the Smithsonian Institute curated an exhibition called The Art of Video Games, which celebrated 40 years of video game art. It truly is an art form, one to be appreciated like any other. Thinking about what I consider some of the best video games from a visual perspective, I have four standouts that come to mind today.

Fun – Loco Roco

Loco Roco is all about being a kid. The colors and simple shapes interact and move in ways that just make you smile. Everything about it playful and fun.

Beautiful – flOw

This game is mesmerizingly beautiful and simple to learn. Plus the amoeba-like creatures are right up my alley at the intersection of art and science. The game was designed by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark, and it was created as part of Jenova's MFA thesis.

Abstract – Dots

2Modern got it right when they said that Dots is a game that Damien Hirst could endorse (and other artists as well, I'm sure!). Just as the name implies, this app puzzle game consists of simple dots that the player connects.

Realist – BioShock

I'm usually not a fan of first person shooters, but the BioShock series has been great from the beginning. In this pseudo-realist world, intense story lines and apropos themes make for an addictive and visually stunning game.