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Unrefined Space by Matthew Shelp

Unrefined Space was an idea I envisioned very early on in the semester. I wanted to create a space that allows the viewer to see things in a new way, but at the time, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to construct this work. At first, I wanted to present a series of different perspectives so the viewer would be able to acknowledge things from a different point of view, but later on scratched that idea because it was almost as if I was defining that perspective for them, which is not what I intend to do with this project. My intent is to put the user in control of their own experience, so that they can decide how they want to change the way they look at things.

After some tinkering, I finalized my idea on creating a webpage that allows the user to upload their own image to the browser, which would have a mouse over effect on it that allows them to distort the image at their control. The effect would serve as a tool that removes the way our eyes perceive life through our evolutionary filters. As a whole, the webpage grants the user a new, unrefined space to see things in a raw, unconventional way where colors are more illusive. Once I figured out what I wanted to do, the construction began.

As I started surfing the web for some help on how to build my webpage, I figured out that making project was going to be harder than I thought. I decided to ask my cousin for help, who is a backend developer and understands code a lot better than I do. We sat down a few times for hours on end just working on the code and eventually started to see some progress. He also contacted one of his friends, who is a front end developer. He helped ironing out some of the wrinkles in the code when we were having trouble uploading the new image with the effect added on the website.

While I was creating my project, some of the artists I found interesting were Adam Ferriss and Brenna Murphy. The reason I found them interesting is because their work has a similar psychedelic theme that grants the users an abstract perspective of whatever they are observing. Adam Ferriss has quite the extent of computer effects that are extremely fascinating, while Brenna Murphy’s work intrigues you from the uniqueness of the different textures.

The reason for why I created this project is because perspectives have always caught my interest, whether it is rooted from different social, political, religious or spiritual beliefs. I am infatuated with each one and I am very interested to learn why people believe the things they do. As time progresses, I would like to experiment with new effects so that I can continue to expand the amount of perspectives people can acknowledge.