Artist Multiples

In an age of digital streaming of music, a lot of the design elements of an album are lost. We see a tiny image of an album cover on our screen, and that’s about where it ends for most listeners. As a lover of collecting physical media of all kinds, the prompt of using the medium of a button to reveal what goes unseen instantly reminded me of the ignored art of album graphic design. Using photos taken of records in my own collection, I am making the focus of the buttons the centre labels of various records. What has been hidden in a cardboard sleeve, ignored, and unappreciated is the centre of attention, and showing that such a small aspect of the graphic design of a record can be just as beautiful as the cover of the album it belongs to.

So much of my work in this semester has been tied to my love of music — It was the main idea behind my conceptual kilometre, a prominent feature of my sound art, and the inspiration for my conceptual self-portrait. As a primarily visual artist, I try to honour my second greatest love (music) as much as I can. This is the culmination of these works.

Reading Response 2

Using artist multiples for activism is a long historic practice — for many years, printmaking, button-making, and zines were the easiest way to spread a political message, engaging a wide audience through relatively cheap means. We now live in a world where this can be done much more efficiently, but it makes me wonder: in an age of social media where images can be saved and “owned” by anyone with a simple screenshot or download, how will this effect the art of the multiple? 

A crucial part of the artist multiple is that of the edition. In some cases, this edition is limited to whatever number of prints was made for it, and then is cancelled out, never to be made again. This was the first instance that came to mind when I thought about editions existing in the age of social media. Works in a limited edition could easily lose their value due to the digital sphere’s ability to, in a way, allow any amount of people to “own” whatever work they want forever. And though this is definitely an important consideration, the readings discussing General Idea gave me another perspective.

In Joshua Decter’s Replicate, the idea of the edition is brought up referring to General Idea, specifically their AIDS editions. He says, “In a sense, the edition allows the artist to continuously re-simulate, or replicate, the authenticity of an ‘original’ artistic idea or gesture,” explaining that it is the infinite reproducibility of the artist multiple that allows its political message to truly be spread. In this sense, the digital age may be a great tool for an infinite edition. When resources like paper, ink, silkscreens, and time are unavailable or very limited, social media as a tool for spreading the multiple is cheaper, faster, and can reach infinitely more people — thus allowing a multiple created with the goal of activism in mind to fulfill that goal much easier.

The artist multiple never was supposed to emphasize ownership, it was supposed to get a message out there — and in that regard, the edition (at least the kind that isn’t limited) can not only exist on social media, but can thrive.

Self Portrait — Conceptual Portrait

This work, “Self Portrait”, is a textile representation of myself. As someone who grew up with a goth mom and metalhead dad, alternative subcultures have always been extremely important to me and my identity, so it felt right to represent myself using a battle vest. Typically used to display all of the things the wearer is passionate about, would fight for, and tells passersby who they are, I felt like this was a perfect way to interpret the idea of a conceptual portrait. My system for this work was to make it entirely DIY, a callback to the battle vest’s punk origins — the patches are made of scrap fabric with hand-painted designs, the button was made using the button maker in our campus GQE office, the back patch is the front of an old Queen t-shirt that doesn’t fit me anymore, and the vest itself started as a typical denim jacket that I cut the sleeves and collar off of.

Covered in patches bearing the logos of bands that shaped me, concert tickets, polaroids of my friends’ houses, and the pages of one of my favourite books, this vest paints a picture of who I am, and the things I identify with. When I started working on this project, I wanted to represent me, and I found it difficult to think of specifically how to do so. I’ve always struggled with identity, my sense of self being quite unstable throughout my life, so seeing everything laid out on this vest made me realize that I am the things I cherish. The music, the books, the friends, the experiences. It is me, and it is this vest.

Summer Night — Audio Art

For this assignment, I was inspired by the concept of translating an experience into sound. Given my previous mentioning of my association of music with time, it should come as no surprise that I associate sound with memory. Summer Night is an audio art piece created to mimic one of my favourite memories: sitting in my room during the Summer of 2016, listening to my Marina Electra Heart vinyl spin on my turntable, with my window slightly cracked open. On this day, my aunt and grandmother had come up to visit from Texas, and they sat with my parents in our backyard, smoking on the patio. While the memory isn’t anything special or extraordinary, it was a time where I felt truly at peace and content, something I recreate in this piece.

Among layers of sound is ambient noises of cicadas and crickets, wind blowing, and turntable static, overlaid with bits and pieces of the song Fear and Loathing by Marina — a song that I very specifically associate with this memory. Permeating through the whole piece is a white noise recording of my silent bedroom, adding to the scene laid out in the work, while also giving it a fuzzy feeling, the way a memory feels. In making this work I could feel the cool summer night air blowing through the window, smell the outdoors leaking inside, and see my warm lamp-lit room as it was then. As someone who is very nostalgic, this became very cathartic for me. I know I’ll never be able to return to that moment in time, captured only in my own mind. But for the length of this piece, returning there feels possible.

Reflection on an Artist

Producer, DJ, visionary. These are three words that can be used to describe the practice of the audio artist SOPHIE. With a foundation of pop sensibilities, SOPHIE’s work challenges what a mainstream audience could conceive as music. In Crack Magazine, SOPHIE shared that “There has to be a link between lyrical ideas and the sound itself… the sound will be the initial spark, a very physical response to sound that ties together some of the things I’m thinking about.” This philosophy is evident everywhere one looks in SOPHIE’s artistic catalogue. Brash booming bass, sharp metallic beats, and saccharine sweet vocals, these works take every aspect of 21st century pop music to its most extreme. Among the bold musical aspects of the works, SOPHIE’s production played with texture, replicating sounds and feelings using synthesizers (like the Elektron Monomachine, Akai AX60, and Native Instruments Razor among others) to achieve the desired effect.

As an artist, SOPHIE toed the line between traditional pop music and performance art, creating a distinct auditory world in each work. Product, SOPHIE’s debut album, features songs stretching what pop music could be, merging 2010s bubblegum pop with unique production elements that tell the audience that pop music can be artful, opposing the perceived vapidness pop music was associated with. Reflecting on transness, whether it simply be by altering vocals to a pitch more traditionally associated with femininity, or by outright discussing the materiality — or lack thereof — of existing in this world (as seen on tracks like Immaterial and Faceshopping), the artistic atmosphere in Oil of Every Pearl’s Uninsides, SOPHIE’s sophomore album, creates a euphoric space for both artist and listener. 

SOPHIE’s artistic reach and influence cannot be understated. By collaborating with charting pop artists like Madonna, Charli XCX, and Kim Petras, SOPHIE’s art gained immense popularity, especially in queer music spaces. This also inspired the creation of a new genre, hyperpop, which became particularly popular in 2020. In my opinion, SOPHIE’s way of making art through the lens of pop music was revolutionary, especially with a high level of mainstream success throughout a nearly decade spanning career. I believe that the work on Product, Oil of Every Pearl’s Uninsides, and all of the collaborative work done with other artists showed the world that art and pop don’t have to be thought of as separate entities. With such a distinct style, euphoric production, and visionary ideas about what pop music could sound like, SOPHIE could have permanently altered the way that mainstream audiences understand what music can be. Though no longer with us, the spark ignited by SOPHIE’s art continues on with friends and colleagues who continue to make artistic pop music, just as SOPHIE would have.

Bite Me – Jamie & Ana (One Feat Three Ways)

Our chosen feat is to become an apple. 

Firstly, in the one shot video we play upon the technology aspect of the concept. At the center of the frame sits the apple. Much like that of the shadows on Plato’s cave or the chairs in Joseph Kosuth’s Three Chairs, the apple is an apple, or at least it represents one? Crunchy, firm and red, it was once an apple, but in video form how “apple” is the apple? Whether it be a three hour long french film or a tik tok about foot corns, technology is an imitation of reality. But with parasocial relationships, real world news, and text messages from distant relatives asking about your mother on Facebook, the line remains blurry. As the figure comes into frame they look at the apple, pick it up to examine it, place it down upon its pedestal and then stand behind it waving about their arms. By putting the figure behind the apple with their arms extended, the apple and figure merge into one before the screen. Since neither apple or figure are really “real”, the perspective of the camera to the viewer allows the performer to achieve the feat of becoming an apple (or at least just about as apple as any depiction of an apple could be.)

Secondly, in the sequence video, ideas of femininity brought about by the yonic correlations of the apple come into focus as we explore our own relationships with femininity. As gender queer artists ourselves, we felt that if we were going to play with ideas surrounding how presentation affects understanding of one’s identity it was only right to go down this avenue. By that of taking their morning pills (two apple seeds glugged down with a glass of apple juice), putting on their makeup (rosy red lipstick fitting for that of a member of the rose family and round heinous circles of blush placed onto the apples of the figures cheeks), finally ending in the wearing of an apple red shirt, the performer enacts a sort of absurdist apple themed morning routine. As Rupaul, host of Rupaul’s Drag race and infamous fracking enthusiast famously and generously adds to most sentences “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag!” 

Finally, for our loop video  we explore one of the most notorious and iconic interpretations of the apple, the forbidden fruit (a-la the Bible). Inspired by that of tableau, light sculptures, and the posing of characters in the work of Keith Haring, two figures come together in this piece into the silhouette of an apple. In the story of the Garden of Eden, God places two bozo’s, Adam and St- I mean Eve into a perfect Garden filled with nothing but good stuff, or at least almost only good stuff. When Eve is convinced by that serpent fellow to eat the apple, the only fruit that is wrong and not to be eaten, her first thought is to share this supposedly amazing experience with her loved one Adam. Out of love he takes a nibble of sin personified, despite his knowledge that the fruit is evil and, he too is flooded with sin (and presumably Vitamin C). In this piece the two performers come together from either side of the screen to represent the forbidden fruit as one form. The joining of the two figures represents the joining of Adam and Eve in sin as well as the general vilification of human bonding and community we perceive in this biblical tale. Whether it be breastfeeding on public transport, two men sharing a hug, or sex between two consenting adults, much of human connection (in this a very broad sense) is deemed taboo, shameful or even morally wrong. Through that literal as well as metaphorical connection, along with the physical depiction of the apple in our posing and red/green dressing, we achieve the feat of becoming an apple. 

Titled “Bite Me?” in a font that mimics that of silent film speaking cards and placed in the corner to add to the idea that this is something being asked by the performers and not just a passive title. This is also why the films are without sound.  

Reading Response 1

In Coco Fusco’s essay, Performance and the Power of the Popular, the idea that performance art can be a way to create pieces connecting the audience to the work and performer is ever present; something especially true for artists ousted from the institutionalized art world. This particular idea of connecting the artist, audience, and art relates to the performance art of William Pope.L, whose work is typically performed in accessible settings within the public arena. By performing his art on the streets of New York City, Pope.L invites the audience to become intertwined with the performance itself, breaking the boundaries typically set in place that physically separate the art from the audience. This not only carves out a space for art to exist, but also allows those who are not typically considered worthy in the art world to engage in works they might relate to. Additionally, the accessibility of Pope.L’s work speaks to a problem within the mainstream art community as a whole, something also discussed in Fusco’s essay: that communities existing outside of the white, western, heteronormative standard are lesser than – unless they can be exploited.

In using the term subaltern to refer to the communities these artists belong to, as well as the performance art itself, Fusco draws attention to the persisting view that these aforementioned communities are subordinate. While commodified, co-opted, and fetishized versions of those cultures and communities are allowed to be enjoyed by the “insiders”, the “outsiders” — or those who belong to subaltern communities — do not experience the same mainstream success. However, by taking place outside of the typical art institutions, as many of Pope.L’s works did, performance artists are allowed to reinterpret and subvert the art that had been commodified, without being restricted to palatability. 


