Issuu on Google+

01

Alexander Bohn

IRUNRAP.com

The Rap Foundation

Portfolio

Music Management System

April 2002

http://IRUNRAP.com/

I have done a good deal of freelance work for the Rap Foundation since the organization was founded in early 2000. The work has ranged from the design of iconography for their letterheads to heavy web-based database programming and integration. This flash-based music browser and project manager was my personal

03

favorite of the bunch. It puts a unique yet functional face on their

thisproject

database-driven distributed music network.

faculty members jts3k fish

Unfortunately, severe cutbacks in the foundation have lead to the premature cancellation of many of their activities. Elements of this design, most notably the song browser and preview interface, survive in the current IRUNRAP.com offerings.

tyler

concentric rectangles

POSTDATE 04 Jun 2002

project concentric rectangles by jts3k, fish, tyler

ks

lin

dia

me

dio

live @ P4 :: 02/12/02 basement freakout w/ gene simmons LIVE!!!LIVE!!!LIVE @ smart drugs rally 09/27/02 - unbelievable bullshit

au

AUDIO

play track. status: buffering...

rAP FOUNDATION PROJECT Page 01


Alexander Bohn

IRUNRAP.com

The Rap Foundation

Portfolio

Music Management System

April 2002

http://IRUNRAP.com/

01 This system was built in flash, but the projects themselves were

03

thisproject faculty members jts3k fish

tyler

000

thisproject

concentric rectangles

POSTDATE

faculty members

04 Jun 2002

jts3k

POSTDATE

tyler

populated from a database (via Flash’s XML functionality, which

the rdm 3000

was fairly new at the time) which foundation members could interact with via web forms. Members could post songs, share

04 Oct 2002

clips and samples among one another, and track projects online.

please

see also

004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 020 021 022 023 024 025 026 027 028 029 030 031 032 033 MORE...

It proved to be an engaging and functional for the less web-savvy foundation members.

SELECT 01 02 03 archiv archive

rAP FOUNDATION PROJECT rAP FOUNDATION PROJECT

03

thisproject jts3k fish

tyler

03

thisproject

concentric rectangles

POSTDATE

faculty members

04 Jun 2002

jts3k fish

tyler

concentric rectangles

POSTDATE 04 Jun 2002

project concentric rectangles by jts3k, fish, tyler

ks

lin

dia me

dio

about concentric rectangles are a bunch of freaks. I don't like their music at all. why I even go to that stupid club is beyond me. it must be the cheap beer or something. sheesh.

au

ks

lin

dia me

dio

au

ge

a im

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faculty members

I mean really, let me elaborate here. I hate it when they drop those beats. why do they have to do that? did anyone say it was ok? and those laptops. like, clue phone, it's for you, guys! laptops just aren't cool. and what kind of video is that??! you just have no idea what's going on whatsoever! everything's all melted and stupid-looking. I really urge all of you out there reading this to throw eggs at the Concentric Rectangles if you see them. Thanks!

rAP FOUNDATION PROJECT rAP FOUNDATION PROJECT Page 02


02 Back when the idea of “web design” was still rather young, I would amuse myself by regularly “skinning” the interface for my personal website. I include this example, implemented in 1998, as evidence of the fact that I had a thing for modernism way before I’d even so much as heard of Philip Johnson and his ilk.

Page 03

Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“Circles” Interface to Personal Website

Personal Project March 1998

http://lynx.neu.edu/a/abohn/circle/


Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“Circles� Interface to Personal Website

Personal Project March 1998

http://lynx.neu.edu/a/abohn/circle/

02 When the page loads, you are greeted with the black circle on the white background. Upon merely directing your cursor at the circle, before you can even think to click, the background and foreground of the page invert, and the interface appears around your cursor.

Interested parties are invited to try it out; it is still live on my old site at Northeastern.

Page 04


03

Alexander Bohn

iEAR Webiste

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Portfolio

Interim Redesign

April 2002

http://www.arts.rpi.edu/

I first arrived at RPI, in my capacity as webmaster for the iEAR electronic arts program, in January 2002. Before I could build an entire new website for them from scratch, I quickly skinned the old one. It was made to dovetail complementarily with the interim redesign of the EMAC site, pictured next.

