Final Contextual Review
Part one has been a valuable experience. It taught me new approaches to making, writing, and critical thinking. What I enjoyed most is the introduction to contemporary artists’ works that are relevant to recent global issues. The projects were broad enabling me to explore social and conceptual concerns. In Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Sol LeWitt writes that “the idea becomes the machine that makes the art” and that conceptual art is for the mind rather than the eyes, therefore a tool to make us think.
‘Material News’ was the first sculpture project. I chose to discuss Hurricane Dorian. This project was influenced by Damien Ortega who made art in response to news each day for a month. A press release by This Is Tomorrow compared his approach to a journalist, saying how it is a “different process to most visual artists”. I covered seven clear plastic poles with red thread in repetitive circles attempting to mimic the motion of wind. In order to execute this piece, I watched videos about minimalism in order to represent this issue indirectly to make the viewer think. A video by The Art Assignment says that minimalism is “a world more simplified than the actual world is” which inspired me to look at the issue from an abstract lens and tone down the chaos of the subject. I have always been interested in minimalism and simplicity letting materials speak for themselves. I do not like to overpower my work as I believe it loses its spark. The blog, Stone Ward, states “don’t confuse complexity with value”. I think about this often when developing ideas. There is ambiguity in a simple structure because it makes me think about what is being simplified.
My ‘Place’ project was conceptual. I aimed to show the effects of anxiety, tension, and mental instability by making a wooden sculpture of two unbalanced chairs on top of each other. The wood workshop was useful because I learnt how to construct a chair, set measurements, and how parts fit into each other. I only used plastic and wood to emphasise the shape and direct attention to the concept. After visiting Mona Hatoum’s exhibition, I was fascinated with how she utilizes her materials. She spoke about her approach saying she likes to put together things she finds. The execution of her work allows the power and beauty of, often unusual materials, to emerge. Our pieces had to be displayed in a specific location, making me think about the effects of location on my work. Miwon Kwon in her book One Place After Another writes how a ‘place’ is a location that is familiar, whether tangible or intangible and how our identity lies within our connection to places. I agreed with her points and looked them conceptually. Working with the idea of anxiety and realising that it really is a part of my identity.
After exploring different pathways, I want to specialise in Sculpture because I find working with materials and objects the best method to communicate ideas. Tangibility is powerful because there isn’t a barrier between the art and the viewer. In Contemporary Installation Art by Aihong Li, Emmanuelle Moureaux describes installations as “pure emotions… our body enveloped by structural forms… felt entirely by the five senses”. He continues saying, “a three-dimensional spatial experience through emotions”. This stood out to me because at the start of the course we were frequently asked about our work in relation to space and audience. I believe it is crucial to think about our audience because how they interpret and react to the work somewhat defines it. Any reaction, positive or negative, gives the work value because an emotion is triggered. ThoughtCo blog writes that space is a part of the “overall visual impact” and “gives the viewer a reference for interpreting an artwork”. Sculptures occupy physical space, so it is important to take into account how the audience feels in relation to the space. Is the aim to surround? to intrude? to welcome?
A useful activity is the CRIT because it taught me to think critically. The opportunity to get feedback from others is beneficial because I get an insight on various perspectives. It also shows what I respond to most when I give feedback to others. I often try to see what emotions the artist is trying to make me feel.
I learned a new approach, thinking through making. Letting objects guide me helps to understand their limits, what methods work, and what don’t. This was the most significant thing I learnt because it made it easier for me to start making and developing my ideas. Anthropologist Tim Ingold writes in his blog “that creativity emerges from within an ongoing, improvisational process between makers, materials and other non-human things such as tools”. Slightly improvising and being spontaneous is exciting as it leads to surprises.
I look forward to working with new materials and learning new approaches. The sculpture pathway will allow me to challenge myself and improve.
I am applying to BA in Fine Art because it is a broad subject that will give me the opportunity to build up my skills and work with a range of techniques, expand my knowledge and expose me to a wealth of creative ideas.
