PROJECT ONE: IDENTITY/MONTAGE

FINAL PROJECT  DUE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD

DUE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH: DIGITAL FILES FOR PEER REVIEW (JPG FORMAT)

  • ONE MONTAGE, AT LEAST 19″ x 22″, 300 DPI PRINTED AT THE PRINT SHOP IN THE VISUAL ARTS BUILDING
  • PROJECT TITLE, STATEMENT AND MONTAGES MUST BE POSTED TO BLOG BY 8AM

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TERMINOLOGY:

identity | noun | the fact of being who or what a person or thing

marker | noun | an object (or image) used to indicate a position, place, or route

culture | noun | the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group

semiotics | noun | the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication, as language, gestures, or clothing.

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PROJECT OVERVIEW: For this project, you will use Photoshop to compile images and create one digital montage that visually explores identity markers. What shapes your identity? Who do you identify with? These questions can be answered on a local and/or global level. How do you define yourself? How do others define you? The image you make for this project will be a form of recombinant art that you create by using the strategies of juxtaposition, metaphor, cultural critique and/or personal narrative.

As we will discover in class, identity is always fluid; in other words, we are not ever exactly the same identity from one moment to the next. Taking this into consideration, you must also include an element of time in your work. Think of this as visually describing a moment with a clear definition of a situation and a place (imaginary or realistic).

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “CREATING A MOMENT”?

Many pictorial representations are an attempt to create a moment, to describe a feeling, to define a space (whether impossible or imagined), to define shape or light, qualities of relationships between things that are represented…..

Think of a still life- a bowl of fruit. How does the light hit the fruit? Is it in a bowl? Is there a window nearby? What would the choice of items in the still life, combined with the qualities of light and texture say about the person making it?

Another example- imagine your favorite photograph that includes people in it. Why do you like it? What is described by this image that makes you remember it? How is a moment described?

This assignment gives you the opportunity to use Photoshop to create a custom made world from scanned images, images found on google (with images you have the right to use, of course) and other materials gathered from the web. Your composition will take into consideration the rule of thirds, color theory, and other basic rules of composition that we will discuss in class.

This work should be in the spirit of montage. Montage, of course, is not just a “collage” but uses collage techniques to tell a story, shows the passage of time or advocates for a particular idea or cause. Montage and collage are indeed quite similar, but montage work is considered to be more about the concepts represented by the visual elements than about the material qualities that motivate collage compositions.

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TIMELINE:
DUE SEPTEMBER 9TH
Bring your images you want to use for this project to class. Complete Chapters 10 + 11 in Digital Foundations. For Freeware users: GIMP Layering and Collage + Repitition and Cloning.

SEPTEMBER 11TH:
Come to class prepared to work.

Write a 250 word blog post reviewing an artist of your choice from Furtherfield or Rhizome.org (links are on the right sidebar-reviews from other sites will not be accepted). Your post should be in the following format:

Describe the FORMAL aspects of the work (what technology does it use, where is the work exhibited, composition, color, value, medium)

Describe the CONTENT of the work (what images are used- try to objectively describe them in a matter of fact way).

Describe the CONCEPT of the work (based on your observations of the formal aspects and the content, what do you think it means? How do you “read” this work?)

 

DUE SEPTEMBER 16TH

Your work in progress for peer review before you print. Images must be 19×22″ and 300 dpi in Photoshop. No exceptions.

DUE SEPTEMBER 23RD
• 300 DPI
• 19″ X 22″
• avoid glossy prints – they’re hard to see. Semimatte is best.
This project will cost approximately $30 to print at the GMU SOA Print Lab.

Make sure to write a project statement (guidlines just below the header on this site) and upload a jpg of your image to your blog.

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ABOUT USING PHOTOSHOP
Youtube and other websites are great resources for technical questions about using almost any software. The odds are that if you are having a problem in Photoshop, someone else has had the same problem before you. It’s worth it to search forums like creativecow.net to find solutions when you get stuck.

PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS
I have made a short playlist of basic Photoshop tutorials on YouTube. Some of these might be slightly older editions of the software than the version you will be using, but the basic structure of the program will be the same.
YouTube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC8505EB61AF327EC

Impossible in Another Form

In addition to the previously mentioned homework for Tuesday September 2, please write a 250 word response to the show in the School of Art Gallery “Impossible in Another Form” by Jeff Thompson.

Your writing should introduce the work (either one or two pieces, or the whole show) in an objective way, describing what you see and experience. Next, consider what Thompson might be trying to communicate with this work. Lastly, write 1-2 sentences about what you think of the work.

 

Welcome to AVT 180!

This website will be your primary source for getting information about our class this semester. Please take some time to review the syllabus, Visual Voices schedule, project statement and critique pages on this website.

We will be going over the syllabus in more detail next week. Please feel free to email me with any questions at jmayhew2@gmu.edu. I can usually get back to students in a few hours.

ASSIGNMENTS DUE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND

1. CREATE A WORDPRESS BLOG AND REVIEW TERMINOLOGY

You will be using a blog to post assignments, reactions to readings and other assignments throughout the semester.

1. Set up a blog at http://www.wordpress.com (or any other blogging platform that you want), and email your blog’s address to jmayhew2@gmu.edu. You can use the tutorials at http://www.learn.wordpress.com to help get you started. Please make sure you are familiar with the following terms for class next week:

Post

Page

Theme

Widget

Header

We will also be discussing these in class next week.

2. We will be using the online textbook Digital Foundations by xtine burrough and Michael Mandiberg throughout the semester. All tutorials and chapters can be found at http://wiki.digital-foundations.net. Please complete or read through Chapters 1 + 2 (or Firefox Searching + Inkscape The Metaphor…).  If you need access to a computer lab, there is a lab on the second floor of the Visual Arts building. Information about lab hours is on the syllabus page.