While I generally enjoy all the galleries each week, every so often there’s one gallery that stands out by comparison. One can argue that maybe some things appeal more to some people and other things to other people but Troy Rounseville’s exhibit is standout awesome and he’s an artist that I definitely vibe with as a person.
To describe Body^3, Upon walking in, you see four seemingly remote controlled instruments in the corners of the room: A guitar with a slide and automated strumming arm run through a phaser, a blue Gretsch kick drum beating repeatedly without a distinct pattern, a sideways keyboard run through a Korg microprocessor with little metal arms below it to pull different keys into the playing position, and a record player playing forwards and backwards and jumping around from track to track. In the middle of the room is a smaller room with only one door and no windows. Every wall on the inside is lined with yellow tint mirrors that have a couple diamond shaped holes in various places. Upon further inspection, the room is actually a control center and the black diamonds are sensors that set of the different instruments. When the different sensors are triggered to combine and alternate various sounds, the control room becomes a makeshift cockpit to a surreal spaceship.
I first asked Troy what his inspiration behind this project was. He mentioned that it was influenced by the way that emotions are often expressed through digital media such as texting or online social media. We talked about the way these interactions create a digital persona and how sometimes certain expression can be unclear at the fault of the digital media itself rather than the communicator. Having a limited experience in soldering and electronics myself, I asked how rough the wiring for this project was, especially because the keyboard had individual arms per key that were each set off by the different sensors. He mentioned that it was rough but that he enjoyed the finished product. He is mostly a visual artist and works in sculpture but took some classes that combine programming and kinetics with art and that made him want to work with it further.
I then asked if he was a music person and he mentioned that he really likes punk music and used to be in bands. Of course my bandmate Andy had interviewed him earlier, so he knew I was in a band, but I can only assume his bands were a million times better just based on the various names: Drinkers Purgatory and Teradacdudes to name a few. Troy plays drums and bass and of course all the instruments from the exhibit where his. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and the concepts that Troy brings awareness to.
This week I interviewed Abigail Garcia, who was nice enough to let me interview her even though she had already interviewed someone else as well. She is a second year Psychology major at CSULB. She got into the psychology field because she is passionate about child development and wants to be a children’s psychologist. Children have always been important to her and as an example of that, she also enjoys babysitting in her spare time.
Abigail is also a family person. She currently has six people living in her household, one of which being her older brother who is twenty four years old. She mentioned that he doesn’t go to CSULB but that he’s a life inspiration of hers and is nice to have around.
Her personal interests include tennis and music. She likes tennis because its a really fun sport and keeps her very active. She has been playing tennis since her freshman year of high school and enjoys that it gives her a good cardio workout. In terms of music, she mainly likes pop, alternative rock and more recently, reggae. Her two current favorite artists are Foster the People and OneRepublic, who have both dominated the radio pop scene in recent years.
This week I’ve chosen to write about the BFA Drawing and Painting Show Exhibition. These paintings submitted were one of the final requirements of attaining the BAchelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting. The exhibit description mentions that this is a particularly diverse group who has been very expansive with contemporary art styles.
While I don’t remember all of the artists for certain paintings I like, I do however remember Yee Li, who I had interviewed before. I remember Yee from a few exhibits back when she did a collaborative exhibit with Maggie Green. Her style is instantly recognizable in one submission (below) and somewhat present in the other (featured image). In my last interview with her, she explained that the lines that seemed to shoot out into every direction and out of the canvas symbolize stress and anxiety. She also mentioned last time that a different painting with perspective lines in the background represented a box or being trapped; that may be the case for these boxes as well in my opinion.
I had taken a picture of the artist roster but unfortunately I didn’t manage to take pictures of the tiny numbers next to the paintings themselves to identify which artist did what. But regardless here are two other paintings I really liked. The two paintings below seem like they may be by the same artist because of the similar patterns they do to fill spaces or add texture to certain areas. In the first one, I really like the red moon (or red planet, not sure of the intention) because of how they managed to make it look like a shining orb while still layering on their patterns and working with the light. I really like the second painting as well because of how it looks like the landscape flows and also fights for the space on the canvas. Like it seems as if base colors of green red and blue were kind of just globbed onto the canvas and the painting itself was done over that to give the hill a molten look. Not that it was even in question before, but these artists have definitely worked very hard to prove their deserving of the BFA in Painting.
This week I interviewed Chelien, a freshman in the pre-nursing program. She’s about 3/4 of the way through her first semester at CSULB and she says it’s kind of like high school so far. Her reasons for choosing nursing are that she can contribute something to society and help others. She also mentioned that it’s a career path that will support her financially and is supported by her parents.
