For my final conceptual portrait, I decided to go with the idea surrounding my mom. Each photo in this set documents the experience of myself smelling chai or the spices common in chai and thinking of my mom, who is chai obsessed. These pictures include chai spice blend diffuser smoke, discarded tea bags, the end of a tea, cotton balls she used to apply some of her homemade perfume blend, her wrist wearing the perfume, bits of star anise thrown into mulled wine, a chai tea blend she often drinks, common chai spices, my mom washing her hands with her new chai spice soap and another discarded chai tea bag. Making this piece really made me see my mom in a new perspective, through the happiness and serenity of her experience with tea.
I am still really interested in pursuing the other piece I mentioned in my proposal but at this point it didn’t feel ready. I was having trouble finding an interesting way to document it and feel as if I need more material to make it really a successful piece. It is definitely a work in progress and if anyone has any ideas or would workshop it with me I would be really appreciative. Please send ideas my way!!! I really love the concept of this piece but it is also really scary to put my most intimate, nighttime thoughts out into the world. I am almost ready to do this, but not quite. Maybe a piece for experimental 2! Or just one in my personal practice but I do 100% feel as if I want and almost need to make this piece.
I was inspired by On Kawara, Kelly Mark and Teching Hsieh when coming up with my proposal. I have two different ideas and haven’t settled on the final one yet. The first idea was inspired by On kawaras treatment of time. I found his series “Today” interesting as a documentation of an experience, in his case the day. His pieces inspired my first idea which is a portrait of my mom. My mom is obsessed with Chai spice blends both the smell and the flavour. She is constantly drinking chai tea and made her own chai spice essential oil blend which she puts in her diffuser as well as turned into a natural perfume. She has loved the smell of chai for as long as I can remember so every time I smell chai I think of her. I wanted to document the experience of each moment in a day that I smell chai and think of my mom. These are a few pictures of those moments:
These photos show the end of my moms tea, her wrist with her homemade perfume, the diffuser smoke and some used chai tea bags. Once I collect enough pictures I think they would look interesting in a grid format.
My other idea was inspired by Kelly Mark’s piece in&out and Teching Hsieh’s piece one year performance 1980-1981. I was inspired by the collection of elements as well as the ritualistic tasks. Something I do that is somewhat of a self care ritual is every night when I can’t sleep, I write down all the thoughts that are plaguing me in a small notebook to get them out of my head. Sometimes I do this when I’m half asleep, sometimes fully awake. They are exclusively written in the dark and often are dark expressions of thoughts I can’t say out loud. Some are poems that I can’t stop working on in my head, art ideas I can’t stop working on until I write them down, thoughts and expressions of my mental illness that I’ve never been able to say out loud and many other thoughts and feelings I need to get out. I’ve always been a deeply emotional person but never able to express my emotions and that plagued me especially at night having all that bottled up. My night thought notebooks have really helped me to let go of those thoughts and accept that I can’t change my brain, even if it is a scary place to live in sometimes. I started doing this at the beginning of quarantine since I was isolated with my own thoughts and couldn’t think them anymore. Since then I’ve filled up 4 small scratch pads. Here are a snippet of the notebooks and some night thoughts.
If I choose this idea I hope to scan both a bunch of sheets of thoughts as well as the front and back of the notebook and arrange them in a grid format.
For my audio art final, I decided to stick with the idea of reversing my audio after reading something backwards. I had some trouble coming up for a theme with this since I wanted to read something serious and profound and contort it into some sort of gibberish. I decided to read Hamlets 5th soliloquy. Instead of having things chosen for me at random, I thought it was more important to focus on how the treatment of the language affects the writing instead of what piece of writing will affect the treatment of the language. I really enjoyed listening to Kelly Marks work and I liked the flat quality of the audio. There was no interpretation of emotion or any feeling and I wanted to create the same sort of monotonous tone since theatre is usually read very expressively. It was interesting to see how the audio transformed going through each stage of the recording process. The result became gibberish but also sort of hypnotic in a way. It is also interesting to hear what sounds like a different language all together. I can speak decent polish and some of the sounds in my audio piece sound just like polish words.
