On the eve of her highly anticipated midcareer survey Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, opening November 22 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, we pay a studio visit to the ArtCenter alum and graduate department chair known for her groundbreaking film-, video-, and installation-based works.
She’s snorkeled with wild dolphins, regularly watches the Nat Geo channel and lives with four rescue cats. So it seems only natural that Graduate Art Chair Diana Thater (MFA 90) would use her empathy for animals as the foundation for a remarkable series of video and film installations dissecting the knotty dynamic between humankind and wildlife.
Riding a motorcycle can be a near mystical experience. Under the right circumstances, a road warrior awakening can possess the potential to turn a wanderlust-y freedom seeker into a hardcore biker evangelist. For pioneering motorcycle designer Miguel Galluzzi (BFA 86 Transportation), that zeal took hold early on, when he received his first motorbike for his eighth birthday. Once overcame some initial disappointment—he was expecting a drum set—Galluzzi saddled up, hit the road and never looked back.
Galluzzi’s outsize passion for biking fueled his journey from his native Argentina to Art Center’s Transportation Design program and on to an illustrious career designing iconic motorcycles, including the Ducati Monster, the original “naked bike” which became a landmark of minimalist automotive design and defined the performance-based aesthetic of bike design for the decades that followed.
Product Design alum Al Van Noy has spent the past twenty-four years devising adidas gear to make us stronger, faster, better and, yes, cooler. As the iconic athletic brand’s Head of Innovation, Van Noy oversees a large team of designers, technologists and sports scientists responsible for anticipating industry trends and creating products designed to serve a wide array of consumers’ needs and wants, ranging from high-performance footwear for professional athletes to a suite of classic and contemporary must-have kicks and sports accessories for everyone else. In other words, it’s Van Noy’s job to maintain and enhance the star power of those three stripes.
As Art Center’s Product Design department prepares to send another cohort of students to kick off its annual PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy Challenge, a two-week footwear design master class in adidas’ US home-base of Portland, Oregon, we’re proud to feature the above video tracing Van Noy’s steps from Pasadena to Portland and his ongoing journey into the stratosphere of footwear innovation.
For the past several years we have been searching for footage of Keith Haring painting the mural at the Hillside Campus in 1989. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with their interest in the project and leads to the footage and photography.
In late 2014, we received a tip that 1991 Photography alumnus and former faculty member, Hadi Salehi may have captured footage of the mural’s creation. We contacted his studio and were excited to discover that Salehi shot Super8 footage of Haring as he painted that he recently digitized, along with a number of photographs of various phases of the process.
The spotlight of attention and adulation trained on the new interactive video for Coldplay’s latest hit, “Ink,” has been nothing short of, well…blinding. Appropriately enough, this ambitious and innovative multimedia project sprung from Blind, the transmedia design agency founded by Art Center alum Chris Do.
The evolution of the video is fascinatingly chronicled in the above making-of video as well as the following Fast Company blog post by Evie Nagy. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this video’s customized storytelling experience in the comments section below. Is this a novel fluke? Or have we just witnessed the future of all music videos? Discuss!
In November, pop-rock titans Coldplay released a gorgeous and engaging interactive video for “Ink,” a single from their chart-topping 2014 album Ghost Stories. The animated clip, developed by Los Angeles design agency Blind, is a choose-your-own-adventure-style story about a lost traveler given multiple opportunities to chase his elusive lover or go his own way. In all, there are more than 300 possible paths and stories a viewer can experience.
In the new behind-the-scenes video, members of Blind’s creative staff describe the two-month process of conceiving and creating the video, which uses a technology called Treehouse that was developed by New York company Interlude. Treehouse is the same technology that Bob Dylan used last year to create the interactive video for his 1965 classic “Like A Rolling Stone.” That video allowed users to click among 60 fake television shows of various genres, all dubbed with the song.
“The most challenging part of all of this was figuring out how to fully take advantage of the interactive medium,” says director Matthew Encina. “We had to create a story with inherently interesting choices to make, engaging viewers to wonder, ‘What would happen if I chose something else?’”
A collection of Art Center artists created this video to remind us all that making and giving are the gifts that keep on giving. Happy holidays and may you return from the winter break feeling fulfilled and renewed.
When asked to recall the most enduring take-away from his Art Center education, Matt Sheridan (MFA, Grad Art) had this to say: “Fight for what you believe inand prove your haters wrong every moment of every day — quietly — so the work can speak for itself.”
And while the arresting images in Sheridan’s large-scale paintings-in-motion, often displayed in public locations around the globe, are anything but quiet, they speak volumes about the artist who created them. Sheridan’s ideas about connection and communication at the crossroads of traditional and digital culture informing his work are complex and compelling. With that in mind, we set out to illuminate Sheridan’s life and work as a Los Angeles-based artist working on a global canvas, with the above Change/Makers video profile and his riveting answers to the questions below.
Most recently, Sheridan has been awarded a fully-funded residency at Matsudo PARADISE AIR (funded by the Japanese Ministry of Culture), that will take him to Japan from December 15, 2014 to February 13, 2015. He is also currently under consideration for a Fulbright grant to return to Brazil in fall 2015. And his exhibition of prints and video opened at TW Fine Art in Brisbane, Australia on December 1.
Creativity begins with a leap of faith. It’s a belief in one’s ability to transform the spark of inspiration into a work of art or design that exists in some form within the physical or digital world. And as with any risky endeavor, sometimes serendipity occurs and the work takes on a life of its own. Other times, things don’t work out as planned. Unexpected challenges rear up. Obstacles stubbornly resist removal. Life happens.
And while the iterative process of gear-grinding experimentation often adds depth and complexity to the final creation. Sometimes there are hurdles that simply can’t be cleared. Unfortunately, that was the case this term for one of our Student/Space participants, Rosie Geozalian, an Advertising student who had to shelve her promising project (creating a spot for the language learning system, Rosetta Stone) due to personal reasons.
The boxes and boxes of leftover die-cut letters that returned from the printer along with the 2015-2016 Viewbook, sparked an idea in Product Design faculty member, Frido Beisert. While others may have seen those letters as useless refuse bound for the recycling bin, Frido saw an opportunity to push the creative bounds of his students. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s design challenge.
Frido asked his students one simple question when he presented them with these letters: How can you transform something useless into something useful?
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.
We’re particularly excited to introduce you to the newest group of Student Space participants with this latest round of videos. Pearlyn Lii is a Graphic Design student working on a Brian Eno book. Environmental Design student, Connie Bakshi is sending dispatches from Tokyo, where she’s participating in a collaboration with TAMA University. And Advertising student Rosie Geozalian is tackling a little subject known as human connection in her current campaign.
Join us in watching these works unfold over the remaining weeks of the term. Check this space for subsequent installments on November 22 and December 19.