Category Archives: Exploration / Research

Turn Off. Tune In.


Progress Report #3

Here is a rework of the previous ones. Just slight variation of the previous photos posted. I added the tentative Facebook page. I combined the drop shadowed button (Below: Right) and place it on an all black background (Below: left). I think this is the one I may be going with. I’ve tried playing with the color green on “Tune In” but the red against the green is not a good combination. Any suggestions?

Continue reading


Design With Intent

Potential Project #3 Subject: Seeing the bigger picture

This could coincide with the topic of civility.

Current Research: Project #3


After the class discussion I found myself considering tackling the topic of civility in my next project (need some collaboration over here!). Just doing some research here and feeling it out right now: topic subject to change. It seems we have become a a country that accepts rude and uncivil behavior among each other – with no regard to the other person (or the other side).

I hate to even get into politics at all but this is even more relevant with the recent election. I couldn’t help but notice all the smear campaigns. Why can’t you tell me what YOU STAND FOR and what YOU WILL FIGHT FOR – don’t tell me the other opponent hates children. We are voting for a name, not what the politicians actually stand for, the changes they will make and the policies they will fight for – no wonder the government seems to be in disarray. I going to go out on a  limb here and say that the majority of voters don’t really know what they are getting because they don’t have the right information. I, myself voted and was disappointed to know that in my age bracket had a pathetic turnout percentage in this election – this is not okay! Voting this is your right as an American! You have no right to complain because you do not actively participate in your right to vote and have a say in our government. I am by no means the most political-savvy person but everyone is entitles to their opinion. According to Jim Campanelli from The Plain Dealer here are some stats from this year’s elections:

  • 85% of Americans say that peaceful, civil campaigns are possible
  • 10% of Americans say that nasty campaigns are unavoidable
  • 58% of Americans say that political discourse has gotten worse since Obama took office.

Only 10% of us think that nasty campaigns are unavoidable? If we practice civility in our daily lives (this includes you politicians and media!) this could change but only if we act right together.

Why are we uncivil to each other? The media, politicians, and (god-forbid) celebrities are influencing our behavior through their own misconduct. If we act uncivil to each other how will our children grow up? It will become a cycle that may become unbreakable at a certain point.

Some have argued that being too civil may lead to people being more soft. Being civil doesn’t always mean you have to be nice. There are of course certain situations where you have to put you foot down and fight – in the presence of injustices. Even in these situations there should be a level of civility – show some respect. Upon my research I found a campaign aimed to encourage people to retain respectful communication – “using the basic principles of respect”. Speak Your Peace is sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation of California. Their nine principles of respect:

  1. Pay attentions
  2. Listen
  3. Be inclusive
  4. Not gossip
  5. Show respect
  6. Be agreeable
  7. Apologize
  8. Give constructive criticism
  9. Take responsibility

The Speak Your Peace campaign understands that debates and disagreements can be beneficial to communication they encourage the residents of the community to participate to “communicate in a more respectful and effective way”.  In their statement they aim to “[elevate] our level of communication and avoiding personal attacks and general stubbornness, we can avoid unhealthy debate. This will lead to a more effective democracy, and help maintain our sense of community by increasing civic participation.”

On a more artistic level I found a symposium held on October 29th – Speculations on the Cultural Organization of Civility was hosted by SKOR. The mission of this is to “discuss the role of art and the creative industries in the formation of contemporary civility.”

They look at healthcare more specially. There were also art events and activities and installations around Amsterdam. Artists involved range from several areas such as photographers, sculptors,  and graffiti artists to name a few. Marc Bijil, a dutch artist has some interesting work. The piece below (not in the Amsterdam installation) is titled “Construction Sign” and was done in 2008


Check out his work here.





A graffiti piece from the street installation:

Graffiti artist Lasser 3.14



“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

Project #2: Progress

Sketches & Prototyping


After the brainstorming session I started really thinking about how to get my audience’s attention and really capture the issue at hand (animal abuse – more specifically dog fighting). I thought & sketched, struggling to come up with a unique approach. I think I may be on to something now. Here are my concept sketches:

My plan is to use old dog stuffed animals. I decided on this because 1. I can get them free/cheap 2.Most people can associate with a stuffed animal of any kind – most kids had a stuffed animals when they were younger (some, now grown still do). 3. This is also a sort of twist – stuffed animals aren’t supposed to be gruesome and angry – only cute and furry!  I will “abuse” the stuffed animals (give them injuries etc.) and situate them in a dog fighting scenario.  Hopefully this will attraction viewer’s attention and makes them stop and think about what’s really being said. 


I recruited my sister to rummage around my parents attic – she found me a cute little stuffed dog. I cut a wire coat hanger and bent it in order to manipulate the legs of the dog. I un-stitched the stuffed dog and inserted the wire. Grabbing an old red shirt I cut a rectangle and lined the stuffed dog with red fabric (blood). I cut holes in various places to mimic injuries.

I found some (pork) rib bones collected for a previous project and inserted it into the arm of the stuffed dog. I was stoked when I found these bones. I think this really adds to the “shock” value. I mixed acrylic paint with a modeling paste and added some extra detail to the injuries.

I will use various shapes and sizes of stuffed dogs and place them together as a group interacting (dog fighting ring). I’m scouting locations – where I can watch and video from a distance. I’m curious of how people will react to this installation. Perhaps in the center of campus? I’m thinking a couple different locations, definatley in the city because dog fighting is more of a concern there. More progress posts to come.

Jesse Graves: Mud Stencils

Jesse Graves uses mud to “paint” his stencils – “preserving the environment, human health, and his canvases at the same time.” (Groundswell)

Graves started making stencils when he was attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee while taking a Guerilla Printmaking class. A Guerilla Printmaking class?! Can we get one of those please?

“For each assignment we had to get our art out of the classroom and into the world. We could put it in a gallery; online, in a public space, or anywhere else we could think of. I was mostly interested in putting my work in public spaces. For one of our assignments we had to create a stencil.”                (Jesse Graves)

Graves does not want his artwork to be unwanted. He uses mud so that if a stencil is undesired in a location them it can be washed away. He often receives permission of property owners before placing stencils.

Graves says of his stenciling:

“My overarching objectives with mud stencils are: to first, eliminate negative stigmas associated with street art; also to put provocative environmental messages in public spaces, and do so in a way that does not have a negative environmental impact. In addition, I hope to see others try mud stencils and find new ways to make them. The negative stigmas I see against street art are the false beliefs that street art is gang related and destructive. Spray paint and stupid tags can destroy property, but most street artists are respectful with the placement of their work.” – Graves

Although I love the brightness and variety of colors in the spray paint graffiti artists use it has definitely caused a negative stereotype of graffiti artists (as this is destruction of property & difficult to remove . This is unfortunate yet the defiance of law and anonymity of graffiti art is part of that subculture (but by no means the entirety of it). The stencils mimic the medium in use here – the land on the earth looks like spatters of mud.  The article/interview goes on to discuss a trend of environmentally friendly guerrilla art that seems to be springing up recently. Read the full article here.

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill

In 2008 Banksy opened a solo exhibition in NYC. I can’t believe I am just finding out about this now. This is a perfect example for my second project. Banksy’s Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill ran in the month of October in 2008.