YouTube Links

Amusing things, etc on YouTube.





I had to add this one in as well.

Political Rundown (Project 1)

The poster project has been interesting… almost too interesting. I have had so many ideas that I have spent entirely too many hours starting a project and changing my mind. Ultimately, I could probably spend weeks working on a poster and continue to change my mind, but here’s what I have.

I was really excited to figure out how to “morph” faces in Photoshop, so I spent at least two days just messing with human/dogs pictures or human/animated character pictures. I will say this poster has nothing to do with my personal political stance, but I had a ton of fun and spent way too much time working on the project.

The first ad I chose was a “Quit Smoking” advertisement. This ad immediately stood out to me as (as most anti-smoking ads are) shocking. The left hand side of the ad shows two guys smoking in a room with the ceiling “burnt” out and a group of individuals looking down into the room. On the right side of the ad, the viewer sees the dirt/open grave with the same overhead shot of the group of individuals/loved ones looking in on the presumed dead smokers. The ad stands out because of not only its shock value, but the continuity by using the same basic shape and color for each side of the advertisement, and having the same shot at the top of the advertisement.

The second ad that I looked at was a Pepsi advertisement. This one didn’t use shock value for its force, but there is definitely a bit of humor forged in this piece. The left side of the ad has a Pepsi can and the right side is a bowl of Cheeto-type chips, reaching out of the bowl to grab the Pepsi. When Pepsi started altering their image to keep up with Coke, they began the slogan “The Choice of a New Generation.” This slogan, along with “Joy of Pepsi,” debued within a year of each other. This ad seems to definitely grab the attention of the ‘new generation.’ At this point, the company was still utilizing “Pepsi Joy” as one of their taglines, but I think this ad was speaking to the younger individuals who consume Pepsi products, as well as others who want to think/be young.

The final ad that I chose to look at was an old Ronald Reagan advertisement. I think the major thing that struck me as far as differences for this ad in comparisson to the others above (beyond being a political ad) is that without the wording on this advertisement, it would just look like an ad for a mortuary (It looks a little like a memorial photo, don’t you think?), or possibly for going to work at a Business/Corporate location. Of course, Reagan’s face was known to a generation for his time in movies, but if it was shown to perhaps our grandchildren, would they know what this was without the wording?

In the mid-nineties, personal computers became a technology accessible to nearly every American.  Though the cost to own a PC was still out of reach for many, libraries, schools and other locations often had computers available for a limited amount of personal use.  Though many in the every day world were utilizing these computers as glorified word processors, or for simple games, some began utilizing this medium for other forms of expression. 


I recall purchasing my first computer in 1993.  My grandfather had just passed away and left a few thousand dollars for me to do with as I saw fit.  In preparation for college, I thought purchasing a computer would be a great investment, and would hopefully allow me to quickly output documents for classes.  I remember spending $2,500 for just the PC and monitor, and then still had to buy a printer (which definitely wasn’t the cheapest thing I’d ever purchased).  The large beast of a machine (though nothing compared to the computers used by organizations just a decade before) was brought home, and that Intel 486, 90 MHz processor (http://www.unixhub.com/images/l486v3.jpg) seemed like the fastest and most futuristic thing I could ever imagine.  Within two years, it was an obsolete machine.  Technology had moved forward and people were utilizing the internet on a near-daily basis to obtain information, infect others’ systems with viruses, or to chat with friends, and quite often, strangers.


Technology wasn’t a new item being introduced to society in the nineties; it was however, becoming more affordable for the average American.  If we look back in our history, the electric telegraph (http://earlyradiohistory.us/sec002.htm) was considered a high-tech form of communication when it was created in the early 1800’s.  Early uses of this machine utilized Morse code, but as radio developed, within a few decades the technology was used to save ships, to assist in war time, and even in the creation of telephone service.  In the late 1800’s, some were even hypothesizing about the possibility of wireless communication (http://earlyradiohistory.us/sec004.htm).   


Communication also isn’t the only kind of technology that has improved over time.  Transportation, including boats, locomotives and cars, has taken its turn with improvement. Personally, I find it difficult to fathom having to go more than a handful of miles on a horse and carriage, or having to cross the vast oceans on a sail boat to trade goods.  Certainly in past generations though, these were viable and high-tech means of transportation.


Because this is an art class (and not just an art class, but a digital art course), how can we not ponder the effects of technology not simply on art itself, but also on our communities and the inventions that have come over the last several hundred years to western society.  Would life as we know it exist if not for technology, and would the technology exist if not for the artists who challenged, questioned and pondered the affects technology has on society?  It would seem as though the two are intertwined in many ways.  The question lingers, how has digital/new media affected western society and our culture? 


