Jackie’s Work

WEEK 11: Cake, Tea & Best Shirts

I don’t have baking soda or cocoa – so I improvised with baking powder, and crushed mini eggs. And much to my surprise, it wasn’t awful to eat! Though, it wasn’t amazing to eat either haha. Yet somehow, I kept taking bites every time I was in the kitchen. I really like the mini eggs in it actually, the crunch of the candy shells is nice. I’ll probably pick up some baking soda and try again, and it’s sooooo sweet, I’ll probably cut way down on the sugar too.

Of course, I had to take a scan of a bite of my class cake!

In class I mentioned that my best t-shirt was a shirt by a band, The Boo Radley Project. They’re a great local band (Elora/Guelph/Toronto). They took parts of each member’s face to collage them into the above masterpiece.

Since I love sharing music, here’s my favourite song of theirs. You can even get your very own t-shirt here.

(Full disclosure: My nephew is the drummer 😀 )

WEEK 10/11: Food Art

Update of work in progress: Scanned Food

I tried another way of scanning my first bite… just the bite, spit out on the printer bed, before being chewed. I think I might have a winner!

Though, I do kinda still like these ones too. I like the look of the scanned saliva. I think it makes the image more difficult to know what you’re looking at. It looks like it has the consistency of the white of a raw egg.

WEEK 10: Food Art

Work in progress: Scanned Food

For my scanning food idea, I decided to focus on “The First Bite”. I wanted to play on the idea of how we always want to savour and remember the first bite of something delicious.

I took a few test scans to compare a few possible approaches. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the images and what works best and any other ideas/feedback.

Warning – it’s gross – but hopefully in a good way!

I’ve started a list of what I was eating for meals/snacks, and at what time, and then, photocopied my first bites. I tried a few different ways to see what works best. I think it’s safe to say that the Pipillotti Rist video work Be Nice to Me influenced me more than I realized when we first watched it!

NOT CHEWED

CHEWED

CHEWED BITES

Some Thoughts:
– I think the images of just the food are the strongest. Especially when I crop them to be more close up (see below)
– I could try taking a bite, and spitting it out before chewing (not sure why I didn’t think of that).
– The face ones are a little better when I really zoom in, to abstract it from being so obvious what you’re looking at.



Presentation:
– I’ve started a list of what I eat, and at what time, but I’m not sure if it should be included in any way.
– Sometimes I picture laying it out like a book, with a big image on one side, and on the other, just very small text in the center of the page, saying what it is.
– If I go along the “memories of my first bites”, maybe including dates/times is good?
– I also thought if not a book, it could be a webpage or Instagram account.

A lot of decisions to make still!

WEEK 9: Food Art

Lecture notes/brainstorming/research (that turned into a proposal in class)

This assignment reminded me of this work of art (?) that I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to unsee it since. Blarg. So gross, but I can’t look away… 0_o

I saw this work by Joseph Beuys that someone shared on Instagram and thought it was an interesting idea. The one on the right is by Beuys and the one on the left is by someone else using a more modern light bulb. The bright yellow in these images is so nice. This work actually reminds me of an assignment I’m currently working on for Special Topics in Sculpture with Nestor. We have to choose two objects in our space, and design and print a 3D object that can be used to connect them to each other, to form new meanings and relationships.

I did a quick Google search for “Joseph Beuys Food Art” to see if he had more food sculptures, but I didn’t see any right away. However, I did see that he (and Lucrezia De Domizio Durini) have a book called the Art of Cooking!

It looks like I great book. I was able to find these images online. I really like the design of the layout, and the style of writing, like a journal, processing thoughts and memories about food and all of its connections and relationships. Despite food being so colourful, I like the decision to publish black and white images too, it makes it feel like a historical document, and therefore more important, crucial. I checked the UoG library, and unfortunately, they don’t have a copy.

Images borrowed from here.

