Art Center’s Film department joins Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki in embracing ARRI Pro Camera Accessories

by February 27th, 2015

ARRI PCA Gear for the C300 from Chase Hagen on Vimeo.

This video is more than it seems. It’s not just a polished promotional piece for ARRI Pro Camera Accessories, targeting young filmmakers. It’s actually a multi-layered (and slightly meta) example of Art Center’s core values—collaboration, industry-minded creativity, polished production values. Look closely at the video’s ingredient list (aka credits) and you’ll find that it’s been fortified with Art Center talent at every level. Film student Chase Hagen produced the above behind-the-scenes look at the production of a music video, directed by Art Center Film alumnus, Steve Dabal.

The piece, which was shot in the soundstage at Art Center’s Hillside campus, was commissioned by ARRI Pro Camera Accessories as a result of a relationship fostered by Undergrad & Grad Film chair Ross LaManna and Advanced Cinematography instructor Affonso Beato, ASC. Then again, Art Center filmmakers are in good company: Here’s an interview with Birdman‘s Oscar-winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, in which he credits ARRI equipment with facilitating some of the film’s most innovative camera-work and creative flourishes.

 

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The Williamson Gallery’s latest show, With Hidden Noise, features the work of eight sound artists

by February 26th, 2015

Installation view, With Hidden Noise Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design Photo: Chuck Spangler

Installation view, With Hidden Noise
Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design
Photo: Chuck Spangler

Sound is a fugitive object. We live in a muted cosmic universe – the big silence – where aural comprehension is confined to only certain molecule-rich atmospheres of planets supporting species of living things with an evolved ability to hear. We’re just damned lucky to be one of them—and even luckier to know of our own good fortune.

Without volume or mass (at least not the kind that succumbs to gravity) sound on Earth is weightless, fleeting and ephemeral—certainly not the solid we think of when contemplating the form of a physical thing. And yet sound is described in just those tangible terms, as having color, weight, body or texture. It isn’t that the material world just happens to offer us a robust set of analogies; it’s also because sound is, to our comprehension, very much like an object—a transient form of object, one that moves through time. Its shape, it might be said, is something we sense fourth-dimensionally.

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The pursuit of perfect sound: Eleven key takeaways from Daniel Sennheiser’s BOLD lecture

by February 25th, 2015

Sennheiser CEO's Daniel Sennheiser (left) and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.

Sennheiser CEO’s Daniel Sennheiser (left) and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.

Last month, Art Center welcomed Sennheiser co-CEO and Product Design alumnus Daniel Sennheiser (BS 96) to Hillside Campus to inaugurate its BOLD Lecture Series.

Speaking to a group of students and alumni packed into the Los Angeles Times Auditorium, Sennheiser shared lessons he’s learned as a creative entrepreneur and gave a behind-the-scenes look at how he’s implementing a culture of design thinking into his family’s venerable audio company—a company whose many achievements include revolutionizing personal audio by creating the world’s first on-ear headphones in 1968—which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Below are highlights from his presentation:

On failure: It’s very important in your life to have moments where you fail. Failure is part of the journey. You learn it everyday in school when you go through moments where you feel like you’re failing. I still fail at a lot of things, but I get back up. And ultimately, success is standing up once more than you fall.

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Designing for net-positive water: SoCal students take on turf, not surf

by February 23rd, 2015

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Environmental Design student Katie Healey’s design proposal for removing turf and expanding outdoor spaces for dining and recreation on the east side of the Ellwood Building.

 

Turf removal.

Not exactly a siren call to emerging designers regularly invited to put their brilliant minds to work developing sports cars, wearable tech and high-end furniture.

Or so one might assume.

A handful of Art Center students defied that assumption, and many others, as they enthusiastically explored possibilities for transforming Hillside Campus into an Eden of eco-innovation during last Fall’s Sustainability Studio.

Linda Estrada, an administrator who manages Art Center’s programs fostering alternative transportation options for campus commuters and other sustainability initiatives, got the ball rolling when she saw an opportunity to participate in a City of Pasadena program offering cash incentives—two dollars per square foot—to replace thirsty green lawns with drought-resistant plants and hardscape.

“And up here,” says Estrada, at Art Center over 17 years, “we have nothing but grass.”

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2015 Oscar predictions from Art Center’s movie makers

by February 20th, 2015

Birdman

Birdman

As you plan your viewing party and fill out Academy Award voting ballots before the winners are revealed Sunday night, consider these opinions from our working professional Film Department faculty. The race for Oscar gold is nearing the finish line, so we asked our panel of  experts not only what they think will win but what movies they would like to see recognized in various categories and why.

May the best film take home the biggest box office regardless of the number of statues the cast and crew collect.