Then I asked what she likes to do outside of school. In her free time she likes to watch the news or read blogs to keep herself updated with the world around her. She also likes to draw and hang out with her family. From talking to her, I gathered that family was very important to her.
We eventually started talking about art and the class. While I told her I was enjoying the class, she mentioned that she wasn’t crazy about it. It apparently wasn’t the art class she was expecting and would have preferred the traditional style of art class. Also she said she also wasn’t a fan of doing the writings when she wasn’t necessarily interested in all the subject matter. I don’t think that topics were all that uninteresting so we agreed to disagree.
The activity this week is teaching something as opposed to doing something specific based on the given instructions. Based on this premise, I decided to make a video on how to play a record, my favorite music format. I really like records because I feel that there’s a lot more room for creativity that other formats can’t really offer. For instance, the cover art is much bigger, which in my opinion does cover art more justice because the listener gets to see all the detail magnified. The larger format also more commonly allows for gatefolds (records that open up to have an inside, commonly because some records require two discs and therefore the two panels provide two slots for records). This gives artists (both musicians and visual artists) more than twice as many large surfaces to add something in pairing with the music. It is also widely debated that vinyl, in good condition played on a nicer turntable through nicer speakers, actually provides the best lossless sound quality over other digital formats.
Looking back on my video, I definitely could’ve been more clear and concise but I think all the information is there. I run through the basic steps for how to place the record on the turntable, play it through and finish it, and the differences between playing LPs and 45s. Unfortunately I realized all too late that vertically recording video is a horrible horrible idea, so sorry about that. Enjoy the video otherwise!
This week I decided to interview Michelle Morte……again. I’ve interviewed her before but Michelle and I are people who like to be very active and brainstorm new projects even while updating and making progress on old ones. This interview serves as an update to those projects and Michelle as a person.
Michelle’s been hard at work on current project “Reflections”, a short film touching on various film elements like internal monologue, dramatic black & white shots, and the different places people end up in life. I won’t say too much about the film but my good friend Andy and I will be scoring it as it enters the post-production stages. We’ve already recorded a rough version during a brainstorming session where we were very happy with the direction it took. Think Pink Floyd meets singer-songwriter piano meets modern cinema music trends.
As far as new stuff from her, she has been writing more for future projects, so she gave me the inside scoop. She likes making films that deal a lot with the inner workings of the mind, so this new idea is a psychological thriller-esque story revolving around a stalker. Excited to eventually see that project come into fruition. As for other side updates, she has said that she likes doing shorter projects before, so she has agreed to eventually help my band, Plastic Castle, make a music video. She also recently settled on a logo for her film production endeavors.
An update on Michelle’s personal life, Michelle’s grandmother is currently living at her house. She says this can be both interesting and frustrating because her grandmother, like her mother, is very traditional and conservative. Lastly, Michelle has been going back through the past decade’s worth of music she “missed”. She is currently listening to stuff along the lines of the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and All Time Low.
Check out her blog here: http://imichellemorte.wordpress.com/
This post serves as an overall review of the Fall Art 110 class taught by Glenn Zucman (so far)
3 Favorite Activities:
-Gallery Visits: Really enjoyed seeing the art made by other, very talented CSULB students and various affiliated organizations. Meeting the artists was also really cool because you get more backstory and thought process but I felt bad knowing that the artists were probably asked the same questions repeatedly and were somewhat bombarded by all the students wanting an interview.
-Spraypainting: Not very often that an art class lets you paint something on that scale and going to the Legal Art Walls in Venice was really cool. Would definitely go back on my own to try it again
-Instagram: Easy to do, got people thinking in a different way about something that you already do every day. Was cool to very easily participate in something a lot bigger with the whole class.
3 Least Favorite Activities:
-Classmate Interviews: May not seem it but I’m not much of a people person. Didn’t mind interviewing people as much as I minded having to repeatedly break out of my shell and go ask someone to be interviewed after the class started somewhat becoming groups of cliques, especially on days when I’m just wasn’t in the mood to have to meet someone new. Would like less of the interviews or a better way to randomly match people.
-Plaster Casting: Didn’t mind going to the beach to do it but would’ve preferred an alternate option where I didn’t have to buy stuff, make a mess trying to do it and then the mold kinda comes out like a log if you’re not experienced with it.
-Vlog: Not a fan of blogging to begin with (because I prefer the more immediate and brief information delivery on other social media) nor am I a fan of recording myself talking.
