Media Review: Kiki Smith

Those of you in GD400 are well into your information mapping and/or story-boarding. As you move through this stage of the process, make sure you continue to focus on a clear set of goals. Question your site structure. Is it operating more like a database, narrative, or hybrid? To this end, I would like you to read/view MoMa/Kiki Smith and post a detailed review of the work. How does it function as a database and a narrative? What holds the storyline? What keeps your orientation—are you engaged? What particular modes of writing and visualization are employed and to what effect? Please post your reviews on this thread prior to studio on the Monday, Feb. the 7th.

posted by Tony Brock on February 3, 2005 | comments: 22 | post a comment

The intro page offers biographical information relating to Kiki Smith and her opus, acting as a preface. It sets the stage for what is to come upon entering the site, but also permits the viewer to access another path of info on the bottom: downloadable supplementary material; a link to an interactive site explaining the nature of a print (this was awesome, easily accessible info, highly dynamic content, and totally experience-based); the link to MoMa.
The animated background on the pop-up screen for Kiki Smith's website offers a hint of what can be viewed without giving away the story. Later on, it is resolved into a collection of all presented work. The prompt to select a theme below is a guidepost leading us into the show.
The site is set up as a database, and upon experiencing the themes it becomes a curatorial effort. It's well structured all the way through, and we get an enticing insight to Smith's thoughts on the different subjects through a sound-supported atmospheric quote that leads into the selected area. A good amount of reading accompanies each work, it allows for a clearly guided tour throughout. The option to zoom in makes for a more involved experience. I felt as if going through a museum with a catalog, analyzing the work, spending more time on certain pieces while others never made it past a glance. The added value here lies within the approach of moving the flat silhouette of the piece in question into the screen, as if a page is turned.

Is there a narrative that exists parallel to the database? The work takes us through time, and we learn about the artist' s interests and life-stages. We gather more information as we dig deeper into the content. It reminds me of a documentary, even more evident through the process section of the site, where we can view videos and go through the various stages of her art. The images section on the other hand definitely acts as a database. I loved the idea of being able to choose between medium and theme simultaneously.
Overall, I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of work to browse through, but did not at any point lose interest. The structure remains the same throughout the whole experience, which helped me in orienting myself. The animated parts of the site support the content, without competing for attention.

Very complete site that reflects on the enormous amount of work and talent Smith has.

Posted by carolin on February 5, 2005 07:12 PM

I think a major aspect of this site that held my attention was suspense. There is constantly the expectation of what is to come next, realized through several different means. First of all, the simplicity of the site sets up an expectation that this might not be the most exciting experience in the world. But as you go through it, it seems that anything more elaborate would work in conflict with the very intricate, gruesome, rich and extensive body of work that is displayed.

My favorite part was the introduction to each theme. The quotes by the artist reinforce her intensity and depth. It's interesting to get a glimpse of the thought behind the work, not just the narrative written by some unknown author. But even these paragraphs are very well written; both articulate and concise. The fact that you must scroll through the paragraphs is brilliant – it keeps the interactivity in play and ensures that the viewer is a vital part of the process. The effect is similar to turning pages in a book. I also loved the option to enlarge the work. It gave me the power to determine the speed at which I went through the site. Some pieces intrigued me more than others. I did not enlarge all of the images. Some I enlarged, moved around and looked at for several minutes.

The site is both a database and a narrative. The database is set up through the site structure, with the different areas of interest at the top of the site and the ability at any time to access any of these areas, again reinforcing the power of the viewer to choose his path and be in control of the experience.

The narrative aspect is introduced through the quotes at the beginning of themes and through the videos of the artist's process. The very delicate movement of images as the quotes are presented adds to the intimate glimpse into Kiki's motivations. I felt a connection to Kiki's work due to the subject matter, similar to the topics that I am interested in. It inspired me to wonder how these themes could be taken out of their art context and incorporated into graphic design.

