Sports as an art form

As per definition, art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, – producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” With this said, me as an artist; but also as an athlete, I believe that one can call certain moments in sports “art”. It is certain that it is not the same type of art as per say music or paintings. Nevertheless, the human creative skill is there. We are taking various creative decisions every step we take.

In addition, certain people can consider these moments of brilliance to be beautiful. Moments in which the player does something thought improbable, even impossible. A very interesting player in soccer history is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, also known as Ronaldinho. In his prime, the man was sheer magic with the ball. He seemed to have a deeper understanding in the physics of it. The way he manipulated it, it looked as if the ball was an extension of his body. He used this to his advantage when performing complicated moves and skills with incomparable fluidity, which gave him an edge over his opponent. Currently, a man with similar affinity to the ball, but with less fancy skills, is Lionel Messi. Even when shooting the ball these people make magic happen.

In sports, even when the players aren’t the most skilled, are able to produce emotional responses from the viewer.  Be it anger from seeing an unfair play, or hope and passion to see a player giving it their all to win. Sports are a way for some to relief powerful emotions. The beautiful aspect of it is that we, as human beings, can be so empathetic as to share the player’s emotions by simply watching them. At the same time, as a player one can feel the support of the outside people pouring into the field. This is why I believe that sports can be a form of “art”.

Is simplicity the easy way?

As an artist, I have been though many changes in the way is think, the way I see things and how I represent them on canvas. Many times have I had that internal struggle saying: should I leave this piece as it is? Or should I add something else? Yet, it is rare for me to think: maybe I should take some elements out. I have developed a love for making detail present in my pieces. I love spending time on every shadow, texture and any other aspect suitable for the composition. However, around the time of 6th grade, I remember many times I started to draw something and I got so sucked into it that I added way too much. In the end I wasn’t sure why, but I was not happy with the result. It wasn’t until I took a step back and thought: are all these extra things necessary in the first place?

Ever since, I still struggle with wanting to put more than necessary into my designs. But now I know to take a step back and analyse my composition. In addition, being a student at ACC has helped me a lot as I can see the work of people that maybe have similar minds as I do, or some that are totally different. I love learning from each one of them. All their experiences, which are all unique, effect their designs and creative ideas. This is very fascinating to me.

I do not think that a simplistic design is easy to pull off; there are is a lot of thinking that goes into it. In the end, what I have learned so far is that it is important to slow down from time to time, and take a look at your piece from a different point of view, still knowing what you want, but being able to learn from others as well. I still love detailed art pieces, but I can appreciate the beauty that can be displayed with a much simpler design. There is certainly something satisfying about a simple yet effective composition. Some examples we see out there are: The swoosh from Nike, or the stripes from Adidas; both very contemporary looks, they seem to never go out of style.

Interactive public art

Do you ever go to an art show with interactive art pieces but they have a sign that reads “do not touch the art work“, well I got some interactive art that you can touch and interact with.

 

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Musical swings

This musical swing set of 21 is located in Montreal in the busiest quartier. This contemporary swing set is one way to bring people together in a public space with balance of fast-paced urban environment. Each swing has a different instrument that was pre-recorded and will play as you swing. The swings are equipped with motion sensors. The swings will play a complex melodies when the swings move together.

 

The Think sphere

The interactive think sphere was created for the TEDx Somerville that promotes “ideas worth sharing.” As people walk in the group’s building the bright sphere is like a beckon that draw’s people toward it to give it a go. It’s a public work but also acts as an interface between conference attendees and random passerby’s.

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A flexible field of grass

This flexible field of grass will entertain you to no end, this fun interactive field was created by Daniel Lyman. Find this interactive piece of art in Salt Lake City that is composed with more than 1,000 moly-filled nylon rods which are each 10 feet long. People are invited to walk through this urban field and interact with the flexible rods that bend and undulate mimicking grass or tree’s blowing in the wind. During the night is when this field of grass gets colorfully lit creating a magical feeling.

 

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Roller Coaster Staircase

This roller coaster staircase of fun and excitement is on top a hill in Duisburg, Germany created by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. They call it the Tiger and turtle: Magic Mountain which is a 70 feet tall sculpture that looks like a winding thrilling roller coaster but is actually a staircase. People can explore this staircase for its view while others are recalling childhood memories of theme parks.

These interactive art pieces are very exciting and makes me want to travel to test out and see them first hand.

Which one of these interactive art pieces is your favorite?

The Art of Oxenfree

As a gamer, and designer, one of the things that catches my eye and draws my attention to a game is the style in which it is done. Now, just because a game has an appealing art style doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that matters. The story matters too! However, there are games in which the style of the rendering(s)/art helps portray the mood and feel of the game as you play. “Oxenfree”, a recently released single player supernatural adventure game developed by Night School Studio, is a great example of such instances.

Starting out as a simple, innocent trip to an island with friends, Alex (the main character) and her friends soon get more than what they bargained for. After tuning into a strange radio frequency inside a cave, everybody gets split up and things evolve from there. With strange occurrences such as on-screen glitch effects, to time loops, and weird visions, your stay on the island becomes less fun and more… foreboding. The style of the game (both artistically and musically) doesn’t give you much respite either. 

The art style is hard to describe, and it is quite pretty. But when looking at the in-game scenery, I can’t help but wonder what will go wrong. It’s an interesting mix of 3D rendered characters (stylized in a way that reminds me a little bit of Playdead’s “Inside”), and layered 2 dimensional art with unique textures to create depth and an uneasy sort of ambiance. When watching online play-throughs, or simply looking at the art itself, it’s easy for me to see that the developer knows exactly what they are doing. It’s not all nail biting and uneasiness though. There’s nice moments. Little snapshots where nothing is wrong and they are all having a good time, enjoying each-other’s company and not having a care in the world. These snapshots step away from the 3D render stylization, and into 2D territory in a way that perfectly fits with the rest of the game’s art style. Oxenfree is incredibly unique through and through, and has already inspired quite a bit of fan-made art for having released so recently. Personally I find such unique stylization in a video game today incredibly refreshing.

 

For more information, and a better insight into the game, you can follow this link: http://nightschoolstudio.com/oxenfree/

Or for a look at the music within “Oxenfree”, you can go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgjEymUAgaQ&list=PLzC-9vfwuEe7anLjq_NM2sjb1Gg_WVfo0