I found Lee Walton and Laurent Estoppey’s video listening to the “C” both visually and audibly positively stimulating. The conceptual prompt used in this piece was to play the middle C note on many different pianos. It was an overwhelming experience but a good one at that. I really like this idea and this treatment of materials showing both the noise and the picture flipping so quickly between all of them. The repetition in this video is important as well as stimulating and since there is little time between the repetitive stark noises, adds a feeling of chaos to the video. I like how in the clip shown, there is a short break between flurries of sound. This gives you the single second you need to regain focus after being bombarded by the sound of middle C. I think this piece is quite interesting due to its use of a conventional musical instrument. It is intriguing to use something that already creates sound, and apply a treatment to it so it sounds completely different. From a piano, I would expect beautiful, often soft classical music, Not an absolutely chaotic and overwhelming noise experience. I really love this piece and even thought it’s a tad uncomfortable, I can’t stop listening to it, it’s almost better than conventional music.
Dave Dyments A day in the life (24 hour version was an interesting piece to listen to. I really enjoy audio pieces that take something and distort it into something completely unrecognizable. I would’ve never guessed that was A day in the life and that’s what is so captivating about this piece. You sit and listen and try to figure out what you are hearing and when you guess, you are completely off base. The conceptual treatment he applied here is both comical and endearing, turning the audio for a song titled A day in the life into a literal day in the life, 24 hour auditory experience. I wish I was dedicated enough to listen to the whole thing. I listened to a few hours of it studying and it was actually very helpful in getting me to focus, almost like white noise. I am really interested in the process of this work and how he understood how to make the correct time ratios.
Kelly Marks Piece, I really should, really resonated with me. The conceptual feat she assigned to herself was to read a list of all the things she believes she really should do. I love the repetitive aspect of I really should. It becomes almost a meditative experience, listening to Marks flat, steady tone. The things she really should do range from comical to serious and everything in between. It is funny how Mark contradicts herself, sometimes consecutively. Some are so bizarre, but even the most bizarre things Kelly Mark really should do are relatable. Listening to Kelly Mark. Instantly talking and saying all the things she should do, instead of things she’s done or accomplished is what it is like to live in my brain. I am very much an over thinker of everything and a high achiever. These two traits can be detrimental as I think constantly of all the things I really should do or wish I was doing instead of focusing on good things or my accomplishments. She also focuses on themes that a lot of people can relate to. Themes that commonly show up in this piece are thoughts of dismay with your weight, dismay with your smarts, failure, social dysfunction, vices and other themes that are relatable to the common public. Even the seemingly meaningless I really shoulds such as “I really should check my 649 numbers” are relatable to a lot of people. This is another piece I really love and have listened to several times over the past few weeks. I find this is a great piece to listen to as you are going to sleep, the meditative aspect really lulls you to sleep. Thankyou Kelly Mark for saving my sleep schedule.
For my audio art project I want to leave a lot of room for accidents. I want to ask my friend to prepare me a list of random words. I will not know any of these words prior to performing this piece. I will then sound out the word backwards quickly so I don’t think about it too much. I will then place these recordings into reverse so it is like I am saying the word how it is written. The product is a ridiculous distortion of words that sounds almost like a backwards playing of a record meant to hypnotize you. I tried out some random words to test the process. The words I’m saying in this video are disheveled, luminescent, idiosyncratic, absquatulate, cerulean, eurythmic, orchid, spaghetti, tarantula and pigeon. I thought that it would be interesting to do short phrases instead of just words. I love to read and when I read I often underline passages I like or that I think are written well. I could ask my friend to pick out a few of those short phrases for me to use this process on. I think it would be interesting to reduce such serious meaningful quotes to distorted gibberish. The only thing that is stopping me is I’m not sure technically how to reverse such a large audio file. I’m very technologically challenged and reversed these words using the feature on Snapchat. If anyone knows how to do this or has any suggestions they would be much appreciated!
While thinking of the idea of masks I was interested in blocking off most of the face and only viewing one or two features. I played with the idea of eyes being the window to your soul and questioned how much you could learn about a person staring into their eyes and at none of their facial features. The objects I used to create these images are a light switch cover and a record. I used a vistallite drum to play with reflection and clear material. I used a crate to create a voyeur atmosphere. In my last picture I played with the idea of a respirator having it over my eyes and not covering my mouth and nose, the part it’s supposed to be protecting.