A frequent joke made about Canadians is our tendency to measure distance in time rather than a physical unit of measurement, a habit that I take to the next level of abstraction: measuring distance in songs. From angst-ridden middle school years, through high school, continuing today, when I am told a unit of measuring distance, I continue to consider exactly how many songs would need to be listened to in order to arrive at the destination. For example, I always knew that my primary school was a one-song-walk away from my house, my high school was a three-song-drive away from my house, and my work was a six-song-drive away from my house.

For my “Kilometre” assignment, I chose to walk precisely one kilometre while listening to a playlist of my liked songs, and documented each song as I walked. I specifically chose to walk on a treadmill as it provides specific information on distance walked and pace. By walking five kilometres per hour, I managed to listen to four songs that were all around two to three minutes long (give or take). While this piece was mostly about the process of walking one kilometre while listening to and writing down the music that played, I documented this work by taking all four songs and displaying them as if they were a tracklist on a mixtape.


Reading Response 1

I do not have any experience with performance art, nor have I seen any of it in person before. Thanks to the internet however, I have seen many works that I liked, and that I did not. I think one of my favorite performance art pieces is Cut Piece by Yoko Ono. I had never really seen a performance work of art before this, and it was quite intriguing. I felt uncomfortable, but also seen I think as a woman, which is relative to the meaning and controversy behind the piece. I would not have been able to sit on a stage in a vulnerable and dangerous way like that, so it was nerve wracking to watch it unfold and worry about how it might play out. I think it is very important to have performance art work, especially for means of making people feel things and as said in the reading, create communities. The direct engagement with an audience of a diverse amount of people is very important to performance art, because those people will go on to speak about the work or change their lives somehow if they felt moved by the work. I do not think much about performance art, or the reasons we have it. Knowing now some history of the importance of performance art in the black community, I feel I have a different view of it. Knowing that to some, especially the black community in this case, performance is a place for reclamation, resistance, and voices to be heard makes it more powerful. It was interesting to read the author’s point of view as a young person, thinking that if you are participating in a piece of art, it has to move people or make some big deal, otherwise what is the point? I definitely see how performance art was a big way to test social boundaries, as it can be a large spectrum of things from speaking, to smearing mayonnaise, to crawling in the street.


Walking Piece 

OCD Things I Do and Think While Walking a Kilometer 


I notice my blinking tic 

I wonder if someone is coming to kill me

Someone is hiding in the trees to get me

There is someone behind me

For a while during this walk I do a couple frantic turns to make sure there is no man

This makes me trip on my own foot (I do this often because my feet turn inwards)

I trip myself on the other foot on purpose to even out my feet

Now that I know there is no man I stop being able to step on the sidewalk cracks

And now any branches

And now any random sidewalk squares my brain does not like

I wink my left eye hard, because my right eye feels heavier which is uneven

I did it too much, have to do the other eye now

I accidentally tap my finger to my leg and must replicate this on the other side

Stepping on the ground in various hardness so that both my feet feel the same pressure

Looking behind me again every few seconds to make sure nobody is there

Making sure I look over either shoulder the same amount of times

Have to make sure each foot gets an equal amount of times going first over a line

I think they put poison in my water bottle

I begin to wonder when was the last time I saw this water bottle, has the lid been off?

Even if there is no drugs in the water the water is contaminated no doubt

I need to go home to wash this bottle

Accidentally started counting and could not stop


I become scared when I discovered I had stopped counting to have another thought

My throat feels tight

Oh shit. Now that i am aware of it, I am willing it to close

Something feels wrong here

I can feel my heart beating.

Stop beating

Oh no, i am going to think my heart into stopping itself 

(I am not this powerful but apparently i don’t know that)

Please don’t stop beating

And on my way home I alternate closing my eyes and staring in attempt to stop my tic


Artist Statement

For this piece, I am inspired by Yoko Ono grapefruit, and other written experimental work. I love interactive work, and work that takes you on a journey even if only through your mind (not physically walking). So this work is my walking piece, which I could consider a work of art because of its complexity. 

I have OCD, branching into a few subtypes that really affect me. These include “just right” OCD, somatic and health related, and losing control. Over my years, tracking has been a major point for therapy and managing the disorder. For Kilometer, I picked a walk I did that lasted about a kilometer in length, and used the notes I tracked throughout the walk. This is definitely not the type of work I relate to creating, but there is something fun about it. I find OCD sometimes feels or can look from the outside like a performance. You can imagine what this would look like, or feel like while walking your own kilometer. Or, you can read it and find some enjoyment in the silliness of this walk. I find reading this back to myself a lot of it felt silly to me and I can laugh at some of the things that my brain decided. Whatever else you take of this work, including your own interpretations, I hope this also brings some awareness to a disorder that I think is not talked about as much as some others. 

Kira and Ainsley 1 Feat 3 Ways

Joyce Weiland- Reflection

Joyce Weiland was a Canadian painter and filmmaker. She moved in and out of Canada, spending quite a few years in New York, before ultimately deciding that she wanted to remain in Toronto. She lived and worked along with other artists in Toronto and New York, integrating herself into the “bohemian” and artistic lifestyle that is so prevalent in larger cities. She was trained in filmmaking as well as painting, so coming into the film industry was done with a lot of confidence, and a lot of her memorable work was made in that medium. In the 1950’s, she began to experience success as an artist. 

Weiland described herself as a cultural activist. A big idea for her was feminism, and that is very visible in her work. She played with the idea of women as artists in a male-dominated space, even using more “feminine” mediums such as textiles. She was very interested in activism and Canadian nationalism. A lot of her ideas also play with that Canadian identity. 

Experimental film is how I was introduced to Weiland, so I will speak a little bit to this. I like her work “Sailboat” in particular to speak about what her artwork evokes. In her artist statement, the descriptions mention a childlike simplicity in the work. I think this simplicity is very effective for communicating the film. It gives the film a melancholic feel, something of nostalgia, which creates a lot of feeling. As said by Robert Cowan, a lost innocence is felt. The play with subtitles, the slight color shifts, and the sound of crashing waves all add to the sensation in this film. It brings you to a lake on a dark windy day, you feel as though you have lost something. I also bring a connection to something I saw online recently. A mother gave her child a camera, and told her to take a video or a photo of anything important to her. A lot of the footage resembles this video by Weiland. Very focused and still, but exciting and loving. The different tools she employed in this film are reminiscent of a child making discoveries in art. 

Weiland seems to display this same childlike effortlessness in her other works as well, such as the painting Paint Phantom. The way that she blends the colors into each other, how the shapes dissect each other are very intriguing. There is a skillfulness to this painting, the composition is beautiful and the scene in general is advanced. But a playfulness is evident, an exploration. 

I really enjoy the fact that Weiland uses so many different mediums in her work. Quilting, painting, film, drawing and more. Although she is so diverse, she keeps a very consistent style through her work. It is all very experimental, and draws off of themes at the time like pop culture and modernism. She did a very good job of expressing the struggles of being a woman, but also making her art playful and interesting to all people. 

Sleep Sounds

For my audio art assignment, I decided to keep things simple and run with the first idea that came to mind. I am very sensitive to sound, so the types of audio I listen to are very particular. My primary use of sound is to calm my mind, or ground me in the present moment. I usually listen to a variety of sounds that are calm and relaxing, somewhat melancholic.

I tried to think of where I am impacted by sound the most, and this was very clearly found in my sleep routine. I have the silliest fear I can imagine and that is falling asleep. Perhaps I am afraid of the lack of control, or the unknown. When I go to bed, I listen to a few different things to help me stay out of my mind, allowing me to actually fall asleep in a peaceful way. The sounds I listen to change over time with my energy and anxiety levels.

For this work, I have combined the most common sounds I listen to while I fall asleep. White noise, yoga nidra, and my own breathing. White noise is something I keep on to drown out the loud silence. Yoga nidra is something I have found recently, a still, meditative yoga for the mind also known as non-sleep deep rest. I chose to focus on the 1 minute moment right as I am falling asleep, and how this sounds inside of my body. I wanted this experience to be very internal. The yoga will walk the viewer through a body scan, one that I never finish as I fall asleep too soon. falling asleep, the outside noises begin to fade as the internal sounds of breathing and the heart beat take over, until sleep lulls everything into complete silence. In between, there are breaks where consciousness comes back and a focus is brought back to the outside world. I hope that this audio can describe the feeling of falling asleep while listening to something. It is common to fall asleep during a class to the sound of talking or to a movie, and I always find it interesting how the sounds we hear fade in and out as we do. This is a personal piece, something to show something of myself that is a mundane act, but still very vulnerable. I hope listening to this will cause the viewer to pay more attention to the details of moments like falling asleep.

Conceptual Portrait

For my conceptual portrait, I decided to do a self exploration. I find it easiest to base work around myself, that can also be felt and understand by other people. I decided that I wanted to do a portrait of myself, and the ways it changed over the 3 romantic relationships I’ve experienced. For so much of my life, in an unhealthy way, I based my worth on the romantic relationships I had. Now, I would say I am just a romantic who enjoys being around a loved one, but that is a recent addition to how I view myself in relationships, which is relative to my piece.
My “rule” for this project helped me keep out of a narrative place. For each relationship, I wrote down 10 different descriptive words for who I felt I was in the relationship. I then took each word, and paired it with a somewhat mundane object that I felted described what I wanted it to. I put 10 objects into 1 of 3 boxes, which was the end of my rule making. I chose to display these objects in regular cardboard boxes because I wanted to keep everything non narrative. The value was not in telling a story of how I evolved, but in having 3 distinct experiences. I wanted to emulate how one feels after a chapter of their life closes, and they must pack everything away and start fresh. I have been in 3 relationships, 1 of which I am in now, and one of which was abusive. The way that my descriptions changed from box to box was a very insightful process for me. To look back on my different “selves” is something I find difficult to do, as many people do after experiencing abuse. The goal of this project for me, was to explore how a self portrait changes over time and experience. This work is meant to be interactive; I did include photos below.

AIDS (1987) Reading Response

Reading this article about the work “AIDS” was very interesting. I found it particularly interesting when a connection was made between the spreading of the disease itself in relation to how the art spread. Just like how the disease came suddenly out of nowhere and appeared everywhere, the artwork followed. It was something inescapable, which is clear that viewers found anxiety inducing as it made them even more aware of the epidemic around them. To answer the question of what would the word aids or the art mean today as compared to then is difficult. I do think that now, however, the work is very drawn in with activism and has a less negative reaction. It has been circulated everywhere, not only as a work of art made by a wonderful artist, but also as a very powerful political piece that allowed for a lot of honesty and awareness. I think today the word aids is still scary to a lot of people, and the work may still bring up some more negative perspectives. However most people would probably say that the work is now saying something very brave, while it breaks the stigma around the disease. As the world becomes more open and honest about what it really means to be gay, the disease is more accepted and I would hope is surrounded by less hatred and fear. 


For this final experimental assignment, I chose to do something that was in line with my “thesis” per say. The thing that is most influential to my work is intimacy. I love to explore this idea, in all of the different ways it can be seen. I have always been a hopeless romantic, so romantic intimacy has a big part of my inspiration. As I went in and out of romantic intimacy, my artwork would change, yet still keep a similar theme. Love conquers all. 

After being in an abusive relationship, my view of intimacy changed. I never much considered intimacy in other ways, with myself, or my friends. I found that I was not able to be intimate with myself. I held a negative view of myself, so I became out of touch. It became more present to me however, that intimacy could be just as important out of a romantic context. My friends and family picked me back up again. As I spent more time with them, I noticed the different forms of intimacy. I eventually began to learn myself again. And the most important part of that was to take care of myself, in the same way I would love my romantic partner. 

This work is centered around this concept. The way that coming out of a relationship, particularly the one I was in, changes views of intimacy. Grief. It also speaks on how that changed my romantic views with my new partner. Being intimate is difficult, and the ways I wish to do it are different now. This piece also touches on the intimacy I find within myself. 

