Isabella

WEEK 1

RESPONSE

The first work I looked at is “ A Day at the Beach” by Nina Katchadourian. Her strategy to select and order books is to write down every title within a library onto separate cards, and select a few that jump out at her. She relentlessly organizes and reorganizes thee title cards until she arrives at an order with which she is satisfied. Her decisions are based on how the books talk to one another, and in this specific piece, that manifests quite humorously.  The final compositions expand the meaning of each individual book by telling a new story, one of a shark attack at a beach. This might tell us something about the book’s owner, such as an affinity to the ocean, or even simply living  in a coastal place.

The Second work I am discussing is “ One Billion Years [Past and Future]” by Dave Dyment. He selected these books by finding titles that related to the passage of time, by mentioning years somehow. He composes them in chronological order, from “One Billion years ago” to “The Next Billion Years,” with others such as “Only 50 Years Ago” and others with similar titles. Together, these books tell a sort of loose history, and predict the future. Having an imaginable timeline laid out in book titles is a very fascinating concept. I suspect these books did not come from a singular library, so rather than revealing something about the owner, perhaps it is revealing of Dyment’s own interests in time as a concept. 

PROCESS

I have an EXTREMELY limited supply of books. Any of the books I have are all with my mom, in boxes who knows where, since we are in the process of moving. All that I have with me in Guelph are the textbooks I’ve collected over the years. With a total of eleven books, it might sound sufficient, but truth be told I struggled. There was little interest or deviance between the appearances of the books, and almost all of them fell within one of two sizes. So, I decided to use word play to have the titles of individual books interact with another. My problem was that almost none of the titles worked well together (I changed my focus of study once or twice before settling on a studio major). How could I convey an idea with the title of one book? I looked towards Ryan Park’s, and a few of Nina Katchadourian’s, work and realized that the titles of every book did not have to be shown to convey an idea. I could use the books I had with less interesting titles as a sculptural building block to interact with the more engaging titles. 

FINAL IMAGES

The Edge

The first arrangement seemed obvious to me, since I had two copies of “Image on the Edge.” Initially I was going to stack books neatly with these particular books simply on the edge of the others while backwards, but I decided to take the meaning of “edge” one step further and nearly topple these end pieces off of the shelf. With the only indicator of an image being on the edge of both the stack and the shelf, I am happy with how this turned out considering my challenges.

Leadership

After using the books faced the opposite way, the other arrangements came slightly easier to me. I had a Leadership textbooks which I wanted to arrange to become the leader of other following books. The titles of the following books were unimportant to the concept, and would have in fact muddied this idea had I presented them. I would have ideally liked to have books of descending order to make the leadership book look the biggest (therefore older and wiser in appearance) but unfortunately, it was one of my smaller stature books. I solved this problem by creating a gap between the leader and the following books. I lined them up in an orderly row, with the leadership book a few “steps” ahead so it would appear as if it were leading the way. 

The Power of Critical Thinking

In my next stack, I wanted to play on the word “power.” I figured what better display of power than to seemingly defy physics? I carefully (with plenty of failure) balanced  a few books on top of my vertical copy of “The Power of Critical Thinking.” I’m sad to report his flimsy paperback textbook did NOT stay upright on its own. But with some balancing, (and admittedly a hidden support system) I was able to capture this shot of this “powerful” book. I like this one since critical thinking seems to be in short supply these days,  and I think the world would literally be a lot stronger if everyone brushed up on their critical thinking skills. 

The Throne

Last, I wanted to use my singular non-textbook-book somehow. I pondered this a lot, and since using other books as a building block when the titles did not compliment each other had worked previously, I easily settled on a similar arrangement method. I think I took books as a sculptural unit to the next level with this stack, building a throne of books for my “A Game of Thrones” book. The word “game” also came into play when my huge, seldom read, chemistry textbook which provided the foundation of the throne came crashing shut just milliseconds after this shot was captured. This was surprisingly hard to balance, due to my untouched, tight-spined books.

WEEK 2

Notes for Week 2

Belief+Doubt by Barbara Kruger uses immersive installation as the method to express her message. Every inch of interior space is covered with massively sized words, overwhelming the viewer with text. 

Here on Future Earth  by Joi T. Arcand uses photography to express her message. This photo series evokes great feelings of a familiar world, only something seems slightly off. The text we are used to seeing in a small town – such as store fronts and road signs–has been fully replaced by Cree syllabics. 

Both works use text displayed in an environment in unexpected ways. Where Kruger places text on multiple surfaces, unrestricted by where text is most typically observed, Arcand uses text in predictable places, but uses a an unknown (to the majority of viewers) language with an unknown alphabet. The sense of space is important to both works, in that Kruger’s piece deals with experiencing the space as an installation work, and Arcand’s – though photographs – evoke a sense of familiarity that can transport the viewers into feeling like they have navigated that kind of space many times previously. It would also be fair to say that existentialism would be at play in both of these artworks. For Barbara Kruger, the text itself asks questions and makes statements such as “PLENTY IS ENOUGH,” and “WHO IS FREE TO CHOOSE?” which address societal structures and begs viewers to reconsider what they think they know. The sheer scale of these words also puts emphasis on how the message is meant to be received. For Joi T. Arcand, the viewer is left to feel as if they are disoriented and foreign in an all too familiar place. For viewers that can understand the Cree syllabics, perhaps they are led to reflect on what the modern environment would look like had colonization not occurred (still probably not quite like Arcand depicted).

WEEK 3

Notes Week 3

“Aesthetic of Powerlessness”

I lifted many phrases from the article, but became most interested in “aesthetic of powerlessness.” I thought it was interesting since most times, powerlessness is hidden away from the world, and instead wanted to put it on display, and show the “aesthetic.” I also wanted to capture multiple layers of powerlessness in a single image, with themes of poor mental health, total dependance on technology, the unavoidable lifestyle adjustments of a pandemic, and anything else that might lead to the monotony of an everyday life of powerlessness.

I used many uplifting colours in the banner to act as an oxymoron of sorts. I enjoyed the idea as a banner used for celebrations (such as “happy birthday”), and thought it would be interesting in conjunction with a condition that causes most people great shame. I also lowered the saturation of the photo to make the life and aesthetic more dull, and to come across even more powerless than the content of the image suggests. At first I began to remove the shadows cast by the banners, but then ultimately decided to leave them in because my original intention was to cast a spotlight on this hidden human condition, and though the shadows make for unideal composition, it further showcases a raw, and un-orchestrated aesthetic. Therefore, I made the spotlight both figurative and literal.

WEEK 4

Week 4 Notes

VIDEO PROPOSAL: “DORMANT”

I struggled a bit in thinking of how to relate to nature in the winter months. Most everything is dormant. If it were any other season, I would love nothing more than to convene with nature and all of its magnificent beauty. But I greatly dislike winter, and what nature brings with the season. But, I realized I do not need to “do” anything for this video other than lean into my instinctual reaction to nature during this time of the year. My feelings toward nature during this time should provide the content for how I communicate with what is around me.

