Week One: Oriana

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.

Drawing boundaries is problematic when dealing with conceptual art because how do we validate abstract art and determine what can or can’t be considered art. In respect to Onos’ artworks in this video, I would personally draw the boundaries on art that is possibly untransferable/personal, “watch the sunset, and feel the ground move.” This idea could be a starting point idea, but I would say it needs to be more explored and developed. Some artworks described in the video are performative, and others are “personal”/ experiential. Ono challenges the viewer by questioning boundaries of art, if there is a meaning to all art and should there be for it to be considered art. They are also challenging the viewer by making the art connected to a personal challenge. I enjoyed the concept- work where there is a numbered list of sadness and stones corresponding to the numbers of sorrows. I appreciated this concept as the stone’s beauty replaces the idea and correlation it had with sadness. Potentially, the viewer can create connections in their light and understand the importance of balance between negativity and positivity. 

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 is an exciting artist as he challenges the meaning of what an artist is and their role in making art. Do the artist themselves and their hand need to be involved in the physical making of an artwork’s final form or make the idea more important? It is evident in Sol Lewitt that the process is more important than the final work. The notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work is expressed by making the artwork’s map, blueprint and formula. By drawing out the recipe, so to speak, shape, colour (by abbreviation) and structure can form by the hands of others but initiated by his own hand. The concept of his art acts as the machine since it enables the production.  

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?

One Hundred Live and Die 1984

This artwork is framed by the usage of four columns, creating a border, containing 100 words relating life and death with different actions, emotions, and colors. It can be interpreted as poetic and vulgar. The artist uses framing to bring light to different aspects of life that may be overlooked. Also by framing these words and using the fluorescent signs the artist could be making commentary on the popularization and exploitation of tragic or pleasant human experiences. A take on perspective dependent on a viewer’s perception.

Violent Incident 1986

Bruce Nauman frames his artwork, here in two ways, first by using the physical framework of the TV as well as the framing of each scene being filmed within the TV. The use of framing in this art work determines what the audience will see which may act as a constraint of some sort. The viewer can only see what the artist wants them to see, forcing them to cue in on a particular image and emotion.

Framing of his artworks sets a particular tone and controlled message, that being the validity and purpose of each artwork in their own unique ways.

I have represented a kilometre throughout text, more precisely by then length of a standard white sheet of paper.  1km = 100 000 cm, and a standard white paper is 28cm in length, therefore 1km thought text is 3571 pages as represented in the document “A Short Story”. Enjoy!


Week 9

I attempted to create a conceptual portrait by taking photos of peoples hobby rooms. I would love to present the photos as though it is a room so that it could immerse the viewer into the rooms and allows the person into a personal space. It was interesting because I asked some of my friends to send me photos of their space and they were all at different angles. I would try to get the photos at the same angle to aid in the illusion that it is one concise room. Below are the rooms I was able to get and at the bottom I attempted to show my idea in a small model.

Week 8

I chose to make as many sounds as possible on a violin. I was interested in the piece Listening to the C by Lee Walton, he attempted to find unique sounds on 44 pianos so I wanted to try and many sounds through one instrument. I used a variety of objects to aid in creating new sounds like a paper clip and a glass bottle. I also used physical actions like tapping and throwing. I did two different versions, one with a voice over explaining what each sound is and another one without voice. I used numerous objects to help create different sounds and notes on the violin. I think I prefer the one without a voiceover because it creates a chaotic song.

Violin sounds without voiceover
Violin sounds with a voiceover

I also attempted to remember how to play a piano song, I learned how to play piano when I was younger than only learned a few songs here and there. I appreciated the “Forgotten School Song” and I wanted to try her set of rules. I attempted to play the beginning of Clair De Lune, I believe the last time I played the song was 3 years ago. It was a challenge to continue to play even though I was playing incorrectly so I did restart a few times out of frustration.

Attempting to play Clair De Lune

Week 7

Basement Base by Justina M Barnick

In this piece Justina recorded one minute and 14 seconds of noise from a rotating floor that has been turned into a bass speaker. The sound is the bass end of a field recording from the sub basement and is recording the droning room-scaled fans, humming, air vents and the sounds coming from the boiler system. What I found really interesting about the piece is that the viewer/listener can stand on the floor and feel the sound as well as listen so it creates an interactive art work. I thought it was an interesting concept to be able to listen to and feel sound. In the video it shows people walking and sitting on the rotating platform, I think that this shows that it is a pleasant relaxing feeling rather than uncomfortable. I would have assumed that all of the noise compiled together would be overwhelming but she took the bass end of the sounds making it into a quieter white noise.

Listening to the C by Lee Walton

Lee Walton found numerous pianos and played the chord of C on each one. Every single piano sounded different from the next so merging all of the pianos into one clip created a delightful and chaotic song. I appreciate that in the video he took a photo of each piano that paired with the corresponding sound. He went into people’s homes and played on their pianos, each one had a unique sound with a variety of ranges and tones. He discusses the score consisted of 5 simple structures: a single C note, an active C not with short and long sustains. He only has 44 pianos right now but plans on continuing to 88. He has a few rules as to the create a chance-based method for the composition. For example the order of C notes determined by the exterior finish of the pianos, or determined by alphabetical order of pianos owner names or the octave sustains with attack removed from the sound. I found the piece to be rather comedic with all of the jump cuts to different pianos and the chaos of the visual matched with the sound.

