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International Space University Space Studies Program: Humanities Department

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As part of the intensive 9-week Space Studies Program, the Space Humanities Department had the pleasure of working with CREATE_Space to develop short space focused movies. The movies were screened at the Athena Cinema on the final day of the department. CREATE_Space provided technical support and guidance, access to facilities and a great location for the department activities.        

Entrenched

By Amber Hoy

The question is no longer what we see behind an image but rather, how we can endure what we see in it already.” –Deleuze. My thesis work explores questions of military service through the use of photographs, stories and abstractions: images and words pointing to each other, providing and withholding clues. The images and stories allow an in-between space of the stories not told and photographs not taken. I draw from my own experience with the military. I was enlisted with the Army for eight years and deployed to Iraq as an ammunition specialist from 2006-2007. My work looks at the slippage between military life and civilian life, how a beach fence looks surprisingly like chain linked 5.56 rounds when paired next to each other. I’m interested in this combination of past and present colliding, communicating and unraveling. BTC is a video transferred from VHS tape. My parents purchased this VHS tape at my basic training graduation. The film shows my company and myself performing tasks and drills. I edited out the audio and transitions that explain what condition course we are learning. With this work, I am interest in the body as a resource and the military souvenir. My audio stories examine power or lack there of in situations of sexism, racism and class dynamics. I do not tell the moral of the story but guide the viewer through my own experience. The military folding tables that house my stories are domestic with the wood is unfinished. Repeating symbols in the audio and images include girls, cars, plywood and the make-shift. Because my work contains grounded stories it is important the my images be ungrounded and poetic.      ...

The Ticklemonster Battle in the Sky VS. Duane “The Committee Chair” McDiarmid

By Broooks Wenzel

“First he had to face his arch nemesis, Clowny, on land and in the sky. Now he’s going after his makers. And it ain’t gonna tickle.” The Ticklemonster is calling out his adult male role models in a no gravity barred brawl in the sky. Wielding horse heads on-a-stick he will unleash a lashing worthy of the depths of a well fostered imagination. This is a very serious and masculine challenge to those who shaped his development. Whatever, he can totally beat them up. The results will be useful and definitive as The Ticklemonster conquers the law of gravity, and shows his mentors who the bigger man is. Video documentation to follow… Special thanks to collaborators: Duane McDiarmid Daniel King Michael Rutushin LJ The Bell Ringer The Dairy Barn Art Center Lydia McDonald Shane West      ...

Transcribing Light & Motion

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How do we recognize the reality of physical phenomena that we cannot touch? Light and motion are two such experiences, elusive in our understanding of them. The following project is a twofold creative examination of physical concepts. The first component concerns motion: how does our motion through physical spaces hold continued presence, even after the motion has passed? Why are certain motions repeated by certain people to create unique patterns of action? How do our bodies relate to nature and physical phenomena? To address these questions, I created a video of myself dancing, one of my favorite types of motion, past 3 lines. The lines follow one after the other, related by the golden ratio. This relationship was chosen because of its mysterious connection to repetition in nature. I recorded each part of my body as it passed a line. Obviously the motions of my body differed each time, but I recorded the same body parts passing a similar portion of the line. These same body parts were represented by a code. I created this code by scanning different parts of my body, developing it into a topographical map, and printing it with a 3D printer. In order to more successfully explain this process, I will provide the example of the knee. Although it may have crossed the line multiple times, it was in a different physical position each time. However, one of my goals was to use a sort of mapping system, a translation, to examine how we measure physical reality, and what is gained and lost through this translation. So I scanned my knee with a 3D scanner, in one set position. I developed this scan with a technique used in traditional mapping of landscapes, topography. I then 3D printed this knee. The print became a code that I transcribed onto sheets of plastic. Each sheet represented a line I passed. I transcribed multiple codes of different body parts onto these sheets as a way of visualizing how space is impacted by motion, how motion is repeated, how codes are used to help us make sense of the complex world, and how these codes differ from reality. The second component of my research examined light and how physical environments and objects change. First I created crystalline formations and melted plastics with solvents. These two processes differed in that the formation of the crystals was already determined by their physically ordered structure, while the plastic represented a non ordered, amorphous structure, one whose change could not be determined. I hung the structures in a formation suggesting landscape and then projected video of the structures’ creation through the whole formation itself. The light reacted to the white and translucent objects in different ways that can be seen in the photos. The light’s reaction raises further questions about untouchable physical phenomena. How does light interact with its environment in different ways? These are questions whose answers quantum physicists still ponder over, as do I....

