Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"It puts the lotion on it's skin..."

On Tuesday, we have a class called "The Visual Book" in which we complete a number of avant garde projects, many of them in the form of books that mix a visual form with a traditional style of narrative. For our first assignment, we were asked to "alchemize" an existing book and turn it into something else. Lacking inspiration, I stopped by The Strand and told myself that I would transform the first book I saw in the bargain bin. With that out of the way, I bought a cheap bucket, some cheap lotion, some cheap twine and got my papier mache on.

Silence of the Lambs book

Cake with Maira

As I mentioned in passing here, one of our classes this semester consists almost entirely of the class meeting at our instructor's house, making angel food cake, icing them with bright pink whipped cream, tethering the cakes to balloons and letting go. We haven't got to the end just yet, but we did make a cake. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was worth the price of admission.

Cake with Maira
Cake with Maira
Cake with Maira
Cake with Maira
Cake with Maira
Cake with Maira

The Alameda

Alameda/Casa Mireles Botanica Infinito
While I was in San Antonio over the winter holiday, my parents and I visited the Alameda, a Smithsonian affiliate museum that is dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience through art, history and culture. The afternoon was a real delight, spent pouring over the work of Vincent Valdez and Alex Rubio, two infamous Westside artists. If you are in South Texas in the near future, I recommend checking the Alameda out. The fine art and anthropological pieces on display made it one of the most memorable and inspiring museum visits in recent memory.

(The picture above is a cropped portion of a collage I made of “Casa Mireles Botanica Infinito," a piece that is in the permanent collection and can be found in the entrance to the Alameda gift shop. Click here for a larger version of "Casa Mireles".)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Picturing to Learn Workshop

This weekend I'm headed to MIT with three other SVA MFAD students to participate in the National Science Foundation-funded pilot program of Picturing to Learn. Details and a full account to follow.
Picturing to Learn actively engages students in creating visual explanations. To go beyond viewing and analyzing images made by others, Picturing to Learn emphasizes:
* Making visual representations to increase understanding of science and engineering concepts
* How visual communication can improve information exchange between disciplines
* The importance of communicating science to the public for the next generation of researchers
* A new approach for teachers to evaluate students' comprehension of various principles

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


School began again on Monday. The week is a calm before the semester's storm because, while we have class each night, there isn't yet the crushing pressure of ALWAYS HAVING SOMETHING DUE (! x3). I on the other hand, volunteered to create a title sequence for the program's new podcast series, so I've been arriving early in the morning and leaving really late each night, in addition to preparing for a trip to MIT, brainstorming thesis projects and Treehead scenarios and figuring out the physics necessary to make a tasty pink cake float 10 stories above Fifth Avenue. In other words, business as usual.

My graduate program is better than yours is.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Basil Eggling

Claire gave me an Eggling for Christmas, a small clay pot in the shape of an egg that comes loaded to bear with seeds for herbs or flowers. All you do is crack it like a hard boiled egg, add the seeds, water and wait for a few weeks for your plant to grow. After a few months I can transplant the basil and use the remaining egg shell to fertilize the soil. This is a great gift to give someone that needs a bit of natural growth to liven up their home or office.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Type Video: Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse by Of Montreal

(More of my videos)

This is the preliminary draft of my type video for our "Just Type" class at SVA, a project that required us to make a music video for a song using only letters from the typefaces of our choosing (previously mentioned here). I say "preliminary" because the time constraints of a full semester's course load and the stress of finishing a lot of other very demanding final projects kept me from incorporating all of the ideas I had for the video. In addition to that, one of the stipulations of the project was that the final video be black and white.

Soon, I'm going to begin work on the definitive director's cut (! x3) which will have color sequences, puppets, fake blood and live video.

Christmas Booklist

For the past few years, my Christmas list has consisted almost exclusively of books. This is some of what was waiting under the tree for me this year. More to come by way of B&N gift cards.