Over the summer I worked at a retirement home. I had to wear a mask for the entirety of my shifts, and with the mask on it was hard to communicate. The older residents, especially ones with hearing or vision problems, struggled with mask communication. They couldn’t understand what I was saying and couldn’t read my expression due to the mask. At some points, I would have to go behind plexiglass shields, take off my mask and articulate my words so they could read my lips. I can’t imagine how difficult this must have been because I myself found it quite difficult to understand staff members wearing masks. I was often confused by conversations and found myself reacting wrong to a situation because I couldn’t see the persons expression and I didn’t understand the persons reaction to it. There was a great deal of miscommunication between both staff members and residents.
I found Darcey steinke’s take on masks very negative. I really disliked her commentary on the aging face in particular. Calling it the anti-face really offended me. I didn’t appreciate her thoughts on how her face became an anti-face solely because men stopped looking at her and desiring her. This societal ideal has plagued women and I myself have often equated my looks to my value. The truth is, a woman’s face has nothing to do with her worth and her explicitly saying this is an idea, as women and as a society, we need to move away from. I believe that as you age your face shows your life experience. It shows your happiness and sadness, your trauma, your ups and downs and everything you’ve been through. Why isn’t this celebrated? I believe that life experience, trials and tribulations and peoples uniqueness should be celebrated over their looks. She did state that the aging of her face is natural but I wish she had more strongly supported the idea that a women’s face showing their age is naturally beautiful.
I really take great pride in my smile and teeth. I think that my smile really warms up my face and hides the constant anxiety I feel. My eyes show my anxiety, without my smile I cannot hide my anxious expression. I’ve noticed that people warm up to me a lot easier when they can see my smile and without it, distrust me. My expression in just my eyes can come off as judgemental or rude when really I’m just terrified especially in situations with new people. Sometimes I appreciate the anonymity of the mask. Part of my anxious feelings create an idea that everyone is watching me and judging my every move. If I wear a mask and sunglasses I am completely indistinguishable and that makes me feel better if I do something stupid or see someone I can’t face seeing.
I believe that mask motifs are very important and take the edge off of the fear of seeing no ones facial expressions. People are able to express themselves in a different way and are getting quite creative about it. I have lots of masks, my favourite one being covered in bumblebees. I get lots of compliments on this mask and although it is not a warm smile, it helps people to warm up to me. I’ve seen lots of funny masks as well as ones with puns. My mom has a mask with llamas all over it and the saying “no probllama” on it, it makes me smile. These are much more fun and inviting than the stale and clinical surgical masks I see people wear.
While going through this weeks work, I was intrigued by Adad Hannah’s use of tableau vivant. I am interested in the banality of images in photography and taking the extra step to create a video with little to no movement is a fascinating concept. A project I found quite interesting was Traces. Watching the videos and observing the stills creates the atmosphere of whichever you are watching and absorbs you. I felt this especially in Ouija and Four hands. Watching ouija, I felt the tension and darkness commonly surrounded with doing a ouija board. I felt as if I was in a friends basement, truly participating in this act. Watching Four Hands transported me to a diner back in my hometown that my friends and I would visit late at night. It ignited different senses as I could see the decor, smell the greasy diner smell and hear the rowdy clientele and click clack of forks and knives on plates. Adad Hannah’s tableau vivant’s create a very successful sense of place which completely transforms the way we view his work.
This is shown in his social distancing portraitsi . In these too he creates a sense of place that focuses on the subject of the video. The subject creates a vibe whether it be through their stance, facial expression or overall being that you can feel while watching their portrait. This is added to by the music played in the videos which establishes an even greater sense of that persons presence. Adad Hannah does a fantastic job of creating a personal experience through these videos. After watching each one, I feel as if I’ve had a minute with each of those people, learning about them and connecting with them intimately. With so many of these videos, we are forced to take a moment to understand the pandemic from many different people’s perspectives. Adad Hannah gives us the insight that although we are all facing the pandemic worldwide, we all have different life experiences which causes us to be affected by and interpret the pandemic differently. He challenges us to take a minute to sit with these people and broaden your perspective on the effects of the pandemic to see those on others rather than just yourself or immediate friends and family. Adad Hannah observes a wide variety of people, including people of all ages, races and genders. He shows people in parks, their office settings, their homes, on the street and many other locations. He shows how the pandemic affects important moments in people’s lives such as their high school graduation and he shows how people can come together and fight for what they believe in during the pandemic at the Black Lives Matter rallies and protests. The portraits change in many ways over time as they change subjects. Each one is different and unique in their own way even though some portray similar events or atmospheres. Overall, I believe these portraits to be a very successful video journal of what life is like in our current world. It will be interesting to look back on these in a few years.