I want my video to be calm and meditative. Perhaps a bit melancholy, but ideally it will capture a submission to nature. An exercise that enforces learning from the natural wildlife that pauses its vivaciousness during the winter time. I also wish to reflect on the natural condition of seasonal depression.

Similar to Rebecca Belmore’s Speaking to Their Mother, I wish to convey the communication between the earth and people. Only instead of speaking to the earth, I want to show the earth speaking to us, and the powerful commands of nature. 

Similar to Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s “Trees are Fags”, I wish to look towards trees (among other natural life) to learn their wisdoms, and become aware of my mind and body. 

I have prepared a monologue. Every statement comes at a 30 second interval on voiceover, in between the statements,  simple visual actions will be taken to allow resonation. 

Script is in bold– Instructions for actions in regular text.

  • Approach from off camera, poorly dressed for the winter.
  • It seems that as the seasons pass and change, so do I.
  • I put on outerwear (prepare for the conditions).
  • It’s cold, very cold. 
  • Stay still. Breath long, hot, visible breaths.
  • What must I do to feel warmth?
  • Turn to face the tree (right side of the shot).
  • I’ve noticed the sunlight doesn’t last very long these days. 
  • Kneel.
  • My energy is quite low.
  • Sit on the ground.
  • I think I’ll go to sleep for a little while. 
  • Lay down on side facing camera.
  • As the earth is blanketed in snow, so am I tucked in to slumber.
  • Close my eyes.
  • Let’s dream of something nicer for a while. 
  • Shift in slumber, change positions.
  • I can’t wait to wake up to lovelier conditions.
  • Be still.
  • Until then.

The Setting:

WEEK 5

Week 5 Notes

When prompted to commune with nature, I felt puzzled as to what I could possibly do. I do not exactly feel inspired by nature during this time of year. No “exciting” ideas came to mind. With art, I struggle with simplicity, and rarely ever feel comfortable with the concept “less is more.” But with this project, I was able to lean into my lack of enthusiasm, and just react and commune with nature the way I automatically do, even if that reaction is to just “be.”

I took inspiration from the artists Rebecca Belmore and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay and their works. Belmore’s Talking to Their Mother inspired the idea to listen, respond and converse with nature. Nemerofsky Ramsay’s Trees are Fags reminded me of the connection to trees and other life forces found in nature. Together, both of these works guided me to the connective self awareness of one’s own mind and body, and what the acceptance of what nature insists of us looks and feels like outdoors.

The technical aspect of this video was challenging. I had no filming equipment, and I shot the footage after the winter storm, away from my house. Even a make-shift tripod was not a plausible option for me. Instead I employed my brother and roommate as my camera crew. Even with instruction, a couple of the shots did not come out as I envisioned, but I did with what I had, and made formal decisions based on what I managed to collect. Audio was even trickier, as many of my video clips had traffic noises in the background, due to one of my locations being nearby a major intersection, during peak time. I managed to cut out this traffic noise, as it had no place, and no significance to my concept. Though the professional quality is questionable, I made sure to set my intentions with the other formal aspects, and stick to them.

Dormant

Dormant

This video is a response to winter. The response is to shorter days and longer nights, the lack of light and warmth, and the way the earth shuts down and is at rest for quite some time. I often find myself following nature’s lead in the winter months, having not much energy to spare. Here I situate myself among nature, and insert my own personal experience with in the natural world. I discovered my own instincts are not unlike the way that wildlife reacts to the changing season. The experience was validating, in that slowing down, or needing to rest is a universal experience; life cannot be measured by productivity. It is my intention that this video may serve as a reminder of this sentiment. While watching this video, take the opportunity to meditate, and be aware of your breathing, heartbeat, and reconnect with your core life force.

WEEK 6

Week 6 Notes

ZOOM VIDEO Proposal

I wish to play with different camera angles on zoom. This idea was inspired from joining a zoom meeting with my roommate where I could be seen within her frame, as well as my own. I thought the phenomenon was silly, entertaining, and quite fascinating. 

The most interesting thing about zoom, in my opinion, is simply the use of multiple live videos on a single screen. Usually, zoom reduces us to 2D figures, where we only ever see each other from straight on, head and shoulders. My plan is to set up multiple cameras around me, take advantage of the multiple screens, and observe myself from every angle. In a pandemic, we are missing out on the presence of others, so I intend to stimulate my presence more holistically, rather than just a face in a tiny square. 

I am unsure how many cameras I have access to for this task, but I know I have at least four. At minimum, I plan to set up cameras in front, behind, and at both of my side profiles. Hopefully, If I can manage to acquire more cameras (at the permission of my roommates), I might position more cameras to capture myself from even more angles than one would typically see in real life. 

This video is not just about recontextualizing the body in our modified world, but for me to also observe myself. It seems difficult for someone to truly observe themselves in an objective manner, so this will be an additional goal of mine. 

I will look to Pipilotti Rist as inspiration, where her work “Flatten” shows her from an unexpected angle.

Claire

Week 1: Book Stacks

Notes

Investigating Artists’ Works

Investigating the works of Katchadourian, Dyment, and Park allowed me to understand how diverse the physical form of a book can be as a conduit of meaning. Each artist intercepts the original intention of the novel as an individual container of writings and knowledge and draws meaning from external aesthetic qualities, titles, and ideas of ownership. Nina Katchadourian focuses on the personal context of book collections and how they reflect upon their owners and the spaces in which they exist. They are archival in nature, utilizing an accumulated vault of knowledge to construct a new meaning in the present. She begins by documenting each book in the library through a series of lists from which she begins to sort and curate books that connect to one another. Rather than being taken in their original context, the books are physically  rearranged in stacks and reinterpreted by drawing connections between titles and their owners. Her piece Dyslexia from her Reference series exemplifies these strategies, using the titles printed on the book spines to speak to dyslexia as an experience of reading, perceiving, and rearrangement. The owner of the collection from which this piece was created is a former eye surgeon and photographer, someone who is clearly deeply familiar with experiences of looking.

Nina Katchadourian, Dyslexia (1996)

Dave Dyment takes a slightly different approach, drawing inspiration from popular culture, multiples, artists books, and editions. His work with books involves a sense of chronology and time, using titles and linear arrangement to signal an unfolding or evolution. Ryan Park’s approach on the other hand, plays more with aesthetic quality over text driven meaning. He stacks books open and face up, allowing only slivers of the book cover colours to peek through and create a gradient. His works elicit a playful and joyful experimentation that is concerned with visual pleasure. The decision to open the book to create a new curving form reflects Katchadourians idea of treating the book as a sculptural item or readymade. 