I am enjoying my Fine Art Foundation course in Sculpture. I have learnt how to be more analytical and question things. I am learning and improving my skills in critical thinking and I am becoming more self-aware. Foundation has introduced me to new contemporary artists which I found useful because their work explores diverse and current issues, cultures, and interpretations. This has inspired me to base the contexts of my work on issues happening around the world, for example mental health and healthcare. There are a number of other topics that I hope to get the chance to explore such as mental illnesses which is inspired by a book I am currently reading, ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat’ by Oliver Sacks. It has made me curious and interested in the idea of loss and gain of control, imbalance, discomfort. I made a Pinata out of cardboard and sticks out of wood and hung it from the ceiling from its smallest side to create tension. I let the audience break it as a part of the performance and recorded it to document the transformation of the sculpture. Giving the sticks to the audience was my loss of control over my piece. Similar to lack of control caused by mental illnesses mentioned in the book. They are now controlled by doctors the same way my piece is controlled by the audience. The performative aspect was inspired by John Wood and Paul Harrison’s performances manipulating familiar objects.
I also made a wooden sculpture of two unbalanced chairs attached together. I wanted to create discomfort through changing the function of a familiar object. This was influenced by Mona Hatoum. After visiting her exhibition, I was intrigued with the succinctness of her art and how she often uses only one or two materials. I find pared back structures fascinating because they look incomplete and ambiguous. I researched simplicity in art and came across a statement on a blog called Stone Ward saying, “Don’t confuse complexity with value”. This stuck with me and gave me a number of ideas I hope to experiment with in the future.
The most significant approach I have learned is ‘thinking through making’. Allowing the materials to guide me has allowed me to understand the objects and has led to surprises in my work. This method was encouraged after researching the works of Tara Donovan and how she uses her objects and materials. With her influence I used toothpicks to create an unrecognisable form by figuring out the limits of the objects, and what I can and cannot do with it. I have found new approaches to generating ideas by looking at sources outside of the Fine Art realm and looking more into cultures and inspiration from the environment around me. The Wellcome Collection ‘Being Human’ exhibition is a great example of this. It led me to think about what it means to be human in the world around us. I have discovered that it is easier to research and analyse artists’ works when I pinpoint exactly what it is, I find interesting. It narrows down my thoughts and gives me specific ideas to explore further.
On BA, I would experiment deeper with installations and investigate the relation between space, location, and scale. I aim to find new ways of making interactive art, and pieces that require the audience’s participation for its completion. There is still much for me to improve and more I want to learn. During my BA I will interact with other students and work collaboratively to become motivated and benefit from a talented environment. I believe I am good with constructive criticism and accepting different views. I am certain this course will be challenging but I am determined to work hard to become a practising artist.
Being Human (4th Nov)
After seeing pieces such as The World Under Pressure by Batoul S'Himi and Refugee Astronaut by Yinka Shonibare, I was inspired to focus on works relating to either current issues around the world because it shows the obstacles people have to go through and the problems people are battling. I think challenges are crucial for development, learning, and experience, which are all parts of being human. It can also show that we still have to improve and help each other. This shows that humans make mistakes and we can be destructive and selfish at times. Selfish because we do not empathise as much as we should. We do not grasp the seriousness of an issue if we are not involved in the situation. This limits the power and help we can offer. I wanted to discuss issues related to healthcare and if it should be free, if its sufficient, and if enough healthcare provided in countries that need it most (low income countries). This topic raises many questions that I cannot answer but I aim to make the viewers be curious with me. I looked into the countries that the universal healthcare system covers and found out that most of Africa and large areas of North America and Asia are not provided with free healthcare. So it is not a universal system. This was a concern to me because Africa is the poorest continent in the world therefore they cannot afford health care. But does that mean they shouldn't be provided with treatments to prolong and save their lives? Of course money runs everything and I may be looking at this in a philosophical sense because it is a lot more complicated than just making something free, but there comes a point were we should put the lives of people before money. Developing countries still have fatal diseases such as Polio, HIV, Malaria and more which is caused by lack of health education and care. Why should healthcare be unaccessible to countries that need it the most? Shouldn't everyone be given the same benefits about such a necessary thing for survival regardless of wealth? This is an inhumane act from humans. People are left untreated from fatal diseases, people are uneducated on sanitation. This goes to show how important money is to us. How money means power and priority. We put a price on survival.
