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.

Alia

Week #6: Zoom Video Art

Zoom meetings, and online meeting platforms in the age of online schooling have become the norm everyday. The strain on mental health and sanity is at stake when we have these faux social interactions without actually socially interacting in the sense we have grown up to know.

As a university student, 5 days a week are spent joining meetings for lectures. The repetition of having the online delivery of lectures for a year now has become the ‘norm’ in the student’s daily routine. Although it may not be the standard ‘trapped at your desk’ at work, this goes hand in hand.

I want to explore repetition in my work. I also want to convey shifting sanity, as well as routine, through the overlay of me ‘attending lectures’. I think this will turn out absolutely chaotic with a couple videos overlapping with different movements and narratives, even different sounds. I will experiment with audio as well as video to try and convey these emotions and feelings we often are unable to pick up through the screens we view every day.

Week #5: Video production

I really pondered the idea regarding what I would want to teach nature – that being trees or simply a houseplant. From the preliminary work of ideas I developed from Week 4, I wanted to boil down and emphasize the bigger message I wanted to convey. In this piece, my goal was to demonstrate and perform with trees how humans show affection. The major gesture was hugging, some light kisses and caresses as well, but in conclusion this work is a compilation of affectionate gestures to the trees.

I considered how I felt; when going on walks the trees provided a calming and gentle ambience where the presence of the trees was looming yet comforting. I wanted this piece to be about returning those affectionate gestures to comfort the trees this time around. I wanted to branch out further than my house plants, finding a more direct lifeline to mother nature herself. I wandered around this area in a small forest and was drawn to the trees that gave me a lonely energy, so I approached the ones who really felt like they needed a hug.

I wanted to have someone else film me during the gestures to distance myself from having overwhelming control of the manipulation of the videos. I did not have a say in how my friend filmed me, and I did not retake the clips; I didn’t even review them to see how they turned out after they were shot, I only saw them once I started editing. I wanted the clips to be raw and unedited, and fairly experimental.

The video is a compilation of clips edited together of myself giving back to the trees. The biggest inspiration for this piece was the guided audio walk Trees are Fags I found a greater connection to the trees I made contact with so I wanted to channel this energy into my work for this project. The idea of Machine Project’s Houseplant Vacation work in providing a space to take your houseplants for a vacation, they intended on giving back to the plants, and I wanted to develop this idea to incorporate into this project as well.


Week #4: Artists Commune with Nature

Notes for the project:

Video Draft – process

Week #3: More Text as Art

Final

This piece aimed to play on the words of the banner created. Typically a banner is a bold statement hung directly in a location with great visibility to make a statement to those who view it. I found it comedic to incorporate the word ambivalently into a banner that is defined as opposing. By pinning the banner to one side of the wall yet allowing the other side to fall and lay across the ground, I feel this choice reflects the ambivalence directly and exploits that. Rather than making a statement with the words presented, this banner makes a statement by oddness and very opposite method of display. The choice to make the words white to blend them slightly with the background also stems from the same idea to be opposing to the bold statements banners usually convey. The letters want to be seen, they are in all capitals, but they are not making an evident statement by being white letters and hung halfway.

Additional:

Additional: This piece I wanted to completely edit. By utilizing the word excerpt “Kiss of death”, I wanted to channel the energy that as developed from being amongst a pandemic for a year. By incorporating two masked figures appearing to be leaning in for a kiss, I wanted to separate them by the words. The idea that being close to someone today could mean risking your health and essentially your life was the message I wanted to strongly convey here.

This piece was edited and created in a photoshop app – I wanted to see what I could create on a strict digital platform rather than a physical banner or completely staged photograph to develop the skills I would be using for editing. I wanted the text to also be continuously one page as a cursive sentence but I did not have paper long enough so the digital option developed.

Week #2: Text as Art

Notes as Text

Following the art as text lecture, I found I was very drawn to two of the works, more so than the others, for similar reasons – Jenny Holzier’s Truisms and Shelley Niro’s The Shirt

Jenny Holzier’s work is very bold and crass in the best ways. Her ‘one liners’ are comical and blunt and absolutely make a statement. The presentation through formats of billboard’s and large signs, as well as galleries and even clothing apparel, Truism’s acts to be right in your face through multiple means. Her goal was to garner a rise out of the audience, a reaction or a spark towards that start of conversation amongst the viewer’s. When present in such public places, the likelihood of this occurring increases greatly compared to the presentation in just a gallery or museum space. I think every aspect of this work is successful, and the format of the piece only operates to develop her bold content further. Shelley Niro’s The Shirt gave me a similar effect. Aside from both works being printed clothing, they also make very bold and political statements. Niro uses the stereotypical tourist shirt to display her message through dark irony and satire, making an almost too bold statement but does not stray from truth. Her work directly addresses the long-standing effects as a result of colonial settlement on First Nations peoples, creating discourse. In combination with the shirt making a statement, the woman who wears it, and the background, this piece was also very successful in making a statement to start conversation among the viewers.