Ryan Park, Untitled (2009)

Process

Going into this project I had no doubt in my mind that I would be able to put together meaningful compositions that reflect the connection between myself and my roommates. I am fortunate enough to have a roommate who works at the Bookshelf, and consequently, a stream of books is constantly being welcomed into our home. We each have an individual collection as well as a shared collection, however, even those that are in personal libraries end up circulating between us. Very quickly I noticed a pattern of categorization: self help, philosophy, poetry, fiction and spirituality. I think this speaks to the intersection of our experiences and interests as friends (though I feel that word downplays the connection we share) and how we are presently navigating our lives. 

The process of creating my stacks very closely replicated the process of Nina Katchadourian in that I developed a list of all the titles which were then transferred individually onto cue cards. From the spread I was able to freely arrange as many times as necessary, snapping photos of arrangements that had potential (pictured are some that I did not choose for my final composition and one that made the cut).

This is a technique that I had previously used in an exercise that involved creating haikus by using comic books as source material. It was extremely effective and extremely enjoyable. It opens up endless possibilities and interactions with the material. In the end, three compositions resonated the most, in that they unconsciously arose from feelings that I, and many others are experiencing at this time of great change for our world. These are feelings of loneliness, laziness, and a deep craving for human touch. I also chose to decisively break up lines to indicate pauses in the flow of reading, as well as support clarity and emphasis on the titles themselves. This also served as a symbol for the elapse of time in the third piece “Human Touch“, as a long stack of blank pages were placed after the words “flash forward”. I found that in some of the more lengthy stacks of the artists I explored, the closeness of the titles and the varying colors and fonts sometimes affected the readability. I find the spacing provides a sense of calm and an even greater impact on how the works are experienced.

Final Stacks

A Mind Spread out on the Ground
Fellow Creatures
The Human Touch

Week 2: Text as Art

Notes

In our week 2 exploration of text within art, I found the works of Shelley Niro and Joi T. Arcand to be particularly striking and connective. Shelley Niro’s The Shirt offers bold commentary that interrupts colonial imagery and historical narratives relating to the experience of Indigeneity in the Western world. An Indigenous woman stands at the fore of the image, dressed in clothing that is reminiscent of biker styles and backed by a pastoral “American” landscape. The text on her T-shirt acutely targets the violent history of settler colonialism, one that is often hidden under the myth of national tolerance and inclusivity. Actually embodying these words provides an extremely personal communication of these ideas, and expresses visibility to those who presently carry the intergenerational trauma of their ancestral history. 

Shelley Niro, The Shirt (2003)

Joi T. Arcand’s works Northern Pawn, South Vietnam and Amber Motors provide a similar infiltration of Indigenous presence into the visual landscape. Her text/photography works involve the manipulation of storefront and advert sings by replacing the text with Cree syllabics. To her, this is a statement of hopeful potentialities- a world where her language can be seen and experienced in the everyday external world. It creates an environment of intrigue and unfamiliarity to those who have not encountered the Cree language, and perhaps one of celebration and freedom to those who deeply understand the oppressive history of practicing their own language. 

Joi T. Arcand, Northern Pawn, South Vietnam
Joi T. Arcand, Amber Motors

Each of these works involve a kind of confrontation with the viewer, perhaps even eliciting a necessary discomfort in order to highlight how colonialism has threatened the prevalence of authentic Indigenous presence in relation to the land, commercial spaces, and art institutions/discourses. They were also created in relation to the commerciality of Canadian capitalist culture and visual consumption, a practice that is often exclusionary of Indigenous people. The viewer is invited to reflect on their own identity in relation to the land, as well as their own ancestral ties and relationship to language. 

Week 3: Banner

Notes

Potential Phrases Explored

-vague, meaningless, value

-disinterested engagement

-emotional labor

-symbolic nexus

-appearance, disappearance

After researching the artists introduced this week, I was interested in the ways text can be used to create a connectivity and relatability within individual experience. For example in the “Self Portrait” text work by Micah Lexier, confrontation with his own mortality is one that can be felt by all that view the work, as they are invited to place themselves within the time scale he creates through the measurement of text and space. Similarly, Hiba Abdullah’s work “we remain profoundly and infinitely connected” is both an acknowledgment of ones individuality as the viewer, and one’s place within a collective, unified species.

For my banner I chose the words “emotional labor”. They were the first words that popped out of the page, and I think that fact alone speaks to my recent experiences as well as the experiences of many of us right now. Personally, mental and emotional stress and alchemy occurs most often in the comfort of my bed, a space where vulnerability is welcomed and I have the quiet comfort of myself to rely on. Solitude is extremely important to me and to my personal healing and self care. The words themselves, “emotional labor” can allude to one of two experiences with heavy or turbulent emotional states: the seemingly unending suffering that accompanies mental illness and the toll it takes on the body and mind, as well as the potentiality for something incredible to be birthed out of the labor that is taken on.

Week 4: Commune With Nature Planning

Notes

For my commune with nature I intend to have a shared musical experience with a tree. Deeper than that, I wish to extend an offering through song-a serenade infused with words of thanks and inquiry and a desire for connection with this powerful living being. To do this I have set out to write a song that with be performed by me alone on guitar and vocals.

I’ve been sitting on a chord progression for the past few weeks, but was at a loss for what I wanted the song itself to be about. This project opened up the possibility of writing about the unexpected subject of a tree, then actually performing for them (them seems more fitting than “it”). With this seed now planted (haha) I have come up with a melody and have been workshopping lyrics, playing the song over and over while making revisions.

In the performance, I will situate myself in relation to the tree in a way that makes sense, likely sitting on the ground across from them with some space in between. I’ll set up the camera on a tripod and shoot a one-shot frame throughout the whole song. Audio will be filmed on a zoom recording device and lined up with the video in editing. I’m thinking of possibly adding some overlapped shots of the tree close up, me touching and physically interacting with it as well, but I’m not sure if that would be integral to the piece (and I’m also not very savvy when it comes to video editing).

Lyrics (so far)

Getting to Know My Tree Friend

Since I live close to Exhibition park and regularly walk in that area, I’ve taken a few visits to find a connection. I spent time observing many trees, up close and from afar, and there were a few that drew my particular interest. The exact reason I favor some trees over others isn’t particularity clear to me. Maybe it’s the way they relate to the framing I have in mind for the video shot, or the intricate patterns on their bark. Maybe it’s the subconsciously engrained relations I’ve made between size and power or girth and wisdom. Or maybe the energetic field of certain trees merge more seamlessly with mine. It’s hard to say.

