Julianna

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.

Hallie

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

Kaitlyn

WEEK 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?

Sol LeWitt:

“The idea is the machine that makes the art.” The planning that goes into the piece is more significant than the final work itself. Sol LeWitt creates the ideas and has others build them. “His hand” in the artwork is not really a hand at all, but more the thought process that goes into planning the artwork, or in other words, he is the “shadow hands” behind the work.. He made the idea, the plan, everything leading up to the final execution of the artwork. The concept of the work is more important than the final execution, and that is where the artist’s “hand” comes into play.

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.

Yoko Ono:

Yoko Ono creates interactive artworks that create a more conceptual challenge for the viewer, rather than aiming to create a complete and cohesive piece of art. The interactiveness of her work ranges from connecting with other people or the earth, (which I really appreciate as an earth-loving hippy) HA! While I appreciate connecting to others and the world around me, this can often be something that others avoid or forget to appreciate, which is what Ono tries to challenge the participants to overcome. These pieces are subjected to a lot of interpretation as they require the viewers to participate, react, and feel a connection. I think this is an excellent example of conceptual art because it becomes very personal to the viewer, pushing people out of their comfort zones and challenges them to remember the infinite beauty we have around us, and even teaches them genuine techniques for expressing emotions healthily.

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?

Bruce Nauman:

Artwork #1: Double Poke In The Eyes

I really enjoy this piece. It is just silly, fun, random and yet at the same time it is very simple. It is just a sign of two people poking each other in the eye at the same time. He “frames” this work as art by capturing a (somewhat) normal interaction between two people within a neon sign, turning a mundane action into a brightly coloured, eye-catching piece of artwork. The “framing” of this piece allows us to understand this representation of a human experience as a piece of art. 

Artwork #2: Walking in an exaggerated manner around the perimeter of a square (1967-68)

I like this piece as well because it forces us to reevaluate and think about how we walk around every day, which is in all honesty, something that all able-bodied people take for granted on a daily basis. Walking is such a normal thing in our everyday lives that we do not even think about it, we just simply DO it. Nauman “frames” walking as artwork through his exaggeration. He turns it into a piece of conceptual art by making the viewer stop and think about how they walk. He changes our experience of walking by, making us feel more aware of how we look to others.

1 Kilometre Project

For the 1Km project, I decided to demonstrate a kilometre by making it out of a sign. I went out for a walk with my dog, took a picture of a ‘MAXIMUM 40km’ sign that was along the road not too far from my home. I then cut it into 40 pieces and separated one from the rest. This one piece of the sign now represents 1km, as it is 1/40th of 40km.

WEEK 2:

Marina Abramovic

One Hour Photo Assignment: 

For my one-hour photo project, I sat under my kitchen island. My six-month-old puppy likes to relax and sit under the island when we are cooking, and it got me wondering if it would be a nice place to relax and maybe even meditate. I honestly thought this project would be easy. I meditate all the time when I am alone, but I did not anticipate all the distractions I would be encountering during the hour.

I was comfortable and relaxed for about five minutes before my puppy woke up from her nap and decided it was playtime. She was constantly harassing me, trying to shove her toy into my hand so I would play with her. She is teething, so at some points she even started biting my hand or my foot, which was extremely distracting and a bit painful, but I tried my best to stay still. After a while, I became slightly uncomfortable from sitting on such a hard surface for so long, but soon enough the timer went off and the hour was over. Ahhh, relief!

During the exercise, it was impossible to meditate, and it is very difficult to reflect on things when you have an animal with sharp teeth gnawing at your limbs, but one thing I was thinking about during the hour is how dedicated Marina Abramovic was to her artwork. She would sit in the same position for days or months, she would stay completely still and avoid all distractions. Her work is astonishingly impressive, but it got me wondering, how long would Abramovic last in performance if she was subjected to all the same distractions that I was? Her dedication to her artwork is incredible and I am unexplainably impressed by her and all that she does. 

(Also, my pup just got surgery so the pillow around her neck is meant to be like a dog cone to prevent her from touching her stitches, but the pillow is comfier, haha)

WEEK 3:

One sentence artist instructions:

Lee Walton/Making changes: Change the position of random objects found while walking in the city, then walk away

Lee Walton/Sitting:   Sit on a park bench uncomfortably close to a stranger and stay silent.

