Week 2

SUMMARY OF WORK IN WEEK 2 (see details below):

  1. LOOK AT the work of Marina Abramovic

2. WATCH The Artist is Present film

3. POST A PHOTO of you doing a Abramovic style gesture, with a short description

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  1. LOOK AT the work of Marina Abramovic here:

2. WATCH:

The Artist is Present, Full Video from the Library streamed here:

https://uoguelph.kanopy.com/video/marina-abramovic-artist-present-2

© 2010 Scott Rudd www.scottruddphotography.com scott.rudd@gmail.com

In an endeavor to transmit the presence of the artist and make her historical performances accessible to a larger audience, the exhibition includes the first live re-performances of Abramović’s works by other people ever to be undertaken in a museum setting. In addition, a new, original work performed by Abramović will mark the longest duration of time that she has performed a single solo piece.Source 

3. POST A PHOTO and SHORT DESCRIPTION:

Be still.

For one hour.

Set a timer and stick with the task, being as still and focused as possible. Have someone else take a few snapshots of you in your 1 hour performance of stillness. If you can’t get anyone to take the picture – set up a camera and re-perform your stillness later to show it with as much honest as possible.

Choose a location – indoors, or outdoors, in private or in public.* Push yourself to choose a surprising, or unusual location. Even if it’s a strange place to be in your house – like under the coffee table or pressed hard against the window looking out.

Use the time to meditate, to breathe, to rest, or enjoy some quiet. Or you may push yourself to hold a position that is challenging. In the description of your image, discuss how it felt to be still, and how the experience and your insights about the gesture may have developed over the course of an hour. Why did you choose the particular location and position? How did the gesture help you relate to any of the works of Abramovic? Write a paragraph or two to describe your action.

*Remember everything we do must be safe, for yourself and for others, and allowed within the public health guidelines.

Madiha’s Work


WEEK 1: NOTES

WRITE: How does Sol Lewitt express the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work? What does the artist’s actual hand have to do with the final work in a conceptual art context?

Sol Lewitt comes up with a detailed and well thought out idea or plan and has other artists execute it. By this he expresses that without an idea there would be no art and that ideas are the basis of conceptual art. He provides the methods and diagrams of what he wants the artwork to look like, and trusts that it will be followed, and this process even adds to the artwork; all the experiences of the artists that have worked on it and the personal interpretations they contributed are now part of it. This gives other artists a way to participate in a large project and learn, and also lets Sol Lewitt execute such a large and detailed plan according to his exact wishes and without limitations of skill, age, or ability. 

WRITE: Where do you draw the boundaries around the artworks in this video? What are the artworks? What strategies and tools does Ono use to challenge the viewer? Do you like any of these concept-works? Discuss.

Yoko Ono begins each of her pieces with a related title; some have subsections which add onto the original. Many of the pieces are connected to each other and most seem to promote living in the moment and enjoying life as it is. She encourages using things that are already accessible to create happiness and intrigue, instead of pursuing something beyond reach. This lifestyle stimulates spontaneous actions and feelings, as well as nurtures the urge to explore without worrying about consequences.

I really liked Yoko Ono’s concept of choosing a spot and declaring ownership of it. I think with it she inspires the idea of being confident with your existence; as if she is saying “you belong on this planet and deserve what you want”. I also appreciate End Piece, her conclusion, where she tells her audience to watch other people enjoy their own lives too.

Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit pressures viewers to think of their lives and how they could be having positive influences on themselves and others with only ideas and concepts.

WRITE: Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames every day actions (non-heroic, banal) as art. How are they “framed” as art, and what does the framing do to our understanding and experience of the actions?

Bruce Nauman’s Bouncing in the Corner is framed from unusual orientations, and his face isn’t shown. His body is still framed in the center of both walls, and the camera angle also changes in Bouncing in the Corner No.2: Upside Down.  Colours are plain and any unnecessary details are left out. It is said in the video that he would rather have his art speak for itself, instead of injecting his personality into it, which might be the reason for the ordinary colours and why he didn’t show his face.