Week #1: Book stacks

Process of my work

I relied heavily on Nina Katchadourian’s work as inspiration for my stacks. I found the narratives very entertaining and extremely creative, how she could convey and paint portraits of the libraries the books belonged. She enabled clever and I wanted to create short narratives in my work as well.

The number of books I was working with was very limited. Neither my roommates nor I brought enough of a collection to our student house that we would deem it a library, but I worked with the given resources.

It was, at first, difficult to separate the titles and view them not as books as a whole to reinvent them and utilize them for a different narrative purpose. The stacks I created do not explicitly convey me or the owners of the borrowed books, but rather interesting and somewhat ominous and distant narratives giving the viewer space to convey the meaning how they choose. By grouping like titles or meanings, I began to form the stacks below.

In the middle… (2021)
Fuel for fire (2021)
Life experiencing the human (2021)

Tessa

WEEK FIVE

Here is my finished video. I ended up only doing indoor plants because I couldn’t get footage that easily distinguished between the outdoor plants because they were all dead or bare because of the weather. There may be a few editing errors that I missed in this final video. Premiere kept crashing on me and I had to keep restarting everything so I might not have caught everything.

WEEK FOUR

Many of these artworks made me think about plants in ways that I usually would not. I found “Houseplant vacation,” to be especially interesting. Most of our houseplants stay put, and are not usually moved around too much. The idea of taking your plants from your home and taking them on a “vacation” is a very interesting concept that I really enjoy. Another concept I really like comes from “Trees are fags.” In this audio walk, it is discussed how trees have been around for so long and have had so many experiences.

My brother recently told me about a conversation girls in his class were having about plants. They were saying how there is something wrong with you if you do not regularly talk to your plants. I wouldn’t say that I often talk to my plants, but I do sometimes make comments about how they’re doing when I water them. This comment made by his classmates made me wonder something: if plants could talk, what would they say? 

Moving forward with this concept, I started thinking about what each one of plants would talk about. All of my houseplants came from somewhere, and they eventually ended up at the grocery store where I bought them. Some I bought in Barrie and others in Guelph. My small collection of plants have been in places that I probably haven’t been before. They have interacted with people before I got them. It is possible that someone else almost bought them before I did but decided against it. Then, I thought about outdoor plants. They have also seen many interesting things and people. The trees in my backyard have seen me grow up over the past eleven years. They have experienced harsh snow and rain storms that my indoor plants would have been inside for. Looking at these contrasting experiences, I thought: if indoor and outdoor plants could talk to each other, what would they say to each other? And how do their own memories differ from plant to plant? And most importantly, what would these plants say about myself. Throughout my whole life, I have been surrounded by plants. Each plant has a memory of me. Plants have seen me at my best and at my worst.

My idea for this assignment is to have each plant tell a memory of me. The memories of each plant will vary depending on when I got the plant and whether it is an indoor or outdoor plant. The following images are a few examples of plants and how they relate to me. An autobiography, but told through the perspective of significant plants.

Here’s a couple examples of plants and memories or moments that I associate them with.

WEEK THREE

 Some of the sentences that I was looking at:

meaningless way to describe art

the lone image of a glass of milk

Simplicity

anxieties about death

minimal aesthetic

deeply conflicted

While reading the article, I wrote down every sentence that stuck out to me. Some I thought sounded very deep and meaningful out of context, and others I found sounded quite strange. Then I kind of made it my goal to find the best sentence that could be looked at out of context and perplex the viewer. I ended up going in a weird direction for this assignment. The words I chose to isolate were “The lone image of a glass of milk.” I thought it was funny and kind of ominous. I made the banner out of blue paper and a blue marker. I was hoping to use a blank wall as the background and just have a glass of milk in front of it, but the banner was too big to be hung inside my house. I went outside in my backyard and chose our pergola to hang the banner. I put the glass of milk on the step and hung the banner above it. I like how it turned out. It’s very weird.

