ART, DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
Act 1 — The Meaning of Color
Color Palette Story
Caitlyn had been born during the height of the Space Exploration Era, and by the time she had turned the appropriate age to enlist in the Cadet Programs, there were already millions of other people applying to the same branch that she was interested in. Competition was tough, the classes were even more so, and the professors were as bad as they could get. Nevertheless, Caitlyn graduated top of her class in the Cadet Program, specializing in Strategy and Investigation, and was off into deep-space with a group of seven other Cadets, all from different nationalities and specializations.
Well into her third year in the Argo Space Station, Caitlyn had become Captain and leader of the crew of eight, when something strangely unusual happened. They had been warned about the dangers that could lie beyond the borders of their Galaxy (like aggressive alien races or black holes) but they never really did buy into the whole ‘Space Pirates’ story that their parents had fed them when they were young.
(Except Mills. Mills would believe anything.)
And then, at three in the morning, when everyone was supposed to be sleeping calmly in their beds (or in Lou’s case, at the gym) the Argo was suddenly hit out of it’s orbit around Horla’ans planet by an unidentified object and had begun to drift away with no chance at recuperation. Communication to the nearest Command Center was bust, and the entire East Wing, where the control panel had been installed, was completely out of commission after the impact.
The Argo was boarded then. Men and women in scruffy looking clothing and impressive weaponry had taken command of the Argo, and Caitlyn hid her crew in the damaged Evacuation Shuttles to spare them from any harm. She stood up to the man leading the enemy troop (she refused to call them Space Pirates) and demanded an explanation for the damage that they had caused to Commonwealth property.
The man had laughed, of course, because the captain of the Argo was barely five feet and under no means was she intimidating, but there was no malicious intent behind his laughter. After quieting down, the man (“Captain Jason would be fine.” “I’m the only Commonwealth recognized captain in this ship, Mister Jason; I’m guessing by your lack of manners and insignia that you are not.”) had informed Caitlyn that crashing into the Space Station had been a mere mistake, and that his crew was sorry about the disturbances.
“We boarded the ship in hopes of saving any living creatures on board,” Jason explained, adjusting his gun’s strap around his shoulder “There’s no way you could survive on this Space Station once the Colossal is unjammed from your East Wing.”
Jason smiled at her question. Dashing and unabashed.
“My ship. We hit your station with it and it created a huge hole on the east side. Once it’s out, no living thing will be able to survive.”
“And you expect me to board your pirate ship?”
“We’re not pirates, per se,” Jason tried to explain “But yes. You and your crew need to get on the Colossal if you want to survive. We can drop you off at the nearest Commonwealth Center, if that’s what you want.”
Caitlyn didn’t precisely like the idea, but it was either they stayed here and died, or they trusted scruffy looking pirates whose intentions she wasn’t even sure about. She had to make a decision for the sake of her crew.
“My crew will not be harmed in any way?”
“Not a hair will be touched of your heads,” Jason bowed slightly “I’m a man of my word.”
And even if Caitlyn didn’t like the idea, anything was better than dying in outer space.
I — Weekly Product Hunt Review
Product chosen— MOON: Minimal Survival
I’ve only been drawn to simplistic games about twice in my time, and MOON by PixelTurtle has just won my heart a third time by creating a simple game where the protagonist is a small, pink dot in the middle of the screen, who needs to protect itself from the other colored dots that are coming towards it. It has special powers featured at the bottom that are unlocked once a certain quantity of points is reached and can be used to work yourself out of a jiffy.
This game isn’t only perfect to spend time when you’re waiting for something to happen, like most of these leisure games are prone to be for, but it is also quite relaxing once you’ve let yourself get immersed in the game. The ambient music, coupled by colors that are soft to the eyes (plus a really cool night time version) is great for players who need a swift distractions from stressful times. I think I spent around 30 minutes playing before I could set my phone back down, but it definitely helped me unwind from a hard day at school and homework.
My only two complaints would probably be that the multicolor version only introduces two new colored dots with special abilities coming at you and that there is no actual explanation as to where these other dots come from and what they could do. (Spoiler: the yellow one is killed with two blasts and will give you more damage.)
To me, this deserves 4.5 out of 5 stars!
