1.8 Tools of Capture

Tools of Capture: Canon 7D, Day 6 Plotwatcher Time-lapse, iPhone

Beyond accumulating physical objects and written words in my database, I am also passionately accumulating still and moving images. I use a range of high, medium, and low-resolution cameras, and oscillate between still and moving digital devices. Although quality/resolution is always a consideration when I am using a particular camera, I’m more interested in the access a particular device provides. Whether it is the med-res iPhone camera in my pocket at all times, a rugged Day 6 Plotwatcher low-res time-lapse camera I can duct tape to my bike and film while riding (or leave it somewhere all day to capture the environment in-motion) or the high-res Canon 7d DSLR with that allows me to investigate with interchangeable lenses (including a 15mm ultra wide, 100mm macro, or 35mm standard lens).


The digital aesthetics of these tools each provide a particular look to the final output. These tools are used primarily for sketching, and I attempt to capture the immediacy of the moment. Many times the poor or compressed digital quality offers a genuine quality to the piece. As filmmaker Hito Steyerl describes, “The poor image is a copy in motion, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.” The beauty of the high or low-res digital camera is that they can all be remixed, rechanneled and shared quite easily. Still and video sketching is another tool that graphic designers can access without creating a subcategory of a separate discipline. My intention is not to undermine the tradition of film or photography but to imbue the disciplines with a shared philosophy.

Objects, writing and images all create a large database of inspiration for me to access like memories in my mind. Capturing ephemera and my surroundings is just the first phase in communicating my methodology.

Thesis Reflection

I can’t believe this is my 1st post since the summer. It’s been a crazy semester and my thesis is in transition so I’m glad I’ve waited. It’s been a difficult but rewarding process, and looking back, I’m really happy and excited to share some work. In order to bring things up to speed, I want to share my 11.30.2011 thesis presentation. A lot has changed since this presentation but it’s a good place to start.

If you’re not interested in watching the whole 10 minute presentation, please check out my thesis reflection pdf and some new videos I posted to vimeo. I will be posting all of my other projects soon. Cheers!

social justice

I can’t believe the spring semester is already half over. Things are moving at light speed. I have not had time to breath never mind blog but I thought I’d give a quick update on a few things I’ve worked on. Two out of the four visiting designers (Jonathan Barnbrook and Jan Van Toorn) have come and gone. It’s been a great experience. I’m not sure if it was planed or just coincidence but both workshops had a social justice/human rights theme with an awareness poster as the final project. The Barnbrook workshop posters are anti ads in reaction to the Chevron, We Agree Ad campaign and the Jan Van Toorn workshop posters were dealing with the human right for fresh drinking water and sanitation around the world. I worked with fellow classmate Adam Lucas on the water rights poster. It was a a great collaboration. Enjoy!

water rights poster

water rights poster

james and adam

Chevron Anti Ad

Chevron Anti Ad 2

barnbrook class

RISD Visiting Designers

RISD spring semester starts in 2 days and I’m really looking forward to it. I say that now while I’m fully rested and amped to get going… We’ll see how I feel in a couple weeks. I’m especially excited for the visiting designers course. Four weeks throughout the the spring semester visiting designers come from all over the world to teach an intense four day workshop. This spring the esteemed visiting designers are: Jonathan BarnbrookJan Van ToornLars Müller, and Vaughan Oliver. I was honored to be asked to design the poster for the visiting designers lecture series that takes place prior to the workshops. Click here to view the dates and times. The RISD graphic design visiting designers lectures are free and open to the public. Here is the selected poster I designed. Enjoy.

RISD Visiting Designers 2011

all aboard!

Select an object that inspires you. This object along with your choice of one of the following categories from Aristotle’s The Organon will be your starting point for this assignment.

1. substance
2. quantity
3. place
4. quality
5. place
6. time
7. position
8. state
9. action
10. affection

PART 1: Design a pair of posters, one that is primarily conceptual in it’s design and one that is primarily sensate in it’s design.

PART 2: Design one poster that is equally conceptual and sensate. This poster is required to be a completely new idea and not simply a merging of the first two.

My object was the train my category was time. I’ll leave it up to you to determine if I succeeded. Cheers!

train time poster

train time poster

train time poster