WEEK 12 ASSIGNMENTS
Verbal Bandaid Tattoo Images!
Childhood Drawing Tattoo Images!
WEEK 11 ASSIGNMENTS
1. Childhood Drawing Tattoos
Recently I went through my mom’s hope chest which was filled with drawings and art projects from elementary school. As a kid I was drawn to fairies, mermaids, flowers, cats, birds and other nature-based imagery in my doodles. I thought it would be really sweet to draw over these doodles from my past and make them into temporary tattoos, in order to give them a life past my mom’s archive of my childhood, collecting dust in an old chest.
Photos of childhood drawings.
2. Verbal Bandaid Tattoos
The utter level of mental and physical exhaustion I have experienced this semester was new territory for me. The nervous, overwhelmed stomach aches, the numb feet after long, long days and the relentless and seemingly incurable anxiety deep in my chest is a point of reference for this tattoo idea: self-aware tattoos that signify where a person may feel numb or tender, or experience pain. These text-based tattoos will be written in an almost crude fashion, mimicking the style of a stick-and-poke tattoo. “I’m numb here”, “It hurts here”, “I’m tender here” will be written in varying sizes, so that people have free reign to decide where on their body these statements are true, and can place them accordingly. Interestingly, I feel that this tattoo concept compliments the verbal childhood drawings tattoo concept in an interesting way, as it reflects a somewhat sad departure from childhood’s whimsy and careless, fantastical energy.
WEEK 10 ASSIGNMENTS
Internet Culture Video – “dis/connected”
Issy and I’s internet culture video titled “dis/connected” is an exploration of the de-sensitization internet users possess towards problematic, violent, and out-of-touch content. Issy’s character passively consumes increasingly absurd video and audio clips, descending into a fugue state. The viewer’s senses are overwhelmed by the visuals and audio of Internet trends, viral videos and social media “influencers”. To emphasize that this hypnotized state is very much cyclical and a routine difficult to break, this video should be watched in a loop (right click on the video – loop option should appear).
Post Critique Updates
After our critique, Issy and I received some constructive criticism that led us to split our video into two separate parts.
Points we were recommended to consider:
- make sure not to seem as if you are pushing a narrative (anti-internet)
- don’t take on too much in one video
- trust that the audience will know what you mean… leave some things to be deduced or thought upon
- split into two videos – one of the outdoor clips and one of the internet clips
- ideal setup/install, in a dark room, video looped for hours
Updated Internet Culture Videos
WEEK 9 ASSIGNMENTS
Internet Culture Video Notes
- make the Internet clips seem fun
- blend to insanity
- overwhelming of senses
- problematic content that we passively consume
- illusions and dissonance
- questioning reality and what it means to be connected
- relationship to the internet and relationship to consumption
- pop culture overload
- element of control/lack of control
- use an amalgamation of found clips from YouTube and TikTok to create a composition that slowly breaks down into meaninglessness and chaos
- create the video with an intent to loop it
- issy as the consumer of the chaos – show signs of exhaustion, madness and addiction to the Internet
WEEK 8 ASSIGNMENTS
Video Culture: notes/brainstorm/proposal
- Selling our souls and bodies to the internet willingly
- descent to madness after constant subjection to internet media
- element of entertainment/parody (is this good, bad, both, neither?)
- testing the limits of our relationship to the internet
- constance consumption
- the essence of online video culture
Clips to potentially rip from Youtube:
- Day in the life
- Torture style montage (the grinch scene)
- Strapped down being fed tide pods
- Cinnamon being thrown on face
- Tik tok dancing while sobbing
- Condom challenge
- Organs in an etsy box
- Selling toothpaste liquid
- Feet pics behind the scenes
- Chain mail
- Prank video style clip
- Vlogging style at times
- Documenting food
- Slime videos
- Clip of face in the dark on computer – eyes being held open by someone else’s hands
- Mental health activism
- Everything is cake
- Weird fanfic
- stan/fan cams
- Singing videos
- Tied to train track
- No privacy/ mental breakdowns
- No eyebrows
- Nods to porn
- Strip tease
- furries/yiff porn
Elements we could include in editing:
- Flashback to contract signing – hysterically (“dont do it” Audio)
- Unsubscribe (IM FREE…. Not really)
- Fast forward? little timmy feet pics first job weird dystopia
- Flashbacks and fast forwards pre and post internet soul selling
- ghosts/ delusions, reality breaking down in front of the viewer
WEEK 7 ASSIGNMENTS
Video Culture – Sylvanian Drama on TikTok
How is it shot, and framed? Where does the material come from? What is the quality of the footage?