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Page 05


Alexander Bohn

EMAC Website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Portfolio

Interim Redesign

May 2002

http://www.emac.rpi.edu/

04 The EMAC undergraduate electronic arts and communication program is the complement to iEAR, the graduate arts program at RPI. This simple “brocureware� interim site had its own distinct graphic elements, but shared with its sister site its layout and

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Page 06


05

Alexander Bohn

iEAR Website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Portfolio

Data-driven Site System

June 2003

http://www.arts.rpi.edu/

After a year of work, I completely reëngineered RPI’s iEAR website. The backend was powered by an object-to-relational mapping framework of my own design, geared to make it easy for novice programmers to add to and maintain the site while permitting

community it serves.

people

Graphically, the site appears relatively conservative until one

click for details.

centric and offers easy data-sharing systems, like blogging, to the

Monday, August 20th. Meet the iEAR Faculty and Staff.

news.

complex data operations in user-space. The frontend is very user-

attempts to use some of the main menu functions. At that point, massive orange icons intrude across the typical grid of the page.

Page 07

inside.

gallery.

about. events.

iP!

people.

facilities.

events.

3 0 # 6 !

!

3 0

6 2

they enjoy playing with it.

colleen mulrenan, “daughter, september 13th”

and engaging dose of visual feedback. People have told me that

about. news.

mock the “traditional” web experience and provide a refreshing

arts.

experience (read: Macromedia Flash) and as such serves to both

The “Back to School” Colloquium.

This is accomplished without the typical trappings of such an


Alexander Bohn

iEAR Website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Portfolio

Data-driven Site System

June 2003

05

http://www.arts.rpi.edu/

In addition to the icons, other “intrusive” graphic elements facilitate the user experience. In the lower-right screenshot here, you can

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3 0 # 6

3 0 # 6

6 2

see that a box for entering login credentials floating on top of page

6 2

read the latest iEAR news.

content. By using this floating box instead of redirecting the user to a separate login page, the act of logging in is more fluid, and as such protected site areas can be accessed without distraction. It also keeps those without access from losing their place, should

arts. about. news.

The “Back to School” Colloquium.

news.

iEAR :: News :: Recent News

news.

they click on a protected option by accident; the floating box can be easily closed, again without going to a new page. Error mes-

about. news. events.

colleen mulrenan, “daughter, september 13th”

events.

arts.

sages and other bits of vital system information are presented with

facilities. people.

facilities. people.

iP!

iP!

similar devices, and in this way, the inner workings of the site are

events.

marshalled off from the actual content.

about.

about. events.

gallery.

gallery.

inside.

inside.

Monday, August 20th. Meet the iEAR Faculty and Staff.

Graphically, the site makes use of an orthographic projection motif,

click for details.

from which the columns of the sites’ grid are formed. This motif works with the content without distracting from it. It also sets the 3 0

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arts.

inside :: your personal home page your contact information.

visual stage for the contrastingly goofy iconography. 3 0 # 6

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facilities.

iP!

iP!

events. gallery.

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6 2

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your blogs.

Page 08


06 In the course of my tenure as web manager at RPI’s iEAR program, I worked on a great many projects. While completing the website, I amassed the icons I’d designed, and made complements and additions when necessary. This is a selection of those icons. They now serve as a visual language and icon library for future designers at iEAR.

Page 09

Alexander Bohn

Graphic Language

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Portfolio

Iconography for Web and Print

March 2003


Alexander Bohn

“Workfont”

Personal Project

Portfolio

Typeface Design

July 2001

http://tangram.tv/work/bathroom/

07 This is the first typeface I designed. It is probably best described as a brutalist sans-serif. While it is not especially pretty, I include it here as I consider it a fairly significant part of my design development; as a sort of nod to my primordial sensibilities, if you will.

Years later, I was delighted to discover Pamphlet Architecture #5, “The Alphabetical City,” wherein Steven Holl described and illustrated a slew of urban typologies with extruded alphabetical forms very similar to mine. I had always considered this typeface to have an “architectural” quality to it, but I thought that was a frightfully topical thing to say about it. It was quite an affirmation to see my little suspicions about formalism on a macro- and micro-level thusly validated.