II — Weekly Product Hunt
Product chosen — Time
I seem to always have a problem with managing my own time when I have too many things to do, but this app has come into my life to change all of that. Time is a helpful app that gives you the ability to plan your day in advance, adding specific times to certain activities so that your phone can regulate how much time you take in everything. The app is color-coded, which means that you don’t even have to look at your phone in order to realize that your time is running out. Green means there’s plenty of time left, yellow means time is halfway done, and red means that there’s little time left.
The idea that we can work without having to look at the clock is actually pretty cool, because the only thing that will seem pressuring is the colors and not the actual time. Besides, if you want to add some time to your ticking clock, you can just adjust the wave in your phone if you’re not done with a certain activity.
I think that an app like this is very useful for our everyday life, since most of us tend to procrastinate things that we have to do but don’t really want to do. The fact that you don’t need to look at the clock, ticking down until your time is over, is actually better, since you don’t feel pressured by it. You’re only waiting for the color to change, and the transition is so slow that you don’t really notice it or feel pressured by it.
My only problem is that I can’t download it on my own phone, since the application is only available for iOS devices and not for any Android ones.
I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 stars!
Fun Friday Challenge — An Awesome Book!
Light Painting Photography
III— Weekly Product Hunt Review
As far as interactive games go, Splitter Critters is fun and mind challenging. I haven’t found an game of this sort that has captured me the way this one has since Cut The Rope first came out. The idea of the game is to make sure the critters make it all through the games, by making swift cuts on the environment they’re walking on, that seems to be made out of paper, thus allowing it to move at your will.
It’s actually pretty fun, if maybe a little enraging after a while, but it helps you pass the time and challenges you with the fun puzzle that’s the whole game. I could spend an entire day sitting around just playing Splitter Critters and I’d be set for life. The graphics are pretty neat and the critters are all adorable enough for me to get invested wholeheartedly in the game.
Definitely give this a 4.5 out of 5!
IV — Weekly Product Hunt
If you’re like me and you get emotionally invested with the lives of fictional characters but you’re also kind of a spaz and tend to forget about things that are important to you, this app is for you.
Show Tracker is an application that helps you keep an eye on all of your favorite TV series. You can go around saving your favorite series in the application, setting the date you started the show, how many episodes you’ve already binge watched and keeping the information safely stored away so you can reach it any time you want.
The system is pretty user friendly and you only need to click on a button to keep all of your shows updated. I honestly love this app so much because I always tend to forget which episode I left off on and this shiny little new thing helps me keep my head over my shoulders in a way I never knew I needed.
Definitely my favorite, and a 5 out of 5!
Act — What does my voice look like?
My voice looks like a group chat, and people awake at three a.m. because time zones are awful and it’s hard to find friends this good. It looks like comments in stories written deep in the night, and the elated response of a writer that’s gotten their first review ever on a story they worked on for weeks. It’s the weird conversation with your best friend, and the weird memes that go with it that have you laughing for the rest of the day. It’s the deep, political conversations that you have at one a.m. with that redhead from Arizona that you met two months ago and who became your best friend despite being miles away from her.
My voice looks like a story written by two people who enjoy not being themselves for just a little while, and the tag section full of incoherent babble that only they can comprehend. It’s like a news report your friend in Canada sent to you, of something happening in Mexico, and the panicked question of “Are you okay?” coming soon after. It looks like the reassurance that follows, the tears in your eyes when you realize someone so far away loves and appreciates you despite not meeting you in person.
It’s the number of reblogs in a post that talks about women looking out for other women despite our differences. It’s the bloggers rallying together to fight for a cause, and the comments section of a post where they all discuss their position on the matter. It’s that carefully planned essay about human rights that you read from top to bottom and feel your chest constricted because people out there are doing what they can to fight a battle. It looks like that “Read More” post that hides a rant behind, and the chat open where you ask the owner if they’d like to talk about it some more.
My voice looks like a million voices through the land and across the sea. It looks like friendship, unity, and humans who love so deeply that sometimes it hurts. It’s the strength of people working together through screens dim so lit while they carry on into the night.
My voice. It looks like every digital bit and every single memory imprinted in history through them.
