Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Project 2: 3D Vignettes

        This video is a technical practice of stop motion animation. Materials include 3D model for the dog house and white clay for the puppy. The background was built with a green hand towel and a piece of painted paper. In this short story, I tried to mimic a puppy's motion in real life. I think the sounds are successfully corresponded to the actions. Overall, the video achieves the technical effects that I want to make, but the part I think it lacks for is to create a conversation to the audiences.
        The green screen method was applied to make the clouds float on the sky. Before creating this 3D vignettes project, I made a green screen video as a practice.

        The green screen video questions the overuse on touchscreen device. It is more common now that people use smartphone or tablet to record everything instead of just seeing through their own eyes. So I want to emphasize this problem in this video exercise. The absent of sea lions represents seeing things through a lifeless medium.
        I lost the files of original footages, but the background footage was filmed in San Francisco during my spring break.Then I filmed the the front footage with my hands moving across the screen and combined the two footages together. The sound of sea lion was originally from Newport, Oregon. It was also filmed during my spring break.

The barking from sea lions

Sea lions in Newport, Oregon

The photograph of the site where my background footage was filmed

Friday, March 13, 2015

Project 1: Responding to Heidegger

Technology has changed people's lives a lot. But as technology is more important in our society, we become to rely on it more often and sees everything through its eyes. Heidegger said technology is a mode of revealing. The techne means activity (technology) and aesthetic, implying technology may have a strong connection to art. How was art developed in the beginning? I think it started from the appreciation of nature, as we know many ancient crafts were inspired by things in nature. Therefore, in "The Question Concerning Technology", I think Heidegger was trying to give the idea that technology is just a way to reveal nature. But because we tend to figure things out based on technological concepts, we ignore and show no respect to nature. So to be aware of this problem, art is a way to question it.
My idea to respond to this article was biotechnology application on DNA codons. As being biology major, I want to connect Heidegger's idea with biotechnology. DNA is consisted with the small molecules called nucleotides. There are four types of nucleotides: A, T, C, and G. Just like computer codon, they are the codon coded for all genetic information of an organism. The work was built as an interactive sculpture. I made the sculpture as a human's heart and placed a green light bulb inside of it. Reason of using green light was that the fluorescent green is a common dye used for viewing DNA sequence. The light bulb was set in a DC circuit with a switch that could turn it on or off. When an audience switches the light on, the four letters ATCG are shown on the surface of the heart. I used paper towel for my sculpture building because it was an accessible material. Before putting the last layer on the sculpture, I cut out the letters. So this is how those words can only be seen when turning the light bulb on. 
Having a base under the sculpture, the work can be just installed on any flat surface (such as on a table) to allow audience to interactive with it. The heart sculpture means a creation of Nature and the codons are the invention of human technology. To allow the audience view my work more easily, I also wrote the words Nature and Technology on each side of the switch. However, it seems to make the work has a too simple meaning. A further consideration of finding a good balance between abstract and simplicity is needed.