These videos are shot on a smartphone in portrait mode, to fit within the formatting of TikTok. The material is suggestive of childhood playtime with toys while dealing with more mature and darker themes through parodying and addressing tropes of popular culture such as soap operas. The quality of the footage is technically good; it is quite clear, steady and in focus.
How is it edited, and does it flow from clip to clip?
The Sylvanian Drama videos are edited quite thoughtfully. Interesting camera angles and transitions are sometimes used, scenes flow into one another, and dialogue between characters is reinforced with back and forth clips. Certain clips use zoom-ins humorously and others are edited in slow-motion for added drama. The “dialogue” is conveyed through text captions that are often misspelled, abbreviated, and in current internet slang.
What does it sound like? How are sound or image manipulated and transformed from original footage?
These videos use popular music as the only audio, as if to further mock the themes that are being portrayed visually. For example, having a positive and upbeat song while the little dolls bully each other. The songs are not altered, but played as is to maintain their recognizability. Some of these videos had their sounds removed by the site (possibly for copyright reasons) and the reception of the videos changes completely. Somehow, they feel less like a parody, even with the ridiculous visuals and plotlines maintained.
What are some of the key features that define this genre? What are some weird variations on it?
This IS the weird variation of soapy or trashy reality narratives! Key features of trashy reality TV are obnoxious edits, music, transitions, etc., and even more obnoxious subject matter and conflicts.
What are some of the reasons these kinds of videos are compelling or useful in this historical moment? Use quotes from published sources to back up your arguments and analysis.
These videos are compelling because they are an amalgamation of music, visuals, and narratives derived from familiar and popular culture, to make something new. These videos poke fun at scripted conflict and allow viewers to find absurd humor within media that might have been previously considered serious. In a historical context, this is compelling because humor is a useful tool to cope with the experiences of the very significant crisis unfolding as a result of the pandemic; both on personal and broader scales. These difficult experiences beg the question if these cutesy yet dark videos would have ever been created without the confines and free time that multiple lockdowns have provided.
The creator of these videos stated:
“One Friday, I was bored,” Thea told us, “and I decided to take my old Sylvanian families out of the attic and set them up.”
As she did, she was inspired by the classically over-the-top American comedy-drama and mystery series from the early 2000s — “Desperate Housewives.
How do you relate to it?
On a surface level, it’s easy to relate to the process of opening up old boxes of childhood toys, feeling that warm sense of nostalgia, and playing with them as an adult. On a deeper level, everyone experiences physical or mental struggles in one way or another, at some point through life. In the age of social media, insecurities surrounding personal image (our appearances, our bodies, etc.) are especially widespread. These common issues are addressed humorously in the Sylvanian Drama tiktok videos – admittedly, alongside some less relatable issues like cold blooded murder.
WEEK 6 ASSIGNMENTS
Parents Video – “not all you left behind was love”
Celebrating food and family doesn’t seem entirely genuine to me, as many of the “fond” memories I share with my grandmother and parents were tainted by my own overwhelming preoccupations with my body and disordered eating. On the left side, this video shows my family and I celebrating my grandmother by recreating her recipe for Choereg, an Armenian easter bread. Before her passing, I would make this bread with my grandma annually. On the right side, this video depicts my obsessions with body image and my physical appearance. These thoughts would suffocate my mind at family gatherings and during the creation and consumption of food. All the loving memories I recall with my grandma were – in a way – tainted by my eating disorder.
I love my grandmother endlessly, but since her passing, I have had ample time to reflect on her extremely traditional views on the way a woman should look. When I developed an eating disorder at age 15 and looked frail and sickly, she would constantly applaud me for my newfound body and “motivation”. I still hear her voice excitedly saying, “What did you do? You lost so much weight, you look great now!”. These words served as fuel to my issues, and propelled me further into my disorder. I have had time to recover and rekindle my love for food and for myself, but I still remember all the compliments and attention I received from her when I was at my worst.
WEEK 5 ASSIGNMENTS
Plan for Parents Video
Over this week I have been communicating with my parents and brother about this video art concept. They’re all quite excited because the idea involves a delicious bread they can eat! As of now, here is a tentative plan:
- Film each individual step of the bread making process. Hook up a MV88 microphone to pick up background noise and conversations amongst my family. Consideration: should I divide up each step between the four of us? Or should the process be entirely collaborative each step of the way?