I laughed at the mention of a human anatomy coloring book, because I too have one in my possesion and was extremely excited when I found it for 25 cents at a local bookstore. It's fascinating how the artist manages to use her own database of knowledge to tie together modern issues and historical themes such as poetry, religion and astrology.

I loved the simplicity of the site and at the same time its intricacy and ability to hold my attention and allow me to particpate at every step. Very inspiring for my own work and a wonderful example of how flash can be exciting without being flashy.

Posted by Caroline O on February 6, 2005 06:54 PM

Kiki Smith perceives the world on different levels.
She notices the anatomy and environment on those figures around her. She sees the relationships between two contrasting groups. And she guides the viewer on this journey through her form.
This site is a database of sort which rests on the concept of time and narrative. An overwhelming amount of information is available to the viewer, but not all at once for this would be troubling and the data would be forgotten or overlooked. No, the works of Kiki Smith are not perceived all together - for this is not the way in which Ms. Smith has perceived. We are taken on her path through initial concepts and design. We see a piece of work, then the chance to zoom in and look at at the details, seeing another aspect of her process and perception.

The site is a database for the work is categorized by works, writings, and explanations of technique, then further broken down from each category. The user has the option of looking at the technique of lithography or examining the works of Ms. Smith's observations and perceptions of nature or anatomy.

But this is quite a bit of information. What holds my interest? What keeps my thoughts organized? The site reaches out to all interest levels. Some people learn by reading the descriptions of each work. Others by carefully examining the work in close detail. Some are able to quickly pick-up the process of screen printing by reading the directions, others catch on by watching the video and animation, still others by interacting with the piece and applying the ink themselves by way of the mouse.

Different levels of interest and exploration for different levels of learning ability.

The site is also a narrative. We see the life of Kiki Smith unfold and we learn of her thoughts and creations in respect to time. How did her work in the 1980's affect her work present work? We are also introduced to her quotes. These are in a different style than the descriptions of her work, which are in a different writing style than the details of her life. This allows for a certain change of pace, and in some areas, a point of rest. The quotes allow for reflection, while details of her work press us to look closer at the images.

The living surface of the screen and the transitions between the different sets of data and in some cases within a data set hold our attention. We follow these transitions then are forced to feed are hunger for more by looking deeper within the data.

Posted by Alex F on February 6, 2005 07:24 PM

As far as Kiki Smith's site, my first thought is that this site functions more as a database, just because it houses much of the print work done by Kiki Smith throughout her life. It allows the user the convenience of organizing and viewing work based on either theme, process or just all images. This way the user can view the work based on what he or she is interested in discovering (I found myself navigating through her work organized by theme, because I enjoyed reading about her motivation behind creating her content.) On another side note, I aslo enjoyed the transitions between one screen of work to the other.

This also brings to my next point, that there are also parts of the site that focus on a narrative type structure, (specifically in describing Smith's creative process as well as the processes involved in differnent techniques of printmaking). I especially like the the part of the site called "What is Print", in which step by step, the interface walks you through the steps of working with woodcut, etching, lithography and screenprinting. Within these steps, there is another element in which the user can interact with, if they wish, the tools to help along the process of whatever printmaking technique they are learning about.

With respect to this site as a whole, I think that there is a nice balance between organizing and showcasing the work of Kiki Smith (the database side), as well as showing the process of making work as well as various printmaking techniques (the narrative side).

Posted by Liollio on February 6, 2005 08:46 PM

The work of Kiki Smith descrbes a process that can be seen as an exploration of different types of print media. She describes her work as a discovery of the spontenaity of working in print techniques like woodcut, intaglio, lithography and screenprinting, because there are intermediate stages in which an unfinished version can be printed and compared to later and even the final versions of the peice. That process is a transition from one intermediate step to another that is reflected in the transitions between different screens of work. These fluid transitions keep me oriented with respect to where I am within the site. I don't feel like I'm moving from one screen to another and jumping completely to a different part of the website, because I see exactly which screen I just left and which one I am about to enter into. Once having entered the site with her work, the beginning page keeps me anchored in relation to the organization of the content. All of her work is placed on the beginning page upon entering the site, and when I roll over different themes of the work, I can see the specific works becoming highlighted that are associated with that theme.

