Artist Multiple – Buttons


My buttons were inspired by a popular meme which includes a picture of a small creature (typically a cat) or a character of some sort and the caption “this is me btw, if you even care.” (link to know your meme page). The pins I made have a similar caption with photos from NASA’s Webb Telescope image galleries. I have always been very fascinated with the universe and have been taking an astronomy course which has heightened that interest even further. I think that these buttons are humorous and capture the existential phenomenon of our existence in the universe. Not only are we all made of the same matter as the stars but we are living and breathing pieces of the universe experiencing itself. I think its fascinating. I hope to incorporate more of this eternal inexplicable feeling of wonder and unknowingness into my artwork.

Conceptual Portrait


For my conceptual portrait I collected pieces and objects I find value in during my day to day life to put together a portrait of myself. The objects were collected since September 2022 to the present. I was inspired by the works in my research, as well as looked up afterwards the Time Capsule works of Andy Warhol, another artist who displayed simple, mundane objects in a way that is authentic to their practice. I believe I was able to do the same with this project. My portrait captures the act of mindfulness and seeing art everywhere and in everything. I think that finding objects beautiful, not only for what they physically are, but for what they represent and the many things we can do with them after they serve their purpose as wrappers, or receipts, or sketches, or debris, or nature, is something that allows for creativity to seep into all aspects of my life. Presenting these pieces in a curated collection shows what is important to me and how it creates a portrait of myself as a person, a lover of things, and an artist.

Conceptual Portrait Research/Proposal


The video in our lecture about Sara Bermans Closet at the MET also made me think about object importance in peoples lives and how everybody sees importance in different things. The composition of the piece is something that is very interesting to me because colours and size and design are parts of art I think pull people in, and although meaning is profound and impactful there is so much thought that goes into the elements of design and the ways in which they are placed. This piece is also interesting because it is an installation and has been taken out of time; it is tidy and beautiful and makes you feel like everything in the world is just that. I think that art that makes you see beauty in little ordinary things is very special to me. Breakdown by Michael Landy, is a piece where he kept inventory of all his possessions and then destroyed them all in an installation. I think this was quite the self portrait, as well as a portrait of object permanence. He visualized his work in a large sketch of items he owned, and smaller sketches, along with a sketch of the machine that would later destroy all of his items. This piece shows that object permanence is superficial and that objects, like humans, are temporary in existence, and I think that finding the bittersweet balance between loving objects and letting them go is what I wanted to capture in my portrait.

Audio Art



untitled (cry) is my 1.04 minute audio piece that I wanted to be personal because I haven’t felt that way about any of my art pieces this year. I think sometimes its easier to understand something through visual or audio than with words. Music and audio is a big part of my life and I think its for the same reason art is; it allows for feelings to be present like a gift rather than words that are often not what we want them to be. I’ve always wanted people to articulate how they feel, but I know that it is a lot to expect from others, and a lot to expect from myself. I think in a world where we are surrounded by visual that is constantly changing our emotions, its important to be vulnerable for the important ones. Sometimes I wish I could wipe everybody’s tears and never expect it from others. I cry a lot for many reasons, which is a part of being human, and maybe experiencing it through art rather than a video online or a film kind of presents a narrative where you look at it from an artistic lens and maybe, feels more personal. I don’t think having a heavy heart is something that makes my life easier or harder. I think for me, being incredibly passionate about the world is cool and makes living in it so much cooler. I obviously am not looking to make people cry when they listen to this work (although I am not opposed to it). I want people to see themselves in this moment of weakness, or discomfort, and see it as something intimate and beautiful that I wanted to share with them.

​One Feat, Three Ways (video project)


Performed by Sage Vermaak and Serena Gallo, edited by Samantha Winnick

“Tempting”: The One-Shot

“Tempting” is our one shot video of Sage’s dog, Cyprus, Sage, and Serena, as Sage and Serena share a carrot. The action is repeated back and forth as Cyprus’s gaze follows the carrot. The video worked well for our one shot because we didn’t know how Cyprus would act, as he had been running around the studio beforehand and had to be held down by Sage in hopes of him staying in place. The unpredictability of his actions is what made this video stand out to us, and hopefully stands out to the audience as they can see pieces of themselves in Cyprus being tempted by something he couldn’t have. Of course, if Sage wasn’t there to hold him, I’m sure the video would’ve gone differently, but for composition purposes it was nice to have him in one place to emphasise his longing for something he couldn’t have.

