by Liran Dor
As I continue to make more observations about the people around me, the more I see the similarities and blandness that surrounds me as well. Everyone does the same thing but in a different way. I believe that this is what makes us human. By trapping ourselves in a cycle of wanting to be like those who surround us, it also makes us boring and unhappy. This mosaic is the story of a man, who, like most of us, has gotten trapped in his need to be the same as everyone else. The man is being cured of this need to be the same as everyone else by the the most colorful part of the piece—the glasses. These glasses are showing him the path to actual happiness. The reaction that you can see in his eyebrows shows that he is learning something, that his entire perspective is changing, and that now he can actually see.
This piece also represents me, stuck in the mindset of wanting to be happy but not knowing how. This semester, in my Expedition class, we studied Chinese culture and its most influential philosophies: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Buddhism stuck out to me in particular because of its emphasis on personal happiness. The entire religion is based on making yourself happy. A Buddhist teaching that I thought a lot about in particular was the belief that detaching oneself from all sentimental items will bring bliss, because without attachment you have nothing to lose and nothing to fear of being lost. I wanted to test this as it seemed silly not to test something that could potentially make me happy. In order to detach myself from my work, when I finished my mosaic, I dropped it on the floor and watched as the pieces that I spent hours gluing down flew off the artwork like birds being freed from a cage. It felt good, and it felt sad, but the sad feeling lasted the day and the good feeling lasted a week. I then painted the exposed background black and wrote “I See” on every surface I could find, because I felt I could really see what life could be like. I caught a small glimpse of the potential happiness I could have if I detached myself from unnecessary sentiment—at least, I think so.
I cut tessera (tile parts) into small pieces and placed them in the shape of a body, head and hair and assigned certain colors to each section. The background was made up of opus tessellatum, a basic, linear pattern designed to not draw attention. The scatteredness of the pieces that make up the man himself against the plain background makes him pop out of the piece, drawing all attention to his key details: his mustache, his eyebrows, and his sunglasses.
The goal of the piece was to evoke some curiosity in the person looking at it. It is designed to make you wonder what this man is feeling and/or actually seeing in this snapshot of his life. The process that I went through building him was long and I had to make many artistically questionable decisions, such as trying to grout the frames of his sunglasses and accidentally ruining some of it, deciding how large his head would be in comparison to his body to make him pop out even more, and of course, throwing him to the ground. I believe this process left me with an amazing mosaic and an even better message that I am truly proud to share with whoever reads this statement: sentiment is truly overrated.
I have loved drawing since I was little. I recently realized though that I rarely finish pieces that are outside of class due to the time I like to spend on them. These are piecesI have completed in the last year or so. I have recently gained a passion for painting. I find color theory and composition extremely interesting and I have explored them with paint. These are a combination of paintings I have done in and out of class.
by Ari Dor
1. Piston & Sticky Piston
Pistons and sticky pistons push and pull blocks. Pistons push blocks when powered, and sticky pistons push when powered and and pull when depowered9,10,11,. Pistons canât push more than 12 blocks, and if they are powered when more than 12 blocks are in front of them, they wonât do anything. This also applies to sticky pistons. When a sticky piston pushes more than 1 block and gets depowered, it will only retract 1 block. This is where slime blocks and honey blocks come in: they are the only âstickyâ blocks in the game. They allow for more blocks to be retracted at once12,13.
Observers14, well, observe. If something somehow changes directly in front of it, it will send a quick redstone output behind it. It is most commonly used in automatic farming, to detect when a plant has reached a certain height and is therefore ready for harvest15.
Une Vie d’Étudiante Aujourd’hui
Que voulez-vous que je fasse avec ma vie ?
Voulez-vous que je sois mathématicienne ?
Où peut être ingénieure ?
Au lieu de me dire quoi faire,
Pourriez-vous me guider ?
Je suis perdue et seul.
Perdue et seul.
Pourquoi est-ce que je travaille si fort ?
Pour une raison inutile :
Je veux être intelligente et respectée.
Notre société nous a dicté d’être cela
Tous les mêmes, tous impressionnants
Mais un beau jour,
Je serai fière de moi-même
Mais pour une raison complètement différente...
The Truth of Today’s Student
What do you want me to do with my life?
Do you want me to become a mathematician?
Or maybe an engineer?
Instead of telling me what to do,
Could you please help guide me?
I am lost and alone.
Lost and alone.
Why do I work so hard?
For a sole and useless reason:
I want to be intelligent and respected.
Our society has burdened us with this
To be the same, to be impressive
But one day.
