Final Project Research


“Creation is an uncontrolled muscle” according to Arik Levy (born 1963).

Artist, technician, photographer, designer, video artist, Levy’s skills are multi–disciplinary and his work can be seen in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. Best known publicly for his sculptures – such as his signature Rock pieces –, his installations, limited editions and design, Levy nevertheless feels “The world is about people, not objects.”

Hailing originally from Israel and moving to Europe after his first participation in a group sculpture exhibition in Tel–Aviv in 1988, Levy currently works in his studio in Paris.

His formation was unconventional where surfing, as well as his art and graphic design studio, took up much of his time back home. Following studies at the Art Center Europe in Switzerland he gained a distinction in Industrial Design in 1991.

After a stint in Japan where he consolidated his ideas producing products and pieces for exhibitions, Levy returned to Europe where he contributed his artistry to another field – contemporary dance and opera by way of set design.

The creation of his firm then meant a foray back to his first love, art and industrial design, as well as other branches of his talents. Respected for his furniture and light designs on all continents, Levy also creates hi–tech clothing lines and accessories for firms in the Far East.

Considering himself now more of a “feeling” artist, Arik Levy continues to contribute substantially to our interior and exterior milieu, his work including public sculpture, as well as complete environments that can be adapted for multi use. “Life is a system of signs and symbols,” he says, “where nothing is quite as it seems.”



I enjoy his work because the materials he uses distort what you are looking at. I find he uses his materials in different forms whether it being a closed form or a bunch of planes stuck together. I enjoy his pieces outside and love how they change throughout the day due to lighting.


Born 1985 in a small village in Canton Valais, Switzerland, surrounded by mountains, Sebastian Magnani discovered photography whilst training as a media designer in 2006. After 5 years as a creative in an advertising agency, he decided 2011 to turn his passion into a profession. Since then he has been making a living as a photographer, based in Zurich Switzerland. He currently works on various subjects and several free projects, like the «Underdogs» and «Undercats», where got a lot of media attention and been published on many newspapers, magazines, websites and tv-shows around the globe.


I enjoy his work because it takes one thing (the sky) and puts it somewhere else (the ground) which kind of makes you question what you are looking at and trying to imagine the environment. I feel like it causes a 2D photo experience to be more immersive as you actually what to know what is happening outside the frame.


Denise Riesen is an award-winning photographer with more then 16 years experience. Her work has varied in style and has evolved as she travels both physically around the world, and through the stages of her own life. Her work expands and alters that of a traditional scene into a complex visual interest. She enjoys the constant challenge of new ways of seeing and the creative output of self expression.

Denise has both studied and photographed extensively throughout the North America and Europe through personal travel and professional involvement. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries within the United States and Mexico. Denise has worked as a photo editor, and curator for a number of exhibits both in Chicago and New York City.

Denise currently works primarily as a freelance photographer and artist based in the Chicago area.


She gave me the idea of water being a reflective surface or a material to distort the surroundings for my photographs.

Final Thoughts

With ideas from these artists I also want to try working with tin foil, glass, mirrors, water, acetate, and cutlery to create a distorted perception of what the viewer is looking at while also creating a visually beautiful image.

Micheal Paul Smith

About The Artist:

Micheal Paul Smith is an artist whose work concerns small toys in the place of real life objects, therefore, making realistic scenes through the use of plastic toys and thoughtful placement. He then photographs these scenes in a way that makes them look very convincing. He makes these photographs by creating a 1:24 scale ratio to recreate everyday scenes from the mid 20th century to -mid 60s America.

How did it begin?

Smith started off with an interest in making scale models of objects as well as an interest in photography. This combination later grew into something magical. He used his sculptural skills and photography skills to create convincing photographs of olden day scenes. Smith wanted to recreate the town in which he grew up in which was a town in America in the 20th century to mid 60s. His work is not an exact replica of the town he grew up in but it does what he wants it to do and that is to create the feeling of the town he grew up in and bring back his childhood memories.

How is it made?

The buildings are constructed of resin-coated paper, styrene plastic, and basswood, plus numerous found objects. The vehicles are from Michael’s collection of 300+ commercially produced, diecast models.

These photographs were all made through the use of placement. No Photoshop was used in these images; they’re all composed in the camera. He refers to it as  the oldest trick in the special effects book: lining up a model with an appropriate background, then photographing it.

