Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Visit Store
For my final project this term, I created a series of four art pieces that to a greater or lesser degree make statements about the current social atmosphere. I then uploaded these pieces to Redbubble to be sold on t-shirts, stickers, handbags, mugs, and other physical items that can be ordered from the website. The idea behind this was to create literal "statement pieces", useful items that help people relate to one another by expressing and facilitating the sharing of ideas. All art makes some sort of statement, but I wanted to see just how far I could take it by making wearable word art that makes both a literal and metaphorical statement about the wearer and their ideas.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bill Wurtz’s work is characterized by a chaotic, seemingly nonsensical style, through which he communicates as no one else could the essence of human experience. His work is relational because it allows people to understand and share their experiences with others who may feel similarly but have no way of expressing it. Through this work, Wurtz provides a conduit through which people can make meaning out of the chaos of life and communicate their internal state and experiences of the world with others who share the same viewpoint. Two people may not be able to explain their experience of a certain situation of emotion to one another verbally, but they can connect their experiences together when they both engage with a work that both symbolically and viscerally represents what they feel and think. Wurtz is able to put the experience of being human into a medium that speaks to the unifying feelings of confusion and chaos that we all experience throughout our lives, allowing us to relate both to him and to each other.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Preparing for the studio performance was fairly simple for me, just deciding what I wanted to do and gathering the basic supplies I needed. Once it was time to perform, however, I felt a bit differently. I was much more nervous about my performance than I had expected, although once I'd begun I felt calmer. The more unexpected reaction was how uncomfortable I felt documenting other people's performances. The feeling was intensely voyeuristic to the point of feeling manipulative, even through most of the performances were just every day activities. At a certain point I felt more comfortable filming other people doing their documentation than I did documenting myself.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tara Bogart's talk on April 11th was both interesting an informative. One of the ideas I found most intriguing was that of what different parts of a whole person express about those people. This concept is featured heavily in Bogart's work, such in her photo series of different women from behind, shot from the waist up, showing only back, shoulders, and hair. Bogart later took this a step further, photographing only locks of individuals hair. This idea was also transferred to objects owned by people, in Bogart's photo series highlighting important objects in her life that she was sad to leave behind when she moved to Paris, and the series of 'portraits' of herself, her mother, and her aunt that she created through displays of objects most important to those people. I find this idea fascinating, especially from an artistic perspective, because it oftentimes works so well. On the surface, these parts and objects may lead us to conclusions based on stereotype, but looking deeper each thing has a voice of it's own that tells part the person's story in a way that nothing else could.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

View Full Set Here
In his book Relational Aesthetics, Nicolas Bourriaud writes that, "Artistic activity is a game, whose forms, patterns and function develop according to people and social contexts..." (page 3) Although it was not my original intention, my word art piece ended up becoming a sort of game with my audience. It's literal, physical forms and patterns changed according to the people who interacted with it, as different people rearranged my letters to make new meaning. In this sense, the function of the work also changed with people as those people changed it's form, and the various interpretations of said forms change with time as the social contexts in which they existed changed. It is also possible, even if it was unconcious on the part of the people who did so, that changing social contexts effected the decision to change the letters, as well as what they were changed to. As the artist, it was also a game in the sense of the attitude of casual enjoyment it involved. It was a game of discovery to go out and say "I wonder what my piece says today?"

Sunday, April 2, 2017

On March 31st I attended Tyanna Buie's artist talk for the opening of her show in the Wriston Gallery. The thing that struck me the most was the personal nature of her work, and how it had become more personal over time. She spoke of being told that her art was too personal, and how she saw that as a challenge to make it even more personal still. There is something powerful in an artist expressing their personal story and emotions through their work, especially in the context of art as a means to connect people. Many people who dislike artist's making personal work seem to think that the personal nature distances the audience from the work and from the artist, but oftentimes it can have the opposite effect. In the same way in which people relate to each other through emotions and experiences, people can relate to art through the emotions and experiences that it represents. Art that is of a personal nature is compelling because it gives us a feeling of genuine connection to the artist, and oftentimes a sense of trust as well. The arts trusts the audience enough to be honest about who they are, what they have been through, and how they feel. In a world where most people are taught to hide the true extent of their thoughts and emotions, this makes a powerful statement, as well as an impact on both audience and artist.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For my final project winter term of 2016, I put up a series of colorful letters spelling out different statements around campus, and tracked their reception on social media. I also documented how some of the letters were removed or changed by others to make statements of their own. During spring term of 2016, even more changes in the letters began to appear, but I did not get a chance to respond to them because I had already presented on the project at the end of the previous term. For my Arena of Experience project this term, I wanted to continue my previous project by presenting a more full picture of how people on campus interacted with my art piece and made it their own through altering the letters I put up.