Friday, March 11, 2011

rhyme on the end

First of all, I'm going to plug my lulu link for anyone who feels generous enough to send 15-odd dollars my way: purchase Portraits of People I Wish I Could Be! Or you can download a digital file for 99 cents. can just look at the photos for free on my flickr account. But hey! I don't judge. Do what you gotta do.

I'm quite relieved for this project to be over; frankly, I feel exhausted by my own ego at this point, and I've become somewhat paranoid that you poor people in my class (who have been forced to listen to me talk incessantly about myself for the past 10 weeks) have all become stockholm-syndromed into appreciating my project.

I really enjoyed both the process and the final output of this course, however--I love dithering around in Photoshop endlessly, and now I am also able to dither around in InDesign for as long as it please me--also a useful program to know how to use, considering I want to go into the design field. But I think it is time to mess around with other projects instead. Or maybe I will start taking commissions to photoshop other people's faces onto things?? Maybe this is how I will become internet-famous. And, of course, I enjoyed myself immensely in regards to my concept. I picked something I would like doing from beginning to end, and though I'm tired, I think it's mostly because I can definitely feel that my project has reached its natural end.

Thanks for all of your input, dudes & ladies! Best of luck with the end of term.

Friday, March 4, 2011

rhyme on sawada, lee & boehm

So I have already talked extensively (numerous times! sorry dudes) about Tomoko Sawada & Nikki S. Lee. Though I don't think I will continue to follow their work--not Lee's at least, I'm still trying to decide how I feel about Sawada--they were wonderful women to look at for inspiration and connections for my final project. I was surprised how easily it was to relate my (admittedly) self-centered project to other people's work! Instead of boring you further, I'll talk a little about Kristin Boehm since I really found her to be quite interesting and helpful.

I thought Kristin was a great, both as a speaker and as a person to get some post-college perspective from. I thought her lecture was really engaging and interesting, and she connected well with us—it was almost hard to believe that she still doesn’t go to Lawrence. I thought it was especially interesting how she kept stressing that she missed the academic discussion available here, and being able to converse with people on a high level about a variety of topics. It's difficult to remember that the majority of the population outside of the Lawrence bubble isn’t interested in debating the semantics of beauty, or whether postmodernism is applicable to modern artists. Not that I necessarily want to spend my life discussing these things, but when you’re surrounded by academia constantly it’s quite strange (and frightening!) when it disappears. I thought Kristin was encouraging and realistic without being disheartening. For me her talk(s) were especially helpful because I'm looking to go into a similar field of graphic design, and as someone who doesn't have a formal degree in design, it was quite relieving to hear that it is possible to overcome that obstacle!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

project rhyme

So here's a look at my completed portraits! I have three more I need to tweak in photoshop before they're reading to be shown, but everything should be done by Monday. I'm almost done with my book design too--I'm having my friends (and acquaintances) each write a sentence about me to put as blurbs in the front, so if you guys want feel free to contribute! You can describe me as literally or metaphorically as you'd like.

Friday, February 18, 2011

rhyme on the internet

So today I found out something magical about the internet: you can watch youtube videos, and play snake at the same time.

On the same screen.

That's right. While you're watching any youtube video, if you press the left & up keys at the same time snake will appear over it. Here's a video giving a much better explanation than mine. Personally I suck at snake and it's kinda hard to see it, depending on the color of the video, but I'm endlessly amused by the concept. I love that it's not enough to waste time watching videos of kittens on the internet--no! Now we must be able to watch kittens and play games simultaneously. Oh, internet! Is there anything you won't do?

I don't think Viola or Berners-Lee & co would have thought this is where we would end up in our digital age, though I think Borges had a good enough sense of humor to at least take it in stride--many of his writings certainly entertain weird, pointless endeavors. In a way, videos-and-snake also reflects Borges' writings on mazes, labyrinths, and multiple layers--the last one quite literally.

I think it's incredibly interesting to see how technology was predicted to develop, and the weird ways that people were right and wrong at the same time. For instance, I do think that we have established a pool of human knowledge, so to speak, one that allows us to share and collaborate! I mean, for instance, I was just able to share with all of you the knowledge I just learned within a couple of minutes. Was this life-changing knowledge? Probably not. But still interesting, entertaining, or at least mildly diverting! And really, that's the best part of the internet, I think: how incredibly weird and complicated it is and how wonderful it is to observe.

I've had an active online presence since about...uh, fourth grade? Maybe fifth. I feel like I've become familiar with various subsets of culture online mainly through sticking around on message boards for so long and meeting friends through them. My project is quite heavily influenced by internet-culture, as is a lot of my more traditional work--I've found most of my favorite contemporary artists through the web, and some of my biggest design influences are web-based, or things I've only been able to find out from being connected digitally (like Japanese or Korean pop design, for example.) The internet! So big. So weird.