Joseph Beuys also has this typed list of foods, complete with grease stains. It reminds me of one of my mom’s handwritten recipes that I kept, (for chicken Diane!). Have you ever had it? My intention is to eventually frame her recipe to hang in my kitchen, I think I might borrow the way they framed Beuys’ list.

Image from here, where you can zoom in to see detail.

Maybe there’s an art project idea somewhere in her recipe?

Here are some other ideas I’ve been fiddling around with this past week…

Abstracted photography/video…

**SOUND ON**

Scanning/Photocopying food…

I haven’t quite found the idea I want to propose for our final assignment, but I’m working on it!

WEEK 8 & 9: Bread

Notes/Research/Reflections

I love bread. I love bread so much that I am in complete denial that the bloating and discomfort I experience after consuming too much of it, has any relation at all. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

One of the main takeaways I had from listening to the bread podcast, was it reminding me how much I loved it when my mom or aunts would bake beat leaf bread. Soooo delicious. Memories of it came flooding back and I could smell it and my mouth started salivating for its garlicky goodness.

My mom’s side of the family is Ukranian, and the podcast made me realize that food is really the only part of that culture that has been passed down through generations. Perogies, cabbage rolls, and beat leaf bread are a few of my favourite foods, and were staples of our Christmas dinners. My 3 sisters have all taken to cooking and baking, and are really good at it, but I always joke that that gene skipped over me. They are all really good at making all 3 of those Ukrainian foods, but because it all seems so involved as processes, I’ve never bothered to try – until Experimental III made me!

One of my less desirable traits is my resistance to picking up/enjoying things that have become popular/trendy/mainstream. When locked down first happened, it was impossible to check my social media feeds without seeing someone else’s loaf of bread. “Big deal! You made bread!” I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. Sometimes I can be this guy from Portlandia:

As I mentioned in class, I figured that bread was becoming the quarantine craze because it was a way to pass the time. I was surprised after reading/following your (Diane’s) instructions that it was so quick and easy. And after I took my first bite, I was so thankful that this assignment forced me to get over myself and just bake bread! It was so simple and so tasty to eat. The loaf didn’t last a day.

I’m going to try baking beat leaf bread next! 😀

WEEK 8: Video-art

FINAL PROJECT

Hi Everyone, Tori here!

Jackie and I knew from the beginning that we wanted to share a meal on zoom/teams. We saw this as a modern way to connect through technology and maintain the connection involved with sharing a meal together. We decided to go with cake based on it’s large size and celebratory aesthetic qualities! We researched the popular phenomenon of Mukbang on Youtube. Many viewers simply want to watch people eat interesting foods while having conversations. For our video, based on the test shots … we found that the “in-between moments” were most interesting in our conversations. We also wanted the video itself to be about the cake and eating (big bites) not our conversations. We both got the same cake and sat at our kitchen counters. Although we are in different towns, there was something funny and connecting about eating the same thing. We would have experienced the same tastes (much like sharing one cake together in person). I think of this project as an ode to all the lost birthdays and celebrations lost due to isolation in this time. Cake is symbolic of happiness and partying… and I find lots of people are a little bit depressed based on the lack of social interactions. We found a way to draw attention to the unity that can be achieved via technology.

One could also read this bizarre video from a feminist viewpoint. Women are pushed towards taking up little space and being as thin as possible (watching what they eat). So it’s interesting when we stare into the camera and take huge bites of cake. I would almost read this as a rebellion if I didn’t know our prompt.

Anyhow, it was a wonderful time to chat and eat cake together in this strange circumstance. I enjoy that our private conversation is unknown to the viewer and they may wonder what we discussed.

Jackie’s Post-Production Reflections:

When we were going through the video recordings from our Teams brainstorming/test shooting session, the in-between moments, when we weren’t speaking were so interesting. You could see our internal wheels spinning as we worked through the idea.