I like to view my current relationship as a lazy Sunday morning. The moments I feel most intimate with my partner are those mundane moments we spend in the house, cleaning and cooking and peeling each other oranges. I want to create intimacy all around myself in every form that feels this way. Noticing the mundane acts and treating them as acts of love is so beautiful. It can be very healing to create routine. And to notice the different ways that the mundane parts of life hold a humble beauty.

Roxy Welsh

Button Project

This project was super fun for me. As well as it being an outlet for me to be vulnerable and open about my trauma and life experiences it was also a way to show the art that I made while experiencing that trauma. I chose to show my art on the front of the buttons and on the back I shared some personal writing which I had written whilst in my past abusive relationship. I have noticed that alot of my artwork surrounds the pain and abuse i experienced in that period of my life. Some people have even told me that its all I ever bring up even when writing essays and papers for school. But for me it was my whole life. It overtook every single aspect of who I was. Art and talking about what I went through, writing about it and sharing my experiences helps me heal. I know it might get on peoples nerves if I sound like a broken record, but I can’t help it. A Lot of the artworks I selected for the buttons had a sad undertone and depicted scenes of death or chaos. My life felt like a constant turmoil of pain and sadness and it stayed like that for two years. It changed who I am. Whilst I may not be able to stop talking about it, expressing my pain and my progress through art has brought me such a long way and i hope it will continue to be my outlet in future.

Reading Response 2

In grappling with the significance of the final sentence in Miller’s essay regarding General Idea’s AIDS work(s), I’m struck by the deep layers of meaning woven into the act of erasure. It seems like a display of memory, representation, and power. Miller says that every time the artwork is exhibited, they wipe it clean, which seems both to erase the issues of our modern era as well as the significance of the AIDS crisis.

Miller’s essay traces the journey of General Idea’s AIDS art from its inception to its interpretation in the art world. The graffiti on the artwork represents the voices and experiences of people affected by AIDS, which is incredibly important because it’s their way of speaking out. Wiping it clean each time the artwork is exhibited conflicts with that narrative. It’s erasing their stories, their suffering and the sheer impact that AIDS had on the world.

This tension between being seen and being forgotten is very visceral. The graffiti is a way for people to make their voices heard, but wiping it away is like saying, “Your story doesn’t matter.” Also, the concept of memory and representation being ephemeral is really fascinating to me. Even though we try to remember, our memories fade away, and we’re left with nothing but empty spaces. It reminds me of a Buddhist Saying where basically you are never the same person twice, you are ever changing and the change is constant like a river.

In summation, General Idea’s AIDS work(s) is a wake-up call. They’re telling us to remember, to confront the uncomfortable truths of our history. It’s not just about AIDS; it’s about all the voices that have been silenced and forgotten. And as artists, it’s our job to make sure those voices are heard.

Conceptual Self Portrait

Artist statement

This project was really difficult for me to undertake. Mainly because I am under an incredible amount of stress but also because I didn’t want to represent myself in a conventional way. I always turn to painting run of the mill paintings and when this project was assigned I was already working on portraits for other classes. The first thought that came to me was how my hands reflect me. They reflect what i create, they are a mirror image of my mind. The hands show where one has been and things that have happened to you. They become work roughened, they develop calluses and they become worn by age.

my hands are the most accurate representation of myself. for this project I kept thinking what would be the best way to capture myself and my hands. First I thought oh I’ll paint them but that was too illustrative of an idea. My next thought was to find a way to sculpt them. In the end, I chose to document the progress of my portraits i was painting and show the class live the paint that had collected on my hands from creating the paintings. My hands are a reflection of what I create. What I create is a part of who I am. I put everything into my paintings, I put my heart and soul. So I think it’s the best way to represent me. I know that My hands aren’t a conventional or a traditional medium. But it’s the most authentic.

Audio Art – The Siren

For this project, I wanted to create an ambient experience with the sounds of water, rain and a thunderstorm. I wanted to incorporate one of my favourite songs into the mix – My Love by Sia. This song is so incredibly beautiful and It isn’t on Apple Music which makes me very upset that I can’t listen to it accept on youtube. So for this project I wanted to create the sound of the feelings and emotions I feel when I hear this song. Anxiety has become a huge part of my every day life since coming to university, I have panic attacks a lot and things can get really hard for me. One way I regulate my anxiety is through music. This song is almost like an immediate off switch for my anxiety. It calms me down, it drowns out any thoughts racing through my head and lets me take a breath. there are many many nights where I listen to this song on repeat while unable to sleep.

The audio begins with a distant thunderclap and the start of rain, the interlude of the song fades in and creates a very resonant and large environment. After the interlude, the audience is pulled underwater and everything stops, the storm is gone and you hear the first verse of the song very far off and angelic. Like a siren calling to a sailor pulled underwater. The audience is then pulled back out of the water and reintroduced to the storm but the “siren” can be heard singing in the distance, calling you back to the deep. This echoes the feeling of longing for peace, the hope that one day everything will stop and I could just have some rest. I really hope that this piece reflects these emotions I experience and that it translates to the audience effectively.

Reflection – Janet Cardiff

This Canadian artist grabbed my attention the moment we learned about her in class. I was immediately transported back to my trip to the National Gallery last year. The experiences she described the audience members having were exactly what happened to me. I had begun to hear distant traces of the most beautiful singing I have ever heard. I was drawn to it like a magnet. I had to hear where it was coming from, I eventually found my way to a chapel. It was incredible, the decorative architecture and ceiling and the pillars all along the sides. The music swelled and filled the whole room creating the most incredible feeling of awe and wonder. Experiencing sound so visceral and emotional in a space where you are constantly having 40 individual harmonies wash over you is breathtaking. The best thing you can do is just sit and experience it.
Janet Cardiff was born in Brussels Ontario in 1957, growing up on a farm outside of a small village. She earned a BFA from Queens University and an MVA from the University of Alberta. Originally she was trained in photography and printmaking but after meeting her future husband and partner George Bures Miller, she started to pursue the practices of sound, movement and film. Cardiff and Miller initially collaborated on a super-8 film called the Guardian Angel which was her introduction to sound/film/movement art. Cardiff’s very first sound work is called “The Whispering Room”. It is comprised of a room filled with small circular speakers playing whispering voices of different characters. As audience members walk around the room small projectors are triggered that play a slow motion film. Aside form installations, Cardiff also creates Audio walks. These walks are very site specific and guide the audience through a narrative experience while wearing special headphones. Her most famous audio walk being “Her Long Black Hair” created in 2004. This walk is set in and around central park and follows a stream of consciousness investigation of surroundings and following the trail of a dark haired woman. While engaged in the walk, the audience member is prompted to pull out and view specific photographs connected to the audio/visual experience.
My favorite work of Janet Cardiff’s is her 40 Part Motet work. The same work shown in class and that I had the privilege of experiencing in person. This piece was created in 2001 and features the score of “Spem in alium” written by Thomas Tallis. This piece of music features forty separate groups of eight singers each in a different harmony – Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Countertenor and Sopranista. Each group of eight is arranged around a circle in a large empty room. Each separate voice emanating from an individual speaker. The effect produced by this is transcendental. The audience is able to walk around the environment feeling the harmonies and changing the quality of the sound they hear by either moving closer or farther away to the speakers.
In Conclusion, I think that Janet Cardiff is an inspiration to audio art and that her works should be installed in every public place so that everyone can experience the beauty of sound and the visceral experience she creates out of it.

One Feat Three Ways – SPLAT, SPLIT, SLICE

Artist’s statement – One Feat Three Ways

(music credit for loop – Moonlight Serenade By Glenn Miller)

For our feat we chose opening a banana. Bananas are a symbol of comedy as well as being recognised as a phallic shape. These traits made the banana a perfect choice for our project. For the first video, the oneshot – we chose to have the focus centred on the banana after hearing feedback from the first critique. The actions performed during the oneshot were opening the banana with a bunch of different strings attached to the top and pulling apart the peel at the same time. The interactions of the hands, the string and the banana gave it a very close and focused feeling. 

For the sequence, we continued the actions of opening bananas but this time we had more fun with it. We experimented and destroyed the bananas haphazardly. Smashing, slicing, whacking, poking, pulling, ripping these bananas apart. There is a definite sadistic undertone in the three videos which was slightly unintentional but it adds to the overall sinister effect. Especially in the loop which is our best video of the three. 

The loop required a level of high commitment and preparation. To prepare for the video we collected a number of “surgical” instruments. We sewed a small set of pyjamas for our patient and made a tray for his body. The following surgical procedure was pretty spectacular, to say the least.We felt it required some eerie background music, and added some Static crackling,reverb, echo and changed the pitch to the song Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller. We also specifically carved out organs resembling the human anatomy, and gifted the banana some chicken legs, as we felt he deserved them. The legs, pyjamas, and face just added to the absurdity that was the loop video. The end result of our efforts was, to say the least, a cinematic masterpiece.

Kilometre Assignment

This is my Kilometre. I wanted to emulate the mechanical representation of a kilometre, but make it my own. The font and the mannerisms are very different. The speech is humanized and slightly comical, while the text is very – typewriter- (not handwritten). I wanted to bring some humour to this project with my – ahem- at the beginning. The giant block of text having a repeated word (metre) over and over again just hits you right in the face with the boring repetitiveness of it all. It makes me picture a fax machine, spitting out pages one by one. Endlessly. For me, when I have to go walk a kilometre (when I don’t want to) – that is what it feels like for me. It’s terrible. The steps are so robotic, repeating, on and on until I’m red in the face not just from walking but from annoyance. I feel a little disappointed in myself for not doing more, but maybe that’s what I have to learn from this, that doing an incredible amount of backbreaking head head-exploding work isn’t always the best way to carry out a project. Although I am disappointed in myself, that’s just me, I have always been the type of person to push myself to perfection even when it’s unnecessary. 

Reading Response – 1

Performance and the Power of the Popular, written by Coco Fusco

This essay focuses on black performance art and its opposition to mainstream performance/ high art practices. The section of this essay that made me think the most was where Fusco speaks on how Black and Native American cultures were suppressed and outlawed as a part of a large “civilizing” project. The fact that entire cultures, traditions and sacred things were seen as uncivilized and improper is disgusting. As Fusco states “Many performative acts in black communities were forced into secrecy as a strategy of survival.” Even while those culturally specific and performative practices were outlawed, they were alsom commodified. In the form of blackface, sardonic mimicry and racial stereotypes. The outcome was that a divide was created between the outside of subaltern performance and the insiders of it. From my thinking on this, being on the inside, being suppressed, outlawed, made to conform to general society. Having your entire culture, your ability to express your pride of where you’re from ripped away from you by people who wouldn’t even give you the time of day – And on top of all of that those same people now mimic your culture, appropriate it in the most grotesque way, of course, there is going to be a divide between those who create black performance art and those who try and perceive it. Why would anyone want that kind of negativity and prejudice anywhere near them? I can’t even begin to understand what it’s like, but from learning about the events of what has happened and what still does happen, I want to be as educated as possible.


a kilometre in time

I learned over the summer that using time to measure distance is a mostly North American concept, so instead of saying something was 1200 miles away, we’d say that it’s three days away. I’d never realised I did that until it was pointed out to me, and now I can’t help but be conscious of it, especially since I’m responsible for transporting myself everywhere and I don’t have a car. I’m constantly on Google Maps checking the quickest route to the grocery store or downtown, because the times based on walking or busing (or even the times for different buses) are all different just to get to the same place. As a result of this way of thinking, when we were given the prompt of a kilometre, my first thought was “How long would it take to travel that?” My second thought was, “How long would it take when using different modes of transportation?” So I found a park exactly one kilometre away from my house and calculated the distance when walking, driving, and taking transit. Using those I replicated the same drawing three times once in the distance it would take to bus to the park, once in the distance it would take to drive to it, and once in the distance, it would take to walk it. I did this to show while the physical distance does not change, it is three very different journeys to get there.