Friday, February 11, 2011

rhyme on rj & mjj

"So I thought, well there's my statement, "Should an eyelash last forever?" And then I thought of the possibility of asking the question "Should half an eyelash last forever?" The eyelash could be cut in half because these eyelashes are composed of individual hairs, maybe even as many as a hundred of them, that somebody in Korea glued down to a strip of adhesive, so should the whole thing collectively last forever, or for one month, or should have of it last for that period of time, or one eyelash hair, should one eyelash hair last forever? Which then gets down to the point of no eyelash and "Should nothing last forever?" Which is pure Taoism, pure Zen when you get down to that, which is a point that I often get to in my work...and I'm involved with just absolute space, with no art, no eyelashes, no statement, no nothing." --
An Interview with Ray Johnson by Henry Martin (1984)

What a great week! Field trips and movies and convocations! Man I love field trips. It was particularly interesting to me because (as I think everyone knows now?) I am involved with my own non-traditional gallery space project.Which is sort of a pain in the tuckus at the moment, but that is also not the point! Getting to talk to both Stephen Perkins and Mary Jane Jacobs was a really wonderful opportunity for my project.

I guess Ray Johnson doesn't really match up in that sense, but I found myself completely blown away by his art. It wasn't until after MJJ's convocation speech that I really started thinking about the reasons why and--surprise, surprise--I think it all comes down to that interaction between people again. I love the way RJ reached out to create his pieces through multiple sources--I'm also personally really drawn to collage work so that didn't hurt either. He also cuts a somewhat tragic, sensitive-poet type of figure which deeply saddened me at the time. As I watched the documentary I wasn't really expecting that at all, but at the end his death just seemed so unnecessary, so bleak.

In terms of MJJ, what most intrigued me most was her emphasis on how to integrate a project with a community of people successfully. I have a lot of feelings about issues of race, class, and gender, and how important it is to be aware of your privileges—not to be ashamed, or feel guilty about them, but to recognize the benefits you have and how they impact your life. It sounds pretty easy, but really looking objectively at privilege is hard! Really, really hard! I'm constantly reminded of this at my job (which involves working with low-income and at-risk kids). I really like the way MJJ described approaching different communities, how to stand back and quietly become a part of them rather than barging in—art, especially public art, can really resonate with people, and I think to truly have them respond to what you are creating requires a thoughtful approach. It requires being aware of other’s thoughts and opinions, and how they will be impacted by what you create. SURPRISE again I'm interested by how people connect with each other.

Friday, February 4, 2011

rhyme on happenings

Quite honestly, I'm struggling to write this post because I didn't have much of a strong reaction to the happenings or Kaprow either way. I have three sisters who have either a) graduated with degrees in dance or b) are attending school as dance majors. The oldest lives in Chicago and she's involved with dance that borders on the edge of performance art, so I've been semi-familiar with that part of the art world for six years or so.

I've never been a part of a happening, don't get me wrong! But I have definitely seen many shows that have been bordering the line between traditional dance/performance art. Maybe it's because I'm already familiar with this area that I find it difficult to write about? My reactions to it have dulled somewhat over the years...I guess I generally don't mind performance art either but because it's such a physical interactive experience I find it difficult to describe verbally.

ANYWAY I will talk about Miranda July instead because I think she's great.

She's a visual & performing artist--her performance-based pieces are (at least to my knowledge) much more scripted than the Fluxus pieces or the happenings, and she's also written and directed a few short films. What really draws me to her is that connection she establishes between different people--I've talked about this is almost all of my posts so far so I feel kinda repetitive! But the way people connect, interact, and inspire each other, indirectly or otherwise, is something that fascinates me. In a way, I suppose the happenings are exploring this idea as well, but much more abstractly. It's easier for me to connect to people like July, though it may partially be because it's easier to experience her work. Man the more I think about it the more complicated my thoughts are! Augh. Time to stop, I think.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

rhyme on beuys

Man guys, I have to be balls-to-the-wall honest: I have a hard time understanding Beuys. A large part of it, I think, was due to my 3 second attention span--while watching his documentary I would continually get distracted by the 80s era special effects (as well as the random subtitles) and after listening to him for an hour, I could honestly not remember a single thing he had said.
“Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build ‘A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART’… EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN ARTIST who – from his state of freedom – the position of freedom that he experiences at first-hand – learns to determine the other positions of the TOTAL ART WORK OF THE FUTURE SOCIAL ORDER.” --from Caroline Tisdall: Art into Society, Society into Art (ICA, London, 1974), p.48
Ahh, but this! This I understand. I like that for all his strangeness, at the core Beuys seemed truly interested in promoting social change through a green initiative--that all of his work was used to finance buying trees, even making weird random Japanese whiskey commercials. (By the way, getting American celebrities to do commercials is crazy popular in Japan.) And while his work may be difficult for me to unpack, it seems like it was deeply important to him, and that he carefully and thoughtfully created his pieces. I can respect that. I can also respect that even though he completely fits the stereotype of a weird, nonsensical, elitist modern artist, he also truly believed in everyone's ability to create. Plus he seems like such a genuinely nice guy! Like he would be fun to walk around with and talk about birds or something. Approachable--I think that's the word I'm looking for.

Connecting Beuy's work to my own...hmmm slightly more difficult. Maybe because I don't feel like I have an excellent grasp on his ideas it's harder to find connections between us? I think we develop our art making in different ways, certainly in different media. In my own way I am making a sort of personal mythology, though with digital images rather than felt and tallow. I think he would appreciate photoshopping as a sort of art, however!