Archives for the 'Jordan' Category

The Titleless and the Titled

“Don’t Kid Yourself”

“We’re Not Kidding Ourselves Here”

From the “Your Old Friend is Back” series (also currently titleless)

After such a hefty image dump, I suppose you’ll all be curious as to why some of these images have titles while others do not. We discussed in class previously that these images are charming in their simplicity and how they can be interchanged with each other. Just because they don’t have a title now doesn’t mean they are incomplete.  I’m curious as to what some other people might call these pieces, instead of me always getting to pick.

Now the Old Friend series was meant to be a single image that people could play with. They could interchange what the “Old friend” was and place it on a designated spot while the others remained on standby until another person came around and switched it. It was to encourage participation from the viewers so they didn’t have to feel it was taboo to interact with the art on the wall. Since I’m using that idea for all of my pieces, the uniqueness in this series isn’t as unique anymore. So, I decided to integrate them with the rest of the collection, whether together or as stand alone images.

These recent pictures are all playing on different effects and visuals that hope to expand on these very 2-D creations from the limbo of potential t-shirt designs (all of course without taking their charming simplicity from them too much). Playing with certain colors gave these stencil figures a sense of depth, using non-stencil photographic images much like that of the Leslie Nielson image in the last post, the gradients helped expand environments rather than using simple flat colors and the use of blurring to also show depth. I should keep effects to a minimum, like I said I want to keep them simplistic to a degree.

12/06/2010 | Jordan | 1 Comment

History Repeats Itself, etc.

“History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce.”

I’ve been making these images at a steady pace, although it is safe to say that I should speed things up a bit if I’m going to use all the quotations on my lovely list. The hard part is matching quotations up that aren’t too confusing or too bland with images. But during break it occurred to me that a key element in this project had yet to be worked out: what do I want people to experience and walk away with from all this?  Then Leslie Nielson died and I was distracted for a couple hours, only to rediscover my initial problem (Good Night, Sweet Prince).

I did manage to come to a conclusion, or at least a sort of idea about what I want this to go. Right now, I’m playing with quotations and the images made off those phrases and how they can be interchanged. This involved a level of interactivity between the viewer and the pieces, allowing people to (in theory) take a picture and switch it up with another one. It feels similar to minimalism this way, although the art has a set form, the meaning of the artwork is interchangeable on a whole new level (rather than just interpretation). I still don’t have the answer set in stone, but at the very least I want people to be able to realize “huh, these pictures come off the walls? And I can switch them up?” Interactivity is an element I want to use if possible, but how I do that is still in the dark.



“Good Night, Sweet Prince”

11/29/2010 | Jordan | Comments Off

Small Update

“It’s embarrassingly pat and predictable.”

One of the first finished images from the list from the newspaper, more to follow soon.

11/22/2010 | Jordan | Comments Off

Update: Two New Works

What Does It Mean?

Quotation used with imagery from the recently popular viral internet video “Double Rainbow.”

Source available here: Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10

“There is no shame in exploiting the weakness of your enemy”

Decided to use the stencil-stick figures again, definitely going to be seeing more of them.

* * *

I asked some friends of mine to offer some negative thoughts for “Cheer Up.” I was thinking to use the Newspaper clippings for that project, but Lindsey mentioned in class that the real kicker about that image is how personal it is. Now, I had to think about this for a little bit, figure out how I could keep that personal feel to it without it being directly personal to yours truly. So I think I found the middle ground by taking the negative thoughts and feelings of other people and taking them out of context to make this image.

Keep expecting new things.