Our grand scheme was to re-create those, while eating cake over a casual conversation, however I don’t feel like we pulled it off. The cake eating video, to me, seems so self-conscience and forced. Tori and I are pals, and have met over Teams to keep each other company and gab about the semester, so we figured we could just have one of our normal conversations. Our final video is natural, but unfortunately not AS natural.

Afterward, I got an idea for a similar, but bigger and slightly different project. To have participants (at least 12 maybe?) sit alone in a room, in front of a camera and a cake, while audio plays for them. There would be at least 3 different audios, maybe a podcast about bread, stand-up comedy and a montage of Donald Trump speeches.

I see it as a video grid installation, of people eating cake, while reacting to the audio. The audio would be silent to the installation viewer, but there would be 3 pairs of headphones displayed next to the screen (this is obviously for a post-Covid world), each one playing one of the audios. The viewers could put them on, and then watch the 12 screens to try and see if they can figure out who was listening to the same audio.

WEEK 7: Video work con’t…

Jackie & Tori’s Video Collab:
Test shots, questions & storyboard

Based on the great feedback we got from everyone in class last week, we decided to go with the eat cake idea, as it seemed to get the most enthusiasm.

We called each other on Microsoft Teams to see how the videos displayed and recorded, and to play around with ideas. Teams is tricky to work with as an artist because what you see, isn’t what gets recorded! The recorded video ends up reversed from what we were seeing as we recorded.

As I was editing all of our questions together, I noticed that the in-between speaking moments were almost more interesting. So I slapped this together to see what it would look like.

Tori also drew us up some storyboard ideas to use as a guide for framing shots and following the same flow of actions.

Jackie’s Notes on artists/artworks on blog

WEEK 6: Video work

Jackie & Tori’s Video Collab:
Proposal

We have 3 ideas that we are interested in exploring. The first two involve just Tori and Jackie, the other one requires a full class (or close to it) collaboration. Here are the ideas:

Idea 1: Internal Dialogues

This idea was inspired by issues brought up in the article by Vivian Castro that was assigned for us to read/consider. In it, Castro asks a series of questions to consider…

“How do we construct our thoughts and express them to others in a mediated and strange space?”

“Are we expressing everything we want to?”

“Do we have trouble making connections between thoughts?”


She also mentions that in psychological studies on video meetings, that our minds need to work harder to focus and process non-verbal features.

Based on this, what we are proposing is:

A video of two people (Jackie and Tori) engaging in a typical Zoom meeting. Maybe 2-5 minutes long, guided by an agenda of school work content. We would then overlap audio tracks of our individual internal dialogues that are taking place during the video call.

Examples:
– Struggling with when we can interject with a point we think we need to make…
– Looking at our own physical attributes and feeling insecure…

The script for the internal dialogue would be written after the initial video meeting call is recorded, and it would be written to correspond to body language, gazes, and any fidgeting that occurs during the meeting.

The idea/goal of the video:
To illustrate how overwhelming and physically, mentally, visually and audibly exhausting the experience of video call meetings can be.

Artist Influences:
Artist examples are Richard Serra’s Boomerang with Nacy Holt, which came up in the Castro article. We like the irritation of the audio feedback.

Another video work to consider as far as overlapping audio is concerned is Paul Wong’s Miss Chinatown.


Idea 2: Sending Food and Eating Together

Inspired by Mukbang video art: Internet eating culture

What is a Mukbang?:

This video phenomenon is a recently popular Korean trend known as an eating show. A Mukbang is an online audiovisual broadcast in which a host consumes large quantities of food while interacting with the audience. The performance is often done on streaming platforms like Youtube or Twitch. Korea has always shown cultural pride in its healthy eating practices and strict etiquette. Recently, people have shown interest in observing people consume elaborate/ large quantities of comfort food.