Out Of Context Texts – Conceptual Family Portrait

Out Of Context Texts – a conceptual family portrait. For my assignment, I put together a chronology of texts sent between me and my family, more specifically, the first text from each conversation we had in a day. For each message, I included who sent it, and the time it was received. I chose to display them on a Google calendar representing each person with their own colour so you could get a proper visual for the frequency texts are exchanged and who they are being exchanged between (this is not to say I don’t contact my family in other ways if I included call logs or every Instagram reel they sent me then it would have taken months to gather all the information together.) The period of time starts at the beginning of January this year and goes up until this weekend. If a conversation was started with a link or image I have provided an attachment that can be clicked to view it however no context is provided other than what is explicitly seen in the texts, additionally, each text was copied word for word typos and all. What you are getting is a brief, accurate look into the way I interact with my family, pure and unfiltered. Through these images, a tone of voice for each person can be seen and their personality shines through as it is their own words you are reading. When putting this together I found it to be very emotional, it brought up memories for me about things that have happened over the last year that I had either forgotten about or been trying not to think about. It was also interesting for me to see between my family and me who it is that most frequently starts conversations and what those conversations are, I’ve realised there’s more I could do to reach out to my brother (in fact I texted him as soon as I was done putting this together), and that while I don’t message with my dad as much as I do my mom or sister, the types of things we send each other show a great deal of love. It has made me very thankful for my family.

reading response

  • Can the edition exist on the internet/social media? Is it important that editions can be “owned”?

I believe that editions can exist on social media, in the reading it discusses how the idea of the edition was perfect for General Idea as “they allowed a means of wider cultural distribution, a deeper penetration into the body politic, and engagement with a somewhat less exclusive, more accessible art market.” With social media the art market is more accessible than it’s ever been, people all over the world are able to share and collaborate and learn from each other without leaving their homes, and while it can be argued that takes away from a truly meaningful connection, it also makes it so that you don’t need to be a scholar or have sufficient funds in order to participate in artistic conversations. The editions can exist on social media because the whole point of the edition is that they change and morph to fit different cultural/political/societal/even personal viewpoints, they are meant to be worked on and while ownership of an original edition can be a preservation of an initial idea, the existence of that edition in cyberspace only makes it susceptible to change and the influence of different cultures and viewpoints allowing them to bring their own meaning to the piece. Once you make a piece of art and show it to the world it is no longer just yours because it now exists in the mind of everyone who sees it for them to interpret it in whatever way they want, but putting it online is only a visual representation of that fact.

Off Brand Buttons

For this project, I decided to make a series of buttons that were a parody of popular fashion brand logos and put them on various clothing items and accessories. It was meant to play off the idea of things being true because large corporations tell us they are and poke fun at the value that gets placed on items because of the label they come with. The idea sparked from an article my mom sent me about how Stanley water bottles have lead in them, a substance that causes long-term harm to one’s health, and yet people continue to buy them. It’s not because there is a shortage of cute water bottles in the world and Stanley is the only one left, or because Stanley said they would stop, but because they have that name on them; Stanley. They are still as expensive, as sought after, despite their use of a harmful substance. I chose to use clothing brands in my project as the fashion industry because I wanted the piece to be wearable and I figured the idea of labelling would come across most clearly through clothing. 


What is a KILOMETRE?

The reason why I chose this route for KILOMETRE is because the short time frame for the assignment caused my first ideas to all be centered around technology. I then began to reflect on the ways in which we use technology in our lives as a substitute for real work and real experiences. When realizing how poorly Google Maps represented a walk, I questioned how accurate these programs could be when it comes to measurement, and I realized I could make a statement about technological unreliability.

Sunny Walk aims to explore modern society’s overreliance on technology by exploiting some of its holes. Despite its title, this work is a poor imitation of a real walk – the avatar warps through various different realities represented in fragmented images, travelling down paths that the average real person would not dare take. 

Because this screen recording displays my entire personalized PC, the medium works to create strain between technology and the “real world”. It is obvious that a real person is behind the screen, but they are unable to be seen, and they are never shown to be doing any work besides clicking a mouse. In relying on technology to take this walk for them, I, and therefore the viewer, miss out on a universal human experience and are further isolated from the “real world”. 

How do I know that this is exactly 1 kilometre? Only because my computer says so. And in this new age of unprecedented technological developments, the computer’s word is law.

“Performance and the Power of the Popular” by Coco Fusco: Reflection

When Fusco talks about the “subaltern”, she is referring to those who are considered to be in a lower position of power in a social context. In this article, “insiders” of subaltern performance are those belonging to the “subaltern” culture in question, while “outsiders” are everyone else, especially those in higher positions of social power. This distinction is extremely important because the context of a subaltern performance changes drastically depending on who is performing it. “Insider” performance quite often criticizes the power structures that form the society we live in, or comments on the relationships between people of different levels of privilege. It is also a celebration of a culture, which comes from a deep place of love and familiarity. Subaltern performance by an “outsider”, traditionally, has been used to mock and ridicule the targeted culture. Because “outsiders” can never be as familiar with a culture as “insiders”, the resulting performance is quite often inaccurate and comes from an angle of disgust or fetishization. It serves to reinforce harmful stereotypes, and dehumanizes people based on immutable characteristics. Essentially, “insider” performances often try to humanize a subaltern culture, while “outsider” performances tend to maintain the culture’s “low” status in the eyes of the general public. “Insiders” and “outsiders” will also react differently as viewers to subaltern performances, based on whether they can connect with them or not.

However, these are generalizations. Sometimes, internalized hatred for one’s own subaltern culture will lead them to participate in mocking performance as well, perhaps to feel “accepted” by those who reject them. Additionally, “outsider” subaltern performances can sometimes come from a place of genuine compassion, care, and desire to humanize. It is important to treat each subaltern performance with nuance and individuality, or else we risk falling into the same generalizing habits that cause these social divides in the first place.


The details of my ONE FEAT, THREE WAYS assignment is on my partner Kira’s blog.

Ana Mendieta Reflection

For this assignment, I chose to do further research on Ana Mendieta, whose themes of human relationship to land and displacement from one’s home stood out to me in our class lecture. 

I learned that Mendieta based her works on the idea of a “universal energy” which she believed exists in all things, in all places, in all times. This makes sense when revisiting works of hers we studied in class, as they convey a sense of deep harmony. In her works around displacement and violence, this harmony feels violently destroyed, as there is a visible cavity of some kind left in the landscape.

In her early career as an art student, many of Mendieta’s works revolved around violence done to the female body. Some, such as Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints—face) (1972), focus on physical violence, while others like Untitled (Facial Cosmetic Variations) evoke the psychological and generational violences brought about by white supremacy. These works are uncomfortable to view, which is likely Mendieta’s intention. The female body in art is very often depicted in an idealized form, as an object for others’ viewing pleasure. Mendieta forces her viewers to recognize the humanity of these bodies and the pain they endure, as well as the intense stress and damage placed on a body who is forced to conform to highly unrealistic standards. As an AFAB person, I think she does an excellent job of capturing how exhausting it can be to be perceived as female. If we are not perfect, we are hideous. Violence against us is normalized and accepted, and often made out to be our fault, even though it has been over 50 years since these works of Mendieta’s were created. This is portrayed well in Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints—face), as there is no visible perpetrator of the violence the subject experiences. It appears as if the subject is doing it to herself, even though we know this cannot be true, as no rational person would subject themselves to something of that nature. 

Mendieta’s later works focus more on nature, and the human body’s relationship with it. One of her most popular was the Silueta series (1973–77), where each work featured the mark of a formerly-present human body on a natural landscape. These works, in my opinion, are most powerful because of their silence. The quiet imagery and lack of audio, in a sense, leaves the viewer responsible for filling in the gap left by the absence of Mendieta’s body. Each work seems to shout, “I am a part of this place. I had to leave. Please remember me.” It made me think about my own relationship with the land, the places each person calls home, and the ways in which humans are becoming increasingly separated from nature both physically and psychologically.

In summary, Mendieta’s works excellently capture the experiences of non-white women in a world that often works against them, and urge us to remember where we truly came from.

Works Cited

MoMA. (n.d.). Ana Mendieta | Moma. https://www.moma.org/artists/3924  

The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. (n.d.). Ana Mendieta: Untitled: Silueta Series. https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/5221

Audio Art: Anxiety Attack

As someone who used audio-based media as a coping mechanism for the isolation of the COVID-19 lockdown, and has semi-permanent tinnitus because of it, my first thoughts when it came to an audio project revolved around the idea of being overwhelmed. This work, Anxiety Attack, attempts to replicate my own experiences. I do not have diagnosed anxiety, but I have always been unusually harsh on myself for the mistakes I have made, and sensitive to people’s potentially negative perceptions of me. Last semester, these factors combined with certain events culminated in me experiencing several anxious episodes more intense than I had ever felt in my life. That uncomfortableness, irrationality, panic, and exhaustion is what I attempted to replicate in this piece.

The audio starts with a heartbeat, slightly faster than usual. The person’s breathing then becomes heavier. In my case, I do this to mitigate the intense and painful pit in my stomach. As my anxiety gets slowly more intense, I begin to use more coping mechanisms, such as pacing and fidgeting. I then get even more anxious as I hear the people around me, feeling both overwhelmed and strangely isolated. This culminates in my tinnitus slowly drowning out the rest of the noise, representing my perceived inability to escape my anxious tendencies in the moment. Much like my tinnitus, I will live with anxious feelings in some form or another for the rest of my life, and all I can really do is hope that I can drown them out enough to not notice their presence.

Conceptual Portrait

This two-part performance piece is a conceptual portrait of my late grandmother, specifically the ways in which we remember her. My grandmother immigrated from India with little to her name. As a result, she spent an incredible amount of her time doing domestic labour. My mom loves her food in particular, and is an avid cook and baker to this day because of her, which is why this work is food-based. The “system” I am following is to make food from my grandma’s recipe in a way that is faithful to her. 

I recreated my grandma’s recipe for baath, a dessert from our ancestral homeland of Goa, from her instructions. Baath, or bolo de rulao, is a “poor man’s cake”, which fits with the financial struggles of my grandparents. I planned to do this alone, but my mother immediately bought the missing ingredients when I told her about it, and offered to help me. Knowing how pleased my grandma would have been to see us baking her recipe together, I happily accepted. While baking, I reflected on the process and my grandma (recorded below). Goan cookbooks are notorious for using very vague instructions, and my grandma was a frequent improviser, so each mishap we adapted to was quite fitting for a portrait of a resilient and intelligent Goan woman.  

I shared the final product twice, once with my family and once with the class. Sharing the food represents the things I remember most about my grandma, both from my experience and from stories. She was constantly working to provide for her husband and five daughters, but didn’t take good care of herself. Giving away the fruits of her labour embodies this quality of hers, as well as the way in which sharing food brings my family together. Dessert ties into how she suffered from diabetes, one of the reasons my time with her was short. Eating food represents how our time with our loved ones can be short, but lives on inside of us, sometimes literally! 

Baking with my mother and sharing this food with my family helped me to understand how lucky I am to have such a caring family, and how love can transcend any boundary. I am grateful that I chose this route for my project, as I felt like my grandma taught me a valuable lesson. 

AIDS Art: Reflection

The concept of the edition can absolutely exist on the internet. Joshua Decter defines the goal of the edition as enabling wider cultural distribution and making a more accessible art market. The internet is possibly the best tool in human existence for distribution and accessibility, despite its many flaws. Projects similar to editions already exist there. For instance, although controversial, NFTs can be considered a type of edition art. Meanwhile, trends like “Draw This In Your Style” allow multiple people to contribute to the creation of a related series of unique editions. I personally don’t think it’s important that editions are “owned”. Their point is to be as widespread and accessible as possible, and ownership can be detrimental to both. 

