Art 511 Conceptual/Information Arts - Art & Telecommunications

Object as Representation

In many societies, groups and individuals often chose particular objects to represent themselves. Traditional cultures often picked animals significant to the group and endowed them with religious meaning. These were called fetishes or totems. Similar impulses could be seen in later cultures in which feudal overlords and religious groups selected icons. In contemporary societies advertising, popular culture, and political entities similarly exploit the power of iconic objects. This project asks you to select one object to represent yourself. The object should have personal significance and also be evocative for a viewer who knows nothing about you. Try to pick an object that will visually and conceptually engage those who see it. Be prepared to discuss both the private and public power of the selected object. The object will be used in two ways:
  1. You will be asked to use an image of the object somewhere in the web pages you create.
  2. It will also be used in the experimental joint project undertaken with students at the Sorbonne in Paris. In this project students in each city will view objects chosen by students in the correspondent city. Each student will select an object posted by a student in the other city and virtually place it in some "appropriate" place in their own city. These "objects in context" will also be posted on the Web
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Technical Specifications:


Working with Objects from the Other City

In the second part of the project each student will artistically respond to the objects posted by students in the other city. Here are the steps:
  1. Pick one of the objects posted by the students in the other city. You can use any criterion you want - for example, visual nature of the object, conceptual intrigue, emotional response, similarity to your own interests, etc.
  2. Then identify a real place in your own city that is "appropriate" to the object. Again the criterion of appropriateness is open - for example, visual fit, socio-cultural appropriateness, opportunity for artistic commentary, etc.
  3. Create a digital image in which you virtually place the chosen object in the place in your own city that you have selected. You will need to use digital compositing capabilities (for example, photoshop) to place the object.
  4. Create a web page in your own web space that includes the following:
Here are addresses of relevant sites:  
Collaborative project Professor Karen O'Rourke at Paris1 and Stephen Wilson, Conceptual/Information Arts, SFSU

This page is a resource used in Art511 Art&Telecommunications course