Thursday, February 28, 2013

Evgeny Kiselev

This artist is a bit difficult to describe as I could find almost nothing on his background. I do know that he was born in a town called Bblterpa in 1978. He used to be an art director but eventually he simply enjoyed making vector art. His pieces got very popular and eventually he one the Stellar Art Award. He works for companies like Microsoft, Nike, etc. making designs for them but it is his freelance work that truly entices me.

                                                                                          Furycane, Evgeny Kiselev

His style to me is wild and and leaves lots of room for interpretation. Most of them appear abstract in one way or another and it is impossible to say what is going on. What caught my eye in particular is the piece below entitled 'free flows'. I have no information on this piece other than what I can absorb with my own eyes but I find it fascinating. The mixture of colors is beautiful and allows your eyes to wander around the piece with ease. It is the colors in every piece of his which I would attribute his strength to. He uses colors in a way that reminds me of Kandinsky by simply using odd shapes and patterns it allows the mind to project its own emotions on to the piece while also absorbing those possibly intended to be observed.

                                                                                              Yaro, Evgeny Kiselev

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Orca Tracing

The Algorist: Roman Verostko

   Roman Verostko began his life in Pennsylvania in 1929. He grew up through many wars and even lost his brother to battle when his battalion was attacked during the end of WWII. Thus he was pushed towards peace found in the form of the Monastic life for almost 18 years. During that time period Verostko went through a series of change and developments both intellectually and spiritually but all of which eventually pushed him away from the vows of the monastic life. He could no longer tolerate the "creeds" as Verostko put it and was interested in exploring other walks of life. The experience, however, had a profound effect on the man and did grant him a better understanding of meditative practices which I believe he tries to emphasize through his art today. Since before he joined the Monastery Roman was a painter and expressed his challenges and aspirations through painting. After the Monastery he joined a movement of artists who used computers in ways no one else did. By using algorithms in combination with a multi-pen plotter he created art.

                                                                Frontispiece #82, 1990

The piece above is an example of one of his most famous works. The brush stroke on the left is created using an algorithm and a japanese styled brush while the scribbles on the right are the same form of algorithm only tweaked and are drawn with pens. Verostko wanted to emphasize the differences between these two creations considering that they are made from the same algorithm. This approach to demonstrating the duality of reality is actually something that some current digital artists still try to replicate. The idea that one thing can always be two makes "reality" seem like a pointless word. Truly what Verostko tries to achieve through the use of computers and machinery is the creation of reality. He writes "In its purest form such art does not re-present other reality. Rather "it is" the reality" (Roman Verostko). I am inclined to agree with him particularly because of the manner in which he creates the images. By actually plugging in the algorithm in to the computer and having the algorithm create itself through the machines Verostko simply facilitates this reality.

                                     Diamond Lake Apocalypse, Pathway, 24" by 18", 1991

Verotsko's style has a strong emphasis on the purity of form. These algorithms he writes and creates and in turn create themselves are almost like little lifeforms. Artists who use algorithms may appear similar or equally uninvolved in the actual creation of the piece but I have found that each algorist modifies the algorithms to reach their standards. One handicap I have encountered is that I really do not understand algorithms and so it is very difficult to understand how these beautiful forms are changed or modified to the artists desires. However, this only makes his creations more fascinating and by using such an objective process Roman allows the art to represent itself. The piece below is a recreation of a passage from the Tao de Ching in the form of an algorithm. It is similar to his other pieces except that it mirrors a reality that we know. That is not to say that it is not its own reality but instead it is almost like the passages form in another dimension. Very trippy.

                                                               Pearl Park Scripture, O, Lao Tzu, 2004

The actual text the algorithmic glyphs are based off of is as follows:

        "So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another." - Lao Tzu

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yael Kanarek: The Visual Linguist

          Not much is mentioned about any trials or hardships that Yael had to pass as a child but it is certainly clear that she comes from a world that has been delved in conflict for centuries. Her childhood in Israel allowed Yael to be aware of the many different languages and codes that humans use to communicate. However, she was particularly interested in how these dialects can separate humans as well. Some of her most recent artworks display the power words. The piece below is titled "White between 'The Green Blouse' and Sneakers, No.1" and is composed of the word "white" in English, Arabic, German, Chinese and several other languages. Yael explains that this piece is actually a recreation of "The Green Blouse" by Pierre Bonnard. By using sneakers as the material for the piece and by recycling the word white Yael combines three elements into one seamless piece. It could be said one of the most important elements of this piece is the sneaker material because it shows how they use their own visual language.

This next piece is one of my favorites because of the way composition and color come in to play. Yael states she drew the inspiration for this piece from Talmudic commentary arguing that "an idea can exist in two contradicting states- be a truth and a parable at the same time." This piece emphasizes this concept though its use of the word white, again in several languages, clumped around the edges of the pallet in bold black forms. This on its own demonstrates that white is more of a concept than a single unifying truth especially because the center of the piece appears more like white when contrasted with the black edges. The style of this piece is beautiful to me because it makes the words look as though they are somewhat alive or frozen in time. Her work truly reinforces Talmudic commentary by demonstrating the multiple ways "white can be interpreted, created and reinvented.

Possibly one of Yael Kanarek's most impressive works is her Traveler's Journal interactive online experience. I say interactive but I do not mean that people log on and interact with one another. In the Traveler's Journal Kanarek creates a backdrop where a traveler has entered a parallel universe called Sunrise/Sunset. She explains that the laws that govern our world may or may not apply to the traveler on his journey through the land. The traveler leaves letters for his lover along the way and as an audience member you have the ability to follow the traveler as he searches for a treasure that is as ambiguous as the rest of the story. This piece is truly bizarre and follows no recognizable patterns as far as stories go. I understand this piece to be almost a reflection of the human/cyberspace relationship. As people interact with the program data is collected by the program relaying the time and place in the real worl where people are interacting with it; Yael then takes this information and plots almost a map of connectivity on the landscape of Sunrise/Sunset. The images below are examples of this cross mapping. In doing this, Yael shows where the two worlds coincide. I understand the journey to be symbolic for the search and endless adventure that the internet has become, after all it is an entirely new frontier. It really is a brilliant piece and though it is ambiguous at times I believe it makes a glorious attempt at describing the cyber/human relationship.