Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Princess Xela - a creative platform for social CATsire


The internet can't get enough of them.  There are always new cats to watch and cat memes available for entertainment.


My roommate has cats.  They both have "personalities," as my roommate calls it, I call it attitude.   Cats don't have any desire other than their natural instincts.  They don't enjoy TV shows, they don't dance or make anything. 

Cats 'doing something useful' on Google
  Cats, like most animals, live only on instinct to hunt -- independently.  Traditionally cats aren't pack animals, so when they are crammed into group setting, issues arise.  This is where I believe the most attitude shows itself.

bitch fights, basically.

Xela is a typical lazy, grey tabby house cat.  She was rescued from some beautiful yard in Northern Virginia.  She has a 'sister' who was also rescued, but from near our current house in Richmond.  

Xela's attitude is one of a spoiled, entitled princess.  
She lays around the house all day, sleeps, as most cats do.  But Xela also likes to climb on countertops in order to look you in the eye when she stares you down to give her food.  If that doesn't work, she'll jump on the table to eat yours.  Yes, she apparently doesn't care to eat raw foods, but she wants your cooked chicken as soon as you step into the kitchen. Even in the mornings, when I go to make coffee, she sits directly in front of the coffee machine, demanding my service.  

Xela has done some strange things, but for the most part she is a normal indoor cat, trapped, yearning for escape, but ultimately she is too lazy and fat to survive on her own anymore. 
In any case, people are intriqued by cats, as evident in the web. Xela made her own micro-blog so she could offer more entertainment to the millions of cat lovers on the internet. 

In all seriousness, I helped her make this twitter.  She doesn't have access to her own computer, so I help her use mine.  She tracks her daily life, needs, wants, and incompetencies.  She's funny and meme-able. Check her out here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Internet and Fitness

 I wanted to investigate how internet had affected the fitness industry.  I chose to research three different personal trainers' practices and their thoughts on social media or the internet's effect on their profession.  I interviewed one part-time one-on-one trainer based in California, who is active on social media and uses that platform as a Reebok Brand Ambassador.  I researched another trainer focused in group fitness out of Equinox gym, in California, who is famous from youtube.  I also interviewed a personal trainer at the YMCA gym, in downtown Richmond.  While he doesn't personally use social media for his work, as a team the YMCA has a large presence in the national and local communities.

For further research, I would like to interview the trainer Shaun T, who doesn't offer his programs for free online; but the programs, like Insanity, are easy to find on pirated websites.  I think he would bring a new perspective, as a group trainer and one who charges for his work.  I would also like to speak with someone from a gym that is not the YMCA, for example a Planet Fitness.  I think this may end up showing a new angle on brick and mortar gyms. 
There are three parts to my research, in video-blog format which I thought was relevant to a project investigating digital spaces.

This is the conclusion after my research.  It seems that the fitness profession is still in a transitional period with the internet.  Like the music and movie industry, the role of the internet changed the practice and economics of the fitness industry.  But perhaps, new media can end up being used as an advantage to fitness professionals.  Physical brick and mortar gyms are essential to fitness.  They even help digital trainers reach out to their crowds, meet people, and serve as a healthy place to workout. These buildings and organizations aren’t going anywhere.  Social media has changed fitness. It has made trainers more accessible, it has helped many lives transform and get healthier.  While it has some downfalls, fitness can still developed an online presence.  Internet is complimenting the brick and mortar gym business, not destroying it.

Special Thank You to Magen, Cassey, and Josh for helping me out with this project! 

Appropriated footage:

background music: by Capo Productions
Uplifting Music - Real


Petit, M. (2014, March 22). Interview by Melynda M. Roy. Social Media and Fitness Practice.

Case, J. (2014, March 23). Interview by Melynda M. Roy. Social media and fitness practice.

Ho, C. (2014, March 10). [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Moore, M. (2008, August 4). More people turn to the ymca than ever before. Retrieved from

Sunday, April 21, 2013

May 2013 DJCAD TBADF Assessments!