Act — Abstract: The Art of Design
Paula Scher: Graphic Design
Paula Scher has been one of the most influential designers in the New York City area for the past forty years or so, and her work looks absolutely fantastic to me. She has done almost everything: from record covers to theater publicity, and she does so almost effortlessly. After watching the episode, I was filled with this amazing sense of knowing that there is a place where I wanna go, and what Paula Scher does gets eerily close to what that is.
I realized that there is something very emotional and human about the way design is handled when publicity is involved. Paula said that design always had to take into account human activity, and I think that is a very true thing. Design has to answer to what humans do and feel in order to be effective, and most of the work that I saw in the episode actually follows those guidelines perfectly. Design should also be recognizable enough that it becomes an identity to the product.
I once saw a post circulating around tumblr that said that art was everywhere. That art wasn’t just a luxury or something you only find in art galleries, but it was something practical. When I watched this episode I realized that post is a 100% true. Art and artists are everywhere in our lives. They design our typography, they design our posters, they even design our cereal boxes. It moves you from the deepest places of your being, with the most subtle of presentations, but it’s still there, at every moment.
Storytelling Ex. I— Expressing Memories
Part A: Think of a memory that you remember vividly. It should be a memory that comes easily to you.
Part B: Why do you think you remember this so well? Try connecting one or more emotions to this memory.
=I think the main reason I remember this was because I tend to remember moments that made me feel really vulnerable in front of someone. This one is so vivid for me because it was something that, at the time, meant a lot for me. It was just some silly thing that someone did for me, but it hit me real close and it’s something I’ve kept around. It’s a good memory of someone I care about very much, and I hold it very dear to me.
Part C: Now try and express your memory and emotion in some way. The goal is to get it out of your head. Here are some ideas for what you could do.
=There was this one time, around two years ago, when I was having a really bad day. Existing was tiring. It seemed like a lot of things were going wrong, and every little thing set me off in the most unexpected way. I called my best friend on the phone after my last class. The guy I used to date back then heard, but didn’t say anything at all. We used to stay until 5:30, when the last bus came around. He didn’t insist that we go anywhere or talk about anything at all. He sat me down at one of the cafeteria, pulled out this old IPod he used to carry around with him all the time, and sat down next to me. There weren’t a lot of words as he just started playing this game that involved goats and evolving those goats until they were God goats (it was a bizarre game). He spent two hours sitting next to me, saying nothing but dumb jokes about goats while we played a (frankly) very stupid game, and I remember the action by itself was more than enough to make me feel okay again. At 5:30, once it was time to leave, he took me to the bus. I never got into that bus as happy as I did that day.
Storytelling Ex. II— Your three favorite movies
Part A: Identify the three movies you’d take to a deserted island
- How To Train Your Dragon
- Night in the Museum
- The Princess and the Frog
Part B: Why do you think you connected with these stories? Come up with at least one reason for each?
=I identified with their characters and the worlds they were set in the most. I always wished to live in a fantasy world, go on fantastic adventures where I would meet fantastic creatures along the way. These three movies have all that (plus, great music as well!) and I fell so in love with them that I could never get tired of watching them over and over again.
Part C: What, if anything, do these three films have in common? How are they different?
=The three of them deal with underdogs as their main characters. HTTYD has Hiccup, who is a viking that doesn’t look or act like a viking and is usually shunned because of it. The Night at the Museum has a man who lost everything he had and was ridiculed as well. The Princess and the Frog is about a black woman during one of the most difficult eras for minorities. The three of them managed to come on top of it, acting with wisdom and bravery to get to one set goal. They are different because, despite it’s core plot, they all have very different stories. HTTYD is about becoming friends with someone you thought was an enemy at first; Night at the Museum is about beating the odds and succeeding at something you never thought you could; The Princes and the Frog talks about never giving up and following your dreams.
Storytelling Ex. III— What if…
Part A: Return to your 3 favorite films and try re-framing each of them in terms of a “what if” statement. Share these with someone (written or verbally) and see if they can guess what movie it is from!
- What if dragons existed and humans found out a way to befriend them instead of fight them?
- What if history could speak for itself?
- What if the frog doesn’t turn into a prince when the princess kisses him, but the other way around?
