Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Incredible Kinetic Sculpture of Well-Known Monuments in San Francisco. Made Out of Toothpicks.

Does anyone remember having one of those marble run toys as a kid, where you can build an unbelievable combination of structures that included ramps, tunnels, sinkholes, and much more to create a labyrinth for your marbles to move around in a more fun way? Well a guy named Scott Weaver created an almost improbable monument of all of the most well-known landmarks and monuments of San Francisco and built a marble run piece made entirely out of toothpicks, which the golf sized-balls run through this rollercoaster-like course.

This piece will be exhibited at the Exploratium in San Francisco until the 31st of May this year, so get to the museum until the exhibit is over. [Materiality: Wood]

Scott Weaver's blog about his sculpture piece: [The San Francisco Sculpture]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Driving around AutoDesk in 3-D w/out Glasses

Autodesk Gallery at One Market
1 Market St, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 356-0700

So lounging around the house watching the news one afternoon, I caught a news story about a company called Autodesk, a San Francisco based company that recently created a virtual driving simulator that was open to the public. I recall hearing that the driving simulator was to recreate an existing south access road to the Golden Gate Bridge, also known as route 101, and redesign this Doyle Drive:

To this envisioned Doyle Drive:

So anyway, I went to their gallery on the second floor, which I was required to sign in just for security purposes. Now I was allowed to take pictures of anything, but the only thing that I was not suppose to take a picture of was a Tesla car that was displayed in
the room. They didn't give a good explanation why, the desk lady said there was a sign that said to not take pictures of the Tesla car. So I took many other cool pictures of the place with my cool camera phone:

[It's a 3-D television, but you don't need special glasses to see the 3-D images. The technology is sort of ideally similar to the Nintendo's 3DS, but it's subpixel rendering is unique that it gives the viewer's eyes that 3-D image.]

[Colorful strands of crayons organized in hexagons, clustered in a circular tube, which are used as strings used in the new Bay Bridge. Love the choice of colors and design of the structure.]

[This is the car simulator that anyone can drive where you drive San Francisco's newest gateway to the Golden Gate Bridge. You can't drive all around SF though and when you crash, you have to restart.]
[And what the simulator looks like when it's active.]
[Patents. These are some of the patents probably created by people who worked in Autodesk or patents known to use AutoCAD, which can be used for drafting.]

I heard people speaking all sorts of languages from people in the lobby, realizing that the company has international recognition, only to realize that it's mostly famous for its software like AutoCAD, which is almost like the rich man's version of Google SketchUp. Luckily, college students can actually download many of the Autodesk software for free if you register your student email to their website and you'll be able to digitally download their catalog, but not order a CD, which sounds reasonable.

My experience with exploring the gallery was something more amazing, due to the fact that the employees were very relaxed and took their work serious at the same time, which I feel every work environment should be when everyone is working in a multinational corporation.

And if you wanna see the rest of the photos I took, please check out my gallery of pics including 3D printed models and structures and Legos.

Notes on Public Memory in Public Spaces

-What monuments are and they could be.
-Monuments: Public memory, shared values and shared experiences.
-"By common consent, the postmodern age is obsessed with memory" -Daniel Sherman, The Construction of Memory in Interwar France
-Recognizable naming of object. Pen for example, different connotations of what a pen would be.
-Monuments like written records, anything that serves to commemorate something in particular, like an event or era of the past.
-A history of the past.
-Passing on the memory with the use of the monument. For example, graffiti.
-Characteristics of monuments: Scale, Permanence (Vietnam Wall in D.C., the rise and falling of war) bridges time & place, prominence, creates context & reference.
-The location of prominence.
-AIDS quilt, not built in its entirety, not permanent because it's made of fabric, serves as a warning. A counter-monument.
-Free Speech Monument
-Reason why monuments fail is because they are not refolded in everyday life or in every individual, ritual, celebration.
-St. Louis Arch
-Mt. Davidson Cross, San Francisco (monuments can originally be erected or installed for a particular purpose, but can be refilled for a different purpose.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Minimalism At Its Best

I love Sesame Street.

