Jeanne Kelly

Archive for the ‘Spring 2010’ Category

In Spring 2010, Thesis Research on January 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

The symposium “Modern a/Contemporary Art and the Curiosity Cabinet” is being present in conjunction with  a new exhibition called “Working in Wonder” at the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University. Here’s a bit of the press release:

“Working in Wonder,” a group exhibition, curated by Erin Gray, Danielle Schallom, and Edward Stapley-Brown, will be on view at The Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University from January 18 through February 11, 2011.

“Working in Wonder” includes artwork in various media by artists that have been inspired by the Curiosity Cabinet, a historical era of collecting occurring between 1500 and 1700. The exhibit explores the connection between man-made and natural objects or artificialia and naturalia.

A symposium, Modern/Contemporary Art and the Curiosity Cabinet, will take place in conjunction with the exhibition. Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, will give a keynote speech on “ A Natural History of Wonder.” Other speakers will discuss topics such as Joseph Cornell, The Morbid Anatomy Library, and the work of Damien Hirst. The symposium will be held on the first floor of the Walsh Library in the Beck Room directly across from the Walsh Gallery.

The Walsh Gallery is located on the campus of Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079. For more information call 973-275-2033 or Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30am to 4:30pm.

Please RSVP for the symposium by calling 973-761-7966 or emailing All events are free and open to the public.

There was a bit of confusion  (on my part)  as to whether or not the gallery would be open  during the symposium. Their normal operating hours do not include Saturdays. I confirmed with the University today that the Walsh Gallery and the “Working in Wonder” exhibition will indeed be open to the public during the symposium.

I thought I should also mention, that although I’ll be attending the entire symposium, anyone who would like to sit in for only one or two of the lectures, or would simply like to go to the gallery show, please  feel free to join us join us.


Modern | Contemporary Art

In Spring 2010, Thesis Research on January 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

And the Curiosity Cabinet

It was mentioned in “On Display” that there would be extra credit given for attending  “Modern/Contemporary Art and the Curiosity Cabinet” at Seton Hall next Saturday, Febuary 5th.  Since I already had plans to go I thought I’d put a call out to anyone who’d like to go with me.

I’ll be taking 8:11 AM NJ Transit – Morris & Essex – Morristown Line Train from Penn Station to South Orange. For anyone who wants to go with, just message me. We can meet at Penn around 7:40 or so. It’s about a 2 hour trip I think.
You have to RSVP for the symposium by calling  (973) 761-7966 or email

I am not the best blogger in the sense that I am not a great original writer at times.  Sometimes I’m better at passing information on that someone else has done a better job at putting together.  That’s the case here.  And to give credit where credit is due, this conference breakdown originated with Joanna Ebenstein at Morbid Anatomy and Observatory in Brooklyn. She’ll be presenting at the conference as well.

Modern/Contemporary Art and the Curiosity Cabinet

10-10:30: Coffee

10:30: Welcome (Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Seton Hall University)

10:45-11:45: Lawrence Weschler, Keynote address: “A Natural History of Wonder.”

11:45-12:15: Kirsten A. Hoving, Middlebury College, “Thinking Inside the Box: Joseph Cornell’s Cabinets of Cosmic Curiosity.”

12:15-1:15: Lunch

1:15-1:45: Melissa Ragain, University of Virginia, “Wonder as a Way of Seeing: Gyorgy Kepes and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies

1:45-2:15: Matthew Palczynski, Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Organizing the Curious Damien Hirst”

2:15-2:45: Patricia Allmer, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), and Jonathan Carson & Rosie Miller (artist collaborators), University of Salford (UK), “Playing in the Wunderkammer”

2:45-3: Break

3-3:30: Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy Library, “To Every Man his Cabinet or The Morbid Anatomy Library and Cabinet and the Revival of Cabinets of Curiosity.”

3:30-4: Roundtable with artists, led by Jeanne Brasile, Seton Hall University

4-5:30: Reception

You can find out more here and get directions by clicking here. This symposium is being produced in conjunction with a new exhibition called Working in Wonder at the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University; You can find out more about that by clicking here.

Photo from the collection of Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Private Cabinets Series by Joanna Ebenstein.

Thanks again JE for the info.

Kickstarter Video

In Spring 2010, Thesis Research on January 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I wanted to make a video for the project home page on Kickstarter. There is so much to read on there already that it was suggested something a little more dynamic would be nice. And sometimes it’s just nice to be told a story while you look at pictures.  🙂 So I finally got it completed, up and running. click on the image below to watch the video.


Submedia | Zoetropes

In Spring 2010 on January 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

For the warm up to really understanding how the Zoetropes work I’m making one or more.  I started with a simple copypaper prototype fashioned after Josh Spodek’s simple plastic one. Not so successful because the material was too flimsy and there was no smooth way to spin it quickly.  The breakdown of space and time however did work, so now it’s just a mater of better material and better images.