How does his work relate to my work?

I am interested in a similar idea that Smith uses within his work. For my final project I am interested in taking recognizable items/objects, constructing a sculpture and then using photography to make the objects look like much more then they really are. Through photography I will change the reality of the object so it is seen as something different then what it is seen as in person. This relates to Smith’s work because he builds structures and then uses photography to change the structure he built into realistic photographs of a fictional town.

Progress photos vs final photos :


His Links:


Blue Bananas

Image from Short Sharp Science: Bananas So Ripe, They’re Blue

As our semester long exploration of photography and colour comes to an end (waaaah) I want to share this web-based exploration of colour from National Public Radio.
LOOK AT THIS: This Is Color
Explore, enjoy and learn about blue bananas.


Links about the history of colour photography

George Eastman House’s photostream on Flickr. Excellent historic images.

Short video about the Autochrome process, from The ImageWorks in Rochester, NY.

Concise History of Color Photography with excellent images and text.

The George Eastman House: Notes on Photographs: An international forum for gathering information that enhances the communal understanding of the photographic print.

A short video about the history of color photography from the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)

History and manufacture of Lantern Slides.

The scandal and possible truth surrounding Levi Hill who claimed to have invented color photography.

A list of links about the origins of the digital camera, as well as other connections between photography and technology.


Short film, creative interpretation of cymk in everyday printing (cereal boxes, etc)

Fantastic resource via Stanford University

Video about Edwin Land (the inventor of Polaroid) and his two color process.

An article describing the relationship between Edwin Land’s experiments and James Clark Maxwell’s discoveries.

Dr. George Stratton

Dr. George Stratton’s original article,

Summary and explanation of Stratton’s work, courtesy of the staff of San Francisco’s Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception.

Newer article, based on Stratton’s research.

Great WIRED article about neuroplasticity, vision, and perception.

Video showing inverted vision experiments: Living in a Reversed World.

The illusion of colour constancy | Color Subjectivity | Living in the past

Is your red my red? No. It isn’t.

The neurological lag between seeing light and understanding/processing light.

Behold, the glorious mantis shrimp

The Mantis Shrimp.

Expanding on our discussion about perception vs seeing, we can thank Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton two pioneers of photographic studies of motion.


Photo.005 Photo.006

Harold Edgerton


MIT Edgerton Center
We will be seeing more work inspired by and using similar techniques as Edgerton during Assignment Three.

Richard Mosse | The Color of War

11 8

These images are taken by Richard Mosse, using infrared film. Infrared film was originally developed for military use and is sensitive to the infrared spectrum of light. Foliage and anything living gives off infrared radiation, which can be detected by the film. Camouflage absorbs (hides) infrared radiation. Mosse is using infrared film to photography the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Read more in the New York Times magazine article.

Assignment One • The Science of Colour

First things first: Can you see colour?


You should be able to see a brown boat in the above image. If you can’t, you might be colour blind.

The Science of Colour and Light
Color and Physics

Colour and light, explained by Bill Nye (the science guy).

A BBC video that explores, “the research on the strange relationship between light, the eye and mind, and the development of new technologies such as photography and film”

This is an interesting TED talk about Colour Theory.

The History of Color Models
To augment our class discussion about colour, learn about the history of the colour wheel.

History of Color Models
Color Models
Color: Standford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Jason Salavon, pushes boundaries between photography/computer science/video etc.  Here is his interpretation of the Colour Wheel.

Color and Subject Interpretation
After listening to the RadioLab podcast, you might be thinking What colour is the sky?

Colour and Language
This video explores the relationship between the development of language and the processing and understanding of colour.


Assignment One • Resources • Artists

Sophie Calle | Chromatic Diet | Explanation about the project









Georges Rousse | artist website | Bending Space documentary about Durham Project | trailer | Bending Space website




Liz Wolfe | Happiness is Contagious
Guy Bourdin | Fashion photography

For more resources about various artists and colour, see this post, related to Assignment One.

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Jessica Eaton | Interview in The Believer | Her personal blog | Her professional site (click on galleries to access images) | Interview in Canadian Art | Good list of interviews

This following text is from various interviews with Eaton, published or referenced from her blog.

