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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.


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! 🙂 🙂

Are the machines doing men’s job? March 5, 2010

Posted by Kyung Eun Park in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

“Men have become tools of their tools” ~Henri David Thoreau

Up until few years ago, it was hard to imagine people owning their personal digital cameras because back then, the digital cameras were bulky and expensive. It is not very long people started using digital machines as their other selves. As technology rapidly develops, the clever companies expanded their consumer targets to ordinary people and started producing digital machines that are inexpensive but still have great functions and machines that are convenient to anyone. Technology is still improving every second.

The problem

To create a prototype that reflects the relationship between the men and the digital technologies these days.

The Digital Camera

A typical digital camera is on a tripod. The LCD screen of the camera is switched to the image playback mode that displays the image that the user just took. The digital camera represents the brain.

User Scenario

A user enters the room and notices that there is a digital camera on a tripod. In front of the digital camera, there is a table that is set up with some objects that triggers the user to take a photo of it. The user switches to the image playback mode unconsciously to check out if he/she captured the image correctly. From here, the user experiences that the machine is doing what men had to do –memorizing the moment. People are dependent on technology as it improves frequently.

I found an interesting blog that talks about Appropriating the body as an input surface. It’s pretty amazing and scary at the same time that technologies are developing..


What, is you March 5, 2010

Posted by Calvin in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Seed
Most of us go through a morning routine after we wake up everyday. After our consciousness awake from the unconscious every morning, the first or second person we see is often ourselves, in the washroom, in the mirror. Do we ever wonder what we are seeing before we proceed to start the rest of the day? Or do we ever notice?
We have grown used to the reflective feedback of the mirror and forgot how there was a time when a person could have never see a perfect reflection of oneself, or a person could not see how other people see him/her, or a person could not have a “realistic” self image in their psyche. The first time a human see part of itself was probably from the reflection in a pool of still water… we can only image how intriguing the sensation must be, finding out the reflection is in fact, “you”, but not.
From the time/story of Adam and Eve, when they ate the forsaken apple and become “self aware”, human has been obsessed with the idea of self/ego, either consciously or unconsciously. Test for “self awareness” (mirror test) might be used as an indication of intelligence in animals, robots in fictions that have achieve self awareness become more “human”, etc.
So, when we look into the mirror, what do we see? Jacques Lacan, a psychoanalyst, is known for his theory of the “mirror stage” (wiki) in the development of the human psyche of a human child. When a baby after about 2 years of receiving constant sensory inputs from this reality, becomes “self aware” for the first time with a mirror, what does that do to that new human mind? (human babies fail the mirror test until about 2 years old). Was the experience traumatic? How can this experience shape how we see ourselves and navigate in this world? It will be interesting to do psyche analysis with older blind people that have been restored of their sights and “see” themselves for the first time. (It’s reported that they react to the mirror images as if they were another person at first, which is logical).

The Physical Apparatus
Two rooms/booths slightly larger than telephone booths are connected on one side. There are no windows and the rooms are sound proofed to prevent outside stimulations. Each room has a door that connects to outside. A wall with a plain door divides the 2 rooms. Hidden cameras are placed in both rooms (it’s important that the user doesn’t know there are cameras). A hidden speaker is place on one side of the first room (the room the user enters first). A high resolution monitor, either full body sized or half, is placed opposite the door (that divides the 2 rooms) in the second room. All the camera feeds are connected to a laptop outside for on the fly editing.
The lighting of the rooms will be soft and rather dim.
There will be markings on the ground in the center of both rooms.

The Visceral and Mental Apparatus
The user enters the first room, not knowing what to expect. The instruction is to face the 1st door and turn around, standing still in the center and wait about 10 seconds before entering the 2nd room. An unexpected small chime from the hidden speaker will elicit a head turn response from the user during the wait. All these are recorded with two hidden cameras, one in front and one behind the user.
As the user enters the 2nd room, a camera behind the monitor facing the door (to the 2nd room) will play its image on the monitor, so effectively the monitor acts like a mirror (if it’s a good monitor and the lighting is correct that user might mistaken it as a mirror). Once the user is standing still in the room, looking at the monitor as most of us do when faced with a mirror, for about few seconds, the user will see their head turn in the “mirror” (footage from the 1st room, in response to the unexpected chime). Then the user will see themselves turn in the mirror/monitor (footage from the 1st room). The monitor will then show image from another camera behind the user (in the door). The user will now be looking at their back in real time.
A very brief blur will be used to help transition between different image feeds.
After about 15 seconds when the user has grown accustomed to their backside, the image turn again (footage from the 1st room) to the front and the monitor displays feed from the camera facing the user. The user then exit when they feel like.

The Fruit
The intention of this experience is to create a disconnection and discordance between our sense of self and what we so readily accept as a projection of that self. If successful the user should question how they really “see” themselves, and how important is that sense of self, and what, in fact, is “self”.
A step towards not-self.

OooOo Shiny February 25, 2010

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

Shiny things are fascinating, don’t you think?

Like this one.

Aluminum Foil

ooOoOOooo shinyssss


Birds, however, don’t like to be bedazzled (they are funny that way). Like those pesty pigeons on your balcony.

Foil on fence

Pigeons away!

Sometimes walls and paintings can use some dazzles.

Foil on ceiling

pretty lights

Sometimes candles can be made more shiny.

Candle in foil

pretty lights!

or like this
Foiled Candle with shredded ends


But of course, sometimes, it comes with silliness.

Silly Hat

save us from these silly hats!!

… (meaning) in the absence of January 24, 2010

Posted by Calvin in : Exer1: Avatar , add a comment

I do not believe in alter ego.



but I do like a lot of stuff

such as kittens and soft baked chocolate chip cookies

call me Calvin. Hi

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