Sunday, December 9, 2012

Final Art Essay - Doris Caciolo and Aziz + Cucher

Digital media and art conceptually represent new art forms. Digital media and art has very complex techniques that take time to complete. Although this new contemporary art form exists I find that I am still attracted to the traditional art media such as drawing, painting, and sculpture but while taking this course I can honestly say that from the first caveman painting to Egyptian hieroglyphs to Rubens and Manet, and finally to digital; art will only continue to evolve allowing more and more people to express their imagination and creativity. While looking for the contemporary new media artists I was able to find artists that still maintain that part of traditional art that I like enjoy while representing the new contemporary ditigal media. The two artist selections have transformed their work and represent digital media as allowing people to be part of the art world by making their crafts and creating relationships between technology and nature. 
The first artist I have chosen is digital media instructor Doris Cociolo and the digital media team Aziz & Cucher. Both Doris Cociolo and Aziz & Cucher's digital art differ in media but are similar in how they interpret their work. Doris Cociolo has described her work as "…involve interactive elements, objects, games and toys to allow the audience to arrive at the work from may different points of view, and at once open a dialogue which might be much more critical than the work might have led to expect." Doris Cociolo has many projects under her belt that has been described as "DIY technology" that makes her work very special. Aziz and Cucher are known for being the first artists to have Adobe Photoshop be represented as part of the fine art photography media. Aziz & Cucher work in various art medias and as a team represent a different approach between digital media and nature. Each of these artist's having similar work but representing in their own ideas and concepts make it appealing in the works that I will compare and contrast. 
Doris Cociolo is not only an instructor and artist but she is also an activist and curator. She teaches media at the Hunter College, New Jersey City University, and Rutger University. She is also the director of the "_gaia" organization. The "_gaia" is an artist group that supports women artists and women's issues. She founded the "_gaia" group in 2002 alongside her good friend and activist Amy Figueiredo. Some examples of her works are the MetaFlora, a project known to "…bring life to things that cannot sustain life. It is a flower-powered statement that comments on the absence of nature in the streets of New York City". This project was developed for Urban Wilderness Action Center (UWAC) that advocates for urban agriculture. Another project that Doris Cociolo is currently working on is the Colcha: A Study in Crochet, Code and Community. The colcha project in which I have chosen to discuss. 
Doris created the colcha project as a way to continue her family's tradition of crochet.  Doris Cociolo defines colcha as the "Portuguese word meaning quilt. An outer covering, usually decorative, for a bed." Colcha's were hand crafted for special occasions such as "bridal dowry's" and "wedding chests". Doris' mother taught her to crochet as a young child but was never able to stitch more than one row to begin a project. At the age of seven her mother passed away but before her mother's passing she completed a wedding colcha for Doris. During an interview that the Colcha Project's opening Doris was asked what the project meant and its importance, Doris comments that "The Colcha Project is an ongoing project I began in 2007. It began with a desire to create an art experience around craft, and specifically crochet, that would allow me to revisit a long forgotten tradition in my family. I wanted to design a collective action that was open and accessible to artists as well as non-artists that through following my project instructions participants might arrive at real creative experience additional to that of the gallery or art institution. I wanted participants to make a colcha together. It was my project, but I knew it would become about the experiences of the participants." 

Doris' study to explore collaboration" and "document the process and final product" she created a five page guide  allowing interested groups to development their own colchas. The guide with suggests the following "bringing together family members, team-building activity, learning crochet, collective escapist therapy, school group projects, creative meeting of the minds, cover for a think tank, prioritizing time with a group of friends, resolving political conflicts, creating peace, and keeping warm." The guide is free and available for download at 