I will be proud of myself
But for a completely different reason...
by Ari Dor
1. Redstone Dust
Redstone Dust is the wire of Minecraft: it takes a signal from an input to an output. When redstone dust is placed next to an input or output, it will turn into a line, one end always facing the input or output.1 If more redstone dust is placed beside the initial dust, it will bend towards the input/output and the new redstone.2 If redstone dust is placed with no input, output, or other dust on the blocks adjacent to it, it will be in dot form.3
If an input activates and a line of redstone dust 100 blocks long is attached to it, an output at the end will not activate. A redstone signal can’t travel more than 15 blocks, and so a repeater must be used to extend the signal to 31 blocks (+1 because of the repeater’s length of 1 block).4 When a signal reaches a repeater, it takes one tenth of a second for it to pass on the signal, meaning that a bunch of repeaters in a line to send a signal very far away would take awhile. By right-clicking the repeater, you can extend the time to pass on the signal to 2, 3, or 4 tenths of a second. By doing this, you will also make the signal last as long as your delay (for example: a 4 tenths of a second delay would make the pulse for the output last 4 tenths of a second).
3. Redstone Torch
A redstone torch is a constant power source that can be placed on all sides of a block except for the bottom. It will constantly face upwards, no matter how it is placed. Its function is simple: provide a constant redstone output until the block it’s placed5 on is powered, in which it will turn off. 6
4. Redstone Block
The redstone block is, well, a block of redstone. It’s like the redstone torch in that it produces a constant redstone output,7 but it can be moved around8,9 (not pulled downward due to a feature called Quasi-connectivity).
by Maia Wheeler
Same times, same places and the abundance of new faces. All parties start and end the same. Sober kids getting spun off their tops until a burst of laughing flame arises—mistakes that have consequences, but won’t be noticed until later.
One look, one fall, one love, but from the other side of the room. She. The one free as a bird, ready to soar, wasn’t afraid to be herself, she was singing and dancing holding the hand of Georgia. Georgia showed nervousness as she danced, but Frida encouraged her to be free.
Frida left an imprint on my heart with full force that night. Like a forceful hit of a bus to a body, which turned into a passionate wanted love affair. She seemed different from the rest. The fake worth, the popularity that was wanted, the replication of each all being the same. She wasn’t like that. She had beauty in her soul reflecting on the outside. Being impaled by an arrow from cupid, was what it felt like that night.
That night, unwanted boys trying to be men asking for a hand, her hand to dance. She refused to take part in such a restricted activity when she wanted to be free. I wanted to know more. I’d heard her name once or twice before, being told I’d love who she is by a couple of friends of mine. They weren’t wrong. She was wild, young and free-willed, not willing to let anything stop her.
Diego, Diego, Diego, Lost in my thoughts over this girl, I barely heard Jackson calling out my name. Diego María Rivera, I slowly turned my head to the side where the voices were heard. It was an angel, her angel. She was standing there next to Jackson. My mouth dry, my knees weakening, she was standing in front of me. Her beauty even more beautiful up close than far aware. So lost in my own thoughts all over the place like Jackson’s paintings, I didn’t even notice her move away from the spot she was standing.
Diego this is Frida. Frida this is Diego. Her hand coming forward to shake mine. Two hands meeting like a sailor docking her ship. My hand reaching out to meet hers. A gentle shake, filled with excitement. It felt new but familiar.
All I wanted was to know this girl. Who exactly was she?
The same girl hung around her, tied to the hip, she never left her side. The same girl she came with. They acted like friends, but they were more familiar with each other. The way she looked at Georgia was from heart to soul, soul to heart. Beautiful together but never more beautiful than the grace Frida carried on her shoulders. I had never seen one person look at another person more dearly, kissing the flowers of affection towards each other.
Confusion took over the only part of my brain that wasn’t still processing that I might have fallen in love with a woman I could never be in love with for long since her sexuality would dictate her non existent love for me. Love isn’t one-sided. Could one person love, but the other couldn’t give love back?
I had fallen in love with the most beautiful woman alive and she couldn’t give that back to me. My heart raced a million beats within the time of the thought of love never being existent. Would love make me hold on for dear life and then hit me in the head?
Love is the hardest when it's not given back to you. Frida was my first love and wasn’t going to be my last, but was going to be the most memorable.
by Mikai Tilton
Film noir was a genre popularized during the 1940s during an age of civil unrest and distrust of authority. These films aimed to explore the darker spectrum of the human condition. Classic characteristics of the genre included shadowy urban settings, trench coats, and voice-over narration surrounding a disillusioned investigator.
Blade Runner (1982) was a science fiction film that defined how filmmakers portrayed film noir’s exploration of society’s biggest dismays.
In A Panorama of American Film Noir, Borde Raymond writes, “Now the moviegoer is being presented a less severe version of the underworld, with likeable killers and corrupt cops. Good and evil go hand in hand to the point of being indistinguishable.” Whereas before, film noir was set in the ‘underworld’ of our everyday lives, in this age, directors can create elaborate (and dystopian) future worlds that are unmistakable as a kind of pessimistic prophetic telling of our future lives. In our world of extremely fast-paced technological advancement, it’s not hard to relate to a world seemingly so far advanced. Instead of uncovering and exploring civilization’s collective mistrust or fear of corruption, modern film noir has, in many cases, shifted to exploring exaggerated manifestations of society’s fears.
