Week 4 Developments

With 7 days left until the opening of Love Is MADness table, I've only a few things left to do and am on schedule.

What I've already completed is designs for post cards, buttons, and stickers; a place for printing (printing on 2/1); table settings (including 2 large event boards, themed music playlist, decorations [table cloths, candy in cups, manikin, etc.]); a reserved and approved table for dated advertised (2/8-12); Facebook group created and friends invited; a pair of Warch monitor advertisements published (first ad from 1/27-31 and second for 2/1-6); posters creating "hype" (name of event on colorful paper and original design with small date included) hanged around campus in strategic places (heavily advertised in Warch [place of event], Mudd library, and Wriston art building).

What I've yet to complete are sending Pingg.com invites (2/3), print post cards, stickers, make buttons, created poster "teasing" (series of 3 or more posters that will be fully revealed on the grand opening of Love Is MADness), create dialogue for Musicanator show (2/7) advertisement, create another Warch monitor advertisement, receive permission to hang balloons on railing down to event, and actually do the event!


Abigale Disney: Recruiting for Film Army

Peace is loud, as said by Abigail E. Disney, but it is also a product of creative and assertive filming. She collaborated with the Liberian women by documenting their creative efforts to imagine a more peaceful country and enforce it in artistic ways. Pray the Devil Back to Hell emphasizes the importance of community as a powerful force through the medium of a camera. The camera’s role was as Disney’s communicator. After hearing her convocational address, I was missing one link to her experience in Liberia. That was the visual sharing of information: seeing the “peace” in action.

The camera becomes a force in its dramatics and a creative weapon. Ammunition for the camera is interviews and protests for peace. The cinematography displays the actions of Liberian protesters as fighters when contrasted next to video clips of men exchanging arms. A viewer of Pray the Devil become involved as well, creating an interrelated community of people across borders. This is what Fuller meant when describing energy of Universe as continually passing through one another, “I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of Universe.” Disney is primarily a promoter and activist (some may consider as a peace extremist) and filmmaker is her means of forcing her opinions (which is also the collective view of Liberian women) upon people.

The reason why peace is loud is because it, as contrasted with war, is another extremity of judgment. Another way of looking at the film is as another realization that an individual can make a difference, such as collaborating with a group with similar interests. Why peace now, Disney? Again, as Fuller entails about the power of the individual, “our first priority…is the full realization of individual potential in order to reach the second derivative of a full realization for all individuals.” She uses effective filming strategy to bend viewers to her cause and join in on her war for peace.


Ian Wallace


Week 3 Developments

This is a simple supplement to my other update for this week (Laurie Anderson: Old News of New News):

This past week was more busy than planned. I have had to reschedule how many posters I will post. I had no time to design 2 M.A.D. Design posters. They will be substituted by one poster advertising "Love Is MADness" event. This poster is the first of a series of advertising ploys that will be used to increase attendance to the event. Including creating a Facebook event, Pingg event, Warch Campus Center monitor digital display images, and possibly balloons and additional poster strategies (a weekly "strip teasing"). My schedule is backed up due to the Wind Ensemble performance and school work. Otherwise, I have recieved 5 requests for poster designs, surpassing the amound requested for all of last term in 2 weeks. My advertising seems to be working.

Ian Wallace

Nicolas Bourriaud: Severing Artistic Roots

Up until the section of The Radicant titled Radicals and Radicants, Nicolas Bourriaud’s writing took the form of a radicant: moving from topic to topic with little roots relating to what was said in the previous page or even paragraph. Each topic may have been severed at its source and still flourish onto another topic. Perhaps I was not aware of the artistic language that he was using, but until the point where he explains how to distinguish a radicant from a radical (p.51) I was uninformed, at a loss for argument congruence, and hopelessly bored of the reading.

I was enthusiastic to understand a few passing insights that Bourriaud wrote about relating to the convergence of media. On page 31, he mentions how the intersection of art and cinema revolving inwards towards each other in a reverse direction affects profit margins: leading to a more cost effective medium. This touches on Fuller’s efforts to economize architecture and design, in a different light. Perhaps there is a way of making art more Earth friendly.

That is also where digitalization may be the solution for a cleaner and efficient use of time, space, and file storage. A public broadcasting system was one way to radiate massive amounts of information to all those who own a television and wanted to be exposed to a piece of artwork or documentaries in the most convenient way, “’I come from there,’ the artist could say, ‘but I am showing you images of my universe using the format that is most familiar to you, the televised image.’” (p.32). As Fuller would share to his audience, “We are all astronauts aboard a little spaceship called Earth.” On this craft, we are all related, and television is a wonderful medium to possibly unite us all.