WEEK TWO

Both artists use text in very interesting ways. In the first example, Myre uses an existing text: The Indian Act, and beads over the writing. In Niro’s work, she writes her own text on the shirt. To begin, I’m going to talk about both pieces and how the medium is relevant to each message. 

Nadia Myre, Indian Act, 2002
I learned about this piece in an Indigenous art history course that I took last semester. In this class, I learned about how significant beading is. To take the Indian Act and cover it with beads is very powerful. It is a message of holding onto one’s culture even when it was trying to be destroyed. The materials used in this piece are especially significant, because of how important the art of beadwork is in Indigenous communities throughout time. The Indian Act has caused so many horrible things to happen. 
Shelley Niro, The Shirt (detail), 2003

Just like the previous piece, Shelley Niro’s “The Shirt” is also very powerful and the materials in combination with the text are very strong. Indigenous people have been treated in horrible ways for so long. They have been looked at as some sort of rare object to be observed by Europeans, almost like some sort of tourist attraction, which I can see portrayed in Niro’s piece. I also learned in my art history class last semester that countless precious artworks and ceremonial masks or other objects were stolen and displayed in museums by Europeans, which is an example of my previous point.

I think the main message is that Indigenous people have been through so many terrible things, and nothing has been done to resolve it, shown in the “and all’s I get is this shirt.” As I’m sure you know, getting a t-shirt as a gift from someone who travelled somewhere exciting is considered very underwhelming and disappointing. So to say that her ancestors went through all that trauma that continues to affect people to this day and then say that all she gets out of this all is a shirt says a lot about how Indigenous people feel about the lack of compassion and continuing mistreatment that exists to this day. I think that using a shirt with this text is a perfect way to portray her message.

The medium is very important in this piece because it creates a commentary on the issues that I have mentioned, like treating Indigenous people and objects as tourist attractions throughout the years, and also, shows how Indigenous people are left with nothing. 

In both examples, the viewers are supposed to use their historical understanding of Indigenous issues and connect the text to that. The first example shows a feeling of overpowering the horrible contents of the Indian Act with beadwork. The second shows the frustration and disappointment experienced by Indigenous people. I think that both of these artworks create an emotional response in the viewers. I found both pieces very powerful.

WEEK ONE NOTES

I had a lot of fun creating book stacks. I was most inspired by Nina Katchadourian’s narrative compositions. I made it my goal to make really absurd stacks that tell weird stories or say strange points. My house has so many books in it, so I had a lot to work with. I went through every bookshelf in my house, trying to find titles that I thought sounded interesting. At first, I used books with similar themes or genres. I grouped books for children together, and textbooks together, but nothing sounded good to me. I went through my mom’s bookshelves, and I found books with more interesting titles. I combined different types of books and ended up with some pretty interesting narratives.

To me, my examples feel like they’re trying to make a point, but that point is unclear and you’re not too sure what to take away from it. They feel kind of ominous and overall very odd, and I really enjoy that.

Sierra

Week 4: Nature Video Art

I enjoyed the Tree are Fags walk, found it relaxing, and felt that it did bring me closer to the trees. I went to the little forest near my house (we’d had deep snow the last couple days and it was beautiful, peaceful, and bright). At the end, once I’d found “my tree” and after asking it if I could touch it (as instructed) in Korean (my choice), I ended up standing there with it for a little while longer, appreciating the bark. Then I took a photo of it and went home feeling refreshed.

The forest near my house
“my” tree

I thought to do a sort of reverse of the Trees are Fags concept. Whereas the the walk has you follow the directions of a person, I wanted to follow the trees’ directions.

I decided to go back to forest and walk for 5 minutes. I would start walking in a straight line until I met a tree. Then, I would look at the tree and interpret the direction it seemed to be leaning. I would then follow the tree’s direction and walk again in a straight line until I met another tree, repeating the process.

I did four attempts to get the final video. The first take was good except for the fact that I accidentally filmed it in portrait orientation (to be fair, I think this fits the trees’ perspective better). The next two takes were failures terminated part way through, but the last one ended up being the final. The first and last takes (the ones I completed) were perfect walks. By the end of 5 minutes, the trees had had fun messing with me, sending me through messes of branches, across a little valley, and through bushes, but both times the trees directed me back onto the path I had started on by the 5 minute mark.

Directions

Week 3: Banner

Notes

I began by putting the article into a document and highlighting phrases of interest as I read.

