Tag: video art

Rick Silva

Rick Silva | Photo by Dave Braithwaite

Portland’s Digital Arts Program Brings Rick Silva, Winter 2014

The Digital Arts program in Portland at the School of Architecture and Allied Arts is a unique option for students who elect to spend a fifth year refining the genre and their BFA work.  The program gives students an opportunity to connect to the thriving arts scene in Oregon’s largest and most cosmopolitan metropolis and sets the stage for continued connections, exposure, and integration into an arts and culture environment with a global reputation.


Each term, the program invites a faculty member from Eugene or a guest instructor based in Portland to conduct the Portland group of students with a specific curriculum encompassing study and instruction, experience and lecture. For winter 2014, Rick Silva joined the Portland faculty and enlightened the students through a term’s worth of artistic endeavor.


In the world of digital art, Silva holds a place that is new and vividly ground-breaking.  He is internationally lauded for his work with the computer screen, his gifs and phenomenal 3-D animations—work that leaves the viewer clamoring for more in a thirsty visually captivating and compelling way.  To view Silva’s work is really to have both your intelligence and your cerebral capacity simultaneously provoked.  A glance will never do. His work commands a deep, lingering stare—what you see, is not necessarily what you get as images morph, change and play with stills given electronic life by imposed motion and the brilliance of metronome-like regulated repetition.  It is a fantastic world Silva creates and it is only by viewing some of his work, that you will get an idea of what was meant when he was called “a recognized pioneer in new Media Art.”


I had an opportunity to interview Silva this winter and he was good enough to provide responses to questions via email.  What follows are his responses to a few select questions about his time in Portland and the experience teaching in the Digital Arts program here.


Here is a quick bio to provide some background context:

Rick Silva’s animations, videos, websites, performances, and video games explore landscape, remix and glitch. In his recent project enpleinair.org he is taking his laptop into the wild and creating 3D animations in response to the immediate terrain and elements.

Silva’s art has shown in exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including Transmediale (Germany), Futuresonic (U.K.), and Sonar (Spain). His research has been supported through grants and commissions from places such as Rhizome and The Whitney Museum of American Art. He has performed live multimedia works in London at E:VENT Gallery, Tokyo at The Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, and throughout North America including the Software Cinema Festival in Houston Texas. Media outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and the CBS Evening News have all featured his art. Recently, the author of the bookTransmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves regarded him as “a recognized pioneer in New Media Art.”

Silva received his MFA from the University of Colorado in 2007. He has previously taught at the University of Georgia and the Alberta College of Art + Design. [Source]



SP:  How has teaching the Digital Arts program this term effected your work?


RS:  One of the two classes I’m teaching this term is a Web Art class. Web Art, or Internet Art, is a scene I’ve been active in for about a decade now. I often teach Internet Art as a small section in other digital art studio classes, but I haven’t had the chance to plan an entire course around it. Student’s lives are often so intertwined with the internet, but very few knew about how artists have used the web as a medium in the last 20 years.


It was a great opportunity to rewind to early 90s Internet Art, to touch on some of today’s varied approaches, and to share some of my own history in the scene as well.  Thinking about that class, and the history of Web Art, is working itself into some of my new projects that are web based.


SP:  Please comment on working in Portland and with the students in the Portland program…what opportunities are here for them?


RS:  The 5th year Portland BFA option is a really unique opportunity for our UO Digital Art undergrads, and it has been good for me to experience it first hand as a professor here this term.


Students have close access to the whole Portland art, music, film, and design communities. They get a whole school year to work intensely on their creative practice, and to get weekly, even daily, feedback on their work from their peers, faculty, and community.


Students also have access to some cutting edge equipment like Formlab printers, Oculus Rifts, sound booths, laser cutters, and more. Having a big final show at The White Box gallery [space] is an awesome opportunity as well.