I wanted to build something that shows healthcare is unaccessible. Something that looks like you cannot go in and reach it. I used a pill to represent healthcare because it will give a hint about the context. I sketched out several compositions to find the best way to make it look cased or locked. I ended up deciding to put the pill in a small box then put the small box in a larger box. The layers are to show the difficulty of accessing the pill. I had forgot to clean the fingerprints and dust off the small plastic box inside which I ended up liking because it could be interpreted as desperation. This fits well with my context and reduces the aesthetic feel which may be a good thing because it makes this sculpture more serious. I used acrylic plastic to make the box because its clear which diverts attention on the pill. It also compliments the design of the box because I wanted it to have a laboratory effect which is suitable for topic of medicine. I think the most successful aspect of this piece was its simplicity because it made the pill stand out. This was successful because it highlights the importance of the pill, therefore the urgency of healthcare to those in need. The composition and how its placed on a stand inside the box makes it look fragile and delicate. This suggests the value of this pill. I was given a suggestion on how to improve this piece by maybe even using only the small box because it would highlight the fragility of the pill which would contrast the power of medicine, or even no box at all. They did see why I had presented it in this manner but this is an interesting idea to think about. The more fragile the pill looks, the more value and importance it is given. This suggests its power. Those who cannot afford medication view this pill as something they crave and need. (Perhaps something like a jackpot?). So creating this piece from the perspective of someone who cannot access it gives this piece the character it needs. I could improve this piece by placing it on a plinth at eye level. This will increase its impact because it is quite small. This was suggested to me by my peers. They also guessed the context of my work quite easily which is good for issues like this. As I was aiming to spread awareness for this issue I would not want to make a piece that was difficult to interpret because it would not come across as direct and accurate as I would want. I wouldn't want the viewer to misinterpret the issue as well.
I want my statement to whoever opens the time capsule to be that healthcare was not sufficient and that it did not save as many live as it should have.
Contextual Practise Class - Art and Protest (13th Nov)
Today we discussed the idea of Art and Protest. Art is such a powerful tool and platform to make a statement. Artists use it as an informal and more intriguing way to inform viewers about global issues. Art can be displayed anywhere and to anyone e.g. graffiti, street art, exhibitions, online etc. Governments often try to make everything seem fine about global issues, therefore they may be in control of how much information we get from news sources. But art has no limits. Art is in the control of its maker. Art is a form of free speech. It speaks louder than words. So what can we do as artists? How much impact do we have?
We looked at several artists and two stood out to me because they're work is very natural, unfiltered, and protests these issues by showing visual evidence of the effects of social problems. Hikaru Fujii in 2013 documented the aftermath of the Fukushima earthquake in the form of an installation. He said in an interview that after the earthquake, "I visited the afflicted area and started documenting on film what culturally- and artistically-connected people were active with there." Similarly, Komori and Seo worked together to document and support affected areas after a large tsunami in Tohoku (Japan) and listen to the stories of the local people in order to project voices to wider audiences. They used art to bring to highlight the voices of locals and give audiences a view from their perspective. These artists are using their platform to bring awareness to these traumas, but what can their platform do for people affected? This brought us to the discussion about money and how these artists may have documented these events to help raise funds. Someone mentioned that money we raise is not a lot compared to the scale of the issue. Which to an extent I agree with because money can become the problem. People affected by these events may need therapy and trauma support instead of just giving money without support. This may lead to money being spent on drinking, smoking, etc. People who gave money may feel good but throwing money at people may lead to it being used ineffectively or harmfully. However, with the correct amount of control, money can help solve most of the issues.
We were visited by Satoshi Hashimoto who showed us his works. His works are interactive and he made some interesting points about interactive art. He discussed how performative art makes it easier to find out how the audience is interacting with your work. He sets instructions with his art to tell the audience how he wants them to interact with it. If you instruct actions to perform, you have control over the audience and how they view and react to your piece. Some objects contain instructions in themselves for example, chairs, stairs, books, bins. This is because we are used to interacting with these objects in a specific way.