The phrases I liked most:

Narrowing it down further…

I drew the letters free-hand on paper and cut them out, leaving tabs on the tops so that I could hang them from a string.

Final Banner

Awkward (Self-conscious Banner)

Week 2: Text Art

I chose to compare Shelly Niro’s piece, The Shirt (2003) and Nadia Myre’s Indian Act (2002) (I will only be commenting on the two photos from The Shirt on the Week 2 page, though I’m aware that the full piece includes more images as I’ve seen it in person).

Although both pieces are comments on colonization by Indigenous Artists in North America, they make use of text very differently. The Shirt consists of photos of the artist wearing a white shirt with text saying different things in each photo. In the first photo, the shirt says, “My ancestors were annihilated, exterminated, murdered and massacred” and in the second photo says, “And all’s I get is this shirt”. Indian Act consists of the printed Indian Act with red and while glass beads sewn overtop so that white beads replace the words and red beads take up the space surrounding the words.

The Shirt evokes the idea of the banal, mass-produced souvenir shirt which tells the reader that someone the wearer knows visited a particular country, but all the wearer got was the shirt. The Shirt contrasts this image with the meaning of the words on the other shirt, which are painful and highly distressing, but make the viewer uncomfortable in the context of what is typically a humorous shirt.

The Indian Act appropriates and uses beading to replace the words of a document which enshrines colonization and serves as a reminder of it’s effects. In this way, the artist erases the Indian Act with a traditional craft which has survived colonization.

Week 1: Book Stacks

Notes

Book titles 1
Book titles 2
Experimenting with combinations 1
Experimenting with combinations 2

Artist Nina Katchadourian often makes book stacks from private and public collections, constructing a kind of portrait of the owner or place using sequences of titles. She begins by looking through the books and writing down titles of interest. She then transfers the titles onto cue cards and experiments with arranging them into different sequences. Her final step is to collect the books and arrange them into the final stacks.

Katchadourian often creates narratives out of the book title sequences. They may be abstract, humorous, or thought-provoking. My personal favourites are A Day at the Beach and Primitive Art:

A Day at the Beach, 2001
Primitive Art, 2001

These two stacks perfectly capture the humorous aspect to Katchadourian’s work which I love. The narratives are well constructed for easy reading and comprehension and the book tiles create such a deadpan humour when read. In my own stacks, I attempted to bring some of Katchadourian’s narrative style to my own stacks.

Final Stacks

I Like You
Men, Beasts, and Gods
America, but Better

Abdulla

Week 3 – Exercise

This seems to work well with the environment of my home. I think it would be funny if I filled the fridge with cartons of milk and some on the floor, unfortunately I did not collect milk cartons in the past week. I think the drama of the lighting and the banal sense of subject matter work well together to give off some sort of bad humor. The cereal bowl of course adds to the drama effect because there was no milk. Overall a sad picture.

I did not understand what the article was trying to say at all. It seemed like it was spinning in a circle while speaking about absolutely nothing. “Interesting” might be a vague, meaningless way to describe art but it is also the heart of how art is given value, and is made political. I feel like in many topics about art, we tend to look really hard to define things when we know what it means and can only do so much to describe it linguistically. In short, the article philosophies this and brings up examples on both sides. While reading this I thought to myself that: these are simply archetypes that manifest themselves as time goes on – when the place you are in is in need of political focus, more people will make political subject matters that will rise above the surface and manifest themselves. If something is in need of manifestation, it will happen because over stimulation and suppression drives this force in creative people who make these arts. Art is an abstract world of creation and manifestation of whatever individuals and groups think, experience, repress and spoil themselves with. These are motivations that cant be escaped from. Things being “interesting” rather than vitality of interest simply means that it is no longer as needed as it was before. Feminism for an example, is still needed but not as much as it used to, today there is radical feminism and nobody likes that. When the news shows racial injustice people will make that of vital interest. The article speaks about the balance of what needs to be valued, you can’t force respect with art. Some art works only after artists die, some art works for certain individual, I’d say the weakest ideas are political because they are so temporary. Everybody chooses what is interesting, therefore everything can be vaguely interesting, but vital interest is not voluntary from how I understand it.

other ideas:

DEATH! / BEAUTIFUL WAR / BEAUTIFUL DISTURBANCE DISTURBANCE IN VICTIMHOOD / WE’RE SMILING UNTIL OUR EYES BLEED / ROBIN HOOD ARROW TO THE HEART / JOHN HANGS HIMSELF / WE’RE OUT OF MILK / SOLIDARITY / EMOTIONAL LOVE / ᐁᐏᐁᐏᐁᐏ / I LOVE LOSS / BEST NO BETTER THAN THE REST / WELL DETACHED / EMOTIONAL DEMATERIALIZATION

Week 2

John Baldessari’s ” I will not make any more boring art” is a simply yet comedic in its representation of self consciousness to of ones own art . Serial repetition is used here to signify a common punishment across all cultures when students wright what they will not do on the board when they are mischievous in class. It succeeds in being something everyone can relate to and minimal serial repetition with the subject of art that is highly desired.