Jon Sasaki/Ladder Climb: Climb on an unsupported ladder as high as possible.

Jon Sasaki/Dead End, Eastern Market, Detroit: Drive a van into a narrow alleyway and then try to turn around

Lenka Clayton/The Distance I Can Be From My Son (Back Alley): Film your child roaming away from you until you feel you must catch up with them for their safety, then measure the distance.

Yuula Benivolski: Not available.

Defenestration Project:

For this assignment I dropped an apple off of my deck and let it fall to the ground below, it’s a pretty far drop so I thought I could get a good picture of it mid-air. I chose a simple fruit for this assignment: apple, because I wanted to showcase something that is completely ordinary and turn it into a work of art, just as any of these artists took something so simple, often completely normal, and changed it slightly for artistic and performative purposes. Would you ever normally see an apple randomly being dropped off of a deck into the snowy ground? I never have! For this project, I tried to play with different framing techniques to create some unique photos, and I tried my best to get an excellent shot, I don’t know how well I accomplished that but I fully enjoyed this project nonetheless!

WEEK 4:

There is something about Adad Hannah’s work that almost forces you to think about your own behaviour and the behaviour of those around us as human beings. An example of this is seen through Hannah’s Social Distancing Portrait series as people of all different ages, genders, and backgrounds are observed. Every person who participated in the series is completely unique, and yet they are all experiencing the same thing collectively, the global pandemic. We get to have a closer look through the 1 minute long portraits, allowing the viewer to almost develop a relationship to the participant. We get to see the isolation they are experiencing, while also knowing personally how it feels, and this creates a connection. The quotes that go along with these video portraits help to deepen that connection and creates a deeper understanding of that personal experience during this time, whether that be surrounding physical or mental health issues, financial security, or literally any other issues that have been caused or amplified by the pandemic. This series gives us a glimpse into the reality of what has been going on for the past year and how the pandemic has affected us all. 

I really enjoyed exploring the work of Adad Hannah and creating this piece with my Mom. We have spent every single day in our house for almost a year together, and while it has been difficult at times, it has been amazingly healing to have been able to have this time with her. I think it is really important to always count your lucky stars and really keep in mind the things you are grateful to have in your life, especially in times like this where the days just become boring and repetitive and blur together. So when I think of things I am grateful for having in my everyday life, my family always comes to mind, especially my mom and the connections I have to her. She is one of my greatest friends and I am so lucky to have gotten stuck with her this whole time. She loves cooking, so I wanted to capture her doing something she has done on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, just as Hannah featured within his work. One day Adad Hannah’s work will be a piece of history, and I am proud to contribute to that. 

Quote by Glenna (Mom): “The pandemic is hard for all of us, I miss seeing my friends, coworkers, having a solid everyday routine, but at least during all of this mess I’ve been able to spend my time with the people I love, in a lot of ways we are more fortunate than others, and for that I am grateful.”

Marjan

Week 1: Sol Lewitt, Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, & One Kilometre

On Sol Lewitt:

Sol Lewitt - The New York Times
Sol LeWitt’s “Wall Drawing #564,” at Paula Cooper Gallery.

I think that Sol Lewitt utilizes the inspiration derived from a vision in making his works come to real life. Especially in terms of conceptual art, where often artworks can’t necessarily be made by a singular artist. Conceptual art has a beautiful way of integrating a lot of different fields of knowledge and subsequently creating an interdisciplinary experience, even though at first glance it may not seem so. Lewitt’s genius is in letting the plan become more than just an artwork – the foundational blueprint for the piece creates a creative process with so many different layers: there’s someone doing measurements and tracings, someone checking colour codes, someone dabbing ink, and someone streaking ink. That blueprint pushes forward every member on that creative team to delegate their skills to finish the piece, is what the team refers to at all points in assembly, and essentially mechanizes all the processes needed to create his art. I think in terms of conceptual art, the artist’s hand, or power, is in concept, is in delegating task, and assembling parts that eventually make a whole work. Without the artist’s original concept, the work falls apart. The artist is essentially (at least in my opinion) playing with puppets to tell a story or explore an idea, but it’s important to remember that although the “puppets” are what we see, there is a figurative puppeteer above the stage, pulling the strings. His hand lies in the approval of the final realization of the concept – this in my opinion leads back to that interdisciplinary way of thinking. When you think of it that way, you can also consider chefs conceptual artists – they hold the concept, the recipe, and delegate to create that total vision – like if they’re opening a new restaurant. And at the end, the consumer’s investment is not just in the food itself, but in the total experience, in the amalgamation of all these cogs that came together to make an engine.

