Ray. December 2013. Collage of ephemera archived from 1940s to 1960s. Music and composition by Rhea Lonsdale.
Hallowbox by Rhea Lonsdale, October 2013
Hallowbox is an interactive video projection housed in a screened box. Projected on the inside of the paper screen is a live video composed by the capture of two webcams, one of which views The two channels of video are processed in Max, run through a toggleable jit.wake on channel 1, jit.avg, jit.scanslide, and optionally combined with jit.xfade. The final stage of the system adds a hue shift after jit.repos cuts and mirrors the video, creating a kaleidoscope effect.
(The video stars my nephew!)
Photo of studio space.
Now that it is officially October, I have just six months left till the end of my undergraduate degree. I am so glad to be nearing the end of this long journey. I think it’s common to question whether a student in the visual arts feels as if they have gathered enough skill and focus to present themselves as someone possessing the degree. It’s hard to tell after seven years of school the changes in my work: impossible to tell if I would not have advanced to where I stand now in my practice. I do know that I’ve met a series of professors who have, each in different ways, asked me to work in particular fashions. Some pushed me, gave me criticism and support, and some of that had to have stuck. Nearing the end, I don’t regret deciding to work towards a BFA in the least and I’m excited for what my future prospects are.
The three classes I am taking this term from the University of Victoria are History in Art: Feminism and Film, Interdisciplinary Art Practices, and Digital Media Practices. While I worried about there being some redundancy with all of the extended media courses I have taken back at my home institution I have found myself working on experimental techniques, and am enjoying my classes very much. I have been exploring options for how to display 3D viewing techniques within the gallery setting in my Interdisciplinary course, and in my other studio art course I am in a unit of generative art, in which I am learning how to use Max MSP. After a week of frustration I am finding some very basic proficiency, and even that very small ability is producing very neat results. There is a thirty day trial on their website and a great deal of documentation, and I highly suggest checking it out!
Overall, I’m so happy to have come to UVic. Happy October!
For my Interdisciplinary Art course I decided to try to tackle the question: how can three-dimensional video art be displayed in a gallery setting? With the ideal vision of the project being a false wall with a series of viewing holes, I designed the ‘hollow box’ based off of mirror-bounce stereoscope techniques. I wanted to be able to show it static as well as in video, so the model I build has a slot for an iPad, with designs on using small screens in a gallery show.
The largest issue I had after the (headache-inducing) aligning of the mirrors is that 63mm is an average of pupil distance, but there is a variance which - when viewing the box at an imperfect alignment for one’s eyes - creates a slight change in the binocular disparity which is very uncomfortable for the viewer. I decided that this would be unacceptable, as headache and nausea-induced viewers are not a part of my concept.
I decided to continue to develop content with two slightly adjusted views/binocular disparity despite this early setback. Other techniques include polarized and red/cyan stereoscopic video. Polarized requires either a particular screen or projector, such as the ones used in 3D capable theatres, which would simply be outside of my financial range. Red/cyan is a technique most people would be familiar with, and would be inexpensive. It is limited to monochromatic work, and although my work is monochromatic, the disparity between one eye seeing cyan and the other seeing red can be uncomfortable in it’s own right, and I feel it gives too great of a reference to film.
For now I will resign to working on my material with the acceptance that it may remain two-dimensional in the final product.
After an eventful summer I am working on my final show and completing the last courses of my undergrad. As I am spending the first term in Victoria I will be avoiding at least a month of what the above photograph promises: the bitter snow and cold back in Saskatchewan I’ll be returning to in January.
In the spirit of sharing back-to-schoolness, I wanted to post a number of learning resources.
Lynda.com continues to be an amazing resource for picking up technical proficiencies in a number of useful programs such as those in the Adobe or Autodesk suites. It is not free: an individual can pay a monthly or in the case that they are a student they may have access to Lynda through their institution. University of Saskatchewan students can request access through the PD tab in Paws.
Coursera offers courses in a wide array of topics. Enrollment is free save for if you want to receive a certificate of completion, and only in particular circumstances. A few which I am enrolled in are A Brief History of Humankind, Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative, 9/11 and Its Aftermath - Part I, Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice, Introduction to Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists and Søren Kierkegaard - Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity.
edX is another service for free education which boasts courses taught by professors from top universities. Certificates of completion can also be acquired through the service, and the material ranges from CS-184.1x: Foundations of Computer Graphics to courses such as UT 4.01x Take Your Medicine - The Impact of Drug Development.
Autodesk Education is fantastic for offering expensive programs on limited, non-commercial licenses to students as well as a supportive community and learning resources. Paired with Lynda, a student can pick up skills with programs such as Maya with time and practice. The licenses granted are for two years, and signing up is remarkably easy. The downloads can be heavy, but they benefit in having all of the features of the full-licensed versions.
I found some excellent resources for studying anatomy online I which I want to share. The thirty second poses are wonderful because their UV map is of the structure of musculature and fat, adding another level to figure drawing.
Posemaniacs: Thirty Second Poses, Negative Space, 3d Hands for Reference
Recent Studies Pt. 2
In the interests of development I have established that I will complete a portrait a day! To streamline and develop a personal process I have created a workflow, which I’ll detail here.
From my reference I work out the dimensions and placement in a 900x1600 image, with assistance from guidelines from the rule of thirds and divine proportions. I draw it in black and white, so the reference is desaturated and has it’s levels adjusted to a contrast I’m happy with. Using the guidelines, I draw my image side by side with the reference with a triangular mixing brush in Painter. I quickly lay out the values and shifting the size from large to small for detail.
I vary my brushes and push the drawing until I am satisfied with it, then I add an Overlay layer over the Value layer I have just drawn and loosely add color.
From there I can push it by painting over my drawing as I like with alternate brushes or using layer blend modes to create a stylistic final piece.