An artwork called A QUESTION IS A SENTENCE DESIGNED TO ELICIT A RESPONSE. TODAY, WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE SLOPPY FUTURE HOLDS by Kameelah Janan Rasheed is an interesting one to me. Serial repetition always delivers the message you want to send because its so overwhelming to me. Using text in art is something tricky, it always seem like that minimalism is what is in the top of art today. To think less and to do less just seems to work in getting the maximum amount of people to relate to the work but to a degree it has to show some sort of work or effort. This art piece is so simple that I dont want to like it because its very little work in material but more work in its advertising and printing. In the end of the day, Rasheed had gotten attention for it, for its message, which was the point – it is more of something to talk about than the actual process of looking at it and what it is. Both the works to me seem to be more about the conversation more than the work – the humors that come about it and thought, at least that’s my analysis.

Week 1

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, and 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? Select two pieces to discuss.

Nina Katchadourin states that she makes lists of the books she has and to be familiar with all the names by writing them down in a list and memorizing the collection. She often write each individual book title onto index cards and then sort them around to see which titles fit best and where they should be located. she also evolved her strategy to eventually moving the books themselves to a easily accessible place like in sorted boxes in order to keep them organized. The final strategy would be to realize the differences in fonts, colors, size, quality and overall differences of the books and put them into consideration as sculptures and think about how these differences can be used to make something meaningful out of.

Above, you can see that Ryan Park’s work more on the strategy of the colors and quality of the books with even no regard to title or size to create a rainbow of open books.

As for Dave Dyment’s work, he focuses less on color and size and more about the title because he tries to arrange a series of books from the past to the future, more specifically books that are about 1 billion years in the past to 1 billion years in the future. This goes to show the vast amount of diversity that can be used in creating something unique with books in your house. The meaning given to these books are in a way advertised as of the ones of many other books about the topic of different times and eras which are now forced to interact with one another. Some of these books may not even be identifiable but we know what it speaks of without looking at the title. Parks books eliminates the book and uses its color which reflects the books utility in something used outside the book. Nina Katchadourin uses the words directly to convey a message or a story, this is interesting because here the artists uses books which are filled with stories, wisdoms and knowledge to convey their own versions of story, wisdom and knowledge through the book titles.

Assignment 1

Sorted Book Stacks 1/3 – “Bum”

I gave a background to this because I thought it reflected what the words were saying “Things fall apart, memories, dreams, reflections. General chemistry”. I wanted to show the environment of someone who has gave up or has lost essentially in who he is, lost his memories, dreams and reflections, which convey a loss of reality I think. Its only natural for that to happen because all people fall apart and some more than others whether its because something terrible had happen to them or that they are devastated with their way of life, I’ve personally been in that state for a long time and got myself back up as one should and I think almost all people have more than they care to admit. This is a capture of what that look likes.

Sorted Book Stacks 2/3 – “Good God”

“the giver functions healthy active living”. Grammatically this may not make sense to most who read it but the intended meaning isn’t easily put into words with the limited vocabulary available to describe it. What I was trying to say is the giver (god), functions (operates/controls), healthy active living (a state of being). I will make the case that grammatically it makes sense that god/”the giver functions healthy active living” because the being god is capable of functioning a state of being. The title “The giver” alone can either be a person that gives (in a subjected sense) or in a religious sense be ones god, it doesn’t make a difference in the outcome but in this is “the case for the perspective of the right religious mindset” which I think is what I will title it. Conceptually I think people act out good and therefore many people act as if they believe in god in a religious perspective. Of course it goes without saying people can be good whether they believe in a god or not, and there are people who believe in god who do bad things. Being good is dependent on if you have the right idea about life decisions and premises more than anything. Some go all the way with a leap of faith and some don’t, simple as that. I included “A novel without a name” along with holy books and an image of a manuscript to include all diversities secular and non secular because they all capture stories and subjectivities to life from all angels. I even included an image showing dead soldiers in war because even that sense of human nature cant be ignored within this subject matter of morality. I do this because it accomplishes a sense of the real world beyond just the over-optimistic utopia stereotyped within a religious world of faith because the attempt to peruse “heathy active living” have mostly lead to bloodshed and that has to be taken into consideration with how you think about with how you pursue that life. There is nothing inherently wrong with a religious perspective, in fact to many there aren’t opportunities to other perspectives that are more reliable to their survival with how they see the world, its how its falsely interpreted most of the time that makes it dangerous, as is everything else. The conversation of if you have faith in that god or not is out of the question, this is our history and narratives.