The Clock Christian Marclay

Christian created a 24 hour clock through thousands of movie excerpts that have been popular in media in the past 70 years of film history. It was a fun piece because it was meant to be functional and show viewers what time it was but it also walked through cinematic history. It is interesting because as time progresses throughout you get to see what the common actions that take place. For example at the time 7 am all of the characters are just waking up. From 9 am to noon they eat breakfast and have woken up. Around 4-5 pm transportation becomes important, most of the characters are seen traveling on planes, trains and cars. I thought it was interesting because it showed people doing mundane things in cinema history and how people are very habitual. Everyone runs by schedule and it shows how important the clock is in society. I never thought about this but the artist requested specific size of the screen (21 by 12 feet) so that the video can translate properly to people.

My Idea

I thought that it would be interesting to record the different sounds an instrument can make. I would begin by attempting to tune the instrument. I have a violin that is constantly out of tune and I find it to be a satisfying feeling when each string reaches the note that it is meant to be. It is an interesting sound process because in the beginning it is very off but progressively gets closer to what it needs to be. I would also try to play the violin in different ways using the bow and with plucking the strings. If I have time I would attempt to play a song rather than random notes. I am really interested in Lee Walton Listening to C because of the variety of unique sounds and playing off of different instruments. I am interested in creating unique and different sounds using one instrument.

Here are some other ideas I had

Week 6

I found the article to be very interesting and extremely relevant to today, explaining the issues with not being able to fully see the face. Early in the article it brought up this point “My face, while a body part, is much more than a hand or a foot-it stands in for my whole body, my whole self.” It struck me differently because I never thought so much of the face before until the pandemic, during this time I have learned that the face is the main identifier of an individual and shows a lot about the person. It is interesting navigating these times without being able to connect and communicate with other people by only seeing half of their face. I still am getting used to seeing close friends and relatives masked during social distanced visits. The article also mentions the feeling of sadness and loneliness sprouting from only being able to see people (like her students) on small electronic screens, only a figment of their being. I feel like not being able to see faces properly for such a long time adds to the emotions of isolation. I often find myself feeling very disoriented in public spaces because of the lack of faces and expressions. Steinke mentions the history of masks and brought up numerous associations that are common with masks. Originally masks were used in ceremonies, however, in recent history mask wearers seek to bring chaos and pursue destruction. I think that it adds to a subconscious discomfort for masks. She then moves on to discuss how the face is like a mask of our own, it carries our history plainly. I think that the article does an amazing job articulating the discomfort and emotions of the time. She brings in many different topics that relevant to the times and it is a very thought provoking article.

For changing the face I took a selfie using the fish eye lense and held the photo over my actual face. I wanted this to show the disorientation of constantly seeing your face on an electronic device.
For the new mask I wanted to try what Jon Hackon Erickson did, I really liked his project with the masks. I taped a scented candle to my face and tried to take a similar shot.

I chose to hide my face with a pillow in bed. During the winter I often find it difficult to leave my bed and I wanted to show that feeling through this photo.

Week 4

I looked through Adad Hannah’s Instagram and watched a number of his social distancing portraits. The type of people he depicts are everyday people that you would normally see in public places. I appreciate the variety of people that he includes, for example he shows a girl in junior high and a number of people getting groceries. He shows people from different points in life. This makes each piece unique, each one has a different story. The portraits change with the times, during the summer posts he has videos of people on break or on vacation and individuals who are graduating. Then in the fall time he shows students. The portraits show important moments like the Black Lives Matter protests, which was an incredibly important event that happened across North America. I get a feeling of not being alone in the pandemic, it is a very isolating time so seeing other people living their lives is comforting in a way. He states in the article “I wanted to see if I could capture this strange, tense in-between moment we’re currently living in.”

For the project I decided to take a video portrait of my Mom. She worked as a postpartum nurse  during COVID and once the vaccine clinics opened she signed up to help, she now works as a vaccine nurse. I attempted to recreate a similar composition by having my Mom in the centre of the ‘frame’, Adad Hannah seems to have the person be central so that they are the main focus. I also did it outside because most of his videos are taken in the outdoors due to physical distancing. In the article it said most of his shots were taken from 5 meters away so I moved farther back.

“Giving COVID vaccines makes me feel hopeful that life will return to normal. I love watching science in action during this pandemic. Heroes wear scrubs!”

Week 3

I was interested in exploring idioms commonly used and I thought of “time flies when you’re having fun” so I threw a small alarm clock upwards and watched “time fly.”

Conceptual Video Art

I noticed with some of the art pieces that a certain action reminded me of a phrase so I listed those along with the artwork.