General Idea’s AIDS works revolved around being open to interpretation, accessible, and relatable. The reason Miller’s final sentence is so significant is that it suggests that larger art institutions have entirely missed the purpose for which their AIDS monument was established. In removing the graffiti that serves as public access and contribution to the work, the monument is commodified, sterilized, and alienated. This final sentence also serves as a metaphor for the desire of non-queer Americans to rid themselves of any association with AIDS and queer people, and forget that either ever existed.

Artist Buttons: Nicknames

As I was wondering what topic to cover for this assignment, I realized that nearly every piece of art I produced this semester was related to my perception of the world in some way. In particular, I was so touched by the depictions of love and understanding that were depicted in mine and others’ conceptual portraits that I wanted to further explore that concept. This piece is therefore less about an objective view of the people I feature and more about how they interact with me and my life. 

Nicknames is a series that takes the phrase “heart on your sleeve” quite literally. Each button features a different person in my life who is part of my “heart”, alongside the nickname I use for them, and the year that we met. Each person is hand-drawn with a fine-tipped marker, and some “mistakes” are visible. This is partially intentional, as I wanted to use these buttons to emphasize the power of a “single edition”. Just as these people are complex in real life, and none of them are ever going to be replaceable to me, there is only one button in existence which depicts each of them, and none of them are “perfect”. However, the fact that they exist in editions implies that they have the ability to be “re-released” in newer forms; that is, to change and evolve. This specific edition represents the ways in which these people have all interacted with me, a dynamic represented in the names I have given them. The people I care about will always play an important role in my life, and this is represented well by turning them into a form of art that can be worn.



The challenge I tackled with this work was how I could represent a Kilometre. With this arbitrary unit of measure, we as a society have jointly come to understand that this certain distance or length is justified as the word ‘kilometre’. We walk it, run it or drive it, but I wanted to hold a kilometre. On our walks, runs and drives, we don’t consciously think about how great this distance is. In my piece, through the use of a glass jar and 125, 8-metre skeins of embroidery thread, I was able to visualize and put into perspective the striking distance the word signifies. The creation of the piece was meticulous, touching each strand of thread as I unbounded and unwound them. With significant repetition I stuffed the 1 kilometre; 1,000 metres; 10,000 centimetres; and 1,000,000 millimetres; worth of thread into a singular jar. In my hands, I held a kilometre. I could see it, feel it, and comprehend its worth. 

My work I feel surrounds and seeks to discover something deeper. Through the journey of creating my work, I search to find something new; whether it be about myself, or the world. There are many mundane aspects of our lives that we tend not fully to appreciate or take in; a kilometre being one of them. To see and to hold it in your hands allows you to reflect and visualize its worth. 

Reading Response 1

bell hooks

In relation to the reading, ‘Performance as a Sight of Opposition’ by bell hooks, she states “performance that is used to manipulate in the interests of survival (the notion of wearing a mask)”. Hooks is likely making suggestion to the strategic mask of identity that many marginalized groups use to navigate the more dominant communities that discriminate against them. This strategy of “wearing a mask” is in order for those who are using it to survive and be protected, in all seeking to try and avoid the possibility of increasing discrimination. Examples of terms used to define these performances include concealing one’s identity, assimilating to the dominant culture or, ‘code-switching’. For example, when navigating a predominantly white public space, a person of colour may change their style of self-expression in various ways from dress, to attitudes, and to language, to then match those that surround them. They are subsequently ‘masking’ and suppressing their true black identity for the more dominant white identity to not call attention to themselves. This performance that they put on as they try to navigate through ‘white space’ is taxing as constantly changing your self-expression can lead you to not know what your true identity is. As a white person myself, these white spaces are ordinary and mundane as I glide through, never having to come in and out. To a black person, white space is isolating, demanding and emotional. In the sea that we live in of segregation, it is important to find the diverse islands where solidarity can grow. All around us are spaces that discriminate, and isolate individuals, whether about race, gender, or disability, therefore it is paramount that we identify and expand the amount of spaces that unify those from every walk of life. 

One Feat, Three Ways

Paige Trundou & Abby Dwosh

Killing Time – The Loop

Size Doesn’t Matter – The One Shot

Sharpen Up – The Sequence

For this video assignment, we landed on the idea of sharpening a pencil. Seems fairly mundane, right? Well, it will surprise you, as it certainly did for us, how complex and meaningful the act can be when we push it to its limits. 

The loop, entitled Killing Time was the first ‘way’ of our feat that we took to the drawing board. With the use of an ‘old fashioned’ crank pencil sharpener found in the studio and a scrap piece of wood acquired from Home Depot, we assembled our subject matter. Using two-point lighting we searched to create a loop that both satisfied, as well as frustrated the viewer. Referencing memories of wasting school time at the pencil sharpener, the loop features a continuation of constant, never-ending sharpening as the pencil fails to decrease in size, while time does. ‘When will they be done?’, the viewer might wonder. Maybe this is how frustrated our teachers felt when we got up for the fifth time in class just to sharpen our pencils. 

Concerning the one shot, titled Size Doesn’t Matter, we set on a quest to challenge our capabilities by sharpening a singular pencil down to its smallest being in one complete shot. Once again using the ‘old fashioned’ pencil sharpener as our device, this time we removed the shavings capsule to create another component of visualization for the viewer. With two-point lighting and a new angled view of the pencil being degraded, we were able to invite the viewer into a new experience as they could witness every aspect of the act such as the hand cranking, the pencil both entering and exiting, and the carvings accumulating. About the title, we were able to allude to the humour created by the word ‘penis’ in a childhood context. Sexuality to a young person is funny – sort of a way of coping with the uncertainty and differentiation it creates in individuals. But what does the act of sharpening and taking away length from the pencil mean in this case? Could it be the self-esteem of the individual? How as a society we put so much worth into appearances and size?

Lastly, in the sequence, titled Sharpen Up, playing on the phrase ‘smarten up’, we took a gradually humorous route with the work. Beginning with the most basic and well-known forms of sharpening a pencil we built up to the most obscure, but also metaphorical ways. This led us to anthropomorphize the pencil, relating to the ways we have pushed ourselves to be better in school and how that can be damaging, impractical, and many times impossible. Impossible in the sense that a pencil can’t be sharpened with fire or a rock, and we as people can’t always meet the unrealistic expectations of what ‘achievement’ or ‘sharpness’ in the school system is meant to look like. 

Through this work, we took the simple act of sharpening a pencil but placed it in three different visual ways, creating three unique messages. In a time where society is ever evolving, we as individuals are heavily affected by it. A pencil represents our childhood, the idea that we make so many mistakes while experiencing rapid development, and then taking the next step, to say a pen, a more permanent object, when we are more developed. It leads us to question, what is good enough for society concerning size, appearance and intelligence.

Reflection – Joyce Wieland

Joyce Wieland is a Canadian experimental artist who worked with film, mixed media and visual art. Beginning her career in the 1950s in the downtown of Toronto, Wieland found her way within the bohemian scene and strayed away from the norms as she lived independently. Her success grew from her contributions to group exhibitions leading her to acquire her very first solo exhibit just 10 years later for her paintings and mixed media. After moving to New York to further pursue her artistic career it began to develop as she dived into the physical manipulation of film as an outlet for conceptual art. When describing the process of her newfound form of expression Wieland does not fit under one specific label, rather, she combines various styles to invoke a new visual experience. Incorporating the elements of structural filmmaking, her work concentrates on the material manipulation of film such as lighting, camera movement and projection. In contrast to the elements that other structural film artist follows, Wieland embraces the ‘underground film’ style by integrating narrative in her work; aligning with storylines on sexuality and politics. Wieland also included her early artistic style of paintings, drawings and mixed media as subjects for film works, and vice versa. For example, her mixed media works would include cinematic devices such as close-ups, frameshift and zoom to mimic film as if it were a storyboard of sorts. 

What caught my eye about Joyce Wieland’s work was the fact that the subjects or things she focused on so closely are those that may go unnoticed in the everyday. It resonated with me because that is the kind of idea and motive by which I live – acknowledging the things that go unnoticed, the every day, the mundane, and examining the world we live in. Her art shares a harmony of interconnectedness of more than one art medium. Wieland both makes her art the camera and the person behind it, as well as the art in front of the camera. Joyce Wieland analyzes the human experience, yet through a new way of thinking, allowing to expand boundaries in Canadian art and celebrating female empowerment. 

Audio Art Project

To Love a Crunch

With open-ended guidelines for this project, I sought to take an everyday sound that society already views as an annoyance, but then push it to its limits. My dog is my favourite little creature; everything about her makes me warm and happy, whether it be her little tippy tappy paws, the sound she makes when she runs, or the crisp crunching when she chows down on some kibble. The crunch, ugh that crunch, it’s just so perfect and so sweet. She will look at me with her puppy eyes as her mouth is wide open and her little pink tongue tries to align the pellet between her teeth. That sound that I love so much is what I landed on to push to its limits. I questioned why I thought this sound was so adorable coming from her but when I hear a human doing so I become disgusted and enraged. I recorded her munching, sniffing and smacking her lips, then edited it so that one ear would play one sound of the crunch, while the other would play another sound. You are surrounded and amplified by it as the sound swirls around. When you listen without knowing my story, how do you feel? Grossed out? Irritated? Is it because you think it’s a person? What about when you know it’s a sweet little eight-pound ball of fluff? Are smiling and picturing her? It is because of the connotation we place on our sweet little dogs. They bring us joy and love, even the things that may annoy us, that is what makes them unique. Love is a crazy emotion as it can take an everyday annoyance and turn it into a ‘well that’s just what I love about them’, and ‘that’s what makes us unique’. I know this little fluffy girl I call Phoebe won’t live forever, but gosh that crunch, the feeling she provides me; that I will live on past her time.

*see attached photo*

Conceptual Portrait

Her Pain

When it comes to my artwork I don’t gravitate towards going the personal route, but here we are meant to experiment. 

My mom is my best friend, through and through as she is always there for me no matter what. It’s been in recent years that she sadly suffered a seemingly minor injury that has turned out to have long-term effects. It’s been hard for me to understand her pain – why she can’t just do the things she used to be able to do. From an outside perspective, you might gather the impression that my mom is lazy or unmotivated because she doesn’t go to work, she sits and lays on the couch, and rarely leaves the home. The reality is though, her life looks like this because she can’t go to the job she loves so deeply, she can’t go more than ten minutes without giving her body a rest, and she can’t go about her day like she used to. It’s taken me a while to see past this outside perspective and put myself into her reality. Throughout these last few years, I’ve been unsympathetic towards her, and it’s taken me a while to see that. I was harsh on her, questioning her moves like there was something she could do to change her pain. Why are you asking me to do everything for you? Ask someone else! I felt tired, but I didn’t consider that maybe she was too, more than I could ever experience. It’s only been in the last few months that I have opened myself up to comprehend her situation. She was injured at work, it was never her choosing or her fault, yet she has to live with excruciating pain every day after every move she makes. I see her pain, I see what it does to her physically and mentally. But even though I may have opened myself to seeing her pain, there are still many people who surround and engulf my mom who refuse to do the same. 

Pain is quite objective, meaning everyone interprets it differently. When it comes to pain and medication, it might be a start to visualizing or measuring it – what meds you’re on, how much you take. Holding it might be a tangible way. 