Of course, television is more complicated than that. Later on in the book Bourriaud expands on his first idea of the television, “A transportable image, a moving mirror: in the world of unlimited reproduction, the destiny of the subject is that of a permanent exile.” (p. 42). The fleeting thought that every moment an experience may be, one day, captured on video, makes me very conscious about how the future evolves. The past may or may not be of consideration at the moment that I am next in front of a camera and microphone. But, will I become exiled from even the closest moment of my past as it transfers into digital format?

I keep a backup for my computer files. Sometimes I keep multiple places to store my most important pieces of digital information. These precautions are my personal “returning to the root” (p.50) that may suspend me in a past time of which I have no memory and must start anew. This poses as a problem to Contemporary artists whose “universe contains neither origin nor end, except for those they decide to establish themselves” while simultaneously escaping the modernist thought that eventually there will be an “end of art.” (p 52-3). His radicant theory feels very weightless and universal, which provides a perfectly open plane for defining new and transient boundaries in collaborative art.


Ian Wallace

Laurie Anderson: Old News of New News

I understand that there are many ways in which to combine one media with another. Video, for one, is a multi-media format, progressing from the starting point of a light to a single image that then accelerates into image in motion, adding sound, and then becoming digitizaled. Laurie Anderson made it abundantly clear in her ART 21 interviews that she combined ideas of using one medium into another medium using technology. This is old news and, although it might have been more interesting to the populous in the 80s, there is little insight that she provided to the understanding of my project. The most interesting part of her portfolio was her versatility (which may also be out of proportion with what is actually needed to make her simple statements clear). Just take a look at her makeup: overemphasized. Over time, I realized that she her ideas were spread too thin when she ventured into the many artistic areas.

What I found thought provoking, in relevance to marketing, is her concept of “blur” in mass media. Specifically, considering the need for media to be overemphasized in order to effectively become clear from the blur, there are many ways of being noticed other than having mixing media, like projected simplicity, originality, scale, and place that she uses well, but not in the same magnitude to the hype that accompanies. This is where the need for updating creative material becomes crucial. Timelessness is a social quality. There are an infinite ways to do the same thing and times when doing the same thing as the past becomes popular.

That being said, sampling becomes increasingly important when things seem to be repeating themselves. The importance of inserting sound clips between tracks during my radio show is not simply to blend song into song as seamlessly as possible, but also to create new audio experiences from old experiences. It becomes increasingly more interesting to hear the sound of a hoard of zombies with a steam cooker side-by-side, while still making auditory sense as it flows along in time. I want to create a feeling that the “right” clip is the one that would be the last one suspected to work when isolated. Ideally, a playlist would be one that employs all the wrong audio files at the right times, becoming situational and completely improvisatory and creating a seamless composition of songs conceptually and aesthetically.

IHRTLUHC, Ian Wallace

The End of Creativity

Mathematically speaking, the more talking increases the probability of saying something worthwhile; at least for those who constantly think out loud or have an ultimate goal that requires broader thinking. To Buckminster Fuller, Universe was something worthwhile, found in mathematic standardizations and started imitating those certainties in inventions. Such was the efficient and universal Dymaxion house, conceived by the talkative Fuller as his solution to an energy- and space-efficient Spaceship Earth. “Dymaxion houses, even when stacked into tall apartment buildings would be so light and sturdy that they could be transported all over the globe. A zeppelin would first drop a bomb in the open landscape to blast a hole then plug the tower” (Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future, 69). These plans were not popular, but have come true in electronic games today. The video game Spore visualizes the planting of city stations on any foreign planets from a flying object (spaceship) into the surface with a large impact that unfolds and creates its own atmosphere: the creative game process realizes a once radical idea in a digital place where the radical is possible.

His unified aesthetic to the construction of neighborhoods and transportation vehicles is not as creative as Spore’s interface. Dymaxion houses are all the same, but construction was limited by the affordability and low technology available to inventors. With the neighborhoods, does fuller anticipate the waning of creativity with the emergence of a future age where all houses are universal? He mentioned in the movie that in the future, ample living space would be available for any population size and that places must be utilized efficiently for that to happen. At our current rate of industrialization, there looks to be no space or place for individual creativity to be a part of the human/space experience. I believe that Fuller’s future looks bleak, and our connection with the environment is disconnected along with the freedom to explore place.