Week 5: Commune With Nature Video

Finalized Lyrics

The creation of this piece was heavily inspired by both Machine Project’s Houseplant Vacation and Benny Nemerofsky’s Trees are Fags audio walk. In Houseplant Vacation I was particularly interested in the usage of sound, and the idea that plants can “hear” the music being played for them through the vibrational frequencies passing through the space. It reminded me of cymatics, which is both an art form and a science that makes sound visible. Essentially the process is using the instrument called a CymaScope to imprint certain sounds onto the surface of water, producing incredible mandala-like patterns. I love visualizing the water particles within the plants reacting to these auditory resonances with beautifully unique harmonized imprints.

What struck me in the Trees are Fags walk, was the choice of using the bassoon to soundtrack and guide the experience. It called to mind the materiality of the bassoon as a woodwind, whose body was only able to exist because of the sacrifice of a tree. The guitar has a similar history, and I wanted to give back through song to the trees as a thank you for their sacrifice.

The process of creating this video was a little tricky, as I had no assistance with the setup/recording. The cold and the snow made me very wary of the technology and my guitar itself, and I had to take precautionary measures in order to keep everything dry and safe. I had set up a tarp as well as a blanket so that I could comfortably sit on the ground without having the snow soak through, and I wrapped delicate tech in rags (I ended up snapping a guitar string due to the cold but was lucky enough to get the take before that happened). I set up my DSLR on a tripod, and used a zoom recording device for the audio which I later synched up in the editing process. It was a one take, due to the numbing of my fingers while playing, and I was very satisfied that everything went smoothly the first time around. However, in order to do it in a one take I had to sacrifice the quality of my video for longevity. My camera only records up to 5 mins at a time at full HQ resolution, so I had to bump it down in order to have 20 mins recording time as a cushion. In hindsight, I wish I had been able to record it with my phone, however had no way of mounting it to a tripod in order to get the shot I wanted. So, I did the best I could with cropping and creating interest through color correcting in the editing stages. I also gave some extra TLC to the audio with some light mixing.

The title I landed on is Cycles. I hope you enjoy!

Week 6: Zoom Video Planning

Lecture Notes

For this project I’ve teamed up with Justin and Emil in order to maximize brain power and efficiency. In our first meeting we hopped on zoom to brainstorm ideas and talk about themes that immediately come to mind when considering zoom as a medium for creating video work. Themes that arose immediately were those of identity, technological effect on perception, distortion, communication, connection, and authentic versus inauthentic presence. In this discussion, Emil referenced Jason Salavon’s video work, which integrates technology with the idea of distortion and overlapping through the manipulation and reconfiguration of preexisting media and data. His work All the Ways (The Simpsons) sparked an idea for us, and we began to think about how the overlapping of multiple videos (particularly the shot of the face which is a common theme in video art) ties into ideas of individuality and loss of presence.

All of us knew that we wanted this project to invite many participants into the process of creation, and we thought that we could prompt people with a question to talk about over zoom. We would then layer both the audio and video on top of one another to consequently dissolve each person into a pixelated mess. In order to connect the thematic dots, we knew the question had to involve the idea of technology’s effect on individuality, presence, and distortion, so that was something we took into consideration in our brainstorming.

Although this was an exciting idea, the conversation took a turn when I suggested a different route we could take. I am currently in Drawing IV, and our professor Paul has dedicated a few classes to shared reading sessions. He would choose a selection of reading that related to our class themes and discussions, and each week different readers were assigned chunks that were then read in turn. The reading was also shared on the screen, so those of us who were not narrators were able to read along as well. I found this exercise to be extremely engaging, and it created a wholesome space of connectivity where my classmates and I settled into a story-time-like scenario. It was interesting to hear the difference intonations, pronunciations and approaches to the text that each reader took, and I loved the sense of vulnerability that arises from reading in front of others.

With this experience in mind, I suggested we do a sort of group story-time recorded zoom call with a bunch of volunteers. We bounced ideas off of each other and eventually decided that instead of having people read off a selection of our choosing, it might be interesting to have each person write a sentence or two of poetry (or any writing of their own), then read it out. We would ask for participants to sign up and send in their submissions, then randomly generate the order that they will read in. We’ll then type up a master document of the lines, and distribute it to each person to follow along with during the reading.

Meeting Notes

Emil

Week 1: Book Stacks

Investigating the artists work:

I’ve been sort of chuckling to myself all week when doing this assignment thinking about its connection to my current studies in ARTH 3320 Lives: Aspects of Western Art. In it so far we’ve briefly gone over our disagreements with Roland Barthes theory from his essay “Death to the Author”. He essentially argues that as soon as the a book is finished and shared, the author and their biography add nothing to the context of the book in the eyes of the reader. Of course there are many valid arguments for and against Barthes theory, but what I find interesting in relation to this course is that while one might use a book they own as a window into the life of its author, Nina Katchadourian goes a step deeper and uses someone else books as a window into their owners life. To sum up her process, Katchadourian will take a group of books owned by someone else and rearrange their order so that the titles on the spine can be read in sequence. The sequence includes books that she sees as illustrative to their owner(s) life, almost like a portrait of them as well as a glimpse into their library taking into account how they organize their books, which ones they love, or don’t care for, etc. Compositionally, Katchadourian will also take aesthetic elements into account such as fonts used in the titles and other physical qualities such as the books “heft”. Her method of arranging stacks was the one during practice that I was most drawn to. 

In his project One Billion Years [Past and Future], 2012, Dave Dyment aimed to create his stack using chronology as his organizational tool. When arranging, the source of where the books came from, their authors, previous owners, or titles, did not take precedence over the time (past, present, future) that each books contents pertained to. He found books that wrote about thousands of years in the past and thousands of years into the future and arranged them accordingly. 

Ryan Park on the other hand, in his 2009 Untitled project, took on a more playful approach and arranged books focusing on their colour and aesthetic. Of the three artists in question he is the only one to stack the books opened as opposed to closed. Ironically each books contents have nothing to do with the meaning of the whole sculpture. 

Process

As I mentioned earlier, when it came time for me to compose my own stacks I was most drawn to Katchadourian’s method of book selection and arrangement. I wanted the books to say something about me and my literary interests. I’ll say this, it’s quite difficult when you’re someone that doesn’t ever read, which is why the first stack idea I had was one composed of various sketchbooks and notebooks I own. I also pulled select books from my roomate’s collection, using ones that I felt reflected shared interests we have in music, poetry, society, culture, and nature. The primary goal was to arrange the books so that their titles would read a little interesting phrase that reached for, if not encapsulated a common theme shared amongst them. I tried to compose each phrase like a poem, though forgive me for I wouldn’t call myself a poet by any means. Similarly to Katchadouran and Park I paid attention to the shape of the full sculpture that each book acted as a single unit of. I wanted the sculptures form to support the flow of the poem – spacing the books to emphasizing certain words when needed, and aligning or skewing titles position in relation to one another to form groups or stanzas. 