Making a change: A change of scenery, make a change to the scenery

Sitting: sit right next to someone in a public place

Jon Sasaki, Ladder Climb: if at first you don’t succeed try, try again, Climb a ladder that is unsupported until you succeed

Dead end, Eastern Market: Try to correct the vehicle without damaging it

Lenka Clayton: remain in one spot on a walk and see how far your child goes

Week 2, Sitting for an hour

For this project, I went outside in my backyard and lied down under a tree for an hour. During the winter I normally don’t go outside, but now with online school I have not left the house for a number of days. It was refreshing to breathe in the cold air and be back in nature. As the time went on, I became very cold and it was extremely difficult to not move. By the end of the hour I felt like an icicle. As time progressed I continued to think “I need to be doing something” and I became more stressed out as I sat with my thoughts. Over the summer, I spent a lot of time in my backyard during the warmer weather and it felt nostalgic, in a sense, to be there during the winter and being in a very different situation. It was interesting reflecting on how much things can change in a short period of time. I chose to lie down because I wanted to look at the sky, I think that would have helped me to relax and feel grounded to focus on myself without any added distractions. Unfortunately, I was incorrect because I began overthinking. After this experience, I have a lot of respect for Marina Abramovic. As mentioned in a video, it took her almost a year of preparation for the “Artist Is Present” performance. She was sitting there for long hours each day and it must have been a challenge to be present with each person that came up to her. It was extremely difficult to remain in one spot for just one hour. I thought of her piece “Light/Dark” where her and another person took turns slapping each other. After lying in the cold for an hour I was in pain and I wouldn’t quickly volunteer myself again to do something like that but she dives into projects that are physically challenging. She is an incredible artist.

I also tried another one but this one was a fail. I remembered the saying “I’d rather watch paint dry” and so I tried to watch paint dry for an hour. I did this later at night in my room and most of the house was asleep so it was quiet, it was a nice break from all of the noise. Unfortunately, I hadn’t slept well for a few days and I began to feel really sick while focusing on the painting dry. So I gave up but I would like to try this again.

Week 1 notes and a kilometre

A Kilometre in Sound

The speed of sound travels using sound waves, these waves can travel 343 metres per second or 2.9 seconds a kilometre, approximately 3 seconds. I wanted to show a kilometre through sound so I played a song for 3 seconds and this is how fast sound would travel in a kilometre.

Other ideas; Initially I wanted to try and show how long a playlist would be in a kilometre so I began doing some math by measuring the bar that is keeping track of the time on Spotify. It ended up being around 6 cm but then I did some math and learned I would need to make a playlist with 16 000 songs if I wanted to create a km. Another problem is, is that all of the songs had different times so I changed my idea to showing how fast sound can travel.

Notes 1

  • He created a whole new way of making art and thinking of art and he turned a generation of minimalists and conceptual artists into a world wide movement
  • He uniquely thought of the creative process, he viewed himself as composer of music, diagram/instructions was the actual piece of art, allowing other people to create his art like with music -> can be recreated by other people
  • Wall drawing 652 in Indiana took 5 weeks to move, Many artists working on the piece are students
  • Components of the piece is points lines and colors; points are connected by the lines and inside each of the shapes are letters RBYG and the letter means a specific method of applying the paint, either dabbing or wiping the ink on each of the colour represents 3 coats
    • They copy or retrace the procedure that Sol did but directly on the wall
  • Looking for meaningful ways to engage the community and they need to work as a team to create the work -> everyone was able to leave with personal satisfaction

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?

I believe that Sol Lewitt expresses the notion of the idea being the machine through his process of creating art. The first thing that came to my head with the word machine is a factory or mechanisms that aid in building. His conceptual pieces originate from the idea and plans that he created. He then sends out the instructions around the world and his original idea becomes works in a number of places. I think that his ideas relate back to machinery because typically machines make things and produce. The machine is the original thing to create an object and then people send out those objects. An artists contribution in the context of conceptual is that it was their idea and their genius that brought the artwork to life. The community that recreated his piece “Wall Drawing 652” on a large scale produced it exactly to his plan and they had to be meticulous. In the end the idea is a large contribution to the piece because it is technically the artists original work and without it the artwork would most likely not be made. However, conceptual art is still a collaboration between artists and it is an amazing way to get a community together as mentioned in the video.

Notes 2

  • Reading from her book grapefruit and is describing artworks that someone can create, basically instructions
  • Painting for the wind; fill bag with seeds and place bag somewhere where there is wind
  • Most of the instructions are fairly simple and some you don’t need any physical resources

Where do you draw the boundaries around 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.

I feel like these pieces that Ono is describing have no boundaries and this allows more people to participate in the activities. Some of the pieces are as simple as listening to your own heartbeat (Beat Piece) which anyone is able to do. I think that this pushes the notion that anything can be a work of art including yourself and your surroundings. Her artworks feel more like experiences in the 3-D realm rather than what one would consider to be traditional art and some of the pieces seem to relate to mindfulness.  For example, ‘Earth Piece’, her instructions are to watch a sunset and feel the earth move. It is an experience and can be a practice of mindfulness with quieting one’s mind. I think that she challenges her viewers/readers with what art is, the artworks she reads throughout the video only comes to life if the person participates in the instructions. Her and the reader are creating a piece of conceptual art that is personal to them. I also appreciate how she takes some of the mundane things and makes them art, with the piece ‘Painting to be Stepped on’ she takes walking and encourages the person to make art with a canvas. I liked quite a few of the passages, I especially enjoyed the simple one’s like ‘laugh’ where you need to laugh more in a week. I think I like the simple one’s, maybe because they are less challenging but also, it feels accessible and easy. You can’t complicate the instructions or overthink them which I appreciate, sometimes with art I overthink a project and that can deter me from making art. Her instructions for these projects are accessible from anywhere and you can participate whenever. I also like the one’s that encourage reflection like ‘cleaning piece’ where you make a list of sad moments and happy moments, then place a stone corresponding to the number on each list. Then compare piles, it’s creating something physical from memories and emotions, I thought that was interesting.

