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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 long day at ACTIVATE! April 9, 2010

Posted by Lucey En Chung Kim in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment

I think it was really interesting to see what kind of ideas other classes came up with for this ACTIVATE! event.  I think ours was pretty successful, even though the morning was all rush-rush and crazy-hectic trying to set up the structure and what-not.  Going around to other classes’ projects, I think that there really wasn’t one that was “the best” or “the worst” because they were equally fun and disappointing in different aspects.  But, anyways:

“The Best”

Although I definately think others were a lot better, the “WTF” circus tent stood out to me, ONLY AFTER I saw one of its poster advertisements.  Viscerally, the structure and the contraption inside the tent was well-made.  Behaviourally, I think it was very clever with the whole “push” button and having someone hidden behind the big “thing” do everything manually.  Reflectively, when I first went in, and came out w/ that small envelope of a random fact, it WAS a put-down.  With a structure made so well and looking very pleasing, I was expecting something SPECTACULAR.  But, in the end, all I got was an envelope w/ a “WTF” stamp on it and a random, sometimes useless, fact.  But, later that day, as I was waiting for the elevator in the Grange, I saw one of their posters.  The poster read something along the lines of, “It’ll make you want to say, “WTF”?”.  Only THEN, did I realize that it was the classes intent for that big put-down after that built-up curiosity at the beginning.  Like I said at the beginning, this isn’t the BEST, but I felt that it should be recognized because it was MEANT to be a big put-down at the end.

“The Worst”

The protest would definately be somewhere I’d categorize as one of the “bad” ones.  One reason would be because I almost forgot that, that WAS one of the class projects for this ACTIVATE! event.  Viscerally, the whole protest looked very legitimate because of the picket signs, big group of people, loud, verbal protests and megaphone.  Behaviourally, that class did a good job in the beginning of marching around and chanting.  But, then I knew that they weren’t going to keep that up for the whole three hours.  So, seeing that they were just hanging around for a majority of the event until the last half hour was no surprise to me.  Reflectively, I remember seeing a facebook event for this protest and people were actually believing that there was going to be a REAL protest.  I, myself, almost believed this event until I saw the details of when this “protest” was going to take place and then thought that it was pretty clever marketing strategy.  I don’t think that this project showed a huge amount of effort in terms of preparation in comparison to other classes.  Also, shouting random chants (for a short period of time) without an ACTUAL good reason for taking art out of OCAD didn’t really show “information” to me.

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.

Best:

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.

Worst:

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.

CHAORDIC COLLABORATORIUM & ACTIVATE: Best & Worst! April 8, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment

I found Activate! to be an event where many unique and talented people came together to establish a fun yet interesting experiment. The sense of partnership in our community brought out excitement, motivation and intrigue into the project. Support and initiative played an important role in managing such a collaborative booth which I must say looked awesome!

In my point of view, the best and not-so-good qualities of our Activate! show must have included the following…

The attractive colorful design of the Chaordic Collaboratorium booth was visually appealing. The visceral effect of the neon colored papers created interests that pulled viewers in. The cycle of the experience itself was a bit confusing. The users did not quite understand the linkage of Chaos to Order. The topics in the booths were narrow. I believe that if the topics were much grander in the sense of allure then the users would come up with stronger ideas. The magazine cut-outs were engaging and questioned the audience. Inside of our booth the components of light, sound and touch were visceral aspects that intensified the atmosphere of chaos leading to order. Attraction, engagement and creativity played an important role in making this process work. I am very proud of our booth and ambition we all contributed to making it great.

One of my favorite booths would be the one named “WTF?” The slogan or phrase was very catchy and automatically made you think and wonder what the point of this was. This was very successful in engaging an audience.  The circus-like fun colored tent consisting of red and yellow inspired me to go and check out the experience. The “What the Fact” phrase made me laugh!

The Mood- Cubed Box Booth made me a bit confused and the process was infinite. It took a while. The visceral points should have been more clarified and exciting in my opinion. The brown box underneath the die was visible and lacked a certain sense of sophistication. The design wasn’t that good. I am 5’9 and trying to get underneath the box was a bit of a struggle. It did not make me feel as excited as I probably should have been.