Stack 1Wood, Ink, & Paper

Stack 2Wandering the Blasted Pine

Stack 3Embers

Week 2: Notes

This week I really enjoyed looking into a few of the handful of suggested artists, namely Hiba Abdallah and Barbara Kruger

Starting with Kruger, it’s clear right off the bat, even before reading the text, that her message is immediate. That colour pallet of black white and red – the dark and light contrast combined with danger associated with blood red – screams urgency. Her messages are extremely politically charged and visually, the composition of her images resemble propaganda almost. The use of bold text, bold simple shapes, and urgent colour pallet remind me a little of Russian constructivist propaganda. Sometimes the messages aren’t all that far off, in the sense of calling for a mass group of people to organize, like in “Your Body is a Battleground” which was promoting a rally in support of abortion and women’s rights.

I love the “I Shop therefore I Am” as a comment on modern consumer capitalist society. The hand looks so ominous and mindless, reaching out towards us as if we the viewer are about to be consumed. I feel a hint of irony with Kruger’s work, or style I should say, as it relates to the Supreme skate and streetwear clothing brand. Supreme basically copied her white text on red shape design and claimed it as their own, suing other companies who remotely copy it, like streetwear brand Married to the Mob did in 2013. Kruger commented on this in an interview calling Supreme “uncool jokers.” The irony is definitely real comparing “I shop therefore I am” to Supreme, since the billion-dollar streetwear enterprise is entirely based off of fast fashion. Owning the latest product signifies some form of street credit, fitting into the consumers mantra of being what you shop, where the less you buy the lesser you are.

The other artist who’s work I loved looking through and who was not featured on the week 2 blog was Hiba Abdallah. She’s a UofG alumni who specializes in text based work and has done a lot of collaborative work with communities in Toronto to re-imagine public agency. One work of hers that I really love is her “Something written in the Arabic language” logo, which is placed on cards as a print, as well as on t-shirts. Here she uses corporate branding strategies to sell an Arabic logo that literally says: “something written in the Arabic language.” While the message is apolitical, the script and logo design is highly charged and can challenge people who carry so much as a hint of anti-Arab sentiment. To me, wearing one of the shirts feels like a really cool opportunity for some prejudice checks!

Week 3: Text Banner

For this assignment I contemplated a couple phrases; “Don’t be Shy” (written in Cree) and “Seek to Challenge” were some close contenders.

I ended up choosing the phrase “in between these moments” as to me it spoke to mindfulness and a call to presence. It didn’t take long to realize that the stairwell would be the ideal place to hang it. The stairwell is an area of the house where I (mindlessly transition) from the upstairs to the downstairs – carrying with me mindsets and thoughts from the upstairs space that may not serve me in the downstairs space. I wanted to use this phrase as a little bit of a reset as I transition between areas of the house. Another thing is that because the stairwell is such a neutral and brief space, it doesn’t manifest new thoughts within me or affect old ones. So, a call to presence in a space that is removed from the context of my busy thoughts kind of allows me to check in with myself from a more neutral perspective. I can re-evaluate what is serving me and what isn’t. It can be simpler than that too, where it just gives me a brief moment to catch my breath.

I decided to divide the phrase into two sections so that, one, the letters and words could occupy more space, and two, to draw attention to the infinite divisibility of all moments. Without getting further into the crazy physics of time, the division of this sentence just points towards the moments between each step, let alone the moments of different spaces.

Below are my notes and then images of the setup. Enjoy!

Week 4: Notes & Commune w/ Nature Planning

This week Wolfgang Laib and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsays work really stood out to me – I think I mainly liked how tactile and physical their works were. I think we interact with nature more than we think, though if we’re not being mindful and drawing our attention to the moment, the interaction is not a true commune per se. When I think of times that I’ve felt extremely present in nature it’s usually been due to a combination of mindfulness and physical interaction. I think tactility and physicality are important to me when it comes to being present because as long as you’re being mindful of what you’re touching, how you’re moving, what you’re feeling, the physical interaction grounds you in that moment. What’s more than that is it makes it a shared experience with whatever it is you’re interacting with. I believe that for my commune it will be crucial to exercise mindfulness to recognize myself and nature as being two equal parts of a shared experience.

A physical interaction with nature I’ve always interested in is climbing trees. Since we were small, both my brother and I gravitated towards climbing any tree that looked accessible. So even today, as a young adult, on a nature walk with some friends I’ll get those urges from my childhood to clamber up a tree as quickly as I can. With that, I want this commune to have an underlying sense of play.

That said I want to integrate the practice of mindfulness to the activity of climbing. While climbing is fun, it also feels reminiscent of the fact that we’re often led to believe we as humans are above nature – that we can dominate it and control it. This sentiment is not as prevalent today as it may have been, say a century ago, yet I can’t help but draw a parallel between that and tree climbing.

This video assignment will aim to portray the moment of pause and reflection before engaging in something impulsive and exciting – taking a moment to be truly present with the tree; understand the possible risks to both yourself, as the climber, and the tree; and in a weird way asking the tree for permission to climb its branches. Of course, the tree cannot offer any direct “yes” or “no” answer to that question. The way I like to see it is that its reply is measured by the amount of genuine and attentive love you feel for that tree. If you’re able to genuinely connect with the tree the feel free to begin safely climbing – maintaining that air of love and mindfulness. If you’re not feeling the connection, either from your own lack of love for the tree, or a negative vibe you get from the tree, do not proceed to climb.

The exercise I will be demonstrating in my video will be me approaching a tree that I have selected based on its climb-ability, then proceeding to sit by the base of its trunk for a short while as I reflect. Finally, based on mindful reflection I’ll decide to either climb the tree or walk away from it.

Below are some more notes that detail my ideas leading up to the video.

Week 5: Commune w/ Nature Video

How to Climb a Tree:

This is an informative video on how to climb a tree. As I mentioned in my Week 4 post, I approach a tree I’d like to climb, examine it, then proceed to sit by it and in a sense gain its permission to climb. The process of asking for permission from something that cannot directly communicate with you is a tricky thing that I myself am not even entirely certain about. I liken it quite a bit to eating meat. Although I tend to avoid it, the times that I do eat meat I try to mindfully recognize the animal that unwillingly gave its life at some factory farm. Climbing trees is definitely more tame than consuming meat (no trees or me’s were harmed in the production of this video), but I believe its still very important to approach the activity with that same mentality of thanks, love, and recognition of a shared experience. The title “how to climb a tree” is instructional because if I could I’d show this video to my younger self – have him pause before mindlessly engaging in an activity that involves more than just himself.