Notes 3

  • “a work of art is like being hit in the back of the neck with a baseball bat”, meant to ask what is going on? Kind of disturbing
  • Master of filling space, very inquisitive because he is interested and he is very resourceful with using anything at his disposal
  • Went to Davis and was given a studio and they said do whatever you do, Bruce took that logically and believed anything he did in the studio was art because he is an artist
  • Began with black and white videos of him doing things like Bouncing in The Corner N0. 1
  • Bruce operates with artist block -> like gesso on canvas but there is faith that something will come “the true artist helps the world by bringing mystic truths”
  • Funny artist and the bottom line is that the world is observed -> isn’t concerned with beauty
  • Raw materials; made for Tate Moderns turbine hall, he filled it with corridors of sound and walked through silent to sound repeat -> worked with spatial aspect of building
  • Manifest mediums based on their ideas, encouraged you can do anything you want

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?

“Wall-Floor Positions” Bruce Nauman 1968

In Bruce Nauman’s earlier piece Wall-Floor Positions, he created sculpture using the least of amount materials by employing his own body. He explored the dimensions of the space through numerous poses. I am taking an Italian Renaissance course and comparing the grand sculptures created during this time, like David created by Michelangelo depicting a heroic figure to Bruce posing in a space really emphasizes the mundane actions. I believe that it looks like an art piece because of it’s connection to the institution of a museum where typically art is displayed. Presenting work has a lot to do with the context of the area, if he was doing this in a restaurant it might not be taken as a piece of art.

“Coffee Spilled Because the cup was too hot” Bruce Nauman 1941

The photograph ‘Coffee Spilled Because The Cup was too Hot’ depicts the mundane perfectly because it is something that he typically does in the studio and his everyday life. I believe in this piece the artiness comes from the lighting and composition of the piece. It looks more like a traditional artwork someone would produce and I think the mundane comes from the title and the object that is being depicted in the print.


For the final exercise of a conceptual portrait, I decided to display my growth in necklaces. Partly inspired by the artist Katie Patterson as she created her fossil necklace. I have always been interested in how people display themselves through clothing or accessories. In this project, I layered necklaces that were my favourite to wear as a child until the ones I wear now. Looking back, each necklace takes me back to a certain place and special meaning.

Week 10: Conceptual Portrait


On Kawara

  • I woke up
  • I went
  • Sent post cards of times and traced maps
  • Date paintings

Teching Hsich

  • Clocked in a time every hour with a portrait for a year
  • Subjecting self to very intense things
  • Motives behind work?

John Baldessari

  • “I will not make any more boring art”
  • Line/ text work
  • Takes things literally

Kelly mark

  • punches in and out of her going to her studio – artist labourer
  • Hiccup

Micah Lexier

  • Portraits of David from ages 1 to 75
  • “David then and now” – 10 years later

Katie Patterson

  • Plays with nature and senses
  • Made recordings of glaciers
  • Mapped dead stars
  • Fossil necklace
  • Future library

Adrian Piper

  • Calling cards

Sophie Calle

  • “take care of yourself”
  • Got women to interpret the letter

Final Portrait Ideas

Take an idea and put it in a physical form:

  • Making lists
  • Using texts
  • Assigning task and documenting
  • Record beginning of meditations?
  • Failure will be apart of the piece
  • Take a thing and reinterpret it in a bunch of different ways
  • Necklaces throughout my life – childhood to now*
    • A take on the fossil necklace and David portrait
    • don’t take it too literally – try not to describe it too much
    • a small sentence/description of each one
    • timeline of life displayed in grid/line form

Week 7: Audio Art

  1. Notes from 3 works of audio art
    1. Artist 1: Anna Ripmeester – Pipes in “C”
    2. Artist 2: Janet Cardiff’s – The Forty Part Motet
    3. Artist 3:
  2. Proposal
    1. Ideas:
      1. Play all of friend’s demos at once – layer
      2. Kitchen fan & roommates harmonizing to it?
      3. Something to do with record player
      4. Guitar tuning of some sort
      5. My roommates warm up sounds for her choir
      6. Announcing things throughout the day…?
Chaos in the Kitchen

This audio piece is a collection of sounds from my household including my roommates. I was inspired by a previous classmate’s audio art of “Pipes in C” and decided to take a similar approach to my piece. In the background of the audio, I recorded my roommate practicing his violin from another room, this may be interpreted as an addition to the social distancing portrait where listeners can actually hear him play. Layered over, I recorded a very awfully noisy fan in our kitchen and often me and my roommates find ourselves trying to jokingly harmonize to it, so in turn, I decided to record this everyday occurrence. Throughout the fan singing, I was able to catch a clip of my other roommate warming up for her weekly choir sessions.