We were set a task to choose objects, set instructions, and interact with them. I labeled basic objects with opposite instructions to play on the idea of humans being self destructive. Humans sometimes rebel with themselves. We are urged to do what they are told not to. This is a human trait we carry from childhood to adulthood. This is a concern to me because it has started to be associated with activities that are harmful to us like cigarets. The pack literally says 'smoking kills' with images that evidence how harmful it is, yet this is not effective. I will not be able to answer this but why are we self destructive? maybe we do not like being told what to do or maybe we don't like being controlled. Perhaps we don't like the confrontational aspect of being told what to do or what not to do.
Elimination of Recognisable Objects (21st Nov)
This project is based on 'formlessness'. The aim was to eliminate recognisable forms and create something that has no use, function, or recognition. After reading Bataille's theory about formlessness it reminded me about a patient with visual agnosia in a book I was reading, 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat' by Oliver sacks. Visual agnosia is defined as "a condition in which a person can see but cannot recognise or interpret visual information". The patient in the case I was reading could not identify facial features and certain details in the environment around him. He would often paint abstract painting, not necessarily because of his interest in abstract art, but I think his paintings were an indication of what he was seeing. Thinking about how he could not identify facial features but could identify that it was a person made me think about a blur. I made an abstract form out of clear and mirror acrylic plastic. I used clear plastic because it I wanted to emphasis the thought of seeing because it's transparent so it reminds us that we can see through it. I melted 2 sheets and shaped them into a random form, influenced by Lift by Richard Serra. I used frosted glass spray to create a blur on the clear acrylic. This was in hopes of creating frustration because something that is transparent is now blocked. I wanted the fewer to get a glimpse of what people who suffer visual agnosia may see. I also melted a small thin sheet of mirror acrylic and shaped it onto the clear plastic forms to make it fit onto it, slightly like a puzzle. When melted the mirror is no longer reflective and you cannot see yourself. This was to represent that sometimes people with agnosia cannot even identify themselves in the mirror. The part I like the most about this piece is the blurred effect from the frosted glass spray because I have noticed that it made my peers slightly confused at the first glance. Also because it's foggy and hazy but you can still see very abstract forms through it so it creates discomfort. I do not like the shape of the piece because its resembles a vase and that gives it aesthetic which I wanted to avoid because of the context of the piece. If I had more time I would have shaped some areas geometrically to reduce its aesthetic dynamism and for contrast.
I made a second piece because there was another case in this book I felt would interesting to represent using the themes of this project. It is about a patients mental experience with losing a leg. I used steel because I wanted to use materials I had never used before. Metal is a harsh and strong material which I felt was appropriate to the context I am exploring. I was also interested in the solidity and weight of Gnaw by Janine Antoni so I wanted to use a material that looks heavy because I believe weight in art creates impact. I used a large rusty sheet of steel and cut out a large piece from the centre to represent a something missing/gone. Locating it in the centre was to reference emotional pain and how it's not only a physical loss but an emotional/mental one too. I used a hammer to damage the clean cuts and make it look like the piece was ripped off. I welded the edges of the cut to create texture and remove any straight lines from the cuts. Then I used an angle grinder to smooth the metal blobs that formed. I used a heat torch to darken the edges for contrast and to create a sad/dark effect. I was surprised when the torch also gave it a slight rainbow. I was not mad at this because it made everything look more chaotic. There were still areas that were too smooth for what I was aiming to do so I used a different type of angle grinder to create harsh scratches onto it. Before doing all this on the main (big) piece I experimented on the piece I cut out. I ended up liking that one more than the actual piece because it looks chaotic and unintentional. I was very spontaneous with that part because I did not plan to present it and that is what made it turn out more successful. The different textures/colours/effects of the rust, burn, welding look unified. The main piece I felt lacked unity because I was too careful with where I did everything and it was too planned. Too improve this piece I would be more effortless and spontaneous in order to achieve the chaos, force, and struggle of my concept. I chose to display both pieces because they complimented each other. Thinking about this conceptually, they are detached and although we can see how they can fit together, they can no longer be connected again due to the damages caused when detatched. It will no longer go back to its original form. This may be a visual representation of how the patient is feeling mentally.
Room (6th Jan)
I chose the sound baffle boards on the ceiling as a site because it is hung seamlessly and is very close to the ceiling. I thought about how I cannot see what is on top and my aim for this project was to highlight how we cannot see what is there. I wanted to make something enigmatic and minimalist. This would be by using materials that have multiple uses and can create several different outcomes. The board is also isolated from the rest of the stuff in the classroom. It was a part of the room I thought most were not concerned with. I liked the tense feeling it gave me because this large board is hung by 4 thin strings. I wanted to exaggerate this tension. I wanted to bring attention to it as it is a part of the room and is a useful object.