Connection to video collabs and the pandemic :
Food has always been a popular way to bond with someone. Sharing a meal implies a level of closeness and safety. Every culture has specific customs that accompany meal sharing. Now that we are separated physically, many people crave physical contact and closeness. Bars and restaurants have been shut down and visiting people in their homes is largely discouraged. Sharing a meal online would be a way to adapt to the pandemic and still enjoy that connection of friendship over food.

Artist Influence: Rirkrit Tiravanija‘s Untitled (Free)

the artist moved the contents of the gallery’s back rooms into the exhibition space, placing the business of art on display, and transformed the emptied office into a temporary kitchen, where he prepared Thai vegetable curry and served it free to anyone who wanted it.”

The core idea:
Jackie and Tori order each other food through Uber Eats and have it delivered to the other person’s house.

We then open and eat our meals together on a Zoom or Team meeting.

Why we would do it:
Cooking food for each other is a love language. Hospitality and preparing a meal for someone is a way to demonstrate that you care for the person. Food fuels the body, making sure someone has a good meal implies that you’re taking care of their basic survival needs.

In 2020, we cannot prepare a meal for the other or welcome them into our home. Doing this project would demonstrate us making use of the existing technologies to adapt to the situation and still provide nourishment to the other.

It would be that same gesture of hospitality with the intimacy of eating together, on a virtual pandemic safe platform.

Idea 3: class twister collab

Concept: class twister game via zoom

Everyone is on one zoom call in their individual squares. 

The video is captured by a screen recording of the session. 

We print out and distribute spinners or dice to the class that have the various categories (left foot, nose, right eyeball, right hand etc). This object would function like the twister spinner. Everyone spins their spinner and all at once, we put that body part up to the camera.  

This exercise would function like playing a party game together but in a virtual way. 

We can’t play real twister together because of CIVID-19, so virtual twister will be the next best thing. It will also create a visually dynamic shot to have all the body parts approaching their camera at once. Making the viewer feel like limbs are jumping out at them.

WEEK 6: Video-Art

Research & Notes (so far)

WEEK 5: Social Distancing Video Portraits

FINAL PROJECT

Social Distancing Video Portrait 01 (Jackie’s experimental studio edition).
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Ardin
– –
“It hasn’t been that bad. I’ve noticed not being able to travel. Going into the city when they lock down and stuff is less of an option, so you’re more just locally focused. But our town hasn’t made massive changes because of Covid. So, it’s pretty similar, apart from the lockdown, which was very different, because I was in my apartment for 2 months.”
– –
Music/Sound courtesy of the video’s environment
Turn on the sound – uncropped videos always in my story
– –
More to come
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These videos are all shot from at least 5m away with an iPhone X. These unedited videos try to record in real-time this strange period we are all in together. Inspired by Adad Hannah.

– –
Jackie’s notes on this video: This is my brother-in-law, Ardin. Him and my sister Becky own The Friendly Society restaurant in Elora. I had originally asked my sister if she would participate and she said yes, but when I got to Elora, she chickened out and asked her husband to instead.

I used Nathan’s tip and sliced into a toilet paper roll to make a tripod, and I set it up on a large concrete traffic barrier. It worked well, however it was a very windy day, and it wasn’t sturdy enough to withstand the wind, so the video isn’t totally still.

I did two takes of this shot because near the end of the first video, a passerby says something to us and then walks behind Ardin in the shot and my immediate thought was that he ruined it because that doesn’t happen in Adad’s videos (that I saw). Ultimately, I decided to use the video with the interruption for my final project because it makes me smile. The interrupter is “Stahly”, a key character in Elora that everyone in town knows. He’s an older man who’s a little down on his luck, but the whole town loves and supports him.

Social Distancing Video Portrait 02 (Jackie’s experimental studio edition)
– –
Daley
– –
“Well, I’ve been playing a lot of drums, and not getting to play them for people very often.”
– –
Music/Sound courtesy of the video’s environment
Turn on the sound – uncropped videos always in my story
– –
More to come
– –
These videos are all shot from at least 5m away with an iPhone X. These unedited videos try to record in real-time this strange period we are all in together. Inspired by Adad Hannah.