Week 6: Mask

Notes on Darcy Stienke Article

Since I am not going out in public nearly as much, I feel as though the only time I am able to see people are in essential places, such as the grocery store. In public (or anywhere) it is the polite thing to smile at people and not being able to see people’s expressions or emotions through their faces creates a bit of anxiety in itself. At times when I don’t look particularly great on a day and have to out, I enjoy wearing the mask as it hides possible insecurities, however, the social possibilities outweigh how I feel.

What I found interesting to read in the text was the notion of the unknown. This term resonates with me in relation to the unknown of what the future will hold regarding the pandemic and life in general.

In my opinion, I would have to agree with the article when it is mentioned of the feeling of being incomplete, “my identity, never that solid to begin with, fraying…”. I’ve spoken to many that have said they prefer the masks and others not so much. I don’t particularly have a fixed side, and I see positives and negatives (hehe get it) to both sides.

Week 4: Video Portrait

Social Distancing Video Portrait.

“It’s made me appreciate ordinary human interactions way more and it’s made time enter a looping state of being very short and very fast in a time never felt before.” – Toby

I decided to film a video of my roommate in his room as if he were to practice violin. As his practicing has been apart of an everyday routine I thought it could be cool to film this typical routine of normal life at this time. (Also I’m not sure why the video looks so yellow, I didn’t edit it).

When looking at the work of Adad Hannah, I was reminded of another Instagram artist that goes by the name of @humansofny. This page is simply a photoblog of portraits and interviews of people on the streets of New York. I find it so interesting reading all the stories people have to share. Below is an image of the page.

Week 3: Defenestration

For this week I had the idea to defenestrate a mask. Considering masks have become such an essential part of our everyday lives, I thought it could be interesting to see how it flew out a window and may mean different things to others. As simple as a mask is, this exercise reminded me of all the worn and discarded disposable masks I’ve been seeing on the ground. From a environmentalist perspective this saddens me to see all the pollution that will most likely persist over many years in an almost apocalyptic way.

Week 2: Be Still for 1 Hour Exercise

For week 2 I decided to sit on the frozen river in my hometown for as long as I was able to outside. I was also trying to think of where I could go that was out of my comfort zone. As you can see there were people skating in the back. The whole time I was worried about someone asking what I was doing but that didn’t end up happening.

I was able to get my partner to take pictures of many angles around the river. When I started off on the ice I was squatting but then realized I was getting quite cold and my legs were getting sore, this was around the 15-minute mark. I was able to sit for about 45 minutes in total before I felt like I was turning into ice. After completing this task I have a completely new appreciation for Marina’s work.

Week 1

Sol LeWitt: For All To See (Notes)

  1. 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?
    1. Sol Lewitt expresses this notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” through the concept of planning and assembling his work beforehand similar to an architect or a contractor with the machinery of some sort. Since in the case of For All To See, LeWitt produces the idea and plans the piece and instructs a team to perform the work. The artist’s hand has to do with the instructions he assigns to the artists with a degree of trust. Since he isn’t able to be present with the artists and cant guarantee his envisioning, this may lead to the notion of the machine and how the artist’s hand becomes a tool in the greater product.

Yoko Ono Reading From Grapefruit Book

  1. 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.
    1. I enjoyed all of the works that were listed and I feel as though depending on how one views art, the lists could be considered as their own or as a whole artwork. The artworks described range from tangible/physical to spiritually and metal pieces, some explained with a direction more than others. One may consider each piece Ono’s way to improve being and experiencing life. Possible strategies and tools Ono used to challenge viewers may be that not every audience would view such work as art and could inflict anger in some, on the other hand, they make me and possibly others to appreciate a new perspective on life. For example, the piece of burning and following a ritual after writing something negative is not uncommon and I feel as though it is practiced everywhere, as well as the mental wellbeing vs room space piece was very intriguing for me.

Bruce Nauman – True Artist

  1. 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?
    1. “If I were an artist in the studio then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art”
    2. In order to consider something beautiful you have to have an idea of what’s beautiful and that’s what hamstrings you from the get go
    3. Manifest mediums based on ideas
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.jpg
Coffee Spilled Because the Cup Was Too Hot – 1966-67
  • If I said I’ve never spilled or burnt my mouth because my coffee or tea was too hot I’d be lying. Nauman framed this everyday disaster by possibly following the rule of thirds in the canvas as well as contrasting colour schemes including warm and cold scales. This is framed as art as it is being cast in a beam of light displaying its importance and how quickly something like this can happen but no one notices it framed this way.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2-1.jpg
No title Displayed
  • These pieces were displayed and quite literally as normal and everyday notions bluntly. The words “normal desires” occur every day to everyone no matter the thought. The piece on the right that’s written backwards saying “pay attention mother fuckers” may have many interpretations, one being how we all get caught up in our everyday worlds and often are not present in the world. This could be the artist calling on the viewers to either pay attention to themselves or himself or awaken anything.