I started out sketching ideas about tension and disbalance by creating a complex form poorly hung from the bottom of the board. I felt this was too direct and I was not focusing on what i initially found interesting about this site. I wanted to make effective use of that space. I then looked into psychological tension and how to confuse the audience. Using the space above the board to make the audience curious because they are unable to see it. I had an idea create tension by using a mirror, which is meant to reflect what is there, to not show what is above. As if i am conveying that i do not what them to see what is there. Even if there is nothing it is fun to create ambiguity because I want to see the reaction/thoughts of the audience. The only thing a mirror does not reflect is itself. Therefore a reflection of nothing. I liked the idea of 'nothingness'. I played around with this and had an idea to create an illusion with two mirrors. I would then be using the illusion as disguise of 'nothing', showing the audience nothing. We see the reflection of the other mirror, but a mirror only works if there is something to reflect, therefore with nothing reflecting, it becomes a reflection of nothing. This could even be interpreted as me revealing that there is nothing there but indirectly, by showing literally 'nothing' in a mirror. One mirror would be hidden on the top of the board (on one of the edges) and the other would be stuck to the ceiling. The audience would only see the illusion. Two mirrors facing each other create a rippling effect. This creates the illusion of space. I researched about Robert Morris because he worked with mirrors and illusions several times. One untitled piece he made was 4 cubes made out of mirrors. He placed them at a specific distance beside each other where there where sides which only reflected each other. This inspired my work because he utilised the material and successfully create depth in a corner of a room.
There were some challenged with this piece. I tested out putting one mirror on the top of the board and one on the ceiling exactly above it but the illusion was not as effective as i thought it would be. I thought about getting larger mirrors however that would reveal more of the space which would defeat the purpose. A smaller would keep the mystery. I decided to put an insignificant and unrecognisable object on the mirror which would be reflected onto the ceiling mirror. This object would symbolize nothing because the audience would not know what to identify it as. It was interesting seeing that this object only showed when standing in certain parts of the room. The viewer would be looking for something to show but what is shown is basically nothing. There was problems attaching the mirror to the ceiling so I created a stand with for the mirror which was the exact length of the ceiling to the top of the board and placed it at an angle on the side. I liked this better because the angle made it look like it was slightly revealing what is there or a sneak peak. What I liked most about this piece was the reflection of the object because it showed on one part of the mirror. It was not dominant but something about its simplicity makes us look for it. It is really small so its as if we have not seen enough of it. If i had more time I would play around with this material more and see what else i can do with it. I would improve this by trying to create a stronger illusion. I could have utilized the mirrors more and found a way to make it look powerful on its own without the object. During the Crit the reaction from everyone was unexpected. They were confused and did not even see the piece until I pointed it out. I am actually very pleased with this reaction because it fits with my idea of 'nothingness' perfectly. I wanted to literally make a reflection of nothing. This piece had the aura of 'nothing'. It also proves my initial thought that people in the class were not concerned with this area of the room.
Developing Part 1 Material News (23th Jan)
In Part one, for Material News project, I chose an article about Hurricane Dorian. I wrapped 7 clear poles with red string. The circular effect was to mimic the motion of the wind. Red was to symbolize hazard and alarm. The completed outcome was not unified, they looked like 7 seperate poles. It was also too neat and did not represent my context as I want it too. As I progress in this course I have learned to try to experiment with the materials and let it be the most powerful part of the piece. I developed the piece by creating a subtle chaos. Pulling off parts of the string. I am interested in imbalance, tension, and visibility, and I base most of my work on. String/thread is a very thin and fragile material. I wanted to take advantage of this and see if I can create tension. I played with this piece while it was standing unbalanced because I wanted to create raw imbalance. I felt this was the most effective way to create these reactions because everything is more powerful when its and unpredictable natural. I noticed that this piece is temporary because every composition could not be repeated due to how weak and weightless the material was and how unstable the poles were. This frustrated me at first because I had to take quick pictures but I felt this works with the idea of tension because I had to be fast to capture the best compositions.