– –
Jackie’s notes on this video: This is my nephew, Daley. Since my make-shift toilet paper roll tripod couldn’t resist the wind in my first video, I decided to do my second one indoors. Thankfully I was already planning on doing a video of Daley, and he’s in my social bubble, so I could go inside his house. It also worked out perfectly because Daley is a very talented drummer who practices obsessively, so getting to do a portrait of him behind his drumkit was perfect.

Another benefit of going to Daley’s house was that I was able to use one of his mic stands as a higher tripod. I put my phone in the mic holder and stuffed it with gloves to keep it in place. While Adad centers his people in the middle of the frame (for the most part), I made the decision to have Daley slightly off to the right, because it allowed me to get the whole drumkit in the shot, which I felt was important.

Social Distancing Video Portrait 03 (Jackie’s experimental studio edition)
– –
Spencer
– –
“It’s been hard because my profession is events, so there’s nothing. Events are essentially at a standstill. So, it’s a little scary, but we’ll see. I think when it’s over, we’re going to come out of it, um, like people are going to be really excited to do things again, when they’re allowed to. I mean even now, we’re DJing on a patio right now, and it’s full, and its like 7 degrees out. ”
– –
Music/Sound courtesy of DJ Spenny and the environment
Turn on the sound – uncropped videos always in my story
– –
More to come
– –
These videos are all shot from at least 5m away with an iPhone X. These unedited videos try to record in real-time this strange period we are all in together. Inspired by Adad Hannah.

– –
Jackie’s notes on this video: This is my friend Spencer. Spencer is one of the key people behind the Riverfest Music Festival in Elora and he is also a DJ – DJ Spenny. I was nervous about my first video with Ardin not working out, so I did a backup portrait so I could choose the strongest two videos to submit for the final assignment.

I ended up liking and using Ardin’s video, so I didn’t need the third portrait, but I decided to include it because there was an interesting moment while shooting. This was the next day, and I didn’t have my “tripod” with me, but I gave it a shot anyway. Since I didn’t use a tripod, it was a totally different experience for me, as the videographer. It became an endurance/stillness exercise for me as well, and it was as if Spencer and I had entered into a sort of stillness performance with one another. I thought that was interesting, and a nice way to feel connected to someone, despite being at a distance.

Reflections on Adad Hannah’s project and technical observations

Considering Adad Hannah’s Social Distancing Video Portrait project:

Through this project, Adad Hannah has been able to interact with and feature people from all different walks of life in outdoor public spaces, from a safe distance, capturing them in honest moments during the pandemic. What I really appreciate about this project is the way it captures how we’ve all been forced to slow down in our lives. Ironically, the idea originated from Hannah’s restlessness with feeling paralyzed during the initial lockdown in March. By starting this assignment for himself, he satisfies his urge to get out and create, while simultaneously documenting this historic moment through the people living through it. The quotes provide interesting insights into the people he takes videos of, not just in what they said, but in how much they say. Some people offer a full paragraph, others a couple of sentences and some have no comment.  

In the beginning, his posts described the idea/project, and how he was feeling, and why he started it. He also would give a brief description of his interaction with the person, and included a quote from them on their Covid-19 experiences. He also had a composer friend put some music to the videos.

Over time, his video descriptions became more uniform:

Project Title (Social Distancing Video Portrait) Video Number (208) and a quirky edition name related to the video.

Subject’s first name

Quote about the pandemic.”

Details about music with credit to composer and note that video is uncropped.

Teases us with the promise of more.

Summary of how he does it and why
**He then comments on each of his posts and includes a series of related hashtags and tags some galleries.

