This semester marked a venture into doing as much work as paperless as possible. This is a daunting task for an artist but thanks to technology, most notably the iPad, it is an achievable goal. It's only been slightly painful as I have used some paper to work out ideas and do some sketching on... but there's an app for that.
There are a few apps that have made this transition go really smooth and they are...
Note Taker HD
A few pieces of necessary kit would be...
Protective case with multiple display angles
6 ft. charging cord from Apple
Now to really capitalize on this a stylus has been a must. It allows me write and draw on a contact point much smaller than my finger tip for more accurate results. Any PDFs I can open on the iPad I can open directly into Note Taker to highlight and make notes on. If the iPad can't open it, no worries, I just open it at home and import it into the iPad via iTunes.
Pages, while not as powerful as Word, has a nice amount of features and allows any document you make to be sent as a Pages, Word, or PDF document. My final paper for Theory & Criticism last semester was written on my iPad. iDisk is a must for keeping important documents like my resumé, and pictures such as my portfolio always available. All the ebook readers are good to have, if your looking for a specific book chances are one will have it. I was able to find some textbooks in ebook format at a significant price reduction because there is no shipping, no ink, no paper.
Have I totally abandoned paper? No. Have I drastically cut back from what I was using before? Most definitely. I still use Post-it notes, but thats about it... I used 6 sheets of tracing paper to figure out my final form for the wire armature this semester.
Is it for everyone? No. Someone who is really into 2-D processes will hate it as an iPad does not have the strength of a laptop, at least not for 4-5 generations from now. Anyone who touch types will hate it, anyone who actually types at all will hate it. I hunt and peck when I type so no worries for me on the keyboard size.
The more I use it, the more I am impressed by it (and trust me, I was a heckler of it when it was first announced, I felt this video summed up all the hype it was getting) in terms of how it does everything I need it to quickly and efficiently. How it has merged into my life rather seamlessly after giving my wife my laptop after hers got broken. It can't do everything, but it's not supposed to. Anything I need to do on a more powerful machine, like blogging, I make a note of and do it at home after working in the studio.
It was bound to happen at some point. There was going to be something that sparked my interest that has nothing to do with my current project. This has everything to do with having a great assistant during my Friday afternoon studio time. What I'm referring to are these...
These are approximately 16 inches across the widest point and are the beginning of other art thoughts.
Or actually, more importantly, it's just this one below... now see if you can imagine another one like it, slightly longer and more pointed, with a faceted bubble nestled inside the two halves. There would be a space in between the two halves from 3 to 5 inches to view the bubble on the inside.
I started to mess around with these shapes last semester, and by messing around I mean I got one off the pipe to look at and start cold working. This could be the start of something really beautiful or a down right failure. Time will tell, but I will work on this as a side project when I feel I have time to work on them. Each one takes about an hour to make in the hot shop and the cold working I'm thinking of will take it beyond 10-15 hours per half. Thats not including metal work for the stand or electronics for the lighting.
When it comes to ordering for projects, I never thought that it would turn me into a research-o-holic. Trying to find the best deal for what I need in a timely fashion has lead to some interesting buys. For example on this project alone...
7000 crimp tubes @ ~$20
900 eyelets @ ~$35
4 ft. X 25 ft. aluminium screen(2) @ ~$45
assorted jewelry supplies @ ~$30
4 more spools of monofilament @ ~$65
This isn't counting the electronics stuff yet, that will probably run at least $150 for materials and a few books. A good chunk of change, but after last semester this almost feels cheap.
My friend Beth was right, the wallet doesn't shut for grad school... but I have learned that doesn't mean I should be financially broken as a result. The research costs time but saves money, and in the long run that will help finance other projects and that's a good thing.
You may have noticed on the right side there is a translator tab for this blog. Not too long ago I made this blog public, and I have to admit, I like seeing where everyone is coming from in the world when they come to see my blog. Now it's real easy for any of my friends from Japan to see what I'm up to. Plus I love seeing all the English converted into Japanese.
It was really easy to get/install. Just do a Google search of "translator for blogger" or "translator for wordpress" or "translator for WhateverYouAreUsing". Follow the instructions, if there are any, the translator for Blogger had minimal instructions. Save your changes, and that's it.
So as this project takes shape, the more it has evolved, the more the reactionary component of this project has become important to me. The more alive this project is becoming. Literally. The tunnel component has now served as a platform for this new organism. The aspect of the tunnel will still be there, how dense the walls are something I am still working on.
The main structure will be more flowing, something that I was thinking about anyway, the question now is how am I going to make it "alive" without making it "carnival"? Using Arduino circuit boards and centrifugal motors, activated by proximity sensors, I can definitely make this come alive. The technology component is something that I had wanted to get into for awhile now, and this was a perfect opportunity to get way out of my comfort zone and push myself to really learn something new. If this is successful then it will inform work for my thesis next year as I already have few more ideas for more interactive projects similar to this. But why make the thing move/shake at all? When glass strikes glass, there can be some wonderful sounds. There is also the whole flight or fight response from an animal when threatened. Here are some vessels from Friday that I strung up today. I know the video quality is poor but it wouldn't upload otherwise, damn file was too big, and the sound is the more important here.
This sound isn't exactly what I'm looking for, but it's a start. I did also make some solid glass rods as well, and I was hoping to have a sharper noise from the shape, but those will have to be redesigned.
The structure, so far, is lending itself to marine crustaceans... deep sea organisms that are transparent from lack of sunlight. With how the monofilament looks with the light on it, with some polished steel and aluminum mesh it is pupating into this very organic specimen constructed out of clean materials. The glass vessels feel like eggs, in the way crabs or spiders will carry their eggs until they hatch.
Having a model handy, thanks to my Mom, and no one around in the studio... sorry guys, your all awesome but I'm glad you weren't around for this, I got a few photos of the Semester 1 project occupied. I think you'll agree it looks, and feels, entirely different. These are also the best photos of the bunch, I have more and can post some additional pictures if there is enough interest.