Thomas

Week #4

When deciding what to do as an intimate action, I immediately thought of the act of eating.  Eating is something that is very personal and in most scenarios involves only the one participant, but I wanted to stretch that into something that pushed the number of “participants” to a multiple. I also found on the guided audio walk that it reminded me of audio tours, unsurprisingly. However, I found myself thinking about being on those and how much of a group activity they are, it made me think about doing this. audio tour through tress or the forest, and how different of an experience the crowd or other participants can give to an activity. My decision completely changed from my initial idea of doing a tour of my house with one plant, as I felt no intimacy in the action, and this ultimately landed me on the act of eating being intimate and my video being the way I wanted it shown.

From the audio walk I focused mainly on the idea of being immersed within the “trees” or being inside of your minds jungle. I stuck with the Jungle theme while doing my project, I tried to position my camera as to submerse it in the jungle, so to speak. I also think the movement of the plants when brushed with my hand or chopstick, added to the feeling of being surrounded or immersed. I also wanted the background noise of my house to represent the noises present in the jungle.

Week #3

For the Banner project I wanted to focus on a more simple, minimalist approach. From the “Dirty Words” article I found myself glued to the phrase “interesting also flirts with boredom”. I wanted to create a banner that was very plain and simple, to represent the connection between boredom and interest. The piece “Two Equal Texts” inspired me with the idea to use black and white lettering versus an opposite background contrast. Seeing how vibrant the letters were set against the opposite background really swayed me to work with the the two tones to create heavy contrast. I also like his very ordinary text and this reminded me of interesting also entailing boredom.

I am pretty happy with how my project came out. I wanted a pronounced contrast between the black letters and the white paper/background.

Week #2 Assignment

For this week’s assignment, we were asked to compare and contrast two works that incorporated text into them, and touch on the core elements of these art works. It was hard to choose which two to compare because there were so many amazing works! However, I have narrowed down my selection to Shelley Niro’s “The Shirt” and Jon Rubin’s “The Last Billboard”. I chose these two because I find them very different, but both very impactful. Obviously there is a major difference in the presentation of these two projects, Niro uses a simple white t-shirt with text on it, while Rubin uses an entire billboard to convey his message, I think both are successful, Rubin’s work will access mass people with its location and size while Niro uses irony to transform a known phrase into something with a much deeper meaning. I think Niro using a t-shirt is effective because it is a common vacation purchase for many people, and it is a very blunt way to explain the atrocities committed against the indigenous. Rubin’s work “The Last Billboard” uses a similar bluntness as Niro in his work, stating there will be black people in the future, which is also somewhat ironic. Viewers can relate to Niro’s work by being aware of the phrase and seeing the twisted ironic side. This can also be said for Rubin’s work, where viewers are faced with a blunt truth.

Week #1 Notes:

Nina Katchadourian’s Book Stacks projects:

  • Started in 93’
  • Stacks of books, that are ordered  based on their titles to create a sentence
  • The goal was to symbolize what was held in the libraries
  • The project had multiple locations and re-creations, using libraries, private collections, and home libraries
  • The works were often presented where they were found

Video:

  • How books can tell a story
  • How books can represent a person
  • Think about the books in all terms (physical aspects, titles, author, style)
  • Does your library represent you?

Dave Dyment One Billion Years (Past and Future), 2012:

  • This collection represents the past, present and future by using the information inside the books
  • The Books selected by Dyment use the inner contents of the book to represent a timeline of one million years
  • Bright coloured books create a visually stimulating image, with lots of areas to focus on
  • The use a prominent dark background suggests similarities to the work of Katchadourian

Ryan Park, Untitled, 2009:

  • This work differs from the others as it offers an open book style of stacking, rather than the traditional stacking used in the previous works.
  • The use of colour is very apparent in this work, as the books transition from cool to warm coolers, then back to cool
  • The background is again a solid colour, but this example uses a white background which brings more openness to the work

Write:

  • Some strategies used by the artists would be choosing specific books based on specific characteristics, for example; Katchadourian stated that she was trying to create sequences with her books, so the titles would be the deciding characteristic in that case. She also mentioned representing the owner of the books, this can be done by using the titles, or it can be done with symbolism by using physical aspects of the book such as colour of the outside, size, shape, condition and many more.
  • Colour was used heavily by Park in the selection of his books, as can be seen the ascending then descending colouration of his work. A strategy used by Dave Dyment; he used the information written inside the books to create a timeline. Using the contents of the books can be a great way to represent someone or something because it gives you a well-rounded appreciation for whatever it may be.

My Process:

Unfortunately, my lack of interest in reading resulted in me owning only four books… at first I was stumped on what to do, my roommates only had textbooks and I didn’t want to use material that has no connection to me, while I still had the four other options. As I decided to use my books, I noticed how figuratively they represented me quite well.

The titles of my books are the following:

  • Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnecut
  • The Art of Racing In the Rain, Garth Stein
  • Die Rich and Tax Free, Barry Kaye
  • Gucci Mane, Autobiography with, Neil Martinez-Belkin

I am a huge fan of rap/hip-hop (Gucci Mane), I love cars, especially fast ones. The book also heavily features a dog, which resonates with me because I’ve owned dogs all my life (The Art of Racing In the Rain). Die Rich and Tax Free, connects to one thing that I am known for which is my spending habit, the book was given to me by my former employer (a financial advisor) who constantly criticized my spending, till the point he found a book that has helped to reduce my spending. The last book, Breakfast of Champions, I have almost no ties to, besides the irony of me not typically eating breakfast, and the honest not knowing of where I got the book from.

For my “stacks” I wanted to make my library to seem more diverse than four books, so i tried several angles and positions till I arrived at three that i liked, I liked these three because of how different they are, I think in some ways it symbolizes how vast my own interests are.

https://experimentalstudio.ca/extendedpracticeslevel2/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/01/IMG_4220-768x1024.jpg

For my stacks I wanted to make my library seem large and vast, so I tried to work with different shapes in order to accomplish that. I also wanted to incorporate some of Ryan Park’s ideas because I liked the look of the books being open, as I feel the back cover can offer a little more insight into the library. I also wanted to incorporate Katchadourian’s location selection, of stacking the works in the location they come from, so I decided to photograph my images inside my bedroom.

Hannah

Week Five

One who destroys the land destroys oneself. This mantra shows the importance of responsibility and intentional cohabitation. The act of placing my hand on the snow is intentional. If I press for too long or too hard the heat from my hand will melt the snow too much and the cold of the snow will harm me. But if I achieve a balance by understanding our limits, there is beauty in our cohabitation. My print will disappear, it is fleeting and it is not about me and my mark on the land, it is about intentionally understanding I am responsible for my actions regarding the land. I can make the land better or I can scar. If I scar the land I scar myself.

Week Four notes

Proposal

Week three notes

When approaching this exercise, I took a similar route to Nina Katchadourian’s Book Stacks project. I read the article a few times, first picking out short phrases i enjoyed or that stuck out, then picking out words. I organized these all in a list and was able to pick my final selections from there. I was having so much fun with this exercise I couldn’t decide which phrase to use for my final, so I made a few banners.