Technical Observations:
Consistencies:

  • I am fairly certain he shoots his videos with a vertical orientation.
    • They fit nicely on my phone screen when he shares the video as an Instagram story. If he was sharing from a horizontal video, I suspect the subject would have been a lot more zoomed in.
    • When viewed while scrolling through his feed, the videos are vertically rectangular.
  • Subject always framed in the center of the shot.
    • When looking at his videos as a grid on his Instagram profile, the stills are square and more often than not, the subject touches the top and the bottom of the frame. There are some instances where they are slight cut off, or, if the person is sitting, they are centered here as well as when viewing it larger.  
  • In his descriptions, he mentions that he uses a long lens to allow for proper social distancing (min 5 meters away).
    • This long lens also allows him to focus sharply on the subject and blur the background.
  • Given how still his shots are, I assume he’s also using a long-legged tripod
  • Adad gets the first name of his subject and asks them about their experiences with Covid-19
  • I suspect he gives people creative freedom when deciding how to pose for the video. I think this because there is a mix of people with straight faces and smiling faces, so its clear he didn’t instruct them to do a serious shot. Additionally, some people, who are clearly more eccentric and comfortable in front of the camera, did more expressive posses, arms outstretch, leaning forward and balancing on one foot etc.

Inconsistencies:

  • I like that Adad isn’t totally strict on what’s in the background of the video. Sometimes it’s a static background, with no movement because it’s a wall for example. These are nice because you have to pay closer attention and watch for subtle movements in the subject to figure out that it’s a video. In others, there are people in the background at a park, or perhaps it’s a windier day and hair and branches are blowing. These are equally as nice because you appreciate how still the subject is able to stay.
  • While the majority of the videos are of one person standing outside, it’s not a strict rule because there are also people sitting in parks, in cars or even in their homes. Additionally, he has pairs of people, or even groups in some videos.

Week 4: Social Distancing Portraits

More research

On the weekend, I was at a farmer’s market with some animals in the back. I noticed that one of the donkeys was standing still, and looking at me, so I quickly got out my camera to see if he would do it for a full minute for me.

Note to self: Don’t shoot videos horizontally.

Week 4: Social Distancing Portraits

Research Notes

The other night while scrolling through Adad Hannah’s Social Distancing Project on Instagram, I was surprised when I found someone I know in one of the posts! I used to work with the girl on the left, Charlie, years ago in Vancouver. See the original post here.

I reached out to Charlie on Facebook to ask about her experience as one of Hannah’s subjects. She was glad I did because she hadn’t seen what he did with the video/interview yet!

Week 3: Interesting Banners

FINAL PROJECT

I’m still shocked (read: embarrassed) and unsure how I had convinced myself that coveted meant ‘held dear’. I thought about it after class, and I’m fairly certain that the only plausible explanation is that my mom possessed me, because she desperately wanted to be a part of one of my art projects.

I liked how Diane (you), said that it looks like a place where a variety of objects could be displayed. Though, as I reminded myself of what it means ‘to covet’- to yearn to possess or have, it speaks to the absence of something desired. You can’t want it if you already have it.

By hanging a banner above nothing, it creates ambiguity, inviting the viewer to mentally insert their own coveted things in the vacant space. It becomes a place for manifestation. Visualize what you need or want, appearing beneath the banner.

– Jackie

Week 3: Interesting Banners

Trial runs

Over the weekend, I narrowed my ideas down to my two favourites. I went to Len’s Mill Store and picked up a few options for materials, so I could play around to find what worked best, with what, and where.

Here’s a collage of my trial shots:

WEEK 3: Interesting Banners

Reading/Research/Notes

I’ve got some decisions to make this weekend! 😬 😂
Feedback welcomed!

WEEK 2: Text As Art

For this assignment, I have chosen to discuss John Baldessari’s ‘I will not make any more boring art‘ – specifically the instructional piece he had the 1971 class at NSCAD University perform, and the Belief+Doubt installation by Barbara Kruger at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2012.

