From Art as Process course blog…Brionna J: Research and Final Project thus far..
My final project in this class, as it exists now, is incredibly different from my originally planned trajectory. When we began, I had wedding fever. I still have wedding fever. And I wanted to burn from the inside out, in a blaze of cheap lace and fondant. Ok, that was dramatic and uninspired. Back to the point.
After talking with Amanda and classmates about my plans to have a “wedding-a-thon”, during which time I would plan several key elements of an ideal wedding day, all culminating in me “waiting for my groom” by the Charles river, I understood that such a plan is limited, and one dimension of a more complicated task I want to unpack: plans, aspiration, and a “fear of missing out”.
The next idea: creating a gallery of sorts, and displaying my own art, changing the pieces as individuals that fit different “demographics” come and go. In the final project, I will incorporate this gallery-esque quality in the presentation of the final project in class.
Last: interactions, or “touching the matrix” as I like to call it: not jus t ‘calling out’ our flaws, but direct action against them/ interacting with them, and forcing others to do the same. The majority of my project presentation will focus on how I planned interactions and interventions, and what happens afterward. They vary in range of “abstract” to “actual direct action”, from funny signs and posters and handbills that break up the monotony of our M-F 9-5 lives, to instances that send tremors to the core of the academic institution. You’ll see.
After much reconfiguring, I will still incorporate the wedding aspect, as a “mini-exhibit”, a study in art as process (planning as the art), through photographs. The development of my project has survived many phases of configuring and reconfiguring, only to settle uneasily on me, forcing myself to interact with a system, a network of strangers, in the name of interaction. Does that make sense?
To research my interactions and interventions, I have interviewed campus leaders, dancers, performers, and individuals who work for “grassroots organizations” and lobby in Davis Square for donations and education. These surveys and accounts of their lived experiences has been a credit to my understanding these players in their individual spheres, and “doing them justice” through my planned interactions.
I’m excited to see what comes of it all!
- Adam Cohen “Living With Epilepsy” Research Fund for Young Adults
- Africana Studies Now
- Ask Me
- Save-a-Hipster Initiative
- Guns for Toys for Kids for Guns
- Men-only and Women-only water fountains
- Men only and Women only restrooms (Tisch reading room restrooms are unisex)
I wasn’t in class on the Tuesday when the artist Steffen Kugel skype’d into class, but, through my classmates, I believe I was able to capture the essence of his lecture and the goals of tracing the trajectory of our art process through creating and re-creating a piece.
The exercise was especially useful to me, as I have a habit of “growing attached” to a piece of art, or being afraid to change or reconstruct its elements. I’ve included photos that highlight the progression of the art, and little snippets about the development below.
Photos from MFA trip
It inspired one of my proposals for final project, the creation of a social climate-controlled art gallery/ museum, where the exhibits/ permanent collection showing varies based on the demographics (gender, sexual orientation, class, etc.) of the viewer/ patron. Just an idea.
Inspring/ interesting art at MFA, in Linde Wing
I thought my answers were really telling of my interests, so I decided to post my rationale on this blog. More for myself, to flesh it all out and get out of my own head, than for the class. Either way. This is an extension of my research file, so THERE! I know everyone likes pictures, so I’ve included pictures, just cuz.
- List of things you dislike but do anyway
- trying to “fix” Tufts
- giving money
- saving money
- being empathetic
Routine habits you do but don’t know why you continue
- Thinking about my future/ marriage
- being mean/ judgmental and superior moral attitude
- saying “I’m sorry” all the time, unnecessarily/ as a reflex
- spending a lot of money
- manipulation others emotionally
- eating copious amounts of food
- giving money
- Mildred Pierce (1940s), film about striving, emotional manipulation, family struggle
- Armageddon, film about disaster, inspiration, responsibility, conferred dominance
- 500 Days of Summer, film about selfishness, domesticity, youth, privilege, fear
- All About Eve (1950s), film about striving, personal fulfillment, recognition
- The Holy Bible, book about…EVERYTHING! Love, fear, grace, reassurance, struggle
- Too Big to Fail, book about responsibility (or lack thereof), diffusion of responsibility
- Madame Bovary, book about striving, family relations, self fufillment, social norms, gender roles
- incredibly disturbing levels of apathy/ diffusion of responsibility
- misguided and misdirected momentum
- general discontent and listlessness…
- too much money, not enough problems
- domesticity/ domestic spaces
- striving/ aspiration
- family struggle
- dispellign rights and privileges
- institutions of power (careers, home, family, etc)
- class jumping
- emotioanl manipulation
- make-your-own-life (a la Lorianne Simmons)
So, constructing the pyramid ignited in me a new appreciation and interest in controlled spaces and atmospheres.
At my high school, none of the windows opened/ we had air pumping throughout the building. I remember thinking that was rediculous–what happens if/ when a chemical spill in the chemistry lab circulates its fumes through the ducts?
Controlled spaces fascinate me. They remind me of heuristics:
” experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical. Examples of this method include using a “rule of thumb”, educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.”
Think about it: what are the heuristics of an art gallery? You walk in, remain silent, perhaps tilt your head, stand pensively in front of a piece, and casually but noncomittally walk on to puruse the next piece. Why don’t we touch? Why is our first institnct to stand back? Why do we tell children not to touch?