While watching the interview with Hiba Abdallah, i was very intrigued by the way she viewed words as a material to make art. She stated “words can be so pointed yet so poetically vague”. This really resonates with me, as a big fan of text in art. I had this phrase in mind while creating my banners.

The first banner i created was the first phrase i connected using the article. It is a tad hard to read since my pea brain didn’t realize that banners should be readable both in photos and in person. If I were to explore banners as a mode of communication in the future I would definitely increase the size. It says “disinterested engagement, until our eyes bleed”. While creating this banner, I thought of the banner as a mode of communication itself. It is used for celebration in most forms. I wanted to create a phrase that you wouldn’t celebrate. First of all, you wouldn’t celebrate disinterested engagement, and never your eyes bleeding. This too is how i feel about online school in a way, I find it really difficult to fully engage and connect over the online format, and i feel like i am staring at screens until my eyes bleed. I laid out this banner just kind of sprawled out on the ground to show that the banner itself is disinterested in its only engagement, hanging in its traditional form.

This banner reads “Interpersonal Dissimulation”. This banner follows the theme of celebrating something that wouldn’t usually be celebrated. While putting these words together, i looked up both their definitions just to make sure i was understanding the words completely. Interpersonal refers to communication between people and dissimulation refers to concealment of ones thoughts, feelings or character. Together, i interpret the words as a poor form of communication. Communication with deceit, lies, hypocrisy and decay. I took this photo on a door that we keep in my backyard. the paint is chipping and the wood decaying so i saw it as a perfect location to enforce the idea of conversational decay.

The last banner I made reads “interrupted intellectual space”. When i think of intellectual space, I think of a peaceful environment where one can properly think or feel at ease. For me, my intellectual space is interrupted by technology and screens. I cut out my triangles from a magazine page that included some sort of technological motherboard to represent technology interrupting that space. I placed this banner on a tree to show that when my intellectual space is interrupted, i remedy that by going outside, taking a walk in the forest or just completely immersing myself with nature.

Week Two Notes

Week Two exercise

Week One Notes

While creating my own book stacks, I followed Katchadourians process. I am currently living at home so I have access to quite a few books. I started by going through my parents bookshelf and removing every title that seemed even a little bit interesting. I then compiled all those titles in a long list.

After making the list, I placed each book title on a post it note to be able to easily play around with the names and see what worked best.

My final step, just as Katchadourian’s was to finally place the books together. I first tried to place the books in bankers box’s. I filled the remaining area by upside down books. I found this to be an interesting way to display the books but U had a bit of trouble reading them. I remembered Katchadourian speaking about the importance of the physical qualities of the book and their readability. I decided to go a different route, similar to Katchadourian by stacking the books, and having a completely black background so the books have complete attention.

I really enjoyed this method of poetry of a sort, I am a big fan of making collages and creating these book stacks was like enacting a different way to collage. I am finding it tough to title these works since I naturally want to use one of the book titles, but I also want to allow the books to connect with the others and inform each other rather than focus on an individual book title.

Shannon

W1 – Book Stacking

Notes for week 1

I don’t Know the First Three Letters!

I created this book stack in response to my experience in being dyslexic. Dictionaries are only a helpful tool if you know the first 3 letters and yet that was every adult solution for me growing up. I purposely tried to make the book titles hard to read by covering some of them with other books pages.

All Lined Up

Growing up I was very obsessive with these pink books and making the castle be perfectly lined up. So I thought it would interesting to create a new system and line up the titles. This new system distorts the nostalgic illusion of the castle.

Practice

One of Katchadourian’s book stack ‘What Is Art?’ got me thinking about how artists go about learning from these books and how our sketch books are the peer review process for the art community. So, I added one of my sketch books along side my ‘How to draw’ books. I think this choice draws you to think about whats on the inside of the books not just the titles.

W2 – Notes

Reflection

W3 – Bannor

Notes

When I looked ahead (sorry I know we aren’t supposed to) I got really excited about this exercise and wrote down the idea “depression walk” as a banner and hang it on a commonly walked trail in my community. Obviously This idea doesn’t follow the prompt but, I really enjoyed this idea.
‘TIME RISKS BECOMING”
I did this before understanding the prompt. I thought we could put words together from the article to create the banner but we were supposed to take a phrase from the article. This misunderstanding resulted in an intense dissection of the article and the words it housed.
Above is an intense list of words and how I went about creating my first attempt at the banner.

Take Two

Above are my notes and sketches for my second attempt at this prompt.

I’m intrigued by the concept of time lately so, this phrase ‘ongoing temporality’ jumped out of the article for me. I think it speaks to this global pause we are all experiencing due to the pandemic and how the end feels like it’s being dangled just out of reach. In terms of instillation, I looked at an older piece of mine ‘Everything is Fine’ where I wrapped a very dead plant in green thread to make it appear like it was still alive even though it is dead inside. The plant represents what physically and mentally happens when living in the state of ongoing temporality. The string used to hang the banner is right from the thread used to wrap the plant and the ending to the word ‘temporality’ is leaving the potted plant to add a sense of hope.

W4 – Video Proposal

Notes

Proposal – Ideas

How do I to prepare to go practice death? Why do I feel compelled to make myself feel ‘At home’ in this new environment? Maybe because death is uncomfortable for the living.

What dose practicing death from dead plants look like? Is it still in the pile of blankets and writing notes? or is practicing wilting?

W5 – Video Art with Nature

This is all the raw footage I shot. I had two ideas, the first was becoming apart of the garden by laying/burying myself in the garden along with the other plants. This footage has many clips of the community garden at different angles and different plants. My other idea was to learn a dead plants love language, and so I brought the plant a gift(a blanket to keep warm), act of service (soil), quality time (sharing water), touch, and words of affirmation. This idea was a lot of fun to film but, while editing I decided that I couldn’t pass up the beautiful shots of the garden.

Apart of the Garden

Screenshots from Dead Plants and Love Languages

W6 – Proposal for Video Art & Zoom

Notes

Proposal … Ideas

Eden

Book Stacks

Goodbye Berlin

This stack narrates the struggle of moving to a new place, being an outsider, and the challenge of assimilating with a new language, culture etc. I was inspired by my time spent in Germany to create a stack that tells a story. This collection includes some books I read while studying abroad, language guides and ones with a significant geographical locations.

Laws of Prosperity

This might be a recipe on how to be prosperous. Clean Gut is a guide to rebuilding your gut biome. Strange Visitors is a collection of documents and testimonies of indigenous-settler relations in Canada. Alchemy & Mysticism is a picture book of all things magical, mysterious and historical. Finally, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity is a book gifted to me by my grandmother as some passed down wisdom. These books together juxtapose a sort of portrait of myself.