11/13/2010 | Jordan | 2 Comments

The List: The Movie

So I finally got to selecting certain portions of the Oct. 29th copy of the Boston Phoenix, from political articles, movie reviews and other such pleasantries. And . . . here we go:

  • Personal Favorites
  1. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole
  2. fraud is a front-line priority
  3. has disappointed us on a number of votes
  4. the other two deserve defeat
  5. We are not a fan of sin taxes
  6. This will only get worse
  7. A truly dangerous idea
  8. It would be the folly of better times
  9. it would be simply cruel
  10. hardest on those in need
  11. I don’t even remember how I found him
  12. it took my head off
  13. What the hell is this?
  14. are slow to absorb the work that really matters
  15. I don’t care much
  16. . . . Memories of the hard drinking guy who’d walk into a classroom with a gun would occasionally use it.
  17. “You Lie!”
  18. a lot of blather and punditry
  19. it might be hard to keep track of what matters
  20. The results are considered in doubt
  21. It’s likely to come with a hefty side of self-loathing
  22. . . . lusted after and devoured openly, with pride.
  23. We embrace our inner fatty-fatty-bo-batty.
  24. I dropped everything.
  25. It’s probably not safe to drive and eat a McRib, but I did anyway.
  26. There won’t be any tears at this farewell
  27. . . .touch on every uncomfortably funny aspect of sex, sexuality and her relationship with her dear mother.
  28. Or rather, a cliché
  29. the screen equivalent of a “summer beach read”
  30. break every 10 minutes
  31. rape and retribution, those sordid small screen staples are major attractions.
  32. “It’s like a classic greek tragedy.”
  33. immune to pain half-brother hulking albino
  34. it just can’t make scenes
  35. as far as satisfying movie-making goes, it’s pretty tragic
  36. . . . must deny her identity
  37. . . . assimilation to the extreme
  38. This does not sit well
  39. Too clumsy to fulfill its potential
  40. Good intentions go horribly wrong
  41. Did nothing to cure her . . .
  42. the ironies of this wrongheaded exercise in righteousness
  43. No one in her family has ever mentioned the existence of his person
  44. He can’t do anything wrong, at least in the eyes of his family
  45. Muting the melodrama and underplaying the politics.
  46. No stranger to the cynical view of things
  47. History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce.
  48. He believes he is fated to repeat all the events in Trotsky’s life
  49. At first, they were mocking and indifferent.
  50. Over 40 and disillusioned
  51. Replaced by a culture that celebrates the worst aspects of Western materialism.
  52. They can’t betray those ideals without denying who they are.
  53. . . . offers compelling watching but not much insight
  54. We deserve to be demonized.
  55. The horror . . . the horror . . .
  56. Desperate kooky and needy
  57. . . . because nobody involved in the film seems to recognize how icky it all is.
  58. raw, unflinching look at the experience of modern warfare
  59. that’s sufficient to hurtle you into the mountains
  60. . . . deals frankly with the morass of war?
  61. Don’t kid yourself.
  62. its realism goes no deeper than the surface
  63. I’ve never seen a more detailed rendering of a sniper rifle obliterating a foe’s head a mile away.
  64. If accuracy was the goal, why was this significant detail so inconsequential?
  65. [Taliban] just the premise to let you slaughter hundreds of opponents, guilt free.
  66. Just rack up more kills than the other team
  67. It’s increasingly hard to tell them apart.
  68. But if it works, it works.
  69. (popular on the right)
  70. we’d have conquered Iraq and Afghanistan years ago if only our politicians had let us win.
  71. They’re all hostile
  72. True to life? This is a fairy tale.
  73. Mostly devoid of poetic whimsies
  74. “The tragedy of bourgeois life is that we’re never that funny.”
  75. one of the surface inane acting exercises
  76. killing these zombies is an act of mercy as much as anything
  77. things are not as they should be
  78. nobody home
  79. it does draw a lot of tension out of its quiet moments
  80. a darker place than I expected
  81. They got written off as weird
  82. everyone starts picking apart their oeuvres for signifiers and ripped off parts, as if they were nothing but the sum of their influences.
  83. . . . steal shamelessly from those who’d come before them.
  84. Doesn’t really care
  85. “we’re not kidding ourselves here”
  86. No ambitions to be original
  87. It’ll have to do better
  88. It’s embarrassing pat and predictable
  89. Blundering, square-jawed bravado
  90. . . . who framed him– as a villain.
  91. . . . who perjure themselves to convict the guy
  92. Unfortunately reminiscent
  93. Of course, we know how long that’s going to last
  94. . . . won’t make you feel very optimistic

Ok, I was aiming for 140 for the “cheer up piece, but I’m happy with what I got out of this. I’m not so sure where I am going with the big one. Anyway, I can see myself using some of these, the others . . . not so much. Other work on the way shortly.