I was thinking about how similar zoetropes are to some animated gifs.  The example Josh showed us and the one I created after that one both had 12 images and 12 slits between them. I knew that a few of my favorite gifs have only 12 frames. I decided to rotoscope one, print it and use it as test images for the next zoetrope construction.  Most of you will recognize it. If not, then go to I Am Not An Artist and look at a few other great little animated gifs. You’ll find the original there.

Next up …

Muybridge’s Galloping Horse

Submedia | The First Zoetropes

In Spring 2010 on January 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

To truly understand how zoetropes work you have to just make one or two.   (or twenty 🙂

I started with a simple copypaper prototype fashioned after Josh Spodek’s small plastic example. Not so successfully though; the material was too flimsy and there was no smooth way to spin it quickly.  The breakdown of space and time however did work. The slots, although being slightly various in width, seem to work well. Ideally I think they should be completely uniform. So, by the end of class it seemed to be just a matter of better materials and better images.

On my subway ride home I began to think about how analogous zoetropes are to animated gifs, each containing very few frames and usually viewed in the loop.  Although the two mediums are vastly different, the images and optical effects they create are very similar.

The example Josh showed us, and the one I created in class after that (the first image above/with new and improved dots),  both had 12 images and 12 slits between them. I knew that a few of my favorite gifs also have only 12 frames. I decided to rotoscope one, print the images and use them to test the next zoetrope construction.  Some of you will recognize it. If not, then go to I Am Not An Artist to check out a few other little gems along with the original of the one above.

I have to say that usually when I’m learning a new technology, medium or skill I try to focus on learning just that. Creativity, for me  at least, can sometimes get in the way of  learning the left brain stuff. So I try to stick with something simple in concept, that way I’m less likely to get distracted by being creative. I find this method works best for me. Once I know and understand the technology then I can go crazy in the creative department, no holds barred.

Next up, Muybridge’s Galloping Horse.

I chose this series of stills to also test the zoetrope.  It’s a reference I’m familiar with and I know that it works as an animation in several formats. So my reasoning goes: if these images don’t work then it will mean that it is the fault of the mechanism more than likely, not due to poor rotoscoping or poor animation on my part. This makes a good measure against the machine.

Using the lazy susan that serves as my spice rack from my kitchen cabinet as the spinning mechanism, I could concentrate on the aspects of the outside cylinder: deciding on the slats, how many I would need, and how wide each opening needed to be. I use  black foam core I had on hand to construct the outer cylinder.

Because foamcore can’t be bent into a smooth circle I instead

cut “planks” and evenly spaced them around a circumference of the lazy susan.  I had to create a way to keep the “planks” together at the top however; they had a tendency to spread open as soon as the lazy susan was spun. Again I used materials I found on hand, straightening out paperclips and punching them through the slats to attach to an inner ring at the top.

This solution caused its own problems,  blocking out most of the light needed to see the animation.  I attempted different forms of lighting to compensate for this “ceiling” as you can see in the video below but nothing was quite successful enough in my opinion.

Another thing I discovered in constructing this first zoetrope was the slats had to be closed when the images were. Meaning no light should be allowed to breakthrough between the images. As you can see in the video, what your eye is most drawn to is the flash of light coming through the back of the zoetrope.  this is easily fixed by wrapping the outside in a sheet of black paper. For my next construction I will simply only cut the slots halfway down.

Word of the Day

In Spring 2010, Thesis Research on January 23, 2011 at 11:41 am


First came the panorama, a late 18th century word so successful that it spawned two others on its pattern: cyclorama, and today’s word, diorama.

The dio- part is from Greek dia, “through,” reflecting the fact that the earliest dioramas were viewed through a hole or opening. The common -orama part is from Greek, horama, “sight.” All three words denote paintings or displays of various kinds.

To look up the word of the day everyday visit the Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus.

2D Composite Facial Reconstructions

In Fall 2010, Spring 2010 on January 18, 2011 at 3:27 am

The Rope Walker Gets a Makeover

After working so closely with the vintage photography these past months I started to think of them as another possible way to complete the reconstructions while working on the problems with the digital 3d reconstructions.

There is a forensic technique of creating a facial composite of an individual using a database of photographs.  This is a very general collection, meant to represent universal adverages and genaric features that can be refind and refine by making choices in a branching method until a reasonable likeness is achieved.  For instance, you would be asked by the compositor or compositing system if the person had a big nose or a small nose, high, low, narrow, wide, straight, crooked, and so on until all options have been exhausted and the image you are left with should be the best representation of the nose you have in mind.