That's all I need to say about it, but as for a segment they had on the very first episode of Sesame Street, they showed some quick segments, as cut away animations to relieve the youth at the time to check out some funky animations. One segment in particular is called 30 Dots, which features a blue background and 30 dots popping out in a 6x5 organized fashion.
Throughout the episode, they showed these short segments at certain points of the show, which then creates a narrative, showing the last dot as being late to the party or the third dot that is desperate to be different by being red, which everyone gets on the bandwagon, but not in a soundly-happy manner.

Google Earth Artist: Fabrizio Pivari

Well what a great way to find an artist using Google Earth that is in the range of creating improbable monuments. The artist's name is Fabrizio Pivari and from his blog, his specialty is installing glass sculptures in some well-known locations. Places like the Roman Colosseum, which he encloses the Colosseum in a cube-shaped box in Google Earth:

He also posted a video of his sculpture just so you can see it in real time, although I would recommend you download the kmz file below to get a better look at the glass sculpture.

And here's one more example of a glass sculpture which he again, encloses the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA into a tube:

Again, a video he posted of the glass tube enclosing the bridge in the worst quality possible. Just download the kmz file below.

Please download Google Earth as well if you going to check out the kmz files:

Although from looking at his blog, it hasn't been updated since so instead, he went up to having his own website, where he hosts his own works, including new works for Google Earth. He is Italian, so be sure to have a web browser that can translate foreign languages. He now utilizes Google Earth for marketing strategies, which in a sense could be applied to advertising your own product for example, in a geographical area to present the product you're aiming to.

From speculating how he considered himself on his blog to be the, ". . .first worldwide artist that uses Google Earth for internet installations." It's pretty tough to find any statement on why he created these glass sculptures and placed it in famous landmarks, but I would consider the idea of having a landmark or monument enclosed as a way of expressing that since glass is transparent. One could assume that it would be a response of the public wanting to protect these precious monuments for generations, which he encases them into glass enclosures, but the reality is that they will age overtime and will never look the same as we would see it now.

The idea can be applied to a dead person in a glass coffin, where the person can be seen visibly to the naked eye, but we know that overtime, that person in the coffin has a biological half-life, which ideally the person would technically disintegrate.

When I look at this photo of Ferdinand Marcos, former President and dictator of the Philippines, with the widowed Imelda Marcos kissing the glass coffin, it's an eerie image because it almost looks like she too looks dead. I can empathize with her that her loved one died, although the fact that Ferdinand had a history of siphoning millions of dollars from the U.S. overseas working program he installed just so he could be rich, makes me disappointed that he would be almost martyred by placing his body into an visible coffin. The idea that we eulogize the dead by enclosing them in a visible glass casket, it's a wonder that it's mostly reserved for the most influential of history in public space.

Experience Human Flight

It's amazing to see the reality of how far technology can soar us to the skies. Only if editing was implemented in real life so we can just stop and look at the Earth above us, only if we had an anti-gravity suit...

Experience Human Flight from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Video Game Mapping in Real Life

For my last art project, I would like to experiment with video game maps and find locations, particularly in the Bay Area, San Francisco for example, that may have a similar relationship in terms of its features, space, scale, and context. With the video game map, I would like to create a story about my experience in a particular video game in correlation with the chosen locations that I have visited or lived through my entire life as of now.

The first image on the top is the entire world map from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages for the Game Boy Color. I have personally played this game when it was released in 2001 and fondly remember my experiences at the time, from being in school to the day I received this game after Christmas, I feel that there is a trigger when a certain object comes to our minds or physical touch and we somehow revert to our past memories.

The image below the video game map is a map of the Bay Area of San Francisco, which I was born and raised through my entire life. I am considering creating a story of my life that would somehow relate to the video game mentioned, which most of their storyline entails a working-class person (Link) who happens to stumble upon an epic quest to save a princess (Zelda).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Your Delicious Account Linked to Blogger

So I found this widget where you can copy and paste an embed code/Javascript to have your Delicious feed on your blog. Follow this link to get started. Remember to go to Design when editing your layout of your blog when Adding a Gadget.

Giving Your Heart To The One You Love (video)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Wall of Fallen Words - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Thinking about the final project for this class is like trying to analyze what sort of monument will be memorable and unique compared to previous works from the past semester.