Rick Silva on far left with a student in the Digital Arts Program in Portland | Photo by Dave Braithwaite

SP:  How have the reviews with the Portland community reviewers contributed to the students’ practice and development of their work and ideas?


RS:  They become important markers of progress for the students as the year unfolds. The reviews make the students accountable to an audience outside of our classroom.


SP:  You have had an exhibition open during this term at the PSU Anzen gallery:  was that recent work?  And was it influenced at all by your being in Portland?  Has Portland contributed at all to your professional practice?  Are there opportunities here that you have been impressed with or have contributed to your work?


RS:  Yes, that was recent work. The exhibition at PSU was done in collaboration with an artist run space I’m a member of called Ditch Projects.  When Ditch Projects has a members show we don’t usually credit each person’s work, so often each of us takes the opportunity to step outside our styles and try something new.


My work is often situated outdoors, and I hardly ever work with text in my videos, so I used this exhibition opportunity to make a 3D animation that has a a very white gallery scene with rotating white pedestals, and digitally spray painted text that spins around and reveals itself on a loop once a minute.


This work was not really influenced by Portland, more just the parameters and theme of the exhibition. I do often think about place or displacement in my art, and sometimes that comes after I’ve lived or visited somewhere, I’m sure something Portland-esque will find its way into a future project.


SP:  What have been some of the highlights of the term in your program for this group of students?


RS:  One highlight was an assignment I gave in the Web Art class, where students were asked to create real world objects influenced by internet technology or culture. One student created physical “pop ups” and put them on all the other student’s projects. It was interesting how as we walked around and talked about all the projects one by one, and everyone just ignored the added “pop ups,” exactly how we ignore ads on the internet in real life.

SP: Who have you brought in as guest artists or speakers?


RS:  This term we’ve had Jeremy Rotsztain, a local digital artist that focuses on touch interface / software art. Jordan Tate, an artist and professor from Cincinnati. And Krystal South, a Portland artist/writer/designer.


SP:  Have you done anything specific to being in Portland—taking or talking to the students about what is here and how they can integrate or be involved with the artistic community?


RS:  Yes, on my course calendars I list as many Portland art/design happenings that I can find, and urge them to engage with the local scene.


In discussions, I bring up a lot of Portland artists, designers, galleries, and institutions as examples. It’s great to point to art that is happening in the city right this moment, for example the PSU Ditch Projects show, or the 2014 Portland Biennial.

SP:  Any comments you can add about your work (current) directions you are going in, influences you have in your work, or new ideas you are exploring?


RS:  I’ve been thinking a lot about bird migration patterns this term. I saw this link from a Portland news station the other day that really resonated with me. It talks about these migrating birds that are being digitally mapped by weather radars during the night.


I’m thinking that will for sure end up in a new project somehow.

Rick Silva on far left with students in the Digital Arts Program in Portland | Photo by Dave Braithwaite

Thank you, Rick Silva!

Many thanks to student Dave Braithwaite for the images used in this post.