Doris has been able to interpret the ongoing colcha project as art by stating that "crochet is so interesting in not only its simultaneous flexibility and rigid code, but it is a method of working with fiber that allows for an easy entry point -- as well as opportunity for collaboration. Crochet is at once hugely complicated and unbelievably simple. Just like the project!" In addition to creating works of art the colcha project brings people together and teaching people a new tradition.
In contrast the second artist I have chosen are team members Anthony Aziz from Massachusetts and Sammy Cucher from Peru. Both Aziz and Cucher are faculty members at New York's Parsons The New School of Design. Aziz and Cucher became a working team after graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990. Aziz and Cucher work in various art medias such as digital photography, video installation, sculptures, and textiles. Aziz and Cucher have exhibited solo art shows around the world. Aziz + Cucher works all represent our environment, nature, the human mind and the way we think by using various art medias that allows the viewer to decipher what their work means to us. 
Aziz + Cucher have a large work of art that have been exhibited in the past years. Their most known work is "The Dystopia" series exhibited from 1994-1995. "Dystopia" has been described as "An inventory of a bizarre skin growth, DYSTOPIA, seems to document a pathology. It seems clear that at some level this pathology is not only dermatological, but cultural, commenting, perhaps, on the gradual but waxing loss of identity and the means of communication in a technological environment that promotes anonymity and conformity”. —Adrian W.B. Randolph, FRAUEN KUNST WISSENSCHAFT #30. Another popular series by Aziz + Cucher is the installation titled the "Synaptic Bliss" exhibited from 2003-2007 commissioned by the Festival Villette Numerique in Paris in 2004. This series was produced to change the viewers understanding between nature and its biorhythm using photoshop to create translucent viewing from each of the panels to flow into each of the panels. Lastly, the final series of work that I will be writing about is titled "Interiors" exhibited from 1999-2002. 

dystopia_aziz_cucher.jpg dys7_cap.jpg

aziz_cucher_SB_vilette_installation_shot_small.jpg image_1628952013.jpg

Aziz + Cucher's "Interiors"series are photographs of the interiors of empty rooms intended to represent human skin along with the "dichotomy between interior and exterior". The photograph's printed on chromogenic development print are almost drawing and painting-like. The feeling of emptiness is clearly translated and the wonder of what it means. The relation to this series having to inflect on what our imaginations want us to interpret the photographs. Each photograph in this series are not only different but ensues wonder. Where do these doors lead? What's around the corner? And should I walk these rooms alone?  The work of lines and depth also ensue some form of peace within these rooms. The method in which the series is photographed keeps the images simple so not to complicate the feeling behind what Aziz + Cucher are representing. Aziz + Cucher describe the series as ""the viewer is presented with an enclosure of skin. this case, the viewer occupies metaphorically the space of the photograph...these interiors take such a notion of "turning inwards" into a phenomenological experience of the world. As a result, there occurs both a sense of disorientation and identification with the feeling one has of being inside of one’s body." The series represent not only the environment in which the series "mirrors of flesh....That the skin itself is a reflective surface or mirror as in the example of the mimicry of certain insects in the forest or as in the psychological state of psychasthenia... we’re just trying to add to that history of meaning and expanding those associations, drawing from what we see around us but also giving way to our imagination." 

aziz_cucher_interiors_02.jpg  Aziz+Cucher_Interior-Study2.jpg
aziz+cucher lo-res.jpg

Works Cited

1. "About." Aziz+Cucher, n.d. Web 02 Dec. 2012. <>
2. "Aziz & Cucher". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 07 October 2012. Web. 04 October 2012. 
3. Cacoilo, Doris. Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. 1997. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <>
4. Cacoilo, Doris. Colcha: A Study in Crochet, Code and Community. 2007. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <>   
5. Carroll, Brendan. (2012, March 23). Doris Caciolo offers 'The Colcha Project' which involves the viewer in crochet at Seton Hall's Walsh Gallery. The Jersey Journal. New Jersey On-Line LLC. <
6. Raimes, Ann. "Key for Writers: A Brief Handbook". Third Edition.  Hunter College, City of New York. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2002. 
7. "Interiors." Aziz, Anthony and Cucher, Sammy. Web. 02 Dec 2012. <>

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Project 7 - Second Life -- Real Self

Real self -- living in Reno, full time worker & student, chicken owner, animal lover, foodie, and dreamer.

