Polyvocal Mixtape: Painting


If for whatever reason you have kept up with my research entries on the Create Space website then you understand or at least know what I am engaging with. This is no different. For this part of the Polyvocal Mixtape Series (a title constantly changing but I think I’ve settled more or less) I am painting two people from a series of interviews I conducted exploring the contemporary context of Blackness. This interview took place summer of this year however I have not begun painting until two weeks ago. With the item I checked out at the Create Space, the projector, I projected my image onto a 70 x 70 in stretched canvas. The first image attached to this documentation is the drawing and the second is the first layer of paint I place onto the canvas after the drawing has been completed. This process is the most time efficient way I have developed thus far to create my paintings. Include the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, & Why. You can enhance your message by including links and/or embeds of your research into this box from Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Facebook, or Twitter. Put any of these on their own line, with a space above & below. Note: Your submission will be reviewed for posterity’s sake, and if found insufficient, may have an impact on future resource access.    ...

Stage 2 WIP: Individuals

By Megan Fogelson

In my Art 1230 Structure class our professor had each of us create something that showcases our talent in the first stage. Then for the second stage we switched projects and added to it or based our work on one or more aspect(s) to make it our own. For the second stage I received Brianna Lynch’s photos of costume makeup. I based my pieces after hers in the sense that I did makeup as well but used more symbolism to make it my own with dramatic black and white makeup on my models faces. Then I captured it with a Canon 5D 12.8 Megapixel camera. I used photoshop to adjust the lighting/contrast and make the photos black and white. I wanted to convey the message that people are individuals. The first model has a QR code drawn on her face. I wanted to emphasize that a person is more than a series of numbers. The second model has plastic surgery markings drawn on her face. I wanted to represent that a person is more than their appearance. Last but not least the third model has a barcode drawn on her face. I wanted to convey that a person’s value is priceless. People are individuals that shouldn’t be generalized.      ...

NYC Babel

By Ryan Davis

This summer I have began to work on my thesis exhibition upcoming in the spring. Over the past year I have delved into investigating blackness and it’s contemporary meaning. Initially my interest was to identify the evolution of Blackness as it has expanded into a more inclusive definition. However after conducting interviews and understanding myself more clearly my focus has shifted to capturing the varying attitudes of the current generation of Black youth and the poly vocal narratives that have persisted within the Black culture. During the summer I took various photographs of Black people and conducted an interview of those I photographed using the Mark 5D II Canon. I used the zoom recorder to record the interviews. The photographs are preparations for paintings and prints. The questions ranged in attempt to understand there perspective of Blackness and their level of engagement with it’s principles. Even more so I focused on seeing if these “principles” exist. Two of the images I have attached are samples of the kinds of photographs I took to set up for paintings. As well I have attached a clip of the audio that I recorded. To this point neither have been edited as this process will take place over the course of the school year.  ...

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


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.    ...

Black Hands Reaching Toward Black Space Continued….


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?    

Precarious Places in the Established Order

By Daniel King

As part of my MFA Thesis research and production I created an exhibition called “Precarious Places in the Established Order,” on view in the Ohio University Art Gallery March 30-April 4, 2015. The work created for this show encompassed a variety of material and conceptual practices, using analog tradition black & White photography, Multi-channel HD video, carefully designed audio components and wall projections. Artist Statement: The limited access highway system plays a ubiquitous function in activating experiences of both the mundane and the exceptional. Considering the highway as conduit architecture means recognizing its design promotes efficiency and industry over geographic awareness and sensitivity to place. My goal was to embark on a journey to become sensitized to periphi, to allow the act of framing the visible world to curl in on itself, to include the role of memory in the latent potential of experiencing place. Images created by photographic means carry the burden of culturally perceived transparent access to the real, which makes all viewing both virtual and a new kind of direct experience. By recognizing the layers of mediation defining my relationship to place I also embrace accidents, subversion, dislocation and the anxiety of the unknown.      ...

Distance Photography Project


The idea behind this project was to do a series of nature shots in locations that were unsuitable for a macro lens (hills and such). One of the challenges of this project was to decide the depth of field of the composed image. This required several experiments and reshoots to come out with a series that I was happy with. To do this I borrowed the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and the EF 70-300 mm lens. The flower image attached to this write-up was taken with: aperture-11 shutter-1/320 and ISO-200 on manual focus. The other sculpture picture was shoot with: aperture-16 shutter-1/125 and ISO-200 on manual focus.    