This entire process that user undergoes is an exploration of the site that parellels the exploration process of Kiki Smith, with respect to the various subjects that have composed her art: the human body (inside and out), nature, feminism, self-portraits and early work. There is so much of her work to analyze and interpret, just as the exploration of the subjects that Smith herself has explored have been a long and involved process. Perhaps the discoveries of these subjects and processes is and idea that is passed on to the user while navigating through her site of work; the user learns about discovering things for him or herself while exploring within Smith's website of extrodanary work and process.

Posted by Liollio on February 6, 2005 09:40 PM

This website is a very good example of the range that is possible through an interactive piece and how much richer it becomes when it uses various viewpoints to present a subject. Although this website has a focus on Kiki Smith's collection of work, it also includes several approaches to viewing this work.
There is the option of viewing her work through the themes of early screenprints, anatomy, self-portraits, nature, and feminine context. These can be seen each as seperate narratives or chapters of the main narrative of her artistic career. The narrative aspect of this site is further pushed by the introductions of each theme that include music, imagery, and personal quote from Kiki Smith. These very much set the mood of her work.
Along with themes, there is the option of viewing a few selections of her work through a step by step or video clip of her process through the piece. I found this the most intersting because it is here that you get to step into her mind and how she goes about doing things. This is where the idea of various viewpoints becomes useful. Each person who enters this site is likely to see each section as having different value to the viewer's understanding of her work and also the interest they will have in it. The more bases that are covered, the larger the amount of viewers that come to the site and actually stay.
Its also very important to note the many options that are included when a particular piece or groups of pieces are presented. Along side the actual images is a detailed description of the piece including its purpose, process, and even links to accompaning pieces. There is also the opportunity to zoom in on the pieces to see it in greater detail. This again, goes back to the idea of range and added value.
I definately view this website as a hybrid of both a narritive and a database. The basic structure of how the works are organized and catagorized double as database and narrative by the idea of using themes and including process, movie clips, and quotes.

Posted by Colleen on February 6, 2005 10:02 PM

There are many aspects to this website which have different goals. Each of those contribute to it's being either a database or narrative. Initially I view this site as a database. I get an overall scope of what information is available to me and how I can use it. I especially see this when I move into the "images" section and there before me lies all the pieces by Kiki Smith. A database should let you know there is a vast amount of information available that can be sorted in different ways to show relationships between those types of information. Being able to click on the different themes and mediums to reveal relationships is a prime example. It becomes a narrative when we first choose to slowly navigate through the site work by work and read through the chronology. The images provide us with a context which makes the story come alive. The images of her work I believe are what hold her story together. The content within the story is also very rich and we are given a vivid context of each work which encourages reading.

There are a few important devices used in the site that also encourage reading and attention. As subtle as it is (and I believe this is important), one well-used feature is the short transition from clicking on a theme to the first couple pieces within that theme. We can better understand the length of our stay within that theme by the general number of pieces we see in that transition of flying pink and light blue shapes representing each work. Of course the zoom feature is a must-have here. It keeps me interested in the work I'm reading about, but at the same time is a good break away from reading. INTERACTIVITY. Another subtle but impacting feature for me was the introduction before viewing a theme which included sound. Each theme introduction's sound choice seemed to complement the following content quite nicely and made me want to move forward.

The first feeling I got after moving through this site was that the work is the most important. The palette used is very calming, but not dull. The work is then our point of focus. The text space is
not overwhelming, but the content within it is very meaningful and viewed as parallel to the work. The proper diction is used which best suites the overall feeling we get from each of Kiki's pieces.
From the way which the work is spoken, we understand the exquisite nature of the process of each work and the works themselves. The descriptions must honor the thoughtfulness put into each piece.