My Artist Statement and Introduction:

My name is Melynda Roy, and I am a Time Based Art and Digital Film Student here at DJCAD for what is approaching the end of a one year exchange from Virginia Commonwealth University in the U.S.A.  Most of my art is based on my belief that art is meant to be participated with, to be active, and engaging with an audience.  I try to create work that will make the audience participate in actions that are a little out-of-the-ordinary.  This is accomplished in several different mediums, involving various states of technology and the human body; often incorporated into installation works and/or video.   This semester I used “sculpture”(I use the term loosely) to force physical interaction with objects, and with other people.  My goal is to engage a community that is not only my peer and artist friends, but also people with less-creative backgrounds and of different ages.  These time-based-art projects are experimental, and I study the reactions- or lack of reactions- from the audience I present it to.
This semester my main video piece is an animation of sorts, an experience of discovery for me.  “Quirks” focuses on the overlooked details of a city (Dundee).  This was not an installation but a new form of animation. I hope that this portrayal of Dundee will influence the way that locals experience Dundee in their everyday life, and help them appreciate things they possibly hadn’t noticed before.  Furthermore, as this is to be released on the internet, this should spark inspiration for people in all places to actively look at cities, at details, and at permanent fixtures within the area they are occupying.

Please refer to Sketchbooks presented, and the files on the TBADF computer, for more digital supporting works.  

Links for the tutors: 
Supporting work: 

The driving inspiration from Michael Langan to the experimental filmmaking of "Quirks" video., and of course the city itself. 

And to the Robert Frost one (For style)

Other literature used/inspired:
Heidegger, Kant, Aristotle; but mainly the work of Hans George Gadamer, more specifically his view on the aesthetic and the participation in the festive act. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back in 2011.....

In response to what happened to my external back-up hard drive, I decided I need to re-back everything up because I can't bear to loose it again. I got extremely lucky, and DJCAD kept copies of my entry portfolio, which had a lot of the missing work!  So, I wanted to post here as a tribute and a reflection.  The next few pieces are from my second semester in AFO, the foundation year of VCU arts school- at the time this semester I was enrolled in Space Research- where we made multiple sculptures, and Drawing.  

The close ups.
Back in 2011, during my freshman year, I made this self-portrait sculpture.  I still think this is very fitting!! This was in my space research class. It turned out to be very fun to make these! Paper mache, Gesso, scrap wood and screws, and paint.
Graphite-photo collage sculpture, then drawn.  femininity and womanhood.

Garin. A charcoal portrait from one of the first weeks working with life models.

Last Night, a contour ink drawing.

 Well I think my charcoal work got better, but I could never do this good of a contour again! These were from my Freshamn year Drawing class with Ryan Lauterio.  Definitely one of the hardest clases I have ever taken but well worth it! Learned so much from him... just to prove it I will upload my last two drawings I made in that class- to show the improvement!  This one, "No More Games" Is expressing my love for AFO- the art foundation year... in my typical sarcastic humor.  Floor to ceiling view, much larger than life! I can't remember which came first, ths one, or "Reveal and Conceal" so I just put them both up and know they were late in the semester. 

These were my "reveal and Conceal" project in the same class.  I can easily see the growth that occurred. Can you?
Charcoal, Detail 1

Charcoal, Detail 2
Reveal and Conceal, Charcoal.  each about 48 inches by 56 inches. (121 CM by 142 CM)   I think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reflections of a Performance Masterclass with Richard Layzell

Well, I may have lost a lot of information but I can at least post some reflections!

2/4 Day one of the Performance workshop- 
I think the warm up was an important part of today- we got to know a bit of each other and get comfortable with what the idea of performing is.  Surprisingly enough the class was really easy to get along with, and doing the funny exercises and unrehearsed, unplanned performances were pretty smooth and fun- I thought it would be kind of awkward to do some stuff- especially with people I didn’t know.  But actually all shyness was gone.  Marisa said the same thing- she was usually really shy but she felt totally comfortable there. I think it must have something to do with the mindset coming into a room, a course, or a new set of people.  