Contextual Practise Class - Gallery Visit: Tate Modern (6th Nov)
'Fons Americanus' By Kara Walker. Walker used environmentally conscious and recyclable materials to build her figures. This is a very mundane thing to be concerned about and a great way to spread awareness of preserving the environment. Her figures are carved to show anatomy and each figure is in a different pose showing a different expression which are all part of human nature. Also the use of water which is a necessary for survival. This piece is displayed alone in the centre of the bottom hall which is most suitable because of its size and complexity.
Gavin Coal Power Plant, 2003. Biloxi, 2005.
These images are said to "show the effects of power industries and infrastructures on the landscape" and the environmental consequences of power resources. They images of landscapes showing the effects of the power industry to present their ideas. The aspect of being human they explore is the awareness of the current harmful activities that are destroying our planet. Showing they care about the earth is human in itself. Their approach was successful because they are using their platform to directly display the damaged environment. This piece made me think about how this should have and could have been avoided which is the reaction I believe the artists expected from their viewers. These images are displayed beside each other in the gallery which strengthens its impact because we are viewing more than one type of damage.
The End of the Twentieth Century, Joseph Beuys, 1921-1986.
Beuys used large blocks of basalt rocks to create this installation. They are covered with grey patches and they are a muted colour. This is appropriate to the context because he wanted to 'encourage ecological awakening'. He wanted to make a plan to plant 7000 trees in Germany and place a basalt rock next to each one. Therefore this is a symbol of 'potential growth'. This installation is scattered on the floor which is a successful way of displaying it as it highlights the mundane aspect because it is not glorified or increased in value by being placed on a plinth or in a case. Also it seems appropriate to be on the floor as he is exploring ecology.
The Music from Balconies, Ed Ruscha, 1984.
This piece shows a grassland scene covered with a text. The text is based on line from a novel by a British writer that Ruscha admired. The text is the human aspect of this painting. It makes us think about the events taking place and because it does not specify a certain event, place or even the novel, the text becomes relevant to any time period. Using text in art is a successful way to draw in more people than just those interested in art. It is a universal and powerful tool used to make a statement. The composition of the painting is done perfectly because the text is the focal point and it occupies most of the canvas. As colourful and bright as the scene is it is overpowered by the words, which I believe was his aim.
Catherine Opie's Elizabeth Taylor Photos, 2010-11.
Catherine Opie took a series of images of Elizabeth Taylors home and possessions. In the gallery these are displayed in twos and each set has a similar theme. This made everything seem organised and matches with the organised images of Taylors actual room. The human aspects of her images is the mundane nature of having possessions and interests. Also by capturing the life of such an iconic figure it represents a common behaviour of idolising a known figure, having hobbies, obsessions. This also represents the entertainment industry and how it is something that connects so many people from around the world due to a similar obsession. This approach was successful because these images are untouched and it is actual footage of Taylor's possessions. We are getting a raw glimpse of a figure we may look up to or even a figure we have heard so much about. It shows her regular mundane side which is also interesting because we often forget that famous people are not completely different to us. I believe these images connect us to her humanity more than just her reputation as an important figure.
Sculptural Performance (11th Nov)
The aim for this project was to create something interactive/performative. We discussed how we react and act upon objects and how our body exists in space.The project brief mentions a "physical response to space, materials, and process" which made me think about something the viewers can part take in. I thought about creating an activity for the audience. Which would also be a performance. I wanted something that would only be completed with the input of the audience. I got the idea to make a piñata after I seeing Florence Peake's 'MAKE' piece. I felt this was appropriate because its an activity the audience is participating in therefore it should be playful. I ended up making an untraditional piñata out of cardboard and masking tape. I covered some area using duck tape to make some areas stronger than others because I didn't want it to break to easily. It was an irregular shape and had an abstract design. I made two irregularly shaped sticks out of wood and decorated it the same colours and theme as the piñata in order tie everything together. I filled it with plasters so I could put it back together after it was broken. I got this idea after researching the symbolic meaning of a piñata. In Mexican culture it had religious connotations because it represented "mans struggle against temptation". I pictured this as someone so eager to reveal what is inside, they destroy it. Therefore they were defeated by temptation. Putting plasters inside maybe as a way to fix their mistake. I hung the completed piñata from the ceiling and wanted to film the performance. Although I did film part of it, I did not get to film the start because it was accidentally broken before I started filming. However it did break successfully and the result was surprising because the sticks ended up breaking and attaching to the remains of the piñata. I would have planned and organised the performance better to avoid problems like what happened. The performance was the most important part because it showed the transformation of the piece so it is unfortunate that it was not all on video. After the performance I used the plasters inside to fix the piñata and I hung it back up in its original spot. This was interesting because it looks heavy and the plasters are stuck on loosely on the tissue paper so there is slight tension. Also because it's hung up, the tension is heightened.