- Once the bread has been baked and cooled, I will set up a shot of us sitting at the dinner table and eating it.
- Add a conceptual twist to either the bread-making process, or to the prompts for voiceovers from each member of my family.
Stream of Consciousness Posters ZINES!!!
As an extra mini project in continuation of the text-based multiples assignment, I made a zine depicting some of my posters I presented last week. Diane said that these posters would make a great zine, so I had to give it a shot! I hand drew the original design, then photocopied it and printed 20 copies. They turned out super fun, equally as unpolished and unhinged as the posters they were based off of.
WEEK 4 ASSIGNMENTS
UPDATE! – Stream of Consciousness Posters
I have exciting news! My stream of consciousness posters are being noticed! Throughout the past week or so, I have been seeing photos of my cynical, crudely drawn posters on people’s social media. Yesterday, three different posters I have hung were reposted by a large instagram account (over 17,000 followers) that posts funny content relating to the University of Guelph.
I find it so funny that people on campus are taking the time out of their day to not only snap a photo of my posters, but also send them in to be posted by a meme page. The attention these posters are receiving is also comforting, in a way. The topics displayed in text and image are speaking to people and circulating in both physical and digital spaces.
Text-Based Multiples Crit – Stream of Consciousness Posters
When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed and unhinged, a process I enjoy using to decompress is stream of consciousness journaling. Stream of consciousness writing is a way of offering a reader insight to the fluid mental state of the writer. My stream of consciousness writing is usually private – strange and chaotic thoughts that I keep to myself. For this assignment, I figured why not broadcast the fleeting thoughts, the recurring ones, and the mundane ones, in the form of public posters. I picked out specific thoughts that arose from my journaling, and hand-wrote over 45 copies altogether, in an equally crude and unrefined style to my journaling.
One thing I’ve realized through this process and the reactions of poster-viewers, is that the absurd thoughts I have aren’t nearly as ludicrous as I once thought. A lot of people related to them. Some posters took form as participatory – allowing viewers to interact. I always get excited walking past locations where I’ve plastered these posters, hoping to see a new addition to my once private thoughts.
Parents Video Proposal
The unexpected loss of my grandma on my dad’s side two and a half years ago is something that I been exploring within my art for a while. Childhood homes, memories, nostalgia… I love capturing tender moments of the past that commemorate her. Something that saddens me to think about are the lost traditions my grandmother once practiced during her lifetime. She was a strong, Armenian woman with a passion for hosting grand parties and cooking massive meals. Around Easter each year, I would visit her with my brother, and we would help her make Choereg, a sweet Armenian egg bread. Those are some of my most treasured moments with her. Since she passed my family has not attempted to bake this bread.
I thought for this assignment, a video of my dad, mom, brother and I, attempting to bake Choereg would be a fun experiment and a sweet way of honouring my grandmother. I would capture all of the motions of bread making -mixing the dough, letting it rise, blanching the almonds, braiding the dough, etc. Hopefully in the end my family and I will begin a new tradition of honouring parents and grandparents that have passed in the best way possible – through delicious food!
WEEK 3 ASSIGNMENTS
Final Idea and Installation of Posters
Last week, I had arrived at the idea of “Too Late” posters, highlighting events that are too good to be true and take place “yesterday”. However, after chatting with everyone in class about this idea, I ended up falling back onto the concept of sarcastic and sadistic posters (highlighting my thoughts and daily struggles that arise from stream of consciousness journalling). This idea combines two concepts that arose in my brainstorming for the text-based multiples assignment in a fun way.
The past week and a half I have been making crude hand-drawn copies of the concepts and thoughts that recur in my journalling. I considered making one copy of each design and then sending them to Nathan to have printed out on larger, better-quality card stock, but eventually decided that the unpolished and primitive style of hand-drawn posters was something I had to lean into – After all, these posters were born from my unpolished, unhinged and unfiltered thoughts. It has proven to be a lot more work conducting this assignment through the scope of hand-drawn multiples, but it adds to the mood I want to express.
Here is a small grouping of the Stream of Consciousness posters. Note the individually unique and varying designs!
At this point in time I have drawn upwards of 50 posters (I hope to make over 100). Currently there are 15 different poster designs/concepts within that 50. During the past few days I have begun installing them around campus and taking note of where they have been hung.
Through the process of installing these posters and taking photographic evidence of the locations in which each one has been hung, an idea was born. A poster of a map of campus, showing all of the places where each of my posters can be found. Poster-ception! So while I have been hanging these posters, I’ve been simultaneously working on this additional layer to my idea.