Social Distancing video self portrait
With the start of online school most of my time has been spent in my bed. You would think it would be at my desk, but my bed is where I often reside. For the past nine years, I have been struggling with post concussive syndrome caused by several brain injuries. Having to constantly be on screens and reading heavy material off my computer often causes my PCS symptoms to rear their ugly heads. The only way to remedy this is to lay in bed, in a dark room and sleep or rest. Although it hasn’t been a fun way to spend my time, it has retaught me the importance of rest, rejuvenation and meditation.
Lee Walton Making Changes:
chose an object on the street and alter is state of being in some way
Lee Walton Sitting:
sit shoulder to shoulder with a stranger on an empty bench
Jon Sasaki Ladder Climb:
attempt to climb a ladder you yourself are supporting
Jon Sasaki Dead end, eastern market Detroit:
Slowly and safely turn a van around in a tight alleyway
allow small son to walk away on his own until you can no longer bear it
Yuula Benevolski Several Observations:
Show objects you love them by treating them with tender care and attention
It took me quite a while to decide on an object for this project. I wanted to choose a dynamic object. I ended up choosing a slinky because I liked the idea of having an element of chance since I had no idea how the slinky would move in the air. I threw a one green and one pink slinky up in the air, 15 times each and 10 times together. It was interesting to watch the slinky expand and contract as it was thrown. I chose to exhibit my work in two different ways, the first is a photoshopped image. I chose to leave this layered and choppy because I believed that this accurately represented the flight of each slinky. The second way is in three stills. There is beauty in the natural image of these slinky’s. I’m not sure which I prefer.
Sitting in the cupboard for an hour
For this weeks assignment I decided to sit still in a cupboard for an hour. When brainstorming for this assignment, I enjoyed the idea of having this exercise be meditative. I am also drawn to the harshness of Marina Ambrovic towards her own body. This is why I chose to sit in the cupboard underneath my washroom sink for one hour. I thought the cupboard would facilitate meditation because it was dark and would rid me of all distraction. It was also extremely uncomfortable having to be crunched up in an odd position with a pipe digging into my stomach. Although I was not slamming my body against a wall it was interesting to challenge my body and mind with discomfort. When I first got into the cupboard I became really aware of all the noises around me and the hole around the pipe that connects to the sink. This hole freaked me out and I started to imagine all kinds of things that could flood out of that hole. A few examples are:
-millions of bugs come crawling out and eat me
-electric goo seeps out and I spontaneously combust
-millions of tiny people with knives run out and stab me to death
My thought process then changed to the hypothetical situation of humans not having elbows. I couldn’t figure out whether we would adapt evolutionarily to have longer necks or shorter arms. I thought about this for quite awhile and came to several conclusions. None that I’m happy with. As you can tell I went a tad crazy in cupboard isolation. I didn’t meditate like I expected but I did take some time for self thought and had some successful self reflection. The time went by pretty fast and although my back really hurts now I really enjoyed my hour in the cupboard.
Looking over Marina Ambramović’s work this week was extremely exciting for me. Having just been introduced to Ambramović’s work I am completely enthralled by it. Her first work that really spoke to me is Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful. The message of this piece is something I can relate to heavily. As a young woman in society countless pressures are put on myself and my peers to be beautiful. Over the years, I started to equate my value with only my physical beauty which wasn’t healthy for me. I also stuck to mediums of art that were pretty and polished because of fear that my art would be hated or “ugly”, as if ugliness was the worst insult I could receive. Watching this performance made me realize the importance of abolishing that construct. Ambramović helped me to fully realize something so simple yet so important I thought I understood but didn’t really, that the artist and the art don’t have to be beautiful. I will never forget the weight lifted off my shoulders from that realization. Another one of Ambramović‘s work I find extremely powerful is Rest Energy. Marina and Ulay’s gaze, exaggerated poses, blank stares and clenched fists create an intensity that can be felt by the viewer just by viewing a photo of the act. The video itself features both ambramović’s and Ulay’s heartbeat which creates a sense of anxiety and discomfort. The overall intensity of this video left me in a state of fascination.
