ART 113 – Digital Foundations

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Taken during my Spring 2023 semester, Digital Foundations further introduced me to the ways in which a computer can be used to create artwork. Coming from a background of graphic design and content creation, some of the concepts were relatively familiar to me. However, this class pushed my knowledge further than I ever imagined and gave me a brand new set of skills to utilize moving forward.

Each unit was a culmination of the skills we had learned in a specific program. The first unit went over photoshop and culminated in a digital collage. My piece is titled “Do you want to connect?” In a world where connection can be found at our fingertips, what happens when we are presented that choice? Phones can be both a way to keep us together, as well as a prison that keeps us from finding real connection. All of this was inspired by my personal experience having a failed long distance relationship (which heavily relied on being tied to my phone), social media use, and grappling with the type of behavior both of those things can create.

Glitch Art
Glitch Art 2
Photo Montage Exercise
Relocation Exercise
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The next unit focused on creating a gif using a famous piece of art in photoshop. My piece is titled “Destruction Of A Culture.” The first thing that came to mind about this project was reanimating a statue. Considering how the Greeks were attempting to create dynamic/naturalistic creations in the conversely static medium of sculpture, I saw Discobolus as the perfect opportunity to fully realize their vision through a gif; albeit, in a very humorous way. I thought it would be really interesting if an American/Western football player tackled and snapped the statue in half, especially in relation to the desecration/appropriation of different cultures by Western countries. Greek marbles and The British Museum (from which the image is taken) in particular have a very controversial history that plays into this idea very well.

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The third unit was focused on Illustrator and culminated in a laser-cut, three-dimensional piece. My piece is entitled “Digital Footprint.” Whenever we create, communicate, exchange, or otherwise interact in the digital world, what trail do we leave behind in the physical one? This project attempts to play with this question. In making a digital design and imprinting onto the real world using the laser cutter, I am physically connecting those two. In the same way, something I may say or do online can impact the real world; be that through an emotional response or possibly an environmental one. What we do can leave behind trails, “footprints,” that all connect back on themselves. Aesthetically this piece was meant to emulate digital visual language: through the “pixelated” footprints; the utilization of vivid, almost screen-like colors; and the inspiration found in topographical maps.

Side View
Coaster Project File
Coaster Project End Result

The fourth unit was made to introduce us to sound as an art form and the final project involved taking sounds from a sound library we as a class recorded and created ourselves, and turning them into a sound collage. The title of my collage is “Somewhere Else.” My goal with it was to create a low frequency, distorted soundscape with a distinct sense of dread. The process of creating this piece was quite simply, how far can I take the sounds from their original locations? How can I push them past the places they typically inhabit or are indicative of? A dog licking a toy was transformed into a rhythmic beating, almost like a heart beat. The sound of an acoustic instrument being plucked was reversed, stretched, and pitched to make it sound much less natural I really wanted to try and create a foreboding, if not slightly uncomfortable experience for the listener.

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The final unit taught us how to using Processing, a coding language, to create a program that generates 500 unique pieces of art in under two minutes. This was probably the most challenging unit, but also the most fulfilling once I figured it out. My piece is titled “Clock.” All of the shapes and background choose a color from a curated color palette. The three squares all change size and position slightly, while the ellipses change in amount and location. Finally, the lines and rings also change in amount, in location, and in their stroke weight.

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