In progress poster of campus map depicting locations of posters.
There are three things I am considering regarding this campus map poster idea… The first is: Should the buildings be labelled? I’m leaning away from this as I feel it makes a clunky/busy design. And the second is: Should this poster have a title, or should it be left cryptic as displayed? I think I prefer the puzzling design as is, because the mysteriousness may be more likely to inspire viewers to embark on a self-directed scavenger hunt (one that potentially involves free drugs, mayonnaise, and Steve Buscemi????). The third is: Should these campus map posters be hung up across campus as well, or distributed to people so they can bring them on their hunt?
So that’s where I’m at! The plan of action for the next few days is to continue installing my stream of consciousness posters, update the campus map poster as I go, and then – once finished installing – print out the campus map posters. I’m loving the way that my original idea has morphed and developed!
WEEK 2 ASSIGNMENTS
Brainstorming for Text-Based Multiples
One conceptual artist we covered last week that especially resonated with me (introduced by Veronica) is Erika Rothenberg. I am minoring in Marketing myself, so I found her background in advertising to be interesting and relatable. I love how she combines the light-hearted, overtly cheery world of label design with the dark societal realities faced in the modern day. Sarcasm and humour is something I want to explore in my text-based posters.
I’ve had many ideas for this project, but none felt particularly inspiring to me until this evening. I will list the previous ideas I sifted through regardless, as I feel there is value in the journey I took to get to my final idea.
- Multiples in the form of a zine
- Zine about collections and the act of collecting
- Took a poll on my instagram and received interesting responses (bobble head turtles from Mexico, fortunes from fortune cookies, etc.)
- Depict collections through line art and text on each page
- Distribute photocopied zines to people – inspire them to start a new collection: one of artist-made zines
2. Stream of consciousness posters
- Scale up my past journal pages written in stream of consciousness style to a large poster size
- post very intimate and personal details in a public yet anonymous way
- would this be freeing and therapeutic???
3. Satirically Sadistic Posters
The idea to create sarcastic and subversive posters has been circulating in my head since our class discussion of different text-based works. At first I was thinking of creating posters for upcoming events that will indefinitely occur in my life (rough drawings of ideas below).
Too Late Posters
With Nevan’s help I arrived at an interesting idea that was born from the sarcastic poster concept above. We were discussing our plans and agreed that it would be funny to plaster posters all over campus and in Guelph that invite the public to events that seem too good to be true, but write “yesterday” as the event’s date. The idea that the viewer of the poster has missed such an amazing opportunity, but also the sarcasm in that the poster itself writes “yesterday” (it will always be too late to attend) is so silly and quirky that I have to see it executed! Below are some very rough sketches of potential posters:
WEEK 1 ASSIGNMENTS
Hiba Abdallah is an Arabic contemporary artist (who completed her MFA at the University of Guelph!) interested in exploring the varying politics and social beliefs of communities. Her work is almost always public, either through collaboration with other artists, or with the general public.
Commissioned by the MOCA in Toronto, ON, Rehearsing Disagreement is a series of participatory works by Hiba and artist Justin Langlois. Included is a dartboard, seesaw, and customizable worksheet style text pieces that museum-goers can interact with. All works in this series investigate conflict of opinions and allow people to co-exist in their disagreement. Not only this, but the interactive manner of these art pieces break down barriers of what art galleries have been stereotyped as in the past – sterile, quiet environments where the viewer cannot touch and interact with art on a tactile level.
Something Written to the White House
Something Written to the White House is an ongoing text based art initiative in which the public can write postcards to the White House that are later on sent (According to rules set in place by the institution, all letters MUST be opened and read by the White House). This text based art initiative connects to another ongoing art initiative of Hiba’s: Something Written in the Arabic Language. The fronts of the postcards sent to the White House literally translate to “Something Written in the Arabic Language”, serving as a tongue-in-cheek mockery of the racism and absolutely ill-placed fear towards Muslim people that was especially prevalent during Trump’s presidency. Retrieved from Hiba’s website, these hand-written messages display a wide array of personal messages for Trump in particular.
Overall, both of these pieces by Hiba Abdallah employ text-based artwork to display different opinions the public. I like the way Hiba presents these contemporary art pieces because they appeal to a childlike part of the brain while still remaining introspective. They are different from other forms of public text because the message of said text is entirely up to the participator, not the artist.