Part B: Now it’s your turn. Come up with 3–5 of your own “what if” ideas.
- What if a police officer and a criminal were friends?
- What if magic folk lived as part of human society and life was constantly influenced by magic?
- What if a royal family of a very powerful kingdom only had women as heirs?
- What if the only people who got on the metro at midnight are magical creatures?
- What if two families became one after the marriage of two widowed parents who each have baggage of their own?
Storytelling Ex. IV— Characters and Worlds
Part A: Return to your 3 films. Identify the worlds and characters in each. Write these down.
- Who are the main characters? Hiccup Haddock, Larry the Night-guard, Tiana
- Is there a character you identify with most? I think I identify with Hiccup the most, since we’re both awkward in very hilarious ways, and we’re both creators. He does work more as an engineer, but I think all creators are alike in some ways. He’s also always struggling to make his father proud, which is something I can relate with. Plus, he goes around poking at dangerous things (dragons) with sticks and that does sound like me.
- Where does the movie take place? Is it one world or multiple worlds? HTTYD takes place somewhere in the Nordic countries, I think, in the Viking period. Night at the Museum takes place at a museum in modern times(well, yeah). And the Princess and the Frog takes place in New Orleans in the 1920s-1930s.
Part B: Try mixing a character and world from different movies. Try this a few times and see what happens.
- It would be very interesting to see how Hiccup would deal with being in Larry’s place instead. First of all, the concept of a modern Hiccup could potentially change some key-points of this character’s personality, since we’re always influenced by our surroundings. Second, I think it would be hilarious to see his awkwardness and show the hilarity that would ensue of having this incredibly talented and smart kid going around trying to not get himself killed in a museum where everything comes to life. He’d also nerd out constantly.
- Talking about Night in the Museum, maybe adding Hiccup (an actual viking) into the historical mix would make for an interesting plot. Imagine Hiccup in the place of Attila the Hun. I think the kind of hilarity that would ensue would be really different, since we’d be changing the time where the character now comes from and the background where it comes from. Larry would definitely not believe dragons could’ve been a thing.
- Hiccup as a 1920s inventor would be also very interesting. His character background could possibly change drastically, but he’d do for a very curious persona in the movie. He could either be a very minor background character who adds value to the story in this weird, crafty kind of way or he could maybe replace Mama Odie and have Tiana and Naveen get to this craftsman’s shop rather a voodoo witch. He’d have a very awkward musical number that would even sound endearing and he’d have all this potions and stuff instead of magic.
- Tiana’s story in the modern world could change drastically because the social rules wouldn’t be the same. She’d get to live in a world where she has much more opportunities than she did in the 1920s, but I think the context would really change the story a lot. Maybe she could take a side job as a night guard and she ends up with a museum full of history talking to her. It would be actually hilarious since she is normally so cool and logic about things.
Part C: Return to your three “what if” statements from the previous exercises. Pick your favorite one. Can you imagine a possible character and world?
I love all of my what ifs, and I have worked with all of them at least once, but What if a police officer and a criminal were friends? is definitely the one I have figured out the most. The two main characters (aka the police officer and the criminal) are Isla Barrera and Hernán Cámara, and they exist inside a city called Los Santos.
Isla Barrera is a detective. She’s hardened, doesn’t take her job lightly and cuts straight to the chase when a case is involved. She used to be pretty chummy, and is actually nice with some selected few, but Isla has closed off to the rest of the world after loosing her partner four years ago.
Hernán Cámara is the biggest criminal in the city and Isla’s personal headache. He has a genius level intelligence (and maybe a couple of loose screws) but he rather use this intelligence to con people out of their money, than for good. He loves annoying Detective Isla and adores the thrill of being chased by someone.
Los Santos is a coastal city with too many industrial sites and casinos. The city is chaotic and stressful, but the people living there have gotten used to the strangeness of the place. It is the oldest witness of the Barrera-Cámara conflict, and it has been the most affected by Hernán running around unattended. The city doesn’t rest, but maybe it will once Isla finishes the job once and for all.
Part D: (optional) Draw or write about what life would be like in this world.