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New Student/Space video features MDP student Kristina Ortega on the future of medicine and technology

by February 19th, 2015

Art Center has a reputation for putting students through their paces, challenging them to meet and exceed their wildest creative dreams. The work ethic instilled here is legendary as are the results of all that toiling, ideating, imagining and making.

But the journey from inspiration to finished creation has always been somewhat mysterious. So beginning last Fall, we set out to illuminate students’ creative process with the series of videos we’ve recently renamed Student Space. Now it’s become a bonafide ‘thing.’ Here’s how it’s done: We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life. The results have been fascinating, dramatic and nothing short of spectacular. Need proof? Check out this playlist on our YouTube page.

The Spring 2015 term, will feature just one student: Media Design Practices thesis candidate, Kristina Ortega. We have no doubt that the spellbinding complexity of her project, which explores the ways people currently use technology to forecast future uses for tech, will more than make up for the lack of confederates in this Student/Space cohort. She’ll investigate something she calls “the human microbiome,” and its uses for the future of medicine. There’s really no more to say about her groundbreaking research, which we’ll capture over the course of this term, except: watch and learn. Oh, and enjoy!

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It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it: Josh Smith at Art Center’s Graduate Seminar

by February 18th, 2015

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

For those unable to attend painter Josh Smith’s Graduate Art Seminar last month, we’ve got your back. Adam Stamp, who is currently pursuing an MFA through Art Center’s Graduate Art program, has provided an insightful and informed essay about Smith’s irreverent body of work and his wide-ranging talk full of valuable takeaways for emerging young artists.

In January, artist Josh Smith visited Art Center to speak at the Graduate Art Seminar lecture series. Smith is one of the 13 artists featured in The Forever Now, a controversial painting show at MoMA, described by many critics with the rhetoric du jour as the first survey of zombieism,[1] with many considering Smith to be the prime example. The artist who made a name for himself with his “name paintings”, a series of works that continue to this day where he uses his name (literally the letter J-O-S-H  S-M-I-T-H) as the subject of his paintings, was described in 2013 by New York Times critic Roberta Smith as “sacrosanct and trashy.” His newest works to make waves depict black palm tree silhouettes in front of Technicolor sky-scapes, á la Edvard Munch.

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Social entrepreneur Nathan Cooke’s Fresh Life Toilets offer a fresh start to locals in developing countries

by February 17th, 2015

Nathan Cooke

Nathan Cooke

When Nathan Cooke (BS 08 Product Design) was first approached by a group of entrepreneurs to help start a new venture centered on building toilets in developing countries, he wasn’t terribly taken with the idea. But seeing their determination, he decided to help them build a test toilet.

Five years later, Cooke and his colleagues are still working together.  Cooke is co-founder and creative director of Sanergy, a social enterprise based in Nairobi, Kenya, with the mission of making hygienic sanitation affordable for everyone. Through Sanergy’s local brand, Fresh Life, the company franchises its Fresh Life Toilets to entrepreneurs in informal settlements. Franchisees, called Fresh Life Operators, make a profit by charging market rates for use of the toilets.

We checked in the Cooke during his most recent visit to campus for an update on lessons learned from launching this unique venture.

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Connecting the dots between illustration, Linkin Park and a feature adaptation of Eric Bogosian’s Mall

by February 16th, 2015

On the occasion of his recent feature filmmaking debut, we invited Illustration alumnus and Linkin Park turntablist Joe Hahn to share his thoughts on the creative process and his Art Center experience.

I attended Art Center in the fall of ’95. Having a love for comics, illustration and films,  I knew that I wanted to pursue a life where I could create things. Attending Art Center for 2 semesters was the beginning of the journey I’m still on. For me, it was an institution of talented instructors and a mixed bag of talented students that were on a journey of their own. Although, my focus at the time was Illustration, my mind didn’t settle on the fact that I would settle on that as a career. It was more of a feeling than an intellectual acknowledgement that I would realize years later. However, many of the principals in the foundation of art and illustration are principals that I apply to all of my creative endeavors that anchor much of my intentions.  These endeavors include art, music, film and communication.

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Alum Travis Asada’s P.O.T.U.S. series of paintings casts Presidents’ Day in a whole new light

by February 15th, 2015

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how and what to celebrate on Presidents’ Day. Sure it’s nice to have a long weekend. But the occasion of our forefathers’ birthdays doesn’t quite resonate with the force of, say, Independence Day or even Memorial Day.

However, alum Travis Asada’s viscerally impactful series of P.O.T.U.S. paintings may remedy that Presidents’ Day malaise by offering an unusually intimate take on the presidency. A wildly ambitious project, the Illustration alum set out to capture each president, first as a drawing and then later in paint. Asada illuminates the above curated selection of images from his P.O.T.U.S series with an artist’s statement as well as a Q&A about his creative practice below. The combination of the two just might offer an opportunity for a deeper connection to our nation’s Commanders in Chief and their namesake holiday.

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