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AGO’s Best & Worst April 20, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer5 (makeup): Experiencing AGO, Exercises , add a comment

The Toronto AGO gallery attracts many people around the globe every day. The subject matter distributed within its walls carries history and foretells wisdom by the work of unique artists. More than 79,000 creations of artwork are kept and viewed by various collections. These collections range from pieces of European Art to Contemporary, Canadian, British, American, and French work. This list is endless and grows quite rapidly. There is a grand diversity in which people are naturally drawn to. No wonder AGO is so popular!

I have had the pleasure to visit the AGO gallery many times throughout my first year at OCAD. I have studied its paintings, photos, sculptures, styles and various mediums used throughout the artist’s collections. In doing so, I have learned plenty of information and come to establish my opinions as to what I like and dislike about the AGO gallery.

In my point of view, the best aspects of AGO must include the following: magnificent architecture, spacious rooms, classy décor, and of course the artwork itself. The architecture is very intriguing and creative such as one of the staircases located in the center of the gallery. The staircase spins towards the top as a cyclone. Very cool! Majority of the rooms that hold artwork are very grand in scale and create a very airy atmosphere. The gallery itself is very taken care of and clean. Visitors appreciate cleanliness. I admire the fact that multiculturalism is respected. The art stored in this gallery is made from many aspiring and talented artists all around the world! I adore looking at it. The social and cultural diversity amongst visitors is also perceived.

In the contrary, an issue I do have is that many artworks do not exemplify an explanation as to what a certain object, painting or picture are presenting. The deep meaning or message is probably the viewer’s obligation to figure out or think about using personal knowledge. But honestly speaking, some artworks are really tough to figure out. An example would be a metal spoon and chair I viewed at the AGO a couple days ago at the structure department. I really had no clue as to what the display meant. A handy solution would be to place a small description as to what the artist was trying to convey in their art piece. With such statement the viewer can think about what they themselves thought, the artist’s message and the public’s opinion.

Also, I agree with Christina Dery, the gift shop is way too expensive!

The AGO gallery holds many memories and future experiences that are very important to me. It’s a place of history, education, tradition, confession, story-telling, survival and most important, adventure!

Written by Mag M.

The good and the bad April 9, 2010

Posted by Meena Alcozai in : Check it out , add a comment

During Activate I tried a number of projects done by other classes. Some of them stood out for me while others didn’t really get their message across.


Thought Pop was one of the projects that stood out for me. Walking towards it, I was instantly greeted by a host who was friendly and approachable. The host clearly explained the process of the experience and then gave me a paper to try it out for myself. The reason I think it succeeded is because it was both anonymous and random. You can write down whatever you’re thinking and then pop the balloon and read the results of someone else’s thoughts. The project also had user feedback through the use of the other thoughts provided. If the thoughts of other people connected to you as a person, you would feel ‘special’ in a way. For example, my friend’s paper read ‘Dance on!’ and she really was happy because she loves dancing. So the thought she picked on random was kind of a special choice. The environment of the experience was friendly and fun overall. There were DJ’s playing old time classics like ‘N’sync’ and ‘Spice Girls’ and the balloons were situated in giant foam flowers, giving them a ‘hippie’ and ‘happy’ feel. Over all Thought Pop had a very nice ‘fortune cookie’ aspect to it.

Another project that I really enjoyed was the Diary Project. It had the same anonymous feel to it. The hosts were very calm and nice and explained the project in a very serene way. The experience was that the user can come and pick any diary they want and read it or contribute to it if they wish. There was no ‘push’ to actually having to write something down. At the front of each diary was a topic. I got a very artistic diary with random scribbles and doodles.  The reason I felt this experience as well as Thought Pop did so well was because they were both secretive and anonymous. The user could put down any idea or thought that was in their head and they wouldn’t feel constraint based on the fact that other people would trace it back to them somehow.


The only project I didn’t get or relate to was Designers against Art .  After joining the facebook group for the event, I had a lot of expectations. I thought that it was clever that while the poster did say ‘Save Art’ and tried to attract artist, then completely did a 180 and bash art in the actual event. And I thought that the event was properly publicized. But on the day of the event I was kind of let down by the actual experience. I didn’t really know what to do when I went to the DAA space. To me it was just like a protest. I wasn’t sure if I should join or just stand back because no one came up to me and gave me a poster to join in or explain the event. I think the experience would improve if they had a stand type stage set up and they got the users to go up and say something about art or design. Or to make up some weird and fun story of how art burned down their house, or how art divorced them; just some random and radical stories that aren’t really believable but more fun. Or the team could have recorded videos of random people in Activate saying the random stories and then projected them on the wall like a giant movie screen. Also I would give out ‘down with art’ pins or t-shirts for prizes to whoever could come up with the wackiest stories on stage, to get more user feedback.

Over all Activate was a really fun experience. And I thought the different projects were informative and fun.