John Baldessari, I will not make any more boring art, 1971
Gallery Archives, Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University

In each example, Baldessari and Kruger use walls to convey their messages through text. Though coincidentally, and also similarily, neither artist actually put the words on these walls themselves. In the case of Baldessari, because he couldn’t physically come to the gallery space, he gave a specific set of instructions for one or many people to write his phrase repeatedly in columns on the wall, from the floor to ceiling. I am assuming that in Kruger’s case, a professional company was used to install the work. Clearly, the budgets for these projects were vastly different.

Both works were installed in art galleries, however, the Baldersarri piece was located in the exhibition space of a school gallery, whereas Kruger’s work swallowed up the lobby and bookstore areas of a Smithsonian’s museum. While they both install directly on the walls, Kruger takes it a step further by including the floor, and various architectural features of the space. Baldessari uses human hands and a simple pencil to write directly on the wall, and Kruger’s text was designed and printed using technology and industrial machinery to print on vinyl to be applied to the surfaces of the space.

When considering each artists’ texts, the mediums they chose to work with and in were perfectly suited to convey their individual messages. Baldessari had a message for himself as an artist, which is then written repeatedly by aspiring artists, in the exhibition space of a gallery that is located on the campus of an art and design University. Baldessari’s message is by artists, for artists, in a space where people go to spend time with art.

On the other hand, Kruger’s message is for the masses and critiques consumer behaviour and she delivers the message by mimicking the ways advertisements constantly bombard us with loud messages. So to take over the lobby and bookstore area is a perfect decision. By using bold fonts and colours, at such an enormous scale, Kruger is demanding attention in a space that is usually moving too fast or too loud to notice the details.

WEEK 1: Sorted Book Stacks

Research / Notes / Brainstorming / Experimenting

One Billion Years [Past and Future], 2012, Dave Dyment

When I first saw Dave Dyment’s stack of books on the class blog, I assumed that those were books that within the text/stories, that’s where references to the various dates were mentioned. I think I automatically assumed this because I am familiar with a work that he did (but Christian Marclay was working on something similar and got it out first – The Clock), where they searched movies for scenes that showed clock and collected enough to cover the 24hrs in a day. Holy labour and obsession intensive!

Once I went to Dyment’s website, I zoomed in on the books and saw that it was actually the titles that have the year references. I actually felt slightly relieved haha. One thing I’m curious about with Dyment’s process is where he searched for the books. There are no library codes on them. Did he source them through friends and family? Or maybe he searched titles online and was able to order them all?

Relax, from the series Composition from the Sorted Books project, 1993, Nina Katchadourian

I like that both Dave Dyment and Nina Katchadourian experiment with different ways of displaying/stacking the books, with different backgrounds or aligning the books vertically or horizontally. Of all of the variation’s I saw in Katchadourian’s work, I think the above approach is my favourite. I like that it’s a surprise sentence in the middle of the other books. It would be fun to spot that in a library.

This particular example is made up of books from someone’s personal library. It’s interesting what a difference it makes to know whether the books she stacks come from a smaller personal library or a large public library collection. With the subject of relax, and knowing all of these titles are relating to relaxing and struggling with control, it’s an insightful autobiography of the person. On the other hand, if Katchadourian was in a public library, and decided on the theme “relaxation” and searched for related titles, it’s slightly less interesting.

The below pictures are some of the experimental shots I took (not the final project). I was pretty set on displaying the books on my red trunk, but I found that it was too distracting and took away from the stacks. Another problem was that I had the idea of doing 3 stacks, and there wasn’t enough room on the trunk for that.

I really loved the sunlight that was coming in from the skylight in my living room. I thought it would be cool to take pictures of my stacks with bold shadows. Though to get the good lighting, the background was the room, and again, distracting. The angle and direction of the sun weren’t going to work in my favour.

