Monday, March 12, 2012

Interventionist Design Assignment #5

Assignment #5

Interventionist Design - Online

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice."
-Arnold J. Toynbee


We are inundated with a plethora of information in our daily use of various technologies. A recent study indicated that on average, adults spend about 8 hours a day looking at screens of various types, including computer monitors. Most of the information we experience is developed by others – we are the consumers – or are we consumed?  On average we see an estimated 3000 advertisements per day.

This assignment asks you to generate a digital art 'intervention'.

You will make a creative re-design, with new content of a political or satirical nature, of an existing commercial web page. The objective here to is to create a work that serves as a visual, cultural critique through the appropriation and re-purposing of the design of an existing web page. Consider this project as a type of conceptual, artistic intervention - an artistic intervention is an action by an artist in a real world situation for the sake of promoting reflection and altered perceptions by the participants (or in this instance, your audience).

On first glance, the web site should look identical to the original, the changes you make will be in terms of content – you are to duplicate the formal aspects. Replace text, re-configure logos, take your own photographs as needed. Choose your web site/source carefully! You are creating a visual form that seeks to mirror a given visual reality – that upon closer examination reveals itself through the alteration of content. You can address issues of politics, race, class, the environment, peace, war, etc. Keywords: parody, satire, commentary, humor, design, art, activism.

Take a stance! What are you passionate about in regard to what is going on in the world? Politics, Global Warming, War? This is your chance to voice your opinion. Artists, in the modernist/post modernist millieau, have often addressed critical issues through their creative practice. Feel free to use satire and humor to critique some aspect of online and real world culture.  Be prepared to talk about your work. Good satire is intelligent and pokes fun while encouraging thoughtful critique. It can certainly be irreverent but please do so in an intelligent manner!


Monday, March, 12 – Assign Project

Monday, March, 19 – Spring Break 

Monday, March, 26 – Reading discussion: Rita Raley Tactical Media Introduction
                                    (bring two questions for discussion and reading to class) 

                                 Projects Due Posted to Your Blog! Critique!


Here are some links that will be of interest as you develop your ideas for the re-design of an existing website:

The Yes Men:

A spoof website of the George Bush Whitehouse site:

A spoof website of the Barack Obama Whitehouse site:

Some curious corporate logo spoofs and such:

The NYtimes "Special Edition" an amazing, elaborate parody that involved the creation of an entire website identical to the NYtimes and a print edition that was freely distributed on the streets of NYC. The Yes Men were involved in this project along with many other artists and activists (including your professor - see story "America's Army Game Cancelled!"):

-watch this first-

And finally, not a spoof website but The Onion - some of the best satire online and in print: 

Tactical Media Links!

Some links related to the reading:

Some Formatting Suggestions for the Website:

1) After choosing your website, take a full screen grab or manually select your website using Snapz Pro X or any method of your choosing. Look this up on the internet if you are using a PC and you will find instructions.

2) You will grab a larger screen image if you are working on a larger monitor - feel free to take advantage of the ginormous monitors in the lab! I would not recommend grabbing your image on a laptop although this will work you will have a smaller image to work with - always better to start with the best possible source/background image!

3) Open your screen grab in Photoshop. I recommend immediately going to "Image - Image Size" and upping your resolution to 200-250 dpi. When you are finished with the re-design, save a separate version at 72 dpi to upload to your blog. Screen sizes will vary depending on your source monitor.

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