Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Video Games Added to the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art located in New York City, NY has selected several video games to add to their permanent collection. In additional to traditional wall art, painting, sculpture and photography, games have been selected by the Museum of Modern Art to show design elements for each game.

In November 2012, the first 14 initial games were selected and announced, with plans to expand the collection to 40 games over time, as the museum can acquire the rights to display them. In June 2013, six more games were added to the collection and a game console.

Games are curate by Paola Antonelli. The majority of games in the collection can be played on certain levels and are shown in such a way to minimize nostalgia's influence.

Are Video Games Art?

One of the most popular games on display is of course; you guessed it, Pac-Man.

The exhibition raised controversy, as you might anticipate due to video games are not commonly considered art, according to critics therefore they may not have a place in an art gallery.

But to add a bit of credibility the collection of games are modeled on the 1934 "Machine Art," exhibition by Philip Johnson. In this exhibition, Phillip displays a minimalist fashion of machinery such as propeller blades focusing on its mechanical design.

The exhibition would end up creating a shock, which made people realize how much art really is in design pieces. And according to the exhibit curator this is the desired effect.

It appears that in order to minimize factors like nostalgia, the video games are shown in a minimalist way. They are displayed where only a screen and a control device can be seen on a blank wall.

At least one more video game, namely Katamari Damacy, was previously shown in the design galleries of MoMA (Museum Of Modern Art). The exhibition is part of a movement that includes forms beyond traditional media that the Modern Art Museum began in 2006, starting with digital fonts and then moving to video games.

Pac-Man Added to the Modern Art Museum

MoMA planned the movement of traffic between games carefully. Games such as Pac-Man that are likely to be played heavily and require less time to play are places near entrances and exits. Other games which require more time to play are displayed with a demo version of the game so visitors can beat the game and move on. This way a visitor can get a feel for the game without having to play for hours.

The source code for these games is most valued and is the intellectual property of the developer. MoMA is interested not in the source code but in the game’s hardware and interface. Instead of acquiring the games source code a simulation or emulation is acquired. What MoMA is primarily interested in is showing the interaction.

The collection at MoMA definitely has a heavy bias towards the classic era of arcade machines and 8-bit consoles. In this era a few visionaries laid the foundation for the future of gaming.

These games developed in the 70s and 80s still remain as compelling today as they were when first announced.

The Magnavox Odyssey console of Ralph H. Baer 

Added By Evan-Amos - Own work, Public Domain
Added By Evan-Amos - Own work, Public Domain,

The Magnavox Odyssey console of Ralph H. Baer was added because it was considered both a masterpiece of engineering and industrial design and was of great importance during the industry's birth. Ralph is known as the father of video games. He was a German inventor, game developer and engineer.

Before World War II, Baer's family fled Germany. Baer served the American war effort, after which he became interested in electronics. He worked as an engineer at Sanders Associates, which later was acquired by BAE Systems. After working several jobs in the electronics industry he conceived the idea of playing games on a TV screen in about 1966.

He worked through several prototypes with the support of his employers until he reached a "Brown Box" which became the blueprint for the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. 

Baer continued to design a number of other consoles and computer game units, including the electronic game “Simon”. Baer continued working in electronics with more than 150 patents in his name until his death in 2014.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Photography by Edward Alexander Presenting Things of History

Photo of Civil War Cannon

Civil War Cannon at Stones River Battlefield
During the American Civil War, Civil War artillery played a major role. It was used against infantry, constructions, and fortresses. Artillery fought alongside the battlefield infantry. This cannon is located at the Stones River National Battlefield, Rutherford County Stones River Park, Tennessee. It commemorates Stones River Battle. This major battle of the American civil war took place on 31 December 1862 and 2 January 1863 and led to a strategic victory for the Union.

Photo of an Old Tree

Barfield Crescent Oak Tree
Barfield Crescent Park takes you back to a time long before the first people settled in the area of the Middle Tennessee region. This location brings us back to the Cretan period about 144 to 65 million years ago in the history of our planet. During the Cretan period, North America began to move northwest of the massive continent of Pangaea and eventually settled in its current position. A massive amount of land in North America, now populated by millions of people, was completely submerged in water 94 million years ago. Once submerged by this prehistoric sea, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and even parts of Middle Tennessee were included. There are wonderful rock formations around you as you walk through Barfield. Made mainly of calcareous stone, a soft rock that is easily weathered by the flow of water, these formations seem to be caves flowing across the forest. However, these formations are not caves but proof of an ancient sea floor that existed once. Imagine them, as you stand next to these open trenches, as the bottom of our modern oceans and the deepest and darkest depths of the trenches.

