A Programmer's Perspective on Art

Matt Siber

Matt Siber’s art reminds me of Jon Gitelson’s in that it focuses on the ordinary and transforms it into extraordinary. His main emphasis seems to be on advertising. For example, one of his projects involved him photographing public places (highways, crosswalks etc..) and taking out all the text. His goal was to draw the viewer to the subtler form of public communication such as symbols and colors – a goal he reached. In a different project, he took pictures of large advertisement signs (like the big McDonalds “M” you can see from a mile away) and edited out the large pole that help it up. It brought the viewers attention not only to the sign but also to how ridiculously high the object was. His photography forces the viewer to draw their attention to details they might otherwise overlook. It is captivating and genius.

I quite enjoyed Siber’s photography. I thought it was unique and refreshing; even though he photographed ordinary objects, he made his photography interesting by purposefully editing specific items out in order to draw attention to other aspects of the photo. It made his art fun because although I was looking at an ordinary object, sometimes something would be omitted that would make the object look very different and out of place. Although he focuses on the advertisement of other products, he does a very good job of making his own message heard. And I think that is the work of a master.

Scanograms: The Other Two

Space Invaders (Items used : AA battery, N64 game, key, iPod, WoW authenticator)

Do Not Duplicate (Items used : AA battery, N64 game, key, iPod, WoW authenticator)

Scanogram: Classmates Favorite

Solitary Confinement – (Objects used: AA Battery, key, N64 game, WoW authenticator, iPod nano)

Mike Wsol

Architecture is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Mike Wsol’s art…followed closely by handyman. Most of his pieces are sketches of architectural design while others are actual architecture. The piece I recall the best is the reinforcement he built. Not only was it beautifully designed but it also had bronze tokens inlaid within. The tokens created a cool pattern which engaged the viewer in a quest to solve the puzzle. A couple of his sketches such as “Reinforcement Web”, “Compartmental Structure”, and “Untitled” focused on perspective – the sketches represented 3D objects drawn on a 2D medium.  All of his pieces were in some form or another related to architecture.

I must admit I really enjoyed Mike Wsol’s art. Perhaps my linear programmer mind found harmony in the sharp right angles and efficient design of his architecture, who knows? However, I think the draw his art had on me ran deeper. This may have nothing to do with art but I left that exhibit with feelings of nostalgia; I recalled building wooden go-carts and other gadgets with my uncle during hot summers. I believe it was the feeling his art had provoked that sold me.

Experimental Art





Jonathan Gitelson

I’ve never had to critique art before, however when I think about the typical art people would critique I think of paintings and sculptures done by Michelangelo – the polar opposite of the artist I’ve been assigned to critique today.

Jonathan Gitelson’s art is captivating in that it tells a story. His art is personal in that every piece seems to illustrate a part of his life. On his website he documents the journey of the garbage cans in front of his house – apparently people had been stealing them so he decided to install a surveillance camera and take pictures in order to document what happened to them. The results were insightful and somewhat comical. He was able to catch the people who took the cans as well as capture some funny interactions people had with them – such as people kicking, running into, and taking items from them. Another one of his projects showcased the clothes his girlfriend hid from him so that he wouldn’t wear them again.  A project I found cute and funny at the same time.

I must admit when I first saw his artwork I was disappointed. Like I said, I was preparing to look at classical instead of modern art, so when I saw pictures of garbage cans as part of his art portfolio I was taken aback. However, after reading the back story on his projects I really started to like it. His art is personal and centered on everyday life, which makes it easy to relate to. It may not be pretty but it’s entertaining and tells a story. That, in my book, makes up for the fact that his art lacks a certain “eye candy” factor.

What is the Digital Approach?

As a computer science major I spend most of my time behind a screen writing code instead of drawing in a sketchbook, so my knowledge of the fine arts is somewhat limited – and that’s putting it gently. However, I would have to live under a rock to not notice the new genre of art that has emerged as a result of the computer revolution: digital art.

Well what exactly is digital art?

I would define digital approaches to fine art as the process of creating and critiquing art using cutting edge technology. Many things fall under the umbrella of what a digital approach to fine art can be and,  from my experience, this includes: creating/modifying art using Photoshop, digital photography, the creation of virtual worlds, and video game environments. The line defining what constitutes using the “digital approach” is blurry. However in my humble (perhaps ignorant) opinion, I believe that in order to approach art in a digital fashion, one must approach art using modern technology. In some cases this may mean dropping the paintbrush for a mouse and abandoning the sketchbook for a monitor.