On Yoko Ono: I think if you are looking at Yoko Ono’s work and conceptual work as part of an experience, then her works do fulfill the definition of what conceptual art is, and is still within the boundary of art. I think the boundary would be that you are not directly shown the work. But I mean, ideally conceptual art doesn’t have a boundary, right? It’s interdisciplinary, it’s expansive, and it doesn’t have a label or limit. In that sense you can always argue that there are no boundaries to draw. The artworks themselves are essentially experiences. They’re essentially instructions, which is interesting because she divides the different tasks she gives you based on the experience or based on the connection it might have to the world around us or to a specific category. It’s very feeling-based or very grounded and in some natural elements as well, so the artworks are essentially self-experiential tasks. The end result of the work will always be different and ever-changing in the sense that she’s not providing the artwork, and is instead allowing the viewer to engage in conceptual art themselves by imagining the individuality of their work.  If you think of Sol Lewitt’s job in providing the blueprint, Yoko Ono similarly reflects this process, and she directly confronts the viewer to create their own experience through their unique understanding. The artwork is conceptual in Yoko Ono’s performance of the work, but also is conceptual in the sense that it is a conceptual extension of the person experiencing it. She creates this almost 4-dimensional or 5-dimensional sense of artwork where she’s relaying information and she’s allowing you to create the experience in  your own space and time. In my opinion she sort of functions as the trunk of a tree, while the roots are the persons consuming her art – extensions of her that overtime create their own network.

On Bruce Nauman: I think in examples like ‘Double Poke’ and ‘Wall/Floor Positions’, Nauman essentially questions the idea of how far the boundary lies in terms of understanding and visualizing work. As he defined himself, his profession automatically makes all of his actions art if he chooses, which in retrospect is a perfect conceptual ideology. In that art can come from anywhere, and that even in simple human gesture there can lie various meanings, and fields of depth that we might not see otherwise. It’s interesting because he does essentially create art out of different meanings, while continuing to explore his ideas of analyzing semantics and the limits of conceptual art/art. That might be my favorite part about Bruce Nauman – that he uses language and semantics as a material to visualize.

Double Poke in the Eye

Bruce Nauman - Double Poke in the Eye II, 1985 | Phillips

In this piece, the shifting of each hand positions creates several stories of violence, in more and more extreme degrees. There’s a great contradiction in the neon-colouring versus the actual signs themselves that creates both a sense of amusement – but also uncomfortable-ness. The lighting shifting back and forth creates a sense of depth – and literally reflects the idea of “layered meanings”, as each light shift creates a different story. There’s clearly an exploration of language and a sense of social commentary here (although I’d have to do more research to discern the exact context) – and in the neon experimentation, the continuous cycling visual imagery – therein lies the art, in my opinion.

Wall/Floor Positions, 1968

Werkdetailseite ::: Sammlung Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main

Because Nauman has the idea that all of his actions are accountable as part of his art practice – this work is quite on the nose – although the work itself is photography, he seems to be creating gesture as the specific art form. The stills of him moving his body in different ways comes together as a collage of something somewhat silly (especially the full butt shot – it’s somewhat porn-y (is that a word?) to me which is hilarious). But besides the fact that Nauman is again using language and his understanding of art to create gesture – I see a more layered understanding of the gesture here that I really like. Throughout art and art history the human body is painted as a figure of respect, as an idol almost. Think of Da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’, or Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’. In these works, the human body is exalted. I think what Nauman is doing is altering our understanding of human anatomical art. He’s pushing the boundary of how the human figure can be seen in art, how even a butt shot can be considered an artistic form of expression. He takes gesture, and pushes it to the extreme or the silly, to question the meaning of it, and that becomes his art.

