Monday, January 25, 2016

documentation vs. transformation

Baudrillard's statement "We all become living specimens under the spectral light of ethnology, or of anti-ethnology which is the only pure form of triumphal ethnology, under the sign of dead differences, and of the resurrection of difference" made me think of the importance the West (generally) places on archiving, documenting and understanding artworks. Artists and makers in the present day are especially encouraged to create online presences for their work and arts experience in order to publicize themselves. In this project I was thinking about the possibilities of obscuring my work, that is originally intended to be three dimensional, by taking photos of it which I then photoshopped. To create these images I played around with lighting equipment and Photoshop layering. All of the lines in the images are made out of cut paper and I think that this is challenging to tell by looking at the photos. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

pattern & beauty

I had a bit of an "insider perspective" of Tony Orrico's work and the show "An Unnamed Need: Pattern and Beauty in Contemporary Art" since I am a Wriston Gallery intern and Tony visited my Studio Art Seminar class. As an intern, I helped out with some of the small details for the exhibition set-up such as hammering the plaques onto the walls with tiny gold nails, checking the screen that displayed one of Tony's past performances, and adjusting the insects, of Jeniifer Angus, that had tilted in the first room. In Tony's visit to my Senior Sem class, he discussed his practice and experiences as an artist and led an interactive activity with us. I engaged with him the next day over lunch and a critique session and got to take photos of his performance as a "photographer".

Since I am in a performance art tutorial with Professor Carlson, I have been thinking about Tony's work as they could be applied to different understandings of"performance art". I find it interesting that documentation/ the resulting "art object" and physical performance are both so crucial to his work, and also that he performs drawings in rotations--some drawings he has only done several times, and he does not practice them when not in front of an audience.

I really loved the show as a whole--especially with my interest in pattern and installation art. I thought the work was dynamic and worked really well cohesively. It is also so cool that we have work by Michelle Grabner, (one of the three curators at the 2015 Whitney Biennial and involved and numerous other cool-looking projects such as Poor Farm). I think I was most captivated by the first room--the colors of the insects are so vibrant and raw. Their ready-made/ assembled "wallpaper" nature of the insects made me think of Baudrillard's idea of the "museumized" and that "for ethnology to live, it's object must die" (13). I think Angus's work is effective because of the "real" color and the engulfing nature of the installation, and duality between beauty (design) and what is typically considered more grotesque (insects). I would like to learn more about her ethics for collecting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

the Hyperreal

This jacket is the Real deal. 

I'm glad that we are reading "Simulations" because I have actually been wanting to read more post-modernism/ post-structuralism theory/ philosophy. I really like thinking about hyperreal places and scenarios like Disneyland,  Las Vegas or other tourist attractions. I'm a fan of Borjes and Cindy Sherman, who both use these ideas in their work. I like the movie "Synecdoche, New York" which is a great example of the hyppereal.

This article on SF Senior Chinatown Fashion seemed like a good example of the hyperreal. It sort of reminded me Kenneth Anger's "Scorpio Rising" in the way it documents a culture from an outsider's perspective. The article is about a photo project of two young girls called "Chinatown pretty", where they showcase the eccentric and colorful fashions of local senior residents. It seems like the girls are trying to make more of a story-telling project rather than poke fun at the style of the participants. I think this ties into "It is thus extremely naive to look for ethnology among Savages or in some Third World--it is here, everywhere, in the metropolis, among the whites, in a world completely catalogued and analyzed and then artificially revived as though real, in a world of simulation..." (Baudrillard, 16).

For my project, I made a short animation out of paper scraps. This could be thought of with "Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelopes the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum" (Baudrillard, 11). The animation is very simple and geometric in form. It isn't based off of a concrete image or idea but I was interested in creating a sense of movement, similar to movement that might be found in nature. For future projects in this class I would like to experiment with making projections that incorporate stop-motion as well as real elements.