Here are a couple of screen shots for my work in progress. Unfortunately, I ran into some issues when working on my self image. I was able to upload the image I was working off of onto Second Life but as I worked on my head appearance I had two faces. The one I edited to look like my face and the image from the photo I chose to use. I was not able to figure out out to delete the Second Life head image. Because of how odd the two faces looked together I decided not to show that screen shot in this post. I just looked like the female version of the boogie man...I stick with this more presentable version of my self.

For my fantasy self, I am hoping to go back in time. I really like the idea of going back in time to my child self, when the thought of what I wanted to be when I grew up, was not as realistic as I am now as an adult. I wanted to be everything, so in my fantasy self I will do just that! Being a dreamer, a cowboy, a fairy, a world traveler and a world peace keeper, and dressed in comfortable clothing. Comfortable is the best!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Questions for "What New Media Is Not" reading

In response to the first section of how cinema is the new media i wonder if "digitally encoded media is discrete" then what is the real definition of media? Cinema is considered to be the new media then what are the images we see on a daily basis, if not, media?

In this reading I still wonder about the "discrete representation" that the reading talks about in the first two sections. Is there really a difference between new and old media? They both share the same ideals of representing media during its own time, old or new? Does "discrete representation" have to do with with copying or because of its access to the public?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Art video emulation of "Colonial Fanny" by Bonnie Camplin

TITLE: Reno Fanny

Art video emulation of "I'M JUST ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND" by Frances Stark


Selection of Art Video Emulation

The two videos I've chosen to emulate come from the Jennifer Higgie collection. Below are the links to the videos:

"Colonial Fanny" by Bonnie Camplin (2005)

"I'M JUST ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND, w/The Stilts' cover version of "Heard it through the Grapevine" by Frances Stark (2002)


The first video is called "Colonial Fanny" by Bonny Camplin. I chose this video because of the artist's selection of places to shoot and the back drops. After viewing other videos on the UBUweb, this one was simplistic to me. I think that this video is representative to things that I enjoy because of it being filmed in London (*Note: Ms. Bonnie Chaplin responded to this post and this was filmed in Havana, Cuba and not London)(Still love the selection of places she filmed!). Also, even though this was filmed in London, I can find similar ideas here in Reno. My interpretation of this video for me was to film places around the Reno area.

The second video is called "I'M JUST ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND" w/The Stilts cover version of "I heard it through the grapevine" by Marvin Gaye filmed by Frances Stark. When I chose this video I really liked the cover of Marvin Gaye's song playing in the background as these kitties played. I think this video is representative to me because I love animals and I found the video to be calming with some silliness. My interpretation of this video for me was to film the animals living in my home, Daisy the Basset hound, Chico the Jack Russell mix, and Rafael the tuxedo cat, being silly at home.

When we were assigned this project I was a bit worried about not knowing how to film these videos and the editing seemed a bit over whelming. In the end, I had a great time filming both videos and editing was not as hard as I had assumed. I started with the first video and had a lot of fun with it. I was completely proud to have emulated some of the same filming features such as the fading in and out of shoots.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ch. 2 Video Art Questions

1. On page 85 according to Graham the difference between video and film is described as "video is recorded and revealed instant time..." and "Film is contemplative and "distanced"'. Video, film and art are all subjective, why has the writer not made note of this?

2. Throughout this reading there are numerous artists that use installations as their form of video art. If I were to watch one of these installations, say from home and not at the opening, I wouldn't know how to interpret some of the meanings being translated. Will there always be a reason to communicate "personal messages" in video art as most of the examples given in this reading?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Stop Motion Frame Animation" assignment

Abridged Statement: This animation changed by projecting and featuring a more peaceful homegrown part of chicken keeping.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

W. Benjamin reading questions

1. When W. Benjamin writes "Even the most perfect reproduction of work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where is happens to be". Does that art piece in fact lose its interpretation if viewed in person or seen in an ad in a magazine? What do these changes mean?

2. Today there are commercial artists that reproduce art in today's media and advertisements to send a message. If it is an image that we've seen in our history books then there is no question to its "authenticity" because we know where it come from. Is the "ritual" and "value" affected when that piece of art is much more accessible?