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Visiting Artist Responses

Lowery Stokes Sims
-Aesthetics or Utility-

I went to go see an artist presentation at the Weisman on December 5. The presenter was Lowery Stokes Sims. One of the first things that were brought to my attention is how many things she has done with her life, she has really been successful in her endeavors. The purpose of this presentation really focused around the environment and art, and how artists are begging to become the driving force behind some of the cultural and environmental change. The artwork that she showed centered on either involving artwork in nature or using artwork to show a statement about global warming. The piece that really stands out in my mind is the work where blue objects were placed on trees at the height that, if there was going to be a flood, the water would raise that high. The goal I assume behind this presentation was to open our eyes to how much influence artists really have on the global situation, and what we could do to make a difference. This coupled with the artwork that was shown really got that point across. However, honestly I was a tad disappointed with the presentation, even though I felt that it was really well done and of course she is an amazing person. One large problem for me is that we got to see none of Lowery's own artwork. Also it might just be me personally but I feel that the issue with global warming is just being taken out of proportion, everywhere I go I feel like people are talking about it. It just feels like were beating a dead horse.

Mathew Coolidge
-DvD recording of his presentaton at the Regis-

Coolidge is the founder of the Center for Land Use, which is based in California. Basically what this organization does is examine America’s landscape, and the things that people have done to that landscape, be it art or whatnot. It then shows the American public what our landscape and what we see is really like. “Take nature, add humans, observe results.? Coolidge goes on to talk about, how humans and people interpret the environment that they are surrounded in, and how your experience will be different depending your situations. The same area will be interpreted differently by different people because of their personal experience and how those experiences affect their views on life. One of the most interesting parts of the presentation for me personally was when he talked about the falling tree noise. In a forest in California a speaker has been set up so that each night it plays the sound of a falling tree. Reminded me of the saying, if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it does it make a noise? Going along with his speech, this is just my personal interpretation of this landscape and other people might have other opinions. Coolidge also talks about how he makes exhibits for people to be show in either museums or galleries that represents the surrounding environment.