WEEK 1: Sorted Book Stacks

FINAL PROJECT

Title: #7 – Doesn’t Like To Read

One Stack, 2020
Two Stacks, 2020
Three Stacks, 2020

For this assignment, I used all of the books in my personal library. This is actually all of the books that I own, and the same number of books are in each of my 3 pictures. Since my library is so small, it really became an unavoidable autobiographical project. Which I like!

As you may have already concluded, I don’t own many books. It didn’t really occur to me just how small my collection is until this assignment made me take a look at it. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, but mostly it’s hilarious to me. I attribute my small collection to two factors.

1. I have lived a nomadic life style. I have moved back and forth across the country 4 times, and would shed personal belongings each time. Also, since leaving home when I was 19, I’ve never lived in one location home for longer than 3 years. So with all of that packing and moving and unpacking, I have a really limited collection of material object.

2. I don’t like to read. Which influenced my title choice for this piece. When I was 22 and living with my first real boyfriend, our relationship was starting to crumble. In the final days, I found a small list he had made in his sock drawer. It was a list of all the “Cons” about me – and number 7 was that I didn’t like to read.

Process/Image Descriptions
Since I could easily fit all of my books in the shots, I wanted to use them all in each picture. There aren’t many titles or themes to play with, so quickly my brain started sorting them.

I purposely didn’t name each picture by the meaning behind their stacks. I wanted to leave it up to the viewer to look at all three images together and try to figure out for themselves the significance of each stack.

One Stack
All of the books that I own.

Two Stacks
Left: Books that were given to me.
Right: Books that I bought.

Three Stacks
Left: Books that I have read.
Middle: Books that I started but never finished.
Right: Books I have never started.

(note: The blog seems to really compress my images, making it hard to read the book titles. I have them set to display large, but it doesn’t seem to help.)

2 thoughts on “Jackie’s Work

  1. Week 1:
    Katchadourian notes more than complete and shows evidence of curiosity and full engagement with material and strong level of understanding of critical ideas at play
    3 Book stack images complete – and lots of prep work – I can’t believe you found a boyfriend’s “a list of all the “Cons” about me” – yikes! I like how you explored your library as a portrait – but try to extend the composition to be about something broader – or show connections/surprising hidden meanings in the groupings – or scavenge for more books, or reinvent the whole thing if necessary, to make it more than a personal reflection. Perhaps even framing these differently to highlight titles? Or showing the backs of books to display volume on the shelf… I wonder what other possibilities might be

    Week 2 and 3:
    Notes on two text works more than complete, thorough and thoughtful
    evidence of curiosity and full engagement with material – and level of understanding of critical ideas at play, I actually love your thinking through the “Dirty Words” text – finding them all, or perverting any words somehow with drawings and insinuation – it’s like a text piece in itself! And great trials and effort with the banners, and even the post-installation reflection on definitions of words, and how this might work in other ways.

    Week 3:
    Text banner exercise and description
    evidence of historical precedents for the work
    understanding of conceptual ideas at play,
    evidence of technical investment and effort,
    evidence of experimentation and adventurousness.

    Week 4:
    Two Social Distancing portrait videos are just great, even a few bonus ones and a donkey! I really like the compositions and originality for the two musicians/ and the irony of being still – and shows you really engaged closely and understood what Hannah was doing, and his intentions, plenty of good thinking and effort and adventurousness – going out and getting such a range of subjects. Great evidence of technical investment and effort too. These are really good!

    Outstanding attendance and engagement Jackie! And you are really thinking and working like an artist – I can’t wait to see what else you will make and really value your contributions to discussions and live exercises – it’s wonderful to have you in class!
    Diane

  2. If you would like to talk with me about your work in progress, readings, exercises, one-on-one comments on your work, and grades – send me an email in the morning to book a 15 minute appointment during my office hours: Thursdays 1:30-3
    And you can show up to a zoom meeting with Nathan anytime during these hours to ask your questions, and get tech support for using software and finishing your projects:
    Mondays and Thursdays 1-4pm

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