Project 1 Critique Reflections

/ 23 September 2013

In class today we critiqued each other’s first projects. These critiques help us to determine what we did well, and what we can improve as we go further with whatever computer art we do. This reflection will go over the main points from the critique of my Question Mark images and especially what I will be taking into my upcoming projects.

One critique that I was given related to the word sizes and their relationships for the first (upper) plate. Some people thought that I could work further on the sizing of words on opposite sides and corners of the plate. This was noted, in part, in relation to the word “will”, but applies to the entire plate. I agree that I could make a better emphasis by tweaking the sizes some more if I were to work on a version 2 of this project. Looking ahead into our second project, some sort of portrait project (we’ll get the details on Wednesday I’m sure), I can pay careful attention to the sizes of elements in the distinct segments of the images I create. Are they balanced how I want them to be such that they weigh down for emphasis what I intend the viewer’s eyes to be drawn to? What is the overall feeling these elements standing how they are give the images? Questions like these draw from this critique comment and should be considered for my next projects.

Likewise another critique was that I should rethink using color as emphasis of “strategists”. Looking at the plates on the wall that coloring, though not the coloring of “fundamental”, almost disappeared in certain lights and angles. In accordance with the first critique comment I think that such a change could be warranted in a theoretical version 2 of these plates. For my future projects I see this critique helping to show me a few things. First, that extra coloration for emphasis may not be the best method to attempt. Perhaps shadow-based coloring, but not true different colors. Second, careful attention ought to be paid to the embedded colors, those that are in the original/base images. They need to augment the images to give the meaning I choose to convey. Further, color as emphasis in any of my future projects, short of doing something along the lines of my final project from freshmen year, needs to be not as explicit in being added. What I mean by this is that the colors should appear a natural extension of the images, and not a defined irregularity from what is naturally there.

This last primary critique doesn’t have as much weight on non-textual projects. In the second plate the last three words, “many fundamental questions”, should be placed much closer together to form the “.” in the question mark. Doing so would have meant that I would have kept “answer” in one piece. I think that could have worked. My only concern would be if that’d make the upper portion of the question mark too small for its lower dot. Changing that dynamic in these plates may have ended up pushing me to making the entire rest of the text wider, and thereby expanding the size of both plates altogether. Doable. but not something I’d have changed in the final week of working on this project.

In this critique we were all asked to carry forward what we learned from each other and ourselves into our next projects. But I see that need to carry forward going beyond the images themselves. The core of most of these critiques can apply to a wider design sense. We need to consider how these dynamics apply to the presentation of our images. For this next project that’ll be on a webpage designed and curated by the class as a whole. My own computer art has always been presented dually on my website and, most of the time, also printed and hung somewhere for a short bit of time. Images are always looked at in context. What surrounds them influences how they are viewed. Therefore we must look at the entire wall, or webpage/website, as the art being displayed. Text on the pages, and what denotes the separation to the images (think the “wall” boundary in the online display of my first project this semester), play into how the images are interpreted. Font used for the caption (print and online) as well as the residual text introducing works online, affect the images being presented. The same active questions asked for images themselves must be asked for the display modes as well.

It is in this vein of thought that we’ve been asked to do some preliminary research into how artwork images are displayed online and present our conclusions in discussion next class. We will be taking the best of each of our findings into account when designing the site into which our images are presented (I will have my own images both there and on my own website, as usual). Perhaps some of my findings will be in a post here in the coming day or so, but regardless I will be pointing you guys off to the site we design once it is completed.

One last comment: Your own critiques of my first project are always welcome in the comment area of the blog post in which I link to the online display of my images, or on this blog post. I will reflect on your comments and perhaps integrate those into future projects.