Home Salty Home

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In the spring of 2013, I was standing in line for concessions at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Louisiana. I had received a grant to conduct research on the controversial spectacle of the rodeo. A friendly man next to me suggested I try the fried pig tail and reminisced about his favorite snack. His t-shirt read RODEO WORKER. I recognized the t-shirt as the same worn by men behind booths at the rodeo’s craft fair, where they sold their art. The rodeo was held on the grounds of a maximum security prison. The men behind the booths were inmates. I bought a pig tail, found a seat on the bleachers, and gnawed on the deep-fried cartilage and bone. Dressed in black and white striped costumes, the inmates commenced the theatrical events of the rodeo as hordes of spectators cheered on. I couldn’t figure out how to eat my pigtail. Eventually, I grew tired of the rodeo’s pageantry, left my seat, and spent the rest of the day talking to the rodeo workers. ______________________________________________ Spectacles are difficult to overlook (or underlook). Fiction has formed my personal ideologies as much as real people and experiences have. Illusions can reveal great truths, provide escape, and offer an excuse to look at things a little differently, if only momentarily. I find that even when the veils of these mirages are lifted, there exists some underlying magnetism. These moments punctuate life, generating an unpredictable fluctuation that sheds light on the complexities of our social experience, upholds cultural idiosyncrasies and acknowledges collective vices. This body of work embraces the theatrical cues of flashy venues and their tools of trickery while simultaneously admitting their fantastic fallacy. The video works document various embodiments of temporary pleasure, intrigue, and thrill. Bars, strip clubs, theme parks, arcades and other fabricated environments begin to represent a greater relationship between moments of extraordinary circumstance and the inevitable return to daily routine. The sculptural pile of lit-arrows attempts to put the universal icon of direction at risk of becoming futile. ________________________________ This exhibition was made possible thanks to many resources provided by the Create Space, Nathan Berger’s expertise…two short-throw projectors, an iPad mini mac, three iPads, a nexus phone, an LCD TV, a Pyle audio mini amp, surround sound speakers and a partridge in a pear tree, to be exact!      ...

ART 1220, Image

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The following explores fundamental issues and concepts of  image creation, to have been designed to further develop the designers’ ability to perceive, interpret and record information. The works evolve from executing simple interpretations of aesthetic form to visually translating complex observations. A focus on ‘the aesthetic’ order throughout this research will concentrate on understanding the structure of objects and color through traditional drawing. We can look at image from an aesthetic, a theoretic, a pragmatic or a personal point of view. All are valid approaches and each can be used in a variety of applications. We have to remember, however, that we are experimenting with image inside the context of a school of art and design that prepares individuals for a variety of potential disciplines. Thus the visual experiments have been selected to have purpose for all areas of study. The creation of an action is necessary to gain the reaction. The objective is to secure enough of an understanding of point, line, shape, form, volume, proportions, ratio relationships, texture, pattern, light, shading, time, meaning, context, connotations, denotations, content and their interrelationships to utilize these elements in continued experimentation throughout your education and your work in whatever field of art you pursue. The investigations are to be carefully pursued, even those, which include objectives of total freedom may have also been designed to achieve an exposure to visual relationships.      ...

Dark Water

By Ian Campbell

In August of 1817, a number of people claimed to have seen a “Sea Serpent” in the harbor of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Many scholars, scientists, and historians have attempted to speculatively identify this creature as a species yet unknown to science, and even more skeptics have disparaged the account as a hoax, or the product of provincial naïveté. Yet what really happened that summer, 200 years ago, remains a mystery. The true identity of the Gloucester Sea Serpent remains unknown: irretrievably lost to the passage of time. For my MFA thesis project, I used this enigma of natural history as a “narrative spine” to bind together an idiosyncratic sequence of images, texts, objects, and audio recordings that I presented at Trisolini Gallery this April. This body of work began last summer, when I travelled to Gloucester, Massachusetts to conduct research at the Cape Ann Museum and seek out serpent-sighting locations. At these sites, I made a series of photographs using the wet-plate collodion process. For my exhibition, I presented my photographs alongside historic texts and found objects to suggest a fragmented, elliptical narrative composed of artifacts related (at least in some tangential way) to the Sea Serpent story. The viewer had to play the role of detective, making connections between the pieces of “evidence” I presented. I employed the perceived authority of the Museum to encourage viewers to entertain belief in the unknown. Dark Water investigated the slippage between fact and fiction, as well as the seepage of the past into the present. On one level, the Sea Serpent is just a great story. However, I believe it also raises very timely questions about the environment and human-animal relationships. Dark Water highlighted the persistent human obsession with discovering and cataloging new species. My goal was to explore the sense of hope and belief behind this urge to discover, while at the same time dwelling on the ongoing trauma of extinction and ecological loss. The Sea Serpent disappeared before it was fully revealed. I wanted to situate my thesis at this juncture of “undiscovered” and “lost.” The empty ocean simultaneously evokes the void of the unknown, and the void of extinction.      ...

Barbie in Real Life

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In our society, Mattel’s Barbie doll is seen as a sort of standard of beauty and femininity. However, what people often don’t take into account is the fact that Barbie dolls are anatomically incorrect, and cannot do most things that an actual human can. Likewise, although humans can slightly more successfully imitate Barbie dolls, they still look ridiculous and the poses are incredibly useless in everyday life. What these things say about the design of Barbie dolls is that it is flawed at its very core, inaccurately depicting the human body and its functionality. My series of photographs seeks to explore this discrepancy in the doll’s design by looking at how a typical girl looks when attempting to imitate a Barbie doll’s poses and design. I used the blue screen in the CREATE_space studio to take photographs of a girl posing as a Barbie doll would with a series of props. I then used Photoshop to substitute a backdrop from the “Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse” animated TV show for the blue screen.    ...