Posted by Wes Richardson on February 6, 2005 11:22 PM

I did notice at first but the transitions for the sections display a diagrammatical layout of each contents. You can actually tell how much info is contained but only if you are paying attention. The scratches on some of the pages' mattes remind me of dried rubber cement. It may be for correlation to the sketch quality of her work but I found it distracting. The data-basing of her whole collection chronologically could not have been articulated in a more appropriate fashion. I too felt as if I was on a personally instructed tour with the artist. Her work was very inspiring and offers a nice representation of print work on the web.

Posted by ANNAW on February 7, 2005 02:21 AM

I think the website in a very good example of both narrative and data-base. Initially, neither one seemed predominant to me. I like how the work is sectioned. And it does so in a way that only shows how equal the narrative and database qualities are. Of the three sections, themes, processes, and images, it is obvious that “images” is almost strictly database driven. It gives the information in an easy-to-arrange manner. The processes section definitely has more narrative qualities. There is a timeline and a story present. I enjoyed watching the videos. And I also enjoyed seeing the work change and even reason why. I think this section in particular helps build credibility for artists from those who don’t quite understand art. It’s hard to look at a piece in a museum and see the process behind it, however this website defines that process well. The story itself is what makes the art so much more valuable (in terms of appreciation). The final section of the site, “themes”, plays an important part in combining the database and narrative pieces. Not only does it categorize work for easy usability, but a rich story unfolds in the many categories of her work. In it’s own way it shows her process and what many directions she decides to pursue. Overall the website was very fascinating and I liked how much control I had over what I wanted to see. In fact the only part I disliked was the small intros to her different themes. Although, I liked her quotes, I disliked that I had no control about seeing the little flash intro.

Posted by Jessica on February 7, 2005 05:37 AM

Is this way of describing structure the best we have, database vs narrative? I guess I am just frustrated with this dichotomy of database vs narrative because I can’t ever remember seeing anything that has been just one. I don’t think a database can exist without having a narrative to it. First there is the meta-cultural-narrative, this pertains to the structure of the database, the structure itself is a narrative, it tells us what ideas and themes for organization are culturally prominent at the time and which are not. It then also tells us something about the author of the database and how they were thinking about organizing the subject matter. These can be very interesting and revealing cultural narratives.

Then there is a narrative that is constructed through the constituents of the database. We are always going to form some meaning about why these objects belong to a set, whether there was an organizational structure or not and why that organizational structure existed. Like Scott McCloud says, the viewer will always try to form some meaning between two frames even if it was a complete non-sequitur, I think the same is employed in a database, we will perceive relationships among the members of a group, whether those relationships are arbitrary or preconceived.

So to me, it seems that database is just one form of narrative structure rather than an opposing structure or framework. It feels like everything functions on a gradient of non-intentional, non-organized narrative structure by the author to highly organized, highly intentional narrative structure by the author. So, the way we are currently referring to a database would instead be a non-intentional narrative, a tenuous narrative or a viewer constructed non-sequitur narrative, where the parts holding the narrative together are more reliant on the viewer rather than the author.

The reason I am saying this is because thinking about the Kiki Smith site in terms of narrative vs database just felt so insufficient. In the traditional sense, yes, there were many aspects of the site that functioned in what we are currently calling a database, and there were also other areas that were functioning in our understanding of a narrative. But at the same time I could see aspects of both in each. Then, beyond that, I felt like there was something there about the structure of the site that couldn’t be expressed very well in the language of the opposition between database and narrative like there was a third or other way of talking about it, but I didn’t know what that was. I felt that when I was thinking about the site as I was moving through it and observing it, there were ideas or feelings that the language of narrative vs database couldn’t eloquently explain. It seemed that trying to describe the Kiki Smith site in the narrative–database opposition was like trying to thread a fine needle while wearing thick heavy gloves. I guess this isn’t going anywhere though because I have no idea what that third thing would be, or what a new opposition would be, only that the current one seems insufficient in a way that is difficult to describe. Or maybe I just don’t understand the subtleties of narrative and database so I don’t think of this site as embodying them or having a hybrid of the mergence of the two. I’m sorry I spent this space ranting and came to no resolution at all.