Sorted Book Stacks 3/3 – “Life is Tough”

It may seem very straight foreword to live a “healthy active living” its “easy English” right? No, no it’s not, it’ “warfare” with myself everyday. That is what I was going for. This is my least favorite one but at least I tried.

Week 11

Complete Food and Art assignment and post your final work/images/videos on the blog with a title and description of the work.

We will discuss finished projects in our final class, on THURSDAY Dec. 3rd at 2:30.

Prepare to make a special hot beverage of your choice – and we’ll also celebrate by the fire! Really!

I will also be baking a chocolate cake for the occasion – a super easy one pot recipe. You mix all the ingredients right in the pan and stick it in the oven! Start it up at lunch time and eat cake together with us!

You may have these items on hand – you can join me (bonus points if you do and post a photo!):

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020063-made-in-the-pan-chocolate-cake

Week 10

Summary of work for Week 10:

  1. Create your Food assignment based on feedback from the professor and the class.
  2. Consult Nathan (email him for an appointment or show up for office hours) for technical assistance if needed – and check the resource page for tips and methods in audio, video and photo editing.
  3. Post your completed work with a title and short description for critique in our NEXT class meeting.

Week 9

FOOD ART:

Summary of work for week 9:

  1. Review all lecture materials and videos below
  2. Write about at least one artwork, or food-culture reference that inspires your next assignment
  3. Post all research notes /images for a FOOD ART proposal – we will discuss your proposals and offer support in the next class.

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Look at these approaches to exploring food by artists:

Aislinn Thomas, A Stack of Pancakes to hold up the Ceiling, 2015.

“The pancakes were vegan (flax seeds being a cheaper—and more ethical?—binding agent than eggs) and local (because, although it was more expensive, the local flour was in the bin beside the less-expensive, non-local flour and I couldn’t pretend that I hadn’t seen it). The recipe was for extra fluffy pancakes (for obvious reasons). The apartment smelled very good until the pancakes dried up and shrank away from the ceiling. When I composted them I discovered that the pancakes had become colourful with mold in the places where they were pressed together and still moist.

My partner asked me if I made A stack of pancakes to hold up the ceiling because the ceiling fell two years prior.  I said no, although the question reminded me of the fact that the ceiling did, indeed fall. So perhaps that is the reason. ” AT from https://aislinnthomas.ca/index.php/portfolio/a-stack-of-pancakes-to-hold-up-the-ceiling/

Rod, Bernie, Peggy, Aislinn

Video, 2009

Rapport Report, a video screening curated by Tejpal Ajji, described this video of narrative vignettes:  “Using her kitchen as a set for storytelling, Thomas recounts a family history using recipes representing her father, mother, grandfather, and herself.”  Below is an excerpt of the video.  Rod, Peggy, Bernie, Aislinn was included in CAFK+A.11 and several screenings.


In Love with Patty Chang:


The Hunt, Christian Jankowski, 1997

Christian Jankowski – Bow hunting in the supermarket

Martha Roslet, Semiotics of the Kitchen

Women With Kitchen Appliances

Women with Kitchen Appliances – band

FOOD ART Assignment:

For next class, propose a way to use food in a short video or photographic series that explores aspects of food other than how it tastes –

This might include actions that explore:

  • The tactile/material qualities of food and food-related devices
  • The sounds of food, the smells of food
  • Memories of food
  • Food and emotions
  • Popular representations of food in culture
  • Relationships of food to the body
  • Food and gender
  • Visual aspects of food
  • How food changes in time
  • How food connects us to each other

Think of a series of gestures – working with food on hand and create a work that pushes the limits of how we expect to relate to food.

This can be done in your home, with food and related implements, and/or you may also work with found video/images from other sources in your work.