Kilometre Exercise: I initially had some trouble with deciding on how to measure my kilometre, so I initially delved into what I relate kilometres to in my everyday life. After some thought, I realized that often in conversations with my family, they sometimes remind me of how they travelled halfway across the world, almost 11,000 km, to immigrate to Canada. In thinking of that, I decided to investigate the connections I have to my heritage, and how I might measure that with what I have around me. My mind immediately went to saris, which I’ve collected over the years, from trips to Bangladesh and from my mother as well. To give some context, saris are a traditional South-Asian women’s garment that simply consist of one long piece of cloth – which is draped around and tied to stay in place. Here’s a picture of the most common style of sari (this was me in 2017) and of what it looks like, I’m sure it’s familiar to most.

Little old me pre-COVID (aha good times)

Sari length can vary based on region and style, but the saris that I have and Bengali style saris are often about 9 meters long. Sari blouses are often custom made – the fabric for them are made as part of the sari, and after purchase the wearer will separate the fabric for the blouse and make it in the style they prefer. The fabric for the blouse is usually an additional 1.5 meters long. I have some saris with the blouse already made (since I’ve worn them before) and some with the blouse fabric still attached. I decided to make a kilometre of my saris, sort of as a kilometre of my history and roots. Subsequently, this is the math I did: I counted each sari as 10.5 meters total (with the blouse fabric included)

So: 1 km = 1000 meters, 1000 meters/10.5 meters = 95.2= ~95 saris total.

After I did this math, I wasn’t even sure I had that many saris! I raided my closet and our storage closets and collected all the saris I could find and did an initial time-lapse video to count exactly 95 sarees! Turns out I had more than that too! Then I laid them all out on my bed (see below) and took a picture of every one of them individually as well. Here are the depiction(s) of my kilometre below:

All my saris stacked on my bed
A timelapse of my counting 95 saris.

Week 2: Marina Abramovic & Stillness Exercise

On Marina Abramovic: I just want to make a short comment on Abramovic after viewing her work and watching her film – on something that I think she does and that I actually really like. I really respect Marina Abramovic’s work in the sense that she relinquishes control of her body, but in the same sense, gains power in the freedom she allows her body to undergo. She lets others see and explore their own mistreatment of her body and gender (especially depending on the work), rather than necessarily only internalizing that feeling. From my personal experiences in looking at her work – I think that is why she is so comfortable and masterful with performance – I think that in the experience of it she finds a sense of inner understanding and peace – and she’s able to reflect that energy to her viewers – which in turn creates that cathartic experience for the participant. Even in her pieces that are mostly meant to engage with others – that release of control allows the participant to feel comfortable enough to do so themselves – and that is where you get those rare moments that people dream of having with Abramovic, where in sitting with her they get to delve into their deepest self. In her piece “Art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful”, I really connected with the internal frustration, the sense of female rage that emanated from her action. Aside from her dedication to the action, there was a true involvement in the emotion behind her statement. The action itself is a direct testament to the feeling – women in my opinion are often not simply respected for their work, but must also be considered societally attractive for their work to be respected, and for them to be respected. I think with time this is changing, but the feeling is exactly that – you become trapped in your vanity because it is the only way you can be respected – but in the process, you feel like tearing your own hair out.

1 Hour Stillness Exercise: For this project, I had some experimentation and some trouble-shooting I went through. At first I sat in the corner platform of my stairs – we have a bunch of plants there. However, my mom runs a home daycare, and so not long into the process the kids my mom supervises see me at the top of the stairs and ask questions, as expected. So I ended up breaking my hour-long session, and decided to try again.

Soon after though, I took notice of a small space in my room, in between my desk and my bed. That space is always unoccupied, and I noticed that it was just wide enough for me to fit in. It made me think of the gap between my desk and my bed – which know have become most of my world, and how often I feel like I’m in limbo between the two. And looking at this space, I felt exactly that. I also decided to really try to take the hour to reassess myself, and truly spend an hour with myself. I did this twice as well – my first try was a bit of a fail and I wasn’t as still as I would’ve liked, so I tried again in a second position (as seen below). I had a lot of racing thoughts, but I think it was nice to sit and analyze myself, go over where I’ve been failing recently, where I’ve been struggling, where I’ve been thriving, etc. It’s been a super tough year – the hour to myself was really nice. At times I itched to get up and get back to work – and that was the worst struggle. I had to push myself to stay seated or in position. I felt so depleted, but I also felt like I had to get up and work. I kind of realized that being busy should not really be synonymous with being burnt out. I had to push myself to realize that it is okay to slow down, to enjoy myself. I often feel guilty when I’m not working on something, but I realized that I’m allowed to slow down and figure out why that is.

