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.