Posted by Jon on February 7, 2005 07:24 AM

This website definitely operates as a database of the content at the exhibit (which I have actually seen in person). The [images] section obviously shows that it is important to categorize and organize the information (in this case, images). This section of the site operates in one of the most simple database interfaces. It allows the user to organize the data by organizing the information through categories (medium, theme). Here, one can easily access all information within the website. Another key detail to this database, is that anytime when going through any of the sections, one can click on a detailed image and also receive data that supports the image (title, date, comp size, etc). Obvious database.

However, I feel most users would find this utility after they are led through the rest of the site via the narrative-like story, which documents her process and themes. Through these sections we are able to dive into Smith’s world through her process, which is often shown in multiple instances (very interesting element of time). The introduction to each “theme” really allows the user to jump into a certain mindset of the site by providing quotes by the user. In some areas, the text is refined to a really small box, making the text/story much less dominant than the work itself.

On a side note, having seen the elegance and beauty of her work (as well as the actual exhibit), I was highly disappointed by the clunky use of flash for the site. It seems inappropriate to the refined quality of much of her work.

Posted by m. blume on February 7, 2005 06:44 PM

Kiki Smith's site is a triumph of both "beauty" and "function." The light, opal colors used throughout the site help emphasize the information being presented. The colors are very pleasing to the eyes as well. And I believe that the work was presented in a very clear and cohesive manner which isn't too common. There is no flashy trickery here. Instead this site seems to strive for clarity and it achieves that throughout the structure of the site.

Aside from the intro that begins once you have entered the site you have control over what you view and how you view it. You can control the narrative which is another reason why someone would stay interested in this site over a longer period of time.

The motion work on display complements the rest of the written (static) information that is presented when you go into each of the "theme" sections. It is rare to see motion that complements rather than overshadow the other information being presented. I also believe the "click to enlarge" aspect of each work presented aids greatly in the entire interactive process.

Even though I couldn't control the small intros to Kiki's various themes, I appreciated the signature staple she was using there. Her quotes said it all. This woman is a designer who has total control of what she is doing but at the same time wants us to have control too.

Posted by Miles on February 7, 2005 06:51 PM

For me the website is full of content but the navigation appears to be that of a standard HTML site. Some effects from the zooming in of the images once rolled over make it feel more interactive. But with the large volume of art that she is trying to show the world she can't help but give you small branches with mass amount of content.

For me the amount of content is very overwhelming which makes me feel that she is a hard worker but she has so much of it and it feels like it is not one cohesive piece. This is hard for me to explain and I still don't think I am saying it how I would like. She has a lot of work on her site but it has so much it feels thrown in my face all at one time.

The Progress link is linear in the way it is set up but can be non-linear if the user wishes. Once you have chosen the progress link it can be walked through linear, by showing how she made four particular pieces. Or you can jump around to different stages of how she created each of the four images.

The overall site is thought out well for viewing the work but it does not hold my interest. This may be an opinion but the color palette does not interest me nor does the style or type of work. So because of this bias I don't feel that my interest in the work is no more then a respect for its design, but it does not toot my horn.

Posted by Quentin on February 7, 2005 06:55 PM

Kiki Smith's website doesnt function solely as a narrative or solely as a database. Instead, I believe it functions as both. When I first started exploring the site, I thought of it more as a database, in which I was reviewing the work through the different sections. All functioned as a database, especially the "themes" and "images" sections in which you had different ways of classifying the information and navigating through it. The site functions as a narrative when you read about the history of the work and see how the work has evolved.

The interactivity is very impressive within this site. The way you can zoom in and out of the individual pieces of work was very nice and made it easy to explore the work on a personal level. It was also nice to explore something visually after reading a detailed description about it. The overall design of the site was also nice, I really liked the color pallete, it was very toned down and helped the work speak for itself. The delicate transitions also helped contribute to this.