Exercise 1: Make a Kilometre

Possible Ideas:

  • Walk beside and around the trees near the river and trace tracks for 1km
    • Make a shape within the trees?
    • Take a screenshot of the ariel view of the park? & trace where I walked
    • Someone take a picture as I walk around?
  • How long does it take to walk 1 km? (11 minutes)
    • Make a playlist for that many minutes?
    • Is this too simple?

I ended up going with the tree idea:


  • Got odd looks zigzagging from tree to tree
  • Tracks ended up kind of looking like a tree !!
  • Surprisingly took longer than I thought


Week 1

1 kilometer

My kilometer is made up of toilet paper rolls. It is made up of 29 rolls, each containing approximately 34.5m. I measured 1 individual piece of toilet paper which equals 10cm long. 1 kilometer equals 100,000cm which divided by 10 is 10,000cm which equals the number of pieces in a kilometer. 

Yoko Ono and Bruce Nauman

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?‘: I believe that the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes art” is expressed through Sol Lewitt’s initial thought process and his ideas, as art cannot be created without them. Although he did not physically paint the wall, and “create” the art, he came up with the entire concept, colour scheme, and size, which is his conceptual art. The idea behind the work could potentially be even more important than the physical piece itself. Sol Lewitt then sends out his idea/plan to be created. The idea of a machine is represented by Sol, as machines use power to build and perform an action. Conceptually, Sol Lewitt used the power of his brain to plan and make decisions beforehand. Although the final execution was not painted with his hand, it is still his art. Overall, no matter what form the art takes, it must begin with an idea. 

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. I do not believe boundaries need to be made around the artworks in this video. Art can be anything you want it to be. It can range from something simple to something extremely complex. It can include anything ranging from your body to a hair on the ground. The artworks in the video are unlike what might be perceived as “regular” art, as they are created through words. Yoko Ono creates art through words to challenge her viewers to think about the possibilities of art. A simple one she mentions is called “Beat Piece”, where all one does is listen to their heartbeat. Perhaps this teaches the individual to slow down, relax, and think about things, almost like meditation. A more complicated one is called “cleaning piece”. To accomplish this piece, one is asked to make a list of the sad things in their life, and gather stones to correspond with the number of sad things they think of. They are told to add a stone each time they are sad and appreciate the beauty in the stones, while perhaps metaphorically finding the beauty in their sadness. They are then asked to make another list of happiness in their life and add stones each time they feel happy. Finally, as part of the exercise, they are asked to compare the number of happy stones to the sad ones. I feel this artwork gives an opportunity to see things in a different light and to dig deep down so an individual can see things more clearly. I really appreciate this artwork, as I feel this is an amazing artistic exercise, as it gives the viewer a chance to examine their feelings through art. This also allows the individual to stop and recognize the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and perhaps allow us a deeper understanding of our lives. Some of the other concept-works included are called “earth piece”, “shadow piece”, and many others. Yoko Ono reads them out loud and the viewer is expected to accomplish the task based on what is requested of them. I believe this is a very creative concept-work as it gets the viewer involved on a different level, creating an interactive art experience that allows the artist, Yoko Ono, and the viewer to create together. 

Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames everyday 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 Double Poke In The Eye II, 1985
   Untitled (Hand Circle), 1996

I love both these pieces and found them to challenge what is considered a “normal” sculpture as it uses materials that are unique and not normally used in this sense. In Bruce Nauman’s Piece “Double Poke In The Eye” He created art only using neon lights to bring new meaning to everyday actions. Although it isn’t every day that people get poked in the eye, the actions in this piece consist of the 2 faces looking at each other, while the hands poke one another in the eye (shown through the timing of the lights). In Bruce’s next piece “hand circle”, at first sight, this piece consists of ordinary hand movements, grasping the hand in front of it, to form a circle. As you stare longer at the photo, this piece illustrates sign language and depicts sexual intercourse as shown through the positioning of the fingers. Bruce Nauman took ordinary objects and turned them into something that can be interpreted in many ways. 

Week 2

Marina Abramovic Assignment
Going into this project, an hour did not seem that long. The first 10 minutes weren’t that bad, but as time went on, the thought of doing this for an hour seemed so long, as my perception of time was much slower. As I continued to stay still, I began to feel bored, fidgety, and frustrated. It was also slightly stressful because at times I would think about all the work I had to complete and not being able to do it. I also started to think about how in every art piece, there must have been frustration. In this piece it was the most apparent, however, it is ironic because a lot of people do not see this form of art as acceptable. It made me appreciate endurance art and performance art to a much higher extent. I was limited in my location choice due to covid so I stayed in my apartment. I chose to pose in the kitchen cupboard, as I figured it was an unusual place for one to sit. I felt as if I were a pot waiting to be used, almost like an experiment similar to Marina’s. After staying in this position for a long period of time, my back and neck began to hurt. I had a feeling of relief when the hour was up. Marina is known for pushing past perceived limits of the body and mind and exploring the complex relationship between herself and the audience through performances that challenge herself in many instances, participants emotionally, intellectually, and physically. She makes momentous and compelling statements about things going on in the world, constantly testing the limits of other people. Marina has a deep connection with her art in an almost gruesome way that I find really intriguing. Although my stance was not very complex, it helped me relate to Marina Abramovic, as a variety of her projects consist of her staying still for a long period of time. I was able to feel how she might have felt during those experiments.