It was a habit. Time had become a sacred concept in some point of his life. Becoming the most wanted criminal of the city did not change this fact. Hernán enjoyed of that small space of calm before his business meetings; that ephemeral moment where it was only him, his favorite drink, and no expectations in the world. Creating chaos was his favorite activity, but even he needed a break once in a while. This was when he got this space, in the instant where he was waiting, but no one seemed to be waiting for him.
There wasn’t a lot to think, of course. The plan was almost complete. A couple of adjustments here and there during the execution of it and everything would turn out fine. As always. The next thing in the to-do list (and the most important, according to Nicolás) was the recollection of talent for the job. Hernán trusted his abilities, but he knew that Madero was right when he said that they’d need over two people to successfully accomplish this mission. He’d have to look for very specific people — an infiltrate; someone to blame if was necessary; maybe he could use a security guy. Los Santos had a full repertoire to choose from, but he had to start somewhere.
“Way too quiet for the king of crime, don’t you think?”
A soft voice, almost like it isn’t there. An interruption that doesn’t belong in the calm of his moment. Hernán doesn’t turn to welcome her. He took a long swig from his drink before turning his eyes to a fixed point in the wall farthest to him. He started counting the bricks as a method of distraction. He hoped he’d get rid of her that way.
“I like the silence,” he answered, counting forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine “You know that.”
A pause. Hernán stopped momentarily in number fifty-three.
“There’s nothing wrong with noise,” the voice, close this time, and something that sounds like a laugh he used to know “Noise can be a blessing at times.”
“I need silence to think,” Hernán continues. Sixty-one, sixty-two, sixty-three. “The noise distracts me. Won’t let me focus.”
“I thought you of all people would like the sound of your own voice,” the same noise like a laugh, and Cámara flinches “Like the narcissist you are.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s you,” a small smile, was he in seventy-five already? “I’m not the one who likes to stand and give out presentations, Coral.”
“That’s my job,” the voice answers, and Hernán thinks he can hear her laugh clearer this time “At least I know you’re listening.”
“I’m not,” damn it, was it seventy-eight or seventy-nine? “Not really.”
A huff. “You could be the president of a goddamn club.”
Hernán doesn’t answer. Eighty? Eighty-three? Was he already at ninety?
After that, silence. Hernán couldn’t stop the numbers running through his head in time. He lost all focus he had on the task at hand and limited himself to count the steps she took away from him instead. He didn’t turn to look at her. He didn’t need to.
“You’re still in seventy-two,” the voice sounded louder to Hernáns ears. She always had the right answer. “You skipped from sixty-four to seventy-five.”
Hernán turned in that moment and found the entrance empty. The warehouse was as hollow as it was when he first sat down to wait for his new business partners (just as silent, just as dead) and only Nicolas’s computers kept him company. Whoever had been there, at least wasn’t anymore.
(Taken and translated from “El Casino” Chapter II. An original work by Ivette Vázquez)
Lightopia vs Manifestation of Lines
It was really exciting to be back at Marco, since I was there last semester for another school related thing. Since I don’t really have much free time to go to galleries or museums, and my family doesn’t really follow after me when I want to go to an exposition, having a feasible excuse to actually go makes me very happy. Going with friends is also an amazing experience because you get to talk to each other and see the artwork together — I think sharing art is the best part of the creation of art. It was also very fun to see each of us react to each of the artworks, because we could easily see the kind of people each of us are by seeing us react — Manuel, for example, counted light bulbs in one of the expositions, and leaned in to see all of the mechanisms that he could find; Arely thought of notes written down on the music sheets that were displayed in Manifestaciones de la Línea; we all had different reactions to every artwork displayed.
I think I liked Lightopia a lot more. I’ve always been in love with light as a form of art, and having an entire exposition that talks about it was actually magical. Everything was so beautiful and luminous and I really enjoyed walking around the shining lights. I think it has a lot to do with my love for stars, but I really enjoyed the light-map that was in the first room of the Lightopia exposition — they looked like constellations instead of artificial lights made by humans.