Generally, The Activate! project was very amusing and I had a great time working with our class. I never did this type of project before and now must say that it was a totally great experience! 🙂 🙂

the best and worst of Chaordic Collaboratorium April 8, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Proj3: ACTIVATE! , add a comment
First I would like to compliment the publicity team for their great job at creating nice contrasting and colourful posters. Of all the projects I think our poster stood out the most (although there could have been more put up). Not only the posters but also the awesome job at documenting the entire event from set-up to takedown through photographs and video. The Collaboratorium itself with he bright paper with words created a nice touch to the brand and it attracted people to the booth.
Overall i think our booth design with transparent walls with magazine cutouts really appealed to people and created a sense of wonder.
The experience cycle for the participant was lacking in terms of the experience itself until the end and the reason for this could have been because many people did not fully understand the link of the first room (chaos) to the second room (order). Most people just walked into the chaos and right away wanted to walk through to the order room, not noticing the message that was being conveyed through the images and the chaotic lights and sounds.
In terms of the challenge to challenge other people, the experience was successful because once people found out that the previous group had given them the words, they realized that they wanted to top it and create a more difficult experience for the next group. In terms of extension, this could have been more successful if  the words were chosen by us and they had specific links that they had to figure out because many of the phrases people came up with were not very interesting in my opinion. I think if there was a definite answer to each linkage of words then people would have tried harder and their minds would have been more engaged.
Overall I think the experience was no the worst because certain areas really worked while others not o much, but i think people had fun and enjoyed the game type experience. Personally i think the only reason it did not work so well in certain areas was because we did not have control over our environment such as lighting and also our time limit. All taken into consideration i think we pulled it off and put on a good show; after-all we did have a line-up most of the day! 😀 Hosts did a good job aattracting people and once the show got rolling we were able to explain the challenge effectively so that people understood.
Good job everyone! it was a great experience 😀

The Best and the Worst April 7, 2010

Posted by Danyang Zhang in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

The best overall project

The best activate project according to me is the one next to ours. Their tent is beautifully built with attractive colours which are yellow and orange. It definitely has a circus feeling that add to the visceral design of their project. The fact that their tent is completely covered up add suspense to their project which arise our curiosity. When I was lining up for to see what is in their tent, I ask to the host what do I need to do in there. She only said “you’ll find out”. There were two hosts standing at the door. When I entered the tent, there is a machine like object. There is a handle that says “push here”, so I knew right away what to do. The interesting part is that after I pushed it, a small envelop come out similar to the effect of money coming out of an ATM machine. I thought this is clever. It seems to be mechanical. However, I went to the back of there tent. There are actually two people loading the “machine” with the small envelops when they see people pushing the handle. It does effectively create a mechanical effect. However, there branding and marketing strategy are not that successful. During the day of the event, I did not see any of their advertisement. Also, they did not even put there logo or name around their tent. Only the small envelop says WTF, which I did not really know what it actually means. By the way, on the small envelop, there is a card stating some kind of fact. On the behavioural level, there machine does function very well. The statement on the card might mean something but does not efficiently send the right message. One thing is interesting though. The day after the event, I saw their poster on the wall of the Annex building. It is small but very well designed. I found out that their name is WTF What The Facts. Even though I have seen this after the event, it does help me remember their project and find out their brand name as I was wondering what WTF means for their project.

The worst overall project

The worst activate project, acording to me, is the Design Against Art one. In contrast to the overall best one, they have quite a good branding and marketing strategy. They have many different posters.  But I think they have too many posters so that it does not look unified. Also, they make a lot of noise….even though it’s intended but it kinds of bother other group. By the end, their group members are all over the place. I did not have a clear idea of what they are doing. The most important thing is that I do not understand why they choose to protest against art. What’s wrong with art programs in our school? They did not explain concretely why we should protest against art. To make it better, I would state many reasons that support the point of the protestation. They probably should make a stronger statement by giving a more convencing and formal speech. They should reduce the number of their different poster and stick to maybe one or two designs. In addition, they should involve more the audience in their protest.