I had a really tough year (2020 and ongoing) with mental wellness – and it’s something I’m still working on and that I’ve also never experienced before. This exercise made me realize how mentally strong Marina Ambramovic must be – because there is a strength in being still, with only yourself. I think often many of us might be in go mode as a way to avoid our inner emotions and how we’re feeling. But Marina not only allows herself time, but she shares her self with others – and practices a full vulnerability in life that is truly admirable.

And in terms of the physicality as well – it’s much harder than it seems – whether sitting or otherwise. I finally understood how Kathryn (in class) described feeling – your body almost rejects the feeling and begins to react to the process. There’s a real physical effort in staying still. When sitting down my legs fell asleep twice and I had to extend them out because they were in so much pain. My back hurt, my bum hurt from sitting for so long, my neck hurt. When I was on my knees it was somewhat easier actually – I had very focused breathing however because somehow all my muscles were engaged – I felt like I was in a yoga pose almost. Marina’s training and art is truly full of so much depth and passion, more than I realized.

My failed attempt (I ended up moving quite a bit, and I probably stayed about 20 mins longer than I needed to BECAUSE I felt bad for moving)
My final (and relatively successful) 1 hour stillness exercise – my hands moved quite and I’m breathing pretty heavy – but I was happy with this one overall!

Week 3: Lee Walton, John Sasaki, Lenka Clayton, John Baldessari & Defenestration

On Lee Walton – Getting a feel for things: I like the integration of conceptual art as an exploration of semantics (kind of like Bruce Nauman) – especially now where almost all dialogue is often politicized (whether it’s done in due course or is unwarranted) – so I think Walton sort of prophesized the ridiculousness of semantics and how semantics can be even artistically configured to fit an exploration. It also allows art to be more comical and humorous – this sort of breaks down that barrier that might exist when we think of conceptual art – as he takes conceptual art quite literally.

My 6 Sentences

Lee Walton:

1) In any setting, move one object from it’s original place, and once you are satisfied, quietly go about your day.

2) Sit closely and quietly beside a stranger, and enjoy the company in silence.

John Sasaki:

3) On a sunny day, uselessly attempt to climb an unsupported ladder.

4) Drive your van into a narrow alleyway, and then proceed to turn back the other way.

Lenka Clayton:

5) Test how long you can bear separation anxiety from your toddler.

Exercise: Defenestrate objects. Photograph them in mid-air: I was quite unsure of how I wanted to go about this project. I didn’t have too many items I was comfortable throwing around. And then one night I was looking out my window and I realized that I wanted to explore how objects might look in the night. Eventually I came across the items I wanted to use as well. At first I experimented with a newspaper roll – but it felt sort of boring to be honest, I wasn’t interested in seeing how it might visualize because it had no individual movement and character.

Newspaper – a failed attempt in my opinion

But then I realized: I might have just the thing. My birthday passed earlier this month – and one of my lovely friends had a balloon bouquet sent to my home. I took it apart and played around with throwing ribbon, the balloon portion and a gold foil weight – I had my mom throw them in the air whilst I tried to capture some images – and I really like the variation of light and movement that came from the process and that you can see in all the photos – I also unintentionally had included the moon in some of the photos and I quite like the effect is created:

Below are the images I took for the gold weight in the air – my personal favorite. There’s an effect of bright light and some great movement – it creates the image of something like a firework that really nicely contrasts the greyness of the sky surrounding it.

These are the photos of the ribbon thrown in the air and the balloons (below): I especially like the last balloon photos – the variation in camera focus created this lovely nostalgic tone and the colour scheme in the photo is so cohesive – it’s just a very satisfying photo:

Week 4: Adad Hannah & Social Distancing Artwork

On Adad Hannah: Adad Hannah’s work is interesting in that he investigates human behaviour by paralleling the experience in his artwork. His videos (both during the pandemic) and prior to, like the Burgher’s of Vancouver create a reaction in the viewer similar to Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present, where the viewer begins to analyze and monitor their own behaviour and emotion in response to the video of other individuals engaging in stillness.