Page 10


08 Discussions over coffee with a few of my like-minded designer, architect, law-student, and photographer friends led to the creation of the OP:FIX project, which I describe in greater detail at the end of this book. We were trying to conceive of mechanisms, both technical and ideological, that could reënable valid criticism under the great aegis of “design.”

Before the project evolved into what it is today, we went through a spate of enthusiasm for the ideas behind it, and some of our sketches were of value in their own right.

Page 11

Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“OP:FIX Perspective 02” Poster Design

Part of OP:FIX (see project 17) April 2003

http://OPFIX.com/


Alexander Bohn

Poster Designs

Various Clients

Portfolio

(See the following 6 pages)

January 2003 - Present

During the time I worked at RPI, I took up VJing. This relatively new art involves the creation of video compositions in realtime, most frequently alongside a DJ or other musicians. I was fortunate to live in an town that had a thriving community of DJs, VJs, laptop musicians, and electronic artists. In addition to playing alongside

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them, I made flyers for many of the events we held. Almost all of these flyers were done for free. If compensation was involved, it typically involved beer rather than money.

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Page 12


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Figure 01: Music of the Spheres: A Concert Series.

This Friday, April 4th, 8 pm at The Junior Museum Planetarium Penelope Cotton

(The jts3k and Alan Rosenblith) audio

Adam Invisible video

(Complete Top View)

$2.50 Students and Members $5.00 All Others See Also: http://www.rpi.edu/~vargaa/spheres/ Or call the museum: 518/235.2120

The original was 8x10 black-and-white, for easy xeroxing.


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10 Nowadays, I can do a reasonable VJ show with just a laptop. As recently as 2002, however, laptops were not capable of the feats they are today in the realm of realtime media. When I started out VJing, I lugged a video mixer, DVD players, and custom-burned video DVDs to the bars and clubs in which I played.

I ended up in the habit of making very elaborate menu systems for my DVDs. People never saw the menus, just the output, and as such these interfaces you see here were never made with eyes other than my own in mind. I suppose it was precisely this criterion that motivated me to make these designs as you see them.

Page 19

Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“Back2TheEssence� DVD Menus for Realtime Systems

Personal Project January 2002 - Present


Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“Back2TheEssence” DVD Menus for Realtime Systems

Personal Project January 2002 - Present

10 The first three graphics here are for a system I called “Back2TheEssence”. (Action shots from the actual video are can be seen on page 26.) Back2TheEssence was conceived of as scalable art: I have shown this video at rooftop parties in Brooklyn, from within dual-channel installations in Boston galleries, and on the one lone TV at a Troy dive bar. It has also stood on its own in sound-free gallery shows in Troy.

As it can run in both single- and dual-channel modes, with multiple looping options, the menus required more esoteric options than those you might see in a more typical video offering from Blockbuster.

The fourth graphic is from a special version of Back2TheEssence I built for a show in which two of my musician friends and I staged a fake Macintosh system crash. In the middle of the show, they suddenly pumped static into the mix, and I simultaneously killed my video output. The sound died, and then suddenly the well-known Macintosh “BONNGGG!” boot-up sound echoed out of the speakers. The crowd thought we’d crashed, but then the sound played again. And again... and then the beat came back in on top. I had to recue my video precisely to match with this seemingly unchoreographed sequence of events (one of the musicians likened the endeavor to “emergency surgery.”) This was thus once case where the design of the menu was more than visual frosting for the system: I had to be able to navigate quickly and efficiently through all available options.

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment during a show, the video

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11 Alexander Bohn Personal Project

October 2002


Alexander Bohn

“Eat Shit”

Portfolio

11

Personal Project

Blog Site

October 2002

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Page 22


12 I lived in Australia for four months, during the summer of 2001 (It was winter there, of course). I lived in a neighborhood that had been mostly factories and warehouses in the past, but was largely gentrified by the time I got there. Early on, jetlag kept me up late, and I ended up walking around the parts of the area that were still in socioeconomic flux. I had my camera with me, and along with my friend Jesse Stiles, I explored construction sites and abandoned buildings. As our explorations grew more elaborate, we began to take up the masks and suits of our unknown hosts. These elements ended up featuring prominently in my photos.

I ended up making a video out of the images. My friend Jesse composed a soundtrack, the percussive sounds of which were culled from field recordings made during the excursions. I wrote software to animate the stills, and then hand-edited the output.

