Friday, November 5, 2021

Dancing Among Rainbow Tombs

 Cemetery art, by its very nature tends to be dark, foreboding and filled with gray and black. This series takes the opposing idea that to the dead a cemetery is a bright place filled with neon colors and rainbow light. The afterlife doesn't need to be dark.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Beirut - On the Edge of Civil War

In August of 2020 a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut Lebanon. There were 218 deaths and over 7,000 injuries. The explosion destroyed most of the city, leveling buildings and blowing out the windows of almost every structure in the city center.

While the specifics of the explosion are still under investigation, a year and a half after the explosion, the city has still not recovered. Politics and extremism have caused constant delays in the investigation and a country already riddled with poverty and despair has only deepened the impact of the explosion and the instability of the country. 

In October of 2021 a massive protest rally regarding the handling of the investigation turned the city into a war zone when snipers, rocket propelled grenades and B7 rockets were fired into the protestors. The country sits on the edge of complete chaos as its capitol is besieged. 

This art form is called Crisis Art. It is based on actual video and file footage of the crisis captured during the crisis event. This can include video from news or independent sources captured on anything from an IPhone to Video Cameras.

The process involves reviewing video taken in and around the crisis and isolating single frames of the video which are then screen captured as a low resolution image. The image is then transformed to a surreal high resolution piece of art which captures both the essence of the crisis and elements that create an emotional surreal view of the crisis at hand.

So whats the point? The point is to make you see a crisis differently than you would from just news stories and highlights. It meant to make you stop and think. Stop and evaluate. Stop and become emotional. Surrealism makes you look twice. It tells the event as a story which captures the imagination and attention. When you can present something as a tale, even something as horrible as death, war and mayhem, you allow the mind to grapple with the situation rather than casting it away as too much for the heart to conceive. 

In 2020 the first Crisis Point series was created to detail the original explosion. In 2021 a second series was created to detail the cities plunge into chaos. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Labyrinth Project Creators Journal - Richard Alan Scott (New Entry 11/30/21)

Author: Richard Alan Scott
Rhode Island, USA


With my 65th birthday mere days away, it is very hard not to reminisce, especially after watching my favorite group of all time, The Beatles, for the last three nights, and getting to basically hang out with them courtesy of Mr. Peter Jackson. I knew that the stuff about Yoko breaking them up was never true, and I was warmed by their acceptance and love of each others' families in the studio. One of my favorite things was getting to see Linda and Yoko getting on great and talking together. We are fed so much bullshit all our lives and the media probably goes back to the beginning of time in mis-representing people.

Watching Paul say "There's only me and Ringo left" and look wayward with tears in his eyes was a haunting clip foreshadowing the future we now live in, and I cried when John sang the beautiful "Across the Universe" as I often do when I hear it. Otherwise my heart was filled with joy and laughter, and as a former theater director I was getting a built-up nervousness about how much time they wasted fooling around and not getting down to work, lol.

Of course it was a shock when professionalism kicked in and they got the songs just right on the rooftop, so much so that unbeknownst to me prior to this, some of the rooftop recordings were on the final album. I loved hearing them talk about everyday shit, and John saying he had watched Fleetwood Mac the night before and admired the calm of the lead singer, whom I'm guessing had to be Christine McVie as the others had not joined the group yet. I nearly had a nervous breakdown as they went on without George a few days, man he had sounded like he was "done" with it all.

I'm about six years old and my nearest in age brother, Al, who's still nine years my senior, brings home these two 45's. One is She Loves You on some weird label "Swan" records and the other is I Wanna Hold Your Hand on what would become the ever recognizable "Capitol" record label. Now just about a day before, my Ma tells me that there is a rock 'n' roll group causing a big stir in England, called "The Beatles" because they have "long hair." Now before I see the records, I'm picturing these four blond guys with puffy, wavy hair like Marilyn Monroe or something. When I see the actual pictures on my brother's 45 sleeves, I'm like, "That's not long!" My bro explains that what people mean is they didn't have the tight GI cut so many men sport, so everyone thinks it's long. I pretty much say, they look like Moe, of The Three Stooges, hahaha.

How can one capture all the pleasure and close personal ways the Beatles meant to me over a whole lifetime? Listening to Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sergeant Pepper, The White Album in the new phenomena we had gotten a hold of at the release of Beatles 6, STEREO SOUND. The first thing I ever heard in stereo was "What You're Doing" with the multiple guitars twanging like they were in the living room with us. I stayed hooked and played every 45, every LP, into the ground. Those first listens to Sergeant and White, man, memories that can never be relived. Just the excitement and energy of, like, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SONG, NOW?  Oh that's John. That's Paul, That's George. Sitting their nearly coming in our jeans over the sound we were being fed.

Then I get to college right when they breakup, and to me, the greatest album ever created hits the stands, John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band. My favorite, John, telling it like it is as always, the absolute truth about life, spilling his fucking guts on tape. I don't know if it can ever be equaled. I was fucked up my mother had passed when I was 15, here was John with "My Mommy's dead, I can't get it through my head..." Man I had forever thought he was talking to me, but this shit was, he was in my head. Because of that album, I never felt alone acclimating to being away from home in college. After like fifty more years the song God has finally become my credo. I understood it back then; I cherish it now as someone trying to get through to me.

Losing John when he was forty went right along with my luck with my mother, another deep hit, man, another fucking wound I'll never be able to shake. The subsequent music and repackaging is all we're left with. Of course, I am not alone with that, the whole world felt it, like a cosmic Earth Quake.

Here is my childhood John doll and next time we return you to your regular program.

Friday, October 1, 2021

What is the Abstraction Point in Digital Art?

 The Abstraction Point is the specific moment when an object oriented piece of art crosses into total abstraction. The digital artist who is aware of the abstraction point can control the piece of art so that it is both object oriented and abstract at the same time. 

Digital art walks a fine line of layers and techniques to build the final piece of art. If it crosses the abstraction point it can totally change the piece of art, making it unrecognizable from its original form. In some cases this is a good thing, if total abstraction is your purpose. But if your purpose is to maintain a ratio between the object and the abstract you can easily tip the whole piece of art and lose your original intention. 

Developing your skills as a digital artist means that you are extremely conscious of when and wear the piece of art changes into something totally new. 

Always remember that the success of any given piece of digital art isn't simply in finding a filter and using it over and over again. Instead its in subtly maneuvering each filter and merging them together in a constant development process until you achieve your goals for the piece of art. 

This is no different than an artist using dozens of different brushes to achieve a final painting.

The abstraction point does not stay stationary. It changes based on your intentions for the piece of art. Being able to identify when the abstraction point is reach each time you create a piece of digital art is as much an instinct as it is a science. But if you can refine this skill it can be the difference between a mediocre piece of art and a masterpiece. 

Example #1

While there are many different layers to any given piece of art, the abstraction point can most easily be seen by looking at three key parts of any given digital art piece. The example below is called the "object point". Its where the objects can clearly be seen within the art and most of the primary elements are now present.

Example #2

The second is example is the "Abstraction Point". Note that the original objects are now 80% or more obscured. If the piece is taken just a slight amount further you will lose the objects completely and be left with a total abstraction

Example #3

And here is the finished work, showing how we manipulate the original objects back into art.

Keep in mind that there is a lot more at play here than a couple of filters. To achieve this final work, there are at least 50-100 steps in between. But if you can identify where the abstraction point is, it will make an incredible difference in your work