For a long time, I have always had an interest in the average person's opinions or reviews about a movie, song, video game, a teacher/professor, or anything for example, which is why I turn to the internet to see what people have to say. I find it interesting to see people give their opinions from their comfort of a computer, rather than anyone else seeing or hearing what the person looks like, which might give the viewer a bias or judgment of the reviewer based on their appearance and whatnot, or even who they are, making anonymity a choice for people. Sites like, where people can give out scathing or positive reviews of their local shops, restaurants, and businesses to name a few;, where it allows college students and anonymous people to give ratings based on easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and rater's interest on professors or instructors at most or almost all U.S. colleges; and, a comprehensive review site that gives analytical statics and ratings to colleges and universities based on the number of reviews that are given. One of the elements that stand out of these review sites are those negative reviews that may give harsh criticisms to people, places, or things. This element to reviews is important because of the implications of negativity applied to such a thing that may be wrong or painfully true.

My idea for the last project is to create a monument that is covered all in words from the review sites, but especially for colleges/universities, which I would like to focus my project on. It's one thing to see a negative review about a professor or school that you like, despite their flaws.

As for an artist that has created a monument that uses words in the form of people's names is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.. The monument is a dedication of soldiers who fought and died in service during the Vietnam War, South East Asia, or the ones who were Missing In Action (MIA) during the War. All of the names on the wall are engraved onto the polished, gabbro slab of rock. The color of the wall gives it a somber feeling when observing the names of the fallen, as a reminder of a funeral service, especially in the U.S., where wearing black clothing is a sign of mourning. The monument stretches to 246 feet 9 inches (75 m) long, reminding us how many people have died at the time of the " Vietnam War". It limits our perception to the idea of making U.S. soldiers the ones we should be remembering, when we could be remember the innocent civilians who died for nothing. The problem is the conflict of creating another public memory that doesn't shine upon the positive elements of mourning without questioning what the soldiers did in the war. It's an issue to what people's intentions are when people post negative reviews about things that can challenge what we are and what is.

My trip to the de Young. . .nah, I'm going to the California Academy of Sciences (Part 1)

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA
(415) 379-8000

I planned my trip for a couple of months to go to the de Young Museum on a weekend a couple months back after hearing about a Bank of America program where you can get free admission to certain museums with a Bank of America or Meryill Lynch credit/debit card (Musuems on Us). So as I got to San Francisco, I took a bus to get to Golden Gate Park, which took about a half-hour to get to the park until I realized we were there when I saw a bunch of greenery as tall as the street lamps, which I knew that in the city, you'll only see plenty of green foliage when you're at a park. Since it was also my first time to the park, I also planned to explore the other locations that the park had to offer after I was done exploring the de Young.

As I walked closer to the museum, I was given a beautiful view of an Music Concourse Bandshell, an open plaza that was situated between the de Young and the California Academy of Sciences, which I didn't realize that the science museum was so close by. I started to have second thoughts about going to the art museum and instead going to the other museums, as I had more intentions to explore more interactive art and sciences than passive art. I wanna feel the bumps and ridges of Claude Monet's paintings, the water lilies or even the statues that can't be touched, but I understand the museum's no touching policy, which means if I were free to touch the works, everyone else should.

[When I observe paintings for a bit, I imagine was if it were candy. It reminds me of Skittles, with its variety of colors and flavors, from orange, cherry, lime, and so much more, that you can almost lick the painting, only to realize that you can taste the acrylic on your tongue and you come back to reality. Good thing I only did that to the acrylic painting in my room.]

So I opted to go to the Academy of Sciences, which I will never regret going, even though they charged me $25.00 for admission, which was not bad with a student discount. Anyway,

I had my camera and video camera, took a couple of videos posted on Youtube and pictures that showed what my experience was like:

So there was this board where you can write suggestions of what to do to create a more sustainable environment on a piece of paper, which you can also reuse as well. I decided to write a message using all of the papers hanging on a metal rod and this is what I got.

I did not draw any of these pictures, I left them as they were and wrote a message with letters somewhere around each of the papers.