Language of Objects (18th Nov)
My aim for this project was to change or remove the original function and form of an object. This can be done by adding, removing, or even positioning.
Inspired by Tom Friedman, I want to use objects that I find around my house or basic and cheap objects to create a complex form. I chose to use floss toothpicks because it is a basic and uninteresting object. Using a block of wood as a stand I glued the toothpicks on it randomly and very scattered. This was not successful. It made me uncomfortable because they were sticking out everywhere. I felt like the object was rejecting the positions I glued them in. Also their function and form still remained the same. The composition did not compliment the object. I did some more research and through the influence of Tara Donovan, I decided to try to understand the objects I was using and find what I can and cannot do with them in order to be able to create the most interesting form. I wanted the form and how the objects are attached together to overpower the actual object. I ended up using the floss toothpicks to create a rotating form instead. I attached the toothpicks from circular part in a pile but moving each one slightly anticlockwise until I was left with a spiral figure. This was a lot more interesting because it looked like it was in motion. It looked continuous and as if it had no end. Also the centre of the piece where the toothpicks were attached, was geometric spiral made of the floss part of the toothpick. This was the most successful part because it gave the sculpture complexity and rhythm, creating an infinite or continuous effect. To improve this piece I would continue stacking the toothpicks and see if there are any surprises as the sculpture becomes longer. I would experiment to find out if I could make the spiral loop. Also if there are any other forms I can create with this object.
I got useful feedback from my peers. They said it reminded them of the structure of DNA which was interesting to think about because I did not notice this when I was making it. They said that the function of the object has been broken down to just aesthetics so it is just art now. This point made me think about a discussion we had during the lecture for this project about consumer culture and artists such as Damien Hirst. Also if that meant the object gained value, and if so then that would be only through how it's executed. The object has not literally been changed, if I were to break it apart the object would go back to its original form. This relates back to consumer culture because the value is not in the object itself but in the way I have presented it to the viewer.
Contextual Practise Class (4th Dec)
Today we read texts and discussed what makes out best work the best?, what/who decides if something is a failure?, how do we harness our failure?, how do we turn failures into a strength or make the failures a part of the work?, and intention Vs. realisation. We talked about perfection and how its satisfying but there is something enduring about failure/imperfections. Failure may not necessarily be bad. We often think of failing in the traditional sense where it means something is 'bad', but maybe my aim is not to create something perfect. Also, failure can lead to surprises. Things you didn't know you needed to notice or learn that could lead to success. We were given this text to read an annotate. I enjoyed this because it made me realise things I knew but did not give much thought to.
Contextual Practise Class (8th Jan)
I have always associated theory with science, hypothesis etc. Reading deeper into this explains how theory is used to help us understand things. It allows us to question things and create a stream of new ideas and ways of thinking. A theory is however not always factual therefore theories change over time as new discoveries and new ways of thinking are developed.
At Home Or On The Move (13th Dec)
This project is to make work in response to a site. This is during the Room project so I was looking into several mirror pieces by Robert Morris. Specifically his 'Refractions' work. I was fascinated by the subtle illusions in his work. He creates rippling effects with the mirrors and he makes closed spaces seem larger. I was working with mirrors on Room so I wanted to make sure I got the most use out of this material before I moved on.
I thought about how mirrors are only something when there is something to reflect. A mirror is the space around it. Do mirrors exist when there is nothing to reflect? This thought sparked my interest in visibility and invisibility. Because it reflects the space around it, creating a structure where each side is a mirror would make it blend into its surroundings. I am interested in these themes because I can play around with what the viewer sees. I have control over what is revealed to the audience. I like mirrors because I can change the perception of an existing space. Mirrors have depth and therefore can create an illusion of a larger space.
