Archive for the 'draw' Category

Transmedia Generation Poster featuring Henry Jenkins

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

A few weeks ago I was commissioned by Jaroslav Švelch to create a poster featuring Henry Jenkins for the Transmedia Generation conference in the Czech Republic. Per Jaroslav’s suggestion, the poster features the Žižkov Television Tower as a very appropriate background. In case you’re interested, I found a video of Henry talking on Czech TV.

I recently acquired Manga Studio, and tried to make this my first illustration drawn with it, but I was not getting the degree of control I wanted, and I didn’t have time to practice much, so I rolled back to my traditional combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Manga Studio is actually a very powerful tool, and I am looking forward to become functional with it. I even used a fairly detailed sketch made with it as the starting point to the finished piece. Feel free to download the full resolution file I have in my flickr account, in case you’d like to make yourself a nice big badass print ^_^

Gira TelmexHub UNAM

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

@Nachotl de PaseUsted me invitó a participar en la Gira TelmexHub UNAM, donde impartí una conferencia enfocada en el tema de La Experiencia Narrativa en La Era Digital. Básicamente propuse la misma linea argumental con que participé la vez pasada, explorando la intersección entre comunicación social, teoría de la información y cultura, pero más interesado en el espacio en que contamos y consumimos historias, en lugar del espacio del arte en general. Como era de esperarse, el resultado termina poniendo más atención a la industria del entretenimiento que al sistema del arte.

Me llenó de gusto tener la oportunidad de compartir mi trabajo y mis ideas con los estudiantes de la UNAM –mi alma mater– y haberme encontrado con una Cultura Digital vibrante, llena de propuestas y preguntas.

Al igual que cuando estuve en Puebla, la Gira TelmexHub demostró reunir una buena colección de talentos, entre quienes tuve oportunidad de conocer y convivir con el educador e inventor Raul Gutierrez, el cineasta experimental Jacob Krupnik y su productora Youngna Park, y el poderoso taquero electrónico Redmarker, a quien ya conocía por cierto.

An exercise in personalization

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Last month I worked with BuzaMoto on a website for the MoMA Armory Show 2012. Mud made the website and I provided the content artwork for the main feature of the site: A personalized virtual BobbleHead creation tool.

These BobbleHeads are offered by MoMA as an extra token for people that buy access to the live stream of the Armory Show closing event: a live performance by mexican chill wave band Neon Indian. In addition to this, the collection of generated BobbleHeads will be projected on stage during the performance.

Aside from it being an interesting fundraising participation system, is an excellent example of a seamless, low-effort online transaction experience. I would probably spend a lot more money on digital content if other online stores made shopping as easy and pleasant as does.

I designed most of the BobbleHeads based on dead celebrity artists (Frida, Picasso, Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, etc.), together with a couple of celebrities from pop culture, one science celebrity, and a monster made from body parts of several cadavers. This flickr link features the complete BobbleHead collection in the form of a wallpaper, including a famous superhero that didn’t make it to the website for obvious copyright reasons.

Here are the two BobbleHeads I made so far:

  • Black on a Saturday morning, featuring the real me,
  • and Maya goes to the gallery, featuring Maya as an art snob.
  • Update: Mud’s post in the BuzaMoto blog.

    Data doodles

    Saturday, August 13th, 2011

    About a month ago, I made a new backup of the data from tinyDoodle. It is available as a text file consisting of 31.2 megabytes of integer coordinates of 2d points that are put together as a very long sequence of line segments. It’s formatted in JSON in a straightforward way. It doesn’t matter to me how silly this application sounds, there is something I still find incredibly compelling about the ability of computers to capture drawing gestures as sets of numbers that can be performed as drawing gestures that are sets of numbers. I think this drawing-to-number quasi-biyection is priceless.

    I was recently talking about how different interaction models determine differences in communication, and how interesting it is for me to look at scenarios where a group of humans is restricted to use non-conventional channels to communicate with each other. Like putting two persons in a room and have them play a game where all they can do is make drawings to each other. Blackboard, paper, whiteboard, it doesn’t matter. Their communication will not be very efficient this way, but they will get very creative at drawing, and maybe come across some ideas that they would have never explored any other way.

