Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, better known as GAFFTA, is a non-profit organization created for the promotion of digital media and digital culture here in San Francisco. The group is made up of artists, designers, composers, programmers, hackers, engineers, and even business and marketing professionals. They seek to blur the so-called ‘Gray Area’ between the arts and emerging technologies. In general, computer arts are not considered a fine art, but more of a craft or skill instead. The Gray Area Foundation has set up an arena to contradict the perceived place of computer arts within the fine arts world.

The four installations created an almost poetic cacophony that I could not just hear, but feel moving through my entire body. The mixture of sounds from all the pieces was almost like heavy rain hitting a tin roof. I immediately felt relaxed and comfortable, wanting to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa. Most of the pieces were less visually pleasing and emphasized the sound created more than the layout or composition of the work. Though there was inspiration for some pieces, it ultimately didn’t translate unless the viewer knew the context and read the idea about the piece mounted on the wall. It was obvious that he drew inspiration from the physical world. The use of mechanical objects to create art produced an environment for randomness. The sound each piece made could not be defined and precisely tuned by the artist, making the composition that of chance. Ultimately, Zimoun's pieces emphasized a poetry in both the movement and sound created.

The specific work by Zimoun impacted me less than just knowing who GAFFTA is and what they do. I'm personally more interested in GAFFTA for the classes and workshops they provide to bridge the gap between arts and technology. I would really love to take a class on processing or learn more about arduino boards, but they are just a little beyond my price range.

No comments:

Post a Comment