The heuristics of our pyramids were fascinating to watch. People would come in, and wait expectantly, knowing that “something” was supposed to happen, that there was assuredly a task or experience awaiting them. I kind of wanted to remain silent during my audio experiment, and have the participants listen to the world around them, instead of my prerecorded and planned-out experience. I knew what I wanted them to feel, the same way a museum knows what it wants its patrons to see.
The experiment opened up the human senses as a potential mode of artistic exploration. Feeling, after all, is how we often know we are “alive”–it’s an affirmation of our personhood. We walk to class, so we know we are capable of independent movement. We prick our fingers, and thus remind ourselves of the percinian corpuscles and mechanoreceptors below our skin’s surface. We create art–houses, wood carvings, dinners–to remind ourselves that we are still capable of creation.
Here are (more) photos from the inflatable pyramid project.
While building the project, I was surprised at how accomplished I felt while taping, cutting, and fixing the structure together. It’s not every day that I do truly manual labor. There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing your own creations to fruition.
I was assigned the sense of sound for my atmosphere, so I created a mix track of audio clips from films (the main song from “Up”), audio clips of familar TV shows (The Hills, The Tudors), Youtube videos, and songs from 500 Days of Summer, all intertwined and playing at varying speeds and volumes. I told the participants to hone in on one particular sound/ sequence, and try to focus on it. I think they appreciated the challenge!
Some shots of us being ‘art as process’, in my opinion. Sarah came and spoke with us on her work, and the sometimes delightful futility of being an artist. I realized that I sometimes hold prejudices against professional artists, and consider some of them to be wasteful, self-centered showcases of themselves. Not true. The same way that some may feel called to be a preacher, a doctor, or college admissions adviser, others are called to be artists, and live their craft.
I wonder what it feels like, to be so connected with your craft, so inescapably intimate. Office workers can punch out at 5pm, leave their briefcase in the car, and assume a life of leisure and casual perusal. Teachers can push aside mounds of papers, and play sodoku. But what release is their for the artist? What relief for those whose very bodies are testiments of their craft?
Am I strong enough to be an artist?
Enough of me. PHOTOS!
Since my freshman year of college, I’ve been (mildly) obsessed with the art of the haiku. It started as an inside joke with some college friends, but grew into a ritual–I sometimes create haikus without realizing it!!
After seeing Beau Sia perform at Tufts my freshman year, my friends and I became completely enamored with the perfect brevity of the haiku, and how it’s almost always ‘deep’, even when it’s not. The syllabic limitations (5 syllables in first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the last) make you consider the essence of exactly you want to say–without room for filler words, it’s hard to be honest!
I’d like to try to make haikus about my inspirations/ big things for me in this class/ topics I’d like to explore: privilege, class-jumping, invisible people, domestic spaces, and the illusion of security.
born with or without
raised in aspiration, or
coddled in failure.
(the act/ life experience of raising your social or economic class status, often done through marriage or education) ::
Wealth can buy you a
ticket, but not ensure your
seat. sit on the floor.
In fly-over states
(Kansas, Utah, Missouri),
THEY HAVE PEOPLE, TOO.
I’ll update with other haiku’s later in the week. These aren’t meant to be incredibly probing and symbolic, but I feel that by their very nature, they are.
^^^link to poet Beau Sia’s twitter. he tweets in haiku. i challenge you to do it too!
This is my idea of art as process. I made this one night when I was bored, and clicking through art history websites. good times.
To play: play the song “thirteen” by Ben Kweller when you start the slideshow. i synced them up pretty well, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Friday, in haiku (see previous post if you don’t know about my relationship with haikus)
what a moment when
mental maps fail and we are
at the whims of peers.
eyeballs reeling from
behind flaps of skin, all i
see are dew drops, leaves.
i choose to believe
that all of this is deserved
and i have “earned” it.
I hope I’m using this blog correctly!
I’m finding that the fear of losing art/ losing what’s “beautiful” in the world, keeps me anxious. I go onto this site, stumbleupon.com, almost daily. My roomate from sophomore year introduced me to the site (during finals week of fall semester–how untimely), and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
I encourage you all to go onto the site WHEN YOU HAVE TIME (REPEAT: NOT WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO GET THINGS DONE!), maybe you’ll understand how I feel about it. The site isn’t original by any means, it’s a compilation of “cool things on the internet”, customizable by subject, etc. I find it incredibly inspirational, but at the same time, painful. Each time I “like” a page (I try to do so sparingly, so it actually MEANS something), I feel obligation to it, to its topic. A lot of pages about art, writing, and psychology catch my eye, I base many of my personal poems on findings on the site, or the nature of the site.
It all reminds me of the quote from American Beauty:
“Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in…”
It just makes me anxious, the thought of clicking away from a page of poetry, being alright forgetting it.
Some of my favorite findings from StumbleUpon:
Photo: Anka Zhuravleva
Site about sketch book ideas (hmmm…research file…)
I’m taking a course this semester, American Studies 188: Slavery’s Optic Glass. The discussion so far has considered the American slave trade, and its significance and impacts on American literature for centuries thereafter.
In the class, I think of the sea as its own governess, its own power entity and nation-state. Prof. Clytus commented how “once we’re off terra firma, we gain perspective”. When applied to the American slave trade, and the micro-economies and micro-societies bred on the slave ships (among the captains/ Europeans), the water takes on a life of its own, commanding respect. It’s a perfect example of art as process.
I’ve included some paintings by J.M.W. Turner. He manages to encapsulate the all-encompassing power and hopelessness of the sea, a body without memory, without pattern.
J.M.W Turner’s The Slave Ship, 1840