For this project, I sought to understand her pain and find a way that others could begin to. It was funny because I asked my mom for empty pill bottles one day and the next she handed me all these that you see in front of you. When I told my roommates what I was doing I called it a rock walk. For my system, I went out on an extremely cold and brutally windy night – I didn’t even plan for that but it was just meant to be. I walked around my construction zone of a neighbourhood where every once in a while I picked up stones and rocks I found on the road, on the side of the road, or in piles from the construction, and placed them into a bag. My hands were frozen, and my legs and arms hurt as I tried to pick up these small individual rocks just after winter – it was torture, to be honest. And in those moments I thought of her. I thought as I picked up one rock that this must be just an ounce of what she feels. I don’t think I could do it – carry on every day feeling like that. I then sat in my living room as I picked up every rock and placed it into the pill bottles as if I were a pharmacist. The bottles, and how they are arranged, this is a normal sight for my mom as she carries all her meds wherever she goes in this Costco margarine container. After finishing I had to take a break and lay down for a minute. And after that minute my pain went away.  

The thing is my mom’s pain doesn’t go away. 

What I hope is the people who fight my mom, belittle and undermine her pain, and force her to push her body to excruciating limits, I hope maybe they go on a little rock walk of their own. How about they carry this around with them every day? And maybe they can come to understand just an ounce of her pain.

Reading Response 2

General Idea’s AIDs work had a significant impact on Aids research and society’s view of the disease. During the height of the Aids/HIV epidemic, there was immense stereotyping surrounding it. General Idea’s work, like the virus, spread across the world and cultures, preventing conversations surrounding it from coming to a halt. The topic needed to be talked about, research and scientific findings needed to be done, and with the edition, word and conversation could go viral, and spread globally. As for the message they sent with the appropriation of the LOVE work, gay and queer culture were branded by the virus, and changing the working from LOVE to AIDs forced people to open their minds to the community. Today, we live in a society where word spreads incredibly fast. You can post something to the internet and millions of people can have liked, commented and shared it within a minute. Though the internet can do good in spreading messages fast and getting the word out, I feel the movement created by General Idea’s AIDs piece would have been lost in the sea of information we have access to today. Due to the speed at which information travels today, an incredible amount exists to access. One thing may be on the news one day, while the next it is forgotten about and we move on to the next. With the edition, people were forced to see the work everywhere – on posters, signs, keychains … everything. To have the kind of impact the work did have, I don’t believe it would have gone as viral today without the work of the edition.

Artist Multiple

I sought to go in a fun and somewhat comedic direction for this project. I took inspiration from the “Little Miss” books and character designs of a white background, colourful characters and simple short text for my ‘look’. With my buttons I wanted them to reveal something about the ‘wearer of the button’, something that was brutally honest about them that they normally wouldn’t directly come out and tell someone. The collection features various bright and colourful fruits on each button with text that reveals something about the person but also plays off of the presence of the fruit. Having this connection allowed me to brainstorm various fun phrases. The best way I can describe the kind of phrases I came up with is ‘cheeky’ and the ‘idgaf’ attitude. What I loved about what I created was that it was a collection of buttons, but each stood out on its own. Each fruit was hand-drawn digitally by myself with bright colours, and various styles such as open fruit or whole fruit, as well as black outlineing. The process of drawing the fruits and physically producing the buttons was so relaxing for me. I could escape in the process. 

In high school, I was taught that art such as da Vinci’s, or Michelangelo’s was elite with high attention to detail, grand scale and that idea it was a one-of-a-kind. It has only been in the past year that I have felt confident in this style of art which is simple, fun, and can be mass-produced. Though I can make many of each kind of button, each is one-of-a-kind in a series and how it is set in the button. I went with this style because truly, it was what I thought was cool and it was a look I enjoyed. I didn’t think about ‘is this what people define as art’’ – I’m very proud of myself for that.

Thank you!

Thank you, Meghan, Nathan, and everyone in the class for a great semester! We had such an amazing group with such amazing minds!


I have yet to encounter performance art in person, experiencing it in real time. However, I have seen clips and videos of the art form as a means of inspiration for my works. I feel as though truly encountering a performance piece would result in a further appreciation for the art. 

I read “Performance and the Power of the Popular” by Coco Fusco. From what I have understood, Coco Fusco uses the term “subaltern” as she refers to those who are marginalized, oppressed, or have less power in a social hierarchy. This concept is important for understanding social dynamics and power structures. Fusco also refers to the “insiders”, those who belong to a more mainstream or dominant group. Therefore, the “outsiders” are then the subaltern individuals who are often excluded. The text reads: “In its industrialized form, popular culture is a formable shaper of public consciousness that relies heavily on the display of subaltern performativity to convey its messages. in the mere grass-roots versions lie the styles, sounds, and attitudes that mark the difference of our cultural identities from those of the mainstream.” To simplify, we need to recognize that popular culture is always around. Some individuals adopt and reimagine popular art forms for artistic experimentation and others choose to reject them. In its industrialized form, popular culture has a large impact on public consciousness, using marginalized performances to convey messages. The grassroots versions have distinct styles, attitudes, and sounds that make our cultural identities differ from mainstream ones. We must acknowledge that popular culture is a constant presence. 

Artist Research

Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-American performance artist, painter, sculptor, and video artist. Ana moulded her own body into the earth to create some of the world’s most well-known land art. Land or earth art is a piece of work that has been created directly into a landscape, sculpted into the land, or the creation of new structures and forms through the use of natural objects (rocks, twigs, leaves, dirt, etc…). With a career lasting a solid 15 years, Ana produced over 200 pieces of art using the land as her medium. She is very well-known for her land art series titled “Siluetta” (1973-1980), where she moulded her body into various terrains in Iowa and Mexico. This series emphasizes the intricate connection between mother nature and the body’s human form. 

Ana Mendieta’s work also embodied feminism. As she arrived in Iowa during the 1960s, the second wave of feminism began dealing with issues surrounding sexuality, reproductive rights, violence against women, and domestic issues. These issues heavily influenced and affected Mendieta’s works, as she focused specifically on violence against women. She produced her piece titled “Untitled (Rape Scene)” in 1973 after a fellow student, Sarah Ann Ottens, was raped on campus. For this work, Ana tied herself to a table, her pants sat below her ankles, and she had blood running down her legs. She invited the audience to experience this sense of objectification through the extremity of her work. This piece was created to show support for Sarah Ann Ottens and to raise awareness surrounding the maliciousness of rape. 

Ana Mendieta died tragically young at the age of 36. On September 8th, 1985, Mendieta fell to her death from the window in her New York City apartment. Speculation grew around the idea that her husband, Carl Andre, murdered Ana after an argument surrounding their careers. Carl, who was also a sculptor, claims that the two argued about who was more exposed to the public. He told police that Ana went to their bedroom where he followed her and saw her exit through the window. Despite exhibiting facial scratches upon the arrival of the police, and with a nearby doorman attesting to hearing a woman’s cries of ‘no no no’ shortly before Mendieta’s body fell onto a deli roof, Carl Andres was ultimately acquitted due to insufficient evidence. Ana’s death left a significant mark on women of the art world. Her artworks are unfortunately often recognized with the correlation of her death. Coco Fusco, a Cuban-American artist and writer, spoke on the death of Ana saying “At the time it seemed that the only way a Latina could gain attention was to die dramatically.” Ana’s passing affected many, however, her death should not consume the meaning behind her works. She created art about life, power, energy, and feminism while expressing the many aspects of her identity! 

Portrait of Ana Mendieta. Courtesy of The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.

Audio Assignment

Title: My Day Through Sound

Artist Statement

In my audio assignment, I recorded common sounds I make or hear throughout my day. The humming noise created outside my window, the laughing coming from my roommates, and the ruffling of my bed sheets are just three examples of sounds included in my piece. For this assignment, I aimed to transform ordinary, everyday sounds into a captivating sequence, enticing listeners to discover fascination in the mundane. This piece also serves as a type of sound diary, capturing my daily routine through noise. Through the use of my iPhone and an editing app, I was able to combine, layer, and edit my recorded sounds to create my final piece. It was interesting to hear and experience certain noises layered together, creating a whole different sound. This assignment made me aware of the slightest noises, ones often ignored or not noticed. I became aware of the fact that there is sound all around us, all of the time. When sitting alone in my room, I could still hear the hum of the cars outside, and the heat coming through my vents. I simply could not escape or ignore the sounds around me. I hope that this piece inspires listeners to rediscover the various sounds that make up their days. 

Conceptual Portrait

Artist Statement

I have centred my piece around my 18-year-old sister, Carly. As someone who finds comfort in reading, Carly often highlights and underlines her favourite quotes, lines, and poems in her books. After borrowing and reading just a few of the books she has lent me, I came to the realization that these underlined sentences are meaningful and often substantially loaded. I find that these words make up a portion of Carly as an individual. Her selection of underlined and highlighted phrases makes me question the relation or response she has to certain books and their underlying meanings. I was able to meet up with Carly, as we attend different universities and live in different cities, and look through her books. Lolita, My Dark Vanessa, the Harry Potter series, and Call Me by Your Name are just a few examples of these books. Together we selected 22 quotes that I re-typed on 22 separate pages. As she often keeps a lot to herself, I appreciate her ability to express a small portion of herself through literature. My piece is done on printer paper with typed sentences. These sentence-filled pages are kept in a folder, holding onto a level of simplicity. This assignment made me analyze the deeper meaning of certain phrases and understand Carly’s relation to her favourite quotes and books. I believe that this piece is a conceptual portrayal of Carly as an individual and invites the viewer to consider the context and significance of these 22 phrases. 

Reading Response #2

Question 1: Miller describes the AIDS edition as being “like a redundant thought balloon, spelling out what people already feared but refused to say.” If that in 1987 was AIDS, what might that be today?

  • For years we have been experiencing various global health and social issues. Today’s climate crisis could be compared to the handling of the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s. Similar to AIDS back then, many recognize the seriousness of the ongoing climate crisis and vaguely understand how it affects individuals and the environment. This being said, many hesitate to deal with it fully or even at all. Even though scientists warn us about the climate crisis regularly and studies are constantly proving its seriousness, there’s still a big difference between what people know and what they choose to do about it. Just as most people dealt with AIDS in the past, individuals and communities now choose not to acknowledge or actively partake in reducing the effects of the current climate crisis.

Question 2: Can the edition exist on the internet/social media? Is it important that editions can be “owned”?

  • Social media is such an extensive and accessible resource in today’s day. Editions are more commonly seen on the internet as they can be accessed and purchased by a variety of people somewhat easily. This being said, I believe that there is something authentic and charming about physical editions that editions on social media lack. Being able to hold or experience a physical edition adds to its impactfulness as an art piece. Though there is nothing wrong with editions existing online, I appreciate editions that can be substantially owned!

Artist Buttons!

Artist Statement

I have created a series of fourteen buttons that have pictures of butts on them. The repeated occurrence of the word ‘button’ during brainstorming sparked a moment of clarity and that is when my idea came to me! The butts on the buttons are meant to be a play on the first three letters in the word ‘button’ as it spells out ‘BUTT’. The remainder of the word, being ‘on’ works well with my piece as the buttons are butts that you can put on. I found pictures of models butts on Playboy’s Instagram account and then cropped and edited them to all fit the buttons nicely. It was a strange and interesting process for sure. This assignment allowed me to create a work that was free of any serious topics or themes and focus on making humorous art. It is important to note that this project is simply a lighthearted exploration of the word ‘button’, it avoids deeper meaning, and is meant to entertain and amuse through its playfulness!

Breanna Sharma: A Kilometer

Artist Statement: A Thousand Measures

For my assignment, I chose to do a kilometer of writing. The word kilometer is derived from the Greek root words ‘khilioi’, meaning thousand, and ‘metron’, meaning measure. I wrote out the word ‘measure’ one thousand times to represent a thousand measures, or one kilometer since there are one thousand meters in a kilometer. Originally, I wrote the word ‘measure’ on six sheets of lined paper. I decided to redo it and write it out on a canvas with a paint marker. By putting it on a canvas, it is all one thousand words on a single surface instead of having it sprawled out on six different sheets of paper. I am unsure which form I like best, as I feel that both read very differently than one another. Both are a little bit messy which I like, since I did not do any measurements and chose to freehand the writing. The six pages feel a little more chaotic, and almost as if I was ‘writing lines’ as punishment. I like that the canvas still has a chaotic and messy feel to it, but it almost comes off as ‘cleaner’ than the lined sheets of paper. The idea itself is fairly simple, but the process of trying to represent a kilometer in a conceptual art piece was pretty difficult. It was a bit of a mind bend, but the exercise definitely helped increase my creativity! It took lots of planning, lots of meditation, and a little bit of stress but I enjoyed the process and end result.