The Best and the Worst of Activate! April 9, 2010

Posted by Xiao Ying Ye in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

I think the balloon popping was best experience from ACTIVATE! event because of its perceptibility, operability, simplicity, and memorability. The way the whole set up approached the scene with different colours of hand-made flowers that had balloons attached to them had strong visuals, and it attracted a lot of attention from the people. The feedback of this project was the pin beside the balloon because users automatically relate it to the activity of popping balloons. It was also interesting because the project delivered a mysterious feeling to the viewer with the little paper that was inside every balloon. After user popped the balloon, he or she received a message from other people, and following this, the user was able to write something on the piece of paper and put it in to a balloon. This part allowed users to exchange information, and feel fun and excitement. The experience was simple because everyone was able to easily understand and use the designs. The instructors of the project explained the steps very well to the users just in case they didn’t understand. I had fun experiencing this project and hope other users enjoyed it as well. As a conclusion, the balloon popping project was the best project because the design for the project was suitable for users and the environment of the ACTIVATE! experience.

The worst Activate project I think was the walking on the line one that was beside the cafeteria of the coffee shop with students standing and holding a rope. I thought it is the worst because it wasn’t suitable for the environment on that day, and I didn’t really get the concept they were trying to show. Also, the overall declaration of the project was not that attractive and not many users got attracted to it. I think they should improve by making the idea simple and straight forward for the user to get it, and not make it so confusing. They should have some helpers to explain what the users do instead of letting them get confused and embarrassed. Every student should do something to attract user’s attention instead of just standing on their spot. Overall, I think the worst project was the walking on the line one and the idea of it is great, but it wasn’t thought out very well.

BEST AND worst April 8, 2010

Posted by Jacob Alexander Prapavessis in : Check it out , add a comment

Hey Everyone! Just wanted to thank everyone who helped with our Chaordic Collaboratorium experience! I think overall it was a success and I know everyone worked hard

Anyways, out of the 4-5 projects I experienced the best project for was the Design Against Art one. Although I am not completely convinced that their project was within the guidelines of the assignment I enjoyed it the most. I thought their branding and marketing was excellent and it was the only project one could experience without consciously making a decision to do so. I thought the actual experience part was engaging; at times I found myself watching them for minutes, fully immersed in sound and movement. As the event went on I did find the project slightly irritating, however, it never lost its effectiveness. I do think that they could have gone about protesting in a smarter way. I think the noise was fine, but the protesting itself was quite chaotic and confusing to someone who had just entered the room. There was also no beginning middle and end to the experience, more just a constant level. I know most people might find this project one of the worst, but I do think it caused an experience and more importantly and experience for everyone in the room…..maybe that’s the most important part.

The worst project for me was the white box. Although after being told later about the concept I still found it to be uninteresting and unoriginal. There was no beginning middle and end and I don’t think anybody found the interaction clear and nobody who I personally talked too even knew they were being watched. If I were to recommend suggestions I would ask that they made the people stalking the participants more easily visible so that the concept would become clear sooner or later.

Chaordic Collaboratorium
Overall I feel our personal project was a success. I think our project had a certain presence (our big colorful box) and this got people interested and lining up which is important. I think our greeters at the front door were excellent and that couples with waiting created suspense. Once the participant entered the first room however, I think our project became quite week. Our chaos zone didn’t really have the effect we were looking for. I think this was because of the visuals and also the audio/video( My bad). The majority of people who entered the space became confused and not really overwhelmed like planned. Once out of the space and into the next section I think our project regained its feet again. The 2 random problem couples with the time element immediately got people participating and was actually quite fun and interactive. People who didn’t know each other before were working together to solve the problem and I think this was very successful.

To conclude I feel that Activate as a whole was a success. I enjoyed watching other projects and meeting new people and learned a lot about how hard it is to put together a project and then have a real world audience test it. Things never go quite as you imagine and this is extremely valuable.

ACTIVATE!: good experience April 7, 2010

Posted by Kyung Eun Park in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

Critically review the Best Overall and Worst Overall project from the whole ACTIVATE! event.

The project that caught my attention out of all the projects was the fact machine, the one that located beside our Chaordic Collaboratorium. It was an interesting piece because the outside appears to be a circus tent, but the inside was something not related to the circus. On the visceral level, the exterior, the circus tent, excites the user’s curiosity and it attracts people. Once I go inside, the steps that I should follow was quite clear. The machine wasn’t perfect because it was handmade; however, there was tension while I was pushing the push bottom because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I was quite surprised when a little envelop was coming out from a slit – it was cute.  Giving out random facts were fun and their project made me come back and try more and I actually brought my friends to try it. There was no long line-up because one person can enjoy the project in a short space of time so it was quite straightforward and simple. Plus, the hosts were very active and friendly.

The balloon popping one wasn’t really attracting project for me because I am afraid of the sound when the balloon bursts. However, I tried it because on the visceral level, it was well made like a garden. After I popped the balloon, the piece of note appeared –it seemed like a fortune cookie. I was quite disappointed because the phrase that was written on the paper was pointless, unnecessary and not interesting. Opposite to well designed project, the writing seemed to be written in a hurry. It would’ve been better if they printed out the phrases.

The worst projects were the ones that were in the room. First of all, many people didn’t know there were more projects in the other side of the room. It would’ve been better if they advertised it more to attract people from the great hall. From what I remember, there were two projects in the room; one was the TV one showing some images, and the other one had two plain surfaces projecting some moving images. I don’t have any good impression of neither project because first, the messages weren’t clear and there were no people that I could ask about the project.  I wanted to get out of the dark room because the atmosphere made me feel isolated and lonely.

Overall, I enjoyed all the activate projects… However, I couldn’t remember any of projects’ titles maybe because I wasn’t careful enough to give attention to them or maybe just they were not just standing out like ours!!

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