The Connected Classroom

The Connected Classroom is a column I write for the NYSATA (New York State Art Teachers Association) newsletter. I focus on innovative ways to bring technology into the art classroom to reinforce instruction and make connections with students. Our first column will be published digitally and focuses on ways teachers can use Google Drive to share and collaborate with students and colleagues quickly and easily. I’ve also put together this short introductory video on how to use Google Drive and its Share functionality.

The Duel

This is the final version of my graduate thesis. It is the result of a little more than an academic year’s worth of drawing, animating, editing, and so on. It was installed in the Lehman Art Gallery for about a week and a half, along with the work of the eight other MFA students I spent my year with. I’m glad to not have to look at it again, for a little while at least. Enjoy.

If, for whatever reason, the video above does not show – you can visit it here. All of the renders and the soundscapes featured in this video were created by me.

Lehman College MFA Show

It’s finally here! The 2014 Lehman College MFA Show is upon us! The show will include my thesis project, in addition to the paintings, prints, renders, and photos of eight other artists who went through the MFA program with me. You can meet us all in this video I put together for the show, and get a taste of some of the artwork you’ll see if you come see the show. The gallery opening is on Wednesday, May 21 from 5 to 7pm. The work will be hung in the Lehman College Art Gallery and there will be snacks and refreshments. As soon as the show has ended I will post my thesis here.

Particulates

I’ve been working on a new series that, even in our modern world of contemporary digital art techniques, defies easy categorization. The project is part performance, part photographic. Part sculptural, part animation. Part abstract, part conceptual.

The project flourishes under the weight of its process, like print-making or some photographic techniques. I use MAXON Cinema 4D R13, an industry standard software designed for digital 3D animation. I set up a scene with lights and cameras, usually with a very tight focal distance. I then set emitters to spray out a random amount of particles with randomized size and speeds. I outfit the particles with reflective surfaces, so that they are luminescent when the light hits them. I then pause the emitters and render out those keyframes. What we have, as a result, is an ephemeral, singular work of art. It is a perfect moment of pure beauty, captured and recorded.

Particulates 01

Particulates 02

Particulates 03

Particulates 04

Stabbed, Poisoned, Drowned and Shot Down

MBCall it a Halloween special if you want, but the truth of the matter is that I love listening to songs about murder all year ’round.

I will be giving a lecture on the rich history of the murder ballad for the Scarsdale Adult School coming up very soon. I’m calling it Stabbed, Poisoned, Drowned and Shot Down: An Examination of the Murder Ballad. I’ve decided that I’m going to podcast the material ahead of time, for a number of reasons. We will only meet once, so I would like to be able to show attendees that they can access the information online as well. Also, I wanted to make sure I could fill two hours with the material I had. Turns out, it might be tough to squeeze all of it into two hours!

Swing & Speakeasies: The Jazz Age

TJAheader

For my most recent class, through the Scarsdale Adult School program, I tackled the socio-political and cultural mayhem known as the Jazz Age. There were too many visuals to produce a podcast of the material (as I did with the Social Activism in Folk Music class), but I still wanted to publish as much of the material as I possibly could. We met three times, for an hour and half each, and discussed a wide range of topics. We started with the evolution of jazz music out of the ragtime and minstrel traditions in New Orleans, Chicago, and later New York. We talked about swing, flappers and vamps, prohibition, art deco, hollywood, and more. Reproduced here are some of the more interesting pieces of history I could find.

I’ve created a new page for links to these lecture series‘ I do at the Scarsdale Adult School, you can find it on the navigation bar to the left. Thanks.

The Artist and the Nightwatchman

I just posted a full animatic of my thesis project, The Artist and the Nightwatchman, over on the Animation page. It shows the full scope of the project with scenery rendered in Cinema 4D, and characters animated in Photoshop. All music and voice work was done by me, although some of the sound effects came from other sources. The next step is to model and animate the characters themselves, and then we should be ready to roll.

I’ve also been working on some motion graphics for my portfolio by following some tutorials over at Greyscalegorilla. There are more to come, but I have two to post now. Each took a few hours of solid work to get to their current state which, admittedly, is still far from perfect.

I used sound effectors in my first video to make some orbs react to music, kind of like the iTunes or Winamp equalizers and visualizers do. The song is “Transpose” by Emalkay. It seemed like a good idea to use some dubstep for some reason. The redder and (in most cases) larger orbs on the left indicate the bass channels, while the cooler blue orbs on the right represent treble.

In the second video I used cloners, tracers, and a randomizer to build a walking human figure out small rectangular prisms. It’s hard to tell, because I set the animation speed too low, but the small wisps are moving around, slowly building up the figure. The song is “Brainfeeder” by Flying Lotus.

Like I said, there will be more coming soon. These are just some preliminary exercises. I’m also working on an animated storyboard for my graduate thesis, which I hope to post sometime soon.