“Discipline”: The Sequence

In “Discipline”, Sage directs her dog, Cyprus, in doing various actions such as give paw and roll over. The actions are repeated through Sage instructing Serena to do them, as well as a stuffed animal dog in some clips. I think that this collection of clips as our sequence was humorous, entertaining, and thought provoking. Having a person do actions that would typically be performed by a dog allows for people to think about their place in other’s lives, as well as control and power. In the clips with the stuffed animal, the audience is encouraged to think of the significance of power, and maybe the gentle care of animals and instructional behaviour. These videos were the most difficult to record as Cyprus became more restless, however I was able to edit certain clips to make them cohesive. For example, when Cyprus is face to face with the stuffed animal, the original clip is about 10 seconds of Sage slowly backing off screen with a treat to encourage him to stay still. When I was editing the videos, we had to center many of them and align the horizon level to be straight which was interesting to learn to do, and I enjoyed selecting the videos that would appear in our final product out of the many we recorded.

“Lick”: The Loop

Our loop video, “Lick”, is a minute loop of Sage’s dog, Cyprus, licking her face recklessly while she sat as still as she could. We thought this clip would be perfect to loop as it fit seamlessly together and was equally as sweet and disgusting to watch. All three of us love dogs and loved working with Cyprus (although often difficult), however Serena and I were rightfully hesitant to being licked, but can understand that its an affectionate act for puppies to show their love. By presenting this video as a loop, we give the audience the opportunity to question our societies relationship with domestic animals and the boundaries we set with them. I think our loop also allowed myself and hopefully audiences to think about how people love other people, and how affection varies by person and by intimacy. It tests the difference between hugging and kissing, and how we might react to these different acts from people we love and people we simply know. I think that the more you watch our loop, the more you are pulled into your own cyclical appreciation and disgust of licking as an expression of a puppy’s love.

Pipilotti Rist: Worry Will Vanish


The video of Worry Will Vanish as a whole isn’t available online but there are clips found on galleries websites and Youtube recorded by audience members. The piece made by Rist is made up of many videos including nature, hands, colours, and distorted visuals blended and layered onto of each other into one continuous video. The music from the clips I could find added a sort of whimsical peaceful feeling to the installation, it sounded like a digital piano and short notes, drawing you into the video as it played and making you feel connected with the nature in the clips. Upon the piece’s presentation, audience members were encouraged to take off their shoes and get under the covers to fully be immersed in the video/installation. The projection was large and filled 2 walls of the room, which I think allowed for people to be solely focused on the moment in time. I think that the way the video is composed and set up to be viewed speaks true to its title, Worry Will Vanish, because the audience is encouraged to be present and in a way is forced to be present by the stimulation of the images and the video and the way they are situated under blankets in a dark room. Its almost as if a dream is being simulated, the weird, almost hypnotic clips bringing a sense of curiosity and calmness.

Making a Kilometer


For this project, I chose to represent a kilometer by using fruit (apples) as a medium and seeing how many I could eat on a kilometre walk. After discussing with the class its clear that the final result was more of a time piece rather than measurement. However, I sort of feel like time and distance are relative and that distance only really exists with the passing of time. The apples changed colour and I really liked how they looked by the end of my walk, especially showing the passing of a distance by time and the proof of human existence through that distance by the apples being eaten from. Overall, I can understand how this project prompt is very open ended and is meant to make you think of how there are different ways to illustrate abstract concepts.

Marina Abramovic


1. What are some of your first impressions of Marina Abramovic’s performance works, based on the documentary? Use an image/example of one or two works to describe aspects you admire, and aspects you might agree are problematic?

My first impression of Abramovic’s work was how subjective and unexpected her pieces are, however, fear is never the feeling intended to be evoked. The emotions evoked are so raw and powerful, in a much more different way that 2D artwork such as paintings or photographs have been able to manifest. In the documentary, they compare her nude body to nude portraits that have been painted throughout history, and how the object and subject hasn’t changed, but the medium has.