To the right you can see a facial composite of Saint Paul created by experts of the Landeskriminalamt of North Rhine-Westphalia using historical sources as proposed by Düsseldorf historian Michael Hesemann.  The facial composite of the Apostle Paul helps to make this historical figure more accessible and real; something I want to achieve with the Hyrtl subjects.

To test this case I again turned to Mr. Zini our Rope Walker.  In his case the I decided that the most appropreate features and image would be those of his relatives, his time, and his culture.  I started my search by looking at images found through a search using his last name to determine hair and eye-color and dominant features.  I have an idea of build from his age, occupation and historical context. I looked for central and eastern european photographs of men taken from 1830 to 1870.  This would have been range of  time he my have died within. For Mr.Zini I decided to use the photograph below to create a two dimensional composite of his likeness from his skull.

I then began by importing the 3d rendering from Maya into photoshop.  There where gaps in the bone that had to be reconstructed before markers could be positioned onto the skull. I accomplished this by I first drawing over the skull to get the contours and plans mapped out.  I then painted the bone into place, only filling in where it was nessicary. As you can see I did not reconstruct his teeth. He will not be smiling so it would have been a wasted effort. I did however remove the hardware that was captured in the CT scan; it just doesn’t belong there.

Once I had Mr. Zini’s skull structurally clean I divided the features as seen below from the source image. and slowly began to sculpt them in photoshop using a wide range of tools, primarily transform warp and liquify.  It was necessary for some parts to be completely redrawn, such as the side of the head.

As always I found some of the process shots to be just as important and strong as the finished piece.  It seem inevitable that I get wrapped up in these in-between states. The glimpse beneath, the history of a thing is always distracted to me in an inspiring way.  Not to mention I think they just turned out looking kind of cool.

These are onionskins of the photo-composite technique.  So, meet Mr. Zini, The Rope Walker.  On the next 2D, which will be hand drawn, I think I’m going to go back to less but more “tailored” facial hair. Keeping the center of the left eye (his right 😉 consistent to the original you can see how the features changed in the finished reconstruction.

I “adjusted” the rest of the image to fit Mr.Zini’s figure.  He seems to be a bit of a tallish fellow as compared to his “ancestor”.  I’m very happy with this first prototype. I’ve received very favorable responses and a few request for copies. Which makes me hopeful that with a little more work these will be successful incentives on Kickstarter.

I’ve had  this 30″ x 40″ poster of  Mr. Zini hanging in my living room now for about a month and it still distracts me.  If it can have the same effect on others, then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished a lot so far.

Impossible Motion | Winner | Best Visual Illusion of the Year

In Spring 2010, Wow on May 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Winner of the Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest 2010
Koukichi Sugihara
Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Japan

In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. This illusion is remarkable in that it is generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture.

via YouTube – Impossible motion: magnet-like slopes.

The Sketchbook Project 2011 | Art House Co-op

In Spring 2010, Wow on May 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I signed up for The Sketchbook Project 2011 some time back.  I had actually forgotten about it until today, when I got an email telling me my sketchbook is on the way.  And then a few hours later, the mailman delivers it.  🙂

Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country.

After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

Anyone – from anywhere in the world – can be a part of the project.

“Each artist is sent the same blank Moleskine Cahier sketchbook. We’ve only got two rules: first, the book must be used in some way – no sending us back an empty book or a completely different book! Second, the sketchbook must stay within its original dimensions (because we don’t want to have to provide an extra suitcase just for your book while we’re touring the country).”

“Each book will be given a barcode so we can easily catalog it into The Brooklyn Art Library system. Once we catalog it, artists will be able to track where on the tour their book is viewed and how many times someone pulled it from the shelf – we want to make sure you can stay connected with your sketchbook!”

I choose the theme I’m a Scavenger and I’m going to make this all about my trip to China.  I’m creating a page under Projects that I can use to post all the sketches and any thoughts I have on them when they’re done.  This should be interesting.  Here’s a little pie breakdown of how people are choosing themes so far.  This was grabbed from their site on May 18th.  I’ll be curious to see how it changes before the deadline.

I’m trying to talk a bunch of friends into doing it and even getting my “non-artistic” friends to give it a try.  If you’re reading this and you have $20 to spare, you should send off for your sketchbook too.  Click the link below and you’re on your way.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011 » Art House Co-op | We build art projects and communities.

Motion Graphics | Fixing the Roosevelt Island Animatic

In Major Studio Narrative, Motion Graphics 1, Spring 2010 on May 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm

The reworking of the video turned out okay.  I think the music really adds the right feeling.  I’m thinking of replacing some of the drawings with photographs.  It still needs a lot of work but it’s getting there.