11/10/2010 | Jordan | 2 Comments

Asshole For Today

I think I’ve managed to find something I’m decently comfortable with. The thought used was an after thought of mind that I decided to record, I think I used it well.

What is gnawing at the back of my skull is whether or not the simplistic minimalist approach is something I want to do. I like how it’s blunt but I feel people are going to bash my work for being half-assed. Could it have more? Most likely but it doesn’t necessarily need more, if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. Regardless, I want to see how much more I can do in this style and with these W11 sign characters.

As for scouring the newspapers for negativity and everything else, it’s all on the way.

10/31/2010 | Jordan | 1 Comment


“People don’t change, they only lie to themselves until they start believing they have” is the thought I decided to use when making this. Although when I began this project I decided to limit myself to only the things that were my thoughts, recently I decided it would be best not to be so exclusive. I’m a graphic designer, there is no shame in borrowing from others. (I might just use that) So I’ll leave you all guess whether or not this is me.

We all put on faces, but when you look far enough you get a glimpse of the true disposition of a person. Sure we make our New Year’s Resolutions and our pledges, but we can’t change who we are just like that and unfortunately most times it just ends with us masking our problems. Just saying things are different doesn’t make them different.

So this is a little abstract, I didn’t want to make full on faces (at least not right away) and so I thought about working with basic shapes. As it is, I think it’s a good start for something else, it feels like it could use more. Perhaps more humor.

10/26/2010 | Jordan | 1 Comment

Playing with Negativity and etc.

Hello everyone,

Posting from Asheville, North Carolina this weekend on the account of my cousin’s wedding. The weather and food are better here. During my weekend I ended up seeing a couple things that reminded me of some of the other projects going on.

As you can imagine, there isn’t a whole lot between towns.  I saw these cows and turned them into a postcard for fun and it reminded me of something Rick is doing with Hampton Beach. My advice for you Mr. DeCosta is to use as much sarcasm as possible when working, humor is invaluable.

I saw this at Logan Airport and I thought of Ariel’s project with beer labels. Granted, it has nothing to do with actually making beer but the design for the beer doesn’t always have to be limited to the bottle. It might be something interesting to think about, how your design could be applied elsewhere.

Moving along. Although we discussed on building a vocabulary of thought in class for this project, I thought I would start working in familiar territory.

Click image for Full Size

Negative thoughts stand out and they stick with you, playing over and over again in your head. I know people who say the only way to make any productive use of negative emotion is to take that energy and turn it into something positive.

Before I had fun with the above images, I had made these lovely little frames to play and arrange as I saw fit. Started with 6 options but witted it down to 5. It’s a different approach to the same idea, only with less emphasis on building.

It’s a start, I need to work more on building a vocabulary rather than just building and that requires more exploration. It might be best to stay away from text and work with abstract imagery to begin “defining emotion.”

10/24/2010 | Jordan | 4 Comments

Speech: Part 1 of 3

People seem to ask me when I’m actually going to present something. Here we have the first of three planned pieces for “Speech.”

Now, who is this man and what are these words? The man depicted here is Tomas Kalnoky, the singer, guitarist and songwriter for the band “Streetlight Manifesto.” The words below are from one of his songs “Keasby Nights”, which is regarded by those who enjoy his music (fine outstanding individuals such as yours truly) to be one of his finer songs and also the title of an album he made. There is a story that goes along with the album, but I’ll spare you all from that unless you are interested. Back on point, why the song and why Kalnoky? The music of Streetlight Manifesto has been something that I have enjoyed since the very first days I spent as a college freshmen and good company from that part of my life and it brings me back to a fonder time. Upon reading the lyrics I began to appreciate Kalnoky for his writing. So in short, because he is an inspiration of mine.

The reason for this piece and the rest that I intend to make for “Speech” is that the words we write down and say carry a little piece of us with them so long as they are remembered. So we have the visual depiction of a person coming from the letters, the words making him as he made the words. That’s the initial philosophy behind it all. Now how does it relate to layers or components/pieces/etc? Well, these works (when constructed in the manner of my choosing) are made with multiple pieces of paper layered on top of each other and usually with a nice frame to hold it all together (I think it’ll look nice when it enters a physical form). How the letters create the form and how these words represent the taste of the artist (yours truly). That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it regardless.

