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

2 thoughts on “Hallie

  1. Hi Halle,
    W1: Notes on Sol Lewitt, Yoko Ono, and Nauman complete – though spend more time with these references and see how artists translate a concept into a material/gesture, and lift it from everyday life in different ways. Kilometre image is missing – but description sounds good – lots of possible ways to display these rolls, I’d like to see a few ideas/process ways of doing so.
    W2: Image of Abramovic/Stillness gesture is also missing, and description is fine – like the idea of sitting in a cupboard – where you would not normally go and sustain discomfort to take the gesture out of the everyday, change perspective etc.
    W3: 6 conceptual sentences are a bit off – watch Lenka Clayton again – be more specific and word these like a task
    Defenestration image and description good – like the different images to show different drawings/almost language in space, could use a little more adventurousness though!
    W4: 1 Distancing video portrait, and description – good, and an apt situation to illustrate the moment, breaks my heart though!

    Overall, good evidence of curiosity and engagement with material, spend more time with the lecture materials and references and class discussions to better understand critical ideas at play, keep improving technical investment and effort, and keep seeing how far you might go with experimentation and adventurousness. We’d be happy to see more of your work and discuss it in class too!

    If you would like to talk with me about your work in progress, readings, exercises, one-on-one comments on your work, and grades – send me an email in the morning to book a 15 minute appointment during the optional contact hours: Thursdays 11:30-2:30.

    And you can show up to a zoom meeting with Nathan anytime during these hours to ask your questions, and get tech support for using software and finishing your projects:
    Mondays and Thursdays 11:30-4pm.

  2. Hi Hallie! It’s great I see these works now – thank you for posting –
    I’ll revise your grades for notes and exercises, but would still love to hear more from you in class!

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