Creativity is defined by ways of thinking, something that may be strengthened but not lost. However, our future selves have to become more knowledgeable with the self and our place in Universe to be expressive. Will there be an artistic limit to “do what is needed” and nothing else? When he dropped a stone in the water, Fuller theorized of “pattern integrity,” suggesting that form follows function, “…nature uses waves, never strait lines” (R. Buckminster Fuller On Education, 151). As the Dymaxion house moves onto mountainous terrain, how well they adapt may rely on new creative insights about pattern integrity (blueprints) of a new Dymaxion for a hillside. There is hope for work at being creative and finding an ever-perpetuating “better” design for living. In Steven Harrington’s exhibit “Our Mountain” written about his artistic purpose was, “Part of a more contemporary, outward-looking strain of west coast design work, one that seeks to re-mobilize the productive energies of the late 1960s and early 1970s, that period of geo-political exigency in which the idealism of the counterculture blended with the promise of the cybernetic revolution and the cosmic, visionary potential of new modes of habitation” (Arkitip, No. 0052, Introduction by Mark Owens).

"One world is enough for all of us. It may seem a million miles away, but it gets a little closer every day." --lyrical excerpt from “One World,” The Police

IHRTLUHC, Ian Wallace


Are You Offended, Yeah!

This week the second set of poster designs for M.A.D. Design and Music-a-nator (seen below) will be introduced tomorrow around campus. I would like to explain the reasoning behind the candidness of the poster I call “Three Pairs,” which features a woman breastfeeding five calves. Thomas Theodor Heine illustrated the image, probably for inclusion in the German magazine Simplicissimus, which he illustrated for frequently.

I began the poster by selecting an image that was out of the ordinary. This titillating image was more than compensation for the extra time needed to think of suitable dialogue to match the other poster, “Sandals In Winter.” Initially the text was “I post anywhere at anytime” to “I embrace the strange” to what it is now. The pin through the card was also originally supposed to be attached to a sweater that a busty woman (with three breasts) is wearing. All of those ideas were transformed for lack of connection to the other poster and of time or effort to complete each stitching of the sweater. I hope that this poster might be considered indecent to some people. What is art without opposition and how may I continue to be inspired to design without inspirational projects like “Three Pairs” that pushes the envelope of public sensitivity to what should and should not be acceptable. “Ideally” for me there should be less controversy over advertisements of explicit nature, allowing for artistic disquisition of the Freedom of Press to its fullest extent. However, it is an entirely separate issue to compare that to the more conservative feelings of the general public. I was relieved to see less stringent public view on nudity on TV and on the streets of Europe. Perhaps “Three Pairs” would be more accepted in Dublin, Ireland than in Appleton, Wisconsin and that I should take more consideration of the average American’s sensitivity to public forms of art that are more frank. But, that would take away from the thrill of being controversial and, sadly, from my interest in graphic design.


Ian Wallace

Week 3 Posters



Week 2 Developments

I am the creator and currently the only member of M.A.D. Designs. The name stands for Musician Artist Designer. During this class, I plan to combine my freelance operation into this class in anticipation of increasing my notoriety on campus as a premiere designer by introducing more media as advertising strategies.

I have already begun the amplification of M.A.D. Design musically. Over the Winter break I organized on iTunes playlists of music to air on the radio, centered around a theme. I decided on creating a radio show primarily to advertise M.A.D. Design, but also to perform. The art of D.J.ing includes a technique called sampling, where sounds are reused, usually in repetition, as a part of recording. I insert audio samples found on the internet, and also personally captured on a recording devise to transition one song into another for as seamless a stream of music that may be achieved. As another component to my performance, I create dialogue myself as two different voices. The program is called Musicanator, with the hosts as my Austrian alter-ego, Arnold Schwarzenneger and I. By speaking as Arnold I am able to improvise and, with practice, learn how to exaggerate ideas and emotion in acting. As is crucial to reaching my goal of increasing awareness of M.A.D. Design in advertising, accentuating the main-point is essential. Outside of the studio, weekly updated posters will advertise my radio show. This will create a circle of self-promotion and connect the media of music and art together.

I am a studio art major, in addition to an instrumental performance major. My primary reason for founding M.A.D. Design at the beginning of last term was as a substitute for our school’s art classes not offering any design-based instruction. Over the summer I began utilizing my Adobe Creative Suite program Illustrator on a daily basis, making finished digital drawings. I focused on typography, organized structure of images, and thoughtful use of color for persuasion. My method of creation was to first hand-draw a sketch, scan the drawing into my laptop, and trace the design as a Illustrator file. The final products have hand-drawn quality, even though they are digitally created. Many of my designs derive from art works by Parra. He has a loose, provocative, and direct approach that is suitable and appealing to me.