Page 23

Alexander Bohn

“Work/Bathroom�

Personal Project

Portfolio

Algorithmically Composed Video

August 2001


Alexander Bohn Portfolio

“Work/Bathroom� Algorithmically Composed Video

Personal Project August 2001

http://tangram.tv/work/bathroom/

12 The video is an exploration of urban subspace and ruins. It is not specifically tied to our Australian locale; the lack of semiotic content aside from the filter masks and the suits themselves means that it could have been shot in your basement, wherever your basement may be. I combine image sequences from different shoots in different locations; each viewer therefore concocts their own personal map of the space they perceive. It is generally geared towards bringing the spaces we saw and heard to the viewer in a very direct and literal sense: by imposing upon them the confusion and disorientation we personally felt as we moved through them.

Page 24


13 As I mentioned previously, I’m a VJ.

One good story I’ve heard is that the rise of VJing has a loose paralell with the ascension of South Bronx DJ acts in the wake of the Blackout of ‘77. In the case of the latter, the blackout allegedly put many more turntables into the hands of eager kids, via the hands of looters taking advantage of the outage. The story I’ve heard is that the dot-com bust allowed lots of graphic designers to easily get their hands on projectors, by either buying them on eBay from bankrupt companies selling off the last of their office wares, or by simply purloining them as they walked out of the office for the last time.

The awful truth is that most VJs would love to be compared with such pioneering and ardent artists as the original South Bronx DJs. The VJs tend to be the least visually interesting people at the show, as they are almost always staring at a laptop screen. The joke is that you just bring a DVD, pop it in, and check your email.

Personally, I do what I can to get away from this unfortunate image. What you see here is a photograph taken at a show I played at a bar in brooklyn. The bar was too small to hang up a screen in. It was winter, however, and they weren’t using these two beautiful glass doors that opened out onto their garden. We hung the screen right outside the doors, and projected onto it from the garden. This changed everything about the video performance: it wasn’t just images on a screen, it was an entire alternative space, with a constantly mutating relationship to the bar space.

My friend Hisao Ihara played along with me on this particular night.

Page 25

Alexander Bohn

VJ Shows

Personal Project

Portfolio

Realtime Video Compositions

December 2001 - Present


Alexander Bohn

VJ Shows

Personal Project

Portfolio

Realtime Video Compositions

December 2001 - Present

13 These images are taken from a short clip a friend of mine recorded from a show I played in a gallery on Roosveldt Island in New York. That is to say, you’re looking at stills from the video people at the show saw, rather than my source material.

I tend to stay away from representational images, although I will use them from time to time. In those cases I prefer footage I’ve shot myself. I also try not to use stock footage; the “math power” sequence you see here at the bottom is an animation I made myself.

Most of my video is abstract to the point of formalism. I strive to make video that people don’t just sit and stare at as if it were TV. The great thing about playing music at a club is that the music can be perceived omnidirectionally. You can still be listening to it while your up at the bar talking with your friend, or while waiting for the bathroom, or dancing, or what have you. In the case of video, you have to point your head at it to figure out what’s going on.

I try to use the projectors and monitors more as lighting than image surfaces. The second and most of the third row of stills here are images from the “Back2TheEssence” show system I talked about on pages 19 - 20. Back2TheEssence, and many of my other animations, are pure animated graphic form. I find this approach to VJing to provide the best balance between visual stimulation and distraction.

Page 26


14 I took a class this fall in the RISD GD department called “Printed Books”. It was a general overview of bookmaking techniques. Our first assignment was an “altered book”: we were to procure a standard, non-handmade book from a secondhand store, and alter it in some fashion. The logic is sound: to make a book, one must first explore its unmaking.

Over the summer, a friend of mine had given me a copy of Folding Architecture, a new book by Sophia Vyzoviti that features foldingpaper work. I had this in my mind when I went book-shopping, and when I saw the book on the millenial Pritzker Prize, I knew what I had to do.