Watch Your Mouth | Digital Arts BFA Exhibit at the White Box

UO Digital Arts 2011 BFA candidates exhibit the development of creative process:
‘Watch Your Mouth’ runs June 2-25 in the White Box in Portland
“Watch Your Mouth” 2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
June 2-25
First Thursday opening reception, 6-9 p.m.
White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland, White Stag Block, 24 NW First Ave.
The University of Oregon Digital Arts BFA 2011 exhibition, WATCH YOUR MOUTH, is composed of works by 12 artists. The digital arts bachelors of fine arts program is part of the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland. It is a yearlong professional degree for students holding a bachelors degree in art, multimedia or digital arts. Each artist’s thesis has been dedicated to the development of their creative process, their conceptual motivations and the production of a vast range of media in an art context.
These artists seek to define meaning and purpose in a complicated world.  They are invested in a critical inquiry into how humankind navigates a complex existence.  This thesis exhibition is the result of mining the abstract space between humans and technology, researching cognitive behavior, dissecting language and information delivery systems, examining our poetic relationships to space and place, investigating material translations, process obsessions, and questioning personal philosophies – often with a dark, twisted and cryptic sense of humor.
The range of media and methodologies employed span hybrid digital output, computer programming, image capture, drawing, animation, sculpture and as always, evidence of the skilled hand. Like barometers for culture and society at large, these artists ask important questions about how and why we live in a technologically fertile, swiftly moving world.  Change, thought, story, space, inquiry, truth, translation, language, communication, digitization, these ideas are consistently mined and dissected from this critical, analytical group of young artists.  It is with their work we attempt to find a better understanding to our place in the universe.
–From Michael Salter, UO digital arts faculty
Brian Aebi, Amy Chan, Braeden Cox, Gage Hamilton, Matt Pfliiger, Andrew Pomeroy, Steven Robinson, Brad Saiki, Lauren Seiffert, Tanya Tracy and Chris Wilson.
The UO digital arts faculty is Colin Ives, Craig Hickman, John Park, Michael Salter, Ying Tan and Katz Ucci.
About the White Box:
The White Box is a 1,500-square-foot visual laboratory that allows students, faculty, regional and national communities to research, explore and present global issues in art, design and architecture. The White Box is located at 24 NW First Ave, on the ground floor of the White Stag Block. It is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, during the period when an exhibition is scheduled.  Admission is free.
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon’s flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.
Contact: Heidi Hiaasen, UO in Portland communications, 503-412-3714, heidih@uoregon.edu
University of Oregon in Portland: aaa.uoregon.edu
School of Architecture and Allied Arts: aaa.uoregon.edu
White Box: pdx.uoregon.edu/whitebox
WATCH YOUR MOUTH: watchyourmouthpdx.com

Registration Is Open For the A&AA in Portland Summer in the City!

Summer in the City 2011 is the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland  offering of special summer courses in the fields of art and digital art, architecture, product design, landscape architecture, and interdisciplinary studies.  The summer program is housed at the university’s White Stag Block in Portland, Oregon.  Summer in the City offers variable-credit courses and workshops.  Courses are taught by guest artists, architects, and creative design professionals from throughout the Northwest region as well as by University of Oregon professors who collaborate during the summer to offer challenging, enlightening, and informative curriculum during the short summer session.

Highlights of the summer courses include architecture courses taught by James Cutler (FAIA of Cutler Anderson Architects) and Lisa Petersen (SERA Architects); video art by Kartz Ucci; Gizmos and digital imaging taught by Craig Hickman; photography courses by Terri Warpinski and Sara Huston;  footwear design by NIKE creative designers, D’Wayne Edwards and Matt Rhoades;  and Manifest Oregon product design to craft the ultimate “utility bicycle” with creative experts from ZIBA Design; in addition to interdisciplinary courses exploring lasercutting, fabrication, and landscape architecture studies.

Summer in the City courses at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts (A&AA) in Portland begin on June 20, 2011 and run on a varying schedule throughout the summer months.

A complete listing of courses and the Summer in the City schedule is available online at Summer in the City.

Courses are open to currently enrolled University of Oregon students and non-enrolled students.  Registration begins on May 2, 2011 for currently enrolled students and on May 6, 2011 for non-UO students.  Current UO students and Continuing Education Program (CEP) students, and UO faculty and staff members may register on DuckWeb.  Community members are asked to contact the UO Academic Extension office to register.

Summer in the City incorporates the University of Oregon’s Portland summer day camp program, Design Camp 2011, a unique, five-day summer camp experience open to high school students and interested members of the community.  For more information on Design Camp 2011, go to the Summer in the City online site.

For more information, you are welcome to contact the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland at the White Stag block:  503-412-3718, 70 N.W. Couch St., Floor 4R, Portland, OR 97209, email  aaapdx@uoregon.edu

And check out the School’s Viewbook for a glimpse of the programs at Portland’s A&AA.

posted by sabina samiee