There’s also a different power to a still video because that subtlety of movement (the humanistic shake) allows you as a viewer to imagine, to really feel the natural rhythm of the figure in each video, what their movements would probably feel and look like.

Adad Hannah observes people of every type it seems – he’s diverse in his selection and seems to select people in very naturalistic settings and routines. They’re different in their occupations, their lifestyles, and more, but through Hannah’s lens (and beyond) they get a moment to stand in solidarity whilst facing their lives during COVID-19. The portraits are like a snapshot in time – the environment continues naturally – people walk by and are unbothered. I think the importance lies in the simple humanity of these people. Especially when COVID-19 is looked at and investigated in a very wide-scale statistical way, it’s really nice to be able to focus on the individual journey each of us have in going through COVID, and how often sharing experiences can be so monumental in moving through it – again, in a time where almost everyone is learning to function more independently and more alone, Hannah’s videos are an insight to our collective human experiences, especially within the few moments we have outside of our homes.

I experimented with two Adad Hannah-style videos. My parents did not want to be filmed, so my options were pretty limited. I was speaking with my younger brother and we both sort of realized that our relationship with screen-time really changed during COVID-19 – so I decided I wanted to explore what that relationship might look like for each of us.

I was sure to center our figures as much as possible, like Hannah so we were the main focus, but my portraits do differ in that my brother engages with the camera, while I do not. Our videos are also inside. I do think my brother’s is the stronger of the two, my video was just initial experimentation. Mine took a bit of extra work – I had to tape my phone to my ceiling, and I think that the distance was 2-3m, whereas my brother’s video was definitely filmed from 5 feet away.

My portrait: (Volume will be a little loud!) My quote: “I’ve never been more glued to my laptop and at the same time I’ve never hated it so much. As someone social and talkative, I really miss large-scale human interaction, more than I can say. I’ve been trying to keep things light by watching animation movie analysis videos on Youtube – learning “useless” information (especially about the Shrek movies) is kind of my guilty pleasure during COVID.”
My brother’s portrait – Quote: “I started school now so it’s not too bad. I mean COVID sucks but I always game with my friends so it’s not too boring. Sometimes I miss playing basketball with my friends, and I wish Maa and Baba wouldn’t bug me so much about video games. What else am I supposed to do?”

Madelyn – with a “y”

Week One

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?

  • The thought and planning that goes into the piece is more important than the final product. The idea is what drives the piece, it’s what makes the ‘machine’ produce
  • The artist’s actual hand wasn’t technically in the final execution, but he didn’t need to be because his hand was in everything else leading up to it: the planning, the concept, and the decisions
  • Because it was conceptual art, it’s the idea that carries the piece, not just the final product

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.

  • These artworks seem to be very interactive with viewers and friends. I think the only boundaries are ensuring the safety of others so no one gets hurt in the process of creating the pieces. They all seem to be fairly harmless though so I don’t think that would be an issue 
  • The artworks are interactive, and cause you to either engage with other people, or the earth. They’re pieces that have to do with shadows, the sun, footprints, or shaking hands, sending letters to your friends
  • To challenge the viewers, Ono is encouraging them to interact with other people or the world around them which is often something people avoid. Often us humans get caught up in our busy lives that we forget to engage with others or forget to appreciate the beauty of our planet. Ono’s pieces may put people out of their comfort zone and challenge them to be more attentive to what’s occurring around them.
  • I like the artwork where you make a numbered list of times you’ve felt sad and get a pile of rocks that correspond with that number. Then she says to burn the list and appreciate the beauty of the pile of rocks. I think this piece is amazing because it allows someone to acknowledge their sorrows, but not live in them, and encourages the person to look at the beauty in their sorrows at the same time. Not only is this art, but it is an opportunity for someone to pay attention to their emotions and deal with them in a healthy way

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. Double Poke in the Eye

BruceNauman-DoublePoke.jpg

I think this piece is hilarious. It is a simple (and very random) action of two people poking each other in the eyes, yet it is framed in a way to make it art. The fact that it is captured in neon, the banal act is glorified and exaggerated. You simply cannot miss this piece due to its bright colours and flashy performance.