Thumbnails for “Wanderers”
Activity — Gif
Before the Flood
The documentary with Leonardo DiCaprio was very interesting because not only were we learning the kind of impact that human nature has on the world, but we also learned about what things could be done or are being done to reverse the effects of this catastrophe. It’s also very interesting that it was Leonardo DiCaprio who was doing this kind of documentary, and not someone like a politician or someone from the environment department throughout the world. DiCaprio is using his fame to bring attention to environmental problems in the world, and in this documentary we see him finding out effects over the world, looking more and more surprised every time he finds out a new thing that is going on in the world. He inspired me in a sense because when you see what the world is really in need of, you start thinking about how awful it would be that our world suddenly dies because of us — you feel pressured to do something before worse outcomes come to pass. I believe that the two things I know to do the best is writing and singing, and both can be used to raise awareness for others to take action, thus creating a bigger movement across the world. By creating articles, writing investigation journals, fundraising money by singing and then using that money to help the planet. There are a lot of things we could do, but it is up to us if we begin doing them or not.
Earth Day Experience
I was given the pleasure of participating in the music department during this earth day experience, and I was very pleased with the performance we worked with and presented during our Senior Lockdown. I remember feeling slightly stressed out at the beginning: I had worked with most of the people in my team already, but some of them were still kind of new for me, so I wasn’t sure how to treat them or what exactly I could ask of them.
I’m not sure if I appointed myself leader or everyone just conceded that it was a thing that was happening, but I think it’s very different to participate in team efforts like these when you’re just one part of the team from when you’re the leader. Both parts are equally responsible and important to make the entire thing work, but you do feel a slight bit more pressure when you’re in charge of getting everyone to sit down to work with each other.
At the beginning, it was hard to fall into a conscious rhythm of who was going to do what and what was expected of us, but eventually we all kind of started assuming our roles; both up on stage or backstage. The most difficult part was getting to an agreement about what we were going to do exactly and what things we would do to achieve that specific goal. I think there could have been a bit more organization inside the team, but it was a little difficult to get to that since we all seem to want different things out of the project.
One of the most disconcerting parts of the work was having to struggle with rehearsals and talking to the rest of the team. Some of us were very close together in what we were doing and we listened to each other, but there were others that simply never clicked with us. It was frustrating, since I had taken the role as a leader, so I felt like the fact that we couldn’t speak to each other and communicate our goals was my fault somehow. Like I wasn’t good enough in that position to make people come together.
Another one of the things I struggled with was the commitment of the team. There were a couple of team members that either never fully participated in team discussions or flunked on me the day of our presentation. I think the one most important thing for me during team works is that every part of the team is committed to what we’re doing so that everything runs along smoothly, but it’s very hard to engage with my team if they’re reluctant to work alongside myself. The day of our final presentation I do remember feeling very stressed out because there were things that weren’t according to the plan.
At the same time, I think I really appreciated the sudden shift in the team the day of the Senior Lockdown, because it did help me develop a bit of a fast thinking. I had to solve a hundred problems that day, and appoint new things hours before it all happened, and while I did want to lay down and cry at first, now that I think of it, all of the adrenaline and the fact that I was able to solve those problems is actually pretty cool. It’s a good thing for me, both as a person and a performer, that I could try myself at problem solving in real time.
As a viewer, I think there was a bit of a gap between what the music team worked on and what the rest of the class worked on. If maybe we had talked to the activation teams or the other way around, we might’ve been able to consolidate a stronger bond between what we were doing and what the rest of the teams were doing. I think maybe, since this was the first time we worked in a project that was this big and this focused on transmedia, maybe it was a bit of a struggle for us. Despite the fact that most activities were successful, and even our presentation was very well done, as a whole, I don’t think we managed to create this sense of a whole as a transmedia experience.
All in all, I think it was a very fun challenge to explore. Next time that I get to do something like this, I know what things can be done, what things should be done, and what things are impossible to make true. The fact that we were all one big team was actually kind of fun too, since we were supposed to create this experience for the outside world by working in separate teams but by still being part of the same whole. Somewhere along the way I thought maybe it would be necessary to have some sort of “congress” that would consist of the leader of every team so that we could all talk amongst each other and support each other in any way that was possible.
At the end of the day, this project could only be possible if every part of the class was committed to what we were all doing. If one of the teams suddenly flaked and completely backed out of the project, then the product wouldn’t have been the same. There are kinks and issues that we can work out, but I think, all in all, we did a good job with the resources we had and for it being the first time we ever worked a project like this.