Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interdisciplinary Art

Last weekend I went to an art gallery opening in Chicago–“Interrogating the Future of Interdisciplinary Practice”. The pieces experimented with creating art in non-traditional ways through various disciplines. I find fine art and commercial art are very different in many ways. However, the things I learned while looking through the art gallery apply just as much in advertising as they do in fine art.

One piece that I would recommend checking out was a performance piece that addressed where we are (first movement), where we should be (second movement), and where we are going (third movement). The artist performed the piece using a board he created that controlled the audio (speed, scrubbing, pitch and volume) and visuals (arrow size, position, and repulsion) of the piece. I like that this piece could in theory be left in a gallery for viewers to interact with and compose for themselves. I didn't get a picture of this, but you can check out the video here.

Another one of my personal favorites explored capturing motion in sculpture. The artist used motion capture technology to track the movement of a person in 3D space and log it on the computer. Then, after capturing the speed, path, and rotation of the movement, he translated this information visualization into a sculpture. I find this piece interesting because it conveys information in a new and unexpected way. It precisely captures the beauty of a time-based performance and, adding nothing to it and taking nothing away from it, translates it into a static object. This piece is appealing on a logical level as well as a creative level–an important thing to keep in mind not only in the fine arts, but in advertising, too.

Check out a more in-depth description

I was drawn more to the pieces with more complex concepts that left a bit of a gap for the viewer to complete than I was to those with more straightforward concepts that required less cognition. For example, one piece on display was a Flash game entitled “Human Hunt”. Based on the game “Duck Hunt”, the concept behind this piece was ducks getting revenge on humans. The piece was identical to “Duck Hunt” except that you played as a duck shooting humans. Though humorous, the straightforward irony of this piece was not very engaging to me. David Moore emphasized this viewer-completed gap as an important part of advertising and explained it through the metaphor of a spark plug. If the gap is too far, there is no spark. The viewer can’t make the connection. If the gap is too close, there is no spark. The connection is too obvious and doesn’t engage the viewer. But if the gap is just the right distance, there is a spark. The viewer completes the ‘circuit’. The work engages them.

I will close this week with a few more pictures from the gallery. It was an interesting collection of work that reminded me of some important aspects of art and advertising and inspired me to continue to explore use of non-traditional media when producing work.

Alyse E.
Creative Intern

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