2) Walking in an exaggerated manner around the perimeter of a square

Walking-in-an-exaggerated-manner-around-the-perimeter-of-a-square-1967-68-10-min.ppm

In this piece, Nauman did exactly as it was titled; he walked in an exaggerated manner around the perimeter of a square. He took the most banal act ever (walking) and made it into art. To frame this action as art, Nauman created this piece like how Sol Lewitt created his. The art is in the process, in Nauman’s planning, in the painting of the square on the ground, in the thought process behind his movements, and in the setting up of the camera. It’s not just Nauman’s final performance that is considered art, it is all of the leading up to it as well. 

Kilometer Assignment

keeping a strong friendship,

is harder than it seems.

like a plant that needs some water,

our relationship, it needs:

memories to hold on to, and

experiences to gain.

to keep this union going, to

each other we must

remain.

This is an acrostic poem spelling out the word “kilometer”. When you think about a kilometer, your first thought is usually distance. I reflected on that and I began thinking about what distance looks like nowadays, during a pandemic when you feel so close yet so far from all your friends and family. When there’s physical distance separating a relationship, it’s important to remember to continue making memories, putting effort into reconnecting, and encouraging one another as you maintain your bond. This poem is a reminder that distance is okay, but we can’t forget to reach out to one another if we want to keep growing alongside each other.

Week Two

Marina Abramovic:

Art must be beautiful:

  • What I appreciate most about this piece is her devotion to her craft. She put 100% of her effort into the artwork to ensure her performance was as moving as it was. The vigorous brushing of her hair was a statement that not only emphasized the meaning of the piece, but also shows that she is willing to sacrifice her body, and the health of her hair, to achieve the performance she was intending to portray.
  • My overall impression: being completely honest, this made me very uncomfortable and I didn’t enjoy it at all. At one point in my life after I bleached my hair many times, some pieces started to fall out so hearing her hair ripping as she brushed through it, made me very uncomfortable. 

Relation in time:

  • I found it fascinating how they did 16 hours leading up to the final performance and the last hour was the section they allowed viewers to experience it
  • The visual of the effect of this action over time was very powerful; you could see their hair loosening, their posture becoming more relaxed, and their eyes closing. This shows her dedication, no matter how sore their backs are, or tired they are, they still pushed through to fulfill the performance

Breathing in/Breathing Out:

  • This piece seemed to be the most dangerous of all of them. It’s almost as if they were signing up to be slowly suffocated. 
  • I think the overall message is really powerful – relationships that are so dependent on the other person, leaves you getting hurt. In a relationship, both people must be whole themselves and know how to live on their own without needing the other person. 
  • The piece called “Rest Energy” also has the same effect – it is portraying the potential damage that can occur when there is a lot of trust in a relationship

The Artist is Present:

  • I love how she says there’s 3 different types of Marinas – one is the product of two national heroes and she can do anything she puts her mind to, another is a child whose mother didn’t love her enough, and the last is a person who is able to tap into more spiritual levels
  • The artist “bootcamp” that she did seemed to be very fascinating. All of the exercises they did focused on experiencing earth in new ways and paying attention to the little things. They sat outside with a blindfold on, they counted different colours of grains of rice, and they stared at each other in the eyes
  • “The hardest thing to do is next to nothing” you have to rely on your own energy and nothing else
  • It takes a lot of physical strength do do all of her performances, especially ro do nothing for such a long period of time
  • A lot of her performances required fasting, silence, and no motion. Completely avoiding all distractions
  • The relation projects – the more successful the performance was, the worse their relationship got in private
  • “I feel like I’m Marie Antoinette going to get her head cut off” she says as she’s walking to begin her exhibit Artist is Present
  • My Takeaways on her final performance “Artist is Present”: 
    • The most touching part for me was when Ulay sat in front of her and she broke the idea of sitting still
    • The act of her reaching out to him and showing the emotion on her face reminded the viewers that she is a human being and not just a motionless, lifeless machine 
    • “Without Ulay, the audience is her lover”
    • Talking about her looking down before looking at the new person in front of her “everyone gets a clean and personal contact with Marina”
    • “She’s treating each person with the same amount of contact and attention”
    • “There’s so many reasons why people come to sit in front of me. Some are angry, some are curious… and you feel incredible pain… When they’re sitting in front of me, it’s not about me anymore. Soon I’m just the mirror of their own self.” – Marina
    • “For most masterpieces, people sit in front of it for around 30 second. Most people sit in front of Marina for a whole day”
    • My final thoughts: it was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. When you think about the concept or even talk about it with others, sitting and staring at people every single day for months seems absurd. The thought of people having such an emotional and spiritual response also seemed to be a little extreme, but once I saw the documentary I grew more of an appreciation and understanding of Marina’s work. I found it so fascinating how dedicated she was to the execution of the “Artist Is Present”, and how she ensured that each encounter got the same amount of attention from her. 