Page 27

Alexander Bohn

Altered Pritzker Prize Book

Class Assignment

Portfolio

Paper Sculpture

September 2004


Alexander Bohn

Altered Pritzker Prize Book

Class Assignment

Portfolio

Paper Sculpture

September 2004

14 Vyzoviti cites Koolhaas’ influential (yet unbuilt) winning competition entry, “2 Bibliotheques at Jusseau”, as the earliest work in modernity to “exhibit Deleuzian traits.” By this she means that the work employs folds on a number of levels in a manner summarized by Gilles Deleuse in an article on Liebniz that first appeared in the 1993 issue of Architectural Design that was guest-edited by Greg Lynn. This issue was called Folding in Architecture.

Vyzoviti later points out that Koolhaas’ epic S,M,L,XL is one of the first tomes to draw attention to (however briefly) the processes incumbent in the use of paper folding while generating architectural form in the practice of modelmaking.

It was therefore a natural progression for me to inflict one of the pleat fold techniques highlighted by Vyzoviti on a book about Koolhaas himself. The book is still perusable, if not wholly legible, and so it’s not just a concept sculpture. The pleating process has given the book form a new volume and a new topography, while commenting on (and not entirely crippling) its programmatic intent.

Artistic intensions aside, I found this project to be a wonderful introduction to the possible crossroads that exist between book art and architecture.

Page 28


15 The final project for the bookmaking class was the production of a book, as one might assume. I took it upon myself to write the book I would be producing.

I have been fascinated by the shortcomings of design and architectural discourse for some time. Specifically, grandiose and useless language (which I shall refer to as “bullshit”) keeps barriers to discussions higher than they should be. I have wanted to write a book on the subject for some time, and this class gave me the chance.

(It is by no means a done deal at this point, i should add. The copy depicted here is a very shabby copy, as I turned in the better one. The technique could be honed, and it could do with a bout of good old-fashioned editing. But I digress.)

I concieved of the project as two books in one: one, a field guide to bullshit terminology, with convenient and practical definitions. A second book would contain my commentary on the first, illustrating the most laughable and contemptable uses of the bullshit words and phrases. They would be separate but inseprable, much in the way Mumon’s commentary is inseprable from The Gateless Gate.

Page 29

Alexander Bohn

Transmodal Network-Enabled Bullshit

Final Class Project

Portfolio

Handmade Book

December 2004


Alexander Bohn

Transmodal Network-Enabled Bullshit

Final Class Project

Portfolio

Handmade Book

December 2004

15 My first prototype had the two books as actual separate books, bound together and opening out such that they opposed one another. You can see a picture of this prototype on the next page. This did not work very well, physically.

In the end, I reconciled this by printing the book itself on red acetate, which I interspersed with the commentary, printed in black on white paper. The commentary pages are also illustrated in red, such that the illustration is invisible when the definition is lying across the page with the comments. The illustration replaces the space the text fills when the reader turns the page.

I plan to complete the book within the year, hopefully with funding. Portions may be made available online, as well.

Page 30


16 I like making books. As I mentioned, I feel the process has much in common with the processes that yield architectural models.

The portfolio I made when applying to graduate school is pictured here in the first row. You’ll note many similarities between this tome and the one you are now holding. This book was my first taste of bookmaking processes.

This second row shows a clamshell box of mine.

The third row shows the original dual-binding prototype for “Transmodal Network-Enabled Bullshit Systems.” The commentary is the smaller book, which wraps around the main binding in front.

The last row illustrates some process books I made for other classes at RISD. Most every GD class requires a book at the end, so it proved to be quite a fortuitous thing to take the bookmaking class right away.

Page 31

Alexander Bohn Portfolio

Other Handmade Books

For Various Purposes On Various Dates


Alexander Bohn

OP:FIX Project Proposal

Personal Project

http://OPFIX.com/

Portfolio

Distributed Global Crit System

Implementation Pending

http://fusedspace.org/show_contribution.php?id=117

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Pointing your phone at the DIN, or entering the serial number in the OP:FIX webiste, brings you right to a discussion of the issue. The discussion, which in the final system would most likely be peer-moderated ĂĄ la Slashdot, welcomes anyone with something to say, including the criticized party.

Furthermore, web browser plugins that connect to OP:FIX enables online design issues to be submitted and summarily critiqued alongside their physical counterparts.

I was a finalist in FUSEDSPACE, and I tied for fifth.

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Portfolio 2004 Q4