Get Ready With Me! – One Feat, Three Ways (Breanna and Emily)

One Shot – Get Ready With Me!

Sequence – Getting Ready For Work!

Loop – Get It Off!

Artist Statement

For our video assignment, we focused on the everyday ritual of simply putting on makeup. Through this piece, which focuses on a seemingly mundane act, we explored themes of identity, self-expression, and societal expectations. Makeup works as a type of transformative tool, allowing individuals to enhance or change their appearance. Additionally, we want to allow the viewer to reflect on their own relationship with appearance and self-presentation through the application of makeup. For the first piece, titled: Get Ready With Me, we focused on the act of applying eyeliner. The video is simple yet repetitive, mimicking the repetitive routine one may have of getting ready almost the same way every day. The second piece, titled: Get Ready With Me For Work, starts off ordinarily. The title is meant to make the video seem as if it will be a normal makeup routine. As the video plays, the application and use of certain ‘makeup’ products becomes odd and unsettling. The sense of uneasiness created as the makeup is continually applied is meant to portray feelings of annoyance and restlessness. These feelings of frustration may stem from the pressure to conform to societal beauty standards. Many individuals feel the need to follow conventional norms of attractiveness, often dictating specific makeup looks or trends. The repetitive nature of applying makeup under these standards can feel extremely stifling, reinforcing the feeling of being boxed into predetermined ideals rather than expressing one’s true self. For our final piece, titled: Get It Off, we created a loop presenting the failure to remove makeup. As makeup is removed from one side of the face, it is quickly reapplied, creating the sense that it will never come off. This piece depicts the repetitive act of removing one’s makeup, highlighting the monotonous nature of beauty standards and the challenges individuals face in breaking free from them.

Genesis – Audio Art Assignment

Artist Statement

For this assignment, I chose to create an instrumental inspired by meditation music. As of lately, I have been trying to implement meditation into my daily routine to help combat any stress and anxiety I have been feeling lately. Over the course of a few days, I would try and follow a nighttime routine by reading and meditating before bed. I have lots of trouble sleeping as I tend to overthink and struggle to calm my mind, so I have been using meditation to slow my thoughts down. After my meditation, I would work on the instrumental in increments and I found that being in a calmer state of mind helped me really focus on this assignment. Creating this music became more of a meditative practice for myself, and I felt that this process was very smooth. I titled this instrumental Genesis, because it means ‘creation’ and ‘beginning’. I would like to create a new beginning for myself as I aim to build reliable routines/coping mechanisms for any stress and anxiety I feel (especially as the semester becomes more fast paced). This instrumental is merely a representation of the steps I am taking to better myself and strengthen my ability to focus and destress. I have also found that meditation music helps me focus while I study, and it induces my creative process. I have added this instrumental to my playlist, and so far it has been helping me focus a lot better! I am very happy with the outcome of this instrumental, and I feel that this is not just an assignment, it is another tool for me to utilize as I improve my habits and routines.

Oceanic Feeling – Conceptual Portrait

Artist Statement – Oceanic Feeling

For my conceptual portrait, I have combined the elements of photography and writing. I started my process with a series of photographs I took, and I created a mood board with them to begin the writing alongside the photos. The main idea for this piece was more of a meditative experience, as I wanted to represent myself through nature. Personally, I am someone that has very strong beliefs about reincarnation and being connected to the universe in many different ways. 

I titled this piece “Oceanic Feeling”, which is a term created by Romain Rolland in a letter he wrote to Sigmund Freud. I learned about this term from a book about religion and psychology, and there was a section dedicated to Freud’s opinion on religion. In this section is where he mentions the term and describes this feeling. An Oceanic feeling represents the

Feeling of ‘being one with the external world as a whole’. Though I was baptized Greek Orthodox, I do not limit myself to this religion and I enjoy various pieces of different religions. An aspect of Hinduism that I really enjoy is finding ‘God’ everywhere around me, Which reminds me of the oceanic feeling.

For the photographs I chose, the main photo is the moon reflecting off the pond in the arboretum late at night. The other photos I chose include a tree that is shaped like a lung, a sunset photo, the moon, a dark sky with stars, a close up of a river, a tree stump, and a building with an eye in Kensington market. All of these photos in some way make me feel connected to the universe, and this is something I want to actively be aware of on a day to day basis to promote mindfulness.

Final Assignment – Buttons

Artist Statement – Buttons

For my piece, I have created a series of buttons that have stains or rips on them. People typically have buttons that showcase their interests or things that they enjoy, and it is usually more of an accessory piece. The buttons I have created oppose that idea. Each button has a different stain or rip to mimic ruined clothing. People usually would not choose to wear a piece of clothing with a tomato sauce stain on it or a rip in their coat, so to wear buttons that represent these things is not only ironic but pretty meta. I coordinated the pins with my outfit, so I wore a white shirt with blue jeans and a black leather jacket. The pins on my white shirt include a big red stain, and wrinkled fabric to make it look like the shirt is wrinkled. On my jeans I had two pins, one with creases on it, and another with an oil stain on it. I wore a black sweater and leather jacket, and the pins on them include bleach/paint stains, torn leather, and stained leather. Finally, I also made two pins for my tote bag, and those include an oil stain, and creased fabric. This piece is very interesting to me, and seems a little bit abject as well.


Kilometer Project

Each personal object represents a kilometer of my own lifes journey, each object symbolizing a significant experience, memory, or person. These objects contribute to the overall narrative that is my life, like a chapter in a book telling personal stories. Just like a kilometer, these objects depict a distance; some objects represent the past, such as my old bed frame, and others represent the present, such as my new pillows. Like covering a kilometer, the accumulation of personal objects represents the journey of self-discovery. As you collect and let go of different items you learn more about yourself and what truly matters in your life. In addition, by representing my room in book form, it contributes to this idea of carrying these objects with me, similarly to carrying a journal that documents your life in written words. Also, this art piece does not just represent a kilometer symbolically, it also represents it numerically as well. This is because if you add every object’s dimension, including my own height, and multiply the sum by 10.972482 it will equal 100000 cm (or 1 km). In the end, using the metaphor of a kilometer in connection with my own personal objects provides a creative way to think about the profound aspects of my own life experiences, along with the tangible reminders that mark the journey. 

Reading Assignment 1

In the context of bell hooks’ statement about “performance that is used to manipulate in the interests of survival (the notion of wearing a mask),” she is likely referring to the concept of individuals adopting certain behaviors, attitudes, or appearances as means of navigating societal expectations, prejudice, or challenges, particularly in marginalized and oppressed communities. The statement “wearing a mask” refers to presenting oneself that may not fully be a representation of one’s most authentic self in order to survive or be accepted within a given environment. Oftentimes individuals react to external pressures by adjusting their behaviour, which may include hiding certain facets of their identity to conform to societal norms. An example of this is code-switching which is when people from marginalized groups alter their language, accent or communication style in order to adapt to the dominant culture in diverse social contexts. This is frequently done to avoid stereotypes or discrimination, serving as a means of adjusting for survival in different environments. Another example would be individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ may choose to adopt behaviors that align with heteronormativity as a strategy to prevent discrimination or rejection. This may involve suppressing their sexual orientation or gender identity in specific situations to conform to societal expectations. Overall, it is important to understand that these performances are not a true reflection of the individual, and instead, comes from these coping mechanisms in response to societal pressures.   

Experimental Video Assignment

In these three video performance art pieces, we explore the connection between childhood memories and using water balloons as symbolism for the passing of time. These balloons are colorful, representing childhood delight, and demonstrating the bittersweet understanding of letting go of youth because time will only move forwards. In these videos, the act of holding onto these water balloons represents the human urge to clutch onto childhood innocence and the water balloons represent just how fragile this innocence is. However, through trying to hold onto childhood, it is inevitable that we will be faced with having to release these feelings and move onwards. Furthermore, in two out of the three videos the balloons are released after tension became too great as a result of being shoved into a tight shirt. The act of releasing these balloons demonstrates the feeling of finally letting go of our past and embracing the everyday present. Although the tension is released through the balloons dropping to the floor, it is not a smooth drop as some balloons had a hard time escaping from the shirt folds. This also alludes to the idea of how difficult it is to come to terms with the fact that life will continue to push forwards and there is no way for us to turn back time. In addition, each balloon hitting the floor during these two drops is a reminder to cherish these moments and is another reminder of the passing of time. Lastly, the loop performance video depicts the act of continuously placing balloons into a shirt and then giving these balloons back. This represents the uncertainty of wanting to recognize and let go of this childhood innocence but at the same time, not wanting to commit fully. Overall, we hope that these performance videos are able to allow its viewers to reflect on this balance between life, memories, and childhood. 

Release Me

Letting Go of Me

Can’t Let Go

Reflection: Tehching Hsieh 

Tehching Hsieh is a taiwanese-American performance artist who is best known for his durational endurance performances which pushed as well as reshaped the boundaries of conventional art. Hsieh is most known for his “One Year Performance” series in which he subjects himself to imposed restrictions over a long period of time (Smith, 2009). One performance that comes to mind is his Cage Piece in which he voluntarily puts himself into a small cage for an entire year in order to create a psychological as well as physical experience that speaks to the limits of both personal space and freedom (Smith, 2009). This piece demonstrates his dedication as an artist to his performance as well as provides his audience with the ability to interact and feel a part of this experience (Smith, 2009). Another performance piece that comes to mind is The Outdoor Piece in which Hsieh lived outdoors in New York City for an entire year (Wu, 2022). In this piece, Hsieh interacts with the unpredictable and continuously changing natural environment  (Wu, 2022). By doing so, this piece can be viewed as a meditation on the vulnerability and interdependent relationship that forms in response to the connection between the artist and the natural environment  (Wu, 2022). Both Cage piece as well as The Outdoor Piece allow the viewer to reflect on their own relationship with time and space in addition to challenging the conventional limits of art. In reflecting on Hsieh’s work, I cannot help but be drawn to his level of commitment to each performance piece that he takes on. I admire his ability as an artist to be able to challenge the art world to re-evaluate what is considered art. In addition to this, I admire how his work encourages his audience to think about how spending time and enduring challenges can make the audience redefine the making as well as the overall experience of art. Lastly, his art makes us reflect on the constraints that we place on ourselves as a broader society and what artistic expression means in a world that is constantly changing. 

Works Cited 

Smith, R. (2009, February 18). A year in A cage: A life shrunk to expand art. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/arts/design/19perf.html 

Wu, S. (2022, June 8). Get out. Artforum. https://www.artforum.com/columns/tehching-hsiehs-art-of-survival-in-america-251866/ 

Conclusion: Accept the Silence 

My audio art piece is based on my hearing loss journey by exploring the transformative nature of sound into silence. Structurally, this piece is split up into three separate sections, each representing a specific stage of my hearing loss journey. The first stage begins with an overwhelming overlap of sound demonstrating the complexity of the auditory world. It is composed of familiar sounds layered over one another such as traffic, voices talking, and noises created by nature (birds chirping etc) in order to create a vivid array of noises as perceived in everyday life. However, as the piece continues, the audio is continuously interrupted by distortion. In the second stage, the clarity of these familiar noises have diminished into completely distorted audio, with an additional audio track playing hearing aid feedback. This represents the frustration of being unable to identify these noises which were once discernible. In the final stage of this piece, the distorted audio has faded and all that can be heard is the hearing aid feedback before the audio dissolves into silence. This signifies my acknowledgment that I will never be able to regain my hearing again, and it acknowledges the possibility that I will become deaf in the near future. Overall, my intention with this piece is to invite its listener to challenge their own relationship with sound and silence as well as be able to experience the journey of someone who is gradually losing hearing without being hard of hearing themselves. 