I made a hexagon out of 10 A6 mirrors, 4 of them covered the inside of the shape. This was the largest shape I could make out of the mirrors I had. After researching, I found out that a hexagon symbolizes "Meaningful Universe". To make this interesting I chose to display the piece outdoors because the word universe reminds me of an openspace, chaos, and nature. The areas I placed the sculpture were very busy and full of colourful leaves and flowers, therefore the piece blended in very well. After showing this piece to a couple people I noticed a reoccuring reaction. They were all slightly confused at first. I was pleased with that because I like unusual reactions from viewers they do not expect it. I believe this is the rawest reaction. Overall I was pleased with a couple of the pictures I took. Each one was in a different location so I preferred the most abstract or camouflaged ones because they show my interest in the themes the most. If I had more time I would find other ways of exploring the same idea. Perhaps trying to camouflage the object in a muted and minimalist area. Although this would be harder because there are less distractions in the space, it would be interesting to see other ways to play around with this idea.
Space + Time (20th Jan)
Today in class we started discussing ways to depict time and gravity. In a pair, we experimented with ideas to do with gravity and filmed objects falling on balloons. I made the videos slow motion to slow down time and capture the gravitational force of two different masses. One video we used an extremely heavy weight on newer balloon and a slightly lighter brick on a slightly deflated balloon. Although the results were not disappointing they were predictable. For the crit I aim to make something individually and make simple forms that cover a couple of ideas I found most interesting such as entropy, perception altered with movement, and more specific points about gravity. This was a starting point in to build up more ideas and knowledge on a unfamiliar subject.
I was interested in the pull forces of gravity and how we have no control over it. I wanted to use the attraction force of magnets to represent this. I used a strong magnet and paper clips to make this piece. I used a ring magnet because it has space in the middle to attract more of the material which I thought would be interesting to play around with. I did not want to be too incontrol over the composition and the placement of the pins. I tied the magnet to a hook and held the box of paper clips beside it and let the magnetic forces take control. I made various compositions by placing the magnet on different sides. To incorporate my interest in tension, I hung the magnet and tried to use as many paper clips to make it carry another magnet. Because the magnet was heavy it did not hold for too long but it was intriguing to observe the forces in the pins weaken and collapse in the form of a chain. I was happy with a few of the outcomes specifically the ones where I did not control because they were spontaneous. I am aiming to be more spontaneous in future projects because they lead to surprises. To improve this piece I would perhaps try to create the opposite effect and make materials repel. I do not think I have made the most out of the materials I used. Magnets are very fascinating objects and there are many experiments to try. After researching I found out magnets can make a specific type of nonmagnetic metal levitate. This would be interesting to explore and try to incorporate how audience perception changes as they move around the space.
Developing Part 1 Collection Project (19th Jan)
In Part one I created an edit of several cloud images overlapping and I discussed my fascination with clouds. After a workshop last week about 4D and sculpture we were shown several artists that combine them using projections. I was inspired by Cotton Candy Panopticon by Tra Bouscaren. I liked how the image is projected on random parts of the architecture in the room. It highlights the details of the room. This interested me because I feel like projections create a their own environment within a space and also influenced me to pick random parts of the room I do not give any thought to. I think this enhanced the image because it distorts it. If I were to project it onto the ceiling then it is the same as looking at the image in a computer screen. Also, the view as a whole becomes more exciting because it is unclear where it is projected. I also discussed how we are far away from clouds. It is such an important and dominant part of the world but we are very far away. I chose to project it in my room because I wanted to bring it closer to me. A bedroom is a very private/intimate space and projecting the image create a very an personal and idyllic atmosphere. It's a small room so I was surrounded by this aura. The contrast directed complete focus onto the projection which made the image a lot more powerful. I was happy with the results because I got to apply knowledge I have learned throughout the course since the first project.
Aims for Part 3:
- Research areas outside of 'sculpture' for more sophisticated concepts
- More independent research
- Develop concept of the 'unseen'
- Expand my understanding of where materials come from.
- View/experience of my work.