2/5 Day two of performance- 
Today we broke into groups and everyone was able to execute their ideas for performance with the help of three to four teammates.  We got the gopro, which was handy, except that the battery died during the first performance so I wasn’t actually able to use it.  Marisa wound in fabric with it on her head, we wanted to see it spinning but it didn’t even capture that.  Then we went to the Overgate area- stationed into three spots like a triangle and everyone hit a contemporary dance pose- while I went around and tried to discretely get photos and videos of them all. People were really interested in what they were doing, though they really freaked some people out! Marisa got yelled at “What are you doing you fucking weirdo?!” - surprising because she was the only one who was actually in front of an art gallery- a place most people expect wierdness! She held her pose which is awesome!  I saw one guy take a photo of Sarah, but other than that she just had a few people looking at her.  Katie was so good!! Not only was she only in a tank top, (vest in british) but she also was literally as still as a statue. No doubt because of her life model job- but still amazing. I caught a lot of people looking at her- some for very extended periods of time.  I heard two conversations- one was “ should we ask her if she is ok?” the other was “she’s not even doing anything… “ definitely was not something people in Dundee were used to seeing. I find this very funny- because that day there were so many street performers! They all either had their guitar, or a microphone, one guy was even dressed in a big suit- but not as many people- at least that I saw- paid as much attention to them!  
After I got all my documentation and recollected all the girls- we went into the burgh coffeehouse to warm up- decent coffee but kinda pricey, but very nice except for the bathrooms (which weren’t terrible, but could use improvement).  then we went into the white space to film Sarah’s work- three women in white, red, or black, eating apples- she says it is feminist- I still have no idea but that’s fine I am glad I was able to help out.  The video was played backwards when presented- a touch which was appreciated by all, I believe. Katie’s came last, as she left early yesterday and didn’t know about the performace and so she hadn’t had any ideas.  First, we were going to throw water at her and take advantage of the waterproof gopro, then she decided on walking backwards up the stairs and down.  This was harder than I thought- I definitely could not go as fast as normal. But after filming that, something beautiful happened- the stairwell we were in was light perfectly by the sunlight- casting Sarah’s curvy silhouette onto the wall on our left- a perfect feminine image, and the way the panes on the window are- each of our figures had a panel to frame our body figures.  So we set the tripod up and captured all of our body shadows in various posing and dancing in panels- like Go go dancers.  It was actually kinda of fun and feminine-even if people were walking by! The best part was that the camera came from a different angle than we were seeing, so the videos looked very different than we expected it would, the shadows were flopped in size and distance.  
We returned to the white space to meet up with the group again, and then to go out and film Diedre’s performance by all of us.  This was a funeral procession of sorts, about the Scottish reformation. The map of Scotland was carried in, followed by a casket of the Scottish flag with whiskey, and then all of us carrying in Scottish drinks- IRN BRU, Whiskey, Tennent’s beer cans, and multiple local ales and wines.  The idea was fun and we all kind of walked around, were very quiet and solemn and mostly in black, created X’s with our bodies and our arms, and really just kind of experimented- then we were able to open a few bottles and CHEERS- drink up to a good performance and the death of Scotland- part of the culture, naturally.  Unfortunately the warehouse was very cold, so laying down only happened once and I think Diedre wanted a bit more- but it got her a lot of footage and performing and we all had fun and got free drinks, a successful day for all!  

2/6  Today was the last day in the performance masterclass with Richard Layzell. We had a last performance, where we invited people during lunch to come watch us- at that point we had no idea what we were going to do.  My group talked about playing childrens game that never ended, like “duck, duck, goose” Quackdilyoso, etc.  We eventually decided that we would play that the ground was lava- we could only navigate the room using furniture and never touch the floor- if we did, we died.  I had a very dramatic death! There were a lot of things going on at once, including really subtle ‘performances’ which can really be anything- like talking to people in chinese who don’t understand and telling people to sit and then telling them to move a few moments later.  Claire and Deidre had the floor while they played the mirror game we did at warm up- with their own twist of adding emotions and spoken word.  We followed through to the white room for a drum performance, with movement by two others- Claire was molding them and they held the pose, while Jazz played the drum to amplify the emotion or heartbeat and really touch on human emotion.  We went up to the architecture floor- and on either side of the balcony we had a conversation across the air space between our audience below us and the sky roof above us.  For a final piece we proceeded downstairs single file, walked around the green pits again.  There were like 6 people in there, and we made them so uncomfortable that they moved! Way better than people not paying attention- all this while Jazz did his falling off the chair performance at the same time.  It was definitely interesting. We watched all of our performances from yesterday too, everyone brought something really different to the table which is excellent. Some performances were meant to be viewed in video form, after, and some were meant to have an audience and then documented. My biggest surprise was that there were performances which viewed not as documented but as a video piece- this makes total sense to use the group as actors but I never really thought of this as performance until now. 
Richard told us about some of his past performances, including an alternate ego he used with the initials BS- who was very loud and obnoxious and starting to join a revolution.  He also cleans different things around the world and takes videos of it. People apparently don’t even notice this- even if he is in a suit- because it is a normal thing, non-destructive, and considered to be “Low”. In China, he even stood in the subway where loads and loads of people were making foot traffic, and no one even bumped into him.  Crazy! 

This was a very successful and fun course to take, we made great friendships and explored a variety of new things. I highly recommend Richard to anyone who gets the chance to work with him.