    More recently, Buzamoto launched a cool iPad app called Pendipity that offers a similar functionality to tinyDoodle, only better. It features a more advanced, yet very simple, drawing interface, and it implements a seamless chatting experience using a Node.js server. In terms of space, the difference between both systems is clear. When someone initiates a shared Pendipity session, the system will look for another available user to create a drawing team of two, and TinyDoodle is an open space where anybody can access the same drawing at any given time. So tinyDoodle is like a public blackboard, and Pendipity is like a shared notebook where every visitor is paired with someone else to draw on a single page of the notebook at a time. In Pendipity, a different session means a different drawing. In tinyDoodle, there will always be the same single drawing, around thirty something mb long at this point. The drawing is so dense, you actually have to watch it in chunks to make sense of it.

    The following image is a collaboration Buza and I made on Pendipity. We didn’t find out we were drawing together until later, when we talked about it by chance. The idea of collaborating with somebody close to you without knowing who they are is bizarre, to say the least.

    Icon No. 253377

    Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

    Sometimes I just feel like making another icon.

    Human Interference Project

    Saturday, July 16th, 2011

    As a continuation of mi recent exploration of Western-European Participatory Rule-based Art Systems, I just contributed with a drawing to the Human Interference Project, a tribute to Jean Tinguely’s Métamatics organized by the Métamatic Research Initiative.

    As the project website describes, the drawings should be created based on these rules:

     Use a white A4 sheet and a ballpoint pen.
     Draw a closed shape on the paper.
     Repeat the shape inside the original shape until there is no space left at its centre.
     Repeat the shape outside the original shape until it touches one side of the paper.
     Choose the distance so that you can make at least 50 iterations on the paper.
     Try to repeat each iteration in exactly the same way.
     Sign the drawing in its upper right corner in landscape format.

    Note the semantic difference between “based” and “following” when you substitute the former with the latter. It is the difference between suggestion and command, and in this case it gives the participants a lot of room for interpretation. Most participants——myself included——chose to draw around the original shape both inside and outside. But that makes it hard——if not impossible——to keep the further iterations faithful to the original shape. Even though it is easier to draw instances of the same shape if you don’t have to wrap them around the original, only two participants have chosen to do that so far, and it is interesting that both of them used triangles.

    I explored a number of options before submitting my choice. I wanted to do something that featured some behavior I believed had some degree of originality, but I also wanted to stay away from formal intricacies or technical conundrums. I decided to look for ambiguity in the idea of “closed shape” not by finding a tricky way to define “closed” but by finding a simple way to make the idea of “interior” relatively unclear. By drawing a line with a few self-intersections I produced enough ambiguity to have a some choices about the interior of the shape. The number eight for example, is it a circle with a twist or is it two circles tangent to each other? From a two dimensional point of view, it can be either one, and the choice you make about which one it is will inform the way you choose to repeat it. I drew the original shape one way, but a minute later I preferred to pretend I drew it differently.

    Undef Print

    Friday, July 1st, 2011

    This afternoon I accidentally found myself submitting tiny snippets of Javascript code to UndefPrint, and watching my submissions transform into prints almost instantly on a live video stream. The video showed a window to the street on the right side, and moving arms holding beer bottles on the left. In the center of the frame, a printer was drawing every submission on an interminable roll of paper. It was 8:30 PM in Berlin when I started looking. It was getting dark, and I stuck around until their clock hit midnight. I think it was 3:00 PM here in California. Ubiquity—to be present in several places at the same time—feels priceless. It even inspired me to write something in this journal for the first time in months ^_^

    This exercise in Telematics and participation is just one out of many—Amodal Suspension by Ralfael Lozano-Hemmer and Absolut Quartet by Jeff Lieberman & Dan Paluska immediately come to mind—but it stands out in a particular way that is relevant to some of the work we were doing back in the PLW a few years ago. UndefPrint is only open to participants that can write code. The general public is excluded. At least a bit of knowledge of Javascript and computer science is required to get anything out of UndefPrint. The idea that code is a mode of expression in a way similar to simple speech, doodling, or any other gesture that can be performed in public is not new, but it is an important one, because it puts code next to activities that come naturally to most humans—like speech or hitting on a keyboard to produce sounds—even when coding doesn’t come naturally for anybody. Perhaps in the future we will be able to speak code—and math—the way we can sort out objects in a crowded room. One can only hope.

    Here is the code that draws the pattern in the image above, the fifth in my series of submissions:

    for (i=0;i<=pWidth();i++){
      for (j=0;j<=pHeight();j++){

    And, some fooling around with triangular patterns:

    Did I ever mention how much I like simple nested for-loops?