The main setting of Blade Runner is a reimagined Los Angeles, a city heavily transformed by, among others, an influx of Japanese culture. In the 80’s, Japan was seen as the greatest threat to the United State’s place in technological advancement; in our decade, these fears are mirrored by a fear of China. The climate of this city is in disarray; many signs point to an eternal darkness and perpetual rain; the Earth is nothing more than a smog-filled industrial landscape. (The likes of which can be observed in the darkness of Ghost in the Shell (2017) or the decay of The Matrix (1999).) The presence of climate-backed catastrophe in portrayals of future urban settings has increased exponentially as large-scale anxiety of climate change continues to dominate any discussion of what the future may hold. Wide-scale globalization and climate disasters characterize the portrayal of this small, bustling world, in turn, a mold for modern perception of what urban settings could soon be.
Though in some ways horrifying, there is something nostalgic in the way Ridley Scott illustrates Los Angeles: he creates artifacts out of recognizable everyday city life. Though there is an overwhelming amount of new-age technology (flying cars, off-world colonies), half of the portrayal of the “future” comes in the form of showcasing how outdated the “past” is.
Blade Runner breaks the boundaries of philosophies of life and death by introducing another pressing modern ethical dilemma: genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Its introduction is harsh, uncomfortably forcing audiences to view an extreme interpretation play out. Replicants, human-identical machines with false memories, live tortured lives as slaves with a four-year lifespan. Roy Batty, in the film’s final dialogue, says, “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” Replicants are self-conscious, however, are not allowed to think of themselves as human.
Perhaps the darkest themes of film noir: death, murder, and a troubled conscience—are revived in a way unseen in cinema when the very laws of mortality are twisted when non-living creations are given sentience and self-consciousness.
On the role of the protagonist in film noir, Raymond writes, “The private detective is mid-way between lawful society and the underworld, walking on the brink, sometimes unscrupulous but putting only himself at risk…as if to counterbalance all this, actual law breakers are more or less sympathetic figures.”
Corruption in law enforcement has always been a large theme in film noir, and in the United States, public distrust of police only accelerated as cases of police brutality became more publicized and protested. Widespread organized protest can be seen as early as the 60’s during the civil rights movement.
Rick Deckard, the protagonist of Blade Runner, is distanced from law enforcement from the very first scene; he is shown to be both immediately wary and disdainful of unfamiliar police that approach him. He is forced into the role of a detective.
The lead men of film noir serve more than to pursue a story; they, in a way, entirely embody the themes the story tries to convey. Deckard is more than a vehicle to take the audience from scene-to-scene, setting-to-setting—he directly embodies and sets the framework of the convoluted moral quandaries the audiences must ponder when experiencing the film. Susan Doll, a film studies professor at Oakton Community College argues that in a world with human-like machines, a disillusioned and apathetic Deckart is, by contrast, a machine-like human.
Blade Runner used science-fiction settings and a troubling manifestation of a current ethical dilemma to strengthen the impact a story built on a foundation of traditional film noir. Ridley Scott, through paying homage to earlier film noir, monumentally changed the way film noir adapted to the modern age.
by Lucy Campbell
A lot of the art that inspires me is mainly based around the uprising of women and women’s bodies shown in a way that isn’t necessarily a “classic” view of beauty. I feel that the choice of style comes from the desire to make certain features “ugly” or distorted while keeping it aesthetic and still considered beautiful. The pieces shown are all done with ink and marker, often showing expression through realism illustrations and aspects of cartooning.
About the Artist
Lucy Campbell, A brilliant artist of all the mediums ever. Creator of a series of internet marketing advice videos, she has often been known for her mental representations, abstract objects and abilities that make up the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and wise beliefs. This is some of the innumerable award winning work, which wields big words used in the wrong context to try and seem impressive, that has changed many lives, for the better.
by Grace Kelly
Looking up from the ground, it looks like a decoration. Its size leads you to think of large tapestries used to cover the grandest window. It flows like a sail, hinting on the infinite paths one can take with it. Its purpose can be experienced through a single touch. You can feel how this fabric is different. You can sense its purpose of a stage, used to frame the acrobatic movement. It draws in your gaze, like water swirling down a drain. Its movement is mesmerizing.
It’s capable of an unimaginable amount of forms, shifting from soft and flowy to rigid and taut. Stretchy then stiff within a sudden movement, steadily shifting through its many forms. It creates a physical representation of abstract ideas, blending together in an indescribable way, only able to be understood through sight and touch.
As I climb higher my body melts away. Subconscious thoughts are all that guides me, moving in and out of the fabric. Flowing through movements, exploring without the construct and limits of what is right or possible.
I can sense the gaze of many, filled with excitement and confusion, but I do not pay attention. If my thoughts stray I cease to float. My arms become rough stones, each movement uneven and uncertain. My torso stiffens like cement as all motion once posible disappears, leaving me trapped in place as the eyes of the many become ravenous vultures, picking off what is left of me. I must ignore the uncomfortable and break off the hardened stone. I adventure higher into the air, twisting and flowing like a stream unaffected by gravity, intertwining myself in the fabric.
Wrapping myself up in intricate movements feels instinctive. No matter how much I am challenged, these movements fulfill something deep inside my body. Something that was once empty and covered in dust, forgotten and denied, but is now filled with something better.