March 13, 2008

Narration in Presentation

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Well, for a presentation there are so many different mediums to choose: portfolio, pamphlet, posterboard, tri-fold board ^lol, etc. But for one which is to propose a plan the proposition and problem must be clear to those who are foreign to the project. The narration should be concise and on point. Everything should be clean, everything should be essential to the audience's understanding and nothing should be in to confuse or clutter the proposal. This is why I believe the almighty portfolio format can deliver on clear narration and strong graphical presence. The reader shouldn't have to sift through and pick out important information, but should the portfolio be paper or electronic? That's the question now, with computers becoming more acceptable as an artistic medium, and undoubtedly the environment in which you can design is infinite. Something ink on paper just can't do, an electronic portfolio is just more exciting to watch, a stronger narrative can be achieved with animations. this is a link to a decently

March 6, 2008

Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset


When I started to think about the prompt I realized how hard it is to dissect my environment. What elements can I pull apart and superimpose on my own parts? Maybe none, maybe it's not so simple. I thought about my educational environment, how my attitude towards my education has changed since high school. South St. Paul High School was fairly boring and I was a pretty lame too. (of course I blamed my lack of motivation or care on everything but myself, isn't that always the case?) After graduating I started attending Inver Hill CC, which was a continuation of high school in my opinion. I still lived at home, I was still going to the same party since 10th grade; I decided I needed a change of scenery because things just weren't getting anywhere for me. I went to UMD the next year and my GPA went up pretty noticeably, everything was new, open, free, and good. As much as I felt like I was doing something good, I knew the twin cities campus would be better, there would just be more to keep me occupied - my ability to manage my time is terrrrrrible. More stimulus has been a good thing that I am trying to get used to it, but I like the feel of a bigger university. My environment was never a problem I was just never pushed to understand it. One song I that I actually feel really close to regarding my attitude in high school and at Inver Hills is "Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset" by Modest Mouse. Especially the lines;

And I claim Im not excited with my life any more
So I blame this town, this job, these friends
The truth is its myself

When I heard it, I mean really heard it, it made me rethink things pretty critically.

February 28, 2008

Guerrilla Community Art


I often think of my ideal surroundings. Sometimes its a open clean area where I can do my homework; sometimes its a stroll through town on a gorgeous day. As I walk through town I wish things were prettier or better executed. What would I do if I was essentially freed from architecture school and was left to my own devices to impact my environment? I think integrating art into the environment would help people imagine how playful the world can be and also help with the transmission of popular ideas and movements. Graffiti, when done well, is an excellent example of how everyday people can express themselves and shape the environment, sometimes evoking a sense of empowerment to the voiceless lower classes. Banksy is a UK graffiti artist who does a lot of amazing art around England and also on the west bank divider between Israel and Palestine. I think environment has a lot to do with inspiration and motivation. Just like how a prison is designed to oppress and reduce ambition, I think certain neighborhoods / living spaces can have the same effect. I think that if attention was paid to these areas that people may begin to see things in a more hopeful way. It may seem impossible to change things when everything is so bureaucratic, but if a few are willing to break the rules to make a change, then it is our responsibility to not let their efforts die. A group dedicated to doing things that will help clean up the neighborhood and maybe install some pieces which evoke thought and change could be a great resource for our urban areas. Being in a position to put thought into our environment would, to me, be a worthwhile opportunity.

February 21, 2008

And it hit me, Minnesota is dope


One of the millenium goals is set to help with environmental issues. Being at the prime age for spending my money on stupid shit I am swarmed with marketing and pop culture which makes it hard to find things which effect my values on the issue of environmental sustainability. I guess it is mostly in the way that I see the world around me, it's gorgeous, and living in Minnesota is a great opportunity to have something worth saving. With that I would say there are a few songs which are made by local artists that make me proud of where I'm from.

Atmosphere - Say Shhh
Atmosphere - Sunshine
Kid Dakota - Ten Thousand Lakes
Heiruspecs - 5ves

All of these songs capture a different feel of Minnesota life. The next set of songs are about making change and get me pumped up to want to make a change.

Rise Against - Bricks, Black Masks and Gasoline, etc. - Pretty much all Rise Against songs are written in response to the need for social reform. Sometime their means may seem radical or violent but they are passionate and authentic which resonate with my desire for better.

The video might be a tad over the top, but the lyrics are on point about us having gone too far and are now just "ready to fall"

Tool - Lateralus - With Lateralus the band explores the infinite "spiral" of human capabilities. It is a call to its listeners to search within themselves and believe in their potential - to "push the envelope" and to "spiral out, keep going". Tool is an influence not only in lyrics but by the way they layer and harmonize their music. The music is greater than a sum of its parts which I think a lot of music lacks nowadays.

February 14, 2008

A Stitch in Time

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Most would agree that the world we have been handed is in need of help. Some choose to do something about it and others would like to pass off our responsibilities on the future generations. One group that is doing something about it is located right here at the U - Greenlight. They are a group of individuals who believe we can should raise awareness and become proactive in our our attitude towards the environment. Recently they held an open design thinktank on the issue of an incinerator planned to be built in Midtown Minneapolis. An updated blog on the incinerator can be found here. I failed to make it, but my aunt went and said it was informative and fun. The thinktanks aim was to get both professional and amateur views on the situation and spur ideas. Remember, everyone has a brain and a unique way of thought, this fact alone should be reason to not leave everything up to the "professionals."

I think it is important to use Greenlight as an example for involvement. Even in the face of big money, it is okay to stand out and say "This is all wrong, I have a better idea!" I believe that the incinerator in Midtown should be stopped from being actualized. Even if it will create greener energy than our current incinerators, it is not radical enough to make the changes we need right now. It's a baby step and in 15 years will just be a big a problem as our current archaic energy supplies. It's like one day saying " I will choose to make a difference by not throwing all my garbage into the street, just some of it." - its still not okay. There is a Chinese proverb which says "One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade." This quote should posted on everybody's mirror when they wake up in the morning as a reminder not to let our mistakes become inherited and perpetuated.

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February 7, 2008

Ebb & Flow


As we have been told, and is understood, energy cannot be created or destroyed. We can observe this in the physical world as heat gets transferred from a hot stove top to a cool pan, or when a lightning bolt strikes a flagpole and dissipates into the earth, but what about the idea about spiritual energy? Whether it is Qi or Chakra, the idea of an unseen force is prominent in Eastern religions and philosophy. Us in the Western world tend not to believe in things we cannot see. I think it is important to believe in the power of change and the energy it takes, the history of man is a history of revolution and evolution. A wave will swell over time only to overtake the previous wave in a never ending cycle. In this way we must realize we all have an energy and ability to grow together and challenge the status quo. It is this ebb and flow which has shaped our everchanging environment and way of life.