Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Welcome to Version 3: My Illustrated Life

Redesigning a website feels a little bit like cleaning my house. It progressively gets “messy” to the point that I can’t stand it anymore, I drop everything, and then clean it from top to bottom. Once I begin the process, there is no stopping me, and it consumes every moment of free time until the project is complete. Then, I collapse into a pile on the floor admiring my sparkling living space.

So from my prone position, welcome to Version 3 of my online portfolio/cv/blog. I tend to live with my site layouts for some time. I get excited when I first implement them, grow into them, and eventually grow out of them. Especially as I grow and shift in my career and interests, the site needs to respond in kind. This latest version better showcases the various hats I wear as an academic, a teacher, and a digital humanist. The website features illustrations that I created of myself and my interests through an app called Assembly that my student M introduced to me just before winter break. Although I’m trained in Illustrator, there is something delightfully fun about pinching and zooming my way to an illustration.

The site has a flat, minimalist style and is a LOT snappier than the previous version. Let me know your thoughts below.

SMPTE Color Bars, Warhol, and Visual Studies

Screenshot 2014-10-24 19.48.39UCI’s Visual Studies Ph.D. Program just relaunched its website. You definitely know you’ve been in graduate school too long when you’ve weathered three site redesigns and a curriculum overhaul. The tick-tock of that dissertation clock just keeps on getting louder and louder!

But in all seriousness, the site is a welcome improvement. The SMPTE color bars juxtaposed with a sculpture by Isamu Noguchi add a strange, but fitting touch. This bizarre contrast, for me, defines our program. I remember being a first-year student, sitting in seminar, and being challenged to define Visual Studies apart from Art History and Film and Media Studies. Noguchi meets SMPTE color bars. It is as simple as that.

Invoking a Japanese American artist next to these iconic televisual bars, I couldn’t help but remember this Japanese commercial for TDK Videotape featuring Andy Warhol, the music of Jun Miyake, and a television test pattern officially called “Engineering Guideline EG 1-1990.”

赤… 緑… 青… 群青色… きれい