The work that stood out to me the most in the documentary was A Living Door of the Museum (1977, 2010), originally performed by Marina Abramovic and Ulay, and later performed by her students. It is a piece where tow lovers stand nude in a tight doorway in a museum, forcing people to walk through the intimate moment. I admire how personal it feels, to observe the performers, and to be a part of it. It feels intimate, yet so public, especially in the context of being in a public space. Its difficult to image how other mediums could portray this kind of raw, intimate human experience.

It is admirable how Abramovic is putting herself in these vulnerable positions, such as in Rhythm 0 (1974), to convey such strong messages. In this piece she puts herself completely at the audiences disposal, providing them with 72 objects, including knives and a gun. Many of her performances are judged by the public but more so the ones where her life is at risk; often the danger of life and death can distract from the meaning of the performance. Additionally, when Abramovic is completely nude in many of her pieces, people can find this incredibly controversial and fail to see the messages she is trying to get across with her artwork and rather see it merely as a public display of nudity.

2. What have you learned about features of performance art based on Abramovic’s work? Name a few key features according to her precedents. Include an image to illustrate. Consider her quote “When you perform it is a knife and your blood, when you act it is a fake knife and ketchup.”

One of the key differences that the documentary points out is between acting and performing. In the quote by Abramovic, she is explaining that acting isn’t as real or raw, its more of an illusion. The art of performance is using your body as a medium rather than utilizing it to portray or make pretend of what are very real emotions and feelings. 

A quote from the documentary I think captures Abramovic’s art very well is, “What is art other than revealing human nature?”. Her artwork, along with performance art in general, always draws people (as well as the artist) to be focused on what is going on in the very moments of the performance. Artists put emphasis on gravitating ones attention to the present and being fully aware in body and mind. Its as if their body, presence, and time are their mediums. With that, performance artists also visualizes time, and as said in the documentary, it “brings it as a weight onto the audiences shoulders”. Another common theme in performance art is them being a self portrait, especially in pieces such as Self Portrait with a Skeleton (2003) by Abramovic. The title of this piece is very direct and allows for individuals in the audience to feel through the art however they see fit. However, Abramovic is a part of it.  What better way to create a visual of the body than to use the body itself?

3. Discuss the ways performance art resists many museum and commercial artworld conventions. How does Abramovic solve/negotiate some of these challenges, and do you find these compromises add to, or undermine the ideas at play in her work?

Because Abramovic is still an artist who needs to make a living, she is selling an experience rather than a physical piece of artwork. However, in the documentary, they show how she was able to sell pictures of her works for large amounts of money. Selling an experience or a feeling is very difficult to do correctly, that is why when it is done successfully it becomes very desired and popular. For example, Abramovic’s final show The Artist is Present (2010) became incredibly popular as people would line up for hours and days to get the chance to be a part of the piece. Abramovic sat in a chair and allowed for the audience to come sit across from her one by one, and she would gaze into peoples eyes the same every time, offering a “blank slate” feeling and personal experience with the artist.

When the table that was placed between Abramovic and an audience members seats was removed, the gallery had concerns for the artists safety, which had only been preconditioned due to many of her previous performances put her body in danger. Additionally, she is often faced with the dilemma of being viewed as provocative and questioned for being nude in many of her performances, however there is a clear distinction between  the nude being sold vs the nude being performed; the body is seen as art being viewed as a visual rather than being a commodity. As she performed this piece completely clothed from head to toe, it was as if she was making a statement on how performance art does not have to be unexpecting or uncomfortable or out of the ordinary to be impactful. People were often moved to tears, and deemed to be changed from the experience. The popularization of this piece and favouritism over her other performances is clear because of 1., the lack of suggested danger, violence, or nudity, and 2., because people could be a part of it. It became a race to who would get the chance to sit with the artist, often seeming more eager to simply be a part of it than to experience the art, which, in effect, adds to the meaning behind the piece as an interactive performance in the artworld.

One of the men that worked closely with Abramovic shared how when he first met her, he believed she was in love with him, but slowly realized that she was merely “in love with the world, not just him”. Abramovic’s fascination with the human experience and people as a whole is what makes her an amazing and successful performance artist, and allows for museums to recognize her talent and provide her with space to bring her performances to life.

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