As for the rest of this series, I do not believe I will be making them all musicians since they would most likely be obscure to most of you and I have a terrible habit of pandering to my audience when I’m better off just doing my own thing. In the meantime, I’ll just have to have a wonderful time working on the other methods and reworking my original thesis.

10/11/2010 | Jordan | 5 Comments

Various methods for “Layers”

One of the main goals in my seminar project is to devise multiple methods to create and/or display pieces of art that are made up of different components or “layers.” Although the actual process of making these objects has been . . . slow . . . I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs this entire time. I’ve had time to come up with a few ideas, some of which I am going to share with you in this post:


I’m going to call this methods “Legos” for the time being, it’s catchy enough. The original sketches for this project involved various block shapes stacked up on top of each other, slowly becoming more distant from each other vertically. To give you a visual in lieu of the obvious lack of photography, it’s like falling tetris blocks. The idea was to take actual legos or perhaps pieces of wood and glue them to a large acrylic board to give it that “free floating” appeal. Unfortunately, this does not seem all that likely. It might be possible to make the image digitally, print it on vellum and have the semi-transparent appeal work for what it was worth, but that might seem a tad boring.

Then I started working with actual legos and then this train wreck started to look half decent. Markus Raetz did a sculpture that was the word “YES” from one perspective. When turned around, the shapes realigned and made the word “NO.” I am rather taken with the playful nature of many of his works, so I tried to do something like it without attempting to completely rip off his work. So far, I haven’t had a much luck as I would have hoped. There is only so much I can do with lego blocks. I shouldn’t try to make a transition piece since it would too close to the original piece I’m basing this on, I prefer not have seen as a rip off. At least, not right away. I have been contemplating moving up to Duplo or perhaps actual pieces of lumber.


And here we have yet another idea that I have been playing with for some time now since early last March, perhaps even earlier than that. Taking “speech” or perhaps a large amount of letters and words and having the letters act as small fragments of an image as they are shaded differently. The finished image is made up of various different sheets that all together make the image, much like an old animation cel. I’ve made pieces like this before, so I know there is a larger success rate for this approach. However, the trick for this one is making sure I’m doing something new rather than what I have been doing. I have been considering making it into a sort of assembly, bringing the flat image out to at a 2-D perspective. This would require thin mounting board, preferably something I can cut into without too much trouble. That particular approach to this method might be a tad pretentious of me, I’m still playing around with it.  It’s very similar to Christopher Burnett’s “Sprawlcode”, which takes what I’ve done a step further by having each letter or character have it’s own individual color, which I believe is at least possible for me to attempt. Whether or not it’s even nessessary has yet to be decided. Here is the second “Speech” piece I made with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. (Please pardon the watermark on the image below)


This is one of the earlier ideas I came up with. It starts with an image, a photograph would be a better example. That photo is cut into various strips which are then lined back up with each other to form a fragmented remainder of the original. The strips would cross over each other close enough to recreate the image minimally but far enough to have large spaces in between some strips. This one is going to be attempted small first, just to see whether it can be done and hopefully translated to a bigger format if there is some success to be had. This one feels like it will be a lot of fun to make, let’s hope I’m right.

“Explosive Diagram Gundam Model”

This is exactly what it sounds like. The idea involves taking a Gundam Model kit (perferable a RG or MG level, 1/100 scale would be ideal) and creating a physical explosive diagram from the various pieces used to create it. For those who might not have an idea of what I am talking about, this is an explosve diagram:

What I would need to do is find a material that would be thin like wire, only as translucent as fishing line to better establish that “free floating” appearance. What ideally this would turn out to become is half finished, normal assemblage while the other half had pieces floating out from different lengths much like the diagram. If it’s hard to get a visual of this in your head, I apologize since the idea is still a little raw. I have yet to find a model kit that would best suit my purposes for this approach, but that shouldn’t prove to be too difficult.

10/06/2010 | Jordan | 2 Comments