Dodecahedra

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‘Dodecahedra’ is an installation utilizing sculptural object and projection to transform a space through refracted light. The concept for ‘Dodecahedra’ originated from Plato’s assignment of the five platonic solids to the elements that construct the universe, including fire, water, earth, and air. The dodecahedron, or 12-sided solid, is representative of the cosmos itself. The dodecahedra in my installation have been constructed from cut and folded plastic material, and a projected animation of changing color and light creates moving and changing refractions on the walls and ceiling. I am interested in creating a transformed space for the viewer to enter into and instill a sense of meditative calm similar to what I feel during the repetitious creation of these objects. I hope to evoke in the viewer ideas of creation, existence, and the truth of our perception.      ...

Black Hands Reaching Toward Black Space Continued….

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The original project under this title was ruminating on my exhibited physical reactions to social constraints that exist within a controlled population. In other words, I was attempting to understand my place within my childhood community. These works take that concept a little further, in that, I am considering my tendency to be both hyper visible and invisible. With this particular work I am attempting to understand how my body functions within an entirely dark or well-lit space. What does it mean to be both invisible and hyper visible? Is there any room for physical ambiguity?    

eMotion

By Kyle Hannon

This project focuses on creating an experience which combats the overwhelming amount of digital and social stimulation that exists in the world today. I wanted to create a tranquil environment with light and color, that viewers could escape to, ignoring their phones and computers for a time. The pattern is dynamically generated in Processing. The program is designed so that every frame of time is unique and no moment will ever be repeated, giving the viewer a new and different experience every time they interact with it. This also provides more context to the piece, as it exists within the same digital medium as the negative stimulation I explored.            

Pranking Ohio Presents: Intercosmic Love

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Intercosmic Love is a musical designed to test the limits of brevity in regard to preparation, and tolerance in regard to those in the audience. For one night only, the Pranking Ohio team along with a few actors entertained a group of about forty individuals in the Baker lounge with a story of romance between a man and an alien dog. While this may sound like any ordinary space romance musical, it differs in the fact that it introduces a subtle communistic message in the beginning of the first act that blossoms into full-on communist propaganda by the close. It was a shocking and entertaining experience for our audience. Pranking Ohio is an AVW web series. We are not a pranking show, rather an absurdist comedy show. The now-defunct name was carried over from the previous year. We decided to put on a musical because we felt we hadn’t yet had something to show for our name and efforts, and this was never-before heard of in the AVW community. As well as being a creator and helping conceptualize the creative and logistical aspects of the musical, I ran sound at the event. I rented two excellent Shure boundary microphones from Create Space. While they didn’t play a large role during the play, due to the intimate nature of the Baker Lounge, they were paramount in capturing audio for our film crew that was filming the play. Create Space provided a resource not found anywhere else on campus and for that I am grateful!  ...

Painting Documentation

By Ryan Davis

This create research is the documentation process of my Blackness & Babel series. My Blackness series is an investigation into a redefining of what Blackness means is todays culture. We are living in a period where the notions of what Blackness means is becoming more inclusive in accepting all different forms of defining Black identity. I have done multiple paintings and audio works to express the claims of Blackness. This is also in preparation for a lecture I will be giving in the Artist Appreciation course April 6th 2015. These documented works along the rest of my Blackness & Babel works can be viewed on my website. ryandavistheartist.com    

The World Is Flat

By Todd Kunkler

sometimes you search for video coverage of recent tragedies (genocide, mass shootings, and so forth) to see what sort of emotion it will generate within you—to see whether or not you are the kind of person you’d like to believe you are—and the video will be preceded by an advertisement for a brand of toothpaste which offers you a “brighter, healthier, and more confident smile” and then you realize that you are out of toothpaste [This body of work is an investigation into the chaotic visual language of our increasingly image-saturated post-digital society. Through techniques of collage, appropriation, and photo manipulation I disband image and ideology, thereby calling into question the veracity of the multitude of images we consume daily, and revealing undercurrents of violence and control at the heart of representation.] http://newhive.com/toddkunkler/the-world-is-flat http://newhive.com/toddkunkler/digitaldesert http://newhive.com/toddkunkler/walmart-at-2-00-am        ...

Spectral

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For Spectral, I have created a video from still images from a previous blog entry, titled Elliptical Orbits. This video is then projected onto strips of painted Dura-Lar, a plastic material, which are installed hanging throughout the space. The images of the projection are fragmented between the painted strips and the back wall, creating multiple layers of images within the space while disrupting the large image with cast shadow. The colors of projected light from the images interact with the colors painted on the plastic pieces, either enhancing or negating it. The plastic pieces also reflect colored light onto the surrounding walls, encompassing the entire space into the environment of the piece. The viewer is encouraged to walk through and in the installation, allowing their own shadows to disrupt the projection and becoming a part of the piece by being projected on.      ...

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