 This framing causes the audience to study the piece for a little longer to try and make sense of the movements and proportions of the individual, especially Bouncing in the Corner No.2. I actually had to watch it very carefully to understand which direction he was moving in and how he was oriented. 

In Raw Materials, Bruce Nauman uses normal speech repeated over and over so many times that its sounds distorted and unfamiliar. He also uses longer recordings of himself speaking. He then arranges these phrases in corridors, and although we are used to hearing sounds from all directions, the combination of noises and phrases that Nauman uses and the way they are arranged sounds unnatural; sounds are arranged so that when the audience walks through the corridor, they walk through noise, then silence, then noise again. The specific order and distances between the sounds all contribute to how the artwork is perceived and interpreted.

WEEK 1: EXERCISE

I skated down the street that I live on for a kilometer and recorded it. My phone was in my pocket recording, since I only wanted the audio. I decided to do it at night so there would be fewer cars and the noise of the skateboard wouldn’t be drowned out. I’ve always noticed that the sound it makes is really loud, and sounds almost like thunder, so I thought it would be an interesting way to document a kilometer. 

When I played back the video, it wasn’t pitch black like I expected; sometimes the street lights would shine through, and this tempted me to keep the video. In the end I decided to get rid of it since originally wanted no visuals in the video, and the lights weren’t necessary.

The video includes the sounds of skateboard wheels on asphalt, cars passing me, and me stopping at stop signs for cars (and for a cat!).

Week 1

Welcome back to school everyone, I’m very happy to have a way to come together to learn about contemporary experimental art practices. During the pandemic, we will engage in weekly exercises, demos, readings and videos to learn some of the historic, theoretical, and technical aspects of working in experimental media forms.

Our virtual course will emphasize ideas, research, regular exercises and practices, as opposed to more developed and resolved artworks.

Students will perform and create studio exercises at home and in the world – within strict adherence to public health guidelines at all times – using materials and situations at hand. Together we will practice being resourceful and creative within the limits of any given situation. We will explore how to be an artist now – using aspects of performance, snapshot photography, video, audio, and artist multiples – in this unique and challenging historical moment.

Every week on Tuesday morning, I will post a list of things to watch, and/or read, listen to, reflect on, and create. You will need approximately 4-6 hours to complete your work for this course every week.

Your work is due by the next week, Monday 10am. Schedule your work during class time and you will be able to keep up with your assignments! All your notes, images and videos must be on the class BLOG – under your name. ONLY edit your own page – do not edit anything else on the blog. I will periodically read and evaluate your work on the BLOG and we will occasionally look at examples of works by students together in our class HUDDLE.

See course information, and evaluation for details.

WEEK 1 ASSIGNMENTS:

To be posted on your blog page by Tuesday Sept. 22.

WATCH:

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work.  When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. This kind of art is not theoretical or illustrative of theories; it is intuitive, it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless. It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as a craftsman.” SL from Paragraphs on Conceptual Art

WRITE: How does Sol Lewitt express the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work? What does the artist’s actual hand have to do with the final work in a conceptual art context?

WATCH:

WRITE: Where do you draw the boundaries around the artworks in this video? What are the artworks? What strategies and tools does Ono use to challenge the viewer? Do you like any of these concept-works? Discuss.

WATCH:

WRITE: Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames every day actions (non-heroic, banal) as art. How are they “framed” as art, and what does the framing do to our understanding and experience of the actions?

DO THIS EXERCISE:

A kilometre is a concept. Make a kilometre in any medium – photo, video, object, text etc. Post documentation and description of your kilometre on your blog page.

It could be a walk down the street, a path down an intestine, a line going up into the air, a kilometre’s worth of rocks. It can be a kilometre made of chewing gum. Made of telephone conversations. Made of complaints. Made of a walk with a cat.  Made with light. It can be a distance between two points. It can be imagined, traced, documented, listed, performed, evidenced on the bottom of your shoe, rolled up into a ball.

Make sure to measure your kilometre in some way. Discuss your process in your description of your kilometre, and how you know it is precisely a kilometre. Don’t decorate your kilometre or make it “artistic” and masterful. Use only the necessary materials to be what it must be.