[Link leads to a series of photos on my personal FB page]

I spread a message at the Academy of Sciences

I finally get close up and personal with a gecko, sticking on the glass wall of its exhibit. I got my face very close to the glass, carefully examining its hands as I reflect back to the first project I did where I photoshopped a part of my body beyond its capabilities.

My overall experience with the science museum was pretty fantastic, from getting inside the greenhouse, housing some of thee most luscious trees and fauna, housed with exotic animals, including the butterflies, which flew all over the greenhouse. Although there are more photos and videos that I took, I can possibly post the rest of my Youtube and personal page (Facebook).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Drenching to the Sound of Rain

Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (GAFFTA)
998 Market. St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 843-1423

I like the sound of rain, but I never want to get wet in it for too long. Unfortunately, I did so and with my backpack as well as I walked back and forth, waiting for someone to open the door to GAFFTA in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. I got off at the Powell BART station, searching for the place, with no luck at all. It was around 8:30 A.M. and I couldn't find any place that was open, except for a donut store, which I took refuge and bought some donuts. I can remember the taste now of those donuts. It reminds me of a coffee store that smells of coffee, like Starbucks, but the inside didn't look trendy or had any shades of brown in its interior.

As I walked into the GAFFTA building, I was welcomed with continuous lite noises of mechanical machines, which I didn't realize that they were part of the showcase of artworks done by an artist named Zimoun.

After a couple of minutes being inside GAFFTA with the continuous sounds of mechanical noises, it was actually quite comfortable to the ear, almost like a white noise that puts you at rest.
As you hear the sounds of cotton balls hitting boxes on the floor, plastic wires hitting boxes in a circular motion, or 361 metal wires continuously rotating all due to a DC motor, including with all of the works applied, the noises cancels out singular ones that we may feel to be irritating when heard for a long period of time, like when florescent lights make high-pitched noises.

Here are some photos that I took when we took our field trip:

A Prostitute in the Ethnic Studies Building

Here is my Hollister Co./Prostitute Co. logo jammed on a bulletin board in the Ethnic Studies Building in SF State. The logo you see if different, which actually has the original Hollister logo on the bottom left. This print is a total accident because of the person who printed this apparently chose to print all layers when I said that I wanted only the modified logo to show up. This was the problem with printing in the Illustrator program rather than just printing it was a image file, although it would not take advantage of its vector graphics.

Public Memory, The AIDS Quilt

We never come to thoughts. They come to us.

Originally, "memory" means as much as devotion: a constant concentrated abiding with something not just with something that has passed, but in the same way with what is present and with what may come.
--Martin Heidegger

I was reading Seeing the Past in the Present Tense by Paula Levine and what caught my attention while I was reading the article was when she briefly mentioned the Names AIDS Quilt, a project started by Cleve Jones, notably associated with Harvey Milk, displays a response to AIDS at a time when the virus was new and stereotyped has a virus spreading only by same-sex intercourse, created a form of community art, where people affected or have friends or family affected by the virus can be memorialized in a form of a 3' 6' ft quilt, the average size of a grave. Although it's not exclusive to memorialize people who died of AIDS, but it's a message to spread awareness to the current AIDS pandemic.

I find it interesting that almost anyone can participate in this project, regardless of their artistic techniques or creativity, even the idea that you do not need to personally a person who died, but rather feel a connection to the person that they want to recognize. It helps bring the idea that AIDS is part of our history when people talk about it and become aware of it, rather than forgetting about it and repeating the past.

Jamming in the Nude, without getting caught

So I finally jammed one of my works, but it wasn't the original logos that I jammed, rather it was the Hollister Co./Prostitute Co. logo onto an actual Hollister store, on the exterior inside a mall.

Here's me holding my logo outside the mall:

Posting my logo onto the Hollister text outside of the store:

An overview shot of the store:

I'm not really sure if anyone actually caught my logo after sitting around outside the store, seeing if people noticed the logo, but the place where people walked, a majority of people from the picture above walked from the right to the left.

So I didn't find a good location to place my logo, although I did have thoughts of placing it around the Castro in San Francisco, which I feel would be more effective due to its Diesel clothing store right by the MUNI station, which many people get off and on (no pun intended) for transportation.