Week 3

Instructional sentences

  1. Change the position of random things you see while walking throughout the city
  2. Sit oddly close to strangers on a bench
  3. Climb an unstable, unsupported ladder each time you fall in order to get to the top
  4. Drive a car in a narrow alley making multiple-point turns in order to get out
  5. Record your child walking away from you as far as he can until you feel unsafe with the distance

Mid-Air Photograph

I did not have a window suitable to throw objects out of so I had to go outside and throw my scarf in the air. I decided on a scarf, as I figured with each throw and with the wind being so strong, the scarf would twist and turn making a unique photo every time. You can almost use your imagination looking at each frame. (For example, the image on the bottom left looks as if it is a bird flying in the air. The image second to the right looks as if it is a snail falling from the sky.) I did not want to use a solid object as I wanted each throw to be unpredictable.

Week 4

Social Distance Portrait: Adad Hannah observes all kinds of people ranging from different ethnicities, genders, ages, and backgrounds. He records different people in order to capture the tension and feeling that they experience during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Each individual being filmed is unique and special in their own way. Even if we are all experiencing this pandemic, everyone is having their own journey with both positive and negative things. The portraits witness important moments of the pandemic as these videos represent the limited amount of moving people are able to do. Being stuck at home, there is not an ample amount of going from one place to another. We are extremely restricted with what we can do, living in almost the same way every day. Adad Hannah’s work is extremely impactful. Being captured in a video has a greater impact on his viewers than if the people were captured in a photograph. If one was captured in a photo, the viewer could look at the image for a second and be done with it. The one-minute video Adad Hannah captures really grasps one’s attention and forces you to stare deeper and deeper, waiting for the slightest amount of movement. This adds an intense feeling to the video. Along with this, the quotes make you have a deeper connection with the person, as what is said tends to be relatable for most people. In the quotes, many people express the impact the pandemic has made on them, such as their struggle with mental health, physical health, financial income as well as lack of social life. For my one-minute-video, I decided to use two of my friends of different ethnicities, heights, and styles to reflect on what Adad Hannah does. I positioned them on the couch with their computers on their lap as they spend a vast amount of their time due to school being online. It took quite a few attempts to get a successful video as they kept laughing, struggling to stay still. I then asked them how the pandemic has made them feel. The girl on the right said “the pandemic has made me feel sad, depressed, and bored. I feel like this is my life now and every day is the same.” The other said “I miss going out with my friends and socializing. I don’t get to do anything anymore and it has made me rethink my goals in life.” 

Week 6

In order to create an alternative pandemic mask, I used painter’s tape to create something that follows the normal shape of a mask, while being unordinary and something unrealistic to wear in public.
In terms of changing my face, I wanted to capture an image that is distorted and disfigured. To do this I tried putting my face behind multiple different sized glasses, (short, wide, 2 glasses) each giving me a various effect. For this particular image, I took a long glass, filled it to the top with water and played around with different angles. In the end, this is the image I decided on.
In order to conceal my face, I thought it would be interesting if I used tin foil and held it up. It hid my face while still outlining my features (eyes, nose, mouth).

The article “Turn and Face the Strange” by Darcey Steinke was very interesting as it explained the concerns that come with not being able to see one’s full face while wearing a mask. It truly is amazing how our face is the main area that identifies who we are. Before the pandemic, I did not think about this much, as seeing someone’s face was something I was used to. Near the beginning of the article, it is said “My face is my trademark and my main mode of communication.” “The face is a source from which all meaning appears.” I completely agree with this statement as for some, It is crucial to be able to read facial expressions and emotions (people with prosopagnosia since they have an inability to recognize faces, and deaf beings who need to read lips in order to understand people). Being masked 24/7 is something that takes a lot of getting used to and although the pandemic has been going on for over a year, it is still something I struggle with to this day. Since I do not live with my family, whenever they come to visit me I have to remember to keep my mask on. This makes me sad as I just want to see my family’s faces, but can not unless from a distance or through technology. Originally, masks were used in death rituals and ceremonies, however, ancient mask-wearers hoped to enter a liminal space, where they could create disaster and bring power to the world. Overall, I deeply enjoyed this article as it discusses relevant topics such as emotions, ancient life, daily struggles and more.

Week 7

I’m Practicing my cartoon voices, Steve Reinke: This piece is unlike any conventional music or scoring of films I have ever heard. I believe this audio is very interesting as Steve repeated the same 5 words throughout the entire audio, in a different voice each time. As the audio continued, I found the repetition slightly hard to listen to as I felt the voices were starting to sound similar and found myself waiting for something that wasn’t coming.  I was drawn to this audio because I have seen similar videos on youtube and found them really cool and compelling, I did enjoy this audio although when he went really high pitch I began to laugh as I couldn’t take it very seriously. I believe the conceptual concept behind this piece is that practice makes perfect, which is what he was doing by repeating the same words in different voices. I believe he was trying to show that it can take a lot of tries in order to get something the way you want it to be.