Portrait assignment: Hair

This art piece was a way for me to explore the relationship between the human body and the everyday rituals that we involve ourselves in by focusing on the act of brushing one’s hair. Brushing hair is a mundane yet deeply personal task that often goes unnoticed in day to day life. However, I have decided to draw attention to this task by visually demonstrating how our bodies change over time in order to create a conceptual representation of a portrait. Over the course of seven days, I meticulously collected the hair that I shed from my daily hair brushing routine. The process was documented through photographs of the accumulating hair in order to capture its change over the week. The presence of flowers in each picture serves as a visual indicator of the passage of time between each photo. In this portrayal, the collected hair is a metaphor for the passing of time and the changing nature of identity. For me personally, collecting my own hair was a reminder of my own desire to distance myself from certain aspects of my identity, specifically the color of my hair. It alludes back to this idea of whether the “carpet matches the drapes” as hair is often used as a way to understand a person on a more physical/bodily level. This piece is not a fixed picture but a dynamic reflection of growth and renewal. The portrait that I have crafted using the hair strands collected sets it apart from typical representations of what a portrait should look like. This is because I have chosen to take the focus of a portrait away from the physical nature of the term and instead centred it around the intangible nature of what a portrait could be. By doing so, this artwork shows that it is not about outward appearance, and instead, focuses on capturing the fleeting essence of our existence as people on this earth. 

Reading Response 2

Recall how Pope.L harnessed “the power of the popular” in his performances in public places. How did General Idea do something similar with their editions?

Pope.L’s performance art breaks away from what is considered traditional art by creating art outside of galleries and into public spaces. He utilizes the “power of the popular” by turning mundane experiences into art in these public spaces. His performances encourage people to engage directly with his art, merging the boundary between artist and audience. This direct engagement challenges people to reconsider what defines art as well as encourages deeper reflection on societal norms. 

Similar to Pop.L, General Idea utilizes editions as a way to reach a larger audience and engage with popular culture. This was done by incorporating mass media, advertising and consumer culture, which are topics that can be related to the general public, such as the discussion surrounding AIDS. Also, they would incorporate recognizable symbols and relevant themes that are meant to reflect society into their works, prompting viewers to contemplate their own place within the given cultural contexts. In other words, General Idea changed how people share and enjoy art by merging intellectual and popular culture in order to make art more accessible for everyone. 

In conclusion, both Pope.L and General Idea revolutionized how we perceive and interact with art. They changed the way in which art is shared and consumed by engaging with popular culture and discussing relevant themes. This approach allowed them to reach a wider audience and influence more people with their. Overall, this shows how much art has an impact on how we shape our perspectives of the world. 

Eastham, B. (2019, October 25). Pope.L on race, power and performance in the US. ArtReview RSS. https://artreview.com/ar-october-2019-feature-popel/ 

Oddities: The Art of Science

This collection of buttons is a series of interesting images depicting scientific dissections and research specimens. All of these images were carefully captured by my twin sister who is currently immersed in her studies of zoology at the University of Guelph. The intriguing aspect that made me interested in pursuing this concept lies in the differing viewpoints on “art” within our sibling dynamic. This dynamic serves as a reminder that art is not confined by traditional boundaries; it can extend into unexpected areas such as science. Through the careful selection and arranging of this collection, it highlights how scientific exploration possesses its own artistic qualities. By doing so, it emphasizes the notion that science itself can be regarded as a form of art. Each deliberate cut and precisely positioned pin within the display underscores the careful attention to detail and deliberate arrangement. Furthermore, the creatures depicted exhibit their own inherent artistic qualities which are evident in their vibrant colours and the deliberate framing within the photographs on the buttons themselves. The intricate incision, executed by hand, serves as a reminder to the dedication and thoughtful consideration that went into the presentation of these specimens. Overall, this art piece’s purpose is to invite viewers to recognize and value the artistic aspects inherent in scientific exploration. It also helps blur the boundaries between different fields of study and offers a new perspective on how art and science intersect with one another. 


How to: Kilometre- Artist statement

When tasked with the artist prompt of “kilometre” instantly I wanted to pee pee poo poo because I hate math. (Math is awful and I think that we should stop doing it.) Both thanks to my hatred of numerical value systems and my love of doing whatever feels the most rebellious I decided to push this prompt in a direction a bit more contrarian. For my project a “kilometre” is changed through that of creative wordplay into “kill o’ metre”. 

 Set up in a boxing style three round competition myself and the character  “Metre” (represented by a man in a head to toe green screen suit with a metre stick tied to the face. This works to both embody the metre stick in a human form while also centring the figures identity on the stick) fight eachother physically, finally resulting in the murder of the Metre character or in other words portraying how I “Kill O’ Metre”


When my Tio Miguel is sober he will nod politely, and maybe even chuckle, swearing all is lost to notebooks engulfed in flame, when the poetry he wrote in El Salvador before the war is brought up.

 When he is drunk you’ll see him stare off at a soccer game like any other man at the social function until suddenly tears stream his face, hes then known to kneel down before us, clutch his chest, and we watch as he pours spoken word from his mouth onto the floor in hot wet pools. Loudly and angrily he remembers all of the poetry. He’s remembering it all.

When I tell people that I’m a university student they look me up and down inquisitively. I don’t think I seem the type. When they ask what major I say “studio art” and suddenly it clicks “Ohhh!” They say and the fleeting respect begins to dwindle along with their attention.

My uncle Miguel is a construction worker now. One and three construction workers are Latine (or so a quick google search tells me and yeah makes sense). Every Latino man I’ve ever met has been.

Tio Miguel wrote poetry before he laid concrete, my step father sang before he built walls and my birth father used to draw us pictures, used to write us stories, used to teach us to dance  before all of that scaffolding fell.

I write poems, I dance, I paint pictures, I tell stories.

 That is my job.

In this text we learned that the subaltern as a collective perform in two ways. The men in my family perform for the outsiders and I write their poems, dance their dances and tell their stories.

Mika Rottenberg Writing

Mika Rottenberg is an artist with an affection for art about objects. More specifically she tends towards stories centering the relationship between consumer and object or in her own words the irony of how “what we create consumes us”.  She describes her process as starting with this prompt of “object” and then delving into how the powers that create these works, work! Whether this relationship to objects be represented through that of literal time and space, like in her piece The Cosmic Direction which depicts the time it Mexico to American border juxtaposed the time it takes to transport things from China to America , or a more metaphorical approach to “object” hinging on the objectification of bodies, like arguably one of her most famous works Tropical Breeze a work relating the literal sweat on a human body to that of a consumable object that may be measured and quantified, one thing is for certain, Rottenberg creates work that aims to question the possibly skewered value  we as consumers place on the people and the subsequent objects that come out of their efforts on the assembly line. Ie “the amount of ‘life’ that was put into [any given object].”In my own reading of her work one standout detail across her discography that particularly interests me is her seemingly un-affectionate nature towards “acting”. In many of her works she purposely steers away from traditional actors and or any level of emotive direction. In SEVEN a work she created in collaboration with Jon Kessler, Bodies are of great importance to the piece but not people and there is a distinct difference. In the work throughout a three week period, seven performers are seen engaging in multiple daily sessions of pedaling on stationary bikes, and perspiring in front of a live audience within the immersive sculptural installation. (The “object” accounted for here is sweat.) Despite the strenuous nature of exercise Rottenberg attempts to separate the figures from expressions of anguish because she is “more interested in how their bodies behave and the physical materials she can extract from their exertions.” When we compare this lack of relation Rottenberg expresses between bodies and objects to that of Ana Mendieta’s work surrounding her body in a spiritual emotional sense, or Pope L. ‘s history of performing feats with his own body, Mika Rottenberg’s physical detachment from her work seems foreign. By centering a historically static representation of objects through movement, process, and literal sculptural elements, Rottenberg subverts conventional boundaries between video art and sculpture, creating a unique medium that defies categorization. While her work conceptually explores detachment, touching upon objectification in feminist and consumerist contexts, it simultaneously forges a novel realm that is both sculpture and video art, yet transcends the limitations of both. This innovation, challenging conventional norms, aligns with the intriguing perspective of Rosalind Krauss.

works cited:

Santa Ana- sound project

When confronted with the example pieces shared for this sound project, the composition that resonated most profoundly with me was Jónsi’s “Hrafntinna (Obsidian), 2021.” Despite the remarkable blend of chants and layers of authentic, high-quality organic explosions that far surpass my humble garage band mix, the volcanic intensity struck a chord, holding personal significance in connection to my life. I was named after the Santa Ana volcano by my birth father, and the prominence of El Salvador’s, mostly dormant, volcanoes, with Santa Ana being his favorite, carried sentimental weight. As we cooked together, he would sculpt the Massa into a grand mountain, creating a hole at the top for water to trickle down like hot lava he would then remind me that he was born in “The Land of Volcanoes.” According to him, volcanoes, creations of God, were neither good nor bad—they simply existed. Man, on the other hand, embodied evil due to the awareness of the violence they could unleash, yet the fire endured. Ironically, my father, despite preaching about the nature of volcanoes, was a very violent man himself.

Originally intending to delve into the war that brought him to Canada, exploring the darkness of human nature and the violence he embodied, I shifted my focus to the concept of a “dormant” volcano. In my own life, the lingering effects of PTSD continue to affect me, making it challenging to overcome the intergenerational trauma from my childhood. However, with Ben, my partner, I find solace, distancing myself from the constant calls to my mother and crafting an identity centered around myself and how cool I am, detaching from the uninteresting ways others have hurt me. While learning to cook with my birth father exposed me to the violence of man, cooking with Ben is a different narrative—I teach him how imkertest are made and he teaches me safety, comfort, and love. Intimate sounds such as kissing, humming, and the clinking within a kitchen resonate softly in each respective ear, creating an immersive experience, conveying the closeness and privacy of our shared moments. Commencing with a distant eruption, a symbol of danger and explosiveness, the composition swiftly transitions to the portrayal of two people in love, finding solace in a kitchen both secure enough for laughter and distant enough to preserve the sanctity of their moment.

Stroke, Palm, Caress” (2024), Ana Lilliman

A conceptual portrait of erotica. Made using felted wool with reference to the pseudoscience notion of pheromones, the tactile sculpture “Hug and Hold” by Stephanie Mets, as well as the textile sculpture and general themes of erotica in the movie Harold and Maude. (More on this later) The three pieces, each felted to emulate different textile sensations and covered in different odours to offer a myriad of different sensations to the audience. The pieces are handed to a group sitting in a circle or a chain. The feeling of anticipation in awaiting the feeling and smelling of the piece as well as the quiet one sits in while waiting emulate a sense of anticipation and trust for one’s fellow audience members intrinsic to that of erotic sensations. The history of erotica hinges its focus on visual and auditory experiences(loud moaning and the slapping together of naked bodies) my piece challenges this history by exploring the similar concepts by that of other stimulatory means ie touch, and smell. The history of erotica is filled with sexism and objectification of non men and especially the cis female body. Whether artistically directed like that of PlayBoy magazine or more arguably plainly dangerous and misogynistic like that of PornHub exploring the abstract notions of sexuality and erotica by that of the smells and sensations that get ya a goin this piece aims to revolutionize not the sensations erotica artists tend towards but to question the necessity of the human form in porn altogether.

idk let’s find out.


Keep your eyes closed and your hands at the ready. Embrace the feeling of anticipation at receiving the piece. When the piece arrived to you hold it in your hands. Smell the pieces, palm them, caress them and then pass them along to the next person when you’re ready.