Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jonathan Harris's AIGA presentation called Cold : Bold


Jonathan Harris is an artist, photographer, coder, and human. He really takes a look at being human in a world that is becoming so digital. Within this AIGA video Jonathan talks about his transition from sketchbook to computer science and how it effects the human psyche and anthropological ways that we are human.

In the beginning of Jonathan speech he talks about how he is a fine artist and used to write and draw very detailed illustrations and stories within his sketchbooks. Until one day within his travels his items are stolen and he encounters a lost of several months of work. Above is an image of one of beautiful sketchbook spreads.

After acquiring a degree in computer science he starts making self generating websites that collect images off the web. His sites consisted of any images posted online; they represented the most current photographics shared with the online world. This digital collage represented the story and emotion of that moment in time; as seen above.

One if the most moving of Jonathan's work was a show he did at the Museum of Modern Art. He designed and programed a representation of online dating. Originally he designed it as an apartment building with neon lights, but then scraped the idea to design a much more humanistic representation of "home", a balloon. Although he changed his idea because another design manifested too similar, I think his execution is imaginative, whimsical, humanistic and on target. The idea to use a balloon to represent an outer skin of self really speaks about the thin layer we have around us. Home is not where our stuff is kept, but what we have inside us and what we carry with us to define ourselves. This also makes me  think about the line from the show Parenthood that mentioned how when people fall in love they make a bubble around themselves, a bubble of love, that grows in size as family grows but needs to retain its size to stay collective.

What Jonathan is speaking about within this video is who we are as people and how we may be losing the way we connect. As people we play many roles in life, such as an employee, a mother, a maid, a mechanic, a cook, etc. It many be even more defined such as the days when I am a poetic artist and when I am designer, or when I am self-promoting and when I am sharing. We have loss of our humanistic ways simply because we have been made so complex. Life isn't as simple as "Like" on Facebook, or as informative and a hyperlink. We are people and we want to be connected we just have to remember that looking up at a person beside us is a stronger connection than speaking with letters, numbers, and buttons directed to an algorithm of code on what we call today a social networking site.

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