I thought I’d make a grid of some of your Face exercises, with my gratitude for all of your risks, experiments and efforts in our class. I am glad to have met you all, and look forward to working with you again in Experimental.
I encourage your to look around at one another’s audio pieces, and final conceptual portraits – like these final works by Alannah:
All work for the weeks 7-12 are due in our final class: Tuesday April 7, 2021.
Note:I will begin grading all works on our blog Monday morning April 12th – and NO LATE WORK will be accepted after that day.
Thank you for your hard work, your imagination and your courage. Congratulations on completing the term and stretching yourselves together to figure out how to be artists now, in this new and challenging time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?
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.
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
I woke up
Sent post cards of times and traced maps
Clocked in a time every hour with a portrait for a year
Subjecting self to very intense things
Motives behind work?
“I will not make any more boring art”
Line/ text work
Takes things literally
punches in and out of her going to her studio – artist labourer
Portraits of David from ages 1 to 75
“David then and now” – 10 years later
Plays with nature and senses
Made recordings of glaciers
Mapped dead stars
“take care of yourself”
Got women to interpret the letter
Final Portrait Ideas
Take an idea and put it in a physical form:
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
Notes from 3 works of audio art
Artist 1: Anna Ripmeester – Pipes in “C”
Artist 2: Janet Cardiff’s – The Forty Part Motet
Play all of friend’s demos at once – layer
Kitchen fan & roommates harmonizing to it?
Something to do with record player
Guitar tuning of some sort
My roommates warm up sounds for her choir
Announcing things throughout the day…?
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.
Sol LeWitt: For All To See (Notes)
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 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
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 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
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?
“If I were an artist in the studio then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art”
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
Manifest mediums based on ideas
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.
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
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