Bilal was born in Iraq, where he had to flee, and currently teaches at NYU’s Tisch Art School. He is known best for work that raises questions about international relations and international dynamics in the world. He allows the viewers of his pieces to see different political situations from a different point of view, which then stimulates conversation and reduces reductionist thinking that many people have by becoming desensitized to war culture. He is trying to remove this bias by expose harsh truths that many people would like to consciously stay oblivious to.
As an international affairs major I really connected and appreciated these pieces, because it gave me a different perspective on things I learn in the classroom. It allows you to see what will soon be history from a different point of view, as history is often centered around bias while being constructed by the winner like a propaganda piece. The Ashes Series I really enjoyed because he is exposing the aftermath of the War on Terror, which people do not like to think about because talking about murder and the outcomes on the opposing group. War has become dehumanized by the increasing use of machinery and the decreasing amount of people involved. He removed the people from the picture, which I liked a lot because it highlights the aftermath and how war affects people. The dust laying on the ground was also very ominous, because there could be a parallel of human ashes and the destructive dust from war, such as drone strikes. The And Counting series is also very impressive to me because it enhance his connects to his work and his intense personal connection, in my opinion, makes the work even greater. The Iraq/Iran gif was also very intriguing to me because just the last letter changes, which make me, think Bilal is trying to highlight that society often merges the two together. On his website I read that the color green is also significant four the two countries and that is one reason why he chose it.
I tried to make the pun, that can have so many answers, into a collage by taking it literally. I found the 5 pictures on google, changing them with the blur tool and changing the opacity of the layers. Here are the photos I used in my collage.
Cory Arcangel currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York while making making technology based art, mostly with video games and software. He employs the use of video games and different softwares by hacking, manipulating, and reconfiguring the technology in order to change the mean of simple objects to create digital art. Which connects to the appropriation topic we discussed in class because Arcangel is taking an object or image and covering the piece. I found a lot of irony and symbolism to be present in his art that reference popular culture in western civilization, such as technology and video games.
My favorite piece of his work is the Photoshop Gradient Demonstration, because they are so simplistic but so beautiful. The variety of colors provided my the tool can give multiple meanings to different people and make them feel many different things, despite how simple the work is and I really like that. However many of his other works I have trouble connecting with because I am not personally attracted to video games and coding, but I respect how doing some editing to video games can give the piece a different feel and meaning, especially to those particularly attached to a certain game or those that are very iconic, like Mario. His digital works such as Asshole/Lakes and Video Painting I found very interesting because there can also be many different view points on the theme of these pieces, but the abstract and irony appeals to me most about his works.
Matt Sibler is a visual artist who is based in Chicago. He teaches photography classes at Chicago College and his work has been featured in many prevalent art magazines. Sibler turns advertisements into art by digitally removing the poles that connect the signs to earth. He mainly focuses on fast food chain signs or gas stations. This focus allows viewers to analyze the depth and power that marketing and advertising has on the consumer, on what seems to be just a intimate object passed by in daily life. He references the power of persuasion in communication, which is what he is trying to explore through is digital art.
Looking at his work made me question the influences that advertisements have in my life. Marketing has a big impact in my life, since I am working in a marketing internship. Advertisements can also be seen as propaganda, so as an International Affairs major analyzing the affects psychologically appeals to me. The Floating Logos series is Sibler’s most intresting and popular work. These works appealed to me personally because I see the poles as a metaphor for the pedestal that people put certain franchises and businesses on. Which therefore highlights the domination that marketing has on everyday life of a consumer.
Nam June Paik is known as the father of video art because of the large impact he had using electronic images in multiple ways. Paik has has done television projects, installations, performances, collaborations, and developed new ways to employ tools. A quote that I found of his really emphasized his style to me, when he said he wanted to, “shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir, as profoundly as Mondrian, as violently as Pollock and as lyrically as Jasper Johns.” He wanted to show the world that art didn’t need to be conventional or be used out of the standard mediums many other artist use. Applying the growing importance of technology in daily life of global citizens, due to globalization, makes his art more connectable. Using technology allowed him to complete this mission because his art stimulates conversation about the power and beauty of his pieces, resulting in a great impact on media culture.
This summer I saw Buddha Watching TV and my original thoughts were, what was the concept behind this and what was the meaning of this work. I had came to the conclusion that it meant that technology, in this case television, is an escape for people and allows them to become more serene and calm. But after reading more about the piece, I also see it as television is watching people since the Buddha is also being monitored behind the screen;maybe acting as a representation of everyone that sits down and watches television every night.I found Electronic Superhighway to be an interesting piece because we used to only be connected to people by highways and traveling, where as now we have access to media allowing us to be notified what is happening on the other side of the country at the click of a button. Globalization and industrialization have enhanced the connectivity of society and I that is what stays with me from this installation. Which is part of his idea since he is representing coming to America from South Korea, with the size of the piece and the bright colors- in order to express his thoughts and feelings, making a connection with the viewer. The Megatron/Matrix piece was harder for me to make an initial connection with since there are multiple images that are being played and making the connection between the switches was harder for me. I almost view it as a story of Paik’s life, with the Asian lady to the sea and then to the American flag. It shows a progression of his life and the impacts they have on his work, and putting his life on large television screens complete the circle. Enhancing how connected our global society as a whole is connected together through media because the people we hear about in different countries can later make a difference in our lives.