Photography of  a Train

Old Blue

The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, completed in January 1854, played a crucial role in shaping the landscapes of the Stones River National Battlefield. The raised path bed was the scene of some of the most important battles in the Stones River Battle. Union cannons massed at the top of the railroad turned the Confederate tide back before reaching the Nashville Pike and the tracks. The railroad served as a vital supply artery for Union forces moving into the deep south after the battle. Years after the war the company played a leading role in the preservation and interpretation of the fighting ground. This one is most likely belonging to CSX Transportation that is no longer being used any more.

Image of a Lion Head 

Lion Head
The Lion head is on the doors of the Parthenon. Parthenon is proud to be the centerpiece of Centennial Park, the first urban park in Nashville. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena, like in ancient Greece, is the focus of the Parthenon. The building and the statue of Athena are replicas of the Athenian originals on a full scale. As you enter rub the Lion's nose for good luck.

Photo of Old Wheels

Wall of Wheels
Wagon wheels at Cannonsburgh Village. Cannonsburgh showcases regional history from the 1830s to the 1930s, with buildings including a schoolhouse and general store.

Is Wall Art Is the Most Important Element In Interior Design?

Wall art is always an afterthought in most home interiors. After the wall has been painted and after the furniture has been placed and artfully arranged artwork finally gets hung on the walls. Well, maybe. Many times purchasing ceramic wall art and designing a homes interior is not even thought about at all. But by leaving wall art to the last item on the list are you missing out on a fantastic design opportunity? Many will answer yes and say wall art matters the most in interior design. When chosen correctly it can be the d├ęcor for the entire room.

However, don't worry if you are a little nervous about giving wall art such an important role in your interior decorating plans. Use this article as a guide to select the right decor that fit your space and thus you will have a harmonious interior Claude Monet would be envious of.

An Instant Color Palette Is Created by Wall Art

Image courtesy of Pinterest:
Choosing a color palette can be one of the most daunting aspects of designing your interiors. The varying shades of paint available in your local home improvement store can seem unlimited. It can be difficult to narrow the possibilities into the colors that best suit your vision for space.

The best advice is to leave the paint chips behind and instead focus on wall art. Once you find a painting or a wall that you love, you can use this piece as an inspiration for the eventual color palette of your room.

Your first step is to choose two or three shades of wall art that you want to incorporate into your decor. Choose the dominant color as well as some additional shades that you would like to accentuate. Then look for the colors in the items you use to decorate your room.

A Focal Point Is Created by Wall Art

One of the most fundamental principles of interior design is that each room requires a focus. A single design element that immediately gives the viewer a sense of what to expect. It goes without saying that this position can easily be achieved by a large piece of wall art.

Imagine your favorite artwork in your master suite standing proudly or hanging over a fireplace in your living room. A more traditional dining area can be spiced up easily by a creative wall in a gallery or a few tapestries can make a cozy feeling in a sitting area.

The most important consideration when choosing the piece of wall art as the focus of your space is its size. An art piece that is too small is dwarfed by the furniture around, and a piece that is too large appears to overflow. Make sure the wall space available is measured so you know how much space you have.

Texture Is Added By Hanging Wall Art

Remember, not all wall art is the same. While some pieces may be two- dimensional or similar, you should try to find art in a number of different mediums in order to bring a different sense of texture into space.

You should also consider items such as sculptures or shade boxes that can add depth to the room as well as paintings and printings. If your style favors experimental or unusual ideas, a short mixed media installation with screens and digital art might be considered.

These extra parts of texture can help your interiors add much needed visual weight to determine the tone of the room or how it feels. Consider that rough textures make a space feel more intimate and grounded, while smooth textures give the room a sleeker, more detached tone.

Wall Art Adds the Finishing Touches to a Room

Image courtesy of Pinterest: 
Think about some of the smaller interiors you've seen. Maybe a college or first apartment. It is odd that these spaces felt a bit rough around the edges and unfinished a little. Odds are they also mainly had white walls.

Wall art is the finishing element that can help to connect and make a space feel complete. This little extra touch can take your space from simply looking functional to appearing like an interior design magazine's pages.

The key is to choose an art piece or another wall that matches the decorative style you have already chosen for your room. After that, it's all about choosing the decor that you love and you'll be happy to see your wall hang on for many years.

When you decorate a new space, Wall Art does not have to be the last piece of the puzzle. Actually, it shouldn't be. Wall art is most important in our minds when it comes to interior design. This is because when properly used, your wall hangings can provide an excellent framework to plan the rest of the room.

Follow the steps outlined in this article on how to select and incorporate wall art properly in your interior and you end in a professional design.