Piss Record, Matthew Sawyer: I found this a quite unusual piece. This caught my interest as It is something very strange to hear as part of the music. I appreciate how Sawyer says which day it is, along with the weather (funny addition to piece). In order to maintain interest Sawyer added more instruments and beats on top to make it more like music such as an accordion, whistling, his own voice singing with the tune and more. Peeing is normally something one does in private and is not usually something one posts for everyone to hear. At first, I thought this was very weird and almost eerie, but the more I listened to it the more I found it intriguing. 

The Forty Part Motet, Janet Cardiff: I really enjoyed this piece as it was very harmonious and immersive. This is a very complex piece using 40 different voices in order to achieve this beautiful angelic sound. Although the presentation was simple, I found it to be very effective as it put the focus on the sound. Once I began listening to this piece, I did not want to stop, I felt so relaxed and peaceful listening to every voice and harmony. I believe the audio of their intermission really affects how the piece is viewed, as it makes the voices atop being seen as just sound but as real people. It breaks up the harmonies with free and easy conversation.

Proposal: I have a few ideas for this audio. For my first idea, I am thinking about recording the steps of doing laundry (pouring laundry detergent, putting in clothes, closing the door, the sound of the laundry machine). I may use all these sounds and turn them into a song. Doing laundry is a weekly task that everyone must do. It would be amazing to hear all the sounds within a silent area. My second idea is listening to someone type on the computer. If you listen closely, each key makes a different sound. I could make a beat out from the different keys, and even use other school supplies like the cutting of scissors, scratching of a pencil and more to make an interesting beat. Lastly, for the third idea, I am thinking about using stress balls and squishy toys to make a sound that is almost like ASMR. I feel this would be very cool as not many people have a large collection of these.

Week 8

Initially, for this project, my ideas were to record laundry or school supplies. I tried but was unhappy with the results. I decided to try something different. Both my sister and I have anxiety and because of this, we own a lot of stress toys. I thought it would make an interesting compilation if I were to put each sound close to the mic and say what each stress toy is followed by the sound it makes. I was greatly inspired by the “Vaccuum-Piece”. In the “Vaccuum-Piece”, the artist mentions each object and the sound it makes being vacuumed up. I found this very interesting as It almost gives you a chance to think for a moment what the object might sound like. I love being able to hear the sound after being told what the object is as it makes you realize that it does not sound the way one was expecting.

Week 10

Brainstorm List & Notes on Art Pieces I found Interesting

  • Use medals from dance competitions and layer them around my neck
  • show collection of wacky packs
  • position stuffed animals from childhood ones to now
  • show a calendar tracking the days I take both my ADHD medication and antidepressants
  • stack collection of makeup pallets
  • create a list of things that make me happy
  • list of people who have a huge impact on my life
  • pets I have had over my lifetime

The Mythic Being, 1973: This artwork shows a woman transforming herself into a man by wearing an afro, moustache and sunglasses. She put on a masculine personality in order to experience the day in a life of a man, and experienced life in the city, documenting people’s reactions. I really enjoy this art piece as it shows that people can be whatever/whoever they want no matter what is considered right based on the rules of society. This is very crucial in today’s society because although people are getting used to the idea of dressing as the opposite gender, etc, there are many people who need to learn how to accept others for the way they are, and not judge them based on their differences.

All The Dead Stars, 2009: This piece is a map that documents the locations of just under 27,000 dead stars (all that have been recorded and observed by humankind). I find this piece very fascinating as it is essentially showing the existence of people through a vast amount of dead stars

Untitled (Portrait, of Ross in L.A) 1991: This piece consists of 175 pounds of candy to represent the body of Ross Laycock who does of AIDS. I feel this is a very deep piece since each piece of candy slowly going depicts Ross’ body depicting. Although it is only cany in this image, when I think about this piece more and more It almost makes me a little uncomfortable how something many people have quite often can be the cause of death.

A Portrait of David, 1994: I really loved this piece as I found it really cool and interesting. This piece consists of life-size pictures of boys and men ranging from 1 to 75. This piece makes me think how crazy it is that the artist had to gather 75 different Davids.

Conceptual Portrait Proposal: When thinking about how to approach this project, I figured it may be cool to use an item I have a lot of that has a huge part in my life. I danced for years and collected a huge variety of medals. I am possibly thinking about layering all of the medals around my neck. This will represent how dance is a huge part of my life through the vast amount of medals. My second Idea for this project is to gather all the playbills from plays my sister and I have seen. Over the years we have been to an ample amount of plays including ones my sister has been in, so all of these playbills mean a lot to us. In order to create this piece, I would lay out the playbills starting from the first play we have seen to the last.

Week 11

Final Conceptual Portrait: For the conceptual portrait assignment, I wanted to capture all the plays/shows both my sister and I have seen throughout our life. As both of us are extremely artistic people, we are very into theatre, acting, musicals and more. Since we were young we have been creating a huge collection of playbills. In my portrait, the playbills are organized starting from one of the first plays we have seen to the most recent. Some we have seen are The Prom, School of Rock, Little Shop of Horrors, Come from Away and so many more. I was inspired by the art piece “All the Dead Stars” as it is documentation. Similar to mine, I have documented all the shows I have seen, while in that piece documents all the dead stars. I really look forward to adding to this collection in the near future and seeing how much It can expand.

here is a close up of some of the playbills in my collection