One Hour Photo

In my attic, there is a torn apart old chair wedged up into this ‘window nook’. It is a very sad corner because we didn’t know what we should do with the nook, and we had no other place to put the deteriorating chair. Even though I forget about this corner all the time, there is one creature who doesn’t; my roommates cat. She loves this chair. She climbs on it, sleeps on it, sits on it and stares out the window. She can spend hours on that chair. So that got me thinking, if a cat can spend so much time on this chair, can I sit on it for an hour?

I was up for the challenge. I set a timer and tried to find the most comfortable position (leaning my head and knees on the window like in the photo). Going into this task, I honestly thought it would be easy for me since I’m the type of person who naturally can do nothing for hours on end. The first (what I think was) 15 minutes were easy, I people watched and thought a lot. I wasn’t feeling antsy at all because I was able to occupy myself with my own thoughts. What I think was halfway, was when my back started to hurt and my butt became numb. That wasn’t fun, but I still wasn’t bored at all because I kept myself busy by looking at people outside and guessing their lives. Then I remembered got really cold towards the end of it and I kept hearing my roommates downstairs so I got a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out). I tried to listen to the muffled conversation to figure out what they’re talking about, which kept me busy for another while. The timer went off sooner than I anticipated, however as I was sitting there, I was eager for the time to be up since I was cold and a little sore.

Overall, this task was a little bit more challenging than I thought it would be for me. It is surprising how physically demanding it is to simply do nothing. As I was sitting there for only an hour, I reflected on the countless days and months Marina Abramovic sat in the exact same position on a rigid wooden chair. Since she faced many new people every day, I can see how she could keep her mind busy and entertained, but it is how long she did that for, and the sacrifices she had to do for her artwork that really impressed me. She fasted every single day, she probably had to train her body, and I am sure she suffered from pain and bodily harm after each day of sitting. After getting a little sore from just one hour, I have so much respect for Abramovic and I admire her so much more for her dedication to her art.

Week 3

Video 1 – Move and manipulate other people’s objects without causing a great disturbance.

Video 2 – Sit right next to a stranger like you know them, while ignoring all the other places you could have sat.

Video 3 –  try climbing a free standing ladder.

Video 4 – Try turning a big van around in a very tight space.

Video 5 – As a parent, see how far you can let her child aimlessly wander away without following them.

Video 6 – Not available

For this assignment I don’t have a window that can open completely, so I threw an object off my balcony. In deciding what object I wanted to throw, I was thinking about finding something light that can be carried and pushed around by the wind. I thought a feather or bubbles would be interesting but then I went to blow my nose, and I thought of just throwing a tissue instead (a clean tissue of course). When I threw it off the balcony, I loved how the action didn’t come from me throwing the tissue. It came from the wind that immediately swooped in to toss it around in the street. I didn’t even have to be there for the movement to occur, I could’ve just let the wind do its thing. I also found it interesting how it moved like how I would imagine a snowflake would move because they’re both flat and light objects. It was funny how the tissue blended into the white snow, to the point where my roommate who was taking pictures for me couldn’t keep track of where the tissue was. As it landed it folded itself neatly into a little square, seeming as though it was preparing to tuck itself back into a tissue box.

Week 4

This video is a one minute “quarantine” portrait of my mother. She is a teacher and is currently back in the classrooms for in person learning after several weeks of online school. My mom has found quarantine challenging, but the most difficult part has been teaching and guiding her young students through online platforms. To escape from the stress of it all, she loves to go for walks on trails nearby. This one is her favourite and she especially loves the many routes it can go. For this video, she chose to be looking at the map of the conservation area to capture the many possibilities the trails can take you. “I just love coming here and going for walks right as the sun is setting. The tops of the trees glow and the sun shines through the cracks of the trees. It’s so beautiful, it helps me calm down after a busy day at work” she says.