Posted by matt h on February 7, 2005 07:10 PM

I would also like to add that what brings Kiki's work much more of a significance to a viewer who is not familiar with it is the "reflective" qualities on the site. The videos play a big part in this. And I believe that knowing about the designer and her process and the timeline brings about the reflection (stories behind the works) qualities to the forefront. Since Kiki goes for more of a reflective site her works will become much more enduring.

Process is presented as well as the work.

Posted by Miles on February 7, 2005 07:11 PM

I think the goal of this review was to take into account the multiple levels in which the viewer can navigate the site. Although I do not feel anything for the work or the actual site design, the site ARCHITECTURE is quite nice in its many levels. Many of us have become accustomed to the beginning-->end story pattern, from A-Z.

This site allows you to look in either the A-Z method by allowing the narrative to feed from start to finish in its slideshow manner, or to choose by categories by jumping between different forms of categorization. Objects pan off the stage as they are needed and the viewer has a limited form of control over what content is viewed. They can zoom in on pieces if they want, or they can select side items or jump from one section to the other. I believe the best use of the site would be to run through from A-Z and then examine the sites multiple connections and sections.

The ability for navigation to move on and off the screen as well as the different content to be pulled onto the stage acts as a functional database where information is called dynamically, but it is also a nice narrative in respect to the fact that each section tells a story that helps the viewer to understand the content and work of the artist.

Posted by m. courtney on February 7, 2005 07:18 PM

In a general sense Kiki Smith's site is an online archival gallery. That accepted, it is a database. As others previously argued it is also a narrative. What kept my interest to the site was the range of different narratives that are utilized to rearrange and explained the data set. Most obviously, her work is defined into five categories of work that follow certain themes that have developed in her career. The navigation is clear and the information can be absorbed quite quickly. The writings on each page are adequate in providing further information but does not overloaded the user with too much reading.

What I found to be the most interesting was the process section of the site. These narratives are quite small, profiling the development of one print. Some are quicktime and others are step by step click throughs. Perhaps its my nature as a visual learner, but I found the videos to be the most informative. Kiki becomes personable and the work understandable. These videos are only a small glimpse of the data set but they are more valuable than a simple archive of images and description could ever be. The point is, this site has both. I am the type of user that is drawn to the process videos, others may wish to absorb the information faster and prefer the simple gallery display.

Visually the site is clear, but it could represent the work better. The site is set in a relatively small pop-up window, I don't have a problem with that. In the gallery section you can click on a piece from a small group to get more information about it. However it doesn't enlarge, you have to then zoom to gain any more visual information. As I moved through the site I found that to truly view the work I was having to zoom into every piece. If the window had been bigger and when the user clicked to enlarge, it actually enlarge the navigation would have been smoother and more streamlined. Sorry, I'm getting picky. In general, I felt the site was alive, the active transitions created the sense of movement but not the sense that I was ever leaving the page.

Posted by Stimmel on February 7, 2005 07:19 PM

The site is database.
Each unit holds an object; an image and a text. Her work is displayed with such care and precision; that alone tells the user that they should not ignore the work. In a lot of ways the sites navigation becomes secondary to displaying the work and moving the viewer forward. The buttons are so small one had to actively look to move forward. By making the buttons secondary it encourages the user to meander through the work and take time to read the captions.

I found myself becoming mildly irritated at the beginning of the piece because i wanted so badly ot get to the punchline; the final sentance frame. Then i realized as I clicked through the sections and pages that there was no final ending. that everything was so intricately linked that it just doubled back on itself.
The site allows the viewer to browse the work in a number of ways, either by the way it has been already been organized in a semi-linear fashion or the simultaneous view of the 'images' section.

The site is narrative.
The background color changes subtly changes between each section. Everything glides ever so smoothly to encourage the viewer to site back and wait for things to load rather then giving up on the site. The way the images are grouped tellings the viewer a story about the artist; however the descriptions never reveal too much; each text box tells us something that we did not already learn from the preceding text box. The entire site uses understatement entrap and engage the viewer.