While I didn’t do as well as I honestly should have for a multitude of reasons, I thoroughly enjoyed the ART 110 class. The activities were well-picked and all served some purpose which was obvious by Glenn Zucman’s dedication to making it something much more than your average GE-requirement art class. I feel the Tuesday lectures could be a bit less tangential but the content of the lectures and the professor were still very interesting. I think the class could benefit from some activities where you get to meet new classmates without necessarily needing to break one’s comfort zone by having to find someone new to talk to. Overall though, the class was relevant, fun, interesting, and easily manageable as far as the workload. I enjoyed the class very much and would recommend it to really anyone.
This week I interviewed Kiana Lightbourn. Usually when choosing who to interview, something interesting about their appearance catches my eye and I seek to find out more about them. For Kiana it was her interestingly dyed hair, but apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this approach because she mentioned that mine was her third interview of the day. Still, she agreed to let me ask her a few questions.
She was born in the Bahamas and moved to Long Beach when she was little. She now attends Cal State Long Beach as a freshman Marine Bio major. Right off the bat, I knew that this meant she was obviously interested in animals and sea life but little did I know the extent of that interest would far surpass my expectations. For starters this is the rundown of her current pets: 4 dogs, 4 cats, 2 hamsters, 2 turtles, and countless fish and guppies. That’s a lot of poop to say the least. I asked her what draws her specifically to Marine Biology and she said it came from how much she enjoyed visits to places like the Aquarium of the Pacific and also how the category interestingly includes birds, which one might not guess falls under that category.
As far as her interests, she likes to keep her hair dyed and has been cycling through quite a few different colors such as teal, red, pink, and purple. She likes alt-rock music and a few of her favorite artists are Imagine Dragons and Cage the Elephant. She also really likes to read and her favorite book is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. She likes to read because she says you’re never the same person after you read a book. You always walk away with a bit more perspective and start to understand how the story relates to your own life
In previous posts I’ve mentioned that I’m in a band called Plastic Castle but I’ve been lacking in providing concrete follow-up to that. I’ve honestly never been much of a self promotion type and so I didn’t link our YouTube videos or Facebook page to any of my posts or even give my band any posts of its own. Even if we ever did completely put together a Kickstarter worth donating to (for the purchase of a bunch of lasers), there wouldn’t even be a way for
the extremely few amount of my readers to know how to find us. Well that changes with this post.
Last night we performed at Suzy’s Bar & Grill in Hermosa Beach. Now before I start coming across cocky or full of myself, let me point out that the place is still technically a dive bar that anyone can play by coming in and getting an open slot on the calendar. Furthermore, we’ve played there before and I’ve even played there with my horrible screamo band from high school. That being said this show differs for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that this show was basically our own. We were able to play an entire hour and twenty minute set straight through, no interruptions, no cutting out songs from the set, no pressure to set up and finish in a timely manner. This may not seem so significant to some but for a comparison, we were lucky enough to headline the Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood on the Sunset Strip but were given 30 minutes to work with. We were even shorted a few minutes because the band before us, as down to earth as they were of people, played a whole fifteen minutes over their own set time. Welcome to Hollywood, I guess.
While this may not be the only time or even the best time that I’ve felt good after a show, it was definitely the most beneficial to our band’s career. For instance, the crowd mostly consisted of our families and close friends who knew about the show beforehand but we got legitimately positive feedback from everyone. The keywords in that sentence are actually “mostly” and “everyone”. What I mean by that is that over a quarter of the people in the bar were either bar regulars or people there to see the band playing after us. The reason I’m happy to get positive feedback from those people the most is because it let’s me know that we’ve actually got something here that can appeal to the casual listener or even an unsuspecting concert festival-goer.
Furthermore, after we finally finished packing away our absolutely nuts amount of equipment, it turns out that people had actually tipped us 120 dollars. While I can mostly attribute that to family members just being nice, that’s a lot of money to come from just tips and I’m super appreciative regardless. And even on top of that, just as we were about to leave, the owner of the place comes up to us and tells us that he really likes our band and that they want to pay us for playing. We walk back in and the woman at the register hands us another 90 dollars. The most obvious reason I would be happy is because my band just walked away with 210 dollars after playing a show that was literally free. But on a more subtle note, the owner took his time to come tell us that he likes our band and that he wanted us to play again soon. This is someone that’s seen more than his fair share of amazing bands, shitty bands and everything in between. This is a perfect example of building good karma with the venues and a
microscopic stepping stone to a real music career.
So this marks the first time I’m going to fully promote my band to its full extent:
Andy (the guitarist for Plastic Castle) also has a blog which you can check out here: http://andrewraragon.wordpress.com/
False Symmetry (my horrible screamo band from high school): https://www.facebook.com/FalseSymmetry