The Narcycler

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In art class we (well a small group of the class ) created animals that have superpowers that can fix social ills. I immediately decided that I would create a narwhal, but I was not sure what its superpower could be. After a bit of thinking, I decided the narwhal would help reduce pollution in the ocean. When I researched ocean pollution I found that plastic pollution accounts for 90% of the pollution on the top of the ocean’s surface. This led to the creation of the narcycler, the superwhale of the ocean! The narcycler eats  plastic pollution and turns it into life using its digestive system and the photosynthesis process that occurs within the narcycler’s blowhole.

This art project helped me learn how to emphasize formal and literal qualities to get the artistic message across. I decided that using recyclable material would be the best way to reflect the narcycler’s function. And I was able to emphasize the systems that help the narcycler transform plastic material into life. For the photosynthesis process I put glitter tape around a straw to demonstrate the intake of energy through the narcycler’s blowhole. And for the digestive process that recycles plastic, I used a hollow metal screw and a hollow copper piece to show the narcycler eating  the plastic. Then I used the motherboard to show that the transformation of the plastic into animals (legs are being added on in the close up picture above). And next there is a straw poop chute (not pictured, sorry!) at the narcycler’s bottom that the completed animal comes out of.

If I had another week on my project, I think I would try and redo the head. The narcycler’s head looks a little lopsided, and I didn’t realize this until after I had hot-glued everything on. Other than this lopsided issue, I’m very happy with my narcycler!

At the art critique for our class, my classmates found that the distinctive formal quality of the narcycler were the material’s roundness.  My classmates explained that the narcycler’s  recyclable material reflects the recycling transformation within the narwhal (the literal form). Additionally, my classmates said that the materials create meaning by conveying the problem of the plastic pollution of the sea through the material. My peers also said that the roundness of the material suggests that the narcycler moves smoothly through the ocean.

Most of my classmates decided to do a graphical design project instead of the animal project. I really liked that the graphical design projects were able to portray their words successfully by arranging everyday objects to portray the meaning of their words. This project emphasizes the idea that you can use material to create a certain idea by relying on their formal and literal qualities.

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I think that Gwen Bailey’s project (left) and Rachel Brazeale’s  project (right) are very successful images of their words. Gwen’s words were obvious and subtle. I think Gwen’s project was successful because the contrast between the left and right images portray the words and the drastic difference of these words. Rachel’s words were uncontrollable and restrained. I think Rachel’s project was successful for the exact same reasons as Gwen’s.

I think that the first part of visual analysis is to describe exactly what you see instead of what you know. Then the second part of visual analysis is using what you know to interpret what you see. And the third part of visual analysis is to put the description and the interpretation together to create the overall meaning for a visual analysis of art.

Tiny animals – materials discussion


So I’ve decided that my animal will mimic the form of a narwhale.  My animal will tackle our enormous plastic pollution problem in the ocean. For right now, I’ve decided to call my animal the “narcycler”. The narcycler uses its’ digestive system and photosynthesis through its’ blowhole to help turn the recyclable material that it sucks in live animals that are composed of recyclable material.

The materials pictured above are what I’ve found to make my narcycler so far. I’m planning to have the coke bottle,  the plastic egg carton part, the hollow metal yellow piece (its near the copper piece), and the metal part that looks like a tail on the outside of my narcyler (plus the ends of plastic spoons for the fins which aren’t pictured ). I’m planning to have the rest of the material pictured above to be inside the bottle.

In class today,  we had a discussion about how the materials broadcast the power of the animal and how does it provide a message from just the material. My classmates Sadia, Amanda, and Camden all agreed that my materials work well together because the outside materials are recyclable which emphasizes the superpower of  narcycler (that it recycles through the digestive system).

We also discussed what we could consider further for the form, function , or material of the animal. Sadia advised me to make sure that I kept the form of a fish on the outside (I hadn’t brought the fins in yet). Amanda advised me to limit the outside of the narcycler to recyclable material since this material demonstrates what is occurring within the animal. Camden told me that the motherboard that I plan to put inside the narcycler’s body is a good material to use since many people do not recycle electronic equipment properly.

And our final discussion centered on the what if factor of our project. We just discussed some ideas for what the material does and other suggestions we had. Sadia advised me to have all kinds of plastic lying under the motherboards. However, I think I like the idea of having the plastic on the top, because that gives the transformation process more visibility. Amanda suggested that I could change the tail to plastic material and have it more  fan like, which would fan out all the animals it created.  And Camden suggested that the tail material that I had looks like it is a hydro electric tail that generates power. Camden’s idea helped me decide that I’m going to stick with the tail that I have. Even though the tail material is not plastic like the rest of the outside, the fact that it looks like its generating power helps to maintain my animal’s mechanical theme.