Stewart Brand, author and editor, once stated, “For artists diving into a new technology, it is a triple short-cut to mastery: you get a free ride on the novelty of the medium; there are no previous masters to surpass; and after a few weeks, you are the master. Try that with the violin.” After reading the first chapter in Christiane Paul’s Digital Art, it is fascinating to see the types of digital and new media that artists have created in the last ten to twenty years.  For example, sculpture making began some 25,000 years ago and was created all over the world in different forms and with different types of carvings, overlays and etchings (http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab21). Yet today, sculptors are able to utilize digital means to “create sculptures that exist only exclusively in the virtual realm, and can take the form of a CAD (computer-aided design) model or digital animation” (p. 60).  Others are able to take an image (photograph, painting or otherwise), scan it into a computer, and digitally change or manipulate the image to create an altered piece of work by inserting a picture of him/herself, or removing someone or something that originally existed in the piece of art. Half a century ago, most individuals wouldn’t have had any inkling that such a form of communication or manipulation would exist for their children and grandchildren.


The effects of digital and new media on western society may be profound and severe.  Some believe that because of the constant bombardment of electronic images via television, computers, billboards and other forms of communication, we have become desensitized to violence and explicit sexual depictions.  Some assert that it takes much more to create a feeling of any sort, be that sorrow, anger or happiness, because the simplicity of living in past generations has become merely a story we hear told by our grandparents. While a simple “talkie” in the 1920’s was great entertainment for a generation, today such a film would likely not make it into a movie theater, and certainly wouldn’t be a top grossing film for Hollywood.


Still, it is difficult to discount the benefits that technology brings to our society.  Digital media “has given people new ways to create, package, distribute, re-purpose, share, personalize and otherwise use digital contents (http://www.chiariglione.org/manifesto/dmm.htm).”  We are able to communicate a message digitally in a matter of seconds to millions of individuals. Politics, health, family, relationships, retail and education (to name just a few) have all been changed by new media and communication. Those in remote areas of the country are able to obtain the same electronic information as someone who lives in a large metropolitan city.  As stated by textile artist Wendy Feldberg, “Digital technology is opening artists up to worlds of beauty formerly invisible to the physical eye. Technological innovations are a means of making connections between art, science and technology.”


In some ways, digital art has made the world a smaller place, but in others, has torn humans farther apart. Face-to-face communication appears to be on the decline. Speak with any single adult today, and odds are, they’ve thought about, or have actually participated in, some form of online dating or chatting.  That same individual has also likely sent or received a piece of digital art via e-mail.  


Today, I (and many others) utilize a computer that can be carried with me anywhere I go. I am able to have several dozen documents open, search the internet, edit photos, blog, and listen to music all at the same time without the machine collapsing under the work load.  As our society becomes more and more centered on speed, quality and aesthetics, the generation of “now” is certainly apparent. We carry a single, deck-of-card sized, light weight device that allows us to communicate with others electronically and by voice, listen to music, browse the web, keep a calendar/address book, schedule appointments and take photos.  Though it would seem that this is a feat in itself, technology will continue to advance and some day generations down the line, our state-of-the-art technology, and our digital art will be a thing of the past.  How art in technology will change and influence future generations remains to be seen.  As best-selling author Kathleen Arnason aptly stated, “In this vast changing world of technology the old saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ holds even more meaning.” Perhaps we will find a way to continue to utilize technology in art, but also recapture some of the simplicity of decades gone by, or conceivably there may be a whole new world of ideas just waiting around the next technological corner.

Two Roads (Assignment #1)

Still not happy with the outcome, but at least it is finished.

The project is entitled “Two Roads” as it was created using Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Roads Diverged.”  The only software used to create the image was Microsoft Word.  The image was saved as a PDF file utilizing such software (merely to be able to share). 

Creative Commons License
Two Roads by G. E. Morgante is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


ARGH! I am so frustrated with this first project here in Digital. I have started and re-started the project at least half a dozen times and nothing is working. I feel like I can’t spend so many hours worrying about this, but at the same time I have seen what some others are doing and now I am becoming more frustrated.  At least I have two weeks until it’s due, so hopefully something brilliant will come to me in that time. It has become far more time consuming than I thought it would… maybe this isn’t the medium for me.  Hmm.  Well, time will tell.