“She was aware of the science of light at work even in what she calls “normal” photographs, aware that subject and content buried those phenomena, preventing viewers from seeing what was there. In 2006, her work shifted and she began to bring those hidden elements to the forefront. She isolated light and color and time, even though to do so was to challenge the classical definition of photography as a way to capture a single moment.

“Using a wide array of experimental, analogue-based photographic techniques such as colour separation filters, multiple exposures, dark slides and in-camera masking Jessica Eaton builds images on sheets of 4×5 film that address fundamental properties of photography such as light, chance, duration, illusion and spatial relations.  Eaton has written: “I often set up parameters for phenomena to express itself. In the best of cases I push things so that the response comes in ways that I could not have thought up until I was shown it on film. Once you get to see or experience something you can use it. Then you can use it to see something else.”

A quote from a TIME magazine article:

“Canadian photographer Jessica Eaton uses her camera to create color invisible to the naked eye. She gives bright hues to gray forms in her series Cubes for Albers and LeWitt, and that work was recently awarded the photography prize at the 2012 Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography—a prize for which TIME’s director of photography Kira Pollack sat on the jury.

Jessica Eaton

“We’ve all mixed two colors of paint together, and either it makes another color or, if you keep going, it gets muddy and progressively gets darker,” she explains. “In light, things work really differently.” Eaton explains that she exploits the properties of light through additive color separation: whereas the primary pigment colors (red, blue, yellow) get darker as they blend, the primary colors of light (red, blue, green) move toward white. Eaton applies filters in those three colors to her camera and takes multiple exposures, a process that turns the gray form seen here into the vibrant ones seen above. “The color itself is mixed inside the camera,” she says.

One of the byproducts of Eaton’s process is an element of surprise: because her images are created within the camera, she doesn’t know what she’ll get until the photos are developed. “It’s a bit of a conversation with the world,” she says. “With the forces of time and space and contingency and errors that happen, because often there’s so many steps going into one of these, I get back something that’s also new to me, and those are the pictures that tend to end up in exhibits.”

But the photographer likes challenging definitions, and not just photographic ones. Although she dislikes the term “abstract” as a description of her work—it implies that the light she captures doesn’t exist in reality—Eaton says that her photographs acknowledge “how incredibly limited our ability to perceive the world is.” We lack the sensory mechanisms to see her colors with our naked eyes, and Eaton sees that as a metaphor for our inability to see the extent of the physical universe, whether it includes multiple dimensions or parallel universes. And, in that metaphor, she sees hope. “I love the idea that no matter how bad it gets,” she says, “there’s this wild so-called reality way beyond what we have decided it is.”

These are the artists we discussed in class today. If you want to review the images (and you should, you should look and look and look until you just can’t look anymore) the Powerpoint file is posted on the Courselink.

Amazing resource of artists from Tate Liverpool.
Web-based component to a larger MOMA exhibition about reinventing color

These aren’t listed in order
Cynthia Greg
Ed Burtynsky
Jan Groover
Elina Brotherus
Gage and Betterton
Manjari Sharma
Eileen Cowin
Linda Troeller
Olafur Eliasson
Alex Kisilevich
Joel Sternfeld
Amy Stein
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Richard Billingham
Martin Parr
William Eggleston
Stephen Shore
Andres Serrano
Joel Meyerwitz
Andreas Gursky
Sandy Skoglund
Anthony Hernandez

Too hard to keep; too meaningful to destroy?


What happens when a photograph is too difficult to look at, yet you can’t throw it away? (Your prom photo? The last image from a painful breakup, the perm you thought was a good idea. BUT. IT. WAS. NOT. )

That’s the question Chicago-based artist, Jason Lazarus, explores in the exhibit, Too Hard To Keep (T.H.T.K). at Gallery TPW. All the images in the exhibit were donated by people who couldn’t look at them anymore.

More info about the show

“Too Hard to Keep” is part of “Coming to Encounter,” a series that experiments with strategies for looking at difficult images. The series is organized by Galley TPW, curator in residence Gabrielle Moser.

A bummer? Interesting? What do you think?

If you like to make and read lists… (Susannah?)

3500 grocery lists by strangers. It’s a blog. It’s a book.
Passive Aggressive Notes. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a book.

And, if you are feeling nice: this started as a blog, and now it’s a book.


This has nothing to do with notes or lists, but it’s the cray cray intersection of science and graphics. Finding the visible in the invisible.