I am interested in design as a professional line of work. This class will be a constructive use of my time to write out and decide the possibilities for M.A.D. Design. As a continuation of last term, where I posted a new set of posters each week to promote M.A.D. Design, I will continue to do the same this term along with the radio show, posters for the radio show, commissioned posters, and other new developments. Last term I was commissioned for five poster designs. Of which you may have seen the posters for bringing Talco to Appleton, “Feel Free at Harmony” when I collaborated with a marketing class group, and Pomegranates with Lookbook concert. Over the course of my commissions, I have learned how to better communicate to clients, management time and payoff, and make more effective designs.

Currently, I am planning of setting up a temporary table outside of the cafeteria selling professionally printed post cards around Valentine’s Day. Types of plans to be made are how to attract attention to the table and to the merchandise made available. At the end of the term I will design a book of prints and posters made for presentation to the class and for final review along with play lists of radio shows, annotated scripts of the advertisements on air, and future plans and frequent updates on progress on the blog.


Ian Wallace

Le Le - Breakfast: Music Video by Parra

If I were to design a music video, this is what I would use as reference. Parra is a skateboarder, DJ, and underground graphic designer.

Le Le - Breakfast from magnetron music on Vimeo.

Week 2 Posters


Les Paul: Music By-product

my last blog on Fat Possum Blues, I noted how the ambiance might provide enough situational difference to separate or distinguish a popular (and already established) artistic medium into something completely new. In addition to being innovative in situation alone, the cultural value of blues increases and gave appeal to the music captured and translated by FPB. The artists of Oxford, Mississippi were not musically adapting when they only gave lessons on the front porch or met in the juke joint. They were not innovators, but were established where they were, focused on musically expressing the small variances that occurred to them during daily life.

Les Paul learned the guitar for a different purpose. His obsessiveness to play the guitar made him a good performer, but it was through experimentation that he realized his ideas: that tracks could be layered or electricity could produce a completely foreign sound to a familiar instrument. Technology was liberally applied to his music, while the music that he created was the “by-product,” even though his riffs were extremely technical and fast. Paul “reinvented the wheel,” with the guitar being the source of inspiration, and through its popularity became key to his successes as best-selling recording artist and prized engineer. Paul’s innovations and talent for guitar playing go hand-in-hand.

At a time when life was headed full-steam into complete urbanization, “being eclectic was better than being a good musician,” but each quality is dependant upon each other. His inventions provided the ambiance that his and many others’ musical instruments produced. His personal records were brief amplifications of his designs, but his designs will transcend time because of their provided ambiance. He may “collaborate” with any artist that uses his instruments of design and amplification.

Ian Wallace


Fat Possum Blues: The Modern-paced Evolution of Juke Joint Blues

music of Fat Possum Blues’ clients may be viewed as an original art form. Although their approach to blues was original and unfettered by outside influence, it was not a new art form. Blues or music is anything but recently discovered. The impression to those that the music of Burnside, Davis, Ford, or Kimbrough was unlike anything that hit the art world can be explained by what surrounded the music: its ambiance (blues being of secondary importance) was isolated with no technological communication, characterized by shanty juke joints, and makeshift instruments or instruments not professionally used before. What becomes most extraordinary about Fat Possum Blues musicians is that there music managed to stay removed from modern exposure for so long a time, given the expansion of technology at the time. Their discovery was to Matthew Johnson, I imagine, like finding a rare jewel.

Johnson allowed for the dilution and homogenization of a pure art form with a popular (therefore clich├ęd and dissolute) form of blues music. Music of the Hill County Bluesmen would not be able to sustain both its originality in popular culture if being preserved by Fat Possum Blues recording artists, archiving and distributing CDs into the mainstream. At the same point, Johnson’s project saved a dying art form. The musicians were historical relics. This cross-cultural collaboration of rural isolation and urban expansion fused together with a money incentive. The merging is seen in real time as young musicians surround Burnside onstage and he haplessly listens as his style is consumed and reinterpreted (You See Me Laughin’: The Last of the Hill Country Bluesmen). That music is blunted duplicate of the gem Johnson found. To hear the original art form and unfiltered sound, you would have to be in the juke joint and not listening to a CD. Juke joint blues changed once it went outside of the small Oxford, Mississippi circle and became about the money and not just about jamming on the front porch for free, “Ain’t never been out of the area and it don’t change the music.”

Ian Wallace