Don’t Judge March 5, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

It Feels Good To Feel

The Problem

To create a prototype that examines how a user reacts to certain fabrics once felt and how to distinguish between the real deal and false pretenses.

The Object

A fabric storage game machine that ejects a piece of unique various fabric onto the palm of the user. The user must guess the exact type of fabric.

User Scenario

As the brave user walks towards the box, the buttons flash with a fiery red tone. They capture the user’s eye by the numerous fabric names written, such as cotton, polyester, silk, tissue etc.  The user is intrigued…thinking, “What is the point of this prototype? “ It looks like a cash register. The buttons stand out on a bubble and the slot submerges underneath. The user with anticipation clicks the “Start” button and realizes that a piece of material has been shown in the opening tray. While, picking it up, the user wonders what type of fabric it might be. Gradually wondering if the fabric feels soft, or rough, or texturized… the user presses the “silk” button. Suddenly a green screen shows up on the tip of the register reading “Try Again!” The user is in deep thought. There are many outcomes to choose from.

Whether the user has experience or not in the field of material, this evocative prototype will always leave you feeling and wondering what fabric’s name truly corresponded with its actual feel. You can never be too sure… whether it’s in this game of fabric testing or in the game of life.

Inside the doghouse… March 4, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

Problem:

– To create a prototype of an interactive art  piece that creates a reflective ad visceral response.

– By looking at our past we educate and remind people to treat other as we would like to be treated and to end discriminatory  actions and comments.

– Deals with the saying ’treating people like dogs’

Object:

A doghouse construction that seems to be occupied by a family dog. On the inside images of slavery and historical moments when humans were treated horribly.

User scenario

The user will walk up to the object and see a typical doghouse that someone would have for their family dog. The doghouse will entice people to think of what the objects meaning is in its context (a classroom or gallery). The user will inspect the doghouse and find that there is an interior element. these images will create a response that may evoke various different emotions such as sadness, anger, embarrassment, etc. After processing the images and the context in which they are in, the user comes to a conclusion about the experience. The end result is highly dependant on the user as a person and experiences they have had. The preferred conclusion is that the user thinks about the past and how people were treated like dogs and sometimes still are today. The user will walk away with new ways of looking at our past and life today.

Downy ball…for laundry or……. February 27, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer2: Feedback Object, Exercises , 1 comment so far

Have you ever looked at a downy ball and though hmm…what can this be used for other than laundry? probably not, but the downy ball has s much potential for other uses. I came up with various ways to use it in different ways. First my favorite idea was:

1) To create a mini aquarium for mini fish

of course it would have to be for tiny fish and holes would be poked into the top so they could breathe, but its a great way to showcase your fish by hanging it from just about anywhere.

mini aquarium

2) A baby rattle

The ball could be filled with anything to make rattle noises such as filling it with rice. The top would have to be much more secure so that the baby could not open it and eat the tiny pieces. The rattle noises combined with the rolling ball shape creates 2 toys in one for babies.

Baby rattle and ball

3) Kids drinking bottle/ snack container

The top part is changeable with a drinking attachment and a lid attachment. The drink is kept cold with the frozen ice pack in the centre attached  to the lid. The snack container has a screw on lid so that kids cant spill everything but has a small hole on top so that only small amounts come out at once.

Kids bottle

Snack Container

TOILET ART PAPER?! February 26, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer2: Feedback Object , add a comment

Hello everyone!

Have you ever wondered what lies deep beneath the usage of toilet tissue?

Perhaps it may surprise you…

After a long debate, I have chosen toilet tissue as my feedback object.  It is used every single day by millions of people for hygienic purposes. But what most people seem to forget is that this product also has it’s creative side.

Toilet paper can do much more than just maintain good personal hygiene, it can be used in three other artsy ways such as the following…

1)      FASHION

The soft papers of chipped wood and recycled cardboard cylinders may be used as a strong fabric sewn together to create clothes.

2)      SCULPTURE ART

They can also be used to create uniquely shaped artwork that inspires the use of natural products.

3)      PENCIL HOLDER

The cardboard can be used as a cup that holds all pencils and pens together.

Toilet paper can be used for numerous things 😉

-Maggie M

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