The site is a hybrid that successfully brings together large number of elements and a specific way of visualizing the work to engage the viewer in a story about Kiki Smith.

Posted by Kim on February 7, 2005 07:28 PM

There is clearly an overarching database consideration in this flash design, as we are first presented with the essence of multiplicity (various silhouettes). This serves as a sort of subconscious affirmation that the range of content to be viewed is about yea many pieces consisting of so-and-so mediums. Three links at the top subdivide the mass of indecipherable content, with 'themes' and 'process' operating more on the hybrid level of narrative and database than 'images.'
The interface for themes indicates certain focused interests of this particular artist. The cycled highlighting tells us what, if any, interest dominates, or what medium might be the dominant one for a given theme. Content examples are displayed to pique interest in the work itelf. The duration is sufficient for noticing the change of color in the background, the medium and content of the example, and the dehighlighting of the theme at the bottom. All of these image are whisked off the screen while a selection reaches a type of foreground, a maximization of the image in white space. Here we see the first inkling of a narrative, where we know we have selected a number of pieces of the database to examine, but only a certain sequence is allowed to follow. We are given text, and then quotes, the likes of which turn the focus from a dry historical recount to a personally-set dialogue.
Process gives us smaller chunks of the database, relying less on narrative than themes since the content is given equal placement, and we return to the same interface after each chunk. For themes, there is a hint of a chronological or logical structure since the links at the bottom gain focus and are positioned in a sequence, and each section ends with a prompt to follow this predetermined sequence. Process contains its own sequences in the four subdivisions, but takes them more literally with a numeric/chronological order.
'Images' is like an index at the back of a book. This interface is the first one fully unplugged. Now you can see the content of every thumbnail, all at once or in any association the website has used in the preceeding sections.

Posted by D-cal (formerly known as Daniel C) on February 7, 2005 07:28 PM

Smith's website is a simple database that has stories nested within the five main sections. The site also functions as a narrative because it focuses on one designer and her work, opinions. interests and view. Each section ha a theme or a story that is illustrated through the use of music, imagery, and personal quotes. Smith's personal quotes and comments add a personal feel to the overall writing style of the site. I was captivated by the site's simplicity and transitions. I love simple sites. Simple meaning easy to navigate. I valued being able to navigate throughout Smith's site based on my personal preference. It is impossibe to get lost in the site. The transitions between each section and each piece of artwork, added to the overall simplicity. The assigned colors in each section gives the viewer a sense of location in the site. And the silhouette transitions prepares the viewer for the next image. The combination of the two, colors and silhouettes, had the most impact on the visualization of the site. Seeing this site was very helpful. I learned alot of valuable techniques and pointers about organization and presentation of a rich, complex database.

Posted by Candace on February 7, 2005 07:29 PM

viewing Kiki Smith’s website was a unique experience for me bacuse it brings the depth, and the visual feel/material quality of an artwork to forefront with the aid of an interface. This also gives me an experience of walking through a gallery space, where time is not an issue because one is so engaged with the art. The zooming in quality of the interface gives me an experience of touch through sight. This website is more of an haptic experience whereas others work on optical experiences.

Each work accompanied with the brief description or narrative sets up the mood/context for the viewers. I think the experience touches audience at deeper level than an usual website. person can take as much time as he wants to observe each work closely, learning the techniques involved in the making of the artwork. It is an excellent way of presenting one’s portfolio. It shows you respect and cherish your work.

Posted by Preethu on February 7, 2005 09:23 PM

In addition, I think Kiki Smith's website is a hybrid has the balance of both database and narrative structure. The artworks here are presented in a dynamic fashion categorizing the timeline into themes to hold the interest of the viewers. The primary emphasis is on the work itself and the interface substanstiates that idea through meaningful transitions. This is an excellent website to learn about the smooth, subtle transitions and the organization and presentation of data.

Posted by Preethu on February 7, 2005 10:02 PM