While watching the artist is present, there was one idea in particular that really stuck with me. Marina Ambramović talked about how at a point when someone is sitting with her, she can see and feel all their emotions. There is a point where their walls break down and she becomes a mirror of them, feeling their pain, anguish, sadness. Hearing her speak of this made me realize that part of Ambramović’s genius comes from her comfort with uncomfortable things such as vulnerability and emotional and physical pain. The way she seamlessly portrays these ideas of discomfort is captivating. Although this makes her seem crazy and witch like to some, it provides comfort and a sense of relatability to some, including myself.
For my make a kilometre project I decided to take my old toy from when I was a kid this worm on a string and walk it a kilometre. The video is titled Wormie’s big day out. The song playing in the background is called sweet to me by summer salt. It is the song I think Wormie would listen to in his headphones on a long walk. I wanted to get achieve the feeling of going for a walk and listening to music and feeling peace and serenity as you explore. Wormie loves to explore and shows this accurately in his big day out. The two photos above this text show Wormie’s route with the measured amount of centimetres or meters and the math showing that Wormie and I walked a kilometre.
WRITE: As a conceptual artist, Sol Lewitt understands and accesses a realm where art is a feeling rather than a figurative picture. He strives to create an emotion by pouring his ideas straight from the heart. In his work, Lewitt is able to stimulate thought and challenges the viewer to dig deeper into the meaning of the piece. The viewer can clearly see an idea which becomes a machine. This means that the countless components of Lewitt’s artwork work together perfectly like the inner workings of a machine. The inner workings of your head mirror a machine when your brain digests the ideas present in Lewitt’s works. The artists hand acts as the transporter between the idea and the machine that is the inner workings of the work.
WRITE:In this piece I believe that everything said is a piece of art. I think of this as a think piece and by this I mean a piece with lines and phrases that trigger and stimulate thought. The artworks are Ono’s phrases that’s encourage your mind to wander through possibility of bizarre thought. The strategy that Ono uses to challenge the viewer is by taking a banal situation and thinking of it from a different perspective. She really sends you down think paths and forces you to think. The three pieces that really stood out to me in this video were Earth piece 3, Cleaning piece and Room piece 4. Earth piece 3 is an extremely meditative and grounding exercise. As Yoko says, when doing this you can feel the earths energy circulate through your body and it truly is good for your health. Cleaning piece also sounds like it would be great for your health as well as a simple way to put your life into perspective. As humans, we tend to absorb our sadness and focus on it, it becomes the be all and end all in our lives. We must put that sadness into perspective by enacting exercises like this piece and counting our blessings. Room piece 4 was my favourite of all the pieces. I really enjoyed the thought of “count all the words in a book instead of reading them”. This thought interests me because it is such a bizarre action but it a way it could be seen as a different way to read a book. I could see it being a very meditative action and I am debating trying it. Another thought I enjoyed was “arrange your room in a way you wish your mind would be”. This is the final line of this piece and I find it very powerful. We can arrange clutter in our room and often do but do we ever stop to arrange and declutter our minds? Ono motivates us to do so.
While I watched the video about Bruce Nauman, I was intrigued by his idea that since he is an artist, doing work in a studio, everything he makes in that studio is art. This idea is still fairly foreign to me because growing up I have struggled with the idea that only my artworks that are figurative and polished can be beautiful works. From learning about Bruce’s outlook, I hope to further rid my mind of this idea and take after his mindset.
This piece is titled studies for holograms. This piece frames everyday life because it is like a silly photograph. When people take a goofy group photo there is always one person that pulls their mouth open in similar manner. This photo has a childlike quality that makes it fun and relatable for the viewer.
This piece is titled Coffee thrown away because it was too cold. This piece encompasses the everyday idea of waste and frames the human tendency to throw away something that is just past the point of their liking. As humans we are consumers and are often picky about what we consume. A coffee is the perfect example. If you make a coffee in hopes it will be hot, then drink it too slow there are many things you could do to remedy this. You could put it in the fridge or put ice in it and turn it into an iced coffee or put it in the microwave for a few moments but the first tendency of a human is to throw it away, since they are not enjoying its current state. It also has an everyday aspect simply because people often spill their morning coffee.