The pleasures of teaching

An undergrad wrote this about my class:

“I know that the class had no clear intention to adress any philosophical issues or issues of imperialism, socialism and social injustice, however I noticed that by knowing the culture around us we can get answers to the questions I mentioned above, and understand how things happen the way they do and why cultural conventions are generated.”

Well son, let me tell you, THAT was the whole point of the class, you learnt about all those issues while we talked about game of thrones and superman.

Featured image by Alroyfonseca (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alterity and Gamergate

In a previous article I wrote about how we can wield our otherness as a tool for positive change, embracing what makes us different from the mainstream and turning it into a positive. There is however a darker side to otherness, when we see our otherness as superior to a world blind to the right way, our way. Issues such as white supremacists believing theres a war against white people, or the idea that feminists are actively trying to emasculate men or even the idea that there is a global jewish conspiracy to control the world. These groups take their otherness and attempt to eradicate any dissenting voice using their perceived superiority as an excuse for any objectionable actions they may take. This brings us to the subject of this article, the Gamergate “conspiracy” and how its a great example of how otherness and perceived oppression can turn toxic. One last disclaimer before we continue: this article is in no way an attempt to justify the actions or thoughts of Gamergate adherents, it is meant as a study of how otherness can become a negative quality and how it operates. Continue reading

Couch art & Thinking art, or how i learned to stop worrying and love art.

La trahison des images

Source: Lacma.org

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions, and may in fact be wrong, I don’t claim to have any theoretical backup, I am just expressing my particular views on art appreciation.

For a long time I believed that for art to be “good” it had to meet certain criteria. Criteria based on my upbringing in a highly catholic conservative city and my education on graphic design and museums. From my childhood I brought the idea that art had to reflect reality as it is, that deviations such as cubism were pseudo artistic and denigrated with the oft said phrase: A child could do it. This patronizing infuriating phrase became the battle cry against modern and contemporary art in my city, uttered by not only 80 year olds, but even people of my own generation. Continue reading

Evolution of interactive computer graphics and the expression of emotion on art

For a long time computer graphics have been evolving, from the simple monochromatic graphics of Pong to the iconic art of the 8-bit generation, all the way through to today’s three-dimensional graphics of High Profile video games.

However until recently the ability to convey emotion, feelings and believable acting through this medium was if not impossible it was certainly challenging. Efforts range from good to incredibly bad. The following example was for a long time considered one of the most emotive moments in video games the death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII. Continue reading