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    

Babel Portrait Series #4

By Ryan Davis

The Babel Portrait project is a continuation of a year-long investigation in what Blackness means in the current cultural landscape. This work has manifested itself through audio works and paintings. For this particular creative research I am doing portraits and full figure paintings of Black Americans between 18-26. This age represents the current generation that is coming into fruition through social and political environments. The first part of this project is to find a person and make photographic references. I will create paintings from these reference photographs. The intent of the paintings are to generate a conversation around the idea of Black as a predominant label that warps our perception of the perception as an individual. On March 21st I photographed a young lady who is a senior undergraduate student of Ohio University.    



This piece is an extension of previous exercises I have done in which I attempt to describe a complex notion–such as a place or self– in a small series of photographs. I then create a collage from the images in order to further communicate the notion at hand. In this investigation of “place” I set out to define the feeling of a space with three images. The space I focused on was the courtyard outside of Alden library at Ohio University. I was interested in this place because of its eddy-like nature. I felt that it is a slow place or a still place; a place that is not often inhabited or, if it is, is inhabited as a place to “be”, as opposed to a place through which to move. I also saw that it was surrounded by “through” spaces which people often traveled coming to and from the library. This created an effect not unlike the eye of a tornado or an eddy in a stream. I sought to capture this....

Black Hands Reaching Toward Black Space


This work is beginning to ruminate on my environmental influences in relation to my interpretation of the world, an interpretation that is constantly morphing. This work attempts to address a communal need to define humanity. In other words, it addresses the ambiguity of the definition if the word “human”, by confronting the viewer with an uncomfortable and slightly manipulated image of a part of the human body.  I use the experience of returning to my childhood home and feeling as if I can no longer exist comfortably in that space, because I exist outside of that community’s definition of “human”. I am categorized as “other”, which I think is an experience that can be universal. ​  

To Define One’s Self in Five Images


For this piece I was faced with the challenge of capturing my being in five photographs. It has been said that “a picture is worth 1,000 words”, but I have yet to meet a person that can be defined in 5,000. The multilayered quality of humanity is infinitely complex and indescribable. So I created a collage with the five photographs. The different aspects of self interact with each other to further evoke the layers of person that each of us hold within us. Placing, spacing, scale and color come together to create a single image of self. Whatever that may be. I created this piece in late January of 2015 in my studio at Ohio University.      

The Use of Outdoor Lighting


I created this project because I have been thinking about changing my major to photography and integrated media. I have quite a bit of experience with photography and I know that outdoor lighting was one of the things I wanted to improve on. Therefore, I asked a couple of my friends if they would be interested in modeling for me and they said they’d love to. First, my friend Becca and I walked around campus one day and I took individual pictures of her. I chose places that would be perfect to work with outdoor lighting. We stayed on East Green and took photos on the stairs behind Lincoln Hall, on the road towards Shively and outside of Putnam. The second time I used outdoor lighting, I was with my friends Becca, Chrissy, and Barrett. We took a trip to the Ridges on a sunny day; I took them into the woods to a few spots where the sun was shining through the trees. I decided to paint their faces with bright colors so the sun and the colors would work together to create a bright image. I placed them so the sun wasn’t shining directly on them but at an angle that would brighten their faces and make the trees around them look bright as well. My project was a success in my opinion and I was pleased with how the lighting turned out. I edited the photos on Photoshop but didn’t have to edit them very much. I kept the lighting the same as when I captured the photos and just added some minor touch ups to my friends’ faces. I know that there is still more room for improvement with lighting and I’m eager to learn more and become the best photographer I can be.      ...

Creative Relationship Series


My goal of this series is to order the 8 images so that they may tell a story. But when the order is changed it may tell a different story using the same characters. This series depicts a relationship between a man and women at the point when their relationship takes a turn for the worse. The images can be reordered to change the story for better or worse. With eight individual images, multiple story lines may unfold. This was without a doubt the most difficult project I have ever completed. Being in charge of not only the conceptual aspect but the technical execution as well became a logistical nightmare for a two-week project. But I was very passionate about this project as it is the largest scale production I have ever directed. One valuable lesson that I learned from this project is that if I want to organize a large scale production like this again I will either need a team of at least two people or more time. I had neither for this project so managed with what I had. I absolutely love all of the images I produced. As I said previously this was my first large-scale shoot that I have directed. With that being said this was a major learning experience for me. From coordinating with the models, scouting locations, acquiring necessary equipment all while developing the concept at the same time showed me that organization is key. For this shoot I developed a shot list. This shot list organized each scene that needed to be shot, the physical location of the scene, wardrobe, hair and makeup, starting point for my lighting as well as a rough storyboard image so that I could visualize the scene before we went to shoot it. Using this shot list as my schedule was the only way I was able to finish the physical shoot in just one day. The images shown below are just a few examples of this series. To see the entire series in full resolution, please visit, https://www.flickr.com/photos/76305380@N07/sets/72157649588506722/      ...

Read More