I Keep the Land Alive

What keeps art alive? This stack shows the play and power of art and time. Trees and Landscapes, Walden, The Greeks, The Art of Art History, The Lives of Artists. Revive, I Keep the Land Alive, When Then is Now

Week 1 Notes

Justin

Week’s work can be reached by the numbered buttons at the bottom of the page.


Week 1: Tues. Jan. 12

What are some of the strategies Katchadourin, Dyment and Park used to select and order books in their final works? What were their decisions based on? How do the final compositions expand the meaning of each individual book, or come together to have a new and surprising meaning about the library, the family, about language and books, or about anything else?
Nina Katchdourin:
  • Katchdourin’s work deals with personal archives and libraries.
  • decisions are based on what sounds good or what may be useful for representing the owner of the archive.
  • They use a clipboard to formulate an inventory of all the books, making note of book titles that stand out. the titles are then transcribes on to index cards that are moved around and rearranged in poem-like compositions. This stage is to decide what titles work together. A final stage of this process is using the the actually books to sculpt the poem.
  • Katchdourin’s work extends the meaning of the collection to be a portrait the owner.
Dave Dyment:

https://youtu.be/TIaM_ofQE30

  • Dyment’s work and decisions are based around isolated text, or questions, from an archive.
  • Their practice is centered around research.
  • He says that he is interested in culture, and how it’s made and changes over time. For instance, One Billon Years (Past and Future), reorganizing a collection of history books in a chronological order.
Ryan Park:
  • Park’s decision on Untitled are based on colour and the spine of books.
  • All books are stack on each others spine allowing the pages to be facing upward. This decision makes reading the titles and text harder, giving the impression that is not the focus of this project.
  • all books are hardcover
  • Larger, wider books are used to single out book’s colour which is close to pure, or represent a kind of local colour. This is exactly what expands the meaning of the collection, by focusing on the physical qualities of the books, their context is lost. They become more of a colourful sculpture. They might even represent a kind of spectrum of topics, or Queer texts (seeing that a rainbow can be linked to LGBTQ ).


Select two pieces to discuss.

I would like to focus primarily on the works of Dave Dyment’s 2012 project, One Billion Years [Past and Future] (Left) and Ryan Park‘s Untitled (2009; Right). At a glance, the two of them share a common material to work with, that being books, and the similarities end there.

Dyment’s work is based on isolating texts, or questions, from an archive. These “Pull quotes” help Dyment to create a representative of the cultures that he likes to explore. Park’s book stack does not do this, instead it leans more into the sculptural quality of books, neglecting text of each of them. Which makes me think that the spines are ignored but actually Park has found another use for them other than displaying. In Untitled, Park uses the spine of hardcover books to support the stack and their aesthetic quality spatial quality to organize them. Larger, wider books are used to single out book’s colour which is close to pure, or represent a kind of local colour. This is exactly what expands the meaning of the collection, by focusing on the physical qualities of the books, their context is lost. They become more of a colourful sculpture. They might even represent a kind of spectrum of topics, or Queer texts (seeing that a rainbow can be linked to LGBTQ ).


Notes:


Three Sorted books:

Well Come
Shit and Piss
More Drawings
The Man Without Talent
Lose
Things You Carry
After Nothing Comes

For most of these I carried on with Katchdourin’s method of planning to the stack of books. This is one instance that came from writing down a couple lists of my library, at least, titles that seemed interesting. The titles in that make up this Stack-poem create this kind of self-deprecating humour about myself? I primary spend my spare time drawing, and I am mostly self taught, So I make a lot of rough and unfocused material.

New Comics
Making and Breaking the Grid
More Drawings
Flight
Landscapes
The White Deer

This one goes continues this activity of drawing but brings in ideas of structure and subjects, actions and places. I want this to have a gestalt feeling too.

They are stack on the side to reinforce the poem aspect of the titles, but I don’t exactly go all the way by lining the titles. Instead, I line the book themselves, in which was my way of acknowledging the material -I did not want to lose the idea that they are books organized and creating a signal shape. more than likely, I didn’t want to lose the straight edge that the books make when they are flushed left, as if there’s a presence pushing against them.

More Drawings
Landscapes
House of Chains
Three Dots & the Guilt Machine
The Stone Bird
Making and Breaking the Grid

For this final stack, I hadn’t the chance to make use of the title Three Dots & the Guilt Machine because of how it was designed ( No title on spine.) To me the title interesting for multiple meanings. For me, it is ironic because it’s title is specific and not at the same time. So, for me to allow this title to be part of the stack exercise I needed it to face forward. To do this, I thought of the books in a more sculptural sense then I would had with the previous two. It started with the base layer, making use of the design textbook about grids as a pun, then I would use these thick fantasy books as support, or columns, to make a second level that more stacked books could be added. Within this structure it allowed for that the Guilt Machine to enter the sculpture.

Again, I kept to the idea of drawing, revolving around places and things and structures.


These are all important books to me. More often than not, they reflect my interests and aspirations, which should not to be confused with what they display, but, I guess, what they accomplish and express. I think there is something admirable to these books that were chosen. It is ironic then that I would make stack-poems to poke fun at myself, and maybe because I hold the books to a high standard.

Tyler

Week#1 Notes:

When watching Nina Katchadourian explain how she is using book to describe someone personality is nothing less of genius. She uses the stagey of digging through the whole collection and then uses the que card to write the ones she plans on using. I really like when she used the book with a question as a title then follows up with a book to answer the previous book. This method could be used to convey ones thought in different way thus painting a portrait. One of the things that drew me to studio art and pursing it as a career was the passion to work with different hues and texture and mediums.

Ryan Park’s works speak to that by the stacking of coloured books and making a colour pallet. This shows a whole new mean while working with the same medium.

I decided to use to book from my friends’ library as I honestly don’t own many books. I found her collection very interesting. One thing that I found really interesting is that by looking at someone’s library there really is a connection and can tell you a substantial amount of what that person is about. For the first stack of books, I wanted to embody her journey as a woman and how she moves through spaces. I then break down her even further not only being a woman but a black woman.

For the second I decided to mess around with the form of the book. So, I showed the pages and then, flipped one book around that was read and I liked how the words “black” and “Canada” stood out, as most of my experience has been in Canada and many people always say when they see something crazy in the states “that’s the state, and that doesn’t happen in Canada”.

For my third stack, I display where I see think we are moving to, as opposed to where we had started. So, at the top of the stack, I used the book critique of black reasons then I put becoming human because that’s is still a battle that we are fighting today. And yes, it is crazy that we are still treated unfairly and almost feel insane asking to be treated like a human. I ended the stack with “silencing the past” because I feel like we are all started to really wake up as a human race and come together and fight this division we race and move forward as one.