Sunday, June 5, 2016

Event -- Seattle Underground Tour

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Seattle's Underground Tour, which is a guided exploration of part of the old city that Seattle was built over. Seattle was founded in the latter half of the 1800s, but it initially experienced a great deal of problems due to the local geology. The town was essentially built on wet sand and sawdust from the local lumber mill. Furthermore, most of the houses were built from wood. As a result, the city suffered flooding from tides (toilets would overflow during the high tide), sinking buildings, and fires. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed a huge portion of the city, and it was decided that new construction would be built with fireproof materials; not only that, but buildings were also constructed over old structures, leading to the creation of the Seattle underground. For a time, the "basement level" was still used for business.
The Seattle underground has a certain aesthetic and represents culture from a century ago. The aesthetic is mysterious, yet quaint. The culture is that of a people who cobbled together what would become one of the United States' most prosperous cities. There is a certain unorthodox science to how the city's problems were solved.
Madame Lou Graham appears in the picture above with some of her girls. Prostitution was a large part of Seattle's economy, and when Madame Lou Graham died she left her fortune to the schools of Seattle. Although more conservative people had objections about the source of the money, it was nonetheless a huge boon to the education system.

Selfie of me in the Seattle Underground Tour.


Bennett, Jeanette. "The Woman Who Laid the Foundation of Seattle." The Association of Temporal Anthropologists:. 23 May 2013. Web. 05 June 2016.

Seattle Municipal Archives. "Brief History of Seattle." CityArchives. Web. 05 June 2016.

Seattle Underground Tour. Web. 05 June 2016. <>.

Speidel, Bill. Seattle Underground Tour. 1965. Guided Tour. Pioneer Square, Seattle.

"The Great Seattle Fire." University of Washington Digital Collections. Web. 05 June 2016. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Event -- Todd Madigan Art Gallery

The Todd Madigan Art Gallery at the California State University, Bakersfield displays artwork by CSUB students. Several of their works use technology as part of their medium and presentation.

The first thing that you see when you are entering the museum are strange objects, such as this one, which have been created from bits of garbage. They are part of a series called Trash Preserves by Licet Romero; this one is called Personal Preference. My interpretation of what this artist is saying is that, even as humanity technologically advances, we generate a large amount of waste that is slowly polluting the earth. One way to counteract this is to recycle this waste, for example by turning it into art.

What appear to be iPads are, in fact, constructs of wood, glass, and paper made by Enjoli DeWester. Entitled Conflicted, they depict a traditional form of artwork, nude portraiture, but are designed to look like images on a tablet. The traditionalism of the art contrasts with the overall modern appearance.

This miniature "room" in the center of the gallery is called For the love of music, in the name of art, by R. Mayte Mendez. It contains a large number of music-related items from around the 70s, but one wall is notably bare and features only an iPod. For better or for worse, the posters, record players, stereos, and other musical memorabilia have been replaced by one small device. A lot of personality and culture is lost in the process.

For these exhibits, Sensuals and Civil Rights respectively, Saige White created two audio-visual experiences. Visually, Sensuals features a variety of vivid clips; aurally, a woman's voice recites poetry in the foreground while another woman sings in the background. In Civil Rights, White performs a rap about the titular subject, while the video of her movements is edited to fit the beat. In both cases, White makes full use of her technological medium.

Selfie of me with two of the employees.


DeWester, Enjoli. Conflicted. 2016. Wood, glass, ink, and graphite on paper. Todd Madigan Art Gallery, Bakersfield, California. 

Mendez, R. Mayte. For the Love of Music, in the Name of Art. 2016. Found objects. Todd Madigan Art Gallery, Bakersfield, California.

Romero, Licet. Trash Preserves: Personal Preference. 2016. Found objects. Todd Madigan Art Gallery, Bakersfield, California.

White, Saige. Civil Rights. 2016. Video/Sound. Todd Madigan Art Gallery, Bakersfield, California.

White, Saige. Sensuals. 2016. Video/Sound. Todd Madigan Art Gallery, Bakersfield, California. 

Event -- Bakersfield Museum of Art

At the Bakersfield Museum of Art, there are a number of exhibits that incorporate technology in their themes and their making. Many of the featured artists are students studying art at Bakersfield schools.

Ines Castillo's art addresses consumerism and materialism. In this work, the woman's eyes are replaced with barcodes, and she appears distressed. Her art shows clear influence from cartoons or comics, the former of which interested her as a child, according to her biography.

These two pieces by Allyanna Demafeliz are digital drawings. The first one, Idealism, is a statement on how women of color are obliged by society to aspire to white standards of beauty. The second one, Ignorantism, is a statement on how children are shielded from reality, and are often shown a distorted view of it. Most of the children have their eyes covered, and one has her mouth covered. Demafeliz has been creating digital art since she received a digital tablet at the age of 13.

Katelyn Alvarado was inspired by both Salvador Dali and animated films to create a triptych of a dreamcatcher. According to her, "I tried to change the dreamcatcher's image by making it represent man's dreams, and instead of glorifying those dreams, I wanted to show the consequences of man's accomplishments and the darkness in them."

This is a piece called Bakersfield - Water, Land, Oil by Peter Lloyd. It is a comment on how humans change the landscape around them to harvest resources for their needs. When taking this photo, I angled the reflection of the light on the ceiling so that it would appear as though the light were the sun beating down. In a sense I used my technology to create art from art.

 This is my selfie at the gallery with the receptionist there.


Alvarado, Katelyn. Untitled. 2016. Water color, ink, and colored pencil on paper. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California.

Castillo, Ines. Untitled. 2016. Water color on paper. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California.

Demafeliz, Allyanna. Idealism. 2016. Digital drawing. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California.

Demafeliz, Allyanna. Ignorantism. 2016. Digital drawing. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California.

Demafeliz, Allyanna. The Art of Allyanna Demafeliz. Web. 04 June 2016.
Lloyd, Peter. Bakersfield - Water, Land, Oil. 1972. Mixed media. Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California.